U.S. Energy News

New FERC rule opens wholesale markets to energy storage

STORAGE: FERC commissioners unanimously approve a rule that will open wholesale energy markets to energy storage, putting it on an equal footing with generators and other grid resources. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• More homeowners are considering solar-plus-storage in light of recent natural disasters as a way to boost resiliency, and that could hurt utilities. (Utility Dive)
• ConEdison may start integrating Tesla Powerback batteries into New York power grids. (Business Insider)

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SOLAR:
• A Michigan utility’s claim that it doesn’t need any new capacity over the next decade is stalling hundreds of megawatts of new solar projects, according to developers seeking PURPA contracts with Consumers Energy. (Midwest Energy News)
• The Ohio Power Siting Board approves two major solar projects totaling 275 megawatts, which would be the two largest in the state. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Developers are planning a 6 MW solar farm in Rhode Island. (The Valley Breeze)

WIND:
• A wind trade group touts the vibrant marine life growing around a Rhode Island offshore wind farm as a boon for the fishing industry, but fishermen are not convinced. (Portland Press Herald, Associated Press)
• A small wind turbine developer in Oklahoma hopes the restoration of an investment tax credit for orphaned technologies will help revive his business. (The Oklahoman)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Americans use less energy when they stay at home, according to a study that analyzed energy demand between 2003 and 2012. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla is ramping up efforts to pass new laws in eight states that will allow it to sell its electric cars directly to consumers. (Electrek)
• Policymakers in states across the Midwest have “tied themselves in knots” figuring out the role of regulated utilities in building out electric vehicle infrastructure. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• Exxon Mobil representatives are denying that the company acted negligently in the case of a Montana worker who died while checking an oil storage tank in 2010. (Associated Press)
• The West Virginia House votes to allow drilling for natural gas beneath property where 75 percent of owners agree. (Associated Press)
• In Pennsylvania, methane leaks at oil and gas sites may be greater than previously reported, according to an environmental advocacy group’s analysis. (InsideClimate News)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• A Washington public lands commissioner tells Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke her state is prepared to reject permits needed to start offshore drilling there. (Reuters)
• The Maine House of Representatives passes a resolution calling on the White House to exempt the state from its offshore drilling plan. (Maine Public Radio)

COAL: The DOE announces funding for nine “clean coal” projects that demonstrated “technical success at the small-scale pilot stage.” (Utility Dive)

POLLUTION: The EPA levied about half the number of penalties against polluters during President Trump’s first year in office as the last three presidential administrations did over the same time period, according to a new report. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR:
• The South Carolina Senate unanimously votes to give state utility regulators until the end of the year to review oversight of SCANA’s failed Summer nuclear project, though the delay won’t necessarily kill Dominion Energy’s bid to buy the company. (Post and Courier, The State)
• The South Carolina House votes to fire all seven members of the state’s Public Service Commission in the wake of the failed Summer nuclear project. (The State)

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CLIMATE:
• Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski calls on fellow Republicans to take climate seriously, despite fighting for a tax provision that opened Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. (Washington Examiner)
• A new Climate Solutions Caucus is providing an opportunity for House Republicans to appear supportive of climate action while failing to back legislation that protects that environment. (Mother Jones)

COMMENTARY:
• Oil and gas companies have an economic interest in shrinking their emissions, says a columnist at PJ Media. (The Detroit News)
• The U.S. should export clean coal technologies, as well as coal, says a contributor to Forbes.

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