SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The potential for renewable energy development in the Southwest is tremendous, but two top officials in President Barack Obama's administration said Monday much work needs to be done to meet the challenges of exporting that power to market.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz were among dozens of state and tribal officials who met in Santa Fe as part of the administration's effort to develop recommendations regarding the transmission, storage and distribution of energy.
Jewell and Moniz said one of the biggest challenges has been working across state lines and Native American jurisdictions to site and permit transmission and pipeline projects. They pointed to the $2 billion SunZia project between New Mexico and Arizona as one example.
Despite Republican opposition to Department of Energy backing for green energy projects, a number of GOP governors are lobbying strongly to get electric car maker Tesla to build its battery ‘gigafactory’ in their states, presumably bringing thousands of jobs with it, National Journal reports.
Three Atlantic Ocean areas off North Carolina will be made available for offshore wind energy development, the Interior Department announced Monday, including one that was placed farther out to sea to avoid being seen from Kitty Hawk and from another historic site on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The areas to be open to leasing total nearly 308,000 acres: the 122,405-acre Kitty Hawk area situated 24 miles off the coast, and two others located 10 and 15 miles off Wilmington, respectively, near the border with South Carolina.
The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council has given unanimous approval for a proposal to build what could be the largest land-based wind farm in the country -– Power Company of Wyoming’s Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project -- which would have up to 1,000 turbines generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.
Because publicly-funded transmission lines have brought the cost of wind-generated power down, Austin Energy is charging only 1 cent per kilowatt hour extra to customers who want to use the GreenChoice program and get their electricity from wind sources, StateImpact Texas reports.
SolarCity Corp. is sticking with its strategy of installing more rooftop solar despite the cost: The company said in the second quarter it added 107 megawatts but its loss increased to $47.7 million, Bloomberg reports.
Thirty two projects to reduce geothermal energy costs – including research and development as well as mapping – will get up to $18 million from the Department of Energy, geothermal technology office chief Doug Hollett announced Wednesday, The Hill reports.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – having agreed that an original proposal of 10 cents a kilowatt-hour was too low -- is expected to decide Thursday how much Xcel energy will have to pay for electricity generated by community solar gardens, E&E reports.
Analysts were speculating on whether the bear market in oil has found its floor, as prices increased early Wednesday on expectation data would show that gasoline stockpiles dropped last week. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery was up 22 cents to $82.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent gained 59 cents to $86.81, Bloomberg reports.
Big mining companies like BHP Billiton are producing more metallurgical coal, hoping that their economies of scale will help them make a profit even though prices remain stubbornly low, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Some critics of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission praised departing chair Allison Macfarlane for her concerns about the safety of spent fuel, while the NRC itself refused to speculate on who might replace her after her exit in January, Politico reports.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, praised the partnership between Skyonic’s new carbon capture facility and Zachry Corp.’s neighboring cement plant as a model for the future, at Tuesday’s dedication ceremony for the Capitol SkyMine plant, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
More than 125,000 ads in 2014 Senate campaigns have the environment and climate change as their subjects, a record number that reflects the priorities of some of the wealthy donors who are paying for them, The New York Times reports.
If Democrats make a good showing on Election Day against Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, it would give them a boost toward winning the seat in two years’ time, National Journal reports.
Saying the bill had strong support from lawmakers and merely reinforces existing measures, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday signed legislation backing the power of auto dealers and preventing Tesla Motors from selling directly to consumers, The Washington Post reports.
Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Brussels Tuesday failed to produce a gas deal, but the issue remains on the table and EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger would like to see an agreement – which would secure gas supplies for Europe this winter -- signed next Wednesday, The New York Times reports.