U.S. Energy News

FirstEnergy may shutter a 1,300 MW coal plant in West Virginia

COAL: Ohio-based FirstEnergy says it plans to retire or sell a 1,300-megawatt coal plant in West Virginia, though neither option was the company’s first choice. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• A NorthWestern Energy spokesperson says the utility won’t buy a troubled coal-fired power plant in southeastern Montana. (Associated Press)
• The U.S. Department of Energy awards $6 million to researchers for early design work on a system to capture carbon emissions from a North Dakota coal plant. (Bismarck Tribune)
• West Virginia lawmakers pass legislation that reauthorizes tax credits for “clean coal” carbon-capture technology. (WV News)
• Some in the coal industry appear happy after the Charleston Gazette-Mail declared bankruptcy. The West Virginia newspaper has had a long-standing role checking the industry’s power. (Washington Post)
• Federal prosecutors do not want to retry a West Virginia coal boss whose campaign finance fraud case recently ended in a mistrial. (Associated Press)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Trump administration plans to hold the country’s largest sale of oil and gas leases off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• Oil from a broken pipeline spills into a 10-acre pond in Oklahoma. (Associated Press)
• House lawmakers in Kansas reject a bill intended to prevent earthquakes caused by disposing of wastewater from oil and gas production. (Associated Press)
• A new tax credit expansion will help oil producers increase crude output by injecting carbon dioxide underground. (Reuters)
• Ohio gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich has promised to end oil and gas drilling in the state by seizing control of wells and blocking new permits.  (The Intercept)

TECHNOLOGY: A Washington state company could be on the verge of bringing hydrogen power to the commercial scale. (Vox)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Northern Pass is getting another shot at winning approval from New Hampshire regulators, otherwise Massachusetts will pursue a contract with New England Clean Energy Connect for its renewable energy project. (The Lowell Sun)

SOLAR: In remote areas of Puerto Rico, interest in disconnecting from the grid by installing solar-plus-storage is on the rise. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE:
• GE plans to fund energy storage projects around the world through a new standalone “incubator” unit. (Greentech Media)
• A decision by federal regulators to allow energy storage to compete with generators in wholesale power markets may impact natural gas and other carbon fuels. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

EFFICIENCY: Millions of dollars worth of energy conservation programs are on the line as Iowa and Kansas consider changes to how they calculate the benefits of energy efficiency programs. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRICITY: Nearly 4 percent of Denver’s electricity is used for growing marijuana, according to city data. (Colorado Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Electric vehicles are primed to multiply, and that could decrease income from a state gas tax that serves as the main funding source for Colorado’s roads. (Denver Post)
• By bringing together environmental groups, utilities, automakers and private companies, advocates say Michigan regulators are helping to design programs that lead to greater electric vehicle adoption. (Midwest Energy News)

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REGULATION: The EPA is trying to repeal Obama-era standards on mix-and-match “glider” trucks that pollute 40 to 55 times more than new trucks. (Vox)

COMMENTARY:
• A proposal by grid operator PJM to pay generators fairly when their power is needed will increase energy market efficiency, says a former FERC commissioner. (Utility Dive)
• A director at SEIA explains how solar developers can expand the market to serve more low-income customers. (Greentech Media)
• A federal judge rules the Trump administration illegally delayed and must publish four energy efficiency standards that will ultimately save U.S. consumers $8.4 billion on their utility bills, says a policy expert. (NRDC)

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