Energy News for week ending March 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

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

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

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

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

Local Environmental Groups Unite Against Power Plant, ecoRI news

Delays Could Derail Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Fast Growth Coming for Northeast Shale Gas Pipelines, Bloomberg BNA

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

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

Renewable Energy

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

Competing strategies emerge on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

Solar energy had record year in 2016, FuelFix

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

Solar explosion: The changing landscape of residential solar, GazetteNET

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

Seven Maine businesses land renewable energy grants, Mainebiz

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

Tribe wants say in Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

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

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

No status change for Pilgrim nuclear plant, The Patriot Ledger

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

Sparks fly on electric vehicle provision, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

Hinds opposes Eversource rate hike request, Berkshire Eagle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

Trump’s puzzling clean energy stance, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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