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Energy Update: July 15, 2022

In the States

HI: Governor David Ige signed four bills related to climate change and energy, including emissions targets and incentives for hydrogen vehicles. Under the emissions target legislation, Hawaii will aim to be 50% below 2005 emissions levels by the year 2030. Another bill, HB 2089, changes the definition of the “renewable portfolio standard” to require that renewables comprise a percentage of energy generation rather than consumption. According to the Governor’s office, this will mean a more accurate accounting of whether the state is meeting its emissions reductions goals. “Last week’s US Supreme Court decision limiting the federal government’s ability to fight climate change underscores why it’s so important for states to act and lead by example,” Governor Ige said. “That’s why I’m proud to sign these four bills today, as they ensure that Hawaii continues to move forward as a national and global leader in creating the strategies necessary to achieve a clean energy economy. Governor signs bills related to Hawaii’s clean energy transition—Maui News


NH: Governor Chris Sununu signed two bills aimed at encouraging renewable energy generation in New Hampshire. SB 262 standardizes utility interconnect fees, which Clean Energy NH director Sam Evans-Brown called a “fundamental fairness issue” and described as a problem that has sunk past projects. The bill also allowed municipalities to participate in two different renewable energy programs at once. Another bill, SB 270, will increase the rates paid to solar project developers who benefit low-income users. Evans-Brown described this bill as having the potential to make more community solar projects financially viable.  “Inflation and rising energy prices hit our low-income families hardest, and this bill will help ensure that these NH families and communities can share in the benefits of clean energy,” Governor Sununu said in a statement. Two new laws seek to boost solar energy development in New Hampshire—New Hampshire Business Review




RI: Governor Dan McKee signed legislation requiring Rhode Island’s primary electric utility, Rhode Island Energy, to issue a procurement for between 600 and 1,000 MW in newly developed offshore wind capacity. “Offshore wind is one of our state’s most abundant natural resources,” said Governor McKee in a statement. “Adding offshore wind clean energy capacity is essential for meeting our new 100 percent renewable energy by 2033 goal and our Act on Climate emissions reductions target. It will not only be beneficial for the environment, but also create hundreds of jobs as we position Rhode Island as an economic hub of this growing offshore wind industry on the Atlantic Coast.” This additional capacity alone could power 30% of Rhode Island households and coupled with existing capacity at a Block Island facility, over half the state will be powered with offshore wind energy. The bill allows for oversight by the state’s public service commission of the RFP process. Governor McKee signs legislation requiring offshore wind procurement for 600 to 1,000 megawatts—WUN News 


VA:  Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Irish energy management company Hanley Energy will expand its operations in Loudon Country, creating 343 jobs and investing $8 million into the local economy. “Virginia has emerged as one of North America’s premier locations for technology, and Loudoun County is the epicenter of the data center industry. This contribution is a perfect fit for Hanley Energy and its vital services that keep this sector growing,” Governor Youngkin said. Among the new jobs created will be electrician and electrician apprentice positions. Hanley Energy is an electricity management firm that specializes in delivering electricity from the grid to IT data centers. Hanley Energy to add 343 jobs in Ashburn—Virginia Business  



The Supreme Court sharply limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. Writing for the six-justice conservative majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Congress had not clearly given the EPA the authority it claimed to regulate the energy industry when it passed the Clean Air Act. The ruling invalidates an EPA plan to limit emissions from power plants nationwide. Writing for the minority, Justice Elena Kagan said, “Congress knows what it doesn’t and can’t know when it drafts a statute; and Congress therefore gives an expert agency the power to address issues — even significant ones — as and when they arise.” Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Ability to Restrict Power Plan Emissions—NYTimes 


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