U.S. Energy News

200 MW solar project in Georgia will be largest in Southeast

SOLAR: An Arizona solar panel manufacturer has been awarded a contract to build the largest solar plant in the Southeast. (PV Magazine)

ALSO:
• Developers break ground on a solar-plus-storage system on the Hawaiian island of Kauai that is expected to be the largest of its kind in the state. (Pacific Business News)
• Groups file briefs in preparation for a U.S. Supreme Court case over whether state-regulated utilities are subject to antitrust lawsuits, which is part of a legal fight between an Arizona utility and SolarCity. (Greentech Media)
• California solar manufacturer SunPower, which is seeking an exclusion from new solar import tariffs, is already experiencing negative effects on its business. (Greentech Media)

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RENEWABLES: The cost of renewables is falling faster than expected in Michigan, one of the key takeaways from the latest report on the state’s renewable portfolio standard. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Hawaii Senate committee approves a bill to boost registration fees for electric vehicles from $45 per year to $70. (Associated Press)
• EV adoption could stress city grids because charging infrastructure is not being deployed ahead of vehicle ownership, which will “reduce the environmental benefits of electrification,” according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Dockless, electric bike-sharing systems are beginning to take off in U.S. cities. (Wired)
• Chicago could have up to 80,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030 if more charging infrastructure is added, a study says. (WTTW)

EFFICIENCY:
• The Trump administration faces pushback over a budget request to eliminate $42 million in federal funding for the EPA’s Energy Star program, which sets efficiency benchmarks for products. (The Hill)
• A Q&A with the executive director of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, which is helping religious institutions in the state become more energy efficient. (Southeast Energy News)

BIOFUELS: President Trump schedules a meeting with senators and Cabinet officials to discuss possible changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters)

UTILITIES: General Electric lost a bet on fossil fuel just as wind and solar were becoming cheaper alternatives. The company reported a 45 percent loss in profits last year. (Reuters)

EMISSIONS: Portland General Electric seeks a permit that would allow a natural gas-fired power plant in eastern Oregon to emit eight times more smog-causing pollution. (East Oregonian)

COAL:
• The West Virginia Senate unanimously votes to delete a section of state law governing water pollution by surface coal mining. (Associated Press)
• The spike in severe black lung disease in Appalachia has been clear for some time, but researchers are now realizing the severe magnitude. (New York Times)

CARBON CAPTURE: Experts say changes to a tax credit in this month’s budget bill could “absolutely make the difference” for the economic viability of carbon capture and sequestration. (Greentech Media)

EPA:
• Environmental groups sue the EPA for allegedly failing to maintain adequate public records, saying the Trump administration operated in “secrecy” to avoid creating a paper trail. (The Hill)
• EPA administrator Scott Pruitt says during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that the Bible encourages mankind to extract fossil fuels and “harvest the natural resources.” (The Hill)

CLIMATE: A public “red team, blue team” climate science debate that was being promoted by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears to have stalled. (E&E News)

POLLUTION: A new report shows a recent spike in environmental lawsuits stemming from the Deepwater Horizon lawsuit in Louisiana. (The Hill)

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NUCLEAR:
• The failure of the Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina resulted in a $119 million loss for SCANA in 2017. (Post and Courier)
• A controversial nuclear subsidy bill in New Jersey has advanced after renewables and energy efficiency incentives were incorporated; the cost of the proposal remains unclear. (NorthJersey.com)

COMMENTARY:
• There’s a big cost associated with expanding U.S. offshore drilling — even if nothing is ever spilled. (Washington Post)
• As taxpayers and voters, people “can push to make sure that states and cities more than make up for President Trump’s unfortunate decision” to enact solar import tariffs, says an analyst. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

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