U.S. Energy News

Massive wind farm wins approval in Colorado

WIND: Colorado regulators approve a 600-megawatt wind farm that is expected to save ratepayers $443 million over 25 years by avoiding fuel costs. (Denver Business Journal)

ALSO:
• Researchers at the University of Maine are working on floating platforms that support wind turbines in open water, which could allow projects to be sited farther from shore. (New York Times)
• How a rural corner of North Carolina could dominate the Southeast’s market for wind energy. (Southeast Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Declining installation costs and government incentives are creating a solar boom in New York City, with the number of residential projects growing from 186 in 2011 to 5,300 this year. (New York Times)
• A task force assembled by Nevada’s governor votes to approve a recommendation to bring net metering back to the state. (PV Magazine)
• A Texas solar energy company cuts 87 jobs associated with its solar cell production line, saying it’s more cost-effective to import the cells from Asia instead. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• The cost of utility-scale solar systems dropped by 20 percent in the first quarter of 2016, with soft costs representing 34 percent of expenses, according to a new report. (Scientific American)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: The U.S. is on its way to becoming the “clean energy superpower” described by Hillary Clinton, according to a Department of Energy report. (Washington Post)

ENERGY STORAGE: A $2 million battery being installed at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium will help cut energy consumption in half by 2020, while also enabling the aquarium to sell stored power to electricity markets. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: With the U.S. leading the world in energy-related CO2 emissions, the next president will be a key player in the global fight against climate change. (Bloomberg)

EMISSIONS: Volkswagen will pay its U.S. auto dealers up to $1.2 billion for losses caused by the company’s emissions cheating scandal, which will average about $1.85 million per dealer. (Los Angeles Times)

COAL:
• A coal company owned by West Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor agrees to pay a $900,000 civil penalty and implement compliance measures after discharging pollutants into waterways. (The Hill)
• The “visionary” head of a non-profit is taking over troubled coal mines in an effort to make the industry greener by selling carbon offset credits along with coal. (New York Times)

PIPELINES:
• The complex leak detection systems for oil and gasoline pipelines are unreliable, with Colonial Pipeline’s system failing to detect any of the company’s eight spills over the past 20 months, according to a recent analysis. (Reuters)
• Nearly 20 members of Congress send a letter asking President Obama to withdraw federal permits for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, comparing it to the action he took against the Keystone Pipeline. (NBC News)
• Federal officials say they won’t evict activists that have set up camp on federal land in North Dakota to protest the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• BP says the new “Deepwater Horizon” film that depicts the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is “not an accurate portrayal of the events that led to the accident,” partly because it ignores multiple errors that were made by different companies. (Reuters)
• The U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies issue a subpoena to Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. that seeks documents, testimony and information related to the company’s oil and gas leases and purchases. (Associated Press)
• With fossil fuel extraction dominating Wyoming’s economy, there’s not much water left over for the state’s ranchers. (TakePart)

POLICY: A Washington state ballot initiative to implement the country’s first revenue-neutral carbon tax is bring criticized by environmentalists who say carbon taxes should be used to fund renewable energy and help those who are most hurt by climate change. (Wall Street Journal)

COMMENTARY: Voters are more keen on supporting clean energy policies than climate change policies. (Forbes)

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