Energy News for week ending March 16, 2018

Russians at the switch | Mortally wounded |Clean Peak Standard | What’s in a name

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week brings disconcerting energy news of Russian cyberattacks where hackers had their fingers on the switches at US power plants. According to the story in the New York Times, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will…‘We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,’ said Eric Chien, a security technology director at Symantec, a digital security firm. ‘From what we can see, they were there. They have the ability to shut the power off. All that’s missing is some political motivation,’ Mr. Chien said.”

Earlier in the week, Portland Press Herald wrote about the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s decision to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass Project, “The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor…The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from Beattie Township, on the Canadian border north of Route 27 and Coburn Gore, through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail. The project cost would be borne by Massachusetts electricity customers.”

Speaking of Massachusetts, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection…The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”

Utility Dive noted that one provision of the bill is the creation of a “new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive…The proposed legislation language would direct the Department of Energy Resource to create a new clean peak standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers. The standard will require all retail electricity suppliers to provide ‘a minimum percentage of kilowatt-hour sales’ from clean peak energy resources, ultimately determined by regulations. The legislation specifies that, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ the Clean Peak Standard cannot raise individual customer rates more than $0.005/kWh in the aggregate of any year.”

Last for this week, and to end on a lighter note, is a story from which reports that some folks in New Hampshire, Seabrook to be specific, are having a hard time believing that Disney writers weren’t making ties to their community in a movie called “Zombies.” The movie is, “set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem? The fictional town is named Seabrook.” Seabrook Selectman Aboul Khan said that he’s not “worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant. ‘We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,’ he said. ‘We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.’”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Gas Pipeline Buildout Hits Bottleneck in Massachusetts, Natural Gas Intelligence

Scituate is withdrawing their opposition to Invenergy and their support for Burrillville, Uprise RI

Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?, Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers hear dueling pipeline positions, Hartford Business

From Asthma to Cancer, ‘Blistering’ New Report Details Human Cost of Fracking, EcoWatch

New York Loses Bid to Block Millennium Gas Line Project, Bloomberg Quint

Pipeline Opponents Pleased With Caveats, Valley News

Federal Regulators End Key Tax Benefit for Certain Pipeline Companies, Wall St. Journal


Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Storms focus attention on climate change, as Gov. Charlie Baker releases $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, MassLive

Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive

Push is on for carbon tax in New York, Lockport Journal

Clean energy projects in Albany to get share of $1.4 billion in state money, Albany Business Review

Regional plan could provide local say on renewables, Stowe Reporter

3rd District candidate unveils green-jobs plan, Lowell Sun

State of renewables not what you might think, Rutland Herald

Could FERC Order Put State Clean Energy Policies in Danger?, Greentech Media

Report: Severe weather in Northeast tied to warming Arctic, Cape Cod Times

Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security, Natural Resources Defense Council

Towns tell state leaders to act on climate change. Are they listening?,

Connecticut renewable energy supporters to push for legislative gains, Litchfield County Times

Climate Change Resolution Adopted In 35 Communities, Vermont Public Radio

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse featured among ‘Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy’,

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, CleanTechnica

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

NA Markets: Compliance demand re-emerges in California as RGGI awaits next week’s auction, Carbon Pulse

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections



Bay State Wind Teams With Massachusetts Energy Storage Company, NA Windpower

Ocean City loses bid to push back offshore wind developments,

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind backers push New London area as potential hub,

Report Quantifies Economic Impact Of Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Proposal, North American Windpower

Offshore wind company partners with Red Sox, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind plans workforce development, Barnstable Patriot

Bay State joins permit fast lane, reNews



Worry over solar sprawl spreads across Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Solar-powered brewery donates extra power to senior center, Caledonian Record

US solar forecast ratcheted down as tariffs weigh, The Week

Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well, Washington Post

Vermont lodge and bierhall goes solar, Solar Power World

A Push To Expand A Struggling Sector Of Solar Energy In Connecticut, WSHU

Wilton among state leaders in solar technology,


Energy Efficiency/Storage

A global game changer for energy efficiency investments, Environmental Defense Fund

How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery, Treehugger

Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings, Bloomberg

Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy, Popular Science

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy, Hartford Courant

For utilities trying to drive conservation, mixed messages may be best, Utility Dive



Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

Vermont Yankee sale case will extend into summer,

Nuclear Community Engagement Experience Takes Place On Saturday in Barnstable, News

Disney: ‘ZOMBIES’ movie set in power plant town called ‘Seabrook’ a coincidence,

Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power, Futurism

The quiet fight to finally send nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Washington Examiner

Nuclear subsidy bill re-engineered as three separate measures,

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable, Greentech Media


Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are becoming increasingly greener in the US thanks to a cleaner electric grid, Energy Central

Pennsylvania proposal could bolster EV charging infrastructure, Utility Dive



Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says, New York Times

Split FERC approves ISO-NE 2-part capacity market plan, Utility Dive

Powelson ‘very nervous’ about long-term reliability in ISO-NE, Utility Dive

ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation, Platts

Report Examines Comparatively High Expenses For New England’s Power Grid Operator, New England Public Radio

Lawyer: Site Evaluation Committee won’t decide whether to reconsider Northern Pass rejection until May, Union Leader

Time running short for N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Prospects improve for CMP’s $950 million power line plan, Press Herald

