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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 1, 2017

4 reasons why the energy and water bill may be doomed

George Cahlink, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 06:38:33

House Democrats sharply criticized the bill for largely siding with the White House in making deep cuts to Energy Department clean energy programs and funds for high-risk research projects. Those Democrats want to reverse a steep $1 billion cut to DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as a proposal to eliminate the $300 million Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, which funds “high-risk” projects. [ read more … ]

Oil Companies at Last See Path to Profits After Painful Spell

By STANLEY REED, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 06:45:43

When oil prices fell, the industry scrambled to adjust. It initially relied on tried-and-true tactics: cutting jobs and investment. But then companies realized they had to go further, starting a far-reaching reworking of their businesses to embrace new technologies and construction methods to stretch each dollar just a little more. The result has been drastically lower operating costs and higher cash flows. Learning to live in a weaker oil price environment gives them upside if prices firm up. This shift was borne out in recent days as major oil companies, including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, reported much healthier results. [ read more … ]

In a blast from the past, state approves Clean Power Plan

Debra Kahn, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:40:41

California regulators are complying with the federal Clean Power Plan to send a message to the rest of the world that the Obama-era climate regulation is achievable. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) voted to approve its plan to comply with the rule, despite the Trump administration’s moves to undo former President Obama’s signature policy for reducing greenhouse gases at power plants. The program is currently stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is also on hold while U.S. EPA decides how to handle the regulation.
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Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid

By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:42:32

Throughout Vermont, customers are signing up for a new program that will allow them to power their homes while entirely disconnected from the grid. The projects are part of a bold experiment aimed at turning homes, neighborhoods and towns into virtual power plants, able to reduce the amount of energy they draw from the central electric system. But behind them are not green energy advocates or proponents of living off the land. Instead, it’s the local electric company, Green Mountain Power. [ read more … ]

This massive new wind project is proof clean energy is doing fine under Trump

By Chris Mooney, Washington Poet  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:44:05

One of the nation’s largest power companies, American Electric Power, announced plans on Wednesday to purchase what it said would be the biggest U.S. wind farm in the state of Oklahoma, a strong signal of continued growth for renewables even under the Trump administration. [ read more … ]

$4.5B Oklahoma wind farm to supply power in 4 states

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:44:32

Two utilities that supply power to customers in four states say they plan to buy what is being billed as the largest wind farm in the U.S. once the $4.5 billion project is completed in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The Oklahoman reports power development company Invenergy LLC and General Electric Co. on Wednesday announced plans for the Wind Catcher farm. It will have 800 wind turbines and is expected to be finished in 2020.
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Offshore Wind Developer Proposes Using Tesla Batteries at Sea

By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:40:58

Deepwater Wind LLC is proposing to pair Tesla Inc. batteries with massive offshore wind turbines as part of a bid to supply the state of Massachusetts with clean energy generated at sea. The 144-megawatt development would stockpile electricity produced late at night, then deliver it when the grid needs it most, Deepwater Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski said in an interview Monday. [ read more … ]

Western grid integration could be a boon for wind

Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:41:20

Rocky Mountain utilities could soon make a move that would reshape much of the West’s electricity sector. Utilities in the Rockies are considering joining a regional transmission organization, or RTO, that now encompasses the Great Plains. Such a move would pave the way for a growing amount of wind power to be brought online. Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown was quoted in The Denver Post saying he thinks expansion of the existing 14-state RTO to the Rockies is “highly likely.” [ read more … ]

Bank promises to use only renewable energy

Benjamin Hulac, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:41:41

JPMorgan Chase & Co. unveiled a two-pronged sustainability plan  to lower emissions and support renewable energy. The Wall Street bank said it will power its operations worldwide from renewable sources by 2020. The decision applies only to its facilities. [ read more … ]

Goldman Sachs’s ‘Secret’ SunEdison Loan at Center of KKR Suit

By Tiffany Kary, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:42:07

As SunEdison Inc.’s bankruptcy winds toward a close, a question lingers about the demise of what was once one of the U.S.’s most promising companies. What role did Wall Street’s biggest banks play? Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in particular, along with Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley, were involved in a margin call and a “secret” loan that contributed to SunEdison’s collapse, according to lawsuits brought by dozens of investors including KKR & Co. and Pyramid Holdings Inc. The suits, just getting started, are now the main hope for shareholders wiped out by SunEdison’s reorganization plan approved last week. [ read more … ]

Senate bill would boost community solar projects

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:43:06

Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced legislation last week requiring the Department of Energy to support community solar projects. The “Community Solar Consumer Choice Act” would establish a DOE program that works with states and local governments on community solar, particularly in low-income communities. The bill requires the national labs to collect data helpful to businesses making solar financing decisions, and urges federal agencies to participate in community solar initiatives. [ read more … ]

Shell CEO Van Beurden Says His Next Car Will Be Electric

By Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:43:28

When the boss of Europe’s biggest listed oil company says his next car will be electric, it says a lot about the future of fossil fuels. Royal Dutch Shell Plc responded to the worst oil-price crash in a generation with its $54 billion takeover of BG Group Ltd. last year, betting that demand for natural gas will rise as the world shifts to cleaner-burning fuels. Now Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden says the next thing he’ll buy is a car that doesn’t need either oil or gas to run [ read more … ]

Solar Boost in One U.S. State Sends Wind to the Sidelines

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:43:46

“This bill is critical for the future of significant increases in our already booming solar industry,” Cooper, a Democrat, said in a statement Thursday. “I strongly oppose the ugly, last-minute, politically motivated wind moratorium. However, this fragile and hard-fought solar deal will be lost if I veto this legislation and that veto is sustained.” [ read more … ]

State mandates have ‘diminished’ in importance — report

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-08-01 04:45:12

State mandates have driven half of U.S. growth in renewables since 2000, although declining costs have made such standards less important than they used to be, said a new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The lab concluded that 44 percent of renewable capacity additions last year resulted from state renewable standards, down from about 60 to 70 percent before 2014.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.