Energy News for week ending September 4, 2020

Ambitious Goals | Kill the Zombie | 99 Turbines

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with a story from NHPR, “N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals. New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities are proposing an increase to their energy efficiency savings goals for the next three years, in a plan that aims to cut costs and carbon emissions but could slightly increase customers’ bills in the short-term. The proposal centers on the utility-run NHSaves rebate program, which gives ratepayers incentives to use less energy by upgrading things like appliances, insulation or machinery. The utilities’ new goal for that program would have them sell 5% less electricity and 3% less gas between 2021 and 2023. The current goal, spanning 2018 to 2020, was to sell 3% less electricity and 2% less gas. Eversource, Unitil, Liberty Utilities and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative filed their proposal with the Public Utilities Commission Tuesday. They say it would save customers $1.3 billion overall – more than a third of the total amount they’ve saved with this program since 2002. And they say reducing New Hampshire’s gas and electricity use, particularly in the summer, will lower carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road for a year.”

Next stop is Western MA with a story from MassLive, “Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle. More than 75 people gathered on the steps of City Hall on Thursday calling for an end to a long-proposed biomass project in East Springfield, saying it is a threat to public health and an environmental hazard. Some of those speaking used the phrase “we can’t breathe” in expressing their strong opposition to the wood-to-energy plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy LLC at 1000 Page Blvd. Verne McArthur, of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, led the activists and residents in chants against the biomass project, including, ‘We will, we will, block you, block you.’  ‘This event is about the zombie project — this biomass plant that Palmer Renewable wants to build and keeps pulling political strings to get loopholes to go do it,’ McArthur said. ‘We’ve been fighting it for 10 years and they’re now trying to come back.’ There is a climate bill before the state Legislature, in conference committee, that includes one proposed clause that would list biomass energy plants as “non-emitting sources” — a designation that would help the developers receive subsidies, opponents said. Ten city councilors have urged legislators to reject the clause, and there is also a signature petition.”

Next up is a visual story – but you’ll need a VR headset for the full effect. From NBC Philadelphia, “Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore. The company building New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm is providing a glimpse into the future — what beachgoers and residents will see when turbines are erected. Massive turbines, with blades as long as football fields, will one day spin in the Atlantic Ocean off the Jersey Shore. The first wind farm off New Jersey is expected to begin generating clean energy by 2024, according to Ørsted, the Danish company that received New Jersey’s initial permit for an 1,100-megawatt project last year. It will generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes. The company has released a first look at what the farm’s 99 turbines will look like from the beaches of Atlantic City and Stone Harbor once they are up and running. The ‘virtual reality tour’ also provides a view from one of the turbines, which will be roughly 15 miles out to sea and in an area off southern New Jersey between Cape May and Atlantic City.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great Labor Day weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals, NHPR

Why Aren’t Home Efficiency Scores Standard in Online Real Estate Listings?, Greentech Media

City of Framingham Hosting Home Energy Efficiency Workshop, Framingham Source

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The US and climate: New York’s bold green plans hit opposition, Pop Times UK

Biggest U.S. Utility Says Going Green May Cost You $58 a Month, Bloomberg Green

The quest for renewable energy could wreak havoc on wildlife, report warns, mic.com

Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle, MassLive

$320,703 in grants awarded to transition rural businesses to renewable energy, Press Herald

Dartmouth Study Models Bioenergy Scenarios With Major Climate Benefits, NHPR

Renewable power grid would require $338B of improvements: Industry study, Washington Examiner

 

Wind

Groups say Boston electric grid upgrades should anticipate offshore wind, Energy Central

An inside look at NYSERDA’s award-winning offshore wind program, Windpower Engineering and Development

Seven Policies To Tap U.S. Offshore Wind’s $166 Billion Economic Growth And Emissions Reduction Potential, Forbes.com

Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore, NBC Philadelphia

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Opens Educational and Community Outreach Center in Atlantic City, Yahoo! Finance

 

Solar

Orsted, the World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar, Greentech Media

Solar investment group buys former Tee Bird South golf course in Saratoga County, Albany Business Review (subscriber content)

Advocates say over 200 shovel-ready community solar projects await legislative action in Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

 

EVs

Rhode Island initiates vehicle charging station project, Transportation Today

Electric vehicle charging stations increase in a county that barely uses them, Bangor Daily News

CMP starts up incentive program for high-power electric vehicle chargers, Press Herald

Electric trucks are gaining ground over natural gas in the waste industry, Utility Dive

The great battery race, Axios

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Ends State Of Emergency For Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, Patch.com

Clean Energy Fuels’ RNG to fuel New York transit buses, Bioenergy Insight

Algonquin Gas Gets Massachusetts Plant OK’d Despite Permit Suit, Bloomberg Law (subscriber content)

New Jersey Natural Gas Strengthens Sustainability Commitment, New Jersey Business

 

Nuclear

Bill Gates’ Nuclear Startup Unveils Mini-Reactor Design Including Molten Salt Energy Storage, Forbes.com

NuScale Becomes First Modular Nuclear Reactor to Receive NRC Design Approval, Engineering News Record

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Engineering Group Sees Increase in Power Outages, Costs, Microgrid Knowledge

Springfield councilors, Eversource slate meeting to discuss rising electric bills amid coronavirus pandemic, MassLive

Facing scrutiny over rate increases, power outages, Eversource quietly files $500M smart-meter plan, Hartford Business Journal

State’s Electric Utilities Make Plans to Roll Out Smart Meters, NJ Spotlight

Massachusetts top court denies NextEra bid to block state’s PPAs with Hydro-Québec, Utility Dive

Tesla ramps up interest in electricity utility business, CNET

Local Legislators Looking For Answers From Eversource, Cheshire Herald

Connecticut customers who lose power for three days or more would receive $500 in compensation for spoiled food or medicine under draft legislation, Hartford Courant

PURA to hold another public hearing on Eversource rate hikes, WFSB

 

Opinion/Editorial

Anna Gyorgy and Patricia Hynes: State Senate should remove biomass from climate bill, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Outage outrage was phony; legislators should get back to work, Journal Inquirer

School buses should go electric – here’s how, CommonWealth Magazine

Jon Lender: After storm, now comes test of whether lawmakers can enact an effective utilities reform bill, Hartford Courant

Climate action key theme of primary races, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar energy makes more sense all the time. Why build another gas plant?, Hartford Courant

Tackling the biggest obstacle to new transmission — power providers’ commitment phobia, Utility Dive

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

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