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Blog posts November 2019

Energy Update: November 22, 2019

In the States and Territories

NC: Governor Roy Cooper announced the state will move forward with studies of the potential for offshore wind power generation that have been stalled since June due to unresolved state budget issues. The studies will analyze the state’s potential to manufacture, ship, and service offshore wind turbine components and will pave the way for future development of offshore wind power in North Carolina. “We know we need to move to a clean energy future in order to fight climate change, but we also know that clean energy creates so many good-paying jobs for the people of North Carolina,” Governor Cooper said. As many states, mostly in the Northeast, are rapidly expanding their offshore wind energy industry, Governor Cooper hopes that developments in his own state will “drag offshore wind development to the South.” North Carolina will move forward with offshore wind study, governor saysEnergyNews.us

 

NJ: Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order raising New Jersey’s offshore wind energy goal from 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind-generated electricity by 2030 to 7,500 megawatts by 2035. Governor Murphy hopes this will help meet the State’s objective of generating 50% of its total energy from renewable sources by 2030 and a 100% clean economy by 2050. Murphy intends to involve key stakeholders, including the commercial and recreational fishing industries and clean energy experts. “Our offshore wind industry will generate billions of dollars in investments in New Jersey’s future that will, in turn, create thousands of jobs. We have an immense opportunity to maximize our potential and make this region – and, specifically New Jersey – the nexus of the global offshore wind industry,” Governor Murphy said. Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Increase Offshore Wind Goal to 7,500 Megawatts by 2035InsiderNJ

 

PR: Governor Wanda Vazquez announced GridMod, a $20 billion plan to modernize and decentralize Puerto Rico’s power grid over a 10-year period. GridMod was jointly developed by federal, local and private sector energy experts and focuses on repair and reconstruction measures that will strengthen the grid and ensure its resilience against natural disasters like the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico in 2017. The plan recommends a decentralized electricity network that incorporates renewable energy and micro-networks to improve resiliency, reliability and performance during natural disasters. “The GridMod Plan will provide the safe, modern and resilient electricity network that our communities need and deserve,” said Governor Vazquez. Puerto Rico unveils $20 billion plan to revamp island’s power gridReuters

 

WY: Governor Mark Gordon introduced a new initiative called Power Wyoming to state lawmakers. The initiative will study the economic relationship between the state’s reliance on coal, oil and natural gas for much of its revenue and its overall fiscal health. Preliminary data presented to the legislature’s Revenue Committee forecasted a decrease in revenue, job and populations numbers, mostly due to declining demand for coal, low natural gas prices and an unstable oil market.  Governor Gordon hopes to utilize information gathered by this new initiative to plan for Wyoming’s fiscal future. “The hard truth is, Wyoming faces many external pressures impacting our future and those have often seemed to drive our own economic fate,” Governor Gordon said in a statement. “There are many economic forces out of our control... However, there are many ways we can control our destiny to position Wyoming for economic stability — but they require planning and action.” Governor announces energy plan to take future revenue shortfalls head onCasper Star Tribune

 

National

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $15 million in new funding for the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning for application in energy technology. The funding will go towards 23 projects in the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) covering technologies including optimization of natural gas to electric power system design, unconventional energy generation, and hydrogen power generation. According to the DOE, the projects are intended to address the next generation of energy challenges. “The incorporation of AI and Machine Learning into our energy technology design and engineering processes has great potential to increase the productivity of our nation’s engineers and scientists,” said Secretary Perry. Department of Energy Announces $15 million for Development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning ToolsEnergy.gov

 

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bill that aims to improve the way the United States handles spent nuclear fuel. The bill proposes to advance a safety review of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, ensure the Department of Energy has adequate funding to construct and maintain infrastructure related to the facility, and directs the DOE to pursue a temporary storage program to consolidate spent nuclear fuel from other plants as progress on the Yucca Mountain facility continues. “If we’re serious about reducing carbon emissions in a meaningful way, we need to get serious about dealing with nuclear waste,” Senator Barrasso said. Sen. Barrasso Introduces Bill to Reform Nuclear Waste Management Daily Energy Insider   

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Energy Update: November 1, 2019

In the States

KS – Governor Laura Kelly announced a new statewide energy plan was in the works at the Kansas Renewable Energy Conference. The new plan will reverse regulations that made it more difficult and expensive for companies in Kansas to install solar panels and other sources of renewable energy. 
Governor Kelly hopes the plan will bring new jobs to the state and help make Kansas a leader in renewable energy in the region. This announcement follows the recent installation of six wind farms  in Kansas’s Ford County.  Kansas governor announces new statewide energy planknst.com

 

MI – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission announced the launch of a new initiative designed to encourage Michigan residents and businesses to transition to clean energy. The initiative, called MI Power Grid, will serve as a central source for clean energy information and outreach and engage utility customers and other stakeholders. The new initiative builds on Michigan’s 2016 energy laws that initially sparked a transition to clean energy in the state. The MI Power Grid program aims to catalyze advancements in energy infrastructure planning, updated regulations to improve customer service and reliability, and new clean energy programs. “Prioritizing clean energy in Michigan will help us grow our economy, create jobs, and protect our overall public health,” Governor Whitmer said.  Michigan launches MI Power Grid initiative to aid cleaner energy transitionDaily Energy Insider

 

NY  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the start of the third round of the Energy to Lead competition. A total of $5 million in awards is now available to colleges and universities across the state that propose to decrease their carbon footprint, improve the resiliency of their grid, and reduce energy 
use. Prizes are given to the institutions or communities that propose the best energy-saving project with awards ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million. "New York is a leader in the fight against climate change, and through initiatives like Energy to Lead, we are empowering our colleges and universities to establish best-in-class energy efficient clean energy policies for others to follow," Governor Cuomo said. This announcement supports Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal initiative and the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050. Governor Cuomo Announces $5 Million for Clean Energy Competition
Transmission & Distribution World

 

VA – Governor Ralph Northam announced a new state contract to purchase 420 megawatts of solar and wind energy from the Commonwealth’s largest utility, Dominion Energy. This agreement constitutes the largest contract that any state has negotiated to buy renewable energy to power state government. As a result of this agreement, 30% of all electricity consumed by state agencies and institutions in Virginia will come from renewable sources by 2022, meeting a key goal the Governor set forth in his Executive Order Forty-Three, issued in September. “Virginia is leading by example and demonstrating how states can step up to combat climate change and advance a clean energy economy,” said Governor Northam. Virginia strikes deal to purchase renewable energy for use in state facilitiesThe Washington Post
 

 

National

The National Governors Association (NGA) announced it competitively picked four states (Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho and Maryland) to participate in the GridEx V energy security exercise. GridEx is conducted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) biennially to test states’ response to simulated physical and cyber-attacks on the electric grid in North America. The goal of the exercise is to encourage and rate the preparedness of states in the event of a real-world attack on the grid. “As a national leader in cybersecurity and a pioneer in micro-grid development, Maryland is proud to partner with the National Governors Association and other states on the GridEx emergency preparedness exercise,” Maryland Governor and NGA Chair Larry Hogan said. “Our technology-driven infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack with the electric grid as a prime target, but we are committed to protecting our state against threats to our  infrastructure with the best ideas and latest technologies.” National Governors Association selects four states for assistance in GridEx V energy security exerciseDaily Energy Insider

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