Power Generation

Stateline Midwest ~ 2013 MLC Annual Meeting Edition

Within seven years, Minnesota’s investor-owned utilities will have to supply 1.5 percent of their power from solar energy under a measure signed into law in May. Minnesota joins Illinois and Ohio — and 15 other U.S. states — with some type of solar energy mandate, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Stateline Midwest ~ June 2013

The Midwest’s carbon footprint got smaller over the past decade, a period of time in which the region’s mix of sources for electric power also changed significantly.

The Department of Interior announced today that it has scheduled the nation's first offshore wind lease sale in federal waters. The nearly 165,000 acre lease sale is scheduled to take place on July 31st for commercial wind energy development off the coastal waters of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

A conference committee between the Minnesota State House and Senate recently announced an agreement to resolve differences in two competing proposals to expand the solar energy requirement for investor-owned utilities. Under the proposal, investor-owned utilities (such as Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power) must generate 1.5 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2020.

Stateline Midwest ~ May 2013

Proposed legislation released on April 25 could pave the way toward solving a lingering problem for the nation’s nuclear energy industry — what to do with the waste.

The Connecticut Senate passed legislation yesterday by a vote of 26 to 6, to expand the state's underlying renewable power requirement to allow large-scale hydroelectric power to qualify under the standard when wind and solar are not available. Despite the lop-sided vote, the legislation has come under increasing scrutiny by environmental groups and some power providers because they believe it will give the state department of energy and environmental protection to much authority to rollback renewable energy requirements.

State and federal policymakers in the past could be confident that America’s energy demands would increase every year. Now the future isn’t as clear.  Barbara Tyran, director of Washington, D.C., and state relations with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), said the Great Recession, a greater use of locally produced power, a growing interest in energy efficiency and the unprecedented increase in the natural gas supply have turned once staid assumptions about the future of energy on their head. Tyran was one of the featured speakers at a CSG policy academy about natural gas development last week and noted that all three branches of the federal government are currently engaged in shaping energy and environmental outcomes that will impact the future electricity and natural gas sectors. 

The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced today the launching of a greatly enhanced state energy portal which can provide users a dynamic and customizable tool that can display and manipulate energy data. 

Yesterday, the Florida Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee unanimously passed legislation that would greatly change a 2006 measure designed to allow utilities to charge upfront costs for nuclear power projects before they go into service.

Solar panel installations rose 76 percent last year, according to a release by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) which is the national trade association for the industry. Overall, installed solar capacity was 3,313 megawatts - a record for the industry.