Category Archives: Electric Grid

Energy News for week ending May 25, 2018

Taking it in | No reconsideration | They don’t belong to you

 

Happy Friday!

Given it’s the start of a long weekend we’ll keep it short today.

The biggest news of course was the awarding of the MA 83C RFP for offshore wind to Vineyard Wind. According to an article on Southcoasttoday.com there were some who were surprised that the state didn’t award contracts to two bidders. And just after the announcement Erich Stephens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind, was quoted only as saying “I’m still at the point of … taking it in.” The New York Times also has a great story on what it means for the offshore wind industry in the US and in particular, New Bedford. And, how at the same time as Massachusetts’ announcement, “Rhode Island announced it would award a 400-megawatt offshore wind project to another bidder (Deepwater Wind) in the auction.”

The Union Leader reports “There will be no reconsideration of the Northern Pass by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee…An appeal to the state Supreme Court is now the most likely option for the project.”

And last for this week is a report in the Salem News that “State regulators earlier this year told a dozen electric, natural gas and water companies to show how they plan to pass along savings from a federal tax cut to their customers. Attorney General Maura Healey wasn’t happy with the response, it seems. Her office blasted the companies, calling their plans inadequate and accusing them of “holding onto tax revenues that legally do not belong to them,” in a letter to the state Department of Public Utilities…Healey’s office is hiring a private consultant to review the utilities’ plans and determine if they are fudging the numbers, Geary noted.

 

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Enjoy the long weekend!

 

Offshore Wind/83C RFP/RI

‘Taking it in’: Vineyard Wind wins offshore wind contract with Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Project Selected to Bring Offshore Wind Energy to the Commonwealth, Mass.gov (press release)

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Contract for 1,200MW of Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

In Landmark Day, East Coast States Secure 1.2 GW of Offshore Wind for US, Renewable Energy World

Massachusetts Gains Foothold in Offshore Wind Power, Long Ignored in U.S., New York Times

Two big wind farms to rise off coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Boston Globe

Baker makes bold bet on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce large offshore wind projects, Press Herald

CMP’s parent company to build nation’s largest offshore wind project, Bangor Daily News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Region Slated for Record Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity Buildout in 2018, The Energy Collective

Divided FERC restricts climate impacts in pipeline reviews, Utility Dive

N.H. Supreme Court on natural gas pipeline expansion could provide spark for Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

NH court OKs novel pipeline financing approach, CommonWealth Magazine

Court Overturns Pipeline Denial, Valley News

Fall River Regrets Water Sale to Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

The Great American Fracking Bubble, CleanTechnica

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Impacts, RTO Insider

NY Gov., Communities Question Environmental Justice of Proposed Waste-to-Energy Facility, Renewable Energy World

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up, The Conversation

1st Franklin candidates debate energy, climate policy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Report: Renewables, Energy Efficiency in New England Will Replace the Need for Gas Pipelines, Renewable Energy World

Activists rally against bill that would allow energy incentives for biomass, The Providence Journal

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind to deploy wind measurement buoy at Massachusetts offshore wind project, Compelo

Turbine will not spin again in Falmouth, Cape Cod Times

New London, state leaders push offshore wind development as Mass., R.I. projects move forward, The Day

 

Solar

New UMaine energy proposal calls for biomass, solar, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

‘Solar For All’ Brings Green Energy To Lower-Income Households, WSHU

GID and Black Bear announce Massachusetts solar projects, pv magazine USA

Rhinebeck and Vermont solar companies merge, plan to add employees, Poughkeepsie Journal

City Council to talk solar power, The Laconia Daily Sun

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Efficiency Leads in Job Growth as Energy Sector Adds Over 130,000 Jobs in 2017, Renewable Energy World

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Harder to Find, More Expensive in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Utility trade groups press EPA to embrace EVs in fuel standard rewrite, Utility Dive

EV charging could significantly reduce storage needs, DOE lab finds, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NorthStar makes new promises for Vermont Yankee purchase, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC releases summary of Seabrook nuclear plant visit, Gloucester Daily Times

Panel seeks to define state role in Pilgrim closure, Cape Cod Times

New Jersey Gov. Murphy signs bills creating zero emission credits for nuclear, Utility Dive

Proposed NRC rule changes raise safety concerns, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Site Evaluation Committee rejects Northern Pass appeal for new hearing, Union Leader

Bill Gives Municipalities More Say in Power-Plant Siting, ecoRI news

Eversource Under Fire For Gas Rate Hike Request, Hartford Courant

3 Questions: New England’s wholesale electricity markets, MIT News

Electricity company overcharged customers millions, but was still losing money, Bangor Daily News

New York Public Service Commission forecasts lower energy prices this summer, Daily Energy Insider

Cold snap tested reliability of region’s power grid and arguments against fossil fuels, Portland Press Herald

Maine eyes lower ratepayer costs from increased electric integration with Canada, Utility Dive

Utilities slow in reducing charges, Salem News

New York State Public Service Commission begins management, operations audit of National Grid, Daily Energy Insider

Generators slam ISO-NE cost recovery proposal for Exelon gas plant, Utility Dive

Some Mainers question hydro-electricity line for MA, CommonWealth Magazine

Farmington rethinks endorsement of Quebec to Massachusetts power line, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Is the Great Experiment of Wholesale Electricity Competition Ending?, Electric Light and Power

Governor LePage seeks input on a new era in Maine energy, PenBayPilot.com

Concerns raised over CMP transmission line proposal, Daily Bulldog

Rhode Island and New England May Get Hit with Rolling Blackouts in the future, GoLocalProv

Blumenthal Slams Eversource For Proposed Rate Hike, New England Public Radio

 

Editorial/Opinion

Eversource: Time to rein in competitive electricity suppliers, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind rush is irresponsible, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural gas is not a clean fuel, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to put a price on carbon, CommonWealth Magazine

How Massachusetts can blaze a trail for climate action, Boston Globe

“Green” energy, an environmental disaster, PowerLine Blog

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

Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

This week we begin with a story from Greentech Media that follows-up to last week’s grid mod announcement in Massachusetts. Digging a little deeper into the smart meter portion of the order they write, “Massachusetts regulators see a future in which customers are leaving investor-owned utilities for municipal aggregators and competitive third-party suppliers, and they aren’t sure how to fit mass-market smart meter deployments into that future. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that ‘declined to preauthorize any customer-facing investments’ — that is, smart meter deployments.” The reasons according to the article, “it found several weaknesses in each utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) business case, based on a combination of two unusual factors prevailing in the state. First, all these utilities have already deployed simpler automated meter reading systems, which have already allowed each utility to achieve the significant meter-reading savings that account for a big chunk of the AMI business case.” And second, is the inability to tap into a constant stream of data to enable real time rates, “The problem is that each utility customer that switches to a non-utility energy provider is no longer part of each utility’s list of prospective time-varying rate (TVR) adopters, even though the utility paid for the smart meter that made them available.”

