U.S. Energy News

Grid operators line up to oppose Energy Dept. plan to boost coal, nuclear

POLICY: Grid operators around the country say the Department of Energy’s plan to support coal and nuclear plants is expensive, inefficient and counterproductive. (RTO Insider)

• Supporters of an Energy Department plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants are justifying the rule by using a broad interpretation of the Federal Power Act. (Utility Dive)
• FERC’s comment period for the Trump administration’s proposal to boost coal and nuclear power ends with an onslaught of opposition(Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration will offer nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to fossil fuel developers, in what will be the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES: A Native American activist accused of inciting a riot during Dakota Access pipeline protests plans to use a “necessity defense” in court, saying he was preventing the greater harm of climate change. (Associated Press)

COAL: A company with plans to build a coal export terminal in Washington is suing the state, saying regulators denied a key permit based on “biased and prejudiced decision-making.” (Associated Press)

• Hawaii energy regulators approve two new solar programs in an effort to expand rooftop solar and storage options for residential customers. (Utility Dive)
• Tesla helps restore power to a hospital in Puerto Rico by pairing solar panels with its Powerwall batteries. (The Verge)
• An official with the Solar Energy Industries Association discusses the emerging solar markets in states like Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio. (pv magazine)

• A pending case before the Public Utility Commission of Texas could decide the size of the energy storage market for transmission and distribution deferral projects. (Utility Dive)
• More energy developers are pairing their projects with storage, including a pumped hydro plan in Virginia. (Greentech Media)

WIND: An offshore wind company will conduct turbine testing at a facility at Clemson University in South Carolina. (North American Wind Power)

ADVOCACY: Protests calling for widespread divestment from banks that finance fossil fuel projects have spread from the U.S. to other countries around with world, with seven people arrested in Seattle on Monday. (Grist)

• A small firm located in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Montana hometown won a $300 million contract to help Puerto Rico restore its electric grid, prompting members of Congress to launch an investigation into the deal. (Washington Post, Associated Press)
• Experts in California are still optimistic about plans for a Western regional grid. (Greentech Media)

TRANSMISSION: A new report examines how counties in Minnesota, Kansas and Wisconsin have benefitted economically from transmission projects. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: Environmental advocates want West Virginia regulators to reject a proposal from two power companies to buy a coal power plant, saying it would raise customers’ rates. (WRAL)

• Failed plans for a natural gas-fired power plant in California may lead to a shift in how the state addresses its need for electricity, says the Los Angeles Times editorial board.
• A columnist at Vox explains why city transit buses are ideal candidates for electrification.
• The Energy Department needs to stop ignoring the risks associated with Georgia’s Plant Vogtle nuclear project and start protecting taxpayers by safeguarding the federal funds already tied up in the troubled project, according to leaders at two nonprofits. (The Hill)
• A writer from the Union of Concerned Scientists says it would be better to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and provide more incentives for clean energy. (Huffington Post)

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