Energy News for week ending November 16, 2019

Multiple Breakdowns | Panicky Trading | Key Errors | Floatovoltaics

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week’s energy news is loaded with stories. Here are a few highlights:

 

One of many stories coming out of the Merrimack Valley incident this week is an NTSB report urging new safety measures. From USA Today, “Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not use a professional engineer to draw up plans to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the Merrimack Valley in September — a factor, federal authorities say, that could have contributed to the explosions that killed one person and injured at least 21 others. That’s one conclusion from an urgent safety report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday. Massachusetts, like many states, exempts utility companies from state licensing laws for engineers. The NTSB now recommends that Massachusetts end the practice.”

 

Sticking with gas for a minute, in some not-so-good news for a region that relies heavily on natural gas for heating and electricity generation, from CNBC.com, “Natural gas prices surged to a more than four-year high in panicky and volatile trading Wednesday, after the latest cold weather forecasts raised fears that the U.S. is heading for a potentially colder-than-expected winter with too little gas supply…Prices also rose across futures contracts that that would cover the winter months through March, indicating that prices could be pressured all winter by dwindling supply, which is at a 15-year low for this time of year.”

 

In a bit of an Emily Litella moment (from SNL of years past) and perhaps some good news, the Washington Post reports, “Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are…As a result, the findings suffer from too much doubt to definitively support the paper’s conclusion about how much heat the oceans have absorbed over time.” Their earlier results, if you recall, suggested there is less time than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Last story for this week is an unusual request for an energy project in Central Mass. From Telegram.com, “A Millbury-based solar energy company has floated the idea of covering 24,000 surface acres of Quabbin Reservoir with a floating photovoltaic solar array capable of producing 1 megawatt of power. In his letter, Mr. Strzelecki said he is exploring any interest in developing a floating solar farm at Quabbin, describing floating solar arrays as ‘the future of renewable energy.’…The letter states that such an array, covering 24,000 of the reservoir’s 25,000 acres, would ‘put the Quabbin back in the energy-producing business since the Winsor Dam was put out of commission nearly 30 years ago.’ Mr. Strzelecki’s letter pointed out that “floatovoltaics” benefit from the cooling effect of water as well as being shade-free. Mr. Clark said he discussed the letter with John Scannell, director of the Division of Water Supply Protection, who was dismissive of the idea.”

 

Enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re taking next Friday off for the holiday.

 

Merrimack Valley

Multiple breakdowns led to natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, NTSB says, USA Today

As Merrimack Valley Appliances Are Replaced, Some Residents Want More Energy Efficiency, WGBH

Officials talk safety in anticipation of colder temps, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts lawmakers ask President Donald Trump to declare disaster in Merrimack Valley after gas explosions, MassLive

Lawmakers to hold oversight hearings on gas explosions, Eagle-Tribune

Lawsuits In Gas Disaster Could Face Hurdle In Obscure State Protections For Utilities, WGBH

For Returning Gas Explosion Victims, Home Isn’t Always Sweet, USA Patch

After AG’s Guidance, Confusion Lingers For Landlords, Tenants, Patch.com

 

Lockout

Political leaders under pressure to fix gas crisis as developers panic, Boston Business Journal (pay wall)

Worcester Rep. O’Day files bill to force National Grid to continue health insurance for locked out workers, Telegram

Gas hookup moratorium putting chill on housing, real estate, Lowell Sun

Plans for gas oversight hearings, lockout bill taking shape, Sentinel and Enterprise

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas jumps to 4-year high in panicky trading as snow, cold push across US, CNBC

Charlton residents hear details of proposed $100M LNG plant, Worcester Telegram

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, CBS News

No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts, E&E News

Climate activists get involved in Agawam pipeline debate, MassLive

Hingham mulls applying for ‘intervenor status’ on Weymouth compressor station, Hingham.wickedlocal.com

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, The Valley Breeze

Potential for wetlands disturbance draws ire from opponents of Williams Transco compressor station, Central Jersey

Environmentalists call on Murphy to halt fossil fuel projects, NJTV

Oxford power plant is commissioned, Connecticut Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

What Will Maine’s Clean Energy Future Look Like Under New Leadership?, Maine Public

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming, Washington Post

Environmental groups hope Democrat gains will spur climate action, VTDigger

Green jobs growing across Central Mass., Telegram

ReEnergy shuts down Fort Fairfield biomass plant, Mainebiz

Ratepayer group asks FERC to nullify state’s biomass subsidy law, New Hampshire Union Leader

Storm Surge brings professor to discuss climate change, Daily News of Newburyport

Confronting Climate Change, Fishermen Collect Data on Changing Oceans, Cape and Islands NPR

 

Wind

7 big turbines rise in Johnston — biggest onshore wind farm in R.I. | video, Providence Journal

Agencies earn right to challenge wind farm studies, National Wind Watch

Motion To Intervene On Turbine Appeal Denied, Falmouth Enterprise

Arkwright hears complaints about turbine sounds, The Observer Today

Former Massachusetts Coal Plant Transitioning To Offshore Wind Support Center, North American Windpower

National Offshore Wind Consortium Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind Industry, NYSERDA

New Jersey in Right Place to Reap Benefits of Emerging Offshore-Wind Sector, NJ Spotlight

Providence zoning board to consider 3 new 364-ft. turbines at waterfront, Providence Business News

BOEM releases potential lease plots for NY offshore wind, South Coast Today

 

Solar

State throws cold water on idea of floating solar array on Quabbin Reservoir, Telegram.com

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

Cabot Corporation and SunPower Announce Helix® Solar-Plus-Storage Agreement, MarketWatch

Three Solar Projects Completed For Town Of Ashland, Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Falmouth town meeting rejects moratorium on solar permits, Cape Cod Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Barrier to Energy Storage in New York?, Microgrid Knowledge

The Forecast on Energy-Efficient Cooling Just Got a Bit Sunnier, PBS

 

EVs

School Districts Rolling Out Electric Buses as Economics Improve: ‘It’s Time to Switch,’ Greentech Media

Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other EV interests press Congress to continue federal tax credit, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Holtec Files Request to Acquire Pilgrim Nuclear Plant by End of 2019, Cape Cod Today

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Report: New England’s Nuclear Plants Will Be Key To Fighting Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Cost of US nuclear generation at ten-year low, World Nuclear News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules Protecting N.H. Residents From Winter Utility Disconnection Kick In Today, Valley News

