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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 21, 2018

Top Stories

FERC to tackle PURPA reform

Rod Kuckro, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-05-19 07:56:45

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is responding to the clamor of members of Congress and large electric utilities asking the regulator to re-examine an arcane 1978 law in light of today’s vastly different power market conditions. A long-standing debate over the law’s continued usefulness has pitted state regulators, utilities and their customers against an array of interests representing industrial co-generators, independent power producers, and solar and wind developers. [ read more … ]

Top aides not considering rescue for coal, nuclear — source

Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:26:09

The National Security Council is leading a new search for policies to safeguard the U.S. electric grid — talks that won’t include efforts to subsidize specific coal and nuclear plants, said a senior Energy Department official. The NSC Deputies Committee is helming discussions about what steps should be taken to ensure the U.S. energy system — transmission, pipelines, power plants and more — remains resilient in the face of cyberattacks, storms and other threats. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready.

By David Roberts, Vox  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:26:44

The US electricity system is at an extremely sensitive and uncertain juncture. More and more indicators point toward a future in which wind and solar power play a large role. But that future is not locked in. It still depends in large part on policies and economics that, while moving in the right direction, aren’t there yet. And so the people who manage US electricity markets and infrastructure, who must make decisions with 20-, 30-, even 50-year consequences, are stuck making high-stakes bets in a haze of uncertainty. [ read more … ]

FERC chair restarts PURPA review, pledging ‘open mind’

By Gavin Bade, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2018-05-19 07:58:38

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will “reenergize” its review of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA), Chairman Kevin McIntyre announced at the agency’s monthly open meeting. FERC also approved a Louisiana gas pipeline and issued new reliability guidelines for transmission planners and owners on geomagnetic disturbances. Commissioner Richard Glick dissented on the pipeline vote over climate change concerns. [ read more … ]

FERC greenlights grid defense proposal against solar storms

Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:27:29

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week unanimously agreed to proceed with a proposed second phase of its rules requiring operators of high-voltage power systems to protect equipment against a once-in-a-century solar flare, whose rogue currents could cause major blackouts and destroy transformers. The commission gave the industry 60 days to respond before it takes final action. [ read more … ]

FERC shifts policy to limit climate consideration

Sam Mintz, E&E News Reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:28:18

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today changed its policy on when it will consider and disclose the upstream and downstream impacts of greenhouse gas emissions connected to natural gas projects it reviews. The move triggered frustration from the two Democrats on the majority-Republican commission, who both said they believe that the change is unlawful and that it undermines an ongoing, comprehensive review of pipeline policy at the agency. [ read more … ]

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities

By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:27:54

The new era of big batteries has already drawn scrutiny after fiery electric-car crashes across America and Europe. Now, U.S. city planners are worried about the same risk of hard-to-control blazes as these power-storage units make their way into basements and onto rooftops. [ read more … ]

Trump torpedoes one of Obama’s last climate orders

Benjamin Hulac, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:28:54

With the stroke of a pen, President Trump rescinded a rule on environmental sustainability and climate change. He replaced it with an order that prioritizes energy efficiency and waters down climate policies. Trump issued an executive order instructing agencies to cut waste and costs to “enhance the resilience” of federal facilities and to lower the energy use of the buildings they oversee. [ read more … ]

Why climate scientists want to be thought of as the real ‘climate skeptics’

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2018-05-21 04:28:35

“We demand evidence, we kick the tires,” Hayhoe explained to me later over the phone. “The entire system of peer review is based on you making the best argument for the result that you’ve found, and then multiple colleagues who are not involved in your research then tear it apart and try to find all the holes possible.” [ read more … ]

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