Report: Drilling boom a major blow to climate efforts

PIPELINES: North America’s drilling boom is expected to deliver a major blow to efforts to slow climate change, a clean energy group’s report says. (The Guardian)

POWER PLANTS:
• Indiana regulators reject a proposed 850 MW natural gas plant to replace coal units, saying the utility didn’t adequately consider renewables. (Evansville Courier & Press)
• A review of ISO-New England’s projections of available generating capacity does not include a controversial natural gas plant in Rhode Island through 2025. (UpriseRI)

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Daimler chooses Portland for electric truck plant

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Daimler Trucks announces plans to convert its Portland factory to begin making electric trucks in 2021, production that was originally slated for North Carolina. (The Oregonian)

ALSO: The Chinese maker of a luxury electric sports car plans to open its first U.S. plant in Spokane, Washington. (Spokesman-Review)

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UTILITIES:
• Warren Buffett shoots down rumors that Berkshire Hathaway is considering buying PG&E. (CNBC)
• Arizona regulators reject a move to require utilities to buy power from qualifying renewable energy facilities under contracts of at least 15 years.

Indiana regulators reject $900 million gas plant

POWER PLANTS:
• Indiana regulators reject Vectren’s proposal to build an 850 MW natural gas plant to replace coal units, saying the utility didn’t adequately consider renewables. (Evansville Courier & Press)
• The decision is a win for environmental groups and the state’s coal industry. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID: A curriculum developed at Illinois State University was used to teach smart grid concepts to more than 16,000 students last year. (Energy News Network)

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Texas’ largest solar project finds a buyer for power

SOLAR: A Texas solar developer secures a power purchase agreement for a 690 MW project that would be the state’s largest. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• Dominion Energy’s 20 MW solar farm in Virginia went live on Earth Day to help Facebook offset its electricity use. (Inside Business)
• A Texas school for adults with developmental disabilities installs solar to offset 45% of its electricity needs. (Solar Power World)
• Ashley Furniture invests $29 million in solar for several of its facilities across the country, including in Southeastern states. (News 8000)
• A Virginia county is asking for public comment on a zoning change that would allow solar farms to be built in rural areas.

Washington passes 100% clean energy bill

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A bill requiring 100% clean energy in Washington by 2045 gains final approval in the state Senate and now heads to the governor to sign. (Greentech Media)

HYDROPOWER: Idaho and Oregon have reached an agreement on a hydroelectric project requiring an Idaho utility to spend $312 million on water quality improvements and fish habitat. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: GTM’s 12th annual Solar Summit is taking place May 14-15 in Scottsdale, Arizona. With two days of packed networking opportunities and top market intelligence, this conference is the premier event for defining industry needs and creating new business opportunities.***

UTILITIES:
• A bankruptcy judge has approved plans by California’s largest utility to pay $235 million in employee bonuses over objections from wildfire victims. (Merced Sun-Star)
• Hawaii lawmakers pass a bill allowing state regulators to give better electric rates to farmers who grow crops in greenhouses over objections from other agricultural producers. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

OIL & GAS:
• Several environmental groups have filed separate lawsuits challenging oil and gas lease sales in the Four Corners region over concerns about potential impacts to American Indian artifacts and sage grouse habitat.