Renewable Energy

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

Electric vehicle, fuel efficiency projects to get $55M from DOE

The Hill

The Department of Energy announced it is giving $55 million to 31 projects aimed at improving fuel efficiency and boosting electric vehicles, in particular the development of new battery technology, The Hill reports.

Wind farm backers write to Mikulski


A group of 21 environmental and clean energy groups have sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., asking her to remove language from a defense appropriations bill that would delay construction of a Pioneer Green Energy wind farm in the Chesapeake Bay area over fears it would interfere with operations at the nearby Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Gannett’s DelmarvaNow reports.

NRG picks up mobile solar startup

The New York Times

Furthering the goal of energizing people “wherever they are,” according to CEO David Crane, NRG Energy has acquired the mobile solar startup Goal Zero for an undisclosed amount of cash, The New York Times reports.


EIA: Gas prices will drop through December

The Energy Department's statistics wing on Tuesday offered drivers who have enjoyed declining gasoline prices more good news: The pain at the pump should continue to lessen.

In its monthly short term energy outlook, the Energy Information Administration said the prime driver of gasoline costs, crude oil prices, should remain steady for the rest of the year despite record U.S. refinery demand.

California could waive regs to get Tesla battery factory

Los Angeles Times

California – competing against Nevada, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico to be chosen as the site for Tesla Motors’ battery gigafactory – could waive some of its toughest environmental regulations as an incentive, according to state Sen. Ted Gaines, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fate of wind PTC remains uncertain in Congress


Efforts to renew the expired wind production tax credit have stalled in the Senate logjam so far this year, and any future push to revive it may depend on the outcome of the November elections, in particular whether Republicans win control of the Senate, E&E reports.

Living roofs take root in wine country

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — It's a warm day in the Napa Valley and the summer sun that turns the region's plump grapes into prized cabernet sauvignon is beating down on the Odette Estate winery.

But inside the winery's production facility, temperatures are pleasant — with nary a whisper of air conditioning.

The reason is Odette Estate's innovative roof, which combines 8,500 square feet of planted, living roof with 2,500 square feet of solar panels.

Top federal officials discuss energy development

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.

Republicans court Tesla, ‘gigafactory’ jobs

National Journal

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.


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