Category Archives: Electric Grid

Energy News for week ending May 29, 2020

Chafing | Higher bills | Empire State Building

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

It’s been a very busy week so my apologies, but I don’t have time for a full recap.

Here are a few stories though that caught our attention:

 

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Global Glut Keeps a Lid on Natural-Gas Prices, Wall St. Journal

EPA backtracks on fish-protecting requirements in long-delayed Merrimack coal plant permit, Utility Dive

Coal’s Decline Continues with 13 Plant Closures Announced in 2020, E&E News via Scientific American

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

U.S. Consumed More Renewables Than Coal for First Time in 134 Years, Wall St. Journal

Cuomo calls for Canada-to-New York City power line to deliver clean energy, Financial Post

Green group proposes nearly $6T infrastructure and clean energy stimulus plan, The Hill

 

Wind

Coast Guard favors turbine corridors sought by energy developers, Herald News

US May Host First Factory for Siemens Gamesa’s 14MW Offshore Turbine, Greentech Media

Treasury Department offers wind industry coronavirus lifeline with safe harbor extension, Utility Dive

Ohio OKs North America’s first freshwater offshore wind farm — with a huge caveat, Electrek

 

Solar

Massachusetts’ Solar Industry Chafes at New Land-Use Restrictions, Greentech Media

FERC Might Rewrite Solar Net Metering. Here’s What That Could Mean, Greentech media

24 Congressional Democrats urge FERC to reject net metering overhaul, Utility Dive

As Commercial Solar Takes a Hit From COVID-19, Virtual PPAs Continue Their Rise, Greentech Media

US solar developers get reprieve on bifacial panel prices as judge rejects USTR move on tariffs, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency helped the Empire State Building save money and cut carbon. It can help you, too., Washington Post

Green Mountain Power expands BYOD and Tesla battery programs as it targets fossil peakers, Utility Dive

Landfills emerge as promising battery storage sites to back up renewable energy, Utility Dive

After Bold Promise, New Jersey’s Energy Storage Plan Remains a Mystery, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Powering EVs is cheaper than diesel, gas in the largest US cities — Atlanta and Boston are exceptions, Utility Dive

Retail co-location may prove key to sustainable funding for EV charging, panel finds, Utility Dive

Largest all-electric aircraft to make maiden flight, CNN.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Pandemic pulls NY power prices down further from already-low 2019 levels, S&P Global

Lockdowns are pushing up home electric bills, and air conditioning season is hardly here yet, Boston Globe

Data Tool Shows Pandemic’s Impact on Power Prices, Power Magazine

Energy sector confident about pandemic operations, WWLP

No Resiliency Strategy? You’re Taking a Big Risk, Report Warns Utilities, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Opinion

Don’t knock natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy won’t be the same when this is over, Washington Post

COVID-19’s lessons for climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending May 22, 2020

Big deal | Curtailed | Zinc-air

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start with a piece from the Granite Geek. “Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England. One sunny afternoon earlier this month, reports ISO-New England, the six-state region had roughly 3,200 MW of “behind the meter” solar – the rooftop stuff, as compared to stand-alone solar farms that feed straight to the grid. This was a record, says the folks who run our power system, although it’s a record that will be falling frequently in coming years, since they expect many thousands more megawatts of solar to be added. How much is 3,200 megawatts? It’s almost three times the output of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, so we’re talking serious output…”

For this next story we move from solar to wind. From S&P Global Platts, “Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO. ISO New England analysis made public Wednesday estimated about 10% of the total 2030 offshore wind power portfolio connected into southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island would be “spilled,” or curtailed, under certain assumptions due to transmission constraints and a glut of supply. Transmission developer Anbaric requested ISO-NE perform a study reviewing the impact on energy market prices, air emissions and regional fuel security of three offshore wind power scenarios for target year 2030: 8,000 MW, 10,000 MW and 12,000 MW. An ISO-NE presentation during an earlier Planning Committee meeting discussed the Anbaric economic study for scenarios with 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind additions in southern New England. The addition of 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind plus assumed resource retirements of nearly 4,500 MW result in southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island (SEMA/RI) export interface transmission congestion, according to the presentation. Other key points include a finding that connecting more offshore wind close to load centers outside of southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island, especially the Mystic and Millstone substations, would reduce the congestion hours of the southeast Massachusetts/Rhode Island export interface.”

