U.S. Energy News

Solar installers scramble to get ahead of possible tariffs

SOLAR:
• Solar installers are urging homeowners to buy their solar systems as soon as possible to avoid price hikes caused by potential tariffs next year. (Reuters)
• Mississippi officials may sue a solar panel maker that is closing its plant there after receiving tens of millions in loans and incentives from the state. (Associated Press)

BIOFUEL: The EPA on Friday scrapped proposed changes to the nation’s biofuels policy after backlash from corn-state lawmakers. (Reuters)

WIND:
• A combination of design improvements and lower costs for wind turbines is driving interest in areas with the weaker winds, such as Virginia. (Bloomberg)
• Amazon announces that its largest wind farm is up and running in Texas, with an expected output of over 1 million MWh annually. (Utility Dive)
• A Maryland coastal town hires a lobbyist to push a pair of offshore wind projects further from view. (E&E News)

HYDRO: American Electric Power partners with a software company to build an energy storage system at two hydroelectric plants in Virginia. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: A survey done by an industry group shows less than one-third of utility customers participate in energy management programs, but there is strong growth in some service territories. (Utility Dive)

GRID:
• Witnesses tell FERC that the country’s electric grid is expected to stay reliable this winter. (Utility Dive)
• Five years after Superstorm Sandy, Northeastern states are still working to build more resilient power grids. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla reaches an agreement to build an electric vehicle factory in Shanghai. (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS:
• An overview of the upcoming debate on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (The Hill)
• A barge carrying crude oil explodes off the Texas coast, killing at least one person. (Reuters)
• The National Congress of American Indians votes in favor of a resolution to ban oil and gas drilling in parts of northwestern New Mexico. (Associated Press)

COAL: A Pennsylvania town that depends economically on a nearby coal-fired power plant is still struggling, despite President Trump’s efforts to stop the “war on coal.” (Tribune News Service)

POLLUTION: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves a permit to allow South Carolina Electric and Gas to leave a slick of polluted coal tar in one of the state’s rivers rather than clean it up. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: President Trump’s nominee to oversee mining safety defends his record at a Senate committee hearing. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

NUCLEAR: South Carolina’s law enforcement division is investigating the failed Summer nuclear plant for criminal wrongdoing, but doing so could take years and require lots of outside help. (Post and Courier)

POLICY: As governor of Texas, Energy Secretary Rick Perry likely would have opposed his own plan to support coal and nuclear plants. (Texas Tribune)

CLIMATE:
• The EPA stops three of its scientists from appearing at a conference in Rhode Island to talk about climate change. (New York Times)
• In an unusual move, a Minnesota judge grants intervenor status to a group of youth climate change activists who will now have formal standing in a case involving a pipeline expansion project. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• If Energy Secretary Rick Perry had taken his department’s grid reliability study seriously, he would have recommended protecting wholesale power markets and diversifying energy sources — not propping up coal and nuclear plants — says a writer at Vox.
• Renewable portfolio standards are responsible for 62 percent of the growth of non-hydro renewables in the U.S. since 2000, with the benefits substantially outweighing the costs, says a writer at Vox.

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