Energy News for week ending September 6, 2019

800 MW Expansion | Bid details released | Save the bogs

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with two renewables stories from the State House News Service that were picked up by local outlets.

From MassLive, “State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program. The Baker administration proposed an expansion of a solar energy development program Thursday, days after industry officials released a report outlining job losses in the sector that executives attributed to policy shortcomings and uncertainty. According to a senior administration official, the changes outlined in a new ‘straw proposal’ will help advance projects on utility territory waiting lists, help deliver solar energy benefits in low-income areas, and require larger solar projects to be paired with energy storage infrastructure. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, would receive an additional 800-megawatt authorization under the proposal, up from the initial 1,600 megawatts. Energy Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock said another change would define low-income communities in connection with environmental justice standards, a move that he said would enable solar energy developers to more confidently target low-income areas for new projects.”

From South Coast Today, “Latest round of offshore wind bid details released. The state and three utilities on Wednesday released the details of the three pitches they received from developers who want to build wind farms off the coast and deliver clean energy to Massachusetts homes and businesses, and will now use the next two months to select the project that most benefits Massachusetts…The state and Eversource, National Grid and Unitil are seeking to procure at least 400 megawatts of power but will consider proposals from 200 megawatts up to 800 megawatts. The procurement is expected to fulfill the second half of the Legislature’s 2016 authorization of 1,600 megawatts of wind power…The state and utilities expect to select a project by November 8 and execute a long-term contract by Dec. 13. The contract would be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for its approval by Jan. 10, 2020. The three projects vying to be selected are Mayflower Wind, Vineyard Wind 2 and Bay State Wind.”

For our last highlighted story of the week, we take another look at the SMART program with a story from WGBH, “Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs? A state solar energy incentive program launched last November has a handful of Massachusetts cranberry farmers hoping for a new way to farm their fruit — and stay in the farming business. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Energy Target (SMART) program awards farmers a stipend for the solar energy they produce from solar panels built over their active farmland. Some cranberry farmers are skeptical and say building solar panels over their bogs is too risky; it could destroy their crop. Others say solar panels are their only option to keep afloat in a struggling industry. Cranberries are the commonwealth’s largest agricultural food crop, but the industry has hit hard times. Last year, cranberry prices in Massachusetts cratered, falling to $22 for a barrel (or 100 pounds) of the fruit. It was a 29 percent tumble from prices the year before, and the lowest price per barrel in almost two decades. Under the SMART program, the state incentivizes farmers to build solar panels on their productive farmland. But there is a catch: the state requires farmers to continue producing food on the same land as the solar panels. The project’s goal is to preserve the state’s farmland while encouraging solar development. A handful of the state’s more than 300 cranberry growers are interested in installing the panels on their land. They say the state’s incentive plan would help them remain in the cranberry business.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Delays Review Of Proposed Natural Gas Compressor Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Southern N.E.’s Fossil-Fuel Infrastructure Builds Up, EcoRI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Search Continues for Strong Current of Tidal Power, EcoRI

Connecticut governor calls for 100% carbon-free power by 2040, Utility Dive

Biomass could replace natural gas at Brattleboro paper board factory, VT Digger

Repowering Rural New England Communities with Renewables, Triple Pundit

 

Wind

Latest round of offshore wind bid details released, South Coast Today

Why collaboration is critical to offshore wind and port success, Windpower Engineering & Development

Mayflower Wind promises lowest US price yet, CommonWealth Magazine

Fall River waterfront luring wind energy businesses, South Coast Today

Proposed Wind Farm Off Atlantic City May Use Oyster Creek Substation to Access Electric Grid, The Sandpaper

Kissing the Sky: The Pros and Cons of Ultra-Tall Wind Turbine Towers, Greentech Media

Select Board votes for all-wind electricity for Harvard, Harvard Press

 

Solar

State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program, MassLive

New Haven company looks to crowdfund solar panels for nonprofit, New Haven Register

Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs?, WGBH

Report: Mass. solar sector absorbing job drain, South Coast Today

Back to school: Four lessons on solar energy for the real estate industry – by Craig Huntley, New England Real Estate Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Department to prolong the lives of incandescent lightbulbs, Washington Post

Worcester scores in bottom third in national report on energy efficiency, Telegram

 

EVs

Senior center drivers get electric-powered ride, Worcester Telegram

 

Nuclear

AG seeks stay of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

C-10 to host lecture by former NRC chairman, Newburyport Daily News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents take first formal step to bring CMP’s transmission project to a statewide vote, Bangor Daily News

List of Maine towns opposing CMP transmission corridor grows, Portland Press Herald

Middlebury wastewater-to-energy proposal gains momentum, Addison Independent

Researchers Propose Floating Microgrids Made up of Electric Boats, Microgrid Knowledge

LaFleur Exit Fuels Concern Of Future FERC Slowdown, Law360

Proposed utility box irks some Amherst councilors, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CLF sues to halt Eversource’s Seacoast power line project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our view: Don’t let Vineyard Wind lose momentum, Salem News

Cuomo’s pricey wind-power gift to unions, NY Post

Mark Amato: Agriculture, solar power, are a great match for state, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. should accelerate solar development, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal Light Plants need to be part of greenhouse gas reduction efforts, The Landmark

Addressing our planet’s climate emergency, Greenfield Recorder

How net metering changes the electric utility landscape, Fosters.com

Leave a comment

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.