Energy News for week ending November 15, 2019

Climate Solutions | Bamboo

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with three stories about climate change solutions. There are plenty of bad climate news articles below, so let’s focus on the positive:

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years, The Atlantic

Group offers cool ideas for a hotter Boston in coming decades, Boston Globe

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change, New York Times

Our new “tech” feature for this week comes from Phys.org, “Visualizing heat flow in bamboo could help design more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings. Modified natural materials will be an essential component of a sustainable future, but first a detailed understanding of their properties is needed. The way heat flows across bamboo cell walls has been mapped using advanced scanning thermal microscopy, providing a new understanding of how variations in thermal conductivity are linked to the bamboo’s elegant structure. The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, will guide the development of more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings, made from natural materials, in the future. The building sector currently accounts for 30-40% of all carbon emissions, due to both the energy-intensive production of the materials (predominantly steel and concrete), and the energy used in heating and cooling the finished buildings. As the global population grows and becomes increasingly based in towns and cities, traditional building approaches are becoming unsustainable. Renewable, plant-based materials such as bamboo have huge potential for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. Their use would dramatically reduce emissions compared to traditional materials, helping to mitigate the human impact on climate change. This approach would also help keep carbon out of the atmosphere by diverting timber away from being burnt as fuel.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Local lawmakers press for tougher gas safety rules, Salem News

Cuomo Threatens National Grid: Provide Gas or Lose Your License, New York Times

National Grid to truck natgas to meet winter demand in New England/New York, CNBC

National Grid Says It Will Meet Timeline, CBS Boston / WBZ

Newport gas outage report leads to amended lawsuits, NewportRI.com

Hedlund says compressor may not be needed, calls for review, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth Compressor Station Passes Final State Regulatory Hurdle, WBUR

Senator Markey Statement on Weymouth Compressor Station Final Approval: We Will Not Stop Fighting, US Senate

AP Exclusive: FBI eyes how Pennsylvania approved pipeline, AP News

Fearing for Its Future, a Big Utility Pushes ‘Renewable Gas,’ Urges Cities to Reject Electrification, Inside Climate News

High School Seniors Put Out 1st Documentary On Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, WBUR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Why some hydropower plants are worse for the climate than coal, Grist

5 Global Trends Shaping Our Climate Future, New York Times

Climate change could end mortgages as we know them, CBS News

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change, New York Times

Group offers cool ideas for a hotter Boston in coming decades, Boston Globe

Shell New Energies EVP: Hydrogen Subsidies Will Pay Off, Just Like They Did for Solar, Greentech Media

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years, The Atlantic

Climate change will fundamentally shape the lives of children born in 2019, Fast Company

Renewable ‘blueprint’ for city seen as statewide model, Cranston Herald

Federal Reserve Leaves Action on Climate Change to Politicians, Bloomberg

Why the Fed, Long Reticent, Has Started to Talk About Climate Change, New York Times

Maine’s Shrimp Crisis Reveals A Big Climate Change Problem We’re Not Talking About, HuffPost

Does climate change mean the end of wine?, Quartz

 

Wind

Associated Industries of Mass. joins the effort to save Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

State board to hear application for wind farm at Lowville, Rome (NY) Sentinel

With wind turbine decision under appeal, developer turns to solar on Pacheco property, Valley Breeze (RI)

No Consensus on How to Bring Offshore Wind Power Ashore in NJ, NJSpotlight.com

Siting Board Approves Lewis County Wind Farm: 105.8 MW Clean Energy Facility Forecasted to Bring Over $44.2 Million to Local Economy, (NY) Electric Energy Online

Upgrading lakeshore wind turbines will cost $21.3 million, National Wind Watch

Falmouth town meeting approves $2.5M to dismantle wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Wind turbines off Ocean City would be 200 feet taller than planned, prompting regulators to reopen debate, Baltimore Sun

Offshore wind port facility could be ‘major opportunity’ for Staten Island, SILive

 

Solar

Giant solar grid completed in New York, Engineer Live

U.S. Solar Companies Are Stockpiling a Massive Amount of Panels, Bloomberg

Solar coalition asks Long Island Power Authority to preserve community solar incentives, Solar Power World

Solar Developers Smell Trouble on Long Island as Offshore Wind Arrives, Greentech Media

Solar growth pushes Peck Company to large revenue increase, VTDigger

R.I. celebrates start of largest ‘community solar’ project, in North Smithfield, Providence Journal

Perovskite solar cells: Possible aspects of high efficiency uncovered, Phys.org

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How do efficiency programs serve low-income communities? New study takes a look., ACEEE

To meet renewable energy goals, Maine must take charge on big battery incentives, Portland Press Herald

Visualizing heat flow in bamboo could help design more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings, Phys.org

Philanthropic Project Promotes Use Of Existing Energy Efficiency Programs, WAMC

Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient, Hartford Courant

Building a Lithium-Ion Battery That Won’t Explode, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Will Your EV Keep the Lights On When the Grid Goes Down?, Greentech Media

U.S. Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets, Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

Lessons from the cyberattack on India’s largest nuclear power plant, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How Nuclear Power Will Impact NJ’s Clean Energy Future, NJ Spotlight

Nuclear a viable part of global energy transition says S&P report, Power Engineering

NRC explores streamlined environmental reviews to accelerate advanced reactor approvals, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

NERC’s simulated grid attack leaves thousands of New York customers in hypothetical darkness, Utility Dive

Massachusetts energy commissioner Judith Judson stepping down, MassLive

Regulators approve dramatic rate cut for Emera Maine customers, Bangor Daily News

In net metering talks, state ideals clash with ratepayer realities, VTDigger

The world’s energy report card just came out. We failed 3 subjects., Grist

Eversource earns $319 million, The Telegraph

Electricity will get cheaper for most Mainers, but CMP rate hike could cut into savings, Portland Press Herald

So. Maine lawmakers look to tackle energy, climate change, Seacoastonline.com

National Grid pushed officials to write letters for pipeline, Times Union

Heating costs expected to rise, Eagle-Tribune

 

Editorial/Opinion

Next steps on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Rethinking Future Investments in Natural Gas Infrastructure, Greentech Media

How To Reach U.S. Net Zero Emissions By 2050: Decarbonizing Electricity, Forbes

Our view: Move swiftly to address natural gas network, Salem News

Our view: All of this for a clothesline?, Salem News

More steps needed to ensure gas system’s safety, Haverhill Gazette

Letter: Let’s take action against oil companies, Concord Monitor

New York’s reckless gamble on offshore wind power, Crain’s New York

Mindy Messmer: Governor, join other states’ climate-change lawsuit, Conway Daily Sun

Winds of change coming to Connecticut, Connecticut Mirror

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

Energy News for week ending November 8, 2019

Batteries vs. Blackouts | High Heat | Phototropism

 

Happy Friday afternoon. We hope you’re all staying warm on this cold and blustery day.

