Ernest Moniz Confirmed as Energy Secretary in 97-0 Vote
Nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz was confirmed Thursday as the new US secretary of energy in a 97-0 vote in the Senate.
Moniz previously served as the energy secretary during the Clinton administration and has been working as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Though Moniz's nomination had been approved in April, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held up the process in protest of budget cuts for a nuclear processing facility in their home state. Graham argued that the proposed $200 million in cuts from the state would threaten a plant being built at South Carolina's Savannah River nuclear site.
Moniz supports Obama's “all of the above” energy policy, including fracking, offshore drilling and clean coal technology. Filling the position of former energy secretary Steven Chu, Moniz will have a series of important decisions to make regarding the future on natural gas in the country.
"The Sierra Club and its 2.1 million members and supporters congratulate Dr. Ernest Moniz on his confirmation as the new Secretary of Energy," Deb Nardone, the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas campaign director said in a statement Thursday. "As energy secretary, Dr. Moniz will make important decisions that will shape America’s energy and climate landscape for decades to come, including the agency’s response to 24 proposed liquefied natural gas terminals that could export up to 45 percent of the nation’s total natural gas production. We urge Secretary Moniz to take a time out on exports to complete a thorough economic and environmental assessment."
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.