U.S. Energy News

Utilities prepare for loss of solar power during eclipse

UTILITIES: Electric utilities are preparing for the loss of solar power during Monday’s eclipse — and using the event as a test run for a future with more renewables. (New York Times)

SOLAR:
• Republican members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are opposing import tariffs on solar panels, saying they would pose a threat to thousands of clean energy jobs. (News & Observer)
• North Carolina researchers dismiss health concerns over solar panels, saying they are small and “vastly outweighed by health benefits of the generation of clean electricity.” (Southeast Energy News)
• Atlanta-based Home Depot announced it will add solar panels to 50 of its store rooftops. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

RENEWABLES: A coalition of 10 clean-energy associations is launching a lobbying and advertising push that’s focused on how the industry creates jobs and provides reliable electricity. (Axios)

WIND: An anti-wind citizen group in Maine says proposed wind turbines could ruin the Moosehead Lake region. (Morning Sentinel)

GEOTHERMAL: CalEnergy terminates its license for a California geothermal plant that would have generated enough electricity to power about 200,000 homes. (Desert Sun)

NUCLEAR:
• South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is asking Santee Cooper for information to help facilitate the sale of the state-owned utility or its stake in the unfinished Summer nuclear project, saying there are interested buyers. (The State)
• An analysis shows U.S. power companies have a history of walking away from nuclear plant projects and that some factors of the South Carolina’s Summer plant abandonment are not unique. (Platts)
• Hundreds of former nuclear plant employees in Tennessee are concerned about medical benefits for conditions that may be related to nuclear work from decades ago. (News Sentinel)

CARBON TAX: Two Senate Democrats want to place a $49 per metric ton carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions, but it is widely acknowledged as a long shot. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California-based EV charging company is expanding its support center in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Arizona Republic)

OIL & GAS:
• Virginia’s governor urges President Trump not to include the state’s waters in a new oil and gas leasing program being assembled by the Trump administration. (Reuters)
• Clean energy groups are scrutinizing separate plans to build natural gas-powered plants in Michigan to replace coal, pushing utilities to consider the potential of renewables and energy efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)
• A proposed natural gas plant in Oxnard, California, could be replaced with a clean energy alternative, but it would be more expensive, according to the manager of California’s electric grid. (Los Angeles Times)
• A plan by Texas-based Hilcorp to drill off the coast of Alaska moves forward, but a federal environmental impact statement raises concerns about effects on climate change, marine life and local communities. (InsideClimate News)

PIPELINES:
• Minnesota regulators release the final environmental review of Enbridge’s plan to replace its Line 3 pipeline, which analyzes environmental and social costs and contrasts several potential routes. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• North Dakota regulators reschedule a public hearing on whether the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline violated state rules during construction. (Associated Press)

COAL: Construction begins on a coal mine in western Kentucky that would open next year and employ about 280 miners. (Associated Press)

POLICY: The interim chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Neil Chatterjee, wants to ensure that coal and nuclear power receive compensation for the benefits they provide to the U.S. electric system. (Greentech Media)

CLIMATE: A group of scientists in California want to form a climate research institute that would focus on projects combating the effects of climate change in the U.S., but the effort would be costly. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s idea to federally subsidize Appalachian coal “would simply prolong the dying of an industry that has been declining for years,” says a writer for the National Review.
• Renewable energy technologies were the enemy at the annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference, where fossil fuel executives heavily pushed “clean coal” and “clean fossil fuels,” according to a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Assembly. (Madison Capital Times)

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