U.S. Energy News

Another solar manufacturer will stop operating, citing cheap foreign imports

SOLAR: The San Jose-based, thin-film solar module manufacturer Stion says it will discontinue operations due to “intense, non-market competition from foreign solar panel manufacturers.” (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• While opposed by many companies within the U.S. solar industry, proposed tariffs on imports of crystalline silicon solar cells could create opportunity for one Ohio manufacturer. (Midwest Energy News)
• Dominion Virginia is requiring bids that include potential tariff increases as the result of any import taxes that could be imposed from the Suniva-SolarWorld trade case. (PV Magazine)
• Florida’s largest community-owned utility approves five measures intended to expand the use of solar power in the northeastern part of the state. (WJCT)

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STORAGE: Stakeholders involved with grid operator MISO’s planning are still debating how energy storage will be incorporated as a resource. (RTO Insider)

BIOFUELS: EPA chief Scott Pruitt reassures Midwestern senators of his support for the federal biofuels mandate after a senator from Iowa said lawmakers may block President Trump’s EPA nominees if the Renewable Fuel Standard is relaxed. (The Hill, Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• An oil spill of up to 9,350 barrels in the Gulf of Mexico last week may be the largest in the U.S. since BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. (Bloomberg)
• Senate Democrats are vowing to oppose a budget legislation provision that would open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil and gas drilling. (Reuters)

PIPELINES: State water quality permits are among those still pending for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipeline projects following their approvals at the federal level last week. (Metro News)

COAL: A Democratic congressman sends a letter asking the Interior Department to explain what happened to $400,000 that was earmarked for a study about the health impacts of coal mining. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR:
• After months of hearings, Florida regulators reject Florida Power & Light’s request to charge $49 million more for two Turkey Point nuclear reactors that may never be built. (Miami Herald)
• Scana Corp. receives a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its now-failed Summer nuclear power project in South Carolina. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES:
• New and old demand response programs can both serve locational grid needs if technology and policy align. (Greentech Media)
• NRG Energy asks California regulators to stop reviewing plans for a controversial natural gas power plant while it considers whether to completely withdraw its application. (Los Angeles Times)

POLITICS: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt hints at plans to keep researchers who get EPA grants off the agency’s scientific advisory boards, drawing criticism from groups who say the move is an attempt to fill advisory boards with industry representatives. (Washington Post)

POLICY:
• A FERC member says a DOE directive to prop up nuclear and coal plants is likely not detailed enough and “would require more work,” while the agency’s chairman says the proposal has initiated an important conversation. (Utility Dive, Reuters)
• A FERC member dismisses Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s claims that natural gas generators “didn’t perform” during the a record cold snap in 2016. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• The adoption of electric buses is accelerating thanks to federal grants and maturing technology, says a leader at a sustainable transportation company. (Greentech Media)
• By allowing utilities to defer investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure, energy storage systems can offer a more efficient deployment of capital, says an energy analyst at Navigant Research. (Utility Dive)
• A writer for Vox outlines five reasons why the Trump administration’s efforts to kill the Clean Power Plan are legally questionable.
• An analysis shows electricity customers in 30 states could end up paying for the Trump administration’s proposed bailout of the coal industry. (Center for American Progress)
• Legislative proposals at the state and federal levels to restrict wind energy near military facilities are poorly planned and could hinder U.S. wind industry growth, says a fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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