Speaking of windy conditions, we have a story out of Vermont from Greentech Media, “A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage. The battery backup service lasted nine hours on average, but the longest instance stretched to 82 hours…The program previously generated more headlines by saving hundreds of thousands of dollars during annual system peak events than for fulfilling the backup function. In 2018, GMP’s network of batteries reduced consumption during the ISO New England peak hour, saving about $600,000 on capacity fees. This year, a larger number of batteries, totaling 10 megawatts of capacity, responded to a late July peak, saving nearly $900,000 from a single hour of operation.”

For those of us who live in Massachusetts, the news about the cost to heat our homes this winter isn’t good. From the Salem News, “Consumers will dig deeper into their pockets to heat their homes and keep the lights turned on this winter, with electricity and natural gas rates set to increase. Beginning this month, National Grid’s residential electric rates increased by 15.2%, or about $21 a month on average, compared to rates last winter. National Grid’s gas customers, meanwhile, could get a break on their bills. Customers of Boston Gas Company, the company’s subsidiary in the region, will see their monthly bill reduced by about $14, or 7%, this winter compared to last year, depending on how much gas they use and whether it’s for heat, hot water or other uses, according to the utility.…Eversource, which serves about 1.4 million customers in the state, will be filing its proposed winter rates to state regulators on Dec. 1, according to the company. It’s not clear whether or not the utility will request an increase, but any changes to its winter rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, if approved by state regulators. The utility’s natural gas rates, which went into effect on Nov. 1, increased the average monthly bill by about $22 per month, or 14%, compared to last winter.”

For our technology story of the week we look to The Smithsonian, “In recent decades, solar cells have gotten better and cheaper, leading to a boom in the solar energy industry. But most solar panels have one major drawback—they don’t move. That means the sunlight reaching them often comes in at an angle, which hinders maximum power production. But a new light-loving, sunflower-inspired polymer may help boost the productivity of solar panels in the near future. The new polymer, described in a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is capable of phototropism, or the ability to follow the sun in its daily journey across the sky. Inventor Xiaoshi Qian of the University of California, Los Angeles and the team call the new polymer SunBOT, which stands for sunflower-like biomimetic omnidirectional tracker. Each stem is roughly one millimeter in diameter and infused with a nanomaterial that turns light into heat with a little “flower” coated with solar energy-collecting material at the top. When light hits one side of the stem, the material heats up and shrinks, bending the stem points directly at the light source while it moves around and strikes from various angles…Seung-Wuk Lee, a bioengineer at the University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the study, tells Sofie Bates at Science News that the most promising use of the SunBOTs would be integrating the material with solar cells, which could give solar technology a huge boost. Currently, solar cells capture about 24 percent of the sunlight available. By allowing the cells to operate at a near-maximum absorption rate almost all day long, the SunBOTS could boost that 90 percent, reports Bates.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the news articles below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid, Eversource Say They Can Meet Natural Gas Demand Without Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

Shifting Demand Fuels Weymouth Compressor Debate, WBUR

Weymouth Compressor Station’s Permit Is Delayed Again, WBUR

State board details rejection of Burrillville natural gas plant, Providence Business News

Renewables growth, market changes tanked Invenergy’s Rhode Island gas plant, regulators say, Utility Dive

Raimondo: National Grid needs to be held accountable after January gas outage, WPRI 12

R.I. regulators OK temporary natural-gas facility in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Renewable Energy: What Happens When the Sun Isn’t Shining and the Wind Isn’t Blowing, WCAI

Can farmers sow their way out of climate change?, CBS News

Can Tidal Stream Energy Finally Turn the Corner?, Greentech Media

A Massachusetts company wants to build three hydroelectric plants to harness power from Lehigh Valley rivers, dams, The Morning Call

New reactor could halve carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production, Science Magazine

Tamil Nadu to ink pact on renewable energy with Massachusetts, The Hindu

GE makes ‘big play’ in clean energy, MetroWest Daily News

Worcester contracts with electricity supplier to boost amount of renewable energy, Telegram

 

Wind

Who’s in charge of Mass. offshore wind procurements?, CommonWealth Magazine

State approves power-purchase contract with UMaine wind project, Portland Press Herald

Maine utility regulators approve tests for floating wind turbine project off Maine coast, MainePublic.org

Developing Wind Farm in New York Is No Breeze, Wall Street Journal

Vineyard Wind Pushes IRS for Subsidy Extension on Delayed Offshore Project, Greentech Media

Wind Turbine Size Changes Could Jeopardize Approvals; Agency Seeks PSC Review, The Dispatch (Maryland)

Scituate: Noise Compliance Test Near Finalization for Wind Turbine, WATD

Turbines, Petition Articles Highlights At Falmouth Precinct Meeting, Falmouth Enterprise

Town board accepts study findings, Observer Today (New York)

GE’s Culp makes rare appearance in Charlestown to welcome wind turbine blade, Boston Business Journal

A Wind Turbine Blade Bigger Than Big Ben Will Be Battered In Boston, WBUR

Fengate Acquires Maine Wind Project from Longroad Energy Partners, on Behalf of Investors, NA Clean Energy

Ørsted offers $100 million to southeastern Connecticut in offshore wind bid, The Day

UMass Amherst Researchers Receive $1.175 Million Grant To Build New Software to Simulate Off-Shore Wind Turbines, UMass (press release)

 

Solar

Tetra Tech pushes solar power on closed landfills as a clear winner for operators and owners, Utility Dive

Sunlight-Tracking Polymer, Inspired by Sunflowers, Could Maximize Solar Power, Smithsonian

