Category Archives: Climate Change

Energy News for week ending February 21, 2020

Lunch conversation | WSJ Series | Nuclear Waste

 

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week with an article by Spencer Buell of Boston Magazine that recaps his conversation with Professor Nathan Phillips on his hunger strike over the Weymouth Compressor Station. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, we think it makes for interesting reading.

No recap for this, but if you have access check out the Wall St. Journal’s series on the Future of Everything related to energy. It’s a positive look at the future. All of the links are embedded below but here are a couple that are particularly cool: To store the wind and sun, energy startups look to gravity and What’s next for the energy grid.

And for our new tech feature we bring you a story from Grist, “The power plant of the future could run on nuclear waste. A California-based start-up’s plans to develop a power plant that can turn nuclear waste into energy just took a big step closer to reality. The company, Oklo, got a permit in December to build the next-generation power plant at the Idaho National Laboratory, in Idaho Falls. The lab announced Wednesday that it will also provide Oklo with fuel — the waste products of a nuclear reactor. The Oklo design is for a small plant providing up to 1.5 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 1,000 homes — which operates like a long-lasting battery, without the need for a team of operators or refueling for 20 years.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

My Lunch with the Hunger Striker Who Took on Charlie Baker, Boston Magazine

More than a dozen arrested at Weymouth compressor station protest, Patriot Ledger

State regulators won’t do more asbestos testing at Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Bow power plant wins funding through 2024, Concord Monitor

Demonstrators protest National Grid’s fracked gas pipeline in Williamsburg, MSN

Fossil Fuel Emissions Contribute More Methane Than Previously Estimated, Discover Magazine

National Grid is Raising Rates in Order to Build a Fracked-Gas Pipeline in Brooklyn, The Indypendent

Explosions, health risks, higher bills: Why North Brooklyn residents are fighting this project., Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Transocean: The Offshore Drilling Industry Is In Crisis But Is Not Gone, Seeking Alpha

Yale faculty meeting to discuss school’s ethical obligation on fossil fuel investment, WTNH

Climate activists have a target: Harvard’s endowment, Boston Globe

Vermont Gas seeks 2.9% rate increase, VTDigger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Clean Is Massachusetts’ Clean Peak Rule? Not So Much, New Study Says, Greentech Media

Baker’s push to curb emissions draws a familiar foe: his own party, Boston Globe

FERC rules clean energy must pay higher market price in New York, Reuters

Boston harbor brings ashore a new enemy: Rising seas, Washington Post

Methane is a hard-hitting greenhouse gas. Now scientists say we’ve dramatically underestimated how much we’re emitting, Washington Post

Growing bricks and more ways to shrink concrete’s carbon footprint, Wall St. Journal

Researchers Debate Whether Global Emissions Have Peaked, Bloomberg Green

Turning the tide: South Shore legislators are on the front lines of climate change, Patriot Ledger

Baker Administration Planning Rule To Ban Hydrofluorocarbon, WBUR

Google Spinout Dandelion Energy Ramps Up Home Geothermal Installations, Greentech Media

Energy from air: UMass researchers develop device that generates electricity from humidity, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Senators consider requiring utilities to buy more local renewables, VT Digger

ITC Probing Economic Impact of Renewable Goals, Imports to New England, Power Magazine

‘With so much coast and so little land, R.I. is the most vulnerable state in New England’, Boston Globe

ITC To Probe Economic Effect Of Renewable Energy In Mass.. Law360

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind facing lots of hurdles, CommonWealth Magazine

Report: Utilities raised concerns on Mayflower, CommonWealth Magazine

Plymouth health board reviewing wind turbines on Bourne line, Wicked Local Plymouth

Sununu wants offshore wind farm, The Telegraph

MONTI: Ocean wind farms good for fishing, but dialogue needs balance, Sun Chronicle

In ritzy East Hampton, the biggest hurdle to offshore wind is a single cable, Politico

Right Whale Protection At Heart Of New Vineyard Wind Partnership, WGBH

Wind energy gives American farmers a new crop to sell in tough times, USA Today

 

Solar

Cash-strapped farms are growing a new crop: Solar panels, Grist

Nautilus Solar acquires 3.5-MW Superfund community solar project, Solar Power World

More efficient photocatalysts could unlock the potential of solar energy, Phys.org

CT solar jobs hold steady as U.S. industry stems losses | Hartford Business Journal, Hartford Business

New world record for conversion of solar energy to electricity using quantum dots, Science Daily

The path to market for perovskites, pv magazine International

Portland council endorses solar initiative with 8-0 vote, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Three Innovations To Upend The Energy Storage Market, YAHOO!

To store the wind and sun, energy startups look to gravity, Wall St. Journal

Yale Divinity School receives $15 million for energy-neutral Living Village, New Haven Register

 

EVs

The Carmaker Putting Solar Panels on Its Electric Vehicles, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

The power plant of the future could run on nuclear waste, Grist

When It Comes to Nuclear Power, Could Smaller Be Better?, Yale Environment 360

France Shuts Oldest Reactors, But Nuclear Power Still Reigns, International Business Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

RTOs need better market signals for using gas, analysts say, as ISO-NE preps related rule, Utility Dive

What’s next for the energy grid, Wall St. Journal

The key to keeping the lights on: artificial intelligence, Wall St. Journal

Public takeover of Maine’s electric utilities could bring higher rates, tax revenue losses, Portland Press Herald

Grid secures future power commitments at low price, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP brings back former CEO with a mission to ‘restore public trust,’ Bangor Daily News

Panel endorses bill requiring CMP to renegotiate lease along corridor route, Portland Press Herald

US State Energy Policies and Power Utility Regulation, Greentech Media

Energy-capacity auction results in record low New England price | Hartford Business Journal, Hartford Business

Consumer-owned utility proposed to replace CMP to be discussed in Kittery, Seacoastonline.com

Northern Pass losses zap Eversource Energy’s 2019 earnings, Stamford Advocate

Utilities don’t see stranded assets as a top risk. Should they?, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hunger and the clean energy transition, CommonWealth Magazine

Physicians critique National Grid official’s stance, CommonWealth Magazine

Why States Need to Ban New Gas Hookups in Buildings (in 5 Charts), Greentech Media

Commentary: ‘To get the carbon out,’ Maine should look to energy from wood fiber, Portland Press Herald

Commentary: Regional climate collaboration is a critical policy debate – not just political division, Portland Press Herald

Columnist Johanna Neumann: Proposed gas rule is off the rails, Daily Hampshire Gazette

For gas utilities, voluntary RNG programs can play an important role on the path to decarbonization, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending February 14, 2020

Record Low Price | More Delays | Clear Solar

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Let’s start off with some news to love. From Bloomberg Green, “Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and EDP Renovaveis SA agreed to sell power from a wind farm they’re building in the Atlantic Ocean for a record-low price. The 804-megawatt Mayflower wind farm, located south of Martha’s Vineyard, will supply electricity to utilities in Massachusetts for $58 a megawatt-hour over the life of the contract. That’s less than a previous deal for $65 agreed to with the similarly located 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, state energy officials said on a conference call Tuesday. ‘The Commonwealth has now solicited two cost-effective projects at prices far below what industry experts had projected a few years ago,’ Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for Massachusetts, said on the call. Wholesale electricity prices averaged $40.24 a megawatt-hour in day-ahead trading in the New England grid over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Offshore wind costs are higher, but the renewable technology is gaining in use in Europe and Asia, driving down the lifetime sales prices.”

