Texas on track to build more than 7,000 megawatts of new wind projects in 2014, although not all will be completed, The Dallas Morning New reports, noting that interest has been boosted by the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone project.
A sharp drop in wind farm installations last year, followed by a surge of new construction heading into 2014, sprang from uncertainties surrounding the federal tax treatment of wind power, the American Wind Energy Association said Thursday.
Installations last year fell 92 percent and sector employment fell by 30,000 jobs because the renewable energy Production Tax Credit was not extended into 2013 until Jan. 2, as part of the fiscal cliff deal that included numerous short-term tax break renewals. AWEA said in its annual report, also issued Thursday, that the renewal "came too late to avoid damage to our industry."
The Dec. 31 deadline to qualify for the credit before it ran out again caused a huge surge in activity, however. Some 95 projects were underway with a capacity of more than 12,000 megawatts by year's end, nearly all of it starting in the fourth quarter.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. subsidiary of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced Thursday that it is buying a long-planned wind-energy project in eastern Illinois as part of the company's initiative to offset its energy use with renewable energy generation.
And IKEA insists the project, which has not yet been built, is more than public relations. The company believes that, long term, wind energy will help the company's bottom line, Chief Financial Officer Rob Olson said.
But right now wind power is a struggling business. Cheap natural gas and the end of a federal tax break for wind-power producers have left wind generation unprofitable.
After the Maine Supreme Court ruled against a joint venture between First Wind and Canadian firm Emera Inc., the state's Department of Environmental protection has asked the wind developer for fresh guarantees that it can fund the projects it has started, the Portland Press Herald reports.
Officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management got an earful about possible effects of offshore wind turbines on fishing, at a meeting Tuesday on Long Island to discuss possible lease sales for wind farms in the region, Newsday reports.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Martin O'Malley says he still has misgivings about a bill to set a 13-month moratorium on the development of tall wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in southern Maryland.
O'Malley wouldn't say Monday if he would veto legislation that has been sent to his desk. But the governor, who is a strong supporter of wind energy, says, "I have yet to conclude that windmills are quite the threat to Naval air radar that those advocating for this ban have concluded."
The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved an $85.3 billion tax breaks bill that would renew wind and other renewable energy incentives through 2015, although the measure's path to possible enactment remains uncertain.
The bill included the $13.3 billion extension of the renewable energy Production Tax Credit that was sought by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to support the domestic wind energy industry. It was sent by the committee to the Senate floor on a voice vote, where it faces a potentially long wait and then more challenges in the Republican-led House.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A public meeting is scheduled in Virginia Beach on offshore test turbines that could smooth the way for the development of wind farms 20-plus miles off the sandy beaches of the resort city.
The meeting Thursday is sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. It will focus on the environmental impacts of the wind turbines, which would be capable of producing 12 megawatts of wind energy.
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has requested a research lease for the turbines.
By visiting Taiwan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is breaking a promise the U.S. made to China, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said at a briefing, adding that Beijing has lodged a protest, Reuters reports.
West Texas Intermediate dipped Tuesday on predictions that U.S. inventories increased last week, with the contract for May delivery closing down 30 cents to $103.75 a barrel on the Nymex. In London, Brent fell 33 cents on the final day of the May contract, to $108.74, Bloomberg reports.
CEO Jeff Immelt still has the support of the board at General Electric, but people familiar with the company say discussions have begun about whether GE should pick a veteran executive as his successor, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Richard Li, the Hong Kong billionaire outbid in the sale of bankrupt Fisker Automotive, still stands to make more than $60 million on the company’s loan he bought at auction from the Energy Department last year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., facing a tough re-election battle, released a campaign ad in which she stresses her defense of the state’s oil industry and her power as the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as well as her differences with the Obama administration, The Hill reports.
Attorney General John Suthers considers Colorado to be ground zero in the debate over fracking, where voter initiatives against the drilling practice are multiplying even as the oil boom in the state intensifies, The Denver Post reports.