Community solar exploding in Minn.

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Ellen Anderson, director of the University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab, can reduce Minnesota’s landmark community solar law into three escalating numbers: 20, 430 and 1,003. The first number, 20, is the projected megawatts that the state’s largest electric utility, Xcel Energy Inc., said it expected to approve in community solar capacity over the first two years of the program’s life since it was enacted in 2013.

Senators look to make progress on energy, spending

Source: Geof Koss and George Cahlink, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Senate negotiators will continue talks on a possible conference with the House on energy legislation this week, along with pressing forward on spending legislation and Puerto Rico relief. Senate Republican leaders are still hoping to complete as many spending bills as possible before the long summer recess. And energy bill boosters see the measure as a potential win during an election year. But gun control debates and passing legislation to shore up Puerto Rico’s finances are stressing an already stretched calendar.

Climate Change High on Agenda as Obama and Trudeau Meet for Summit

Source: By IAN AUSTEN and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada will announce a North America-wide climate partnership, syncing their national policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They will pledge a joint goal of generating 50 percent of North America’s electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2025, up from 37 percent today. White House officials said that power mix would include wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear energy and coal or gas power paired with carbon capture technology. They will also announce that Mexico will join an existing agreement between the United States and Canada to collectively regulate leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that escapes from oil and gas wells.

Study Links 6.5 Million Deaths Each Year to Air Pollution

Source: By STANLEY REED, New York Times • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

A sobering report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency says air pollution has become a major public health crisis leading to around 6.5 million deaths each year, with “many of its root causes and cures” found in the energy industry. The air pollution study is the first for the agency, an energy security group based in Paris, which is expanding its mission under its executive director, Fatih Birol. Mr. Birol said that through relatively low-cost actions, like adopting more ambitious clean air standards and more effective policies for monitoring and enforcement, countries could make major strides in reducing pollution over the next quarter-century.

Ames takes another step toward solar energy

Source: By Austin Harrington, Staff Writer, Ames Tribune • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

In an effort to make the city friendlier to solar energy, Ames officials are beginning an application process to be included in a federal program that is designed to decrease the hurdles associated with solar energy. SolSmart is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to recognize communities that have taken key steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets, according to the program’s website. The Ames City Council approved the application process in early June after the Ames Progressive Alliance brought the initiative to the city’s attention

LM Wind Rolls Out Longest Wind Rotor Almost Size of Soccer Field

Source: By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

The rotor is strong enough to carry 10 elephants, Kolding, Denmark-based LM said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. It was requested by Adwen Offshore SL for its AD 8-180 turbine, which has capacity to produce 8 megawatts of power. A soccer field must be at least 100 meters, according to FIFA rules.

Large-scale Calif. project revived after being left for dead

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

A San Diego-based renewable energy company is attempting to revive a long-proposed utility-scale solar power project that appeared dead earlier this year after its Spain-based developer went bankrupt. EDF Renewable Energy Inc. has filed a new permit application with the Bureau of Land Management to build the Palen Solar Power Project on about 4,200 acres of federal land in Riverside County in Southern California.

Nebraska working to catch up on wind energy

Source: By Chinh Doan, KETV • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

After watching Iowa and other states harness the wind, Nebraska is working to catch up. New incentives are helping to build the largest wind farm in the state, in which 200 turbines will turn over farmland in Holt County by the end of the year. Developers can’t wait, but some neighbors said it’s too much, too fast. Wind turbines are changing the landscape in north-central Nebraska. The Grande Prairie Wind Farm near O’Neill will include 200 turbines when it’s completed later this year, making it Nebraska’s largest wind farm.

Hawaii offshore wind projects get boost from Obama administration

Source: By James Prichard, Pacific Business News • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

In consultation with the Hawaii Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a call for information to gauge the offshore wind industry’s interest in acquiring commercial wind leases in two areas encompassing a combined 485,000 acres of submerged federal lands off Oahu. The bureau also opened a 45-day public comment period on site conditions, resources and other uses in and near those areas. Hawaii has a mandate of attaining 100 percent clean-energy generation by 2045.

Court delays fight over new power plant rule

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Friday granted a request by states, industries and other opponents of EPA’s climate rule to delay the schedule for filing briefs in the case. The court refused to adopt EPA’s proposal in its orde. Instead, the judges asked the parties to submit motions to consolidate challenges against EPA by July 12 and suggestions for a new briefing schedule by Aug. 4.