One of the biggest wind projects under development in North America cleared another regulatory hurdle Wednesday with the release of a federal environmental study looking at the first-phase installation of 500 wind turbines. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s environmental analysis tentatively allows planning for the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind project south of Rawlins to continue. The agency found no new problems after looking at exactly where the developers propose to put the turbines.
The Obama administration gave preliminary approval yesterday for siting the first 500 turbines in a southeast Wyoming project that’s projected to become one of the world’s largest wind farms. At issue is the Bureau of Land Management’s release of an environmental assessment (EA) and draft finding of no significant impact for siting 500 turbines in the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project.
Ryan Popple jokes that his first job out of college was in transportation, serving as a U.S. Army officer dealing with tanks in Iraq. As the 38-year-old CEO and president of electric bus manufacturer Proterra Inc., Popple is still in transportation. But now he’s trying to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and slow global warming by developing a small but growing sector of the market: electric buses.
Looking across the calm, smooth Atlantic waters from the docks of the small island town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island, it may be hard to tell, but preparations are well underway for the nation’s first offshore wind farm to begin operating here before the year ends. Last fall, wind developers laid five foundations for the turbines that will spin in the Atlantic Ocean, three miles southeast of Block Island and east of Long Island. Last week, officials held the latest in a series of community meetings to discuss the action expected in the months ahead. At the moment, the focus is preparing the way for the 20-mile cable that will distribute power from the DeepWater Wind turbines to the mainland.
Things at Whole Foods are about to get even greener. The grocery chain plans to install as many as 100 rooftop solar systems, mainly through the power provider NRG Energy, on nearly a quarter of its stores and distribution centers, the companies said on Tuesday. SolarCity will also provide systems for the grocer, which could expand the rooftop solar program as the installations proceed.
In a statement on the termination, rooftop installer Vivint said SunEdison’s failure to “consummate the merger” according to the agreement’s original terms constituted “a willful breach.” After delivering a letter to SunEdison, the company said it would seek all legal remedies available. SunEdison did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The $2.2 billion deal announced last year came under fire from investors. MarketWatch reported, for example, that banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. stalled at providing loans to fund the acquisition after SunEdison did not provide timely financial statements.
Senators were working yesterday afternoon to resolve the lone objection to an agreement to schedule votes on energy reform legislation and a separate measure to help Flint, Mich., cope with its drinking water crisis. Should talks bear fruit, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters, the energy bill, S. 2012, could return to the floor later this week or next week.
House and Senate Democrats introduced a bicameral resolution today to promote the goal of moving the country away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy. More than 100 House members and 30 senators — led by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Reps. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) — are backing the sense-of-Congress resolution. It says that climate change will have a “devastating impact” on the U.S. economy and that the United States should strive to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz sought to stabilize support behind a key funding program for clean energy research yesterday as he appeared before increasingly skeptical Republican lawmakers. Moniz defended Mission Innovation, a 20-nation initiative set during the Paris climate agreement, against criticism about its goal to double clean energy investment in the United States over the next five years.
Renewable energy company SunEdison Inc. and the Maryland Climate Coalition have released poll results showing that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support legislation before the General Assembly that would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Currently, Maryland’s RPS requires state electricity providers to source 20% of their energy from renewables by 2022, and it also includes a 2% by 2020 solar carve-out. The Clean Energy Jobs Act (S.B.921/H.B.1106) would raise the RPS to 25% from renewables by 2020, as well as 2.5% from solar by the same year.