Shepard Steel Turns on New Solar Energy System; Early Production Exceeds Estimates, Business Insider

Prices are down and capacity is up as solar and wind take hold, Financial Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades, Bloomberg

States, NGOs sue DOE for reversing lightbulb standards as global energy efficiency progress stalls, Utility Dive

Batteries vs. Blackouts: 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage, Greentech Media

Two National Grid Projects Selected as Energy Storage North America 2019 Innovation Award Winner, CSR Wire

Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient, Hartford Courant

New Flow Batteries Could Accelerate an Electrical Grid Powered by the Sun and Wind, SciTech Daily

State awards funds for energy efficient affordable housing, WWLP

 

EVs

Electric vehicles could help climate change – by RETURNING power to the grid, Chronicle Live

WoodMac: Workplace EV Charging Is on the Rise, Greentech Media

EV Charging Trends: Solar Absorption, Demand Response, Green Charging, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Feds Exempt Shuttered Pilgrim From Emergency Requirements, WBUR

Why the U.K. Is Pushing Nuclear Power as Others Waver, Bloomberg

An Indian nuclear power plant suffered a cyberattack. Here’s what you need to know., Washington Post

Clearwater Appeals Decision On Nuclear Subsidies, WAMC (NY)

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say, Utility Dive

National Grid’s president of US business exits suddenly, Syracuse.com

Heating costs expected to rise, Salem News

Northfield electricity aggregation awaiting DPU approval, Greenfield Recorder

Eversource’s 3Q profits rise as utility giant remains bullish on wind business, Hartford Business

Farms Can Harvest Energy Along with Food, Scientific American

Raimondo, McKee to push tougher utility regs after report blames National Grid, Enbridge for loss of heat on Aquidneck, Providence Journal

$13M Ipswich River substation has been completed, Daily Item

7 Questions For New England Grid Chief Gordon Van Welie, Law360

National Grid Announces Changes to U.S. Leadership, MarketWatch

More airports consider going off the grid as power outages ground flights, CNBC

New ‘energizing’ career for vets, WTNH

Woolwich votes to withdraw support for CMP corridor, Portland Press Herald

Opponents of CMP corridor ramp up petition efforts, push for statewide vote, Newscentermaine.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Marty Nathan: Abandonment of gas pipeline a win for climate, region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The last gasp of natural gas, Utility Dive

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Filed under Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending November 1, 2019

Mayflower Wind Sails Forth | Share the Benefits | Cranberries, Seaweed, Fusion, and Poltergeist

 

Happy Friday! We hope you all were the beneficiaries of treats last night and avoided the tricks.

Mayflower Wind received a special treat this week – the opportunity to enter contract negotiations with the utilities. From South Coast Today, “Mayflower Wind Energy has won the bidding war for Massachusetts’ second offshore wind contract. The state’s electric companies selected the lowest-cost of Mayflower’s four bids, rather than ones designed to invest in port infrastructure or build a new manufacturing facility. ‘When it was balanced on whole, this was the one that was most competitive on price and economic development,’ state energy commissioner Judith Judson told reporters on a press call Wednesday. ‘Mayflower’s package for all their bids included significant economic development.’ Mayflower beat Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind, both of which also submitted multiple bids with different selling points…Mayflower’s winning bid calls for 804 megawatts of generation capacity. Together with last year’s winning bid by Vineyard Wind for 800 megawatts, the state has fulfilled its procurement obligation under the 2016 law. The companies have not yet signed contracts with Mayflower. Wednesday’s announcement begins the negotiation phase. The bid schedule calls for contracts to be executed by Dec. 13 and sent to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for approval.”

In other news this week, nearly 30 communities are asking for a more equitable share of solar benefits. From the State House News Service via MassLive, “Saying that ‘significant portions’ of their communities have not shared the benefits of solar and other clean energy programs, municipal officials from 27 communities are asking Gov. Charlie Baker and lawmakers to help meet the needs of their constituents. The 40 officials wrote a letter on Wednesday to Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, flagging actions the Beacon Hill leaders can take to address their concerns. The letter said that less than 3% of projects under the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program qualify as low-income, while the statewide poverty rate exceeds 10 percent…They asked lawmakers to hold a hearing this session ‘on why solar programs are failing’ low- and moderate-income populations, and to ‘actively support and work to pass’ three bills, including a House and Senate measure relative to solar power in environmental justice and urban communities, a House bill to remove barriers to solar for low-income communities and a Senate bill ensuring access to solar energy for all communities.”

Here are four other articles we found interesting this week – one of which is scary and reminds of us of a scene from Poltergeist.

Enjoy the rest of the news below and have a fabulous weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Residents’ group to challenge compressor station permits, Patriot Ledger

NY governor moves closer to stripping National Grid of license with new demand, S&P Global

Regulators: Utilities, not customers, should pay for gas outage on Aquidneck Island, Providence Journal

Climate change v. Killingly gas power plant. And the winner is …, Connecticut Mirror

US State Department oil pipeline review doesn’t ease worries, Connecticut Post

Rhode Island releases report on winter natural gas outage, Connecticut Post

National Grid Gas Nightmare: $92 Million Redevelopment Held Up In Nassau County, CBS Local

MAPC hires firm to review Weymouth compressor project’s impacts, Wicked Local

DPU launches two investigations into Columbia Gas, Salem News

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Younger Americans are willing to pay twice as much as their parents for clean energy, Quartz

Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows, New York Times

Could a Seaweed Diet for Cows Combat Climate Change, Maine Researchers Want to Know, NECN

Rex Tillerson says Exxon had no incentive to downplay costs, testifying in climate change fraud trial, CNBC

Vanguard Renewables and Vermont Gas win American Biogas Council 2019 up-and-coming biogas project for Salisbury, Vermont Anaerobic Digester project, VTDigger

Even the Dead Cannot Escape Climate Change, Scientific American

Philadelphia Tackles Climate Change through Partnerships, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Wind

Mass. picks lowest-price offshore wind option, CommonWealth Magazine

Shell and EDPR Win Massachusetts’ Second Offshore Wind Tender, Greentech Media

New Developer Enters Race for Offshore Wind, Vineyard Gazette

Mayflower Wind wins Massachusetts’ second offshore wind contract, South Coast Today

