U.S. Energy News

Feds scrap plan to delay Obama-era vehicle emissions rules

EMISSIONS: The Trump administration reverses course on an effort to delay Obama-era vehicle emissions rules following a lawsuit by eight states. (Washington Post)

CLIMATE: A majority of Americans polled say that global climate change contributed to the severity of recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas. (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• Troubled solar manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld file new trade remedy proposals as part of their petition for tariffs on imported solar equipment, lowering their tariff recommendation from 40 cents per watt to 25 cents for cells and 32 cents for modules. (Greentech Media)
• Cincinnati officials want to build the country’s largest municipal solar array, which would cover up to 150 acres of city property. (WLWT)
• Tampa Electric says it plans to add 6 million solar panels throughout west central Florida over the next four years, producing enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

STORAGE: New York City started overhauling its grid more than three years ago, but authorities still haven’t made major commitments to energy storage. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES:
• Power outages in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands are sparking interest in renewable energy microgrids, which experts say are more resilient than centralized power grids. (Washington Post)
• Grid operator MISO will conduct a multi-year evaluation of how increasing levels of renewables installed affect the grid. (RTO Insider)

BIOMASS: Xcel Energy’s plan to close two biomass plants in Minnesota, which together make up half of the state’s biomass generation, could be a turning point for the industry there, particularly as renewable energy prices drop. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The largest car-charging network in the U.S. introduces a “tap to pay” app for smart devices that can be used at charging stations. (Los Angeles Times)

GRID: A new group is pushing for “virtual transmission lines” that use distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar or battery storage, so electricity doesn’t need to be dispatched from elsewhere. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
• Four utilities – NextEra Energy, AES, Duke Energy and MidAmerican Energy – are investing billions on renewable energy power plants. (Motley Fool)
• Critics say a “basic customer charge” that Duke Energy is proposing to increase for North Carolina rate payers would harm low-income customers and discourage clean energy efforts. (Southeast Energy News)
• President Trump’s nominee to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which is the nation’s largest public utility, is still being paid by a coal company that sells to the utility. (Think Progress)

OIL & GAS:
• Over 60 percent of Texas oil executives say problems caused by Hurricane Harvey will be fixed within six months. (Houston Chronicle)
• A Pennsylvania-based company is developing a long-range drone with sensors that can inspect pipeline corridors for leaking methane. (Tribune-Review)

PIPELINES:
• The governor of Maine says he wants to build a natural gas pipeline from Quebec to help lower energy prices in the state, but some say the plan is unrealistic. (Portland Press Herald)
• Tests conducted following a fatal home explosion in Colorado found that 428 oil and gas pipelines near buildings failed to meet integrity standards. (Denver Post)
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer gives North Dakota $15 million to help cover the costs of law enforcement related to protests during construction. (Associated Press)

COAL: A citizens council in Wyoming says the state’s first proposed coal mine in decades must reconsider how mining will impact the land and local water supplies before receiving a permit. (Casper Star-Tribune)

NUCLEAR:
• A confidential internal analysis in 2011 outlined how Westinghouse didn’t have the staff or experience to manage the construction of nuclear reactors and predicted it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in its quest to do so. (Post and Courier)
• A new lawsuit alleges civil federal fraud against SCANA and its three top executives, saying they led a “deliberate misinformation campaign” to boost stock prices for the now-failed Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. (The State)
• Two private equity firms are reportedly planning to bid to acquire Westinghouse. (Reuters)
• Local officials and employees at a southwest Michigan nuclear plant are “ecstatic” that it will continue operating until spring 2022 instead of closing next year. (MLive)

REGULATION: A new book by a retired Virginia professor says state lawmakers and regulators need more resources to counter the influence of large energy companies. (Southeast Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• A solar industry attorney covers five key things to know about the latest developments in the Suniva-SolarWorld trade case. (Renewable + Law)
• State politicians are starting to campaign on climate and energy policies, says a contributor to the Guardian.

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