Energy News for week ending June 23, 2017

Good Friday Afternoon.

This week’s energy news includes a story in the MIT Technology Review about a new paper from nearly two dozen “prominent researchers” that sharply critiqued an influential paper arguing that wind, solar, and hydroelectric power could affordably meet most of the nation’s energy needs by 2055. The researchers said the 2015 paper “contained modeling errors and implausible assumptions that could distort public policy and spending decisions.” That the 2015 paper was influential is right. Massachusetts, California and other states are now considering 100 percent renewable energy targets not only for electricity generation, but for transportation and heating as well. Greentech Media pulled together a podcast on the “bitter debate” that ensued after the critical paper was released. It also includes some links to Tweetstorms that erupted after the paper was released.

Also this week, the Consumer Energy Alliance released the results of a poll that showed “a large majority of voters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York embrace affordable and reliable energy in New England, but a much smaller majority embrace natural gas pipelines to make that happen.” The article in Natural Gas Intelligence reported, “CEA noted that the polling shows only 6% of respondents thought that a lack of natural gas or oil infrastructure was the cause for the region’s high electric rates. This shows ‘an apparent disconnect or lack of understanding from respondents as to how pipelines and other related energy infrastructure impact fuel and electricity prices,’ the group said.”

The last highlight this week is a story from the Cape Cod Times about the ongoing battle to shut down Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility. According to the story, “a Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down [the] two town-owned wind turbines. Judge Cornelius Moriarty issued his decision at about 4:30 p.m. in the case which pitted the town against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and a neighbor of the turbines. The Board of Selectmen had appealed a decision by the zoning board that found the turbines are a nuisance.” More court cases over the turbines are in process so this order to shut them down isn’t necessarily ‘case closed.’

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC says no environmental review for ‘heavy-duty’ vehicle use variance, says it will trust Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., Berkshire Eagle

New England Poll Finds ‘Disconnect’ Between Voter Support for Affordable Energy, Pipelines, Natural Gas Intelligence

18 Arrested At Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project Will Go To Court, WAMC

Despite trespassing arrests, Sugar Shack Alliance members vow to begin ‘summer days of resistance’ protest, Berkshire Eagle

Keene City Council backs natural gas proposal, delays climate change vote, Keene Sentinel

Weymouth residents continue air quality testing in the Fore River Basin, The Patriot Ledger

Court Issues Burrillville Power Plant a Setback, ecoRI news

Defending Burrillville from Invenergy may cost town millions, RI Future

API positions gas as all-purpose resource for grid reliability, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan, MIT Technology Review

Major Simsbury Solar Project Opposed By State Officials Moving Ahead Thanks to Mass., R.I., Hartford Courant

Grafton solar project helps preserve Knowlton Farm, Telegram.com

Your Guide to the Bitter Debate Over 100% Renewable Energy, Greentech Media

Maine legislators get set for net metering vote that could impact PUC ruling, Daily Energy Insider

Falmouth ordered to shut down turbines, Cape Cod Times

Murphy and Esty Want $5 Billion for ‘National Green Bank’, Hartford Courant

Supporters tout carbon pricing plan from Lexington state senator, Wicked Local Lexington

What’s Next For Climate Change Efforts in NH?, New Hampshire Public Radio

Can Offshore Wind Power Revive US Ports?, Scientific American

Battle for US offshore wind jobs hots up, Recharge

Offshore Wind Faces Stiff Test From Hurricanes, ecoRI news

House and Senate Approve Solar Bill, More Votes Ahead, WAGM

Massachusetts Businesses Taking Climate Change Seriously, CBS Boston / WBZ

Vivint Solar Continues Huge Month With Expansion Into Vermont, CleanTechnica

Wind noise should be overseen by state, not developer, Brattleboro Reformer

Video: P.E.I. wind farm brings in special scaffolding to repair turbine blade, CBC News

At Pittsfield stop on Clean Energy Future Tour, anti-turbine sentiment a frequent topic, Berkshire Eagle

Report: Renewable energy is no threat to power reliability, Utility Dive

Rhode Island Considering Legislation to Streamline Process of Developing Renewable Energy Projects, JD Supra

Energy Efficiency

Critics of RI budget take aim at one-time revenue transfers, The Providence Journal

National Grid named one of the most energy efficient utilities in US, Daily Energy Insider

Donovan joins suit against US Department of Energy, Vermont Biz

Green Massachusetts, green Harvard, Harvard Press

Hinds, Pacheco Host MA Clean Energy Future Tour In Pittsfield, WAMC

6 towns get Green Communities grants totaling $830211, The Recorder

Nuclear

New York Senate narrowly passes bill to reallocate funds for nuclear subsidies, Utility Dive

Pilgrim advisory panel ‘ready to get to work’, Cape Cod Times

Judge blocks sale of Vermont Yankee disposal company, Brattleboro Reformer

Activists And Climate Scientists Push For Support Of Millstone Nuclear Power, WSHU

Entergy prepares to leave Plymouth; Emera hopes to enter, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England, California could see tight spots with reliability this summer, says FERC, Utility Dive

