Energy News for week ending March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And in Massachusetts – it’s also Evacuation Day. So, instead of a long note today we’re going to get right to the stories so you can evacuate your work premises and enjoy some holiday celebration.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Maryland House overwhelmingly approves fracking ban, Washington Post

More than 100 gas leaks in Concord; Wicked Local Concord

Government Opposition to Power Plant Increasing, ecoRI news

Newton’s leaky problem: The city has 480 reported gas leaks, Wicked Local Newton

Spectra Access Northeast project presentation slated for March 26, Wicked Local Franklin

Natural gas moratorium continues to hurt Amherst business climate, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Webster selectmen oppose RI power plant, Worcester Telegram

Climate Change

Trump’s Defense secretary calls climate change a national security risk, The Hill

A Spark Of Hope For Climate Change Reality, NPR

New England’s Ski Industry Prepares For A Changing Climate, WBUR

Nearly Half A Million US Doctors Warn That Climate Change Is Making Us Sick, Huffington Post

February record warm for 16 states, 145M Americans, USA TODAY

Renewable Energy

Tuesday’s storm proved ideal for Block Island Wind Farm, Providence Journal

US planning more offshore wind leases off MA coast, CommonWealth magazine

New Hampshire utilities, solar companies file rate design settlement proposals, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Preps for US Offshore Wind Construction Boom, Renewable Energy World

7 rural Maine firms will get green energy grants, Penn Energy

Developers Seek Leases for Offshore Wind Projects in New York, Massachusetts Waters, Renewable Energy World

SMART start? Massachusetts utilities, solar at odds over proposed incentive program, Utility DIVE

Two more wind farms sought off Vineyard, Boston Herald

BOEM Announces Offshore Wind Action In The Northeast, North American Windpower

Large-scale floating offshore wind power is finally here, Treehugger

Solar Experiment Lets Neighbors Trade Energy Among Themselves, New York Times

Bioenergy park considered at closed landfill, Brattleboro Reformer

Local project buoys FuelCell Energy, Danbury News Times

Why solar panels bloom in Southwest’s land of hydropower, Christian Science Monitor

Trump’s Business Council Is a Who’s Who of Renewable Energy Investors and Climate Champions, Greentech Media

Scientists use solar power to produce hydrogen from biomass, CNBC

Should Energy Storage Share The Tax Credits For Renewable Energy?, CleanTechnica

Google: 4 out of 5 US homes have solar power potential, Engadget

With mills struggling, a Maine lumber firm is building a biomass plant, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Rhode Island Building Takes Eco-Standards to a New Level, Environmental Leader

7 Rural Maine Firms Will Get Green Energy Grants, U.S. News & World Report

What Counts as Success in Energy Efficiency Programs?, Energy Collective

Nuclear

Legislation That Would Support Connecticut Nuclear Plant Released, Hartford Courant

Entergy Takes Next Steps for Pilgrim Closure, CapeCod.com

Connecticut bill would protect Millstone nuke by classifying it as a renewable resource, Utility DIVE

Bold Visions for the Future of Nuclear Power, WCAI

Vermont Yankee hearing postponed, The Recorder

Connecticut Moves Closer to Equating Nuclear with Renewables, RTO Insider

Nuke bill takes shape, Hartford Business Journal

Nuke agency OKs Entergy Nuclear’s use of trust fund, The Recorder

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Carbon Emissions Fell Again in the U.S. Northeast. So What’s the Next Step for RGGI?, Microgrid Knowledge

IMAPP Pondering 4 Options for Incorporating Clean Energy in NE, RTO Insider

New England power grid’s ample capacity proves dire predictions wrong, Press Herald

Questions Arise Over Who Would Ultimately Pay for Northern Pass, InsideSources

Can New England Keep the Power on? (video), NECN

Future of Cape’s energy compact riles county assembly, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut considers carbon tax on oil, gas, CT Post

Bracing for an Eversource rate hike, the attraction of Editas, and more, The Boston Globe

APCC voices concern over Eversource spray plan, Wicked Local Brewster

Former Eversource CEO gets big payday in final year, Thehour.com

Utilities reiterate backing for Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Despite making it a priority, LePage remains stymied on lowering energy costs, Press Herald

National Grid apologizes for Brockton manhole cover explosions, Enterprise News

ISO-NE Market Changes for Subhourly Settlements, Real-Time Fast-Start Pricing and DARD Pumps Take Effect, Energy Central

Is Hydro-Quebec Having ‘Second Thoughts’ On Northern Pass? Energy Central

EnerNOC Seeks Strategic ‘Alternatives’ Amid Software Slump, Greentech Media

Editorial/Opinion

Our opinion: More proof the world is changing due to greenhouse gases, Brattleboro Reformer

Their advice: Stockpile KI pills, The Daily News of Newburyport

OP-ED | Millstone Bill Really *Is* All About Rates, CT News Junkie

Letter to the editor: LePage needs to lead on locally made solar power, Press Herald

My Turn: We went solar and you can, too, Concord Monitor

Embrace Gas, Hartford Courant

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending March 10, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get right to it.

