Law360 (subscription required) - Oct 16
A California appeals court on Tuesday ordered Southern California Edison Co. and developer Helo Energy LLC and its investment backer to arbitrate their dispute over the utility's termination of a power purchase agreement with Helo's 20-megawatt wind farm, saying a lower court wrongly denied SCE's request to compel arbitration. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles F. Palmer admitted that claims by Helo, investment fund Saugatuck Energy LLC, and project vehicle Sand Canyon of Tehachapi LLC that SCE unlawfully backed out of the PPA were covered by an arbitration agreement. However, he denied the utility's arbitration bid, saying the claims were linked to Helo plaintiff's allegations that a group of four businesspeople and their affiliated companies conducted an elaborate scheme to get Helo and Saugatuck to buy the development rights to Sand Canyon, a site that may not be able to support a wind farm.
Renewable Energy World - Oct 9
Clean energy investment fell 14 percent in the third quarter from the prior three months as Europe curbed subsidies and cheaper U.S. natural gas lured investment. The $45.9 billion spent makes it “almost certain” that annual investment in renewables and energy-smart technologies will fall for the second consecutive year from $281 billion in 2012, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a statement.
Sustainable Industries - Oct 15
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to hear a landmark case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions from “stationary sources” such as power plants and factories. It’s the highest-profile environmental case to reach the Supreme Court in years. The new Supreme Court case is a sequel to Massachusetts v. EPA, a 2007 decision that required the agency to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles if it determined they endangered public health or welfare. The rub for industry groups and a coalition of 12 Republican-led states is whether or not the agency should have the sweeping authority to regulate emissions from the so-called stationary sources. In agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court narrowed its focus to the fundamental question of whether or not the agency was correct in making the leap from regulation of new motor vehicles to stationary sources.
Green Tech Solar News - Oct 15
As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation. Lawmakers passed a suite of laws to expand California’s solar investment, including the following: AB 327 ensures that net metering, which pays solar-equipped customers retail prices for the solar power delivered to the grid, will stay in place until at least 2016, and SB 43 launches a new 600-megawatt program that lets customers of IOUs purchase up to 100 percent of their electrical power from a remote solar power plant.
GreenTech Other Energy News - Oct 15
Google has announced a partnership with Silver Ridge Power LLC that will see the search engine giant further advance its commitment to clean energy with a $103 million investment in a new solar power plant. The 265-megawatt Mount Signal Solar utility-scale PV plant is currently under construction in Imperial County, California. It is expected to come online in 2014, with San Diego Gas & Electric already agreeing to a long-term power purchase agreement with the plant.
The Huffington Post - Oct 15
The annual Solar Means Business Report, which identifies major commercial solar projects and ranks America's top corporate solar users, was released this week by SEIA and Vote Solar. The report found that Walmart is America's commercial solar leader for the second year in a row with 89 megawatts installed at 215 locations. Other companies on the list include Costco, Kohl's, Apple, IKEA, Macy's, Johnson & Johnson, McGraw Hill, Staples, Campbell's Soup, U.S. Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kaiser Permanente, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Target, Safeway, FedEx, Intel, L'OREAL, General Motors, Toys "R" Us, White Rose Foods, Toyota, and Dow Jones & Company.
Reuters - Oct 14
U.S. imports of Brazilian sugar cane ethanol could be cut by more than half if a draft proposal to reduce next year's U.S. biofuel blending mandate is enacted. While the U.S. corn-based ethanol industry has issued the most fierce complaints over news this week that the Environmental Protection Agency may ease volumes, it may be Brazilian ethanol producers like Raizen and traders like Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Vitol S.A. that will suffer a deeper blow. Their import business has been booming thanks to the sugar-based fuel's treatment as an "advanced" biofuel under EPA regulations.