U.S. Energy News

Survey: 80 percent of utilities are using or considering energy storage

STORAGE:
• More than 30 utilities deployed their first energy storage project last year, and 80 percent of surveyed utilities say they’re currently implementing or considering energy storage. (Greentech Media)
• Experts say we’re still several years away from having the structures in place to broadly finance the energy storage market. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• After years of downsizing, a solar manufacturing plant in Oregon is slated to permanently close, putting more than 90 people out of work. (Portland Business Journal)
• Hawaii regulators vote against a 5-megawatt solar farm on the island of Oahu, saying the proper documents were never filed. (Pacific Business News)
• Dominion Energy Virginia plans to offer residential and business customers the opportunity to use solar power through community-based solar facilities. (Solar Industry)

WIND:
• North Dakota regulators approve the final permit needed for a $375 million, 300-megawatt wind project. (Forum News Service)
• West Virginia’s Public Service Commission wants Appalachian Power to specify how much its plans to purchase two wind farms would affect customers’ electric bills. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

EFFICIENCY: As Ameren seeks to lower its energy efficiency targets under Illinios’ new energy law, the utility is framing the debate as a civil rights and economic justice issue, arguing that lower targets would support low-income programs. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Jaguar Land Rover announces that all of its new vehicles will have a fully electric or hybrid option starting in 2020, while BMW says it will offer 12 fully electric cars by 2025. (Quartz, Reuters)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Federal officials are expected to finalize a review of the Clean Power Plan ordered by President Trump this fall, according to a court filing by the EPA. (The Hill)

POLLUTION: Oil giants ExxonMobil and Valero leaked a cancer-causing chemical into the air over Houston during Hurricane Harvey, and both companies recently lobbied against an EPA rule to more strictly regulate the toxin. (International Business Times)

FRACKING: Regulators could vote as early as next week to permanently ban fracking near the Delaware River. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A retired Virginia coal miner fought for 14 years to get his black lung benefits, and his story is not unique. (InsideClimate News)
• A troubled coal-fired power plant in Alaska is expected to be operational next year, according to the plant’s owners. (Associated Press)
• The mayor of Gillette, Wyoming, wants President Trump to use his power to help her state, which produces nearly four times as much coal as West Virginia. (OZY)

HURRICANE IRMA:
• As Florida Power & Light prepares for Hurricane Irma, it anticipates that much of the grid may have to be rebuilt, with a spokesperson saying, “No grid is designed to be able to withstand a category 5 storm.” (WLRN)
• More than 1,800 stations in Florida metropolitan areas were without fuel late Thursday, as residents stock up on gasoline ahead of Hurricane Irma. (Bloomberg)
• The U.S. oil industry is preparing for Hurricane Irma, as Texas refiners and pipelines are still in the process of restoring operations after Hurricane Harvey. (Platts)

CLIMATE:
• In an interview, EPA chief Scott Pruitt says it’s “misplaced” to discuss climate change during Hurricane Irma. (CNN)
• The Senate Appropriations Committee votes to restore $10 million in funding for the United Nations’ climate change agency. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR:
• An analysis shows Georgia Power’s largest commercial customers have gotten breaks on surcharges to finance the Vogtle nuclear project worth hundreds of millions of dollars, while other customers have paid nearly 90 percent of the $1.9 billion collected so far. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Internal emails show SCANA’s CEO accused Toshiba of “financial malfeasance” and questioned its intent in completing South Carolina’s now-failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)

COMMENTARY:
• The Department of Energy’s recent grid study is generally fact-based and well-researched, but it fails to highlight the opportunity presented by clean energy innovation, says a manager at Rocky Mountain Institute. (Utility Dive)
• Hurricanes Irma and Harvey are obvious effects of climate change, and we need sensible policies to protect our citizens from more impacts to come, according to three climate experts. (Washington Post)

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