Elisa Wood at Microgrid Knowledge reports that in one day two states made history-making moves on distributed energy resources. She writes that New York ordered actions that begin placing a value on distributed energy resources, a key move in creating the kind of decentralized grid the state is pursuing under its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) policy. And that meanwhile, Massachusetts issued an awaited solicitation that makes significant funding available for energy storage, a technology that promises to disrupt the way the electric power industry has managed energy for more than a century – and in doing so elevate microgrids, solar and other distributed energy resources. Wood notes, both states are often on the vanguard of energy policy innovations.

The news coming out of Washington, DC isn’t looking so good for the Energy Star Program. The Washington Post reports that even though the Energy Star program is good for the climate and economy, Trump wants to kill it anyway. According to the story, since its inception, the Energy Star program says it has saved consumers an estimated $430 billion on utility bills and avoided 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Journalist Chelsea Harvey writes, “Why the administration sees fit to remove it, then, remains unclear. But some say the budget proposal may not get much further, anyway. Some lawmakers have suggested that the plan is likely to face resistance in Congress, even among Republicans. And the treatment of the Energy Star program may spur criticism from the private sector as well.” Let’s hope she’s right.

The plans for the budget slashing at the EPA led its Chief Environmental Justice Official, Mustafa Ali, to step down. According to the story in Inside Climate News, Ali penned a long letter, “devoid of rancor” to Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency’s programs.

Speaking of environmental downsizing, the Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts is enforcing its environmental rules less due to years of reductions in staff. The good news is that the administration’s latest budget proposal calls for a 4 percent increase for the DEP, some of which is earmarked to hire 15 new compliance officers.

Lastly, on the South Shore and Buzzards Bay, some Plymouth-based wind turbines are raising the hackles of neighbors. The Cape Cod Times reports that the four turbines on the Keith Mann Cranberry Bog, just over the border from Bourne are resulting in stories of deafening noise, unexplained headaches, and restless nights – by residents of Bourne. Bourne Selectman Michael Blanton said, “It was put right on the town line, right on the county line; just outside of our reach to be able to exercise any jurisdiction, exercise any regulatory authority and really … approve, disapprove or mitigate much of the project to any degree.” Bourne officials have pleaded with the Plymouth Board of Health and the MA DEP for relief, but at the moment, still feel “kind of helpless.”

There are a lot more news stories below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Environmental Study: Leaking Gas Pipelines Costing State Consumers Millions, Adding Air Pollution, Hartford Courant

Amended plan for power plant might spur new opinions from R.I. agencies, Providence Journal

Quincy throws its weight and dollars behind compressor-station appeal, The Patriot Ledger

CLF Sues Over Johnston Reselling Water For Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Local Environmental Groups Unite Against Power Plant, ecoRI news

Delays Could Derail Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Fast Growth Coming for Northeast Shale Gas Pipelines, Bloomberg BNA

EIA’s Changing Oil, Natural Gas Projections For 2017, 2018, Forbes

What do people call Baker about? The Weymouth natural gas compressor station, for starters, Boston Globe

Renewable Energy

Plan could increase Rhode Island renewables to 1 GW by 2020, HydroWorld

Competing strategies emerge on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines raise hackles in Plymouth and Bourne, Cape Cod Times

Wind Power Blows Through Nuclear, Coal as Costs Drop at Sea, Bloomberg

1 MW Community Solar Farm Goes Online In Southeastern Mass., Solar Industry

Rhode Island Officials Embrace Fossil-Fuel Power Plant, But Say They Want More Renewable Energy, ecoRI news

Solar energy had record year in 2016, FuelFix

Tesla built a huge solar energy plant on the island of Kauai, The Verge

Solar explosion: The changing landscape of residential solar, GazetteNET

Greenhouse at Lebanon farm producing power along with plants, theday.com

Seven Maine businesses land renewable energy grants, Mainebiz

Big Wind critics: New sound rules for Vermont wind turbines fall short, Watchdog.org

Swanton wind will go ahead despite PSB setback, vtdigger.org

RENEW Northeast Welcomes Offshore Wind Developers, National Wildlife Federation, North American Windpower

‘Let me show you how to go 100% renewable energy’, EcoGeneration

Massachusetts Schools, Town Cut Costs With New Brownfield Solar Project, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Quincy, National Grid help make homes more energy efficient, The Patriot Ledger

Evergreen Home Performance wins award from Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

White House plans to ‘close out’ Energy Star, other programs, E&E News

The Energy Star program is good for the climate and the economy. Trump wants to kill it anyway., Washington Post

Nuclear

Vermont AG files for intervenor status in Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

Feds commit to Vermont public meeting on Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Tribe wants say in Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Nuke plant, town reach deal over pier damage, Seacoastonline.com

Battle resumes over opening utility markets to Millstone, The CT Mirror

No status change for Pilgrim nuclear plant, The Patriot Ledger

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

One Day, Two States, History Making Moves on Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrid Knowledge

Sparks fly on electric vehicle provision, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. is enforcing its environmental rules less, The Boston Globe

New York PSC directs utilities to deploy 2 or more grid-scale storage projects, Utility DIVE

