Energy News for week ending October 13, 2017

Crying Foul | CPP Repeal | Trojan Horse

Happy Friday the 13th!

This week’s energy news had lots of drama. It began with the expected proposal by Scott Pruitt of the EPA to repeal the Obama Clean Power Plan. After that came lots of ire and action, especially by state Attorneys General, including MA (Power Engineering) and CT (WNPR) who filed suit against the administration.

Next was a report from a group of university researchers working with the Environmental Defense Fund which, according to a Utility Dive article, claimed that “gas utility subsidiaries of Avangrid and Eversource have artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity in New England for years, driving up natural gas and electricity prices and potentially violating federal laws.” They said, “The systematic withholding of pipeline capacity, particularly on the coldest days, has cost New England electricity consumers $3.6 billion in higher prices over the past three years.” Eversource called the report a “complete fabrication.” The Northeast Gas Association also issued a response calling the report a “profoundly misleading and inaccurate analysis.”

Over on the pages of CommonWealth Magazine, Bruce Mohl reported that National Grid cried foul on Hydro-Quebec. Mohl writes, that during a closed-door presentation National Grid officials asserted “the intent of the energy diversity law passed last year was to finance the development of clean energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Joseph Rossignoli, director of US business development for National Grid, said the hydroelectricity Hydro-Quebec wants to sell to Massachusetts would come from generating facilities that are already open or about to open, and therefore wouldn’t reduce emissions or need financing.” HQ was “taken aback” and “dismissed” Grid’s claim asserting that the building of the transmission line made it an eligible project.

Lastly, some folks in western Mass, according to an article on Going Green are calling a bill filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, to establish the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Fund a “classic Trojan horse” to expand biomass energy production in western Massachusetts under the guise of sustainable forestry. Kulik responded, “I can say flatly and honestly that this is a very straightforward utilization of forest resources,” Kulik said. “These charges are completely false and misleading, and are, unfortunately, being spread by a small group who are deliberately mischaracterizing this bill.”

That’s it for this week. Lots of news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Eversource, Avangrid artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity for years, report argues, Utility Dive

Little-Known Gas Rules Pit a Green Group Against Power Companies, Bloomberg

Maura Healey reviewing study claiming utilities linked to $3.6B scheme, Boston Herald

American LNG developers wade into market awash with gas, Financial Times

Enbridge Unit Says Mass. Town Preempted In Pipeline Battle, Law360

Charges and Counter-Charges Boil Over at $700 Million Invenergy Hearing, GoLocalProv

Land Swap, Lousy Opinions Could Support Power Plant, ecoRI news

Invenergy Requests 35 City, Town Resolutions Against Power Plant Be Excluded From Evidence, RIPR

Clean Power Plan

EPA Takes Another Step To Advance President Trump’s America First Strategy, Proposes Repeal Of “Clean Power Plan,” (Press Release) EPA

Massachusetts Attorney General to Sue Over Clean Power Plan, Power Engineering

Connecticut Sues Over Clean Power Plan Reversal, WNPR News

Maine’s air and waters at stake in EPA rollback of Obama carbon plan, Bangor Daily News

Renewables (Policy, RGGI, Purchasing, etc.)

Google Will Hit 100% Renewable Energy This Year, Inverse

NH clean tech ‘confusion’ debated at Energy Summit, New Hampshire Business Review

Student activists push for renewable energy on campus, South Coast Today

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fall 2 percent in 2016, led by power industry: EPA, Bloomberg

Divestment bill pitched as way to speed decline of fossil fuels, Newburyport Daily News

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action, Yale Environment 360

Wind

Open Ocean Presents Considerable Opportunity For Offshore Wind Energy Generation, CleanTechnica

There’s Enough Wind Over the Ocean To Power All of Civilization, Popular Mechanics

Offshore wind farms have powerful advantage over land-based turbines, study finds, Science Magazine

Sea Change For Investing In US Offshore Wind Sector?, E&P

Restrictions on turbine noise face legislative hurdle, VT Digger

Storage

Storage is renewable energy’s greatest challenge—this low-cost sulfur battery may help, Phys.Org

WPI Researchers Receive NSF Awards to Develop Better Ways to Capture and Store Solar Energy, WPI News

Massachusetts starts inquiry into energy storage eligibility for net metering, Utility Dive

Storing renewable energy costs way too much. This battery could change that, Mic.com

Green Charge Moves Into Utility-Scale Storage With Massachusetts Project, Greentech Media

Solar

16-year PILOT agreement signed for Swansea solar farm, Herald News

Maine’s biggest solar farm now operational, Maine Biz

New solar panels shed some light on old Randolph landfill, Wicked Local Randolph

Biomass

Rep. Kulik’s woodlands bill called ‘classic Trojan horse,’ Going Green Blog

Backers of biomass project say they are paying bills, back taxes and ‘not going anywhere,’ Portland Press Herald

Forest group opposes Mohawk Trail partnership on biomass concerns, Going Green Blog

Energy Efficiency

This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero, Inhabitat

Wynn Boston Harbor to be on the Forefront of Energy Efficiency, Chelsea Record

EVs

New Amazon Drones Will Charge Your Car While You Drive, Greentech Media

Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine, Washington Post

Ikea, Exelon kick in for $22M round for Boston electric-driving startup, Boston Business Journal

Electric vehicles are about to flood the market, Business Insider

Electric cars win on energy efficiency vs hydrogen, gasoline, diesel: analysis, Green Car Reports

Nuclear

Nuclear power plant identifies and stops small hydrogen leak, Norwich Bulletin

Nuclear plant closures to test sufficiency of decommissioning funds, Utility Dive

Watchdog Group Allowed to Weigh In on Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Review, New Hampshire Public Radio

Welch bill would compensate nuclear fuel communities, VT Digger

With no plan for replacing Millstone, what are CT’s options?, Hartford Business Review

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Pro-Trump energy group blasts plan to help coal, nuclear, The Hill

DOE limits NOPR to RTOs with capacity markets as FERC denies extension request, Utility Dive

Utility-Branded Marketplaces Offer DER Services to 32 Million Metered Customers, Greentech Media

Utilities on both sides of bargaining table, CommonWealth Magazine

Brewster herbicide appeal dismissed, Cape Cod Times

Consultant questions whether Bay State will accept power project without approvals, The Union Leader

The 4 Main Pillars of Enhancing Utility Grid Resilience, Greentech Media

Could Cyberattacks Knock Out Power in the US? Not so Easily, Power Engineering

Natl. Grid calls foul on Hydro-Quebec proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Canada Wants to Solve U.S. Nuclear Woes With Faraway Dams, Bloomberg

Eversource seeks approval to sell power plants, Laconia Daily Sun

Editorial/Opinion

VY land deserves to be more than a used industrial site, Commons

Our View: Maine will suffer from Pruitt’s pro-coal stand, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Investing in energy efficiency makes good sense for hospital, Commons

My Turn: A renewable energy vision for Concord, Concord Monitor

Trump Is About to Stifle US Solar Power. Why?, Fortune

Pipeline gas report is misleading, inaccurate, CommonWealth Magazine

Truths and tales about electricity, NH Business Review

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