Icebreaker, the only advanced offshore wind project in the Great Lakes, appears to be dead in the water.

After years of permitting battles, the Ohio Power Siting Board this week approved the Icebreaker project, but it came with a “project killing” catch: The wind farm would be forced to stop its turbines all night long between March and November each year to protect birds and bats, gutting its revenue stream.

The six-turbine Icebreaker project has been under development for a decade by the non-profit Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) eight miles off Cleveland’s shore.

“We still have to evaluate things, but it’s looking like this could be

The Covid-caused economic crunch has been difficult for both fossil resources and renewables. But there are positive developments in battery storage and renewable electricity generation. We'll discuss those trends on this week's Energy Gang podcast.

First, we’ll look at the record-breaking activity in battery storage.

A coal plant in North Dakota will be replaced in part with a one-acre battery array from Form Energy that uses a new technology capable of discharging for 150 hours – that’s more than 30 times longer than lithium batteries. 

Hawaii’s electric utility just awarded contracts for 16 projects that add up to more than 3 gigawatt-hours of storage,

A recent petition to FERC could trigger nationwide changes to solar net-metering. On April 14, the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to assert jurisdiction over any on-site, behind-the-meter generation that injects energy onto the grid. 

If FERC asserts such jurisdiction in the manner requested by NERA, individual states could lose control over their solar net-metering policies — with myriad implications for the U.S. distributed solar market.

NERA’s net-metering petition

Today, states set their own rules for solar energy generated by residential, commercial, and municipal utility customers in excess of what the customer needs at any given time. Over 40 states now

Airborne wind energy players are still hustling to get generators up in the air despite the major setback suffered by sector frontrunner Makani Power this February, when it lost Google's parent Alphabet as an investor.

At least three European startups say they're nearing commercialization in a sector with a high bar to clear as traditional wind and solar continue to see price declines. Behind them are another 10 or so companies attempting to bring to market a diverse range of concepts involving tethered structures that capture high-altitude wind energy and deliver it to the ground.

Leading the charge toward commercial viability is SkySails Power of Germany, which is “ready to receive orders”

A recent petition to FERC could trigger nationwide changes to solar net-metering. On April 14, the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to assert jurisdiction over any on-site, behind-the-meter generation that injects energy onto the grid. 

If FERC asserts such jurisdiction in the manner requested by NERA, individual states could lose control over their solar net-metering policies — with myriad implications for the U.S. distributed solar market.

NERA’s net-metering petition

Today, states set their own rules for solar energy generated by residential, commercial, and municipal utility customers in excess of what the customer needs at any given time. Over 40 states now

Amazon will add 615 megawatts of solar projects to its existing and announced renewables portfolio of more than 2.9 gigawatts, the technology and shipping giant said on Thursday.

The projects will go up across the world — in Australia, China and the United States — to power Amazon’s shipping warehouses and data centers. Amazon did not say who would develop the projects and declined to comment on what companies were involved in the installations.  

The largest additions will come in the U.S., where Amazon will add two solar installations in Ohio and another in Virginia, totaling 410 megawatts. Virginia has been a hotspot for corporate renewables procurement

The skies may look clearer these days. But don’t get too excited. Levels of smog and other short-lived climate pollutants (remember HFCs?) are still high and climbing.


The good news: There’s a long track record of international cooperation to get these harmful pollutants in check. The challenge: finding the political will to eliminate them entirely.

Short-lived climate pollutants include black carbon or soot, methane, hydrofluorocarbons and tropospheric ozone, or what we think of as city smog. In addition to heating up the atmosphere, they dirty our air, make people sick and affect the ozone layer.


In this episode of Political Climate, we speak

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