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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 31, 2019

Top Story

Offshore wind gets a warning from its biggest developer

By William Mathis and Christian Wienberg, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:03:59

The world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms issued a reality check to the industry, saying it has overestimated the amount of time its turbines are generating electricity. Copenhagen-based Ørsted A/S announced that offshore wind farms wouldn’t produce quite as much power as previously forecast. The adjustment could shave millions of dollars of revenue a year off each project. It’s also a warning to other developers who may have used similar analysis to estimate the economics of their projects. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Nebraska has bright renewable energy future, leaders say

By MATT OLBERDING, Lincoln Journal Star  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:05:51

Hundreds of business executives, community leaders, landowners and others are attending the two-day event at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln. The kickoff speaker for the conference was Amy Farrell, senior vice president of government and public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association. Nebraska for several years has lagged in wind power usage compared with potential, but that is changing. The state tied Rhode Island last year for the biggest year-over-year percentage gain in wind power capacity (39%) and ranked fifth for overall installation growth with more than 500 megawatts added last year. “You guys have a really, really excellent resource here,” Farrell said. [ read more … ]

Military wants more rules for turbines near nuclear missiles

By James MacPherson, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:05:33

The military wants North Dakota and four other states with nuclear missile arsenals to consider introducing new rules aimed at preventing conflicts between wind turbines and helicopters that provide security at launch facilities. Department of Defense and Air Force officials outlined their concerns in a letter before meeting yesterday with North Dakota lawmakers and regulatory officials. “Wind turbine development near launch facilities and missile alert facilities compromise the use of military helicopters to provide overhead security in sensitive locations,” the letter said. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

‘General Motors better wake up’ before China takes EV market, former California Gov. Brown tells Congress

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:03:18

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, D, defended his state’s fuel efficiency standards to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Tuesday, following the decision by three major automakers to side with the Trump administration’s proposal to prevent states from creating more stringent standards than the federal government. “The California standard is the world standard … The Trump standard is a deviant standard, a minority standard and a standard that cannot stand,” he said. “One way or the other, Detroit will shape up, if only because in five years we’re going to be buying Chinese cars because Detroit is just producing gas-guzzlers that nobody wants. And that would be a tragedy.” [ read more … ]

GM expects to spend more on EVs than gas-powered cars in next five years: CEO

By Ben Klayman in Detroit and David Shepardson in Washington, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:04:25

General Motors Co expects to spend more on developing and selling electric vehicles (EVs) than gasoline-powered cars over the next five years, Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Tuesday. Barra was responding to a question from an analyst on the No. 1 U.S. automaker’s earnings conference call when she said she believed EVs would see more of the research and development and capital spending dollars in that time period. [ read more … ]

Climate

California’s blackouts could make fighting climate change even harder

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:03:39

The state’s electric grid was experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes even before Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison began shutting off power to millions of people in a desperate scramble to prevent their transmission lines from sparking wildfires. Solar and wind power were booming. Gas-fired power plants were shutting down. Investor-owned utility companies such as PG&E and Edison were being replaced by city-run alternatives. And the falling cost of lithium-ion batteries was making some households less reliant on the grid than ever before. The changes will only accelerate in the coming years, as California ramps up efforts to fight climate change by cleaning up its energy supply. [ read more … ]

Rex Tillerson to take the stand in N.Y.

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:04:55

Former Exxon CEO and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes the stand today at the New York Supreme Court as a central figure in the long legal battle between the New York attorney general’s office and the world’s largest oil company. And there’s a good chance his emails will be up for debate once again.
[ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Lawmakers introduce carbon capture, pipeline bills

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:07:16

A leading Democrat in charge of the party’s House election arm introduced legislation yesterday to promote the deployment of carbon dioxide pipelines important for carbon capture technologies. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, unveiled her proposal with the goal of including rural America in the fight to tackle climate change. The legislation comes as a Democratic coalition in the House looks to make siting an oil and natural gas pipeline more difficult through limitations of the use of eminent domain.
[ read more … ]

House introduces $500M carbon capture bill as study questions technology’s environmental benefits

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:07:35

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at funding infrastructure to transport captured carbon dioxide. The bill would be the first of its kind to bankroll the development of lines and feeders in order to move carbon from its origins at power plants or other industrial facilities, to either storage or utilization, such as enhanced oil recovery. But a recent report highlights potential downfalls of carbon capture technology, including cost and environmental risk. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Bankruptcy of Trump donor’s coal company is bad news for retired coal miners

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:06:15

The bankruptcy of the coal company owned by Robert Murray, a major donor to President Trump, isn’t just another sign of struggle for the U.S. coal business. It is also a troubling development for tens of thousands of former coal miners, whose pension plan is floundering to stay afloat. Murray Energy Corp., the nation’s largest private coal giant, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday, Taylor Telford and I reported Tuesday. That move makes it the fifth coal company to land in bankruptcy court in 2019 as coal is being being squeezed out of the U.S. power market by cheaper options such as natural gas, solar and wind power. [ read more … ]

Expectations rising for another effort to aid coal

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:06:42

Trump’s most realistic option might come from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which rejected the administration’s original bid to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, but is considering ways to ensure the “resilience” of the transitioning electric grid that might be favorable to coal. FERC watchers are eyeing next week’s confirmation hearing for James Danly, before the Senate Energy committee, whose seat would give the GOP a 3-1 majority on the commission. The fact that the White House nominated another Republican commissioner without pairing a Democrat is a signal the Trump administration is “eager to have a FERC that takes action on this,” a source close to the coal industry told Abby. [ read more … ]

How lithium could be Calif.’s next ‘gold rush’

By David Ferris and David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:07:53

Derek Benson walks to the spot where the brine, surging upward from the depths, finds its outlet into the John L. Featherstone geothermal power plant. The pipe is 2 ½ feet in diameter and made of super-strong steel, but it trembles and squeaks like a living thing. The pipe is covered by a metal lid that is hot to the touch. Remove that lid, and a torrent of brackish, brown water combined with steam would be unleashed, cooking anyone in its path at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. [ read more … ]

Southeast solar seeks allies as PURPA changes loom

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-30 16:08:10

Big business may be the key to expanding solar in the Southeast as momentum builds to change a decades-old federal law designed to boost renewable energy. Solar developers are courting corporations like Facebook as part of a shift away from relying on a Carter administration-era law that has served as the backbone for renewable energy growth. As major companies set 100% renewable energy goals, solar power providers see potential not only for new customers but also for political allies in their fight to enact more solar-friendly policies throughout the region. [ read more … ]

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