OGE Energy Corp. brings 10-MW SunPower Oasis solar system online

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10-megawatt (AC) solar power plant in Covington, Oklahoma (PRNewsfoto/SunPower Corp.)

OGE Energy Corp. electric utility subsidiary Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) and SunPower Corp. completed a 10-megawatt (AC) solar photovoltaic power plant in Covington, Okla. A SunPower Oasis Power Plant system was installed at the 80-acre site by Moss Solar, a division of the construction firm Moss.

The Oasis system is a complete power plant solution that installs quickly to maximize value for customers. Product features include 50 percent fewer parts than conventional solar tracking systems, an integrated design that streamlines construction and reduces operations and maintenance costs, and cost-effective, high efficiency SunPower P-Series solar panels, which produce more energy than conventional solar panels over the lifetime of the system.

“With Covington online, we now have 12.5-megawatts of solar generation in our portfolio, all of which has been presold to customers who want the benefits of solar power,” said OG&E Chief Operating Officer Keith Mitchell. “Along with our solar facility in Mustang, Oklahoma, Covington helps us continue to learn how solar can complement our other generation sources to provide reliable and low-cost power to our customers.”

SunPower is now providing operations and maintenance services at the site. OG&E owns the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

Post-solar tariff roundup: Installation forecasts, SunPower delays, WTO challenge

— Solar Builder magazine

Rachel Maddow Devotes Large Portion of Show to Hazards of Fracking

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Yesterday, as reported on EcoWatch, the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel released an investigative report and short film on how volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released during the fracking process are polluting the air in South Texas, home of the Eagle Ford Shale basin. 

Last night, Rachel Maddow devoted an extended portion of her MSNBC show to the barrage of issues surrounding the fracking process. Maddow began with discussing the increasing number of earthquakes in Oklahoma caused by the large number of fracking wastewater injection wells in the state:

 Next, Maddow turned to the new report, interviewing Jim Morris, senior reporter and editor of Center for Public Integrity, on the airborne hazards of fracking:

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

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TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline’s Southern Leg to Begin Transporting Oil to U.S. Gulf Coast

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TransCanada announced today the start up of the 485-mile southern segment of the Keystone XL, now called the Gulf Coast Pipeline, which runs from Cushing, OK, to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

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In anticipation of TransCanada’s announcement, Texas landowners launched a new oversight network today, Texas Pipeline Watch, to arm landowners and citizens along the route with cameras to document every spill, leak and disturbance.  

“Today’s announcement is a painful example of President Obama’s all of the above energy plan at work: polluted air and water, carbon pollution and the ever present threat of poisoned drinking water for millions of Texas and Oklahoma families,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

“Tar sands is more corrosive, more toxic and more difficult to clean up than conventional crude. Coupled with lax oversight and TransCanada’s dismal safety record, this pipeline spells bad news for farmers and families whose land, health and safety were forfeited so that oil companies can reach export markets with their deadly product.”

According to Bold Nebraska, citizens and landowners have long had a strong network with each other surrounding Keystone XL, including:

Investigating pipeline anomalies.
Meeting with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to discuss anomalies along the pipeline route.
Circulating an online letter to the Attorney General asking him to intervene, and to ensure that all first responders have been informed about the chemical contents that are coming through the pipeline so that they can adequately prepare.
Documenting pipeline repairs and new construction.

“The Corps of Engineers allowed TransCanada to cross thousands of waterways and wetlands without adequate review or safety precautions,” Brune continued. “Emergency responders are ill-prepared for tar sands pipeline failures like those that devastated Mayflower, AR, and Kalamazoo, MI. And the export of this tar sands crude overseas means that along with more carbon pollution and more poisoned air and water, Americans will see higher gas prices.”

“As Nebraskans fight Keystone XL, we stand with Texas and Oklahoma farmers and ranchers facing a direct threat to their livelihoods,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska. “President Obama made the wrong decision to fast-track this export pipeline and citizens will keep TransCanada accountable for every leak, spill and tragedy on families’ land and water.”

Here is a slideshow of photos during a protest to stop the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House on Jan. 15.

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Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL and TAR SANDS pages for more related news on this topic.

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Slideshow: Direct Action to Stop Keystone XL South at the White House

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tweisYou wouldn’t know it from the lack of focus and attention by the environmental establishment, but the 485-mile southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been built, is being filled and is scheduled to start up on Jan. 22. Front line reports from landowners in Texas and Oklahoma say that TransCanada has patrol planes flying up and down the line, with foot patrols searching for leaks. In a few short days, this 485-mile fuse to one of the biggest carbon bombs on the planet will be lit.

Desperate to stop this, several prominent Texas landowners urgently requested a face-to-face meeting with President Obama in early December, only to be spurned by the White House. In response, I spearheaded an emergency direct action on Jan. 15, the 85th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., outside the White House to demand that the President order the shut down of Keystone XL south.

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It was there that a brave young man of faith, Jason Miller of the Franciscan Action Network, joined me to bear witness to this grave injustice being perpetrated against our children and future generations. Supported by our brothers and sisters from Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, we took direct action that ended in our arrest. One of those brothers, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, inspired me to describe it as civil resistance to ensure our civil existence. It was in the spirit of Dr. King, and what he called “the fierce urgency of now,” that I went to jail to stop Keystone XL South. 

What’s happening right now in Texas and Oklahoma is deeply immoral. If President Obama does not exercise his executive authority to stop the southern leg of Keystone XL from starting up on Jan. 22, he will have committed one of the most destructive acts any president has ever committed against our children and their future by knowingly exacerbating the climate crisis. No amount of greenwashing by the president, or his political enablers, will remove the stain of Keystone XL south from his legacy. It will be forever remembered as Obama’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL and TAR SANDS pages for more related news on this topic.

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