Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

This week we begin with a story from Greentech Media that follows-up to last week’s grid mod announcement in Massachusetts. Digging a little deeper into the smart meter portion of the order they write, “Massachusetts regulators see a future in which customers are leaving investor-owned utilities for municipal aggregators and competitive third-party suppliers, and they aren’t sure how to fit mass-market smart meter deployments into that future. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that ‘declined to preauthorize any customer-facing investments’ — that is, smart meter deployments.” The reasons according to the article, “it found several weaknesses in each utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) business case, based on a combination of two unusual factors prevailing in the state. First, all these utilities have already deployed simpler automated meter reading systems, which have already allowed each utility to achieve the significant meter-reading savings that account for a big chunk of the AMI business case.” And second, is the inability to tap into a constant stream of data to enable real time rates, “The problem is that each utility customer that switches to a non-utility energy provider is no longer part of each utility’s list of prospective time-varying rate (TVR) adopters, even though the utility paid for the smart meter that made them available.”

In NH, three “contentious” renewable energy bills are on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk. From the NH Business Review, “New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446… (increases) fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering…SB 446 would extend the upper limit from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, allowing large businesses, municipalities and even small hydro generators to take advantage of it, paving the way for much larger renewable energy projects…SB 365…would require Eversource to pay 80 percent of the default rate to six wood-burning plants for three years…and SB 577, which would continue the current subsidized rate for the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.” When it comes to Bill 446, “Critics, including utilities and some business groups, claim that generators are paid too much for the power, and this amounts to a subsidy paid for by other ratepayers. Advocates say that renewable energy saves money on distribution and generation costs.” Other concerns include in increase in rates that could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in the state.

If you’re in need of an excuse for why you’re late; or bummed out that you showed up early for work one day – blame the power grid. From the AP, “Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time…Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that’s 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

Pipeline protesters shut down City Council subcommittee meeting (VIDEO), Lowell Sun
Fall River City Council condemns water deal with Invenergy, opposes plant construction
, Uprise RI

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections, EcoWatch

Gas leaks near schools: Wellesley School Committee contacts National Grid, Wicked Local

500 Greenpoint Locals Wait Days For National Grid To Restore Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

CT Slapped With Lawsuit Over Raid Of Clean Energy Funds, Solar Industry

3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk, NH Business Review

On Cape Cod, Tides Could Become A Renewable Energy Source, wgbh.org

IBM joins forces with a start-up to combine crypto with environmental credit trading, CNBC

Why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy, Quartz

Americans want more clean energy. Here’s what they’re actually willing to do to get it, CNBC

Portland’s Casco Bay High School hopes to become ‘greenest’ in Maine, The Forecaster

U.S. Department of Energy announces funding opportunity for marine energy R&D, Renewable Energy World

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More, Greentech Media

New York proposes strict carbon emission limits for existing power plants, Utility Dive

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available to Launch New Cleantech Accelerator, NA Clean Energy

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge, NA Clean Energy

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more, Utility Dive

World’s largest offshore wildlife aerial survey off NY’s coast halfway complete, Windpower Engineering (press release)

Offshore wind developer eyeing potential of South Brooklyn shipping hub, Offshore Wind Journal

Winning the battle to reduce the cost of offshore wind, Maritime Journal

State’s high court shoots down appeal against Antrim Wind; project can go forward, Keene Sentinel

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

Solar Power: ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to RI’s Forests, ecoRI news

Sunrun Boosts Revenue 37%, Expands Partnership With National Grid, Greentech Media

RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers, Rhode Island Public Radio

CESA honors six states for clean energy excellence, Solar Power World

68-acre solar installation proposed in Tiverton, The Providence Journal

Cumberland council OKs solar farm, mulls garage move, The Forecaster

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

Groups sue Connecticut state officials for raiding clean energy and efficiency funds, New Haven Register

US House Committee Cuts Federal Energy Research, Boosts Energy Storage, Union of Concerned Scientists

Storage Might Solve Some Big Grid Problems, but Not the Ones You Think, Greentech Media

National Grid grants $1 million in energy efficiency rebates to world’s largest housing cooperative, Daily Energy Insider

Energy savings ideas topic of Energy and Environmental Conference, Eagle Tribune

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

1st Quarter Inspection at Pilgrim Finds No Violations, CapeCod.com News

Advocacy to Keep US Nuclear Reactors Open Picks Up Steam, Energy Collective

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, Greentech Media

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

Nuclear-Waste Tax Case Battled at 11th Circuit, Courthouse News

 

EVs

Another NH utility tiptoes into a little bit of support for electric vehicles, Granite Geek

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

RMLD Celebrates New Bolt, New Charging Station, Patch.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clocks may go a little cuckoo with power grid change, AP

Massachusetts rejects smart meter rollout for ‘weaknesses in the business case’, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Rejects Smart Meter Rollouts, as Competitive Energy Undermines the Business Case, Greentech Media

Exelon sets its price for keeping Everett plants open, CommonWealth Magazine

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council Reports: Annual Assessment Forecasts Adequate Electricity Supplies for this Summer, Energy Central

US Northeast, Canada to have adequate summer power supply, Platts

Eversource plans 5% summer electricity rate cut, MassLive.com

National Grid’s full-year profits rise helped by US business, Reuters

New York ISO Zone A real-time power spikes to $1400/MWh on strong demand, Platts

Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Aims To Restore Power By Sunday After Four Tornadoes Strike, Hartford Courant

New York in bid to shut down all coal plants by 2020, Energy Voice

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Natural-Gas Constraints Bad for Business, Bad for Environment, AIM blog

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Why the offshore wind industry is about to take off, The Conversation

Meredith Angwin: Rolling Blackouts For New England?, Caledonian Record

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers, Press Herald

One Well-Placed Hurricane Will UTTERLY DESTROY Costly Offshore Wind Systems On The East Coast, Daily Caller

Rhode Island Should Lead by Example to Prevent Loss of Forestland, EcoRI

Climate disruption has real impact on health in Massachusetts and we should be doing more (Viewpoint), MassLive

Out-of-towner explains Granite Bridge opposition, Seacoastonline.com

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Filed under Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

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