U.S. Energy News

Recommendation on solar tariffs expected today

SOLAR: The U.S. International Trade Commission will make its recommendation on whether to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment today. (Reuters, NPR)

ALSO:
• NRG Energy will build a 3 MW solar facility for the pharmaceutical company McKesson at its distribution center in New Jersey. (Utility Dive)
• Thin-film panel manufacturer First Solar is booking a staggering number of shipments, as buyers anticipate it will be the only major U.S. supplier unaffected by an upcoming tariff decision. (Motley Fool)
• A gradual decoupling of PV monitoring software and hardware is paving the way for a new model of hardware-independent data aggregation. (Greentech Media)
• A Chicago-based company wants to build a 37-acre solar-plus-storage facility that could provide over 40 percent of energy for the Hawaiian island of Molokai. (Pacific Business News)
• At 56 megawatts, Oregon’s largest solar plant begins commercial operations and will sell its energy to an Apple data center. (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
• Two nonprofits are eyeing Minnesota in their efforts to expand solar bulk-buying programs aimed at reducing installation costs for consumers. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID:
• The head of Puerto Rico’s government-owned utility is canceling a contract for the rebuilding of the island’s power grid amid controversy over whether the small Montana firm that was hired received preferential treatment from the Trump administration. (Greentech Media, Vox)
• To ease spikes in power demand in California, a San Francisco-based startup sends customers text messages to cut their energy use and then passes along payments from grid operators. (InsideClimate News)

WIND: MidAmerican Energy is constructing a 170-turbine wind project in Iowa as it moves toward a goal of generating 100 percent of its electricity from wind. (WHO-TV)

TECHNOLOGY: A college campus in New York is testing a micro power market that prices power from small assets, and the results could be used to help homeowners sell electricity from rooftop solar panels to their neighbors. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR:
• Flexible nuclear generation technologies that are used in parts of Europe are unlikely to take off in the U.S. due to the country’s regulations and market structures, according to a leading expert in the field. (Greentech Media)
• A special committee of South Carolina lawmakers votes to draft legislation that would end the $37 million a month that electric customers are paying to the state’s utility for the Summer nuclear project that was abandoned in July. (Post and Courier)
• South Carolina’s House speaker calls for SCANA’s CEO to resign over his role in the Summer nuclear plant failure. (Post and Courier)

PIPELINES: Dominion Energy expects the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to receive all state permits from West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina by mid-December, despite opposition. (Natural Gas Intel)

COAL:
• Records show a safety manager at the site of a coal ash spill in Tennessee destroyed or altered evidence of dangerous levels of toxic chemicals. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• New Mexico’s largest electric provider is requesting proposals for 456 megawatts of power to replace two coal-fired units that are slated for closure. (Associated Press)
• Officials say there are more than 200 coal mining positions open in areas of Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. (WFIE)

POLITICS: EPA chief Scott Pruitt will announce a new policy to limit the presence of researchers who have received EPA research grants from serving on the agency’s Scientific Advisory Board – an unprecedented move that could change the scientific and technical advice that guides the agency. (Washington Post)

POLICY:
• U.S. Representative Tom Reed, a Republican from New York, says he urged fellow House lawmakers not to end tax credits for the wind and solar industry early. (Bloomberg)
• A federal proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power over other forms of electricity has created unusual alliances in Ohio among energy companies, state agencies and other groups that oppose the plan. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• The Trump administration’s effort to kill the Clean Power Plan “demonstrates sheer contempt for laws governing clean air,” says the editorial board at USA Today.
• Researchers say the shale boom created a new source of “large-scale, diffuse” hydrocarbon emissions “in areas generally without any air pollutant monitoring, making estimates of trends difficult.” (The Conversation)

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