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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

July 24, 2020

Top Story

Bribery Scandals Taint Efforts to Save U.S. Nuclear Plants

By Mark Chediak and Gerson Freitas Jr, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 14:59:12

On Tuesday, federal officials arrested the speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives on racketeering charges tied to a bailout of two nuclear plants owned by Energy Harbor Corp., a former FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary. Four days earlier, Exelon Corp.’s Commonwealth Edison unit agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a lobbying probe in Illinois, where nuclear plants also receive aid. The fallout in Ohio has been swift, with Democratic and Republican lawmakers calling on Wednesday for the nuclear bailout law to be repealed immediately. Shares of FirstEnergy, which received subpoenas related to the investigation, plunged 21% Wednesday, the most on record. Taken together, the two scandals could undermine future efforts by utilities to seek support from lawmakers. [ read more … ]

Relief Legislation

Republicans Seek to Help Clean Energy in Next Virus Aid Package

By Dean Scott, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:01:49

Seven Senate Republicans today are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to add a host of clean energy incentives including wind, solar, and nuclear power to the next Covid-19 economic recovery bill. The letter, obtained by Bloomberg Law and meant to show GOP support for helping the ailing clean energy sector, was signed by Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Richard Burr (N.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

N.Y. eyes Great Lakes offshore wind as foes blast ‘assault’

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:00:16

New York may seek to resurrect a long-abandoned plan to build offshore wind turbines in the Great Lakes, even as critics call for state officials to stop an “assault” of renewable energy projects in rural areas. In 2009, the state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) asked wind developers to pitch projects that would have brought hundreds of turbines to the waters of lakes Erie and Ontario but later scrapped the idea as too expensive compared with onshore projects. [ read more … ]

Markets

Green power beats fossil fuels for first time

By William Mathis, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:02:20

Renewable power for the first time contributed a bigger share in the European generation mix than fossil fuels as the fallout from the pandemic cut energy demand. About 40% of the electricity in the first half of 2020 in the 27 E.U. countries came from renewable sources, compared with 34% from plants burning fossil fuels, according to environmental group Ember in London. As a result, carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector fell 23%. [ read more … ]

Nebraska utility won’t convert power plant to run on hydrogen after all

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Green Tech Media  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:02:38

Nebraska’s largest electric utility and the manufacturer that will soon be its largest private customer have agreed to abandon a potentially innovative plan to partially convert an aging fossil fuel power plant to run on hydrogen. The Nebraska Public Power District in 2018 said it had contracted with Monolith Materials to buy all of the hydrogen byproduct produced at a new factory under construction near the utility’s 225-megawatt Sheldon Station power plant, about 20 miles south of Lincoln. The power district planned to convert a 120-megawatt boiler to burn hydrogen, something that’s never been done before. [ read more … ]

States

Environmental justice concerns stall Va. power project

By Mike Soraghan, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 14:59:36

A $350 million gas project spanning much of eastern Virginia has been put on hold, in part due to environmental justice concerns. Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) recently deferred action on the proposal by Southern Co. subsidiary Virginia Natural Gas (VNG). The agency told the company to come back by the end of the year with more details on financing and environmental justice issues. [ read more … ]

EVs

Tesla plans new Gigafactory, scores Wall Street win

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 14:59:52

Tesla Inc. expanded its footprint in two historic dimensions yesterday. Financially, the clean energy firm planted a flag on Wall Street by notching a profit that sets it up for inclusion in the S&P 500. Geographically, the electric automaker laid a foundation in the heart of oil country, confirming the rumors that it will build its next factory in Austin, Texas. [ read more … ]

Technology breakthrough could increase EV range, battery life

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:00:31

Researchers say they’ve developed a potential breakthrough technology that could increase the life of electric vehicle batteries by up to five times and increase the driving range of cars by 30% to 50%. The technology from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Carnegie Mellon University involves a soft electrolyte for use in EV batteries that prevents the formation of defects in them, said Brett Helms, a staff scientist of organic and macromolecular synthesis at Berkeley Lab and director of the study, which was published this month in Nature Materials. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Climate activists: Biden should take these steps if elected

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:01:02

Climate activists are pitching presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on a suite of environmental justice policies he could enact through executive action. The Frontlines Climate Justice Executive Action Platform aims to make climate policy more equitable without new congressional authorizations or appropriations. The framework was developed by Demos, the progressive think tank and advocacy group, and endorsed by 115 climate and progressive organizations.
[ read more … ]

Biden’s Climate Support Could Spawn More Cases Against Big Oil

By Ellen M. Gilmer, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-07-23 15:01:20

State and local governments suing Big Oil over climate change got a boost last week when Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden committed to supporting their cause—a move that could encourage more lawsuits against the industry if Biden wins. Biden’s sweeping clean energy plan, unveiled July 14, includes a pledge to instruct the attorney general to “strategically support ongoing plaintiff-driven climate litigation against polluters,” a reference to more than a dozen lawsuits seeking money from fossil fuel companies for local harms related to global temperature rise. [ read more … ]

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