Lux: Natural gas better than biomass for district energy

District heating, a decades-old alternative to distributed heating, can deliver cost gains of up to 74 percent -- depending on specific technologies, fuel mix and climate -- according to Lux Research, but system efficiency and technical sophistication vary from region to region. 

PSEG, NYSERDA making solar accessible

Increasing solar capacity on Long Island will help PSEG meet its peak capacity needs and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Since 2000, there have been more than 8,700 solar PV installations on Long Island through residential and commercial solar programs.

Proximity is everything for NY hydro

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has approved new allocations of low-cost hydropower to three firms in Western New York, which will support the creation of more than 80 jobs and more than $50 million in capital investments.

California, Mexico partner to promote low carbon economy

California -- a pioneer in addressing climate change -- and Mexico have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on a range of environmental issues from pricing carbon pollution to air quality to promoting clean vehicles.

Farmers Electric Cooperative growing Iowa solar

With its new solar array, Farmers Electric Cooperative is capable of generating up to 1800 watts of solar per customer, giving it the highest per-capita solar generation rate of any utility in the country.

Gene research for better biofuels

If switchgrass could better endure northern United States' winters, the plant could be an even better clean energy source. To that end, Michigan State University (MSU) will use $1 million from a joint U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program to develop hardier switchgrass.

Exelon to buy Integrys

Exelon Corporation is purchasing Integrys Energy Group, Inc. for $60 million. Integrys has been in the process of divesting its electric and natural gas retail marketing businesses since 2009.

NYSERDA launches solar database

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has a new database that provides the details for nearly 10,000 solar projects that have participated in NYSERDA's open enrollment solar incentive programs over the past 10 years.

Oregon LNG exports to non-FTA countries serve public interest

The facility is conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to the equivalent of 1.25 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas for 20 years.

Germany's solar story

Germany's experience likely provides an opportunity for the U.S. to "look ahead" and see how electricity systems, and the rules governing them, will have to adapt when penetration rates of various renewable energy sources reach levels similar to those in Germany.

List of cities mandating energy benchmarking grows

Cambridge, Massachusetts is the latest city to require the benchmarking and disclosure of building energy performance for large commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings, joining Boston, along with eight other major U.S. cities -- Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. -- as well as two states and one county.

Government initiative focusing on natural gas

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced several new initiatives as part of its Administration Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, which builds on President Obama's Climate Action Plan. As part of the President's Climate Action Plan, the Administration is currently carrying out the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The first installment is focused on the issues of transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure across the energy sector, -- including natural gas.

Dominion making progress toward reducing its environmental impact

Dominion says it has made continued progress in executing its business plan, minimizing the environmental impact of its operations. In fact, in 2013, Dominion produced 50 percent of its electricity it produced from carbon-free nuclear and renewable energy, according to its Citizenship & Sustainability Report (CSR).

National Grid supports net metering compromise

National Grid is asking the House Ways and Means Committee to quickly release consensus language on House Bill 4185 -- a landmark compromise that provides a stable and cost-effective policy solution to support solar energy in Massachusetts. HB 4185 extends Massachusetts' net metering program, removing the caps that have been reached and making changes to both the net metering and renewable energy incentive programs.

Forest investment protects water supply, infrastructure

The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced another $187,500 in funding for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project water system. This is in addition to the $152,000 Interior's Bureau of Reclamation has already committed as part of the state's Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership.

Idaho Power files solar contracts under PURPA

Idaho Power has filed contracts with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for two solar projects proposed by private developers who will sell their output to the utility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) -- a federal law which requires utilities such as Idaho Power to purchase the electricity generated by certain renewable-energy projects.

$1.2B buys out NCEMPA's ownership in Duke Energy's power plants

An agreement between Duke Energy Progress and the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) has been approved by their respective boards for Duke Energy Progress to purchase the Power Agency's ownership in certain generating assets, at a purchase price of $1.2 billion. Under the agreement, Duke Energy Progress and NCEMPA will enter into a 30-year wholesale power supply agreement to continue meeting the needs of NCEMPA customers currently served by the power agency's interest in Duke Energy Progress' plants.

AEP Energy to build solar "Block O" on university rooftop

AEP Energy will fund, build, own and operate an approximately 10,000-square-foot array on the rooftop of Ohio State University's Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC), which will be made up of 367 solar panels arranged in a configuration similar to the "Block O."

APAC CHP investment second only to Europe

As the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region invests $56 billion on bolstering its distributed Combined Heat and Power (CHP), installed capacity will grow from around 37.7 GW in 2013 to approximately 64 GW by 2019 -- a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9 percent, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

San Bruno calling for removal of CPUC president

The City of San Bruno is demanding that CPUC President Michael Peevey be removed, in part, due to alleged inappropriate communication with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The City also wants significant penalties ($2.45 billion in after-tax dollars) levied against PG&E due to an exposure that top CPUC and PG&E staff engaged in repeated and illegal private (ex parte) conversations in the ongoing CPUC penalty proceeding related to the deadly 2010 PG&E gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.