Maine DEP tells CMP its application for 145-mile power line is incomplete, Sun Journal

CT electric generation rates on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid brass declines invite to discuss gas concerns in Leominster, Sentinel & Enterprise

Visual impact of Seacoast power project to be presented, Seacoastonline.com

Governors push fed on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

Lessons From FERC Staff Reversal In Footprint Power, Law360

Can the Electricity Industry Seize Its Resilience Moment?, Greentech Media

New England Talks Energy Security, Public Policy, RTO Insider

Cannabis Growers Eye Microgrids to Cut Energy Bills, Greentech Media

FERC chair warns of retroactive ratemaking in ISO-NE order, S&P Global Platts

To scare crows in North Adams, National Grid is bringing in a propane cannon that shoots sound, MassLive

NE governors push feds on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

LIPA seeks 2.4% hike in customer delivery charge, Newsday

Utility smart meter installations worry Rockland and Westchester homeowners on privacy, LoHud.com

The Hail Mary plan to restart a hacked us electric grid, Wired

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Baker, Walsh must step in on National Grid talks, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

To fight climate change, environmentalists say yes to nuclear power, Boston Globe

Nuclear waste dilemma, The Day

Maine Voices: Start listening, folks: All-out effort needed to prevent climate disaster, Portland Press Herald

For a safe, secure new U.S. energy grid, Lowell Sun

George Smith: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy, Kennebec Journal

GUEST OPINION: Energy Advisory Committee, past and future, Daily News of Newburyport

Ørsted, Deepwater Wind: Are Offshore Wind Mergers Good for us?, Union of Concerned Scientists

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending November 9, 2018

Write off | LNG in Central MA | A gas leak every mile | About Face

Happy Friday afternoon. Be careful heading home or out this evening. We have a flash flood watch from 5:00 PM today until 3:00 PM Saturday for many parts of New England.

We start this week with three natural gas stories. First, from Jon Chesto at the Boston Globe, Eversource writes off its investment in Access Northeast because of Columbia Gas disaster, “When fires and explosions rocked Lawrence-area homes and businesses in September, the Columbia Gas incident was bound to hurt the already-tenuous political stature of the natural gas industry around here. Now, Eversource Energy is paying a price for the damage to the industry’s reputation: $32.9 million. That’s the pretax value of Eversource’s 40 percent stake in the proposed Access Northeast pipeline expansion project. Eversource just wrote off the full amount. The company hasn’t officially given up on Access Northeast. But the utility’s accountants have decided, at least for now, that its share in the project is worthless. The reason? Eversource blamed the Merrimack Valley gas disaster, in a document filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, even though the incident didn’t take place in Eversource’s gas service territory.”

While Eversource may have temporarily given up on Access Northeast, the Merrimack Valley disaster is not stopping Liberty Energy Trust of Pennsylvania from proposing a $100M LNG plant in Charlton, MA. From the Worcester Telegram, “On the fiercest of cold days this winter, thousands of Massachusetts residents will rely on the liquid form of natural gas for heat, and they likely won’t care where it comes from or how it gets to them, as long as it keeps their homes warm. Behind the scenes, though, utility companies take note every time a gigantic tanker ship carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) docks at the Distrigas terminal in Everett. The imported LNG, arriving from places like Trinidad and Russia, helps offset their natural gas supplies, but, with no power over the domestic and international markets, they worry about relying solely on overseas fuel. To assure reliability, the companies say, the state must find ways to create its own sources for LNG. Charlton could emerge as an option…Liberty Energy Trust has proposed construction of a more than $100-million LNG plant — operating under the name Northeast Energy Center LLC — on roughly 25 acres of a 220-acre wooded site at 249 Sturbridge Road (Route 20).”

USA Today brings us our third natural gas story, A gas leak every mile: Google Street View cars find problems that utilities don’t “In older American cities like New York and Boston, there can be as many gas leaks as there are miles of road. How do we know? Because Google drove those city streets – and mapped every leak. In some communities, those funny-looking Google Street View cars driving around taking pictures of houses and storefronts are also sniffing for natural gas – part of an effort to detect and fix leaks before they become bigger problems.”

Last for this week is a blog post from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which this week, basically did a 180 on their view of nuclear power. “Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a sobering report. Based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence, the report warns that we are rapidly losing any appreciable chance of meeting the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report also makes clear that if we fail to meet this goal, the consequences will not only be severe, but they will be experienced sooner than expected…These sobering realities dictate that we keep an open mind about all of the tools in the emissions reduction toolbox—even ones that are not our personal favorites. And that includes existing nuclear power plants in the United States, which currently supply about 20 percent of our total electricity needs and more than half of our low-carbon electricity supply…Factoring all of these considerations in, our new report calls for proactive policy to preserve nuclear power from existing plants that are operating safely but are at risk of premature closures for economic reasons or to ensure that lost nuclear capacity is replaced with carbon-free sources.”

That’s it for this week’s recap. Have a great weekend and please be sure to take a moment to give thanks to our veterans.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Eversource writes off its investment in Access Northeast because of Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

States raise Exelon market power concerns over Mystic cost recovery proposal at FERC, Utility Dive

Fossil fuel money crushed clean energy ballot initiatives across the country, Vox

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, Valley Breeze

$100M LNG plant proposed on Route 20 in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

A gas leak every mile: Google Street View cars find problems that utilities don’t, USA Today

US and British steelworkers’ union call on National Grid to end the lockout in Massachusetts, Morning Star

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas Pledges To Promote Energy Efficiency In Affected Merrimack Valley Homes, WBUR

Baker, Rivera warn ‘frustration’ will continue, Eagle Tribune

20,000 Thanksgiving meals planned for gas-deprived residents, Eagle Tribune

Drinking with the Merrimack Valley recovery workers who live on an old cruise ship in Southie, DigBoston.com

Tenants Affected By Gas Explosions Can Withhold Rent: AG, USA Patch

Feds open criminal investigation into Merrimack Valley gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas filing hints at future rate hike, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Governors could drive the next wave of climate change action, Vox.com

The Elections, and What They Mean for Climate, Energy, and Science, Union of Concerned Scientists

N.H. Missing From State Coalition Opposing Clean Power Plan Rollback, New Hampshire Public Radio

On climate change, Trump disavows his own scientists, government, Axios.com

Carbon Pricing Winning Issue in Mass. Legislative Races, ClimateXChange

 

