The wind industry paid Mower County, Minn., more than any other county in the state -- nearly $2.4 million -- for state wind energy production tax revenue in 2016. "Wind has become very, very important to Mower County, its taxpayers and our environment," Mower County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Gabrielson said, adding that the funds would be used for infrastructure upgrades and tax relief for residents.
Several initiatives over the last nine years have helped Virgin Atlantic decrease aircraft carbon dioxide emissions by 22%, the company reports. During that time frame, the company has decreased carbon emissions from 5.7 tons to roughly 4.4 tons through initiatives such as single-engine taxiing, optimized flight planning and use of a low-carbon fuel.
Renewables like wind and solar aren't a threat to grid reliability in the US, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Colette Honorable said at a conference Tuesday. "I don't see any problems with reliability, and I say bring on more renewables," said Colette, who is expected to exit her post on Friday.
The Southwest Power Pool ensures that the grid is prepared to handle the region's growing installed wind capacity as it monitors reliability in 14 states through its grid operations center in Little Rock, Ark. "With a footprint as broad as ours, even if the wind stops blowing in the upper Great Plains, we can deploy resources waiting in the Midwest and Southwest to make up any sudden deficits," said Vice President of Operations Bruce Rew.
Siemens Gamesa has finished installing five 6-megawatt turbines on floating offshore wind foundations that are currently in Norway but will be shipped to Scotland for the 30-MW Hywind Scotland project, said the company. "Siemens Gamesa views the floating wind farm market area the same way as we did with offshore wind farms in the early beginning: It is a very interesting area that is initially a niche market," said Offshore CEO Michael Hannibal.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is moving toward its 100% renewables by 2025 goal through a 15-year power purchase agreement it has in place with a 220-megawatt project under development by Iberdrola in Puebla, Mexico, according to the company. "We want to send a signal to businesses that switching directly to renewable electricity can create positive social and environmental benefits while also delivering local cost savings," said Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer Tony Milikin.
Delayed transmission projects in Germany are causing problems for Dong Energy by raising costs and undermining the confidence of investors, said Dong Executive Vice President Samuel Leupold. He proposed several strategies to speed up the transmission timeline, including allowing operators to compete for construction work.
The North Carolina Senate has proposed its own version of a bill passed by the state House of Representatives last month that would change how Duke Energy purchases electricity while also placing a moratorium on new wind permits. A Duke Energy spokesman said that the House version of the bill is preferable, as it "struck a very delicate balance for all parties involved with renewable energy in North Carolina."
Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Robert Rush, D-Ill., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt asking for details on EPA procedures that would prevent investor and White House adviser Carl Icahn from influencing US biofuels policy for personal gain. The lawmakers gave Pruitt until the end of the month to respond to their request.
The average US ethanol production reached 990,000 barrels per day, down by 12,000 barrels per day from the previous week and the lowest in seven weeks, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration. Ethanol production's four-week average also declined to 1.003 million barrels per day for an annualized rate of 15.38 billion gallons.
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