In NH, three “contentious” renewable energy bills are on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk. From the NH Business Review, “New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446… (increases) fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering…SB 446 would extend the upper limit from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, allowing large businesses, municipalities and even small hydro generators to take advantage of it, paving the way for much larger renewable energy projects…SB 365…would require Eversource to pay 80 percent of the default rate to six wood-burning plants for three years…and SB 577, which would continue the current subsidized rate for the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.” When it comes to Bill 446, “Critics, including utilities and some business groups, claim that generators are paid too much for the power, and this amounts to a subsidy paid for by other ratepayers. Advocates say that renewable energy saves money on distribution and generation costs.” Other concerns include in increase in rates that could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in the state.

If you’re in need of an excuse for why you’re late; or bummed out that you showed up early for work one day – blame the power grid. From the AP, “Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time…Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that’s 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

Pipeline protesters shut down City Council subcommittee meeting (VIDEO), Lowell Sun
Fall River City Council condemns water deal with Invenergy, opposes plant construction
, Uprise RI

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections, EcoWatch

Gas leaks near schools: Wellesley School Committee contacts National Grid, Wicked Local

500 Greenpoint Locals Wait Days For National Grid To Restore Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

CT Slapped With Lawsuit Over Raid Of Clean Energy Funds, Solar Industry

3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk, NH Business Review

On Cape Cod, Tides Could Become A Renewable Energy Source, wgbh.org

IBM joins forces with a start-up to combine crypto with environmental credit trading, CNBC

Why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy, Quartz

Americans want more clean energy. Here’s what they’re actually willing to do to get it, CNBC

Portland’s Casco Bay High School hopes to become ‘greenest’ in Maine, The Forecaster

U.S. Department of Energy announces funding opportunity for marine energy R&D, Renewable Energy World

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More, Greentech Media

New York proposes strict carbon emission limits for existing power plants, Utility Dive

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available to Launch New Cleantech Accelerator, NA Clean Energy

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge, NA Clean Energy

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more, Utility Dive

World’s largest offshore wildlife aerial survey off NY’s coast halfway complete, Windpower Engineering (press release)

Offshore wind developer eyeing potential of South Brooklyn shipping hub, Offshore Wind Journal

Winning the battle to reduce the cost of offshore wind, Maritime Journal

State’s high court shoots down appeal against Antrim Wind; project can go forward, Keene Sentinel

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

Solar Power: ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to RI’s Forests, ecoRI news

Sunrun Boosts Revenue 37%, Expands Partnership With National Grid, Greentech Media

RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers, Rhode Island Public Radio

CESA honors six states for clean energy excellence, Solar Power World

68-acre solar installation proposed in Tiverton, The Providence Journal

Cumberland council OKs solar farm, mulls garage move, The Forecaster

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

Groups sue Connecticut state officials for raiding clean energy and efficiency funds, New Haven Register

US House Committee Cuts Federal Energy Research, Boosts Energy Storage, Union of Concerned Scientists

Storage Might Solve Some Big Grid Problems, but Not the Ones You Think, Greentech Media

National Grid grants $1 million in energy efficiency rebates to world’s largest housing cooperative, Daily Energy Insider

Energy savings ideas topic of Energy and Environmental Conference, Eagle Tribune

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

1st Quarter Inspection at Pilgrim Finds No Violations, CapeCod.com News

Advocacy to Keep US Nuclear Reactors Open Picks Up Steam, Energy Collective

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, Greentech Media

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

Nuclear-Waste Tax Case Battled at 11th Circuit, Courthouse News

 

EVs

Another NH utility tiptoes into a little bit of support for electric vehicles, Granite Geek

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

RMLD Celebrates New Bolt, New Charging Station, Patch.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clocks may go a little cuckoo with power grid change, AP

Massachusetts rejects smart meter rollout for ‘weaknesses in the business case’, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Rejects Smart Meter Rollouts, as Competitive Energy Undermines the Business Case, Greentech Media

Exelon sets its price for keeping Everett plants open, CommonWealth Magazine

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council Reports: Annual Assessment Forecasts Adequate Electricity Supplies for this Summer, Energy Central

US Northeast, Canada to have adequate summer power supply, Platts

Eversource plans 5% summer electricity rate cut, MassLive.com

National Grid’s full-year profits rise helped by US business, Reuters

New York ISO Zone A real-time power spikes to $1400/MWh on strong demand, Platts

Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Aims To Restore Power By Sunday After Four Tornadoes Strike, Hartford Courant

New York in bid to shut down all coal plants by 2020, Energy Voice

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Natural-Gas Constraints Bad for Business, Bad for Environment, AIM blog

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Why the offshore wind industry is about to take off, The Conversation

Meredith Angwin: Rolling Blackouts For New England?, Caledonian Record

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers, Press Herald

One Well-Placed Hurricane Will UTTERLY DESTROY Costly Offshore Wind Systems On The East Coast, Daily Caller

Rhode Island Should Lead by Example to Prevent Loss of Forestland, EcoRI

Climate disruption has real impact on health in Massachusetts and we should be doing more (Viewpoint), MassLive

Out-of-towner explains Granite Bridge opposition, Seacoastonline.com

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

Energy News for week ending May 11, 2018

Grid Mod in MA | Duck Curve Arrives | All Turbines Mapped

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week we begin with grid mod as the topic and a State House News Service story in the Sentinel and Enterprise that Massachusetts “State officials on Thursday issued an order authorizing utilities to spend $220 million statewide on upgrades to the electrical grid over the next three years, and set up a process that could result in some smart meter investments ushering in more dynamic ways of pricing power. The grid upgrades would be targeted at preventing future outages, allowing areas to more quickly bounce back from a power outage, and better accommodating renewable energy generation…Installing smart meters for every residential ratepayer would cost $1.5 billion, according to the Baker administration, which has opted instead to set up a process that could result in using smart meters in situations where they would render the highest benefits for the least cost, according to an official.”

