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Calif. governor signs 100% clean electricity bill; Mine idlings rise in 1st half

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


Calif. governor signs 100% clean electricity bill; Mine idlings rise in 1st half

Top News

California's zero-carbon grid bid could supercharge energy storage

For California to completely decarbonize its power system by 2045, as prescribed in the landmark bill recently passed by the state Legislature, much more than Gov. Jerry Brown's signature will be required. Among the prerequisites is a massively expanded energy storage industry, placing energy storage among the bill's biggest potential beneficiaries. Brown signed the bill on Monday.

Explosion on pipeline that feeds Rover adds to Energy Transfer's Pa. troubles

Pennsylvania investigators are looking into the cause of a Sept. 10 explosion and fire north of Pittsburgh on Energy Transfer Partners LP's newly opened Revolution gas pipeline, which feeds into the Rover pipeline.

Mine idlings rise in 1st half of 2018; Appalachia again bears the brunt

U.S. coal producers idled production at 66 coal mines in the first half of 2018 that were responsible for producing 3.0 million tons of coal in the 12 months that ended June 30, primarily in the Central Appalachia region.

Quoted

"When there are three women in a room, that's really when it stops becoming a distinguishing factor," said Courteney Keatinge, director of environmental, social and governance research at proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis, on the measure passed by the California Legislature that would require hundreds of companies headquartered in the state to have between one and three women sit on their boards.

Power

* The Trump administration's proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan for regulating electricity sector carbon emissions could extend the lives of some aging coal-fired generating plants. But a brewing clash over competing interpretations of the Clean Air Act ultimately could decide whether the proposed regulation withstands legal scrutiny.

* A new survey commissioned by the Climate Leadership Council found that 56% of the voters surveyed are in support of a carbon tax proposal backed by some big businesses and former Republic officials, The Hill in Washington, D.C., reported.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to hold a hearing on the Trump Administration's proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule in Chicago. The proposed rule would replace the Clean Power Plan.

* A U.S. subsidiary of Sweden-based Eolus Vind AB has acquired a planned 500-MW solar project and 250-MW battery storage component in the western U.S. The project is in early development stage and has an interconnection queue position to deliver power to California.

* The Tennessee Valley Authority is moving closer to deciding whether to retire at least two coal units and is weighing lower load scenarios against U.S. efforts to support coal as it plans for the next two decades.

* The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will hold two public meetings this September on First Solar Inc.'s proposed 450-MW Desert Quartzite solar project in Riverside County, Calif. The project is estimated to cost about $1 billion.

Natural gas

* The Trump administration could be preparing to release a proposal that would make it easier for energy companies to release methane into the air, The New York Times reported. The proposal may be be unveiled "as soon as this week."

* Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve increased rates for a natural gas expansion project that would feed two LNG export facilities with a total of 475,000 Dth/d of incremental transportation capacity. In a separate letter, Paiute Pipeline Co. asked for approval of new rates for its own gas expansion project in western Nevada.

* Sparked by a sudden resurgence in activity by Chesapeake Energy Corp., permitting activity for Utica Shale wells in Ohio in August more than doubled from July and increased 28% over August 2017.

* The New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission will consider a request by Hilcorp Energy Co. to ease restrictions on well locations in San Juan and Rio Arriba counties, according to The Associated Press.

* Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. is appealing the dismissal of its eminent domain case for a proposed natural gas pipeline in North Dakota, the AP reported.

Oil

* SandRidge Energy Inc.'s board has determined that cash offers for the company were not representative of its current or potential future asset value, following the conclusion of a strategic review process. The company will instead move forward with its development and growth plan.

* The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for approving TransCanada Corp.'s $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline. The suit seeks to rescind the Presidential permit for the project.

* Exxon Mobil Corp. has filed an appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to overturn an April ruling that required the company to comply with the state Attorney General Maura Healey's request to provide certain documents for its climate change-related investigation, The Hill reported.

* PJSC Lukoil has commissioned a steam generation farm at the Yarega oil field in the Republic of Komi in a bid to hike production as part of the second phase of the field's development.

* Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government will invest $3.9 billion in oil extraction to "resuscitate flagging output," Bloomberg News reported.

* The Port of Corpus Christi is opposing Trafigura's proposed offshore crude oil loading and export terminal exports because it could result to a loss of millions of dollars of revenue, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

* Oil and Gas Development Co. Ltd. said that crude oil and gas have been discovered from an exploratory well in its joint-venture Chanda D&PL in District Kohat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

* Trade association Oil and Gas UK has warned that a no-deal Brexit could result to labor shortages and production shutdowns, the Financial Times reported.

Coal

* Hannover Re will continue to provide coverage for clients that insure coal-related risks, despite pressure on reinsurers to pull back, CEO Ulrich Wallin said.

* Poland's energy ministry plans to fire state-controlled miner Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa SA's CEO, Daniel Ozon, at a supervisory board meeting Sept. 13 due to disagreements over strategy, Reuters reported Sept. 10, citing a company source.

ChartWatch

Driven by growing electrification and the proliferation of projects harnessing renewable energy, the relationship between energy demand and global economic growth are set to "decouple definitively" in 2035 reflecting a decline in the energy intensity of the global economy, according to a report released Sept. 10 by Norwegian risk management and advisory services firm DNV GL.

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New from RRA

* Aggressive policies favoring renewable generation have helped New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia add over 2,500 MW combined of small-scale distributed solar photovoltaic capacity between 2008 and 2018.

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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