U.S. Energy News

Forecast: Residential solar growth to fall by 3 percent in 2017

SOLAR:
• Residential solar growth is predicted to decline for the first time in 2017, with a 3 percent drop. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• An unnamed Trump administration official says the president is 90 percent likely to agree to tariffs on solar-energy imports if the International Trade Commission recommends them. (Axios)
• The U.S. solar industry installed nearly 2,400 megawatts in the second quarter this year, representing the largest total in a second quarter to date. (Solar Industry Magazine)

WIND: A draft U.S. Department of Energy report shows mainly minor or negligible short-term impacts from a plan to construct and operate six wind turbines in Lake Erie. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Washington will spend $1 million to build 15 electric vehicle charging stations on some of the state’s busiest highways, with funding help from annual EV registration fees. (Associated Press)

GRID:
• Power has been knocked out for at least 4.5 million customers in Florida and some people may go without power for weeks as parts of the grid may need to be rebuilt “from the ground up.” (Bloomberg)
• Hurricane Irma tests $3 billion worth of power grid upgrades that Florida Power & Light made in recent years. (Bloomberg)

REGULATION: The Energy Department’s new grid study dominated the nomination hearing for two FERC regulators last week, but candidates didn’t give much indication of how they would use the study’s recommendations to shape policy-making. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Regulators and Mississippi Power Co. again failed to agree on what customers should pay following the suspension of the Kemper “clean coal” plant. (Associated Press)

COAL: The U.S. Forest Service approves the expansion of a Colorado coal mine, saying the benefits of expansion outweigh any environmental threat. (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

PIPELINES:
• An American-owned pipeline project in Canada is turning into the next Standing Rock, and climate activists in the U.S. are raising funds to support lawsuits to block the project. (New Republic, Common Dreams)
• Regulators in West Virginia rescind their certification that the Mountain Valley Pipeline would not violate the state’s water quality standards. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Developers of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline request that FERC approves the project this month. (Virginian-Pilot)
• Opponents begin a national campaign to protest the company developing the Dakota Access pipeline. (Bismarck Tribune)

OIL & GAS:
• New Mexico lawmakers send a letter asking federal officials to maintain a 10-mile buffer zone that limits drilling near a national park, saying it “contains ancient Puebloan roads, kivas, sacred sites, artifacts and great mysteries.” (Associated Press)
• The Trump administration is poised to decide on whether to allow five survey companies to begin seismic testing for oil off the Atlantic coast. (Tribune News Service)

POLLUTION:
• Thousands of homes in Houston were submerged in water that may have been tainted with a cancer-causing chemical used to process crude oil. (Tribune News Service)
• Over two dozen storage tanks holding crude oil, gasoline and other contaminants along the Texas coast failed during Hurricane Harvey, spilling at least 145,000 gallons of fuel. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission sent additional inspectors to the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants in Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which poses the toughest test yet for U.S. nuclear power plants. (Reuters)
• Newly obtained documents show South Carolina’s now-failed Summer nuclear project would have required millions of hours of additional work and billions more in funding. (Post and Courier)
• Some South Carolina legislators say state-owned Santee Cooper should have disclosed the troubles over the years at the failing Summer nuclear construction project. (The State)

CLIMATE:
• Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration has done little over the years to prepare for the effects of climate change, despite Florida being one of the most vulnerable states to rising sea levels. (Washington Post)
• Miami’s Republican mayor calls on the Trump administration to acknowledge the reality of climate change in the wake of Hurricane Irma, saying “if this isn’t climate change, I don’t know what is.” (Miami Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• Although Florida would rather ignore climate change, Hurricane Irma will change the course of Florida’s history, says a meteorologist and columnist for Rolling Stone.
• The Trump administration’s end of a federal study that looked at the health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining is one example of its war on science, says the New York Times editorial board.

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