Category Archives: Climate Change

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

No Longer Gluttons | Under Investigation | Plans Won’t Meet Goals

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. I hope you’re staying warm and dry in this miserable weather. Let’s get to the news.

Unlike a certain person who lives in the White House, it seems most people don’t think LEDs make you look orange. In fact according to a story in the Wall St. Journal, “Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb. For more than five years, Americans have been doing something decidedly un-American: We’ve been using less electricity…The downward trend began soon after the 2008 financial crisis took hold… But in a historical departure, after the economy rebounded, the decline in electricity use persisted…By 2017, electricity use was as low as it had been since the turn of the millennium with an average residence consuming 10.4 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, down from a peak of 11.5 megawatt-hours in 2010…None of this means that Americans are turning off their lights…But today’s appliances and electronics are more efficient. New homes are tighter and better insulated. And most important, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have replaced traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “No other change is so dramatic,” Dr. Davis said. “When you take an incandescent bulb out and screw in an LED, consumption goes down 80%. Imagine you could get a car that uses 80% less gasoline. That would be amazing.” With the transition to LEDs, the amount of electricity used for lighting dropped 26% from 2015 to 2017. In raw numbers, that meant consumption slipped from 129.7 million megawatt-hours a year nationwide to 95.5 million megawatt-hours. By 2021, if incandescent and halogen bulbs continue to be eliminated, the energy used for lighting is expected to decline by more than half, dropping to 61.3 million megawatt-hours annually.”

Next up, the State House News Service via WBUR brings us news of an investigation, “DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management. State utility regulators have ordered a broad investigation into the management of National Grid in a rare move born of concerns that one of the state’s largest electricity providers failed to communicate about the potential for severe delays in solar power installations. The Department of Public Utilities is also questioning National Grid’s management of its electric vehicles program and whether the company’s cybersecurity plan adequately takes into account benefits for customers who are paying for the technology upgrades. The independent management audit was ordered as part of a 586-page decision issued late last month in which DPU approved a $90.4 million increase in National Grid’s base distribution rates. In blunt terms, regulators said the rare, but not unprecedented audit was necessary to examine ‘potential management problems through to the highest levels of the organization.’”

Last up for this week is a story from E&E News via the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. “Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals. New England’s six states are falling short of the low-carbon energy deployment needed to reach their shared 2050 climate goals, according to a new analysis from the Brattle Group. By midcentury, every state in New England aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% over 1990 levels. At the behest of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a solar trade association, Brattle looked late last month at how much clean energy would be needed to meet those goals, if the region engaged in a mass switch from fossil fuel sources to electricity. Demand for electricity would roughly double by 2050, despite efficiency measures — about the same amount as for the nation at large, if it were to follow a similar path, the consultancy said. To supply that power, about four to eight times more renewables would need to come online annually, across the 2020s, than what is currently planned for the region…‘Achieving the GHG reduction goals set by New England states will require significantly accelerating clean energy resource deployment,’ said Jürgen Weiss, principal at Brattle and co-author of the study. That’s not an impossible feat, Weiss said.”

That’s the recap for this week. There are many more interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask gas company CEO to pull compressor station plans, Patriot Ledger

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

‘Major’ gas leak in New London causes evacuations, power outage to entire city, WFSB

Oil Companies Ponder Climate Change, but Profits Still Rule, New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case of gas pipeline seeking to cross Appalachian Trail in Va., Washington Post

Dog returns to owner year after running away after explosion, New York Daily News

Lawmakers weigh ‘nuclear option’ for Columbia Gas, Eagle-Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions, The Guardian

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New England winters are on the decline due to climate change, study says, Boston Globe

How State and Local Governments Are Leading the Way on Climate Policy, National Audubon Society

National Grid Files First-of-its-Kind Clean Energy Proposal, MarketWatch

New city-owned buildings will be carbon-neutral under updated climate plan, Boston Globe

An Overheating Gulf of Maine Is Forcing Wildlife to Adapt—or Move, National Audubon Society

In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market, Seven Days

Somerville shows climate change is hot election issue at candidate forum, WickedLocal

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox.com

Could squeezing more oil out of the ground help fight climate change?, Vox.com

Can We Really Reach These Big Green Goals?, Microgrid Knowledge

Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

The amount of voluntary renewable energy purchases keeps rising, Axios.com

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

Rep. Tonko on Extending Wind and Solar Tax Credits: ‘Odds Are Good,’ Greentech Media

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America, New York Times

 

Wind

Hopkinton council OKs ban on industrial wind turbines, but some say farmers’ viability could suffer, Westerly Sun

SouthCoast leaders urge state to make bigger wind investment, Southcoasttoday.com

State kicks off wind project; effort begins with 3 proposals, Republican-American

After Early Windfall, Offshore Developer Settles In for Long Game in Maryland, Greentech Media

 

Solar

BlueWave parent company appeals permit denial for solar farm in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

Baker’s latest solar goal called too small, CommonWealth Magazine

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar, New York Times

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

Survey: Residents favor renewable energy, but don’t want large scale solar arrays in their neighborhood, Athol Daily News

New law and Gov. Mills’ energy goals set off solar-farm land rush, Portland Press Herald

Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states, CNBC

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb, Wall St. Journal

How a new class of startups are working to solve the grid storage puzzle, MIT Technology Review

Report: MA, VT, NY Lead In Energy Efficiency, WAMC

Lamont talks energy efficiency as he tours Farmington aerospace manufacturer, Hartford Courant

