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A 131-Year First: POWER Mag Plant of the Year for Ivanpah Solar

August 8 -- For the first time in its 131-year history, POWER Magazine has conferred its prestigious “Plant of the Year” award on a renewable energy electricity plant. That would be the Ivanpah concentrating solar power plant in California, which just went online as one in a set of five such utility scale power plants supported partly by the US Department of Energy. Ivanpah also had a substantial investment from Google, so it looks like the company’s bet on concentrating solar power has paid off. >>View Article

FERC Commissioners: Clean Power Plan Doesn't Spell Doom for Grid Reliability

August 1 -- All five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) agreed yesterday that acting on climate change is critical and none of them offered any indication that the U.S. EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants would hamper the reliability of America’s electric transmission grid.

A federal statute requires FERC to protect grid reliability and that was the subject of yesterday's hearing by the House Subcommitee on Energy and Power chaired by Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. >>View Article

Vestas plans to train 60 new workers per week

August 1 -- WINDSOR - Danish wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S (OMX: VWS) aims to hire and train as many as 60 new employees every week, Hans Jespersen, vice president and general manager for Vestas' Windsor blade factory, said Thursday.

"For us in Colorado right now, it's all about getting new employees in," Jespersen said. >>View Article

Solar Energy Poised to Help States Meet Air QualityTargets

August 1 -- 

Taking part in a national "listening tour" conducted by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today urged states to turn to solar energy to help meet new carbon pollution targets.

At a session this morning at EPA headquarters, SEIA's Katherine Stainken told agency officials: "SEIA generally supports the Clean Power Plan and is in support of a flexible approach that allows states to take advantage of solar as a compliance option as part of a balanced energy portfolio. Additionally, SEIA agrees with the EPA that renewable energy is part of the best system of emission reduction. Many states have proven that system-wide programs that require the implementation of renewable energy are extremely effective at reducing carbon emissions in an achievable, efficient and cost-effective manner." >>View Article

Time to revive the Michigan Dream

August 1 -- Here in Michigan, we once had our own unique version of the American Dream. This Michigan Dream was built on a set of shared values: the belief that a quality education and economic opportunity were available to anyone willing to work for it, pride in making our communities a great place to raise our families, and the opportunity for each of us to escape to and enjoy our beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and parks. >>View Article

Avoiding Conflict Through Renewable Energy Independence

August 1 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent actions threaten the financial stability of Russia's neighbors in Europe and Ukraine. Putin recently cut off liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Ukraine and may have provided Russian separatists with the rocket that shot down commercial airliner MH17.

It's not a question of whether President Putin will engage in actions that threaten the financial stability of Russia's neighbors in Europe and Ukraine, but rather when.

Although control over the Crimean Peninsula spurred the fighting between pro-Russian rebels and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Putin's meddling in Crimea could evolve into imperialism. >>View Article

Schauer economic plan includes bigger clean energy mandate

July 30 -- Democratic candidate Mark Schauer says he would come up with a road funding solution where Governor Rick Snyder and the Republicans failed. Schauer did not give specifics, but said he would do it without raising fuel taxes. It was part of an economic platform he outlined today.

It also includes boosting the state’s renewable energy, repealing the right to work law, and restoring the tax break for pension income. >>View Article

How Renewable Energy Will Completely Power California -- Get On Board or Get Left Behind

July 30 -- The world hasn't had a lot of good news lately, but a group of researchers at Stanford just gave us some that should get the attention of the public, policy-makers, and investors looking to get in before the competition.

The study shows that California, the world's eighth largest economy, can be powered completely by renewable energy.

Not only is this clearly possible, there will also be massive public benefit. >>View Article

THE EPA AND PALEN HEARINGS: UNFOLDING THE FUTURE OF UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR?

July 30 -- Those interested in the future of utility-scale solar development in the U.S. will be keeping eyes and ears on a series of public hearings this week. The Environmental Protection Agency is holding four sessions on its proposed regulations for cutting carbon emissions at power plants, with three set for July 29-30 in Atlanta, Denver and Washington, D.C., and the fourth, July 31-Aug. 1 in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, the California Energy Commission will also be holding three-days of public hearings July 29-31, with the outcome possibly determining the fate of the 500-megawatt (MW) Palen solar project and, with it, the future of concentrated solar-tower plants in the U.S. >>View Article

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