Legislation revives discussion of a California hydro project

HYDROPOWER: A bill recently given preliminary approval by California lawmakers could jumpstart a controversial $2.5 billion pumped-storage hydroelectricity project near Joshua Tree National Park. (Los Angeles Times)

GRID: A Southern California utility’s decision to scrap plans to build a new gas peaker plant and install a battery system instead illustrates how storage paired with clean energy might replace a crucial gas market sector. (U.S. News and World Report)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join GTM at the Grid Edge Innovation Summit, June 18-19 in San Diego, for two days of data-intensive presentations from our leading grid edge research practice and industry-led discussions on how data analytics, AI, DERMs and other smart grid innovations are enhancing grid reliability, optimization and planning. Register today!***

TRANSPORTATION: Areas of California where reductions in vehicle emissions have led to air quality improvements have fewer new cases of children with asthma, new research shows. (KNPR)

RENEWABLES: California must eliminate natural gas as an electricity resource if it wants to become a zero-emissions economy by 2045, experts say.

Critics question promises of quick nuclear cleanups

NUCLEAR: Activists and regulators question whether companies offering speedy cleanup of radioactive material have the expertise and financial means to do the job. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• The CEO of FirstEnergy says keeping nuclear plants online is an “insurance policy” against higher natural gas prices in the future. (WKSU)
• A U.S. House committee rejects a funding request to restart the licensing process to permanently store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Piketon, Ohio, residents protest a U.S. Department of Energy event over cleanup efforts at a former uranium enrichment plant. (Columbus Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join GTM at the Grid Edge Innovation Summit, June 18-19 in San Diego, for two days of data-intensive presentations from our leading grid edge research practice and industry-led discussions on how data analytics, AI, DERMs and other smart grid innovations are enhancing grid reliability, optimization and planning.

Lawmakers, advocates urge action on Illinois coal ash bill

COAL ASH:
• Lawmakers and advocates urge the Illinois House to take action on a bill that strengthens requirements for coal ash storage cleanup. (Southern Illinoisan)
• Dynegy is going “back to the drawing board” on a controversial stabilization plan to hold back coal ash along the Middle Fork River in Illinois. (Champaign News-Gazette)

NUCLEAR: The CEO of FirstEnergy says keeping nuclear plants online is an “insurance policy” against higher natural gas prices in the future. (WKSU)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Energy News Network at In the hot seat: Should journalists take a position on climate change?, June 27 in Minneapolis. A Power Panel moderated by Jane E. Kirtley, the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the panel discussion will put four local leaders in the hot seat to engage in important dialogue around key energy issues.

Utility to test storage in outage-prone New Hampshire town

STORAGE: Eversource is planning a $7 million demonstration storage project, instead of a new power line, to serve a rural New Hampshire town that suffers frequent lengthy power outages. (NHPR)

NUCLEAR: Questions are being raised if companies that specialize in faster cleanups of closed nuclear power plants are maintaining safe storage of spent fuel. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join SECC’s CEO Patty Durand, Direct Energy’s VP Jim Steffes and EPRI’s VP Mark McGranaghan at the Smart Home Energy Management Systems Conference, July 17-18 in Boston. A two-day event centered on finding solutions to stay competitive within the fast-changing HEMS supply chains & customers’ demand.***

PIPELINES: A federal agency sent an advisory to pipeline operators warning of increased risks posed by construction in flood-prone areas after a recent series of incidents. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

NATURAL GAS: Compressed natural gas transported by truck is creating a “virtual pipeline” as suppliers seek alternatives to constrained pipeline capacity.

Duke Energy to start building N.C. microgrid

MICROGRIDS: Duke Energy will begin construction soon on one of its first large solar-plus-storage microgrids in the North Carolina mountains to supply backup power to a small town. (WFAE)

WIND: The Texas Senate votes to extend a tax abatement program for wind power projects that was on the chopping block this year. (Austin American-Statesman)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join utility and energy professionals at the region’s largest energy event, Solar Power Southeast, May 29-30 in Atlanta. Back for a 5th year, over 700 attendees and 70 exhibitors will be in attendance. You can expect to hear from the utility, private sector, and non-profit leaders from throughout the Southeast region.***

SOLAR:
• Georgia Power adds solar to its portfolio to offset the closure of uneconomical coal plants.