Next up #Absencemakestheheartgrowfonder. From WBUR, “Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project. Vineyard Wind no longer expects its 800-megawatt project to become operational by 2022, the company said Tuesday after federal officials announced a new — and longer-than-anticipated — timeline for their review of the project and offshore wind sector generally. ‘We have received updated information from the Department of Interior that indicates the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Vineyard Wind I project will be published later than what was previously anticipated,’ Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a statement. ‘While we need to analyze what a longer permitting timeline will mean for beginning construction, commercial operation in 2022 is no longer expected. We look forward to the clarity that will come with a final EIS so that Vineyard Wind can deliver this project to Massachusetts and kick off the new US offshore energy industry.’ On Tuesday, BOEM published a new ‘one federal decision permitting timeline,’ which envisions the issuance of a record of decision by Dec. 18, 2020.”

While this new technology was modeled using tomatoes, perhaps it will work with roses too. From Futurity.org, “Clear Solar Panel Could Power Future Greenhouses. Greenhouses of the future could become energy neutral using see-through solar panels to harvest energy, according to a new study. The panels would harvest the energy primarily from the wavelengths of light that plants don’t use for photosynthesis, the researchers say. ‘Plants only use some wavelengths of light for photosynthesis, and the idea is to create greenhouses that make energy from that unused light while allowing most of the photosynthetic band of light to pass through,’ says corresponding author Brendan O’Connor, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University…The end result is that, for many greenhouse operators, the trade-off could be a small one—particularly for greenhouses in warm or temperate climates. For example, in Arizona, the greenhouses could become energy neutral—requiring no outside source of power—while blocking only 10% of the photosynthetic band of light. However, if growers are willing to block more photosynthetic light, they could generate twice as much energy as they required to operate the greenhouse…In Wisconsin, greenhouses couldn’t become energy neutral using the semitransparent solar cells—keeping the greenhouse warm in winter requires too much energy. However, the solar cells could meet up to 46% of the greenhouse’s energy demand.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the long weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Why fossil-fuel generators oppose the CMP hydropower corridor, Bangor Daily News

Area residents criticize Columbia Gas at hearing, Eagle Tribune

‘I Feel Victorious’: BU Professor Ends Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

United in Opposition to the No. Weymouth Gas Compressor Station, Boston University

Iroquois Gas to build system in Milford to help increase New York’s natural gas supply, Stamford Advocate

Oil production on public lands exceeds 1 billion barrels, The Hill

Carbon capture wins fans among oil giants, Wall St. Journal

Pennsylvania shale permits plunge in January as gas prices collapse, S&P Global

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World’s Hottest Well, Wired

Geothermal heating district could rise in Mattapan, Boston Globe

The fastest way to cut carbon emissions is a ‘fee’ and a dividend, top leaders say, Washington Post

Energy Markets Need Winter, and Climate Change Is Taking It Away, Bloomberg Green

Antarctica Sets Record High Temperature: 64.9 Degrees, New York Times

Net-zero emissions measures advance despite cost concerns in Mass. Senate, Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro area senators say climate change legislation could empower cities, towns, Sun Chronicle

Gov. Charlie Baker: TCI proceeds will not be ‘pumped into Boston’ to pay off MBTA debt, MassLive

A Trillion Trees: How One Idea Triumphed Over Trump’s Climate Denialism, New York Times

Why university students are uniting for divestment this week, Boston Globe

Climate Change: 50 Ways We’re Taking Action Now, Vineyard Gazette

Researchers Propose New Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change, Clean Tech

For Sweetgreen, 2020 is the year kelp becomes cool, Washington Post

Hundreds of freshwater fish wash ashore on Easton’s Beach in Newport, ABC6

Why concrete has a huge carbon footprint, CNN (video)

The Climate Crisis Is Threatening Bees. Here’s What’s Helping To Save Them., HuffPost

Crossing the Line: A Scientist’s Road From Neutrality to Activism, Inside Climate News

The Cool Way Scientists Turned Falling Raindrops Into Electricity, Popular Mechanics

 

Wind

Good news, bad news on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project, WBUR

Price of wind power continues to fall with Mayflower contract, Herald News

Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power, Bloomberg

Mayflower Wind will stage in New Bedford: 2nd wind turbine company looking for lease agreement for South Terminal, South Coast Today

Wind farm cables to be lengthened for reburial, Block Island Times

Connecticut Port Authority approves plan to turn State Pier into wind hub, The Day

Gov. Ned Lamont touts approval of wind power deal that will rebuild State Pier in New London while Senate Republicans complain about a lack of oversight, Hartford Courant

Some Fans, Some Not, for Wind Farm Project, Ocean City New Jersey Daily

Red lights on Lowell Mountains won’t dim soon, National Wind Watch (via Hardwick, VT Gazette)

Court filing challenges Guilford wind farm approval, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

 

Solar

Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells, MIT News

Clear solar panels could power future greenhouses, Futurity.org

Fitch: Solar Projects Much More Reliable Performers Than Wind Farms, Greentech Media

Green Bank’s Solar MAP Eases Solar Transition, Solar Industry Magazine

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World, NPR

Report: Vermont lagging in solar capacity, Rutland Herald

Chemist develops technique to improve solar cells, Phys.org

Firm lays out plans for large solar farm, maybe sheep, Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth committee recommends purchase of ‘remote’ solar energy, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

MIT’s solid-state battery breakthrough may see phones last for days, New Atlas

Live Efficient: Choose Energy Star appliances for efficiency, Seacoastonline.com

BPU Plan Would Reimburse Utilities for Sales Lost to Energy Efficiency Programs, NJ Spotlight

$58M project to make Portsmouth Naval Shipyard energy resilient, Seacoast Online

 

EVs

ChargePoint commits $1B to expand EV charging as Ocasio-Cortez, others unveil bills for a national network, Utility Dive

ConEd developing $13M curbside EV charging program with AddEnergie, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Extends Comment Period Regarding Indian Point, WAMC

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants, Bloomberg

How the next generation of nuclear reactors could be smaller, greener and safer, PBS

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Advanced Attack Groups Increasingly Threaten North American Electric Utilities, Security Boulevard

Massachusetts has 3rd highest number of deaths from out-of-state air pollution, study finds, Boston Globe

GAO urged to probe energy project ‘double standard’, Telegram & Gazette

The U.S. power grid desperately needs upgrades to handle climate change, Science News

Company that studied grid may have had conflict of interest, Associated Press

Midwinter drop in energy costs gives Mainers unexpected relief, Kennebec Journal

AARP opposes Eversource’s proposed rate hikes, New Hampshire Union Leader

Expanding or starting a business? National Grid may have a grant for that, Business Journals

 

Editorial/Opinion

Jennifer Benson: Senate’s climate change proposal a good start, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Erect solar panels in places that make sense, The Day

State council, residents ready to take action on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Some help in connecting the air quality dots, Westerly Sun

Maine Compass: It’s time to reconsider going solar, Kennebec Journal

Susan Raymond: Sununu’s energy initiatives are a grand election stunt, Conway Daily Sun

Maine Compass: Don’t expect Maine ‘public power’ plan to deliver on its big promises, Kennebec Journal

Falmouth Turns Into A 2.5 Million Wind Turbine Dump, Patch.com

Pier remake could cost state three times $93 million estimate, The Day via National Wind Watch

New Massachusetts Program A Threat To Local Solar Installers, AltEnergyMag.com

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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 February 7, 2020

Problem and Solution Edition

 

Happy Friday folks.

