The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Wednesday granted three air quality permits for NextDecade's proposed Rio Grande liquefied natural gas project in Brownsville, Texas, and associated Rio Bravo Pipeline. NextDecade is still awaiting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision on both projects, which won't be issued until at least July.
Shale producers' equipment and service costs in the Lower 48 are set for a 9% average increase in 2019, a slowdown from this year's 13% average rate of increases, report Wood Mackenzie and Power Advocate. Steel tubes and fracking gear experienced the largest cost increases in the year ending in October, surging by 31% and 22%, respectively.
On Thursday, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a permit allowing Dominion Energy's Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be built on national forest land and the Appalachian Trail, finding that the US Forest Service had "abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources." The latest setback comes a week after the same court issued a stay for an incidental take statement by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the project, prompting Dominion to halt construction.
The first liquefied natural gas export cargo from Cheniere Energy's terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas, is bound for Greece, with expected arrival at the Revithousa LNG terminal on Dec. 29, according to Greek gas grid operator DESFA. "Natural gas is required to play a transitional role in securing Greece's energy security," the state-owned company said.
A Bureau of Land Management auction for oil and natural gas drilling rights in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska generated a modest $1.13 million from a total of 16 bids covering 174,044 acres. Officials blamed the most prospective areas' limited accessibility for the reduced interest.
The Rhode Island Fishermen's Advisory Board has raised concerns about Vineyard Wind's 800-megawatt offshore wind farm proposed for Massachusetts' coast and its potential effect on local fishing. Vineyard Wind Spokesman Scott Farmelant cautioned that delays could derail the project and that Vineyard is hoping to negotiate a compromise that addresses the industry's concerns.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's auction of three offshore wind zones facing New England fetched a record-shattering $405 million in bids from Equinor, Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind. "Looking up and down the East Coast -- and specifically in the Northeast -- we see states with huge commitments to buying this power," said Nancy Sopko, director of offshore wind policy at the American Wind Energy Association. "That is driving incredible demand for this energy."
Acciona Energia has begun building the $200 million, 144.9-megawatt Palmas Altas project in Texas. The project is expected to feature 46 AW125/3150 machines from Nordex.
Sammons Renewable Energy has purchased Longroad Energy's 238-megawatt Rio Bravo project in Texas, marking its second acquisition in the US. The wind farm is expected to feature 66 V136 3.6-MW turbines from Vestas.
New technology from Vaisala may help energy companies, including wind firms and utilities, detect high-risk cloud-to-ground and cloud lightning strikes. These lightning strikes are often the most damaging for energy applications.
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