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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 6, 2021

Top Story

Biden climate team says it underestimated Trump’s damage

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:10:26

“In looking at those [regulatory] rollbacks, we sort of understood the task ahead was going to be daunting. But really, the rebuilding efforts across the government are going to be more extensive than we have understood before,” the senior transition official said on a background call with reporters. “When the agency review teams are going into the agencies to assess the challenges … they are leaving those agencies with a really much bigger understanding of the challenges ahead.” [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Montana’s largest wind farm will be built near Colstrip beginning in 2021

By Tom Lutey, The Billings Gazette.  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:07:25

Construction of what’s expected to be Montana’s largest wind farm will begin in 2021 just beyond the shadow the coal-fired Colstrip Power Plant. NextEra Energy Resources will plug into the grid at Colstrip substation, to target markets in the Pacific Northwest. Its Clearwater Wind project, with a 750-megawatts capacity, will be three times larger than any wind farm currently spinning in Montana. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Clean power agreement could spur $1.2 billion in wind, solar energy projects in Nebraska

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:08:23

Up to $1.2 billion in new wind and solar energy projects could be spurred by an agreement to provide 100% renewable energy for a proposed carbon black/anhydrous ammonia plant near Hallam, officials said Monday. Gov. Pete Ricketts joined officials of plant developer Monolith Materials, the Nebraska Public Power District and the Norris Public Power District to announce an intent to purchase power agreement the governor called “a win-win-win for everybody.” [ read more … ]

The 10 Ways Renewable Energy’s Boom Year Will Shape 2021

By Brian Eckhouse, Will Mathis, and Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:11:45

Even after Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on almost everything else, the new year begins with surging growth for renewable energy. “2020 was the year of positive surprises for the environment in a way that very few saw coming,” says Jeff McDermott, head of Nomura Greentech. “It was the breakout year in sustainability and infrastructure.” Growth will likely continue into 2021, fueled in part by last year’s major turning points. China has now committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2060, putting the world’s biggest market for solar and wind power on the path to ramp up installations as it begins its next five-year plan. Some analysts have started predicting that the U.S. power sector is approaching peak natural gas. That would leave room for solar-panel installations to build on the ongoing boom. [ read more … ]

The Transition

New clean energy lobbyists line up sway Biden administration

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:10:43

It’s a new year and a new president is about to take office. Right on cue, a new cohort of lobbying groups is setting up shop in Washington to influence the incoming administration’s agenda for tackling climate change. At least two energy trade organizations — one focused on the power sector, the other on automobiles — have launched in recent weeks to make sure their members benefit from the federal government’s amped-up effort to combat global warming under President-elect Joe Biden.  [ read more … ]

Natural Gas

Are gas bans needed? Study shows electrification surge

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:09:41

Electrifying the country’s new buildings may be easier than many policymakers assume — although in some regions it could require subsidies reaching into the thousands of dollars per household, according to a new analysis. Published in a blog post this week by energy economist Lucas Davis of the University of California, Berkeley, the working paper takes stock of the long, steady ascent of electricity as a source of heat. [ read more … ]

States

Colo.’s largest utility announces shutdown of coal plant

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:12:05

Colorado’s largest utility said this week that it will retire a coal-fired power plant eight years ahead of schedule, accelerating the state’s transition away from the fossil fuel. Xcel Energy said it plans to close both units of the Hayden Generating Station in northwestern Colorado by 2028 and late 2027, respectively. Co-owned by Xcel, PacifiCorp and the Salt River Project, the 441-megawatt plant’s two units were previously scheduled to shut down in 2030 and 2036. [ read more … ]

Markets

Exxon reveals GHG emissions from using its oil

By Mike Lee and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:09:13

Exxon Mobil Corp. yesterday revealed for the first time the amount of greenhouse gases that are released by using its products. The company estimated that it was responsible for the equivalent of 570 million metric tons of so-called Scope 3 emissions in 2019. That’s roughly as much as Saudi Arabia’s total annual carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [ read more … ]

FERC

FERC: Developers submit plan to undo $8B pipeline

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:05:17

Developers of the now-canceled Atlantic Coast pipeline have submitted a plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for dismantling the $8 billion natural gas project, which would have crossed West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Utility companies Dominion Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. have proposed a roughly two-year timeline for decommissioning parts of the pipeline that were almost complete and restoring disturbed land. In the FERC filing, dated Dec. 16 but made public yesterday, the developers outline where they want to clean up felled trees and where they intend to leave them. [ read more … ]

EVs

Rivian said to be close to raising funds at $25B valuation

By Katie Roof and Ed Ludlow, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:10:03

Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric-truck startup backed by Amazon.com Inc. and Ford Motor Co., is close to raising a new round of funding valuing it at about $25 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Several existing Rivian investors are participating in the round, which will raise several billion dollars, the people added, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. [ read more … ]

Report steers ride-hailing services toward greater EV use

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-06 15:11:01

Electric vehicles can effectively replace gasoline-powered cars for ride-hailing trips, but steps must be taken to improve their financial competitiveness and charging infrastructure, according to a report released today by the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute. Using data collected by General Motors Co. on 101 million miles traveled by EV drivers for ride-hailing companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., the report assessed how Uber, Lyft and other ride services can transition to EVs to fight climate change. [ read more … ]

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