Dunkin’ Donuts, Eversource, National Grid Develop Energy Program, Energy Manager Today

Hinds opposes Eversource rate hike request, Berkshire Eagle

Durham ‘lacks confidence’ in Eversource data, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Report: White House planning deep cuts to DOE efficiency, renewables office, Utility DIVE

Report: New Energy Projects Not Needed for NH’s Economic Growth, New Hampshire Public Radio

After losing money on hydropower venture, Camden to decommission Seabright Dam, PenBayPilot.com

Hanover Pond restored in Meriden; testing of hydroelectric technology underway, Meriden Record Journal

Purchase of 13 dams on the Connecticut River nearing finish line, vtdigger.org

New Hampshire Climate Denier’s Work Has Powerful New Audience: His Brother, The Governor, DeSmog

Could biofuel save Maine’s timber industry?, Bangor Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: Eversource rates and the east-west divide, Berkshire Eagle

Battle resumes over opening utility markets to Millstone, The CT Mirror

Replacing the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant with Energy Efficiency, Huffington Post

Jon Copans: Modelling a local and vibrant climate economy, vtdigger.org

Trump’s puzzling clean energy stance, CommonWealth Magazine

A Guide to the Debate Over Closing Nuclear Plants, Greentech Media

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending March 3, 2017

Happy FriYAY! An arctic storm front is expected to move through this evening so bundle up – winter is back, but the forecasters say it’s just for a couple of days.

In this week’s news, we have a story from Vox that explains RGGI. But, they note there is good and bad news. The good news is that it’s working. The bad news is that it’s not reducing carbon. To clarify that they wrote, “it (RGGI) has benefitted from emission reductions in the Northeast, but it hasn’t really caused any, or at least not many. Whether it can serve as an instrument of meaningful decarbonization — and retain its integrity and popularity — largely remains to be seen.”

Speaking of decarbonization, North American Windpower reports that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is seeking to grow renewable energy in the state by a “whopping” 1,000 percent. In the press release she said, “The goal will include energy from a broad portfolio of clean energy resources, including offshore and onshore wind and solar.” The article goes on to note that a Providence Business News article brings up a notable point: There is not yet any legislation to go along with the governor’s goal. Further, as of June 2016, approximately 95% of Rhode Island’s net electricity generation was derived from natural gas.

Last note for today – Wicked Local Woburn tells a story of how a monster slowly made its way through several Massachusetts towns. A high capacity autotransformer, weighing approximately 467,000 pounds, was moved from a dock in Everett to Eversource’s Woburn substation on Pond Street. The 35-foot long, 13-feet wide, 18-feet tall piece of equipment was moved with State Police escort on a 12-axel transport trailer through Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, Medford, Arlington and Winchester. The convoy traveled at about 5 miles per hour over several hours, Eversource officials said. Here’s to improved electric capacity and reliability!

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

3 million Americans at risk from human-induced earthquakes this year, USA TODAY

Residents quietly protest proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

Revealed: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Close Ties to Lobbyists for Spectra Energy, Whose Pipeline Projects He Backs, DeSmog

Rehoboth selectmen unhappy with Spectra Energy, The Sun Chronicle

Cities, Enviros Urge FERC To Pull Pipeline Project OK, Law360

Propane for schools removed from budget; Town to explore natural gas, New Canaan Advertiser

Earthquakes Have to Do with One Very Specific Part of Fracking, Big Think

Trump’s new pipelines are going to get a ‘dog fight’ in some parts of the United States, CNBC

Renewable Energy

Eversource solar array project stalled once again, Berkshire Record

Wind Turbines Loom on Off-Cape Waters, Wicked Local Wellfleet

NH’s wood heat efforts slow, NH Business Review

Making it happen: 2017 is the year for US offshore wind energy, Windpower Engineering

Rhode Island Governor Plots Whopping 1,000% Renewables Increase, North American Windpower

The Northeast’s carbon trading system works quite well. It just doesn’t reduce much carbon, Vox

Vermont among leaders in solar jobs per capita, Vermont Biz

Environmental groups to make hard push to reverse Maine’s new solar rules, Press Herald

Trump Can’t Stop This: Global Renewable Energy Booms, Natural Resources Defense Council

How to Support Renewable Energy (and Why You Really Should), Scientific American

N.Y. tries to balance solar power growth with land-use issues, USA Today

Energy Efficiency

Don’t Underestimate the Secondary Benefits of Energy Efficiency, Energy Manager Today

Heating (Or Cooling) Costs Too High? Heat Pump Technology Has The Answer, Hartford Courant

A Carbon Tax Gains Traction Among Some Conservatives, MainePublic.org

Nuclear

Entergy takes step toward Pilgrim shutdown, Cape Cod Times

State schedules Vermont Yankee sale hearing, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim Station decommissioning panel has four Plymouth members, Wicked Local Plymouth

Scientists Say They’re Finally Getting Close To Fusion Power, Daily Caller

2 Connecticut energy bills aim to help Millstone owner, spur fuel cell use, New Haven Register

NRC bans fired Seabrook Station nuclear plant guard, Seacoastonline.com

California Nuclear Closures Resulted in 250% Higher Emissions from Electricity, The Energy Collective