Our new tech feature this week comes from Recharge. “New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion.’ A new type of battery is coming onto the market that can store multiple days’ worth of energy, that doesn’t degrade, can’t possibly explode and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion, claimed its developer as it prepares to pilot the technology in New York state. The zinc-air hybrid flow battery developed by Canadian company Zinc8 has the potential to disrupt the entire energy-storage market — making wind and solar farms baseload and even replacing the need for transmission grid upgrades in many places…Zinc-air can beat lithium-ion batteries on price because the latter can generally only hold about four hours’ worth of energy at any one time, so an eight-hour storage system would require two batteries. By contrast, the storage capacity of the Zinc8 system can just be made bigger by increasing the size of the storage tank and the volume of the electrolyte it contains. The capital cost of an eight-hour Zinc8 storage is about $250/kWh, falling to $100/kWh for a 32-hour system and $60/kWh for 100 hours. By contrast, lithium-ion projects cost about $300/kWh for any duration over eight hours.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and don’t forget to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in service to our country.

And as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets, Inside Climate News

Cuomo administration cites new climate law in denying controversial New York, New Jersey pipeline, Politico NY

Devastated By Coronavirus, New York’s Pipeline Politics Ensure A Tougher Second Round, Forbes.com

First gas disaster settlement checks going out Friday, Eagle Tribune

Answers Sought Regarding Explosion and Pipeline Construction in Burrillville, EcoRI

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

‘Devil is in the details.’ The fight for grid carbon pricing, E&E News

Majority of Mainers support bold energy, transportation policies to address climate change, MaineBeacon.com

Wind and Solar Profits: The Race Between Falling Costs and Declining Revenue, Greentech Media

Traffic Is Way Down, Due To Lockdowns, But Air Pollution? Not So Much, WGBH

Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills, Reuters

Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal, AP News

The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change, study shows, Washington Post

Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis, New York Times

Global emissions plunged an unprecedented 17 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, Washington Post

Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years: IEA, Reuters

Why some spots on the planet are heating up faster than others, Washington Post

Group Says It Will Launch World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project, Power Magazine

With CT’s trash future in flux, food-waste recycler hopes for bigger role, Hartford Business Journal

More US Power Generated This Year Expected To Come From Renewables Than From Coal, WGBH

 

Wind

Connecticut Utilities Move Forward with Park City Wind PPAs, Offshorewind.biz

Brattle Study Highlights Benefits of Offshore Grid, RTO Insider

Siemens Gamesa Launches 14MW Offshore Wind Turbine, World’s Largest

Four New Studies to Examine Fisheries, Offshore Wind, South Coast Today

Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO, S&P Global

 

Solar

Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England, Granite Geek

5 Wind Energy Giants Embracing Solar Power, Greentech Media

Utility regulator denies controversial Bennington solar project, VT Digger

Why is cloudy Syracuse suddenly a solar farm magnet?, Syracuse.com

Coronavirus Wipes Out 5 Years of US Solar Job Growth, Greentech Media

COVID-19 Impacts on the U.S. Solar Industry, SEIA

Why (and How) the Solar Finance Market Is Changing in This Crisis, Greentech Media

National Solar Tour Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You, NA Clean Energy

Proposed solar farm in Gorham up for review June 1, Press Herald

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar permit in New Milford, News Times

Melrose church installs community solar project, Wicked Local Melrose

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Can Free Smart Thermostats Get Homeowners to Enroll in Summertime Demand Response,? Greentech Media

New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion,’ Recharge

Con Edison commits $1.5 billion to energy efficiency, Utility Dive

 

EVs

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die, Bloomberg

HEVO to Launch US Manufacturing for Wireless Electric Vehicle Charger, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Tonopah quake bolsters Nevada’s case against Yucca dumpsite, LasVegas Sun

Brick by brick: Finding families of loved ones who worked at Pilgrim Station, Patriot Ledger

