First Reserve has purchased a majority stake in the $350 million Mariah North Wind project, according to a company announcement. The purchase was made from Mariah Acquisition, which will still oversee the development of the project as it moves forward. The project is part of the larger 600-megawatt Mariah Renewable Energy Center, which will come at a cost of $1 billion.
Sustainability is an increasingly big deal for the beef industry -- but how can ranchers make their operations more eco-friendly? Bryan Weech suggests a broad-spectrum approach grounded in strong partnerships, careful research and the diligent evaluation of new projects. "[E]ven small changes in one seemingly isolated area can trigger fluctuations in other areas that may take two or three grazing seasons to manifest. Make changes carefully and judiciously," he writes.
Campbell Soup is shaking up the food marketing sector by putting much clearer and more forthcoming labels on its products, writes Brittany Nader. "[C]hanging up product packaging to account for the continued transformation in the way Americans consume food and beverages is a step toward a greater future," she argues.
The Nevada Public Utilities Commission's decision in December to raise fees for solar customers and lower the payout for solar sold back to utilities is a "big blow" to the solar industry in the state, writes Cassady Sharp of Greenpeace USA. "The real bummer here is that when customers signed up for a solar rebate by installing panels on their roofs, they expected the rates to stay the same for years to come," she writes.
TPI Composites is adding a second wind turbine blade plant in northern Mexico. The new $50 million factory, also located in Ciudad Juarez, is expected to create 2,400 jobs by 2018.
Oregon would benefit from a bill in the state legislature that would emphasize wind power and other renewable energy sources, writes American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan. "Phasing out coal imports means Oregon can tap into more of its locally grown wind resources while keeping money in the pockets of its homeowners and businesses," he writes. "The Department of Energy recently reported that electric prices are 20 percent less sensitive to changes in natural gas prices in scenarios with large amounts of wind energy."
Support from the federal government has helped Minnesota continue to make strides in clean energy production, writes Doug Fredrickson, Blattner Energy's vice president of operations. "With a clear market signal from the federal government, clean energy businesses in Minnesota are ready this year to continue our growth of well-paying jobs," Fredrickson writes. "We are more confident than ever about the future of renewable energy investment in Minnesota."
Michigan companies looking to embrace renewable energy sources still face key challenges due to legal restrictions and bureaucratic red tape. "Policy barriers that prevent willing buyers from acquiring renewable resources are stifling market growth and limiting options for companies seeking opportunities to meet corporate financial and sustainability objectives," Advanced Energy Economy said in a report, which also found that Michigan ranks 11th among US states in yearly corporate use of electricity.
The Cape Wind project faces renewed scrutiny from federal appeals judges who are questioning whether the federal government has done an adequate job in safeguarding the health of migratory birds in its review of the project. Oral arguments were heard Thursday, with a decision expected in the next 12 months.
The US Supreme Court's decision to put the Clean Power Plan on hold won't have much of an effect on the energy industry, according to officials from the Edison Electric Institute. "You can't simply put the genie back in the bottle when it comes to major strategic investments that the captains of industry are making," said Quin Shea, EEI vice president for environment. EEI President Tom Kuhn noted that utilities already have clean energy investments underway regardless of the Supreme Court's decision.
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