HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers broke an impasse over energy policy on Tuesday, approving wind power regulations that end a moratorium on new turbines producing clean energy.
The legislature's Regulation Review Committee approved rules that require setbacks, address concerns over noise and shadows created by spinning turbine blades, stipulate how siting officials may measure the height of wind turbines and provide other technical details. For example, a wind power developer must submit a visual impact report that analyzes how each of the proposed wind turbines sites is visible along with any alternative locations.
The company behind the proposed $2 billion Rock Island Clean Line, the transmission line which would bring 3,500 megawatts of wind energy from Iowa to Illinois, claims the project could bring Chicago residents electricity savings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The Missouri Farm Bureau has filed with the state Public Utilities Commission opposing Clean Line Energy's application to be granted eminent domain status for a proposed route for its Grain Belt Express transmission line, which would bring wind-generated electricity from Kansas to Illinois, KQTV reports.
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."
A failure to lift the ban on crude exports could have a chilling effect on the U.S. oil boom, Rice University economist Kenneth Medlock told a panel in Washington Wednesday, painting a “train wreck” scenario where falling domestic crude prices could encourage drillers to go elsewhere, FuelFix reports.
Meeting voters in Iowa, Vice President Joe Biden wouldn’t divulge it when asked his opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline -- although he said he had given it to President Obama -- commenting that he’s learned “not to step on the president’s lines,” The Guardian reports.
Taking a stance against measures to fight global warming will be "extremely harmful" to Republican candidates when voters cast ballots in the general election for president in November, 2016, activist Al Gore told National Journal in an interview Wednesday.
The same set of factors weighing on oil in recent weeks – ample supply, weak demand projections and a strong dollar – moderated by renewed Libya fighting that affected oil production, saw prices edge down Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude dropped 21 cents to $94.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent slipped 7 cents to $98.90, Reuters reports.
Consol Energy and Noble Energy hope to raise more than $422 million on 20 million shares up for sale in an initial public offering for their firm Cone Midstream Partners, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, the Houston Business Journal reports.
George P. Bush is unlikely to have much trouble winning his race to become Texas land commissioner, which gives him control over the state’s oil and gas contracts and has been a jumping off point for those seeking higher office in the past, E&E reports.
Massachusetts is selling $350 million in green bonds this week, more than three times what the state sold last year, as it tries to cash in on interest in environmentally friendly investments, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In a non-binding vote last week, shareholders of Cheniere Energy said no to the company’s 2013 plans for executive compensation, including a package for CEO Charif Souki worth $142 million, according to documents filed with regulators Wednesday, FuelFix reports.
A task force report recommending against fossil fuel divestment for the University of California right now was backed by a regents committee Wednesday and is expected to gain the support of the full board Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.