Solar power gets K Street boost

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Major solar power companies have expanded their presence in the influence industry. West Front Strategies LLC has signed up to lobby for both SolarCity and Sunrun Inc., according to lobbying disclosure records released by the Senate this week.

Turbines taller than Empire State Building

Source: By Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union Tribune • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

In efforts to increase wind power, the blades on turbines designed by engineers, scientists and researchers keep getting bigger and bigger. But a new design in the works takes the idea to levels most people can barely imagine: Blades up to 200 meters, or 656 feet, long — more than two football fields. Today’s longest blades run 262 feet. The blades at the Ocotillo wind farm on Interstate 8 that sends electricity to San Diego are almost 174 feet long.

San Diego company explores wind farm in rural Plymouth County Iowa

Source: By KIRBY KAUFMAN, Sioux City Journal • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

A San Diego-based alternative energy company is looking to enter Iowa’s wind farm industry in rural Plymouth County. EDF Renewable Energy proposes to build an estimated $200 million wind farm between Kingsley and Le Mars, said County Zoning Administrator Alan Lucken. Company officials will meet with rural landowners this week to discuss the construction of roughly 100 windmills, which could include easements.

Pentagon wants ‘bombs on target’ first, renewables second

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Concerns over energy security are spurring branches of the military to get more electricity from renewable sources, inching the Pentagon toward governmentwide climate goals. But environmental concerns are not a key driver for the Defense Department, the nation’s largest consumer of energy. Instead, military officials say that safer sources of power are needed to enhance national security. That’s a bigger motivation than reducing emissions.

U.S. Offshore Wind Cost May Drop 55% as Builders Gain Experience

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The cost of building wind farms off the U.S. coast may decline as much as 55 percent within 13 years, letting developers offer clean power at rates competitive with market prices, according to a study released Tuesday by the University of Delaware. If developers commit to a series of large projects, installing about 2,000 megawatts of capacity between 2020 and 2030 off the Massachusetts coast, they will gradually drive down costs as they gain experience, install transmission lines, upgrade infrastructure and utilize increasingly efficient components, the study found.

Wind energy could get cheaper with newer, bigger projects

Source: By Jon Chesto, Boston Globe • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The offshore wind industry’s efforts to distance itself from Cape Wind continued this week as the University of Delaware released a report showing offshore wind energy in New England would be far less costly under projects that are newer and bigger than Cape Wind.

Calif. grapples with multidimensional energy debate

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The rising demand for small-scale forms of distributed electricity generation like rooftop solar is proving a major challenge for California policymakers.

Wind-and-solar messaging roars on despite rule freeze

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The wind and solar industries say they aren’t changing their messaging strategies while the Clean Power Plan remains frozen pending a flurry of litigation.

E.P.A. Faces Bigger Tasks, Smaller Budgets and Louder Critics

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Under fierce attack from the political right, and with even some Democrats questioning its competence, the Environmental Protection Agency is facing a tumultuous election year — with rising regulatory responsibilities, falling budgets and its very existence at stake.

Editorial: Wind energy rules too strict

Source: By Editorial Board, Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Friday, March 18th, 2016

The Lancaster County Board should heed the request of a local coalition that it take another look at the super-strict noise limits it approved last year for wind turbines. As John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, told the board last week, the regulations “make it next to impossible to develop wind energy in our county.”