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POLITICO New York Energy: Carbon price headaches -- Cuomo on Puerto Rico -- NYPA's new brain

By Danielle Muoio and Marie J. French | 12/12/2017 09:57 AM EDT

CARBON PRICE HEADACHES — POLITICO's Marie J. French: Key energy stakeholders explored the potential ramifications of an innovative proposal to place a price on carbon emissions in the electric sector, discussing ways to address imports into the state and how to divvy up potential revenues. The state's independent grid operator and utility regulator co-hosted the technical discussion at the Empire State Plaza on Monday. Representatives from large energy consumers, environmental groups, state policymakers, public power authorities and in-state and out-of-state electric generators tried to establish principles for how revenue raised by a price on carbon could be used. The meeting was one step in a process that's expected to take years, as the New York Independent System Operator and Public Service Commission staff engage stakeholders on a proposal that's drawn national attention as a potential solution to challenges in wholesale electric markets across the country. As states including New York place more emphasis on providing incentives for renewable generation and low natural gas prices threaten the viability of nuclear power plants and other resources, pricing carbon in the electric market is seen as a way to support lowering emissions through more efficient markets. Read more here.

CUOMO HITS FEDS ON PUERTO RICO AGAIN — POLITICO's David Giambusso: Gov. Andrew Cuomo chided Washington on Monday for inaction in the face of an ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico, focusing his concern on current tax changes being debated by the House and Senate as well as a supplemental funding bill that would provide relief to the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria. "I believe there has been a disregard for the people of Puerto Rico because it's Puerto Rico and because they're Puerto Ricans," the governor said from his Manhattan office, flanked by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and members of the New York congressional delegation. Read more here.

NYPA's NEW BRAIN — The Wall Street Journal's Joseph De Avila: "The New York Power Authority, the largest state public utility in the U.S., has flipped the switch on a digital system that will monitor its 16 power plants and 1,400 miles of transmission lines. The remote monitoring system continuously collects data such as temperature readings at a power plant in New York City and feeds the information into an operations center opening Monday in White Plains. The operations center makes 6,000 calculations a minute based on 24,000 data points. The goal is to improve reliability throughout its network that supplies power to governmental agencies in New York City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to prevent unplanned shutdowns of power plants, and cut costs on maintenance and replacement of aging infrastructure, said NYPA Chief Executive Gil Quiniones." Read more here.

GOOD TUESDAY MORNING: Let us know if you have tips, story ideas or life advice. We're always here at dmuoio@politico.com and mfrench@politico.com.

And if you like this letter, please tell a friend and/or loved one they can sign up here.

AROUND NEW YORK:

— Cuomo says internet service providers should take a look at tracking who accesses information about making bombs after an attempted terrorist attack in New York City.

— It's solar power versus open-space preservation in a bill that Cuomo must sign or veto in a matter of days. Environmental Advocates of New York supports the measure that would block a proposed solar farm on Long Island.

— A manager of a landfill cited as being the source of a pervasive, foul odor told Town of Niagara officials that the company is taking necessary steps to clear the air but there's "no simple fix."

— The draining and re-watering of the Erie Canal this year caused some rumors because of the angst over tree clearing on its banks.

CLIMATE FIGHTS WIND — The Washington Post's Chris Mooney: "A changing climate is beginning to change wind energy's potential to provide power in key regions, part of what could be a broader diminishment of a key renewable energy source in part of the world, according to two scientific studies. The world is turning more and more to renewable sources of energy - wind, solar power, and in some cases energy from flowing water - to fight climate change. But what if climate change itself alters the distribution of wind, or sunlight falling on the Earth's surface, or river flows, and so changes or even shrinks the potential of these energy sources? The studies suggest that, at least for wind energy, that is not only happening — at least in some key locations — but that it could grow worse." Read more here.

OFFSHORE DRILLING SHIFT — Bloomberg's Jennifer Dlouhy: "The Trump administration is preparing to unveil as soon as this week an expansive offshore oil plan that would open the door to selling new drilling rights in Atlantic waters, according to people familiar with the plan." Read more here.

CHILDREN COULD GET DAY IN COURT — POLITICO's Alex Guillén: "Two appellate judges Monday hinted they believe a lawsuit brought by children seeking dramatic government action against greenhouse gas emissions should be allowed to continue, even as they raised significant questions about whether the suit can succeed." Read more here.

MISSOURI REVIEWS SOLAR RULES — Midwestern Energy News' Karen Uhlenhuth: "Missouri is the latest state where utility regulators are reevaluating outdated rules on customer-owned solar power and other distributed energy sources. The experience of two neighboring states shows there's no guarantee the effort will result in policies that are more favorable for renewable power." Read more here.

PUERTO RICO'S BLANK CANVAS — The New York Times' Kirk Johnson: "The impulse to help rebuild Puerto Rico — an often neglected corner of the nation that has struggled after the storm — has rippled through many corners of America. But in the world of electricity research, which has staked out a place of geeky global dominance here on the West Coast, an equally powerful idea about the island has resonated: It is a chance to work on a blank canvas." Read more here.

— A California startup is making its first foray into the Asian market by deploying a virtual power plant in Japan.

THE POWER OF DEMAND RESPONSE — UtilityDive's Herman K. Trabish: "Demand response can now do much more than lower electric power load, prompting utilities and system operators to take a new look at it." Read more here.

VEGAS SOLAR FIELD — Associated Press: "Officials are marking completion of a utility-scale solar electric generation array near Las Vegas built to power the operations of commercial data centers in northern and southern Nevada." Read more here.

GEORGIA'S NUCLEAR TROUBLES — Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes' Anya Litvak: "The future of Westinghouse Electric Co.'s AP1000 plant, the fate of the U.S. nuclear industry, and the trajectory of the bankrupt Cranberry-based nuclear firm might come down to what's good for Georgia electricity customers. It's a question that must be weighed by that state's public service commission this week." Read more here.

LONDON PIPELINE SHUT DOWN — The Wall Street Journal's Neanda Salvaterra: "One of Europe's most important oil pipeline systems will be shut down for a 'matter of weeks,' said owner Ineos, sending a jolt into international oil prices as traders contemplated the loss of some North Sea oil supplies." Read more here.

MOON SHOT — POLITICO's Jacqueline Klimas: Americans will head back to the moon under a new directive issued Monday by President Donald Trump as he takes another step toward re-energizing the nation's space program. Read more here.

To view online:
https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/newsletters/politico-new-york-energy/2017/12/12/carbon-price-headaches-016333

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