Wind

Fishermen ask for more time to study wind impact, South Coast Today

Disabled and disassembled: Blades removed from Applied Materials turbine, Gloucester Times

Market forces buffeting future of wind power in Maine, Portland Press Herald

New York offers 800MW offshore prize, reNews

Offshore wind giant with plans in A.C. closes $510M deal with competitor, Press of Atlantic City

Yarmouth, Barnstable react to status of wind farm cable review, Cape Cod Times

SCC reluctantly approves Dominion offshore wind test, The Virginian Pilot

Minorities need a place at table for wind employment, Andrade says, South Coast Today

 

Solar

Midterm Election Brings Victory And Defeat To Clean Energy Industry, Solar Industry

Town of Ashland and Ameresco Celebrate Completion of Three Municipal Solar Projects, Business Journals

Solar industry lights up over Republican governor’s win in Massachusetts, Washington Examiner

Salem State University Tripling On-Site Solar Through Massachusetts Grant, Solar Industry

Solar farm back on Ware Planning Board agenda after denial, MassLive

Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time, Science Daily

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New England moves to open the market for battery storage, pv-magazine-USA.com

Ahead of biggest energy storage rule change yet, US’ transmission network operators open up markets, Energy-storage.news

Cape Light Compact Files Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan, CapeCod.Com

Massachusetts grants help get energy storage projects off the ground, MA Clean Energy Center

EIA: Reduced electric demand has halved carbon emissions in power sector, ACEEE

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles Are Coming, And New England And California Better Watch Out, Forbes.com

Car Battery Pioneer Says New Breakthrough Will Lower Cobalt Use, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Millstone Unit 2 is shut down for repairs, The Day

Seabrook nuclear plant refueling boosts local businesses, Newburyport Daily News

Environmental group: Keep open nuclear power plants, Axios.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England unveils new initiatives to enhance winter reliability, Utility Dive

Canada, New England Talk Trade, Politics and Clean Energy, RTO Insider

PUC won’t decide CMP’s $950M transmission line project until March, Mainebiz

Eversource misses window for herbicide spraying on Cape, Cape Cod Times

ISO-NE frets over reliability as winter approaches, Vermont Biz

States raise Exelon market power concerns over Mystic cost recovery proposal at FERC, Utility Dive

State tells CMP its application to build 145-mile power line incomplete, Kennebec Journal

CMP power line opponents plead case to Somerset County commissioners, Kennebec Journal

National Grid electric bills going up, Boston Globe

Company thinks Eversource customers can lower energy costs with online auction, New Hampshire Union Leader

National Grid unveils $250M corporate venture capital arm, TechCrunch

 

Editorial/Opinion

Are Trojan horses full of windmill parts destined for New London?, The Day

Why We’re Taking a Hard Look at Nuclear Power Plant Closures, Union of Concerned Scientists

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, USA Today

Ansley Bloomer: Never a better time to heat with wood, VTDigger

LETTER: Seabrook plant should share more information, Daily News of Newburyport

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear

Energy News for week ending November 2, 2018

Offshore Wind Impacts | Delay Granted | New Flow

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been reading this week.

 

From WorkBoat.com, “A four-year study of planned wind energy areas off the East Coast found that building and operating offshore wind energy arrays could affect some of the region’s most commercially valuable fish species. The report by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was written to help the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management to evaluate development plans for eight offshore wind energy leases issued by the agency…High on the list of potential impacts are habitat for black sea bass and Atlantic cod, which use patches of gravel and rougher bottoms on the largely sandy outer continental shelf. Sea scallops, the highest dollar value species on the East Coast, are found in all the WEAs with the most significant overlaps in New England, according to the report. Surf clams and ocean quahogs – harvested for canned chowder, frozen clam products and other processed seafood – are found in most of the WEAs. Advocates for the sea clamming fleet have insisted BOEM needs to set minimum distances of two nautical miles between wind turbine towers or their boats will effectively be shut out of fishing those areas.”

 

The Worcester Telegram via the State House New Service reports that “Environmental activists in Maine are celebrating a decision by regulators in that state to delay consideration of the transmission line project that Massachusetts officials are counting on to deliver hydropower from Canada. Intervenors in the Central Maine Power Company transmission line case before the Maine Public Utilities Commission asked the panel this week to suspend hearings, citing documents recently submitted by the company that ‘are highly relevant to critical issues in the proceeding and contradict statements in the record that have been made by CMP.’…Sue Ely, a Natural Resources Council of Maine attorney, said the delay was ‘a welcome acknowledgment that this process has been moving too fast for a thorough analysis of this massive, incredibly complex and flawed project.’”

 

You know we love to bring you news of new energy technologies so the last tidbit for this week comes from Science. “Batteries already power electronics, tools, and cars; soon, they could help sustain the entire electric grid. With the rise of wind and solar power, energy companies are looking for ways to keep electrons flowing when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind ebbs. Giant devices called flow batteries, using tanks of electrolytes capable of storing enough electricity to power thousands of homes for many hours, could be the answer. But most flow batteries rely on vanadium, a somewhat rare and expensive metal, and alternatives are short-lived and toxic. Last week, researchers reported overcoming many of these drawbacks with a potentially cheap, long-lived, and safe flow battery. The work is part of a wave of advances generating optimism that a new generation of flow batteries will soon serve as a backstop for the deployment of wind and solar power on a grand scale.”

 

Have a great weekend! Oh, and don’t forget to “fall back” and replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Burrillville power plant project dealt another blow, Providence Journal

The Energy 202: Why New York’s new climate lawsuit against ExxonMobil is different, Washington Post

Gas pipes damaged in Mass. with alarming frequency, Boston Globe

Pro-offshore oil group chaired by LePage is run by energy lobbyists, Portland Press Herald

Regulators order work stopped on pipeline that exploded near Monaca last month, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NJ Senate approves bill to ban fracking waste, NJBiz

Gas Explosions Take Center Stage In Congressional Debate, USA Patch

Council slams gas-safety hearing no-shows, Boston Herald

Coal’s Next Big Thing Could Be the Mini Power Plant, Bloomberg Environment and Energy

 

Lockout

National Grid lockout’s big financial impact, Sentinel & Enterprise

Lawmakers revive bill to pressure National Grid, CommonWealth Magazine

Quincy council says National Grid lockout costing city, Patriot Ledger

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says pipeline work completed ahead of schedule, Business Journals