DOE grid study deadline delayed as Perry defends budget proposal, Utility Dive

MassDEP reaffirms Exelon plant in Medway is safe, despite project criticism, MetroWest Daily News

Medway: Exelon, law group spar over contractor suspension, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass foes show up in force, The Union Leader

From Yale to the North Country, Northern Pass elicits strong opinions, The Keene Sentinel

University statement on the Northern Pass hydropower transmission line, Yale News

Weymouth school gets energy assist from Celtics, National Grid, Wicked Local Weymouth

Senate Chair on Global Warming Takes Input on Energy Policy, iBerkshires.com

New York lawmakers clear bill creating an energy storage mandate, Utility Dive

A Massachusetts Co-op Makes A Powerful Vintage, Renewable Energy World

Enel to Buy EnerNOC for $250M, in Bid for Demand Response and Energy Software Market Share, Greentech Media

Editorial/Opinion

Finally – A Market-Based, Investable Approach to Energy Efficiency, Electric Light & Power

Another View — Richard Sampson: Yale could stop Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Our View: Solar bill would let Maine grow clean energy jobs, Press Herald

Exports explain interest in gas pipeline, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Footprint’s deal is a good one for neighbors and the city, Salem News

The upside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 16, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

There are a lot of stories this week! Let’s start with one from ISO-NE’s Newswire. They are reporting that “New England will be under the shadow of the moon for much of the afternoon on August 21 during a partial solar eclipse. According to NASA, the eclipse will occur between approximately 1:20 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with the peak expected at around 2:45 p.m., when about 65% of the sun will be blocked (called obscuration). If it is a sunny day, the ISO expects that output from the region’s 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will drop during these 2 hours and 40 minutes, but anticipates having sufficient resources available to meet the resulting rise in electricity demand.” Be sure to check out the page to see the eclipse map and an easy to understand detailed explanation.

The US EIA announced this week that for the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10% of total electricity generation in the United States, based on March data. They expect similar results for April.

We all know Massachusetts is tops when it comes to energy efficiency. This week, the ACEEE announced The 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard that looks at the performance of the 51 largest electric utilities in the United States and highlights cutting-edge efforts. Topping the list are Eversource Massachusetts and National Grid Massachusetts, which both earned the same score (91%). As is noted in the blog post, “both achieved more than 3% savings as a percentage of their retail sales in 2015 — a notable achievement.” Notable indeed.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline blasting plans raise fears, Berkshire Eagle

Activists question if Keene’s part of effort to create demand for natural gas infrastructure, Keene Sentinel

Gas bills going up for 12000 National Grid customers, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

National Grid combating uptick of gas leaks in RI, Turn to 10

Eversource begins first phase of gas line project in Wallingford, New Haven Register

New Coalition Supports Burrillville Power Plant, Wants Affordable Energy Prices, Rhode Island Public Radio

Senate Hears Bill to Derail Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Departments run drill on how to respond to a leak in Spectra line, Wicked Local West Roxbury

Judge Delivers Blow To Trump Administration In Dakota Access Fight, NPR

Chicago Developer Helps Fund Pro-Power Plant Group, ecoRI news

Natural Gas Industry Brings A Fake Grassroots Group To Eastern Pipeline Fights, HuffPost

Renewable Energy

Wind and solar in March accounted for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time, US EIA

Report: Solar could power state’s flagging economy, CT Post

Competition for offshore wind ramps up in Massachusetts, ABC News

Labor, environmentalists tout first US offshore wind farm, SouthCoastToday.com

Cape Wind opposition continues, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind may help New Hampshire lower energy costs, Recharge

Where offshore wind researchers see the most opportunity, Bangor Daily News

Wind power group’s new ad campaign aims to win over Trump, The Hill

Goldman Sachs invests in wind power and will help other big brands meet their green goals, Marketplace.org

Poll: Maine Voters Support Solar Energy, But Deeply Concerned About Affordable Energy and See Lowering Costs as Top Priority, Energy Central

Saco looking to get rid of wind turbine, National Wind Watch

2017 Clean Energy Jobs Report: RI Clean Energy Jobs See 66 Percent Growth Since 2014, Energy Central

Pick My Solar Partners with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Local Non-Profits to Create An Online Solar Marketplace, Energy Central

Big business sees the promise of clean energy, The Economist

Wind Turbines: Behind the Spin, Machine Design

August eclipse will miss New England, but still could cut solar power output, Concord Monitor

RGGI CO2 auction price drops to $2.53/st, lowest price since 2012, Platts

Company gets rights to put solar panels on old Wallingford landfill, Meriden Record-Journal

Nexamp Completes Community Solar Project In Massachusetts, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

The results are in: here are the most energy-efficient utilities in the US, ACEEE Blog

Number Of Clean Energy Jobs Increasing In RI, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump’s Delay on Energy Efficiency Is Illegal, Natural Resources Defense Council

