New Mexico Regulator Urged to Investigate PNM’s 115-Megawatt Nuclear Power Purchase Plan

A 26-member coalition of consumer and environmental groups on April 22 asked the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to examine the ratepayer impacts of the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s planned purchase of its expiring leases of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Unit 1 and Unit 2 in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The…

Virginia Adopts Rule to Cut Power Plant Emissions by 30 Percent Over Next Decade

The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board on April 19 approved a regulation to lower and cap carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants with more than 25 megawatts of generation capacity, starting in 2020. The rule will set an initial cap of 28 million tons of carbon dioxide. The agency said that the measure…

FERC Issues Final Environmental Impact Study for Kinder Morgan’s Gulf LNG Export Terminal

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its final environmental report for the Gulf LNG liquefaction project, bringing it one step closer to federal approval. The study found that the proposal would result in some adverse environmental impacts, which would be reduced to less than significant levels. The project, proposed by Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company LLC,…

FERC Approves Two Major LNG Export Terminals as Global Demand Rises

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted authorization for Tellurian Inc.’s Driftwood LNG export project, a 27.6 million metric tons per year liquefaction facility in Louisiana, and the associated 96-mile pipeline connecting to the facility. The project is set to begin construction in 2019 and start operation in 2023. Port Arthur LNG LLC, a subsidiary…

New Jersey Regulator Approves $300 Million Annual Subsidy for Nuclear Power Plants

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on April 18 awarded zero emission credits to the Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants after determining that the facilities could close within three years due to financial distress. The subsidy program was established under legislation enacted last May to compensate the fuel diversity and zero-carbon attributes…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Coal, Nuclear-Heavy States Are Rushing to Renewables as Retirements Pile Up

Regions across the U.S. that have long served as strongholds for conventional, non-renewable generating capacity — from Georgia and Michigan to Tennessee — are now starting to accelerate the phase out of the legacy assets in favor of sourcing power from wind and solar, showing just how far-reaching the shift to renewables is spreading.

U.S. Energy Department to Invest $190 Million in Advanced Technologies to Bolster Coal-Fired Generation

The U.S. Energy Department on April 11 announced up to about $100 million for research projects under its “Coal FIRST” initiative, which aims to develop modular coal-based power plants built with advanced methods to meet the requirements of the evolving electric grid. The agency will also invest up to $87 million in innovative coal technologies…

Maine Regulator Clears Avangrid’s $1 Billion Hydropower Transmission Line

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on April 11 voted unanimously to grant a permit allowing Central Maine Power Company to move forward with its New England Clean Energy Connect transmission project, which is designed to deliver up to 1,200-megawatts of Canadian hydropower into the Northeast. The proposed 145-mile high-voltage power line would cross western Maine…

Trump’s Interior Pick, David Bernhardt, Confirmed by Senate

The U.S. Senate voted 56-41 on April 11 to confirm David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior. President Trump’s pick for the position has been acting secretary since Jan. 2, following Ryan Zinke’s resignation amid multiple ethics probes. He served as the department’s top lawyer under President George W. Bush and worked as a lobbyist for the…

Trump Signs Orders to Expedite Oil, Gas Pipeline Approvals

U.S. President Donald Trump signed two executive orders on April 10 aimed to speed up the federal process for cross-border energy infrastructure projects and restrict the role of states in the permitting process for siting pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. One order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to review a section of the Clean…

New York Grid Operator Selects $1.2 Billion Worth of Transmission Projects to Ease Congestion, Accommodate Renewables

The New York Independent System Operator Inc.’s board of directors selected two transmission projects, which would add the largest amount of capacity to the state’s power grid in over 30 years, according to an April 8 press release. The grid operator said that the aging and congested transmission infrastructure is not capable of accommodating the…

New Mexico Governor Signs Efficiency Bill Decoupling Energy Use From Utility Revenue

New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham has signed legislation on April 3, which amends the 2005 Efficient Use of Energy Act, creating better incentives for utilities to engage in energy efficiency and conservation by removing the economic incentive to sell more energy. The Efficient Use of Energy Act of 2005 allows electric and natural gas utilities to implement cost-effective energy…