Energy News for week ending May 17, 2019

We’re gonna need a bigger boat | Could not win | Sound advice

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s round-up with a story about a new demand created by the offshore wind industry. From Bloomberg, “Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats. How do you install a wind turbine almost the size of the Chrysler building in the open ocean? Just get a boat with deck space larger than a football field and a crane that can lift the weight of 1,100 Chevy Suburban SUVs. Those specialist ships are scarce, numbering about a dozen in the world. And at a cost of more than $300 million, they each need to be capable of hoisting generators the size of shipping containers atop steel towers hundreds of feet tall. While wind turbine manufacturers led by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S and General Electric Co. are expanding the size of their machines quickly, the small cadre of mainly closely-held specialist shipowners that does the installations is hesitant to build more ships before they know how big the vessels need to be. That indicates a looming ship shortage in the next decade, threatening the outlook for a seven-fold jump in offshore wind capacity by 2030.”

From the Monty Python, “Not dead yet” category we have a story from NHPR about Northern Pass. “At N.H. Supreme Court, Eversource Argues It ‘Could Not Win’ On Northern Pass. The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Eversource’s bid to revive its Northern Pass transmission line. The justices are considering whether the proposal – a nearly 200-mile high-voltage power line to bring Canadian hydropower through the White Mountains to New England – should get a new hearing with the state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC. The court’s ruling in the case, which isn’t due out for several months to a year, could also provide new insight on how the SEC functions and whether the legislature should reform it…At Wednesday’s oral arguments, Eversource attorney Bill Glahn contended the utility did pass that test – the SEC just didn’t look properly at all the evidence made available to them. “What they did was put us in a position where we could not win,” Glahn said.”

We wrap up this week with another wind story – this one from EurekAlert! “Can sound protect eagles from wind turbine collisions? Every year, bald and golden eagles are killed when they inadvertently fly into wind turbine blades. One possible way to prevent these deaths is to chase the birds away with acoustic signals — sound. To determine what types of sounds are most effective in deterring the birds, researchers at the University of Minnesota and their colleagues tested the behavioral responses of bald eagles to a battery of both natural and synthetic acoustic stimuli…Perhaps not surprisingly, the eagles were more interested in, and paid closer attention to, natural calls rather than synthetic signals…The study also showed that bald and golden eagles’ ‘working auditory space’ falls within a fairly well-defined frequency band, with an upper cutoff frequency of approximately 6 kilohertz and a lower cut-off frequency below 0.35 kHz. The researchers recommend that signal designers use the data as a developmental guideline in efforts to design effective and efficient acoustic deterrent systems. The results from the project take one critical step forward in the effort to develop acoustic alerting or deterrence technologies that might discourage eagles from flying into wind farm airspaces and reduce instances of injury and death associated with turbine collision, McGee explained.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Mass. should step up gas-disaster plans, consultant says, Boston Globe

Longmeadow Town Meeting voters approve restrictions on natural gas facilities, MassLive

Con ed: no new natural gas for Westchester until 2023?, Yonkers Times

A Keystone-Like Pipeline Opens Fierce Battle Over New York’s ‘Energy Future,’ New York Times

National Grid’s 7-month lockout cost utility $362 million, Boston Herald

N.Y. Deals Critical Blow to $1 Billion Shale Gas Pipeline, Bloomberg

Mixed reviews for $80 million gas deal, Andover Townsman

 

Weymouth Compressor Station

Protesters Bolster Case Against Weymouth Compressor Station, WGBH

New Report Finds More Safety Concerns About Proposed Weymouth Compressor Station, WBUR

Opposition ramps up in compressor station fight, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas facility opponents gain support, Boston Globe

Professor accuses DEP of accepting Enbridge, “coaching” on air quality, Wicked Local

Two Days Into Weymouth Gas Compressor Hearings, Safety Of Emissions Disputed, WGBH

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

‘Net Zero’ proponents say science supports new emissions goals, Wicked Local Cohasset

Proposed state rule changes rekindle biomass debate, Berkshire Eagle

Snowing in New England, Soaking in the South — You Call This Spring?, New York Times

Extremes Are the New Norm: Why This Cold Spell is Lingering, NECN

Bates College achieves carbon neutral status to help stave off climate change, Sun Journal

Old, misleading info among perils of teaching climate change, Portland Press Herald

