As Wind Power Lifts Wyoming’s Fortunes, Coal Miners Are Left in the Dust

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, June 20th, 2016

After Kullin Orcutt lost his job at the Peabody coal mine this spring, he knew what he needed to do: join the exodus. “Leave Gillette, leave the state,” he said. Mr. Orcutt is a third-generation miner and one of 592 coal workers who have been laid off here since January. Thousands more job cuts are expected this summer. More people will follow Mr. Orcutt. While many businesses in Gillette are struggling to stay open, a U-Haul dealer has been nearly sold out since the school year ended this month. But 200 miles to the southwest, in Carbon County, where Wyoming’s first coal mine opened a century ago, the mood is different. The last coal mine closed a decade ago, but the county may soon be home to the largest wind farm in North America, if not the world.

EPA moves to spur early action in states

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

U.S. EPA gave its stamp of approval yesterday to solar installations in low-income communities as part of an optional, early-action program under the Clean Power Plan. The proposal would also allow geothermal energy and hydropower. The Obama administration yesterday rolled out more details on its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) . The optional program would give states early credit for certain actions to reduce emissions before the Clean Power Plan would take effect, like installing wind farms or energy efficiency projects in low-income communities.

Planned merger would create wind behemoth

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

wo major European energy companies, Siemens and Gamesa, will combine their wind divisions under an agreement announced this morning that should establish a new market leader in the world’s largest renewable energy sector. Under a binding agreement valued at €1 billion ($1.13 billion), Siemens AG, headquartered in Germany but with a global supply chain extending across a number of sectors and countries, will acquire majority stake in Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica SA of Spain.

‘Solar gardens’ blossom as Md. approves regulations

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Maryland this week became the 11th state to adopt formal policies requiring utilities to purchase power from community solar projects. The three-year pilot program, approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission, sets in motion one of the first state-sanctioned community solar programs in the Mid-Atlantic, following similar initiatives in a half-dozen East Coast states from Maine to New York and Washington, D.C.

Vestas enters conditional deal to supply MidAmerican up to 1,000 wind turbines

Source: By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen), Reuters • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

MidAmerican Energy Company has filed notice with Iowa Utilities Board highlighting an agreement between Vestas and MidAmerican with a potential of up to 2,000 MW in USA. MidAmerican to supply up to 1,000 v110-2.0 MW wind turbines for 2,000 MW wind XI project in Iowa.

Nebraska, Iowa defy trend in rural economy, show signs of growth as the wider region’s decline persists

Source: By Steve Jordan, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

The rural Midwest’s economy is in its 10th straight month of decline, according to a survey of non-urban bankers, with farmland prices trending down for the 31st straight month despite recent increases in energy and farm commodity prices. But Iowa and Nebraska went against the trend, showing growth in their rural economies and other positive signs.Goss said the two states’ improvement may be tied to gains in food processing and alternative energy, including recovery in the ethanol business and, in Iowa, installations of wind-powered energy facilities.

Siemens, Gamesa to form world’s largest wind farm business

Source: BY JOSE ELÍAS RODRÍGUEZ, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Siemens and Spain’s Gamesa agreed on Friday to create the world’s biggest builder of windfarms, with the German company paying 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) for a majority stake in the combined business. The group would bring together Siemens’ strength in offshore wind power and Gamesa’s leading role in developing markets.

Dems skeptical of Interior-EPA bill ever reaching Senate floor

Source: Sean Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

“It’s quite likely that this bill will never be considered on the floor because of the riders,” Durbin said in reference to provisions that would block key Obama administration environmental regulations, give special treatment to biomass as a carbon source and allow construction of a contested gravel road through a national wildlife refuge in Alaska.

Neb. utility votes to close power plant by year’s end

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

Fort Calhoun is among several reactor closures announced in recent weeks due to an abundance of cheap natural gas and waning demand for electricity. Exelon Corp., the country’s largest reactor operator, has threatened to shutter plants in Illinois and now New York. But Omaha Public Power also blamed EPA’s new rule for curbing carbon from existing power plants, saying the agency failed to provide any “carbon-free generation credits” from existing nuclear plants.

Transportation CO2 now outpaces electricity

Source: Brad Plumer, Vox • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

Transportation has surpassed electricity production as the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Emissions from both sectors started dropping during the recession. Electricity has continued on a steady decline as power plants switch out coal for cheaper and cleaner natural gas, as well as renewable sources of energy.