All of those solar installations out there have brought something bird-like to New England that, from a US perspective, is mostly seen in California. From PV Magazine, “As solar comes to more regions of the United States, it is beginning to alter the dynamics of electricity supply and demand. These are most noticeable on weekend days in the spring, when solar output is high but electricity demand is lower than during the week and not inflated by air conditioning use, as it is in the summer.

The result of this is the “duck curve”, as documented in California. There the output of solar is suppressing mid-day demand, with a steep ramp-up in demand that must be met by other resources as the sun goes down. When coupled with a lack of sufficient flexibility in the rest of the electricity fleet and operation of the grid, this can result in negative prices and curtailment of resources…New England’s grid operator has reported that on April 21 behind-the-meter solar met sufficient demand that for the first time net daytime demand fell to a lower level than overnight demand…the increase in solar led to a fall in the region’s wholesale electricity price to -$2.65 per megawatt-hour around 3 PM.”

We end this week with an article from the Washington Post titled, “Every one of America’s 57,636 wind turbines, mapped.” From the article, “To create the database, the USGS partnered with the Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association. The organizations merged their individual data sets to create a new database that was more accurate and comprehensive than previous efforts. Once they compiled the new database, researchers attempted to visually verify the precise location of each turbine using satellite imagery. They intend to update it periodically in the coming years as the wind industry grows.” The piece not only gets into geographical reasons for why wind is more popular in some parts of the country than others, but also speaks to political climates that create certain disparities.

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Energy giant sues Weymouth over pipeline station, saying federal law overrides zoning, Boston Globe

Burner Tips: Collaboration between utilities and environmental groups might not be the norm, but in Massachusetts, the two sides have come together to find mutual solutions, American Gas Magazine

Reducing Methane Emissions Amidst a ‘National Leadership Void,’ BrinkNews.com

CT regulators ignore health and climate destroying methane leaks, Stratford Star

Connecticut Senate votes to gut net metering, extend renewable energy mandate, pv magazine USA

Rick Perry suggests using ‘national security’ to override opposition to pipelines, ThinkProgress

Weymouth compressor station opponents seek stories of illness, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

State Clean Energy Laws Make New England Grid More Resilient, Natural Resources Defense Council

Commission reduces fees for popular renewable energy program, vtdigger.org

Under the Sea: A Roadmap for Renewable Energy, MarineLink

Scientists Say Ocean Circulation Is Slowing. Here’s Why You Should Care., InsideClimate News

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available for Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge Initiative, North America Clean Energy

Earth’s atmosphere just crossed another troubling climate change threshold, Boston Globe

 

Wind

What’s the best bet on wind?, CommonWealth Magazine

Every one of America’s 57,636 wind turbines, mapped, Washington Post

Offshore wind developer, unions partner on workforce training initiative, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Wind-energy meetings scheduled amid concerns about East End, Newsday

US Offshore Wind Can Realize 25 GW through Synergies with Oil & Gas Sector, Renewable Energy World

Council passes bill to encourage wind energy, Queens Ledger

Offshore-wind developers want more details on state straw proposal, NJ Spotlight

Lawyers for wind developer want Hopkinton to increase turbine height to 600 feet, National Wind Watch

Offshore Wind’s Value Exceeds Its Construction Costs In New York And New England, Energy Collective

Bay State Wind signs agreements to build training center in New Bedford, SouthCoastToday.com

AWEA 2018: Offshore hubs to spring up on Atlantic coast, Windpower Monthly

Offshore Wind’s Value Exceeds Its Construction Costs In New York And New England, Energy Collective

East Hampton Town Trustees Move Forward With Plans For Joint Hearing On Deepwater Project, 27east.com

 

Solar

Sun And Solar Power Cut Electricity Demand From New England Grid To Lowest Ever, Hartford Courant

It’s Official. All New California Homes Must Incorporate Solar, Greentech Media

The duck curve comes to New England, pv magazine USA

Solar power helps New England hit historic milestone, Concord Monitor

US Navy leases photovoltaic solar panels near Rhode Island station, Electric Light & Power

Five New England Colleges To Buy Solar From Maine Project, Solar Industry

Vermont reduces incentives for renewable energy program, Penn Energy

Solar-Panel Makers Ramp Up U.S. Manufacturing Plans, Wall Street Journal (Pay wall)

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State Strategic Plan Looks to Boost Energy Efficiency, Cut Customer Costs, NJ Spotlight

Rutland family receives $5K to make their home energy efficient, Mountaintimes

Why The Energy Storage Problem Won’t Be A Problem For Long, CleanTechnica

As energy storage costs decline, market changes needed to increase deployment, Platts

New York City moves to streamline energy storage permitting, Utility Dive

Energy storage, wind, and solar companies are recruiting coal miners for their work ethics and high-tech skills, Environmental Defense Fund

 

Nuclear

Bill seeks to prioritize nuclear waste removal at Pilgrim, Patriot Ledger

Vermont Yankee resumes fuel move, Brattleboro Reformer

Seabrook officials analyze financial issues, The Daily News of Newburyport

Indian Point task force study urges Entergy to turn over property, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Nuclear Energy Institute Recommends Rejection of PJM Capacity Proposals, Daily Energy Insider

One Thing Trump, Some Environmentalists Both Love: Nuclear Power, Bloomberg

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Hampshire rethinks distributed generation-only pilots for non-wires alternatives, Utility Dive

