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Energy Update: September 21, 2018

In the States

CA – Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that requires California to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. The law, SB 100, requires the amount to be met in increments, with 50 percent of the state’s electricity deriving from solar, wind, hydropower, and other sources by 2026 and 60 percent by 2030. California became the second state to set a carbon-free electricity target, following Hawaii, which set their target in 2015. The law also stipulates that the last 40 percent of the 100 percent total can be derived from carbon-free sources, including large dams, nuclear power, and carbon-capturing natural gas-fired power plants. Environmentalist groups and allied Silicon Valley businesses applauded the measure while utilities, including the state’s largest, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, said the law would increase prices for consumers. While signing the legislation, Governor Brown said ““It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done.” California mandates 100 percent clean energy by 2045The Mercury News

 

NJ – The state’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) voted to allow 1,100 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity to be developed, a first step towards a goal set by Governor Phil Murphy to install 3,500 MW worth of offshore wind power by 2030. The unanimous vote by the PBU follows Governor Murphy joining the Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition as its newest member. The Coalition now counts 20 states as members. “We campaigned on rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a clean energy leader and that involves setting an aggressive timetable on offshore wind,” said the Governor. “Thanks to the Board, today we took another enormous step toward realizing that goal with the largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind in the country.” The Governor also clarified future offshore wind solicitations, which are now scheduled for 2020 and 2022. New Jersey makes way for 1.1. gigawatt offshore windCleanTechnica

 

RI – Several requests for proposals (RFPs) were recently published by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that call for 400 megawatts of power from new energy projects developed inside and outside the state. Eligible projects include geothermal, ocean-tidal and current-powered, onshore and offshore wind, small hydro, biomass, fuel cells, and solar power. The RFPs, which will be reviewed and selected by the PUC, will be managed by National Grid, a regional utility. “Our commitment to combating climate change is as strong as ever,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. RI orders up renewable energyECORI

 

TX – In partnership with Midland-based EagleClaw Midstream, Houston-based Kinder Morgan have authorized the construction of a $2 billion pipeline to transfer natural gas from West Texas to Houston. The 430-mile project, known as the Permian Highway Pipeline, is also backed by Exxon Mobil and Apache Corporation, is scheduled to be completed by 2020, transporting 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The pipeline will mostly be used to transport gas for electricity generation in Texas and Mexico, but will also be sent new liquefied natural gas terminals in Freeport and Corpus Christi. "With the continued growth in drilling activity in the Permian Basin, this project will help to provide key infrastructure for producers to move natural gas to the best premium markets along the Gulf Coast and South Texas," said EagleClaw President Jamie Welch. Kinder Morgan authorizes $2B Permian Highway PipelineThe Houston Chronicle

 

VA – According to several reports, Governor Ralph Northam plans to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multistate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that establishes a mandatory regional cap-and-trade program. If the Governor joins RGGI, he will be the second new Governor to join following New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy earlier his year. RGGI, which was established in 2009, currently counts 10 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states as members.

 

National and Regional

The federal Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to deploy new technology at the Hanford Reservation “to capture and destroy dangerous vapors that have caused health programs for workers” at the nuclear waste site. The DOE’s decision follows a successful lawsuit by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who challenged the DOE’s inaction during the Obama administration. In the settlement, DOE is going to install a vapor monitoring, detection, and alarm system where the vapor exposure is most likely to happen, as well as maintain current safety measures since the General sued. DOE is also paying the state’s legal fees, which almost total $1 million. "It has not been an easy road to get here," General Ferguson said. "They (DOE) did not take this seriously. We should never have had to file a lawsuit. The federal government did not do right by these workers.” DOE will destroy worker-harming vapors at Hanford nuclear siteThe Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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