renewable energy

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A judge has rejected a challenge by state environmental officials to rules issued by Delaware utility regulators regarding renewable energy requirements.

The judge on Monday ruled that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has no standing to challenge the regulations issued by the Public Service Commission.

The ruling is the latest development in a long-running legal dispute over regulations regarding how minimum renewable energy purchase requirements for Delaware electric utilities can be frozen if they become too costly.  

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(AP) The Maryland General Assembly has passed a measure to increase Maryland's use of renewable energy.

The Senate voted 31-15 to agree to changes made by the House to send the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan.

The measure would increase the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard from 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030.

The House put a provision in the bill to allow waste-to-energy incineration plants to be in the "top tier" of renewable energy, making them eligible for the same kind of subsidies as wind and solar.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has advanced a measure to increase Maryland's use of renewable energy.

The House gave the bill preliminary approval Saturday. The Senate has passed the measure, but the House made some changes.

The Senate bill would have eliminated trash incineration as eligible for subsidies like wind and solar energy, a provision that was in the bill initially. But the House put the provision back in to allow waste-to-energy to be in the "top tier" of renewable energy.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to increase Maryland's use of renewable energy has moved forward in the state Senate.

The Senate amended the bill on the floor Tuesday to eliminate trash incineration as eligible for subsidies under the measure aimed at boosting the growth renewable energy like wind and solar.

delaware electric cooperative

Maryland lawmakers are pushing a number of renewable energy efforts and could aim at getting 100% of the state's energy from renewables by 2040. Jessica Ennis is the legislative director of Climate and Energy. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with her about Maryland's efforts including community solar projects.

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Maryland is looking to boost its output of renewable energy this legislative session.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports there is a supermajority in the Maryland legislature that is likely to approve the state’s commitment.

The paper reports that when the General Assembly meet in January it is likely to approve the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.

The measure would set a goal of 50 percent from renewables by 2030.

That would ensure that a certain amount of electricity would come from renewable energy sources.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware utility regulators are being urged to reject a challenge to a deal under which Delmarva Power customers are forced to pay tens of millions of dollars to a California-based fuel cell manufacturer.

Public Service Commission staff and Delaware's public advocate say the commission has no authority to change the tariff deal between Delmarva Power and Bloom Energy. The commission is scheduled to discuss the matter Tuesday.

Ocean City has decided to pick up some renewable energy from a deal to build a 10-megawatt solar project over 113 acres.

The resort will partner with Constellation, an Exelon energy company.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the resort will get 3.5 megawatts of power while Eastman Chemical Company with get the rest.

The facility will be located around 10 miles west of Ocean City with a ground breaking ceremony set for Thursday morning at the intersection of Routes 50 and 90.

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Next year the Georgetown area will be getting a new renewable energy plant.

CleanBay Renewables will recycle 90-thousand tons of chicken manure next year.

That will mean transporting nearly 300 tons a day.

WBOC reports that company’s press release says that the facility will generate 5 megawatts of electricity for the Delaware Electric Cooperative.

The facility will also remove phosphorous from the chicken manure after which it will be sent to farmers in the Midwest.

The plant will employ 15-to-20 workers.

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The Sussex County Council has unanimously approved plans for a renewable energy plant on an empty field just outside of Georgetown.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the facility will be able to recycle up to 90-thousand tons of chicken waste a year.

CleanBay Renewables LLC wants to turn the chicken waste into electricity as part of an effort to reduce the amount of phosphorous going into the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways.

Dominion Energy website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Energy is reporting a recent 10-fold increase in spending aimed at influencing Virginia politicians. That spending came as the utility was pushing for a new law that could lead to higher electric bills.

Newly filed lobbying disclosure forms show Dominion spent more than $1 million on lobbyists, entertainment, meals and communications from May 2017 to the end of April 2018. That's about 10 times what the company said it spent in last year's filing.

Dominion Energy

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State regulators are rejecting Dominion Energy's plan to offer 100 percent renewable energy plans to its big customers, saying the electric monopoly's proposal isn't fair or reasonable.

The State Corporation Commission issued a ruling Monday saying Dominion's proposed renewable plan would give the company "extraordinary discretion" in setting prices.

The ruling is a win for third-party energy providers who are hoping to grow their share of business in Virginia.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a case that makes it easier for big electric users to shop around for renewable energy.

The court upheld an earlier decision by state regulators allowing large customers to purchase 100 percent renewable energy from an independent producer without restrictions.

Dominion Energy, the state's largest electric utility, had argued that big customers who go elsewhere for power should have to give five years' notice before they could return to the utility.

Representatives from oil refineries, union leaders and Governor John Carney gathered at the Delaware City Refinery to protest a federal rule requiring the purchase of renewable energy credits.

PBF Energy which owns the refinery says those rules which are resulting in ballooning costs.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the oil refineries can either blend biofuels like ethanol or they can purchase the credits.

BALTIMORE (AP) - Clean energy supporters in Maryland are announcing a new campaign to require that 50 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.

They have scheduled a news conference Wednesday in Baltimore to discuss a legislative proposal to expand Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard. That requires utilities to buy a certain percentage of renewable energy each year from the current target of 20 percent by 2020.

