The Interior Department plans to open new waters off Massachusetts to offshore wind development, after two companies submitted unsolicited requests to lease the area. The lease areas total more than 380,000 acres. PNE Wind USA Inc. and Statoil Wind both expressed interest in the same area, prompting Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to decide to proceed with the competitive leasing process, according to an email sent today to stakeholders. PNE Wind proposed projects in two lease areas that would generate 400 megawatts each, with as many as 50 turbines in each location. Statoil — which bid a record $42.5 million last year to win a lease off New York — wants to build a wind farm on one lease area that would initially generate as much as 600 MW.
German developer PNE Wind AG and Norway’s Statoil ASA are asking the U.S. government to open additional sites for offshore wind farms off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts. The sites south of Long Island, New York, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, are near existing areas already designated for offshore development, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in a statement Friday. The unsolicited requests for offshore leases come amid growing interest in developing clean energy off the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Friday offered to save Australia’s most renewable-energy dependent state from blackouts by installing 100 megawatt hours worth of battery storage, valued at $25 million, within 100 days of signing a contract. The offer follows a string of power outages in the state of South Australia, including a blackout that left industry crippled for up to two weeks and stoked fears of more outages across the national electricity market due to tight supplies.
But I won’t sugarcoat things, it’s a hard way to earn a living. Margins are thin, and we’re beholden to things far beyond our control, like changing commodity prices or poor weather. So when I had the chance to lease some of my land for a wind farm, I jumped at the opportunity. This means we won’t have to worry about being able to pass the ranch to the next generation. The lease payments we get will ensure our lifestyle. Unfortunately, our lawmakers are considering a bill that puts all of this at risk. They’re proposing setbacks that would make building future wind farms much more difficult.
A major infrastructure need relates to long-distance electricity transmission lines. As governor, Secretary Perry oversaw the nation’s single most successful transmission development program. In just five years, Texas built more than 3,500 miles and $7 billion of transmission lines to move wind energy from rural west Texas to Dallas and Houston — helping Texas become the nation’s wind power leader. Secretary Perry has authority to unstick some of the siting and financing problems bedeviling many other U.S. long distance transmission lines. The DOE’s Power Marketing Administrations, like the Bonneville Power Administrationand Western Area Power Administration, own tens of thousands of miles of transmission lines and have financing and eminent domain authority to build new lines and upgrade existing ones. Last year, for example, Energy Secretary Moniz used DOE authority to advance a major transmission line from wind-rich Oklahoma to the southeast. Secretary Perry should consider the same for other stalled projects.
Cars and light trucks from the 2016 model year will be the first to fall short of U.S. fuel economy targets in more than a decade, according to a new projection released by regulators that will feed a debate over efficiency standards between automakers and environmental groups. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forecasts that the 2016 models will average 32.1 miles per gallon, below the target of 32.8. The agency forecasts another shortfall in model year 2017 of 31.8 miles per gallon compared to a projected target of 33.
The White House is seeking to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget of an Energy Department division that has funded technological research in projects ranging from the LED light bulb to plug-in electric trucks, according to people familiar with the plans. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, currently funded at $2.1 billion a year, would see its allocation slashed by at least $700 million under a proposal from the Office of Management and Budget, according to three people briefed on the plans who asked not to be identified discussing the internal deliberations.
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Thursday that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with the established scientific consensus on climate change. Asked his views on the role of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels, in increasing global warming, Mr. Pruitt said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
Ryan Lance, whose company is one of the largest oil and natural gas producers, gave the comment at an industry conference in Houston. “It would be good for the U.S. to stay in the climate agreement,” Lance said after giving a speech, according to Axios. Lance puts ConocoPhillips in the same league as Exxon Mobil Corp. and numerous oil companies outside the United States in supporting the Paris pact, like BP and Royal Dutch Shell.Trump promised on the campaign trail to pull the United States out of the agreement, a four-year process.
Wind energy in the United States is making a case for itself as a cheap source of energy that steers revenue to rural America, an industry trade group said. Federal data show five state — Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota — each sourced more than 20 percent of their electricity from wind power last year to lead the nation. “Wind is now cheaply and reliably supplying more than 20 percent of the electricity in five states and is a testament to American leadership and innovation,” Tom Kiernan, the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a statement.