Energy News for week ending January 19, 2018

Fuel Security Risk | Climate solution | New EV infrastructure | KRUSTY

Happy Friday Afternoon.

Just when I think, “Gee it’s been a quiet week for energy news…” BOOM! ISO-New England drops its Operational Fuel-Security Analysis and the energy news board lights up. RTO Insider writes, “The report highlighted the concern that New England’s system reliability is heavily dependent on LNG and electricity imports. While dual-fuel capability for plants can provide a key contribution to reliability, permitting for construction and emissions is difficult. All but four scenarios resulted in fuel shortages requiring rolling blackouts, indicating the trends affecting the system may intensify the region’s fuel security risk.”

The report generated no shortage of opinions about what it all means and how it affects the future of New England’s energy grid. CommonWealth Magazine reported, “The two sides fighting over whether the region needs additional natural gas pipeline capacity both took comfort on Thursday from a fuel security study by the operator of the region’s power grid. The Baker administration, meanwhile, issued a statement that appeared to fall somewhere in the middle while supporting ‘additional natural gas capacity.’” According to the article, the pro- gas pipeline side says rolling black outs “would wreak havoc on the economy and New Englanders’ lives.” Those not in favor of pipeline development say, hold on, the scenarios outlined in the report “are perhaps possible but highly unlikely.” I’m sure we’ll have a lot more articles and opinion pieces on this topic in the week ahead.

Also out this week was an announcement reported by the AP in Time Magazine that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom’s meteorological office said that 2017 was the third hottest year on record. At the same time, NASA and researchers from a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, called it the second. So what’s a state or nation to do? Utility Dive takes a long look at cap and trade initiatives in New England and California to see if those programs are having a positive effect, but ultimately decides, the jury is still out.

One way to help ease climate change is to get more EVs on the road. The New Hampshire Business Review brings us a great read titled, “New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network.” The money to pay for this 734 mile network would largely come from Volkswagen settlement funds. Journalist Liisa Rajala writes, “In New England alone, approximately $214 million was paid by Volkswagen to fund programs that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, with up to $32 million available for investment in electric vehicle charging stations over the next 10 years, should states choose to do so.” They include some great infographics in the article as well. Check it out.

Last highlight for this week is a story from Reuters about KRUSTY and it’s out of this world! “Initial tests in Nevada on a compact nuclear power system (The Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology — KRUSTY) designed to sustain a long-duration NASA human mission on the inhospitable surface of Mars have been successful and a full-power run is scheduled for March…The technology could power habitats and life-support systems, enable astronauts to mine resources, recharge rovers and run processing equipment to transform resources such as ice on the planet into oxygen, water and fuel. It could also potentially augment electrically powered spacecraft propulsion systems on missions to the outer planets.” Wow! Now that’s cool.

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!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Generators burned 2m barrels of oil over 15 days, CommonWealth Magazine

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion as grid operator warns of future blackouts, Wicked Local Scituate

Upset over Burrillville’s opposition to proposed power plant, Invenergy withholds fee payment, The Providence Journal

RI Attorney General Speaks Out Against Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Regunberg introduces resolution opposing Trump’s off-shore drilling plans, Uprise RI

FERC: Rhode Island tribe missed its chance to intervene in Massachusetts pipeline fight, MassLive.com

Fight is on to block Maine pipeline — ex-Texan says: Good luck with that, The Boston Globe

Rover Pipeline Spills Another 150000 Gallons of Drilling Fluid Into Ohio Wetlands, EcoWatch

Grid operator says new study shows need to expand access to natural gas in New England, New Haven Register

Compressor station foes encouraged by feds’ response to New York project, Patriot Ledger

Governor: Scrub NY from plan to expand offshore oil drilling, Penn Energy

Fixation on timing of peak oil is ‘misguided,’ Financial Times

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

2017 Was One of the Hottest Years Ever, Time Magazine

Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury’s still out, Utility Dive

Northampton officials show support for local goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy, MassLive

RGGI States Set a New Standard for Climate Action in 2017, Natural Resources Defense Council

Massachusetts agrees to slash power plant emissions under 9-state system, MassLive.com

Maryland, northeast states accelerate carbon pollution reduction, Baltimore Sun

Power generators contest state greenhouse gas rules, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy plays to NJ environmentalists from day one, NJ Spotlight

The Force Is With Clean Energy: 10 Predictions for 2018, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Competition Moderates Clean-Energy Costs for Ratepayers, AIM Blog

New York, Connecticut sue EPA for failing to act on smog pollution from upwind states, Utility Dive

US Utility-Scale Solar, Wind Capacity Could Double by 2020, Renewable Energy World

Global emissions ‘will plateau by 2030,’ Energy Live News

 

Wind

Turbines blow hot, cold on financial benefits for local towns, Worcester Telegram

Why Some Fishermen Are Wary Of Offshore Wind Farms, WBUR

US Working Hard to Boost Wind Energy, Adviser Says in Denmark, Bloomberg

Wind Industry Embraces Robots to Boost Safety, Cut Costs, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind to hold open house on proposed offshore project, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

On Haverhill landfill-solar proposal, council wants results, Eagle Tribune

CMP’s New CEO: If They Want, ‘Everyone Should Put Solar Panels On Their Roof’, Maine Public

Developer for proposed solar project in New Marlborough wants public’s input on project, Berkshire Eagle

Outer Cape Energize encourages use of solar panels, Cape Cod Times

New warehouse now biggest green energy provider in Peabody, The Salem News

 

Electric Vehicles

New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network, NH Business Review

North America’s largest transit system is the acid test for electric buses, Quartz

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State money helps Massachusetts towns improve energy efficiency, SouthCoastToday.com

There once was an energy storage system on Nantucket…, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Can Drive Future Tesla Growth, Not Just Autos, Seeking Alpha

 

Nuclear

U.S. tests nuclear power system to sustain astronauts on Mars, Reuters

PUC sticks with Yankee hearings postponement, Rutland Herald

Merrimac seeks NRC hearing on Seabrook plan, Gloucester Daily Times

Indian Point Utility Workers Will Strike If Contract Talks Break Down, WAMC

Offsetting Loss of Indian Pt Revenue Still Challenge One Year Later, The Examiner News

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, Litchfield County Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Energy study draws divergent reactions, CommonWealth Magazine

Report: Fuel Security Key Risk for New England Grid, RTO Insider

What Will Become of the Electric Utility in the Age of Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Oversubscribed northern Vermont power grid costing utilities millions, VT Digger

D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass, IndepthNH.org

National Grid’s Northern Pass Competitor To Talk Low-Income Benefits In Concord, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource Ranked Among Nation’s Greenest Companies, CapeCod.com News

Conn. Consumer Counsel, Eversource Energy strike deal to reduce size of distribution rate increase, Litchfield County Times

New Central Maine Power CEO Lays Out His Vision For The Company, Maine Public

National Grid asks for $26 million less in Rhode Island rate hikes, Electric Light & Power

Fuel banks seek $25M in state assistance, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

EDITORIAL: Enviro-zealots are wrong on natural gas, Lowell Sun

A bad deal for NH, (Northern Pass) The Union Leader

Letter: Wind, solar, biofuel should power Maine, The Forecaster

Offshore drilling catastrophic for Maine economy, Biddeford – Saco – OOB Courier

Lawmakers have one more chance to fix nonsensical solar rules, Bangor Daily News

Wind And Solar Energies Could Peter Out If Transmission Grid Is Not Expanded, Forbes

Our electricity grid gives us a wake-up call in New Hampshire, Manchester Ink Link

Letter: Industrial wind turbines threaten our way of life, Dansvilleonline.com

Guest Opinion: Broken energy market leaves Mass. consumers in the cold, Herald News

Mass. needs to think bigger on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Renewables, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

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