News

Energy code compliance investments could yield 600 percent ROI

If we had 100 percent compliance with energy codes on the books, we'd see dramatic increases in energy savings nationwide…once the design, construction and enforcement professionals understand the most up-to-date building science, compliance improves and net energy savings will follow.

Duke Energy adds Wisconsin solar to its renewables portfolio

Duke Energy is providing the service and maintenance work for two wind projects owned by Madison Gas and Electric, and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. Duke Energy Renewable Services, an organization resulting from Duke Energy's 2012 acquisition of Outland Energy Services, has signed five-year agreements with the utilities and began service on September 24.

Study: Knowledge is power when it comes to water conservation

Despite being often sensationalized and alarmist, water-related news coverage of droughts, chemical spills, and burst pipelines may have a positive impact on water conservation, as demonstrated by the results of a national poll by EnviroMedia.

IEEFA: FirstEnergy financial condition unlikely to improve

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) is mincing no words when it comes to FirstEnergy Corp., one of the largest electric companies in the United States, with more than six million customers in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. In a new financial analysis of the Ohio-based utility, IEEFA says FirstEnergy is "turning to regulatory capture and ratepayer bailouts as it struggles to reverse a deepening spiral of debt service and revenue declines."

WGES provides part of Skidmore sustainability

Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc. (WGES) and Skidmore College are celebrating the completion of a 2,085 kW solar project that will generate renewable energy in Saratoga Springs, New York. The system will generate 2,600,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year over the course of a 20-year power purchase agreement -- enough to meet 11 percent of Skidmore's energy needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Power generators must evaluate a range of energy futures

A new study highlighting the near-, mid- and long-term impacts of proposed U.S. federal environment regulations on gas, coal and other power markets, concludes that regulatory complexities and natural gas economics are driving these energy markets into the future.

U.S.-Vietnam nuclear cooperation agreement to advance safety, competitiveness

A new U.S.-Vietnam agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation has established the terms for commercial nuclear trade, research and technology exchanges between the two countries as provided under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act. The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) calls it a key part of a necessary effort to ensure that United States industry is able to participate in the highly competitive global nuclear energy market.

Pacific Gas and Electric incenting businesses to stay in California

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is providing assistance with electric rates to 10 California employers so they can keep, expand or launch new operations in California rather than leave the state. The utility's new Economic Development Rate was approved by regulators this past spring and, in just over four months, has saved or potentially added a total of 861 jobs in the state.

AEP PPA to protect customers and generation viability

Current market conditions are such that even viable plants that are environmentally compliant may be forced to shutter for economic reasons causing our reliance for power from others to grow. The proposed PPA is designed to provide AEP Ohio customers long-term reliability and protect them from the impacts of significant price spikes, while preserving jobs and mitigating a shrinking tax base.

NPPD urged to scrap coal for wind

The Center for Rural Affairs is celebrating news that Hallam, Nebraska will be the site of a 54 turbine wind farm, as the developer, Volkswind USA, applied for special use permits this week. The center is also urging the Nebraska Public Power District to embrace wind.

Entergy LA utilities propose joining as one

In Louisiana, business is booming in terms of new capital investment and job creation, and Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC have a plan to help keep that growth trend going. The utilities are asking the Louisiana Public Service Commission for permission to become a single utility.

Pacific Gas and Electric facing CPUC penalties

In a recent filing with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is hoping for leniency in any penalty associated with the 2010 explosion of the San Bruno gas transmission pipeline, asking that the penalty be "reasonable and proportionate and focus on what matters most to all parties involved -- investing in gas safety."

First City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership on the table

The City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy have reached a tentative agreement to establish a city-utility Clean Energy Partnership -- a first of its kind in the nation. If approved by the Minneapolis City Council, the partnership will result in the city and utility companies collaborating to help Minneapolis achieve energy goals like making energy affordable and reliable while increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases.

Ameren Missouri files 20-year clean energy plan

Ameren Missouri has filed its 20-year plan supporting cleaner energy in the state of Missouri, including major expansions of solar and wind power, with the Missouri Public Service Commission. The utility's Integrated Resource Plan, which it files every three years, examines electric customers' projected long-term energy needs and describes Ameren's approach to meeting those needs.

Duke Energy furthers coal management strategy

Duke Energy has created a national panel of independent experts to guide the company's strategy around permanent coal ash storage solutions. Further, Duke Energy has created a new, centralized internal organization to manage all coal combustion products, including coal ash. These efforts are in response to what the utility is calling "lessons learned" from its coal ash spill into the Dan River earlier this year and in preparation of the permanent closure of its 32 ash basins located in North Carolina.

 

Oil and gas methane mitigation can give economy a boost

The growing U.S. methane mitigation industry can boost economic development in key energy states and help reduce oil and gas air pollution, suggests a report by Datu Research for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), as the federal government considers standards to limit methane emissions from oil and gas operations and demand for this equipment is expected to rise. 

Ameresco completes two landfill gas-to-energy projects

Ameresco has designed/built more than 170 MWe of biogas facilities across the United States, partnering with both public and private enterprises to convert landfill gas from an environmental liability into an economic and environmental benefit while at the same time displacing fossil fuel normally used to produce this same amount of energy.

Microsoft procures its own clean energy

The procurement of renewable energy is part of Microsoft's goal of achieving and maintaining carbon neutrality and net zero emissions -- a commitment that Microsoft made beginning in its fiscal year 2013, which began on July 1, 2012, for its data centers, software development labs, offices and even employee air travel by increasing efficiency and purchasing renewable energy.

EPA approves SJGS plan revisions; PNM waiting on state regulators

PNM Resources' New Mexico electric utility, Public Service Co. of New Mexico, has filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) a proposal that, if approved, would settle PNM's request for approvals of changes at the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS), allowing PNM to implement a revised state plan that is beneficial to customers and complies with federal visibility regulations under the Clean Air Act.

Better Plants Partners shutting down carbon emissions

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants Program is recognizing 11 partner companies for meeting ambitious energy-efficiency goals. These manufacturers are part of those spread country-wide who spend more than $200 billion each year to power their plants. Through the Better Plants Program, they commit to improve their energy intensity by at least 20 percent over 10 years.