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Renewables and Microgrids and Nothing Else: Crazy or Maybe?, Microgrid Knowledge

Wholesale electric prices reach new low in New England, but retail prices remain high, Boston Globe

Suppliers see lower electric prices ahead, NH Union Leader

Exelon: Millis water not needed for Medway plant, MetroWest Daily News

State approves transmission line to run under Winchester roads, Wicked Local Winchester

ISO-NE Begins Discussing Order 1000 Public Policy Tx Projects, RTO Insider

2 Vermont utilities say customers targeted by phone scam, Penn Energy

Wholesale electricity prices drop to 13-year low, CommonWealth Magazine

Needham selectmen dig deeper into Eversource project, Wicked Local Needham

Public Hearings to Discuss Eversource’s Proposed Rate Hike, CapeCod.com

Public counsel fires back over businesses’ Northern Pass claims, New Hampshire Business Review

How Secure Is Our Smart Grid?, Government Technology

Woburn autotransformer to up energy output, Wicked Local Woburn

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Making ‘dirty energy’ a thing of the past, MetroWest Daily News

Should Massachusetts commit itself to 100 percent renewable energy?, Boston Globe

Support RGGI for cleaner, healthier air, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Columnist Marty Nathan: Massachusetts leads on renewable energy, GazetteNET

Your Turn, NH — David Worthen: RGGI is good for NH businesses, The Union Leader

Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health — Here’s Why, Forbes

Invenergy plant provides today’s power needs, Valley Breeze

OPINION: Energy efficiency saves money, adds jobs, Daily Record

You Can’t Have Offshore Wind Power Without Petroleum, Forbes

Guy Page: Earlier decommissioning of Vermont Yankee has multiple benefits, vtdigger.org

The trials and triumphs of offshore wind, GreenBiz

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending February 24, 2017

TGIF. There are lots of stories and opinions this week. Let’s start with some intrigue. CommonWealth Magazine reports that some environmentalists are “alleging that the 1,200 megawatt clean energy solicitation developed by the Baker administration is biased in favor of large-scale hydro projects favored by some of the state’s utilities.” The intrigue comes in because “the state’s electric utilities are not only helping to write the RFP with the Department of Energy Resources but expect to benefit from it by building the transmission lines that deliver the power.”

Questions about the future Rehoboth Gas Compressor Station and the Access Northeast Pipeline are also rattling around in the Attleboro area according to the Sun Chronicle. Some suggest (hope?) that the cancellation of a public meeting means the project is dead. Others say, not so fast. One item that appears to be dead is the Brockton Power Plant proposal with the news from WickedLocal this week that the land where it was to be sited is up for sale.

In Connecticut, Bloomberg says environmental groups opposed to subsidies for nuclear power may be facing a do-or-die moment when it comes to legislation to help bail-out Millstone Nuclear.

And, lastly, I’m not sure how this fits with “competitive” as in competitive energy markets, but Energy Manager Today reports that in Maine, legislation has been filed that would prohibit a competitive electricity provider from charging a residential consumer a rate for generation service that is higher than the rate charged for standard-offer service. Not sure how that will fly with those who opt to pay more to support renewable generation.

Don’t forget to check out the events page. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Plants

Pipeline developers pursue multi-pronged approach, Hartford Business

Killingly postpones meeting on proposed power plant issues, Norwich Bulletin

6600 spills from fracking in just four states, Science Daily

Fracking Caused Pennsylvania Earthquakes, New Report Confirms, EcoWatch

Cancellation of meeting on Rehoboth gas compressor station raises questions about status of project, The Sun Chronicle

Pipeline advocates gird for battle, The Sun Chronicle

Weymouth mayor looks to state permitting process to halt Spectra station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Baker: State has ‘minor role’ in permitting for Weymouth compressor, The Patriot Ledger

Weymouth compressor station foes raise money for legal battle, The Patriot Ledger

Local pipeline opponents stand with Standing Rock, The Recorder

Trump Eyes Easing Obama Rules for Sprawling Pipeline Network, Bloomberg

Natural Gas Bulls Crushed As Prices Tank, OilPrice.com

How booming US natural gas exports could affect power utilities and consumers, Utility DIVE

Environmental group to EFSB: Pull the plug on Brockton Power over bait-and-switch tactics, WickedLocal

Eversource facing big Beacon Hill challenge, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

Clean energy intrigue alleged, CommonWealth Magazine

Could Massachusetts run on all renewable energy by 2050?, Wicked Local Medford

Study throws cold water on residential solar-plus-storage economics, Utility DIVE

Overheard at the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum, RTO Insider

Baker urged to lead on anti-carbon compact changes, wwlp.com

New farmland harvest – solar energy – creating political sparks, The CT Mirror

New Hampshire church hits zoning snag over solar panels, Press Herald

Why Wind Turbines Should Talk to Each Other, Greentech Media

New Campaign Celebrates Growing Renewable Energy Sector, Solar Industry

Connecticut DEEP rejects two utility storage pilots as too costly, Utility DIVE

Chemists improve batteries for renewable energy storage, Phys.Org

Wind Briefly Sets Record as Source for Electricity in US, Climate Central

Alabama company buys closed biomass power plant in northern Maine, Press Herald

Retiring worn-out wind turbines could cost billions that nobody has, Energy Central