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

Massachusetts rejects National Grid EV plan, advocates say oil interests sowed disinformation, Utility Dive

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Five states have implemented programs to assist nuclear power plants, US Energy Information

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

Red Flags Raised Over Radioactive Waste at Indian Point Plants, The Examiner

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

EPA tells churches to cut mercury but says restrictions on power plants unnecessary, Catholic News Network

Brayton Point gears up to welcome more tenants, South Coast Today

Federal judge soon to decide fate of Seacoast power project, New Hampshire Union Leader

CMP says new substation will help all of New England, newscentermaine.com

Electricity supplier enters Ch. 11 bankruptcy, owes state $8.2M, Hartford  Business

Two years on, CMP billing saga still confounds, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Terms of gas settlement should be renegotiated, Eagle-Tribune

YOUR VIEW: SouthCoast has short window to become the center of wind industry, Southcoasttoday.com

These trends are defining the future of energy efficiency: Here’s how utilities can prepare, Utility Dive

Our view: State should accelerate approvals on solar projects, Salem News

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending October 4, 2019

Mass Tops the Chart Again | Revised Route | Solar Potential

Good Friday afternoon.

The first story is getting kind of hackneyed, but we’ll take it. From the Scientific American, “Massachusetts remained the most energy-efficient state for the ninth year running, Maryland jumped in the efficiency rankings on the back of its new electricity savings programs, and Kentucky tumbled after regulators there slashed demand management programs for the power sector. Those are among the highlights in an annual scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy…Maine, New York and New Mexico were among the states to ramp up energy efficiency investments as part of wider efforts to curb emissions. Energy efficiency is the leading form of carbon abatement nationally. ‘The states that are doing the best are those that have a robust policy framework in place, especially for driving utility sector energy efficiency,’ said Weston Berg, a senior analyst at ACEEE and the report’s lead author. Some 26 states now boast targets for achieving efficiency gains in the power sector, he said, adding, ‘Those states on average are achieving three to four times as much energy efficiency in terms of electricity sales.’”

From the Lewiston Sun-Journal we learn, “Environmental and land use regulators have agreed to consider a proposed change to Central Maine Power’s plan for a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine that would bring Canadian hydropower into the regional grid. In a procedural order filed Thursday, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission agreed to reopen the case record to consider CMP’s plan to re-route about a mile of the transmission line to avoid a protected pond near the Canadian border. ‘We appreciate the decision of the DEP and the LUPC to consider a change in the NECEC route. This new route makes a good project that is critical to the future of Maine even better,’ the power company said in a statement. The power company proposed the transmission line nearly two years ago. The case record has been closed since May, while regulators decide whether the project meets land use and environmental standards. ‘The presiding officers grant the applicant’s petition to reopen the record, effective upon issuance of this order, for the purpose of allowing the applicant to amend the applications and gather additional evidence needed to evaluate the proposed alternative route,’ the order states. A process for allowing intervenors in the case and the public to review and comment on CMP’s proposed change will be addressed in a subsequent order, regulators said.”

If you’re a solar developer check this out. In southern New England, Alex Kuffner at the Providence Journal writes, “With debate swirling about the development of solar projects in woods, farm fields and other green spaces, the state is setting out to determine how much power can be generated by instead installing more photovoltaic panels on rooftops and in commercial and industrial areas. The Office of Energy Resources is paying Synapse Energy Economics $83,000 to conduct an analysis of the total solar potential for so-called “non-greenfield” sites and summarize what other states have done to balance solar development with other land uses…The report that is set to be completed next March will look at all rooftops (on residential, commercial, industrial and government buildings), closed landfills and gravel pits, disused industrial sites and parking lots (where solar canopies could be erected).”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas order to stop all ‘non-emergency’ work pending investigations, Boston 25 News

Columbia Gas claims center overrun by residents, businesses, Eagle Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Compressor protester arrested at state offices as Markey tours site, Patriot Ledger

Judge sets schedule for Ashland-Eversource pipeline legal clash, Metrowest Daily News

Dozens Arrested At Protest Outside New England’s Largest Coal Power Plant, In Bow, N.H., NHPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Gov. Mills wants Maine carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?, Portland Press Herald

States unveil plan to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

East Coast states outline carbon pricing plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change: Vermont will not meet its 2028 emissions goals. Now what?, VT Digger

Pennsylvania to move forward on power plant emission caps, AP News

Carbon price could allay ‘astounding’ cost to attain New York’s zero carbon target: Report, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Why It’s So Hard to Build Offshore Wind Power in the U.S., Bloomberg

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind reach cable-laying agreement, Cape Cod Times

7Investigates: MBTA Wind Turbines, 7 News Boston

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

US offshore majors submit Connecticut proposals, Windpower Monthly

President’s windmill hatred is a worry for booming industry, AP

Useful lifespan of wind farms increases to 30 years, Energy Live News

Concerns Grow Over Wind Turbines’ Proposed Height in Ocean City, WBOC

Three companies vying to bring wind power to CT, Stamford Advocate

Lawmakers question Albany meeting location for Long Island wind project, Times Union

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind Settle Undersea Cable Dispute, Vineyard Gazette

Massachusetts company competes to harness wind power for Connecticut, pitching Bridgeport as a hub, Hartford Courant

 

