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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 18, 2022

Top Story

Soaring prices signal challenges ahead for Midwest grid

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:38:42

Ensuring power stays on during periods of peak electricity demand became a little less certain and a lot more expensive — at least for some Midwest consumers. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) last week said clearing prices in its annual capacity auction surged to $236.66 per megawatt-day from $5 a year ago for the Midwest subregion. Capacity prices for MISO’s South region were about equal to a cup of coffee — $2.88 per MWd. The nearly fiftyfold jump in Midwest capacity prices — and the huge gulf between prices in different MISO regions — is stoking debate about the region’s energy future and highlighted key challenges facing the grid operator in the coming years as fossil plants retire. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Hamptons Opponents Hound Offshore Wind-Power Project

By Amrith Ramkumar and Jennifer Hiller, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:38:56

A dozen giant wind turbines are on track to start spinning roughly 50 miles offshore from some of the country’s ritziest beach towns. That is unless last-ditch efforts by local residents can stop one of the country’s first offshore wind projects. One of the few remaining snags could be a group of residents of the exclusive hamlet of Wainscott who don’t want the cable carrying power from the windmills to be buried under a street that runs to the beach. Even though digging has begun, they are still waging legal battles on several fronts that could delay construction or further complicate the project.  [ read more … ]

Natural Gas

Gas ban 2.0: Building wars

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:38:17

Across the U.S., government officials, utilities and the natural gas industry are unveiling road maps that could change how buildings derive their heat over the coming decades, a shift with major consequences for emissions. The blueprints wrestle with the same question: Will natural gas and its alternatives be the fuel of choice or will electricity? The tug of war between the two visions could decide how — or if — the nation manages to scale down a top source of greenhouse gases for many cities and states. It also could influence the trajectory of U.S. natural gas and how it is used. [ read more … ]

Nuclear Energy

Utilities Want to Convert Coal Plants to Nuclear; Skeptics Abound

By Jennifer Hiller, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:37:44

U.S. utilities and startup firms are trying to convince lawmakers, regulators and customers that they can convert aging coal power plants to house small nuclear reactors, a so-far unproven way to deliver electricity. The burgeoning idea would place fleets of small, modular nuclear reactors at or near former coal-fired power plants and is taking hold across the electricity industry. Utility companies see it as a way to repurpose coal plants they are set to retire and are joining with startups developing the reactors, looking to tap into billions of dollars in federal funding. [ read more … ]

War in Ukraine generates interest in nuclear energy, despite danger

By Steven Mufson and Claire Parker, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:37:11

The war in Ukraine has intensified interest across Europe in building new nuclear energy plants or extending the lives of old ones to liberate the continent from its heavy reliance on Russian oil and natural gas. Belgium made an about-face, deciding to keep open a pair of reactors slated for closure. The Czech Republic invited Western companies to deliver nuclear fuel to replace Russian supplies. Poland is negotiating to build new reactors in a quiet seaside town. The war has reversed the tenor of the nuclear debate, just when its prospects had seemed to dim. [ read more … ]

States

The New Mexico way

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:37:27

“Environmentalists can be out of touch that a typical person here in New Mexico is trying to put food on their table and thinking about how to pay their bills,” New Mexico state Rep. Angelica Rubio. “When they hear a [call for an oil] ban, that means an end of the job. My effort as a legislator has been to find what the middle ground is.” Democrats in the state know better than to set their fossil fuel production against their renewable energy sector, which has seen significant growth in the past few years. Solar and wind capacity are now triple what they were in January 2019. [ read more … ]

Climate

Gas prices are soaring. What does it mean for climate?

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-18 14:36:43

Existing nuclear and new renewable projects likely would benefit from higher prices. But utilities also could reduce the rate of coal plant closures. New gas plant construction, meanwhile, likely would slow to a trickle. In a recent analysis, RMI concluded that 90 percent of the new gas plants proposed in the United States would be uneconomical at gas prices of $4.21 or more per MMBtu. No matter what, the extended period of low gas prices seems to be over, said Mark Dyson, who tracks electricity markets at RMI. [ read more … ]

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