News

Birds halt UK offshore wind farm expansion

Source: BY SUSANNA TWIDALE, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The need for a study into the potential threat to the red-throated diver, a type of waterfowl, has forced developers to scrap a project to expand the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Britain’s London Array. The consortium of Denmark’s Dong Energy, Germany’s E.ON and Abu Dhabi state-owned energy investor Masdar joined a growing list of companies scaling back plans to build new offshore wind capacity in Britain.

World’s biggest wind turbine wins its first contract

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 20th, 2014

he world’s biggest offshore wind turbine, a Vestas behemoth with wings that sweep an area the size of three football fields, has signed its first potential order. The Vestas V164 8-megawatt machine has won a competitive tender for Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension wind farm in U.K. waters. The final decision to install the turbines is subject to the wind farm receiving the relevant subsidies.

Moniz touts plans for building ‘grid of the future’

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today outlined the Obama administration’s vision of a more resilient U.S. electric grid capable of handling severe weather linked to climate change. Addressing the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers smart grid conference in Washington, D.C., Moniz said the administration aims to shape an energy network with reduced emissions and a grid that’s tough enough to withstand rising temperatures and fierce storms.

Iowa Power line construction bill draws critics to House hearing

Source: Written by Jason Noble, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, February 20th, 2014

A panel of Iowa lawmakers advanced legislation Tuesday rewriting the approval process for construction of certain power lines in the state. The measure is a direct response to vocal opposition to the proposed Rock Island Clean Line from landowners across northern Iowa. The proposed 500-mile transmission line would deliver wind energy from northwest Iowa to markets in Illinois and points eastward. But it but might have to take land by eminent domain to secure the long, narrow strip that the power lines and poles would run through.

NARUC’s Honorable discusses role of regulators in distributed generation debate

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

How should state regulators be influencing the business model evolution facing the electric power sector? During today’s OnPoint, Colette Honorable, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, discusses the role of regulators in the net metering debate, the transition to a diversified fuel supply and transmission planning challenges. Honorable, whose name was circulated as a potential candidate for the top spot on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also comments on the nomination of Norman Bay to lead the agency.

Calls for grid protection grow louder in wake of Calif. attack

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

At issue are concerns that the current standards-making process, in which the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), an industry group, works with the electric sector to reach a consensus on rules that then go to FERC for final approval. Lawmakers have become increasingly alarmed that the process can take months to complete, lagging behind quickly evolving cyber and physical threats to the system.

World can run on wind, water and sunlight, scientist says

Source: Stephanie Paige Ogburn, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The world could meet all of its energy needs with a combination of wind, water and solar power, Stanford University scientist Mark Jacobson reported Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting. In a fast-paced presentation, Jacobson outlined the results of an analysis of a variety of fuel sources, their associated environmental costs and how much of those sources would be needed to power the world.

Iowa Lawmakers offer new rules on consideration of controversial wind energy power lines

Source: Written by Jason Noble, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

A panel of Iowa lawmakers advanced legislation on Tuesday rewriting the approval process for construction of certain new power lines in the state. The measure is a direct response to vocal opposition to the proposed Rock Island Clean Line from landowners across northern Iowa. The proposed 500-mile transmission line will deliver wind energy from northwest Iowa to markets in Illinois and points eastward, but may have to take land by eminent domain to secure the long, narrow strip on which the power lines and poles will run through 16 Iowa counties.

Maine gov. pushes back against wind energy bill

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The LePage administration pushed back against a proposal Tuesday that supporters say would ensure the decision-making process on wind energy proposals in Maine clearly follows the law. The bill, by Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland, would mean several changes for wind energy regulators, including requiring them in instances where their views differ from the hired experts to explain why. Alfond said his measure would ensure wind regulators at the Department of Environment Protection aren’t using criteria not specified by law to unfairly reject a proposal.

Obama admin shifts strategy on battling warming

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The Obama administration in recent days has increased its focus on the need to combat climate change, announcing new action plans both at home and abroad. President Obama said he will ask Congress for $1 billion in new spending for climate research and adaptation and tied warming temperatures to the drought in California, while Secretary of State John Kerry half a world away in Asia denounced climate deniers and revealed a new joint emissions plan with China.