Thursday, June 17, 2010

Renewable Energy News, June 16, 2010

EPA Says Senate Climate Bill Won’t Be Costly - Ecocentric -
While the Socratic exercise that is the House hearings on Big Oil go on—and on, and on—this afternoon, it's not the only piece of energy and environmental news today. The Environmental Protection Agency released today its preliminary economic analysis of climate and energy bill co-sponsored by Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman, and the news is good for greens, according to the Hill's E2 Wire blog.
Jerry Brown unveils clean-energy plan in Silicon Valley -
Build a "California solar highway" by placing gleaming solar panels along the banks of freeways. Put projects on the "fast track" to get green energy to consumers sooner. Create nearly a half-million jobs by generating 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010.

Attorney General Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor, came to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to announce those and other parts of his new "clean-energy jobs plan."
New Law keeps with Vt.'s social conscience
For Jeffrey Hollender, a law establishing a new type of corporation that puts society and the environment on a level playing field with profits is in keeping with Vermont’s reputation as the home to many socially responsible businesses.

“I think because we have the nation’s largest collection of socially responsible businesses, it is appropriate we are one of the first two states to recognize that business focus in legal fashion,” said Hollender, co-founder and executive chairman of Seventh Generation, a company that develops and markets environmentally friendly household products.

Hollender was referring to Act 113, the Vermont Benefit Corporations Act, signed into law last month by Gov. James Douglas. (Maryland became the first state earlier this year).

According to the law, a company may identify in its articles of incorporation one or more public benefits with a standard of conduct laid out for a company’s board of directors to follow. That standard of conduct allows directors to take into consideration not only the interest of shareholders but also the effects the company’s actions might have on society and the environment.
Obama Signals Need for New Energy Agenda
The biggest news from President Obama's Oval Office address is that cap and trade legislation is probably dead for the foreseeable future, and the administration is seeking new ideas.

Instead of using last night's prime-time opportunity to push cap and trade in the form of the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act -- as many climate advocates saw as their last hope for "comprehensive" climate reform -- President Obama pressed the reset button on energy and climate policy, saying he was "happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party, as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels." He made no mention of setting a price on carbon or establishing an emissions cap and trade system.
CEOs to Washington: Spend on Energy R&D! | Business |
Can a massive government spending program bring us closer to a clean energy economy and help fight climate change?

Absolutely, say some of the America's most powerful CEOs and ex-CEOs, capitalists all.

Microsoft's Bill Gates, Jeff Immelt of GE, Ursula Burns of Xerox, Tim Solso of Cummins and former CEOs Chad Holliday of DuPont and Norman Augustine of Lockheed Martin, along with venture capitalist John Doerr, came to Washington earlier this month to release a new report calling for the government to invest in energy innovation.
Williamstown site eyed for state s largest solar farm: Times Argus Online
WILLIAMSTOWN - A Massachusetts firm is moving ahead with plans to transform a gently sloping plateau located just off Exit 5 of Interstate 89 into Vermont’s largest solar farm.

The Williamstown Select Board has approved a waiver that should expedite the state Public Service Board’s pending review of the project by TriLand Partners. The company will soon submit its application for the 2.1 megawatt solar farm, which will be located near the I-89-Route 64 interchange to Williamstown and Northfield.
Developer in talks over $3.25bn Montana wind grid project |
The $3.25 billion transmission project being proposed to unlock 3,000MW of wind energy potential around Montana is to be evaluated by the region’s power marketing administration.

Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer said Grasslands Renewable Energy, the developer of the so-called Wind Spirit Project, will take part in further discussions with the Western Area Power Administration, a federal agency that markets and transmits electricity in 15 states from its HQ in Denver, Colorado.

Bozeman-based developer Grasslands already has 10 wind power generators signed up to take part in the project.

Supported by federal stimulus money, the Wind Spirit Project would comprise three separate 230kV AC power lines to connect Montana with markets in Wyoming and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Brownfields' Bright Spot: Solar and Wind Energy | Renewable Energy World
Colorado, United States -- Wind turbines are rising from abandoned toxic industrial sites. Solar panels are catching rays over contaminated landfills. The land is cheap, often abandoned, close to such necessary infrastructure as power lines and roads, is often properly zoned, and no other developers are rushing to erect anything on them.

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is evaluating sites for renewable energy potential on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The big driver is using land that otherwise couldn't be used," said James Salasovich, an NREL engineer who has evaluated so-called landfill "brownfields" in Puerto Rico and Wisconsin.
Permit granted for 37,000-acre South Dakota wind farm
PIERRE, S.D. - A state permit was granted Tuesday for a 37,000-acre wind farm of up to 110 turbines to be built by Basin Electric Power Cooperative in southeast South Dakota.

North Dakota-based Basin Electric said when completed, the PrairieWinds SD1 project would replace its PrairieWinds ND1 as the largest wind project owned and operated by an electric cooperative in the United States.

Construction of the $363 million, 165-megawatt project will begin when federal permits are obtained, Basin officials said. PrairieWinds ND1 south of Minot, N.D., has 77 turbines producing about 115 megawatts of electricity.
Public hearing for Pownal solar proposal set for June 29: Rutland Herald Online
POWNAL — The Public Service Board has scheduled a public hearing for later this month for the solar farm proposed for the former Green Mountain Race Track site on Route 7.

The hearing on June 29 will be the first public hearing on the request for a certificate of public good that would be needed to build the solar farm at the former race track, renamed the Southern Vermont Energy Park.

Under Vermont law, a power generation project such as the solar farm requires a certificate of public good from the Public Service Board, but not local permits. However, proponent EOS Ventures of Hancock, Mass., has already made presentations to the Select Board and Pownal Zoning Administrator Nelson Brownell.

Disclosure: SDRS represents EOS Ventures in this matter.

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