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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 16, 2021

Top Story

Minnesota family company on track to build third of U.S. wind projects this year

By Jenny Berg, Minneapolis Star Tribune  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:23:14

David Henry Blattner formed the firm as a railway contractor company in 1907. Now, great-grandson Scott Blattner, the company’s president, has shepherded it through the most recent transition — shifting focus from D.H. Blattner & Sons to a new sister company, Blattner Energy, which has become a national leader as a renewable-energy contractor specializing in building wind farms, solar farms and energy storage infrastructure. “We have finite resources — we’re either going to build a railroad or we’re going to build a wind farm,” Blattner said. “You can be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none — and we just didn’t want to do that.” The company now has more than 450 wind and solar projects to its name and is celebrating the milestone of producing 50,000 megawatts of renewable energy. This year, the company expects to build one-third of all U.S. wind projects. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

DOE, Interior officials outline offshore wind plans

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:23:38

Speaking at an industry forum last week, officials from the Department of Energy, Interior Department and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cited the need to prepare the grid and avoid transmission bottlenecks, jump-start U.S.-made supplies of turbine parts and at-sea installation vessels, and draw up the first industry-specific standards for workplace safety and environmental protection. They announced plans for a multiagency road map for the offshore wind supply chain and signaled that DOE’s loan program could tap parallel support from other agency loan programs to boost the industry. Amanda Lefton, director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), said the agency intends to complete review of construction and operation permits of at least 16 offshore wind projects within four years. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration readies regulations to speed permitting of renewable energy projects

By Tom Ewing, Daily Energy Insider  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:23:58

The Biden energy/climate team is preparing regulatory improvements that will help speed up the multitudinous and lengthy environmental reviews necessary to start large-scale renewable energy projects, particularly offshore wind. Grumet wants to see permitting at scale. If the U.S. is to triple or quadruple its electric energy generation by 2050, he noted, streamlining one project at a time won’t get the job done. “We need wholesale permitting,” and he called for new discussions on federalism and federal and state activities. “If every project needs three to four levels of review, we’re not going to make net-zero by 2050,” Grumet said.

[ read more … ]

E-Fuel

Can E-Fuels Save the Combustion Engine?

By Julia Petron and Dieter Holger, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:22:13

Maybe the combustion engine isn’t dead after all. Synthetic fuels are attracting growing interest as a way to make industries ranging from jets to ships to cars greener without having to rethink or replace their traditional engines. Known as electrofuels or e-fuels, these synthetics are made by mixing hydrogen derived from renewable sources usually with captured carbon dioxide to create a virtually carbon-neutral version of fuels such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene. [ read more … ]

Plug Power to Bring Wind-Powered Hydrogen Plant to Fort Worth

By David R Baker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:22:31

Plug Power Inc. plans to open a hydrogen-production plant powered by the wind near Fort Worth, Texas as part of a nationwide chain of facilities to make the clean-energy fuel. The plant will be able to produce up to 60 metric tons of hydrogen per day, Chief Executive Officer Andy Marsh said Friday on a conference call with analysts, without disclosing timing. Plug already announced plans for plants near Buffalo, New York and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Marsh said “four or five” other sites are under consideration. [ read more … ]

EVs

Lawmakers Back $8 Billion for Electric U.S. Postal Vehicles

By Todd Shields, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:21:10

House lawmakers advanced language authorizing $8 billion for the U.S. Postal Service to buy more electric vehicles as the agency modernizes its aging fleet. The House Oversight and Reform Committee added the measure before approving and sending to the full House legislation aimed at better tracking mailed ballots. Separately the panel approved a bill to shore up Postal Service finances after years of losses at the agency. [ read more … ]

Time to panic-buy an electric pickup truck?

By MICHAEL GRUNWALD, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:21:55

General Motors has pledged to go all-electric by 2035, Volkswagen by 2027 and Jaguar by 2025. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for $174 billion in electric vehicle investments. When the Colonial pipeline hack created a gas shortage this week, his energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, slyly noted that it wouldn’t affect EV owners. But here’s a less trendy factoid: In 2020, while Americans bought nearly 300,000 electric vehicles, they also bought nearly 800,000 Ford F-150 pickup trucks. The F-150 may be a gas-guzzling disaster for the climate, but it’s been the nation’s best-selling vehicle for 44 straight years. [ read more … ]

Colonial Pipeline

Pipeline Crisis Spurs Calls to Boost, and Foresake, Fossil Fuels

By Will Wade and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:21:38

The cyber-attack that crippled the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline this week triggered spot shortages of gasoline and a gusher of political rhetoric, with groups from across the political spectrum offering myriad, and contradictory, solutions. The oil industry says the answer is to invest in more fossil-fuel infrastructure, including refineries. Environmental groups think the key is more electric vehicles on the road and solar panels on the grid. A conservative think tank called the outage a “wake-up call” for pipeline protesters to stop. Even a coal group got involved, noting that its product doesn’t need to be piped anywhere. [ read more … ]

Colonial Pipeline Has Been a Lucrative Cash Cow for Many Years

By Gerson Freitas Jr, Javier Blas and David Wethe, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-05-16 13:22:49

While it began six decades ago as a proud joint project of big oil companies — the U.S. commerce secretary was present for the 1962 groundbreaking — today it’s mostly owned by an arm of Koch Industries and several Wall Street investors, and is run as much like a financial asset as a major piece of infrastructure. Over the past decade, Colonial has distributed nearly all its profits, sometimes more, in the form of dividends. In 2018, for example, it paid nearly $670 million to its owners, even more than the $467 million net income. Last year, it returned to investors over 90% of its $421.6 million in profits. [ read more … ]

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