Funding sought to dismantle, store Falmouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

Chances fade for next US wind lease sale off New York in 2020, Recharge News via NASDAQ

New York’s Offshore Wind Bid Winners Sign OREC Deals, Offshorewind.biz

Troubles lurk for America’s emerging offshore wind boom, Axios

PSEG in talks to acquire 25% of Ørsted’s 1,100 MW New Jersey offshore wind project, Utility Dive

Offshore wind farm raises economic, environmental issues, Cape Gazette (Delaware)

US wind energy capacity is now more than 100 gigawatts, according to new report, CNBC

Competition makes UMaine think bigger about its offshore wind project, Portland Press Herald

Offshore Wind Energy Could Generate Enough Electricity to Power the World. Will the U.S. Get on Board?, Rolling Stone

Pascrell in Bipartisan Move to Keep Lucrative Tax Credits for Offshore Wind Industry, NJ Spotlight

 

Solar

Massachusetts Cranberry Farmers Want To Build Solar Panels Over Their Bogs, CBS Boston / WBZ

Massachusetts communities press Gov. Baker to make bigger share of solar, clean energy programs available to low income and working class families, MassLive

ReVision Energy wins clean energy honor, Portland Press Herald

West Hartford mayor flips switch on solar array on top of town hall, Hartford Courant

This New York town partnered with CleanChoice Energy to provide community solar to its residents, Solar Builder

U.S. Light Energy breaks ground on another New York community solar project, Solar Power World

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Time running out for energy efficiency, other tax credit extensions as next spending deadline nears, Utility Dive

Top 5 Energy Storage Trends of the Year, Power Magazine

VEC, partners, celebrate success of the co-op’s first utility-scale battery system, VTDigger

 

EVs

It Wouldn’t Take a Lot of Electric Vehicles to Shift Residential Peak Demand: Study, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Real-time monitors sought for Seabrook power plant, Seacoastonline.com

Decommissioning Test: NorthStar Uses Vermont Yankee As Launch Pad For Other Power Plant Jobs, VPR

Nuclear Fusion: Still Frustratingly Far Off Despite Recent Signs of Momentum, Greentech Media

Chasing Unlimited Energy With the World’s Largest Fusion Reactor, Bloomberg

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

11 attorneys general urge FERC to respect state energy rights, Utility Dive

NYISO to study climate change impact on 100% renewable energy system, S&P Global

Details emerge about DOE ‘super‑grid’ renewable study, E&E News

Google: Coming Soon to an RTO Near You?, Greentech Media

Community Power law could provide potential savings to NH residents, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

New PURA leader Gillett reckons with CT’s energy prices | Hartford Business Journal, Hartford Business

Woolwich voters to decide whether to withdraw town’s support for CMP corridor, Portland Press Herald

Utility shut-offs in Connecticut have more than doubled. Advocates say low-income families are being kept in the dark about how to prevent them, Hartford Courant

Officials call for investigation of Eversource, PURA to hold hearing on energy affordability, WTNH

National Grid: Gas customers to see lower bills this winter, WPRI 12

 

Editorial/Opinion

Maine Voices: Western Maine power line needed to fight climate change, Portland Press Herald

The climate change shakedown, Boston Globe

Why isn’t Connecticut prioritizing renewable energy solutions?, Hartford Courant

Spending on efficiency cheaper than making energy, Press of Atlantic City

Making Martha’s Vineyard 100 percent renewable, MV Times

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

Energy News for week ending October 25, 2019

A Whole New Industry | Cash for Carbon | The Sounds of Climate Change

 

Good afternoon. It’s Friday, so let’s get to this week’s energy news.

We start with a story from New Hampshire Public Radio, “’A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine. New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts will work together on large-scale offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine…Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said at the meeting that he thinks Northern New England could add tens of thousands of jobs building these offshore turbine farms, and the transmission infrastructure to bring their power on-shore. ‘This is not just a project. This is not just an individual, “we’re going to find a site and put a couple of turbines up,”’ Caswell says. ‘This is the establishment of, really, a whole new industry.’ The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to hold the first meeting of a three-state task force on the issue in mid-December. The New England group is the third regionalized wind group BOEM has formed, after ones in the New York area and the Carolinas. The group’s first job would be to help choose specific areas for offshore wind leasing in the federal waters of the Gulf of Maine – likely at least 30 miles out to sea.”

Next up is a story from the New York Times, “Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, is preparing a $450 billion climate change initiative that aims to replace about a fifth of the nation’s traditional gasoline-powered vehicles with hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars and trucks in the next 10 years…Mr. Schumer’s new plan…is specific and is aimed at rapidly replacing 63 million of the 270 million cars on American roads with zero-emissions or near-zero-emissions vehicles. If enacted, it would take a significant slice out of carbon dioxide pollution from automobiles, America’s largest producer of planet-warming emissions…The bill would also include $45 billion to help cities and states install electric vehicle charging stations, and $17 billion to help automakers build or retool factories to manufacture hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

The last highlight story for this week comes from National Geographic, “Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors. Seismometers on the West Coast can hear the ocean bouncing off the seafloor as it is disturbed by a hurricane approaching the East Coast, with more intense tropical cyclones producing louder seismic roars. They can also hear the cracking of ice when temperatures fluctuate, the recoil of an ice sheet as part of it breaks free, and the explosive growth of icy crevasses. Tropical cyclones will likely get more intense, and the Earth’s ice will increasingly disintegrate as the planet warms. In recent decades, the potential for seismometers to track the consequences of climate change has become increasingly evident. Scientists are still trying to understand the crucial nuances of each seismic signal, sometimes turning to small-scale recreations of the natural world in the lab to try to pry out the causes of separate seismic sonatas. But as seismometers continue to increase in sensitivity and decrease in cost, says Bohon, the nascent field of environmental seismology will continue to bear fruit.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cuomo threatens to pull plug on National Grid as he rails against utility company’s power, NY Daily News

‘Weak Engineering Management’ Probable Cause Of Columbia Gas Explosions, NTSB Says, CBS Boston / WBZ

