Energy News for week ending May 31, 2019

End of an Era | Upended | Freedom Gas

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, we all knew it was coming. Today is the day that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth shuts down for good. I’m a bit biased since I worked closely with Pilgrim employees and Entergy over the past 10+ years, but I think it’s safe to say that while the divide about Pilgrim and nuclear power in general remains, we can probably all agree that it must be a tough day for the folks who work at the plant. The crew of nearly 600 employees worked tirelessly the past few years to bring the plant’s NRC safety rating back to green or “normal oversight” and they did it because they have pride in their work and value the benefits that Pilgrim’s near carbon-free power brought to the grid and the environment. So, we offer our thanks to the men and women who worked there over the past 46+ years for keeping us safe and providing us with an abundance of clean power and wish them well on what life’s adventure brings them next. Here’s a story from the Cape Cod Times on Pilgrim’s shutdown.

We move to another controversial subject in Massachusetts which is that of the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station. From the Patriot Ledger, “The Department of Environmental Protection’s three-day delay in notifying parties of new data relevant to an air quality permit appeal case “upended the proceedings” and, as a result, the hearing will be extended to allow full consideration of the latest information, the adjudicator overseeing the case ruled Thursday. After receiving arguments from all parties on whether the latest batch of data concerning a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth warrants continuation of the appeal, hearing officer Jane Rothchild ruled that, by waiting to release the data until the hearing was nearly complete, the DEP “prevented (petitioners) from having a fair and complete opportunity” to cross-examine witnesses. In another article from the same outlet, they quoted Attorney General Maura Healey with saying that, “State environmental regulators ‘really bungled’ air-quality testing in connection with the review of a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.’

Last story for this week comes from the, “What were they thinking?” bin and was analyzed by Axios, “Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports ‘freedom gas.’ The Department of Energy uncorked a memorable phrase yesterday when it approved expanded shipments from the Freeport LNG site in Texas. Here’s Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes yesterday in DOE’s greatest press release ever: ‘Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.’ Another DOE official touted ‘molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world.’ The fallout: The phrasing got a ton of coverage and produced some fun writing, like this from Slate’s Jordan Weissmann: ‘As one of my colleagues put it, spreading freedom gas sounds like what happens when you’re newly single and suddenly have the apartment to yourself.’” Be sure to check out the article for why the statement matters.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Charlton residents voice concern over proposed liquid natural gas plant on Route 169, Worcester Telegram

Fire chief discusses gas leaks on ‘Wayland Weekly Buzz’, Wicked Local Wayland

‘Freedom Gas,’ the Next American Export, New York Times

Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports “freedom gas,” Axios

Leaks Threaten Safety – and Success – of America’s Top Natural Gas Exporter, Center for Public Integrity

 

Weymouth

2 more days of hearings scheduled in compressor case, Patriot Ledger

Proposed gas compressor station in Massachusetts poses air pollution risks, Harvard Medical School

Energy Company Behind Weymouth Compressor Says New Air Quality Data Shouldn’t Affect Permits, WBUR

Healey says DEP ‘really bungled’ compressor data, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers urge DEP to revoke Weymouth compressor permit, Wicked Local

Hearing on compressor station safety set for June 17, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The ticket to 100% renewable power is underneath our feet, Grist

DeLeo touts $1.3b GreenWorks program, Boston Globe

Cities Are Making Big Climate Promises. Keeping Them Can Be Tough, NPR

NH Senate approves more subsides for biomass plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

Businesses lobby for renewable energy bills at State House, New Hampshire Union Leader

Climate driving new right whale movement, Phys.org

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the U.S. East Coast from hurricanes, Phys.org

Climate Change May Have Caused Mass Puffin Die-Off, Discover

The White House Plan to Change Climate Science, New York Times

Once again, it’s not easy being green, The Day

Maine natural gas company has big plans to turn cow manure into renewable energy, WGME

 

Wind

Orsted: US Offshore Wind Supply Chain Decisions Coming Soon, Greentech Media

$1B Rhode Island Wind Farm To Power 270,000 Homes, Patch

PSEG looks to benefit from — but not build — offshore wind developments, WHYY

Defense bill raises fear of delayed projects, or worse, E&E News

US Energy Department Wants to See Lighter Offshore Wind Turbines, Greentech Media

State approves 22-turbine wind project for Hancock County, Bangor Daily News

 

Solar

New York state winters could pose solar farm ‘ramping’ snag for power grid, Science Daily

Connecticut House saves net metering, for now, but green groups want more, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Program Increases Solar Access For Municipal Light Plant Customers, Solar Industry

The Energy 202: California utilities’ planned blackouts this wildfire season prompt residents to adopt solar power, Washington Post

 

Efficiency/Storage

World’s Largest Renewable Energy Storage Project Announced in Utah, Associated Press

New York utilities increasingly embrace non-wires alternatives as ConEd forges the path, Utility Dive

 

Pilgrim Closing

After 46 years, Pilgrim nuclear plant shutting down, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear power plant workers prep for shutdown after 47 years, AP

You Asked, We Answered: Questions About The Pilgrim Shutdown, WBUR

Pilgrim Is Closing. So Then What Happens To The Radioactive Waste?, WBUR

 

Nuclear

Nuclear plant’s new owners receive high marks, Daily Hampshire Gazette

IEA rings alarm bell on phasing out nuclear energy, Reuters

Three Mile Island’s closure haunts Pennsylvania’s nuclear debate, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New Map Shows Expanse Of U.S. Nuclear Waste Sites, Forbes.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

FERC Rejects New England Tx Rate Settlement, RTO Insider

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Seacoastonline.com

‘Grid Transformation Day’ Highlights ISO-NE Challenges, RTO Insider

APPA: Deregulation has not achieved intended results, Utility Dive

National Grid agrees to pass savings from federal tax cuts to R.I. ratepayers, Providence Journal

Judge reconsidering stay in CMP complaint lawsuit, Portland Press Herald

Who Pays on a Decentralized Grid? New York Tackles the Equity Problem with New Rates, Microgrid Knowledge

US Northeast power markets try to balance changes to capacity markets, valuation mechanisms, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Changing energy sources should be top priority, Eagle-Tribune

Letter: Brydon Ross: R.I. energy costs among the worst in nation, Providence Journal

Climate crisis requires urgent action: Op-Ed, The Advocate

Kicking the tires on battery-electric buses, Commonwealth Magazine

Why Advanced Nuclear Reactors May Be Here Sooner Than Many Imagine, Greentech Media

How to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs, Boston Globe

Maine Voices: Proposal to revive offshore wind project does not pass the smell test, Portland Press Herald

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

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