11 states sue Trump’s DOE over stalled energy-use limits, ABC News

Energy Efficiency Bill Would Help Schools, U.S. News & World Report

Genbright and Ice Energy partner to reduce peak electricity demand on Nantucket, Penn Energy

Green Mountain Power’s Latest Distributed Energy Play: Smart Water Heaters for 99 Cents a Month, GreenTech Media

Nuclear

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News, Forbes.com

DOE shells out $67M for advanced nuclear technology research, Utility Dive

Plymouth: Proposal to Build Converter Station on Pilgrim Site Goes Before Selectmen, 95.9 WATD-FM

NRC reports on Seabrook Station nuke plant, The Daily News of Newburyport

Oral arguments set for nuke plant license amendment, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee offers safety assurances as fuel move starts, Brattleboro Reformer

Trespass charge dropped against Vermont Yankee activist, vtdigger.org

Ferland: Commend citizens’ panel for an extraordinary Vermont Yankee Meeting, VermontBiz

How Retiring Nuclear Power Plants May Undercut U.S. Climate Goals, New York Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Carbon Pricing Bill Attracts Support and Opposition, Rhode Island Public Radio

Massachusetts Bills Create New Opportunities for Microgrids, Non-Wires Alternatives, MicroGrid Knowledge

Powered Down, Massachusetts’ Last Coal-Burning Plant Leaves A Void, WGBH

ISO-NE prepared to operate grid through partial solar eclipse in August, ISO-NE Newswire

Utility CEOs to DOE: Hands off state energy policies, grid planning, Utility Dive

Heat waves: Demand response’s time to shine, Utility Dive

Southern California power supply at risk this summer -FERC, Reuters

Proponents, opponents speak out at Northern Pass hearing, The Union Leader

Analyst: Northern Pass could save customers about $18 a year, The Union Leader

Cape Light Compact Concerned with Changes in New Eversource Filing, CapeCod.com

Eversource rate tweak missed review deadline; new hearings ordered, Berkshire Eagle

“Do you believe?” is the wrong question to ask public officials about climate change, Vox.com

Survey: What Electricity Customers Really Want, Greentech Media

Morse, Bradley Support Repeal of Electric Consumption Tax, Biomass Study, Energy Central

Editorial/Opinion

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News, Forbes.com

Chris McKay: Sound regulations restricting wind power, vtdigger.org

Letter: No to Northern Pass, industrial wind, Concord Monitor

Editorial: New England’s energy challenges, The Providence Journal

Millstone nuclear plant not in ‘limbo’. Needs no special financial treatment, MassLive.com

If the feds won’t face climate change, the region can, The Boston Globe

Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 9, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

Just a few quick bits for you this week.

The Harford Courant reports that Millstone Nuclear lost its legislative battle and is raising the specter of shutting down again. And in Seabrook, Seacoastonline.com reports NRC officials got an earful when they came to town to discuss the plant’s annual performance, which by the way had no safety or performance issues, but still members of the audience spoke against license renewal.

On the natural gas front, the Berkshire Eagle reports that work on a section of the Otis pipeline was stopped to provide quiet for a mystery species.

Lastly, the Worcester Business Journal via the State House News Service reports that “an emergency regulation intended to support the continued development of an additional 1,600 megawatts of solar energy was filed Monday by the Baker administration.” Let’s hope the weather predictions for more sunshine come through.

Have a great weekend.

Climate Change/Paris Climate Accord

4 New England States Join Paris Climate Goal Alliance, U.S. News & World Report

US states, cities vow to uphold Paris climate accord goals, Utility Dive

Scott commits Vt. to climate alliance, Rutland Herald

In face of Paris withdrawal, local companies vow to press forward with green energy policies, Keene Sentinel

DONG Energy says US wind projects not impacted by climate deal withdrawal, Reuters

Mass. joins other states to fulfill US pledges on carbon, The Boston Globe

Gov. Sununu: New Hampshire Will Not Join Climate Alliance, NECN

Weather Channel site goes apocalyptic after Trump Paris accord speech, AOL

Hawaii enacts law committing to goals of Paris climate accord, Reuters

In Trump Country, Renewable Energy Is Thriving, New York Times

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Some Otis State Forest pipeline work halted to provide quiet for ‘mystery’ species, Berkshire Eagle

Why local businesses should oppose the Weymouth compressor station, Climate Action Business Association

Pros and cons of fracking: Research updates, Yale Climate Connections

Anti-fracking committee members claim Griswold selectman has conflict of interest, Norwich Bulletin

Amendment Seeks to Overturn CT Pipeline Tax, Public News Service

Boston security firm hired for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. surveillance in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Natural gas pipeline work to come through Griswold this summer, Norwich Bulletin

Hopkinton neighbors oppose Eversource’s gas gate station, MetroWest Daily News

Renewable Energy

Hadley planners postpone vote on Eversource solar array, GoingGreen

State files three-month emergency solar extension, Worcester Business Journal

DONG Energy to Incorporate Batteries Into UK Offshore Wind Farm, New York Times

Sound testing for Plymouth turbines underway, Cape Cod Times

VT attorney who fought the Public Service Board on wind power becomes its chairman, Windwatch.org