Eversource gains approval for 23-acre solar farm on Montague Plains, MassLive.com

Merrimack officials debate solar panel tax exemptions, The Union Leader

Covanta Extends Partnership with Southeastern Connecticut Communities for Sustainable Waste Disposal, Energy Central

FuelCell officials hope proposed legislation will aid energy procurement in Connecticut, Register Citizen

Baker, officials tout solar incentive program, MetroWest Daily News

US grid can handle more offshore wind power, cutting pollution and power costs, Science Daily

Energy Efficiency

How Every State Benefits from Energy Efficiency Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council

Partnership gives cities such as Somerville millions in energy grants, Wicked Local Somerville

Internet of Things helped Connecticut district cut electricity bill by 84%, Education Dive

Energy groups urge Congress to advance efficiency bill, Daily Energy Insider

Greenfield energy department reduces carbon, costs, Going Green

Nuclear

Closure of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant boosted greenhouse gas emissions in New England, MassLive.com

Dominion’s Nuclear ‘Bailout’ a Do-or-Die Moment for Opponents, Bloomberg

Yankee sale may be in ’18, Rutland Herald

Connecticut girds for nuclear power debate as critics line up against Millstone support bill, Utility DIVE

Public input sought on Seabrook nuke plant degradation, Seacoastonline.com

Citizens panel wants help to deal with Vermont Yankee sale, Commons

Endless nuclear power can be found in the seas, EnGadget

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Maine Legislation Would Cap Retail Pricing, Energy Manager Today

Local officials, environmentalists raise concerns about EPA under Pruitt, MetroWest Daily News

Senate bill could open the door to ratepayer-funded energy projects, Concord Monitor

Land once targeted for Brockton Power project goes up for sale, WickedLocal

Utility raises concerns on emission targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource reports profit gain on eve of key state hearings, Thehour.com

This outspoken refrigeration technician is LePage’s go-to energy advisor, Press Herald

Eversource Investing $36 Million in Tree Trimming, CapeCod.com

Newton names Ann Berwick as co-director of sustainability, WickedLocal Newton

Mansfield, North Attleboro electric departments oppose new environmental regulations, Sun Chronicle

Editorial/Opinion

As I See It: Accelerating electric vehicle use, Worcester Telegram

How to fight climate change without Washington, Boston Globe

Don’t put customers on the hook for pipeline costs, by Susan Wessels, The Keene Sentinel

Pressure LePage to strengthen RGGI, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision cripples Maine solar industry, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision confirms ratepayers pay twice, The Maine Wire

Sorry, Coal. Solar Is Where the Jobs Are, Fortune

Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems, The Economist

Karl Meyer: Connecticut River power storage plant is an ecological, economic and energy disaster, Vtdigger.org

Maine needs the good-paying jobs nuclear energy provides, Bangor Daily News

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending February 17, 2017

Happy Friday. This week’s energy news brings us more response to a pipeline study released last week that claims the Access Northeast pipeline will cost twice what proponents claim. According to MassLive, Eversource Energy called the report “a disservice to communities.”

During last week’s ISO-NE energy auction Invenergy’s proposed Burrillville, RI gas plant only managed to sell half its expected capacity. EcoRI reports that Jerry Elmer of the Conservation Law Foundation, said, “the lack of demand for the electricity shows there is more than enough power generation to meet future energy needs and, thus, the proposed Clear River Energy Center is unnecessary and shouldn’t be built.”

But natural gas advocates, should not dismay! The American Gas Association released its 2017 playbook touting all of the benefits that natural gas brings to the US. Specifically, the playbook offers a concise, fact-based narrative detailing how the industry and utilities are helping increase our energy security, improving our environment and boosting our economy.

Lastly, on the gas front, WGBH talks with Governor Baker about how much he can or can’t influence the Weymouth gas compressor station. His response, “In the end, these decisions get made by the federal government.”

In other news, Maine is starting to look like Washington; or is it that Washington is starting to look like Maine? Regardless, the Sun Journal tells us that Gov. LePage is telling utility commissioners to resign over “their absolutely horrendous decision” that rolled back net metering but didn’t eliminate it. And the Bangor Daily News reports he seeks to replace at least one of them with a solar energy critic.

New Hampshire also has its fair share of renewable critics. Utility DIVE reports on legislation that would remove the state from RGGI and repeal the renewables mandate.

Speaking of renewables mandates, MassLive reports that more than 50 Massachusetts lawmakers have signed on to a bill that would require Massachusetts to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. All of its heating, transportation and other sectors would have to be powered by renewable energy by 2050. No word yet on the cost, but we can look to Vermont where the Energy Collective said a study released this week found its 90 percent renewables mandate would cost $33 billion by 2050. They did the math and found if the US were to adopt Vermont’s 90% RE goal, the capital cost would be $17,316 billion, which is in the same ballpark as the US national debt. Ouch.

