U.S. Energy News

Energy Dept.: U.S. could get 39% of electricity from rooftop solar

SOLAR: Updated Energy Department figures show the U.S. could get 39 percent of its electricity from rooftop solar alone; in California the figure could hit 78 percent. (PV Tech, Palm Springs Desert Sun)

ALSO:
A Nevada judge rejects an industry-backed solar referendum, saying as written the proposal must go through the legislature first. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A unit of SunEdison reports there is “substantial risk” its parent company will declare bankruptcy. (Reuters)
States are dialing back solar incentives amid pressure from local utilities. (Wall Street Journal/Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
A proposed Colorado solar project will benefit low-income ratepayers. (Fort Collins Coloradoan)
Minnesota electric cooperatives are imposing some of the highest fixed charges in the country on customers who generate their own solar power. (Midwest Energy News)
Idaho’s governor signs a law replacing property taxes on solar projects with a 3.5 percent production tax. (Idaho Statesman)
A new report says utility cooperation can cut community solar costs by 40 percent. (Utility Dive)
Iberdrola plans a 50-6o MW solar project in eastern Oregon. (Portland Business Journal)
Work is expected to begin next month on a 27 MW solar project on the Navajo Nation. (Farmington Daily Times)

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OIL AND GAS:
USGS mapping finds 7 million people in the U.S. are at risk from man-made earthquakes related to oil and gas activity. (Vox)
The top executive at the California utility responsible for the Porter Ranch gas leak is getting a $3 million bonus. (Los Angeles Times)

OVERSIGHT: An analysis of records highlights the close relationship Texas regulators have with the industries they oversee. (Austin American-Statesman)

CLEAN ENERGY:
Montana clean-energy backers target a U.S. senator’s energy conference, which is largely tilted toward fossil fuels. (Billings Gazette)
Although a recent report shows a net gain in clean energy jobs in Ohio, most of them were for out-of-state projects and two bills from 2014 contributed to job losses in the wind sector. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Wyoming’s wind tax collections fell 15 percent last year, for reasons that aren’t yet clear. (Casper Star-Tribune)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
White House attorneys defend the Clean Power Plan as an “eminently reasonable” exercise of EPA authority. (The Hill)
The city of Missoula, Montana adopts a resolution supporting the Clean Power Plan, in contrast to state legal action. (KECI)

COAL: Pennsylvania coal companies balk at a proposal to have the industry cover a larger share of regulatory costs. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

BIOENERGY: Maine lawmakers consider a proposal to subsidize biomass plants, a key market for the state’s timber industry. (Portland Press Herald)

UTILITIES:
A utility industry group is working with a communications consultant on “reputation management.” (Huffington Post)
Louisiana regulators approve the sale of Cleco Corp. after the investors group seeking a takeover offered incentives including an average of $500 in free electricity for customers. (SNL Energy, New Orleans Times-Picayune)

TRANSMISSION: The Obama administration’s involvement in building out renewable energy infrastructure with a new transmission project has only heightened political tension. (EnergyWire)

TRANSPORTATION:
A Pennsylvania agency launches the first project in an effort to transition the state’s transit systems to natural gas. (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat)
Minnesota lawmakers consider new rebates for purchasing electric vehicles that would be funded by pulling money from solar energy subsidies. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: Why a Utah couple purchased oil and gas rights for hundreds of acres they have no intention of drilling. (New York Times)

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