U.S. Energy News

Florida utilities invest $3.5 million into misleading solar campaign

SOLAR: Florida utilities invest an additional $3.5 million to promote a ballot amendment that is down in the polls amid criticism that it will actually slow solar growth. (Miami Herald)

ALSO:
• A Connecticut-based company starts construction on a 6.2-megawatt solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. (Pacific Business News)
• A pilot project to sell solar energy to residential and business consumers in Utah has nearly sold out. (Deseret News Utah)
String inverters are boosting solar growth by driving down costs and increasing reliability. (Greentech Media)
• A disagreement over power fluctuation, or “flicker,” is presenting a roadblock to community solar projects in Minnesota. (Midwest Energy News)

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WIND:
• Residents of a Maine island are trying to block a proposal to test two floating wind turbines that would be erected 2.5 miles away, saying the project would do “irreparable harm” to their community. (Portland Press Herald)
• After failing to win an appeal in federal court, a proposed 87-turbine wind farm in Nevada must repeat part of an environmental review to assess its impacts on wildlife. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Elon Musk took on critics of a proposed merger between Tesla and SolarCity, saying it would add $1 billion in revenue to the combined company next year. (Bloomberg)

STORAGE: Panasonic partners with a German energy software company to install a storage system in Colorado that will be linked to a microgrid and solar power. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• Distributed energy proponent Elon Musk says his vision includes a strong role for utilities and “it’s not one or the other.” (Greentech Media)
• A North Carolina university says it is uncertain whether it will proceed with a proposed natural gas fired combined heat and power plant even if the project gets state approval. (Southeast Energy News)

REGULATION:
• It could take over two years for the EPA to plan for a court-mandated report on fossil fuel industry job losses caused by its regulations. (The Hill)
• The American Petroleum Institute tells the Obama administration not to over-regulate the oil and gas industry on methane emissions and offshore drilling. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• A major gasoline pipeline serving the Southeast could reopen as early as Saturday after being shut down by a deadly explosion in Alabama this week; the incident could cause gas shortages and price increases across the Southeast. (Reuters, Associated Press)
• A North Dakota legislative committee approves an additional $4 million in funds to help law enforcement deal with escalating protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: A California utility asks state regulators for permission to resume operations at its Aliso Canyon facility after a record-breaking gas leak forced it to shut down for testing. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• Charlotte-based Duke Energy starts construction on a 24-acre landfill that will hold about 1.7 million tons of coal ash in North Carolina. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Local activists in Washington state are successfully standing up to the coal industry by blocking the creation of export terminals and proposing the nation’s first carbon tax. (New York Times)

POLICY:
• Voters in Florida, Washington and Nevada will decide on contentious energy battles at the polls next week. (Bloomberg)
• Pennsylvania environmentalists say a bill that would allow large commercial and industrial power customers to opt out of energy efficiency programs could increase pollution and raise electricity prices in the state. (Public News Service)

COMMENTARY: Fact-checking shows that arguments against the Clean Power Plan don’t stand up to scrutiny. (The Hill)

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