NY's historic bailout of nuke plants explained: Why ratepayers could pony up $7 billion

NY regulators are poised to approve subsidies that would guarantee roughly $7 billion in additional revenue to Upstate nuclear plants, including the Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County. (Constellation Energy) SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- New York energy regulators are poised to approve the nation's first clean-air subsidies for nuclear plants, a controversial move that would guarantee about $7 billion in new revenue to three Upstate nukes that have threatened to close. Utility customers statewide would pay for the bailout to ensure the plants' continued production of carbon-free power. The state Public Service Commission is scheduled to vote Monday on a proposed "clean energy standard.'' Besides pro

Inside Tesla's ginormous Gigafactory

Credit: Tesla Out in the desert, just off Electric Avenue east of Sparks, Nevada, over 1,000 workers are building what will be the largest building in the world in terms of its footprint over the ground. This is the Gigafactory, where Tesla plans to build enough lithium ion batteries to catapult Tesla's electric vehicles into the mainstream. It will be about 5.8 million square feet when completed around 2020. Tesla believes that the adoption of electric vehicles has been hampered by the high cost of lithium batteries, so it plans to use this factory to drastically boost production. The factory currently has almost 2 million square feet of space on several floors -- and the structure is only

Tesla’s Gigafactory Is Open—and Still Expanding at a Rapid Pace

Credit: Motor Trend Tesla unveiled the Model 3 at the end of March. Within a week, more than 325,000 people had put down a $1,000 deposit to reserve the car. After seeing that level of demand, Tesla moved its production plans forward. The company now says it will make 500,000 vehicles per year by 2018, two years earlier than scheduled. To meet that goal, Gigafactory construction is proceeding at a furious pace. Inside the factory, Tesla's partner, Panasonic Corp. -- which has invested $1.6 billion into the factory -- is installing machines in sealed, humidity-controlled rooms that will start making battery cells before the end of this year. Panasonic is also shipping cells from Japan to the

National Grid Progressing Innovative Clean Energy REV Demonstration Projects

This article is an official National Grid News Release. Recent approvals add two projects in support of NY’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan ALBANY, N.Y. – National Grid recently received regulatory approval to move ahead with two additional demonstration projects, bringing the total to four diverse initiatives that will test various business models in support of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision, also known as REV. The demonstration projects include integration of distributed energy resources and automated demand management capabilities at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and introducing solar options in a nearby neighborhood in Western New York; business model innovation in develop

Compressed natural gas station now open in Saratoga Springs

The Saratoga Springs CNG station. American Natural Gas LLC will hold a grand opening celebration for what is being billed as Saratoga Springs’ first compressed natural gas fueling station during an event at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The new CNG station, which opened last month, is located at the W.J. Grande Industrial Park at 34 Cady Hill Boulevard.The company said natural gas emits fewer pollutants than diesel fuel and that the price is more predictable.In May, Saratoga Springs-based ANG announced it had acquired two CNG stations in Arkansas, and last month it opened a CNG station in Georgetown, Kentucky. The Saratoga Springs station also opened in June. Click here for article. #CNG

Changing U.S. energy mix reflects growing use of natural gas, petroleum, and renewables

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, April 2016 Primary energy consumption fell slightly in 2015 as a decline in coal use exceeded increases in natural gas, petroleum, and renewables use. In most cases, changes between 2014 and 2015 reflect longer-term trends in energy use. In 2015, natural gas consumption increased more than any other energy source, accounting for 29% of total primary energy consumption. As domestic natural gas production continues to reach record levels, natural gas prices have remained low. Low natural gas prices have led to increased use of natural gas-fired generators in the electric power sector. Coal supplied 16% of total U.S. primary

New York Green Bank aims to grow portfolio by two-thirds next year

Dive Brief: The New York Green Bank (NYGB) wants to increase its portfolio by two-thirds over the next year, mostly by investing in larger clean energy projects, according to RTO Insider. In its recently released business plan, the organization said it wants to invest $200 million in 2017, which would equate to an average of $50 million of closed transactions each quarter. In the 12 months ending June 17, 2016, NYGB closed nine transactions with $120.5 million in total commitments. NY Green Bank’s mission is to provide capital to renewable energy projects that otherwise might not attract sufficient private capital to move forward. Dive Insight: Financial barriers can be as large a barrier as

Vote on Long Island wind farm delayed at state's request

Credit: UNIONDALE, N.Y. - (AP) -- A New York utility has postponed a vote on a wind farm off eastern Long Island. The Long Island Power Authority said Tuesday it will postpone a meeting of its board of trustees that had been scheduled for Wednesday. The board had been expected to approve a plan for a 90-megawatt, 15-turbine wind farm in U.S. waters east of Montauk. LIPA says it will delay the meeting until after the release of the state's off-shore wind master plan. The utility says the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority asked it to postpone the vote. LIPA says the authority requested the delay because the wind master plan is scheduled to be r

New rules aimed at veterans and low- and moderate-income residents

(Photo: Associated Press file) Some low- and moderate-income homeowners, as well as veterans, will soon be able to access loans to cover the upfront costs of green improvements such as solar panels and energy-efficient water pumps. The Obama administration announced steps Tuesday to increase access to green upgrades that often are out of reach of homeowners. But the financing vehicle, which was unveiled for commercial properties in Dutchess County last year, remains unattainable for the vast majority of residential home owners. The change was part of a raft of federal measures announced Tuesday that seek to bring 1,000 megawatts of solar to low- and moderate-income families nationwide by 202


Credit: President Obama is committed to ensuring that every American family can choose to go solar and to cut their energy bills – and that every American community has the tools they need to tackle local air pollution and global climate change. Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Last year, we announced a set of actions to increase access to solar and create a more inclusive workforce, but there is still more work to do. That is why, today, the Obama Administration is announcing a new cross government partnership – the Clean

