Energy News for week ending September 27, 2019

Returning Home | Brookline Ban | Solar and Farms

 

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

After this morning’s scare, there is good news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, “At a press conference just before 2 p.m. Friday, Mayor Daniel Rivera said most residents evacuated due to a natural gas leak in a South Lawrence neighborhood earlier in the day will be able to return to their homes starting at 3 p.m… They were taken to the shelter by buses earlier in the day. Rivera, other city officials and Gov. Charlie Baker said the source of the gas leak has been discovered and is in the process of being repaired. Officials stressed it is safe for residents to return to their homes, except for those who live on South Broadway between Merrimack and Andover streets and on Carver Street. Gas and power to homes not in those specific areas have been turned back on, but will remain shut off in those areas, which are close to the source. Officials said gas and power to those remaining homes will be turned on as soon as it is determined to be safe. More announcements on that situation will be coming today. Rivera said the leak is not related to the larger gas pipe system in the area that was replaced after last year’s disaster. ‘There is no public safety concern,” the mayor said. “This is an isolated incident.’”

Speaking of gas, WBUR reports “Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town. Like a growing number of communities across the state and nation, Brookline has set an aggressive goal to eliminate its climate-changing emissions by 2050.Town Meeting member Jesse Gray has proposed a simple but far-reaching bylaw to help Brookline meet that goal: Ban new gas pipelines and infrastructure in future major construction. ‘The most practical and cost effective way to achieve that goal is not to install new fossil fuel system when we’re building new buildings and when we are gut-renovating them,’ Gray said. Brookline will vote on Gray’s proposal during November’s Town Meeting. Gray estimates a ban would cut the town’s climate change emissions 15% over the next 30 years, but it wouldn’t prevent anyone in an existing home from swapping an old gas stove or appliance with a new one.”

On the solar front, we have two stories this week about the opportunity to use farmland for solar. The Wall St. Journal reports that, “U.S. farmers are embracing an alternative means of turning sunlight into revenue during a sharp downturn in crop prices: solar power.” And Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes, “As the state’s Department of Environmental Resources makes a push to expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program and encourage more solar projects to increase the supply of renewable energy, there are questions about whether wooded land, and the carbon sequestration benefits trees offer, will be compromised….Sean Garren of Vote Solar Action Fund, which has advocated for greater use of solar, said cutting down trees, or taking over prime agricultural land, is a valid worry, and should be addressed in any comprehensive plan for addressing climate change…One solution is to continue putting as much solar as possible on marginal lands, he said, as well as on roofs and over parking lots. Already-cleared land should be encouraged for use, he said, as there are opportunities for farmland to share crops and solar installations. ‘Instead of merely penalizing solar on open lands, we should be encouraging the use of solar projects as pasture land, the planting of pollinator-friendly plants under and around solar projects, and the conservation of other lands simultaneously with solar growth,’ Garren said.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the spectacular weather!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

UPDATE: Most South Lawrence evacuees can return home starting Friday at 3 p.m., Eagle Tribune

Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town, WBUR

UPDATE: Columbia Gas ‘unprepared,’ with ‘catastrophic’ results, NTSB reports, Eagle Tribune

Lawyers ask for $24M in fees for Columbia Gas settlement, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

National Grid Gas Nightmare: Brooklyn Pretzel Business The Latest Victim Of Utility’s Political Standoff, CBS Boston / WBZ

Columbia Gas to inspect 700 abandoned gas lines in Valley, Andover Townsman

Activist voices shock over proposed Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Weymouth compressor foes unload on soil removal plan, Wicked Local

Doctors’ group says compressor station would be unsafe, Patriot Ledger

NJ’s Decision Deadline on Gas Pipeline Pushed Back a Month, NBC New York

Top energy regulator warns of mass blackouts if a gas pipeline were attacked, CNN

Appeals court backs dismissal of class-action suit against Eversource, Avangrid over natural gas bookings, West Hartford News

