Energy News for week ending August 16, 2019

Substantially completed | Warming hot spot | Vow to Move Forward | Cathartic Cleansing

Good afternoon folks.  We start this week’s recap with some good news.

From the Eagle Tribune, “Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed. Kempic said Columbia Gas workers have paved more than 150 driveways, sidewalks and private streets, as well as four state roads. There have been 870 projects involving poured concrete, according to the company’s tally. More than 3,500 properties have been aesthetically improved with seeding, in addition to landscaping and greenery. The company has also replaced heating and gas appliances for thousands of customers impacted by the disaster resulting from an over-pressurized gas line. ‘This fulfills Columbia Gas’ commitment to replace by Sept. 15, 2019, those affected appliances and equipment in customers’ homes which were only repaired in fall of 2018,’ according to a statement from Columbia Gas on Thursday. Kempic made clear while addressing the media that ‘while we’ve done a lot of work, we have a lot to do,’ he said. ‘We’re here for the long-term…’ The company is providing free insulation to homes in the three communities impacted through the end of 2019, to help curb heating bills. ‘We’re going to continue to work with the communities impacted; rebuilding trust in those communities,’ Kempic said.”

Some not so good climate news this week comes to us from the Washington Post, “A detailed analysis of 124 years of climate data across the United States shows that the Northeast is one of the fastest-warming regions in the country, with parts of the region exceeding the 2-degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) warming threshold defined by global policymakers as constituting ‘dangerous’ levels of climate change…In New England, warming is causing changes in the fishing industry, as warm water species move north. The Northeast’s average annual temperatures have increased the fastest during wintertime, in keeping with climate change projections that show cold seasons warming faster than warm seasons. New Jersey’s average temperature has climbed by close to 2 degrees Celsius since 1895, which is double average rate for the Lower 48 states. According to the new analysis, NOAA data shows that every Northeast state except for Pennsylvania has seen at least a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase since the late 19th century. This is resulting in earlier ice snow and ice melt across the region and fears of an endangered tourism industry reliant on winter sports.”

Of course everyone is looking to offshore wind to amp up our supply of carbon free generation. But the news of the delay in the fed’s review of Vineyard Wind sounded a lot of alarms. But fear not, according to a State House News Service story in the Taunton Gazette, “Vineyard Wind on Monday vowed that it will move forward with its $2.8 billion, 84-turbine wind farm project despite a new delay caused by the federal government, though the project will take shape on a new, yet-to-be-determined timeline. The U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday put a freeze on a crucial environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind, once slated to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in America, so they can study the wider impacts of an offshore wind industry that is quickly ramping up. Vineyard Wind officials had said in July that the entire project would be at risk if the federal government did not issue the permit by the end of August and the latest delay is likely to upend the supply chain, financing and construction timeline for the project chosen by the Baker administration and state utility companies to fulfill part of a 2016 clean energy law. On Monday, Vineyard Wind — a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables — said its shareholders had ‘affirmed a commitment to deliver a proposed 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, albeit with a delayed project schedule.’ Project officials have been working with contractors and financiers to rework the timeline — and Gov. Charlie Baker has spoken with Vice President Mike Pence about the project — but a new schedule has not yet been determined.”

Here’s an unusual energy story – sort of – from the NH Union Leader, “16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass. In a cathartic cleansing by fire, some of the earliest opponents of the Northern Pass Transmission project gathered at the Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum on Saturday to burn a model of a high-voltage tower…Before it was set on fire, the tower model, made of wood and built by Rick Johnsen and his son Zach, was filled with the detritus of the often contentious struggle between NPT and its opponents: inch-thick reports and studies, both pro and con; flyers; route maps; signs.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed, Eagle Tribune

Charlton seeks more time to weigh in on LNG plant proposal, Telegram.com

Weymouth: Federal Stay on Permit Processes for proposed Compressor Station Ends Today, WATD-FM

Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, Quincy appeal compressor permit, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas completes replaces appliances affected by Merrimack Valley explosions, Boston Globe

EPA seeks to limit states leveraging Clean Water Act to block pipelines, Washington Times

Massachusetts Among 22 States Suing Trump Administration Over New Coal Rules, CBS Boston / WBZ

