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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 10, 2014

As Winter Takes Hold, Plunging Temperatures Test Utilities

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2014-01-10 07:05:27

The short-term price of natural gas in the Northeast eased on Wednesday after surging during the cold snap this week, but many consumers face the prospect of higher bills as utilities seek to pass along the added costs. Already, several utilities, including Connecticut Light and Power as well as National Grid and NStar, which serve Massachusetts, have recently announced increases in their retail electricity rate as they struggle to meet peak periods of demand. On Tuesday, for example, spot prices for a few large energy customers in the region spiked nearly 10 times higher than national prices as demand for electricity and heat soared and overwhelmed pipelines taking gas supplies to the region from the south and west. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy Companies Prepare for Tax Credit’s End

By Matthew Philips January 09, 2014, Bloomberg Business Week  •    •  Posted 2014-01-10 07:05:48

The wind tax credit has expired before, including at the end of 2012, but Congress always renewed it. As the 2013 deadline neared, wind developers rushed to buy equipment and get their projects started before the end of the year. In December, MidAmerican Energy (BRK/A), an Iowa utility that’s majority-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, bought $1 billion of wind turbines from Siemens (SI), the biggest single order for on-shore turbines ever. Mark Albenze, chief executive officer of the Wind Power Americas unit of Siemens Energy, says he now has 18 months of work lined up. After that, business could dry up pretty quickly without the credit as an incentive to build. “I’m already getting itchy,” he says. [ read more … ]

Obama launches sweeping quadrennial energy review

Robin Bravender, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-01-10 07:06:08

President Obama yesterday formally kicked off a sweeping report that’s intended to be a road map for the nation’s energy goals for years to come. Obama signed a memorandum directing agencies to get to work on the Quadrennial Energy Review, a four-year policy plan that’s part of the broader climate change plan he announced in June.
Obama directed an interagency task force to deliver the first report to him by Jan. 31, 2015, and he directed subsequent reports to be prepared for the president every four years thereafter. The first QER will focus on the development of a national strategy surrounding energy infrastructure. [ read more … ]

Gov. Cuomo looks to trim timeline for N.Y. power line reviews

Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-01-10 07:06:24

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday proposed a regulatory tweak to help speed along his vision for an electricity transmission superhighway in the Empire State. During a State of the State address, the Democrat said he will push the state’s Public Service Commission to lower regulatory review of power lines from an average of two years to 10 months. The rule, to be taken up by the PSC this year, would expedite transmission construction along existing rights of way, in an attempt to address an expected generation shortfall when and if the Indian Point nuclear plant shuts down for good. [ read more … ]

BPA chief resigns in wake of hiring scandal

Emily Yehle, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-01-10 07:06:48

The head of the Bonneville Power Administration recently resigned in the wake of a scandal over the agency’s illegal hiring practices. Bill Drummond “is no longer an employee at the Department of Energy,” according to a DOE official. His tenure was short-lived; he spent less than six months leading the agency before DOE placed him on administrative leave in July. [ read more … ]

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