There is much more news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Can Gov. Baker Actually Block A Controversial Gas Compressor?, WGBH.org

Is NED pipeline back on the table?, Nashua Telegraph (pay wall)

AGA Releases 2017 Playbook, True Blue Natural Gas

Eversource and activists at odds over latest New England pipeline study, MassLive.com

New report questions need, cost of Access Northeast gas pipeline project, Utility Dive

Reports Conflict on Need for New Gas Power Plant, ecoRI news

Air battle looms over proposed Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Pope appears to back native tribes in Dakota Pipeline conflict, Reuters

Company Behind DAPL Reported 69 Accidents, Polluting Rivers in 4 States in Last Two Years, EcoWatch

Fracking Rule Text Disappears From Interior Department Website, EcoWatch

Vt. Gas Takes Financial Hit, Pipeline Protests Continue, Middlebury Campus

Germany largely bans fracking with new laws, Deutsche Welle

Refugio pipeline explosion shakes homes 60 miles away, KHOU.com

Renewable Energy

New Hampshire bills would withdraw state from RGGI, repeal renewables mandate, Utility Dive

Vermont’s 90% Renewable Energy Goal to Cost $33 Billion by 2050, Energy Collective

Wind Power Now Generates More Than 10 Percent of Electricity for 13 States, Power Engineering

State incentives in the offing as more companies, communities adopt solar power, MassLive.com

LePage eyes replacing utilities commissioner with solar energy critic, Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage urges Maine utility regulators to resign over solar decision, Lewiston Sun Journal

Here’s an early look at how Maine’s biomass bailout money is being spent, Bangor Daily News

Fight over renewable energy comes to New Hampshire, Penn Energy

Trump urged to back offshore, reNews

Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm, Cape Cod Times

Deepwater Wind opens Massachusetts office in New Bedford, SouthCoastToday.com

Solar and wind energy propel growth in US renewables, Nature.com

Victory: These Two Cities Just Committed to 100% Renewable Energy, EcoWatch

Environmentalists push for 100% renewable energy use in Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Wind turbines inspired by insect wings are 35% more efficient, Science Magazine

US Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy, Bloomberg

UPS Announces $18 Million Investment In Onsite Solar Energy, 5x Onsite Solar Growth, CleanTechnica

Governor’s letter to Trump — Support solar and wind energy, Digital Journal

Companies Collaborates with Beaumont Solar on New 680,305 sq ft LEED Certified Headquarters, Incorporating a 2.2 Megawatt Solar System, Energy Central

The crisis at Oroville Dam, explained, Vox.com

Energy Efficiency

Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced in Senate, Lexology

Report: HI, CT, MA, RI, and AK Households Save Most On Overall Utility Bills Due To Appliance Standards, (Press Release), Appliance Standards Awareness Project

Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, (Report) Environment Maine

Massachusetts Green Communities Program Continues to Grow, Energy Manager Today

An Energy Storage Target for Massachusetts: Go Bigger, Bellwether?, Microgrid Knowledge

Vermont Churches Awarded Grants for Energy Audits, vtdigger.org

National Grid launches its first commercial & industrial demand response program, Utility DIVE

Nuclear

Entergy Addresses Critical Report (video), ‘The Take’ NECN

Connecticut lawmakers again asked to consider nuclear energy, New Haven Register

Federal application filed for Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim nuclear power plant back online after shutdown, The Boston Globe

Public hearings planned on proposed Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

NRC starts comment clock on Seabrook amendment to rent extension, The Daily News of Newburyport

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules to cut carbon emissions in Mass. may increase them in New England, critics say, Boston Globe

New review is critical of Northern Pass project, The Union Leader

Massachusetts Plans to Identify Microgrid Opportunities Statewide, Microgrid Knowledge

Prices plummet in ISO-NE capacity auction, raising questions about new generation plans, Utility Dive

Expanded Use Of EVs in CT, MA, MD, NY & PA Could Yield “Multi-Billions” in Savings and Benefits, CleanTechnica

Plymouth triangle lot could produce new revenue (underwater cables), Wicked Local Plymouth

Utilidata, National Grid announce Volt/VAR optimization project, Electric Light & Power

Energy executives, secretive nonprofit raise money to back Pruitt, Politico

Citing ownership change, Brockton Power asks for six-month permit extension, Enterprise

Brady to state board: Deny Brockton Power 4th extension after it sat out auction, Enterprise

Editorial/Opinion

Power Precursor, New Hampshire Magazine

Reviving the Keystone Pipeline is one of Trump’s foolish acts, Ricentral.com

Eversource solar hikes unwarranted, CommonWealth Magazine

Commentary: PUC’s mishandling of solar rules will hurt industry, utilities and ratepayers, Press Herald

Letter to the editor: SMCC is all talk, no action on renewable energy future, Press Herald

Markey, Kennedy Statement on Results of New England Electricity Capacity Auction #11, Energy Central

Ronald C. DeCurzio: Massachusetts municipal utilities doing their part to reach clean energy milestones, MassLive

Letter to the Editor: Unnecessary pipeline project would do damage, New Haven Register

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending February 10, 2017

Good Friday Afternoon. On the gas front this week, MassLive reports that the judge involved in the case for the pipeline easement, plans to OK the settlement causing some folks to stage a funeral (Berkshire Eagle). WWLP’s I Team investigates and finds that contractors cause 100’s of gas line accidents each year in Massachusetts; many never call 811.

