NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, March 3: FIRST U.S. OCEAN WIND COMPLETES FINANCING; MISSOURI NET METERING HAS NET POSITIVE BENEFITS; WALKER WISCONSIN BUDGET CUTS BIOFUELS SUPPORT

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    Tuesday, March 03, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, March 3: FIRST U.S. OCEAN WIND COMPLETES FINANCING; MISSOURI NET METERING HAS NET POSITIVE BENEFITS; WALKER WISCONSIN BUDGET CUTS BIOFUELS SUPPORT

    FIRST U.S. OCEAN WIND COMPLETES FINANCING Deepwater Wind completes financing for Block Island wind farm

    Alex Kuffner, March 2, 2015 (Providence Journal)

    Deepwater Wind has tied up more than $290 million in financing for what looks to be the first U.S. offshore wind farm. The five-turbine 30 MW demonstration project will be built in waters off Rhode Island’s Block Island. Societe Generale of Paris, France, and KeyBank National Association, of Cleveland, Ohio, will provide the funds…[A]ll permits have been secured. Construction is expected to begin in weeks. This news offsets disappointment from the cancellation by Massachusetts utilities of power purchase agreements for the 468 MW Cape Wind project, which had been the U.S. offshore wind industry’s flagship installation. The difference may be that while Cape Wind had to fight 12 years for the right to build in federal waters, the Block Island site was readily approved by the state. Deepwater is funded with $70 million from international investment firm D.E. Shaw and renewables developer SunEdison in addition to the financing from Societe Generale and KeyBank. click here for more

    MISSOURI NET METERING HAS NET POSITIVE BENEFITS Study finds net metering to be a net benefit in Missouri

    Karen Uhlenhuth, February 27, 2015 (Midwest Energy News)

    A cost-benefit study of net energy metering (NEM) in Missouri used values for two costs and two benefits and concluded its “net effect” is positive. The typical solar owner pays only 20% less in fixed grid costs and costs the utility an estimated $187 per interconnection. Solar owners benefit the system through reduced emissions and energy costs. After accounting for a range of utility costs, including administration and the shift of some infrastructure expenses, the Missouri Energy Initiative study of NEM from 2008 to 2013 reached a similar conclusion as studies for Vermont, New York, Texas and Nevada. About 6,000 Missourians use NEM. Most are customers of investor owned utilities Ameren Missouri and Kansas City Power & Light, the state’s dominant electricity providers, which have been in conflict with solar advocates since 2013 over solar rebates. The study did not quantify the net effect of NEM but used previous studies’ data. A 2013 study in Vermont concluded an average rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system provides a $0.043 per KWH cent net benefit. A New York state study found the benefit was between $0.15 and $0.40 per KWH. A 2014 study done for the Nevada Public Utilities Commission concluded that NEM benefits are “likely positive” but “very small.” click here for more

    WALKER WISCONSIN BUDGET CUTS BIOFUELS SUPPORT Scott Walker wants to end funding for renewable energy program

    Thomas Content and Lee Berquist, February 28, 2015 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts $8.1 million in funding over two years for University of Wisconsin faculty at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The center develops technologies to convert Wisconsin’s plentiful wood chips, corn stalks, and native grasses to biogas and biofuels. The research facility was built in 2009 with a five year, $125 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, which was renewed in 2013. State funds of $104 million and gifts and grants of $50 million contributed. The Walker cut represents matching funds necessary to keep the federal funding. The Governor’s office said the cut, separate from Walker’s proposal to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over the next two years, is part of his plan to provide UW with block grants and push funding decisions onto university administrators. The failure to provide matching funds to keep the center’s federal funding is expected to compromise the $25 million in federal funding for broader UW energy-development research such as the Wisconsin Energy Institute, which gets 90% of its funding from the bioenergy program. click here for more

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