News

First US Offshore Wind Energy Projects Could Deliver Jolt Of Momentum To Struggling Sector

Source: BY MARIA GALLUCCI, International Business Times • Posted: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

By the time summer rolls around, five wind turbines, each rising 600 feet, could be spinning in the Atlantic Ocean near Rhode Island. Two more could spring up off the coast of Virginia by late next year. America’s first offshore wind farms will arrive after more than a decade of fits and starts, and they could deliver a jolt of much-needed momentum to the struggling industry. Yet building the next, bigger offshore wind projects will require states stepping in to help defray the sky-high electricity costs and attract wary investors, analysts say. A handful of other East Coast wind farms are in the works, but none are likely to come online this decade without stronger clean energy policies, or better financial incentives.

Colorado air pollution funding caught in climate rule crosshairs

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Colorado’s top air official has condemned an effort by Republican lawmakers to block about $8.5 million in funding over concerns about federal climate change regulations. If passed, the move “would significantly interfere with our ability to do our job of ensuring clean air and reducing emissions,” said Will Allison, Air Pollution Control Division director with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Former state officials back EPA in lawsuit

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

A group of 17 former state energy and environmental leaders is asking to support U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan in federal court. The coalition includes former officials from states ranging from Vermont to Texas who intend to counter “exaggerated claims” made by critics of the regulation, according to court documents.

First-ever energy jobs report finds solar, efficiency surge

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Solar energy and energy efficiency firms are predicting strong hiring growth over the next year, according to a new federal report assessing national employment in multiple energy sectors. The first-ever analysis from the Department of Energy reports a swirl of numbers on how U.S. energy trends are affecting national employment. It finds, for example, that energy employers are having a difficult time finding qualified workers, and that minorities and women remain underrepresented in energy jobs when it comes to their overall numbers.

Research lab off Va. coast gets approval

Source: By Steve Szkotak, AP/Fuel Fix • Posted: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

The federal government approved the construction of a research facility off Virginia’s coast to test wind turbines in harsh open-sea environments. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved a research lease with the state last year, and now it has authorized the construction of two 6-megawatt turbines about 30 miles off Virginia Beach.

Developing World Overtakes West in Renewables Investments

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

A U.N.-backed report says global investments in solar, wind and other sources of renewable energy reached a record $286 billion last year. For the first time the developing world accounted for the majority. The United Nations Environment Program on Thursday said renewable investments in developing countries jumped 19 percent to $156 billion in 2015, with $103 billion in China alone.

US Wind Energy Pays $222 Million Annually To Rural Landowners

Source: By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica • Posted: Monday, March 28th, 2016

The US wind energy industry is currently paying $222 million annually to rural landowners whose land supports wind farms, in turn supporting some of the most economically distressed communities in the US. Landowners in six states are currently receiving over $10 million dollars a year in lease payments, with Texas ranked number one, followed by Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Kansas. Landowners in 26 additional different states are receiving over $1 million. In the end, the share of wind development in rural areas represents more than $101 billion in wind farm investment.

Fight to Keep Alternative Energy Local Stymies an Industry

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Monday, March 28th, 2016

Up and down the center of the country, winds rip across plains, ridges and plateaus, a belt of unharnessed energy capable of powering millions of customers, with enormous potential to help meet national goals to stem climate change. And because the bulk of the demand is hundreds of miles away, companies are working to build a robust network of high-voltage transmission lines to get the power to the coasts. If only it were that simple. In all, more than 3,100 miles of projects have yet to be built, in need of government approval.

Energy Department Announces Participation in Clean Line’s Large-Scale Energy Transmission Project

Source: By U.S. Department of Energy • Posted: Monday, March 28th, 2016

Building on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ongoing efforts to modernize the grid and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, today U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced that DOE will participate in the development of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project (Clean Line), a major clean energy infrastructure project.This marks the first use of Congressional authority conferred to DOE as part of Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with the objective of promoting transmission development.

The $2.5 Billion U.S. Power Line That No State Can Stop

Source: By Jonathan Crawford, Bloomberg News • Posted: Monday, March 28th, 2016

A $2.5-billion transmission line carrying wind power to the U.S. Southeast is coming — whether state regulators there like it or not. On Friday, the U.S. Energy Department used a decade-old statute to clear Clean Line Energy Partners LLC’s 705-mile (1,134-kilometer) power line for construction over any objections from the states involved. The Energy Department’s approval of the line, proposed to carry 4,000 megawatts of power from the wind-rich Oklahoma panhandle through Arkansas and into Tennessee, marks the first time the 2005 statute has been used to bypass state approval and push through an interstate transmission project.