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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 25, 2014

$8B proposal aims to ship Wyo. power to L.A.

By Blood/Gruver, AP/Albany Times Union  •    •  Posted 2014-09-25 06:47:17

A four-company alliance is pitching what it calls wind energy’s “holy grail,” but the plan to power an estimated 1.2 million homes in Southern California with Wyoming wind has a long way to go. Coinciding with President Obama’s speech at the U.N. summit urging world action on climate change, Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy’s Jeff Meyer called an $8 billion plan to connect what would be Wyoming’s second-largest wind farm to California homes via a 525-mile transmission line “a landmark of the clean energy revolution.” [ read more … ]

Calif. desert plan draws criticism from wind industry, parks group

Scott Streater, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-09-25 06:51:52

And representatives of the California Wind Energy Association issued a strongly worded statement condemning the draft DRECP and its approach to wind power development in the desert. The draft plan, among other things, calls for establishing 2 million acres of “development focus areas” within the planning area that are deemed suitable for commercial-scale renewables development or transmission line projects. Proposed projects in these designated areas would still undergo environmental review, but the process would be streamlined because the areas have already been surveyed and studied, and mitigation requirements already established as part of the conservation plan. [ read more … ]

Renewable energy: Wind power tests the waters

By Gene Russo, Nature  •    •  Posted 2014-09-25 06:52:16

Other countries, such as Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Germany, have built massive turbine farms off their coastlines in the past few decades. In the United States, however, efforts to tap the power of coastal winds have gone nowhere because of environmental concerns, bureaucratic tangles and political opposition. That may soon change. Ecological studies indicate that carefully planned wind farms should not significantly harm birds or marine mammals. And business and politicians are increasingly interested in exploring and investing in offshore wind power. [ read more … ]

U.S. utility unveils largest battery system in North America

Katherine Ling, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-09-25 06:52:36

One of the nation’s largest utilities today unveiled the biggest battery system in North America, which will store energy generated by wind farms outside Mojave, Calif., and provide critical information for the design and operation of storage on the grid. Southern California Edison (SCE) financed the 32-megawatt-hour battery system that cost $50 million, half of which was funded by a 2009 smart grid stimulus grant from the Energy Department, according to the company. The demonstration project will test the performance, integration and automation of a lithium-ion battery storage system and “smart inverter” technology into the grid over a two-year period, Doug Kim, director of advanced technology at SCE, said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Texas should end handouts to wind power — comptroller

Edward Klump, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-09-25 06:52:58

Susan Combs, Texas’ comptroller of public accounts, said the state needs to take a more market-based view of electricity and focus on making it reliable and affordable. Her office issued a report yesterday on Texas power that called for an end to tax breaks and subsidies for certain new generation. “It’s time for wind to stand on its own two feet,” Combs said in a statement. “Billions of dollars of tax credits and property tax limitations on new generation helped grow the industry, but today they give it an unfair market advantage over other power sources.” [ read more … ]

Lawsuit challenges BIA’s approval of Calif. project, citing harm to eagles

Scott Streater, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-09-25 06:53:18

A conservation group and two private landowners are suing the Interior Department and the agency’s Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving the expansion of a California wind farm in alleged violation of environmental laws and despite objections from federal and state wildlife officials who warned of significant impacts to eagles. [ read more … ]

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