Energy News for week ending August 3, 2018

Pilgrim to be sold | “base hit” | Competitive Pricing | Don’t get complacent

Happy Friday afternoon. We start today with a housekeeping note. If you want to keep getting the Northeast Energy News each week, please remember to whitelist us in your email. Sometimes an email bounces and our system, which doesn’t like to spam anyone, puts the email on the inactive list and then you don’t get our email. Of course if you’d rather not get the Northeast Energy News, just scroll down to the bottom and unsubscribe. No hard feelings. Now let’s get to the news.

First up, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be Sold After 2019 Shutdown (CapeCod.com). “The company that owns the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth will sell the plant, spent fuel, land and decommissioning trust fund to an energy technology company after the upcoming shutdown next year. A statement from Entergy issued Wednesday said Pilgrim and another plant in Michigan will be sold to Holtec International for what’s described as an ‘accelerated decommissioning.’…The sale, pending regulatory approval, will include the transfer of licenses and spent fuel. Holtec said most of the decommissioning could be complete within 8 years. Holtec expects to move all of the spent nuclear fuel out of the spent fuel pools and into dry cask storage within approximately three years of the plant’s shutdown.”

Massachusetts legislature OKs ‘base hit’ clean energy bill at end of session (MassLive) “An energy bill that emerged from conference committee Monday night represents modest progress in Massachusetts’ transition to clean, renewable power, environmental groups said…‘Lawmakers could have knocked it out of the park. Instead, they only got a base hit,’ said Ben Hellerstein, director of Environment Massachusetts. While the compromise bill leaves most of the Senate provisions behind — including a piece that would put a price on carbon — it does include several provisions that won praise from clean energy advocates. Notably, it gets ride of a “demand charge” that the Department of Public Utilities had allowed for new solar adopters in Eversource territory…The bill modestly raises the renewable portfolio standard…The bill could double the state’s offshore wind capacity… the legislation establishes an energy storage target of 1,000 megawatt-hours by 2026.”

Bruce Mohl at Commonwealth Magazine writes, Offshore wind prices look competitive. “The developer of the nation’s first major offshore wind farm is promising to deliver wholesale power to Massachusetts at prices that are far below what Cape Wind was offering nearly a decade ago and not much more expensive than hydro-electricity just procured from Canada. According to contracts filed with the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, Vineyard Wind agreed to deliver electricity at an average price of 8.9 cents a kilowatt hour over the 20-year life of the contract, or a total levelized price of 6.5 cents. While those prices are above the average wholesale price of electricity in New England (3.4 cents a kilowatt hour during 2017), they include the value of environmental attributes that are not included with electricity generated using natural gas. Taking those into account, Baker administration officials said, the offshore wind contract is very competitive with other types of power generation and will slightly lower bills for ratepayers over the 20-year life of the contract.”

Last up for this week is an article from today’s Wall St. Journal, Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas. “The first week of August seems like an odd time to fret about a frigid winter, but perhaps not for people who buy, sell and store natural gas. Following Thursday morning’s weekly report from the Energy Information Administration, the amount of gas in U.S. underground storage will be at around 2.3 trillion cubic feet and should keep rising for the next three months. Yet that cushion now stands 24% below where it was this time last year and 20% below the five-year average…But what seems like ample supply could set the market up for panicky winter buying. The last time that happened was in the winter of 2013-2014.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas, Wall St. Journal

Soil Testing For Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Burrillville Angers Opponents, Rhode Island Public Radio

FERC Flooded with Comments on Pipeline Permitting, RTO Insider

FERC Clarifies New York TOs’ Cost Recovery, RTO Insider

Town resolution backs locked-out workers, blocks National Grid, Arlington

National Grid gas workers still locked out, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts legislature OKs ‘base hit’ clean energy bill at end of session, MassLive

Clean Energy Industry Group Commends Legislature for Moving Clean Energy Forward in Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

Compromise energy bill criticized as too weak, The Recorder

Clean tech praises Massachusetts energy bill as activist community vows continued engagement, MassLive

DC Circuit tosses challenge to ISO-NE renewable energy market rules, Utility Dive

7 States Urge Pipeline Regulators to Pay Attention to Climate Change, InsideClimate News

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change, New York Times Magazine

Green Upgrade: How California Is Pioneering ‘Energy Justice’, Yale Environment 360

New England Women Talk Climate Change, Resilience, RTO Insider

Despite subsidy, two wood-fired power plants offline for months, Portland Press Herald

 

Wind

First Big U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Offers $1.4 Billion to Customers, Bloomberg L.P.

