Grain Belt Express could come through Missouri with PSC approval

Source: By Collin Reischman, Missouri Times • Posted: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Lawmakers frequently discuss ways to conserve the environment, but in Missouri, little action is taken. But one group is hoping Missouri regulators approve a project that allows them to them expand the state’s transmission grid in order to provide a cleaner, and hopefully cheaper energy to Missouri consumers. The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a proposed 750-mile, four state, high-capacity direct current overhead transmission line designed specifically to transmit low-cost energy from wind turbines in western states like Kansas to consumers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

Transmission ‘disturbance’ leaves D.C. in the dark

Source: Hannah Northey and Blake Sobczak, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Large swaths of Washington, D.C., and Maryland went dark this afternoon, halting train service, affecting the Capitol and White House, and turning out the lights on a crowded room listening to Oprah Winfrey. A “major disturbance on the transmission system” occurred at about 12:30 p.m. in Pepco Holdings Inc.’s footprint that caused three power plants — about 2,000 megawatts — and transmission lines to shut down, according to PJM Interconnection, which operates the grid in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Wash.’s Inslee tapped to lead Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition 

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

A first-term Democratic governor from the Pacific Northwest and a seasoned Republican from the Corn Belt have been appointed chairman and vice chairman of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, the organization announced yesterday. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), elected to the statehouse in 2012 after resigning his seat in the U.S. House, will lead the group alongside Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), a two-time governor who served from 1983 to 1999 and was elected again in 2010 after 12 years out of office. He was re-elected in 2014.

Duke Energy proposes large scale Florida solar power plants over next 10 years

Source: by Ivan Penn, Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer • Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Duke Energy Florida announced plans Thursday to launch a major solar power effort that will produce electricity equivalent to that of a small power plant. The plan is a surprising move for Duke, which has held steadfast to the idea that solar won’t work in Florida without storage because the Sunshine State has too many clouds. Duke’s new position on solar comes as pressure mounts on Florida’s investor-owned utilities from homeowners and business owners who want more solar on their rooftops.

With first big wind purchase, Southern Co. continues steady march toward renewables 

Source: Kristi E. Swartz, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The Atlanta-based utility’s wholesale power unit, Southern Power, said last week it will buy a 299-megawatt wind operation in Oklahoma. Southern will not build, operate or maintain the project, nor will the company use any of the electricity generated from it. But the project is significant because it’s now Southern’s largest renewable energy-generating operation and the utility’s first major wind purchase. Buying the Kay Wind facility now — long after other utilities have jumped into wind — also demonstrates Southern’s desire not to go after something just because Wall Street likes it, analysts say.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad: The Digest interview

Source: By Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest • Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Much is happening, in biotech, agriculture and in pharmaceuticals. When I first came to office, we were a big energy importing state. Now, we are #1 in ethanol, a leading biodiesel producer, and we are only behind states like Texas and California in wind. But as a percentage of our power usage we’re way ahead, with almost 30% of our power from wind. And there are the new cellulosic plants like POET-DSM, and in Nevada, DuPont is going to open one before the end of the year.

Coalition Welcomes Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the Coalition’s New Leadership Team

Source: By Governors' Wind Energy Coalition • Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

“States continue to play a leading role developing the nation’s renewable energy resources, and capturing the jobs and economic benefits that these growing clean energy industries provide,” said Governor Inslee. “Washington state’s wind energy industry has attracted more than $5.7 billion in investment since 2001 – creating thousands of jobs, supporting our rural communities and reducing emissions from our electricity sector. I look forward to working with Governor Branstad and our Coalition colleagues to promote federal and state policies that will help the wind energy industry continue to diversify our nation’s energy portfolio.”

Laurence Tribe Fights Climate Case Against Star Pupil From Harvard, President Obama

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Laurence H. Tribe, the highly regarded liberal scholar of constitutional law, still speaks of President Obama as a proud teacher would of a star student. “He was one of the most amazing research assistants I’ve ever had,” Mr. Tribe said in a recent interview. Mr. Obama worked for him at Harvard Law School, where Mr. Tribe has taught for four decades.
Mr. Tribe went on to serve in the Justice Department during Mr. Obama’s first term and has argued in favor of the legal standing of Mr. Obama’s signature health care law and executive orders on immigration.

Branstad to co-lead wind coalition

Source: By Sioux City Journal • Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition on Monday named Washington Gov. Jay Inslee as the group’s new chairman and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the coalition’s vice chairman. “States continue to play a leading role developing the nation’s renewable energy resources, and capturing the jobs and economic benefits that these growing clean energy industries provide,” Inslee said in a statement.

Document: A handbook for how states can incorporate renewables in compliance plans

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Monday, April 6th, 2015

“Renewable energy can provide large emissions reductions in a cost-effective manner when part of a balanced energy portfolio and provide significant positive economic returns to a state.” So say the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association in a new “handbook” for states to use in weighing how to include renewable energy in complying with the Clean Power Plan.