Renewable Energy

Controversy brewing in Maine over utility's fee for renewable customers

Source: 
Bangor Daily News

Central Maine Power's plan to charge a standby fee to customers who generate some of their own electricity through renewable sources has stirred opposition, from educational institutions like Bowdoin College to property developers and even the state's governor, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Both sides claim victory in Cape Wind ruling

Source: 
Boston Herald

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton has ruled that two federal agencies violated the Endangered Species Act by the manner in which they reviewed the environmental impact of the Cape Wind project, but despite ordering new studies, Walton has let stand the Interior Department decision to grant a permit for the offshore wind farm, the Boston Herald reports.

Boom in eco-friendly cars increasing graphite pollution in China

Source: 
Bloomberg

Air and water pollution from graphite mining is an increasing problem in China as it scrambles to supply the mineral that's a key component to the batteries used in clean energy cars, Bloomberg reports.

Atlantic City-area officials back offshore wind farm

Source: 
The News Journal

An offshore wind farm proposed by Fishermen's Energy has gotten backing from local government officials and businesses in Atlantic City although the N.J. Board of Public Utilities hasn't given it the nod yet, The News Journal reports from Delaware.

Maine judge overturns DEP chief's wind decision

Source: 
Portland Press Herald

A Maine judge has overturned the state environmental chief's regulatory decision regarding noise violations at a wind farm, saying that Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho's involvement "directly benefited a client of her former employer," the Portland Press Herald reports.

Solar tax credit expansion passes Iowa Senate committee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Solar energy would get a big boost in Iowa if a bill passed Thursday in a Senate committee becomes law.

The bill, approved by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would increase the annual cap for solar tax credits to $4.5 million from the current $1.5 million. It also would allow individual homeowners to get up to $5,000 in credits, up from the existing $3,000 cap, and businesses to qualify for $20,000 in credits, up from $15,000.

Vt. Senate backs bill to expand home-grown energy by raising net metering cap

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.

Solar growth sharpening debate over pricing

Source: 
E&E

Arguments are growing more heated about how utilities will be handling solar power, with Minnesota's 'value-of-solar tariff,' an alternative to net metering, coming under scrutiny in testimony this week, E&E reports.

Plug Power sees more orders, lower production costs, nearing profit in 2014

Source: 
Bloomberg

Fuel cell system maker Plug Power Inc. expects orders will nearly quadruple this year and CEO Andy Marsh said the company could see a profit in 2014 excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Bloomberg reports.

Va. seeks to smooth way for offshore wind energy

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The state is teaming up with Dominion Virginia Power in a research project that is intended to smooth the way for the development of an offshore wind industry.

The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advance Project proposes putting two 6-megawatt wind turbines on platforms designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. The turbines would be located 24 nautical miles (27 statute miles) off Virginia Beach.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday it is seeking written public comment on the project as it prepares an environmental assessment. It scheduled a meeting for April 3 in Virginia Beach for the public to speak out on the proposal.

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