Energy News for week ending December 14, 2018

410 Million | Roasted by the sun | Substantial Completion | Lobstocracy

 

Happy Friday everyone.

Here are a few highlights from this week.

From Reuters, U.S. offshore wind lease auction ends with record $410 mln sale, “A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting combined bids of $410 million, the agency that conducted the sale said. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it would announce the provisional winners of the leases on a conference call later on Friday. Combined, the three leases represent nearly 390,000 acres near the Massachusetts islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and Rhode Island’s Block Island. It was not immediately clear whether a single company claimed all three or if there were more than one winner.”

While we’re in the midst of holiday season, according to a story in the Portland Press Herald, this is what happened on Thanksgiving, Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving “On last month’s historically cold Thanksgiving Day, New England turkeys were being roasted by the sun. For the first time, according to the region’s electric grid operator, thousands of solar panels offset the midmorning peak demand for power from millions of homes and businesses cooking the holiday birds. The renewable energy milestone was noted this week by ISO-New England. It highlights the growing role of solar energy on the grid and counters lingering myths about the technology not working in cold climates.”

This is great news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, Governor, Columbia Gas announce ‘substantial completion’ of gas restoration; say service back to 98 percent of customers, “The work to restore service to more than 10,000 homes affected by the gas disaster is pretty much done, but the mission is not accomplished, state and local officials said at a press conference early Wednesday afternoon. With natural gas service restored to 98 percent of residential and business customers, Gov. Baker, local municipal leaders and Columbia Gas announced the substantial completion of the gas restoration efforts in the Merrimack Valley…Officials said 150 customers are still without gas service, most of whom decided to “self-mitigate,” or complete necessary assessments and installations themselves on their own timeline, independent of Columbia Gas contractors, or have extenuating circumstances such as damages to their homes.

We end this week on some it’s good now but not later climate change news. From MSN.com, ‘We live in a lobstocracy’: Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change, “The American lobster is a symbol of Maine, central to the state’s ethos and economy…Lobster attracts tourists, feeds locals and is a lifeblood for coastal towns. It’s (sic) importance has even swelled in recent years as lobsters have been caught in record numbers. Lobster landings – or the amount of lobster caught – have risen fivefold in the past three decades. Lobster has become a half-billion-dollar industry in Maine. And the reason for the boom, according to scientists, is climate change. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s waters, rising at three times the global average. That warming has created optimal conditions for lobsters to reproduce and survive into adulthood…But while the warming waters have resulted in a lobster bonanza, scientists say climate change will ultimately bring a bust to the boom: As the Gulf of Maine continues to warm, that temperature sweet spot for lobsters will continue to move north. That could result in a similar spike in lobsters in Canada, but leave Maine’s industry broken.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts natural gas companies would support greater engineering oversight, MassLIve

Agawam farm family protests Tennessee Gas Pipeline land-taking, MassLive

Lawmaker questions gas safety consultant’s ties to industry, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Columbia Gas appoints new executive in Massachusetts, Boston Globe

Agawam farm family protests Tennessee Gas Pipeline land-taking, MassLive

Mass. Town Asks 1st Circ. To Block Enbridge Pipeline Project, Law360

Judge halts Keystone XL pipeline, citing ‘complete disregard’ for climate, MSN

The Oil Industry’s Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules, New York Times

 

Merrimack Valley

Governor, Columbia Gas announce ‘substantial completion’ of gas restoration; say service back to 98 percent of customers, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas Holds Community Meetings For Remaining Four Percent Of Affected Customers, WGBH

Whistleblower: Columbia Gas Cut Corners Prior to Explosions, NECN

In Wake Of Gas Disaster, Lawmakers Probe Utility Companies’ Safety Plans, WGBH

Execs back Baker gas-safety bill at fiery hearing, Lowell Sun

Sen. Barrett questions gas safety consultant’s ties to industry, Lowell Sun

 

Lockout

House, in informal session, passes Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Developers left out in the cold as National Grid lockout continues, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers push harder to resolve labor dispute at National Grid, Boston Globe

Top senator to National Grid: end the lockout “immediately”, Sentinel & Enterprise

National Grid, unions start daily meetings next Monday, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Why greens are turning away from a carbon tax, Politico

That was awkward — at world’s biggest climate conference, U.S. promotes fossil fuels, Washington Post

Batteries could worsen CO2 emissions — study, E&E News

NYPA Announces $250 Million Commitment to Accelerate Flexibility of Electric Grid to Combat Climate Change, Energy Storage Association

‘We live in a lobstocracy’: Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change, MSN

Shaheen and Hassan warn of continued negative impact of climate change, Conway Daily Sun

Researchers: Sawdust is Next Wave in Renewable Energy, UMass Lowell News

Not So Sweet: Climate Change Means Slow-Growing Sugar Maples, Study Finds, NPR

France Will Save $44.5 Billion By Betting on Renewable Energy, Says Government Agency, Bloomberg L.P.