America Just Made a Huge Investment in Next-Gen Nuclear Power, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

The Drive to Replace Summer-Only ‘Peaker’ Power Plants, Wired

Mainers get more time to pay bills, utilities get pinched as virus reduces demand, WGME

ISO-New England: 2019 transmission-outage coordination stats and goals, Electric Energy Online

‘Terrified’ energy workers press feds for safety standard, E&E News

New York grants flexibility, works to limit ‘bad actors’ in demand response programs hit by COVID-19, Utility Dive

Unpaid utility bills, lower usage threaten to push rates higher in Maine, Press Herald

LIPA officials planning to retire at least 1 power generating unit, Newsday

Mass. Hydropower Project Stymied By Maine Ballot Question Dispute, WBUR

 

Opinion

Eastie needs straight answers from Eversource, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to start using less natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Gov. Phil Murphy needs to unplug NJ Transit’s power plant | Opinion, northjersey.com

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce: NECEC offers some hope for Maine’s economy, Central Maine.com

Rhode Island Can’t Delay Efforts to Decarbonize Its Economy, EcoRI

INSIGHT: Will AI Increase or Decrease Power Grid Efficiency,? Bloomberg Law

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

Energy News for week ending April 24, 2020

Secretive Group | Rejected | Increased Performance | Complex Power

Happy Friday afternoon.

It has been a very busy day here so we’re cutting out the full recap for this week. Sorry about that.

Instead here are the links to some stories that piqued our curiosity and have the potential for big impacts.

Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New report says R.I. will transition away from natural gas and oil heat, Providence Journal

Markey, Warren seek Weymouth compressor station’s coronavirus plan, Patriot Ledger

Report: Natural gas is a loser for long-term utility shareholder value, Utility Dive

Oil Plunges to Lowest Since 1986 Ahead of Contract Expiration, Bloomberg

The Fight To Stop Fossil Fuel Financing Is Poised To Get Some Powerful New Allies, Huffington Post

The coronavirus crisis means we may have already reached peak carbon, CNBC

Oil price goes negative as demand collapses; stocks dip, Taunton Gazette

Pandemic Shutdown Is Speeding Up The Collapse Of Coal, NPR

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

This year is on track to be Earth’s warmest on record, beating 2016, NOAA says, Washington Post

Senators’ letter urge Gov. Wolf to rescind RGGI, Indiana Gazette

After Pandemic, New York’s Buildings Face Daunting Decarbonization Mandate, Greentech Media

‘Dead in the water’: New York’s clean energy sector looks for a jump-start, Politico.com

Clean energy can be a ‘huge job creator’ as economy recovers, Tom Steyer says, LA Times

Harvard pledges net-zero investment in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Boston Globe

Pandemic to drive carbon emissions down 6% this year: WMO, Reuters

Analysis: Coronavirus set to cause largest ever annual fall in CO2 emissions, Carbon Brief

Drop in emissions due to pandemic won’t fix climate, WMO says, Reuters

Arctic will see ice-free summers by 2050 as globe warms, study says, USA Today

Net-zero target gets mixed reviews, CommonWealth Magazine

New Renewable Energy Agreements To Reduce Boston Scientific Carbon Footprint By Half, Global Energy World

 

Wind

New York hits the brakes on 2.5 GW solicitation of offshore wind due to COVID-19, Utility Dive

Can Offshore Wind Prop Up Oil’s Supply Chain Through the Price Crunch,? Greentech Media

Brayton Point owners say wind industry showing interest in site, The Herald News

Wind is Now America’s Largest Renewable Energy Provider and the Top Choice for New Utility-Scale Power, NA Clean Energy

Vineyard Wind’s Permitting On Track Despite Coronavirus, BOEM Says, Greentech Media

Rooftop Wind Power Might Take Off by Using Key Principle of Flight, Scientific American

Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration, EurakAlert!.org

BOEM considers virtual public comment on Vineyard Wind study, National Fisherman

Skipjack offshore wind announces 1 year delay due to federal permitting holdups, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Grant will bring solar planning to 3 Western Massachusetts towns, MassLive