Northern Pass Hydropower Project Again Delayed, ecoRI news

Utility workers travel to restore Cape’s power, Cape Cod Times

State launches probe into utilities’ response to 2 storms, Albany Times Union

7News Investigates: Seeking Power Outage Solutions Underground, WHDH TV

Cryptocurrency Companies to See Electric Rates Rise in NY. Opening for Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Schneider Electric and REC Solar collaborate on Massachusetts microgrid, Solar Power World

Pennsylvania Microgrid Bill Wins Committee Vote. Heads to House, Microgrid Knowledge



Columnist Stanley Rosenberg: Building our green, clean energy future, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Securing a clean energy future, Gloucester Times

Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs, Bangor Daily News

Letter: Thanks to supporters of renewable energy, Bennington Banner

New York Is Moving Aggressively To Harvest Its Offshore Wind, Forbes

Letter: A proposal on the Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee candor: A deal to decommission Vermont Yankee is promising, but only if it involves transparency, The Keene Sentinel

Stop pouring money into fusion energy research, Eagle Tribune

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending March 9, 2018

Getting Testy | Climate Bill Expected | Fusion Power

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We’re hoping you’re all safe, warm, and have electricity. And if not, that you get it back soon. Here’s to the men and women who are out there working hard to restore power and get people back into their homes.

Now for the news.

When it comes to the pipeline debate, according to CommonWealth Magazine, things are getting testy – at least on Twitter. From the article, “It started on Tuesday when [Tim] Murray, president of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, retweeted a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette raising concerns about New England’s shortage of gas in late December and early January, which forced the region to generate electricity by burning 2 million barrels of oil. ‘Underscores why we need natural gas as bridge fuel while we aggressively pursue renewable energy future…,’ Murray tweeted. The comment prompted a lot of pushback from individuals and groups who oppose the construction of new natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Some called natural gas a ‘bridge to nowhere.’”

Among those opposed to Murray’s Tweet was the Blue Mass Group that had a tweet-storm about it this morning. The Sunday Boston Globe editorial about the prospects of transporting LNG which included statements, such as “faddish anti-pipeline politics,” and “The counterproductive results of the state’s experiment with moral purity…” also resulted in pushback with blog posts by Charley on the MTA at Blue Mass Group and Craig S. Altemose of 350 Massachusetts at CommonWealth Magazine.

The recent back to back Nor’easters with their coastal flooding, high winds, and heavy precipitation have some asking for climate change mitigation measures to happen sooner rather than later. In an article from Katie Lannan of the State House News Service in the Greenfield Recorder, we have word that “Gov. Charlie Baker said he plans to file legislation next week addressing climate change…‘A lot of these places got hit pretty hard in the January 4 storm as well, and I think we’re going to have to come up with a different kind of strategy around resilience,’ Baker said during his monthly appearance on WGBH Radio.”

In our new energy technology feature for the week we have news from MIT that “Progress toward the long-sought dream of fusion power — potentially an inexhaustible and zero-carbon source of energy — could be about to take a dramatic leap forward. Development of this carbon-free, combustion-free source of energy is now on a faster track toward realization, thanks to a collaboration between MIT and a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems. CFS will join with MIT to carry out rapid, staged research leading to a new generation of fusion experiments and power plants based on advances in high-temperature superconductors — work made possible by decades of federal government funding for basic research.” What’s interesting about the federal research aspect is that according to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is considering cutting the funding for the international fusion energy project.

As always you can find upcoming events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cheap fuel, stagnant demand drive down New England wholesale prices, Utility Dive

National Grid gas operations center coming to Peabody, The Salem News

The Next Standing Rock? A Pipeline Battle Looms in Oregon, New York Times

Hearings close on Woodridge Lake pipeline proposal, Torrington Register Citizen

Federal agency refutes EDF claims about gas pipeline usage, Wicked Local Dedham

Regulators OK Lebanon Gas Project, Valley News

National Grid pays $7 million for overcharging Massachusetts customers, Boston Business Journal

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, Gloucester Times

PUC orders emergency shutdown of key natural gas pipeline, Pittsburg Business Journal

Pipeline debate gets testy on Twitter, CommonWealth Magazine


Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

As Storms Batter Electric Grid, More Mainers Consider Cutting The Cable,

As Storms Intensify, A Climate-Change Standoff Continues On Beacon Hill, WBUR

Climate change bill expected from Baker next week, Greenfield Recorder

Getting to green: At BCC summit, plotting the path to 100% renewable energy, Berkshire Eagle

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

Climate Action Makes Business Sense – See These Recent Commitments, Energy Manager Today

Young female scientist hopes to create energy efficient biofuel from bacteria, ABC Online

Questions raised over Stored Solar’s biomass subsidy, Mainebiz

Maine island’s plan to build its own energy grid could change the game for remote communities, Bangor Daily News



New York Readies Environmental Impact Statement for Offshore Wind Plan, Renewable Energy World

Savoy wind project chases May deadline to begin construction, National Wind Watch

These huge new wind turbines are a marvel. They’re also the future.,

BCC, Bay State Wind will partner on new Mass. energy industry,

Massachusetts Could Win Big In Offshore Wind Energy, WBUR



Why High-Efficiency Solar is Perfect for New England, Renewable Energy World

Maine House passes solar policy fix, pv magazine USA

Northeast Automatic Sprinkler Co. Installs Rooftop Solar To Power Massachusetts Facilities, Energy Manager Today


Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy-efficiency gets Wilmington push, Lowell Sun

When The Heat Escapes Chilly New England Homes, So Does Money, WNPR News

Everything you need to know about making your home energy-efficient, Washington Post

The U.S. just hit a major milestone for energy storage — which is also great news for solar, Washington Post

ANALYSIS: Energy storage grows as renewables penetrate the grid, Platts

For backup power, batteries join the mix as prices come down, The Boston Globe

IRS Letter on Home Batteries Could ‘Open Floodgates for Residential Storage Retrofits,’ Greentech Media



State strikes deal with Entergy and NorthStar on Yankee sale, Rutland Herald

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

The Energy 202: Trump administration must decide whether to back the biggest nuclear fusion project ever, Washington Post

MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power, MIT News



Canada approves disputed Northern Pass transmission line, Utility Dive

‘This Is On Them 100%’: Fire Chief Blasts National Grid For Storm Response, CBS Boston / WBZ

Eversource has concern about Trump tariffs, even as it cuts NH electric rates, Concord Monitor

5 things to know about your record-high CMP bill, Bangor Daily News

ISO New England issues abnormal conditions alert, Platts

New England Power Grid Operator Budgets Soaring, Hartford Courant

New England’s wholesale electricity prices in 2017 were second-lowest since 2003, Vermont Biz

Overheard at ISO-NE’s Consumer Liaison Group Meeting, RTO Insider

Officials To Discuss Multi-Municipality Energy Aggregation, WAMC

Haverhill Finalizes National Grid Streetlight Purchase, Cheaper Electricity Bills on the Way, WHAV News

DES Proposes Conditions For Burying Eversource’s Seacoast Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northampton eyes energy aggregation with Amherst, Pelham, Daily Hampshire Gazette

4 Predictions for Blockchain in Energy in 2018, Greentech Media

9% of region’s power bill incurred in one week, CommonWealth Magazine

Democrats Release Infrastructure Plan With $80 Billion for Grid Upgrades, Greentech Media

Hydro-Quebec Pursues New Strategy with Lac-Mégantic Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Winter cold snap a case study for energy grid limitations, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Northeast tries to dig out, power up after latest storm, Penn Energy

At your service: How well do New York’s utilities respond to customer complaints?, Energy Central



After the Storm: Building our green and clean energy future (Guest viewpoint),

Our Opinion: Continuing to lead on renewable energy, Berkshire Eagle

Our View: Quebec hydro line could leverage new pipe for gas, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Gas-by-train? Beacon Hill opens the door, The Boston Globe

David Brooks: An oil refinery (yes, an oil refinery) was almost built on the NH Seacoast, Concord Monitor

Christopher Kilfoyle: Solar under siege from Cape Cod to Berkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Viewpoint: Energy and the economy — let’s move forward, Boston Business Journal

We’re not absolutists, we’re realists, CommonWealth Magazine

Globe, put down the pipe,

Climate readiness: think big, act fast, Boston Globe

Can carbon prices fire up gas demand in electricity generation? – The effects of a carbon price on natural gas and carbon emissions, Penn Energy

A new approach to fusion energy starts today, Boston Globe

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We hope you’re staying warm, dry, and safe during today’s storm.

Well, if you’ve had enough news about Russian interference in US elections then you can switch your attention to their interference in US energy markets. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reviewed a new congressional staff report that states that the Internet Research Agency’s efforts were also focused on “encouraging protests against pipeline construction in the U.S., calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels and stoking American controversy around climate change…Between 2015 and 2017, the IRA posted more than 9,000 times about U.S. energy policy or an energy event, according to the report.”

Also out this week was a FERC announcement “that a report released by the Environmental Defense Fund accusing Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of artificially driving up electricity prices in New England “was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions.” According to the article in CommonWealth Magazine, “FERC said its staff conducted a review of the allegations contained in the report using both public and non-public data and found no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity.”

In new energy technology news this week we have an article from titled, MIT’s Miracle Energy Breakthrough. They write, “A black box has been sitting on the roof of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building for the last few months. Beside it sits a weather monitoring system and a bigger black box to monitor the performance of the first one. That first black box is the first device that can generate power from differences in the temperature of the air—the ultimate clean energy…The team of researchers from MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is calling this device a thermal resonator: a device that draws heat from the air around it and turns this heat into electricity. It does not need to be in the sun, it could actually be put in the perpetual shade below a solar panel, and it would still generate power thanks to the always present temperature fluctuations…it has the hypothetical potential to make batteries obsolete.” Pretty cool!

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says, Wall Street Journal (paywall)

With Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. build done, Otis State Forest reopens, Berkshire Eagle

Federal agency rebuts environmentalists’ claims about gas pipeline usage, Worcester Telegram

US FERC ends probe of New England gas shippers, calls EDF study ‘flawed’, Platts

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

Rhode Island environmentalists and elected officials say ‘No’ to Trump’s offshore drilling proposal, Uprise RI


Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding,

Optimism and Uncertainty for Rhode Island’s Climate Future, ecoRI news

Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy, Inhabitat

New Report Touts Success Of Regional Carbon Emissions Reduction Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Jersey Governor Requests to Rejoin Environmental Pact, U.S. News & World Report

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

Mark Jacobson Drops Lawsuit Against Critics of His 100% Renewables Plan, Greentech Media

Solar, Wind Cutting New England Power Demands, But Trouble Expected In Future, Hartford Courant

