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Pacific Gas and Electric Co. equipment at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant before verifying it could pass a seismic safety test.
The company realized the mistake in 2011 and said the parts were safe after a subsequent analysis, the San Francisco Chronicle reported:
Starting in 2008, PG&E swapped out the plant’s old steam generators and reactor vessel heads without evaluating whether the replacements could withstand a major earthquake on the Hosgri Fault — just 3 miles away — and a simultaneous loss of cooling water within the reactors.
A draft analysis prepared for the Louisiana Public Service Commission finds that users of home and small business solar systems are shifting the costs of grid maintenance to other ratepayers, a conclusion that could set the stage for new consideration of utility fees and surcharge, CQ Roll Call’s Ed Felker reports on CQ State Report.
The Oregon Department of Justice has been asked to look into questions about $11.8 million in tax credits for solar projects following an investigation by The Oregonian, the paper reports:
“The department clearly didn’t follow its own rules,” said [Oregon] Energy Department Director Michael Kaplan when told of the findings of The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Illinois lawmakers are pushing to support the state’s nuclear power industry with a bill just introduced, CQ Roll Call’s Ed Felker reported Thursday: Full story
Virginia lawmakers are pushing a measure to develop a solar authority that would facilitate financing for solar projects and help Dominion Virginia Power carry out proposed plans, the reported:
This month, Dominion Virginia Power, the state’s largest electric utility, said it would invest $700 million in large-scale solar photovoltaic projects in a number of locations. The projects would generate at least 400 megawatts of power by 2020.
An amendment approved by the committee was tailored specifically to Dominion. It charged the authority with assisting Dominion’s plans by “providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of the construction or purchase of such solar energy projects” authorized by state law.
A state Senate committee sent the bill to the floor Monday.
As the shipping industry and countries make plans to expand Arctic sea lanes amid shrinking ice coverage, the Army Corps of Engineers is considering expanding and deepening the Port of Nome, Alaska, the Associated Press reported:
Corps spokesman Tom Findtner said by email that the agency in December tentatively selected a plan to modify the Port of Nome. The plan suggests extending Nome’s causeway by 2,150 feet, building a 450-foot dock and dredging the new, protected area and entrance channel to 28 feet.
The lack of a nearby deep-water port has also been cited as an issue for Arctic oil and gas exploration. We will have more on the administration’s proposal to overhaul Arctic drilling regulations on CQ.com.
A special commission has skewered the Energy Department’s national laboratories for ongoing and uncorrected issues outlined in draft interim report last week that cited lack of trust, micromanagement and an emphasis on compliance rather than production: Full story
Among the 24 Republican governors who signed a letter Thursday urging President Barack Obama to reconsider vetoing a bill that would approve the Keystone XL, one name was notably absent, that of Montana Democrat Governor Steve Bullock, who previously strongly supported the pipeline.
Another regulatory board signed off on the planned merger between power giant Excelon and energy distributor Pepco Holdings. Wednesday’s vote by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioners follows approvals in the fall by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Full story
United States Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will head to a substation 80 miles outside of Phoenix Thursday to celebrate a new 109-mile transmission project which, according to the department, “advances America’s energy infrastructure by eliminating system constraints and providing increased capacity access to affordable energy.” Full story