Energy News for week ending February 16, 2018

Foreseeing Trouble | Ugly toll | Five new spots to fish

As the late great Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Ah yes, after delaying the decision for a week, we find ourselves waiting again for MA DOER and company to let us know if they are going to stick with Northern Pass or move on to another or other proposals. The delay is causing all sorts of speculation (InDepthNH) and consternation (NHPR).

Love may have been in the air for many on Wednesday, but according to Platts, all ISO New England saw was “trouble” without investment in fuel security. From the article, “The report noted the cold snap that gripped the region from December 26 through January 7 featured “constrained pipeline capacity, substantially higher natural gas and wholesale electricity prices,” which prompted the dispatch of oil- and coal-fired generation to meet demand, but “oil supplies at plants around the region began to rapidly deplete … signficiantly (sic) increasing the reliability risk to the system.” “In the coming years as more oil, coal, and nuclear leave the system, keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition,” the report states.

Speaking of fuel security, the Boston Globe editorial board laid into just about everyone with a full page editorial on Tuesday about the region bringing in Russian gas, the implications of the same, and the lack of movement on other alternatives (i.e. a new gas pipeline). Here’s a small sample, “But apart from its geopolitical impact, Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies. Public officials, including Attorney General Maura Healey and leading state senators, have leaned heavily on righteous-sounding stands against local fossil fuel projects, with scant consideration of the global impacts of their actions and a tacit expectation that some other country will build the infrastructure that we’re too good for.”

Last for this week is a story from Renewable Energy World with an accompanying video from the American Wind Energy Association about how the Block Island Wind Farm has been a boon for the local fishing industry. At first there were worries, the article notes, but “after 6 months, their worries were starting to be alleviated and after just one year, they were completely gone. According to Chris Hobe, who has been fishing on the island since 1979, ‘within six months you had seed mussels,’ he said in a webcast announcing the release of the footage. After one year those seed mussels had turned into a deep, thick coating of mature mussels, on which smaller fish feed, attracting the fish that feed on them and on and on up the food chain.” In the video one man notes that because of the artificial reef created by the turbines there are five new fishing spots that didn’t exist before.

Then there is this, “Another added bonus according to Hobe was the increased tourism that the turbines attracted. On a whim, his company offered to take the general public on tours around the turbines so they could see them up close. He never imagined the interest that would draw. By the end of the 2017 summer season, Hobe said his company had stopped offering fishing excursions and was just doing sightseeing tours.”

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


Utilities find no common ground on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Decisive action needed on Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

As Mass. Debates Northern Pass Deal, Sununu Says Project Was ‘Railroaded’, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass rejection would have repercussions for Hydro-Québec’s future, The Globe and Mail

Massachusetts utilities to continue Northern Pass negotiations after rejection by NH regulators, Press Herald

Maine Gov. LePage Indicates Mass. May Have Already Moved On From Northern Pass,

VELCO and National Grid make key agreements for Granite State Power Link, Vermont Biz


Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas pipeline opponents urge Baker to ‘break up’ with industry, Boston Metro

Energy CEO Says Fracking Build-out in New York Not Over, Wants Regulators to ‘Lay Down and Approve Every Pipeline’, DeSmog

Only Half of Proposed Burrillville Plant’s Power Sold, ecoRI news

Compressor Station Permit Appeal Could Be Heard In Summer,

Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success, Science Daily

Ocean State Officials Pledge to Halt Offshore Drilling, ecoRI news

Ocean State’s Fossil-Fuel Hypocrisy Does Nothing to Address Climate Change, ecoRI news

Constitution Asks FERC to Rehear New York Permit Denial, RTO Insider


Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

US Renewable Energy Generation Now ‘Within Striking Distance’ of Nuclear, Greentech Media

Healey unveils new renewable energy targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Citizens will demand omnibus clean energy bill, Sentinel and Enterprise
Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill, ‘matching the urgency of climate change,’ MassLive

Connecticut wants to boost renewables goal to 40% by 2030, Utility Dive

Is clean energy moving ahead fast enough in Western Massachusetts?,

EPA’s Scott Pruitt touts renewable energy in New England, Washington Examiner

Virginia House votes to prohibit cap-and-trade, RGGI linkage, Carbon Pulse

Think tank report pans Vermont carbon tax plan, Bennington Banner



AWEA Releases Underwater Footage of Block Island Wind Farm’s Artificial Reef, Renewable Energy World

Falmouth deal eases wind turbine debt, Cape Cod Times

Town of Yates passes more restrictions on wind energy projects, Buffalo News

The Launch of a US Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

FERC advances transmission line to serve Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, Utility Dive

What’s Happening With Maine Wind Power?, North American Windpower

Vineyard Wind wins state nod for undersea transmission cable,

Those Living Close To Wind Turbines Generally View Wind Power Positively, CleanTechnica



Vermont’s solar market fell 50% in 2017 (w/chart), pv magazine

A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas, Bloomberg

‘It’s so high it’s punitive’: Residents angered by local tax hike on home solar panels, Bangor Daily News

Solar Projects In Connecticut Face Local Pushback, New England Public Radio

Solar is again the flashpoint in CT’s new energy strategy, Hartford Business

Solect Energy Sees Acceleration in Solar Adoption by Massachusetts Municipalities, Schools and Nonprofits, pv magazine USA


Energy Efficiency/Storage

Alliance to Save Energy proposes changes in electricity pricing structures, Daily Energy Insider

Maryland is first state to launch energy storage tax credit, Utility Dive

Greensmith Energy Storage Technology Selected to Deliver Reliable Solar Power in Massachusetts, Power Magazine

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Most Important Energy Efficiency Program You’ve Never Heard Of, Energy Collective

Lawmakers Want To Restore Energy Efficiency Funds, But Don’t Know Where To Find The Money, Hartford Courant

Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things, The MIT Tech

Eversource News: Eversource and Lindt Chocolate Announce Landmark Energy Efficiency Partnership, North American Clean Energy



NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

Keating pushes for nuclear plant decommissioning, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Quake rattles anti-nuclear activists in N.H., Boston Herald

Nuke critics can testify in Vermont Yankee case, Brattleboro Reformer



New Year’s Cold Snap Still Affecting People’s Pocketbooks in Western Mass, Valley Advocate

ISO New England foresees trouble without investment in fuel security, Platts

Trump Budget Backs Nuclear, Coal; Cuts Funding for Renewables, Power Magazine

Powelson: Input from PJM, ISO-NE states critical to FERC resilience docket, Utility Dive

Is the third pillar of electricity delivery preventing the building of the first two?, Utility Dive

Federal tax cut more than reverses Eversource rate increase in Massachusetts, Daily Energy Insider

Grid operations technologies protected customers from the bomb cyclone, Utility Dive

Lawmaker Accuses Eversource of Giving Consumers Misleading Billing Information, Hartford Courant

DC Circuit Remands FERC Decision Upholding ISO-NE FCM Rules Locking in Prices for New Entrants, Lexology

House coalition wants reversal of energy funds raid, Hartford Business

Local officials call National Grid’s response to October storm ‘inadequate’, Eagle-Tribune

National Grid seeks OK for New York power grid rebuild, Electric Light & Power

Selectmen pressure Eversource to undertake long-sought sidewalk work, Cape Cod Times



Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll, Boston Globe

Forget Quebec, look offshore for power, CommonWealth Magazine

Beware the Coalition for Sustainable Energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Proposed Burrillville power plant a step in the wrong direction, Herald News

Viewpoint: Need for Mass. clean transportation policy, Boston Business Journal

NJ needs clean energy now! Dump the carbon-trading scheme | Opinion,

My Turn: David Spigelmyer: Rolling blackouts, skyrocketing costs, The Providence Journal

Indian Point power plant can withstand earthquakes: Letter, Poughkeepsie Journal

Just another routine day for NH ratepayers, NH Business Review

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

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