Weymouth compressor foes vow to continue fight, Wicked Local

Weymouth council candidates vow to fight compressor statoin, Wicked Local

More delays, cost increases for two East Coast natural gas pipelines, IEEFA

Williams CEO Says Its Gas Pipe Can Help Cuomo’s N.Y. Green Goals, Bloomberg

Planned natural gas release angers compressor station opponents, Patriot Ledger

Oil company looks to lure customers burned by National Grid, Crain’s New York

Report details how ExxonMobil and fossil fuel firms sowed seeds of doubt on climate change, Los Angeles Times

Oil Companies Rejected by Supreme Court on Climate Change Suits, Bloomberg

Smith College pulls out of fossil fuel investments; but activists say college moving too slow, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Healey sues ExxonMobil, alleges climate change deception, CommonWealth Magazine

NH Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Reform & Climate Action Package for 2020, NL Labor News

Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors, National Geographic

Melting sea ice is ‘Atlantifying’ the Arctic, E&E News

Manure, trash and wastewater: U.S. utilities get dirty in climate fight, Reuters

Mysterious Lobster Deaths In Cape Cod Raise Climate Change Concern, WGBH

Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying, Washington Post

Headcount surges at state’s clean energy companies, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Are Wildfires Caused by Utilities or Climate Change? Yes, New York Times

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says, VICE

The cost of climate change: Trial to decide whether ExxonMobil was honest with investors, CNN

Climate change proves to be hot topic in Franklin, MetroWest Daily News

 

Wind

‘A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine, NHPR

Small Adjustments to Wind Turbines Can Reduce Impacts on Birds, New Study Finds, Yale Environment 360

Global offshore wind prices drop 32%: BloombergNEF, Utility Dive

Two Months Later, Vineyard Wind’s Delay Still Clouds US Offshore Picture, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Maritime Academy launches nation’s first offshore wind crew training facility, MassLive

Energy Dept. Funds Variety Of Wind R&D Projects, NRG Wind Project

Rep Haddad: State may need offshore wind tax credit, Southcoasttoday.com

Straus proposes state office to study fisheries and offshore wind, Southcoasttoday.com

Lobstermen’s association director takes wind farm job, Martha’s Vineyard Times

 

Solar

Report: Solar, wind power to hike renewable energy capacity by 2024, UPI.com

Local legislators visit UMass solar energy farm, WWLP

Company files first application for Fitzwilliam solar project, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

UNH and Eversource partner up to save energy on flagship campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

Green networks: Incorporating energy efficiency into 5G, The Hill

Ormat Announces Commercial Operation of Hinesburg Battery Energy Storage System, Under an Agreement With Vermont Electric Cooperative, Business Insider

New York Approves 316MW Battery Plant for Peak Power, First of Its Kind in Region, Greentech Media

 

EVs

How close is Massachusetts to electric public buses? Mass. lawmakers pushing for zero-emission vehicles by 2038, MassLive

Connecticut issues draft roadmap for widespread electric vehicle adoption, S&P Global

Gov. Mills Announcing Grants For More Car-Charging Stations, Maine Public

Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars, New York Times

Why quiet cars are getting louder, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Nuclear

NorthStar: Vermont Yankee demolition ahead of schedule, Brattleboro Reformer

State: Yankee site shows little contamination, Bennington Banner

Closing Old NJ Nuclear Power Plant Has Allowed Population of Tiny, Stinging Jellyfish to Thrive — And Multiply, NBC New York

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New EPA chief in New England barred from many decisions because of conflicts, Boston Globe

Report: CMP parent company in merger talks worth $67 billion, Portland Press Herald

National Grid’s Venture Capital Arm Closes 3 More Investments, Greentech Media

Imagine the US was just hit with a cyberattack. What happens next?, MIT Technology Review

Whoops! Computer glitch informs some Maine customers that power will be restored in 2068, Connecticut Post

CMP Forms PAC To Fight Potential Referendum On Western Maine Transmission Project, Maine Public

National Grid investment arm doubles-down on AI capabilities, but cultural change remains key, Utility Dive

Merger talks spell uncertain future for CMP customers, Times Record

 

Editorial/Opinion

Longmeadow resident concerned on placement of gas metering station (Letters), MassLive

Sports Are Feeling the Heat From Climate Change, Bloomberg

How NASA could help stop climate change with solar satellites, Washington Post

Climate Change Will Cost Us Even More Than We Think, New York Times

Decarbonizing economy requires lot more electricity, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending October 18, 2019

Moratorium Extended | Compressor Approvals | Wind to Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We hope you’re all doing well after the big windstorm.

We’re highlighting a couple of Massachusetts-related gas stories this week, though we have a lot of stories below about the ongoing battle between National Grid and New York.

First from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A moratorium on adding new natural gas customers in Northampton and Easthampton will continue indefinitely following a decision by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to abandon a project aimed at increasing the pipeline capacity for both cities.  The company last week announced that the moratorium for Northampton and Easthampton, which began in 2015 and has since meant new connections to its supply line are not allowed, will be extended due to changes in the planned ‘Greater Springfield Service Territory Reliability Project’ first unveiled in November 2017. Two years ago, the company pledged that five interrelated projects throughout the region would increase the natural gas supply and put an end to the moratorium in 2020 or 2021. Instead, Columbia Gas has eliminated the ‘alternate backfeed’ project, a 6-mile-long, 12-inch pipe that would have run between Agawam and Holyoke…Columbia Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Kempic said in a statement that the decision to abandon the ‘alternate backfeed’ was made based on review and analysis over the past few months of the cost impact and benefits to customers, and is unrelated to the work moratorium imposed by the state’s Department of Public Utilities on the Columbia Gas system. ‘Our determination is that we can accomplish the goals of removing leak-prone pipe in Agawam and West Springfield, as well as enhance operational flexibility, with the four remaining projects,’ Kempic said.”

We move from Western Mass to the South Shore where the Patriot Ledger reports, “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for the Fore River Basin were dealt two major blows Wednesday when a state adjudicator recommended the approval of a waterways license and a wetlands permit for the project, triggering the start of the final state review in the approval process. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold the license and permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth and a citizens group, which together had argued that the proposed station would worsen air and noise pollution in the Fore River Basin and is not an appropriate use based on state waterways regulations. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg has the final say on the approval of the permit and license…‘In sum, the petitioners have failed to offer persuasive evidence demonstrating that the proposed project does not conform to the requirements of the applicable waterways regulations,’ Rothchild wrote in her decision on the waterways license. Mayor Robert Hedlund said the rulings Wednesday were ‘further salt in the wound’ and a continuation of the town’s disappointment with state officials.”

