Energy News for week ending November 17, 2017

Class Action | Presidential Permit | 20M dollars for Western MA

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

There are a ton of stories this week, but here are three that stood out for us.

Vermont Business Magazine reports that on Thursday afternoon Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc were hit with a class-action lawsuit stating that the two energy companies caused electricity consumers in New England to incur overcharges of $3.6 billion in a years-long scheme that impacted six states and affected 14.7 million people. The lawsuit was filed November 14, 2017, in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The complaint alleges the scheme violates multiple federal and state competition laws and state consumer protection statutes.

Good news this week came for Northern Pass in the form of receiving its Presidential Permit from the US Dept. of Energy. The Telegram reported that the permit allows for the $1.6 billion project to take hydropower across an international border and connect to the United States grid. There is still a ways to go before it’s done though. The article reports that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC, is expected to announce its final written decision on the project by March 31, 2018. And, along with the state approval, the project also is awaiting a permit from the U.S. Forest Service allowing the project to pass through parts of the White Mountain National Forest and a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected by the end of the year.

Speaking of transmission projects, over at MassLive.com, Mary Serreze reports that TDI New England has pledged 20 years of funding, at $1 million annually, to Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions for deep energy retrofits to low-income homes, if its New England Clean Power Link wins a major utility contract in the Bay State. TDI plans 98 miles of underwater and 56 miles of underground cable to deliver 1,000 megawatts of hydro, or hydro and wind, from Canada. Christmas comes a month late for bidders. Serreze notes that the winners will be announced Jan. 25 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and electric utilities Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

That wraps it up for this week. As always, you can find more news and events at NEEnergyNews.com.

Oh, and we’re taking next Friday off so we’ll be back in your in boxes on December 1. In the meantime, you can find energy stories Tweeted at @McMComm

Have a wonderful, safe, warm and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Lawsuit accuses Eversource and Avangrid of causing $3.6 billion in excessive electricity costs in New England, Vermont Biz

Report raises doubts about gas ‘crisis, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas to power majority of New England by 2020, Argus

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse, Think Progress

Environmentalists Stage Sit-In At Governor’s Office Over Natural Gas Infrastructure, WGBH

Conservationists: Fossil fuel search would target migratory path of right whales, Cape Cod Times

Sandisfield highway chief: ‘Road is shot from pipeline work,’ Berkshire Eagle

Lynch bill could halt Weymouth compressor construction, Wicked Local Braintree

Water protector Winona LaDuke speaks on ‘cannibal economics,’ courage and fighting pipelines, theberkshireedge.com

RI agency opens hearing on LNG plan for Providence waterfront, The Providence Journal

Google Adding Methane Detectors To Street View Cars, CleanTechnica

Pipeline opponents flood FERC with requests for new hearings, Southeast Energy News

Dakota Access Pipeline Company Paid Mercenaries to Build Conspiracy Lawsuit Against Environmentalists, The Intercept

DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted, OilPrice.com

Groups Sponsored By Fossil Fuel Industry Host Energy Forum, RIPR.org

Renewables Policy/RGGI/Climate change

Renewables Are on a Collision Course With Power Markets, Greentech Media

Virginia Moves to Join RGGI Carbon-trading Market, POWER magazine

Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?, The New Yorker

Seven States Take Big Next Step on Climate: Here’s the What, Why, and How, Union of Concerned Scientists

Summit touts renewable energy progress, Salem News

Fossil fuel emissions will reach an all-time high in 2017, scientists say — dashing hopes of progress, Washington Post

Your car is a big environmental nemesis, and Mass. is stepping in, Boston Globe

Wind

No One Satisfied With New Vermont Wind Power Sound Rules, New York Times

Deepwater may fund UMass offshore wind, fishing study, Cape Cod times

Maine proposes new wind development rules, Utility Dive

The Energy 202: House GOP wants to water down tax breaks for wind energy. The Senate is unlikely to let it., Washington Post

The Future Of Offshore Wind Farms In The Atlantic, WSHU

Bird poo on wind turbines is a problem solved by high tech scarecrows, VICE News

Solar

MIT Reveals a Battery That Stores Solar Energy to Make Heat for Later, Inverse.com

From brownfield to greenfield: Former mine site hosts Vermont’s biggest solar array, vtdigger.org

