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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 21, 2016

Senators expect freewheeling floor debate

Geof Koss, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-01-21 06:46:05

Senators from both parties yesterday said they expect a wide-open floor debate as the chamber takes up a bipartisan energy package that backers are hoping President Obama will sign.
In announcing plans to bring the bill (S. 2012) to the floor next — probably next week — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday made clear he’s hoping to notch another bipartisan win to his list of accomplishments since taking control of the Senate last year. [ read more … ]

Power Line Regulations Kink Wind Power Growth

By FRANK MORRIS, KCRU  •    •  Posted 2016-01-21 06:46:45

Building new high-voltage lines is now the biggest obstacle to the growth of wind energy. Out in western Kansas, big wind turbines produce lots of electricity, hundreds of jobs, tax revenue and a fair amount of income for farmers like Kermit Froetschner. “It’s been a boon to this area for sure,” says Froetschner, who has 16 turbines on his land in Spearville, Kansas. “School districts, counties … We like ‘em. Like to see some more.” A lot of people would. After all, wind turbines don’t foul the atmosphere, and they generate electricity for less money than power plants burning fossil fuels. Federal tax credits and mandates to cut pollution can make wind even more attractive. [ read more … ]

Renewable Stocks Drop as Oil’s Plunge Spurs Global Selloff

By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted 2016-01-21 06:47:28

An index of renewable energy stocks fell to the lowest in more than two years as floundering oil prices and a global equity sell off left investors fleeing from risk. The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index tracking 104 companies closed down 2.3 percent, reaching its lowest level since July 2013. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.6 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.2 percent, and oil in New York lost 6.7 percent as investors piled into gold and other safe-haven assets. [ read more … ]

Storage may help utilities embrace distributed solar

Umair Irfan, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-01-21 06:48:17

Storing electricity may be the sweetener utilities need to swallow distributed renewable energy. Researchers and utility companies are looking at what would happen if they integrated energy storage with solar power as a unit in the hope of turning an energy liability into an asset. “Storage is the missing piece of the puzzle,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
[ read more … ]

DOE grants $18M to projects that connect to storage systems

Christa Marshall, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-01-21 06:48:50

The Department of Energy is funding for the first time a portfolio of projects aimed exclusively at connecting solar power to energy storage systems. The agency today announced $18 million for six projects led by or involving a utility. All the projects aim to set up a yearlong field demonstration of solar technologies. They all plan to use smart inverters, devices that convert solar energy into alternating currents for the grid, but also tend to have additional functions like data streaming capability. The goal is to move closer to integrating photovoltaic power plants into the grid at a cost of less than 14 cents per kilowatt-hour. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.