U.S. Energy News

Trump’s reported request for tariffs could spell trouble for U.S. solar

SOLAR: President Trump reportedly asked his economic advisers to “bring me some tariffs,” which may be good news for two U.S. solar manufacturers who are petitioning the federal government for solar tariffs, but a “worrying sign” for the majority of the industry. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• The first utility-scale solar project on the Navajo Nation begins producing electricity in Arizona. (Associated Press)
• State efforts to change the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) are causing a stir in the U.S. solar market. (Greentech Media)

MICROGRIDS:
• A chain of supermarkets in the Houston area have successfully maintained power in the wake of Hurricane Harvey by using natural gas-powered microgrids. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• An Arizona utility builds a 63-megawatt microgrid on a rooftop in Phoenix. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: A wide-ranging agreement between American Electric Power in Ohio and several groups calls for multiple new clean energy investments, though consumer advocates are opposed because it would “lock-in subsidies for its power plants, subsidies for special interests, and various other charges.” (Columbus Dispatch)

GRID:
• A newly released Department of Energy study on the reliability of the U.S. electric grid could impact wholesale power markets, FERC and electric policy, according to power sector experts. (Utility Dive)
• The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is reopening public comments on the proposed routes for two high-voltage transmission lines in southwestern Idaho. (Associated Press)
• Hurricane Harvey is testing the resiliency of Texas’ electric grid, as utilities use smart meters to help identify power outages. (Greentech Media)
• PJM Interconnection publishes a white paper on how putting a price on carbon could be an efficient and cost-effective approach to making decisions about clean energy or keeping a legacy power plant online. (Utility Dive)

SUSTAINABILITY: An environmental camp in Northern Minnesota faces the challenges of having new facilities certified under rigorous net-zero building standards. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL & GAS: Hurricane Harvey has caused the temporary shutdown of key oil and gas facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast, as “unbearable” petrochemical smells drift into Houston. (Associated Press, New Republic)

PIPELINES:
• Ohio residents will continue to fight the planned NEXUS gas pipeline despite construction approval by federal regulators. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• North Dakota regulators meet behind closed doors to consider a counter-proposal made by the Dakota Access developer to settle multiple issues around the construction of the pipeline. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A federal judge allows industry trade groups to weigh in on whether the Dakota Access pipeline should be shut down while an environmental review is conducted. (Associated Press)

COAL:
Coal surpassed gas as the largest fuel source on the grid during the first half of 2017, supplying about 30 percent of the country’s power, according to government data. (Utility Dive)
• West Virginia regulators cited and fined a coal mine operator for the death of a worker at an underground operation in May. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
A radio show takes a closer look at how strip-mining affects health following a decision by the Trump administration to end a federal study on the subject in Appalachia. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• North Carolina residents who live near a Duke Energy coal ash pond say the utility’s offer of a $5,000 payment that comes with its water-supply efforts is “deceptive.” (Progressive Pulse)

NUCLEAR:
• Arizona’s largest utility says it won’t agree to store nuclear waste from California’s shuttered San Onofre Generating Station in San Diego. (Arizona Republic)
• Electricity generated from renewable and nuclear power sources are statistically even, but a research group says canceled nuclear projects in South Carolina may mean a growing gap between renewable and nuclear energy could accelerate even more quickly in the coming years. (Eco Watch, Solar Industry Magazine)

CLIMATE: Climate change may have exacerbated the conditions that led to Hurricane Harvey. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• President Trump’s push to boost oil and gas production on public lands is misguided, unnecessary and likely to damage natural resources that millions of Americans enjoy, says a research scholar at Yale. (New York Times)
• A climate advocate says the Trump administration is ignoring facts about the coal industry’s decline as the president continues to promise its revival. (Time)

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