EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Virginia Joins Top Tier of U.S. States Advancing Climate Action

Virginia has become the first state in the South to begin a clean energy transition with the passage of a sweeping energy bill that sets the state on the path to carbon-free power by 2050. The law replaces the voluntary renewable energy portfolio program with a mandatory standard, and paves the way for an enormous expansion of wind and solar power, energy storage, and energy efficiency.

Virginia Law Requires Regulators to Review Cost Recovery of Early Power Plant Retirements

Virginia lawmakers approved legislation on March 5 that requires the State Corporation Commission to determine the amortization period for the recovery of any costs associated with the early retirement of coal and natural gas generation. The commission is tasked with performing an independent analysis of economic factors pertaining to the operation of each electric utility’s…...

New York Selects 1.3 Gigawatts of Wind, Solar in Third Large-Scale Renewable Procurement

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 16 announced the selection of 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects totaling 1,278 megawatts in the state’s latest annual solicitation for large-scale renewable energy capacity. The awards, which represent $1 billion in state investment, include projects that offered bids 23 percent lower than those received three years…...

Mitsubishi Hitachi Wins Contract to Facilitate Transition of Utah Coal-Fired Facility to Hydrogen Power Plant

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems on March 10 announced a contract with Utah’s Intermountain Power Agency for the first advanced class gas turbines designed to facilitate the transition of a power plant in central Utah from coal, to natural gas and ultimately to renewable hydrogen fuel. The transition will begin in 2025, with a fuel mix…...

Indiana Lawmakers Pass Bill That Could Delay Coal Plant Closures

Indiana lawmakers approved legislation on March 10 that requires utilities to provide at least three years advance notice to the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission before retiring a legacy generation resource. A public utility may not retire otherwise transfer the ownership of a reliable capacity resource before May 2021 without receiving regulatory approval. The measure comes…...

Oregon Governor Orders Sweeping Climate Action Setting Sector-Specific Emissions Caps, Tougher Clean Fuel Targets

Democratic Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order on March 10, setting a goal for the state to achieve 45 percent emissions reductions by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. The order, which comes after the legislature failed to pass a cap-and-trade bill for the second year in a row, directs…...

Michigan Regulator Approves Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Utility Customers

The Michigan Public Service Commission on March 5 approved settlements expanding energy efficiency programs for low-income customers of Consumers Energy Co. and DTE Energy. The energy waste reduction, or EWR, program, which includes efforts to cut waste, improve efficiency, and lower energy use, have saved 1.5 million megawatt hours of electricity and 5 million cubic…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Building Electrification Comes to the Forefront as More U.S. Cities Ban Natural Gas Use

A growing number of cities across the U.S. are moving toward electrifying their building sectors and banning natural gas use. The Northern California city of Berkeley passed the first such ban, initiating a wave of similar ordinances as a means to reduce carbon emissions. The movement prompted Arizona to enact the first state law preventing local bans on natural gas, and several other states to introduce bills with similar language.

Virginia’s Landmark Zero-Carbon Bill Calls for 5.2 Gigawatts of Offshore Wind, 2.7 Gigawatts of Energy Storage

The final version of Virginia’s Clean Economy Act cleared the state’s House of Delegates and Senate on March 7, and now awaits Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s signature. The legislation codifies the 2050 clean energy goal that Governor Northam laid out in an executive order issued last September. The bill calls for more wind and solar…...

New Mexico Enacts Trio of Bills Supporting Renewable Energy Expansion

Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham signed a suite of bills on March 3 including legislation that reinstates the solar tax incentive that expired in 2016, helping the state move toward its goal achieving 50 percent renewable energy 2030. A second bill provides that transmission line projects qualify for industrial revenue bonds available through cities and municipalities,…...

U.S. Energy Department Announces Sale of Up To 12 Million Barrels of Crude From Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The U.S. Energy Department on Feb. 28 issued a notice of sale of crude oil from three Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, sites – Bryan Mound and Big Hill in Texas, and West Hackberry in Louisiana. In fiscal year 2020, the Energy Secretary is authorized to sell up to $450 million worth of oil from…...