Tag Archives: NET Nebraska

Keystone XL Pipeline Back In Court. Seven Questions You Should Be Asking

By Bill Kelly, Senior Producer/Reporter, NET News

What are the issues to be decided?
Four parties are appealing the decision by the Public Service Commission. Around 90 landowners make up one group. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and South Dakota’s Yankton Sioux Tribe filed two separate objections. The environmental group Sierra Club filed a separate complaint. The landowners are seeking to throw out the PSC’s approval, in a close 3-2 vote, of the so-called “mainline alternative” route. Their attorneys make the case, in briefs filed in advance of the hearing, TransCanada didn’t formally seek approval for that route, and presented a majority of its evidence for a different “preferred” route.

Opponents argue because no substantive evidence was presented in its original application or during days of public hearings the process must start anew with fresh evidence defending the “mainline alternative.” There are also claims by the landowners that the process used by the state was flawed from the start and TransCanada did not advance its application to the PSC in an appropriate manner. Read more here.

NET Photo: Nebraska Supreme Court Chambers

MORE RECOMMENDED READING
FERC Commissioner: Time to weigh pipelines’ climate threats, E&E News (subscription)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to acknowledge the “existential threat” posed by climate change and address it in the context of the natural gas projects it reviews, said Commissioner Richard Glick yesterday.

ADDITIONAL NET NEWS REPORT
From Endless Pines To Oil Mines: The Alberta Tar Sands, by Hannah Trull

Midwestern cities recognized for pursuing solar-friendly policies

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

solar-minneapolis

Six Midwestern cities are among 22 communities nationwide that were commended on Monday for taking innovative approaches to streamlining solar development. Their actions were aimed at reducing the “soft costs” of solar installation – the costs outside the actual hardware – and are estimated by the federal Department of Energy to comprise about two-thirds of the price of a solar installation . . . Although federal and state governments generally take the spotlight for offering tax breaks and other incentives aimed at fostering solar, “cities can do a lot about soft costs,” said Gayle Prest, Minneapolis’ sustainability director. Click to read more.

Photo: Sundial Solar / Minnesota Solar Challenge via Creative Commons

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Community solar exploding in Minnesota

Minnesota Community Solar

1,003 community solar proposals are awaiting action from Xcel Energy, Minnesota’s largest electric utility. 

Written by Daniel Cusick, Climate Wire. Republished by Midwest Energy News

“It’s bigger than anyone ever anticipated, and bigger things are coming,” said [Ellen] Anderson, who, before joining academia, spent decades working on Minnesota energy policy as a state senator, as chairwoman of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and as senior policy adviser to Gov. Mark Dayton (D).

Anderson was among the more than 80 people, both experts and neophytes, gathered here last week for the last of four regional workshops on community solar sponsored by the Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership. Click to read more.

National Community Solar Partnership

Photo: The community solar garden is just one model of solar energy project developing around the state; the electrical cooperative is another. This array of panels in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota was built by Lake Region Electric Cooperative workers. Credit: Ann Arbor Miller | MPR News file

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED VIEWING & READING
Nebraska working to catch up on wind energy, KETV video
North American leaders to pledge more reliance on renewables, Associated Press / Nebraska TV. “The transformation of the American energy sector that’s underway is going to continue,” [Brian Deese, senior adviser to President Obama] said. “That has been driven by some of the policy choices this president has made, but it’s also being driven by market forces that are bringing down the cost of clean energy at rates that even the smartest analysts weren’t predicting only a couple of years ago.”
Obama To Set New Clean Energy Goal: 50 Percent Carbon-Free Power By 2025, NET Nebraska
Dialogue before dispute: Clean energy groups call on regulators for uniform rate design approach: Over 30 consumer, renewable energy and environmental groups are calling on NARUC to set a ‘holistic’ model for rate reforms, Utility Dive
Survey: Global interest in efficiency at ‘all-time high’, Utility Dive
The new EV playbook: How utilities can gain from the coming boom in electric vehicles: Electric vehicles can offer grid services at bargain prices of charging is done when and where utilities need it, Utility Dive
Resilient Cities: Some Great Examples, EDM Digest

San Diego Mulls Whether to Let City, Not Utility , Buy Alternative Energy

By Claire Trageser, NET Nebraska / Copyright KPBS-FM

NPRSan Diego is the largest city in the country to commit to using only renewable energy, a goal that political parties, environmentalists and business groups hope to meet over the next 20 years . . . Everybody’s on board now, but there could be trouble brewing on the horizon. The problem is whether to set up an alternative energy program that would put the city in charge of buying electricity instead of the power company. It’s called community choice aggregation. “Imagine if you only had a single option for wireless service,” says Ty Tosdal, an energy regulation lawyer. “It wouldn’t present any kind of competitive pressure on companies to bring their prices down.” Continue reading. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Study: Grid For Renewables Key to Cutting Emissions, by Bobby Magill, Climate Central
Climate CentralCarbon dioxide emissions from generating electricity could be cut by 78 percent within the next 15 years if the country makes the same Herculean effort to expand solar and wind technology that it did to build the Interstate Highway System. That’s the conclusion of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study published Monday in Nature Climate Change, which shows that a new system of transcontinental transmission lines connected to wind and solar farms nationwide is the key to dramatically reducing emissions from the nation’s power plants. Photo Credit: Lollie-pop/Flickr