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Consumers Energy Drops Renewables Fee

June 20 -- Consumers Energy customers will see slightly lower electricity bills starting next month. That's because on Thursday the state Public Service Commission approved the utility's plan to drop a renewable energy surcharge. The Gongwer News Service reports that the PSC approved the change because of the falling cost of wind power. Elimination of the surcharge was included in Consumers new renewable energy plan. >>View Article

Keeping the Solar Revolution Going

June 19 -- Two centuries ago homes and businesses were lit from whale oil brought back by a vast armada of whale ships, a fleet so enormous the City of New Bedford was popularly known as “The City that Lit the World.”

Today it would be as accurate to call New Bedford the “Solar City” in recognition of its meteoric rise to a national leadership position as the largest municipal consumer of solar photovoltaic electricity east of the Mississippi and one of the top five cities in the country in its use of solar energy. A sustained collaboration of businesses, utilities, and local political leadership has led to nearly a dozen solar projects that will save local taxpayers more than $20 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years. >>View Article

Energy Diversity is a National Security Imperative

June 19 -- When Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, first visited my office last year, I was one of the newest members of the House Armed Services Committee. I was eager to hear what he would want to tell me. I expected to hear about the sequester, recruiting and the drawdown, or about medical care. I certainly did not expect the topic he actually raised: “Congressman,” he said, “I want to talk to you about solar energy.” >>View Article

Lahman: Solar Energy Jobs in Buffalo Good for us too

June 19 -- Billionaire tech investor Elon Musk is coming to Buffalo, a move that has major implications for all of western New York.

Musk is the majority shareholder in SolarCity, the biggest player in the business of installing residential solar panels. On Tuesday, SolarCity announced that it was buying solar panel maker Silevo, which is preparing to move into the RiverHub clean technology hub in Buffalo. >>View Article

Lisa Wozniak: EPA Carbon Rules are a Clean Energy Opportunity

June 19 -- What will Michigan be like in the year 2030? If proposed rules to limit air pollution from power plants are embraced by decision makers, we will be living in a cleaner, healthier Great Lakes state. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled new rules that would curb carbon pollution from existing power plants for the first time --- a landmark announcement to implement rules that most Americans assumed already existed. >>View Article

‘Well over 1,000 jobs’ on solar horizon here

June 18 -- The solar panel factory slated to be part of the RiverBend clean-energy hub in South Buffalo could be more than five times bigger than originally planned, after the California-based company agreed Tuesday to be acquired by one of the nation’s biggest installers of solar power systems.

Instead of creating 475 jobs, as originally promised by the solar panel-maker Silevo, the $200 million deal and the expansion of the Buffalo factory could create “well over 1,000 jobs” under the company’s new owner, SolarCity Corp. of San Mateo, Calif. Its chairman is Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk. >>View Article

Texas Utility Doubles Large-Scale Solar, Says It Will Be Coal-Free By 2016

June 18 -- Thanks to new investments in natural gas and utility-scale solar energy, El Paso Electric, a Texas utility with nearly 400,000 customers, announced on Monday that its electricity mix will be free from coal by 2016.

Thanks to successive investments in large solar projects, EPE has doubled its utility-scale solar portfolio in less than one year. “Our west Texas and southern New Mexico region has the right kind of sun for optimal solar energy production, making this region the ‘goldilocks’ in terms of climate, humidity and heat characteristics that allow us to expand our renewable portfolio with cost-effective technologies and reliable energy resources,” said Tom Shockley, Chief Executive Officer at El Paso Electric, said in a statement. >>View Article

Reasons to believe

June 18 -- The National Climate Assessment released earlier this month confirmed that climate disruption is already affecting our health, our communities, and our economy. It also shows what the future will look like across the U.S. depending on whether we take strong action to cut carbon emissions. >>View Article

Wisconsin Energy Sources: “Too Many Eggs In One Basket”

June 18 -- MADISON, Wis. - There is mixed news regarding Wisconsin's future energy priorities, according to an official of the state's largest environmental organization. The good news is that the state's utilities have hit their renewable-energy target two years ahead of schedule, said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin. That puts the state in a good position to achieve proposed new carbon-emission standards, he said. >>View Article

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