U.S. Energy News

Grid reliability study undermines Perry’s push for coal and nuclear plants

GRID: A long-term reliability assessment by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation undermines Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s claims about the importance of saving existing coal and nuclear plants. (Vox)

ALSO: After an 11-hour blackout delayed thousands of flights Sunday at the Atlanta airport, Georgia Power’s CEO stressed that the outage and its troubled Vogtle nuclear plant are “separate issues” as regulators prepare to decide the project’s fate. (Wall Street Journal)

UTILITIES: Minnesota-based Xcel Energy will leave the New York Stock Exchange later this month to begin trading on the Nasdaq market “as the company embraces technology and innovation.” (New York Business Journal) 

WIND
• As wind farms face strong opposition in Maryland, much of the state’s renewable energy incentives are going to waste-to-energy projects that advocates say have questionable benefits. (Baltimore Sun)
• Chicago-based Invenergy files plans for a 250 MW wind project in central Illinois that it hopes to start building next year. (Bloomington Pantagraph)

BUILDINGS: Chicago’s chief sustainability officer is at the center of several of the city’s clean energy initiatives, including a major push toward building efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: The Nebraska Public Service Commission unanimously rejects TransCanada’s request to amend its application for a route across the state, which is expected to further delay the project. (Omaha World-Herald)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES
• UPS plans to buy 125 Tesla all-electric semi-trucks, the largest known pre-order so far for the big rigs. (Reuters)
• Automakers’ ambitious plans to roll out more than a hundred new battery-powered vehicles in the next five years have some worrying that ambition might outpace customer demand. (Bloomberg)
• A Salt Lake City, Utah company cuts the ribbon on 50 new electric vehicle charging stations, the largest private installation in the state. (Deseret News)

SOLAR
A research firm estimates that 37 percent of the nation’s utility-scale solar built during the next five years will be built in the South, with North Carolina and Florida leading the way. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• A Michigan-based contractor promises to “make this right” after homeowners who purchased solar panels through a group-buying program still haven’t received them. (MLive)

COAL: Researchers think coal waste can produce rare earth elements that are valuable ingredients for electronic technology and the defense sector. (WFPL)

NUCLEAR
• A U.S. Senator from Georgia says he is “personally confident” Congress will quickly approve money for the troubled Vogtle nuclear project after a provision was left out of the new federal tax plan. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Meanwhile, the chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission writes in an email obtained by E&E News that House Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress will take up a key nuclear tax credit needed to help the Vogtle nuclear project. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS
• A coalition of nearly 20 environmental and Native American tribal groups sue the Trump administration for its delay of a rule limiting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling on federal land. (Reuters)
• Methane seepage may make natural gas more polluting than coal and cast doubt on Shell’s claims to reducing emissions. (Bloomberg)
• Environmentalists and an energy company have reached an agreement to monitor for radioactivity and bromide around a West Virginia landfill that takes the waste from recycled groundwater used in fracking. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS
• Nine Northeast states finalize an agreement to cap carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030. (Baltimore Sun)
• A judge rules Washington state can’t force emissions reductions on refineries, fuel distributors and other businesses that don’t directly burn fuel. (Seattle Times)

COMMENTARY: An energy writer says the forests of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi are being destroyed “to sustain a European fantasy about renewable energy.” (Yale Environment 360)

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