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Energy Update: January 6, 2023

In the States

MEGovernor Janet Mills’ emergency energy relief plan was unanimously approved by a Maine legislative committee, passing in a 13-0 vote after a marathon hearing lasting seven hours. Governor Mills responded by saying “"This measure – while not perfect to everyone, which is often the case in government – is a compromise that reflects concessions and consensus from Democrats and Republicans that will deliver much-needed aid to Maine people in the depths of winter." The plan, which would cost $474 million, was largely funded by $283 million in surplus revenue. 60% of Maine homes rely on heating oil, which is the highest rate in the nation. The cost of a gallon of heating oil has gone up 44% from one year ago. The average Mainer will also see a $500-$600 electricity bill increase in January as new rates take effect. The plan would provide funding for homelessness prevention, as well as $450 checks to every Maine taxpayer earning up to $100,000 per year and $900 to couples earning up to $200,000. Maine LegislativeCommittee reviews and endorses Governor Mills’ winter energy relief planWMTW

NY: Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration announced that the state plans to double its energy storage deployment target from 3 GW to 6 GW, as a part of its clean energy goals. The initiative, announced in the Governor’s State of the State address book, would accompany new incentives for private customers to install clean energy storage and “market reforms” to lower the cost of energy storage. With clean energy storage capacity being critical to meeting climate goals, utilities and clean energy advocates praised the Governor, with ConEd spokesman Allan Drury sayingthat the company “shares Gov. Hochul’s belief that energy storage will play an essential role in our clean energy future” and pointing to a new clean energy storage facility being installed at the site of a former fossil fuel plant in Astoria, Queens. New York to double energy storage target to at least 6 GW by 2030 Utility Dive

TX: Governor Greg Abbott announced the construction of a $4 billion hydrogen facility in Wilbarger County in North Texas. “With the announcement of this groundbreaking facility by Air Products and AES, the State of Texas will extend its leadership in U.S. energy production and help meet our country’s energy needs for decades to come,” said Governor Abbott. The facility, jointly owned by American companies Air Products and AES, will be the largest hydrogen facility in the United States. It is expected to generate 1,300 construction jobs, 115 permanent operations jobs, 200 transportation and distribution jobs and up to $500 million in total tax revenue. The plant is expected to produce 200 metric tons per day of green hydrogen. New Renewable Energy Facilities Underway in Lone Star StateBrownwood News

WV: Governor Jim Justice and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that Form Energy has reached an agreement with West Virginia’s Economic Development Agency to build the state’s first iron-air battery manufacturing plant. Located in the city of Weirton, the plant is expected to produce 750 new full-time jobs and an investment of nearly $760 million. West Virginia allocated $75 million towards the purchase of land for the site, as a part of the incentive package. Iron-air batteries can store electricity for up to 100 hours, technology which Form Energy said will allow increased use of renewable energy year-round. “Weirton is long overdue for some incredible news,” Governor Justice said. “At one point, Weirton was one of America’s most important steel towns— a national leader in steel production. Now, this historic city is looking toward the future, and it’s very bright with Form Energy opening its doors.” Form Energy chooses West Virginia for first iron-air battery manufacturing plantEnergy Insider


Energy Department officials hailed a recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion research as one of the “most impressive scientific feats this century.” Nuclear fusion, which involves combining atoms to produce energy (the same process used by the sun), has the potential to produce essentially unlimited clean energy with no waste, unlike nuclear fission (the splitting of atoms) which is used today. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore Laboratory achieved a net gain of energy from the combining of atoms, which demonstrates the potential of the fusion process to produce new energy. Previous experiments had failed to yield this “net gain”. Still,officialssaywidespreaduseofnuclearfusioninenergyproductionislikelydecadesaway. U.S. touts nuclear fusion breakthroughPolitico

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