Delaware Technical Community College marked the end of their $7 million energy project on the Terry Campus with the completion of the last solar installation.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this will result in a total production of 2.1 megawatts or about 12 percent of the college’s energy requirements.

The paper reports that this is one of the largest such installations in the state.

The state of Delaware hopes to get 25 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by the middle of the next decade.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello says if elected he'll work to block construction of two proposed natural gas pipelines.

Perriello announced his opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline at a Richmond news conference Wednesday.

The former congressman said the proposed pipelines, which have drawn opposition from environmentalists and property owners, are a bad investment and Virginia should instead focus on energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill to increase the state's renewable energy standards.

Media outlets report that the Senate voted 32-13 Thursday to override the veto, two days after the House of Delegates voted on the measure. It means the law is now in effect.

The Senate needed a three-fifths vote, or 29 out of 47 senators. The measure passed last year on a 32-14 vote in the Senate.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Environmental advocates are urging Maryland lawmakers to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill to boost the state's renewable energy standards.

The advocates held a rally in front of the Maryland State House on Thursday with the bill's sponsors.

They say increasing requirements to use energy sources like wind and solar to 25 percent by 2020 will help the environment and increase jobs in the solar industry. Maryland's current renewable energy standard goal is 20 percent by 2022.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Facing a likely veto override on a bill to boost Maryland's renewable energy use, Gov. Larry Hogan is outlining some environmental proposals of his own.
Hogan announced plans for millions of dollars of initiatives Tuesday.
They include increasing funding for tax credits for people who buy electric cars and charging stations. Hogan says he plans to invest another $7.5 million to create a Clean Energy Institute to help develop and attract private investment for clean energy innovations.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says a new 20-megawatt solar facility will be built in Northampton County.

The Democratic governor says once the utility-scale facility in Cape Charles is completed, it will produce enough energy to power more than 3,000 homes in the area.

The governor's office says Hecate Energy LLC received a permit for the 185-acre "Cherrydale Project" on Wednesday.

McAuliffe, who has pushed for investments in renewable energy to cut carbon emissions, says the project is a "significant step forward for the Eastern Shore."

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced a new solar energy project that will be built at Naval Air Station Oceana.

McAuliffe announced Tuesday that Dominion Virginia Power will build and operate an 18-megawatt facility on the base, and state government will buy all of the energy produced.

The project is part of McAuliffe's bid to increase the amount of solar energy the state procures. McAuliffe announced a similar public-private partnership with Dominion in March to build a 20-megawatt facility in Northern Virginia.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of protesters streamed into Virginia's capital city to criticize the Democratic governor's energy policies, including his support for a proposed natural gas pipeline.

Carrying signs that read "We won't pipe down," the group on Saturday also lambasted Gov. Terry McAuliffe's support for offshore oil drilling and for not trying to stop an electric company's release of treated coal ash water into rivers.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The University System of Maryland Foundation says it will no longer directly invest in certain fossil fuel sources.

Leonard Raley, president and CEO of the foundation, which oversees the system's $1 billion endowment, tells The Baltimore Sun that they are concerned about climate change and taking actions to reflect that.

The foundation said Tuesday that it would sign on to a United Nations pledge to be more socially aware of its investments, and appoint a staff person to identify opportunities in renewable energy.

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Governor Larry Hogan is facing some sharp criticism from environmentalists over his latest appointment to the Public Service Commission and concern that he is backing way from the state's commitment to renewable energy. Maryland News Connection Reporter Veronica Carter prepared this report.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Appalachian Power says it's adding more wind power to its energy portfolio.

The company said Thursday that it has reached a 20-year deal to purchase 120 megawatts of new wind generation from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC.

Appalachian Power says the energy will come from a wind farm in Indiana that will be owned and operated by NextEra.

The new agreement will bring Appalachian Power's total wind generation to 495 megawatts. The company says it expect the new power to be available to company by 2018.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware utility regulators are mulling a request from state lawmakers to require Delmarva Power to give customers more information about their electric bills.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Public Service Commission is scheduled to consider a proposal by lawmakers to require more transparency on electric bills regarding the costs of legislatively-mandated initiatives such as renewable energy portfolio standards, and the qualified fuel cell provider project aimed at helping Bloom Energy.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will be getting two 2-megawatt wind turbines to meet the energy needs of the campus.
The project is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2014 and will contribute to Maryland’s goal of generating 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2022.  

G. Dale Wesson…vice president for research and economic development told the Salisbury Dealy Times that the university expects faculty and students to be fully engaged in the effort as a research project.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $20 million grant over five years to a statewide research consortium in Delaware to study the impact of sea level rise and climate change.

Project Director Don Sparks with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research told WDEL they will especially affect tourism and agriculture.

The grant money will not only go toward the study of renewable energy solutions but also for economic development that could lead to 160 jobs in the state.

Delaware Electric Cooperative turned on its brand new 4-megawatt solar power array on Trap Pond Road in Georgetown yesterday.

The 20-acre field of solar panels cost $14 million and is the first such site in Delaware that is owned and operated by a utility.

There are two other solar arrays in the state.

One is the 10-megawatt Dover SUNpark and the other is the 12-megawatt Milford Solar Farm.

The solar project is part of the effort in Delaware to produce 25 percent of the state’s power from renewable sources by 2025.