Report Claims Wood-Based Energy Doesn’t Add Up, EcoRI



Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry sues LePage over halting of new permits, Journal Tribune

GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, Penn Energy

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development, Bangor Daily News

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Achieves 65% Capacity Factor After 3 Months, Greentech Media

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

Plans for world’s ‘largest and most powerful’ offshore wind turbine unveiled, CNBC

One Small Step for BPU, One Small Step for Offshore Wind in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

Article on area warrants aims to gather support for studying offshore wind development, The Keene Sentinel



Clouds form over state’s solar future, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

M&T finances major solar project in Maine, Buffalo Business First

Massachusetts solar groups say policy changes needed to stem job loss, Energy News Network


Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont utility, city to give away fossil-fuel free home, Caledonian Record

FERC’s Historic Energy Storage Ruling: A Doomsday Countdown for Natural Gas Peakers?, Greentech Media

Brattle: US storage market could reach 50 GW if costs keep declining, Utility Dive

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

New interactive map shows the economic impact that solar, wind, and energy efficiency have on US communities, Environmental Defense Fund

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

NY attorney general wins energy efficiency lawsuit, Long Island Business News



Connecticut nuclear plant guard falsified record, failed to test weapons Shoreline Times

After Months Of Negotiation, Settlement Days Away On Vermont Yankee Sale, New England Public Radio

Power restored to Indian Point reactor after shutdown caused by electrical failure, The Journal News |


Northern Pass/RFP

Eversource Asks NH To Reconsider Northern Pass Denial, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement?, CommonWealth Magazine


Electric Vehicles

Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles, Utility Dive

How To Prevent Electric Vehicles From Stressing The Grid,

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios



New England grid operators, regulators combat vulnerabilities,

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements, RTO Insider

Maine may face brownouts, higher electric prices, Lewiston Sun Journal

Non-Payments to Eversource Nearly Double Over 2-Year Period, U.S. News & World Report

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid rate hike hearings underway,

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out.,



Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model, CommonWealth Magazine

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

Just for the Record: Why New York’s Offshore Wind Plan Works, Renewable Energy World

Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades, The Boston Globe

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Viewpoint: Why is New England importing LNG from Russia?, Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending February 23, 2018

Extension Cord | Charge it up | Backbone granted

Good Friday afternoon.

As most of you are aware, after last week’s Northeast Energy News was published, MA DOER announced that officials would enter into negotiations with another project while giving Northern Pass until March 27 to overturn the decision of the NH siting board. From CommonWealth Magazine, “While contract talks with Northern Pass continue, the state’s three electric utilities will also begin negotiating power supply contracts with New England Clean Energy Connect, a partnership of Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec that the update referred to as “the next best project.” However, some folks in Maine aren’t happy with that idea and want to protect their scenery. One Maine letter writer to the Ellsworth American, says, “Put your wind turbines in the Berkshires and build power dams on the Connecticut River. Leave us alone!

Today, the Wall Street Journal followed up with a story titled, “New England Has a Power Problem.” It offers a synopsis of all of the challenges and differing opinions that demonstrate how difficult it is to site energy projects in New England. With respect to Northern Pass they write, “But in woodsy New Hampshire, the idea of turning part of the state into an extension cord for Massachusetts has long been controversial. New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee voted the project down this month, citing concerns including a negative impact on tourism and property values.”

This week MassPIRG released its report, “Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles.” From the Gloucester Times, “Electric vehicles will become more mainstream and as that happens drivers will need the infrastructure — mainly charging stations — to support them, according to a MassPIRG report publicized Wednesday that estimated there will be 24,000 electric vehicles in Boston by 2030. The state has a goal of reaching 300,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025…Cities should make chargers available for people who don’t have driveways or garages, government should encourage sharing of electric cars and bikes, and data about charging stations should be shared to enable drivers to find an open plug-in, MassPIRG recommended.”

North American Wind Power writes that getting ready for offshore wind took a step forward this week with FERC’s decision to give Anbaric Development Partners (ADP), “the right to develop a shared transmission system in support of Massachusetts offshore wind. The FERC decision grants ADP the authority to solicit customers and sell transmission rights to a 2 GW-2.4 GW offshore wind transmission system in southern New England called the Massachusetts Ocean Grid. FERC’s approval of the application allows ADP to offer its backbone transmission system to offshore wind developers that currently hold federal leases, as well as future lease holders, says ADP.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for more stories and events. Have a great weekend.

Northern Pass/83D RFP

BIA endorses Northern Pass, says project’s rejection turning businesses from NH, The Union Leader

National Grid Applauds Mass. Review Of Northern Pass, Citizentribune

New England Has a Power Problem, Wall Street Journal (subscriber content)

Maine project picked as backup for Mass. renewable energy contract,

Mass. Taps Maine Transmission Line As Clean Energy Supplier If Northern Pass Falls Through, New England Public Radio

Baker selects backup for Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. Picks Avangrid Project as Northern Pass Backup, RTO Insider

Eversource to seek Northern Pass reconsideration, CommonWealth Magazine


Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, Litchfield County Times

Blackouts, Higher Costs a Proven Risk Without New Natural-Gas Pipelines, NJ Spotlight

Sen. Rosenberg calls for Western Mass hearing on $24 million Columbia Gas pipeline plan,

Can Updated Tax Credits Bring Carbon Capture Into the Mainstream?, Greentech Media

