The DOE offers a partial loan guarantee to the world’s largest wind farm, which university became the first school to receive a license for producing and selling bio-diesel fuel, and Pennsylvania has a sticky electricity company merger on it’s hands.
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has agreed to provide the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project a partial guarantee of 80% for the $1.3 billion loan. Considered the world’s largest wind farm to date, the 845 megawatt, 338 turbine project is being developed in Oregon by Caithness Energy LLC and General Electric. It is also the largest loan guarantee for the DOE’s Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), which guarantees up to 80 percent of a loan for a financial institution funded renewable energy project. The banks involved in the deal include Citi, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., RBS Securities and WestLB Securities Inc.
The Loyola University Chicago Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy’s (CUERP) Biodiesel Program is the first American school program to receive a license for producing and selling biodiesel fuels. Licensing for the program was not an easy process as the University had to receive approval from the EPA, IRS, Illinois Department of Revenue, and the National Biodiesel Board. But customers have already lined up for the biodiesel. The Free Enterprise System, the company that operates the University’s shuttle service will not only be the program’s first customer, but will also save its operation approximately 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
Well it looks like the merger between First Energy and Allegheny Energy isn’t going to receive widespread state support. Pennsylvania Governor Edward R. Rendell requested that the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to deny the merger request by First Energy and Allegheny Energy, arguing that the merger could remove almost 1,000 jobs from the Pennsylvania’s workforce. Governor Rendell’s fears that consolidating electricity providers will also lessen competition and increase pricing especially if the merger creates the largest utility in the state.
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