Why large-scale wind power is so hard to build

Source: By Michael McDonald, USAToday • Posted: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The Bureau of Land Management faces a problem and wants to shake up the rules around wind farm approvals. The problem is straight-forward on its face, but difficult to reconcile logically: Why are so few new large-scale wind projects being built? Despite the fact that nearly everyone – environmentalists, government regulators, and business interests –wants to build more wind farms, precious few are making it over the goal line.

Mega-wind farm moves forward; will others follow?

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The largest planned wind energy project in U.S. history cleared a key hurdle late last month as Iowa regulators ruled that MidAmerican Energy Co. could proceed with a $3.6 billion mega-wind farm to be built over the next three years. The 2,000-megawatt Wind XI project, to be built at a half-dozen sites across Iowa, would become the largest operating wind farm in the United States if completed on schedule by 2019. It is one of a small number of proposals currently in the development pipeline that call for generating wind energy at the scale of a baseload coal or nuclear plant.

Conference huddle to offer clues on reform prospects

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

With the clock ticking on the 114th Congress, House and Senate conferees will sit down this week for the first time in public to see whether they can buck the odds and pass the first comprehensive energy reform package in nearly a decade. The chairmen and ranking members on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Natural Resources Committee spent weeks this summer discussing whether going to conference was worth the trouble.

TVA urged to sign pact to buy Oklahoma wind at record low prices

Source: By Dave Fleshier, Times Free Press • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

TVA could help propel one of the biggest transfers of wind energy across America and get the best price to do so if it agrees within the next four months to buy the electricity generated from Oklahoma and Texas wind turbines and shipped to the Tennessee Valley on a new, $2.5 billion transmission line. Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, a Houston-based company formed to build high-voltage, long-distance transmission lines, is urging TVA to agree by the end of the year to buy at least some of the nearly 4,000 megawatts of wind energy it wants to transmit along a $2.5 billion direct-current line it plans to build through Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Solar Energy Takes Root in the Montana

Source: BY MOLLY PRIDDY, Flathead Beacon • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

Out in a gravel field, next to Flathead Electric Cooperative’s humming Stillwater Substation, sit four sections of future plans, hopes, and ideals soaking up the sunlight. More than 350 solar panels stand sentinel just north of the intersection of Whitefish Stage Road and Reserve Drive, put in place last September to absorb energy from the sun.

Planned wind-power line in doubt after court ruling

Source: By STEVE DANIELS, Crain's Chicago Business • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

A proposed high-voltage line meant to move power from Great Plains wind farms west of here into Chicago and points east has hit a major roadblock in the form of a court decision overturning state approval of it. But the developers, along with the Illinois Commerce Commission, aren’t giving up. They promise to appeal the Illinois Appeals Court ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Largest U.S. grid operator can comply with rule — study

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

The nation’s largest grid operator said it could comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan while acknowledging its findings were based on unknowns about future nuclear reactor closures and gas pricing forecasts. PJM Interconnection LLC, which spans 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states, said in an analysis that power plants within its jurisdiction could comply without skyrocketing costs. PJM found the price of compliance would range from 1 percent to 3 percent of average wholesale electricity costs.

Obama to use post-presidency ‘megaphone’ on climate change

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

President Obama wants to make climate change a big part of his life and work after leaving the White House next year, he said yesterday. “I think anybody who has the megaphone that even an ex-president has needs to be working on this and raising awareness,” Obama told pool reporters during a visit to Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to highlight his conservation legacy

Reform bill conference to meet on Thursday

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

With the clock ticking on the abbreviated election-year legislative calendar, the conference committee aiming to reconcile the House and Senate’s competing energy reform bills will hold its first public meeting this week. Conferees will meet Thursday morning to deliver opening statements, said a notice leaders circulated last night. Members’ remarks are limited to two minutes, but longer statements can be submitted for the record.

Rare Harmony as China and U.S. Commit to Climate Deal

Source: By MARK LANDLER and JANE PERLEZ, New York Times • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China formally committed the world’s two largest economies to the Paris climate agreement here on Saturday, cementing their partnership on climate change and offering a rare display of harmony in a relationship that has become increasingly discordant. On multiple fronts, like computer hacking and maritime security, ties between China and the United States have frayed during the seven and a half years of Mr. Obama’s presidency. The friction has worsened since the ascension of Mr. Xi as a powerful nationalist leader in 2013.