Energy News for week ending August 28, 2020

Doesn’t Have to Happen | OSW Coalition | Paint it Black

Happy Friday folks.

Coming at you early this week.

Let’s start with news from the CT Mirror, which is perhaps one of the best explainer articles we have read in a while. It’s certainly worth sharing. Kudos to Jan Ellen Spiegel for her great reporting. “CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen. As the power outages from Tropical Storm Isaias piled up in every single community in Connecticut on Aug. 4, the finger pointing began. The utilities were seen as unprepared, leading critics to suggest they should pay for everything from snapped poles to spoiled food. But even if Eversource and United Illuminating had stationed armies of repair crews ready to roll as soon as it was safe, the high likelihood is that all that power would still have gone out. Arguably the questions Isaias begs are not who to blame and how to punish them, energy experts say, but ‘How do we keep the lights on?’ The answers may require a good bit of soul searching, not just by the utility villains of the moment, but by state officials, lawmakers, advocates, and residents themselves, who for years have focused on short-term costs and electric rates instead of long-term solutions that could eventually lower those rates and provide more storm resilience.”

When it comes to getting things done, the saying goes there is strength in numbers. Hence a new coalition has been formed to support offshore wind, From the Cape Cod Times, “Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives. Sena Wazer addressed the online press conference announcing a new coalition supporting offshore wind through the eyes of a 16-year-old peering into a potentially bleak future. ‘I’m fearful for my future,’ the co-founder of the Sunrise Movement in Connecticut said. ‘In 10 years, when I’m only 26, I don’t know if I’ll have a safe planet to live on.’ Experts describe actions taken in the next decade as critical to staving off the worst-case global warming scenarios. This summer gave us an inkling of how bad it could get, with unbearably long heat waves and drought in the Northeast and California wildfires in the West… ‘This crisis will only go away if we commit to do everything in our power to make sure we have a livable home going forward,’ Wazer said. It was that sense of urgency that impelled environmentalists, businesses, researchers and labor unions to form New England for Offshore Wind, a coalition focused on pushing state legislatures and governors in the region to make commitments by 2022 to offshore wind farms that could provide for one third of the region’s power needs.”

Our “new technology” of the week is less about tech but is effective none the less. From E&E News, “Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%. Painting one of a wind turbine’s three blades black led to a dramatic decline in bird mortality along the Norwegian coast, new research shows. Bird death from turbine collisions dropped by 71.9% where a turbine blade was black, compared with unpainted turbines at the same wind farm, according to findings published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution. Researchers observed a nearly 50% reduction in mortality from collisions involving towers with a single black blade. Bård Stokke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, one of the study’s lead authors, said the findings could address the evolving wind industry’s Achilles’ heel, its impact on birds.”

That’s the recap for the week.

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

$13M in funds for clean energy projects across Massachusetts, WWLP

Connecticut’s first ‘net-zero’ schools, tapping solar and geothermal energy, to be built in Manchester and Mansfield, Hartford Courant

Over 20 percent energy use reduction in New York State buildings since 2010, informnny.com

Bloomfield bearing pioneer sets sights on wasted energy market, Hartford Business Journal

Cambridge partners with All In Energy to assist residents, Wicked Local Cambridge

Time for a diet: Today’s US homes have super-sized into “energy gluttons,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Learn How You Can Take Advantage of Horticulture Energy Efficiency Programs, Greenhouse Grower

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Energy experts warn over green hydrogen ‘shortfall,’ Renews.biz

Preserving Trees Becomes Big Business, Driven by Emissions Rules, Wall St. Journal

WoodMac: 2020s Will Be the ‘Decade Of Hydrogen,’ Greentech Media

Utilities warn New York’s $72M ‘build-ready’ renewables program could cost consumers, Utility Dive

Adirondacks seeing a push for green energy, Times Union

 

Wind

New York, New Jersey hesitant on offshore grid planning amid federal uncertainty, Politico

New York’s Hudson Valley: Future Offshore Wind Hub?, Greentech Media

Mitchell: Delays to wind projects have hurt New Bedford’s ‘first mover’ status, South Coast Today

So Much For Saving Coal Jobs: More Offshore Wind Jobs Waiting In The Wings, Cleantechnica

Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%, E&E News

Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

New Report Finds Rhode Island has Plenty of Room to Expand Solar Responsibly, EcoRI

Solar Grids Built on NJ Farmland Get Senate Backing, NJ Spotlight

Agilitas Energy’s SMART Solar Project in Auburn MA Commences Construction, Alt Energy Mag

Bakers Island Light Station Celebrates New Solar Array, North Shore Magazine

CT Green Bank sells 6 solar energy systems to Greenwich investment firm, New Haven Register

Investment firm proposes $100 million trio of solar projects for Maine, Press Herald

 

EVs

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive

Electric Vehicle Makers Find a Back Door to Wall Street, New York Times

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Not everyone happy about Columbia Gas deal, Eagle Tribune

The United States set record for daily natural gas power burn in late July, EIA.gov

 

Nuclear

NRC board extends Seabrook plant’s license with conditions relating to concrete testing, Gloucester Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen., CT Mirror

New York City’s hottest new energy fight, Grist

At Connecticut hearing on Eversource rate increases, critics demand more accountability; Blumenthal calls for break-up of utility, Hartford Courant

Breakup Eversource? Or just closely regulate? Blumenthal’s suggestion jolts PURA hearing, CT Mirror

Energy sector divided over transmission incentives for voluntary cybersecurity investments, Utility Dive

Following botched utility response to Hurricane Isaias, New York governor proposes stricter penalties, Utility Dive

Exelon: Massachusetts’ gas and oil-fired Mystic power units to close in 2021 and 2024, Power Engineering

A new voice at PURA at a pivotal time in energy oversight, CT Mirror

Opponents will still try to kill CMP corridor after court nixes referendum, Bangor Daily News

 

Opinion/Editorial

New England needs to go all in on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Resources Council CEO: State agencies failed Maine on CMP corridor, Press Herald

My Turn: Is solar net metering a net good for New Hampshire?, Concord Monitor

Opinion: CT leading the way in wind energy development, CT Post

Grow crops, not solar panels, on NJ’s best farmland, The Link News

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

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