Fossil Fuels Continue to Dominate U.S. Energy Production and Consumption Despite Growth in Renewables: EIA

Fossil fuels continue to account for the largest share of energy consumption in the United States. Last year, about 79 percent of domestic energy production was from fossil fuels, and 80 percent of domestic energy consumption originated from fossil fuels, according to the Energy Information Administration. The share of U.S. total energy production from fossil…

New York Regulators Approve $400 Million for Upstate Power Line to Support Renewables

The New York Public Service Commission on Sept. 19 authorized New York Transco, a consortium of major utilities, to borrow up to $400 million to upgrade transmission corridors that will allow increased transmission of renewable electricity across the state. In May, Transco sought approval to issue new long-term debt securities to complete the New York…

Enbridge’s $2.9 Billion Oil Pipeline Wins Minnesota Court Challenge

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Sept. 17 declined to hear challenges by tribal and conservation groups to the environmental review of Enbridge Inc.’s proposal for replacing its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. In a June ruling, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found that the project’s environmental review failed to consider the…

Virginia Governor Signs Executive Order for Carbon-Free Power by 2050

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order on Sept. 17, setting a goal for the state to produce 30 percent of its power from renewable energy resources by 2030 and transition to zero-carbon electricity by 2050. Legislation enacted last year set a goal of achieving 5.5 gigawatts of wind and solar by 2028. The…

PG&E, Insurers Reach $11 Billion Settlement to Resolve Wildfire Claims

Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced a $11 billion settlement representing about 85 percent of insurance claims associated with the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, according to a Sept. 13 press release. The agreement comes on the heels of PG&E’s reorganization plan filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California,…

California Regulators Greenlight $100 Million for Energy Storage Projects to Boost Wildfire Resilience

The California Public Utilities Commission approved new budgets, modified incentives and rules for energy storage under its Self-Generation Incentive Program, as part of an ongoing effort to improve wildfire resiliency throughout the state, according to a September 12 press release. The program upgrade consists of a $100 million resiliency fund that supports the installation of energy storage in…

Kansas Regulators Deny Westar’s Request to Charge Consumers $93 Million for Stake in 2 Gigawatt Coal Plant

The Kansas Corporation Commission denied Westar Energy Inc.’s request for ratepayers to bear the cost of its seven-month lease and subsequent purchase in August 2019 of an 8 percent interest in Jeffrey Energy Center, a massive 2.16 gigawatt coal plant located in northeastern Kansas. According to the September 12 press release, had it been approved, the…

Washington Utilities on Track to Meet Renewable Energy Targets for 2019

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission found that Pacific Power and Light Company, one of the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, is complying with Washington’s renewable energy requirements for 2019 by supplying at least 9 percent of its electric load through renewable sources, according to a September 12 press release. Last month, the regulator reviewed compliance by the state’s other…

New Hampshire Enacts Ban on Offshore Drilling to Block Trump’s Expansion Plan

Republican Governor Christopher Sununu signed legislation on Sept. 11 prohibiting offshore oil and natural gas exploration in state waters. New Hampshire joins California, New Jersey, Maine, and Oregon that have enacted similar measures in response to the Trump administration’s plan to open vast amounts of coastal waters to drilling activities. The bill bans the lease…

EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Northwest Utilities Prepare for Impending Coal Phase-Outs

Carbon reduction is becoming ingrained in the planning strategies of utilities across the Northwest in response to state-level decarbonization policies and market changes. As coal plants are no longer cost-competitive, utilities are taking advantage of new technologies and favorable economics of natural gas and renewables.

Connecticut Governor Calls for Plan to Decarbonize Power Sector by 2040

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont on sept. 3 signed an executive order directing the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to evaluate pathways and recommend strategies to transition to 100 percent carbon-free power by 2040. The order expands the responsibility of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, or GC3, which was tasked with developing strategies…