Mass. Is Stalling Pipeline Permit, Enbridge Unit Tells DC Circ., Law360

How General Electric gambled on fossil fuel power, and lost, Reuters

A New Massachusetts ‘Sustainable Energy’ Coalition Is Really A Front For Gas Interests, Huffington Post


Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Lobbyists’ valentines ask Baker to ‘break up’ with non-renewable energy, Daily Free Press

Sidney residents voice concerns over installation of gas pipeline, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Renewing Berlin through renewable energy: Obstacles remain as city expands its power portfolio, The Union Leader

Connecticut proposes “40% by 2030” renewable energy mandate, replacing net metering, pv magazine USA

Scientists: Rhode Island is sinking and sea levels continue to rise, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

NH House backs bill to limit renewable energy incentives, New Hampshire Business Review



ISO-NE Study Finds Wind ‘Spillage,’ Price Separation, RTO Insider

Feds OK Next Step In Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission System, North American Windpower

Wind industry sues LePage administration over order halting permits, Press Herald

It generates power and cuts emissions, but is Lynn’s wind turbine making any money?, Item Live



City Council moves closer toward solving solar farm ordinance, The Reminder — Agawam

A solar panel on every roof in the US? Here are the numbers, Ars Technica

Solar import tariff: pain without benefit, New Hampshire Business Review

US solar industry lost nearly 10000 jobs in 2017, The Union Leader

Massachusetts’ SMART Program Awards Sunpin 20-Year Feed-In-Tariff Contract in Western Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

Advocates for home solar projects slam decision by ‘out-of-control’ PUC, Press Herald

South Shore MBTA lots to get solar canopies, Patriot Ledger


Energy Efficiency/Storage

For Salem, it pays to be green, Wicked Local

Driving the Market for Heat Pumps in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Framingham Co. Completes $3.7M Scotland Energy Savings Project,

Trump Administration Energy Efficiency Delay Ruled Illegal, Natural Resources Defense Council

Tonight, Science Cafe will tell you about energy efficiency, and maybe save you some money, Concord Monitor

Energy efficiency is leaving low-income Americans behind, Grist

Federal judge rules against Trump administration, forcing Dept. of Energy to enact energy efficiency standards set under Barack Obama, MassLive

House committee chooses energy efficiency over rebates, NH Business Review

FERC order opens ‘floodgates’ for energy storage in wholesale markets, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Gets Biggest Boost in Years. Thank you FERC, Microgrid Knowledge

Details on the 14 Massachusetts Community Microgrid Projects that Won Funding, Microgrid Knowledge



Latest Pilgrim inspection finds no violations, Cape Cod Times

Seabrook nuke plant’s seismic monitor not triggered by earthquake,

Indian Point reactor automatically shuts down again, feds investigating, The Journal News |

Nuclear Reactors Could Run as Long as 80 Years Under Trump Plan, Bloomberg

Controversial nuclear bill advances, now with green subsidies adding to cost increases,


Electric Vehicles

Homeowners Get New Tesla Batteries in Utility Trial, Renewable Energy News

Electric car growth influenced by state of charging infrastructure, Gloucester Times



Electricity Customers Didn’t Save Money With Retail Sellers, WABI 5

LIPA, National Grid claims to ‘governmental immunity’ for Sandy damage rejected by state Court of Appeals, amNY

LaFleur warns against PJM plan altering ‘fundamental’ energy market mechanics, Utility Dive

‘Boarded-up’ National Grid windows come under fire from Niagara Street neighbors, Buffalo News

Trump again will try to cut energy assistance to the poor, Patriot Ledger

Blockchain Could Change Everything for Energy, Renewable Energy World

New use for old mine shafts — power generators using gravity, Digital Journal

Heating assistance programs struggling to keep up with demand on South Shore, Patriot Ledger

EPA moves to reject CT complaint over Brunner Island plant emissions, Utility Dive



Don’t let New England region run out of gas, The Day

Maine whiffed on big chance to study electricity ripoff, Bangor Daily News

Kate Epsen: For alternatives to Northern Pass, just look around, Union Leader

Utility consumers need to be heard in Western Massachusetts (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Letter: Steven E. Miller: New England has no gas pipeline crisis, The Providence Journal

Eversource, ever unclear, Cape Cod Times

High energy costs put northeastern US economy at risk, The Hill

Letter: Christian Roselund: Wind can meet region’s energy needs in time, The Providence Journal

Your Turn: Central Mass. can lead 100-percent renewable transition, Worcester Mag

Our view: States could work together to optimize offshore wind energy, Press of Atlantic City

Storage, not new pipelines, is the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

Winter costs make region cold for business, CommonWealth Magazine

With more control, communities choose clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Senate Energy Bill: Christmas for Special Interests, AIM blog

Charging Past Failure: A Plan For More Effective Electric Vehicle Powering, The Energy Collective

To slow climate change, the US needs to address nuclear power’s dismal economics, The Conversation

Viewpoint: Mass. offshore wind process can be improved, Boston Business Journal

Don’t give up the fight to protect Maine’s scenery, The Ellsworth American

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending February 16, 2018

Foreseeing Trouble | Ugly toll | Five new spots to fish

As the late great Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Ah yes, after delaying the decision for a week, we find ourselves waiting again for MA DOER and company to let us know if they are going to stick with Northern Pass or move on to another or other proposals. The delay is causing all sorts of speculation (InDepthNH) and consternation (NHPR).

