U.S. EPA’s Proposed Renewable Fuel Requirements Draw Criticism For Failing to Address Refinery Exemptions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 5 proposed set a blending volume of 20.04 billion gallons for 2020 under the Renewable Fuel Standard, up from the current level of 19.92 billion gallons. The proposal would keep the target for conventional biofuel, mainly corn-based ethanol, at 15 billion gallons. However, proposal drew criticism for failing…

EnerKnol IRP/RFP/PPA Tracking Table H1 2019

Utilities across North America are investing billions of dollars to decarbonize their power fleets to comply with unprecedented greenhouse gas emission cuts and bold renewable energy targets. The pivot to cleaner and greener power sources is reflected in the integrated resource plans and RFPs that utilities file with state commissions. Keep on top of the…...

Watchdog Protests FERC Settlement Failing to Disclose Identity of Utilities Said to Violate Market Rules

Public Citizen Inc issued a protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting it release the name of utilities that violated reliability standards, according to June 24 filing with the federal regulator. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s cybersecurity and reliability standards for the electric utility industry, issued a…

Maine Enacts Legislation for 80 Percent Emission Cuts, 100 Percent Renewables by 2050

Democratic Governor Janet Mills signed a measure on June 26 establishing a climate council tasked with developing an action plan to achieve emissions reductions of 45 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. Mills also signed a bill that strengthens the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 80 by 2030 and…

MidAmerican Energy’s Iowa Customers Receive Over Half of Their Electricity From Renewables

MidAmerican Energy Company served 51.4 percent of its retail sales using renewable energy last year, the Iowa Utilities Board verified in an order issued on June 21. The company said that it owns the vast majority of the renewable generation that delivers its retail energy, and acquires a small amount through power purchase arrangements. The…

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…