U.S. Energy News

FERC rejects DOE plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants

POLICY: Federal regulators reject a Trump administration plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants, saying there’s is no evidence it will make the electric grid more reliable. (Greentech Media)

POLITICS: A Trump administration proposal to expand offshore drilling will likely be an important issue in Florida’s upcoming elections. (Washington Post)

MICROGRIDS: Puerto Rico energy regulators propose rules for future microgrid installations on the island. (Greentech Media)

GRID:
• The U.S. Forest Service will allow 11 miles of transmission lines to be buried in a national forest in New Hampshire. (Associated Press)
• Proposed cross-border power lines between Texas, Mexico and other states could place the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – which is currently independent from federal regulation – under FERC jurisdiction. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Ohio-based American Electric Power forgot to notify the public about hearings on its latest case that will set rates and rider fees through 2024 for its customers, adding an element of uncertainty to the proposal. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• An unnamed international solar manufacturer is negotiating $54 million in state and local incentives to establish a U.S. headquarters and manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, Florida. (Daily Record)
• Advocates in Michigan say state regulators are moving too quickly to redesign net metering for solar customers, saying it hasn’t been determined whether such customers provide net benefits to the grid. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES:
• A solicitation from Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy generated “incredible” record low prices for solar- and wind-plus-storage, with median bids of $36 per megawatt-hour and $21 per megawatt-hour, respectively. (Greentech Media)
• How blockchain technologies like Bitcoin could help homeowners sell renewable electricity to their neighbors. (The Conversation)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A China-based startup unveils a “next-generation” electric SUV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Greentech Media)

COAL:
• FERC predicts more than 20 gigawatts of coal capacity will retire by 2020, while more than 92 gigawatts of new gas-fired generation will be added, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)
• The Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal from coal giant Murray Energy, which sought to require the EPA to produce regular jobs reports on the coal industry. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• During a hearing on Colorado’s oil and gas regulations, speakers insist the state should create a map of all underground pipelines after a deadly home explosion last spring. (Denver Business Journal)
• Some provisions in the new U.S. tax plan could prove harmful to oil drillers, such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron. (Bloomberg)
• Researchers at the University of Houston are working on a predictive model to prevent accidents like the BP oil spill. (Houston Chronicle)

NUCLEAR:
• 
As part of its proposal to buy South Carolina utility SCANA, Dominion Energy said it would refund customers $1.3 billion, but ratepayers might have already been entitled to most of that money. (Post and Courier)
• Dominion Energy’s plan to buy SCANA in the wake of its failed Summer nuclear project is being criticized by environmental groups. (Aiken Standard)
• SCANA asks a judge to dismiss five class-action lawsuits filed by ratepayers over the company’s handling of the Summer project. (Post and Courier)

CLIMATE: Environmentalists aren’t convinced that Pittsburgh’s climate action plan will work. (CityLab)

COMMENTARY: With a leadership vacuum at the federal level, it’s up to local governments to adopt aggressive policies that will help combat climate change, says the mayor of West Hollywood, California, and a city council member of Cambridge, Massachusetts. (The Hill)

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