Love may have been in the air for many on Wednesday, but according to Platts, all ISO New England saw was “trouble” without investment in fuel security. From the article, “The report noted the cold snap that gripped the region from December 26 through January 7 featured “constrained pipeline capacity, substantially higher natural gas and wholesale electricity prices,” which prompted the dispatch of oil- and coal-fired generation to meet demand, but “oil supplies at plants around the region began to rapidly deplete … signficiantly (sic) increasing the reliability risk to the system.” “In the coming years as more oil, coal, and nuclear leave the system, keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition,” the report states.

Speaking of fuel security, the Boston Globe editorial board laid into just about everyone with a full page editorial on Tuesday about the region bringing in Russian gas, the implications of the same, and the lack of movement on other alternatives (i.e. a new gas pipeline). Here’s a small sample, “But apart from its geopolitical impact, Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies. Public officials, including Attorney General Maura Healey and leading state senators, have leaned heavily on righteous-sounding stands against local fossil fuel projects, with scant consideration of the global impacts of their actions and a tacit expectation that some other country will build the infrastructure that we’re too good for.”

Last for this week is a story from Renewable Energy World with an accompanying video from the American Wind Energy Association about how the Block Island Wind Farm has been a boon for the local fishing industry. At first there were worries, the article notes, but “after 6 months, their worries were starting to be alleviated and after just one year, they were completely gone. According to Chris Hobe, who has been fishing on the island since 1979, ‘within six months you had seed mussels,’ he said in a webcast announcing the release of the footage. After one year those seed mussels had turned into a deep, thick coating of mature mussels, on which smaller fish feed, attracting the fish that feed on them and on and on up the food chain.” In the video one man notes that because of the artificial reef created by the turbines there are five new fishing spots that didn’t exist before.

Then there is this, “Another added bonus according to Hobe was the increased tourism that the turbines attracted. On a whim, his company offered to take the general public on tours around the turbines so they could see them up close. He never imagined the interest that would draw. By the end of the 2017 summer season, Hobe said his company had stopped offering fishing excursions and was just doing sightseeing tours.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.


Utilities find no common ground on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Decisive action needed on Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

As Mass. Debates Northern Pass Deal, Sununu Says Project Was ‘Railroaded’, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass rejection would have repercussions for Hydro-Québec’s future, The Globe and Mail

Massachusetts utilities to continue Northern Pass negotiations after rejection by NH regulators, Press Herald

Maine Gov. LePage Indicates Mass. May Have Already Moved On From Northern Pass,

VELCO and National Grid make key agreements for Granite State Power Link, Vermont Biz


Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas pipeline opponents urge Baker to ‘break up’ with industry, Boston Metro

Energy CEO Says Fracking Build-out in New York Not Over, Wants Regulators to ‘Lay Down and Approve Every Pipeline’, DeSmog

Only Half of Proposed Burrillville Plant’s Power Sold, ecoRI news

Compressor Station Permit Appeal Could Be Heard In Summer,

Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success, Science Daily

Ocean State Officials Pledge to Halt Offshore Drilling, ecoRI news

Ocean State’s Fossil-Fuel Hypocrisy Does Nothing to Address Climate Change, ecoRI news

Constitution Asks FERC to Rehear New York Permit Denial, RTO Insider


Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

US Renewable Energy Generation Now ‘Within Striking Distance’ of Nuclear, Greentech Media

Healey unveils new renewable energy targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Citizens will demand omnibus clean energy bill, Sentinel and Enterprise
Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill, ‘matching the urgency of climate change,’ MassLive

Connecticut wants to boost renewables goal to 40% by 2030, Utility Dive

Is clean energy moving ahead fast enough in Western Massachusetts?,

EPA’s Scott Pruitt touts renewable energy in New England, Washington Examiner

Virginia House votes to prohibit cap-and-trade, RGGI linkage, Carbon Pulse

Think tank report pans Vermont carbon tax plan, Bennington Banner



AWEA Releases Underwater Footage of Block Island Wind Farm’s Artificial Reef, Renewable Energy World

Falmouth deal eases wind turbine debt, Cape Cod Times

Town of Yates passes more restrictions on wind energy projects, Buffalo News

The Launch of a US Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

FERC advances transmission line to serve Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, Utility Dive

What’s Happening With Maine Wind Power?, North American Windpower

Vineyard Wind wins state nod for undersea transmission cable,

Those Living Close To Wind Turbines Generally View Wind Power Positively, CleanTechnica



Vermont’s solar market fell 50% in 2017 (w/chart), pv magazine

A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas, Bloomberg

‘It’s so high it’s punitive’: Residents angered by local tax hike on home solar panels, Bangor Daily News

Solar Projects In Connecticut Face Local Pushback, New England Public Radio

Solar is again the flashpoint in CT’s new energy strategy, Hartford Business

Solect Energy Sees Acceleration in Solar Adoption by Massachusetts Municipalities, Schools and Nonprofits, pv magazine USA


Energy Efficiency/Storage

Alliance to Save Energy proposes changes in electricity pricing structures, Daily Energy Insider

Maryland is first state to launch energy storage tax credit, Utility Dive

Greensmith Energy Storage Technology Selected to Deliver Reliable Solar Power in Massachusetts, Power Magazine

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Most Important Energy Efficiency Program You’ve Never Heard Of, Energy Collective

