U.S. Energy News

SunPower blames tariffs for layoffs, up to 250 workers

SOLAR:
• California-based SunPower will lay off between 150 and 250 workers due to solar import tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. (The Hill)
• Creditors agree to lend SolarWorld Americas, one of two manufacturers that petitioned for import tariffs, an extra $5 million to help ramp to full capacity and add about 200 employees. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Xcel Energy announces a deal with rural electric cooperatives and others that could help it gain regulatory approval to build two massive wind farms on the Texas and New Mexico border. (Associated Press)

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STORAGE: Accounting for the cost of power outages can change the breakeven point for investments in solar-plus-storage systems, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: Hawaii’s largest utility launches the bidding process for new renewable energy projects on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. (Pacific Business News)

MICROGRIDS: Illinois regulators approve ComEd’s request to develop a $25 million microgrid on Chicago’s South Side and bill ratepayers for the project. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A transportation bill that advanced out of the Utah Senate would raise vehicle registration fees and includes a hefty fee hike for drivers of electric and hybrid cars, drawing backlash from clean energy advocates. (Deseret News)
• With the U.S. projected to have 7 million EVs by 2025, utilities are beginning to embrace programs to roll out more charging infrastructure. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
• An Oklahoma regulator issues new rules aimed at reducing earthquakes created by fracking. (Reuters)
• A federal advisory panel recommends cutting royalty rates for offshore drillers by one third, from 18.75 percent to 12.5 percent, saying it would incentivize more production of oil and gas. (The Hill)
• The U.S. produced a record amount of oil in November, surpassing 10 million barrels per day, according to a revised estimate. (Bloomberg)
• Opponents and supporters of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan at North Carolina’s only public hearing talk about what compelled them to give feedback. (Southeast Energy News)

PIPELINES: A judge says she ordered construction to stop on a portion of Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge pipeline to prevent “further irreparable harm” to wetlands. (Reuters)

LOBBYING: Oil and gas trade associations spent thousands of dollars on food and drinks in 2017 for West Virginia lawmakers, months before they began considering a co-tenancy bill that would benefit the industry, according to lobbying records. (DeSmog)

POLICY:
• A Trump administration review that delayed funding for a DOE program that develops advanced energy technologies created significant uncertainty for funding recipients, according to a new report. (The Hill)
• Four Democratic attorneys general say they won’t let up on legal fights against the Trump administration over its environmental policies. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Fossil fuel interests and utilities tell the EPA to replace the Clean Power Plan with a rule that doesn’t require any coal-fired power plants to shut down and gives states maximum discretion in how to comply. (The Hill)
• Hundreds defend the Clean Power Plan at an EPA hearing in San Francisco. (Grist)
• Cheap renewable energy has helped the U.S. come in ahead of its goal to lower carbon emissions in accordance with the Clean Power Plan. (Quartz)

CLIMATE: More than 23 chapters of College Republicans join a new bipartisan group that’s calling for a national tax on carbon pollution to fight climate change. (The Atlantic)

COMMENTARY:
• Spending large amounts of government money to promote electric vehicle adoption helps the rich while driving resources away from programs that help the less fortunate, says a former Texas state congressman. (Real Clear Energy)
• A state-by-state report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration identifies large offshore wind potential for Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia, and highlights Mississippi’s 25-fold increase in solar capacity. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• The senior vice president of REC Solar outlines five upcoming energy industry trends and explains how companies can be equipped to maximize them. (Utility Dive)

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