Energy Secretary Rick Perry's resiliency proposal favoring nuclear and coal-burning power plants recently rejected by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wouldn't have withstood court challenges and other legal barriers, according to Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur. "I came to the conclusion that my colleagues did, that while I feel Secretary Perry asked the right question, he proposed the wrong remedy," said Chatterjee.
Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power has issued a request for proposals to add between 100 and 150 megawatts of installed wind capacity to its portfolio. It said it hopes to begin receiving power from the contract by 2021.
Allete Clean Energy has ordered 40 megawatts worth of turbines from GE Renewable Energy for various projects in Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota undergoing refurbishment or expansion, according to the firm. The turbines are expected to qualify for 80% of the wind energy Production Tax Credit.
Innogy plans to invest around $12.2 billion in renewable energy-related projects over the next three years, including adding at least 7 gigawatts of new installed renewable energy capacity in the UK, Germany and the US, according to the firm. Innogy said about half of that total would go toward maintaining its existing portfolio, while about $4.3 billion will be used to develop new capacity.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled against propping up nuclear and coal-burning power plants as a means to bolster grid resiliency, and now state legislatures, utilities and other entities must do the same, writes Mary Anne Hitt, director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. Hitt argues that bailing out uncompetitive energy projects, like a pair of coal-burning power plants slated for retirement in Indiana, prevents open competition among all energy sources.
Oklahoma policy advocacy organization Step Up Oklahoma has invited The Wind Coalition and other wind firms operating in Oklahoma to weigh in on the state's ongoing budget talks, including a proposal that would enact a new tax on wind generation. The Wind Coalition Executive Director Jeffrey Clark accepted the offer and expressed concern that the state would enact a new tax on wind generation but not other energy sources.
A proposal by grid operator PJM Interconnection would support generators like coal and nuclear power plants by increasing the overall energy price in its market. The plan would improve transparency and efficiency and isn't meant to boost any specific type of energy, according to Stu Bresler, PJM senior vice president of operations and markets.
Energy Northwest's Columbia nuclear power plant in Washington state has been recognized in several reports for its environmental contributions, increasing power generation and benefits to the economy, with Energy Northwest even being named Employer of the Year in 2016, writes James Conca. States that are retiring their nuclear power plants could learn from Columbia's example of how well a plant can operate, he writes.
As many nuclear power plants near the end of their first 20-year operating license renewal, three plants are considering applying to extend their licenses for another 20 years, bringing their lifespan to 80 years. "If a subsequent renewal is granted and plants are allowed to operate for 80 years, [the Nuclear Regulatory Commission] could see increased interest by other utilities," said Allen Hiser, senior technical advisor for license renewal aging management at the NRC.
Mike McGuire wanted Grant Thornton to retain more employees when he became CEO in 2015, so he took its more than 8,000 employees through culture sessions and made changes such as adopting a flexible leave policy. "In 2016, our retention improved by 500 basis points year over year -- something that's unprecedented in our industry," he said.