Solar

Helping lower-income households reap the benefits of solar energy, MIT News

UMass signs deal for campus solar energy project, Smart Cities World

State wants to gauge its solar potential, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Tops Energy Efficiency Rankings, but Other States Close In, Scientific American

50-State Scorecard Reveals States Are Ramping Up Clean Energy, ACEEE (press release)

AP-NORC poll: Energy-saving habits vary in popularity, AP News

Energy Efficiency Day Reaches Tens of Millions of People, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Plymouth officials praise AG lawsuit over Pilgrim decision, Wicked Local Plymouth

Path Shifts for Advanced Nuclear Legislation in the House, Morning Consult

Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Coming to Town?, Tapinto.net

Anti-nuclear groups plan Pilgrim protest at Plymouth library, Wicked Local Plymouth

Murphy panel ordered to ensure Oyster Creek decommissioning won’t be dangerous, Asbury Park Press

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators decide to consider revised route for CMP power line, Sun Journal

Shorthanded FERC allows New England capacity auction results to stand, Utility Dive

GMP CEO to step down at end of year, successor announced, Valley News

DPU approves National Grid rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

Sudbury power line fight could affect development deals statewide, Boston Globe

ISO-NE IDs $8.7M Tx Fix for Boston Area, RTO Insider

FERC Finds New Hampshire Biomass and Waste Statute Preempted by the Federal Power Act, Lexicology.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Al Gore: The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win, New York Times

Letter: Community solar benefits everyone, Albany times Union

Letter: Opt for green electricity, Metrowest Daily News

Editorial: Steady progress, Mt. Desert Islander

Community Power May Give Biz More Competitive Energy Prices in NH, Other States, Environment and Energy Leader

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

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

Energy News for week ending September 20, 2019

Added Costs | Gas Battle in NY | Menu Change

Happy glorious Friday afternoon. Here are the news highlights for this week.

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A new elementary school that produces as much energy as it uses, mandated by the town’s net-zero energy bylaw, would add millions of dollars to the cost of the building, according to a summary of a 600-page report presented to the School Committee and Town Council this week. If the town proceeds with a new $64 million, 85,000-square-foot replacement for the aging Fort River School, solar panels alone would add $6.4 million to the project cost, while extensive energy improvements, in combination with the solar panels, would add $7.7 million, architect Ryszard Szczypek told the elected panels Tuesday…The consultants note that these costs are not out of line with the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s expectations for energy-efficient buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

We’ve included stories about this next topic in past issues of the Northeast Energy News but haven’t highlighted it. Given it’s an ongoing matter we’re calling it out this week. From Crain’s NY Business, “National Grid didn’t get the pipeline it wanted, so now the utility is giving its customers the shaft, Gov. Andrew Cuomo argued Wednesday. The governor told reporters at an unrelated press conference that something smelled funny about the natural gas supplier’s refusal to add new accounts, or to reconnect old ones, in the months after his administration denied a permit to the proposed Williams pipeline. Cuomo has already directed his Public Service Commission to investigate the validity of National Grid’s claims that it lacks the capacity to provide gas to either old or new customers…National Grid did not respond directly to the governor’s remarks, except to state that it was working to illustrate the pipeline’s necessity to his commission.”

We move to Maine for our next story from the Portland Press Herald, “As Maine’s climate warms, what’s on the menu likely will change. Chefs and scientists offer opinions on what we’ll be eating in 50 years. Ask Sam Hayward, co-owner and founding chef of Fore Street, what the famed Portland restaurant might be serving 50 years from now, and he obligingly jumps into an imaginary time capsule to visit 2069 and check out the menu. The question assumes that little has been done since 2019 to put the brakes on climate change. It’s likely, Hayward says, that diners at his restaurant would be feasting on black sea bass, a mid-Atlantic species that already has started moving north into Gulf of Maine waters, or local meat raised on abundant Maine pastureland. “As wild species become more threatened, fish farming will continue to grow, and shellfish farming will grow,” Hayward said. “So you’ll see even more bivalves on the menu, and possibly even some southern species, such as warm-water shrimp, being grown in different places. That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?” Farmers and fishermen are used to dealing with the vicissitudes of Mother Nature, but unchecked climate change may push her finicky personality into overdrive. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature and rainfall, increasingly acidic oceans, new plant and shellfish diseases and insect pests – all of these may challenge traditional notions of what farmers can grow in Maine and how they grow it, and what fishermen harvest from the sea. Even the smaller aspects of daily life – such as what you order off a menu – may look vastly different 50 years from now.”

That’s the news recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid refusing customers to build ‘political pressure’ for pipeline, Cuomo suggests, Crain’s New York

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

Weymouth: Public Involvement Plan Participants Request Meeting Postponement Regarding Fore River Oil Clean-up, WATD-FM

Most states don’t require engineers to review gas projects, Eagle-Tribune

Merrimack Valley Marks 1 Year Since Disastrous Gas Explosions, ESPN

Art exhibit protests Weymouth compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Wind And Natural Gas Are Big Winners In US Power Generation, OilPrice.com

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Burlington, Vermont’s net zero energy roadmap showcases how utilities can lead on climate, Utility Dive

‘Like a sunburn on your lungs’: how does the climate crisis impact health?, The Guardian

EPA data pinpoint largest greenhouse gas emitters in region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

North America has lost 3 billion birds in 50 years, Washington Post

The climate movement to come: how can we build the majoritarian social force we need to slow global warming,? DigBoston

