Proposed rate changes for American Electric Power’s Ohio utility customers could unduly burden the grid by discouraging energy efficiency and distributed generation, according to critics.
Releases of more than two million gallons of drilling mud triggered federal and state agency actions against the developer of Ohio’s Rover Pipeline this month, and advocates suggest those incidents may be part of a bigger problem in the rush to develop Ohio’s shale oil and gas.
As pro-science demonstrations continue this weekend in Washington D.C., advocates want to emphasize that the issue is not just academic.
Advocates pushing to expand electric vehicle adoption across the Midwest are “a little disappointed” in the selection of U.S. cities to receive funding for EV infrastructure under last year’s Volkswagen settlement.
The Paris Climate Agreement could well remain intact despite the Trump administration’s earlier statements and actions on the Clean Power Plan, according to the lead climate lawyer who worked on the deal.
States across the Midwest are updating their interconnection rules for solar customers, a process likely to cut the time and money required to establish a connection to the grid. In addition, the new standards will equip utilities to efficiently process solar applications as their numbers likely escalate in coming years, according to an attorney who worked on revisions recently approved by the Iowa Utilities Board. Updated and improved interconnection standards are “a critical part of moving distributed generation ahead. And having clear, fair and efficient interconnection rules is critical to enabling a healthy distributed generation market,” said Sky Stanfield, an attorney who was involved in negotiating the new standards. The costs of interconnection are among the “soft costs” of solar installation that have not fallen along with the hardware costs of solar panels in recent years.
A bill to subsidize FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants presents potential conflicts under Ohio and federal law.
Regardless of how regulators resolve their investigation into an April 2 earthquake in southeastern Ohio, drilling and well operators in the area will almost certainly need to do more careful monitoring and reporting in the future, now that there’s a known seismic risk. “Any time an earthquake occurs, that’s an indication that there’s a fault there,” said geologist Michael Brudzinski at Miami University in Oxford. The magnitude 3.0 quake on April 2 took place at 7:58 a.m. in the Marietta unit of Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. “We hadn’t really seen [an earthquake] in the area where this one occurred” in April, with the exception of the two events of magnitudes of 2.3 and 1.8 on December 12, 2016, Brudzinski noted. Nearby oil and gas activities are on hold pending further investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Advocates want to know why Ohio utilities paid average prices that were about 70 percent more for each renewable energy credit than competitive suppliers spent in 2015.
A recent order by President Trump has put the Ohio Attorney General’s office in the unusual position of siding with the U.S. EPA.