Town Council Pushes For Offshore Wind In Gulf Of Maine, North American Windpower

Investing In Renewable Energy: Is It Worth It?, Seeking Alpha

Emera officials optimistic they’ll get clean energy deal with Massachusetts, CKOM

Hopkinton council hears plans for solar farm, Providence Journal

EPA ranks Swampscott 34th for renewable-energy use, Swampscott Reporter

New York State Issues RFP for $1.5 Billion in Renewables, Power Engineering

After A Decade Of Growth, Wind Energy Stalls In Maine, WBUR

RI Council to Consider 60-Acre Solar Panel Proposal, NECN

Hopkinton council hears plans for solar farm, The Providence Journal

The Latest: Trump proposes solar panels on border wall, CT Post

Simsbury Rep. John Hampton Calls For Solar Farming Transparency, Patch.com

KLPD inks 20-year deal to build solar energy array, Seacoastonline.com

Durham Town Council backs resolution supporting offshore wind, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Energy Efficiency

Renewables, efficiency will gain steam, say energy execs, vtdigger.org

Funding for Energy Efficiency is at Risk in Connecticut, and It’s Worse Than Before,

Energy Collective

Big Thinking From a Small State on Energy Systems, Energy Collective

Five URI students are first to earn new energy certificate, URI Today

Ultra-efficient Portland apartment building doesn’t need central heating, Bangor Daily News

Southborough awarded Green Communities grant, Community Advocate

Nuclear

Public argues against Seabrook nuke plant’s relicensing, Seacoastonline.com

Dominion weighs future of Connecticut Millstone nuclear power plant, Reuters

Pilgrim advisory group wants ground rules set, Cape Cod Times

Companies defend Vermont Yankee process, Brattleboro Reformer

Entergy wants to shrink Vermont Yankee security zone, vtdigger.org

Millstone Loses Market Access Battle, Raises Possible Closing Again, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-New England faces ‘seasonal reliability issues’ this summer, Gas to Power Journal (paywall)

Medway: Exelon, environmental law debate delay, Wicked Local Milford

Are Solar and Wind Really Killing Coal, Nuclear and Grid Reliability?, Renewable Energy World

Hearings on proposed Eversource rate hike to begin Wednesday, MassLive.com

Eversource deal on tap for Hingham water company, The Patriot Ledger

State closes door on coal, looks to new beginnings, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial/Opinion

Another Fracking Time Bomb Lurks Beneath US, Forbes

Editorial: Grass-roots response to climate action – Stepping in when the federal government steps away, Worcester Telegram

Opinion: Seeing opportunity in climate fight, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Letter to the Editor: Hamden should take lead on climate sustainability, New Haven Register

Rural Maine can’t wait for solar energy, Bangor Daily News

Editorial: Baker makes right move after Paris accord pullout, The Recorder

Is the state really protecting wild lands?, The Recorder

The truth about electric rates and Northern Pass, New Hampshire Business Review

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Filed under Climate Change, nuclear, Pilgrim Closing, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending June 2, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

The big news this week was President Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement. We’ve devoted a whole section to it below that contains stories and analysis from near and far. Close to home, Boston Magazine reports on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s tough-talk tweets going viral. And, in the home of the Paris accord, Vox.com reports on French President Macron responding to Trump with a twist on his favorite phrase, “Make our planet great again.”

Eversource found its way into a number of articles this week. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Eversource still wants a $96 million rate increase next year, but it expects to reduce the share that would be paid by customers in Western Massachusetts. That made those folks happy, but according to CommonWealth Magazine, the rate case has had an opposite effect in seven metro suburbs. Bruce Mohl writes the “massive $96 million rate request filed by Eversource in January, would cut the so-called net metering rate from 22 cents a kilowatt hour to 13 cents a kilowatt hour, a 41 percent decrease. The details were included in a letter sent by the seven communities to the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday. The letter said Lexington stands to lose $372,000 in annual revenue under the proposal. Newton would lose nearly $365,000, Natick $300,000, and Weston nearly $284,000. Wayland, Westwood, and Arlington would lose lesser amounts.”

On a more positive note for solar, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy blogs about the wonderful opportunity for solar to help pollinators – especially bees. They say, “Swapping out gravel and turf grass, often located underneath solar panels, for native flowers and grasses, is a great way to provide pollen and nectar (2 main food sources) for nearby bees and other pollinators.” They even provide a link to lists of the best plants for your growing region. To help you out, here’s a link to the northeast plant list.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Climate Change/Paris Climate Accord

The 5 biggest deceptions in Trump’s Paris climate speech, Vox.com

Marty Walsh’s Viral Climate Moment, Boston Magazine

The Paris Climate Deal: How to Understand Trump’s Decision, New York Times

Read Obama’s statement on the Paris climate agreement, The Boston Globe

RI is vulnerable if US pulls out of Paris Accord, says scientist, The Providence Journal

