Wind turbines keep getting bigger, stronger, cheaper

WIND: A U.S. Department of Energy analysis of wind energy technology trends shows “robust” capacity additions and lower prices than ever as the industry moves to bigger and more powerful turbine designs. (Axios)

ALSO:
• Six offshore wind farms globally are the size of small nuclear power plants, and the trend is for them to continue to get larger. (Greentech Media)
• A permitting delay for Massachusetts’ Vineyard Wind project threatens its access to crucial federal tax credits that are expiring. (Boston Globe)

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SOLAR:
• Maryland’s ambitious renewables goal could bring acres of solar farms to the state; a task force is trying to figure out where they should go.

Report: PG&E failed to clear trees before wildfires

UTILITIES:
• Pacific Gas & Electric, blamed for some of California’s most devastating recent wildfires, failed to clear thousands of trees that posed a threat to power lines, according to a report submitted to a federal judge (Associated Press)
• Nevada regulators will allow a planned liquid hydrogen facility to opt out of service from utility NV Energy without paying an impact fee. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

RENEWABLES:
• California’s grid led the country with the most renewable energy output during the first half of 2019, producing 3% less than the previous year. (S&P Global)
• California’s Clean Energy Commission awards $3.75 million to support 25 early-stage clean energy projects. (news release)

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Iowa governor blocks state AG from joining power plan lawsuit

CORRECTION: Alliant Energy is adding wind capacity to replace power from a retiring Iowa nuclear plant. An item in Wednesday’s digest misidentified the plant’s fuel type. POLICY:
• Midwest environmental groups join 22 states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s attempt to overturn the Clean Power Plan. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• Iowa’s Democratic attorney general says Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds blocked him from joining the lawsuit against the Trump administration. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Environmental and indigenous groups push Democratic presidential candidates to sign a campaign pledge to stop construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Pennsylvania regulators sought information on potential pipeline failure

PIPELINES: Pennsylvania regulators last year demanded information from Sunoco on its calculations of what could occur if the Mariner East pipeline failed. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• The delay in approval for the Vineyard Wind project endangers crucial federal tax credits that are expiring, impacting project economics and potentially consumer costs. (Boston Globe)
• There are six offshore wind farms globally that are the size of small nuclear power plants, and the trend is for them to continue to get larger. (Greentech Media)
• A coalition of labor, environmental and community groups will hold a day-long conference Friday in Atlantic City to consider the prospects for offshore wind development in New Jersey. (ROI)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join us at the 7th annual HOMER International Microgrid Conference, October 7-8 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Does Texas need more power plants to meet summer demand?

FINANCE: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration explores a possible alliance with the New York Green Bank to help finance clean energy projects in the state. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES: Hot weather this month drives the Tennessee Valley Authority’s electricity use to its highest August peak in more than seven years. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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POWER PLANTS: Some Texas energy industry experts make the case for building more power plants to meet energy demand.