U.S. Energy News

Without subsidies, Three Mile Island to close by 2019

NUCLEAR: Exelon says it will close its Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania — the site of the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history — unless the state steps in to keep it open. (NPR)

COAL:
• Coal power is poised to vanish from New England, with the last coal-fired plant in Massachusetts permanently closing this week. (E&E News, Boston Business Journal)
• New Jersey’s largest electric utility will close its last two coal-fired power plants on Thursday, saying the decision is “just economics.” (Associated Press)
• Mississippi Power’s Kemper plant is scheduled to start operating today, but it’s still unclear if it will. (MBP)
• A federal judge ruled that pollution from a coal company’s mountaintop removal in West Virginia has harmed aquatic life in two streams. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

RENEWABLES:
• The renewable energy sector employs over 800,000 people in the U.S., with solar and wind jobs up by 82 percent and 100 percent, respectively, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. (InsideClimate News)
• A small, rural town in South Carolina is working toward becoming the state’s first city completely powered by renewable energy. (Post and Courier)

WIND: The wind industry is thriving in the U.S., but an Energy Department study could threaten the policies that fostered its growth. (New York Times)

SOLAR:
• Analysts explain how an Arizona utility got a remarkably low price on a power purchase agreement for a solar-plus-storage project. (Utility Dive)
• Two lawmakers tell federal regulators that they support a call for tariffs on imported solar panels, saying cheap imports have “devastated the U.S. industry.” (The Hill)
• Twenty small utility-scale solar projects will participate in a renewable energy tax credit program offered by the state of Oregon. (Portland Business Journal)
• Two troubled solar panel manufacturers want the U.S. government to impose tariffs on imported solar panels, but analysts say the move would raise the price of solar and could decrease solar installations by 25 percent annually. (ThinkProgress)
• North Carolina led the nation in new utility-scale solar capacity added to the grid in the first quarter, just ahead of Minnesota and Nevada. (Triad Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Legislation that would allow Tesla to sell its electric vehicles directly to drivers in Texas dies in the state legislature. (Houston Chronicle)

CLIMATE:
• Two sources say President Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. (Axios)
• Lawmakers, executives and world leaders are all trying to sway Trump’s decision on whether to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement. (New York Times)

EMISSIONS: Xcel Energy says it cut its carbon emissions 30 percent between 2005 and 2016 across its eight-state service territory. (Denver Business Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Analysts say the decision by Ohio lawmakers to weaken state energy efficiency requirements was clearly reflected in PJM’s latest capacity auction. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS: The Energy Department removes the words “clean energy” from multiple webpages, changing phrases like “clean tech investment” to “energy technologies investment.” (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
• The impending shutdown of a Pennsylvania nuclear plant is emblematic of the problem with the U.S. nuclear industry: plants are too hard to operate and simply not competitive, says a columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
• Lawmakers in Virginia and Washington, D.C., are trying to offset the damage being done by the Trump administration by introducing with their own climate initiatives, says the editorial board of the Washington Post.

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