U.S. Energy News

Solar advocates applaud Nevada net metering agreement

SOLAR: Solar advocates celebrate a tentative agreement between NV Energy and SolarCity to resolve a longstanding rate dispute that would restore lower rates to about 32,000 solar customers in Nevada, but the state’s Public Utilities Commission still must approve the deal. (Las Vegas Review-Journal/Reuters)

ALSO:
• As Hawaii hits solar incentive caps, solar companies are pressuring regulators to raise the limits, and utilities are urging customers to choose a pricier self-supply option. (Utility Dive)
• Maine’s Public Utilities Commission proposes new rules to phase out solar incentives for homeowners, which would limit benefits for new customers to 10 years. (Portland Press Herald)
• Solar and utility experts say the solar industry needs a makeover to better engage policymakers and consumers. (Renewable Energy World)
• Hawaii regulators suspend a major solar project planned for a major housing development, following complaints from residents of the neighborhood. (Pacific Business News)
Community solar is garnering attention from regulators and executives, with utilities offering “begrudging” support. (Bloomberg)

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UTILITIES:
• NRG Energy wins a bid of up to $188 million to buy renewable energy projects from bankrupt SunEdison in six states, including a stalled Texas solar project that would transform a town of 60,000 people into the nation’s largest municipality powered solely by renewables. (FuelFix)
• Efforts by Ohio utilities to guarantee income for affiliated coal and nuclear operations are among the more aggressive “around market” efforts in a nationwide trend, according to a new report by legal analysts. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS: The founder of a clean energy super-PAC says Republicans are slowly “evolving” on climate change and moving toward supporting the clean energy sector. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS: Research is divided on whether oil and gas production is the largest contributor to increased methane emissions, as opposed to farming and landfills. (ClimateWire)

CLIMATE: Most Americans are willing to pay $1 more per month on their electric bills to fight climate change, according to a recent poll. (Associated Press)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
• With the help of $300,000 in federal funding, Nebraska is launching an initiative to measure and reduce the amount of energy used in state-owned buildings. (Midwest Energy News)
• California home-builders prepare for new regulations that will require every new residential building to meet “zero net energy” by 2020. (Wall Street Journal)

COAL: At least seven of Texas’s 19 aging coal plants are financially inviable thanks to low natural gas prices, air pollution regulations, and mounting competition from wind and solar, according to a new report. (Texas Observer)

OIL & GAS: A California utility responsible for the largest recorded methane leak in U.S. history agrees to pay $4 million to settle criminal charges. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES: The head of the company behind the stalled Dakota Access Pipeline sends a memo to employees saying the company is committed to completing the project and that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded.” (Associated Press)

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REGULATION:
• Critics say North Carolina’s plan to comply with EPA’s coal ash regulations represents the “bare minimum.” (Southeast Energy News)
• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is re-examining its disclosure rules for public companies and may require firms to disclose risks related to their emissions and climate change. (Wall Street Journal)
• Advocates say an amendment within a Senate water bill could weaken new rules on coal ash. (ThinkProgress)

COMMENTARY: Contrary to popular belief, fossil fuels don’t provide lower energy prices for customers than renewables. (Renewable Energy World)

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