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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 13, 2020

Top Story

Big U.S. offshore wind developer to miss startup target over permit delay

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:43:39

Vineyard Wind, the developer of the first major U.S. offshore wind farm, said on Tuesday it will miss its target to start sending power to Massachusetts by 2022 due to lengthy federal permitting delays. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the U.S. Department of Interior, posted a revised permitting timeline on its website on Tuesday that said it will issue a final decision on the project by Dec. 18, more than a year after its previous target of August 2019. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Vineyard Wind faces unexpected permitting delays, pushing 2022 start date for 800 MW offshore project

By Iulia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:46:31

Vineyard Wind is rethinking its timeline for its offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, announcing on Tuesday that the project will not be in commercial operation in 2022 as previously anticipated, in response to an updated permitting timeline from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). BOEM officially issued revisions to its process on Friday, aiming to issue the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project on Nov. 13, and a final decision on Dec. 18. The EIS is needed before a project can begin construction in federal waters. [ read more … ]

Offshore wind: What are Trump’s ‘true intentions’?

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:44:45

The American Wind Energy Association praised the administration for offering “clarity” to the industry. So did Vineyard Wind LLC, the developer behind the 84-turbine proposal off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., even though it will now miss its most optimistic operation target of 2022. “Any delay is a challenge,” said Laura Morton, senior director of policy and regulatory affairs for offshore at AWEA. But she said having a schedule in place — albeit one that the industry hopes will accelerate before the end of the year — is important. Still, some were skeptical about the extended delay given the Trump administration’s mixed messaging on the wind sector. [ read more … ]

Trump admin punts offshore wind review to late 2020

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:48:55

The Trump administration won’t complete an environmental review of the first U.S. offshore wind farm until the end of the year, according to an updated outlook from the Interior Department released today. It is the second extensive delay in under a year for the 84-turbine Vineyard Wind project proposed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The new timeline breaks the developer’s goal of having offshore wind power churning by 2022. [ read more … ]


FERC’s Chatterjee casts doubt on state exodus from capacity markets

By Jasmin Melvin, Platts  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:46:54

Critics of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s sweeping changes to PJM Interconnection’s capacity market should pump the brakes on rhetoric asserting a coming state exodus until auctions are held and the impacts on generators and consumers are better known, Chairman Neil Chatterjee told reporters Tuesday. “For all the people expressing concerns and the potential about leaving the capacity markets, [they] need to do the analysis, see how this all shakes out,” Chatterjee said during a press conference at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ winter policy summit. [ read more … ]

FERC order, Exelon probe muddy Ill. climate fight

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:45:08

A scandal involving the state’s largest energy company and a controversial regulatory ruling is complicating a renewed push in Illinois to boost renewables and slash carbon emissions.
Unlike 2019, when new Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) had his plate full of other pressing issues, the governor called for the passage of energy legislation this spring. He has not, however, endorsed any of the several energy bills pending. [ read more … ]

Chatterjee defends markets after FERC order backlash

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:45:23

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Neil Chatterjee defended the efficacy of capacity markets yesterday and cautioned states against exiting over policy differences governing the market. Chatterjee’s remarks came in response to questions about the potential cascading effects of a state-backed pullout of the PJM Interconnection capacity market following the recent changes instituted by FERC to balance alleged state interference into power generation decisions. “I’ll simply say this: I for one am a big believer in markets and the value that particularly the capacity markets have provided to consumers, to the economy and to the environment,” Chatterjee told reporters during a news conference at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ winter policy conference in Washington. [ read more … ]

Trump targets loan program that could help Ohio plant

by Tom Krisher and John Seewer, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:45:47

The Trump administration’s budget proposal would scrap a loan program that could help an upstart electric vehicle company’s plans to reuse the now-closed General Motors Co. factory in Lordstown, Ohio. In a summary of the budget for the coming fiscal year, the administration said Monday it wants to eliminate the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, which was created in 2007 to foster development of fuel-efficient vehicles. [ read more … ]


Climate concerns help boost Sanders and Buttigieg in New Hampshire primary

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:46:09

Voters in the Granite State just cemented climate change as a major election issue — one that just helped vault both Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg to the top of the race for the Democratic nomination. One in 4 people who voted in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday said that climate change was the issue that mattered most to them, according to network exit poll results. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

From Wind Power to Cow Manure: Oil Traders Seek New Profit Recipe

By Julia Payne, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:49:20

The world’s largest oil traders are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into climate-friendly projects – including wind farms, cow manure plants and blue hydrogen – as they seek to match the profits they make from trading oil. The energy industry as a whole faces an existential threat from the shift to a lower carbon future and faces growing pressure from investors, governments, activists and financiers to find a sustainable business model. [ read more … ]

Democrats pressure Grassley on clean energy incentives

By Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:44:21

More than two dozen Senate Democrats are calling on Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to take action on an assortment of energy tax bills from members of both parties. Twenty-seven Democrats, led by Finance ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), made the plea yesterday in a letter to Grassley in which they cite the growing risks of climate change. [ read more … ]

A Rare Trump-Era Climate Policy Hits an Obstacle: The Tax Man

By Brad Plumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:47:22

A rare policy enacted under President Trump to address climate change has run into an unexpected hurdle: the tax man. In 2018, Congress approved a lucrative tax break for companies that use carbon capture technology to trap carbon dioxide produced by industrial sites before the gas escapes into the atmosphere and heats the planet. The technology is still costly and contentious, but may one day become a valuable tool for slowing global warming. House Republicans are aiming to expand support for carbon capture as part of a broader package of climate bills, the first of which is expected Wednesday. [ read more … ]


Rigging the System Against Clean Energy

By Martin Heinrich, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:47:45

ight before the holidays, Trump appointees on a federal commission you’ve probably never heard of gave a major gift to coal companies. They also threw a wrench into efforts at the state and local level to move the U.S. toward cleaner and cheaper sources of power. Changing the way we generate electricity is one of the most important ways we can reduce our carbon pollution and combat climate change. Fortunately, in recent years, cleaner power sources like wind, solar and natural gas have outcompeted older, dirtier coal-fired power plants as the most cost-effective sources of electric power. [ read more … ]

Kiernan: Grain Belt Express offers Missouri jobs and grid resiliency

By Tom Kiernan, St. Louis Today  •    •  Posted 2020-02-12 14:48:10

Solar installer and wind-turbine technician are the country’s two fastest growing jobs. More than 500 U.S. factories that build wind turbine components are supplying next-generation manufacturing jobs, and Fortune 500 companies such as General Motors and Apple are locating facilities where they can access clean energy. Unfortunately, the Missouri Legislature is debating a measure, House Bill 2033, that could close off these benefits to Missourians by making development of the Grain Belt Express transmission line project, designed to deliver affordable clean energy to the state’s consumers, unfeasible if not impossible. [ read more … ]


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