Wind farm set for OK

In this July 13, 2016 photo, Long Island Power Authority Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falcone sits in front of some models of offshore wind turbines at the utility's offices in Uniondale, N.Y. Falcone tells The Associated Press the utility is moving forward with plans to construct the nation's largest wind energy farm off eastern Long Island. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman) The Long Island Power Authority plans to approve a wind farm off eastern Long Island that it says would be the nation's largest offshore wind energy project built to date. The announcement that the state authority plans to approve a 90-megawatt, 15-turbine wind farm in U.S. waters east of Montauk at a meeting next week was gree

Ahead of the Election, Americans’ Climate Concerns Slosh

Measured in a long-running survey, American attitudes on global warming range from alarmed to dismissive, with some shifts over time. Credit Yale / George Mason University Fresh analysis from a research group tracking voter views on global warming shows the country’s range of attitudes sloshing more than surging. There was some drama on this issue as liberals and centrists sparred over the Democratic climate and energy platform in recent days. But given such findings, and now that Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton, don’t expect global warming to take center stage in the fall fight. Since 2008, the “Six Americas” survey by researchers at Yale and George Mason University has provided

GOP votes down funding for global climate fund

Getty Images The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down a Democratic push to allow federal spending on an international climate change program. Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the panel, proposed an amendment to the House’s State Department and foreign operations spending bill that would let the federal government contribute to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF). Republicans have looked to block that funding. “Preventing the U.S. from making a contribution is short-sighted because we cannot solve climate change alone. It requires multilateral partnerships,” Lowey said. “The Green Climate Fund is the only multilateral institution that supports clean, re

Salt Lake City Makes Historic Commitment to 100% Renewables by 2032

Salt Lake City announced Wednesday its commitment to transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2032. The city also plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040. Salt Lake City skyline. Mayor Jackie Biskupski and city council members signed a joint resolution Tuesday creating the Climate Positive 2040 commitment. The resolution acknowledges the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is driven by the burning of fossil fuels. City officials also stated in the resolution that changes in water systems and extreme-weather events are affecting Salt Lake City now and will be exacerbated in the future, according to North America Wind Power. "This is the most a

NY blocks energy marketers from selling to low-income customers, citing high prices

The NY Public Service Commission issued a moratorium preventing energy service companies from signing up low-income customers. (Dick Blume) SYRACUSE, N.Y. – To prevent low-income customers from paying higher energy prices than utility companies charge, state regulators soon will block them from buying electricity or natural gas from independent energy service companies, or ESCOs. Under an order issued today by the state Public Service Commission, ESCOs will be prevented from signing up new low-income customers and will have to return current low-income customers to traditional utility service as their contracts expire. The order takes effect in 60 days. The PSC determined that ESCOs typicall

US Power Sector CO2 Emissions ‘Almost Down to 1990 Levels,’ Report Says

The largest electric producers in the US continue to reduce emissions of key air pollutants, according to an annual analysis of power plant emissions. The new report analyzed publicly reported data on carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and mercury emissions from the nation’s 100 largest electric power producers, including Duke, Southern, NextEra Energy, Exelon and AEP. These 100 biggest companies account for 85 percent of the nation’s power production. Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States concludes that since 2000 emissions of all four major pollutants have dropped while total electricity generation and the Amer

Heat Wave Lifts June to Record Hot Temp for U.S.

Thanks in part to the epic heat wave that sent temperatures skyrocketing in the Southwest, last month was the hottest June on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. How temperatures across the contiguous U.S. compared to normal during June 2016. Credit: NOAA June was 3.3°F above the 20th century average of 68.5°F, beating the previous record set in 1933 by 0.2°F, according to NOAA data. That bump of heat comes amid what is the hottest year to date by a good margin for the world as a whole. Outside of the contiguous U.S., Alaska continued to bake, with its ninth warmest June and by far warmest year-to-date. This was the first re

3 Stats From New York’s Distributed System Plans

New York utilities will spend hundreds of millions in the next five years to prepare for a distributed energy future. For more than two years, New York has been laying the groundwork to build energy markets at the distribution level through its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding. Now, the utilities have provided the first glimpses of how they plan to make the transition into distributed energy platform providers. New York’s investor-owned utilities filed their first distributed system implementation plans (DSIPs) on June 30. The regulatory filings include both a self-assessment of each utility’s ability to integrate distributed resources and a five-year roadmap. They will be update

Wind turbine parts arrive in Ogdensburg by ship and rail

Kirk Ramsey, Ogdensburg, drives his tournament ski boat past a ship holding wind turbine tower sections Wednesday on the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg. Credit: Jason Hunter/Watertown Daily Times The Port of Ogdensburg has seen increased activity in recent days as the main components of a new wind turbine project roll into the facility by both ship and rail. On Wednesday, the 143- meter, 9,000-ton general cargo ship Morgenstond II, sailing under the flag of the Netherlands, made port in Ogdensburg. The ship’s main cargo included stacks of white tower sections that will be used to construct a new wind farm near the hamlet of Churubusco in Clinton County. The huge blades for the turbines wil

Jefferson County lawmakers deny tax breaks for green energy projects

Legislator Scott Gray said big renewable energy developers projects only create a handful of jobs. Photo: Julia Botero Jefferson County lawmakers have voted not to grant tax breaks for big solar and wind projects. County leaders say large-scale alternative energy farms do not provide the county with enough incentives to justify a tax deal. Legislature chairman Scott Gray said wind developers are approaching towns in Jefferson County not expecting to pay their full share of taxes. “You’re asking the property tax payers of this community to subsidize a project. So we want to make sure there is something in return for those taxpayers’ investments." Gray said big wind and solar projects only cre

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