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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 18, 2021

Top Story

Feds’ decision removes 2nd largest potential NY wind farm from consideration

By Mark Harrington, Newsday  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:17:10

The federal government’s decision to nix two wind-energy areas off the Hamptons from an upcoming offshore lease auction removes the second biggest wind-energy area in the region while putting a greater onus on projects that would be located just 23 miles from New Jersey. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, in an unexpected decision Wednesday, announced that two wind-farm areas known as Fairways North and Fairways South would not be offered in the round of auctions that could take place by year’s end. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Experts’ Predictions for Future Wind Energy Costs Drop Significantly

By Julie Chao, Berkley Lab  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:14:41

Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, according to a survey led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) of the world’s foremost wind power experts. Experts anticipate cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements. [ read more … ]

New facility to build offshore wind turbines comes to port of Providence

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:17:39

The developers of multiple offshore wind projects in the Northeast will build a facility in the port of Providence to assemble the rigs for floating wind turbines. Orsted and Eversource are investing $24 million to build the facility with local union labor, the companies said on Wednesday. The companies, “are keeping their commitment to making significant investments in Rhode Island to create new, good-paying union jobs and position our port facilities to become central hubs in this growing industry,” Gov. Dan McKee said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Landmen Who Once Staked Claims for Oil and Gas Now Hunt Wind and Sun

By Rebecca Elliott, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:18:47

“It was kind of like the Wild, Wild West,” said Mr. Collum, 39 years old. His predecessors in the field included former President George W. Bush and Aubrey McClendon, the late fracking pioneer who co-founded Chesapeake Energy Corp. These days, the jobs are going dry. Landmen, after riding the highs of the boom, face weakened demand for fossil fuels and investor indifference to shale companies after years of poor returns. Instead of oil and gas fields, some landmen are securing wind and solar fields, spots where the sun shines brightest and the wind blows hardest. [ read more … ]


Grain Belt Express promises stronger electric grid — if Missouri lawmakers don’t kill it

By KEVIN HARDY and JEANNE KUANG, Kansas City Star  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:18:07

Developers of the Grain Belt Express say the massive transmission line remains on track to open up by 2025, connecting wind power in western Kansas with voracious demand in the East.
The 800-mile project promises to add more reliability to the electric grid — all the more enticing since rolling blackouts in February left millions of Americans without power. [ read more … ]

7 Transmission Projects That Could Unlock a Renewable Energy Bounty

By Jeff St. John, Greentech Media  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:18:29

The case for new multistate transmission lines has never been clearer. A growing number of states and utilities have set 100-percent-clean-energy goals, albeit with no obvious path to generating all that power close to home. The gap is growing between the transmission network’s capacity and the need to link wind farms in the Great Plains and Intermountain West, solar farms in the Southwest and hydropower resources in eastern Canada to other regions hungry for carbon-free energy.   [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

World whiffs on Biden’s pleas for bold climate pledges

By ZACK COLMAN, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:16:46

The U.S. is prodding world leaders to come to President Joe Biden’s climate summit next week with bold new pledges to fight the rising temperatures threatening the globe — but so far, he’s coming up empty. The diffidence from both allies and rivals show how difficult it will be for Biden to live up to his promises to lead the world effort to face down climate change, and comes just three months after Biden brought the country back into the 2015 Paris climate accord that former President Donald Trump had spurned. It’s yet another sign of foreign leaders’ reluctance to follow Washington’s lead on climate change so quickly after enduring four years of Trump’s assault on international cooperation. [ read more … ]

These Energy Companies Are Poised to Win Under Biden’s Plan

By Ari Natter, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:20:09

President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure bill could be a bonanza for the energy sector. If the legislative proposal passes Congress, it’s poised to unleash billions in spending on the energy sector alone — and those federal funds are sure to catalyze other spending as well. [ read more … ]

Texas Blackouts

Big Utilities Pan Texas Push to Curb Renewables Following Freeze

By Josh Saul, Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:14:13

Three of the biggest power companies in the U.S. told Texas lawmakers that proposed new laws would load unfair costs onto wind and solar farms and chill investment in the state. NextEra Energy Inc., Duke Energy Corp. and Southern Company sent a letter Wednesday to Governor Greg Abbott and members of the state legislature, saying they have “serious concerns” about pending bills that would make wind and solar farms pay for services to ensure the flow of power on the grid remains smooth and steady. [ read more … ]

‘A Failure of Texas-Size Proportions’—State Struggles to Overhaul Its Power Market

By Katherine Blunt and Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:16:14

Two months after blackouts paralyzed Texas, most of the people who participate in the state’s 19-year-old electricity market, including producers, sellers and traders, share a similar view. The freeze wasn’t a one-off event. The state’s power market needs to change. In a single week in February, when a cold front caused wind farms, natural-gas plants and a nuclear plant to freeze, electricity sales in Texas topped $46 billion—more than five times what the state spent on electricity in all of 2020. That exposed a major flaw in a laissez-faire power market that had not required participants to winterize their equipment. [ read more … ]


Dems Unleash Bill Targeting Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks, Subsidies

By Law360  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:19:35

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday proposed legislation targeting the fossil fuel industry that would increase payments companies must make to the government, eliminate tax benefits and subsidies, and ban taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and development. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said that their bill, the “End Polluter Welfare Act,” would save taxpayers up to $150 billion over the next ten years. They said the legislation backs up President Joe Biden’s proposals in his American Jobs plan to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels and to provide incentives for renewable energy and the manufacturing of technologies, such as batteries and solar components. [ read more … ]

Gas Is the New Coal With Risk of $100 Billion in Stranded Assets

By Rachel Morison, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:19:13

Natural gas is falling out of favor with emissions-wary investors and utilities at a quicker pace than coal did, catching some power generators unaware and potentially leaving them stuck with billions of dollars of assets they can’t sell. In the U.S., progress likely will be slower since there’s no federal mandate for a transition from fossil fuels to renewable power. Gas is superabundant and cheap, thanks to the country’s fracking boom, which has helped hasten the demise of coal. [ read more … ]


Mercedes Says Its Newest Electric Sedan Goes Farther Than a Tesla: Live Updates

By Jack Ewing, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:15:28

Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric counterpart to its top-of-the-line S-Class sedan on Thursday, the latest in a series of moves by German automakers to defend their dominance of the high end of the car market against Tesla. The EQS, which will be available in the United States in August, is the first of four electric vehicles Mercedes will introduce this year, including two S.U.V.s that will be made at the company’s factory in Alabama and a lower-priced sedan. Mercedes did not announce a price for the EQS, but it is unlikely to be lower than the S-Class, which starts at $94,000 in the United States. [ read more … ]

As Consumer Interest in Electric Cars Grows, Tesla Still Dominates the Conversation

By Morning Consult  •    •  Posted 2021-04-18 16:15:54

Since January, the share of U.S. adults who say they would likely consider buying or leasing an EV in the next decade has ticked up from 39% to 43%, an increase bolstered by millennials and Democrats. Consumer interest in electric vehicles continues to mount, with major marketing campaigns from automakers and the Biden administration’s high-profile proposals to invest in charging and other related infrastructure buoying the rise. [ read more … ]



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