South Dakota’s First Large-Scale Solar Farm Wins Regulatory Approval

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission granted a permit allowing Lookout Solar LLC to construct a 110-megawatt solar generation facility in Oglala Lakota County, according to a Feb. 4 news release. The $100 million facility, spanning an area of about 810 acres on the pine Ridge Reservation, is expected to reach completion in the second…

U.S. Energy Department Announces $170 Million to Support Solar, Geothermal Technologies

The U.S. Energy Department will invest $125.5 million to advance research and development of solar technologies that lower costs, increase the competitiveness of manufacturing and businesses, and support grid reliability, according to a Feb. 5 news release. The agency will also spend $43.8 million to support geothermal technologies. The funding opportunities will be made available…

New England Forward Capacity Auction Clears at Record-Low Prices

The ISO New England Inc.’s annual forward capacity auction closed at a clearing price of $2.00 per kilowatt-month, the lowest in the auction’s history, according to a Feb. 5 news release. The closing price was about 47 percent lower than the last year’s auction, which valued capacity at $3.80 per kilowatt-month. The primary auction received…

Hydropower Garners Attention as States Race for Carbon-Free Grid

Hydropower is moving to the forefront of clean energy and climate policy debates as a growing number of U.S. states are setting targets to achieve zero-carbon power. About half a dozen state-level laws were enacted last year to establish 100 percent clean energy transition, showing how the nation’s decade-long renewable push is ramping up. Hydroelectricity…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – New Jersey Pursues Bold Strategies to Advance Decarbonization

New Jersey is making strides to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. Among recent actions, the state released a comprehensive plan for economy-wide decarbonization, enacted a law to boost electric vehicle use targeting 2 million EVs on the road by 2035, and doubled the offshore wind power goal to 7.5 gigawatts by 2035.

U.S. Electricity Generation From Renewables to Surpass Natural Gas in 2045: EIA Annual Energy Outlook

U.S. electricity generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar are projected to surpass nuclear and coal by 2021 and to surpass natural gas in 2045, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2020. The share of U.S. electricity generation from renewable sources is projected to double, accounting for 38 percent…

U.S. Court Orders EPA to Review Biofuel Waivers Granted to Refineries Under Renewable Fuel Standard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Jan. 24 vacated three orders issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 granting extensions of small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, program. The court ruled that the agency cannot allow extensions of exemptions that had lapsed, noting that none of…

New Mexico Court Directs Utility Regulator to Apply Energy Transition Act to PNM’s Coal Plant Retirement Plan

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Jan. 29 ruled that the Public Regulation Commission must apply the Energy Transition Act, or ETA, to the closure and replacement of the San Juan coal-fired plant, granting a petition by New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, and the legislators who sponsored the act. The…

SWEPCO Reaches Agreement to Buy 800 Megawatts of Wind Power in Oklahoma

Southwestern Electric Power Co. reached an agreement with the Arkansas Public Service Commission’s staff, the Office of Arkansas Attorney General, and Walmart Inc. to acquire 810 megawatts of wind energy from three projects in Oklahoma, according to a Jan. 24 filing. SWEPCO will own 54.5 percent of a 1,485-megawatt portfolio of wind projects, which it…

Southwest Power Pool to Invest $545 Million in Transmission Upgrades Amid Rapidly Changing Generation Mix

The Southwest Power Pool Inc.’s Board of Directors approved the grid operator’s 2020 transmission expansion plan report, a comprehensive listing of transmission projects in the region for the 20-year planning horizon, according to a Jan. 28 news release. The plan includes 78 projects to be constructed over the next six years in eight states at…

D. C. Regulators Address Rate Design, Microgrids in Grid Modernization Order

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission issued an order outlining the initial steps to achieve the vision of Power Path DC, which was launched last August to advance the next phase of the agency’s grid modernization efforts, according to a Jan. 29 news release. The order approves a set of recommendations from the PowerPath…