Energy News for week ending February 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

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

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

AGA Releases 2017 Playbook, True Blue Natural Gas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fracking Rule Text Disappears From Interior Department Website, EcoWatch

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

Germany largely bans fracking with new laws, Deutsche Welle

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

Renewable Energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fight over renewable energy comes to New Hampshire, Penn Energy

Trump urged to back offshore, reNews

Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm, Cape Cod Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The crisis at Oroville Dam, explained, Vox.com

Energy Efficiency

Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced in Senate, Lexology

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

Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, (Report) Environment Maine

Massachusetts Green Communities Program Continues to Grow, Energy Manager Today

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

Vermont Churches Awarded Grants for Energy Audits, vtdigger.org

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

Nuclear

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

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

Federal application filed for Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

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

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

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

Massachusetts Plans to Identify Microgrid Opportunities Statewide, Microgrid Knowledge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

Power Precursor, New Hampshire Magazine

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

Eversource solar hikes unwarranted, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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