Energy News for week ending February 1, 2019

Personnel Changes | Storage Goes Mainstream | Sun-powered Super Bowl

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s news with two personnel changes. Yesterday, Massachusetts’-own and enthusiastic Patriot’s fan, Cheryl LaFleur announced on Twitter she wouldn’t be “seeking a third-term at FERC” and would be leaving the Commission later this year. You can read more details at Utility Dive.

The second personnel announcement comes from the MA DPU where the Patriot Ledger reports that the new Chairman, Matthew Nelson, who is replacing Angie O’Connor, hails from Hull and that he “has worked for the agency for eight years, most recently as director of electric power and regional and federal affairs.”

Big energy efficiency news came out of Massachusetts this week as reported by CommonWealth Magazine, “State regulators on Wednesday approved utility plans to spend nearly $2.8 billion of ratepayer money over the next three years on initiatives designed to curb energy consumption in the aggregate and particularly at peak periods, resulting in energy savings of $8.5 billion. While Mass Save will continue to offer efficient light bulbs, insulation, and other standard energy-saving devices that help curb electricity and natural gas consumption, the focus of the program is starting to shift a bit, with homeowners incentivized to swap oil and propane systems for electric heat pumps and to purchase energy storage devices. Energy storage devices appear to be going mainstream. Under the energy efficiency program approved by the Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, utilities would offer performance-based financial incentives to customers who purchase the devices. At peak demand periods, utilities would pay the customer to use the stored energy to reduce his/her personal power usage or to feed the electricity into the grid. The DPU decision did not detail the size of the incentives, although in testimony the utilities said they would be sizeable.”

 

Last story for this week, (because, you know,…Super Bowl) comes from Inc. How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of). “Fans arriving at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta…will be far too excited to think twice about the carports that they’ll be parking under. But those structures go a long way toward helping the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium earn its status as the greenest sports arena in the world. Completed in 2017, the $1.5 billion stadium is the first sports facility ever to receive Platinum certification from the global rating system LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One decision that helped the stadium earn that honor: The carports in the parking lot are plastered with solar panels.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Struggles Due To Insufficient Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, Benzinga.com

National Grid: 95 percent of customers have gas service restored in Rhode Island, WHDH

Residents, businesses file class-action lawsuits following gas outage, WPRI

Attorney behind Newport gas outage lawsuit says ‘some people suffered real damages’, Newport Daily News

Drillers Are Easing Off the Gas, Wall St. Journal

Feds agree to visit Weymouth to hear gas compressor concerns, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

Braintree, Weymouth to appeal air permit for compressor, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

Utility Will Cover Gas Disaster Repair Costs Through May 2020, USA Patch

Danskammer officials outline plans for power plant revamp, Recordonline

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Traditional and renewable energy “at odds” in Connecticut, Connecticut Post

Democrats’ ‘carbon tax’ bill debated at State House hearing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New Jersey looks to rejoin RGGI to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, WHYY

Renewable energy brings questions in Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

US energy-related CO2 emissions rose in 2018 but are expected to fall in 2019, 2020, Daily Energy Insider

From Beer to Casinos, Businesses Turn to Solar, Wind Power, Wall St. Journal

Move To All-Renewable Energy A ‘Moral Obligation,’ Lawmaker Says, WGBH

In Vermont, a progressive haven, emissions spike forces officials to consider drastic action, Boston Globe

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost, AP News

Boston wants to go carbon neutral by 2050. Here’s how that could happen, Boston Globe

Science Says: Get used to polar vortex outbreaks, AP News

If the Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold Outside?, New York Times

7 Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass a Green New Deal, The Atlantic

Carbon Free Boston panel pushes $5 charge for cars on city streets, Boston Herald

GE restructures renewables business to include solar, storage, Utility Dive

 

Wind

A new way to predict sea breezes may benefit offshore wind farms, Phys.org

Backyard Wind Turbines Renew R.I.’s Energy Debate. EcoRI.org

Thiele Withdraws Support For Deepwater Wind Project, Says ‘Bait and Switch’ Has Eroded Trust, 27East.com

Court Rules State Has To Refund Fee For Swanton Wind Project That’s On Hold, VPR
Landmark project faces critical test in R.I.
 , National Wind Watch

Offshore wind set for ‘sixfold growth’, reNews

Momentum Continues to Build for NE Offshore Wind, RTO Insider

 

Solar

Bill proposes to roll back ‘gross metering’ rule impacting residential solar users, Mainebiz

Plymouth town meeting will consider 15-acre solar fields, The Enterprise

Vermont Solar-storage Projects Aim to Lower Costs During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of), INC.

Vermont regulators advance first of 3 Green Mountain Power solar-plus-storage projects, Utility Dive

Conti Solar Reaches 650 Megawatts Of Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Second solar farm has powered up in Warwick, Providence Journal

Solar supporters urge Maine lawmakers to restore financial incentives, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State adjusts priorities in $2.8B energy program, Sentinel & Enterprise

Massachusetts approves 3-year efficiency plan with first fuel-switching incentives, Utility Dive

Electricity storage takes key role in energy efficiency plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Next Middleborough Science Cafe will look at energy efficient buildings, Southcoasttoday

What Does the Nuclear Power Phase-Out Mean for Energy Storage?, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

With rise of electric vehicles, a new foreign energy dependence looms, Houston Chronicle

 

Nuclear

How do you dismantle a nuclear power plant? Very, very carefully. Washington Post

Can We Drill A Hole Deep Enough For Our Nuclear Waste?, Forbes.com

These dumpsters of old nuclear waste are costing taxpayers a fortune, Boston Globe

Bill Gates comes to Washington — selling the promise of nuclear energy, Washington Post

The Nuclear Kid — Memphis youth builds home nuclear fusion reactor, Commercial Appeal

United States : Markey, Warren, Moulton Commend Decision to Delay Seabrook Nuclear Plant License Amendment and Extension, MarketWatch

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

FERC’s LaFleur to step down after push from Senate Democrats, Utility Dive

Hydro Quebec to increase hydropower capacity to more than 37,000 MW in 2021, S&P Global

Blue state AGs press McNamee recusal in resilience docket, Utility Dive

As Maine debates 145-mile electric line, energy giant with billions at stake is absent, Bangor Daily News

Watertown’s hydro power not running at capacity, Watertown (NY) Daily News via Energy Central

Eversource Seeks Rate Hike to Cover Storm Damage Costs in Connecticut, Insurance Journal

State to take up power plant project, The Bulletin

Critics call for replacing CMP, Emera Maine with a ‘consumer-owned utility’, Portland Press Herald

Saviello requests PUC amend NECEC schedule to consider alternatives, Mainebiz

Lamont talks grid reliability, offshore wind with DEEP staff, The Day

Utility Grid Modernization Plans: The Latest Developments, Greentech Media

State’s new public utilities chairman is from Hull, Patriot Ledger

Still no deal between Eversource, wood-fired power plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

LETTER: Extending Seabrook plant’s license is right move, Daily News of Newburyport

Another View: Editorial offers incomplete picture of Maine PUC’s oversight efforts, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Solar benefits, Wilton Bulletin

Guest Opinion: Time for a Green New Deal in R.I., Westerly Sun

‘Carbon Free Boston’ begins with cars and homes, Boston Globe

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

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