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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 23, 2016

Cantwell cites ‘good progress’ after latest conference huddle

Geof Koss, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-06-23 06:43:16

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) struck a more positive tone on negotiations to go to conference with the House on energy after meeting with top House and Senate lawmakers this morning, but stopped short of saying she’s ready to vote to launch formal talks. The ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee described “good conversations” with Energy Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); House Energy and Commerce chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.); and House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). [ read more … ]

Va.’s offshore wind prospects weather financial doldrums

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-06-23 06:43:53

Just last year, Virginia was poised to become the first U.S. state to tap the Atlantic coast’s offshore winds. That’s when Dominion Resources Inc., the commonwealth’s largest electric utility, doubled down on its promise to build a 12-megawatt wind power facility 25 miles off Virginia Beach, with notions of eventually siting hundreds of turbine towers across a swath of open ocean. But if Virginia was first out of the gate in its pursuit of offshore wind power, it has fallen far behind today as it watches a handful of other Atlantic states put “steel in the water” much more quickly than Dominion. [ read more … ]

Mont. energy plan straddles line between coal, renewables

Emily Holden, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-06-23 06:44:21

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat facing re-election challenges, released an energy blueprint yesterday that he said is aimed at protecting coal jobs while embracing renewable power and energy efficiency. The state holds more coal reserves than any other — making the future of the energy sector a big election-year issue (ClimateWire, March 10). Montana is also grappling with what to do with its large Colstrip coal plant, which is facing environmental regulations and financial pressures as some co-owners eye exit strategies.
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Cost to Replace California Nuclear With Solar: $15 Billion

By Jim Polson and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2016-06-23 06:45:13

PG&E Corp.’s plan to shut California’s last nuclear power plant by 2025 would cost $15 billion if all its output is replaced with solar-generated electricity at current prices, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts. Actual costs could be lower because the company expects to account for reduced demand and replace only part of the plant’s production, energy policy analyst Rob Barnett said Wednesday in an interview. PG&E plans to use a mix of renewables, storage and energy conservation in place of the Diablo Canyon nuclear complex, the utility’s chief executive officer, Tony Earley, said Tuesday. [ read more … ]

Musk shrugs off stock plunge, defends Tesla-SolarCity deal

Christa Marshall, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-06-23 06:45:37

Tesla Motors’ stock is taking a hit today as financial analysts question the wisdom of the automotive company joining forces with SolarCity. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans yesterday to acquire the solar installer as part of a broad effort to integrate the company’s existing residential battery business with solar power (ClimateWire, June 22). The stock had fallen more than 7 percent by publishing time. Meanwhile, multiple investors slammed the deal, with one saying it stretches the “bounds of industrial logic.”
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MIT sets targets for energy storage to aid renewables

Umair Irfan, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-06-23 06:46:56

Storing electricity adds value to intermittent renewable energy, and a new study could help investors figure out where to place their bets on storage technology development. Lulls in wind and sunshine present a challenging problem for utilities that need to deliver stable power. Storing electrons for later — whether using batteries, flywheels or pumped hydropower — would help shave peaks and fill valleys in power production. However, much of the technology on the market isn’t ready for prime time, often too expensive or falling short in some critical performance metric.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.