Energy News for week ending January 5, 2018

Happy Freezing Friday and welcome to the first edition of the Northeast Energy News for 2018.

The big news this week is the combination of the prolonged colder than normal weather and yesterday’s blizzard. We have a whole section below dedicated to this topic. From Bloomberg’s, “The US just burned the most natural gas ever,” to the Boston Globe’s, “Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market,” to MassLive’sMassachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds” there is no shortage of stories and serious topics to dig into.

News about the new federal tax plan also made its way into the energy news this week. In two stories from MassLive we have Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, and AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike. Greentech media also reports that the New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations and Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers.

Last highlight for this week comes from Inside Climate News, which reports that “President Trump rolled out the antiquated arguments about why clean energy was too expensive and a threat to the grid. But markets and policies mostly ignored him.” The result? Clean Energy Soared in the U.S. in 2017.

Stay warm and have a great weekend.

Cold/Storm

Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market, Boston Globe

Blizzard Triggers a 60-Fold Surge in Prices for U.S. Natural Gas, Bloomberg

Massachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds, MassLive

Why it’s hard for Mass. power plants to stop using oil, Boston Globe

Electric utilities turn to oil in deep freeze, The Providence Journal

America’s Power Grid Still Hangs Tough in Face of Winter Wallop, Bloomberg

The U.S. Just Burned the Most Natural Gas Ever, Bloomberg

U.S. winter storms spark record natural gas demand, BBJ (subscriber content)

Arctic Blast Costly To New England Consumers And Environment, Hartford Courant

Cold snap drives gas prices, rekindles pipeline debate, The Daily News of Newburyport

Coal, oil get a boost from Northern cold snap, Utility Dive

Cold snap putting squeeze on oil-fired power plants, CommonWealth Magazine

Arctic Blast Heating Up Battle Between Energy Lobbying Groups, Bloomberg

Deep Freeze in U.S. Creates Heating Squeeze for Homeowners and Utilities, New York Times

Winter storm to test Northeast grid as FERC tees up decision on DOE grid rule, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant goes offline, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Markey and Warren want firm action from EPA and FERC for pipeline’s discharge of ‘hazardous wastewater’ in Agawam, Berkshire Eagle

Sens. Warren, Markey query feds about Tennessee Gas pipeline wastewater spill in Agawam, MassLive

Town warns residents of carbon monoxide dangers, Andover Townsman

Pennsylvania shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal judge rules again Weymouth in compressor station case, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: Oil and gas companies get a New Year’s Day gift, Washington Post

Renewable Energy Policy/RGGI/Climate Change/etc.

Lawmakers Delay Vote on RGGI, as Clean Energy Advocates Tout Benefits, New Hampshire Public Radio

Program to promote renewable energy gets new scrutiny, Bennington Banner

Bill to divert RGGI funds to ratepayers draws concern from environmentalists, Concord Monitor

Why mandates still matter in the age of cheap renewables, Utility Dive

Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy Over Christmas It Had to Pay People to Use It, ScienceAlert

Why 2018 will be a make or break year for renewables, GreenBiz

Clean Energy Soared in the US in 2017 Due to Economics, Policy and Technology, InsideClimate News

Companies tout renewable energy projects for Massachusetts, Penn Energy

The sunny optimism of clean energy shines through tech’s gloom, Wired

Energy storage safety set to move forward in 2018 with new fire standards, Utility Dive

New York clean energy proposal seeks 1.5 GW of storage, coal phaseout, Utility Dive

The Year Climate Change Began to Spin Out of Control, MIT Tech Review

EPA issues clean air designations, Northeast states sue over cross-border pollution, Utility Dive

Transition to renewable power sources too slow, Massie says, Berkshire Eagle

Wood-Burning Power Plant Shutting Down for Lack of Subsidies, Power Engineering

Solar

Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works, MassLive

Derry council reconsiders solar project, approves on second, The Union Leader

RI Launches New Statewide Solar Permitting Process, Rhode Island Public Radio

10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 2018, Greentech Media

New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations, Greentech Media

Wind

Foe takes aim at second Falmouth turbine, Cape Cod Times

Andrew Cuomo Throws Political Weight Behind Offshore Wind and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Wind Energy: The Good News in Offshore, Marine Technology News

The top five wind stories of 2017, Windpower Engineering (press release)

The Dutch plan to build the world’s biggest wind farm, complete with a large floating island, Business Insider

15 Deerfield Wind Turbines Go Online, NA Clean Energy

Energy Efficiency

How to save money and energy in buildings? There’s an app for that, The Guardian

Trump Administration Reverses Course on PACE Financing, Greentech Media

One Year Later, AC Hotel Cambridge Reaps the Benefit of Green Building Design, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

NYISO Seeks FERC Denial on Indian Point Review Deadline, RTO Insider

Nuclear pushes its role ‘softening the blow to consumers’ as cold snap enters week two, Washington Examiner

The committee to save nuclear towns is not in session, EandE News

New Jersey nuke subsidy measure unlikely to see vote in lame-duck session, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, MassLive.com

AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike, MassLive

Somerset County commissioners say they back 145-mile transmission line project, Press Herald

Dam management raises questions among locals, The Dartmouth

Energy industry a major contributor to Sununu’s campaign coffers, The Union Leader

Northern Pass to Host Second Job Fair for NH Workers, Londonderry News

Electric Car Drivers Are Too Smart to Own Electric Cars, Bloomberg

FERC: Demand response fell 10% in power markets in 2016, Utility Dive

Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers, Greentech Media

US on the cusp of enjoying ‘energy superpower’ status, analyst says, CNBC

Editorial/Opinion

Amid Deep Freeze, New Englanders Can ‘Thank’ NY Gov. Cuomo For Their High Energy Bills, Forbes

My Turn: Why should we believe energy giants?, Concord Monitor

Margaret Harrington: Vermont’s plans to dump on Nevada, vtdigger.org

Thanks to panel for renewable-energy effort, by Kathryn Conover, The Keene Sentinel

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates, CommonWealth Magazine

Columnist Marty Nathan: Build stature as clean-energy community, Daily Hampshire Gazette

US Grid Needs to Go on a Diet to Get Leaner and Greener, Renewable Energy World

Biomass’s Opportunity in Future Power Trend, Biomass Magazine

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