Half-dozen MetroWest, Milford communities awarded grants for clean energy projects, MetroWest Daily News

Carbon-Cutting Cities Plug In to ‘Electrify Everything’ Movement, Bloomberg

Massachusetts Catholic bishops call for action on climate change, environmental protection, MassLive

As Maine’s climate warms, what’s on the menu likely will change, Portland Press Herald

Climate Change Is Having Widespread Health Impacts, Scientific American

Hampshire County gets ‘F’ in air quality rating: Climate change a factor, Daily Hampshire Gazette

What would the Green New Deal look like in the Valley? We asked economists and activists, Daily Hampshire Gazette

‘Worse Than Anyone Expected’: Air Travel Emissions Vastly Outpace Predictions, New York Times

Waters off the coast of Maine vulnerable to changing climate, Portland Press Herald

Connecticut’s Small Solutions To Climate Change: New Tool Shows Effects Of Sea Level rise, WNPR

County opts out of solar, wind, farm waste energy tax exemptions, The Recorder (NY)

What To Know About Friday’s Youth Climate Strike In Boston, WBUR

Climate protest: Students converge on downtown Worcester, Telegram.com

Photos from climate strike events across the planet, Boston Globe

 

Wind

The Hamptons Love Green Energy. But That Wind Farm?, New York Times

Ørsted ok’d to bring offshore wind power ashore at Oyster Creek, NJ Spotlight

Antrim Wind project fined for delay, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

New York board approves 242 megawatt wind farm, WENY

Wind And Natural Gas Are Big Winners In US Power Generation, OilPrice.com

Time is now for major upgrade at State Pier, wind deal officials say, The Day

Fishing concerns color N.J. offshore wind hearing,  National Wind Watch

Fishermen demand a say in decisions on offshore wind energy, WHYY

GE Lands First Orders for 12MW Offshore Wind Turbine, and They’re Huge, Greentech Media

 

Solar

Proposed state law would put solar panels on new homes, commercial buildings, MetroWest Daily News

Utility-scale solar pipeline hits 37.9 GW, driven by falling costs and corporate buying: Report, Utility Dive

The State of Floating Solar: Bigger Projects, Climbing Capacity, New Markets, Greentech Media

Rhode Island’s First Community Solar Project Enters Operation, Solar Industry

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

CT’s small solutions to climate change: South Windsor goes solar, Connecticut Mirror

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Net-zero school could add $7.7M to cost, consultants tell Amherst boards, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Nothing standing in the way of energy storage’s ‘explosive growth’: Navigant, Utility Dive

Energy Efficiency Can Get U.S. Halfway To Climate Goals, Facility Executive

ACEEE: ‘Ambitious’ energy efficiency could halve US emissions by 2050, Utility Dive

Online Dashboard Shows Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunities, Patch

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 316 MW project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

Eos Looks to Scale Up Battery Manufacturing in Pittsburgh, Greentech Media

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

Nuclear could be the clean energy source the world needs, CNN

Big Plans For Small Nuclear Plants, WBUR

To Combat Climate Change, Do We Need The Nuclear Option?, WBUR

Millstone, utilities finalize 10-year contract, The Day

For Green Energy, MIT Aims To Build ‘A Star On Earth’, WBUR

GE Details Radioactive Trucking Plan, New Haven Independent

NorthStar gets good decommissioning review, Brattleboro Reformer

Three Mile Island’s last day as a working reactor will be Friday, PennLive.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP submits last-minute change to its power line plan, Portland Press Herald

Sununu narrowly wins veto fights over energy bills, New Hampshire Union Leader

The True Value of Distributed Energy Resources? Connecticut Takes a Stab at it, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Kill the gas powered plant in Killingly, Hartford Courant

Energy Efficiency Jobs Soar: Now Make Them Available to All, nrdc.org

Maine PUC: Editorial mischaracterizes panel’s role in resolving CMP complaints, Portland Press Herald

The Injustice Of Climate Change, WBUR

Only one beneficiary from Trump attack on fuel standards: Big Oil, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending September 13, 2019

Still recovering | Energy constrained | Sputtering Solar | Night light

 

Good Friday (The 13!) afternoon. You can tell summer is “over” because the dearth of energy news has ended. Let’s get at it.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Merrimack Valley explosions. We have several articles related to the topic below, but highlight this one from the Boston Globe, “A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster. The devastating gas explosions that tore through the Merrimack Valley a year ago Friday remain fresh for thousands of the evacuated and displaced, for the owners of recovering businesses, and for the family of a Lawrence teenager who was killed in the disaster. Its memories return with the whirring sound of a helicopter’s blades, with a glimpse of out-of-place pavement where new gas lines have been laid, and with shrunken balance sheets at once-shuttered stores that are trying to woo back customers. On Thursday, the lingering sense of unease was compounded with news that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will need to reinspect 700 of 4,900 service lines that the company abandoned and replaced after the explosions in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover. Columbia Gas discovered in July that two abandoned service lines might not have been capped properly or identified in compliance with government regulations, according to Scott Ferson, a company spokesman. As a result, hundreds of residents and business owners are being contacted to schedule yet another utility inspection around the grim anniversary. Columbia Gas officials insisted that the public is not at risk. But for many residents, the timing made it hard not to worry.”