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts Close to Finalizing a Clean Peak Standard. Good News for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

The Northeast is a warming hot spot, Post analysis finds, Washington Post

Once-Unpopular Carbon Credits Emerge as One of the World’s Best Investments, Wall St. Journal

2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT, Extreme climate change has arrived in America, Washington Post

Analysis: Total US renewables generation down 1% year on year, S&P Global Platts

Self-tweeting tree is Harvard’s newest climate change educator, Boston Globe

Renewables’ variability sends wary utilities from traditional DR to DER and load flexibility, Utility Dive

RGGI Generates $38.58M in Carbon-Permit Sale, Greentech Media

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says no company on Earth right now has a climate change strategy that’s good enough, Business Insider

Converting to Geothermal Energy, New York Times

 

Vineyard Wind

Community leaders rally for action on federal permit for Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Times

Feds’ delay puts crucial tax credit in jeopardy for Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

Vineyard Wind backers commit to delayed project, Taunton Gazette

Vineyard’s Delay Exposes Challenges for Fast-Moving US Offshore Wind Market, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind layout tough issue for regulators, CommonWealth Magazine

Industry group knocks feds’ ‘regrettable’ move on Vineyard Wind, Boston Business Journal

Sens. Warren And Markey Speak Out Against Vineyard Wind Decision, NA Windpower

Vineyard Wind dealt severe blow by feds, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Fed study of offshore wind could run into 2020, southcoasttoday.com

 

Wind

6 Offshore Wind Farms the Size of Nuclear Power Plants, Greentech Media

Falmouth Wind Turbine II MassDEP Loan Update -It’s A Loan, Patch

Commissioners divided on Hancock Wind settlement, Ellsworth America

 

Solar

Outshining fossil fuel: Your guide to the revolution in solar energy, New Scientist

Former Maine landfills finding new life with solar development, MaineBiz

A hotter planet will make solar power less efficient, MIT Technology Review

Everyone loves a guaranteed discount: New financing approach drives community solar growth, Utility Dive

Hyundai Creates a Car With a Roof-Based Solar Charging System, Entrepreneur

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Fall River businesses could benefit from state’s energy efficiency loans, Herald News

New York regulators call on FERC to exempt energy storage from NYISO’s mitigation measures, Utility Dive

EPA details renewables, efficiency health benefits as DOE slows energy savings progress, Utility Dive

Giant Batteries Supercharge Wind and Solar Plans, Wall St. Journal

 

EVs

Electric vehicles may not be able to avoid road maintenance taxes for much longer, Pacific Standard

US needs to invest $2.2 billion to meet EV charging demand through 2025: ICCT, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC staff approves sale of Pilgrim nuclear power plant, AP

Inside the lab where Bill Gates’ TerraPower is inventing the future of nuclear energy, GeekWire

New resident inspector named at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

Role of decommissioning citizen panels questioned, Brattleboro Reformer

Battle Emerges Over Nuclear Waste in America’s Oil Patch, Wall St. Journal

Meltdown averted: How VR headsets are making nuclear power plants safer, ZDNet

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant in the Arctic causes anxiety in Alaska, KTUU.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Coal, nuclear could see boost in New England this winter as new tariff goes into effect, Utility Dive

US Northeast power grid operators begin preparations for massive offshore wind additions, S&P Global

FERC Commissioner Chatterjee Issues Statement on ISO New England, Energy Central

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Businesses complain GMP rate bumps could total 16%, VT Digger

New Jersey Prepares for Second Round of Microgrid Funding, Microgrid Knowledge

State agrees to additional public hearing on rate changes, SILive

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Controversial New England Power Fix Shows U.S. Agency Split, Bloomberg

PSEG, union start talks after workers reject contract extension, Newsday

Wilton calls special town meeting for utility moratorium, Sun Journal

Study on Massachusetts utilities released, Wicked Local

Lawyers for aggrieved customers pan CMP compensation fund, Portland Press Herald

16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

To save our climate, start with our buildings, Boston Globe

Mayors of Salem, Holyoke call for carbon fee, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Time for uniform reporting of gas leaks, Salem News

Daniel Blackerby: Mills on front line of climate change, Sun Journal

Now is the time for offshore wind, The Hill

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

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