U.S. Energy News

Report: U.S. wind and solar helped save up to 12,700 lives

RENEWABLES: The emissions offset by wind and solar energy helped prevent between 3,000 and 12,7000 premature deaths in the U.S. between 2007 and 2015, while saving the country up to $220 billion, according to a new federal report. (Quartz)

WIND:
• Oklahoma’s attorney general wants utility regulators to dismiss a case that seeks permission to build the country’s biggest single-site wind farm, saying American Electric Power hasn’t proven a need for the 2,000 megawatt project and didn’t follow competitive bidding rules. (Columbus Business First)
• An environmental coalition holds a panel conference to discuss advancing offshore wind projects in New Jersey, which is has been a contentious issue in the state. (Press of Atlantic City)

SOLAR: Members of the U.S. International Trade Commission questioned why tariff protection is needed for Georgia-based Suniva if it struggled while the solar market was booming. (InsideClimate News)

STORAGE:
• A new model is predicting battery cost declines faster than previous analyses. (Greentech Media)
• Data center company Equinix will purchase 37 megawatts of fuel cells to reduce its carbon footprint at 12 data centers in California and New York, marking one of the biggest fuel cell installations to date. (Greentech Media)

GRID:
• Missouri regulators deny a permit to develop the Grain Belt Express clean energy transmission project, even though they agree it would be in the public interest. (Midwest Energy News)
• Grid operator MISO will conduct an “open-ended, multiyear” study on how to integrate growing volumes of renewable energy into the grid. (RTO Insider)

SMART GRID:
• American Electric Power is set to begin installing 900,000 smart meters for customers across Ohio. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A new report says regulators should use caution when approving time-of-use rates for residential utility customers to “ensure more vulnerable customers are not left higher bills they can’t control.” (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Denver, Colorado, announces plans to install 300 electric vehicle charging stations over the next two years. (Denver Post)
• Detroit-based Ford Motor Co. partners with delivery company DHL to develop an electric delivery van. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• A federal appeals court overturns a ruling and fine against Exxon for a 2013 pipeline spill in Arkansas that forced residents from their homes. (InsideClimate News)
• The Energy Department says it will sell 14 million barrels of crude oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve beginning later this month in order to meet requirements passed by Congress. (The Hill)
• Over 100 lawmakers send a letter urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to allow oil and natural gas drilling in more areas off the U.S. coast when it rewrites a five-year leasing outline. (The Hill)

FRACKING:
• The first filing of a permit to do hydraulic fracturing in Illinois could be a test case for how rigorously the state enforces a new law passed four years ago. (Midwest Energy News)
• Due to the high price of sand, U.S. companies are reducing the amount they use when fracking new wells. (Reuters)

COAL:
• A federal panel is studying the potential link between surface mining and health problems in Appalachia and is seeking input in Kentucky. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• The U.S. Energy Department will give $17 million to four academic institutions to research the recovery of rare earth minerals from abandoned coal mines and coal waste. (Washington Examiner)

NUCLEAR:
• South Carolina Electric & Gas isn’t sure when it will charge customers billions of dollars for its abandoned nuclear construction project, but officials said that the power company will eventually do so. (Post and Courier)
• SCANA downplayed the chances of reviving the Summer nuclear plant project despite efforts by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Florida Power & Light Co. told regulators it has spent roughly $315 million on a proposed nuclear project and costs could increase another $90 million(Palm Beach Post)

COMMENTARY:
• New technologies have made solar-plus-strorage fully dispatchable and cheaper than building a new natural gas-fired peaker plant, and costs will only keep falling, according to storage experts at 8minutenergy. (UtilityDive)
• We must protect four national marine sanctuaries along the California coast from oil drilling, says the California Program Director for Defenders of Wildlife. (Mercury News)

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