Today we offer you a problem and solution edition. We don’t take any of the problems lightly by any means but thought that by combining our new energy technology features with some otherwise gloomy news, we might add a little hope to certain situations. Here goes.

Problem: From CommonWealth Magazine, “Report raises gas utility safety issues. A panel reviewing the physical integrity and safety of the state’s natural gas distribution system found a gap exists between the way gas utilities say their crews perform work on the gas system and the way that work actually happens in the field. It also found that National Grid, the utility serving eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, is struggling to contain leaks on its gas distribution system.”

Solution: From UPI, “Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines.  Using the unique ultrasound system deployed by bats as inspiration, engineers have developed a new way to locate corroding metal in oil and gas pipelines. To hunt prey and dodge objects while flying through the air, usually in the dark, bats use a combination of different ultrasound wavelengths. The new corrosion detection system uses two different kinds of radiation, fast neutrons and gamma rays. Ultrasonic or electromagnetic methods are typically used for finding corrosion in pipes, but the techniques don’t work for underground pipes or pipes with concrete or plastic insulation. The new system works on all kinds of metal and composite pipes.”

Problem: From the Washington Post Energy 202: “Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada. President Trump with one single tweet appeared to reverse his administration’s support of entombing dangerous radioactive material under the Yucca mountain…The administration had promised to finish building the Yucca repository, first proposed in the 1980s as the site to store the nation’s ever growing pile of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste.”

Solution: From Popular Mechanics, “You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation. Scientists have discovered that a longtime fungal resident of the Chernobyl complex could actually “eat” radiation. In an upcoming paper, scientists will share the results of growing the fungus on the International Space Station. Scientists have known about this fungus, and similar extremophile organisms that can thrive on radiation, since at least 2007. The variety found in Chernobyl “can decompose radioactive material such as the hot graphite in the remains of the Chernobyl reactor,” Nature said in 2007. The fungus grows toward the hottest and most radioactive places, like phototropism but for deadly toxins. How can this fungus process radiation in this way? Because it has tons of very dark melanin pigment that absorbs radiation and processes it in a harmless way to produce energy. Scientists believe this mechanism could be used to make biomimicking substances that both block radiation from penetrating and turn it into a renewable energy source.

Problem: Climate Change: Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green. The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post. Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times…

Solution: From Vice.com “This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water. What if your umbrella could charge your phone? That speculative tech just got a bit closer to reality now that scientists have designed a small, highly efficient electricity generator that can create enough charge with a single droplet of tap, rain, or seawater to power 100 LED light bulbs. The researchers hope that, alongside solar and wind power, the approach can help tackle the world’s energy crisis. Obviously, generating electricity with water is nothing new. But the study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, looked at how a unique connection between the water droplets and the generator interface increased the generator’s overall power. By coating their droplet generator in a material with a near-permanent electric charge, the team observed that their generator was able to slowly collect charge from continuously falling droplets and store it until reaching its capacity. This allowed the generator to more efficiently convert the droplet’s energy. From just a single droplet the generator was able to generate enough power to light up 100 small LED light bulbs, and with four droplets it could power nearly 1,500.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC reorganizes to address landowner disputes, E&E News

Jim Cramer, ‘Mad Money’ host, declares fossil fuels dead, Grist

Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants, Despite the Climate Risks, New York Times

Fight to stop gas-powered generation plant may be futile, Stamford Advocate

Coal-fired electricity declines in New York and New England, WTEN

Report raises gas utility safety issues, CommonWealth Magazine

Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines, UPI.com

Why Democratic presidential candidates, for once, are not fighting over ethanol, Vox

Democrats’ Fracking War Heats Up As 2020 Voting Begins, HuffPost

Climate change fears put US gas utilities on defensive, Financial Times

 

Weymouth Compressor

DEP to meet with Newton man, other gas project opponents, Wicked Local Newton

Compressor station foes to meet with regulators Friday, Patriot Ledger

BU Professor Is On Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

The Cohasset Democratic Town Committee votes to support the efforts of the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station in Weymouth, Wicked Local

 

Climate Change/RGGI

Lawmakers hear about enforcement and energy curtailment for Global Warming Solutions Act, True North Reports (VT)

Poll tested public opinion on climate change, Taunton Daily Gazette

Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green

Attleboro area state senators support climate-change legislation, Sun Chronicle

The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post

Clean Energy Center’s focus could shift from jobs to climate change, Boston Globe

7 takes on Senate climate change debate, CommonWealth Magazine

Power plant emissions down 47% under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Connecticut Mirror

Program to focus on ‘blue carbon’ habitats, climate change, Salem News

Climate Change Is Ruining My Birthday Outside

Maine must plug in to fight climate change, study concludes, Portland Press Herald

Rhode Island towns moving to block TCI, Boston Herald

Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times

Baker announces climate change grants in New Bedford, South Coast Today

 

Renewables

$64 Million Makes It Official: Renewable Hydrogen In, Natural Gas Out (Eventually), Clean Technica

This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water, Vice.com

Clash between Holyoke gas utility, advocacy group imperils $275,000 clean energy grant, MassLive

New York unveils $6m co-investment fund to support emerging clean energy firms, Energy Central

Wellesley-based Vanguard Renewables Ag part of a project to convert dairy farm manure to natural gas, Wicked Local

Martha’s Vineyard Running Entirely on Renewable Energy? Town Meeting Voters May Get to Decide, Cape and Islands NPR

How this Danish energy company is transitioning from oil and gas to all renewables, Fast Company

Attleboro wins Green Community designation and $244,000 grant, Sun Chronicle

 

Wind

GAO urged to probe energy project ‘double standard,’ Worcester Telegram

Mass. lawmakers, Trump administration spar over Vineyard Wind review, CommonWealth Magazine

How the end of a major tax incentive may impact wind energy, PBS Newshour

Suit filed over proposed wind project in Guilford, The Daily Star (NY)

For offshore wind, expect more delays, CommonWealth Magazine

New York aims to kick off solicitation for up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind in 2020, Utility Dive

The world’s biggest offshore wind developer wants a carbon-neutral supply chain, CNBC

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills, Bloomberg Green

State: Blittersdorf Should Pay $2,500 Penalty In Kidder Hill Case In Irasburg, Caledonian Record

Leading Marine Mammal Acoustic Expert Joins Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Today

Offshore wind transportation to receive boost from state grant, RICentral.com

NH moving ahead with planning & development of offshore wind energy, WMUR9

Grant to aid MMA study of offshore wind technology, Cape Cod Times

ConCom to draft conditions for Brayton Point project, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Chopping Down Trees For Solar Panels? The Choice Isn’t Clear-Cut For Stoughton Church, WBUR

Solar farm company promises savings for residents, Salem News

SEIA backs carbon pricing for New York wholesale power, PV Magazine

Anti-solar panels pointed at space could generate power at night, Techspot

Captona Adds 24 MW of New England Solar to Portfolio, Solar Industry

R.I. electric utilities agree to buy power from new Connecticut solar project, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How ConEd and National Grid are experimenting with energy storage in New York, Utility Dive

‘All-Electric’ Movement Picks Up Speed, Catching Some Off Guard, New York Times

Going electric has more perks than you might think (beyond saving the planet and gas money), Mashable

VCs poured $1.7 billion into batteries in 2019. Here are the 9 startups that scored the biggest deals., Business Insider

