How Can the Southeast Benefit from Wind Energy in Texas?

It’s true what they say, everything is bigger in Texas…and that includes the wind energy industry! Texas is number one in the nation for wind energy production with over 20 gigawatts of installed capacity. With such a fantastic and cheap wind resource, is there any way for the Southeast to reap the benefits? Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) has created a solution: Build a new transmission line that can deliver 2,000 megawatts of clean, abundant, and cheap wind energy to our region.

Proposed Wind Power Transmission Project Would Generate $3.9 Billion for Louisiana, Mississippi

The new study highlights the beneficial job and economic development impacts associated with the proposed power line. According to the study, the Southern Cross Transmission project will provide significant economic benefits within Louisiana, and Mississippi, including $3.9 billion in total direct, indirect, induced and fiscal economic impact. The benefits primarily stem from construction, potential local tax revenue, and operations. Notably, the benefits from low-cost wind power associated with the transmission project were not included in the analysis, suggesting a conservative analysis.

As Utilities Embrace Clean Energy, Southeast Needs Smart Policies to Promote Local Renewables Growth

Even utilities in our notoriously coal-dependent Southeast are getting in on the action. Duke Energy, one of the two biggest utilities in our region, in late April announced plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to 8,000 megawatts by 2020, up by one-third over previous targets. “We’re finding that it’s competitive” on a cost basis, Duke Energy company spokesman Randy Wheeless has said of renewables. “It makes good business sense.” The Atlanta-based Southern Company, parent company of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, intends to exceed its previously announced renewables totals for 2017 and 2018 and just bought a North Carolina company, PowerSecure, that focuses on distributed generation—smaller-scale local power often provided by renewable sources—along with energy efficiency. NextEra Energy, based in Juno, Florida and the parent of that state’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light (FPL), is a national leader in wind power development. “We continue to believe that the fundamentals for the North American renewables business have never been stronger,” NextEra Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO John Ketchum said on an April 28th earnings call.

Blinders Remain On in Vogtle Construction Monitoring Docket

One wonders what it is going to take in order to get the Georgia Public Service Commissioners’ attention when it comes to the two under-construction nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle? As reported by Georgia Power in their 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) report, the project is $1.4 billion over budget and at least 39-months [...]

Mississippi’s Jazzed About Wind Power

Electric utility companies across the south are snapping up wind power contracts – and now a utility in Mississippi may jump on the wind rush bandwagon. South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) recently released a request for proposals for up to 250 megawatts of wind power – a first for Mississippi. Depending on wind farm performance levels, 250 MW of wind power could represent about 8-9% of SMEPA’s power sales.

New Wind Turbines Could Bring Huge Benefits to Mississippi

New wind speeds maps released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrate the greatly increased potential for wind turbine development in Mississippi with advanced turbines. As wind turbines increase in height, Mississippi’s wind energy resources become more available. The shading on the map above represents new available land for wind development with modern turbines with towers of 360 feet (110 meters) achieving a 35% capacity factor or greater. With these new wind turbines, over 43,000 megawatts (MW) of land-based wind potential currently exists in Mississippi. Developing just one gigawatt of wind energy capacity (1,000 MW) in Mississippi (one-forty-third of Mississippi’s potential) could power more than 255,500 homes a year!

Why the South is the Next Frontier for Wind Energy

Advanced turbine technology is a game changer for wind energy in the Southeast. In just five years, wind turbine technology has greatly evolved to be more suitable for lower wind speeds areas like the Southeast.

Mighty Mississippi: Energy Efficiency Plans Approved for State’s Investor-Owned Utilities

Home of the Delta blues and promising new requirements for utility-run energy efficiency programs, Mississippi went down to the crossroads and took a huge step forward toward a cleaner, more efficient energy future. On June 20, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) submitted comments to the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) on its recent approval (Order Numbers 2014-0006-330141 [...]

EPA proposed regulations suggest states capture up 6 times more efficiency in the Southeast

On June 2, the EPA released its proposed rules on existing coal fired power plants. In our press release, we discussed that the proposed standards call for reductions in carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels by the year 2030. In the proposed rule, the best system of emissions [...]

New Southeast EPA Administrator Faces Challenges Ahead

In the first month of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency appointed Heather McTeer Toney as the new Region 4 Administrator. The former Regional Administrator, Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, left to become chief of staff for EPA’s new chief administrator Gina McCarthy. Mrs. Toney, a private-sector attorney by trade, served as the first woman and first African-American mayor [...]