Archive for May, 2017

An image captured by a drone of the Brushy Fork Slurry Impoundment, a coal waste embankment that ranks as the tallest dam in the Western Hemisphere (Credit: Coal River Mountain Watch).
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

COAL: Art, activism mix in airborne crusade against strip mining

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV — “Environmentalists have turned a hobbyist drone into a weapon in their long, bitter battle against strip mining. Junior Walk of Coal River Mountain Watch has recorded hours of aerial footage of mountaintop-removal coal mining and the massive Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment in southwest West Virginia […]

Ohio State Representative Bill Seitz (Credit: James D. Decamp)
FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

Ohio lawmaker floats the idea of a customer opt-out of FirstEnergy’s nuclear subsidies

COLUMBUS — “Ohio lawmakers have tabled a plan to add a fee to the electric bills of FirstEnergy customers to help pay for the utility’s unprofitable nuclear plants. WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports that a key legislator is floating an alternative solution. FirstEnergy says it needs the $300 million per year […]

Turbines at the Spring Canyon Wind Farm outside Peetz, Colo. The farm is owned by Invenergy, and produces energy under contract to Xcel Energy (Credit: Ryan David Brown).
Wind Energy

Even as wind power rises, it falls under a political cloud

WASHINGTON, DC — “Wind farms, with their rapid geographic spread and technological advances, are reshaping the electric system, defying skepticism that they are steady or reliable enough to displace conventional power plants. ‘The fuel of choice right now, certainly for us, is wind,’ said Ben Fowke, the chief executive of […]

Photo by gerry_btr / Creative Commons
Energy

Capacity auction reveals Ohio’s backslide on energy efficiency

COLUMBUS — “The impact of a decision by Ohio lawmakers to weaken state energy efficiency requirements was clearly reflected in the results of a recent capacity auction, analysts say. The amount of energy efficiency from Ohio utilities that cleared the most recent capacity auction by grid operator PJM is down […]

Credit: Joe Navratil/Creative Commons
Energy

PJM auction brings good news, bad news for Ohio electric customers

ST. PAUL, MN — “Most of Ohio will pay less to make sure adequate electric capacity is available three years from now. But critics say that changes in the grid operator’s auction rules discriminate against certain types of clean energy and will lead to overpayments. …The good news of a […]

Coal shipments arrived by barge at Brayton Point Power Station on the shores of Mount Hope Bay in Somerset, Mass. The plant has long been a linchpin of the South Coast economy. At its height, it employed more than 250 people and accounted for a third of the local tax base. It is scheduled to close tomorrow (Credit: Benjamin Storrow/E&E News).
Coal

Coal is about to disappear from New England

SOMERSET, MA — “For Pat Haddad, a good day is one when she returns home from the state Legislature to see steam rising from Brayton Point Power Station’s twin 497-foot-tall cooling towers. New England’s largest coal plant has long powered the economy in Haddad’s hometown of Somerset, a community of […]

Cliff Hite, state senator from Findlay, Ohio.
Energy

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite proposes loosening setbacks for wind developers

COLUMBUS — “An Ohio state senator is expected to introduce an amendment to the proposed state budget that would loosen the setback standards for wind turbines and potentially trigger billions of dollars of dormant wind farm development in the state. Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite, a Republican from Findlay, said his […]

Kentucky Utilities’ coal-fired generating plant in Ghent, Ky. Kentucky is among the coal-country states moving more of the country’s electric supply to renewable sources. Photo Credit: Luke Sharrett for The New York Times
Coal

Coal Country’s power plants are turning away from coal

NEW YORK, NY — “Coal is on the defensive in the nation’s power industry. Even in coal country. The pressure to shift more of the country’s electric supply to renewable sources is not just a rallying cry for environmentalists. Some of the power industry’s biggest customers, like General Motors and […]

NW Ohio leaders urge legislature to undo wind-turbine restrictions
Wind Energy

NW Ohio leaders urge legislature to undo wind-turbine restrictions

COLUMBUS — “Overly restrictive rules on wind-turbine placement have put billions of dollars of investment on hold, say government leaders from northwestern Ohio, who want to see the rules changed. The local-government officials teamed up with a wind-energy trade group today to call for the Ohio General Assembly to undo the […]

FirstEnergy is rebuilding its system of high-voltage transmission lines and could spend up to $15 billion on upgrades in the next few years. The company owns 24,000 miles of high-voltage power lines.
Energy / FirstEnergy

Ohio electric utility rates challenged, have cost customers billions of dollars in hidden charges

CLEVELAND — “Nine years after passage of a state law that aimed to drive down customer electric bills and usher in an era of energy efficiency and green energy, a lone state lawmaker is trying to stop what has become a state-approved escalator of rising power bills. State Rep. Mark Romanchuk, […]