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Energy Update: June 3, 2022

In the States

AK: Governor Mike Dunleavy signed a bill to make it easier to obtain state permits for nuclear microreactors, as the Governor looks to boost the state’s energy production. The bill, which was suggested to the state legislature by the Governor’s office, makes significant changes to the state’s nuclear permitting process. Previously, reactors could only be built on land explicitly designated by the legislature. The bill removed that hurdle, and placed control of the permitting process in the hands of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Governor Dunleavy signed the law at the inaugural Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference in Anchorage. He was joined by former Democratic Colorado Gov. Dave Ritter, director for the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. Other speakers at the conference included former Energy Secretary and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as well as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who addressed the conference virtually. “States are where the action is,” Governor Ritter said. “States are where the leaders are, and Governor Dunleavy you’re among them.” Alaska currently has no operating nuclear reactors, but two microreactor projects are in the works. Dunleavy signs microreactor bill at sustainable energy conference – Juneau Empire


CA: In his proposed budget, Governor Gavin Newsom asked the legislature for an $8 billion energy spending package designed to improve energy affordability and improve grid reliability. The Governor proposed $5.2 billion for a “strategic electric reliability reserve,”  to provide backup power during times of stress for the electric grid. This includes new generation facilities, battery capacity and maintenance of existing facilities slated for retirement. Another $1.2 billion would assist customers grappling with high energy bills, and $2 billion would support clean energy technologies. State lawmakers must decide on a final budget by June 15th.  Newsom’s California Budget Seeks $8 Billion More for Energy Push – Bloomberg 





GA: Governor Brian Kemp announced that the Korean company Qcells, one of the largest photovoltaic solar cell manufacturers, will expand its manufacturing facility in Dalton. The company is expected to invest $171 million in the facility, which will employ more than 1,000 Georgians. “We are proud that Qcells, like so many other job creators, has chosen to expand its operations here in the No. 1 state for business,” Kemp said in a news release. “For decades, Georgia and Korea have enjoyed a strong, prosperous relationship. I purposefully chose to visit this great partner on my first economic development trip as governor, and I am thankful that Qcells’ facility will ensure Whitfield County remains a hub for manufacturing as we continue to prioritize bringing jobs and opportunity to all parts of our state, including our rural communities.” Qcells already employs 750 Georgians, and the expanded facility is expected to come online in the first half of 2023. When completed, it will represent one-third of America’s solar module manufacturing capacity.  Energy solutions provider Qcells announces $171 million expansion in north Georgia – Albany Herald 


PA: Governor Tom Wolf said that the state would apply to receive funding for a Clean Hydrogen Hub in Pittsburgh. The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized $8 billion in new funding for the Department of Energy to fund regional hydrogen hubs across academia, the private sector and government to produce hydrogen. “This would transform our economy. This would transform us in ways we really should be excited about,” Governor Wolf said. “I would love Pennsylvania, with the resources we have here — the universities, the natural resources, the work ethic — everything we have here, this is a natural place for this to happen. And what better place in Pennsylvania than Pittsburgh?” Wolf Touts Pennsylvania’s Bid for Low-Carbon Hydrogen Hub—90.5 WESA 


President Joe Biden announced his intention to renominate Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Richard Glick to a second five-year term. Glick, who was named chairman by President Biden in January of 2021, has overhauled the agency’s gas pipeline review process to account for the impacts of pipelines on climate change. Glick has also led a bipartisan effort to change the commission’s transmission planning rules. His nomination is before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).  Biden taps FERC Chairman Richard Glick for a second term—Utility Dive

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