For our new technology feature we bring you this news from Phys.org, “Alternative energy conserves natural resources and is environmentally friendly. However, the challenge is to develop reliable plants that continuously generate energy. Scientists of South Ural State University have found a way to achieve this using wind turbines and hydrogen…‘We have combined a power plant with equipment for producing hydrogen, as well as electrical energy from hydrogen. In other words, this installation converts electricity into hydrogen, which we can store or even transport. From the same hydrogen, we conduct electricity back,’ Andrei Martyanov says, associate professor at the Department of Power Stations, Networks and Power Supply Systems of the Polytechnic Institute of SUSU. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen occurs through electrolysis, then the hydrogen is placed in special containers, which are stored until the moment when the consumer will require electricity. The reverse process of getting energy from hydrogen occurs due to an electrochemical reaction in which hydrogen interacts with oxygen, electricity and thermal energy are generated. By the end of 2019, scientists plan to complete work on the creation of a digital twin of a wind turbine.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot of interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas vows to meet Friday deadline, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas extends moratorium for Northampton, Easthampton customers, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columbia Gas hires retired utility exec to oversee safety in Massachusetts, Wicked Local North Andover

Despite ‘political tug-of-war,’ the US ‘still needs fossil fuels’: DOE General Counsel, Utility Dive

Williams pipeline pending, Politico

New Jersey Denies Permits For Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline, CBS Philly

Weymouth compressor foes sift through soil removal plan, Wicked Local

State official backs two key approvals for compressor station, Patriot Ledger

National Grid gas shortage warning questioned by pipeline critics, Newsday

National Grid says it will reconnect natgas customers after NY order, CNBC

‘Margins Are Very Tight’: National Grid President Defends Decision To Not Provide Thousands With Heat, Gas, CBS New York

State regulators admit there’s a gas shortage amid utility fight, New York Post

NY regulators blast National Grid over gas service denials, SNL

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Kingston renewable energy loan program on hold, Wicked Local Kingston

Clean Energy Ventures raises $110M for its first fund, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Hogan administration releases delayed plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions, Baltimore Sun

How Will Climate Change Alter Agriculture? Winemakers Are Finding Out, New York Times

Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?, Environmental Defense Fund

New tool enables Nova Scotia lobster fishery to address impacts of climate change, Phys.org

Documents Show Massachusetts AG Ready to File Climate Case Against Exxon, Bloomberg Environment

 

Wind

GE: ‘Inevitable’ That Offshore Wind Manufacturing Comes to the US, Greentech Media

Homeowner group objects to wind-farm proposal, Coastal Point (MD)

Regulators grant first federal permits for offshore wind to Dominion, Ørsted pilot, Utility Dive

Boston energy firm sues GE over damaged turbine, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Moratorium on Portland wind turbines may get extended, Observer (NY)

From the wind to hydrogen and vice versa: a new generation wind power plant is developed, Phys.org

3 Companies Banking on U.S. Offshore Wind, Motley Fool

Researchers develop ‘fully autonomous’ drones that can inspect and fix wind turbines, CNBC

Fishermen Demand a Say in Decisions on Offshore Wind Energy, NECN

In a Reversal, Wind Power Industry Wants More U.S. Tax Credits, YAHOO!

Vineyard Wind Submits Proposal to Deliver up to 1200 MW of Offshore Wind and Create Offshore Wind Hub in Connecticut, Renewable Energy Magazine

Vineyard Wind starts seabed probe, renews.biz

 

Solar

Woburn Continues to be Leader in Green Energy Production–New Solar System on Joyce Middle School to Save the City $29,000 a Year, Business Insider

Portland schools look to large-scale solar providers for energy, Portland Press Herald

West Greenwich residents air concerns over proposed solar project, Providence Journal

Falmouth revives interest in municipal solar project, Portland Press Herald

Saugerties solar farm delayed, HV1

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont residents get special pricing for innovative home energy monitor powered by AI through Efficiency Vermont program, VTDigger

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 2.5 GWh project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

 

Alternative Fuel Vehicles/Transportation

Hydrogen is still a mystery to drivers, but Toyota plans 10 times more cars, Los Angeles Times

The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly, Ars Technica

E-vehicle rebate program gets lifeline, Gloucester Times

Electric revolution: As EV demand increases, can utilities and cities keep up?, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear waste? These microbes might help with the cleanup, Nature

Nuclear Fusion Could Rescue the Planet From Climate Catastrophe, YAHOO!

Stand Up For Nuclear / Supporters To Gather This Weekend In 30 Cities, NucNet

Anti-nuke pills being readied for parts of C-K, Windsor Star

DOE, NRC team up to accelerate deployment of advanced reactors, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts Regulators Audit National Grid Over Concerns With Management, Greentech Media

Sudbury rail corridor dispute reaches state Supreme Judicial Court, Wicked Local Sudbury

Green Mountain Power turnaround driven by customer obsession, cultural shift: CEO, Utility Dive

PPL in merger talks with Connecticut utility to form $67 billion company, The Morning Call

Italian energy giant launches clean tech VC arm in Boston, Business Journals

Rep. Golden requests hearing on CMP power line, Hartford Courant

Energy Secretary Perry says he is resigning by year’s end, AP

New York adopts utility-ESCO cybersecurity requirements, rejects insurance requirements, Utility Dive

Brooklyn Microgrid Launches Campaign to Create Regulatory Sandbox, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

State attorneys general prepare to fight for clean energy rights, The Hill

Letter: Pros and cons of new gas pipeline, Newsday

State should speed up approvals on solar projects, Haverhill Gazette

Opinion: For the sake of our oceans, we need to get serious about climate change, Connecticut Post

Riding The Green Energy Wave In Plug Power, Seeking Alpha

Editorial: Wind plan makes sense for Bridgeport, Connecticut Post

Why is Lamont’s wind deal not done yet?, The Day

5 key takeaways from the National Grid rate case, Utility Dive

Turbine gone with the wind? Ocean Gate residents certainly hope so | Mulshine, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

No Longer Gluttons | Under Investigation | Plans Won’t Meet Goals

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. I hope you’re staying warm and dry in this miserable weather. Let’s get to the news.

