Energy News for week ending July 27, 2018

Powerwalls pay off | Russians Hack Utilities | 50 Million dollars

Happy Friday afternoon.

Below are a few articles from this week that we found interesting.

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave (Concord Monitor) “An innovative program in Vermont that uses batteries in customers’ homes as a “virtual power plant” paid off to the tune of almost half a million dollars during the recent heat wave, according to the utility running the project…At times during the heat wave that covered much of the first week of July, the utility – often known as GMP – drew electricity out of about 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in the home of about 400 customers and fed it into the grid. This meant GMP had to buy less electricity from power plants when the wholesale price of power in New England, which changes every five minutes depending on demand and supply, was particularly high. This had a double price benefit. It saves on the momentary energy charge, but more importantly it can reduce the utility’s payment to the bulk transmission system in New England…”

In some disquieting national news we have some local assurance, After Russians hack into US electrical utilities, ISO New England says it constantly upgrades security (MassLive)After federal officials announced hackers working for Russia gained access to the control rooms of US electric utilities, ISO New England said the company has a myriad of ways to safeguard the region’s power grid against security threats. The company has redundant facilities and continues to change and upgrade security measures as cyber threats evolve, said Marcia Blomberg, senior media relations specialist for ISO New England.”

Here is some good news out of Maine, CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts (Press Herald) “Central Maine Power has agreed to give $50 million to energy-assistance programs that will benefit low-income electric customers – in Massachusetts. CMP will provide $50 million over 40 years to several programs and initiatives in Massachusetts, as a condition of winning the bid to build a high-voltage transmission line from Quebec through Maine that will carry hydroelectricity to the Commonwealth. The disclosure comes as CMP is under multiple investigations and lawsuits over allegations it overcharged Maine ratepayers. None of the money for the program will come from ratepayers in Maine or Massachusetts, according to Avangrid, CMP’s parent company. It will be taken out of profits.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Debate over proposed power plant in Burrillville centers on power needs, The Providence Journal

Maine oil dealers begin delivering new, cleaner blend of heating oil, MaineBiz

Trump Says Europe Will Buy More American Gas. Is That Possible?, New York Times

DEP’s overdue Marcellus Shale air study finds few health risks, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

National Grid lockout causing headaches for customers, Boston Globe

Lowell Council won’t act on National Grid gas work during lockout, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Use of renewable energy increasing in NH, WMUR

Group Says N.H. Renewable Energy Mandates Use Too Much ‘Dirty’ Fuel, New Hampshire Public Radio

Audubon Says Carbon Pricing Bill is a “refreshingly bold move”, National Audubon Society

State organization calls for 100 percent renewable energy in Massachusetts by 2035, Valley Advocate

Connecticut Green Bank and PosiGen “Solar for All” Partnership – Bringing the Benefits of Clean Energy to LMI Communities, Renewable Energy World

The 5 most important questions about carbon taxes, answered, Vox.com

Vermont PUC seeks alternative ratemaking proposals to boost renewables, Utility Dive

Massachusetts energy bills stall as deadline approaches, PV Magazine

Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready., Vox.com

 

Wind

Kingston Wind Independence promises payment of back taxes, Wicked Local Kingston

Judge scraps lawsuit against Maine wind moratorium, Utility Dive

Vineyard Wind to cover Yarmouth costs for review, Cape Cod Times

Between lines on Savoy wind energy project denial, National Wind Watch

Offshore wind hits early turbulence: who will bring the power ashore?, NJ Spotlight

Wind turbines could be on Guilford’s horizon, National Wind Watch

NYS Exposed: NY towns fight controversial wind turbine project, WHEC

Judge tosses challenge of order halting wind turbines, Bangor Daily News

State urged to move fast on offshore wind, but get it right, The Press of Atlantic City

Electric rates will rise due to wind power, The Day

 

Solar

Massachusetts Legislature Could Overturn Eversource’s New Demand Charge for Resi Solar, Greentech Media

City Hall solar sparks ire from council, Salem News

Fall River trying again to create solar farm off Blossom Road, Herald News

Goldman Sachs Puts a Grim Number on Solar Slump for This Year, Bloomberg

NH Co-ops solar facility adds green energy to the power grid, Energy Central

Molly Kelly Tours North Hampton Brewery That’s Saving Money Thanks to Solar Energy, NHlabornews

Solar delivers during New England heatwave, PV Magazine USA

State seeking towns’ input to help develop solar guidelines, Westerly Sun

Residents air concerns over big solar array project, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Rural Westhampton could see 20-acre solar plant, MassLive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Beyond weatherization: Are utilities doing enough to engage low-income customers?, Utility Dive

Using customer batteries as a power source saved Vt. utility $500K, Granite Geek

Massachusetts power players scramble for deal in critical storage, DER docket, Utility Dive

Efficiency Vermont and Sense Conduct Pilot Study of Advanced Home Energy Monitoring, Energy Central

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave, Concord Monitor

Rocky Mountain Institute study shows that with heat pumps and smart thermostats, we can live better electrically, Treehugger

Liquid metal battery could lower cost of storing renewable energy, Engadet

 

EVs

Electric buses are cleaner in all parts of U.S., study finds, Metro Magazine

 

Nuclear

Study: US Unlikely To See New Nuclear Power Anytime Soon, WABE

Yucca Mountain revival efforts appear dead – for now, Review Journal

WPI receives $600K for nuclear program, Worcester Business Journal

Next-Gen Nuclear Is Coming—If Society Wants It, Wired

Mapped: The US nuclear power plants ‘at risk’ of shutting down, Carbon Brief

Nuclear power looks to shrink its way to success, Financial Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Russian Hackers Reach U.S. Utility Control Rooms, Homeland Security Officials Say, Wall St. Journal

After Russians hack into US electrical utilities, ISO New England says it constantly upgrades security, MassLive

How vulnerable is the grid to cyberattacks, really?, Utility Dive

3 utilities seek $426m for negotiating hydro contracts, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts, Press Herald

Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits, CommonWealth Magazine

What Will Maine Get Out Of It? Groups Skeptical Over CMP’s Hydropower Plan, Maine Public

Group nixes plan for hydro project at Keene dam, Keene Sentinel

State Argues Budget Sweep of Energy Funds No Big Deal, Hartford Courant

More than 600 customers sue CMP, claiming the company overcharged them, then gave them ‘the cold shoulder’, Portland Press Herald

Class-action lawsuit filed against CMP over alleged overbillings, MaineBiz

Kelly questions Sununu’s energy bill vetoes, Seacoastonline.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s Time to Stop Investing in New Oil and Gas Pipelines, Scientific American

Renewables, not gas, key to our clean energy future | Opinion, NJ.com

Power prices — and long-term costs, Boston Globe

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

LETTER: Mention of Chernobyl serves as a reminder, Daily News of Newburyport

Go Nuclear For Power Policy Winners Among Utilities, Forbes

Viewpoint: For energy fix in Mass., natural gas capacity must be increased, Boston Business Journal

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

A sharp slap of reality, Watertown Daily Times

Opinion: Cape leads the way on renewable energy; state must do more, Taunton Gazette

Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

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