Polar Beverages of Worcester bottles energy savings, Telegram

 

EVs

Super Bowl Ads Hyped Electric Cars. But Will Anyone Buy Them?, New York Times

Cost of electric school bus service in Amherst districts may be too much, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sluggish sales throw the future of electric vehicles into uncertainty, Axios

There are Cars and Then There are Electric Cars, Boston Broadside.com

U.S. House Democrats propose electric vehicle charging network, Reuters

 

Nuclear

You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation, Popular Mechanics

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station warns of layoffs as decommissioning continues, MassLive

Duxbury: Safety Precaution Reduced After DPH Deems Pilgrim Power Nuclear Station Not a Threat, WATD

We need nuclear power to fight climate change, but is it doomed?, New Scientist

Plymouth: EPA Permit Issued to Monitor Wastewater at Pilgrim, WATD

The Energy 202: Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada, Washington Post

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

ISO-NE capacity prices fall to new low, but latest auction shut out some renewables and storage, Utility Dive

CMP corridor opponents say they have signatures to put western Maine project to a vote, Bangor Daily News

Opponents Of CMP Transmission Line Submit Signatures For Statewide Vote On Project, Maine Public

Power to the people: Bernie calls for federal takeover of electricity production, Politico

30,000 Connecticut residents still have banned electricity deals, Energy Central

Final New Jersey Energy Master Plan Makes Way for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Women in energy are far less represented than corporate average, Axios

EEI rallies Wall Street with sunny prospects for electric utilities, Daily Energy Insider

Quincy moving ahead with municipal aggregation, Patriot Ledger

Eversource reminds customers: Energy assistance programs available, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Is natural gas essential for the state to reach zero-carbon goals?, Hartford Courant

Letter: Legislators need to address gas leaks, Salem News

Columnist Marty Nathan: Locust swarms and the climate emergency, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Tom Evslin: Preparing for electric vehicles, VTDigger

How to maximize Vt’s electric status, St. Albans Messenger

Time for New York to lead on fossil fuel divestment, New York Daily News

Mainers’ health vulnerable to climate change, Kennebec Journal

To protect ecosystem, improve balance on critical regulatory panel, The Day

Picking apart Rep. Kearney’s fishy argument, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Report is a roadmap for gas system improvements, Salem News

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 31, 2020

Inevitability | Maine Potential | Called Out | Barn Inspired

 

TGIF!

It has been a busy week so let’s get this done and get to the news.

We start with a story from Greentech Media, “Where does the natural gas bridge end? Adnan Amin, former director-general of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and current senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, argued that the role of natural gas is being overstated in most forecasts. ‘We have been talking about, for the last few years, gas as the bridge,’ Amin said during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. ‘There is an inevitability about bridges, which is that sooner or later you get to the end of the bridge…’ Within the next decade, renewables are expected to be cheaper than even existing gas plants, prompting the question of stranded assets…Meg Gentle of Tellurian acknowledged that the industry needs to do more to reduce emissions over the lifecycle of the product, from the wellhead to the ship. Potential solutions include blocking methane leaks, investing in carbon capture and sequestration, and purchasing carbon offsets, she said. But even these steps still may not be enough.”

Next, we move from the possible end to the big potential. From the Bangor Daily News, “Maine has the potential to power itself through wind. Maine currently uses more fossil-fuel produced energy than any of the other New England States. The solution to reducing, and even eliminating, that dependency could lay in state’s potential to produce much of the energy it needs through wind generated power…According to the American Wind Energy Association, Maine has enough reliable wind blowing over land to produce 69,797 megawatts of power annually. With developing technology in offshore wind generated power, there is the potential for an additional 94,498 megawatts of power. Combined, it’s more than enough to power the state.”

Speaking of Maine, its Attorney General joined forces with its counterparts in Connecticut and Massachusetts to call out ISO New England for anti-competitive practices. From WSHU, “Officials from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine say the operator of New England’s regional power grid is unfairly blocking competition. Officials say ISO New England has labeled every project since 2011 as an emergency, which allowed them to limit bidding. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and other officials sent a letter to federal energy regulators. ‘I am calling on ISO New England to open up transmission work to competitive bidding. It doesn’t make any sense that we don’t encourage competition in that space to get the lowest bid possible.’ Tong says competition could save ratepayers millions of dollars. Connecticut’s electricity prices are among the highest in the nation…A spokesperson for ISO New England says the organization properly applied its federally approved tariff and has implemented a competitive solicitation in the Boston area.”

Energy efficiency stories seem to be in short supply lately. So when we find one that is combined with gorgeous photos, we tend to swoon. From Inhabitat, “Charming, energy-efficient cottages are inspired by barns in rural Massachusetts. Almost 10 years ago, a developer purchased a plot of land in Massachusetts that had three timber greenhouses dating back to the 1940s. Wanting to update the structures into livable, eco-friendly homes, the developer tasked architect Grigori Fateyev with breathing new life into the old structures. But the design process led to the replacement of the old buildings with a series of contemporary eco-homes that were built following passive design principles.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Blocking Trains and Removing Coal, Climate Activists Fight to Close One of New England’s Largest Power Plants, Common Dreams

Where Does the Natural Gas ‘Bridge’ End?, Greentech Media

ISO-NE: Natural Gas Remains King In New England Even As Wind & Solar Climb, New Hampshire Public Radio

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Weymouth: Faith Leaders Voice Opposition to Proposed Compressor Station, WATD-FM

New Jersey Sets Goal to Cut Natural Gas Use 80% by 2050, Bloomberg

National Grid hasn’t needed short-term measures to handle gas crisis, Newsday

States Tells Justices $7B Pipeline Can’t Cross Trail, Law360

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Yahoo! News

New York creeps closer to coal divestment from pension funds, MarketWatch

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Senate agrees to sharp shift in state climate policies, Herald News

In Senate climate bills, lawmakers see new jobs, economic opportunity for Western Massachusetts, MassLive

Tarr: Costs missing from climate policy package, Salem News

Renewables Set to Overtake Natural Gas in US Power Mix, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Can the US power sector significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2040? Not according to EIA, Utility Dive

State faces calls to act more swiftly on climate change, AP

Northeast governors slow to embrace regional climate pact, CT Post

New Jersey outlines sweeping plans to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, Utility Dive

How Maine could emit zero carbon by 2050 without more energy spending, Bangor Daily News

Geothermal’s surprise: Cheap renewables could keep states from achieving climate goals, Utility Dive

State energy secretary seeks support for Baker’s climate plan, MassLive

High school, college students push for stronger climate change legislation at State House, WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Senate climate bills would push state to adopt carbon pricing, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy announces a plan for 100% clean energy by 2050, Connecticut Post

The Energy 202: If the U.S. doesn’t change course, carbon emissions will rise again in the 2030s, Washington Post

GE’s Turnaround Slowed by Struggling Renewable Energy Division, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Senate to consider climate change amendments on electric car rebates, solar projects, MassLive

 

Wind

EDPR and Engie Join Forces With Aim to Rank Among Top 5 Offshore Wind Developers, Greentech Media

Ports and Harbors: How US Offshore Wind Developers Are Anchoring Their Claims, Greentech Media

Maine has the potential to power itself through wind, Bangor Daily News

Offshore Wind Energy is Key to New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, Alt Energy Mag

The Hot New US Wind Market: Crowded East Coast States, Greentech Media

First of two hearings highlights wind farm’s TIF terms with county, The Quoddy Tides

Fed review of offshore wind projects raises concerns over delays, Newsday

NJEDA seeks input to support state’s growing offshore wind industry, NJBIZ

 

Solar

Solar panel proposal in Hopkinton would affect large forest, MetroWest Daily News

The MBTA built solar panels in Hingham over a year ago. They’re still not generating electricity., Patriot Ledger

NYC’s roofs are getting a sustainable makeover, but is green or solar better?, Utility Dive

MIT and NREL researchers outline a pathway to slashing solar costs faster for industry expansion, PV Buzz

Bath sheds lights on solar power option, Press Herald

Q&A: Jeffrey Peck on solar’s growth and going public, VTDigger

IREC grades all community solar programs and only gives two A’s, leedpoints.com

For cheaper solar cells, thinner really is better, Science Daily

MIT researchers see solar modules reaching well below 20¢ per watt, pv magazine International

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Charming, energy-efficient cottages are inspired by barns in rural Massachusetts, Inhabitat

Everyone’s Favorite Climate Solution Has a Fire Problem, Bloomberg Green

 

Nuclear

Bill would force Seabrook Station, power plants to pay more taxes, Seacoastonline.com

Scientists develop a concept of a hybrid thorium reactor, Phys.org

Rolls-Royce plans mini nuclear reactors by 2029, BBC

LIPA’s tab for nuclear plant subsidy could be $820M over 10 years, Newsday

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England AGs Call Out Power Grid Operator Over Anti-Competitive Practices, WSHU

How to Safeguard Against Cyberattacks on Utilities, Harvard Business Review

Bid to make Avangrid subsidiary publicly owned could have financial impact, CT Insider (Subscriber content)

A top analyst breaks down the 3 little-known industries that are quietly shaping the future global energy economy, Business Insider

New utility cooperative CEO calls for focus on future planning, The Day

Maine PUC billing investigation ends; CMP charged with $10M penalty to shareholders, News Center Maine

9 things to know about the CMP billing probe, Bangor Daily News

CMP admits poor handling of winter disconnect notices, Portland Press Herald

CMP files response to Maine PUC, outlining corrective actions company plans to take, WCSH-TV

Report: Nuclear, wind power contracts put Connecticut ratepayers at risk, CT Insider (Subscriber content)

 

Editorial/Opinion

2 simple steps to address climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Her assignment from Baker: Save the environment, Boston Globe

Healey: Stop individual residential electricity sales, CommonWealth Magazine

New York’s First Offshore Wind Contracts Are Done – Now What?, Energy Central

Editorial: CT right to reconsider future power needs, Connecticut Post

Letter to the Editor: Clean energy an economic development opportunity for Maine, Portland Press Herald

Let the 2020s be a decade of climate action, Hartford Courant

Maine Voices: Amid corner-cutting on CMP corridor plan, citizens’ hands are tied, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: CMP project a bad deal for Maine, Kennebec Journal

Massachusetts is a leader on climate change — but it can do better, Boston Globe

Energy efficiency slows climate change, saves money. Why haven’t we embraced it more?, USA Today

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 24, 2020

Ambitious Goals | New oil | Nuclear diamonds

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Let’s get to this week’s news highlights.

Over the past week or so the leaders of two New England states set dates for reaching some ambitious renewable energy and emissions goals. From the Providence Journal, “Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Friday that sets Rhode Island on the path to getting all of the state’s electric supply from renewable sources by the end of the decade. While Rhode Island is not the first state to adopt a 100% renewables target, the timeline put forth by Raimondo is the most aggressive in the nation. In a speech before the signing, the governor said that transforming the state’s energy system is needed to fight climate change…‘The bad news is climate change is real, urgent, closing in on us,’ she said. ‘The good news is Rhode Island is a leader in the fight against climate change. Today is about maintaining our leadership position and pushing ourselves to do more, go faster.’”

In Massachusetts, Governor Baker set a target of 2050 for taking the state to net-zero emissions. From CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie Baker’s top energy aide said his proposal for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 puts Massachusetts among a very small group of states and countries attempting to limit the impact of climate change. Kathleen Theoharides, the governor’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said Massachusetts is joining Hawaii, New York, and California in pursuing net-zero emissions by 2050…Net-zero is an imprecise term. It doesn’t mean the state will cease all greenhouse gas emissions. It means, according to Theoharides, that the state will attempt to reduce emissions as much as possible through the development of renewable, low-emission forms of energy; aggressive energy efficiency programs; and sequestration efforts, including the development of new forests and wetlands. Theoharides said policies could also be developed that would allow polluters to offset their emissions by buying some form of credit, with the proceeds being used to produce more renewable energy generating fewer emissions. The secretary acknowledged that the state’s economy is likely to change dramatically over the next few decades to meet the emission target.”

The Massachusetts senate is also getting in on the action. From WBUR, “The Massachusetts Senate next week plans to take up a far-reaching package of climate bills whose major components include an electric MBTA bus fleet by 2040, carbon-pricing mechanisms for transportation, homes and commercial buildings, and a series of five-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements that ramp up to net-zero emissions in 2050. The three bills, teed up for debate on Thursday, Jan. 30, with amendments due by Monday, amount to what Senate President Karen Spilka called a ‘comprehensive plan for the state’ to respond to an international issue: global climate change.”

Greentech Media’s Interchange podcast this week looked at the reemergence of renewable hydrogen. “Less than 1 percent of all hydrogen produced today comes from renewables. Is that about to change? The vice president of Siemens Middle East just predicted that green hydrogen will assume the mantle of the ‘new oil’ in the coming decades. A lot of big industrial companies and oil majors are taking another serious look at hydrogen. Why? In an era of extremely cheap renewables that are increasingly being curtailed, hydrogen production could finally become an attractive use case, due in part to the emerging regulatory pressures on existing hydrogen production.”

For our new energy technology focus we turn to Popular Mechanics. “Scientists in England are trying to recycle decommissioned nuclear plant materials into cutting-edge diamond batteries. The pressing of this kind of carbon into manufactured diamonds is called chemical vapor deposition…By ‘encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds,’ lead researcher Tom Scott of the University of Bristol says the graphite can be turned into durable, extremes-tolerant electricity via diamond batteries. The secret is in harvesting the radioactive carbon-14 isotope from the plant’s supply of spent graphite. Scott says the factory to turn graphite carbon into diamonds for batteries could be built on the same spot as the decommissioned plant. The carbon has a half life of over 5,000 years, giving a diamond battery an overall life span, well, thousands of times more than the hearing aid battery or the pair of AAAs that powers your remote control. And because the radioactivity is encased within a diamond, there’s no chance it will break down before it runs out of juice.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor opponents occupy Mass DEP office, Wicked Local

Weymouth councilors raise concerns over trucks at compressor site, Wicked Local

Residents still pushing for asbestos testing at compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Five states raise alarms about EPA coal-fired power plant waste disposal proposal, The Hill

Film explores region’s gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Environmental officials want to reverse course on natural gas, Journal Inquirer

Natural-Gas Prices Fall Below $2, Wall St. Journal

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Bloomberg Green

Renewable energy is growing fast in the U.S., but fossil fuels still dominate, Pew Research Center

The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning With Climate Change, Time

 

TCI

While Gov. Charlie Baker opposes gas tax, opponents say Transportation and Climate Initiative a ‘hidden tax,’ MassLive

Poll shows Massachusetts majority oppose cost of TCI, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Could Green Hydrogen Become the ‘New Oil’?, Greentech Media

How to Get to 100% Renewables? Use Microgrids Says Plan for Cranston, Rhode Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Raimondo orders 100% clean electricity in R.I. by 2030, Providence Journal

Cuomo plots course to accelerate renewable energy development, Politico

Don’t celebrate yet: Clean energy jobs have slipped in Mass., Boston Globe

Bill For A N.H. State Climate Action Plan Gets First Hearing, NHPR

Package Of State House Climate Bills Would Apply Carbon Pricing To All Emissions, WBUR

Net-zero target called most aggressive in world, CommonWealth Magazine

Carbon finds itself in Beacon Hill’s crosshairs, Lowell Sun

Energy chief: Deregulation, Trump slowing carbon-free progress, Connecticut Post

Dorset residents pay less energy bills with renewable scheme, Dorset Echo

Energy office set to begin work on new renewable energy goal, WRAL

Environment Council of R.I. disappointed in Mattiello’s climate change comments, Boston Globe

What Would an Accelerated Global Energy Transition Look Like?, Greentech Media

FERC Faces Heat Over State Clean Energy Subsidies Order, Law360

 

Wind

Proposed Vermont wind project halts development, citing hostile political environment, Wind Power Engineering

NYS invests $20M into offshore wind training institute at SBU, SBStatesman.com

Murphy signs bill expanding definition of qualified offshore wind project, NJ Biz

Inside New York’s Push to Be ‘Center of Gravity’ for US Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Vestas to Produce Zero-Waste Wind Turbines by 2040, NA Clean Energy

After Years Of Slow Action On Climate Change, What Sets Offshore Wind Apart For N.H.?, NHPR

Looking for a windfall from offshore wind farms, Newsday

Redevelopment plan for State Pier expected to be more costly than projected, The Day

Offshore wind key as Rhode Island sets 100% clean-energy goal for 2030, Recharge

Orsted US team targets whale protection, reNEWS

The US is set to experience yet a new energy revolution: Offshore Wind, Energy Voice

Huge crowd packs OC hearing, Energy Central

Blade breaks off wind turbine in Cohocton, Evening Tribune

Heritage Wind to file application for up to 33 wind turbines in Barre, (NY) The Daily News

Public hearing set on financial contributions from proposed wind farm, Ellsworth American

 

Solar

She’s Taking on Elon Musk on Solar. And Winning., New York Times

Kearsarge, NEC Energy Complete Amesbury Solar+ Storage Project, Solar Industry

Commercial solar project eyed for Woodstock, Sun Journal

33 RIPTA buses get solar system developed by Warwick company, Cranston Herald

America’s Concentrated Solar Power Companies Have All but Disappeared, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

2020 Outlook: From light bulbs to dishwashers, court battles to continue on DOE’s efficiency moves, Utility Dive

Energy Storage As A Transmission Asset In Regional Markets, Law360

State approves $2B energy efficiency incentive plan, Times Union

City Comptroller Scott Stringer calls on de Blasio to commit $1 billion per year to energy efficiency, New York Daily News

Home energy efficiency could be improved significantly through simple tweaks like roof colour, ABC News

Eversource and Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa Partner on Eco-Friendly, Cost-Saving Upgrades, NA Clean Energy

 

EVs

Electric school buses latest stop on Maine’s climate-change journey, Portland Press Herald

Automakers: New tech, battery advances will curb EV range anxiety, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Asks: Do You Want A Hearing On Sale Of Indian Point, Patch.com

Lawmakers seek safeguards on nuclear plant decommissioning, Taunton Gazette

State AG: ‘Grave concerns’ over Indian Point nuclear plant decommissioning, Ithaca Journal

How to Turn Nuclear Waste Into Diamond Batteries, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Augusta puzzled over Janet Mills’ call to reconsider utility regulations, Bangor Daily News

Maine regulators vote to investigate CMP’s winter disconnect notices, Press Herald

NY to pay another $6M to firm that took millions in disgraced Empire Zone breaks, Syracuse.com

The Limits of Environmental Activism From BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Wall St. Journal

New York ISO carbon pricing proposal ‘in a holding pattern,’ says grid chief, Utility Dive

As Mass. Considers Carbon Pricing, Conn. Takes ‘Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WBUR

 

Editorial/Opinion

A path forward for New England to a low-carbon future: Why a capacity market still matters, Utility Dive

Baker’s net-zero goal is business-as-usual, CommonWealth Magazine

Column: Setting climate solutions into action, Salem News

Letter: Balentine needs to get his facts straight on CMP line, Portland Press Herald

The Universal Notebook: CMP project supported by old guard ‘environmentalists’, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: Climate change, not CMP project, is the real enemy, Kennebec Journal

Editorial: Keeping heat on in Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Guest Opinion: Rhode Island needs real environmental action in 2020, Westerly Sun

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 17, 2020

The heat is on | To exit or not to exit | Single option

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

While today actually feels like winter, the trend over the past decade has been toward warmer temperatures. From the AP in the New York Times, “The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, two U.S. agencies reported Wednesday. And scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records. “If you think you’ve heard this story before, you haven’t seen anything yet,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said at the close of a decade plagued by raging wildfires, melting ice and extreme weather that researchers have repeatedly tied to human activity. Schmidt said Earth as a whole is probably the hottest it has been during the Holocene — the past 11,500 years or so — meaning this could be the warmest period since the dawn of civilization. But scientists’ estimates of ancient global temperatures, based on tree rings, ice cores and other telltale signs, are not precise enough to say that with certainty. The 2010s averaged 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7 degrees Celsius) worldwide, or 1.4 degrees (0.8 C) higher than the 20th century average and more than one-third of a degree (one-fifth of a degree C) warmer than the previous decade, which had been the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Climate change is giving Connecticut energy leaders second thoughts about staying with the regional electric grid. From WNPR, “The state’s commissioner of energy and environmental protection said Wednesday that Connecticut is being forced to invest in natural gas plants it doesn’t want or need. Katie Dykes’ comments on the future of Connecticut’s energy policy came up during a forum at Trinity College, and they come as the legislature prepares to convene next month. Speaking to a crowd at the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Dykes said a ‘lack of leadership’ at ISO New England, which oversees the regional power grid, is hindering the state’s fight against climate change. ‘We are at the mercy of a regional capacity market that is driving investment in more natural gas and fossil fuel power plants that we don’t want and we don’t need,’ Dykes said. ‘This is forcing us to take a serious look at the cost and benefits of participating in the ISO New England markets.’ The department has scheduled a meeting on the issue for Wednesday, Jan. 22.”

The last highlight for this week comes from the Cape Cod Times, “State officials are taking the first steps toward having a single underwater transmission line that could feed electricity generated by multiple offshore wind farms into the regional power grid. The Department of Energy Resources is asking for comments on the idea of it putting out to bid ‘offshore wind energy transmission sufficient to deliver energy generation procured under’ a 2018 clean energy law that signaled Massachusetts’ intent to pursue enough additional renewable energy to double its amount of possible offshore wind power. The department will accept all comments, but is particularly interested in thoughts on ‘the general cost and benefits of coordinated offshore wind transmission for the region and/or a potential independent transmission procurement in Massachusetts.’…One primary transmission system ‘has the potential benefit of minimizing impacts on fisheries, optimizing the transmission grid, and reducing costs,’ a department report concluded.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay warm, be careful in tomorrow’s snowstorm, and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas prices in 2019 were the lowest in the past three years

UPDATE: Technicians going door to door restoring gas after major leak in Salem (NH), Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts holding hearings on gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

2020 outlook: Natural gas faces regulatory, environmental scrutiny but still wants role in carbon-free grid, Utility Dive

Green hydrogen could price gas out of power markets by 2050, Energy Voice

Ashland Conservation Commission, citing impact on wetlands, denies Eversource pipe plan, MetroWest Daily News

15 states oppose Trump plan to allow LNG shipments by rail, AP

BlackRock to sell $500 million in coal investments in climate change push, CBS News

Communities weigh closing off gas hookups, Eagle-Tribune

Residents fume as Nat Grid builds north Brooklyn pipeline, Brooklyn Paper

Rep. Joe Kennedy Still Pushing For Answers On Controversial Weymouth Gas Compressor Project, WGBH

Weymouth: Protest Continue at Fore River Compressor Station Site, WATD-FM

Arsenic near Weymouth compressor site ‘not imminent hazard’, Wicked Local

Nine more arrested in compressor station protest, Patriot Ledger

 

TCI

Straus says TCI is getting in the way, CommonWealth Magazine

Mills becomes latest governor to express concern about regional fuel pact, Boston Globe

NH Gov. Sununu predicts TCI failure, as Mass Legislature floats Plan B, Boston Herald

DeLeo doesn’t see ‘a whole lot of support’ for a regional climate pact, Boston Globe

Transportation and Climate Initiative: Caution lights are flashing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New England governors keep signaling second thoughts about Charlie Baker’s climate plan, Boston.com

State’s top environmental official tries to keep climate accord alive, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Fever Chart: Earth Had Its Hottest Decade on Record in 2010s, New York Times

U.S. clean energy investment hits new record despite Trump administration views, Reuters

How A Climate Change Nonprofit Got Eversource Thinking About A Geothermal Future, WBUR

This is what energy resilience could look like, GreenBiz

Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates, The Guardian

What would a $10 per ton carbon price mean for the Northeast?, Utility Dive

Three-Quarters of New US Generating Capacity in 2020 Will Be Renewable, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Cambridge businesses back Carbon Pricing, Wicked Local

Give Kids the Money From Carbon Taxes, New Republic

What is ‘clean’ or ‘green’ energy? Definitions differ across regions., Kennebec Journal

Why Cutting Car and Truck Emissions Is So Hard, Pew Charitable Trusts

Transmission Emerging as Major Stumbling Block for State Renewable Targets, Greentech Media

New York says new renewables financing option to reduce developers’ financial risk, save $4.6B, Utility Dive

 

Wind

State seeks feedback on offshore transmission tie-in line, Cape Cod Times

New York’s next offshore wind tender to bring at least 1 GW, Renewables Now

Land deal could mean a wind farm coming to Claremont, Valley News

Lowest cost wind price remains under wraps, Herald News

Mayflower Wind, without contract, moving ahead, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind energy giants form global ‘action coalition,’ Energy Live News

Top wind company Ørsted to open innovation hub in Providence, Boston Globe

Solar is the world’s fastest-growing source of renewable energy. Here’s why one of Europe’s largest hedge funds is betting on wind instead., Business Insider

Town of Sanford wind farm meeting gets emotional. Here’s what was said., (NY) Press Connects

 

Solar

Stamford solar power company gets $10.2 million financing package, New Haven Register

Solar projects continue to pay off for towns and developers, southcoasttoday.com

City of Augusta, Greater Augusta Utility District look to go solar, Portland Press Herald

Net metering emerges as latest Statehouse battlefront, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Cuomo: Additional $2 billion in utility energy efficiency & building electrification initiatives to combat climate change, Niagara Frontier

What Would It Take for the US to Become an Energy Storage Manufacturing Powerhouse?, Greentech Media

Battery storage facility coming to New Windsor, Record Online

Trump Says Water Efficiency Standards Mean Showers, Toilets and Dishwashers Don’t Work Properly, Newsweek

What makes Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings Market Outperforming its Substitutes, MarketWatch

Eversource challenges students to showcase their energy smarts, Revere Journal

Energy Department Launches Challenge for Next-Gen Storage Technologies, NextGov

 

EVs

New Jersey sets high standard with passage of EV incentive bill, advocates say, Utility Dive

North Shore towns power up with Bolts, charging stations, Salem News

 

Nuclear

Decommissioning contract awarded, Machinery Market

Is Nuclear Power Worth the Risk?, The New Yorker

Holtec faces tough questions about Indian Point teardown at first public meeting in Buchanan, LoHud

Nuclear Decommissioning panel to NorthStar: Start paying, Brattleboro Reformer

Canada Sends Nuclear Power Plant Warning to Millions — Before Admitting It Was an ‘Error’, YAHOO!

Nuclear safety advocacy group C-10 moves to Amesbury, Wicked Local

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Conn. Energy Head Taking ‘A Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WNPR

Stop & Shop, Major Northeast Grocery Store Chain, to Install 40 Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Grassroots Push for Microgrid on Maine Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Electricity bill could drop $150 a year for Nashua residents under new plan, New Hampshire Union Leader

Timeline: Central Maine Power’s project permit woes, Kennebec Journal

Hydro-Quebec Could Face Fine For Late Disclosure Of Efforts To Sway Maine Voters On CMP Project, Maine Public

Group backing CMP power line wins support of former environmental leaders, Portland Press Herald

In Maine’s North Woods, unplugged back-to-landers foresee irreparable harm to trout from power corridor, Kennebec Journal

In an isolated Inuit community, concern is strong over water toxins from hydropower expansion, Sun Journal

Hydro-Québec and NB Power sign electricity purchase agreement, Electrical Business

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Lamont shamefully defies FOI laws, The Day

Douglas Rooks: Maine’s long quest for public power, Press Herald

U.S. Leadership Needed to Fight Climate Change, Bloomberg

Too much focus on gas tax, when corporations should do more, Boston Globe

Our View: We should heed warnings on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Here’s Something: CMP line poses a dilemma for environmentalists, Portland Press Herald

Letter: N.H. needs a governor strong on climate change, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial: A lackluster approach to green energy, Concord Monitor

Column: Australia shows us the road to climate hell, Hartford Courant

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 10, 2020

Future of Natural Gas | TCI Club Shrinking | North Country Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. It’s nice to be back in your inboxes. Let’s get right to the first 2020 edition of the Northeast Energy News.

First up is a McKinsey report, The Future of Natural Gas in North America. “Industry discussions about the future of gas in North America are polarizing. On one hand, the shale revolution keeps delivering, displacing liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports since the late 2000s, as abundant gas resources and technological innovation drove costs down. In the past few years, shale has entered a new phase with the rise of LNG exports from North America. By 2023, North America is expected to head the list of the world’s top LNG exporting regions. On the other hand, as state-level decarbonization policies ramp up, the demand for natural gas in key segments such as power generation and local distribution companies (LDC) is expected to decline.” To the right is a map from the report that shows the decarbonization efforts across the US.

 

Before the holiday break the Transportation Climate Initiative was all the rage. But it seems there has been some cooling off since news of the costs have been shared. From CommonWealth Magazine, “In a protest-interrupted State of the State address Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott cast a shadow on the prospects of him signing his state up for a multi-state compact to reduce vehicle emissions. Scott, who along with Gov. Charlie Baker is one of two Republican governors in New England, did not address the Transportation Climate Initiative by name, but discussed at length ways Vermont has been working to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. ‘It’s incentives, not penalties, which will help us transition more quickly,’ Scott said in his speech. Vermont was one of the 12 original states to begin negotiations on a regional cap-and-trade program that would seek to reduce carbon pollution from cars and trucks and use revenue from the sale of carbon allowances to fuel suppliers to invest in clean transportation options. New Hampshire has since withdrawn from those talks after the coalitions estimated that the proposals under consideration could add between 5 cents and 17 cents to the price of a gallon of gas…Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, also said this week that he has concerns with TCI. ‘Raising the gas tax, which frankly is what many Republican states have done to pay for transportation, is 100 percent paid for by Connecticut residents and probably not the way to go,’ Lamont said in a WNPR radio interview on Tuesday when asked about the initiative.”

 

For our new technology story this week we head to New Hampshire. From the Concord Monitor, “The company installing a factory in a former North Country paper mill hopes to create hydrogen, which some see as the ultimate clean fuel, through a process of compression that appears unlike any existing technology in that field. And while the company’s immediate plan is to burn the hydrogen to create electricity, the long-range plan is much bigger. ‘The real intent of coming out with a power plant is because it will unveil our capabilities in a big way,’ said Whitaker Irvin Jr., president and CEO of QuasarWave, the Utah firm behind the project in the closed Wausau Paper mill in the Groveton section of Northumberland. ‘When you’re talking about running a power plant on hydrogen … in a way to make it cost-effective … that’s not nebulous…’ The plan for QuasarWave is to take water from the Upper Ammonoosuc River, separate out the hydrogen and burn it in a reciprocating engine to produce electricity that will be sold to companies on site. Irvin says this electricity will be cheaper than can be bought on the grid…Details about the technology that will separate out the hydrogen, which is the whole point of the operation, are proprietary.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. There are a lot of news stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cities, towns weigh banning gas hookups, Salem

Shutdown of US coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives, study finds, The Guardian

Utilities Have Big Plans to Cut Emissions, But They’re Struggling to Shed Fossil Fuels, Inside Climate News

Compressor station opponents buoyed by Virginia ruling, Patriot Ledger

Why The Weymouth Compressor Was Such An Environmental Flash Point in 2019, WBUR

The future of natural gas in North America, McKinsey & Company

Divergent paths: Oil, natural gas going different directions, Reuters

Chinese company gets green light to explore offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador, Chronicle Herald

Local activists participate in coal blockade aimed at shutting down NH facility, Valley Advocate

4 Activists Arrested Trying To Block Coal-Carrying Train In Mass., WBUR

Thousands of gas leaks plagued Massachusetts in 2018, new DPU report says, Boston Herald

New Killingly power plant faces local opposition ahead of appeal, The Bulletin

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decreased in 2019, Per Rhodium Group, Greentech Media

Lawmakers want vote on climate pact, Salem News

Marine Labs on the Water’s Edge Are Threatened by Climate Change, New York Times

How a mid-20th-century hunting guide may fill the gaps on climate change in Maine, Washington Post

Connecticut governor knocks TCI gas fee compact in setback for Gov. Baker, Boston Herald

Vermont governor knocks TCI climate compact gas fee, Boston Herald

TCI club appears to be shrinking, CommonWealth Magazine

NY Plots a Course for Clean Energy, Jobs, Public News Service.org

Renewable advocates highlight ‘most effective’ path to net-zero emissions as House releases clean energy proposal, Utility Dive

‘Climate emergency’ is OED word of the year, Harvard Medical School

Avangrid betting big on renewable energy, Sun Journal

The Huge Australian Fires Could Change the Entire Earth’s Climate, Futurism

Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage, National Renewable Energy Lab

MA Clean Energy Industry Adds Over 1,000 Workers in 2019, GoLocalProv

Vermont legislator proposes ‘Green New Deal’ for state, WHDH

Workers say Amazon is threatening to fire them for pushing company to act on climate change, Hartford Courant

Day of reckoning looms for state’s clean-energy agency amid funding shortfall, Boston Globe

North Country plant says it can create hydrogen with a new technology, Concord Monitor

 

Wind

New York Confirms Plan for 1GW-Plus Offshore Wind Solicitation in 2020, Greentech Media

Fishermen call for 4-nautical-mile lanes between offshore wind turbines, South Coast Today

Are wind turbines safe? N.Y. accident stirs debate, National Wind Watch

Ex-state rep.: Wind turbines would hurt Hampton Beach views, tourism, Seacoastonline.com

Fishermen, wind farm developers at odds, CommonWealth Magazine

Cuomo: Create LI institute to train wind farm workers, Newsday

World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Begins Generating Power, Greentech Media

Dominion’s planned US offshore wind project could be world’s largest at 2.64 GW, Renewable Energy World

 

Solar

Growing off the grid: Marijuana businesses like Solar Therapeutics find ways to be eco-friendly, MassLive

Local Solar Installers Embrace Big New Opportunity: Home Battery Add-Ons, Greentech Media

A $1 Billion Solar Plant Was Obsolete Before It Ever Went Online, Bloomberg

Sununu’s Net Metering Plan Tees Up Another Renewable Energy Clash in Concord, NHPR

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Green Mountain Power partners with customers to exceed carbon reduction goals by 40% in 2019, Delivering Affordable Ways to Cut Carbon and Costs, Vermont Digger

ConEd will redesign NYC commercial building efficiency pilot after participation hurdles, Utility Dive

Smart meters gain popularity, but most utilities don’t optimize their potential to save energy, ACEEE

Study group proposes modest energy storage goals for Maine’s excess power, Portland Press Herald

N.A.A.C.P. Tells Local Chapters: Don’t Let Energy Industry Manipulate You, New York Times

Making computers and smartphones more energy efficient with novel tiny structures, Phys.org

 

EVs

Ashburnham installs electric vehicle charging station, Sentinel & Enterprise

Fisker debuts $37,500 electric SUV with a solar roof, The Verge

 

Nuclear

Water pump malfunction shuts down generating unit at Millstone, The Day

The oldest nuclear reactor? Nature’s 2 billion year old experiment, Hackaday.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

How to squirrel-proof the power grid, Vox.com

Proposed CMP transmission line in western Maine clears major regulatory hurdle, Press Herald

The Northeast’s Energy Problem Is an Opportunity for These 3 Utilities, Nasdaq

How National Grid is Trying to Reinvent Itself, Motley Fool

PURA directs firms to raise awareness of electric bill aid, Journal Inquirer

Following 12-month inquiry, decision time approaches in CMP billing probe, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE releases RFP for Boston area transmission upgrades, Electric Energy Online

 

Editorial/Opinion

Parity for renewables is key to energy tax policy, CommonWealth Magazine

What to Do When Green Objectives Conflict?, Wall St. Journal

Maine Voices: Public power proposal offers opportunity to match, top MEMIC’s success, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Offshore wind could provide all New England’s electricity, Seacoastonline.com

My Turn: ‘Forced march’ to heat pumps is bad policy, Concord Monitor

Op-Ed: Youth activism, a remedy for climate despair, Wicked Local Concord

Should cities and towns be required to place solar panels on the roofs of new municipal buildings?, Boston Globe

Letter: National Grid, stop pushing the pipeline, Times Union

LETTER: NRC needs to address concerns about plant, Daily News of Newburyport

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