Energy News for week ending April 5, 2019

IMBY| Maine Boost| Duck Hunting

 

Welcome to the April 5th edition of the Northeast Energy News.

This week we start in New Hampshire where the Monadnock Ledger Transcript reports, “A well-known New Hampshire entrepreneur wants to create an home-sized power plant that can provide electricity, heat and hot water using a type of engine that has been around for a century but never really commercialized…Steve Walker, founder of New England Wood Pellet and innovator in the biomass industry, who has founded a tiny company in Peterborough that just got $3 million in federal research money to develop a mini power plant that can fit in your home using a Brayton cycle engine…Walker has assembled a small team and formed a company called IMBY, which stands for “In My Back Yard.” Their goal is to put a Brayton engine combined with a heat pump in a single unit that creates both electricity and heat – known as “combined heat and power,” the most efficient way to generate energy for buildings – and to make it available for about $15,000 installed in a single-family home. If such a unit could provide a home’s electricity, heat, air conditioning and even hot water, as well as act as a backup generator during power outages and possibly make a little money by selling power back into the grid, then there’s definitely a market.”

Now we move east to Maine, where according to the State House News Service via the Worcester Business Journal, “The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission has recommended a key certificate for a major hydropower project that could bring major economic and environmental benefits to New England, though staffers acknowledged “adverse and significant” effects on scenic and recreational values in areas near the project. Maine’s Public Utilities Commission staff on Friday night recommended a certificate of public convenience and necessity for New England Clean Energy Connect, a 1,200 megawatt transmission line project running 145 miles from the Canadian border to Lewiston, Maine that is designed to move Hydro Québec power into the region.”

With respect to that bit about “’adverse and significant’ effects on scenic and recreational values,” be sure to check out the Editorial/Opinions section for several items related to that topic.

Our last stop this week is Massachusetts, where PV Magazine reports that we have really lousy weather, especially in the winter, at least when it comes to solar. “Massachusetts goes duck hunting. The state has unveiled a straw proposal of its new Clean Peak Standard, which appears to focus on mitigating future “duck curve” effects, as well as meeting winter peak energy demand. And this is good news for solar + battery storage…the administration of Governor Charlie Baker (R) has compelling reasons for designing the policy whose first draft which was unveiled today in Boston: the Clean Peak Standard. This policy is designed to incentivize energy sources that not only supply zero-carbon electricity, but supply it when it is needed.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Statewide review of natural gas systems part of budget bill, Boston Herald

Moulton, Trahan: Act now on gas-pipeline safety, Eagle Tribune

New State Regulation Could Cut Emissions From Natural Gas Leaks In Half, Report Says, WBUR

Citizens speak out during Tennessee Gas Pipeline hearing, Reminder Publications

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Get Ready For 1.5¢ Renewable Electricity, Steven Chu Says, Which Could Unleash Hydrogen Economy, Forbes.com

Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables. New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils, Microgrid Knowledge

Siting of Renewables Divides Rhode Island’s Land and People, ecoRI news

 

Wind

We Checked President Trump’s Dubious Claims on the Perils of Wind Power, New York Times

Sen. Collins stresses importance of funding wind energy program, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

As Maine re-ups net metering, fight over solar tariffs brews in Connecticut, Utility Dive

Solar Power’s Benefits Don’t Shine Equally on Everyone, Scientific American

NJ Board of Public Utilities launches solar energy pilot program, Daily Energy Insider

Massachusetts goes duck hunting, pv magazine USA

Rhode Island Sweetens Brownfield Solar Incentives, Solar Industry

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How Massachusetts Compensates Battery Storage Owners for Energy Efficiency: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

Maryland passes energy storage pilot program to determine future regulatory framework, Utility Dive

Clean Energy Group: Massachusetts creates nationwide precedent to reduce storage, Vermont Biz

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, vtdigger.org

 

Nuclear

Senate re-introduces bill to help advanced nuclear technology, Ars Technica

Commission, state to ask feds for Vt. Hearing, Brattleboro Reformer

Pa. Senate bill aims to aid state nuclear plants, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Massachusetts Says it Has Right to Intervene in Pilgrim Plant License transfer, Exchange Monitor

How the nuclear “dread” zone handicaps public support, Axios.com

Why some environmental groups oppose a bill to help out low-carbon nuclear plants, Pennsylvania Capital-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, renews.biz

Hydro project sought by Massachusetts gets boost in Maine, Worcester Business Journal

Controversial $1B Canada-US transmission line gets nod from Maine PUC staff, Utility Dive

ISO-NE releases discussion paper on energy security challenges, solutions, ISO Newswire

Ward councilor, assistant AG fight National Grid rate increase at Brockton hearing, Enterprise News

Safety first, Eagle-Tribune

Major energy project in the works in Peterborough, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Divided Mainers weigh in on CMP’s $1B transmission project, Bangor Daily News

 

Editorial/Opinion

The Climate Needs Nuclear Power, Wall St. Journal

FLOATING WIND TURBINES – A No-Brainer for Newfoundland Offshore, The OGM

Maine Voices: CMP corridor’s climate claims don’t hold up to scrutiny, Press Herald

Letter to the Editor: Dismayed about CMP power line, Daily Bulldog

Do not bury solar energy in Connecticut, The CT Mirror

New England Grid Operator Ignores Value of Offshore Wind, Natural Resources Defense Council

Our View: Maine’s new solar law is just a first step, Press Herald

Viewpoint: Corridor would compromise forests, Mount Desert Islander

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, Pilgrim Closing, solar

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