How CMP plans to pipe clean energy to Massachusetts through Maine, Bangor Daily News

Baker, Healey split on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

Do Healey, Baker have a truce?, CommonWealth Magazine

Connecticut lawmakers pass sweeping energy bill, Utility Dive

Solar, efficiency drive declining peak load in ISO New England, Utility Dive

DPU issues electric grid modernization order, Sentinel & Enterprise

Under Pressure: Steam Pipe System Draws Scrutiny, NBC Boston

Eversource customers can get $3000 rebate on Nissan Leaf electric car, Concord Monitor

Eversource Looks to Offshore Wind, New Rates for Growth, RTO Insider

Eversource pushes ahead with pursuit of Connecticut Water, Journal Inquirer

PUC refuses to intensify inquiry into CMP billing problems, Press Herald

Utilities commission won’t ramp up CMP billing investigation, Bangor Daily News

Maine Lawmakers Signal Opposition to NECEC, RTO Insider

Worried About Grid Resilience? Don’t—You Can Sleep Well, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource generation rate to fall July 1, Hartford Business

New Hampshire’s Coming Energy Crunch Is A Job Killer, InsideSources

Colleges To Train Next-Gen Utility Workers, New Haven Independent

 

Editorial/Opinion

What’s up with the Globe and natural gas?, CommonWealth magazine

SUZANNE TORRES, Weymouth: An issue of credibility in Spectra debate, The Patriot Ledger

Climate Change Shouldn’t Need a Salesman, Wall Street Journal

Maurice Kreis: Rolling blackouts in New Hampshire? Not a chance, Concord Monitor

LETTER: Expanding natural gas pipelines is not the right energy solution, SouthCoastToday.com

Viewpoint: Climate change is here. Boston has no time to waste., Boston Business Journal

Time to hit the off switch on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

NextEra’s Robo Is Wrong About Offshore Wind, Energy Collective

Connecticut Energy Legislation a Mixed Bag for Clean Energy, North American Clean Energy

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending March 16, 2018

Russians at the switch | Mortally wounded |Clean Peak Standard | What’s in a name

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week brings disconcerting energy news of Russian cyberattacks where hackers had their fingers on the switches at US power plants. According to the story in the New York Times, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will…‘We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,’ said Eric Chien, a security technology director at Symantec, a digital security firm. ‘From what we can see, they were there. They have the ability to shut the power off. All that’s missing is some political motivation,’ Mr. Chien said.”

Earlier in the week, Portland Press Herald wrote about the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s decision to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass Project, “The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor…The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from Beattie Township, on the Canadian border north of Route 27 and Coburn Gore, through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail. The project cost would be borne by Massachusetts electricity customers.”

Speaking of Massachusetts, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection…The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”

Utility Dive noted that one provision of the bill is the creation of a “new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive…The proposed legislation language would direct the Department of Energy Resource to create a new clean peak standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers. The standard will require all retail electricity suppliers to provide ‘a minimum percentage of kilowatt-hour sales’ from clean peak energy resources, ultimately determined by regulations. The legislation specifies that, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ the Clean Peak Standard cannot raise individual customer rates more than $0.005/kWh in the aggregate of any year.”

Last for this week, and to end on a lighter note, is a story from Newhampshire.com which reports that some folks in New Hampshire, Seabrook to be specific, are having a hard time believing that Disney writers weren’t making ties to their community in a movie called “Zombies.” The movie is, “set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem? The fictional town is named Seabrook.” Seabrook Selectman Aboul Khan said that he’s not “worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant. ‘We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,’ he said. ‘We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.’”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Gas Pipeline Buildout Hits Bottleneck in Massachusetts, Natural Gas Intelligence

Scituate is withdrawing their opposition to Invenergy and their support for Burrillville, Uprise RI

Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?, Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers hear dueling pipeline positions, Hartford Business

From Asthma to Cancer, ‘Blistering’ New Report Details Human Cost of Fracking, EcoWatch

New York Loses Bid to Block Millennium Gas Line Project, Bloomberg Quint

Pipeline Opponents Pleased With Caveats, Valley News

Federal Regulators End Key Tax Benefit for Certain Pipeline Companies, Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Storms focus attention on climate change, as Gov. Charlie Baker releases $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, MassLive

Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive

Push is on for carbon tax in New York, Lockport Journal

Clean energy projects in Albany to get share of $1.4 billion in state money, Albany Business Review

Regional plan could provide local say on renewables, Stowe Reporter

3rd District candidate unveils green-jobs plan, Lowell Sun

State of renewables not what you might think, Rutland Herald

Could FERC Order Put State Clean Energy Policies in Danger?, Greentech Media

Report: Severe weather in Northeast tied to warming Arctic, Cape Cod Times

Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security, Natural Resources Defense Council

Towns tell state leaders to act on climate change. Are they listening?, vtdigger.org

Connecticut renewable energy supporters to push for legislative gains, Litchfield County Times

Climate Change Resolution Adopted In 35 Communities, Vermont Public Radio

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse featured among ‘Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy’, MassLive.com

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, CleanTechnica

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

NA Markets: Compliance demand re-emerges in California as RGGI awaits next week’s auction, Carbon Pulse

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

 

Wind

Bay State Wind Teams With Massachusetts Energy Storage Company, NA Windpower

Ocean City loses bid to push back offshore wind developments, Delmarvanow.com

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind backers push New London area as potential hub, theday.com

Report Quantifies Economic Impact Of Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Proposal, North American Windpower

Offshore wind company partners with Red Sox, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind plans workforce development, Barnstable Patriot

Bay State joins permit fast lane, reNews

 

Solar

Worry over solar sprawl spreads across Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Solar-powered brewery donates extra power to senior center, Caledonian Record

US solar forecast ratcheted down as tariffs weigh, The Week

Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well, Washington Post

Vermont lodge and bierhall goes solar, Solar Power World

A Push To Expand A Struggling Sector Of Solar Energy In Connecticut, WSHU

Wilton among state leaders in solar technology, Thehour.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A global game changer for energy efficiency investments, Environmental Defense Fund

