QUICK NEWS, 7-14: FOR CLIMATE-ENERGY BILL, THIS IS IT; HAWAII PLANTS WIND; DEAL ON NEW OFFSHORE RULES; WIND HAS BOONE PICKENS, SUN HAS J.R. EWING
FOR CLIMATE-ENERGY BILL, THIS IS IT
Moment of truth for energy bill
Coral Davenport, July 12, 2010 (Politico)
"The next three weeks represent Democrats’ last, best shot at getting an energy and climate change bill passed this year…In the White House and the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, it’s moment-of-truth time…
"The majority leader is set to meet this week with the five Senate committee leaders who hold jurisdiction over slices of energy and climate legislation. He will give them a scaled-down menu of options prepared by his staff and tell them to assemble an energy package that could get 60 votes. The options will break down into three core elements…The first and easiest piece is a Gulf-spill response measure to reform offshore drilling and raise disaster liabilities on oil companies…The second element is a clean-energy bill that would require a boost in renewable electricity produced by sources such as wind and solar…The third, biggest and most contentious piece is a price on greenhouse gas emissions — a policy at the heart of the climate change debate…"
A recent NREL study showed more New Energy will come from a cap on emissions than from an RES (click thru for the NREL study)
"…[I]t’s almost certain that two, if not three, of the five leaders meeting with Reid will object to including any kind of carbon cap in the final package. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) fear that a carbon price will hurt their home-state economies. And Bingaman, although a strong supporter of climate change efforts that cap carbon, has said many times in recent weeks that he does not believe the votes are there to pass a climate measure this year.
"…[L]obbyists and staffers say they are already starting to see the contours of legislation that is likely to come to the Senate floor — an oil-reform plus clean-electricity measure that sidesteps limits on carbon emissions…President Barack Obama already appears to be laying the groundwork for such a measure…But lawmakers and clean-energy advocates say speeches aren’t enough. Once a bill is introduced, all sides say the only thing that can bring it home will be a strong, personal push from the president himself — on the road, on the phone and behind the scenes on the Hill…"
The RES is so compromised it could be worse than no bill (click thru for the study)
"…As the wrangling continues this week, one industry group will find itself increasingly at the center of the debate: electric utilities. Whether they face caps on carbon pollution or a bill that transforms how they buy and sell power, such as with the renewable mandate, utility companies will face a fundamental change in the way they do business…
"…One looming fight will be over the final terms of the renewable-electricity mandate…Bingaman’s clean-energy bill requires that 15 percent of the nation’s power come from clean, renewable sources, of which 4 percent could come from increased efficiency, for a final requirement of only 11 percent. Environmentalists are pushing to raise that number…[But] greens will come up against power plants, whose costs will rise as the clean-power requirement increases, as well as Republicans and southeastern Democrats like Lincoln, who says her state can’t produce the wind and solar power needed to meet a higher requirement…[E]nvironmentalists say they’re not giving up…"
HAWAII PLANTS WIND
First Wind Begins Construction of Oahu-based Kahuku Wind Project
July 13, 2010 (Business Wire via Financial Post)
"First Wind…[starte] construction of its 30 MW Kahuku Wind project, the only utility-scale wind energy project on Oahu and one of the largest in Hawaii…[S]tate, local and community leaders joined First Wind at the project site on Oahu’s North Shore to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of the project, which upon completion will have the capacity to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power up to 7,700 Oahu homes each year…
"Construction of the Kahuku Wind project, which was spurred along by an expected $117 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will create immediate economic benefits for Oahu such as employment opportunities during design, engineering and construction including approximately 200 construction jobs…[T]he project will support the ambitious Hawaiian Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to have 70 percent of the state’s energy for electricity and ground transportation come from clean energy by 2030…"
click to enlarge
"…[T]he Kahuku Wind project…will consist of twelve 2.5 MW Clipper Liberty wind turbines.Manufactured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Liberty turbines are the largest wind turbines manufactured in North America…[It] will also include a battery energy storage system to assist in meeting performance standards and smoothing fluctuations in wind energy output.The battery storage system was developed by Xtreme Power, Inc. and will be the largest of its kind in Hawaii.The project will also include a dedicated communication system to connect the wind energy project to Hawaiian Electric Company’s system…
"In early May, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Kahuku Wind Power and Hawaiian Electric Company…First Wind will sell as-available renewable energy from the project to Hawaiian Electric at pre-determined prices over 20 years, providing a valuable hedge against fluctuating oil prices."
