DISCLAIMER: News content on this website is not to be construed as a reflection of the Montana Public Service Commission or Dr.Bukacek PSC, Commissioner Elect's personal opinions or platforms. The news information provided is soley for informational purposes and is meant to help educate on all the many topics related to energy and the PSC.

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Changes to rooftop solar payments clear first hurdle

The Senate Corporations Committee narrowly passed a bill Thursday that could rework the payment structure for rooftop solar in Wyoming.After hearing two hours of occasionally contentious public testimony, the committee voted three to two to send Senate File 92 — sponsored by its chairman, Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander — on to consideration by the full Senate.The bill would strike net metering, the standard way of tracking and paying for the surplus power rooftop solar users feed back into the electric grid, from state statute. It would hand decisions about their rates over to the Wyoming Public Service Commission (which may lower those rates), and would free up utilities to impose extra charges on solar users as they and regulators deem necessary.t would also preserve net metering until 2039...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

States Reimagine Power Grids for Wind and Solar Future

For years, many states have set ambitious goals and incentives to promote renewable electricity projects. Now, more of those states are turning their attention to the transmission lines, substations and transformers needed to get that electricity from wind farms and solar plants into homes and businesses.Congress has invested billions in boosting clean energy. But the money won’t lower emissions as much as predicted without “more than doubling” the last decade’s rate of grid expansion, Princeton University researchers noted last year. That expansion is needed to support the new renewable energy projects coming online, as well as the growing number of electric vehicles, heat pumps and other technologies requiring electricity.Jon Wellinghoff, former chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

Manchin pushes to delay tax credits for electric vehicles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ratcheting up his criticism, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday moved to delay new tax credits for electric vehicles, a key feature of President Joe Biden's landmark climate law.Manchin said guidelines issued by the Treasury Department allow manufacturers in Europe and other countries to bypass requirements that significant portions of EV batteries be produced in North America. The climate law, officially known as the Inflation Reduction Act, “is first and foremost an energy security bill,” Manchin said, adding that the EV tax credits were supposed "to grow domestic manufacturing and reduce our reliance on foreign supply chains for the critical minerals needed to produce EV batteries.''Manchin’s bid to delay the tax credits surfaced as Energy Secretary Jennifer...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

Giant Wind Turbines Keep Mysteriously Falling Over. This Shouldn't Be Happening.

The taller the wind turbine, the harder they fall. And they sure are falling.Wind turbine failures are on the uptick, from Oklahoma to Sweden and Colorado to Germany, with all three of the major manufacturers admitting that the race to create bigger turbines has invited manufacturing issues, according to a report from Bloomberg.Multiple turbines that are taller than 750 feet are collapsing across the world, with the tallest—784 feet in stature—falling in Germany in September 2021. To put it in perspective, those turbines are taller than both the Space Needle in Seattle and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Even smaller turbines that recently took a tumble in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Wales, and Colorado were about the height of the Statue of Liberty.Turbines are falling for the three...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over

Breakdowns of towers and blades have bedeviled manufacturers in the US and Europe.On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene.The steel tower, which once stood hundreds of feet tall, was buckled in half, and the turbine blades, whose rotation took the machine higher than the Statue of Liberty, were splayed across the wheat field below. The turbine, made by General Electric Co., had been in operation less than a year. “It fell pretty much right on top of itself,”READ FULL ARTICLE...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

BLM eyes solar development in Montana

The federal government is eyeing Montana for utility-scale solar development on public lands, as part of a northward expansion of a Western state program.Bureau of Land Management officials will be in Billings on Feb. 2 to hear from the public about expanding the agency’s Western Solar Plan into the state. The decade-old plan has focused on solar projects further south in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. In December, Secretary of The Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Idaho would be eyed for inclusion.Haaland announced the northward expansion while touring a DLM solar project on Buckeye, Ariz. “This Administration is committed to expanding clean energy development to address climate change, enhance America’s...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

The Wind Industry’s Success Has Become Its Biggest Threat

The head of one of the world’s biggest developers of renewable energy, Denmark’s Orsted, worries that the energy transition could see a slowdown as rising competition and interest rates squeeze returns and upend the case for investment.Orsted is the world’s largest developer of offshore wind farms, which it helped pioneer from a niche technology into one of the fastest-growing forms of renewable energy. Offshore projects can use much larger turbines — the size of skyscrapers — and are able to tap into stronger and more consistent winds off the coasts. Europe, China, and the US plan to rapidly increase their offshore wind fleets to reach their climate goals.But while governments all over the world are raising their ambitions to replace fossil fuels with clean electricity, the companies...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Energy Crisis, Solar, Wind & EV's

 

Europe Failing on Renewables as Cost Fears Bite, Vestas CEO Says

Europe is failing on its renewable energy plan as the cost of development soars, according to the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker. (Bloomberg) — Europe is failing on its renewable energy plan as the cost of development soars, according to the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker. Clean energy developers should be “building like crazy” to meet European Union renewable-capacity targets, Vestas Wind Systems A/S Chief Executive Officer Henrik Andersen said in an interview. Power prices are so high right now that steep construction costs should not stymie projects, he said.Vestas is among manufacturers to have raised prices as it struggles with higher commodities costs and supply-chain constraints that have rocked the industry over the past two years. But cost inflation doesn’t only threaten...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Energy Crisis, Solar, Wind & EV's

 

The Dangerous Fantasy Of Scotland's Net-Zero Energy Transition

Suppose that Scotland’s CO2 emissions fell tomorrow to zero, i.e., that, at midnight, the country ceased to exist.Then according to the “Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change” (MAGICC), based on the latest IPCC climate models, the reduction in the Earth’s temperature in 2100 would be…undetectable.Motivated by the moral necessity and urgency of this goal, the Scottish Government is proposing a novel energy policy – its “Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan”.This article reviews its major themes and their implications, and considers briefly the probability of success of the Scottish Government implementing it.In 2022, due to an insufficient quantity of wind and sun, Scotland’s current collection of wind and solar energy-scavenging devices failed to...

Published on 1/31/2023 (19 hours ago) Energy Crisis, Solar, Wind & EV's

 

Wyoming lawmakers say they got what they wanted with proposal to ban EVs

Wyoming lawmakers introduced a joint resolution encouraging a ban on electric vehicles in the state Friday, but sponsors of the resolution said that their goal was to promote a larger conversation rather than impose an actual ban.The resolution, introduced to the state legislature on Friday, was sponsored by six Republican state legislators who said in the joint resolution that they support the goal of phasing out electric vehicles by 2035. The resolution’s sponsors said that their goal was to spark larger conversation about banning certain kinds of vehicles in the wake of many states approving bans on gas-powered vehicles in the future.State Sen. Ed Cooper (R), a co-sponsor of the resolution, said in a phone interview that the resolution is meant to show that a ban on gas-powered vehicles...

Published on 1/20/2023 (11 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's

 

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