Attorney General Calls 1-Month Gas Restoration Delay ‘Unacceptable’, NECN

‘There’s no end in sight,’ Eagle Tribune

Hundreds of Lawrence residents beg Columbia Gas for service, answers, Boston Herald

Columbia Gas parent company faces criminal investigation over gas explosions, fires, Eagle Tribune

Lawrence disaster estimated at $800 million and counting, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Exxon Mobil Is Hit With Its Most Important Climate Lawsuit Yet, Seeking Alpha

As price of climate change climbs, consider how much we could save, Portland Press Herald

To document climate change, Kate Olson went to Maine’s expert witnesses, Portland Press Herald

Warming waters worry Maine’s lobstermen, Reuters

Lamont, Bysiewicz and Murphy promote support for renewable energy in Cheshire, The Hour

 

Wind

Report maps potential environmental impacts of offshore wind energy, Workboat

New London, labor and environmental leaders tout offshore wind’s potential, The Day

7 turbines will be state’s largest shore wind farm, Johnston Sun Rise

Day-long dialogue between fishing, wind industries nets some progress, Southcoasttoday.com

The Country’s Most Valuable Fishing Port Gears Up For Wind Energy, WGBH

 

Solar

Want to nudge others to install solar? Actions speak louder than words, Phys.org

Eliot begins installation of new solar array, Seacoastonline.com

Brownfields Grant To Help Build Solar Farm On Gravelly Road In SK, USA Patch

Growing Exponentially, Floating Solar Opens Up New Horizons for Renewable Energy: Report, (press release) World Bank

 

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New generation of ‘flow batteries’ could eventually sustain a grid powered by the sun and wind, Science

Judge rejects claims state official illegally raided energy efficiency funds to balance budget, New Haven Register

1.8 Million Clean Energy Workers Employed In Top 50 American Metro Areas, CleanTechnica

ISO New England Lays Out Its Energy Storage Market Integration Plans, Greentech Media

ISO-NE looks to incorporate storage into real-time energy markets, Utility Dive

Connecticut can use efficiency funds to cover budget shortfall, federal court rules, Utility Dive

ISO New England: Customer Readiness Webpage Now Available on Energy Storage Device Project, Energy Central

 

Nuclear

Entergy reduces workforce to 24, VTDigger

No decision from state yet about Vermont Yankee, The Recorder

Pilgrim’s nuclear waste to be moved to higher ground, southcoasttoday.com

Billionaires Chase ‘SpaceX Moment’ for the Holy Grail of Energy, Bloomberg

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Regulators grant delay on transmission line sought to bring hydropower to Massachusetts, Telegram

Electricity Reseller Fights To Keep Antitrust Suit Alive, Law360

Maine PUC Move Poses Hurdle for NECEC, RTO Insider

PUC cancels next week’s hearings over CMP’s transmission project, Mainebiz

Connecticut Explores its Energy Future at CPES Event, RTO Insider

Eversource seeks $3.5M tax rebate from Portsmouth, Seacoastonline.com

Lawmaker says utilities should fix billing issues sooner, Bristol Press

 

Editorial/Opinion

How workers, local unions can take the lead on climate change | Opinion, NJ.com

Renewable energy inspires awe and hope, Johnston Sun Rise

Maine doesn’t need CMP transmission line, Kennebec Journal

Merrimack Valley tragedy offers climate change opportunity, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid workers sit idle while out-of-state workers struggle to restore power in the Merrimack Valley, Boston Globe

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending October 26, 2018

It’s a nuisance | 47,000 Ticks | Precipitation Reducers

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news.

Given it’s a cross border issue it will be interesting to see how this one works out…From the Cape Cod Times, “After years of hearing complaints of noise, headaches and sleep deprivation, the Bourne Board of Health declared Wednesday that the four wind turbines across the town border in Plymouth are negatively affecting public health…The board will communicate to the Plymouth Board of Health its determination that the turbines are a nuisance to the residents of Bourne and interfering with the health and enjoyment of life and property, per the town’s nuisance law. A letter also will be sent to the Plymouth Planning Board, Board of Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals, which is responsible for licensing of the turbines.”

OK – so this next story is pretty gross. It’s been on local news as well. But it’s a story that must be shared. From the New York Times, “47,000 Ticks on a Moose, and That’s Just Average. Blame Climate ChangeBetween 2014 and 2016, Dr. Pekins counted ticks on moose calves at two locations in New Hampshire and Maine. He wanted to see how the moose were faring, given that climate change has been delaying snow’s arrival in New England’s winters. The longer-lasting warmth gives the ticks a leg up as they glom onto the moose, their preferred hosts, in the fall. They then feed through winter and hop off in the spring to lay eggs…three consecutive years of tick outbreaks ‘arguably reflects a host-parasite relationship strongly influenced by climate change at the southern fringe of moose habitat.’…While large numbers of ticks, literal bloodsucking parasites, aren’t great for adult moose, they’re especially bad for moose calves, which can die from the onslaught.”

Last for this week, from an unusual source for us, The Claims Journal, we learn, “With the United States being pummeled over the last couple of years with several high-category, high-damage hurricanes, the University of Delaware’s Cristina Archer recently published a paper that discovered an unexpected benefit of large-scale offshore wind farms: they lessen the precipitation caused by these devastating storms.”

Have a great weekend and Go Sox!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Grid spending stable, but hookups, leak repairs down, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. Natural Gas Explosions Highlight Tension Between Recovery and Long-Term Efficiency Goals, Greentech Media

National Grid, locked-out gas workers remain at odds, Boston Globe

Rehoboth selectmen approve natural gas pipeline moratorium, Sun Journal

Tennessee Gas seeks federal OK for Agawam pipeline, compressor, MassLive

Lawmakers revive bill, eye National Grid hearing, Lowell Sun

Grid, steelworkers busy away from negotiating table, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid, locked-out gas workers remain at odds, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas pushes back deadline to restore service to those affected by explosions, Boston Business Journal

After Mass. gas explosions, a race to replace nearly 45 miles of aging pipeline before winter sets in, Washington Post

Nearly 36 Miles Of Pipeline Replaced After Merrimack Valley Explosions, WBUR

AG blasts Columbia Gas for recovery failings, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas accused of relying on ‘comprised’ pipeline in new class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Merrimack Valley explosions victims, MassLive

With Temperatures Dropping, Mass. Residents Still Lack Heat Weeks After Gas Fires, NPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Minnesota, New York lead on shared renewables, California, Connecticut fall short, Utility Dive