The headline makes it sound grim, but the story tells a more positive tale. From Utility Dive, “New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints. New England officials expect the region’s electric grid will remain reliable and economic, largely due to approximately $1.3 billion in planned transmission upgrades over the next 10 years. In the near-term, the region will look to efficiency, renewables and imports…The grid operator says it has identified long-term system needs for the Boston area, and its Regional System Plan indicates it will solicit competitive solutions. Transmission improvements are already underway in those areas, as is the addition of fast-start generation…Overall, grid officials say the system is becoming cleaner, with lower emissions from the widespread development of renewables. Other strategies, including more Canadian hydroelectricity imports, grid modernization efforts and the addition of energy storage will likely continue that trend…The operator’s plan concludes it has sufficient resources through 2028 to meet resource adequacy planning criterion, though that is dependent on there being no major retirements and projects coming online as planned.”

A few weeks ago we noticed that solar stories were in short order. That’s not the case this week. Here’s an interesting one from Microgrid Knowledge, “What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market? With solar installations down dramatically in Massachusetts, a national advocacy group is calling for the state to triple its solar energy target to 4,800 MW. In a new report, Vote Solar says that the policy change is crucial if the state expects to meet its clean energy goals and generate solar jobs. The new target would apply to Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), a program launched last year to incentivize 1,600 MW of solar — 3,200 MW shy of what Vote Solar says is needed. Vote Solar called for the new target following a 50% reduction in new solar installations, primarily in Massachusetts’ residential sector. The advocacy organization calculates that its more aggressive solar energy target would put the state on track to achieve its 35% renewable energy requirement by 2030, create between 8,000 and 9,000 jobs and drive more than $5 billion in investments to the state.

Last highlight for this week comes from the New York Times, “Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy in Darkness. It doesn’t generate much power, but it works during the one time of day that solar cells can’t: night…In new research published on Thursday in the journal Joule, Dr. Raman demonstrated a way to harness a dark night sky to power a light bulb. His prototype device employs radiative cooling, the phenomenon that makes buildings and parks feel cooler than the surrounding air after sunset. As Dr. Raman’s device releases heat, it does so unevenly, the top side cooling more than the bottom. It then converts the difference in heat into electricity. In the paper, Dr. Raman described how the device, when connected to a voltage converter, was able to power a white LED.

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

One Year After Disaster, How Are Merrimack Valley Businesses Faring?, WGBH

Columbia Gas facing up to $1 million fines for abandoned gas service lines following Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

Board demands safety report from Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Monitors on gas projects still not mandated, Eagle Tribune

Most states don’t require engineers to review gas projects, Eagle Tribune

Report: Natural gas system’s flaws put public at risk, Newburyport Daily News

After State Rejects Gas Pipeline Permit, Utility Pushes Back. One Result: New Buildings Go Electric., Inside Climate News

NY Attorney General launching inquiry into National Grid gas service moratorium, New York Daily News

National Grid and NY governor tussle over energy supplies, Financial Times

Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says, Bloomberg

Charlton’s lawyer for LNG plant resigns, Telegram.com

A Giant Bet Against Natural Gas Is Blowing Up, Wall St. Journal

Sununu signs bill prohibiting oil and gas development in state waters, New Hampshire Union Leader

Environmentalists clash with Lamont as natural gas plant set for Killingly tests Connecticut’s promise to address climate change, Hartford Courant

Wayland resident: Gov. Baker, Merkel, and the Weymouth Compressor Station, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

MASSACHUSETTS: One of America’s leading carbon cutters hits a wall, E&E News (paywall)

Solar ITC Extension Would Be ‘Devastating’ for US Wind Market: WoodMac, Greentech Media

As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 power plants, USA Today

How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes, National Grid

Connecticut 100% carbon-free plan is chance to move beyond ISO-NE gas focus: DEEP chief, Utility Dive

Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy from Darkness, New York Times

Trade group raises monopoly concerns over GMP’s Tesla program, VTDigger

Study: Emissions in Rhode Island are higher than calculated, New Haven Register

New Plan Charts Burlington’s Course Toward Becoming ‘Net Zero’ City, NECN

Climate Town Hall: Several Democratic Candidates Embrace a Carbon Tax, New York Times

Banks Are Finally Starting to Account for Climate Change Risk, Bloomberg

State environmental groups urge override of clean energy bill vetoes, Concord Monitor

How to Get Rid of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them, Wall St. Journal

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world, Washington Post

 

Wind

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy, NPR

Offshore Wind-Power Prices Are Plunging, Bloomberg

Fishermen frustrated at turbine distance in wind farm plans, Providence Journal

NJEDA’s offshore wind registry tops 400 businesses, NJBIZ

Ortt Hosts Forum on the Health Effects of Wind Turbines, WBEN

Enel turns Gillette Stadium green with wind energy, EVWind

 

Solar

What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market?, Microgrid Knowledge

Solar backlash may make it tough to build larger projects in Mass., Boston Globe

A company suggested installing solar panels near Virginia Civil War battlefields. Locals raged — and what happened next will happen again, experts say., Washington Post

Proctor eyes possible solar sites, Rutland Herald

Court sends solar project back to regulators, Bennington Banner

Lebanon city properties to get solar panels, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bipartisan Senate bill allocates $100M to ease residential solar, storage permitting, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

DOE has decided many lightbulbs don’t have to meet efficiency standards, Ars Technica

Report finds zero energy buildings within reach for many in Mass, Patch

Biggest Battery System Inches N.Y. Toward 100% Green Energy Goal, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Massachusetts Electric Car Rebates Are About to End. What Does This Mean For Their Future?, WGBH