How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery, Treehugger

Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings, Bloomberg

Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy, Popular Science

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy, Hartford Courant

For utilities trying to drive conservation, mixed messages may be best, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

Vermont Yankee sale case will extend into summer, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Community Engagement Experience Takes Place On Saturday in Barnstable, CapeCod.com News

Disney: ‘ZOMBIES’ movie set in power plant town called ‘Seabrook’ a coincidence, NewHampshire.com

Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power, Futurism

The quiet fight to finally send nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Washington Examiner

Nuclear subsidy bill re-engineered as three separate measures, NJSpotlight.com

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable, Greentech Media

 

Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are becoming increasingly greener in the US thanks to a cleaner electric grid, Energy Central

Pennsylvania proposal could bolster EV charging infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says, New York Times

Split FERC approves ISO-NE 2-part capacity market plan, Utility Dive

Powelson ‘very nervous’ about long-term reliability in ISO-NE, Utility Dive

ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation, Platts

Report Examines Comparatively High Expenses For New England’s Power Grid Operator, New England Public Radio

Lawyer: Site Evaluation Committee won’t decide whether to reconsider Northern Pass rejection until May, Union Leader

Time running short for N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Prospects improve for CMP’s $950 million power line plan, Press Herald

Northern Pass Hydropower Project Again Delayed, ecoRI news

Utility workers travel to restore Cape’s power, Cape Cod Times

State launches probe into utilities’ response to 2 storms, Albany Times Union

7News Investigates: Seeking Power Outage Solutions Underground, WHDH TV

Cryptocurrency Companies to See Electric Rates Rise in NY. Opening for Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Schneider Electric and REC Solar collaborate on Massachusetts microgrid, Solar Power World

Pennsylvania Microgrid Bill Wins Committee Vote. Heads to House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Stanley Rosenberg: Building our green, clean energy future, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Securing a clean energy future, Gloucester Times

Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs, Bangor Daily News

Letter: Thanks to supporters of renewable energy, Bennington Banner

New York Is Moving Aggressively To Harvest Its Offshore Wind, Forbes

Letter: A proposal on the Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee candor: A deal to decommission Vermont Yankee is promising, but only if it involves transparency, The Keene Sentinel

Stop pouring money into fusion energy research, Eagle Tribune

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Energy News for week ending January 26, 2018

Northern Pass Wins it All | A Disaster | Wind to Beat Hydro

 

Happy sunny Friday.

 

Some of the biggest anticipated news this week was the selection of winning bids in Massachusetts’ Section 83D RFP. What was interesting is that there was just one winner. Eversource’s Northern Pass project to bring Canadian hydro to New England beat out dozens of other bidders. From WBUR, “’We had a lot of good options and this is the one that rose to the top,’ said Judith Judson, Massachusetts’ commissioner of energy resources. Evaluators determined the project would provide the ‘greatest overall value,’ to the state’s electric ratepayers, she added. When completed, the line is expected to deliver the equivalent of 17 percent of the state’s current electric load.” Not everyone is happy about the choice though. See below for statements released by several energy and environmental organizations. And as the Boston Globe article notes, years of litigation is possible.

 

From the Worcester Telegram, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and the Environment, Matthew Beaton speaking to the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change on Wednesday, reported that “During the frigid 15 days between Christmas and Jan. 9, power generators in Massachusetts burned about 2 million barrels of oil — more than twice the amount of oil they burned during all of 2016. ‘Economically, this is a disaster for us in New England. Equally as important, environmentally the emissions and the profiles of what occurred in this timeframe is nothing but a disaster,’ Beaton said. He added, ‘We can’t ignore this and I think this has to be part of an honest conversation of how we look at the challenges facing our system.’” One of the answers seems to be Siberian gas (Boston Globe).

The EIA released its short-term energy outlook this week and as the Daily Energy Insider reported the EIA revealed that “natural gas will hold its lead as the top supplier of electricity in the United States over the next two years.” However, as Utility Dive notes, the EIA also predicts that wind will beat hydro as leading US renewable resource in the same time frame.

We have a good number of articles below on Trump’s 30 percent solar tariff that was announced this week including one from Greentech Media that asks, Did Trump’s Solar Tariffs Just Launch a US Manufacturing Renaissance? And from the “Jetson’s” category we have a few articles on electric vehicles, including barges (The Guardian) and planes (Greentech Media) and another from Bloomberg that reveals, Off-the-Shelf Nuclear Plants Could Soon Help Power Electric Cars.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.

 

83D

Mass. Taps Eversource’s Northern Pass For Hydropower Project, WBUR

Baker goes with Eversource’s Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource wins big contract to build power line project through New Hampshire, Boston Globe

Northern Pass prevails in Mass. Clean Energy RFP, handing victory to Eversource and Hydro-Quebec, MassLive

Northern Pass wins entire Massachusetts clean energy bid process, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts Picks Northern Pass For Major Energy Contract, Maine Public

NEPGA Statement

NECEC Statement

RENEW Northeast Statement

CLF Statement

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

As Siberian gas awaits US landing, a second ship may be coming, Boston Globe

The end of natural gas is near, GreenBiz

EIA expects natural gas to hold lead as source for electricity generation through 2019, Daily Energy Insider

AG opposes gas-pipeline price break for new Back Bay high rise, Universal Hub

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, MetroWest Daily News

Invenergy withdraws lawsuit challenging power-plant connection costs, The Providence Journal

Invenergy Ends Water Deal With Narragansett Indian Tribe, Rhode Island Public Radio

Invenergy Lawyer Accuses Town of Burrillville of Lying, ecoRI news

Pipeline in Holyoke stirs up conversation, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Massive oil burn during cold snap a ‘disaster,’ says Beaton, Worcester Telegram

New England About To Get Liquefied Natural Gas From Unusual Source, NewBostonPost

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The trouble with Trump leaving climate change to the military, Vox.com

EPA loosens Clean Air Act rules for major pollution sources, Utility Dive

CT’s clean energy edge: Going, going . . . or coming back?, The CT Mirror

RI Environment Council Focused on Climate Change, ecoRI news

State Lawmakers Not Just Blowing Smoke About Rejoining RGGI, NJ Spotlight

City Council aims for 100 percent green, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Wind