Northampton solar landfill a ‘dream come true,’ says Ward 6 city councilor at ribbon-cutting, MassLive.com

60-day clock starts for Trump to decide on solar panel tariffs, Utility Dive

Nova Scotia Buildings to Feed Solar Power to Grid under New Program, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

New Paper Says Emissions Cuts Should Start with Buildings, Not Transportation, Energy Manager Today

Americans for Prosperity: NH should dump energy-efficiency efforts, New Hampshire Business Review

Eversource Powers Up Energy Efficiency, The Keene Sentinel

Going Green Could Help Harwich Earn Some, Cape Cod Chronicle

America First? Trump Energy Cuts Would Eliminate Billions of Dollars in Direct Savings to Consumers, Greentech Media

Boston-based Current is now on GE’s chopping block, Boston Business Journal

Making More Sustainable LEDs With Reusable Materials, Greentech Media

City moving to purchase only above-ground streetlights, Eagle Tribune

Planned Community On Boston South Shore Will Be Laboratory For Sustainable Cities, CleanTechnica

Governor Cuomo Announces $12 Million to Increase Energy Efficiency for Industrial and Multifamily Buildings, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

Sea level rise factors into nuclear waste discussion, Cape Cod Times

Entergy Objects To Conditions On PUC Consultant For Vermont Yankee Hearings, VPR

US eyes safety rules for small modular reactors, as nuclear touted at UN climate meeting, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE backs hydropower project bringing energy from Canada to southern New England, Telegram.com

NARUC panel discusses how to prepare for the mother lode of electricity disruptions, Daily Energy Insider

Cooperation, DOE NOPR, State RFPs the Topics at NECBC Meeting, RTO Insider

RI Power Sector Transformation Study Represents ‘A Big Step Forward’, Solar Industry

NH’s high utility bills blamed on subsidies, The Union Leader

Eversource Planning To Hire Staff, Upgrade Communications In Wake Of October Storm Problems, Hartford Courant

Brayton Point bidder chosen, sale to be announced soon, SouthCoastToday.com

National Grid teams with national lab to study transmission modernization, storage, Utility Dive

Thousands still without power in Hampshire County, The Recorder

Blackout: Outage zaps power from 29000 in Hampshire County Wednesday morning, GazetteNET

FERC storage/DER integration proposal gets high marks, but other priorities loom, Utility Dive

Seacoast State Reps Raise Concerns About Eversource Plan to Buy Water Utility, New Hampshire Public Radio

What a US electric grid attack looks like, USA TODAY

The Trump administration went to the UN climate talks to promote coal, Vox

Natl. Grid finds novel way to lobby clean energy procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract, MassLive

Study Claims Quark Fusion May Be the Energy Source of the Future, Bigthink.com

As feds focus on baseload, grid modernization is sweeping the nation, Utility Dive

Chatterjee: FERC Will Move Ahead with Coal, Nuclear Subsidies, Power Engineering

Grid Modernization in Rhode Island: Small State, Big Vision, Microgrid Knowledge

Maine lawmakers to weigh in on reducing power outages, Penn Energy

State demands report on utility’s response to storm, Salem News

Exclusive: Chatterjee details interim plan to save coal, nuclear plants, Utility Dive

Do utilities need rate design for electric vehicle charging? Utility Dive

Subsidizing Coal, Nuclear Could Drive Customers Off-Grid, Renewable Energy World

Emera COO: Work progressing on Maritime transmission link, Electric Light & Power

CMP President and CEO Sara Burns to retire by year’s end, MaineBiz

Editorial/Opinion

We agree: It’s time to clean up transportation (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Our Opinion: Kinder Morgan must do right by Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

My Turn: Dave Ross: RI needs energy to power innovation, The Providence Journal

Justin Wheating: Championing the climate economy for Vermont, vtdigger.org

One watt at a time: Why electric rates are so high, The Union Leader

Another View — Greg Moore: Why turning on the lights costs more in New Hampshire, The Union Leader

Our view: National Grid should explain storm response, Salem News

Editorial: Encouraging that Columbia Gas sees end to moratorium, Hampshire Gazette

Derrick Z. Jackson: The competition is heating up for offshore wind, Boston Globe

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

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