 

Nuclear

AG Maura Healey seeks extension after missing NRC deadline, Cape Cod Times

Federal grant to help Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station employees laid off after shutdown, Cape Cod Times

C-10: Seabrook plant’s concrete degradation poses threat, Seacoastonline.com

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station advisory panel laments lack of clout, Cape Cod Times

Small modular reactors, nearing operation, touted as solution to some of nuclear industry’s ills, S&P Global

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints, Utility Dive

Cyber-security incident at US power grid entity linked to unpatched firewalls, ZDNet

Proposed bill would require local referendum on large-scale energy projects, Lockport Journal

5 States Blazing the Trail for Integrating Distributed Energy Resources, Greentech Media

Eversource abandons plans for new utility box on Amherst Town Common, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Stalemate over remote pond holds up state panel’s decision on CMP power line, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Column: Safety standards, accountability must enforced after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Andrew Cuomo’s energy policies are counterproductive for the climate: Today, natural gas is a cleaner fuel than alternatives, NY Daily News

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

No more subsidies for bio-mass, Foster’s Daily Democrat

N.H. Plant Protest Shows Conflicting Ideals Of Some Environmentalists, Post-Journal

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

LETTER: Sun far from set on Massachusetts’ solar ambitions, Southcoasttoday.com

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

Energy News for week ending August 23, 2019

License Transfer Approved | Is there anybody out there | Charge up with soap and laxatives

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s Energy News with news out today that the NRC approved Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license transfer from Entergy to Holtec. Holtec promises to decommission the plant in 8-10 years vs. 60 years if Entergy were to remain the owner. From Power Engineering, “Federal regulators have approved Entergy Corp.’s application to transfer the licenses of the closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to a decommissioning specialist firm. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the Pilgrim transfer from Entergy to a subsidiary of Holtec International. This will pave the way for completing the plant sale to Holtec…Holtec International is a large player in the nuclear decommissioning and cleanup sector. Earlier this year, Entergy also decided on Holtec as the buyer for its Indian Point nuclear facility in New York, planned for closure by 2021. Pilgrim still employs close to 230 people after permanent shutdown on May 31.”

I’m guessing the answer is yes and we’ll find out soon enough as South Coast Today asks, “Will anyone bid? Bids are due Friday for Massachusetts’ second offshore wind farm, even as the first, Vineyard Wind, struggles to get federal approval. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 23 for confidential bids. By Aug. 30, companies must submit public versions of those bids that do not have to include pricing information. Vineyard Wind’s wholesale energy price last year was lower than expected, leading to concerns that bidders would shy away from trying to beat that price. The state’s 2016 energy law set a price cap by requiring each procurement to produce a lower energy price than the last. Within the last few weeks, Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature agreed to amend the fiscal year 2020 state budget to eliminate the price cap until 2021, when the cap will be reestablished, according to an official at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Vineyard Wind’s price was 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, in 2017 dollars, levelized over a 20-year term.”

The last highlight for this week, from our love of new technology stories, comes from the New York Times, “Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative. Living in a world with smartphones, laptops and cars powered by batteries means putting up with two things: waiting for a depleted battery to charge, and charging it more frequently when its once-long life inevitably shortens. That’s why the battery’s cousin, the supercapacitor, is still in the game, even though batteries dominate electricity storage…In a study this month in the journal Nature Materials, researchers reported a new phenomenon that could potentially bring a supercapacitor’s energy storage capacity on par with lithium-ion batteries: by using a new class of electrolytes composed of ionic liquids, or salts that remain liquid at room temperature. The materials are abundant: The molecular components in this novel class of liquid salts are found in soaps, detergents and even stool softeners.” Talk about cleantech.

That’s the recap for this week. We’re going to take next Friday off from the news so we’ll be back in your inboxes on September 6th.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the Labor Day holiday.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

After dumping coal in front of State House, protesters vow to shut Bow power plant, Concord Monitor

Utility company tries to ease fears as gas pipeline, storage tank push continues, New Hampshire Union Leader

Longmeadow votes to ban construction of gas facility in residential zone, WWLP

21 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules, AP

Federal judge nixes lawsuit seeking gas pipeline in Maryland, Washington Post

Somerville startup wins spot in energy-focused accelerator program, (paywall) Boston Business Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How grid operators forecast weather and output from renewables, Utility Dive

Vermont farm turns manure into renewable energy, powering Middlebury College, NBC 5

Climate change exacerbates hurricane flood hazards along US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in spatially varying patterns, Nature

Study: Air Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Death, U.S. News & World Report

Massachusetts’ law for clean energy could leave Maine woods a mess, Sun Journal

Wind And Solar Gaining Edge Over Natural Gas, Oilprice.com

Town to amend solar and wind energy laws, Ithaca.com

 

Wind

Second offshore wind bids due Friday, but will anyone bid?, South Coast Today

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay, CommonWealth Magazine

New Jersey to establish WIND Institute Council, Energy Live News

Sources: Vineyard Wind Decision Delayed Until December 2020, WNPR

Wind power company poised to move to R.I., Providence Journal

Hopkinton council hears pros, cons of proposed ban on wind turbines, Westerly Sun

Connecticut kicks off 2GW offshore bid round, Renews.biz

Despite Feds’ Raised Bar, $2.8B Massachusetts Offshore Wind Project Presses On, Engineering News Record

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms, Providence Journal

Orsted, Eversource confident in offshore wind as competitor faces delay in Massachusetts, The Day

US offshore wind pipeline exceeds 25GW, reNEWS

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Names Leader, Welcomes GE To Board, NRG Wind Project

Vineyard Wind project gains bipartisan support from federal lawmakers, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Solar-powered charging bench in Easthampton begins one-month trial, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Portland school board approves solar energy project, Portland Press Herald

Hanover, Lebanon celebrate solar in push toward renewable energy, Valley News

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Long-duration energy storage: The future of grid stability, Utility Dive

Is Proposed Battery-Storage Project a Power Plant?, ECO RI

Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative, New York Times

New England’s Municipal Utilities Get a Taste for Battery Storage, Greentech Media

How Did Massachusetts Blossom Into an Environment Ripe for Energy Storage, Pushing Technology and Business Models to the Cutting Edge?, Global Energy World

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Pilgrim nuclear license transfer from Entergy to Holtec, Power Engineering

Keeping watch at Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoastonline.com

‘I tell the truth;’ Rep. Seth Moulton embraces nuclear energy in opposition to the majority of his peers, MassLive

Elizabeth Warren: ‘Coherent plan’ needed for nuclear waste storage, not Yucca Mountain, Aiken Standard

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Major milestone is reached as power line through Boston Harbor gets charged up, Boston Globe

Microgrid to Serve as Core of $110-$120M Connecticut Mixed-Use Project, Mircogrid Knowledge

CMP withdraws controversial customer letter, Portland Press Herald

Some East Boston Residents Are Wary Of Proposed Electrical Substation, WBUR

Homeowners unhappy with new ‘surprise bills’ from Eversource, WTNH

Report: Municipal light plants leading way on carbon-free power generation, Telegram

Connecticut tops continental U.S. in electricity prices: what gives?, The Day

New NRDC Tool Compares Electric Generation Cost by Resource, nrdc.org

New York Lawmaker Urging Long Island Residents To Fight Another Rate Hike Attempt From National Grid, CBS Boston / WBZ

Livermore Falls voters oppose proposed CMP transmission line, Sun Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

How to have an all-renewable electric grid, Boston Business Journal

Why I support New England Clean Energy Connect, Sun Journal

Letter: Renewables bill is a smart investment in our economy, Concord Monitor

No logic in delaying offshore wind projects, Cape Cod Times

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Pursuing wind energy is much better than solar for Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

Energy News for week ending August 16, 2019

Substantially completed | Warming hot spot | Vow to Move Forward | Cathartic Cleansing

Good afternoon folks.  We start this week’s recap with some good news.

From the Eagle Tribune, “Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed. Kempic said Columbia Gas workers have paved more than 150 driveways, sidewalks and private streets, as well as four state roads. There have been 870 projects involving poured concrete, according to the company’s tally. More than 3,500 properties have been aesthetically improved with seeding, in addition to landscaping and greenery. The company has also replaced heating and gas appliances for thousands of customers impacted by the disaster resulting from an over-pressurized gas line. ‘This fulfills Columbia Gas’ commitment to replace by Sept. 15, 2019, those affected appliances and equipment in customers’ homes which were only repaired in fall of 2018,’ according to a statement from Columbia Gas on Thursday. Kempic made clear while addressing the media that ‘while we’ve done a lot of work, we have a lot to do,’ he said. ‘We’re here for the long-term…’ The company is providing free insulation to homes in the three communities impacted through the end of 2019, to help curb heating bills. ‘We’re going to continue to work with the communities impacted; rebuilding trust in those communities,’ Kempic said.”

Some not so good climate news this week comes to us from the Washington Post, “A detailed analysis of 124 years of climate data across the United States shows that the Northeast is one of the fastest-warming regions in the country, with parts of the region exceeding the 2-degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) warming threshold defined by global policymakers as constituting ‘dangerous’ levels of climate change…In New England, warming is causing changes in the fishing industry, as warm water species move north. The Northeast’s average annual temperatures have increased the fastest during wintertime, in keeping with climate change projections that show cold seasons warming faster than warm seasons. New Jersey’s average temperature has climbed by close to 2 degrees Celsius since 1895, which is double average rate for the Lower 48 states. According to the new analysis, NOAA data shows that every Northeast state except for Pennsylvania has seen at least a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase since the late 19th century. This is resulting in earlier ice snow and ice melt across the region and fears of an endangered tourism industry reliant on winter sports.”

Of course everyone is looking to offshore wind to amp up our supply of carbon free generation. But the news of the delay in the fed’s review of Vineyard Wind sounded a lot of alarms. But fear not, according to a State House News Service story in the Taunton Gazette, “Vineyard Wind on Monday vowed that it will move forward with its $2.8 billion, 84-turbine wind farm project despite a new delay caused by the federal government, though the project will take shape on a new, yet-to-be-determined timeline. The U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday put a freeze on a crucial environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind, once slated to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in America, so they can study the wider impacts of an offshore wind industry that is quickly ramping up. Vineyard Wind officials had said in July that the entire project would be at risk if the federal government did not issue the permit by the end of August and the latest delay is likely to upend the supply chain, financing and construction timeline for the project chosen by the Baker administration and state utility companies to fulfill part of a 2016 clean energy law. On Monday, Vineyard Wind — a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables — said its shareholders had ‘affirmed a commitment to deliver a proposed 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, albeit with a delayed project schedule.’ Project officials have been working with contractors and financiers to rework the timeline — and Gov. Charlie Baker has spoken with Vice President Mike Pence about the project — but a new schedule has not yet been determined.”

Here’s an unusual energy story – sort of – from the NH Union Leader, “16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass. In a cathartic cleansing by fire, some of the earliest opponents of the Northern Pass Transmission project gathered at the Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum on Saturday to burn a model of a high-voltage tower…Before it was set on fire, the tower model, made of wood and built by Rick Johnsen and his son Zach, was filled with the detritus of the often contentious struggle between NPT and its opponents: inch-thick reports and studies, both pro and con; flyers; route maps; signs.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed, Eagle Tribune

Charlton seeks more time to weigh in on LNG plant proposal, Telegram.com

Weymouth: Federal Stay on Permit Processes for proposed Compressor Station Ends Today, WATD-FM

Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, Quincy appeal compressor permit, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas completes replaces appliances affected by Merrimack Valley explosions, Boston Globe

EPA seeks to limit states leveraging Clean Water Act to block pipelines, Washington Times

Massachusetts Among 22 States Suing Trump Administration Over New Coal Rules, CBS Boston / WBZ

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts Close to Finalizing a Clean Peak Standard. Good News for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

The Northeast is a warming hot spot, Post analysis finds, Washington Post

Once-Unpopular Carbon Credits Emerge as One of the World’s Best Investments, Wall St. Journal

2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT, Extreme climate change has arrived in America, Washington Post

Analysis: Total US renewables generation down 1% year on year, S&P Global Platts

Self-tweeting tree is Harvard’s newest climate change educator, Boston Globe

Renewables’ variability sends wary utilities from traditional DR to DER and load flexibility, Utility Dive

RGGI Generates $38.58M in Carbon-Permit Sale, Greentech Media

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says no company on Earth right now has a climate change strategy that’s good enough, Business Insider

Converting to Geothermal Energy, New York Times

 

Vineyard Wind

Community leaders rally for action on federal permit for Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Times

Feds’ delay puts crucial tax credit in jeopardy for Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

Vineyard Wind backers commit to delayed project, Taunton Gazette

Vineyard’s Delay Exposes Challenges for Fast-Moving US Offshore Wind Market, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind layout tough issue for regulators, CommonWealth Magazine

Industry group knocks feds’ ‘regrettable’ move on Vineyard Wind, Boston Business Journal

Sens. Warren And Markey Speak Out Against Vineyard Wind Decision, NA Windpower

Vineyard Wind dealt severe blow by feds, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Fed study of offshore wind could run into 2020, southcoasttoday.com

 

Wind

6 Offshore Wind Farms the Size of Nuclear Power Plants, Greentech Media

Falmouth Wind Turbine II MassDEP Loan Update -It’s A Loan, Patch

Commissioners divided on Hancock Wind settlement, Ellsworth America

 

Solar

Outshining fossil fuel: Your guide to the revolution in solar energy, New Scientist

Former Maine landfills finding new life with solar development, MaineBiz

A hotter planet will make solar power less efficient, MIT Technology Review

Everyone loves a guaranteed discount: New financing approach drives community solar growth, Utility Dive

Hyundai Creates a Car With a Roof-Based Solar Charging System, Entrepreneur

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Fall River businesses could benefit from state’s energy efficiency loans, Herald News

New York regulators call on FERC to exempt energy storage from NYISO’s mitigation measures, Utility Dive

EPA details renewables, efficiency health benefits as DOE slows energy savings progress, Utility Dive

Giant Batteries Supercharge Wind and Solar Plans, Wall St. Journal

 

EVs

Electric vehicles may not be able to avoid road maintenance taxes for much longer, Pacific Standard

US needs to invest $2.2 billion to meet EV charging demand through 2025: ICCT, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC staff approves sale of Pilgrim nuclear power plant, AP

Inside the lab where Bill Gates’ TerraPower is inventing the future of nuclear energy, GeekWire

New resident inspector named at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

Role of decommissioning citizen panels questioned, Brattleboro Reformer

Battle Emerges Over Nuclear Waste in America’s Oil Patch, Wall St. Journal

Meltdown averted: How VR headsets are making nuclear power plants safer, ZDNet

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant in the Arctic causes anxiety in Alaska, KTUU.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Coal, nuclear could see boost in New England this winter as new tariff goes into effect, Utility Dive

US Northeast power grid operators begin preparations for massive offshore wind additions, S&P Global

FERC Commissioner Chatterjee Issues Statement on ISO New England, Energy Central

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Businesses complain GMP rate bumps could total 16%, VT Digger

New Jersey Prepares for Second Round of Microgrid Funding, Microgrid Knowledge

State agrees to additional public hearing on rate changes, SILive

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Controversial New England Power Fix Shows U.S. Agency Split, Bloomberg

PSEG, union start talks after workers reject contract extension, Newsday

Wilton calls special town meeting for utility moratorium, Sun Journal

Study on Massachusetts utilities released, Wicked Local

Lawyers for aggrieved customers pan CMP compensation fund, Portland Press Herald

16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

To save our climate, start with our buildings, Boston Globe

Mayors of Salem, Holyoke call for carbon fee, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Time for uniform reporting of gas leaks, Salem News

Daniel Blackerby: Mills on front line of climate change, Sun Journal

Now is the time for offshore wind, The Hill

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