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Texas HOAs generally CANNOT block south street facing solar installations

BRIEF UPDATE:
Texas HB-362 passed in the 82nd Legislative session (2011), limits HOAs and POAs from restricting solar devices outright.  While working with a few Solarize Plano participants and other residents in Plano, we have encounter a few instances were HOAs have initially denied placement of street facing southern exposure solar panels. 

Good Summary of the MD Offshore Wind Blocks Auction

Here is a much better description of the just completed auction of offshore wind blocks off the MD coast than the description in my earlier post.  It’s not surprising that the winning bid went to a European-based company.

UWUA Local 304 Wins Contract at Harrison Power Station

This story got by me while I was away on vacation.  Congratulations to Local 304 of the Utility Workers Union of America.  They now have their first contract at the Harrison Power Station, after a hard fight against union-busting FirstEnergy.

US Wind Wins Federal Lease Auction for Both MD Offshore Wind Blocks

Bidding on the two big ocean blocks for offshore wind development off the Maryland coast happened today. US Wind was high bidder on both blocks. Here is the Department of the Interior’s announcement.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world…

PJM Unveils New Transmission Projects Under Order 1000

In 2013, PJM Interconnection replaced its goofy transmission “planning” process with a new process that conforms to FERC requirements spelled out in the Commission’s Order 1000.  Under its new process, instead of just picking transmission developers with very little transparency (as with TrAIL and PATH), PJM identifies reliability problems and then sets an annual deadline for project developers to propose solutions.

FirstEnergy Solutions Implodes

FirstEnergy’s experiment in selling retail electricity below cost blew up in recent months.  Here is the story in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.  The geniuses that run FirstEnergy cooked up their new deregulated retail company, FirstEnergy Solutions, and created a business plan based on undercutting everyone else in the market, regardless of how much money it lost them.  Surprise, surprise.  This brilliant strategy succeeded in losing so much money that FirstEnergy

Citizen Groups Act to Cut WV State Subsidies to AEP’s Coal Plants

WV has been subsidizing AEP’s John Amos and Kammer coal-fired power stations by allowing the outlaw company to pollute our state’s rivers.  That subsidy got a little smaller a few weeks ago.  Here is the account from the WV Highlands Voice:

Why Aren’t Rural Electric Cooperatives Champions of Local Clean Power?

When it comes to ownership, there are few better structures for keeping a community’s wealth local than a cooperative. So why is it that America’s rural electric cooperatives are tethered to dirty, old coal-fired power plants instead of local-wealth generating renewable power?

There are a lot of answers to this question, but it might start with this: electric cooperatives aren’t quite like other cooperatives.

Speculators Profit from “Congestion” Payments in NY ISO

The NY Times has an interesting article today on electricity speculators DC Energy and their exploitation of exotic financial instruments to profit at times of peak demand in NY ISO, New York state’s regional transmission organization.

PJM Market Monitor Sees Exelon/PHI Merger as Threat to Power Markets

A recent story in industry journal SNL (subscription only) describes objections made by Joe Bowring, PJM Interconnection’s Market Monitor, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about Exelon’s proposed purchase of PEPCO Holdings, Inc.

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