Lone Star State leads nation in solar capacity at 7.7 GW



With 7.7 GW of planned solar expected to come online in 2023, Texas is leading the nation in utility-scale new solar capacity.

The state also leads the nation by adding 2 GW of new wind generation capacity, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report from February.

The EIA analysis forecasts that 2023 national U.S. planned utility-scale electric-generating capacity additions will be represented by 59% solar, 17% battery, 11% wind, 14% natural gas, and 4% nuclear. https://tinyurl.com/5bh97vsd

Chesapeake sells Eagle Ford shale assets for $1.4 billion

Chesapeake Energy will sell some of its oil and gas assets in south Texas’ Eagle Ford shale for $1.4 billion to London-based INEOS Energy, a new entrant into the U.S. oil and gas industry.

The sale includes 2,300 wells producing 36,000 barrels of oil per day across 172,000 acres. https://tinyurl.com/4p4xhbjk

JX Nippon to Revive Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project

The JX Nippon company is re-establishing a shuttered CCS project closed in 2020.

Nippon originally partnered with NRG and operated the Petra Nova CCS project for three years (2017-2020), reportedly capturing 92% of CO2 from the coal burning facility.

The captured carbon was then reinjected into oil wells to increase production.

The project was shuttered when falling oil prices made it too expensive.

NRG sold its shares in December 2022, and since oil prices have risen, sole owner Nippon is reestablishing the project and reopening the carbon capture facility. https://tinyurl.com/46t7ak8u

Largest Houston refinery to close in 2023

LyondellBasell company announced plans to close its Houston refinery in 2023 as it shifts to development of recycled plastics, for which demand is soaring.

The company is seeking to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3 million metric tons.

The physical facility is expected to be converted into new uses based on LyondellBasell’s advances in molecular recycling.

The refinery currently employs 500 people and processes 268,000 barrels of oil per day. https://tinyurl.com/3na2ykvb

Chevron to develop carbon capture, storage project in East Texas

Chevron announced it will take over operations of the Bayou Bend CCS project from its partner, Houston-based Talo, and will develop a massive carbon capture project in East Texas.

Tripled in size from the originally announced 40,000 in Chambers and Jefferson counties, the project will boast 140,000 acres with the capacity to store more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2.

Bayou Bend’s goal is to provide CCS services to industries in the Beaumont/Port Arthur areas.



EPA: $26.3 million to address toxic PFAS in drinking water

Funded from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure legislation, Louisiana is receiving $26.3 million from the EPA to remove PFAS (perfluorooctane suflonic acid), so called “forever chemicals,” and other pollutants from its drinking water supply.

About 1 in 5 of the 1,300 systems in Louisiana don’t meet the standards set by the Louisiana departments of Health and Environmental Quality. https://tinyurl.com/4yusuhd5

Natural gas-powered power station to be built

New Jersey based Kindle Energy broke ground on a $750 million, 700-megawatt, electric generation plant that is expected to start operations in May 2025.

The new natural gas-powered plant, built on 112 acres along the Mississippi River, will have the capacity to power more than 500,000 homes.

The power station will provide power to several cooperatives in Louisiana under an alliance with the 1803 Electric Cooperative.

The station will employee 25 with 475 jobs during construction. https://tinyurl.com/mj3hucvp

New Orleans buys electric vehicles for seven city departments

Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration announced the purchase and delivery of 10 Chevrolet Bolts for use in seven city departments.

This is the first EV purchase since the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance in 2021 to require the city to purchase only low emission vehicles in 2023 and only EVs by 2025.

The automobiles were purchased with $220,000 from the city’s general fund and $95,000 from the French Quarter Improvement Fund.

The vehicles are expected to have lower maintenance and fuel costs for the city.

New Orleans has set a goal of cutting at least 50% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and achieving net zero by 2050. https://tinyurl.com/54895vfn

$27.5 million gift to establish LSU Institute for Energy Innovation

The Institute for Energy Innovation at Louisiana State University will focus on three main areas of research and practice and serve as a national model for energy-related collaboration.

The center is tasked with finding solutions in the areas of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS); and low carbon fuels. This gift is the university’s largest gift ever from a for-profit corporation and its largest gift ever in support of energy-related initiatives. https://tinyurl.com/29fdn35v


Entergy Mississippi opens state’s first fast EV charging station

Two direct current fast chargers in Ridgeland on Interstate 55 and nearby Interstate 20 have been installed by Entergy Mississippi as a pilot project that will yield information on EV use.

It is the first company-owned electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Entergy’s four-state service area and will provide up to 120 Kw of power and be compatible with different kinds of EV models. The company will be charging customers $.30/Kwh, a cost of about $20-30 for full charges taking 30 to 45 minutes. https://tinyurl.com/43f5n92w

MSU receives $6.6 million grant for coastal restoration

Mississippi State University has received a $6.6 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation (NFWF) to conduct a shoreline coastal restoration project on the Gulf Coast.

The goal of the project is to reduce wave energy and erosion along a 2.5 mile stretch in the Back Bay, Biloxi.

Partners in the project include MSU Coastal Marine Extension Program, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, The Nature Conservancy, Harte Research Institute, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant and the PEW Charitable Trusts. Their project, “Living Shoreline Restoration in Back Bay to Enhance Community and Military Resilience,” was approved through the NFWF National Coastal Resilience Fund and involves a $861,100 matching amount from the MSU partners. https://tinyurl.com/2sf9b7fy


RCP Companies break ground on net zero energy development

Expected to be completed by summer 2025, the Wellory MidCity complex will include 328 apartment units as well as retail tenants in the 13,000 square foot building.

The facility will be equipped with solar panels and extensive energy efficiency amenities that will enable it to produce as much renewable energy power as it uses.

The development is expected to be completed by summer 2025. https://tinyurl.com/yc4vuwwt

Etowah County megasite to get Alabama Power Substation

The recently rebranded Northeast Alabama Regional (NEAR) Megasite in Etowah County is receiving several site improvements, including an Alabama Power Substation and investment by Norfolk Southern Railway to make the site accessible by rail. Additional investment of $5.7 million by Grow Alabama enabled the development of a 70-acre pad and access road, with 30 more acres planned for the near future. The site is being marketed to investors to attract economic development. https://tinyurl.com/26xvdnav

Midwestern company to refurbish defunct industrial park in Gadsen

Magneco/Metrel, a refractory products company, will invest more than $5 million into refurbishing 100,000 square feet of industrial space at Gadsden Industrial Park. The facility is the former site of the Gulf States/Republic Steel Mill and has been shuttered since 2000. The Magneco/Metrel company specializes in products for aluminum, brick, ceramic, glass, iron and steel. The project will create 30 new jobs. https://tinyurl.com/ct3sdpr3

Warrior Met coal miners return to work after two-year strike

Striking Tuscaloosa County Warrior Met coalmine workers have returned without an agreement.

The strike began April 1, 2021, when 1,100 union members walked off the job seeking better pay and benefits.

Negotiations are still in process, but the strike is seen as a failure of labor to get their demands met.

Despite corporate losses, the Warrior Met Company reported $641 million in earnings in 2022, up 325% from the previous year. https://tinyurl.com/5n8u64ek

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