Unlike a certain person who lives in the White House, it seems most people don’t think LEDs make you look orange. In fact according to a story in the Wall St. Journal, “Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb. For more than five years, Americans have been doing something decidedly un-American: We’ve been using less electricity…The downward trend began soon after the 2008 financial crisis took hold… But in a historical departure, after the economy rebounded, the decline in electricity use persisted…By 2017, electricity use was as low as it had been since the turn of the millennium with an average residence consuming 10.4 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, down from a peak of 11.5 megawatt-hours in 2010…None of this means that Americans are turning off their lights…But today’s appliances and electronics are more efficient. New homes are tighter and better insulated. And most important, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have replaced traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “No other change is so dramatic,” Dr. Davis said. “When you take an incandescent bulb out and screw in an LED, consumption goes down 80%. Imagine you could get a car that uses 80% less gasoline. That would be amazing.” With the transition to LEDs, the amount of electricity used for lighting dropped 26% from 2015 to 2017. In raw numbers, that meant consumption slipped from 129.7 million megawatt-hours a year nationwide to 95.5 million megawatt-hours. By 2021, if incandescent and halogen bulbs continue to be eliminated, the energy used for lighting is expected to decline by more than half, dropping to 61.3 million megawatt-hours annually.”

Next up, the State House News Service via WBUR brings us news of an investigation, “DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management. State utility regulators have ordered a broad investigation into the management of National Grid in a rare move born of concerns that one of the state’s largest electricity providers failed to communicate about the potential for severe delays in solar power installations. The Department of Public Utilities is also questioning National Grid’s management of its electric vehicles program and whether the company’s cybersecurity plan adequately takes into account benefits for customers who are paying for the technology upgrades. The independent management audit was ordered as part of a 586-page decision issued late last month in which DPU approved a $90.4 million increase in National Grid’s base distribution rates. In blunt terms, regulators said the rare, but not unprecedented audit was necessary to examine ‘potential management problems through to the highest levels of the organization.’”

Last up for this week is a story from E&E News via the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. “Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals. New England’s six states are falling short of the low-carbon energy deployment needed to reach their shared 2050 climate goals, according to a new analysis from the Brattle Group. By midcentury, every state in New England aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% over 1990 levels. At the behest of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a solar trade association, Brattle looked late last month at how much clean energy would be needed to meet those goals, if the region engaged in a mass switch from fossil fuel sources to electricity. Demand for electricity would roughly double by 2050, despite efficiency measures — about the same amount as for the nation at large, if it were to follow a similar path, the consultancy said. To supply that power, about four to eight times more renewables would need to come online annually, across the 2020s, than what is currently planned for the region…‘Achieving the GHG reduction goals set by New England states will require significantly accelerating clean energy resource deployment,’ said Jürgen Weiss, principal at Brattle and co-author of the study. That’s not an impossible feat, Weiss said.”

That’s the recap for this week. There are many more interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask gas company CEO to pull compressor station plans, Patriot Ledger

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

‘Major’ gas leak in New London causes evacuations, power outage to entire city, WFSB

Oil Companies Ponder Climate Change, but Profits Still Rule, New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case of gas pipeline seeking to cross Appalachian Trail in Va., Washington Post

Dog returns to owner year after running away after explosion, New York Daily News

Lawmakers weigh ‘nuclear option’ for Columbia Gas, Eagle-Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions, The Guardian

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New England winters are on the decline due to climate change, study says, Boston Globe

How State and Local Governments Are Leading the Way on Climate Policy, National Audubon Society

National Grid Files First-of-its-Kind Clean Energy Proposal, MarketWatch

New city-owned buildings will be carbon-neutral under updated climate plan, Boston Globe

An Overheating Gulf of Maine Is Forcing Wildlife to Adapt—or Move, National Audubon Society

In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market, Seven Days

Somerville shows climate change is hot election issue at candidate forum, WickedLocal

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox.com

Could squeezing more oil out of the ground help fight climate change?, Vox.com

Can We Really Reach These Big Green Goals?, Microgrid Knowledge

Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

The amount of voluntary renewable energy purchases keeps rising, Axios.com

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

Rep. Tonko on Extending Wind and Solar Tax Credits: ‘Odds Are Good,’ Greentech Media

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America, New York Times

 

Wind

Hopkinton council OKs ban on industrial wind turbines, but some say farmers’ viability could suffer, Westerly Sun

SouthCoast leaders urge state to make bigger wind investment, Southcoasttoday.com

State kicks off wind project; effort begins with 3 proposals, Republican-American

After Early Windfall, Offshore Developer Settles In for Long Game in Maryland, Greentech Media

 

Solar

BlueWave parent company appeals permit denial for solar farm in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

Baker’s latest solar goal called too small, CommonWealth Magazine

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar, New York Times

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

Survey: Residents favor renewable energy, but don’t want large scale solar arrays in their neighborhood, Athol Daily News

New law and Gov. Mills’ energy goals set off solar-farm land rush, Portland Press Herald

Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states, CNBC

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb, Wall St. Journal

How a new class of startups are working to solve the grid storage puzzle, MIT Technology Review

Report: MA, VT, NY Lead In Energy Efficiency, WAMC

Lamont talks energy efficiency as he tours Farmington aerospace manufacturer, Hartford Courant

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

Massachusetts rejects National Grid EV plan, advocates say oil interests sowed disinformation, Utility Dive

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Five states have implemented programs to assist nuclear power plants, US Energy Information

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

Red Flags Raised Over Radioactive Waste at Indian Point Plants, The Examiner

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

EPA tells churches to cut mercury but says restrictions on power plants unnecessary, Catholic News Network

Brayton Point gears up to welcome more tenants, South Coast Today

Federal judge soon to decide fate of Seacoast power project, New Hampshire Union Leader

CMP says new substation will help all of New England, newscentermaine.com

Electricity supplier enters Ch. 11 bankruptcy, owes state $8.2M, Hartford  Business

Two years on, CMP billing saga still confounds, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Terms of gas settlement should be renegotiated, Eagle-Tribune

YOUR VIEW: SouthCoast has short window to become the center of wind industry, Southcoasttoday.com

These trends are defining the future of energy efficiency: Here’s how utilities can prepare, Utility Dive

Our view: State should accelerate approvals on solar projects, Salem News

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending October 4, 2019

Mass Tops the Chart Again | Revised Route | Solar Potential

Good Friday afternoon.