Offshore wind prices look competitive, CommonWealth Magazine

How can the US reach the cutting edge of offshore wind R&D? DOE seeks input, Utility Dive

Massachusetts expected to double offshore wind commitment to 3200 MW, Windpower Engineering & Development

Vineyard Wind, R.I. fishermen still at odds over turbines, Providence Journal

NY Gov. Cuomo implores Zinke to support offshore wind project, Daily Energy Insider

Antrim Wind Energy to break ground on 9-turbine project as soon as next week, Ledger Transcript

 

Solar

Why Maine towns and cities are investing in solar projects, Bangor Daily News

Keene committee backs plan for solar array at city complex, Keene Sentinel

Pepperell Mill Campus solar array to span 3 buildings and cover 1.5 acres of rooftop, Portland Press Herald

Community solar can address renewables accessibility gap, report finds, Utility Dive

New York DPS reports call for community distributed solar enhancements, Daily Energy Insider

Judge reverses zoning board’s OK of solar farm in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mass. Lawmakers Set Storage Target, Raise RPS, Overturn Rooftop Solar Demand Charge, Greentech Media

Energy storage could take off in Massachusetts with proposed compromise on capacity ownership, Utility Dive

Network Of Tesla Powerwall Batteries Saves Green Mountain Power $500,000 During Heat Wave, CleanTechnica

Don’t miss out on this money for energy-efficient home improvements, Boston Globe

Green River Commons zero-energy condos preview the future, The Recorder

Efficiency advocates fear Trump administration may try to roll back light bulb standards, Utility Dive

 

EVs

U.S. Electric Vehicle Charging Market to Grow to $18.6 Billion, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be Sold After 2019 Shutdown, CapeCod.com

Vermont Yankee’s $143 million fuel move finished, VT Digger

DEEP paves way for Millstone’s power bid, Hartford Business Journal

Millstone Hopeful Regulators See Nuclear Power As “At Risk”, WNPR

Dominion expects edge for Millstone in DEEP zero carbon auction, The Day

Red Tape and Green Energy: Why Nuclear Power Is Struggling to Survive, Energy Central

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cape electricity demand, more osprey could mean more nest fires, Cape Cod Times

Project to import Canadian hydropower through Maine faces final review, Bangor Daily News

Mass. utilities file major contracts to buy Canadian hydro carried over Maine power line, MassLive

Eversource plans more power lines for Dartmouth, Southcoasttoday

Five Months After Energy Cyberattack, U.S. Pushes Collaboration, Bloomberg L.P.

DHS walks back utility cyber warnings as Southern CEO says no grid emergency, Utility Dive

Under scrutiny for storm response, CMP says it’s beefing up its smart-meter network Portland Press Herald

Higher rates help Eversource to post 5% increase in earnings, Journal Inquirer

New York to consider enhancing payments for distributed generation, Utility Dive

Generators say Mystic order mirrors their capacity price concerns, S and P Global, Platts

New York Power Authority on Track to Becoming Nation’s First All-Digital Electric Utility, Energy Manager Today

NJ: Utilities flopped in storm prep, must do better to avoid outages, Asbury Park Press

We’ve been talking about a national grid for years. It might be time to do it., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Lawmakers should embrace clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Lawmakers should override governor’s veto of solar energy, SB 446, Seacoastonline.com

Opinion: State Rep Candidate Supports National Grid Workers, USA Patch

Column: Marty Nathan: Our planet has a fever, Daily Hampshire Gazette

No benefits from a wind farm, Sun Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

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