U.S. Energy News

Texas wind power capacity surpasses coal

WIND: Texas wind power capacity has surpassed coal to become the second-largest electricity source in the state, with more than 20,000 megawatts installed. (Houston Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• With abundant sunshine and cheap vacant land, rural Arizona has become a prime location for utility co-ops to invest in solar power. (Arizona Republic)
• Groups are ramping up efforts to bring solar power to Puerto Rico, but cost and logistical barriers remain. (WNYC)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Buying an electric car is unrealistic for most California residents without a garage, but a surge of new charging infrastructure could make an impact. (San Francisco Chronicle)

COAL ASH:
• The North Carolina Utilities Commission has started its hearings to decide whether Duke Energy will be allowed to charge consumers billions of dollars for the full cost of its coal ash cleanup. (Associated Press)
• Duke Energy says charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up its coal ash is like tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of tires. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: In an effort to boost profits, oil companies are looking at more efficient ways to drill shale wells by adapting technologies typically used for highly automated offshore operations. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• TransCanada plans to restart the Keystone pipeline today at reduced pressure, nearly two weeks after it leaked 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota. (Reuters)
• The Keystone pipeline has “leaked substantially more oil, and more often,” than the developer initially claimed in risk assessments when it came online in 2010. (Reuters)
• The state of Michigan and Enbridge agree to develop a safety plan for twin pipelines beneath the channel where lakes Huron and Michigan converge, which includes possibly shutting down the lines or routing them through a tunnel. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is preparing to issue new rules for decommissioning nuclear power reactors, which would cover emergency preparedness, security, training requirements and more. (Utility Dive)
• Engineers at Purdue University in Indiana are developing a way to monitor cracks in nuclear reactors using artificial intelligence. (Futurism)

REGULATION: Two new FERC regulators could be sworn in as early as this week. (Utility Dive)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• The EPA holds its first of two hearings today in West Virginia on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, with 220 speakers scheduled to speak. (Reuters)
Experts say the EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan is unlikely to fuel a major resurgence in West Virginia’s troubled coal industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

EPA: How EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is working to change the culture of the agency. (USA Today)

UTILITIES:
• A Colorado electric utility will return $8.4 million to more than 150,000 customers after its wholesale power costs came in lower than projected. (Denver Post)
• An Israeli software developer that deploys analytics, smart grid management and distributed energy resource management systems says it’s planning to announce two new U.S. utility contracts in the coming weeks. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• California’s sweeping effort to promote electrical vehicle adoption is helping the rest of the U.S. figure out what works, says the editorial board at Bloomberg.
• The director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign says there doesn’t have to be a choice between healthy communities and good jobs because the Clean Power Plan creates a path for both. (The Hill)

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