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Energy Update: January 20, 2023

In the States


AK: Governor Mike Dunleavy outlined planned legislation to regulate carbon markets in Alaska. The Carbon Management Bill Package will create statutory and regulatory structures on carbon offsets, which are purchased by companies to meet statutory or voluntary carbon reduction goals. The carbon markets have grown as Alaska Native-owned companies, including Sealaska and Chugach Alaska Corp., have brought in more than $370 million to Alaska Native Corporations since 2019. The bill allows significant flexibility for companies looking to participate in this new industry, and would allow the Department of Natural Resources to promulgate rules on geologic sequestration (when carbon is compressed and stored deep underground) and biologic sequestration (when carbon is stored biologically in trees, soil etc.). These flexibilities include allowing carbon sequestration on state lands, something the Governor sees as a state revenue source. “I’m asking lawmakers to take this legislation seriously as the cornerstone of a long-term fiscal solution that complements revenue from oil and gas and the Permanent Fund. Then, by working with like-minded legislators and stakeholders, we’ll turn that principle into policies and a new era of prosperity for the Alaskans we serve,” Governor Dunleavy said, referencing the state’s oil and gas revenue fund. Governor Dunleavy Outlines Carbon Management Bill Package—Alaska Native News


GA: Korean solar company Hanwha Qcells announced that it would spend $2.5 billion to build a large manufacturing complex in Georgia. The plant will produce components for solar panels as well as complete panels. Qcells,based in Seoul, South Korea is  seeking to take advantage of tax credits and benefits from the “Inflation Reduction Act,” a bill signed by President Biden last summer to help develop its project. The complex will create 2,500 jobs in Cartersville, a city 50 miles northwest of Atlanta. “With a focus on innovation and technology, Georgia continues to set itself apart as the No. 1 state for business,” Governor Brian Kemp said. The Governor has aggressively courted the renewable energy and electric vehicle sector to Georgia, and joined Qcells in 2019 for a separate facility opening. Korean Solar Company Plans to Build $2.5 Billion Plant in Georgia —NY Times


HI: Oahu’s second utility-scale solar and battery farm has completed construction. The 36-megawatt facility, operated by Clearyway Energy Group, will produce enough clean energy to power more than 7,600 homes. “Clean energy is better for our air, our health, and our cost of living,” said Governor Josh Green. “This solar project is an important addition to Oahu’s growing portfolio of lower-cost renewable resources to benefit all residents.” Clearyway Energy Group leased land from the local school system to build the facility, and says that it generated clean electricity at half the cost of fossil fuels. Clearyway’s five solar projects on Oahu now produce enough clean energy to power more than 45,500 homes. New solar, battery farm on Oahu will generate enough electricity to power 7,600 homes—Hawaii News Now


MA: Governor Maura Healey is poised to implement regulations promulgated by  former Governor Charlie Baker’s administration that require new buildings to be “fully pre-wired” for electrification, allowing property owners to swap gas-powered appliances without a major renovation. The regulations also allow some municipalities to ban fossil fuels in new buildings. Governor Healey has made climate change a priority, signing an executive order to create a new Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience and establishing the state’s first climate chief. The Governor also set an ambitious goal of deploying 1 million electric heat pumps by 2030. Form Energy chooses West Virginia for first iron-air battery manufacturing plant—Energy Insider



The Energy Department committed a $700 million loan to the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium mine project in Nevada’s Esmeralda County, in an effort to bolster the domestic battery sector. The loan will allow Ioneer Ltd. to produce enough lithium to help power 370,000 electric vehicles per year. “This project could reduce annual gasoline consumption by nearly 145 million gallons and prevent the release of 1.29 million tons of carbon dioxide each year,” Energy Department loan director Jigar Shah said. The project will create 300 on-site jobs and 600 construction jobs. According to the DOE, Rhyolite Ridge is the second lithium mine in the United States. Currently, most lithium is mined in Asia. Biden administration to lend up to $700 million to Nevada lithium mine—Reno Gazette Journal 

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