U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Mar 3, 2015

SolarCity sues Arizona utility, says new rates harm solar

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – SolarCity Corp on Monday sued Arizona
utility Salt River Project over new electricity rates that the
U.S. solar installer said penalizes residential customers who
choose to put up solar panels.

The action is the latest in a protracted battle between
rooftop solar companies and Arizona utilities over how
traditional power providers will preserve revenue as larger
numbers of customers go solar and pay less to their local
utilities.

Feb 23, 2015

Oscars kick off with humor and award for ‘Whiplash’ actor

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The 87th Academy Awards kicked off on Sunday with a humorous nod toward the lack of diversity among nominees for Hollywood’s highest honors and the night’s first recognition of a veteran actor.

As predicted, J.K. Simmons won the best supporting actor Oscar, the first of his career, for his role as a monstrous music teacher in the independent film “Whiplash.”

Feb 23, 2015

Shimmer and shine dominate rain-soaked Oscars red carpet

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Shimmering beads and jewels in pale hues and dresses in bold tones brightened an unusually dreary rainy afternoon in Hollywood on Sunday as the film industry’s stars hit the glamorous Oscars red carpet.

Actresses Julianne Moore in shimmering Chanel, Felicity Jones and Emma Stone donned dresses with sparkle and shine as they arrived for the biggest night for the movie business.

Feb 23, 2015

Oscar hopefuls turn up wattage for Hollywood’s big night

LOS ANGELES, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Two small movies headed to a
showdown for the biggest of all film prizes at the 87th Academy
Awards on Sunday, in an evening ceremony likely to honor veteran
actors along with feats of filmmaking.

Show business satire “Birdman” and the coming-of-age tale
“Boyhood” are widely considered favorites in the battle for best
picture and best director Oscars. But in one of the least
predictable years in recent memory, the races were too close to
call and there was room for upsets.

Feb 23, 2015

Oscar hopefuls hit red carpet for Hollywood’s big night

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two small movies headed to a showdown for the biggest of all film prizes at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, in an evening ceremony likely to honor veteran actors along with feats of filmmaking.

Show business satire “Birdman” and the coming-of-age tale “Boyhood” are widely considered favorites in the battle for best picture and best director Oscars. But in one of the least predictable years in recent memory, the races were too close to call and there was room for upsets.

Feb 20, 2015

Bomb scare proves false alarm near Hollywood venue for Oscars

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A bomb scare triggered by an erratic motorist brandishing a propane tank at a shopping strip near the Hollywood venue for the upcoming Oscars show proved to be a false alarm on Thursday, but the man was detained, Los Angeles police said.

Bomb squad investigators cordoned off a row of storefronts and the front entrance of a hotel across the street after a man who was driving recklessly in the area emerged from his car with the propane cannister, according to police on the scene.

Feb 19, 2015

Blast at Exxon refinery in Calif. could hike gasoline prices

, Feb 18 (Reuters) – An explosion and fire
ripped through a gasoline processing unit at an Exxon Mobil Corp
refinery near Los Angeles on Wednesday, leaving
California with the threat of higher gasoline prices.

Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the
blast in Torrance, California, which occurred shortly before 9
a.m. PST (1700 GMT). Four contract workers were injured and sent
to Long Beach Medical Center for evaluation. Exxon said late on
Wednesday that three of the workers had been released.

Feb 18, 2015

Refinery blast at Exxon facility in Torrance, Calif., injures 4

, Feb 18 (Reuters) – An explosion and fire
ripped through a gasoline processing unit at an Exxon Mobil
refinery in Torrance, California, near Los Angeles on
Wednesday, slightly injuring four workers and shattering windows
of surrounding buildings, authorities said.

The cause of the blast, shortly before 9 a.m. PST (1700
GMT), was under investigation, but there was no evidence of foul
play, said Torrance Fire Captain Steve Deuel.

Feb 18, 2015

Germany’s “Sun King” seeks to rebuild empire from the U.S.

FRANKFURT/LOS ANGELES, Feb 18 (Reuters) – German solar
energy pioneer Frank Asbeck is betting that the United States
can rehabilitate him and his company SolarWorld,
which he rescued from the jaws of insolvency two years ago,
making himself an industry outcast in the process.

Asbeck, 55, pursued measures both imaginative and ruthless
to ensure that his solar panel company did not fall victim to a
crisis that claimed many of its German peers.

Feb 12, 2015

Apple deal, tax change could spark corporate solar stampede

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Apple Inc’s deal to buy nearly $1 billion of power from a massive First Solar Inc plant could be the first of a stampede of contracts driven by the looming change in a solar tax incentive that makes such projects particularly attractive.

Together with a sharp drop in the cost of solar power and corporate efforts to rack up green credentials, the expiring tax subsidies have large energy purchasers taking a hard look at buying solar under big long-term contracts.