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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 20, 2019

Today’s Wind & Solar Energy News will not publish during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  It resumes on Monday, January 6, 2020.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Top Story

How the Grinch stole clean energy … and then gave it back

By Mark Dyson, Rocky Mountain Institute  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:21:39

A long time ago (and, in places, still now),
A grumpy old Grinch hadn’t figured out how
To meet all the Whos’ clean power desires,
Instead of just lighting old carbon on fire.
So this is a tale of the Grinch’s transition,
And the power to change once he stopped to listen… [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

The Wind PTC Cliff Is Looking Less and Less Scary

By Karl-Erik Stromsta, Green Tech Media  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:25:24

For the past five years, the U.S. wind industry has been bracing for the phase-down and expiration of its federal Production Tax Credit — haunted, always, by concerns about what comes next. But the PTC “cliff” looks a lot less scary than it did just a few years ago, and that was true even before a one-year extension was granted this week by Congress. The bad news is that many wind projects are unlikely to reach completion by the end of 2020, the deadline for developers hoping to secure the 100 percent PTC, which is worth roughly $24 per megawatt-hour generated for 10 years. Wood Mackenzie’s latest research counts 9 gigawatts of “at risk” projects aiming for completion in 2020, potentially worth nearly $11 billion of investment. [ read more … ]


Battle reignites over $2.5B Midwest transmission line

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:24:07

A new decade will give rise to an old debate over a project promising to bring cheap wind energy to Eastern states. At issue is the Grain Belt Express, a proposed 780-mile transmission line stretching from southwest Kansas to the eastern edge of the PJM Interconnection grid in Indiana. Next month, the dispute over whether it should be built or not will resurface in Missouri, when the Legislature convenes. The $2.5 billion direct-current transmission line has been vetted by utility regulators in three states. It has been the subject of legal challenges in two of them, and the sale of the project by Clean Line Energy Partners LLC to Chicago-based Invenergy LLC is pending. [ read more … ]


FERC’s Catch-22

By KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:25:10

FERC will weigh in on a measure today that could ultimately lead to the destruction of part of the nation’s largest power market. The commissioners will vote on whether to impose a price floor, called the Minimum Offer Price Rule, in PJM Interconnection’s 13-state capacity market at its monthly open meeting today, Pro’s Gavin Bade and Eric Wolff report. A price floor is used to ensure enough power is on hand to meet future demand by paying electricity producers to make sure their plants will be available in three years. Coal and natural gas power plant owners say that state-level subsidies for renewables and nuclear plants are distorting the market and pushing prices too low. Without a price floor, they argue, the capacity market doesn’t fulfill its function to drive investments in power generation, Gavin and Eric report. [ read more … ]

Fossil fuel plants get boost from regulators

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:25:39

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted Thursday to help fossil fuel plants struggling to compete with cleaner sources, in what critics say is an overt attempt to keep coal and gas plants alive longer during the energy transition — a key objective of the Trump administration. FERC voted 2-1 in a long-anticipated action to revise market rules that govern how different energy resources are priced in PJM, the nation’s largest power market. The changes, backed by FERC’s two Republicans, are designed to raise payments to non-subsidized sources of energy — primarily coal and gas plants — to combat state policies that subsidize carbon-free renewables and nuclear power. [ read more … ]

FERC order could handicap new wind, solar, nuclear

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:26:40

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this morning directed the nation’s largest grid operator to establish new rates for a minimum price floor that could freeze new renewable resources from participating in its capacity markets. The order — approved on a 2-1 vote, along party lines — tasks PJM Interconnection LLC with implementing reporting back within 90 days about how the new rule balances competing energy sources in its capacity market. [ read more … ]


Warren sets 100-day climate agenda

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:25:59

Elizabeth Warren is specifying a handful of actions she’d take on climate change in her first 100 days as president. In an opinion piece in BuzzFeed News yesterday, the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential hopeful said she would carry out many of her campaign promises on climate quickly after taking office Jan. 20, 2021, if she wins the Democratic nomination and beats President Trump. “On day one, I’ll issue a sweeping executive order rolling back all of Donald Trump’s disastrous pro-fossil fuels policies, banning new fossil fuel leases offshore and on public lands, and committing the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords,” she wrote. [ read more … ]


Industry fumes as Calif. takes measure of charging stations

By David Ferris and David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:23:40

A little sticker is attached to just about every gas pump in America. Usually issued by the local county, it signifies that that station has been inspected and assures that you’re getting every drop of the gallon you paid for. Electric vehicle charging stations haven’t had such stickers, or inspections, or assurances. But in California, that’s about to change, in ways that may alter how all Americans fuel their electric cars. An obscure state agency, the Division of Measurement Standards (DMS), has just finished a set of strict new rules to govern how charging stations measure their output and communicate with customers. For the last four years, the regulator and the charging companies it will soon regulate have been engaged in a quiet but intense battle over the terms. [ read more … ]

EVs clash with 100% ‘clean’ energy in N.J.

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:24:32

An Exelon Corp.-owned utility has asked New Jersey regulators to approve a $42 million electric vehicle program, but many officials are worried that a utility-backed network of chargers would prove too expensive for ratepayers alongside the state’s other clean energy programs. The proposal from Atlantic City Electric, which serves eight southern New Jersey counties, would fund thousands of new chargers, including just under 250 new plugs at highway rest stops, shore towns and other public locations. It’s the utility’s attempt to resuscitate, and scale up, a moribund request for a $14 million program last year. Regulators have ignored the request, along with a $364 million, 40,000-charger proposal made by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., or PSEG. [ read more … ]

IBM announces battery breakthrough

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:24:48

BM is developing a safer, more powerful electric battery that promises to reduce the charging time for electric vehicles and may enhance the possibility of electric aircraft, the company announced yesterday. In an interview, Bob Allen, senior manager of materials innovation at IBM’s Almaden laboratory in San Jose, Calif., said the breakthrough came with the addition of iodine to the lithium-ion battery’s chemistry. Two years ago, the change startled researchers with “just extreme, out-of-the-chute power density,” he said. As is sometimes the case with breakthroughs, scientists were looking for something else: a way to protect lithium-ion batteries with a catalyst that reduced long, whisker-like chemical growths on their anodes. These “dendrites” caused short-circuits and created a higher potential for battery fires. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Feds cite ‘uncertainty’ in bid to fast-track Calif. lawsuit

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-19 15:26:13

The federal government last night asked an appeals court to expedite one of the legal battles over California’s tailpipe emissions standards. Government attorneys told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that it should hear arguments as early as next spring, given the immediacy of the issues at the heart of the dispute. “These are extraordinary cases,” lawyers for EPA and the Department of Transportation wrote in their brief. “The standards in question are immediately impacting industry investment and production decisions in the multibillion-dollar automotive sector of the U.S. economy. [ read more … ]



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