The Kaheawa Wind Power project in Maui (click to enlarge)
"The Kahuku Wind project has the capacity to help reduce oil consumption by about 139,500 barrels a year and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 96 million pounds per year…
"First Wind successfully built and currently operates Hawaii’s largest wind energy facility, the 30 MW Kaheawa Wind Power project in Maui. Kaheawa Wind serves nearly 9 percent of Maui’s annual electricity needs with clean, renewable energy – enough to supply nearly 11,000 households annually.As part of the Kaheawa project, First Wind also implemented what it believes is the nation’s first Habitat Conservation Plan for a working wind energy project.The Kahuku Wind project will also feature a Habitat Conservation Plan so that endangered species can be protected near the project…"
DEAL ON NEW OFFSHORE RULES
Government agencies sign MOU to spur offshore hydro, wind projects
July 8, 2010 (HydroWorld)
"The Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy announced a new memorandum of understanding intended to strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies on the future development of commercial renewable offshore hydro and wind projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf…
"Together, DOI and DOE will use this agreement to spur the development of future commercial-scale offshore wind and hydro projects. The wind and water resources off the United States' coasts offer a vast yet largely untapped energy potential. The MOU between DOI and DOE will facilitate the development of these domestic energy resources by pursuing priority leasing and efficient regulatory processes for sites with high, commercial-scale offshore wind and water power development potential…"
click to enlarge
"The two agencies will exchange information on resources and technologies, conduct stakeholder engagements and collaborate on research projects. These activities will augment the scientific and technical exchanges that already occur between the two departments.
"The MOU states that within 30 days of its signing an interagency working group will develop an action plan covering…[1} Development of attainable deployment goals for offshore wind and marine and hydrokinetic energy on the OCS .. Siting and permitting… Resource assessment … Technical standards… Data exchange and public engagement…"
WIND HAS BOONE PICKENS, SUN HAS J.R. EWING
A Famous, Scheming Texas Oil Baron Is Promoting Solar Energy
Todd Woody, July 13, 2010 (NY Times)
"J. R. EWING returned to the small screen…and the boys down at the Cattlemen’s Club just might need a double bourbon when they hear what he has to say…Larry Hagman, the actor who played the scheming Texas oilman on the long-running (1978-1991) television show Dallas, is reprising his role as J. R. in an advertising campaign to promote solar energy and SolarWorld, a German photovoltaic module maker."
[Hagman as J.R. Ewing:]“In the past, it was always about the oil…The oil was flowing and so was the money. Too dirty. I quit it years ago…But I’m still in the energy business…There’s always a better alternative….Shine, baby, shine…”
"In real life, Mr. Hagman, 78, lives on an estate in the Southern California town of Ojai, where he installed a 94-kilowatt solar system, thought to be the world’s largest residential array, several years ago. The rooftop system, which includes SolarWorld panels, cost $750,000, although Mr. Hagman said he received a $310,000 rebate…
From ChristiesRealEstate via YouTube
"He said the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico prompted him to bring back the J. R. character…Mr. Hagman also serves on the board of the Solar Electric Light Fund, a nonprofit group that builds solar systems in poverty-stricken areas of the world…SolarWorld donated solar panels for the fund’s work in Haiti after the earthquake there…[and will] give an additional 100 kilowatts of panels to provide electricity for at least five health clinics…In return, Mr. Hagman made the commercials for SolarWorld…
"Mr. Hagman acknowledged rather gleefully that his advocacy of renewable energy might create some cognitive dissonance for those who associate him with a rapacious Texas oil baron. But he noted that there were barrels of money to be made from the sun as well…"
[Hagman:] “Since Sarah Palin is saying, ‘Drill, baby, drill,’ I’m saying, ‘Shine, baby, shine.’ It’s a lot cheaper and cleaner…[and] these solar panels are manufactured domestically and can provide a lot of jobs for soldiers returning from all those wars…”