47,000 Ticks on a Moose, and That’s Just Average. Blame Climate Change., New York Times

‘Leaf peeping’ is huge in New England. Will climate change alter tourism?, PRI

Climate Scientists Spar With Energy Subsidy Opponents At Portsmouth Conference, New Hampshire Public Radio

Sustainable Sours, Biomass Magazine

Military invests $133.5M in renewables, microgrid technology, energy efficiency at JBSA, The Business Journals

Climate Change Top of Mind at Vermont Conference, RTO Insider

Mass. clean energy firms grow headcount amid green tech boom, The Business Journals

Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and DC join Bloomberg climate challenge winners, Smart Cities Dive

Energy Transition to Reach ‘Point of No Return’ by 2035, Greentech Media

The state of clean energy innovation in Boston, Boston Business Journal

 

Wind

Bourne health board declares Plymouth turbines a nuisance, Cape Cod Times

Study: Offshore Wind Farms Can Reduce Hurricane Precipitation, Claims Journal

It’s all upbeat in New Jersey’s offshore-wind update despite cost, NJ Spotlight

Vineyard Wind signs $9m lease with New Bedford facility, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Vineyard Wind signs $9 million lease at New Bedford commerce pier, MassLive

Cape Cod landing for offshore wind cable approved by Barnstable, MassLive

Grupo Bimbo, Invenergy sign virtual PPA wind deal in US, Recharge

Offshore Wind in 2018: Four Takeaways, Union of Concerned Scientists

Federal regulators move forward with offshore wind leases off Massachusetts and California, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Advocates warn New Jersey solar market could collapse again, Utility Dive

MIT-Yale team spots revelation in Connecticut solar market, News-Times

DOE awards $53M for new solar research projects: chart, Utility Dive

UMass Amherst again a top ‘green college’, Daily Hampshire Gazette

GE Solar Completes Projects For CT’s Manchester Community College, Solar Industry

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

ISO-New England Offers Preview of Pending Energy Storage Market Changes, Renewable Energy World

New York energy storage: destination clear, road unsure, Utility Dive

How Are You Liking All The New LED Streetlights In Milford?, USA Patch

 

Nuclear

Trump signals opposition to nuclear waste site in Nevada despite his budget proposals to fund it, Washington Post

Pilgrim nuclear plant to move waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

Buyer, watchdog group at odds on timing of Vermont Yankee sale, VTDigger

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

CMP’s Proposed Transmission Line: An ‘Ugly Brown Monster’ Or A Clean Energy Boost?, Maine Public

UNH professor Tom Haines explores sources of fuel and how they can change, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE, generators spar over fuel security at FERC, Utility Dive

LePage made secret trip to Spain to meet with leaders of CMP’s parent company, Portland Press Herald

CMP nixes overhead crossing of scenic Kennebec Gorge in bid to win over critics, Mainebiz

Lights out: CMP to reimburse Fairfield $14,000 for missing streetlights, Kennebec Journal

Many testify against, some for CMP transmission line project, Kennebec Journal

New England power grid operators learned lessons from last year’s cold snap, Portland Press Herald

Issues in the governor’s race: Energy policy, Portland Press Herald

Iso New England Learns Lessons From Deep Freeze Last Winter, Valley News

National Grid forecasts lower winter energy bills for upstate customers, The Post-Star

Concern over proposal to divert million gallons a day from Norwalk River, The Hour

 

Editorial/Opinion

Regional grid operator too protective of industry, CommonWealth Magazine

Don’t believe all the RGGI hype, CommonWealth Magazine

Why support renewables?, The Republican Journal

Column: We should prepare now for the next utility emergency, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial: Gas pipeline limits create potential crisis, Boston Herald

Issues in the governor’s race: Energy Policy, Press Herald

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Filed under Climate Change, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending October 19, 2018

More Wind off Mass. | Price Volatility this Winter | Say it isn’t so!

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news

From MassLive, “Nearly 400,000 acres of the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area will be up for grabs in December, as the Trump administration holds its next offshore wind auction, officials announced this week. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke revealed Wednesday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction off 388,569 acres located on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts on Dec. 13. A total of 19 companies — including Deepwater Wind New England, LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Northeast Wind Energy, LLC, among others — have qualified to take part in the auction, according to the agency’s final sale notice.”

According to S&P Global Platts, “Regional pipeline constraints in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles increase the risk of energy market price volatility this coming winter, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday… New England continued to be a potential trouble spot, amid growing gas dependence for home heating and generation and constrained pipeline capacity, FERC staff said. Two rule changes could help, however, said John Sillin of FERC’s enforcement office. ISO-NE is integrating price-response demand into the daily energy market and adding pay-for-performance capacity market incentives… Reflecting on the New England market, Commissioner Richard Glick suggested a need to look at more demand-side management to ‘squeeze more out of the market … if we’re not going to get more pipelines for one reason or another.’”

And last for this week, please say it isn’t so! From Nature, “Extreme weather caused by climate change can have devastating effects — and it turns out that not even beer is safe. More frequent droughts and heat waves in the twenty-first century will reduce global production of barley, finds a study published on 15 October in Nature Plants. In turn, it finds, this will decrease the supply of beer and drive up prices, even under best-case-scenario models of climate change… If people ‘want to drink beer when we watch football, then we have to do something’ …”

Have a great weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says it has paid out $20M for gas explosion claims, Boston Business Journal

Locked-out Grid workers cleared to help in Merrimack Valley, Newburyport Daily News

Columbia Gas reverses policy, will not reclaim temporary heat sources from homes, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts DPU halts statewide pipeline work by Columbia Gas, MassLive

NTSB: Columbia Gas ignored critical pressure sensor, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas launches plan to support businesses impacted by gas disaster, MassLive

After Merrimack Valley explosions, natural gas comes under sharp scrutiny, Boston Globe

Merrimack Valley explosions intensify calls to wean state off gas, Boston Globe

A Month Later, Crisis In Merrimack Valley Continues, WGBH

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey request info on homes damaged, residents displaced by Merrimack Valley gas explosions, MassLive

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Ceremony to commission controversial Oxford power plant, Middletown Press

Oxford power plant is commissioned, The Advocate

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, National Wind Watch

Generation: Despite headwinds, natural gas reliance set to grow in much of US, Utility Dive

Can Non-Pipeline Alternatives Curb New York’s Rising Natural Gas Demand?, Greentech Media

