Energy News for week ending August 2, 2019

Whack-a-Mole | Protection Eliminated | RI Raises Concerns

Happy Thursday! We’re coming at you a day early this week, because tomorrow is a busy day.

So let’s get at it.

We don’t normally feature an Op Ed, but this one from MA Attorney General Maura Healey caught our attention. As CommonWealth Magazine explains it, “Attorney General Maura Healey’s office issued a new report on Thursday indicating that consumers who signed on with competitive electricity suppliers between July 2017 and June 2018 paid $76.2 million more than if they remained with their existing service carrier. An earlier report reached similar conclusions. Healey has filed legislation that would bar competitive suppliers from contracting with new residential customers after January 1.”

In another item from CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie baker and the Legislature on Wednesday rushed through a measure that eliminates the state requirement that the next offshore wind contract come in at a price lower than the last one. The so-called declining price cap was approved in 2016 because of fears the price of offshore wind power would be high, with electricity ratepayers needing some protection against excessive prices. But the initial contract price with Vineyard Wind was much lower than expected, so low that many are concerned no companies will even bid on the next contract. Bids are due on the next contract August 9.”

Speaking of wind, it seems our neighbors to the south are making it tough for Vineyard Wind to move forward. From the Boston Globe, “If the nation’s first major offshore wind farm doesn’t get off the ground, there will be plenty of finger-pointing to go around. Some may be pointed at Rhode Island’s congressional delegation. The state’s two senators and two representatives sent a letter on July 12 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, expressing concerns about how the federal agency has handled the review of offshore wind development. In particular, they want BOEM to be more sensitive to potential conflicts with fishermen and marine life. (They also want the agency to open a regional office in Rhode Island.) The letter doesn’t mention the Vineyard Wind project by name. But the timing indicates Vineyard Wind was on their minds: The letter went out the same week the developer learned that a crucial permit from BOEM would be delayed. Vineyard Wind, a venture owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, said it would need the permit within the next several weeks. If not, its 800-megawatt wind farm proposal for waters south of Martha’s Vineyard couldn’t proceed in its current form.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Have a great Friday and weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts House of Representatives approves air monitoring station near Weymouth compressor, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas settles class action lawsuits related to gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Oil and gas groups under pressure to plug leaks, Financial Times

Controversial Williams Pipeline Could Still be Built Despite Rejection, Spectrum News NY1

PSEG on track to reduce emissions 80%, will divest all remaining coal interests, Utility Dive

Rally calls for National Grid to repair gas leaks, Boston Globe

Hempstead Town may drop National Grid to save millions on gas bills for homes, businesses, Newsday

State filings detail lawmakers’ financial interests, possible conflicts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Scientists say they debunked claims of natural warming, E&E News

At Cape planning summit, future is climate change, Cape Cod Times

R.I. says clean energy plan falls short, Providence Journal

These states are producing the most renewable energy. Where does yours rank?, USA Today

New Bedford cited as a leader among clean energy communities, southcoasttoday.com

Pittsfield’s Renewable Energy Work Highlighted, IBerkshires

Few US cities on track to meet climate goals: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Wellesley receives $25,000 grant to help combat climate change, Boston Globe

Three Dartmouth alumni oppose $200 million biomass plant, New Hampshire Union Leader

House passes $1.3 billion for community climate resiliency projects, Wicked Local

Somerset plant awarded low-cost electricity, Niagara Gazette

 

Wind

Offshore wind price protection eliminated, CommonWealth Magazine

Exclusive: First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns, Reuters

Baker developing ‘cure plan’ for Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

R.I. delegation raises concerns with speed of offshore wind review, Boston Globe

Island taking steps to seek mitigation money from Vineyard Wind, The Inquirer and Mirror

Scientists say Vineyard Wind project poses little risk to endangered whales, Energy Central

NY contracts with Eversource project, Journal Inquirer

Renewable groups pressure governor on wind price caps, southcoasttoday.com

Bourne homeowners file suit over turbines, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Brunswick’s tax on solar panels is legal, court rules, Portland Press Herald

Natick High School Could Save $20K with New Solar Panels, Patch

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

“Net zero” schools opening soon in Lexington, receive statewide recognition, Wicked LocaL

Engie Will Pay Storage Developers for Wholesale Market Dispatch Rights, Greentech Media

Study: New York State regulators are ignoring battery-storage trends, IEEFA

NY-BEST: New York peaker study underestimates storage potential, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Senate committee unanimously approves $1 billion for EV, natural gas and hydrogen fuel infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC denies group’s emergency petition, Daily News of Newburyport

Lockheed Martin Doubles Down on Cold Fusion, Motley Fool

CDI joint venture wins contract to decommission Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, S&P Global Platts

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

LaFleur cautions on administrative interference as she exits FERC, Utility Dive

Raimondo’s pick to lead Public Utilities Commission withdraws, Providence Journal

Dozens of Portland streetlights stay dark amid contract dispute with CMP, Portland Press Herald

First in the Nation Municipal Microgrid Program Advances Toward Final Goal Line, Microgrid Knowledge

Small Businesses in New York City Install Microgrids with RISE Funds, Microgrid Knowledge

Lawmakers hike assessment on utilities 50%, CommonWealth Magazine

Power line requiem or the Northern Pass megawatt blues, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Regulator: Decision on CMP rate request likely to be delayed, Portland Press Herald

S&P revises Eversource outlook to negative on offshore wind investment, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Time to put an end to whack-a-mole electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Burning more fossil fuels has no place in addressing climate crisis, Telegram

Jump on solar project while we can, by Stephanie Scherr, Keene Sentinel

Terry M. Jarrett | State power grids feel the strain of summer heat, Tribune-Democrat

The false promise of nuclear power, Boston Globe

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

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