A New Response to Coronavirus: Giving Solar Away for Free, Greentech Media

Trump Administration Removes Tariff Exemption for Bifacial Solar Panels — Again, Greentech Media

Secretive group’s petition to FERC could ‘end net metering as we know it,’ lawyers say, Utility Dive

Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy, Phys.org

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Renewable industry urges New Jersey to address the peak with storage, PV Magazine

Storage, smart grid, energy efficiency sectors see $337M in Q1 corporate funding: Report, Utility Dive

 

EVs

New Jersey to Devote Cap-and-Trade Revenue to Electrifying Transportation, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Fate of Beaver Valley plant could hinge on federal fight over nuclear payments in power markets, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Nuclear Industry Pushes Back Against Coronavirus, Forbes

1st Shutdown Imminent At Indian Point, Patch.com

Indian Point closure during pandemic is wrong, says climate group, World Nuclear News

NextEra, NRC pressed for pandemic plan at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

NRC Delivers Briefing On Indian Point Decommissioning, WAMC

Trump officials pitch nuclear plan that would bolster struggling uranium industry, The Hill

Petition calls for Indian Point nuclear plant to continue operating, NEI Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Shedding light on complex power systems, MIT News

Utility Stocks Aren’t Immune to COVID-19’s Impact, NASDAQ.com

New England grid operator, market participants divided over how to improve region’s energy security, Utility Dive

New York demand response providers press regulators for flexibility as COVID-19 challenges mount, Utility Dive

See how covid-19 is reshaping the electric rhythms of New York City, New York Times

How utilities are using AI to adapt to electricity demands, VentureBeat.com

Judge rejects lawsuit aimed at derailing vote on CMP Power line project, Press Herald

NARUC Publishes New Smart Grid Interoperability Report, NARUC.org (press release)

 

Editorial/Opinion

Dear efficiency advocates: Don’t fear electrification, Utility Dive

Reflections on the First Earth Day and What’s Ahead for New York, NRDC.org

Envisioning a vibrant, healthy state powered by 100% renewable energy, Greenfield Recorder

Letter to the Editor: CMP headlines, Daily BullDog

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

Energy News for week ending April 17, 2020

Double Capacity | Stay-at-Home Savings | Owl’s Wings

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week we’re focusing on some good news stories. We figure we can all use some upbeat information these days.

We start with a State House News Service report via WBUR, “New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity. Industry groups on Wednesday largely welcomed the updated regulations that the Baker administration filed for a solar energy development program, saying the new rules will help the state meet its climate goals and help the solar industry as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but some also said the update does not go far enough. The updated regulations for the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, which is designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, double the program’s capacity, expand eligibility criteria for low-income solar projects and encourage the adoption of energy storage technology…The regulations take effect Wednesday, the administration said. A public hearing will be held virtually in May and a public comment period will stay open until May 22. In the update, DOER expanded the program’s capacity from 1,600 to 3,200 megawatts, which the administration said ‘will create a stable runway for growth of solar to continue’ in Massachusetts. DOER also expanded the criteria for projects in low-income areas and established a set-aside to provide a more stable incentive rate for those projects.”

Next, we move to New York with a story from Greentech Media, “In New York, a New Way for Stay-at-Home Customers to Get Paid for Shaving Peak Energy. A new program in Westchester County will allow customers to make money at home using software, smart meters and demand response. New York is struggling with the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak, but it’s also pushing ahead on its ambitious clean energy goals. Those include major expansions of wind and solar power, more energy storage to manage that intermittent supply — and, on the demand side of the equation, programs that can turn utility customers from passive consumers into active grid-balancing participants. Take GridRewards, a program launched last week by community-choice aggregator Sustainable Westchester and building energy software and demand response provider Logical Buildings. Beyond providing efficiency tips and energy usage insights, GridRewards will give Sustainable Westchester’s 115,000 or so customers a chance to get paid for reducing energy consumption when utility Con Edison needs to relieve its straining grid. That’s a timely offer for Westchester County residents stuck at home under the state’s COVID-19 restrictions and looking for ways to reduce rising utility bills. It’s also a way for Logical Buildings to gain load-reduction capacity in the residential sector, which is seeing electricity usage rising even as New York City’s locked-down commercial sector’s demand is falling.”