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The World’s Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns, New York Times

At the edge of a warming world, Boston Globe

Climate Change Not A Top Priority, New Poll Finds, insidesources.com

Changing weather could put insurance firms out of business, The Economist (subscriber content)

Renewable energy trade scheme comes under scrutiny, VT Digger

Gov. Lamont’s promise to generate all of Connecticut’s power from renewable sources of energy by 2040 faces substantial barriers, Hartford Courant

Climate and transportation activists are carrying a 9-foot-tall Charlie Baker puppet around Massachusetts. Here’s why., Boston.com

Climate Strike: Granite Staters Call for Action on Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Thousands gather on City Hall Plaza as part of youth-led worldwide climate strike event, Boston Globe

In the renewable energy credit market, some are greener than others, VTDigger

Global warming climate strike takes UMass by storm, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Climate changes: Towns grapple with rising groundwater, dying trees, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hearing exposes tension over climate policy pace, Southcoasttoday.com

 

 

Wind

7 Projects That Could Put the US Ahead in Floating Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

UMaine lands $1.4m to hatch ‘rocket-fuelled’ floating wind design, Recharge News

Jacobs pushes for moratorium on Great Lakes turbines, Niagara Frontier Publications

Orsted taps GE for 50% more efficient turbines in New Jersey, Maryland offshore wind projects, Utility Dive

During Climate Week, Cuomo announces partnerships with Ireland & Denmark to improve power grids, enable more renewable energy sources, Niagara Frontier Publications

The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Will Be as Cheap as Coal, Bloomberg

Farmersville board OKs $700,000 host fee pact with Alle Catt Wind Farm, Olean Times Herald

 

Solar

New York Nixes Microgrid in Favor of Solar Power Project, Microgrid Knowledge

When the cost of solar is forestland and farms, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Struggling Farmers See Bright Spot in Solar, Wall St. Journal

Solar tax credit extension would add 82 GW by 2030, SEIA forecasts, Utility Dive

Solar Industry Unsatisfied With Proposed SMART Reforms in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

CT town uses virtual solar as new alternative to power up, Connecticut Post

York to pursue solar farm on former landfill, Seacoastonline.com

Fisherman’s Co-op switches to 100% solar energy, WABI

Oakland to install solar array atop former landfill, cutting town’s electric bill, Portland Press Herald

Dover High School has state’s largest rooftop solar array, Connecticut Post

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big batteries are starting to cause real change in electricity markets, Concord Monitor

Want to make your home more energy efficient? Try local program HeatSmart, Winchester Wicked Local

Behavior is key to energy savings, Rutland Herald

Efficiency makes clean energy cost-competitive with new gas power plants, ACEEE Blog

 

EVs

Eversource and Greenspot Bring EV Charging Stations and e-Mobility Hubs to Massachusetts Communities, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

AG seeks overturn of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear energy too slow, too expensive to save climate: report, Reuters

As Federal Hearing Begins, Seabrook Nuclear Plant’s Neighbors Raise Alarm About Concrete Degradation, NHPR

No safety issues so far in Vermont nuclear plant demolition, AP

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Northeastern utilities aim to ‘crush and flatten’ system peaks as DERs boost grid efficiency, Utility Dive

Independent auditors weigh in on CMP metering, billing investigation, WMTW Portland

Watchdog: Energy Department not doing enough to protect grid against cyber attacks, The Hill

Protesters demonstrate against Stamford firm’s NH power plant, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Vineyard Wind limbo is chance for reset, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind-power scam not blowing over, National Wind Watch

The Infamous Wind Turbines – Letter, CapeNews.net

State should halt gas plant, focus on renewables, Republican-American

Keep the Killingly Energy Center on track, Hartford Courant

Revival of Waterford solar plan reason for concern, The Day

Clean energy is the city’s future, by Thomas Webler, Keene Sentinel

My Turn: There’s no power like the power of the people, Concord Monitor

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, solar

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