EIA: Wind to beat hydro as leading US renewable resource in next 2 years, Utility Dive

A small town in SLC just got cut from a multimillion-dollar wind deal. Its reaction? “Relief.”, NCPR

Baker mentions offshore wind project in speech, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Vineyard wind takes more comment from the public, Cape Cod Times

LePage blocks new wind energy projects, creates secretive commission to study impacts, Press Herald

World’s biggest wind farm would have its own artificial island, NBCNews.com

Getting to ‘head-spinning’ low prices for US offshore wind, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Trump issues 30% tariff on solar imports, Utility Dive

Will utilities keep investing in solar after Trump’s tariffs?, Utility Dive

Mass. solar industry ‘just got a hit in the nose’ from Trump’s new tariff, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Critics say Eversource’s new fee casts a shadow on solar power, Boston Globe

Will the Eversource rate design that DER advocates couldn’t stop slow the Massachusetts solar boom?, Utility Dive

Did Trump’s Solar Tariffs Just Launch a US Manufacturing Renaissance?, Greentech Media

At Davos, Gore defends Trump solar tariff: report, Fox News

Solar groups balk at DPU Eversource decision, Trump tariffs, The Recorder

Massachusetts “SMART” Rates to Boost Community Solar, (press release) Energy Central

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A better battery? MIT researchers say discovery could improve storage of energy from wind, sun, Boston Globe

Saving Watts to Save Drops: Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs, (report) ACEEE

6 months after target adoption, Massachusetts sees energy storage growth, challenges, Utility Dive

Dover, Sherborn join Green Communities, Wicked Local Dover

Nissan announces energy storage solution using solar, Energy Digital

 

Electric Transportation

‘Every New Vehicle Will Be Electric’ by 2025, Disruption Expert Says, Renewable Energy World

World’s first electric container barges to sail from European ports this summer, The Guardian

How many electric cars can the grid take? Depends on your neighborhood, arstechnica.com

Electric Airplanes Could Remake Aviation, Greentech Media (Audio)

 

Nuclear

Can We Make A Nuclear Reactor That Won’t Melt Down?, Forbes.com

State Nuclear Bailout Lawsuit Moves Forward, NY Law Journal

Vermont Yankee sale settlement may be imminent, vtdigger.org

Off-the-Shelf Nuclear Plants Could Soon Help Power Electric Cars, Bloomberg

CT to move ahead with nuke power auction, Hartford Business Journal

Indian Point: Owners, workers reach tentative deal, The Journal News

Dominion’s Millstone nuclear plant could warrant subsidies, draft report says, Utility Dive

NextEra: Nuclear plant operator ‘uncompromising’ with safety, Gloucester Daily Times

Vermont Yankee fuel plan gets environmental OK, vtdigger.org

Report: Nukes should be allowed to compete with wind, solar, Penn Energy

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Milford power plant gets a boost, Milford Daily News

Attleboro area electricity collaborative renews contract, Sun Chronicle

FERC Denies New England Tx Owners ROE Rehearing, RTO Insider

FERC, RTOs: Grid Performed Better in Jan. Cold Snap vs. 2014, RTO Insider

ISO New England power study highlights fuel-security risks, Daily Energy Insider

New England Energy Grid Pushed To Brink During Recent Cold Snaps, Vermont Public Radio

Eversource customers could see another rate increase, WFSB

Advocacy groups oppose National Grid rate hike, Albany Times Union

Brayton Point sale price: $8.5 million, Herald News

State investigates National Grid’s storm response, Gloucester Times

Everett sues Baker administration to nix tax deal for power plant, Boston Globe

In Quebec, it’s power versus a people on hydroelectricity, Boston Globe

Van Welie takes energy analysis to Capitol Hill, CommonWealth Magazine

Will the New Solar Tariffs Hurt the Microgrid Industry? Yes and No, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: Unintended consequences of solar panel tariff, Berkshire Eagle

Union: Money is clouding CLF’s judgment, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happened to CLF?, CommonWealth Magazine

CLF denies financial ties to TDI, CommonWealth Magazine

To the Editor: CLF has a conflict of interest, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Maine Compass: State has reached its limit on wind power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

COLUMN-Commentary: A tale of a tanker, Russian gas, sanctions and energy politics, Reuters

Trusting industry to police industry standards leads to lasting harm, (nuclear) Commons

Editorial: Murphy says yes to RGGI and no to Christie, NorthJersey.com

How US Tariffs Will Hurt America’s Solar Industry,  New York Times

YOUR VIEW: The outrageously high cost for energy in Massachusetts is an issue that matters, SouthCoastToday.com

LETTER: Climate change demands voices be heard at State House, Wicked Local Cambridge

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending December 8, 2017

Santa & Solar Panels | Energy Storage | Blockchain Investments

Holiday Alert: We’ve found a few stories with great gift ideas for the energy geeks in your life. Prices range from $30-50 for a thermal leak detector to $5,500 for a solar panel package and Tesla Powerwall that can handle the energy needs of an entire house, depending on where you live and your energy usage. The panels, combined with a 13.5 kilowatt-hour Powerwall might let you go off the grid, or sell power back to your utility company. Plus they offer protection against power outages by giving you days of backup.

And in more holiday season giving, 26 energy storage projects in Mass. are sharing $20M in grants to grow the energy storage market. WBUR reports these pilot projects represent a quarter of Massachusetts’ 200-megawatt-hour grid storage mandated target, set for 2020. The state currently has seven megawatt hours of advanced energy storage installed.

Finally, if you haven’t been paying attention to blockchain, a distributed, digital transaction technology, now might be the time. GreenBiz reports that as we transition to a decentralized, digitized and decarbonized energy world, blockchain technology may be the ‘missing link’ to spur on renewable energy investments.

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for more stories and events. Have a great weekend.