Not in the New England, but interesting none-the-less is an article from the LA Times saying Californian’s are paying big time for power they don’t need.

CommonWealth Magazine reports this week’s power auction went smoothly, but the Enterprise reports folks at Brockton Power are feeling left out.

In the department of be careful what you wish for, Utility DIVE digs in on an ISO NE report showing that CO2 emissions spiked after Vermont Yankee’s closure. And, the Telegram reports that municipal utilities are crying foul over the new greenhouse gas limits.

Lastly, because it’s still fun to talk about the Patriot’s win, the Bangor Daily News reports their second half comeback lit up New England – literally!

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Berkshire judge plans to OK settlement for pipeline easement through state forest, MassLive

Proposed Access Northeast pipeline would cost New England consumers $6.6 billion, The Redding Pilot

Officials blast Spectra Energy for limited monitoring at gas metering leak, The Patriot Ledger

I Team: Gas lines hit by contractors, WWLP

Next battle for Weymouth compressor opponents: Clean Air Act permits, The Patriot Ledger

Forest pipeline opponents hang tough, Berkshire Eagle

New London to consider ban on fracking waste, theday.com

Another state legislature just introduced a ban on fracking, ThinkProgress

Air quality hearing planned for new gas turbine at Sandwich plant, Cape Cod Times

Protesters stage ‘funeral’ as court prepares to grant Tennessee Gas access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Renewable Energy

The ‘New Normal’ in America: Renewables Boom, Emissions Plunge and Consumers Save More Than Ever, Greentech Media

Rhode Island Looks to be First State with Carbon Tax, ecoRI news

Exploring a New Mechanism to Cut Carbon Pollution in RGGI, Natural Resources Defense Council

Distributed Solar: Exploring New Opportunities, Electric Light & Power

Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream, New York Times

Wind Farm’s Impact on RI Tourism to be Studied, ecoRI news

MA Solar Employment Strong, But Dipped Last Year, Banker & Tradesman

Hebron Academy’s rooftop solar project largest in state, Lewiston Sun Journal

Is there a future for land-based wind turbines south of Boston?, Boston Globe South

Solar power is an untapped resource in these 10 cities, Penn Energy

Lawmaker wants to protect island from wind energy testing, Penn Energy

Energy Efficiency

West Hartford Residents Show Commitment to Energy Efficiency, Patch.com

Wading Into the Trump Era of Energy Efficiency, Energy Collective

Nuclear

Trump and US Nuclear Power Find Common Ground in Jobs Push, Bloomberg

ISO-NE: New England CO2 emissions spike after Vermont Yankee closure, Utility Dive

In nuke debate, clash over cost, competition, Hartford Business

Power Producers Oppose Legislation Helping Millstone Nuclear Plant, Hartford Courant

Possible sale could speed Pilgrim decommissioning plan, The Patriot Ledger

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Power auction goes smoothly for 2020-2021, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal light plants decry proposed greenhouse gas limits, Telegram

State regulations seek to reduce emissions, Salem News

Californians are paying billions for power they don’t need, LA Times

Brockton power plant project fails again at energy auction, The Enterprise

Trump’s election could have a mixed impact on New England’s energy industry, Boston Globe

With tax reform on the table, senators prepare second push for energy storage incentives, Utility Dive

Patriots’ comeback lit up New England — literally, Bangor Daily News

Manufacturers can earn $3500 with National Grid program, Worcester Business Journal

NH lawmakers hear arguments to repeal power initiatives, The Union Leader

Lawmakers start to get behind carbon emission bills, Sentinel & Enterprise

Increase in Maine electricity delivery costs sends bills soaring for big business, Press Herald

US consumer spending on electric power drops in 2016, Electric Light & Power

Dynegy completes $3.3B acquisition of Engie power plants, Utility Dive

Con Edison creates new energy company, Electric Light & Power

New York ISO releases 5-year roadmap to dispatchable DERs, Utility DIVE

Trump’s Energy Shift Could Bring Higher Gas Prices, Analysts Say, New Hampshire Public Radio

Rhode Island Looks to be First State with Carbon Tax, ecoRI news

Editorial/Opinion

EDITORIAL: Keep the pressure on gas proposal, The Sun Chronicle

COMMENTARY: Compressor Station threatens Hingham, Wicked Local Hingham

Steve Comeau: Getting real with renewable energy, vtdigger.org

Guest commentary: Take government out of utility cost equation, The Westerly Sun

Can Nuclear Power Rise From The Chaos In Washington?, Forbes

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending February 3, 2017

Good afternoon. It’s Super Bowl Weekend! With that in mind let’s start off with a fun infographic from Penn Energy that describes what it would take for certain types of renewable energy to power a 60 inch plasma for the duration of the game. Any guesses on the number of potato batteries required?

