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A Dauphin County lawmaker interested in saving the Three Mile Island nuclear power station from closure introduced a $500 million subsidy plan Monday that he said would give Pennsylvania’s nuclear power operators a long-missing economic reward for being the state’s leading carbon-free power source.That, Rep. Thomas Mehaffie and a broad swath of allies contend, is a benefit worth paying for in a world where time is running out to reduce the impact of carbon-induced climate change. Mehaffie’s plan would subsidize the state’s five nuclear power plants by requiring electricity companies to buy clean energy credits, one per megawatt hour of energy produced from a zero-emission power generation source, for up to 50 percent of the total megawatts consumed in its respective service territory.The price of the new credits would be tied to the value assigned to existing credits for solar, wind and other alternative energy sources in an earlier state energy program. Based … [Read more...] about $500 million nuclear power rescue bill introduced in Pennsylvania
(Philadelphia) — Commercial goods packed in giant capsules and moving in vacuum-sealed steel tubes at nearly supersonic speeds from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh?That means packages hurtling from one end of the state to the other in under a half hour.Pennsylvania transportation officials think it’s less futuristic than it sounds, and they have committed $2 million to study the cost and impact of building a “hyperloop” across the state. “This is an emerging technology that’s coming at us very quickly,” said Carl DeFebo, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. “It’s smart for the Turnpike Commission to be prepared.”Popularized by engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, a hyperloop is a trainlike system of sealed pods zooming at more than 700 mph, just below the sound barrier.No such system has ever opened, though India claims it is getting close.For years, governments have been abuzz about the possibility of such an … [Read more...] about ‘Hyperloop’ study: Could packages zip across Pennsylvania in minutes? Maybe
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — They are talking about nuclear power across rural Pennsylvania.This spring, the question of whether to rescue Pennsylvania's nuclear power plants could dominate debate in the state Capitol, and that's of keen financial interest to hundreds of thousands of rural electric cooperative members who rely heavily on nuclear power.Cooperatives in the nation's No. 2 nuclear power state have perhaps the biggest stake in what critics call a bailout, and they are cranking up their efforts to get their message to employees, cooperative members and, ultimately, lawmakers. "Every opportunity that we have, I encourage our member owners to bring this up. Every opportunity I have, if at a meeting, I bring this up," said Frank Betley, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, which is owned by 14 cooperatives. "I hope that our people are talking to (lawmakers) at every turn to let them know that, 'hey, this is important to us.'"For two years, … [Read more...] about Debate over nuclear power and future of TMI hits home in rural Pennsylvania
The owners of two of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power stations have announced plans to take facilities off line before their planned retirement dates if state officials don’t move forward with a proposed subsidy that would effectively recognize the plants’ status as a zero-emissions energy source.If those plants - Three Mile Island near Harrisburg and Beaver Valley in western Pennsylvania - came off line, Pennsylvania would lose 26.8 percent of its nuclear generating capacity. Do we need all that nuclear power?From a strict keeping-the-lights-on perspective, probably not.Pennsylvania - riding the Marcellus Wave natural gas boom - has become in recent years a net exporter of energy.And a recent study of the power market’s resiliency and redundancy by PJM Interconnection, the coordinator of the electrical grid covering Pennsylvania and 12 other states, found that Pennsylvania would still be producing more power than it uses even if TMI and Beaver Valley … [Read more...] about Can Pennsylvania’s energy market survive without Three Mile Island?