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EGEB: Wisconsin to Climate Alliance, New England wind, LA nixes gas plans

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Today in EGEB, Wisconsin joins the U.S. Climate Alliance. An offshore wind council is formed in New England. And Los Angeles scraps a plan to rebuild three natural gas plants.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced on Tuesday that his state would be joining the U.S. Climate Alliance. The state is now the 21st state or territory to join. Evers said in a statement,

“It’s a new day in Wisconsin and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions and where we invest in renewable energy.”

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors who agree to direct their states to follow the goals of the Paris Agreement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just joined last week, and we’re now getting closer to a point where there are as many states in the Alliance as there are not.

Wind Group

A number of New England businesses and community leaders announced the formation of a new advocacy group, the New England Wind Power Council. The group will focus on offshore wind projects and economic development opportunities, North American Windpower reports. Council spokesperson Dean Festa said,

“This is the perfect time to establish a wind power advocacy organization in New England. With a new governor in Connecticut who has shown enthusiasm for renewable energy sources, including wind power, within his first 30 days in office, and now Eversource becoming a partner in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island area wind projects last week, our council can make an impact in helping the United States become a global wind power leader.”

The creation of the group is another sign of growing momentum for offshore wind support in New England. The region looks to lead the way in the U.S. as New England energy company Eversource recently announced its partnership in offshore wind farms with Ørsted.

Leaving L.A.

Los Angeles is abandoning its plan to rebuild three coastal natural gas power plants, the Los Angeles Times reports. Mayor Eric Garcetti said,

“It’s the right thing to do for our health. It’s the right thing to do for our Earth. It’s the right thing to do for our economy. And now is the time to start the beginning of the end of natural gas.”

Los Angeles has set a goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. The city has all but left coal behind, but turning its back on natural gas is another important step in hitting its marks.

Staffers and consultants at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power argue “that the gas plants are critical to keeping the lights on in the city.” But it appears L.A. will be taking a different path forward.

California’s statewide goal is to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045. PG&E’s recent bankruptcy may cause a temporary setback to renewable energy progress in the state.

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