U.S. Energy News

Study: 5 million U.S. businesses could lower bills by using batteries

STORAGE:
• Five million U.S. businesses could lower their monthly power bills by installing batteries, according to a study that analyzed over 10,000 utility rate plans. (Bloomberg)
• Los Angeles-based Romeo Power raises $30 million in seed funding to complete a manufacturing facility and ramp up production of lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles and stationary storage applications. (L.A. Biz)

RENEWABLES: California lawmakers will consider legislation requiring the state to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. (NBC)

SOLAR: Comcast strikes a 40-month agreement to make Sunrun the exclusive residential solar provider for its cable division. (Philadelphia Business Journal)

WIND: Apple says the large amount of wind energy developed in Iowa was “paramount” to the company’s decision to build two new data centers there. (Radio Iowa)

CAP-AND-TRADE: The California GOP ousts its Assembly leader for helping Democrats revamp the state’s cap-and-trade program. (Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla plans to unveil an electric big-rig truck with a range of 200 to 300 miles. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• A federal judge allows a gas pipeline developer to take possession of five properties in Pennsylvania, which will force a group of nuns to move a chapel that was erected to protest the pipeline. (Lancaster Online)
• Environmental groups being sued by the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline say the lawsuit is an attempt to silence legitimate advocacy work. (Washington Post)

OIL & GAS: At least four towns in Colorado are making rules to protect residents from fossil-fuel development, including new odor controls, bigger setbacks and disclosure requirements for underground oil and gas lines. (Denver Post)

COAL:
• A highly anticipated report from the Department of Energy contradicts President Trump’s public statements and says that natural gas competition has been the largest reason for the decline of the Appalachian coal industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to install two dozen more monitoring wells at one of its coal plants where high levels of contaminants were found in nearby groundwater. (Associated Press)
• A lawsuit filed by nine North Carolina residents living near Duke Energy’s unlined coal ash pits wants to block the utility from offering a $5,000 payment to about 1,000 neighbors who gave up the option of suing over future water problems. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: South Carolina’s House speaker asked for the resignation of the director of the state regulatory agency that looks out for utility customers following the abandonment of the Summer nuclear project. (The State)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority’s staff is at its lowest level ever, and the utility expects to continue making cuts as demand for its power stagnates. (Times Free Press)

GRID: The new Department of Energy report on grid reliability pays little attention to distributed resources that can improve grid reliability. (Greentech Media)

POLITICS: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke won’t try to remove any national monument designations, but has recommended shrinking some of the monuments and possibly allowing drilling and mining on the sites. (Vox, Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• EPA director Scott Pruitt hasn’t targeted the agency’s 2009 determination that greenhouse gas emissions are harmful to the public, likely because it would force the EPA into a legal battle on unfavorable ground, says the energy policy director of a free-market think tank. (Greentech Media)
• A Department of Energy analysis found that the U.S. grid is perfectly reliable without coal plants, but it still includes banal policy recommendations that reflect the views of the administration, says a writer at Vox.

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