Two utilities announce they will stop building gas power plants

UTILITIES: Vistra Energy and Dominion Energy say they will stop building combined-cycle natural gas plants and focus on solar instead, posing a threat to General Electric’s business model. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• While some utilities have been ambitious about integrating solar, many have been cautious about renewables. (Greentech Media)
• A Canadian company’s plan to aggressively shift a Missouri utility to clean energy is facing opposition from state officials. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Host, Puget Sound Energy, for the West Coast Energy Management conference and expo June 20-21 in Seattle. Use code EMC18CO at checkout for $200 reduced conference registration.***

SOLAR: U.S. community solar capacity grew by 112 percent last year, indicating it may have finally solved its complexity problem.

New Jersey raises renewable target and grants nuclear subsidies

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Phil Murphy signs bills raising the state’s renewable energy standard to 50 percent and providing zero-emission credits for nuclear power plants. (RTO Insider)

WIND:
• Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce procurement deals for offshore wind farms totalling 1.2 GW of new capacity. (CommonWealth Magazine, Providence Journal)
• The projects represent a major leap forward for the U.S. in offshore wind, a technology that is mainstream in Europe. (New York Times)
• North Carolina wind power hangs in the balance as lawmakers prepare to debate the extension of a wind power moratorium. (InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2018 Renewable Energy Conference: A Leadership Forum on Energy Policy, June 26 in Poughkeepsie, New York will feature IBM’s Dr. John Kelly.

Premature birth rate drops after closure of California coal and oil plants

POLLUTION: Pregnant women living near coal- and oil-fired power plants in California experienced fewer premature births after the plants were shut down, according to a new study. (InsideClimate News)

COAL: New studies confirm a surge in black lung disease in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. (NPR)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Host, Puget Sound Energy, for the West Coast Energy Management conference and expo June 20-21 in Seattle. Use code EMC18CO at checkout for $200 reduced conference registration.***

OIL & GAS:
• House Democrats introduce a bill to block oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would reverse an approval passed by Congress last year. (The Hill)
• Investors in new natural gas plants are not seeing the financial returns they had hoped for.

U.S. wind power contracts start 2018 with record-high quarter

WIND:
• Wind power purchase agreements hit a record-breaking 3,500 MW in the first quarter, according to the American Wind Energy Association. (Utility Dive)
• An online calculator developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates the emissions impact of offshore wind farms.

SOLAR:
•  The Interior Department says it will approve a 500 MW solar project on public lands in the California desert. (The Desert Sun)
• Everything you need to know about California’s new residential rooftop solar, including a cost-benefit analysis of the rule. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2018 Renewable Energy Conference: A Leadership Forum on Energy Policy, June 26 in Poughkeepsie, New York will feature IBM’s Dr. John Kelly. Don’t miss the premier renewable energy conference on the East Coast!

Trump scraps Obama-era energy targets for federal agencies

EFFICIENCY: Trump signs an executive order rolling back an Obama-era goal to reduce federal agencies’ energy use by 2.5 percent annually. (The Hill)

POLICY:
• The Trump administration also wants to ditch an Obama-era rule meant to reduce the risks of disasters at U.S. chemical facilities, including petroleum refineries and terminals. (ThinkProgress)
• An Ohio business group says state lawmakers should embrace clean energy policies to control rates, improve grid reliability and bring investment. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Host, Puget Sound Energy, for the West Coast Energy Management conference and expo June 20-21 in Seattle. Use code EMC18CO at checkout for $200 reduced conference registration.***

EPA:
• Many of the regulatory rollbacks spearheaded by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have been hindered by procedural and legal issues, including a move to relax standards for coal ash storage.