U.S. Energy News

Power companies sue to block subsidies for New York nuclear plants

NUCLEAR: Owners of gas and coal-fired power plants are suing New York energy regulators for subsidizing the state’s aging nuclear plants, saying the move will illegally burden ratepayers with nearly $8 billion in price hikes. (Associated Press)

ALSO: After 43 years of construction, the TVA says its $4.7 billion Watts Bar 2 reactor in Tennessee has entered full commercial operations. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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SOLAR:
• Opponents of Florida’s Amendment 1 say a recorded presentation leaked to the media shows “fraudulent” intent and “collusion” by utilities backing the ballot initiative. (POLITICO Florida)
• The head of a Florida think tank says his policy chief “misspoke” about utilities’ strategy behind Amendment 1 to deceive voters. (Miami Herald)
• Residential solar customers are not being compensated enough for the extra energy they offer the grid, according to a new report. (FuelFix)
• Hawaii’s solar industry continues to suffer from the termination of state’s popular net metering program, with spending on solar construction dropping to new lows. (Pacific Business News)
• After a surge in solar panel installations starting in 2010, growth is projected to slow to just 0.3 percent next year, according to a recent analysis. (Bloomberg)

FRACKING:
• A Colorado amendment funded largely by the oil and gas industry would make it harder for anti-fracking activists to change the state’s constitution through ballot initiatives. (InsideClimate News)
• A Wyoming woman continues to fight the industry ten years after a gas well exploded near her home. (Yale Climate Connections)

OIL AND GAS: Limits on oil and gas drilling meant to protect the sage grouse in the Western U.S. are not enough to prevent bird deaths, with populations dropping as much as 14 percent annually in some areas, according to a scientific study. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: A North Dakota tribe fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline offers to let protestors stay on tribal land, where they can build permanent structures to keep warm over the winter. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: ExxonMobil’s legal challenges to an investigation into whether the company concealed information about climate change is being aided by a conservative “dark money machine,” says New York’s attorney general. (Politico)

UTILITIES:
• An optional program in Hawaii will charge residential customers more for power used at night and less for power used during the day, when solar energy production is highest. (Pacific Business News)
• A Seattle-based startup raises $14 million to help expand an energy-efficiency platform that helps utilities execute programs like equipment leasing and selling distributed energy. (Greentech Media)

TECHNOLOGY: The Department of Energy awards $80 million for a pilot project in Texas that will use supercritical carbon dioxide in gas turbines to enhance power plant efficiency. (Utility Dive)

COAL: A Minnesota utility says it is retiring two more coal-burning units by the end of 2018 — four years earlier than required — as part of a broader shift to more natural gas and renewables. (Duluth News Tribune)

COAL ASH:
• North Carolina regulators are clashing with environmentalists over the amount of coal ash spilled from a Duke Energy plant during a recent flood. (Associated Press)
• Advocates continue to question a 2015 dinner between North Carolina officials and the heads of Duke Energy, despite a state ethics commission dismissing the matter due to insufficient evidence. (Southeast Energy News)

BIOMASS: An Oregon energy company unveils a biomass-based fuel that can be burned in coal-fired power plants. (Portland Business Journal)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Managers of Maryland’s pension system are considering shifting the state’s $45 billion portfolio to invest more in renewable energy and environmentally friendly industries. (Baltimore Sun)

COMMENTARY:
Another presidential debate passes by without a single question about climate change. (Vox)
The Clean Power Plan needs more support from businesses to succeed. (GreenBiz)

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