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Jimmy Carter promotes solar power on his peanut farm

The former president is leasing part of his family's farmland for a project that is both cutting edge and homespun. The solar panels — 3,852 of them — shimmered above 10 acres of Jimmy Carter’s soil where peanuts and soybeans used to grow. The panels moved almost imperceptibly with the sun. And they could power more than half this small town, from which Carter rose from obscurity to the presidency.

Utilities vote to close Navajo coal plant at end of 2019

The utilities that own the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant near Page are tired of overpaying for power and decided Monday to close the plant when their lease expires at the end of 2019. To run that long, the utility owners need to work out an arrangement with the Navajo Nation, which owns the land, to decommission the plant after the lease expires. Otherwise, the owners will have to close at the end of this year to have time to tear down the plant's three generators and be gone by 2020.

For the First Time, Wind on the Plains Supplied More Than Half Region’s Power

Wind turbines across the Great Plains states produced, for the first time, more than half the region’s electricity.  The power grid that supplies a corridor stretching from Montana to the Texas Panhandle was getting 52.1 percent of its power from wind at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday. As more and more turbines are installed across the country, Southwest Power has become the first North American grid operator to get a majority of its supply from wind.

Wind tops nation in renewable energy capacity for first time

Wind power expanded so much in 2016 that it is now the largest source of renewable electricity capacity in the United States, an industry group reported Thursday.   In a study, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said wind energy grew at its second-fastest pace ever during the last three months of 2016.

Tribe Files Legal Challenge to Stall Dakota Access Pipeline

onstruction crews have resumed work on the final segment of the Dakota Access pipeline, and the developer of the long-delayed project said Thursday that the full system could be operational within three months.  Meanwhile, an American Indian tribe filed a legal challenge to block the work and protect its water supply.  The Army granted Energy Transfer Partners formal permission Wednesday to lay pipe under a North Dakota reservoir, clearing the way for completion of the 1,200-mile pipeline.

Big utilities try to tilt solar energy market in their favor

Indiana’s energy utilities want state lawmakers to pass a law that critics say would muscle out smaller companies from the emerging solar energy market. Solar power provides only about 1 percent of the country’s energy, but the industry is growing rapidly, with figures showing it employed 208,859 workers in 2015. That amounts to a 125 percent increase since 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But much of the growth has come from homeowners or businesses taking advantage of its bill-lowering potential.

Solar leases could conflict with key tax break for some Michigan farmers

As interest grows in developing Michigan agricultural land for solar energy, some farmers may have to choose between keeping tax incentives for preserving farmland or leasing their property to solar developers. Under a state program that provides an annual state income tax break for maintaining farmland, property owners can not do both, state officials say.

With veto override, Md. legislature enacts stronger green-energy standards

Despite vigorous opposition from the popular Republican governor, the Maryland Senate voted 32 to 13 on Thursday to override Hogan’s veto of a bill to boost the state’s use of renewable energy.  The House of Delegates voted to reverse the veto earlier this week. That means the measure — which requires Maryland to obtain 25 percent of its energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2020, instead of ­20 percent by 2022 — will become law.

The contradictions at the heart of the fight over methane rules

In 2014, Colorado became the first state to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, with the goal of shrinking its carbon footprint and improving local air quality. While a couple industry trade groups fought the rules, some producers, including Encana, Devon Energy and Anadarko, supported the measures. They even helped write the rules with the state and the Environmental Defense Fund. A couple years in, even the trade groups agree that the rules are reasonable and effective.

With veto override, Md. legislature enacts stronger green-energy standards

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan may have the approval ratings. But the Democrats who control both houses of the state legislature have the votes.  Despite vigorous opposition from the popular Republican governor, the Maryland Senate voted 32 to 13 on Thursday to override Hogan’s veto of a bill to boost the state’s use of renewable energy. The House of Delegates voted to reverse the veto earlier this week. That means the measure — which requires Maryland to obtain 25 percent of its energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2020, instead of ­20 percent by 2022 — will become law.

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