U.S. Agriculture Department Announces $400 Million to Upgrade Rural Electric Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $398.5 million to improve rural electric service in 13 states, according to a Sept. 19 press release. The spending includes about $43.7 million for smart grid technology to enhance the reliability and efficiency of electric power systems. The loan will also finance an 81 MW solar photovoltaic farm…

California Law Directs $85 Million For Community Support From Nuclear Plant Closure, Requires Carbon-Free Replacement

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation on Sept. 19 that directs the state public utilities commission to authorize full funding for the community mitigation settlement and employee retention programs that Pacific Gas and Electric Company proposed in its initial application seeking approval to retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. In January, the…

Trump Administration Eases Rules on Methane Emissions From Oil, Natural Gas Drilling

The Bureau of Land Management on Sept. 18 issued final revisions to an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing the waste of methane, a potent global warming pollutant, from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas drilling operations. The final rule largely re-establishes the requirements that were in place before the 2016 rule, which,…

New Jersey State Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Foster Public-Private Partnerships For Energy Projects

New Jersey state Senators Paul Sarlo, a Democrat, and Steven Oroho, a Republican, introduced legislation on Sept. 17 that would encourage private capital investment to develop energy-related projects at government facilities that lack the ability to address the energy infrastructure needs. The bill seeks to leverage private sector financing and expertise at a time when…

U.S. Energy Department Examines Smart Technology Trends in Setting Efficiency Standards

The U.S. Energy Department is seeking information to better understand the emerging smart technology market, including any energy efficiency trends in smart appliances and commercial equipment. Recognizing the investments in innovative products, the department said that the request for information will ensure that the department does not hamper innovation in the process of setting efficiency…

EPA Declines Delaware, Maryland Petitions on Cross-State Ozone Pollution Citing Lack of Evidence

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 14 denied petitions from Delaware and Maryland asking the agency to address smog pollution blowing across their borders from coal-fired power plants in other states. The states sought action under the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor provision” that requires the agency to control upwind states’ air pollution that…

California Passes Landmark Bill Setting 100 Percent Carbon-Free Electricity Goal

The California legislature approved legislation on Aug. 29 that reinforces the state’s clean energy leadership with a goal of procuring 100 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable and zero-carbon resources by 2045. The bill would strengthen the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 60 percent by 2030, up from the current 50 percent. Hawaii was the…

Enbridge Cleared by U.S. to Sell Stakes in 300-Megawatts of Renewable Power to Canadian Pension Board

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 20 authorized a subsidiary of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to acquire a 49-percent stake in Cedar Point Wind LLC and Silver State Solar Power North LLC from Enbridge Holdings (Power) LLC. Cedar Point owns a 252-megawatt wind farm in Colorado, while Silver State owns a 52-megawatt…

Delaware Regulator Clears Delmarva Power & Light’s RFP to Buy Credits From 80 Megawatts of Wind Generation

The Delaware Public Service Commission on July 17 approved the second tranche of Delmarva Power & Light Company’s request for proposal to buy renewable energy credits, or RECs, from wind generation facilities of up to 80-megawatt capacity beginning in 2019-2020 for a 10-15 year term. The RFP is a result of a merger between Exelon…

FTP Power to Acquire 51 Percent Stake in 40-Megawatt Solar Plant in Idaho

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 3 authorized a transaction allowing sPower Winterfell Holdings LLC to acquire just over half of the upstream ownership interest in ID Solar 1 LLC from Carolina Energy Partners II LLC. ID Solar owns a 40 megawatt solar farm in Idaho and is fully subscribed under a 20-year contract…

Xcel Energy Unveils $2.5 Billion Plan for Renewable Energy Shift, Coal Plant Closures

Public Service Company of Colorado, a unit of Xcel Energy Inc., filed its Colorado Energy Plan, a blueprint for the utility to source over half of its electricity supply from renewables and cut carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2026. The plan, filed June 6 with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, directs the company to…

U.S. Senator Introduces Trio of Bills to Boost Funding for Grid Security, Energy Storage, Carbon Capture

U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat representing Colorado, introduced legislation on June 5 that would provide $5 billion in financing under the U.S. Agriculture Department’s rural utility service program for cybersecurity and grid security enhancements. A second bill would include energy storage under the department’s Rural Energy for America Program, providing financial support for agricultural…