Renewable Energy

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee photo

Wyden tax breaks extension bill expected

The one potential energy bill that could win enactment this year is expected to emerge in draft form as soon as this week from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden.

Wyden, D-Ore., had not tipped his hand on the exact timing of the a package of business tax breaks extenders or renewals that he has said should include the renewable energy Production Tax Credit, a key support for the wind industry that expired in December.

McCarthy to ACORE: EPA backs renewables' innovation, job creation

Talk Radio News Service

Speaking to a conference sponsored by the American Council on Renewable Energy, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Friday that her agency will use its regulatory power to support innovation in the sector, and boost its capacity to create jobs, Talk Radio News Service reports.

Panasonic chief sees big risk in Musk's giant battery factory


Panasonic, which supplies most of the lithium-ion cells for Tesla's batteries, hasn't committed yet to Elon Musk's plans for a huge 'gigafactory' to make more of them, and President Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters the project represents a big investment risk, Bloomberg reports.

Texas wind power generates record 10,000 MW


Wednesday night saw Texas hit a new mark in generating wind power -- 10,000 megawatts -- which experts attribute to the new western transmission lines completed at a cost of $7 billion last December, FuelFix reports.

Feds close investigation of Tesla battery fires

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's auto safety watchdog has closed an investigation into Tesla electric car battery fires after the company said it would install more shields beneath the cars.

The shields, an aluminum bar, a titanium plate and another piece of aluminum, will supplement a quarter-inch-thick aluminum plate now on the Model S, the only model that Tesla now sells. They're designed to stop road debris from penetrating the car's battery pack.

SunPower hopes to sell 300 MW in systems from China plant


SunPower Corp. is hoping its factory in China, which could sell as much as 300 megawatts in solar systems this year, will eventually become an export hub, CEO Tom Werner told Bloomberg.

Maine Senate nixes bills to change wind power laws

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature has rejected two bills to change the state's wind energy laws aimed at ensuring projects benefit the state economically and don't hinder the beauty of the state's natural resources.

The Democratic-led Senate voted 21-14 on Thursday in favor of rejecting Republican Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to add that Maine wants to lower electricity prices and expand economic opportunities through wind power to its current megawatt targets.

Minnesota PUC: Xcel should go solar for more capacity

Star Tribune

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission decided to replace retiring coal power by ordering Xcel Energy to purchase a combination of solar and natural gas generation that will be supplied in part by $250 million in solar arrays built by Geronimo Energy, the Star Tribune reports.

Eyeing growing home market, NRG buys rooftop solar installer


NRG Energy Inc. says it has acquired Roof Diagnostics Solar Inc., a rooftop installer, part of a push to expand its business beyond grid-focused operations, Bloomberg reports.

Missouri route announced for transmission project

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A company that wants to build transmission lines to move wind energy from Kansas to Indiana has announced its proposed route through Missouri, but opponents say they'll continue the fight to keep the towers and lines away from their land.

Clean Line Energy Partners, based in Houston, hopes to begin construction as early as 2016 on its Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The company on Wednesday asked the Missouri Public Service Commission to approve the route through northern Missouri. No hearing date has been set.


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