How climate change will affect the rural northeast: Expect three weeks of heat, Phys.org

 

Wind

Floating Offshore Wind Holds Promise for Vertical-Axis Turbines, Greentech Media

Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats, Bloomberg

Anbaric to flip Massachusetts coal plant site into offshore wind facility with 400 MW storage, Utility Dive

Connecticut House Green-Lights Offshore Wind Legislation, North American Wind Power

House approves bipartisan plan for wind power off New London, Hartford Courant

Wind power would bring new energy source to CT, Connecticut Post

Bose volunteers bond with Framingham students on wind projects, Milford Daily News

Vineyard Wind Receives Key Permit for Construction of Wind Farm Interconnection to Grid, Renewable Energy Magazine

Citizen group calls on Cuomo to squelch Lake Ontario wind power project, The Buffalo News

New London gets shorted in the wind deal, The Day

Prysmian reels in major US cable deal for Vineyard Wind, Recharge News

Can sound protect eagles from wind turbine collisions?, EurekAlert!

No vote on controversial wind turbine, Valley Breeze

Barnstable residents object to Vineyard Wind plans, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Scorching revenue growth at solar developer BlueWave, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

WoodMac: Solar Plants Cheaper Than Natural Gas ‘Just About Everywhere’ by 2023, Greentech Media

NY school district opens 3-MW solar farm, Renewables Now

New York provides $1 million for Anheuser-Busch solar array, AP

World’s First Drone-Based Shading Tool Approved in New York, Massachusetts, North American Clean Energy

Simsbury solar power project moves forward as developer buys land, Hartford Courant

State launches solar rebate program for customers of municipal light plants like Shrewsbury’s, Telegram

Sometimes solar panels are not a good fit for your home. Here’s why., Boston Globe

 

Efficiency/Storage

DOE proposal to roll back lightbulb efficiency puts billions in energy savings on the line, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Market size in US worth $4000 million by 2024, MarketWatch

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency, Science Daily

At Eversource, Energy Conservation Is the ‘First Fuel’, BusinessWest

Two Wayland homes get ‘Gold’ rating for efficiency, WickedLocal

 

EVs

Self-driving buses come to Providence, Boston Globe

 

Nuclear

Most Profitable Job in Nuclear Today Is Tearing Down Reactors, Bloomberg

Green New Deal activists dismiss nuclear power, Axios

NJ utility board going to court over $300M nuclear bailout, Press of Atlantic City

The Fusion Reactor Next Door, New York Times

Seabrook selectmen OK $36M tax agreement with nuke plant, Seacoast Online

Regulators ramp up oversight as Vermont Yankee dismantling begins, VTDigger

Disney could still build nuclear power plant after bill fizzles in Legislature, Orlando Sentinel

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

At N.H. Supreme Court, Eversource Argues It ‘Could Not Win’ On Northern Pass, NHPR

CMP: Bill to create consumer-owned utility amounts to ‘hostile takeover,’ Maine Biz

Northeastern University Aims to Set New Standard for Higher Ed with Advanced Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

I-Team: Metering, billing problems at CMP prompt two new state laws, WGME

National Grid says state ownership would delay UK’s move to green energy, Reuters

Massachusetts will have enough power to beat summer heat, ISO New England says, MassLive

With Construction Underway, Opponents Appeal Seacoast Power Line To N.H. Supreme Court, New Hampshire Public Radio

Is there a non-micro role on the New Hampshire power grid for microgrids?, Concord Monitor

Ethics of Beaton’s move to Lowell energy firm questioned, Sentinel & Enterprise

Chairman’s departure leaves Maine PUC with vacancy at critical time, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Accelerated gas leak repair campaign shows power of community advocacy, need for continued accountability (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

BIA Business Perspective: To lawmakers — Tread carefully on energy legislation, New Hampshire Union Leader

Letter to the editor: Oil pipeline can’t be swapped for CMP proposal, Portland Press Herald

Benefits of Killingly Energy Center begin with jobs, Connecticut Mirror

Irony of relying on natural gas, pursuit of pipeline should strike cord, The Telegraph

Letter to the editor: NECEC will benefit Maine’s energy supply, environment, Portland Press Herald

Losing nuclear comes at a cost, Daily Item

Get ready for another biomass battle, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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