Energy News for week ending August 11, 2017

New GHG regs | Biomass proposal takes knocks | Worcester is Smart

Happy Friday afternoon.

The two biggest stories this week came out of Massachusetts. First, was the proposal by the Baker administration to treat biomass as a renewable energy resource. If you based your impressions directly on the headlines below, you’d think the proposal was doomed. In an article not directly related to MA, but out this week, one environmental advocate goes on to call “biomass the new coal” (Southeast Energy News). We put lots of stories and opinions on biomass below in one handy category.

The other big news broke today about Massachusetts’ new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a story in the Boston Globe, “A little more than a year after the state’s highest court ruled Massachusetts had to do more to cut carbon emissions, state officials Friday will issue sweeping new regulations that set specific limits on sources of greenhouse gases, the emissions linked to climate change.” And, as usual, you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time as the story notes, “The new rules, [were] swiftly criticized as insufficient by environmental advocates and unfair by the power industry…”

In a Telegram story whose headline struck me as odd, “Worcester cited as example of power grid that isn’t stupid,” (Why not give it the “smart” creds it deserves?) we get an update on what’s happening with grid modernization in Massachusetts. And, at the moment, it’s a bit of a waiting game, “A DPU spokeswoman said there is no statutory deadline for the DPU to issue an order.” Regardless of that statement, National Grid is upbeat on the whole matter. “We’re hoping that DPU will rule on it in the next few months. Actually everything is pointing in the direction that they will,” Reed said.”

Lastly for this week I point you to what appears to be an article, but sounds more like an opinion piece from Pravda Report in Russia on what solar is doing to nuclear in the US. It’s titled, “In the US, solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology.” I think it’s safe to classify this as some of that “fake news” making its way around the globe. It is good for a few chuckles if nothing else.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Massachusetts State Police arrest 10 at gas pipeline site in Western Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Police now tracking the cost of protests in Northampton, MassLive.com

With FERC set to have a quorum again, Otis State Forest rehearing requests will be considered, Berkshire Eagle

Looking for gas leaks? Listen to the trees, The Salem News

Fracking is causing invasion of harmful non-native plants in Pennsylvania forests, PSU researchers say, LancasterOnline

In rare eclipse, gas sees its future as solar’s backstop, Standard Examiner

10 Tennessee Gas pipeline protesters released after arrests for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, Greenfield Recorder

Biomass

Massachusetts Considering Plan To Classify Wood Pellets As Renewable Energy, CleanTechnica

Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies, Boston Globe

Q&A: Advocate says biomass energy is the new coal, Southeast Energy News

Is wood burning as ‘clean’ as we think? State environmental policy questioned, Greenfield Recorder

Massachusetts may overlook climate impacts of biofuels, Salon.com

Despite The Bio-Mass Flareup, Baker Continues To Move Forward On Renewable Energy, WGBH

Our view: Clear the smoke from wood-burning proposal, Salem News

Editorial: Need for biomass balance, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cinda Jones: Argues biomass energy is a benefit to forests, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Renewable Energy

Solar eclipse on August 21 will affect photovoltaic generators across the country, Penn Energy

New York Launches REV Connect: The Start of Energy’s Amazon?, Microgrid Knowledge

US offshore pipeline ‘tops 24GW’, reNews

Energy Suppliers Find Fresh Lift From Offshore Wind, Wall Street Journal

Deepwater Project Combines Wind, Energy Storage — ecoRI News, ecoRI news

Falmouth gets $3M break on shuttered wind turbine, National Wind Watch

Maine hospital to demolish building, install solar arrays, Bangor Daily News

Rhode Island clean energy gets boost as governor signs bills, Utility Dive

Should Northern New England Host Massachusetts’ Renewable Energy Extension Cord?, New England Public Radio

State to weigh new plans for green power, The Salem News

Clean Energy Collective set to expand solar footprint in Fairhaven, SouthCoastToday.com

Dong Energy’s oil exit pays off as offshore turbines begin spinning, Telegraph.co.uk

New Jersey investors buy hydropower dams at defunct Maine paper mill, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

EIA: Most states now have energy efficiency goals in place, Utility Dive

Many States Have Adopted Policies to Encourage Energy Efficiency, Energy Collective

Nearly half of 2016 US electricity retail sales impacted by energy efficiency resource standards, Daily Energy Insider

Nuclear

Action is ‘slow, deliberate’ in Vermont Yankee fuel move, vtdigger.org

On CT’s budget, it turns out there may be a nuclear option, The CT Mirror

Millstone owners still pushing to save nuclear power plant, Electric Light & Power

New IAEA report presents estimates for nuclear power by 2050, Power Technology

NRC reviews Seabrook nuclear plant – Concrete degradation plan audited, Energy Central

Can We Make Nuclear Power Great Again?, Greentech Media

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

15 months after high court order, Massachusetts commits to slashing greenhouse gas emissions, MassLive

State approves major new rules to cut carbon emissions, Boston Globe

With higher rates looming, electric consumers face choices, Sun Chronicle

ISO-NE draft report: Market revenues not sufficient for new resource development, Utility Dive

Worcester cited as example of power grid that isn’t stupid, Worcester Telegram

Grid operators: Vermont electric grid reaching saturation point in the north, National Wind Watch

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change will hit New England hard, report says, Boston Globe

A Visit To A Place Where Water Power Once Ruled The Farmington River, Hartford Courant

State approves major new rules to cut carbon emissions, Boston Globe

Northern Pass clears federal hurdle, CommonWealth Magazine

Northern New England Residents Hesitant To Host Transmission Lines Supplying Renewable Power To Mass., WBUR

Exelon Set to Expand Massachusetts Peaking Plant, Power Magazine

Utilities Work To Keep Up With An Ever-Changing Grid, Solar Industry

Power supplier fails to process hundreds of National Grid customers’ opt-out forms from Millbury, Worcester Telegram

Smarter grid could be more specific about pricing power usage, The Salem News

Proposed National Grid rate hikes draw concern, Ricentral.com

MBTA waived some construction rules for Sudbury-Hudson Eversource railbed project, Worcester Telegram

Union, Eversource and other companies reach a Northern Pass labor deal, The Union Leader

Editorial/Opinion

Western Massachusetts and New England need natural gas – and the infrastructure that delivers it (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Is There Really A Western Mass Energy Crisis?, Valley Advocate

Pick up the pace on clean energy, Commonwealth Magazine

ROSELLA CICCHESE, Weymouth: Compressor wouldn’t benefit us, Wicked Local Rockland

SID McDONOUGH, Weymouth: Compressor stations safe, until they’re not, Wicked Local Rockland

Dan Weeks: Conservatives And Climate Change – Let Solar And Wind Compete, Caledonian Record

Letter: Eversource claims warrant skepticism, Concord Monitor

YOUR VIEW: Emera’s plan for Pilgrim site a bad idea, Wicked Local Plymouth

In the US, solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology, Pravda Report

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing, Climate Change, solar

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