Energy News for week ending March 22, 2019

Last Minute Deal | Nuclear Valued | Felled Fruit

Happy Friday and welcome to this week’s energy news recap.

We start in Connecticut with a story that came out just after we published last Friday’s edition. From the New Haven Register, “Last minute deal reached to keep Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear plant open. Gov. Ned Lamont and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said Friday Dominion Energy and Connecticut’s two major electric utility companies, Eversource and United Illuminating, struck a deal Friday that will keep the company’s Millstone nuclear facility in Waterford operating. Word of the deal came hours before a deadline that Virginia-based Dominion had to notify New England’s regional electric grid operator, ISO-New England, whether or not the nuclear plant would be shut down. Under the terms of the agreement, Dominion will supply Eversource and UI with electric power generated at Millstone for a 10-year period. The deal must still be approved by Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which has 180 days to act on it. Ken Holt, a Dominion spokesman, said the date when Millstone begins supplying the power to the utilities and other details of the contract won’t be released until PURA has ruled on the deal.”

Speaking of nuclear, and also occurring last Friday, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors released a statement that reads in part, “…A particular challenge is the retirement of nuclear generation resources, which serve approximately 25% of the region’s annual electricity demand. For example, closure of the 2,100 MW Millstone nuclear facility, which Connecticut state agencies have determined to be at risk of retirement as early as 2023, could expose New England ratepayers to increased winter energy security risks. Its retirement could also increase the New England power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. Recognizing that the entire New England region has a stake in ensuring a reliable energy system that also produces affordable outcomes for consumers, the New England Governors commit to work together, in coordination with ISO New England and through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), to evaluate market-based mechanisms that value the contribution that existing nuclear generation resources make to regional energy security and winter reliability.” Ah, it’s too bad this is all too late for Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee.

For our last feature this week we go back to Connecticut for a story that made us think of the George Bernard Shaw quote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” From WFSB, Eyewitness News 3, “Fruit trees on a Southington homeowner’s property are now gone after she says Eversource workers cut them all down. Eversource has been working in the area, trimming trees that are near power lines…She says at least 7 of her fruit trees were taken down…some fruit trees have been there for almost 10 years…While there were power lines above her property, she said the trees they cut down were not much taller than a swing set…Eversource said their trimming cycle is every five years and they sent letters before doing the work. ‘This area has many landscaped yards underneath the transmission lines, so in February we sent all the property owners a letter explaining the work that will be done and urged them to call us if there were any concerns,’ said Frank Poirot, Eversource spokesperson. Raudis says she received a letter but it wasn’t specific about her fruit trees, just about cutting down brush…Channel 3 has learned from Eversource that they plan on replacing the trees in Raudis’s yard.” Here’s looking forward to seeing other fruit trees in blossom this spring.

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State sets Longmeadow public hearing on Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion in Hampden County, MassLive

Granite Bridge pipeline tests state infrastructure corridors, Seacoastonline.com

Liberty Utilities update of natural gas pipeline proposal finds 30% spike in cost to accommodate environmental concerns, New Hampshire Union Leader

Newport Looking For Feedback Following Gas Outage, USA Patch

No new natural gas hookups in New York’s Westchester County, Con Ed says, Reuters

 

Merrimack Valley/Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Columbia Gas Has Paid Out $94.8 Million In Disaster Claims, USA Patch

Utility safety becomes Ray LaHood’s top priority, Boston Globe

Exclusive: Columbia Gas boss talks safety, trust and being a fix-it guy, Business Journals

Bay State legislators question Columbia Gas claims process, Boston Herald

Uncertainty For NiSource Due To Merrimack Recovery, Seeking Alpha

Six months after gas disaster, problems remain in Lawrence, MSN

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sierra Club’s Massachusetts climate leadership summit focuses on push for change, Telegram

Future of the gas tax? Running on empty., Hartford Business Journal

9 Northeastern states share $115M from carbon sale, Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The new, safer nuclear reactors that might help stop climate change, MIT Tech Review

Electrifying news: Solar and wind power has quintupled in a decade, Grist

Environmental groups oppose state’s biomass incentives, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Wind

NOAA questions Vineyard Wind environmental impact study, Gloucester Times

As first US utility-scale offshore wind project nears approval, supply chain, permitting come into focus, Utility Dive

What’s Hot in Offshore Wind: 5 Dispatches from the Front Lines, Union of Concerned Scientists

The U.S. is on the cusp of an offshore wind energy boom. Why aren’t energy companies capitalizing on it?, Phys.org

SE Mass. officials seek “tweak’ in wind policy, CommonWealth Magazine

Developer: Dairy Air Wind dilemma caused by state regulators, National Wind Watch (via The Caledonian Record, VT)

Mayor wants to take Weaver’s Cove land for wind energy venture, Herald News

Apex Energy Plans to Bring 33 Turbines to Orleans County, Spectrum Local News (NY)

Suso Provides Falmouth Wind Turbine Update, Falmouth Enterprise

Public hearing starts on Revolution Wind project, Providence Business News

 

Solar

New England transmission operator projects sharp rise in solar generation through 2028, IEEFA

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar stormwater plan, News-Times

New community solar project in Hartland, VT converts brownfield to brightfield, Utility Dive

In Connecticut, The Costs And Benefits Of Shared Solar Are Tough To Calculate, WNPR

Maine renews net metering as lawmakers prep new clean energy, utility reform bills, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How residential energy storage could help support the power grid, McKinsey & Company

Ratepayer-funded energy efficiency is ‘not’ a carbon tax, Foster’s Daily Democrat

New York utility installing battery to reduce peaks in non-wires alternative plan, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

How Much Oil Is Displaced by Electric Vehicles? Not Much, So Far, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Last minute deal reached to keep Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear plant open, New Haven Register

Startup promotes permanent nuclear waste storage, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear Power in the Age of Decommissioning, JD Supra

New England commits to value of nuclear, World Nuclear News

Can Pennsylvania’s energy market, environment survive without Three Mile Island?, PennLive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

APCC Calls on Eversource, State Regulators to Discontinue Vegetation Control with Herbicides, Cape Cod

PUC revises deadlines in CMP’s $950M hydropower transmission case, Mainebiz

Franklin County commissioners pull support for CMP transmission line, Portland Press Heralds

Dozens gather in Augusta to protest CMP transmission line proposal, WGME

Eversource’s underwater cable plan for Norwalk Harbor stirs resistance, The Hour

Woman upset after Eversource cut down fruit trees in her yard, WFSB

NECEC debate comes to Farmington with hearings, town meeting vote scheduled, The Daily Bulldog

Boston makes its move into electricity purchasing for its residents and businesses, Boston Globe

Anbaric Files for 1.2 GW Massachusetts Wind Interconnection, Subsea World News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Rep. Tina Riley: The bigger picture: The discussion we should be having around the CMP corridor, Sun Journal

Nothing’s perfect: The hidden costs of the Green New Deal, Hartford Courant

Editorial: Pipelines not a part of state’s future, New Haven Register

State of the states: 4 reasons that red plus blue makes green economics, Utility Dive

We need action on clean-energy efforts, by Rob Germeroth, Keene Sentinel

Conn. made the right call keeping Millstone nuclear power plant open, Boston Globe

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

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