News

States may plan discreetly to avoid ‘backlash’ — White House official

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

A special assistant to President Obama said that despite the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Clean Power Plan, states are voluntarily working behind the scenes to piece together backup plans to comply with the electricity-sector greenhouse gas standards. “What some states have told us — and some that have not been public about it because they don’t want to see backlash from the right — is it’s conservative to work on this policy,” Rohan Patel, deputy director of intergovernmental affairs for the White House, told several dozen attendees at a Washington, D.C., symposium on the impacts of climate change on black communities.

Senate moves on as Flint deal stays stuck

Source: Geof Koss, Hannah Hess and George Cahlink, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture Thursday on legislation to address the opioid epidemic, after a handful of GOP senators held up a consent agreement that would have set up votes on the chamber’s bipartisan energy bill and a package for Flint, Mich. The Kentucky Republican lauded Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) for their efforts to break the logjam that has held up their energy bill (S. 2012). “Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Cantwell and many others continue to work diligently on a way to wrap up the energy bill and to deal with the Flint issue,” McConnell said before filing cloture on the opioid measure.

Flint aid package, energy bill may re-emerge next week

Source: George Cahlink and Hannah Hess, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

Senate leaders are hoping to reach an agreement to move the Flint measure in concert with a broader energy bill (S. 2012). Under the proposed deal, the energy legislation, along with a slew of agreed-upon amendments, would move first and then the chamber would consider the Flint relief. Senate leaders are hoping to reach an agreement to move the Flint measure in concert with a broader energy bill (S. 2012).

Texas wind power set a new record late Thursday

Source: By Fuel/Fix • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Wind power in the Texas grid set a new record at 9:20 p.m. Thursday evening when it generated 14,023 megawatts of power.Wind turbines accounted for more than 45 percent of the grid’s overall load at certain points late Thursday as Texas increasingly relies more on renewable power. February has proven a particularly windy month thus far.

Transportation challenge grows as turbine blades get bigger

Source: By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Wind turbine blades continue to grow — turbines are now more than 200 feet tall — and officials are having trouble transporting equipment to remote locations in Texas and other windy Western states. Moving the blades, which reach higher into the sky and wrest more energy from the wind than ever before, can take days and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Clean Line looking for new customers in Missouri for transmission project

Source: By Matthew Bandyk, SNL • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

A municipal utility in Missouri has suspended talks to become a customer of Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposed Grain Belt Express merchant transmission line. But the developer is continuing efforts to recruit other utilities as it plans to try to get the nearly 800-mile project approved in Missouri.

Solar industry reports record U.S. growth in 2015

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

The United States installed almost 7.3 gigawatts of new solar photovoltaic capacity in 2015, marking a fifth consecutive year in which the industry added at least 1 GW of new generation, according to data released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. The 17 percent year-over-year growth from 2014 extends solar PV’s unprecedented boom since 2010 and places PV solar on a trajectory for even larger gains through 2020, according to industry experts.

U.S. no longer top wind turbine producer, replaced by China

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

General Electric Co. has ceded its position as the world’s No. 1 wind turbine manufacturer to a Chinese competitor, according to 2015 market data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. Ltd. received orders for 7.8 gigawatts of new wind turbines in 2015, exceeding GE, which dropped to No. 3 globally with 5.9 GW of new commissioned capacity, according to BNEF. Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark attracted 7.3 GW of new orders in 2015, solidifying its No. 2 ranking in the global supply chain.

Senators Reach Tentative Deal on Flint Water Crisis Aid

Source: By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

The impasse over Flint has blocked a bipartisan energy bill that had been moving forward in the Senate. Under the tentative agreement, the Senate would vote on the energy bill before taking up the Flint legislation as a separate bill. The energy bill, the first comprehensive legislation of its kind in nearly a decade, promotes a wide range of energy sources, from renewables such as solar and wind power to natural gas and hydropower. The legislation also would speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia and boost energy efficiency.

Oregon Senate amends anti-coal power bill

Source: By Ian Kullgren, Portland Oregonian • Posted: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Oregon lawmakers yesterday amended one of the state’s most far-reaching pieces of environmental legislation in decades in an attempt to give state regulators more oversight and to rid coal from Oregon’s energy supply. H.B. 4036, approved by the Senate’s business and labor committee, would give the Oregon Public Utility Commission, which regulates the state’s two major public utilities, authority to manage costs incurred from shifting toward renewable energy.