The first story is getting kind of hackneyed, but we’ll take it. From the Scientific American, “Massachusetts remained the most energy-efficient state for the ninth year running, Maryland jumped in the efficiency rankings on the back of its new electricity savings programs, and Kentucky tumbled after regulators there slashed demand management programs for the power sector. Those are among the highlights in an annual scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy…Maine, New York and New Mexico were among the states to ramp up energy efficiency investments as part of wider efforts to curb emissions. Energy efficiency is the leading form of carbon abatement nationally. ‘The states that are doing the best are those that have a robust policy framework in place, especially for driving utility sector energy efficiency,’ said Weston Berg, a senior analyst at ACEEE and the report’s lead author. Some 26 states now boast targets for achieving efficiency gains in the power sector, he said, adding, ‘Those states on average are achieving three to four times as much energy efficiency in terms of electricity sales.’”

From the Lewiston Sun-Journal we learn, “Environmental and land use regulators have agreed to consider a proposed change to Central Maine Power’s plan for a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine that would bring Canadian hydropower into the regional grid. In a procedural order filed Thursday, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission agreed to reopen the case record to consider CMP’s plan to re-route about a mile of the transmission line to avoid a protected pond near the Canadian border. ‘We appreciate the decision of the DEP and the LUPC to consider a change in the NECEC route. This new route makes a good project that is critical to the future of Maine even better,’ the power company said in a statement. The power company proposed the transmission line nearly two years ago. The case record has been closed since May, while regulators decide whether the project meets land use and environmental standards. ‘The presiding officers grant the applicant’s petition to reopen the record, effective upon issuance of this order, for the purpose of allowing the applicant to amend the applications and gather additional evidence needed to evaluate the proposed alternative route,’ the order states. A process for allowing intervenors in the case and the public to review and comment on CMP’s proposed change will be addressed in a subsequent order, regulators said.”

If you’re a solar developer check this out. In southern New England, Alex Kuffner at the Providence Journal writes, “With debate swirling about the development of solar projects in woods, farm fields and other green spaces, the state is setting out to determine how much power can be generated by instead installing more photovoltaic panels on rooftops and in commercial and industrial areas. The Office of Energy Resources is paying Synapse Energy Economics $83,000 to conduct an analysis of the total solar potential for so-called “non-greenfield” sites and summarize what other states have done to balance solar development with other land uses…The report that is set to be completed next March will look at all rooftops (on residential, commercial, industrial and government buildings), closed landfills and gravel pits, disused industrial sites and parking lots (where solar canopies could be erected).”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas order to stop all ‘non-emergency’ work pending investigations, Boston 25 News

Columbia Gas claims center overrun by residents, businesses, Eagle Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Compressor protester arrested at state offices as Markey tours site, Patriot Ledger

Judge sets schedule for Ashland-Eversource pipeline legal clash, Metrowest Daily News

Dozens Arrested At Protest Outside New England’s Largest Coal Power Plant, In Bow, N.H., NHPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Gov. Mills wants Maine carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?, Portland Press Herald

States unveil plan to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

East Coast states outline carbon pricing plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change: Vermont will not meet its 2028 emissions goals. Now what?, VT Digger

Pennsylvania to move forward on power plant emission caps, AP News

Carbon price could allay ‘astounding’ cost to attain New York’s zero carbon target: Report, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Why It’s So Hard to Build Offshore Wind Power in the U.S., Bloomberg

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind reach cable-laying agreement, Cape Cod Times

7Investigates: MBTA Wind Turbines, 7 News Boston

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

US offshore majors submit Connecticut proposals, Windpower Monthly

President’s windmill hatred is a worry for booming industry, AP

Useful lifespan of wind farms increases to 30 years, Energy Live News

Concerns Grow Over Wind Turbines’ Proposed Height in Ocean City, WBOC

Three companies vying to bring wind power to CT, Stamford Advocate

Lawmakers question Albany meeting location for Long Island wind project, Times Union

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind Settle Undersea Cable Dispute, Vineyard Gazette

Massachusetts company competes to harness wind power for Connecticut, pitching Bridgeport as a hub, Hartford Courant

 

Solar

Helping lower-income households reap the benefits of solar energy, MIT News

UMass signs deal for campus solar energy project, Smart Cities World

State wants to gauge its solar potential, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Tops Energy Efficiency Rankings, but Other States Close In, Scientific American

50-State Scorecard Reveals States Are Ramping Up Clean Energy, ACEEE (press release)

AP-NORC poll: Energy-saving habits vary in popularity, AP News

Energy Efficiency Day Reaches Tens of Millions of People, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Plymouth officials praise AG lawsuit over Pilgrim decision, Wicked Local Plymouth

Path Shifts for Advanced Nuclear Legislation in the House, Morning Consult

Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Coming to Town?, Tapinto.net

Anti-nuclear groups plan Pilgrim protest at Plymouth library, Wicked Local Plymouth

Murphy panel ordered to ensure Oyster Creek decommissioning won’t be dangerous, Asbury Park Press

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators decide to consider revised route for CMP power line, Sun Journal

Shorthanded FERC allows New England capacity auction results to stand, Utility Dive

GMP CEO to step down at end of year, successor announced, Valley News

DPU approves National Grid rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

Sudbury power line fight could affect development deals statewide, Boston Globe

ISO-NE IDs $8.7M Tx Fix for Boston Area, RTO Insider

FERC Finds New Hampshire Biomass and Waste Statute Preempted by the Federal Power Act, Lexicology.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Al Gore: The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win, New York Times

Letter: Community solar benefits everyone, Albany times Union

Letter: Opt for green electricity, Metrowest Daily News

Editorial: Steady progress, Mt. Desert Islander

Community Power May Give Biz More Competitive Energy Prices in NH, Other States, Environment and Energy Leader

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar