U.S. Renewable Electricty Generation Surpasses Coal for the First Time: EIA

In April 2019, U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time based on data in EIA’s Electric Power Monthly. Renewables, which include utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, provided 23 percent of the total electricity generation while coal provided 20. According to the agency, the milestone was helped by…

Illinois Passes Bill Allowing One-Year Extension for Supply of Renewable Credits From New Projects

Illinois lawmakers approved a measure that allows a one-year extension of the date by which the Illinois Power Agency is required to deliver renewable energy credits from new utility-scale wind and solar projects acquired through long-term contracts. The bill sets a June 1, 2022 deadline for the agency to begin supplying credits. Current law directs…

Duke Indiana Plans for 1.6 Gigawatts of Solar While Shutting Down 4 Gigawatts of Coal

Duke Energy Indiana LLC issued a proposal for its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) calling for 2,840 megawatts of new natural gas capacity, 700 megawatts of wind and 1,650 megawatts of solar power, while accelerating the retirement of over 4 gigawatts of coal generation capacity over the next 7 to 19 years, according to a June…

Massachusetts Clears Contracts to Import Canadian Hydro Over $1 Billion Power Line

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on June 25 approved 20-year contracts between Hydro-Québec and the state’s electric distribution companies Unitil Corp., National Grid plc, and Eversource Energy to acquire Canadian hydropower to help the state achieve its clean energy goals. The power will be delivered into New England over a $1 billion transmission line…

Illinois Regulators Force NRG Subsidiary to Retire 2 Gigawatts of Coal Following Stricter Pollution Controls

The Illinois Pollution Control Board issued an amended decision directing Vistra Energy to retire 2 gigawatts of coal generation by the end of the year to comply with new emission caps, according to a June 20 order. Democratic Governor Jay Pritzker’s administration made changes to the Multi-Pollutant Standard or MPS, the state’s signature air pollution regulation,…

Minnesota Agencies Delay Permits for Enbridge’s $2.9 Billion Oil Pipeline, Await Revised Environmental Review

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources said they may not take final action on Enbridge Inc.’s permit applications for its Line 3 replacement project until the deficiency in the environmental review of the proposed oil pipeline is addressed, according to a June 18 news release. The announcement follows a recent ruling…

EPA Finalizes Rollback of Obama-Era Power Plant Emission Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 19 finalized its long-awaited carbon emission rules for the nation’s power sector, replacing more stringent Obama-era restrictions. The agency described the “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” as an effort to provide existing coal power plants with “achievable and realistic standards” to cut emissions. The rule allows states the flexibility to…

FERC’s McNamee Highlights Agency’s Role in Ramping Up Gas Project Approvals

FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee said the agency approved four LNG export projects in the span of three months, following a two-year drought of facility authorizations, FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee said the agency approved four LNG export projects in the span of three months, following a two-year drought of facility authorizations, according to testimony filed June 12…

Court Finalizes $2.2 Billion SCE&G Ratepayer Settlement

The Court of Common Pleas in Hampton County on June 11 finalized a settlement in a class action lawsuit over the costs that South Carolina Electric & Gas Company’s electric ratepayers have incurred towards the abandoned VC Summer nuclear power project. The settlement includes a $115 million cash component, an estimated $60 million to $85…

Progressive Cap-and-Trade Climate Policy Moves Closer to Final Vote in Oregon

Legislation creating an ambitious cap-and-trade program in Oregon cleared a key committee on June 12 and is scheduled for a House vote on Monday. If passed, the bill would make Oregon the second state after California to adopt the market-based approach to slashing greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Democrats currently hold a trifecta in…

Maine Governor Signs Bill Forming Post to Investigate Alternatives to Building Power Lines

Democratic Governor Janet Mills signed legislation on June 14 establishing the position of a “nonwires alternative coordinator” to investigate and identify alternatives to proposed transmission projects, and evaluate the costs and benefits of nonwire alternatives compared to utility capital investments in the transmission and distribution system. Nonwire alternatives refer to infrastructure, technology, or application that…

Magnolia LNG Project Seeks Production Boost from FERC as Demand for Supercooled Gas Grows

Magnolia LNG LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LNGL, submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to boost liquefied natural gas production capacity at its proposed Magnolia LNG export terminal in Louisiana, according to a June 7 notice. The company wants to expand the production capacity of the project from the currently approved 8 million…