Category Archives: Climate Change

Energy News for week ending October 6, 2017

Try a little voodoo | Methane Moooystery Solved | Troubling Conclusion

Happy Friday afternoon. The Energy News list today is UGE! In order to make it easier for folks to find what they want we created more categories. This may not be the case every week, but when have nearly 80 stories, like today, a little more sorting seems to help.

We’ve also been expanding our range to include more Northeast (i.e. beyond New England) stories, and of course have national news stories with potential local and regional implications. We hope you’re enjoying the change. Now, let’s get to a few of the news items.

I love the lede in this Berkshire Eagle article, “When all else fails, keep bugging the pipeline company, and try a little voodoo.” While it sounds like a lot of shenanigans were going on, the story also touches on some kind human interactions between the members of the police detail and the protestors. With all that’s been going on in the world, examples of peaceful protests are welcome news.

The Washington Post brings us the results of a study on upticks in methane over recent years. It seems the cause may be burping bovines. “Just from livestock methane emissions, our revisions resulted in 11 percent more methane in a recent year than what we were previously estimating,” said Julie Wolf, lead author of the study who completed the work while a postdoc at the institute and now works at the Department of Agriculture. “It’s not the biggest contributor to the annual methane budget in the atmosphere, but it may be the biggest contributor to increases in the atmospheric budget over recent years.” And, if you thought the emissions came from the other end of the cow, check out the embedded 2015 story about how that’s not the case.

Lastly this week, also from the Washington Post comes the results of 26-year climate change study that has been taking place in the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. From the article, “The research, tracking the emissions of carbon from artificially heated plots of a forest in Massachusetts, reinforces fears about the possibility of a climate change “feedback” involving the planet’s soils, one that could pile on top of and substantially worsen the ongoing warming trend triggered by the burning of fossil fuels.” Check it out, it’s pretty interesting stuff.

As always, be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great Columbus Day weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Methane

Activists relentless as Tennessee Gas tries to wrap up pipeline work, gas to flow in November, Berkshire Eagle

Scientists may have found a solution to the atmosphere’s methane mystery, Washington Post

New York power plant raises concerns, Greater New Milford Spectrum

TransCanada says it’s cancelling Energy East pipeline, CT Post

LISTEN: The science behind gas leaks under our cities and towns, The Patriot Ledger

Massive Pennsylvania gas leak proves industry requires more oversight, Environmental Defense Fund

Looking beyond pipelines to address New England’s electricity needs, Environmental Defense Fund

Renewables (Policy/RGGI/Purchasing, etc.)

Murphy or Guadagno: There’s Likely RGGI in New Jersey’s Future, NJ Spotlight

Vermont a Leader in Renewables, PUC Chair Says, RTO Insider

Renewable energy fans flex lobbying muscles in Massachusetts, Penn Energy

Council president, mayor differ on green electricity plan for city, Boston Globe

Wind

Energy Companies’ Proposal Could Help Expand Maine’s Wind Power Capacity, Maine Public

New York To BOEM: Here’s Where We Can Build Offshore Wind, North American Windpower

NY State clears way for more offshore wind, Long Island Business News

Senvion’s 3.7M144 Wind Turbine Arrives In North America, North American Windpower

If Wind Power Is Going to Replace Fossil Fuels, We Need Bigger Turbines, Futurism

From Black to Green: DONG Energy is Now Ørsted, Renewable Energy World

So Long, DONG: Danish Energy Giant Changes Name While Dropping Fossil Fuels, Greentech Media

Scituate selectmen consider shutting down wind turbine, Patriot Ledger

Solar

Net Metering Cap Stalls $78 Million Worth Of Massachusetts Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Massachusetts Solar Industry Testifies in Support of Raising Net Metering Caps, Energy Collective

Claremont solar array project moves forward, The Union Leader

Rebuilding After the Hurricanes: These Solar Homes Use Almost No Energy, InsideClimate News

Regulations Force Boston Churches to Cut Back Solar Plan, WGBH

Solar industry turns up heat on Mass. Legislature, Boston Globe

New tariff proposals put solar in ‘a land of complete uncertainty’ ahead of ITC hearing, Utility Dive

Fairfield enters partnership to explore solar array on closed landfill, Energy Central/Morning Central

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, News Times

Low-income families left in dark by solar law, Wicked Local Littleton

Tidal

N.S. opens door to new energy ventures among world’s highest tides in Fundy, Times Colonist

Tidal turbine test site at Cape Cod Canal gets green light, Cape Cod Times

Climate Change

One of the oldest climate change experiments has led to a troubling conclusion, Washington Post

Storage

Massachusetts’ largest ESS will help ‘stabilise’ utility customers’ rates for 20 years, Energy Storage News

National Grid, battery company unveil power system at Holy Name, Worcester Business Journal

ENGIE and Massachusetts utility team up for 6 MWh energy storage project, Utility Dive

Energy Efficiency

Pot power drain on the minds of Bay State utilities, Gloucester Times

Happy Energy Efficiency Day: Buy an LED Bulb to Celebrate, Natural Resources Defense Council

Efficiencies helped households save up to 30 percent on energy bills in 2016: IEA, Reuters

States Lead the Way on Energy Efficiency as Feds Falter, Natural Resources Defense Council

Portsmouth joins national Energy Efficiency Day, Seacoastonline.com

Start saving money, reducing pollution on Energy Efficiency Day, wwlp.com

Despite Trump, states keep getting more energy-efficient., Grist

Connecticut slips slightly in state-by-state ranking of energy efficiency, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

Want To Build An Energy Efficient House? Try Concrete, WNPR News

LED streetlight conversion leads to $115K grant, Daily Times Chronicle

Nuclear

Nuclear Regulatory Commission responds to Seabrook safety activist’s concerns, Wicked Local Ipswich

At Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant, A Rumble Over Rubble, New England Public Radio

Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund grows by $13M, Brattleboro Reformer

Entergy, NorthStar want critical comments nixed, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim owner backs off another nuclear plant closure, Cape Cod Times

Proposed federal bill would give millions to cities storing nuclear waste, Chicago Tribune

Courtney targets nuclear waste, Hartford Business

DOE NOPR FERC

US DOE proposal for FERC market reforms draws heavy fire at GCPA, Platts

An Obscure Statute Is Helping Trump Save U.S. Coal, Nuclear, Bloomberg

How DOE’s baseload power rule ‘would blow the market up,’ Utility Dive

Behind the Backlash to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Demand for Coal-Nuclear Market Intervention, Greentech Media

The Energy Department is Making up Reasons Why You Need to Pay More For Dirty Energy, Fast Company

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

State budget woes jeopardize environmental funding, New Haven Register

Eversource predicts dip in monthly bills by 5.5 percent, The Union Leader

Site Evaluation Committee views potential impact of Northern Pass on Concord, Concord Monitor

World’s First Technology To Measure Electricity Grid Stability Announced, CleanTechnica

Land Conservationists Worry Power Plant Will Fragment Forest, Harm Species, WNPR News

Invenergy announces water deal with Narragansett Tribe, RI Future

Rep. Cushing to PUC: Don’t Let ‘Polluter’ Eversource Buy Aquarion Water, InDepthNH.org

Worcester balks at National Grid repair bills for DCU Center, Worcester Telegram

EPA chief wants more of Northern Pass underground, The Union Leader

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

FERC eschews social cost of carbon measurement in new downstream analysis, Utility Dive

Winter energy prices to rise at least seven percent in Mass, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass hits another obstacle, CommonWealth Magazine

Imagining the Utility of the Future, Utility Dive

Gardner deal to trim electricity bills, Telegram

Editorial/Opinion

Stopping Climate Change Starts at Home, Commonwealth Magazine

Editorial: Energy project shows promise, once connected to the grid, The Recorder

Northern Pass is committed to working with businesses, The Laconia Daily Sun

Forum: Protect Millstone’s workers and communities, not its shareholders, New Haven Register

Amelia Shea: A long-term view of Vermont Yankee site, vtdigger.org

Could electricity become too cheap to meter?, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending September 29, 2017

Cost Recovery for baseload | Brain Research for Storage |Power from Evaporation

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

The big news this week actually broke today with the announcement, carried by Utility Dive, that the “DOE filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the Federal Power Act to enhance grid resilience, directing FERC to ‘accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency.’ The rule would provide for ‘recovery of costs of fuel-secure generation units frequently relied upon to make our grid reliable and resilient.’” If passed, it could be good news for coal and nuclear plants that keep fuel on site. As an aside, I got it from a very good source today that FERC is interested in receiving comments – so send them in.

Sticking with national news, we have an interesting story from Microgrid Knowledge about how some “Duke University brain science researchers are hoping to use electronics they developed for non-invasive brain stimulation to revolutionize energy storage technology, making batteries safer, more efficient and less expensive.”

Last tidbit for this week comes from Science Daily which reports that “In the first evaluation of evaporation as a renewable energy source, researchers at Columbia University find that U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate 325 gigawatts of power, nearly 70 percent of what the United States currently produces.” They add, “Though still limited to experiments in the lab, evaporation-harvested power could in principle be made on demand, day or night, overcoming the intermittency problems plaguing solar and wind energy.” Cool stuff.

Be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

As Perry slams state pipeline decisions, lawyers say DOE has little authority to intervene, Utility Dive

EIA Says US Electric Rates Up This Year on Higher NatGas Prices, Natural Gas Intelligence

US lawmakers ask Facebook, Twitter for information on anti-fracking ads, Reuters

118 Groups Urge Trump to Ban Fracking on Public Lands, Center for Biological Diversity

Otis State Forest pipeline protesters make a plea for the planet during court hearings, Berkshire Eagle

Rick Perry links pipelines, natural security, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

This Bipartisan Senate Bill Could Enable US Offshore Wind to Take Off, Greentech Media

Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear – the energy revolution is happening, The Guardian

Wind Energy Could Power 30% Of Europe’s Needs By 2030, Reports WindEurope, CleanTechnica

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, Danbury News Times

US Climate Change Policy: Made in California, New York Times

New Jersey to examine solar incentives, cost differentials, Utility Dive

The most effective clean energy policy gets the least love, Vox.com

Savoy voters reject bylaw allowing taller wind turbines, Berkshire Eagle

Solar to power Middle East oil, natural gas exports, Platts

Stronger RGGI Cuts Projected to Be Achieved at Low Cost, Natural Resources Defense Council

RGGI issues first ever offsets as states narrow opportunities, Carbon Pulse

State environmental groups rip GOP cuts as short-sighted, New Haven Register

NextEra: Four former Ranger solar projects will be operating by end of 2019, Mainebiz

Let the Sun Shine In: Solar Prices Decreasing, ecoRI news

Ruling Finds Solar Panels From China Hurt US Makers, Maine Public

Scituate Wind turbine noise still a problem for some, Wicked Local Scituate

Renewable developers respond in droves to New York solicitation, Utility Dive

Large solar array in works for old gravel pit in Williamsburg, Going Green

Wind and water: Powering our past, and future, Seacoast Online

Energy Efficiency

Massachusetts stays atop NGO’s state energy efficiency rankings, Utility Dive

State money to help Central Mass. communities switch to energy-saving LED streetlights, Worcester Telegram

Meriden councilors favor program with Eversource to upgrade lights in city buildings, Meriden Record-Journal

How your air conditioner plays catch-up to regulations, Axios.com

Weymouth to convert 3,800 street lights to LED, Patriot Ledger

Nuclear

Entire US Nuclear Power Fleet Could Disappear in 38 Years: S&P, Bloomberg

Energy Company Finances At Center Of Battle Over Millstone, Hartford Courant

Plans to clean up Vt. Yankee met with criticism from environmental groups, The Recorder

Port council votes to send letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

NorthStar leader, engineering consultant talk future of Vt. Yankee, Going Green

Energy Storage

New York City Aims To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Using Energy Storage, Forbes.com

Years In, NY REV Lacks Major Storage Action. That May Have to Change Soon, Greentech Media

Brain Research Tools Could Help Revolutionize Energy Storage Technology, Microgrid Knowledge

Climate Change

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year, National Geographic

States Can Lead the Way on Climate Change, Scientific American

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE proposes cost recovery for baseload generators in new FERC rule, Utility Dive

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

SEC Member: Northern Pass Could Cost Taxpayers More For Public Construction Projects, indepthnh.org

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Tisbury looks to join Brewster in Eversource spraying battle, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Texas firm sells Milford power plant in $119M sale, Worcester Business Journal

Sudbury property values (partially) fair play in Eversource case, MetroWest Daily News

Cushing bill looks to block utility monopolies, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

National Grid in settlement talks with NY over rates, Albany Times Union

Great Barrington pursues ‘low cost and green’ collective power purchase plan, Berkshire Eagle

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Energy harvested from evaporation could power much of US, Science Daily

NiSource Again Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Business West

Can Distributed Energy Resources Get Paid to Serve as ‘Virtual Transmission Lines’?, Greentech Media

Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource lease, MetroWest Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Not clean, not green, Concord Monitor

Approve bill to help Millstone secure its future, theday.com

Nuclear Power Is ‘On Its Back,’ Former CIA Director Says, Forbes

Lisa Ostrove: Why Candlewood Solar is a bad deal for our town, Danbury News Times

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending September 22, 2017

FERC Priorities | Seaweed Biofuel | Green Hospitals

Happy Friday to All,

Commonwealth Magazine reports on a recent FERC ruling that signals the agency is “willing to take a more activist role in state pipeline battles.” In other news from our nation’s capital, the Department of Energy says US offshore resources could support enough seaweed production to supply up to 10% of the current demand for transportation fuel and they have awarded $22 million in grants to accelerate the development of seaweed as a next-generation biofuel. And for some good green news, the Boston Business Journal has a story on how Boston hospitals have made great progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions–a 9 percent reduction since 2011.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy your weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Could feds pave way for new Mass. gas project?, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas leaks delay tree planting, Salem News

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Gas pipeline protesters turn up heat on FERC, Utility Dive

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Senate Bill Would Streamline FERC NatGas Pipeline Permitting, Natural Gas Intelligence
Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
, OilPrice.com

Renewable Energy

Trump Admin. Pitches Seaweed For Biofuel-Powered Car Of The Future, CleanTechnica

California’s Plan for 100% Renewables Falls Flat in the 11th Hour, Greentech Media

Why Solar Advocates Are Crying Foul Over New York’s Latest REV Order, Greentech Media

After slide, prices tick up in latest RGGI auction, Hartford Business

Two RGGI offset protocols to bite the dust as states publish more details on proposed market changes, Carbon Pulse

Bill Would Commit Massachusetts To 100 Percent Renewable Energy, WGBH

Fishing industry takes more action against New York offshore wind lease, National Wind Watch

Deepwater Wind Installs Wildlife Tracking Station on Offshore Block Island Wind, Power Engineering

Boxford’s Municipal Solar Power Generation Facility, Valley Patriot

Oakham Farm Inspires Central Massachusetts’ 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal, GovTech.com

Connecticut unions, environmentalists want more wind power, New Haven Register

Activists urge legislators to support ‘Green Bank,’ Greenfield Recorder

Fall River solar farm near North Watuppa Pond moving forward, Herald News

Canada has too much clean electricity. Anybody want it?, E&E News

States pick up the clean energy torch, The Boston Globe

Energy Efficiency

Six climate change solutions we can all agree on, Phys.Org

Blockchain: Coming to a Smart Building Near You?, Greentech Media

Derby Residents Can Upgrade To New LED Bulbs, Patch.com

National Grid gives King Brothers Dairy $120000 for energy-efficient gear, The Daily Gazette

Nuclear

Seabrook nuclear plant watchdog’s request rejected, Portsmouth Herald

Vernon seeks ‘unrestricted’ future for Vermont Yankee site, VT Digger

Tribes seek voice in nuclear plant cleanup, land restoration, Penn Energy

Dominion’s lips remain sealed on Millstone financials, Hartford Business

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Why utilities don’t move power lines out of hurricanes’ way, Vox.com

As Brayton Point taxes wither, residents say they’d be willing to pay more for some services, Herald News

Medway: Work begins on Exelon expansion, MetroWest Daily News

Harvard University: A Valedictorian of Microgrids and Distributed Energy, Microgrid Knowledge

Boston area hospitals cut greenhouse gases by 9% since 2011, BBJ

Upton selectmen seek cheaper energy, Wicked Local Upton

Changing Massachusetts time zone could improve health, boost retail sales, save energy, commission finds, MassLive

A ‘Tax’ Or ‘The Cost Of Pollution’? Mass. Debates Surcharge On Fossil Fuels, WBUR

Heating Prices Rise in Maine as Fall Weather Nears, US News and World Report

State committee says Northern Pass plans have ‘potential inaccuracies’, The Union Leader

Budget Crisis Leads to Proposed Electric Bill Changes, NBC CT

Worcester crew part of National Grid aid efforts in Florida, Worcester Telegram

Siting Board Denies Latest Appeal to Halt Power Plant, ecoRI news

ISO-NE Forecast Sees Flat Loads, More Solar, No Congestion, RTO Insider

Raimondo establishes a Chief Resiliency Officer to combat climate change effects, RI Future

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

Editorial/Opinion

States pick up the clean energy torch, Boston Globe

Milton Eaton: Defending Vermont Yankee decommissioning, VT Digger

Hydrogen fueling stations central to CCAT-hosted events, Hartford Courant

Carbon fee is our climate ‘moon shot,’ and it’s well within reach, The Boston Globe

Our View: Global warming needs political climate change, Press Herald

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending August 25, 2017

RGGI Agreement | DOE Grid Study | Chelsea’s Burden

Happy Friday everyone. First, let me say let’s all keep the good folks from the State of Texas in our thoughts and prayers. Harvey looks to be unrelenting for days. One forecast from Dave Epstein writing for the Boston Globe called the expected rainfall potential to be “biblical in proportion.” We have one story below from Fox4KC about what Hurricane Harvey may mean for the oil and gas sectors given its expected landfall in the Corpus Christi area. We may be seeing more of these stories over the next weeks; we’ll keep you posted.

Two other stories led the headlines this week and we have sections for each below. First, the RGGI agreement where nine participating states agreed to reduce power plant emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Second was the release of the DOE Grid reliability report. There are so many different perspectives on what each of these mean that I’m not even going to try to create a synopsis. I’ll leave that to each of you to decide. I must say though the Mother Jones piece on Chris Christie is pretty scathing.

We also call your attention to a somber story from New England Public Radio about how Chelsea, Massachusetts bears many of the environmental burdens for the region. From heating fuel to jet fuel and road salt – many of the area’s energy and safety needs are placed on that one community and they say there are resulting negative health effects.

Lastly, there’s this article from the Herald News about how some energy developers came to Somerset with proposals, but no real plans for reusing the closed Montaup and Brayton Point power plants. As the headline notes they created more questions than answers. And, as one attendee stated, “they were all over the place.” After reading the article, I have to agree. One has to wonder what the heck these companies were thinking with this approach.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

All state reviews of Weymouth compressor plan now on hold, Patriot Ledger

Federal court upholds state’s right to stop natural gas pipeline under the Clean Water Act, MassLive.com

Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion Is A Likely Topic At Connecticut DEEP’s Public Hearing, WAMC

US Court of Appeals upholds New York rejection of Constitution pipeline permit, Utility Dive

Whitehouse facing multiple attacks over Burrillville plant stance, The Providence Journal

Kinder Morgan paying Massachusetts State Police hundreds of thousands to quell Berkshire pipeline protests, MassLive.com

Kinder Morgan has ponied up $115K to state police for Sandisfield pipeline security detail, Berkshire Eagle

Nonprofits, pols, utility companies work to plug Cambridge’s 250-plus gas leaks, Wicked Local Cambridge

In 5 months Vermont Gas signs up over 500 in Addison County, Vermont Biz

Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 3 storm, Fox4KC

DOE Grid Study

The Energy 202: Here’s the bottom line on the Energy Department’s grid study, Washington Post

Energy Dept: Government should ease rules on power plants, CT Post

DOE’s Grid Reliability Study Is a Rorschach Test for the Future of Electricity, Greentech Media

U.S. Energy Department study says more coal, nuclear needed to secure grid, Reuters

Do coal and nuclear need a helping hand? 5 essential reads, The Conversation

DOE Releases Much-Awaited Grid Study to Mixed Reviews, Microgrid Knowledge

Breaking: The US power market is cracking, Bloomberg

Oops: Rick Perry may have stumbled upon the solution to going 100 percent renewable, Think Progress

RGGI Agreement

RGGI Agrees to Cut Power Plant Pollution by Another 30%, Natural Resources Defense Council

Maine agrees to deeper cuts in carbon emissions, Press Herald

Group of nine states announces aggressive plan to cut emissions, Boston Globe

NE states propose 30% cut in power plant emissions, CommonWealth Magazine

Environmentalists React To Regional Proposal To Cut Carbon Emissions, RIPR

Scott agrees to carbon dioxide emission reductions, VT Digger

Chris Christie Has Plenty to Be Embarrassed About, But This One Really Matters, Mother Jones

Northeastern States Vow to Cut Carbon Emissions 30% by 2030, Governing

Eclipse

US grid untroubled by total eclipse despite plunge in solar output, Utility Dive

Eclipse Causes Less Power Loss Than Expected for Solar Generation, Power Engineering

Storage Didn’t Play a Primary Role During the Eclipse, but It Helped in Its Own Quiet Way, Greentech Media

New England Power Grid Operations During August 21 Partial Eclipse, (ISO-NE Release) Energy Central

Renewable Energy

Going solar now will save you more, The Recorder

Wind-power opponents dominate comments at Savoy hearing, Berkshire Eagle

In England, new offshore wind farms mean jobs, Boston Globe

Maine Business Park Seeks Partners for Green Microgrid Development, Microgrid Knowledge

Deepwater Wind Could Create 6000 Jobs in New England, GoLocalProv

Wood, Landfill Gas Dominate RI Renewable Energy, ecoRI news

America’s first US-built offshore wind installation vessel, SouthCoastToday.com

In Solar Trade Dispute, Will Proposed Tariffs Cost Industry Jobs?, Rhode Island Public Radio

We really can run the world on renewable energy – here’s how, New Scientist

Community group aims to bring more solar energy systems, education to Bangor area, Bangor Daily News

Killingworth lavender farm one of 1st in nation to get SmartFlower solar energy system, Middletown Press

Massachusetts jail gets $545K grant to install solar panels, CT Post

Dartmouth and Hanover pledge renewable energy goals, The Dartmouth

Emerson Center in Topsfield wins solar array, Wicked Local Topsfield

Ameresco, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and BlueWave Solar Celebrate 6.9 MW Renewable Power and Community Solar Initiative, Energy Central

Nexamp Completes 2.4 MW Community Solar Project in Dudley, MA, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Connecticut utilities drop interest rates on energy efficiency improvements, New Haven Register

Orange discussing Green Community designation, The Recorder

Regional energy saving program now open to Kensington, Seacoastonline.com

Energy Efficiency: The Stealth Competitor, T&D World

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee settlement money to be used for wood boiler projects, vtdigger.org

Millstone Owner Digs In On Finances, Possible Shutdown, Hartford Courant

Commenters Seek Broader Response on Millstone, RTO Insider

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Governor Baker is offering Hydro-Quebec another helping hand, The Boston Globe

How One Massachusetts City Came To Bear Environmental Burdens For The Region, New England Public Radio

Proposal for Somerset power plant gets attention, more questions, Herald News

Unmoved by public testimony, PUC approves ‘outrageous’ National Grid rate increase, RI Future

Fung, residents rebuke electricity rate hike, Cranston Herald

European company hopes to build $80 million plant in Western Massachusetts, bringing new trash-to-energy technology to US, MassLive

Northern Pass transmission project gets DOE environmental nod, Utility Dive

Eversource seeks to conceal Berlin biomass plant fiscal info, New Hampshire Business Review

Green Mountain Power stumping for rate increase, Brattleboro Reformer

Getting the Most Out of Vehicle Electrification for Both Customers and the Grid, Greentech Media

Follow the Patents: New Technologies Address Balancing Peak and Off-Peak Power Demand, Electric Light & Power

Eversource transmission project gets DOE impact statement, needs final OK, Electric Light & Power

MAP: How Much Climate Change Will Cost Each U.S. County, Governing

Mansfield hydrogen to have many safeguards, Sun Chronicle

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Civil disobedience our only hope at this time, Berkshire Eagle

Your View: Pipelines, compressors, LNG tanks — suspended not canceled, SouthCoastToday.com

Get excited about city’s solar project, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

To the Editor: Clean energy is good for business, Boston Business Journal

Councilors’ column: Advantages of Community Choice Energy, Wicked Local Roslindale

Bill McKibben: 100% Renewables Needed ‘As Fast as Humanly Possible’, EcoWatch

Toward a climate economy, Rutland Herald

Maine Voices: Aggressive caps on carbon emissions would benefit regional greenhouse gas efforts, Press Herald

Sorting out our perverse electricity markets, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending August 11, 2017

New GHG regs | Biomass proposal takes knocks | Worcester is Smart

Happy Friday afternoon.

The two biggest stories this week came out of Massachusetts. First, was the proposal by the Baker administration to treat biomass as a renewable energy resource. If you based your impressions directly on the headlines below, you’d think the proposal was doomed. In an article not directly related to MA, but out this week, one environmental advocate goes on to call “biomass the new coal” (Southeast Energy News). We put lots of stories and opinions on biomass below in one handy category.

The other big news broke today about Massachusetts’ new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a story in the Boston Globe, “A little more than a year after the state’s highest court ruled Massachusetts had to do more to cut carbon emissions, state officials Friday will issue sweeping new regulations that set specific limits on sources of greenhouse gases, the emissions linked to climate change.” And, as usual, you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time as the story notes, “The new rules, [were] swiftly criticized as insufficient by environmental advocates and unfair by the power industry…”

In a Telegram story whose headline struck me as odd, “Worcester cited as example of power grid that isn’t stupid,” (Why not give it the “smart” creds it deserves?) we get an update on what’s happening with grid modernization in Massachusetts. And, at the moment, it’s a bit of a waiting game, “A DPU spokeswoman said there is no statutory deadline for the DPU to issue an order.” Regardless of that statement, National Grid is upbeat on the whole matter. “We’re hoping that DPU will rule on it in the next few months. Actually everything is pointing in the direction that they will,” Reed said.”

Lastly for this week I point you to what appears to be an article, but sounds more like an opinion piece from Pravda Report in Russia on what solar is doing to nuclear in the US. It’s titled, “In the US, solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology.” I think it’s safe to classify this as some of that “fake news” making its way around the globe. It is good for a few chuckles if nothing else.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Massachusetts State Police arrest 10 at gas pipeline site in Western Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Police now tracking the cost of protests in Northampton, MassLive.com

With FERC set to have a quorum again, Otis State Forest rehearing requests will be considered, Berkshire Eagle

Looking for gas leaks? Listen to the trees, The Salem News

Fracking is causing invasion of harmful non-native plants in Pennsylvania forests, PSU researchers say, LancasterOnline

In rare eclipse, gas sees its future as solar’s backstop, Standard Examiner

10 Tennessee Gas pipeline protesters released after arrests for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, Greenfield Recorder

Biomass

Massachusetts Considering Plan To Classify Wood Pellets As Renewable Energy, CleanTechnica

Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies, Boston Globe

Q&A: Advocate says biomass energy is the new coal, Southeast Energy News

Is wood burning as ‘clean’ as we think? State environmental policy questioned, Greenfield Recorder

Massachusetts may overlook climate impacts of biofuels, Salon.com

Despite The Bio-Mass Flareup, Baker Continues To Move Forward On Renewable Energy, WGBH

Our view: Clear the smoke from wood-burning proposal, Salem News

Editorial: Need for biomass balance, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cinda Jones: Argues biomass energy is a benefit to forests, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Renewable Energy

Solar eclipse on August 21 will affect photovoltaic generators across the country, Penn Energy

New York Launches REV Connect: The Start of Energy’s Amazon?, Microgrid Knowledge

US offshore pipeline ‘tops 24GW’, reNews

Energy Suppliers Find Fresh Lift From Offshore Wind, Wall Street Journal

Deepwater Project Combines Wind, Energy Storage — ecoRI News, ecoRI news

Falmouth gets $3M break on shuttered wind turbine, National Wind Watch

Maine hospital to demolish building, install solar arrays, Bangor Daily News

Rhode Island clean energy gets boost as governor signs bills, Utility Dive

Should Northern New England Host Massachusetts’ Renewable Energy Extension Cord?, New England Public Radio

State to weigh new plans for green power, The Salem News

Clean Energy Collective set to expand solar footprint in Fairhaven, SouthCoastToday.com

Dong Energy’s oil exit pays off as offshore turbines begin spinning, Telegraph.co.uk

New Jersey investors buy hydropower dams at defunct Maine paper mill, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

EIA: Most states now have energy efficiency goals in place, Utility Dive

Many States Have Adopted Policies to Encourage Energy Efficiency, Energy Collective

Nearly half of 2016 US electricity retail sales impacted by energy efficiency resource standards, Daily Energy Insider

Nuclear

Action is ‘slow, deliberate’ in Vermont Yankee fuel move, vtdigger.org

On CT’s budget, it turns out there may be a nuclear option, The CT Mirror

Millstone owners still pushing to save nuclear power plant, Electric Light & Power

New IAEA report presents estimates for nuclear power by 2050, Power Technology

NRC reviews Seabrook nuclear plant – Concrete degradation plan audited, Energy Central

Can We Make Nuclear Power Great Again?, Greentech Media

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

15 months after high court order, Massachusetts commits to slashing greenhouse gas emissions, MassLive

State approves major new rules to cut carbon emissions, Boston Globe

With higher rates looming, electric consumers face choices, Sun Chronicle

ISO-NE draft report: Market revenues not sufficient for new resource development, Utility Dive

Worcester cited as example of power grid that isn’t stupid, Worcester Telegram

Grid operators: Vermont electric grid reaching saturation point in the north, National Wind Watch

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change will hit New England hard, report says, Boston Globe

A Visit To A Place Where Water Power Once Ruled The Farmington River, Hartford Courant

State approves major new rules to cut carbon emissions, Boston Globe

Northern Pass clears federal hurdle, CommonWealth Magazine

Northern New England Residents Hesitant To Host Transmission Lines Supplying Renewable Power To Mass., WBUR

Exelon Set to Expand Massachusetts Peaking Plant, Power Magazine

Utilities Work To Keep Up With An Ever-Changing Grid, Solar Industry

Power supplier fails to process hundreds of National Grid customers’ opt-out forms from Millbury, Worcester Telegram

Smarter grid could be more specific about pricing power usage, The Salem News

Proposed National Grid rate hikes draw concern, Ricentral.com

MBTA waived some construction rules for Sudbury-Hudson Eversource railbed project, Worcester Telegram

Union, Eversource and other companies reach a Northern Pass labor deal, The Union Leader

Editorial/Opinion

Western Massachusetts and New England need natural gas – and the infrastructure that delivers it (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Is There Really A Western Mass Energy Crisis?, Valley Advocate

Pick up the pace on clean energy, Commonwealth Magazine

ROSELLA CICCHESE, Weymouth: Compressor wouldn’t benefit us, Wicked Local Rockland

SID McDONOUGH, Weymouth: Compressor stations safe, until they’re not, Wicked Local Rockland

Dan Weeks: Conservatives And Climate Change – Let Solar And Wind Compete, Caledonian Record

Letter: Eversource claims warrant skepticism, Concord Monitor

YOUR VIEW: Emera’s plan for Pilgrim site a bad idea, Wicked Local Plymouth

In the US, solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology, Pravda Report

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing, Climate Change, solar

Energy News for week ending August 4, 2017

5 percent chance | 53 percent increase | 100 percent renewable

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

Today’s focus is on the numbers.

According to an article in the Washington Post reasons for climate optimism seem to have all but disappeared. According to a number of studies, when looking at limiting the warming of the globe to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures, there’s only a 5 percent chance of success and a mere 1 percent chance that it can be limited below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). One idea to turn this around is that negative emissions, based on technologies that don’t exist yet at the relevant scale, would probably be required at some point in the future.

In Rhode Island, many politicians are lamenting National Grid’s proposed 53 percent increase in electric rates for residents in the Ocean State. However, the editorial board at the Providence Journal has a clear understanding of the root of the increase, “They are the consequences of public policy decisions and they cannot be wished away.” The editorial points to retiring generation units, lack of new generating capacity and limited natural gas pipeline capacity. They write, “This should concern us all. High energy prices are tough on households. Should the rate hike go through, the average home-owning family would see its monthly power bill jump from less than $90 a month to more than $106. And high power costs are (yet another) disincentive for businesses to grow jobs in our area.”

The last number for the week is 100 percent – as in the goal to get to 100 percent renewable energy. On this topic, we bring you a few stories. Utility Dive tells us what’s missing from the 100 percent renewable energy debate. Forbes has a piece on California’s bid to be 100 percent by 2045. And, because Massachusetts’ 100 percent renewable proposal includes transportation, we have an article from Penn Energy on whether bans on gas and diesel cars are realistic.

Be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

22 arrested by Massachusetts State Police at protest of Kinder Morgan pipeline in Sandisfield, MassLive.com

More arrests in anti-pipeline action: Standing Rock Sioux now part of resistance, Berkshire Eagle

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners, Salon

Pipeline Payday: How Builders Win Big, Whether More Gas Is Needed or Not, Inside Climate News

After damaging historic property and wetlands, pipeline CEO is ‘baffled’ by criticism, ThinkProgres

Proposed bill sets sights on compressor plans, Wicked Local Weymouth

Truck Exhaust Might Be Causing Health Problems Around Fracking Sites, WBUR

Groups Oppose Pipeline to New Power Plant, Public News Service

State review of proposed compressor station pushed back six months, Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

What’s missing from the 100% renewable energy debate, Utility Dive

Opponents continue fight against beleaguered Cape Wind, Cape Cod Times

Super-Colossal Wind Turbines May Be on the Horizon, ABC News

Charlemont to map renewable energy resources, Going Green

The two choices Maine lawmakers face on solar power, Energy Central

California Goes All In — 100% Renewable Energy By 2045, Forbes.com

Deepwater, Tesla to pair offshore wind farm with 40 MWh battery storage system, Utility Dive

Maine lawmakers pull plug on bill to maintain solar incentives, Portland Press Herald

Feds set to release Cape Wind impact statement, The Recorder

Invenergy, GE Renewable Energy to build largest wind farm in the US, Daily Energy Insider

Maine lawmakers fail to override governor’s veto of solar bill, Utility Dive

AWEA: Wind energy development rose 40% in Q2, Utility Dive

Tighter Pollution Cap Could Get RGGI States $3.2B Extra, Natural Resources Defense Council

Why small solar threatens the companies that deliver electricity in Maine, Bangor Daily News

Energy giant Con Ed proposes to deliver Maine wind energy to Boston, Press Herald

Vineyard Wind crews will begin survey for cable sites, Martha’s Vineyard Times

The Booming Wind Energy Industry Might Finally Break Its Massachusetts Hex, HuffPost

Maine-based Solar Company Ranked #1 in New England, #14 in US, Bangor Daily News

Cape Wind’s Gordon vows to ‘move it forward’ as BOEM weighs lease, Cape & Plymouth Business News

Wind power charging up, Boston Herald

Clean Energy RFP

5 companies propose transmission projects for Massachusetts clean energy RFP, Utility Dive

Deepwater Wind taking 2 shots at Massachusetts energy procurement, Cape Cod Times

Emera announces plans to construct 1GW Atlantic Link project, Energy Business Review

Bidders want to bring Canadian Hydro to Massachusetts, Wicked Local Waltham

Northern Pass competes for Mass. energy deal, Concord Monitor

State offers new momentum for offshore wind power, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind farm bids against hydro, onshore wind firms, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy Efficiency

UMass, Eversource partner on campus energy efficiency, WLNE-TV (ABC6

CLF helps support clean energy and energy efficiency, Ricentral.com

US House Would Take Hacksaw to Energy Efficiency Budget, Energy Manager Today

Storing clean energy in salt isn’t as crazy as it sounds, Grist

Nuclear

Energy Department Scientists Barred From Attending Nuclear Power Conference, EcoWatch

NRC reviews Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoastonline.com

NorthStar already working at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Proposed Vermont Yankee cleanup company changes hands, Commons

Pilgrim owner submits improvement plan, Cape Cod Times

Advanced Nuclear Is a Winning Issue in a Tri-Partisan Washington, Greentech Media

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England ISO targets 2018 for full DR integration into wholesale power market, Utility Dive

We only have a 5 percent chance of avoiding ‘dangerous’ global warming, a study finds, Washington Post

Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid, NY Times

Eversource rate request pilloried at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Lt. Governor McKee to Intervene in Case Against National Grid’s 53-percent Rate Increase, (Press Release) RI.gov

9 States Deciding Whether to Tighten Power Plant Emissions Rules in RGGI, Inside Climate News

Connecticut energy, climate change goals open to public comment, Greenwich Time

Senator Morgan Opposes National Grid’s 53% Rate Increase, GoLocalProv

Study: Energy plays large role in Connecticut’s economy, New Haven Register

Berkshires Stands Against Proposed Eversource Rate Hike, iBerkshires.com

EIA: US residential power sales in decline since 2010, Utility Dive

The Future of Microgrids & Cleaner Locally Managed Power, Freepress Online

Public counsel grills Northern Pass expert on property value impact, New Hampshire Business Review

Credibility of Northern Pass contractor questioned, The Union Leader

National Grid, Swampscott discuss ‘smart-grid’ programs, Wicked Local Swampscott

How realistic are plans to ban new gas and diesel cars?, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: National Grid’s 53-percent hike, The Providence Journal

Cities and states must take lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Ingredients for climate success, CommonWealth Magazine

McQuiston: Power And The Lake, Vermont Public Radio

John McClaughry: Climate Action 4.0., vtdigger.org

Opinion: Vermont’s drive to energy independence, Burlington Free Press

Gov. Phil Scott: Scott’s Climate Action Commission, Caledonian Record

Our view: Offshore wind energy’s future is major farms, not failed AC project, Press of Atlantic City

Commentary: Let solar energy empower ratepayers, not utility, Press Herald

Why we shouldn’t bail out big nuclear, Washington Examiner

STEPHEN DODGE: Weymouth compressor safe and necessary, Wicked Local Braintree

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending July 7, 2017

Happy Energy News Friday.

Let’s start with a nod to Yogi Berra’s quote that “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” We have several stories this week where various people are questioning whether several energy projects are dead, or are just on a rain-delay of sorts.

We’ll start on the Cape where residents of Falmouth aren’t sure they should be celebrating about the shutdown of the turbines at the waste treatment facility (Cape Cod Times). Why? Because as the Falmouth Enterprise reports, there are still lawsuits up in the air (their pun, not mine). Moving to central Mass, opponents of the West Boylston Lateral, which was part of the Access Northeast project, tell the Telegram “they are thrilled that the proposal has been put on hold. But they fear the controversial project will be revived.”

After we sent last week’s Energy News, utilities in MA jointly issued their first solicitation for offshore wind power (MassLive). And this week, as is reported on BostonGlobe.com, several environmental groups are “imploring the Baker administration to accelerate the state’s nearly 10-year timeline to establish a pioneering clean energy industry in Massachusetts.” All kinds of allegations are bandied about in the article, including an “unholy alliance” between Governor Charlie Baker’s regulators and the utility companies.

When you have some time give a listen to Greentech Media’s Guide to Blockchain and Energy. They explain how blockchain is already being applied to utility operations and energy markets, and where the long-term potential lies. Another unrelated but interesting story comes from Vox.com, which reports that states and cities are forming a kind of parallel national government around climate change.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Rehoboth officials hail end to compressor station saga, The Sun Chronicle

Pipeline foes fear renewed effort to build West Boylston Lateral, Worcester Telegram

Access Denied: Mounting opposition buries pipeline plans, Worcester Sun

Weymouth compressor station opponents say battle is not over, Wicked Local Weymouth

EcoRI’s Carini on Raimondo’s “Regret” Over Putting “Thumb on the Scale” in Invenergy Debate, GoLocalProv

Some Pipeline Protestors In Otis State Forest Face Fines, WAMC

Native Americans Sue Frackers Over Manmade Earthquakes, National Geographic

UK gets first big shipment of US liquefied natural gas, Financial Times

Climate Change

Blue America reaches out to the world, ignoring Trump, Vox.com

Renewable Energy

Massachusetts utilities release first offshore wind RFP under new state energy law, MassLive.com

Environmental groups push to shorten offshore wind timeline, Boston Globe

New Haven commits to using only renewable energy for city operations, New Haven Register

Falmouth neighbors worried celebration premature in fight against wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Multiple Wind Turbine Lawsuits Remain Up In The Air, Falmouth Enterprise

Newport Harbor Home to Floating Microgrid Platform for Charging Electric Marine Vessels, ecoRI news

Connecticut Chooses New Sites For Statewide Solar Plan, WSHU

Second Circuit Upholds Conn. Renewable Procurement Law, RTO Insider

Fledgling Berkshire Communities Green Network seeks to rally ‘green communities,’ Berkshire Eagle

Connecticut DEEP picks Shelton for shared-solar project, New Haven Register

State approves Brattleboro landfill solar array, vtdigger.org

Massachusetts landfill gets solar panels, Waste Today Magazine

Marine Conservationist On New England’s Potential To Harness Energy From Ocean Tides, Rhode Island Public Radio

Mass Solar Connect Program Helps Massachusetts Consumers Shop Around, Solar Industry Magazine

The Energy Secretary Is Wrong: The Grid is Ready for Renewables, Yale Environment 360

Offshore needs the big players, Windpower Monthly

Expediting a Renewable Energy Future With High-Voltage DC Transmission, Greentech Media

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on SHF Systems, Energy Central

Project may double MDI’s solar output, Mount Desert Islander

Energy Efficiency

Energy Department to reconsider Obama energy efficiency rule, The Hill

How Much Of A Stretch To Become A Green Community?, Cape Cod Chronicle

It’s Good to be Green: State Provides $250K in Energy Saving Grants, The Belmontonian

Buying into a low-energy subdivision may be too costly for some, Press Herald

Nuclear

NRC: Vermont Yankee can send tainted water to Idaho, Commons

14 environmental, energy, consumer groups oppose Millstone bill, theday.com

NRC to determine C-10 status as nuke plant interveners, Seacoastonline.com

Hackers Are Targeting Nuclear Facilities, Homeland Security Dept. and F.B.I. Say, New York Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Electricity market: Pricing change can mean free power, The Union Leader

A Guide to Blockchain and Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Energy Storage Target Comes with Less Clout but More Money, Microgrid Knowledge

Power Plant Project Wins Key Approval, Sandwich Enterprise

Look out, your town may switch you to a ‘greener’ energy plan, The Boston Globe

MBTA withholds portions of power line agreement with Eversource, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid, IBEW to build Granite State Power Link project, Union Leader

Group to protest Seacoast Reliability Project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Distributed energy resources pose biggest disruption to utility business model, Electric Light & Power

Public Power Skeptical of ISO-NE Two-Tier Capacity Auction, RTO Insider

AG finds no open meetings violations concerning special January meeting, Johnston Sun Rise

Rick Perry says he had nothing to do with Trump’s energy budget, Business Insider

Editorial/Opinion

Around New England: Ignoring boom in solar energy, The Westerly Sun

Columnist Marty Nathan: Citizens must stand against environmental assaults, GazetteNET

HINGHAM COMMENTARY: Any benefit from compressor station?, Wicked Local Hingham

Letter: Shannon Reynolds: Even on temporary basis, natural gas is not the answer, The Providence Journal

Nancy Martland: DOT Should Follow NH Law For Norther Pass Burial Route, Caledonian Record

Eversource ever untrustworthy, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Reviewing the Legislature’s energy accomplishments, New Hampshire Business Review

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, offshore wind