U.S. Energy News

Senate budget bill includes tax credits for nuclear, orphan technologies

POLICY: The Senate passes a budget bill that contains $2 billion for electric reconstruction in Puerto Rico, plus tax credits for nuclear power and orphan technologies like fuel cells, microturbines and carbon capture. (Greentech Media)

GRID: Why Puerto Rico is still weathering the longest and largest blackout in U.S. history, more than 140 days after Hurricane Maria hit the island. (Vox)

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STORAGE: Tesla plans to triple battery deployments this year, but its solar business is seeing quarter over quarter declines. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• Three Canadian solar manufacturers are suing the Trump administration over its new tariffs on imported solar modules, saying the policy violates the Trade Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (The Hill)
• Stakeholders in California’s Public Utilities Commission proceedings are struggling to agree on a specific valuation for the electricity distributed-generation owners export to the grid, but there’s surprising support for net billing. (Utility Dive)
• Hawaiian Electric announces two programs that will compensate rooftop solar customers for supplying electricity to the grid. (Pacific Business News)
• Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state. (Solar Industry)
• A group-buying program helped Indiana residents and companies quickly install solar projects before the state’s net-metering program began to phase out on January 1. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company expects to manufacture as many as 100,000 electric semi-trucks per year, with production starting as early as 2019. (Electrek)

COAL:
• Sources say the Trump administration could use emergency orders to compensate coal plants that are in danger of shutting down, including Ohio-based FirstEnergy. (Bloomberg)
• Coal ash storage sites across the U.S. may be leaking toxic substances into groundwater, according to a new analysis by an environmental law group. (InsideClimate News)

PIPELINES:
• Lobbyists tell a Senate committee that Congress needs to help speed up permitting for pipelines and transmission lines, saying the process has become increasingly difficult on the state level. (Houston Chronicle)
• A federal judge hears testimony that construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline through Louisiana is harming the environment following a request from environmental groups to suspend construction. (Associated Press)
• The Sabal pipeline project will continue with construction at least temporarily after a federal court did not issue a mandate that would have shut down its operation. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: Ending fossil fuel subsidies worldwide by 2030 would only have a modest impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report. (E&E News)

EPA: The Trump administration is boasting about a large increase in penalties against polluters, but much of its data stems from actions taken by the Obama administration. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Big utilities are standing in the way of community choice aggregation (CCA) programs, which bring more clean energy to consumers, because they’re afraid of competition, according to two former California lawmakers. (Sacramento Bee)
• More utilities and energy investors in America’s “wind belt” are adding wind to their generation fleets because of its low cost and proven record of grid reliability, says the president of Vestas Americas. (Utility Dive)
• FirstEnergy’s failed attempt to shift the costs of a struggling coal plant in West Virginia onto customers represents another loss for those who hoped President Trump would keep coal profitable. (ThinkProgress)

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