News

Why it matters: Energy

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

THE ISSUE: Energy independence has been a goal of every president since Richard Nixon. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have very different ways to achieve it. How energy is produced and where it comes from affect jobs, the economy and the environment.

Low cost of electricity in ND discouraging solar energy investments

Source: By Katie Fairbanks, North Dakota Forum • Posted: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

North Dakota averages 60 percent of possible sunshine each day, according to the North Dakota State Climate Office. But according to Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency, the state does not have many goals or incentives for utilities or individuals to invest in solar energy. According to the North Dakota Century Code, in 2007 the Legislature established an objective of 10 percent of all retail electricity sold in the state be obtained by renewable and recycled energy by 2015. The objective was voluntary, and there were no penalties for providers that failed to meet it.

Utilities behind solar amendment are trying to trick voters into ending net metering, Al Gore says

Source: By Joshua Gillin, PolitiFact Florida • Posted: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

In the Miami area to stump for Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore wanted to enlighten a crowd of supporters about a controversial ballot measure on solar energy. Gore said the utility companies that back Amendment 1 make it sound like it fosters solar, but the true aim is darker than that. He called it a “phony baloney” initiative propped up by utilities. “The things they claim protect solar are protections you already have,” Gore said at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus on Oct. 11, 2016. “But they are trying to fool you into amending your state Constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry.

Closing in on a solar power breakthrough

Source: Peter Behr, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Frank van Mierlo holds his dream in one hand — a hair-thin wafer of silicon, the platform for a solar power cell. After nearly 10 years and $100 million of investment, the dream is on the doorstep of happening. Next year, van Mierlo’s startup, 1366 Technologies, is set to break ground on a new wafer manufacturing plant between Buffalo and Rochester in rural upstate New York.

Offshore Wind Farm Maintenance To Benefit From EU Research

Source: By Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica • Posted: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

New techniques to continually monitor the structural conditions of an offshore wind turbine will go a long way toward optimizing maintenance and inspections, and help the offshore wind sector achieve greater increases in cost-efficiency. The TOWERPOWER project is being funded by the European Union’s Community Research and Development Information Service, and is aiming at developing reliable new techniques to continuously monitor the structural condition of an offshore wind turbine. The project is entering its final year, and is using ultrasound-based techniques to monitor the transition piece of a wind turbine — the part of the turbine that supports the nacelle and the tower itself.

Dems’ bid for House majority — close but no cigar?

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Now as Trump struggles to keep pace in the race for the White House — weighed down by poor debate performances and accusations of sexual assault — Democrats are hoping that initial splash builds into a wave election that puts them back in control of the House for the first time since they lost the majority in 2010. But with a 59-seat deficit in the House for Democrats — and fewer than 20 truly competitive GOP-held seats — most political prognosticators agree it’s unlikely Democrats will be able to flip the 30 seats the party needs to take back control of the chamber.

U.S. Army picks firms for up to $7 billion in wind energy orders

Source: By Andrea Shalal-Esa, Reuters • Posted: Friday, October 21st, 2016

The U.S. Army has picked 17 companies that will be eligible to receive orders for wind energy under an umbrella contract valued at up to $7 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday. The companies include many large energy producers including Dominion Energy, a unit of Dominion Resources Inc (D.N); the U.S. unit of Spain’s Acciona SA (ANA.MC); Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N); the U.S. unit of France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles; and the U.S. unit of Spain’s Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC).

It’s déjà vu in arguments as EPA foes challenge another rule

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 21st, 2016

The lawsuit over U.S. EPA’s carbon rule for new power plants features similar battle lines, many of the same attorneys and the same federal court as the litigation over the Clean Power Plan. And opening briefs filed last week in the case show that challengers intend to make the Clean Power Plan a part of their legal arguments, too. Foes cited the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, more than a half dozen times to boost their arguments against the rule for new power plants.

Iowa Senate debate touches on RFS, EPA regs, high court vacancy

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 21st, 2016

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley touted his work to maintain the renewable fuel standard while criticizing his Democratic challenger for supporting U.S. EPA regulations, as he faced off last night with former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge in the duo’s first debate. Democrats had hoped to make the Iowa Senate race competitive in the face of Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has maintained a double-digit lead over Judge.

Construction wraps up on largest solar facility in Midwest

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, October 21st, 2016

Construction has wrapped up on a $180 million solar farm in Minnesota that’s billed as the largest single solar facility in the Midwest and one of the largest in the country. The North Star Solar project in Chisago County just north of the Twin Cities comprises more than 440,000 solar panels on 1 ½ square miles of land. It’s expected to produce enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes, starting in December.