5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate
Good Friday afternoon.
First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.
Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”
The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.
As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”
Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.
It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.
That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!
A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link
Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner
Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online
Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News
Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.
DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine
Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World
House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor
NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review
Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times
After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360
Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal
Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal
Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram
How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media
Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy
Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner
Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham
New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider
The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media
2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today
State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger
Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge
MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive
Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger
War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register
New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio
Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant
Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine
What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)
12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media
Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio
Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times
Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10
Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine
More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine
More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine
Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal
Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram
Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer
To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat