Energy News for week ending October 23, 2020

Here to Stay | Save Billions | Construction this Year

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s energy news recap with a story from Greentech Media, “From Pilot to Permanent: Green Mountain Power’s Home Battery Network Is Here to Stay. The Vermont utility now controls several thousand Tesla Powerwall batteries sited in customers’ homes. The results have been promising. Utility pilot projects aren’t famous for being standout financial successes. Usually, the goal is to verify a technology in the field before attempting broader deployment. Sometimes nothing follows the pilot. Vermont utility Green Mountain Power not only verified the efficacy of residential batteries for meeting grid needs, but it also saved its customers millions of dollars with them. Now, that program has been ratified by the state’s Public Utility Commission as a permanent residential storage tariff, which means battery installations — and utility savings — will continue to rise.”

Speaking of savings, according to a new study, a big push to renewables could save Americans a lot of money. From The Guardian, “Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study. An aggressive push towards 100% renewable energy would save Americans as much as $321bn in energy costs, while also slashing planet-heating emissions, according to a new report. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has vowed to eliminate greenhouse gases from the US power grid within 15 years and essentially zero out emissions by 2050, a plan assailed by Donald Trump as costly and detrimental to the American economy. But a new analysis by Rewiring America, an energy policy organization, finds that households would benefit financially from a complete switch to clean energy sources such as solar and wind. More than 40% of energy emissions are determined by appliances in and around the home, according to the report, such as heating, electricity, refrigeration and car use. Should all of these related factors be fully electrified and sourced from clean energy, households could save as much as $321bn in energy costs, the report finds, or up to $2,500 a household a year. Households would be faced with the upfront costs of installing solar panels and electric devices such as stovetops and heat pumps, but Rewiring America says strong government assistance for renewables would help deliver long-term savings.

Each week there seems to be something new going on with the NECEC project in Maine. This week, the State House News Service reports we can expect to see action. “Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year. Utility company executives behind the project that would deliver clean power from Hydro-Québec to the Massachusetts and New England power grid said Wednesday construction should start before the end of 2020, about a year later than the company once projected. New England Clean Energy Connect, a 145-mile transmission project of Central Maine Power Company, is expected to link the electrical grids in Quebec and New England to provide cleaner and more reliable hydropower directly to a converter station in Lewiston, Maine, and into the regional grid. Bay State utilities and Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration chose the project to help Massachusetts meet its statutory requirements to increase renewable energy supplies. During an earnings call for CMP parent company Avangrid on Wednesday morning, CEO Dennis Arriola said the project is ‘on track to start construction in Q4 2020, once we receive the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which we expect by the end of this month.’”

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

Efficiency/Storage

NRDC Sues US Department Of Energy Over Efficiency Standards Process Changes, CleanTechnica

From Pilot to Permanent: Green Mountain Power’s Home Battery Network Is Here to Stay, Greentech Media

Looking towards a net-zero future, Burlington considers requiring all-electric buildings, VT Digger

The town that built back green, Washington Post

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study, The Guardian

In the nation’s asthma capital, plans to burn wood for energy spark fury, Boston Globe

BDCC drops biomass project, Brattleboro Reformer

In defense of the sturgeon, green group wants to put brakes on Canadian hydropower plan for the Hudson, lohud.com

New York City Is About to Get an Injection of Tidal Power. Is This Time Different?, Greentech Media

Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox.com

Belching Cows and Endless Feedlots: Fixing Cattle’s Climate Issues, New York Times

Promise or Peril? Importing Hydropower to Fuel the Clean Energy Transition, The Revelator

Keene’s future energy plan put before public, Sentinel

FERC commissioner: Listen to the scientists, Rutland Herald

Cease-and-desist order sought, Ellsworth American

New York Reforms Clean Energy Standard, Power Magazine

Wind

So, What Exactly Is Floating Offshore Wind?, Greentech Media

Wind Energy Hub Project in Cortlandt Withdrawn by Developers, The Examiner

Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill, The Hill

Vineyard carries out cable corridor research, ReNews

Scores more wind turbines proposed for Long Island’s South Shore, Newsday

Solar

Maffei looks to reduce solar project, Hometown Weekly (Norfolk, MA)

Regulators Approve N.H.’s First Large Solar Array, Planned By NextEra In Fitzwilliam, NHPR

Ellsworth will buy all its electricity through local 11,000-panel solar project, Bangor Daily News

Borrego Solar Expands Maine Distributed Solar Portfolio, Solar Industry Magazine

Clifton Park residents oppose solar array, Times-Union

South Burlington to add solar array to Market Street complex, WCAX

SunBug Solar Announces Solar Tech Meets Tradition on A Monson Family Farm, Massachusetts Newswire (press release)

EVs

Auto Makers Grapple With Battery-Fire Risks in Electric Vehicles, Wall St. Journal

GM to Plan Third Electric-Vehicle Plant in Big Plug-In Bet, Bloomberg

An Electric Car With Swedish Roots, and a Rebellious Streak, New York Times

Nuclear

MIT Validates Science Behind New Nuclear Fusion Reactor Design, Greentech Media

Nuclear Panel Says ‘Logjam’ Is Baked Into Their Voting Rules, WCAI

Schumer & Gillibrand Call for Nuclear Regulatory Commission Before Transfer, Kings County Politics

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Fuel oil prices flirt with 16-year low in Maine as the heating season approaches, Press Herald

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Hydro contract ruling offers clarity in clean energy law, State House News Service via WWLP

Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year, State House News Service

CMP Spinoff Company Gets Final Approval, Maine Public

First Transmission Project Moves Forward Under NY Renewable Energy Growth Act, T&D World

It’s not just your perception, weather-related power outages are increasing, News Center Maine

At PURA hearing, customers get their turn to criticize Eversource and UI over outages caused by Isaias; power companies face fines, Hartford Current

Towns Ask N.H.’s Public Utilities Commission For Regulations That Would Enable Community Power, NHPR

Gas generators ask FERC to apply PJM MOPR logic to NYISO, Utility Dive

The lockdown increased NH electricity use – wait, increased it?!?, Granite Geek

So, What Exactly Are Virtual Power Plants?, Greentech Media

Opinion

When it comes to solar geoengineering, we’re still very much in the dark, Boston Globe

Most N.E. governors want the power grid to change (guess which one doesn’t?), Granite Geek

Fossil fuels endanger communities of color | Opinion, NJ.com

Ben Edgerly Walsh: Gov. Scott has failed to demonstrate leadership on climate crisis, Brattleboro Reformer

The Impact of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Bloomberg Law

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, hydro, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

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