DOI Announces $5Mn for US Territories Energy Efficiency (Funding)
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is reporting over $5 million in fiscal year 2019 funding under the Energizing Insular Communities (EIC) program to support a variety of energy retrofitting and efficiency projects that are estimated to provide thousands in savings for the residents of the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Energizing Insular Communities grants for energy efficiency and related projects are going to: American Samoa Power Authority -- $1,876,325 to conduct a retrofit and replacement of all 5,792 high pressure sodium street lights in the territory with LED fixtures over the next two years for an expected annual savings of $347,233.26 in electricity . Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands -- $785,000 for LED light systems on public buildings and pathways on the island of Tinian.
The Rota Commonwealth Utility Corporation -- $222,988 for a feasibility study for a 2 mw battery energy storage system and
$160,000 to provide a PV system for the Rota aquaponics program site.Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) -- and
$152,393 for professional services to update the CNMI's Strategic Energy Plan, last published in 2013. The Strategic Energy Plan, once updated, will continue to guide CNMI's overall efforts to reduce costs of energy in the territory and explore the best options for energy production in the territory.
Guam Power Authority -- $1,729,815 --
$620,428 to install solar arrays estimated to produce 93,072 kilowatt hours per year, which represents four percent of GPA's annual energy consumption, and roughly $36,000 in annual savings.
Bringing Energy Savings To Schools Program -- $586,771 for an LED lighting retrofit at the Agueda I. Johnston Middle School. The program is a collaborative effort between the Guam Power Authority and the Guam Department of Education to find ways to reduce costs of energy consumption at Guam’s public schools. Once the retrofit is completed, Johnston Middle School is expected to realize an annual savings of $49,763 in utility costs.
An additional $522,616 to fund a LED lighting retrofit at the Maria A. Ulloa Elementary School which is expected to contribute to $38,946 in annual savings for the school.
U.S. Virgin Islands Energy Office -- $625,500
for the design, material procurement, and installation of a solar plus-storage micro-grid pilot project at the St. Croix Educational Complex's emergency hurricane shelter.
The Energizing Insular Communities grant program provides funding for energy strategies that reduce the cost of electricity and reduce the cost of energy to consumers. Funds under this program are appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress. (Source: US DOI, Marianas Variety, 3 Nov., 2019)
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US Offshore Wind Auction Draws $405Mn in Bids (Ind. Report)
In Washington, the US Department of Interior (DoI) is reporting its recent offshore wind lease auction of about 390,000 acres off the coast of Massachusetts has drawn a record $405 million in winning bids from Equinor Wind, Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind.
If fully developed, the three parcels near Martha's Vineyard and Block Island could generate about 4.1 gigawatts of energy -- sufficient power for as many as 1.5 million homes.
There are currently 15 active wind leases in federal waters that have generated more than $473 million in winning bids for nearly two million acres in federal waters, according to BOEM.
(Source: US DoI,Workboat,Various Media, 14 Dec., 2018)
Contact: Equinor Wind,(508) 717-8964, Vineyard Wind, www.equinor.com;www.vineyardwind.com
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DoI Announces Methane Leak Regulations Rollback (Reg & Leg)
U.S. Department of the Interior
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DoI) has announced its decision to ease Obama-era , 2016, regulations on methane leaks which the Trump administration describes as "burdensome on the private sector” restrictions on oil and gas industry."
Un the Waste Prevention Rule, oil and gas producing companies were required to inspect their wells twice yearly and repair reported leaks within 30 days. The rollback of the regulation means companies are no longer obliged to check their wells and equipment more often than annually and have 60 days instead of 30 to complete repairs.
Though not as long-lived as CO2, methane prevents as much as 80 pct more heat from escaping in the first 20 years of its release. Methane leaks are the largest drawback of the otherwise environmentally friendly switch from coal to natural gas as a source of energy. Natural gas releases half as much carbon dioxide when burnt.
The rationale behind Trump's rollback on methane leaks restrictions was largely economic. It is estimated that drillers would save $734 million to $1 billion over the next 10 years.
(Source: IR Insider, 26 Sept., 2018) Contact: US DOI, www.doi.gov
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