Quincy council summons National Grid president amid lockout, Patriot Ledger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Natick Awarded Grant for Municipal Clean Energy Projects, USA Patch

City Council seeks legal opinion on permits for controversial East Springfield biomass power plant, MassLive

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, The Telegraph

Democratic lawmakers push renewable energy strategy, New Hampshire Union Leader

RGGI regulating power imports could happen, experts say, carbon-pulse.com

NYISO Proposes Border Pricing Plan for Carbon, RTO Insider

UMass Amherst Again Ranked among Top 50 Green Colleges by Princeton Review, UMass Amherst

Officials push for ‘green’ power projects for Woonsocket, Woonsocket Call

EPA program will prioritize renewable energy projects in Mass., Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut, Reuters

Climate change is about to make your beer more expensive, Nature

Mass. clean energy firms grow headcount amid green tech boom, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Walsh Outlines Plan To Protect Boston Harbor From Flooding, WBUR

Campaign Countdown: Vermont’s energy future, WCAX

 

Wind

Trump administration to hold Massachusetts offshore wind auction in December, Masslive

What New England Can Learn From Kansas About Creating A Wind Energy Economy, WNPR

Offshore wind CEO bullish on American market, Axios

Report: Moving disputed Falmouth turbine would cost $3M, Cape Cod Times

What’s next for Falmouth turbines?, Cape Cod Times

Tug Hill alliance grows, secures funds for wind farm review, National Wind Watch

Denton pitches wind turbine on City Hall, Seacoastonline.com

Relocation of Falmouth turbine could net town $5.7M, Cape Cod Times

New Site Proposed For Wind 2 At Wastewater Treatment Plant, Falmouth Enterprise

 

Solar

Residents express few concerns at public hearing on Farmington solar project, Kennebec Journal

Norwich tinkerer takes on do-it-yourself solar energy system, The Day

Wind & Solar Account for At Least 20% Of Electricity In 10 States, CleanTechnica

Bill threatens growth of state solar farms, Republican American

New York State Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects, Energy Manager Today

Residential outcry causes Pittsfield ZBA to delay vote, continue hearing next month on 25-acre solar proposal, Berkshire Eagle

What a New Order Means for Community Solar and Storage in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Retains Top Spot on ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ACHR News

MA Ranked 5th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalWorcester

NH gets mixed reviews on energy efficiency, New Hampshire Business Review

RI is 4th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Bringing Energy Storage to Energy Markets, Union of Concerned Scientists

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles: The Swiss army knife of the grid, Utility Dive

A Microgrid for Every Electric Bus Stop in Martha’s Vineyard Town, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC allows spending $20M on Vt. Yankee spent fuel, The Recorder

After federal OK, one hurdle remains for Vermont Yankee transfer, Keene Sentinel

Entergy targets post-shutdown savings at Pilgrim after key NRC approval, Nuclear Energy Insider

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US FERC winter outlook flags risk of volatility in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, S&P Global Platts

Utility to run line under Kennebec Gorge, CommonWealth Magazine

Gloucester signs new electricity provider, Gloucester Times

On eve of hearing, business and labor groups say they back CMP power line through western Maine, Portland Press Herald

Report challenges environmental benefits of CMP project, Portland Press Herald

Great Bay Towns Turn Out Against Transmission Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Seacoast Reliability Project decision expected by early December, Seacoastonline.com

Norwalk Harbor Commission turns to consultant on Eversource cable route, The Hour

Quincy council subpoenas National Grid president, Patriot Ledger

Powerline from Canada through NH, eyed for Mass. clean energy, not dead yet, MassLive

Conn. company is accused of overcharging more than 100K Mass. residents for electricity, Boston Globe

NY regulators weigh proposals to enhance distributed generation, Utility Dive

US FERC`s LaFleur says some power grid security interventions `commercially motivated,’ Energy Central

 

Editorial/Opinion

Want Boston To Be A Carbon-Neutral City? Raise Energy Efficiency Standards For Buildings, WBUR

We need more, not less, competition for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Sununu has been a stumbling block to offshore wind, Eagle-Tribune

Letter to the editor: Renewable electricity worth some sacrifices, Portland Press Herald

Efficiency is the most affordable energy solution, by Nancy Gillard, Keene Sentinel

National Grid lockout puts profit first, workers and safety last, Boston Globe

Baker, DeLeo need to step up on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

In an era of climate urgency, we need a carbon tax, Boston Globe

Vehicle emissions rollback shouldn’t stop utilities from investing in electric vehicles, Utility Dive

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Filed under Climate Change, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending October 12, 2018

Swim Caps to the Rescue | Carbon Eating Battery | Blame the Cat

 

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

We have a lot of serious news this week, so we thought we’d keep the highlights light before you delve into the more meaty news below.

From Greentech Media, “Exposure to sunlight, freezing temperatures and precipitation can erode the leading edge of wind turbine blades, shortening the life of the blade and reducing the overall productivity of the turbine. With turbine blades getting longer, from around 50 meters just a few years ago to 80 meters or more today, the force of natural elements working to degrade a blade’s leading edge has increased. A Danish company believes it has found a solution. PolyTech’s ELLE (Ever Lasting Leading Edge) is a polyurethane shell applied to turbine blade tips. The product has been likened to a “swim cap” for turbine blades.”

In other news from Greentech Media, “A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has unveiled a battery technology that could potentially mop up carbon dioxide from thermal power plants. The lithium-based battery works by absorbing carbon dioxide into a water-based amine called 2-ethoxyethylamine and then mixing this with a non-aqueous liquid electrolyte used alongside a carbon cathode and a lithium anode. With every discharge, the carbon dioxide is converted into a solid mineral carbonate that builds up on the cathode. Carbon dioxide is thus used up as the battery cycles and converted to an inert material that can serve as a source of carbon for industrial purposes…A battery that can eat up carbon dioxide is still some way off from reality, though.”

And from myjoyonline.com (sourced from Utility Dive), “A family in Russia’s Barnaul region was recently taken to court by the local energy company for accumulating a debt of approximately 80,000 rubles ($1,218) in unpaid bills. In their defense, the accused claimed that it was all their cat’s fault, not theirs…Often times they spotted it climbing on the electricity meter in order to reach the roof, and even tried moving the meter on an adjacent wall, but to no avail. They told the judge that the cat eventually broke the meter’s wire seal and somehow tampered with the device, which resulted in absurdly high bills… Fortunately for the cat, the energy company’s lawyer managed to prove its innocence in front of the judge.”

