U.S. Energy News

Report: U.S. solar capacity to double this year

SOLAR: New solar capacity in the U.S. outpaced coal, natural gas and nuclear combined for the first quarter of 2016; a report projects overall solar capacity will double this year. (MarketWatch, Reuters)

ALSO:
• After only one meeting, an Arizona utility and a solar company have suspended talks in an effort to reach a net metering compromise. (Arizona Republic)
• Apple forms a new subsidiary to sell excess power from its solar installations. (The Verge)
• Solar installers urge Maine regulators not to change the state’s net metering policy. (Bangor Daily News)
• Pennsylvania regulators drop a cap from a net metering proposal. (Pittsburgh Tribune)
• At least 20 community solar projects are expected to be built in Texas this summer. (Houston Business Journal)
• Rural co-ops in North Carolina turn to community solar to help members invest in clean energy. (Southeast Energy News)

GRID:
• The residential energy storage market is expanding outside California and Hawaii. (Greentech Media)
• Excess solar generation in California is a boon for an Arizona utility. (Marketplace)

WIND:
• Vermont lawmakers reach a compromise on a vetoed renewable energy siting bill after removing provisions that would have been particularly harmful to wind development. (Vermont Public Radio)
• Two Northeast senators introduce a bill to advance offshore wind. (North American Windpower)

OIL TRAINS:
• Northwest tribal leaders gather to protest oil trains at the site of last week’s derailment in Oregon. (Associated Press)
• An advocacy group says hundreds of schools in Washington state are at risk from a potential oil-by-rail disaster. (KGW)
• Federal regulators send new oil train safety standards to the White House for review. (The Hill)

COAL:
West Virginia announces a multi-million dollar agreement with Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources to reclaim lands affected by its mining operations. (Wall Street Journal)
Peabody Energy sues over two utilities’ cancellation of coal contracts. (Platts)
• Montana coal production has dropped by nearly a third compared with last year. (Montana Public Radio)

NATURAL GAS: An investment firm predicts natural gas prices will become more volatile in coming years. (SNL Energy)

UTILITIES: Community choice power poses a new threat to utilities’ business model. (EnergyWire)

POLICY:
• Delaware Republicans propose diverting some of the state’s carbon trading revenue for water cleanup. (Delaware State News)
• Some federal lawmakers say momentum is building in Congress for a carbon tax. (E&E Daily)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Congressional leaders are giving states conflicting advice on the Clean Power Plan. (Houston Chronicle)

BIOFUELS: As evidenced during a hearing in Kansas, wide disagreement remains over the U.S. EPA’s plan to raise ethanol standards in gasoline. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

TECHNOLOGY: Researchers in Iceland have developed a method to sequester carbon dioxide in solid rock. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Taxpayers should hope “Big Coal” will be held to their obligations to fully pay for environmental damage. (New York Times)
• The safety record of oil trains “is cold comfort for the people along the rail lines when the percentages don’t play out.” (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
• Seven ways storage can get a fair shake in energy markets. (Greentech Media)
• Why are we so bad at planning for new transmission? (Vox)

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