‘Stability’ is key in ‘all of the above’ energy strategy — Majority Whip McCarthy

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 17th, 2012

As Congress considers whether to extend a wind-industry tax break, a key House Republican signaled his willingness yesterday to continue providing the incentive, saying “stability” is key to ensuring a diverse mix of energy resources.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) stopped short of explicitly endorsing an extension to the production tax credit for wind, a 2.2 cents-per-kilowatt-hour incentive that’s set to expire at year’s end. But he noted the industry should be part of the “all of the above” energy mix Republicans would like to see.

Interior ignored tribal concerns about wind farm impacts — lawsuit

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

An American Indian tribe has filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior Department in an effort to stop what would become California’s largest wind farm on public land. The lawsuit filed late yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego by the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation says the proposed wind project’s 112 turbines would cause “irreparable injury” by destroying “culturally and visually significant lands and resources.” It accuses the Bureau of Land Management of essentially ignoring the tribe’s concerns.

Boehner vows to schedule vote on tax cut extensions before Election Day

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Boehner was silent on whether the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, solar and geothermal power would hitch a ride on the tax-cut extension package he plans to bring to the House floor before lawmakers face voters in November. Presumed to be a part of that bill, however, is an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all earners — a move likely to ground the House’s proposal in the Senate, where most Democrats align with the White House in seeking to roll back those benefits for wealthier Americans.

No competitors for company behind Atlantic offshore wind power ‘superhighway’

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

A proposal for an underwater “electric transmission superhighway” took a step forward yesterday as the Department of Interior announced that only one company, Atlantic Grid Holdings LLC, had expressed interest in undertaking the $1.7 billion project. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) would connect offshore wind farms up and down the Atlantic coast, consolidating up to 7,000 megawatts of power along a single, 300-mile high-voltage transmission line.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Responds to Wall Street Journal Editorial

Source: Gov. Terry Branstad • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Your recent editorials on the federal wind-energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and renewable portfolio standard (RPS) (“Gouged by the Wind,” May 5 and “Windy Republicans,” May 7) are off the mark. The wind-power industry is an American success story that is helping us build our manufacturing base, create jobs, lower energy costs and strengthen our energy security.

Final approval of Calif. project marks renewables milestone

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has authorized construction of the largest wind farm project on federal land in California, a major milestone in BLM’s ongoing efforts to significantly expand wind power production in the Golden State. Salazar signed a record of decision (ROD) late Friday for the Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility, which calls for stringing together 112 wind power turbines across about 10,000 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Southern California’s Imperial County.

CES would have to limit cost increases to 5% to pass Congress — study

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Americans would be willing to pay about 13 percent more on their annual electric bills to support a clean energy standard of 80 percent by 2035, although members of Congress would be unwilling to support any policy that carried larger than a 5 percent annual price increase, according to a study published this week. Americans are generally willing to pay more for electricity if utilities were required to generate the bulk of their power from clean sources, but there is unlikely to be sufficient support in Congress for such a policy unless annual electric bills increase by less than 5 percent, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change. By contrast, a proposed CES bill from Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is estimated to raise electricity costs by an average of 18 percent in 2035, though the increases would be more modest when they first took effect

Interior announces progress on Atlantic transmission ‘backbone’

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The Obama administration is moving forward with a transmission project to connect several thousand megawatts of offshore wind energy in the Atlantic Ocean, after confirming that there is no competitive interest from other developers. Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes today announced that Atlantic Grid Holdings LLC is the only firm interested in building a 300-mile high-voltage transmission line from New York to Virginia, clearing the way for the agency to initiate an environmental review.

Offshore Transmission Line Takes a Step Forward

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

A pioneering proposal to build a wind power transmission line on the ocean floor from southern Virginia to northern New Jersey cleared a hurdle on Monday when the Interior Department opened the way for the project’s sponsors to start work on an environmental impact statement. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the Interior Department, said that no competitor had emerged for the right-of-way for the proposed transmission line, known as the Atlantic Wind Connection, allowing the bureau to issue a “determination of no competitive interest.” By linking wind farms 15 to 20 miles off the coast, the backbone would greatly reduce the number of individual radial lines needed to bring the energy to shore.

Tenaska is a powerhouse at 25

Source: By Steve Jordon, WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER • Posted: Monday, May 14th, 2012

No surprise that longtime Omaha construction and mining company Kiewit Corp. is the 26th-largest privately owned company in the nation, based on its $9.94 billion in revenue last year. But you might be surprised to know that another Omaha-based company tops Kiewit on that Forbes magazine list, making it the biggest privately owned company in Nebraska or Iowa.