Lawmakers Want To Restore Energy Efficiency Funds, But Don’t Know Where To Find The Money, Hartford Courant

Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things, The MIT Tech

Eversource News: Eversource and Lindt Chocolate Announce Landmark Energy Efficiency Partnership, North American Clean Energy



NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

Keating pushes for nuclear plant decommissioning, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Quake rattles anti-nuclear activists in N.H., Boston Herald

Nuke critics can testify in Vermont Yankee case, Brattleboro Reformer



New Year’s Cold Snap Still Affecting People’s Pocketbooks in Western Mass, Valley Advocate

ISO New England foresees trouble without investment in fuel security, Platts

Trump Budget Backs Nuclear, Coal; Cuts Funding for Renewables, Power Magazine

Powelson: Input from PJM, ISO-NE states critical to FERC resilience docket, Utility Dive

Is the third pillar of electricity delivery preventing the building of the first two?, Utility Dive

Federal tax cut more than reverses Eversource rate increase in Massachusetts, Daily Energy Insider

Grid operations technologies protected customers from the bomb cyclone, Utility Dive

Lawmaker Accuses Eversource of Giving Consumers Misleading Billing Information, Hartford Courant

DC Circuit Remands FERC Decision Upholding ISO-NE FCM Rules Locking in Prices for New Entrants, Lexology

House coalition wants reversal of energy funds raid, Hartford Business

Local officials call National Grid’s response to October storm ‘inadequate’, Eagle-Tribune

National Grid seeks OK for New York power grid rebuild, Electric Light & Power

Selectmen pressure Eversource to undertake long-sought sidewalk work, Cape Cod Times



Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll, Boston Globe

Forget Quebec, look offshore for power, CommonWealth Magazine

Beware the Coalition for Sustainable Energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Proposed Burrillville power plant a step in the wrong direction, Herald News

Viewpoint: Need for Mass. clean transportation policy, Boston Business Journal

NJ needs clean energy now! Dump the carbon-trading scheme | Opinion,

My Turn: David Spigelmyer: Rolling blackouts, skyrocketing costs, The Providence Journal

Indian Point power plant can withstand earthquakes: Letter, Poughkeepsie Journal

Just another routine day for NH ratepayers, NH Business Review

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin


Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for  events. Have a great weekend.

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio


 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB,

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine


Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process,

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio



Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines,

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update,

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?,

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times



Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford


Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards,

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine,

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent



NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee,

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper



ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs,

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike,

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes,

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal



Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine,

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower,

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending February 2, 2018

Complete Turnaround | Nyet | Super Bowl Efficiency

Diving right in today, of course the big news story is that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee unanimously denied an application for Northern Pass. That’s quite the turnaround from last week’s announcement that the Canadian hydro project was the sole winner of Massachusetts’ 83D RFP.

The reactions were all over the place. From Eversource’s “shocked and outraged” (Union Leader) to critics “reveling” in the project’s denial (Concord Monitor) to Massachusetts officials being “quiet” and “saying little”  (WRAL). This morning Hydro-Quebec’s CEO Éric Martel seemed to take it all in stride during a CBC News interview. “We knew there was a risk in New Hampshire,” Martel told CBC’s Daybreak. “But we still believe the [Northern Pass] project is going to happen.” He added that “even if [Northern Pass] it collapses, there are other routes the lines can take to get to Massachusetts. ‘Hydro-Québec has proposed also a line going through Vermont and a line going through Maine to get to the same place,’ he said. ‘The people of Massachusetts want that energy so, at some point, we’ll find a way.’”

Alrighty then. Just in case it doesn’t work out for Canadian hydro, check out the list of the other projects that Massachusetts rejected from this WBUR story Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal A Shift Away From Smaller Renewables.

Last week we mentioned the news that a tanker carrying Russian gas was waiting offshore to unload in Everett and another was expected. Well the gas arrived and the drama began. A Boston Globe editorial lays out all of the reasons why Russian LNG is happening, and why we should just say, “Nyet.” As they conclude, “Russia’s dirty fuels — and dirty oligarchs — are suddenly our problem.”

Of course we need to end this week’s news with a reference to the big game on Sunday. According to Popular Science, “We consume a lot of food and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, but not a lot of electricity.” Why? “Analyses of energy consumption show that while we do use up a bit more energy than average before the big game, we usually drop below the norm while the Super Bowl is on (save for spikes at commercial breaks). We’re not getting up to open the fridge much. We’re not cooking. We’re not working on our laptops and checking our phones while we watch. We’re just sitting and staring the same energy-efficient television as 10 other people.”

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!


All Things Northern Pass

Critics of Northern Pass project revel in proposal’s denial, Concord Monitor

Hydro-Québec CEO optimistic that Northern Pass project isn’t dead in the water, CBC

Massachusetts officials quiet on Northern Pass rejection, WRAL

Eversource -5% as New Hampshire regulator denies Northern Pass project, Seeking Alpha

Northern Pass ‘shocked and outraged’ by application denial, Union Leader

Massachusetts attorney general to review hydropower contract, Boston Herald

The Controversy Behind Massachusetts’ $1.6B Hydro Power Transmission Line, Greentech Media

Full accounting needed on Northern Pass deal, Boston Globe

Our Opinion: Eversource a suspect hydropower choice, Berkshire Eagle

Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal A Shift Away From Smaller Renewables, WBUR


Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Maine governor says offshore drilling would lower prices, Penn Energy

SJC agrees to put hold on appeal of Sandwich plant’s expansion, Cape Cod Times

Russian LNG is unloaded in Everett; the supplier (but not gas) faces US sanctions, The Boston Globe

Arrival of Russian gas stirs Ukrainian community, The Boston Globe

Despite protest, Yale-linked pipeline project progresses, Yale Daily News

NE Pipeline Foes Tell DC Circ. FERC Ignored Enviro Risks, Law360

Final Hearings Set for Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Lawyer says Invenergy committed to project, The Providence Journal

America’s Natural Gas Hurdles, New York Times

Enbridge working on natural gas pipelines to New England, Kallanish Energy


Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

Reckoning with climate change will demand ugly tradeoffs from environmentalists — and everyone else,

Politics, process playing in carbon pricing debate, Lowell Sun

Report: Trump budget seeks 72% cut to DOE clean energy research, Utility Dive

NE States Push Renewables, But Not All Jump Aboard, Engineering News Record

CMP moves forward with renewable energy plans, Bangor Daily News

Clean Energy Leadership: Next Steps for Massachusetts, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mass. Senate ‘Clean Energy Future’ report seeks smorgasbord of climate change solutions,

Murphy directs New Jersey to re-enter Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,

Utility CEO: new renewables will be cheaper than existing coal plants by the early 2020s,

Mass. senators assembling clean energy bill,

Nova Scotia issues call for tidal energy projects demonstration, Energy Business Review

Braintree boasts efforts to go green, Wicked Local Braintree



Concerns Voiced Over Proposed Portland Wind Turbine Project, (NY) Post Journal

NY Releases Master Plan to Grow Offshore Wind Power, Natural Resources Defense Council

Governor of Maine Bans All New Wind Farms, Popular Mechanics

Maine AG: LePage’s order doesn’t change state law on wind power, Foster’s Daily Democrat

State sees 5k jobs from off-shore wind farm push, Times Union

Shielded Maine wind energy commission receives pushback, Press Herald

Yarmouth officials concerned about Vineyard Wind plan, Cape Cod Times

Environmental group sues LePage, says wind farm ban is unconstitutional, Press Herald

State’s highest court hears Antrim Wind appeal arguments, Monandock Ledger Transcript

Redfield shares worries about Mad River Wind Farm, Watertown (NY) Daily Times



New solar power fee draws heat on Beacon Hill, Boston Globe

Soveren Solar closes up shop, Brattleboro Reformer

Blackout at Beverly High, High school solar panels out of commission past two years, Salem News

Lawmakers slam new solar charges, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar Fees are Burning Southern New England, ecoRI news

President’s Decision on Solar Tariffs is a Loss for America | SEIA, Solar Energy Industries Association

Frustration grows over Eversource solar charge, The Daily News of Newburyport

Pro-solar protestors arrested in Maine, pv magazine USA

Officials: Now is the time to go solar in Cambridge, Wicked Local Cambridge

Massachusetts lands first community solar+storage project, pv magazine


Energy Efficiency/Storage

We consume a lot of food and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, but not a lot of electricity, Popular Science

Baker plans energy audit for Swampscott home, Salem News

Americans Are Staying Home More. That’s Saving Energy., New York Times

US cities most menaced by climate change are least energy-efficient, Reuters

State Takes First, Tentative Steps Toward Energy Efficiency Standard, NJ Spotlight

Compound could transform energy storage for large grids, University of Rochester (press release)


Electric Vehicles

Uncoordinated trouble? Electric vehicles can be a grid asset, but only with planning and investment, Utility Dive

How Tesla’s first truck charging stations will be built, CNBC



DOE report touts small modular reactors, but hurdles remain, Utility Dive

Troubled Vermont Yankee disposal company sold,

Progress made to resolve Vt. Yankee sale concerns, The Recorder

Tax Breaks Spur Dominion Deleveraging, RTO Insider

Nuclear Power in Crisis: We Are Entering the Era of Nuclear Decommissioning, Energy Collective

The future of nuclear power? Think small, LA Times



State chooses another proposal instead of Emera’s sub-sea cable to Plymouth, Wicked Local Dover

Digitalization Could Provide $38 Billion in Benefits to Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

New England Faces Power Shortages Without Infrastructure Fix, Engineering News-Record

Customers Pan Eversource Rate Request, CT News Junkie

Eversource Energy customers ‘shocked’ by electric bill, Meriden Record-Journal

Fossil fuel burners, clean energy sector, and Democrat Setti Warren pan Eversource hydro deal for Massachusetts,

Bethel residents rally against Eversource pole placement, Danbury News Times



Column: Oil Kept the Power Grid Running in Recent Cold Snap, Valley News

When it comes to Russian gas, just say nyet, Boston Globe

Amid Climate Turbulence, Wind Power Looms as Boon for Island, Vineyard Gazette

Letter: Anti-pipeline forces drive up utility prices, Berkshire Eagle

In polarized times, clean energy is what unites us, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Adam Cote: Energy moves will crush thousands of jobs, hurt Maine people, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Wind energy or oil? The choice is easy, Cape Cod Times

Letter to the editor: Support law that protects solar power generators from unfair taxes, Press Herald

My Turn: Energy efficiency on two dollars a month, Concord Monitor

New York Should Demand More Efficiency from National Grid, NRDC Blog

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Filed under Climate Change, hydro, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News