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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 17, 2014

Senate passes truncated extenders bill before adjourning for year 

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:45:34

In one of its last items of business before adjourning for the year, the Senate last night reinstated a bushel of expired tax incentives, including the production tax credit for wind energy — for two weeks. Following passage of the so-called tax extenders bill, the Senate confirmed dozens of nominees for key administration and judicial posts — including at the Interior and Energy departments (see related story). After that, the Senate adjourned for the year, joining the House, which ended its session last week. Congress returns Jan. 6. [ read more … ]

Senate clears tax break package

By Bernie Becker and Ramsey Cox, The  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:46:40

The Senate cleared a $41.6 billion package of tax breaks on Tuesday, sending the legislation to President Obama in one of the last substantive moves of this Congress. By a 76 to 16 vote, the Senate passed a measure that would extend more than four dozen tax breaks for both businesses and individuals just through 2014. Republicans and Democrats latched on to the one-year deal after the White House undercut negotiations on a broader bipartisan package, underscoring divisions between Democrats in the wake of this year’s heavy losses at the polls. Senators from both parties said Tuesday that they would have preferred legislation that restored the tax breaks through 2015. [ read more … ]

Senate approves Obama’s energy nominees 

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:45:54

The Senate last night in a flurry of activity confirmed a handful of President Obama’s energy picks along with more than three dozen noncontroversial nominees, including a few who weren’t expected to cross the finish line. The upper chamber voted unanimously by voice vote to approve Colette Honorable to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Chris Smith to be the Energy Department’s assistant secretary for fossil energy, Estavan López to lead the Bureau of Reclamation, and John Cruden to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. [ read more … ]

Court keeps demand-response rule intact through Jan. 15 

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:46:20

A federal appeals court yesterday ruled that a controversial demand-response program can stay intact through Jan. 15 while the Obama administration seeks a Supreme Court review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s request to extend the stay of a motion that would vacate Order 745, which directs demand-response providers such as factories or commercial buildings to receive full market prices when they curtail electricity use. [ read more … ]

Study shows potential for Nebraska wind energy

By McCook Gazzette  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:47:11

There are plenty of economic and bureaucratic obstacles to be overcome in the long term, but Nebraska’s wind energy industry has immediate potential for even short-term expansion. The Wind Coalition is pointing to results from an official report released today by the Nebraska Power Review Board, which commissioned a study by the Brattle Group as aresult of passage of LB 1115 last legislative session. “The study shows how viable wind energy investment and development is in Nebraska, something all Nebraskans should be excited about,” said Jeff Clark, executive director of the coalition. [ read more … ]

Buffett’s Smart-Grid Idea Takes Over Your Washing Machine

By Alex Webb and Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:59:58

“This sort of technology is really important to the future of energy,” said Vincent Thornley, head of Siemens’s U.K. smart-grid research, in an interview. “Rather than building new cable networks and putting in new transformers, we can make better use of” existing systems by using automation. A four-year trial for the system ends this month in northeast England. It complements the $15 billion investment Buffett has already made in wind and solar power in the U.S. that he said in June he’s ready to double. His MidAmerican Energy Co. is the largest U.S. owner of wind capacity among rate-regulated utilities. [ read more … ]

Westar announces new Kansas wind farm partnership

By Megan Hart, Topeka Capital Journal  •    •  Posted 2014-12-17 06:47:33

Westar Energy has signed a contract to buy all of the output of a wind farm under construction in western Kansas. The Cedar Bluff wind farm in Ness and Trego counties will produce up to 200 megawatts of wind energy, which Westar is under contract to buy, said Gina Penzig, spokeswoman for Westar. It will only pay for the electricity that is actually generated on any given day, she said. That will bring Westar’s total renewable portfolio to about 1,100 megawatts, though it doesn’t get that much every day. Penzig said customers had indicated they wanted more renewable energy in their mix. [ read more … ]

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