What we’re reading this week

CityLab:  Say Hello to the First New U.S. Nuclear Plant in Almost 20 Years
The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 reactor just got approval to operate. What does this mean for the future of American nuclear energy?

Greenwire:  Clean Power Plan: It’s showtime for legal and Hill battles
We get a sense of the expected legal and Congressional challenges with the rule finally published.

RTOInsider:  Group Proposes to Buy Pepco’s DC Assets, Form Publicly Owned Utility
A newly formed advocacy group on Friday filed its intent to acquire the district assets of Pepco Holdings Inc. and transform it into a not-for-profit utility that it said will generate about $1 billion in savings over the next 20 years.

FuelFix:  EQT suspends natural gas drilling in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
But, don’t despair, because EQT also has high hopes for what Utica could mean for the region…

Tri-State Shale Summit brings PA, OH, and WV leadership together around common goal

tristateshalesummitLast week, business executives, government officials, civic leaders and others across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia gathered together for the first-ever Tri-State Shale Summit.  The driving force behind this summit was a belief that all three states could benefit by working together to increase the attractiveness of their shared shale assets.

Below is a statement released by three economic development organizations that assisted with the planning and execution of the event.

Statement from Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Team NEO and Vision Shared

(PITTSBURGH – Oct. 13, 2015) – “In the truest definition of a summit, top leaders from government, business, academia and foundation philanthropy have come together – setting aside state border boundaries – to move forward as a unified super region eager to make the most of the enormous economic opportunity for downstream manufacturing presented by Marcellus and Utica Shale gas.

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Team NEO and Vision Shared, all economic development organizations with a focus on attracting/retaining business investment and job creation, stand together in support of a shared economic development strategy to capture downstream-related business investment, including a potential ethane cracker facility – or multiple cracker investments – to the tri-state region’s benefit.

Together, we will market the Appalachian Basin as the new global petrochemical center and hub for made-in-America manufacturing.

We congratulate Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on the signing, at today’s Tri-State Shale Summit in Morgantown, W.Va., of an unprecedented agreement to enhance regional cooperation and job growth through the continuing development of shale gas in the Appalachian Basin.

This is a critical step toward demonstrating that our tri-state region is ready, willing and able to make downstream-related business investment a win-win for the region and for the firms – large and small – that have operations in this geographic footprint.

Above and below ground, the Appalachian Basin has a more than ample supply of assets to support multiple ethane cracker investments, as well as to support and retain supply chain manufacturers and plastics fabricators. Continued collaboration between Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will maximize the competitive advantage provided by our collective assets and allow us to reinvigorate the economy of America’s industrial heartland, of which the tri-state region is the core.”

View the tri-state Regional Cooperation Agreement here.

What we’re reading this week

NPR StateImpact:  PA, WV, OH team up on shale gas related manufacturing and chemical development
An exciting local development:  After years of competing against each other, the governor’s of the three states announced a unique three-year cooperation agreement at the Tri-State Shale Summit in Morgantown, West Virginia last week.  More on that to come.

Electric Light & Power:  Pilgrim nuclear power plant to close within 4 years
Yet another nuclear power plant is on track to close down.  Entergy cites both market forces and regulatory pressures as making the plant no longer competitive. And on a related note…

GreenTech Media:  Sweeping Retirement of Nuclear Power Could Make Obama’s Climate Plan ‘Impossible’
Nuclear power makes up 19% of all electricity in the United States, and no new plants have come online since 1996.  Now, market forces like those referenced above are causing some companies to close those that are left.  This article discusses a new report that talks about what that would mean for the recently finalized U.S. carbon reduction targets.

National Geographic: This Power Plant Set Out to Prove Coal Can Be Clean. Did It Work?
Canada’s Boundary Dam is getting promising results on carbon capture, but its success is not a guarantee for similar projects. But it is a demonstration of a retrofit of an existing plant that is having some promising results for future applications.

Carbon XPrize: New $20 million competition to reuse captured CO2

For decades, governments and the private sector have examined ways to capture CO2 and store it underground. These investments in research and development have led to significant improvements in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies, with several carbon capture solutions already being deployed today.

But what if instead of treating CO2 as waste, we turned that CO2 into something we can use?  The winning team will convert the most CO2 emissions into the highest value products. To be competitive, teams will have to make the business case for their approach as well as minimize their use of energy, water, land, and other inputs that have consequences for the environment.

Registration for the XPrize closes in March, and the first round of project submissions will be due in June. The grand prize will be announced in March 2020.

Read more here:

Oct. 14th: W&J Grid Academy Session II – The Smart Grid

W&J Center for Energy Policy and Management

Brings You

Session II – The Smart Grid: Innovating for Efficiency and Reliability
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 @ 7:00 p.m.
Yost Auditorium, Burnett Center;  W&J Campus


Steven Bossart
Senior Energy Analyst, DOE National Energy Technology Labratory

Douglas Dillie
Manager of Field Application Engineering, Eaton Corporation

Joseph Waligorski
Daily Operation Technical Advisor, FirstEnergy

Gregory F. Reed, Ph.D.
Director of Center for Energy and of the Electric Power Initiative; Professor at Swanson School of Engineering, U. of Pittsburgh

In Session II, a panel of experts will explore the capabilities of a smart grid and the challenges involved in applying the smart grid’s technology to new generation and storage facilities to create the modern grid that we need.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.  Click Here to Register Today!

PA, WV, and OH CLE credit is available for attorneys; contact the Washington County Bar Association at wcba@washcobar.org or 724-225-6710 for CLE cost and information.

W&J will provide certificates of completion of Professional Development Hours for applicable registrants.

The prototype Grid Academy program was developed as a partnership between the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Science and Engineering Ambassadors Program of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. CEPM thanks both the Allegheny Conference and the Ambassadors Program for their generosity in allowing a modified version of the Grid Academy to be presented at W&J.

If the registration link above does not open, you may paste the following URL into your Web browser: https://washjeff.co1.qualtrics.com/SE?Q_DL=e3EF92m8GdTMKR7_ehXFrrJelbE2uY5_MLRP_eJ0IDN2RfHSEYdL&Q_CHL=email