SNL Energy editors' picks for the best stories for the week ended Dec. 29.
1. Battery insurgents vie to unseat the 'Li-ion' king
Robust demand for energy storage in electric vehicles, grid-tied installations, smart phones and laptop computers continues to fuel the fortunes of companies producing lithium ion, or Li-ion, batteries, and has sparked a boom in battery production capacity and lithium exploration.
2. How the FPL-Vero Beach deal went from 'war' to 'godsend'
Vero Beach, a Florida town of 17,000 residents, and Florida Power & Light Co., an investor-owned utility with 5 million accounts, are less than a year away from closing a $185 million sale in which the company would acquire nearly all of the city's electric system assets.
3. Effort launched to unlock Montana's renewable energy potential
The Bonneville Power Administration and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock hope to find ways to remove hurdles to delivering the state's renewable energy to consumers on the West Coast.
4. As US exports more natural gas, New England continues to rely on LNG from abroad
Even as the U.S. sends more natural gas to the rest of the world via the Cheniere Energy Inc. Sabine Pass facility and Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point LNG terminal prepares for commercial service, New England still takes LNG from overseas to help alleviate the region's winter gas supply volatility.
5. Coal starts focus on shareholder return, but executive warns of lack of capital
After a bounce in 2017 and hopes for a relatively stable year after a long period of decline and pessimism, one industry executive said he still sees at least one storm cloud brewing for the coal sector.