In other news, MassLive reports that Senators Markey and Warren have asked FERC to rescind the Atlantic Bridge pipeline, but they may be out of luck with their request. Why you ask? Well it seems that despite “loving pipelines” the Washington Post reports that Trump’s personnel moves at FERC left them without a quorum, pretty much stopping them from getting anything done any time soon.

There was a lot of solar news this week from all around the region. The Union Leader reports the largest solar array in New England is planned in Hinsdale, NH – 65 MW total. Eversource, according to CommonWealth Magazine, is seeking higher fees on customers with solar. Bob Rio, writing on the AIM Blog says Massachusetts’ new solar subsidy program “gets it right.” And in Maine, Greentech Media reports that solar customers are going to receive lower bill credits.

Lastly, the NRC tells the Boston Globe that Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth is safe. In fact, it can refuel this spring and remain in operation until their planned shutdown date in May 2019.

Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Trump loves pipelines. But he just accidentally froze a bunch of them, Washington Post

Sens. Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren call on FERC to rescind Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline authorization, MassLive

Burrillville seeks more time to analyze Invenergy proposal, Valley Breeze

Rhode Island GOP leader asks Trump to jumpstart pipeline, Greeneville Sun

Ruling on Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal may be delayed, Danville Advocate

Tax hike to be on Rehoboth ballot, The Sun Chronicle

New analysis suggests ways for landowners to limit fracking and mineral extraction without regulations, Stanford University News

Florida Fracking Ban Bill Draws Bipartisan Support, InsideClimate News

New data: Pipeline leaks caused by human error are increasing, Digital Journal

US energy official’s resignation not expected to change Spectra decision, The Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

Super Bowl and the Environment: A fun look at renewable energy, Penn Energy

Net Metering: Energy Providers Clash On Cap, Utility Rates, New Hampshire Public Radio

Future of clean energy investment fund uncertain, VTdigger.org

Mass. Town To See Savings With Large Rooftop Solar Project, Solar Industry Magazine

Eversource seeks higher fees on customers with solar, Commonwealth Magazine

Solar Groups Praise Massachusetts’ Continued Support Of Incentives, Solar Industry Magazine

New solar plan cuts subsidies in half, CommonWealth magazine

Wind costs heading in the right direction, Windpower Monthly

Wind Turbines Blow Past Energy Records in Denmark, Popular Mechanics

Wind lender backs away from coal, Windpower Monthly

Proposed solar project in Hinsdale could be largest in New England. Union Leader

Maine Solar Customers to Receive Lower Bill Credits Starting in 2018, Greentech Media

Renewable Energy & Energy Storage To Expand Hand-In-Hand In Emerging Markets, Concludes World Bank, CleanTechnica

US Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Fossil Fuel Employment, Natural Resources Defense Council

Maine PUC tries to strike balance in phased reduction of NEM credit, Utility DIVE

UNH research: Trump voters don’t believe humans affecting climate, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Solar Policy Actions Spiked in 2016, With a Focus on Net Metering, Greentech Media

Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Inks Community Solar Deal, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Program Expanded To Burlington Homeowners, WAMC

RI Environmental Activists Ponder Being Trumped, ecoRI news

Vermont Gas, BED launch residential energy efficiency program, Vermont Biz

A small efficiency experiment with big results, Rutland Herald

Energy savings and sustainable practices not out of reach midwinter, Bangor Daily News

Nuclear

Feds allow Pilgrim nuclear plant to remain open, BostonGlobe.com

Vermont Yankee decommissioning panel seeks more local reps, The Recorder

Vermont Yankee to move fuel in spring, vtdigger.org

Seabrook petition seeks to roll back impact fees, The Daily News of Newburyport

AARP wants disclosure, protections for ratepayers in Millstone bill, theday.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

‘Fuel security’ tops ISO New England’s challenges: CEO, Platts

National Grid Helps Drive Massachusetts Toward a Clean Energy Future, (press release) Justmeans.com

NH Supreme Court upholds Northern Pass access decision, The Union Leader

Regional Power Manager Warns of Future Grid Vulnerabilities In New England, WSHU

National Grid proposes added electricity rate reduction in R.I., beginning April 1, Fall River Herald News

An aging Maine power plant and nearby battery illuminate New England’s energy challenges, Bangor Daily News

NH’s high electricity costs threaten state economy, Seacoastonline.com

Vermonters spend less on electricity, despite high rates, BurlingtonFreePress.com

ICYMI: Electric Aggregation Coming To Sudbury Soon, Patch.com

Maine legislative committee questions electricity program staff, Bangor Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

New Solar Subsidy Program Gets it Right, AIM Blog

ViewPoint: Energy costs are costing New England companies, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

“Fitness for Purpose” Obligations for the Offshore Wind Sector, POWER magazine

Letter to the Editor: Regional emissions-cutting program saves money, lives, report shows, New Haven Register

‘Trump Can’t Stop Renewables Energy Growth At Home Or Abroad’, Forbes

Build the pipeline, not the wall, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Maine Compass: Biomass power benefits Maine, CentralMaine.com

Stalled federal policy hurts NH biomass, NHBR

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Pilgrim Closing, solar