The Douglas, WI, County Board passed a resolution last night denying the use of county land for a controversial transmission line that has been proposed to run from Minnesota across Wisconsin. The line, know as Arrowhead-Weston, is a $420 million, 220-mile project proposed by the American Transmission Co. (ATC), Minnesota Power and Wisconsin Public Service.
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ILSR’s vice president David Morris gives the West Wing writers a piece of his mind and gives the rest of us an important lesson on the renewable fuel called ethanol.
Critics of ethanol often used outdated information and unsubstantiated rumors in arguments against the renewable fuel. Myths about the negative aspects of ethanol have persisted for decades even though the vast majority of studies continue to show the environmental, security and economic development benefits that the fuel provides. My colleague David Morris’ recent column is instructive reading.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is proposing to amend its regulations to require public utilities to include specific technical provisions for wind energy in their open access transmission tariffs (OATTs). The new rules will allow wind power projects to be integrated more firmly into the existing transmission system.
Small-scale and micro hydropower technologies are helping bring distributed electricity generation to remote areas around the world. The impacts on the environment are negligible and the economics are competitive. The worldwide market potential is fairly small in terms of overall megawatts (MWs) but for those locations without power today, a new micro-hydro system can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives.
Already a renewable fuels policy leader, the state of Minnesota is considering adopting a stricter mandate for biofuels content in the state’s gasoline supplies. Governor Pawlenty announced his support for a 20 percent ethanol content and a handful of bills have been introduced at the legislature to implement the goal.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to vote tomorrow (1/27/05) on who will control about $400 million in state energy efficiency funds [see CPUC proceeding R0108028] Community aggregation advocate groups including Local Power and Women’s Energy Matters are demanding that the CPUC let community choice aggregators (CCAs) control and administer their own efficiency programs rather than give all the money and co Continue reading
Hundreds of communities around the country have committed financial resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency improvements and through purchases of renewable fueled electricity from their local utilities. A new trend appears to be emerging as part of these efforts – some communities are investigating direct ownership of energy projects and recent actions in Portland, Oregon illustrate this nicely.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) began an investigation in April 2004 via a diverse working group to explore a variety of issues associated with the deployment of distributed generation (DG) including interconnection rules – formally referred to as Rule 21. Implementation of California’s standardized interconnection rules issued in 2000 have been an important priority for California because it eliminated a significant barrier to the safe and cost-effective deployment of DG in the State.
Many state legislators around the country have returned to their respective capitol buildings for another year of debate. We’ve run across a few interesting proposals involving distributed generation. A Connecticut proposal would provide an increased rate of return for distribution utilities to build distributed generation projects rather than new transmission lines. Continue reading
An effort spearheaded by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance resulted in a coalition of groups petitioning the MN Public Utilities Commission requesting that they establish the rules and technological infrastructure to allow citizens to easily monitor and participate in energy decisionmaking. This is an example of Democratic Energy in action. Minnesota isn’t the only state behind the curve either. A quick survey of other state regulatory agencies that oversee energy issues indicates that groups in many states may want to replicate the petition filed in Minnesota.