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Energy Update: December 15, 2017

In the States

NV – Angela Dykema, Governor Brian Sandoval’s Energy Office director, and former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, along with Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak helped to dedicate two new solar projects – Switch Stations 1 and 2 – just north of Las Vegas. The new solar farms can generate a combined 179 megawatts of energy, or enough electricity to power 46,000 homes and displace close to 265,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The plants, which employ five full-time workers, at one point had more than 1,300 construction workers building the project’s 1.98 million solar panels over close to 2,000 acres of lands. “With each of these projects we move closer to our goal in leading the nation in clean and renewable energy,” said Ms. Dykema. “Projects like these are the perfect example of what we can achieve with the commitment the state of Nevada has shown to growing our renewable energy economy and attracting emerging industries and forward thinking businesses to our state.” 2 new solar plants boost Switch operationsThe Las Vegas Sun

 

UT – Governor Gary Herbert’s Office of Energy Development sent a letter of support to Active Energy focused on the company’s efforts to enhance biomass-based renewable energy and other initiatives to provide affordable energy alternatives for the state’s residents. Active Energy is on schedule to complete a five-ton-per-hour biomass fuel plant, known as CoalSwitch, next month. The project, which “will provide proof-of-concept testing” for future efforts to find alternatives to coal, will directly support the state’s utility company, Rocky Mountain Power. Michael Rowan, Active Energy’s chairman, said he was happy about the Governor’s support and that “[our] environmental credentials are being recognized across the board and we are extremely excited about the future, especially as we expect to deliver our first commercial quantities to partners, including Rocky Mountain Power.” Active Energy welcomes support from Governor Herbert on CoalSwitchProactive Investors

 

VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced $300,000 in grant funding to Tazewell County in southwestern Virginia “to provide assistance to coal industry-related businesses.” The grant funding will assist the Heart of Appalachia Collaborative Economic Transition or HEART Project by providing “direct counseling, training, mentoring, business service plan development and other targeted technical assistance to approximately 58 coal industry-related businesses.” The funding is projected to help retain 200 jobs in the southwest while also creating 10 new businesses and 30 new jobs. The funds stem from the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant Program, which the Commonwealth administers via its Department of Housing and Community Development. Grant money awarded to help transition coal businesses in southwest VirginiaThe Associated Press

 

WY – Wyoming signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with North Dakota, Montana, and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan to study, collaborate, and share information on carbon capture technology. Wyoming, which is home to the “largest open-pit coal mines in the country,” has spent several years investing in carbon capture and utilization strategies while Saskatchewan has the first large scale carbon capture facility attached a commercial coal plant, North Dakota and Montana both have research centers devoted to carbon capture. Jason Begger, the executive director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, heralded the MOU, noting that “if you look at any credible energy analysis or projection over the next few decades, they all flat out say that coal will be a smaller, but large part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future. [And so,} if you care about carbon mitigation, coal technology needs to be a part of that.” Wyoming signs partnership for coal researchThe Casper Star Tribune

 

Regional and National

Governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and John Carney of Delaware sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) urging it to “expedite [a] review of the $278 million Artificial Island transmission line project” that would benefit both states’ ratepayers, if a proper cost allocation methodology is employed. In their letter, the Governors disagree with PJM Interconnection’s original cost allocation methodology, which they said would burden ratepayers with “more than 90% of the cost, [but] will receive just 10% of the project’s benefits.” Governors Hogan and Carney believe FERC should instead employ two alternative methodologies, which would “produce a result that better represents the regional benefits to be obtained” from the project. Under the alternative methodologies, ratepayers would only fund about seven to 10 percent of the project costs. “We remain optimistic that FERC will consider a financing plan for this project that will not unfairly burden businesses and families on the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Governor Carney. “Thank you to FERC commissioners for considering our request to expedite their review. And thank you to Governor Hogan for his continued partnership, and leadership on this issue.” Governors seek speedier review of power line projectDE Business

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