U.S. Energy News

Two utilities announce they will stop building gas power plants

UTILITIES: Vistra Energy and Dominion Energy say they will stop building combined-cycle natural gas plants and focus on solar instead, posing a threat to General Electric’s business model. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• While some utilities have been ambitious about integrating solar, many have been cautious about renewables. (Greentech Media)
• A Canadian company’s plan to aggressively shift a Missouri utility to clean energy is facing opposition from state officials. (Midwest Energy News)

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SOLAR: U.S. community solar capacity grew by 112 percent last year, indicating it may have finally solved its complexity problem. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Researchers are exploring technology to enable electric cars to recharge while driving using the same technology that wirelessly charges mobile phones. (Denver Business Journal)

TECHNOLOGY: A U.S. Senate committee approves a bill for fiscal year 2019 that includes $375 million for the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), which funds energy technology projects. (Pacific Business News)

WILDLIFE: Conservation groups sue the Interior Department over changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that allow the incidental killing of birds — an issue that affects both the oil and wind industries. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR:
• High capacity prices in a PJM auction this week won’t be enough to save some nuclear plants. (Reuters)
• South Carolina still faces enormous unanswered questions in the wake of last year’s failed nuclear project, a panel says. (Post and Courier)
• A report by Moody’s Investors Service details several risks that could further delay the opening of Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant. (Saporta Report)
• A U.S. Senate committee rejects a request for funding to restart the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, setting up another impasse with the House. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COAL:
The DOE announces a request for information on how to make the country’s coal-fired power plants more efficient, flexible and reliable. (Utility Dive)
Two coal barges sink as dozens broke free on the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. (WPXI)

OIL & GAS: The Permian Basin oil boom is changing the geopolitics of energy production while making some Texans rich beyond their wildest dreams. (Fortune)

PIPELINES: A judge shuts down the Mariner East pipeline and two others in Pennsylvania, saying the projects pose a risk to the public. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

EPA:  The EPA relied on input from Republican lawmakers and advocacy groups when creating controversial rules for who can participate on its advisory committees. (E&E News)

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CLIMATE: Lawyers argue climate change lawsuits against the world’s five biggest oil companies should be thrown out because they could lead to similar cases against anyone who releases greenhouse gases. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
The age of nuclear power may be drawing to a close, but “cleaning up its legacy has barely begun,” says an environmental reporter and author. (New York Times)
Protection plans for residential solar customers are key to taking the technology mainstream, says an executive at Omnidian, which provides residential solar energy protection plans and performance guarantees. (Greentech Media)
We need, all at once, a greener, more reliable, more resilient electricity grid, and microgrids offer the potential to do all three, David Roberts writes. (Vox)

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