Green Gift Guide for Energy Geeks

Energy Adviser: Geeky energy gifts on a budget, The Columbian

HybridCars.com Green Holiday Gift Guide, Hybrid Cars News

Natural Gas/Pipeline

In Massachusetts, Protesters Balk At Pipeline Company’s Payments To Police, HuffPost

Kinder Morgan payments for state police details at nearly $1 million, Berkshire Eagle

Liberty Proposes Gas Pipeline To Run From NH Seacoast To Manchester, New Hampshire Public Radio

Narragansett Tribe plans to sue FERC over gas pipeline approval in Berkshire County, MassLive.com

As more elected officials call for resignation of CRMC chair, Governor Raimondo remains silent, Uprise RI

Community members protest gas plant, The Brown Daily Herald

Weymouth compressor review could take a year, state says, The Patriot Ledger

12 Anti-Pipeline Protestors Will Face Criminal Charges In Court, WAMC

PCBs, fracked gas pipelines endanger human and planetary health, warns author activist, theberkshireedge.com

Leaked PowerPoint Reveals The Gas Industry’s Playbook For Waging Pipeline Fights, HuffPost

Renewable Energy

Mass. Gives Out $20M In Grants To Grow Energy Storage Market, WBUR

The missing link for renewable energy investment? Blockchain, GreenBiz

Maine Utility: Our hydro project has lowest cost, Commonwealth Magazine

Surge of Carbon Pricing Proposals Coming in the New Year, MIT Technology Review

As Cape Wind dies, offshore wind picks up steam in Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Energy chairman Golden gets tour of Greenfield, The Recorder

CAS Scientists Develop ACES to Monitor Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, BU Today

Koch-funded network targets New Hampshire’s renewable energy policies, ThinkProgress

To-the-point: Avangrid touts best cost proposal in Massachusetts RfP, Renewables Now

Energy Efficiency

The Hidden Gem of Wholesale Energy Markets: Energy Efficiency, Energy Collective

A bipartisan message of clean energy progress, MIT News

Clean energy slashed in new budget, Yale Daily News

US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rejects Energy Efficiency Restrictions, CleanTechnica

Nuclear

Millstone shares data with DEEP, PURA, theday.com

On 75th anniversary of first nuclear fission reactor, MIT stages tribute to seminal experiment, MIT News

Saudis invite US firms to develop multi-billion-dollar nuclear power projects, CNBC

Christie Hints He Might Sign Bill to Subsidize PSEG’s Nuclear Plants, NJ Spotlight

Weighing 75 years of the nuclear age, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE Preparing for Energy Storage Growth, RTO Insider

Eversource, National Grid Complete Transmission Line From Mass. To NH, WBUR

Aquarion Water Co. sale to Eversource approved, Seacoastonline.com

Energy fights loom in conference talks, E&E News

As grid modernization accelerates, which states are in the lead, and why?, Utility Dive

Massachusetts approves Eversource rate increase to help boost EV, storage investment, Utility Dive

National Grid to install back-up battery system as electricity demand grows, Nantucket Island Inquirer

National Grid report defends storm response, Gloucester Daily Times

Decision on Eversource rate hike drawing criticism, The Recorder

Why Mergers and Acquisitions Will Define the Distributed Energy Boom,, Greentech Media

One Trump Buzzword to Seal Fate of $700 Billion Power Trade, Bloomberg

Efficiency Vermont rates rise for residents, down for businesses, vtdigger.org

CMP touts its bid to build transmission line through Maine, Press Herald

ExxonMobil opposes ALEC’s attempt to fight EPA climate policy, The Hill

Rethinking the utility company as solar power heats up, PBS NewsHour

Editorial/Opinion

Cape Wind: A blown opportunity, Cape Cod Times

Sandra Levine: An innovative climate policy for Vermont, vtdigger.org

Who Will Fund Clean Energy? Familiar Faces, Bloomberg

Letter: RI Energy Challenge helps town, residents, The Independent

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending November 17, 2017

Class Action | Presidential Permit | 20M dollars for Western MA

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

There are a ton of stories this week, but here are three that stood out for us.

Vermont Business Magazine reports that on Thursday afternoon Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc were hit with a class-action lawsuit stating that the two energy companies caused electricity consumers in New England to incur overcharges of $3.6 billion in a years-long scheme that impacted six states and affected 14.7 million people. The lawsuit was filed November 14, 2017, in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The complaint alleges the scheme violates multiple federal and state competition laws and state consumer protection statutes.

Good news this week came for Northern Pass in the form of receiving its Presidential Permit from the US Dept. of Energy. The Telegram reported that the permit allows for the $1.6 billion project to take hydropower across an international border and connect to the United States grid. There is still a ways to go before it’s done though. The article reports that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC, is expected to announce its final written decision on the project by March 31, 2018. And, along with the state approval, the project also is awaiting a permit from the U.S. Forest Service allowing the project to pass through parts of the White Mountain National Forest and a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected by the end of the year.

Speaking of transmission projects, over at MassLive.com, Mary Serreze reports that TDI New England has pledged 20 years of funding, at $1 million annually, to Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions for deep energy retrofits to low-income homes, if its New England Clean Power Link wins a major utility contract in the Bay State. TDI plans 98 miles of underwater and 56 miles of underground cable to deliver 1,000 megawatts of hydro, or hydro and wind, from Canada. Christmas comes a month late for bidders. Serreze notes that the winners will be announced Jan. 25 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and electric utilities Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

That wraps it up for this week. As always, you can find more news and events at NEEnergyNews.com.