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

NTSB: Columbia Gas work order ignored critical pressure sensor, Eagle Tribune

Residents vent frustrations at gas information meeting, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas plans to inspect, fix at least 350 dwellings per day in Greater Lawrence after gas disaster, MassLive

Massachusetts voters aren’t happy with corporate response to Columbia Gas explosions, new poll says, MassLive

A real dilemma, Regional gas disaster ruffles local real estate market, Eagle Tribune

Lawrence businesses fight for survival as gas remains shut off, Boston Globe

Gas cut off over pressure issue not far from explosion area, Eagle-Tribune

Travel trailers open for residents still without gas service, Boston Herald

Columbia says it will replace appliances, Eagle Tribune

 

Woburn

Gas is restored to most Woburn homes that lost service, Boston Globe

Heightened natural gas concerns reflected in trail of letters, Telegram.com

State agency slams National Grid over safety, compliance, Boston Herald

DPU orders halt to National Grid linework, Patriot Ledger

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Utility stop-work order affecting Cape project, Cape Cod Times

‘Sneaky’ sale of city water protested at rally, Herald News

Consumers wanted it, dealers got it: Cleaner heating oil now the standard in Maine, Portland Press Herald

Growing opposition to compressor station in Rehoboth, WJAR

Clean Transportation Technologies Can Cut Emissions and Save Northeast Over $1 Trillion in Reduced Spending on Oil., Union of Concerned Scientists

Protests Of Gas Pipeline Project Follow Merrimack Valley Disaster, WAMC

 

Lockout

National Grid defends use of replacement workers during lock out, Boston Globe

Baker steps up involvement in National Grid lockout, WB Journal

Locked out National Grid workers rally against company President Marcy Reed, MassLive

US Rep. Seth Moulton urges National Grid, Columbia Gas to deploy locked out steelworkers in gas explosion recovery effort, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

In dual forums, Baker, Gonzalez stake their positions on environment, Boston Globe

US Sen. Ed Markey to make 2018 election ‘referendum’ on Trump administration’s climate change policy, MassLive

UN climate change report puts pressure on governments to act, Salem News

The Hurricanes, and Climate-Change Questions, Keep Coming. Yes, They’re Linked., New York Times

Holyoke school kids learn engineering skills at HG&E ‘Clean Energy Day’, MassLive

Cape Cod Canal site testing ground for technology, Cape Cod Times

How High Does Carbon Need to Be? Somewhere From $20-$27,000, Bloomberg L.P.

U.S. oil CEO says corporations should work to stem climate change, Reuters

Rising transportation emissions are a threat to Maine’s environment, MSN

 

 

Wind

How a ‘Swim Cap’ Could Extend the Life of Wind Turbine Blades, Greentech Media

Ørsted to buy Deepwater Wind for $510m, CommonWealth Magazine

Barnstable enters host agreement with Vineyard Wind; Covell’s Beach is favored cable landfall site, Wicked Local Dennis

Wind power execs say deal will give Connecticut greater access, New Haven Register

 

Solar

Solar, Wind Made Up At Least 20% Of Electric Generation In 10 States Last Year, Solar Industry

Former Westport landfill to become solar farm, South Coast Today

High Efficiency SunPower® Solar Project Now Operating at Bose Corporation’s Global Headquarters in Massachusetts, Business Journals

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

MIT Unveils Early-Stage Carbon-Eating Battery, Greentech Media

Here’s How Energy Efficient New York Is, Patch

Get Smart: Lessons for the Storage Industry From the Home Automation Market, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Latest NRC Quarterly Pilgrim Plant Report Shows Progress, CapeCod.com

U.S. to Strengthen Controls on Nuclear Technology Exports to China, Wall Street Journal

Seabrook nuclear plant closer to license extension, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Family sued over unpaid electric bills place blame on their cat, myjoyonline.com

ISO-NE defends short-term plan to maintain fuel security, S&P Global Platts

EIA predicts higher winter heating costs for most energy sources, Biomass Magazine

Group drops challenge to Sandwich power plant expansion, Cape Cod Times

With winter deadlines looming, National Grid lockout taking toll on development, Boston Globe

NEPOOL OKs Penalty for Delayed Capacity Resources, RTO Insider

Seacoast Reliability Project faces public hearing, Seacoastonline.com

Watchdog group drops challenge to power plant expansion, Cape Cod Times

Maine regulators invite more public comment on CMP hydro project, MSN

Council backs Eversource plan, harbor commission concerns remain, The Hour

With New Developments Coming To Dorchester, Eversource Moves To Boost Power Supply, WGBH

Why doesn’t the U.S. bury its power lines?, The Conversation

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gas explosions show how dangerous the fuel is, CommonWealth Magazine

Guest MINDSETTER™ Eccleston: Why No Environmental Impact Statement From Invenergy?, GoLocalProv

Should Massachusetts proceed with the deal to import hydro electricity from Quebec?, Boston Globe

Uncle Sam is all-in on expensive, impractical batteries, Washington Examiner

Down to Earth: A choice: forests or solar panels?, Daily Hampshire Gazette

LETTER: Reader says questions persist on evacuation plan, Daily News of Newburyport

 

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending October 5, 2018

No Free Lunch | 8 Years in a Row | Hydrophobic

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

Here are some highlights from the news this week.

From the AP we have, No free lunch for renewables: More wind power would warm US. “Ramping up wind power in America would also dial up the nation’s temperatures, a new study out of Harvard found. While wind energy is widely celebrated as environmentally friendly, the researchers concluded that a dramatic, all-out expansion in the number of turbines could warm the country even more than climate change from burning coal and other fossil fuels, because of the way the spinning blades disturb the layers of warm and cold air in the atmosphere…Some parts of the central United States are already seeing nights that are up to 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) warmer because of nearby wind farms…The researchers and other scientists stressed that climate change from greenhouse gas emissions is clearly a far bigger threat globally and over the long term than turbine-caused warming, which is temporary and stops when the blades aren’t turning. Despite the potential drawbacks, wind energy still makes more sense for the environment than fossil fuels, Keith said.”

