Please add the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 30, 2020

Top Story

World’s Biggest Offshore-Wind Company Sees U.S. Projects Lagging

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:33:55

“We had expected to have received the notices of intent for the most progressed projects, but we can now see that will not happen before the election,” said Marianne Wiinholt, Orsted’s chief financial officer, on a call with reporters Wednesday. “We have to stand still for a period.” The delay comes as offshore-wind proponents warn that limited resources at the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are constraining development. But funding decisions — including whether to hire more staff to work through a backlog of wind project applications — fall to Congress, not the U.S. Interior Department agency. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

World’s Top Wind Turbine Maker Ups the Stakes in Offshore Race

By Will Mathis, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:33:33

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, will buy out its offshore joint venture partner in an all-share deal that looks to take advantage of an expanding industry at the heart of the energy transition. The 709 million-euro ($830 million) deal for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.’s 50% share in the partnership will integrate the offshore business into Vestas’s much bigger onshore wind operation. It’s a move that the Denmark-based manufacturer hopes will help it dominate the industry by 2025. [ read more … ]

Wind industry blows cash into Kan. race

BY Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:34:34

Johnson County, Kan., is a typical Midwestern suburb. Its mostly white, upper-income residents pride themselves on the area’s strong schools. The county is also witness to a state Senate race where climate change and renewable energy have surprisingly emerged as defining issues, and one on which the wind industry just spent more than $100,000 — a huge sum for a state legislative race — to defeat the Republican incumbent. A former television meteorologist, state Sen. Mike Thompson is one of the Legislature’s most conservative members, according to a metricdeveloped by the Kansas Policy Institute, which has ties to the Koch political network. But his political ideology alone isn’t why he’s targeted by the wind industry. [ read more … ]


Grid group charts path to 100% clean electricity

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:36:14

With less than a week to go to the presidential election, the lobbying is stepping up to shape a clean energy plan if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden defeats President Trump. Advocates for a macro grid of new long-distance, high-voltage power lines released estimates of grid carbon emission reductions and new jobs that would come from linking prime wind and solar energy sites with urban centers. In the study, the group Americans for a Clean Energy Grid aligned itself with the strategy issued last June by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, calling on Congress to make the plan a blueprint for Biden. [ read more … ]

Supercooled Ill. power lines could redefine the grid

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:34:58

Several miles north of downtown Chicago, crews are installing underground superconducting electric power cables to test a strategy for protecting the region’s power grid against natural or man-made disasters. The lines, encased in supercooled, insulated jackets, carry 10 times the current of ordinary power cables on utility Commonwealth Edison Co.’s system. When the project is in operation, scheduled for next year, the lines will tie together substations that move power to 35,000 customers, according to ComEd. By linking these crucial nodes together, the project is changing the basic footprint of utilities’ power distribution networks that have been laid down since Thomas Edison’s time. [ read more … ]

$1B transmission line sparks lawsuits, FERC complaints

By David Iaconangelo and Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:35:51

A $1 billion power line seen as central to New England’s energy future is embroiled in a new lawsuit over its environmental impacts, weeks after its developer accused a rival company of unfair practices. The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Council of Maine and Appalachian Mountain Club sued the Army Corps of Engineers over the project Tuesday, alleging the agency violated federal law when issuing a key environmental approval. [ read more … ]


Manchin sees lane for votes of FERC commissioners and energy bill

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:32:44

Joe Manchin, the Senate Energy Committee’s top Democrat, predicted today that the upper chamber will confirm a pair of FERC commissioners in the lame duck period after the election. The committee held a confirmation hearing in September for President Trump’s most recent nominations to FERC: Republican Mark Christie, chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, and Democrat Allison Clements, a clean energy lawyer. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

As Climate Disasters Pile Up, a Radical Proposal Gains Traction

By Christopher Flavelle, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:33:13

As the effects of climate change become more devastating, prominent research institutions and government agencies are focusing new money and attention on an idea once dismissed as science fiction: Artificially cooling the planet, in the hopes of buying humanity more time to cut greenhouse gas emissions. That strategy, called solar climate intervention or solar geoengineering, entails reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into space — abruptly reducing global temperatures in a way that mimics the effects of ash clouds spewed by volcanic eruptions. The idea has been derided as a dangerous and illusory fix, one that would encourage people to keep burning fossil fuels while exposing the planet to unexpected and potentially menacing side effects. [ read more … ]


Report: PJM carbon price would slash emissions 30%

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:36:36

The nation’s largest grid operator, PJM Interconnection, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions nearly 30% and save consumers $2.8 billion by 2030 by setting a modest carbon price.
That’s according to a study released yesterday by the consulting firm Energy + Environmental Economics (E3) and commissioned by the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), a national trade group representing competitive power suppliers. “E3’s findings confirm that by allowing competition to flourish we can deliver a more affordable, reliable and cleaner energy future,” EPSA President and CEO Todd Snitchler said in a statement. [ read more … ]


Robot cars could be cruising city streets within months

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:35:29

Fleets of driverless vehicles carrying paying passengers could soon get the green light to operate in California. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will look at setting rules for taxi-like services using autonomous vehicles. It plans to examine both robot cars with an emergency driver on board and those operating with no backup driver inside. The move could help propel autonomous cars onto the streets in the future and accelerate plans by automakers to manufacture more electric vehicles, according to advocates.
[ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden wants to end gas car sales. He hasn’t said when

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:37:14

If Joe Biden wins the White House next week, he could take action to phase out gasoline-powered cars across the country, observers say. But it remains to be seen how the former vice president would pursue the aggressive climate goal — and how much opposition he would face from affected industries. Biden’s climate plan calls for “developing rigorous new fuel economy standards aimed at ensuring 100% of new sales for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be electrified.” [ read more … ]

Scientists see a future without emissions. Does Biden?

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-29 14:36:55

Joe Biden’s climate plan hinges on an ambitious target: to make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2050. It’s a goal that technically aligns with the world’s climate targets. But whether a Biden administration would actually be able to pull it off — and whether the rest of the world could follow suit — is another question. [ read more … ]

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