NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, January 12: WIND COMES THRU IN COLD, CUTS ELECTRIC BILLS; FLORIDA REPUBLICANS FOR SOLAR; NAT GAS TROUBLE IN NEW ENGLAND

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    Monday, January 12, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, January 12: WIND COMES THRU IN COLD, CUTS ELECTRIC BILLS; FLORIDA REPUBLICANS FOR SOLAR; NAT GAS TROUBLE IN NEW ENGLAND

    WIND COMES THRU IN COLD, CUTS ELECTRIC BILLS Wind generation sets records, saves consumers money as extreme cold grips nation; Wind saved Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic consumers $1 billion during last year’s polar vortex event…

    January 7, 2015 (American Wind Energy Association)

    "As extreme cold grips large chunks of the country this week, wind energy set record-high outputs, once again saving U.S. consumers money. Wind energy also saved consumers $1 billion in just two days when similar extreme cold hit the U.S. exactly one year ago…[According to Wind Energy Saves Consumers Money During The Polar Vortex], savings from using fixed-price wind energy added up to $1 billion or $15 per person on the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes power grid (PJM)…Wind energy did this by protecting against spikes in the price of other fuels, and keeping power prices low during periods of high demand. While other power plants failed in last January’s extreme cold or faced skyrocketing prices for fuel, wind energy continued producing electricity as expected with zero fuel cost…[This winter wind set new output records] for the MidContinent ISO (MISO), for the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and] performed at near-record levels in the PJM market (PJM)…Wind energy produced more than four percent of the nation’s electricity in 2013, and is on track to double by 2020 and double again by 2030 according to the Department of Energy’s Wind Vision…” click here for more

    FLORIDA REPUBLICANS FOR SOLAR Republican-led group launches ballot petition to boost solar power in Florida

    Ivan Penn, January 6, 2015 (Tampa Bay Times)

    “Backers of broader use of solar energy in Florida have quietly launched a petition for the 2016 ballot that would allow those who generate electricity from the sun to sell the power directly to other consumers…If the measure passes, solar proponents argue that it would open up Florida's solar energy market, which has largely stagnated for years. The measure would allow business or property owners to produce up to 2 megawatts of solar power and then sell that power directly to others, such as tenants, without having to go through a utility…Under Florida law, only utilities can sell electricity directly to consumers, though solar proponents argue that 36 states allow the practice. By removing the utilities as middlemen, the argument goes, it could help spur solar as a clean-energy alternative…

    “Led by Republican Tory Perfetti, a Tampa resident and head of Conservatives for Energy Freedom, the effort is making for strange bedfellows…The Florida Department of State approved the petition Dec. 23 without fanfare…Floridians for Solar Choice has significant hurdles to overcome. First, the group must gain 683,149 signatures by Feb. 1, 2016, to get the initiative on the 2016 ballot. Then, the measure will need 60 percent support to pass…” click here for more

    NAT GAS TROUBLE IN NEW ENGLAND Study evaluates New England investment in clean energy as alternative to natural gas

    Barbara Vergetis Lundin, January 12, 2015 (Fierce Energy)

    "Prioritizing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and imports of Canadian hydroelectricity would reduce Massachusetts's exposure to wintertime price spikes that result from the state's growing dependence on natural gas for heating and electricity generation…[according to Massachusetts Low Gas Demand Analysis: Final Report from Synapse Energy which] evaluates investments in clean energy in order to reduce over-reliance on natural gas…Proposals to expand natural gas pipeline capacity rely on an unprecedented region-wide electricity tariff requiring federal approval, according to the report, and it is critical for policymakers to demonstrate that they have fully examined and exhausted alternatives…” click here for more

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