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Energy storage industry battles battery fires; Freeport LNG seeks extension

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Energy storage industry battles battery fires; Freeport LNG seeks extension

Top News

Burning concern: Energy storage industry battles battery fires

When a 2-MW battery array in Surprise, Ariz. caught fire and subsequently exploded on April 19, it highlighted a troubling reality for the nascent energy storage industry: the sector's momentum, marked by record numbers of deployments, falling prices and expanding state mandates and incentives, could be derailed by a series of well-publicized and, in some cases, little-known incidents involving runaway fires.

Freeport LNG asks FERC for extension as contractor sticks to timeline

Freeport LNG Development LP asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an extension to complete its natural gas export terminal in Texas with a May 23 filing that came just a day after a Sempra Energy subsidiary made a similar request for the Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana.

'Save some room for coal': State lawmakers discuss ways to help endangered fuel

A group of pro-coal lawmakers looking for ways to support and strengthen the future of coal are pushing innovation, government support and appeals to local employment concerns in a bid to save the declining sector.

Industry observer sees US shale oil 'calling the shots' in the long-term market

American unconventional oil production has become so powerful that it has become the dominant long-term force in the global marketplace, Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. managing director Michael Bradley said May 23.

Quoted

"Lithium-ion batteries can burn. The fact is the hazard exists. ... It is something a lot of us have been worried about for some time," Ben Ditch, a fire researcher at FM Global Inc., said on the spate of battery fires that threaten to derail the momentum of the energy storage industry.

Power

* Canadian Utilities Ltd. has decided to sell its entire fossil fuel-based electricity generation portfolio in Canada to Energy Capital Partners LLC affiliate Heartland Generation Ltd. for approximately C$835 million, following a strategic evaluation.

* Environmental Protection Agency scientists were against Scott Pruitt's 2018 decision to exempt most of southeastern Wisconsin from federal limits on smog, The New York Times reported, citing newly released emails.

* The city of Boulder, Colo., and Xcel Energy Inc. have reached a settlement over a lawsuit filed by Xcel over the city's drive to create a municipal electric utility.

* Federal prosecutors in New York are scrutinizing real estate mogul Franklin Haney's $1 million donation to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee, according to The Associated Press. During that time, Haney was seeking approval and financial support from the government to acquire the mothballed Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station from Tennessee Valley Authority.

* The uncertain future of nuclear power could threaten energy security and climate goals, the International Energy Agency said.

* Quebec Premier François Legault plans to unveil a plan to boost use of hydroelectric power by electrifying public transport, heating and air conditioning by the end of 2019 or the start of 2020, according to Reuters.

Natural gas

* The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's beleaguered natural gas transmission pipeline safety rulemaking appears to be making progress, according to a May 22 notice indicating that the rule is undergoing review at the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

* The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced that the fire at Dominion Energy Inc.'s natural gas condensate storage tank in Tyler County was extinguished around 5 a.m. on May 26. The fire was reportedly caused by a lightning strike.

* The state of New Jersey has asked an appeals court to send a South Jersey Gas Co. proposed pipeline back to the commission that approved it, arguing that the conditions around the project had changed too dramatically for a related court case to continue.

Oil

* A British Columbia court said a law aimed at limiting transportation of oil sands bitumen through the province is unconstitutional and an attempt to override the federal government's approval of Trans Mountain Corp.'s planned pipeline expansion.

* Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan told the Financial Times that there is pressure on independent shale drillers in the U.S. to expand or be acquired.

* Investor displeasure has forced oil and gas producers to permanently change their way of doing business, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said May 23.

* Another activist investor, Lion Point Capital LP, plans to support Kimmeridge Energy Management Co. LLC's nominees to the PDC Energy Inc. board, Bloomberg News reported.

* Norwegian oil and gas producer OKEA ASA plans to raise gross proceeds of 650 million Norwegian kroner to 858 million kroner in its initial public offering. The offering is intended to support the company's growth strategy and accelerate growth plans.

* Thomas DiNapoli, the New York state comptroller, vowed to keep pushing Exxon Mobil Corp. to do more to combat climate change, according to FT.

* Papua New Guinea-based Oil Search Ltd. secured a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its Pikka development, which could produce approximately 120,000 barrels of oil per day, Alaska's Energy Desk reported.

Coal

* While consumption in the U.S. domestic thermal coal market is on a downtrend, global demand is only growing, providing opportunity for U.S. producers to take advantage of the opening markets, Doyle Trading Consultants LLC executive said May 23.

* Peabody Energy Corp. will begin its ventilation of the first segment of North Goonyella coal mine in Queensland, Australia, in consultation with the Queensland Mine Inspectorate, as part of the mine's expected longwall production in 2020.

* China's National Development and Reform Commission is proposing to lower domestic coal prices to help power producers, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

ChartWatch

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While coal exports out of the Port of New Orleans surged in 2018, international shipments were hampered during the first quarter of 2019 due to Midwestern flooding that caused high water levels on the Mississippi River and prevented some barges from carrying coal south.

New from RRA

* Northern States Power Co. - WI on May 23 filed an application seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin of a settlement calling for a freeze in electric base rates and a $3.2 million decrease in gas base rates through 2021.

The day ahead

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. equity markets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here. To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.

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Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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