Would we expect anything different? MassLive reports that, For 8th year, Mass. named most energy-efficient state in the nation. “For the eighth year running, Massachusetts has been named the most energy-efficient state in the nation. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which issues the annual scorecard, noted utility-led programs such as Mass Save, “stretch building codes” for cities and towns, incentives for combined heat and power, and standards for state buildings…The scorecard measures six categories, including utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government policies, and appliance standards. Massachusetts in 2016 approved a three-year energy efficiency plan. In 2017, $740 million in investments yielded $2.6 billion in savings…”

From the new energy technology file we bring you a story from Popular Mechanics, A New Hydrophobic Surface Could Turn the Ocean’s Waves Into Electricity. “There’s waterproof and then there’s the surface developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego. They’ve developed a surface so hydrophobic that it can actually be used to generate electrical voltage, turning seawater into 50 millivolts (or around 0.05 volts)…The created surface holds a negative electrical charge, so when the positive ions in salt water move over the surface an electrical potential difference is created. That difference creates a voltage…Although it’s just a proof of concept, the idea becomes impressive when deployed on a much larger scale. There’s a lot of ocean water out there, and the team hopes that it could be used for energy harvesting methods through desalination plants. From ions to waves, there’s a lot of potential energy in the water that covers 70 percent of the planet, and these hydrophobic surfaces could help tap into that energy.”

More news is below. Have a great long weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

Disaster could be a turning point in energy debate, Eagle Tribune

State rep seeks Western Massachusetts public hearings on Columbia Gas after Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

After Baker tasked Eversource with Merrimack Valley response, executives cut checks to his campaign, Boston Globe

After Dozens of Gas Explosions, a Community Looks for Alternatives to Natural Gas, Inside Climate News

Longmeadow considering moratorium on Columbia Gas construction, citing recent explosions, MassLive

Columbia Gas pulling workers from other states amid tight labor market, Boston Globe

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

DPU presses Natl. Grid on alleged violations, CommonWealth Magazine

Northampton City Council resolves to oppose gas pipelines, Hampshire Gazette

Power plant hearings delayed as regulators consider request to cancel contract, Valley Breeze

New York Gas Plant Comes Online Despite Opposition, Power Magazine

City Council opposes Burrillville power plant, Cranston Online

Agency: Gas lines safe; State utility regulators questioned in wake of Massachusetts disaster, Journal Inquirer

Connecticut state lawmakers want review of gas pipelines, WHDH

Compressor foes warn of dangers with infomercial, Weymouthwickedlocal.com

Liberty Utilities to create natural gas from closed Bethlehem landfill, Concord Monitor

Manhole left open, failure to investigate gas leak: National Grid cited for 29 reported safety violations amid lockout, MassLive

National Grid lockout causing ‘collateral impact’, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Utilities have a problem: the public wants 100% renewable energy, and quick, Vox.com

A New Hydrophobic Surface Could Turn the Ocean’s Waves Into Electricity, Popular Mechanics

Carbon prices could save us … if we actually start using them, Grist

Portland hub monitors 425 solar projects, six wind farms, Portland Press Herald

Researchers to develop renewable fuel additives from sawdust, Biomass Magazine

Pellet project in Maine awarded $200,000 REAP grant, Biomass Magazine

The US Is Ready For 100% Clean Energy — 10 Cities Model How To Get There, CleanTechnica

 

Wind

No free lunch for renewables: More wind power would warm US, AP News

A new study on the side effects of wind energy is almost begging to be misused by climate change deniers, Business Insider

Baker, Gonzalez agree to offshore wind pledge, Gloucester Times

Yarmouth shellfishermen get say on wind cable hearings, Cape Cod Times

Trump’s Import Tariffs Will Make U.S. Wind Power More Expensive, Renewable Energy World

Barnstable, Vineyard Wind officials sign cable agreement, Cape Cod Times

State board to take up Vineyard Wind cable route, South Coast Today

Why this dairy farm may be the last stand for wind energy in Vermont, WindAction

Company plans to build wind turbines along Lake Ontario, Energy Central

Wind farm design calls for 47 turbines, National Wind Watch

 

Solar

CT Manufacturer Impact Plastics Goes Solar, Solar Industry

75 Attend Community Meeting on New Solar Initiative in Exeter, GoLocalProv

Eversource to hold solar open house, Wicked Local Medfield

Massachusetts Regulators Approve New ‘SMART’ Solar, Storage Program, Renewable Energy World

Con Edison proposes installing solar panels on New York City Housing Authority developments, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

For 8th year, Mass. named most energy-efficient state in the nation, MassLive

Make your home greener—and more resilient, Popular Science

Vermont’s energy efficiency utilities under inspection in new investigation, VTDigger

Stormy weather ahead: Federal agencies begin to roll back efficiency policy, ACEEE Blog

A tiny, beleaguered government agency seeks an energy holy grail: long-term energy storage, Vox.com

New Jersey’s Planned $4.1B Clean Energy Investment includes $180M for Storage, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

Electric vehicle advocates urge Connecticut regulators not to forget sector in grid planning, New Haven Register

 

Nuclear

NRC issues draft safety evaluation for nuclear plant, Daily News of Newburyport

Nuclear panel elects new leaders, but future still unclear, VTDigger

Decision on Vt. Yankee sale expected soon, The Recorder

Trump Signs Legislation to Promote Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology, Greentech Media

Connecticut agencies say Millstone ‘at risk’ as Dominion seeks boost in clean energy RFP, Utility Dive

Entergy’s last layoffs by month’s end, Brattleboro Reformer

Utilities submit proposals for nuclear subsidies, NJ Spotlight

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE to focus on market solutions for winter energy security in 2019, Utility Dive

Demo permits obtained for Brayton Point cooling towers, Herald News

US Will Have 88 Gigawatts of Residential Demand Flexibility by 2023, Greentech Media

Foes of CMP power line gear up for protest in Skowhegan, Kennebec Journal

Connecticut residents want monitoring of new New York power plant, The Register Citizen

A device to track your energy use, right down to the toaster, Boston Globe

Eversource penalized $117,911 for environmental violations in Franklin County, The Recorder

Limited CMP customer data exposed during file transfer, Portland Press Herald

Massachusetts Microgrid Market Gets Even More Interesting with Siemens Plan to Acquire Russelectric, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Loss of plant would hurt, Providence Journal

Gas pipeline review process is good idea, Lowell Sun

Letter: Safety is top priority of natural gas industry, Concord Monitor

EDITORIAL: Gas leaks, dying trees? It’s a theory worth exploring, Sentinel & Enterprise

Eliminate Carbon-Based Energy, Hartford Courant

Our view: Solar power is a key ingredient, Salem News

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Vermont Yankee Closing, Wind Power