U.S. Energy News

U.S. wind power contracts start 2018 with record-high quarter

• Wind power purchase agreements hit a record-breaking 3,500 MW in the first quarter, according to the American Wind Energy Association. (Utility Dive)
• An online calculator developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates the emissions impact of offshore wind farms.

•  The Interior Department says it will approve a 500 MW solar project on public lands in the California desert. (The Desert Sun)
Everything you need to know about California’s new residential rooftop solar, including a cost-benefit analysis of the rule. (Greentech Media)

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RENEWABLES: A report predicts building new clean energy will likely be cheaper than continuing to operate gas-fired power plants within the next two decades, leaving investors and ratepayers with billions in stranded assets. (Rocky Mountain Institute, Forbes)

BIOMASS: Wood pellet mills used for the biomass industry threaten public health by violating the intent of the Clean Air Act, according to an environmental group’s report. (Southeast Energy News)

• Tesla’s Model 3 was supposed to be an “affordable” $35,000 car, but two years after its unveiling it’s impossible to buy one for under $49,000. (Los Angeles Times)
• Consumer Reports fails to recommend Tesla’s Model 3 due to poor braking performance. (Quartz)

GEOTHERMAL: A lava flow enters the grounds of a geothermal power plant on Hawaii’s Big Island, threatening to release sulfur dioxide and other hazardous materials from the site. (Pacific Business News)

EFFICIENCY: University of Michigan researchers find LED light bulbs are more expensive in high-poverty areas near Detroit compared to the wealthiest areas. (Greentech Media)

SMART METERS: Avista’s 450,000 utility customers in Washington state will receive smart meters over the next two years, replacing a meter system from the 1940s. (Spokesman-Review)

UTILITIES: The Illinois Attorney General’s Office opposes a proposallan by state regulators that would allow utilities to recover costs from investments in cloud computing. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL & GAS: An oil industry coalition wants to change the law so companies can receive a tax credit for capturing CO2 without ensuring the captured carbon stays underground after extracting oil. (Axios)

PIPELINES: More protesters have set up camp in Jefferson National Forest in Virginia to prevent construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Roanoke Times)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Congressional Republicans want a deal with the departments of Defense and Interior to allow offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but it hinges on Florida lawmakers dropping their opposition. (Politico)

POLITICS: Former coal executive and ex-convict Don Blankenship announces he will run as a third-party candidate in West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race in November. (The New York Times)

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• The Justice Department files a court brief in support of five major oil and gas companies being sued by San Francisco and Oakland for climate change damages, saying the cases could harm energy production. (InsideClimate News)
• The CEO of BP says he won’t disclose climate targets and other information due to the risk of climate-related lawsuits in the U.S. (Bloomberg)
• The National Park Service releases a major climate change study that attributes sea-level rise to human activity, following reports that the Trump administration had tried to censor the material. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: As prices for renewable energy fall, storage will be the next technology to transform the energy landscape, says a columnist. (Bloomberg)

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