Key decision expected today on solar tariffs

SOLAR:
• The International Trade Commission is expected to decide today whether two solar companies were harmed by foreign competition, which could lead to recommendations for tariffs. (Associated Press)
• Solar companies are concerned about major job losses if tariffs are imposed. (BBC News)
• Free-trade deals with South Korea, Mexico and other countries could dampen the impact of potential tariffs. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: The Colorado Springs utility board commits to 100 MW of new solar after a meeting that included a theatrical performance by advocates. (Colorado Springs Independent)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Mercedes will produce electric SUVs at an Alabama plant as part of a $1 billion expansion. (Birmingham Business Journal)

GRID: How Puerto Rico’s dependence on fossil fuels contributed to a massive power outage following Hurricane Maria.

Two California cities sue oil companies for contributing to climate change

CLIMATE: San Francisco and Oakland, California, are suing five oil companies for their contributions to climate change, saying the companies should have to pay for infrastructure protecting the cities from sea level rise. (The Hill)

ALSO:
• Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham calls for a price on carbon at a climate change conference. (Time)
• North Carolina becomes the 15th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, as the group announces it is on track to meet Paris accord targets despite the Trump administration. (News & Observer, InsideClimate News)
• An analysis looks at how much the U.S. Climate Alliance can do to combat climate change without help from the federal government. (New York Times)

RENEWABLES: New York-based Citigroup Inc. announces plans to purchase or produce all of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Texas-based manufacturer Kimberly-Clark announces long-term power purchase agreements with two new wind farms in Texas and Oklahoma and says it should reach its emissions goals four years early.

Electric bus breaks record, driving 1,100 miles on a single charge

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric-bus startup Proterra sets a world record by driving an electric bus over 1,000 miles on a single charge. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• Colorado plans to spend $68.7 million from Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating settlement to replace fleets of trucks and buses with new alternative-fuel vehicles and pay for electric vehicle charging stations. (Denver Post)
• A group of large corporations has launched a campaign to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, hoping to send a signal to automakers that there is mass demand for EVs before 2030. (InsideClimate News)

SOLAR:
• Insiders believe the International Trade Commission is likely to find that U.S. solar cell manufacturers were harmed by imported modules, handing “the fate of the U.S. solar industry” to President Trump. (Utility Dive)
• Wall Street lender SQN Capital Management is funding Suniva’s trade case seeking solar tariffs and says it is “protecting the solar industry.”

Report: Prices for utility-scale solar fell 30 percent in first quarter

SOLAR: Prices for utility-scale solar dropped about 30 percent over the last year, mostly due to a mismatch between supply and demand in China, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• A report finds that interest in solar is up in all 50 states, but customers feel there’s a lack of options where they live, and the financial benefits aren’t drastic enough to persuade them to buy. (Greentech Media)
• Utah regulators are considering a proposal to grandfather current net-metering customers into the existing system through 2035. (Deseret News)

STORAGE: A detailed look at how California uses its utility-scale energy storage to integrate renewable resources. (Utility Dive)

WIND: The Alphabet-owned wind power startup Makani says it plans to test an airborne plane with wind turbines next year in Hawaii.

Court orders climate impact analysis for Wyoming coal mines

COAL: In a win for environmentalists, a federal appeals court says the Interior Department failed to factor in climate impacts when extending four gigantic coal leases in Wyoming. (Associated Press, InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
• All three of West Virginia’s House representatives voted for a failed amendment to cut positions and funding at the Mine Safety Health Administration, sparking public criticism from Sen. Joe Manchin. (Metro News)
• Coal industry executives are planning to gather at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., for a private conference with administration staff. (The Hill)
• Attorneys for former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship made their last pitch to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of his conviction related to the Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry disagrees with a Trump administration proposal to sell off portions of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saying recent hurricanes show why the country needs an emergency crude oil supply.

EPA will reconsider Obama-era rule on coal ash waste

COAL:
• In a win for utility industry groups, the EPA is “granting petitions to reconsider specific provisions” of a rule regulating coal ash waste from power plants. (Reuters)
• The CEO of Mississippi Power Co. defends the failed Kemper “clean coal” plant, saying if money was “unlimited, I think we would have gotten there.” (Meridian Star)

OIL & GAS:
• Massive oil tanks in Oklahoma weren’t designed to withstand new seismic activity caused by fracking in the area, and it’s posing a threat to a small town that’s home to the world’s largest store of oil. (Politico)
• Development of natural gas plants across Ohio represent $10 billion in investment in new capacity that will also ratchet up the pressure on aging coal and nuclear plants in the region. (E&E News)
• A U.S. senator and North Dakota oil drillers want a new assessment on the amount of recoverable oil in the state, saying it would likely show stronger production potential and attract investment.

EPA delays rule limiting water pollution from coal-fired plants

REGULATION:
• In a blow to environmental groups, the EPA will delay compliance for an Obama-era rule limiting toxic water pollution from coal-fired power plants by two years, “while the agency revisits some of the rule’s requirements.” (Reuters, The Hill)
• House lawmakers vote to block the implementation of an Obama-era rule designed to limit methane emissions from new oil and gas drilling sites. (The Hill)

COAL: The owner of a Montana coal mine says over 80 miners could be laid off after a district judge blocked an expansion project. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• The effects of Hurricane Harvey could soon evaporate the world’s glut of gasoline and other fuels, according to a monthly report by the International Energy Agency. (Houston Chronicle)
• Oil tankers are streaming into Florida’s ports to meet the gasoline spike as Hurricane Irma evacuees return to the state. (News Service of Florida)

FRACKING: A commission votes to begin the lengthy process of banning drilling and fracking near the Delaware River and its tributaries.

Obama-era SunShot Initiative reaches price goal for utility-scale solar

SOLAR: The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, started under President Obama, has reached its goal of reducing the price of utility-scale solar to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour three years ahead of schedule, prompting the Trump administration to set a new goal of 3 cents by 2030. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• Executives at an annual solar conference rip apart Suniva and SolarWorld for filing a petition calling for tariffs on imported solar panels, describing both companies as incompetent, untrustworthy and deceitful. (Greentech Media)
• Supplies of solar panels are being disrupted — and projects are being put on hold — amid the looming threat of a tariff on imported panels. (Bloomberg)
• A public charter school in Hawaii installs a 267-kilowatt solar system, which is expected to save $1.2 million over the next 20 years. (Pacific Business News)
• Young West Virginians are finding new opportunities in the solar industry. (PRI)

CLEAN ENERGY: Recent legislation and private investments suggest that the clean energy workforce in Illinois will continue to grow.

Trump administration halts new pollution controls at Utah coal-fired plants

COAL: An appeals court agrees to a Trump administration request to halt new pollution controls at Utah’s oldest coal-fired power plants, reversing Obama-era rules aimed at reducing haze near national parks. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: A pressure buildup forced a California utility to shut down a third of the wells at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which recently reopened following the largest-known methane leak in U.S. history. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Commerce says a new oil pipeline across the northern part of the state is not needed and that the aging Line 3 it’s supposed to replace should be shut down. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

UTILITIES:
• A California utility and clean energy advocates are about to square off over plans to build a 262-megawatt natural gas plant, with a hearing scheduled this week to discuss what a solar-plus-storage alternative may cost. (Utility Dive)
• Repairing damage to the power grid from Hurricane Irma is poised to be “one of the largest industry restoration efforts in U.S. history.” (Greentech Media)
• Florida Power & Light on Monday began responding to power outages across the state as the White House urged patience, saying power could be out for weeks.

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.