Energy News for week ending December 1, 2017

The next big thing | An unlikely partnership | Heating assistance en route

 

Good afternoon. For this week’s recap we’re focusing on some positive stories.

Starting on the renewables front, NBC News brings us a story of how wave power may be “the next big thing in green energy.” One of the technologies to harness wave power is called the “Lifesaver.” It’s described as a “hulking device, as wide as a school bus is long, [and] looks a bit like a massive buoy or life raft.” The benefits they say are that, “Like solar and wind power, wave power harnesses energy that comes ultimately from the sun. Solar radiation causes air pressure gradients that cause wind, and wind gives its momentum to the ocean surface, producing waves.” They note that a square meter of a solar panel receives 0.2 to 0.3 kilowatts of solar energy, however every meter of the California coast receives 30 kilowatts of wave energy. Further, wave energy has another advantage over solar and wind. Waves are easy to forecast… and unlike solar, wave energy can be harnessed 24/7.

This week WGBH reports that environmentalists and gas companies in Massachusetts are doing something unusual — they’re teaming up to try to fix something they both agree is a problem. That problem is gas leaks. Audrey Schulman, founder of HEET talks about dealing with the utilities, “The relationship in the past was really, really contentious,” Schulman said. “In general, HEET would — my nonprofit — would release some sort of report in the press and the utilities would come back with some angry statement, and I would respond with some angrier statement, and we would both cast aspersions upon each other’s facts, knowledge, clothing. Like, anything we could.”

But one day, a utility executive responded differently, saying more information on gas leaks could help his company. “And I was so startled by that, that I think that that was the moment when I began to realize we might be able to all work together,” Schulman said.

Last upbeat note for this week the MetroWest Daily News reports that, “Despite threats that funding would be eliminated in President Donald Trump’s preliminary budget, the state’s home heating program will continue to keep low-income families warm this year, just as temperatures are beginning to drop.” Nice!

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for more stories and events. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

In An Unlikely Partnership, Local Environmentalists And Utilities Work Together To Reduce Gas Leaks, WGBH

Eight energy companies commit to reduce methane emissions within natural gas industry, Penn Energy

Opening of 1-GW Burrillville Power Plant Pushed Back to 2021, Penn Energy

Gas rush: FERC’s pipeline approvals underline persisting controversy over permitting, Utility Dive

Fire reported at natural gas power plant (CT), Penn Energy

Kinder Morgan says holding tank is source of contamination of 547,000 gallons of pipeline test water, Berkshire Eagle

Opponents of LNG facility in Providence say look to the future, The Providence Journal

Opponents Bring Passion, Scrutiny to LNG Hearing, ecoRI news

Vermonters join suit over alleged electricity price-fixing, vtdigger.org

Gas rush: FERC’s pipeline approvals underline persisting controversy over permitting, Utility Dive

South Dakota Warns It Could Revoke Keystone Pipeline Permit Over Oil Spill, InsideClimate News

Environmental concerns mount as Keystone pipeline leaks more oil than predicted, AccuWeather.com

Eversource Energy begins $3.8M expansion of natural gas distribution in Shelton, Westfair Online

A map of $1.1 billion in natural gas pipeline leaks, High Country News

Keystone pipeline spill blamed on damage from its construction, The Hill

Ecologist Sandra Steingraber to speak on fracked gas, PCBs, and our health Saturday in Lenox, theberkshireedge.com

Ohio EPA: Rover Pipeline spill leaks 200 gallons of drilling fluid into Black Fork, Richland Source

US FERC approves 223 MMcf/d Millennium Pipeline expansion in New York, Platts

Chatterjee blames national environmental groups for delaying pipeline approvals, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

A tale of 2 states: Massachusetts and California provide different lessons on growing community solar, Utility Dive

Savings from solar farm to pump $200K into Williamstown budget, Berkshire Eagle

Why wave power may be the next big thing in green energy, NBC News

In Bid To Sell Wind Energy To MA, Bay State Wind To Hold Community Meetings, RIPR

