U.S. Energy News

California county rejects controversial desert solar project

SOLAR: Officials in a California county reject a controversial solar project in the Mojave Desert, saying “this was the wrong project in the wrong location.” (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
Seven charts show the falling costs of solar power. (Vox)
• Solar energy systems in Ohio have grown by more than 23 percent in the past year, and many of them are large in scale, according to a recent analysis. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• A Texas town council votes to keep a restriction on street-facing rooftop solar panels. (Dallas Morning News)
• Hawaii’s big island reaches its cap on a rooftop solar energy program that provides customers with the option of exporting excess energy to the grid in exchange for energy credits. (Pacific Business News)
• New York has nearly two gigawatts of proposed community solar projects, but much of that will never get built. (Greentech Media)

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RENEWABLES: Companies in search of greener electricity are essentially becoming their own utilities. (New York Times)

NET-ZERO: Thousands of new residents are expected to move into three development sites in Minnesota that are building towards net-zero energy use. (Midwest Energy News)

EMISSIONS: California extends its landmark climate change law by another 10 years, pending the governor’s signature on two measures. (Associated Press/Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Oil companies are showing low interest in bidding on offshore drilling rights in the western Gulf of Mexico, with only 24 tracts of ocean receiving bids at a live-streamed auction on Wednesday. (The Hill)
• After nine years of planning and months of battling environmental opponents, a Nebraska energy company breaks ground on a $500 million natural gas-fueled power plant in Pennsylvania. (Tribune-Review)
• Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico are the states most at risk economically if a ban on extracting coal, natural gas and oil from federal lands ever takes hold, according to a new report. (Denver Post)

POLLUTION: Texas regulators acknowledge that they failed to track oilfield waste injections into zones that could hold underground sources of drinking water, despite a 1982 agreement to do so. (Texas Tribune)

PIPELINES:
A North Dakota tribe tells a federal district judge that the government didn’t consult them before approving the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is slated to run past sacred lands and environmental sites. (The Hill)
• The company building the $3 billion Access Northeast gas pipeline in New England says it will move forward with the project despite multiple setbacks. (Portland Press Herald)

COAL:
• White House officials announce $38.8 million in grants to help communities in nine states that are struggling from a downturn in the coal industry. (Associated Press)
• A new Obama administration program is seeking to diversify local economies in Appalachia beyond coal mining operations by expanding Internet access. (The Hill)

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UTILITIES: A growth in smart grid technology is overloading utilities with data, but new software could offer hope. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission stifled the state’s rooftop solar industry by imposing a $36 million cost on ratepayers. (Huffington Post)
• Elon Musk is providing “solar bonds” to SolarCity because regular investors aren’t interested. (Bloomberg)
• If the EPA doesn’t limit greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, the industry will consume more than a quarter of the world’s remaining “carbon budget” by 2050. (Bloomberg)

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