Oh, and we’re taking next Friday off so we’ll be back in your in boxes on December 1. In the meantime, you can find energy stories Tweeted at @McMComm

Have a wonderful, safe, warm and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Lawsuit accuses Eversource and Avangrid of causing $3.6 billion in excessive electricity costs in New England, Vermont Biz

Report raises doubts about gas ‘crisis, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas to power majority of New England by 2020, Argus

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse, Think Progress

Environmentalists Stage Sit-In At Governor’s Office Over Natural Gas Infrastructure, WGBH

Conservationists: Fossil fuel search would target migratory path of right whales, Cape Cod Times

Sandisfield highway chief: ‘Road is shot from pipeline work,’ Berkshire Eagle

Lynch bill could halt Weymouth compressor construction, Wicked Local Braintree

Water protector Winona LaDuke speaks on ‘cannibal economics,’ courage and fighting pipelines, theberkshireedge.com

RI agency opens hearing on LNG plan for Providence waterfront, The Providence Journal

Google Adding Methane Detectors To Street View Cars, CleanTechnica

Pipeline opponents flood FERC with requests for new hearings, Southeast Energy News

Dakota Access Pipeline Company Paid Mercenaries to Build Conspiracy Lawsuit Against Environmentalists, The Intercept

DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted, OilPrice.com

Groups Sponsored By Fossil Fuel Industry Host Energy Forum, RIPR.org

Renewables Policy/RGGI/Climate change

Renewables Are on a Collision Course With Power Markets, Greentech Media

Virginia Moves to Join RGGI Carbon-trading Market, POWER magazine

Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?, The New Yorker

Seven States Take Big Next Step on Climate: Here’s the What, Why, and How, Union of Concerned Scientists

Summit touts renewable energy progress, Salem News

Fossil fuel emissions will reach an all-time high in 2017, scientists say — dashing hopes of progress, Washington Post

Your car is a big environmental nemesis, and Mass. is stepping in, Boston Globe

Wind

No One Satisfied With New Vermont Wind Power Sound Rules, New York Times

Deepwater may fund UMass offshore wind, fishing study, Cape Cod times

Maine proposes new wind development rules, Utility Dive

The Energy 202: House GOP wants to water down tax breaks for wind energy. The Senate is unlikely to let it., Washington Post

The Future Of Offshore Wind Farms In The Atlantic, WSHU

Bird poo on wind turbines is a problem solved by high tech scarecrows, VICE News

Solar

MIT Reveals a Battery That Stores Solar Energy to Make Heat for Later, Inverse.com

From brownfield to greenfield: Former mine site hosts Vermont’s biggest solar array, vtdigger.org

Northampton solar landfill a ‘dream come true,’ says Ward 6 city councilor at ribbon-cutting, MassLive.com

60-day clock starts for Trump to decide on solar panel tariffs, Utility Dive

Nova Scotia Buildings to Feed Solar Power to Grid under New Program, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

New Paper Says Emissions Cuts Should Start with Buildings, Not Transportation, Energy Manager Today

Americans for Prosperity: NH should dump energy-efficiency efforts, New Hampshire Business Review

Eversource Powers Up Energy Efficiency, The Keene Sentinel

Going Green Could Help Harwich Earn Some, Cape Cod Chronicle

America First? Trump Energy Cuts Would Eliminate Billions of Dollars in Direct Savings to Consumers, Greentech Media

Boston-based Current is now on GE’s chopping block, Boston Business Journal

Making More Sustainable LEDs With Reusable Materials, Greentech Media

City moving to purchase only above-ground streetlights, Eagle Tribune

Planned Community On Boston South Shore Will Be Laboratory For Sustainable Cities, CleanTechnica

Governor Cuomo Announces $12 Million to Increase Energy Efficiency for Industrial and Multifamily Buildings, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

Sea level rise factors into nuclear waste discussion, Cape Cod Times

Entergy Objects To Conditions On PUC Consultant For Vermont Yankee Hearings, VPR

US eyes safety rules for small modular reactors, as nuclear touted at UN climate meeting, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE backs hydropower project bringing energy from Canada to southern New England, Telegram.com

NARUC panel discusses how to prepare for the mother lode of electricity disruptions, Daily Energy Insider

Cooperation, DOE NOPR, State RFPs the Topics at NECBC Meeting, RTO Insider

RI Power Sector Transformation Study Represents ‘A Big Step Forward’, Solar Industry

NH’s high utility bills blamed on subsidies, The Union Leader

Eversource Planning To Hire Staff, Upgrade Communications In Wake Of October Storm Problems, Hartford Courant

Brayton Point bidder chosen, sale to be announced soon, SouthCoastToday.com

National Grid teams with national lab to study transmission modernization, storage, Utility Dive

Thousands still without power in Hampshire County, The Recorder

Blackout: Outage zaps power from 29000 in Hampshire County Wednesday morning, GazetteNET

FERC storage/DER integration proposal gets high marks, but other priorities loom, Utility Dive

Seacoast State Reps Raise Concerns About Eversource Plan to Buy Water Utility, New Hampshire Public Radio

What a US electric grid attack looks like, USA TODAY

The Trump administration went to the UN climate talks to promote coal, Vox

Natl. Grid finds novel way to lobby clean energy procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract, MassLive

Study Claims Quark Fusion May Be the Energy Source of the Future, Bigthink.com

As feds focus on baseload, grid modernization is sweeping the nation, Utility Dive

Chatterjee: FERC Will Move Ahead with Coal, Nuclear Subsidies, Power Engineering

Grid Modernization in Rhode Island: Small State, Big Vision, Microgrid Knowledge

Maine lawmakers to weigh in on reducing power outages, Penn Energy

State demands report on utility’s response to storm, Salem News

Exclusive: Chatterjee details interim plan to save coal, nuclear plants, Utility Dive

Do utilities need rate design for electric vehicle charging? Utility Dive

Subsidizing Coal, Nuclear Could Drive Customers Off-Grid, Renewable Energy World

Emera COO: Work progressing on Maritime transmission link, Electric Light & Power

CMP President and CEO Sara Burns to retire by year’s end, MaineBiz

Editorial/Opinion

We agree: It’s time to clean up transportation (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Our Opinion: Kinder Morgan must do right by Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

My Turn: Dave Ross: RI needs energy to power innovation, The Providence Journal

Justin Wheating: Championing the climate economy for Vermont, vtdigger.org

One watt at a time: Why electric rates are so high, The Union Leader

Another View — Greg Moore: Why turning on the lights costs more in New Hampshire, The Union Leader

Our view: National Grid should explain storm response, Salem News

Editorial: Encouraging that Columbia Gas sees end to moratorium, Hampshire Gazette

Derrick Z. Jackson: The competition is heating up for offshore wind, Boston Globe

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing