U.S. Energy News

Polar vortex chilled wind generation

WIND:
• Freezing temperatures during the polar vortex limited wind energy output in the Upper Midwest. (E&E News, subscription)
Rhode Island regulators sign off on the $2 billion Vineyard offshore wind farm; the project still awaits approval in Massachusetts. (Providence Journal)

EFFICIENCY: On-bill financing is an increasingly popular financing mechanism to extend energy efficiency projects to more utility customers. (Ensia)

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CLEAN ENERGY:
A recent report highlights the $8.2 billion New England spends on imported fossil fuels each year. (Energy News Network)
Ohio lawmakers’ attempts to keep revisiting the state’s renewable energy standards create uncertainty for developers, advocates say. (Statehouse News Bureau)

SOLAR:
• A Texas company that owns most of Puerto Rico’s residential solar market is slowing the path to renewable energy there, an agency report says. (USA Today, Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico)
Maine lawmakers advance a bill that would restore net metering for solar customers. (Portland Press Herald)

HYDROPOWER: As environmentalists successfully fought against dams, coal-fired power plants largely filled the gap, a recent study found. (Grist)

UTILITIES: A nonprofit group says Massachusetts municipal utilities aren’t moving fast enough to cut emissions. (Energy News Network)

GRID:
New York utilities and the state’s grid operator are developing a plan to allow energy storage to participate in wholesale and retail markets. (Utility Dive)
The University of Hawaii and its partners unveil a project linking solar, storage, electric vehicles and other grid technologies on campus. (Greentech Media)
The CEO of grid operator PJM says planned closures of nuclear and coal plants won’t impact reliability. (Bloomberg)

VEHICLES: A lack of emissions-testing facilities in Chicago means “you are polluting more to drive to the suburbs to have your cars tested for pollution,” advocates say. (CBS Chicago)

TRANSMISSION:
Developers of a hydropower transmission line through Maine present their case to opponents, including an environmental group that says the project is not intended to address climate change. (Portland Press Herald)
New York’s grid operator says renewable energy and storage will determine whether a major transmission upgrade is needed. (Platts)

OIL & GAS:
• The U.S. House easily passes a public lands bill that funnels offshore oil and gas drilling revenue into land conservation. (Reuters)
• A coalition of environmental groups plan to sue federal land managers over their approval of an oil shale project in eastern Utah. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Dominion Energy will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal after a lower court would not reconsider a ruling that tossed a permit allowing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests. (Associated Press)

COAL: City officials in Farmington, New Mexico say they’ve reached an agreement with an investor to extend the life of a local coal-fired power plant but the news is a surprise to the facility’s majority owner. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUELS:
The petroleum industry pushes back against U.S. EPA plans to amend requirements for renewable fuel credits. (E&E News, subscription)
• A California oil company is threatening to sue the EPA over its delay in considering its biofuel waiver application. (Reuters)

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POLITICS: California Democrats will likely play a key role in shaping energy and environmental issues after snagging key leadership positions in the U.S. House. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
Diversity leads to innovation, and that’s what’s needed in the energy industry to fight climate change, writes the founder of a women’s energy group. (Scientific American)
• As redemption for the scandals affecting his administration, Gov. Ralph Northam should intervene to stop major pipelines from going through the state, an activist says. (Roanoke Times)
Energy affordability is a problem in Appalachia and the South, and policymakers need to address it, an analyst says. (Union of Concerned Scientists)  

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