Work moves forward at 100-kW Bell Mill Hydro in New Hampshire, Renewable Energy World

UMass Dartmouth to study offshore wind and commercial fishing, MassLive

Is Wave Power Finally Ready to Scale Up? Energy Manager Today

Cape Wind fight spins on, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry leaders tout Somerset’s power potential, Fall River Herald News

Long Island muni proposes new compensation scheme for C&I solar, Utility Dive

The Obscure ‘Poison Pill’ Senate Tax Provision Threatening Renewables, Greentech Media

The Energy 202: Why the wind and solar lobby is terrified of the Senate tax plan, Washington Post

Last-minute provision in Senate tax bill could ‘devastate’ renewable energy, Utility Dive

Looking For A Green Way To Heat Your Home? Try A Wood Pellet Stove, Rhode Island Public Radio

Boston Begins Effort To Become Carbon Neutral By 2050, WBUR

Retired Massachusetts coal plant may serve to advance offshore wind, (press release) Windpower Engineering

Shell, one of the biggest oil companies, plans to halve its carbon emissions. Here’s how, CNBC

Energy Efficiency

Harvesting the Sun for Energy Increases Efficiency by 60 Percent, Futurism

First Ever International Symposium on Energy Efficiency, (press release) ELE Times

MA: Two South Shore Farms Receive State Grants to Improve Energy Efficiency, 95.9 WATD-FM

Local farms receive energy grants, The Recorder

Solar powered smart windows break 11% efficiency – enough to generate more than 80% of US electricity, Electrek

Energy efficiency is linked to the internet of things, but adoption rates of energy saving devices is low, Alt Energy Magazine

Nuclear

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Releases List Of Issues To Consider In New Decommissioning Rules, Vermont Public Radio

C-10 responds to Seabrook nuke plant owner’s appeal, The Daily News of Newburyport

Entergy contends Vermont Yankee testing could be dangerous, vtdigger.org

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order Over Security-Related Violations at Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, Energy Central

Closing Indian Point Nuclear Plant Could Be Costly For Surrounding Communities, CBS New York

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England warns of gas pipeline constraints while promising adequate power for winter, MassLive

Mass. officials approve Eversource rate hike, Boston Globe

DPU cuts Eversource rate hike by 60%, CommonWealth Magazine

Cape Light Compact announces winter electric pricing, Barnstable Patriot

Pittsfield explains new electricity aggregation agreement, Berkshire Eagle

Powerline: How Hydro-Québec Helped Shape Canadian Energy and Cultural History, New Hampshire Public Radio

If bid is approved, CMP to invest millions in Lewiston converter station, Lewiston Sun Journal

Critics Fault Eversource For Proposing Business Fees Be Charged To Ratepayers, Hartford Courant

National Grid proposes rate increases for RI customers, Turn to 10

Who Needs Coal? Huge Hydropower Project On Tap For New England, CleanTechnica

Northern Pass says it continues to work with developer of recently-approved Bethlehem hotel, The Union Leader

After uncertainty, state gets heating assistance funds, MetroWest Daily News
New York PSC approves Orange and Rockland smart meter installation plan, Daily Energy Insider

Empire State Connector Announces Open Solicitation for 1,000 MW HVDC Transmission Line from Utica to Brooklyn, Energy Central

Pittsfield explains new electricity aggregation agreement, Berkshire Eagle

Utilities commission approves Eversource power plant sale, Penn Energy

New York energy storage target official after Gov. Cuomo signs bill, Utility Dive

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Pipeline bills would protect consumers, GazetteNET

Opinion: Housing unlikely for Vt. Yankee site, BurlingtonFreePress.com

As Northern Pass drags on, what’s the Legislature to do?, Manchester Ink Link

Our view: Keep pressure on utilities to repair gas leaks, Salem News

Big business should watch this tiny state’s power transformation, GreenBiz

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, solar

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