ST. LOUIS (AP) — The windy plains of Kansas could be a treasure trove in the nation's effort to harness clean energy, but a major proposal to move wind-generated electricity eastward is running into a roadblock: Farmers who don't want high-power transmission lines on their land.
Clean Line Energy Partners wants to spend $2.2 billion to build a 750-mile-long high-voltage overhead transmission line. Towers 110 to 150 feet tall, 4-6 per mile, would carry lines with power generated by Kansas' modernistic windmill turbines through sparsely populated northern Missouri, through the cornfields of Illinois and to a substation in Sullivan, Ind. The exact route has not been finalized.
Westar Energy customers are facing higher electricity bills after state regulators granted the utility a $43.6 million rate hike to cover the cost of new transmission lines, which will bring wind power onto the grid and improve reliability, The Wichita Eagle reports.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The amount of power utilities could buy from customers with solar or other renewable energy systems would nearly quadruple under a measure given preliminary approval Thursday by the Vermont Senate.
Vermont caps the amount of power utilities can take through what's called net metering, when the owners of rooftop solar installations or similar projects put excess power onto the grid. The current cap says each utility can take up to 4 percent of the peak load on its system from net-metering projects. The bill increases that to 15 percent.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A company that manages part of the nation's electric grid is to break ground on a regional headquarters in Little Rock, where about 50 employees will earn an average annual salary of $85,000.
Midcontinent Independent System Operator, known as MISO, has scheduled a Friday ceremony to mark the start of construction.
The ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee joined electric industry groups Thursday in defending actions by power generators to secure critical facilities, following the leak of a government study that highlighted the grid's vulnerability to sabotage.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska issued a statement on the report by the Wall Street Journal, which revealed details of an unreleased grid vulnerability study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Murkowski said the story "seriously undermined" efforts by the industry to maintain reliable electrical service.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California regulators Thursday approved a plan for two utilities to develop replacement power to help fill the void left by the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, but environmentalists warned it could open the way for more dirty energy.
The nuclear plant between San Diego and Los Angeles, which stopped producing power in January 2012, once generated enough electricity for 1.4 million homes. The unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission opened the way for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to find ways to plug that gap.
Knocking out only nine electric transmitting substations could cause a national blackout, according to a previously unreleased study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, The Wall Street Journal reports.
DENVER (AP) — When Xcel Energy raised questions about a system known as net metering that helps determine the credit homeowners get from utility companies for putting solar panels on their roofs, regulators found the issue so contentious they separated it from a review of the renewable-energy policies of Colorado's largest utility.
On Wednesday, Colorado's Public Utilities Commission set a hearing in April to start what is likely to be a protracted process of addressing questions solar proponents fear could lead to changes that could hurt their industry.
Although most states have net-metering policies, the practice has touched off debates from Vermont to Hawaii that could have a profound effect on renewable-energy policies across the nation.
Oil continues to wash up on some Louisiana beaches four years after the Deepwater Horizon sinking sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and a number of area residents remain angry and resentful despite BP paying out billions of dollars in compensation, Reuters reports.
Environmental Protection Administrator and Boston native Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will throw out the first pitches at the Red Sox game Tuesday, to mark Earth Day, The Hill reports.
A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.
The total U.S. rig count for the week remained at 1,831, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc., which said that oil rigs declined while gas and miscellaneous rigs increased, Bloomberg reports.
Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has applied to scrap the 10-mile emergency planning zone around it, because of the nuclear plant's closing by year's end, raising concerns from citizen groups, The Recorder reports.
Critics complain that proposals to increase security of the nation’s power grid, drafted by the industry in the wake of an attack on a California substation last year, won’t do enough to stop anyone intent on sabotage, The Wall Street Journal reports.