 

Wind

U.S. offshore wind lease auction ends with record $410 mln sale, Reuters

Baker: Fishing, offshore wind coexistence is ‘something we have to deal with,’ Salem News

390K acres up for auction today for offshore wind, South Coast Today

First major offshore wind project in jeopardy of being blocked, Boston Globe

Fishing industry says it doesn’t endorse Vineyard Wind’s ‘consensus plan’ for transit lanes, South Coast Today

Bay State Wind comes to O.B., MV Times

Turbines vs. eagles debate continues amid new science, National Wind Watch

Zero hour nears for Massachusetts offshore bonanza, reNews

Vineyard Wind Endorses Offshore Transit Corridor Plan, Cape Cod Today

More Than 680 Gigawatts Of New Wind Power To Come Online By 2027, CleanTechnica

 

Solar

Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving, Portland Press Herald

Watertown Becomes 1st Town In New England To Require Solar Panels On New Commercial Constructions, WBUR

Rhode Island Encourages Brownfield Solar Projects, Renewable Energy World

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report, Reuters

Renewables, Energy Storage, & Managing The Utility Grid Of The Future, CleanTechnica

Governor pushes for solar in low-income areas, New Hampshire Union Leader

Milford Eyeing Plans for 120-Acre Solar Farm, New Hampshire Public Radio

CleanChoice Launches MA Community Solar Program, Solar Industry

Solar project at Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District on target, Kennebec Journal

 

EVs

Massachusetts Needs More Than MOR-EV, Union of Concerned Scientists

Massachusetts extends electric vehicle rebate program, Gloucester Times

Survey: Consumers keen on EV purchases, though cost remains a barrier, Utility Dive

Why General Motors Is Ditching the Chevy Volt, Greentech Media

As More Cars Plug In, Utilities and Makers Juggle Ways to Power Them, New York Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

As grid operators file FERC Order 841 plans, storage floodgates open slowly, Utility Dive

New Massachusetts energy plan zeroes in on vehicles and buildings for emissions reductions, MassLive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee buyer looking for quick start, VTDigger

Are Floating Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Energy?, Oilprice.com

Department of Energy to shut down Idaho nuclear waste treatment project, deemed not to be cost-effective, Los Angeles Times

Trump plan to reclassify nuclear waste alarms environmental groups, NBC News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource plans increase in winter electric rates, MassLive

Price of electricity going up in E. Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

US unprepared for ‘catastrophic’ power outage, presidential advisory report finds, Utility Dive

Most of Maine’s electricity customers will pay higher rates next year, Energy Central

A study examined why customers remain in TOU programs, and the results were terrible, Utility Dive

NERC: Winter preparedness initiatives will help keep lights on in northern US, Utility Dive

Report: Smart Grid Upgrades Offer Less Risk, More Flexibility than Power Lines, Renewable Energy World

Why are electricity prices spiking this winter?, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP standard-offer customers electric bills will rise in 2019, Mainebiz

Eversource’s Seacoast power project approved, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Several factors could affect power this winter, Journal Inquirer

Southern Maine electricity supply prices set to rise Jan. 1, Portland Press Herald

Cape Light Compact Announces Winter Electric Pricing, Cape Cod

Businesses win exemption from costly meter installations, Portland Press Herald

Eversource sues Portsmouth in tax dispute, Seacoastonline.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh, and Robert DeLeo need to move on climate change, Boston Globe

Keeping Millstone humming, The Day

GOP and Dem lawmakers: Interstate gas pipelines must adhere to N.J’s tougher safety regulations., NJ.com

Viewpoint: Transportation commission report could be a holiday gift for entire region, Business Journals

Our View: Hydro-Quebec answers key climate question, Kennebec Journal

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

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