Analysts: Leaving climate deal likely wouldn’t add US jobs, CT Post

Mass. critics slam Trump ditching climate accord, Milford Daily News

Three Coal Plants Close the Same Day Trump Said to Exit the Paris Agreement, Greentech Media

Energy Companies Urge Trump To Remain In Paris Climate Agreement, New England Public Radio

Defiant US Mayors Vow To Uphold Paris Climate Accord, Fast Company

Blumenthal: A Trump decision to exit Paris climate accord would cost CT jobs, The CT Mirror

French President Emmanuel Macron responds to Trump: “Make our planet great again,” Vox.com

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Vermont Gas introduces mobile home plan to save homeowners money, Vermont Biz

Weymouth to appeal DEP approval of Algonquin waterways permit, Wicked Local Weymouth

Toxins detected in air near Fore River Basin, doctor says, The Patriot Ledger

Report: Military-style tactics used against Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors, Des Moines Register

Appeal Filed over 2nd Pipeline Expansion Project, Patch.com

Renewable Energy

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Prices Lowest Since 2014, Power Engineering Magazine

Borrego Solar Completes 5 MW Solar Array on Decommissioned Landfill in Palmer, Mass, PV Solar Report

Scottish Power Wins Right to Build Two U.S. Offshore Wind Projects, Power Engineering

SouthCoast suppliers vie for piece of the offshore wind pie, SouthCoastToday.com

Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Low carbon prices hang over RGGI as June auction approaches, Utility Dive

Six Things You Didn’t Know About the Offshore Wind Power Sector, POWER magazine

Wind projects a possible turning point for 18 ports, Boston Herald

Factcheck: Whale Strandings and Offshore Wind Farms, EcoWatch

What are the connections between solar power and honeybees?, Clean Energy News

Energy Efficiency

Report: Clean Energy Growing in States and Cities Nationwide, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency: The Foundation of Our Clean Energy Future, Natural Resources Defense Council

Predictions About Global Energy Efficiency Since the 1980s Have Been Wildly Conservative, Greentech Media

Residential Energy Efficiency: Taking It To The Next Level, CleanTechnica

Release—Finally—of Appliance Efficiency Standards Applauded, Bloomberg BNA

Nuclear

Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant To Shut Down In 2019, NPR

NRC holding public meeting on Seabrook nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Vermont Yankee fuel move into more-secure storage is delayed, vtdigger.org

Millstone nuclear power and police accountability, CT Post

Connecticut Seeks to Support Nuclear Energy, Energy Collective

New Law Could Declare Nuclear Reactors To Be ‘Green Energy’ To Save Them, The Daily Caller

Fragile future for US nuclear power, BBC News

Feds face questions about redevelopment at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Gas May Be Killing the Nuclear Option, Bloomberg

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Utility plans jolt Sudbury, Hopkinton, and Needham, The Boston Globe

Study: New Resources Could ‘Crowd Out’ Old in ISO-NE, RTO Insider

Vermont utility offers $1,200 electric vehicle rebate, Utility DIVE

Cambridge ditches standard electric service to embrace green power, WickedLocal Cambridge

Eversource to cut rate increase in Western Massachusetts. Berkshire Eagle

New sewer concept would make energy, fertilizer from wastewater, MetroWest Daily News

State backs herbicide plan for 13 towns, Cape Cod Times

Medway: Grid operator would not allow Exelon postponement, Milford Daily News

Brayton Point powers down, Fall River Herald News

Northern Pass trek leads to $124 fines for 2 in Millsfield, NewHampshire.com

Northern Pass predicts financial windfall for towns, The Union Leader

National Grid, GE, 3M make power grid greener with gas-insulated switchgear, Electric Light & Power

Former power plant manager sentenced for emissions fraud, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Pass SB 129, save 900 jobs in New Hampshire, Energy Central

Offshore wind moving too slowly, CommonWealth Magazine

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Tom Perry: Energy Efficient Building and Retrofitting, Shelburne News

Facts show Millstone bill would fleece ratepayers, theday.com

Stay the course on climate, for the planet, Boston Globe

MICAHEL LANG, Braintree: Despite governmental layers, we’re not protected from compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Maine’s solar industry can employ the next generation, Bangor Daily News

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending May 26, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. A few quick bits this week before heading out for the holiday weekend.

Two power plants in southern Massachusetts mark milestones here at the end of May. For Pilgrim in Plymouth, the Worcester Business Journal reports the plant came back online Monday after its final refueling outage. And, in Somerset, MassLive reports that next Thursday, June 1 is the day that the coal-fired Brayton Point plant is set to retire.

Environmentalists are cheering the loss of Massachusetts’ last coal-fired generating station, but they are crying foul about Spectra’s proposed natural gas compression station. According to the Patriot Ledger, residents against a proposed natural gas compressor station want an independent consultant to conduct a new air quality analysis for the project after what they see as a biased review by state environmental regulators.

Last bit for this week is an article in the MetroWest Daily News where the battle over a new transmission line that goes through Sudbury, MA among other communities, came to a head at a meeting with the Energy Facilities Siting Board. From the article, “Spilling out of a 750-seat auditorium where applause followed nearly every speaker, dozens of residents and elected officials spoke seemingly with one voice Thursday night. Their message: An inactive, wooded railroad corridor abutting residential neighborhoods, wildlife habitats, and conservation lands is no place for a power line.” It appears the best line of the night was this, “First, a poem,” resident Bill Schineller said. “I went into the woods because I wanted to pick a site for a transmission line, wrote Henry David Thoreau never.”

As always, you can find event listings at New England Energy News. Enjoy the long weekend and please take a moment to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC denies efforts to stop pipeline work, The Recorder

FERC denies ‘stop work’ requests for pipeline project in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Norfolk TM speaks out against proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Norfolk

Massachusetts Admits to ‘Regularly’ Allowing Companies to Edit Draft Pollution Permits, DeSmog

DEP approves waterways permit for compressor station, Wicked Local Hingham

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Braintree

Dakota Access pipeline springs 2 more oil leaks, RT

Another Regional Natural-Gas Pipeline Project Moves Forward Despite Widespread Community Opposition, ecoRI news

US should act against proposed Russian gas pipeline, Democratic senator says, MarketWatch

Natural gas boom, cyberthreats drive FERC’s need for budget boost, Washington Examiner

Opponents of proposed compressor station want independent air quality review, Patriot Ledger

Fore River residents say independent air testing shows hazardous pollutants, Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

Meriden power plant uses Archimedes Screw Turbine, Register Citizen

Obama’s Clean Power Plan Might Be Dead In DC, But States Are Rebuilding It Themselves, Fast Company

As solar matures, rate design and incentive debates grow ever more complex, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Community Solar Project Goes Online, Solar Industry

Towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Winchester

Groups Say Billions Needed To Jumpstart Stalled Wind Energy in Maine, Maine Public

America’s first offshore wind farm launched with GE turbines twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, Business Insider

What’s Up With Wind Power in Vermont?, CleanTechnica

What’s With Burlington’s Solar-Powered Trash Cans?, Seven Days

Proposed Army Corps solar project on Cape Cod Canal first of its kind, Cape Cod Times

Framingham inks 20-year net metering agreement, MetroWest Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Connecticut Green Bank named finalist in national awards, Danbury News Times

Harvard’s building a model for energy efficiency by renovating a decades-old home, Curbed

Energy Efficiency: A Big Loser in Trump’s Proposed Budget, Natural Resources Defense Council

Ellington Home Wins Energy Efficiency Contest, Hartford Courant

Why Don’t Green Buildings Live Up to Hype on Energy Efficiency?, Yale Environment 360

Create Jobs: Revive Energy Efficient Building Tax Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council

Nuclear

Millstone bill heads to full Connecticut legislature, New Haven Register

Nuclear brinksmanship: Does Millstone need help to stay open?, The CT Mirror

Pilgrim fueled for last two years, Worcester Business Journal

Decommissioning in Focus: Pilgrim Panel Holds First Meeting, CapeCod.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Sudbury: Residents decry ‘catastrophe’ of Eversource power line, MetroWest Daily News

Why There’s No Such Thing As a Free Market for Electricity, Greentech Media

Last coal plant in Massachusetts to close for good June 1, MassLive.com

NECEC Institute and Mass Energy: An Analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Electric Light & Power

New Network Launches for Vermont Climate Economy Businesses, vtdigger.org

Eversource pulls Agawam solar farm plans, wwlp.com

Eversource presents proposed route for 115-kilovolt transmission lines, Thehour.com

Town of Avon, Connecticut, Issues RFP for Microgrid Project Design, Microgrid Knowledge

‘Leading edge’ restrictions on electricity sellers become Maine law, Bangor Daily News

New electricity aggregation plan offers slightly lower price and more renewable energy, Arlington Advocate

Rhode Island Leapfrogs toward a Grid of the Future and Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

A Fuel Cell Microgrid Keeps the Lights on for a Connecticut High School, Microgrid Knowledge

For the first time in years, NOAA predicts an above-average hurricane season, Washington Post

Editorial/Opinion

AWEA 2017: Building on the momentum in the US offshore wind industry, Windpower Monthly

Guest commentary: RI Infrastructure Bank supports economy, clean environment, Westerly Sun

Stop the Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Making best use of Yankee site, Rutland Herald

Why Nuclear Power Subsidies Must End, The Beacon

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Pilgrim Closing

Energy News for week ending May 19, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. This week I call your attention to some positive news stories.

First, we start with two stories about Boston. Electric Power and Light reports that Boston repeated as the top city for energy efficiency in the U.S., according to the scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. On the cleantech side, the Boston Business Journal published a story that says Greater Boston is among the top metro areas nationwide for clean energy startups hoping to attract venture capital dollars, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Boston was beat out by San Francisco and San Jose.

Also on this warm sunny afternoon Penn Energy brings us a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, about a Northampton High School junior who is expanding his zero-pollution lawn care enterprise this summer. “This business isn’t a compromise; it’s the future of lawn care,” says Philip Hempstead, 17, who is entering his fourth year of operating ElectroCut Lawn Care. “It’s equal-cut quality, 60 percent quieter and zero emissions.” It’s a great story about a bright kid. Give it a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Reboboth selectmen back compressor station resolution, The Sun Chronicle

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Weymouth

Shrewsbury town meeting adopts resolution against pipeline; approves school budget with staff increases, Worcester Telegram

Fearing More Pipeline Spills, 114 Groups Demand Halt to Ohio Gas Project, InsideClimate News

US Bank Pulls Funds from All Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction, ColorLines magazine

Fracking is encroaching on US nuclear missile sites, general says, Washington Examiner

Renewable Energy

Tree-cutting turns sentiment against solar project in North Brookfield, Worcester Telegram

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Vermont wind power sound would be among quietest in country, Penn Energy

High school student goes all-solar with lawn care business, Penn Energy

Tesla and Green Mountain Power: Get Your Behind-the-Meter Battery for $15 a Month, Greentech Media

Boston’s clean tech cluster is third strongest in the country, says report, Boston Business Journal

Rhode Island Considers Plan to Streamline Solar Permitting, US News and World Report

Report: Trump DOE budget would cut renewables office 70%, fossil 54%, nuclear 31%, Utility Dive

Maine biomass bill postponed until 2018, Bioenergy Insight Magazine

An analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Windpower Engineering

Offshore Wind Planning Discussed at Falmouth Forum, CapeCod.com News

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Lloyd’s backs Dong in US, reNews

Swirling Controversy: Celebration, Concern Over Offshore Wind Power, NECN

The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable, Financial Times

Deepwater Wind Outlines Solar Farm Proposed In Simsbury, Hartford Courant

Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Winners Announced, Builder Magazine

Under Trump, US less attractive for renewable energy investment, FuelFix

Kennedy helps commission 4.8-MW solar project in Falmouth, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Republican Governors Of Vt. And Mass. Call On Feds To Honor Paris Agreement, Vermont Public Radio

Boston tops, LA rises in energy efficiency ranking, Electric Light & Power

Keep Your Cool This Summer With Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

Standing up for energy efficiency, Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald

Nuclear

Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help, Rhode Island Public Radio

CT’s delayed energy plan could mean trouble for Millstone bill, The CT Mirror

VY suitor: plans are ‘highly confidential’, Commons

Nuclear plant in New Brunswick up for relicensing, Bangor Daily News

Amazon’s Clean Energy Procurements Should Include Nuclear, Say Advocates, Greentech Media

Meeting to focus on Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sale, Keene Sentinel

NRC maps out needs for nuke plant license extension, Newburyport Daily News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Connecticut Siting Council Rejects 550-MW Gas Plant Construction, Power Engineering

CT sues EPA over transient Pennsylvania air pollutants, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program in Worcester, Mass. Achieves Strong Results in Customer Satisfaction, Retention and Savings, Press Release

Eversource Spraying Sparks Renewed Opposition on Vineyard, The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

Public divides over environmental regulation and energy policy, Phys.Org

Study Shows Why Trump’s Plan to Bring Back Coal Jobs Won’t Work, Greentech Media

Ex-coal CEO fresh from prison urges Trump to probe 2010 blast, Reuters

China Is Outpacing the US In Reducing Coal and Lowering Emissions, Futurism

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Region’s environmental activists stand their ground, The Recorder

Letter: Natural gas is not the savior the industry claims, SouthCoastToday.com

Curt McCormack: Bill protects energy efficiency standards, vtdigger.org

The RGGI program should work for everyone, New Hampshire Business Review

Protest Eversource’s usurious rate request, Cape Cod Times

Solar power worth saving in Maine, The Forecaster

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing, Energy Efficiency, solar, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending May 12, 2017

Sandisfield, Massachusetts, population 915, has found itself in the news no fewer than five times this week. Why? It’s home to part of the Otis State Forest that is the new home of a natural gas pipeline. Some folks are unhappy about the pipeline so they protested and were arrested (Recorder). Then they built a protest cabin (Berkshire Eagle). And now, they are fighting for their day in court, by asking to be charged with more serious offenses (Berkshire Eagle). After reviewing the situation, DigBoston offers its take on how others can get a pipeline built in four easy steps as they say was done at the Otis State Forest.

Speaking of pipelines, the ProJo offers us a glimpse at how National Grid hunts down gas pipeline leaks in Rhode Island.

There are many renewable stories this week. For the curious, the BBJ asks (and gets answers for) just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters? CommonWealth Magazine reports a big international energy player is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts. Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind contracts.

Power Engineering reports that total U.S. electrical generation is set to fall 1.2 percent in 2017 before rebounding by 1.9 percent the next year, according to the latest short-term energy forecast from the Energy Information Administration. Even with the decline, residential electricity prices are expected to increase 2.4 percent in 2017 and another 2.3 percent in 2018.

Lastly, the good news is that for this summer, Utility DIVE reports that the Northeast Power Coordinating Council says the region will have enough power. However, the retirement of one of the largest coal- and oil-fired power plants in New England could put a premium on imports for the region in order to maintain reliability during extreme weather events this summer.

That’s the news for this week. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Sandisfield residents upset over backyard pipeline, wwlp.com

Pipeline protests lead to more arrests, The Recorder

Pipeline resistance builds as ‘Thoreau’ protest cabin goes up in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline opponents vow to fight effort to reduce charges in Otis protests, Berkshire Eagle

How to build a natural gas pipeline in Mass in four easy steps, DigBoston

Town Draws Suit for Blocking Energy Firm’s Expansion, Courthouse News Service

Emails Show Spectra Lobbyists Cozy With Top Massachusetts Environmental Officials, DeSmog

Pipeline spill by Dakota Access company could have a ‘deadly effect’, Washington Post

Ohio officials: it will take decades for wetlands to recover after major pipeline fluid spill, ThinkProgress

Rhode Island tribe opposing Massachusetts pipeline claims FERC dropped ball on ceremonial stone landscapes, MassLive.com

Grafton town meeting puts opposition to pipeline on record, Worcester Telegram

Dakota Access pipeline suffers oil leak even before becoming operational, RT

DAPL pipeline owner blocked in Ohio after 18 leaks, 2 million gallon spill, Bismarck Tribune

How National Grid in RI hunts down leaks, The Providence Journal

Senate Defends Climate, Health by Voting Down Methane Resolution, Common Dreams

Renewable Energy

State tour on climate change and clean energy starts on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Times

Committee Kills Anti-Offshore Wind Turbine Bill, Freepress Online

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player, CommonWealth magazine

Richmond approves 23-acre solar installation with nearly 18000 panels, Westerly Sun

Antrim Wind project gets go-ahead again, could be appeal to NH Supreme Court be forthcoming, Keene Sentinel

Avangrid subsidiary gets 50 percent stake in Atlantic wind farm project, New Haven Register

Tesla starts selling solar roof; says savings to cover costs, CT Post

Vermont Renewable Energy Company Bought by St. Louis Firm, U.S. News & World Report

Hanover Becomes First New Hampshire Town to Commit to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, Energy Central

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on CT Solar Lease, Energy Central

Massachusetts towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Cambridge

Lawmakers vote against moving UMaine wind project farther from Monhegan, Portland Press Herald

Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last), Greentech Media

Just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters?, Boston Business Journal

Committee Set to Vote on Bill to Preserve Solar Incentives, Freepress Online

How Mainers keep finding new sources of energy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Cambridge, Eversource partner to launch energy pilot, Wicked Local Cambridge

US Air Force Makes A $243 Million Energy Efficiency Pitch, CleanTechnica

Kenyon International Makes Moves to Become More Energy Efficient, Patch.com

Efficiency Vermont proposes 5% rate decrease, Vermont Biz

Nuclear

NRC issues Pilgrim inspection report, Cape Cod Times

US Energy Chief Touts Nuclear Energy, Vows Cleanup Progress, U.S. News & World Report

Why Nuclear Energy Doesn’t Dominate the Globe, Popular Mechanics

Millstone bill clears a committee hurdle, theday.com

Coalition wants state to reject part of Vermont Yankee plan, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee suitor: Public shouldn’t see ‘highly confidential’ plans, vtdigger.org

How is Vermont Yankee being kept safe?, wwlp.com

DHHS: No common cause in pediatric cancer cluster, Seacoastonline.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

In Massachusetts, utilities take a collaborative approach to EV infrastructure, Utility DIVE

Trump FERC Nominees Bring Certainty for Pipeline Development, Less Certainty for Distributed Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Kicks off New Microgrid Effort. Offers Grants for Microgrid Feasibility Studies, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource Earnings Up, Northern Pass Seen on Schedule, RTO Insider

Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer, MassLive.com

Eversource projecting 1.4% increase in electric bills, The Union Leader

Southbury Eversource Customers to Pay More for Power, Patch.com

NH House panel shelves long-term power deal legislation, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass land purchases questioned, The Union Leader

U.S. Electrical Generation to Decline in 2017, Power Engineering

National Grid Taps AutoGrid for Multi-State Demand Response and Distributed Energy Software, Greentech Media

Mary Powell Is Not Your Typical Utility Executive, Greentech Media

NPCC: Northeast has sufficient power supplies to meet demand this summer, Utility DIVE

Editorial/Opinion

An ill wind blows in Augusta, Bangor Daily News

Kathy Sullivan: Hearings reveal true costs of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Letter: On Northern Pass, a visitor’s perspective, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts should raise its net energy metering caps, pv magazine USA

Robert Thorson: Climate Change And The Nuclear Power Riddle, Hartford Courant

Granite State Debates — Hunter Carbee: Biomass is a foundation of rural NH’s economy, Union Leader

Juliet Cuming: Renewable energy proud, vtdigger.org

Economy can grow under solar industry, Foster’s Daily Democrat

The downside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy, WindWatch.org

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