Our new energy technology story for this week comes from the Smithsonian Magazine, “To Silence Wind Turbines and Airplanes, Engineers Are Studying Owl Wings. No one knows exactly how the nocturnal hunters manage their whisper-soft flight, yet it’s inspiring the design of quieter airplanes, fans and wind turbines. Every owl fancier has a story of the first time they heard an owl — or, rather, didn’t hear one. It’s unforgettable to see an enormous bird, whose wingspan can reach more than six feet, slipping through the air without even a whisper…Laboratory measurements have shown that the slight swoosh made by a barn owl is below the threshold of human hearing until the owl is about three feet away — a feat of stealth that biologists and engineers are far from completely understanding. But researchers from both disciplines are working to solve the riddle of silent flight — some with the aim of designing quieter fans, turbine blades and airplane wings. Such owl-inspired innovations can reduce noise by as much as 10 decibels, similar to the difference in noise between a passing truck and a passing car…

That’s the recap for the week. Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Offshore Oil Could Soon Be Powered By Wind, Oilprice.com

Opponents of compressor station say workers aren’t following rules, Patriot Ledger

No safety issue with gas pipeline near Indian Point, NRC says, Mid-Hudson News

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

To cut carbon emissions, a movement grows to ‘electrify everything,’ PBS.org

Energy Department Considers New Partnership to Bring Star Power to Earth, Nextgov.com

New website will help steer the U.S. away from fossil fuels, Phsy.org

As CO2 Emissions Drop During Pandemic, Methane May Rise, Scientific American

Social Distancing Is Rewriting the Cleantech Startup Survival Guide, Greentech Media

Engie North America launches financing plan for renewable projects, Daily Energy Insider

CESA launches 100% Clean Energy Collaborative, Renewable Energy World

Climate change affects everything — even the coronavirus, Washington Post

Trump officials reject stricter air quality standards, despite link between air pollution, coronavirus risks, Washington Post

Mass. lost thousands of clean energy jobs in March, says new report, Boston Business Journal

Clean energy shed 106,000 U.S. jobs in March, erasing a year of gains, Reuters

As Trump and McConnell mock clean energy, the industry could soon lose a half-million jobs, Vox.com

EPA Changes Another Emissions Rule; This Time It’s About Mercury, WBUR

 

Wind

Anbaric confronts regulators in quest to create subsea transmission highway, S&P Global

Iberdrola Plans to Take Top Spot in US Offshore Wind (and Keep It), Greentech Media

RODA request pause in offshore wind development amid COVID-19 pandemic, SeafoodSource

Wind Turbine Factories Struggle For Parts in Virus Lockdown, Bloomberg

To Silence Wind Turbines and Airplanes, Engineers Are Studying Owl Wings, Smithsonian Magazine

 

Solar

Second Homes, Solar Arrays, Vineyard Concerts Test Little Compton’s Rural Character, EcoRI

New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity, WBUR

Niagara Town Board approves first step toward solar energy project, Buffalo News

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts struggles to incentivize behind-the-meter storage, PV Magazine

In New York, a New Way for Stay-at-Home Customers to Get Paid for Shaving Peak Energy, Greentech Media

Energy Efficiency Industry Seeks Aid as House Panel Seeks Ideas, Bloomberg Law

Efficiency sector gets creative to stem COVID-19 job losses, maintain energy savings, Utility Dive

Groups sue DOE over ‘arbitrary’ threshold they say will avoid tougher efficiency standards for appliances, Utility Dive

COVID-19 hits clean energy jobs, but storage companies could be ‘bucking the trend,’ Utility Dive

 

EVs

Coronavirus Got Rid of Smog. Can Electric Cars Do So Permanently?, Wall St. Journal

‘Charger desert’ in big cities keeps electric cars from mainstream, Boston Business Journal

As states use less coal for electricity, driving electric vehicles becomes even cleaner, Green Car Congress

 

Nuclear

Millstone moving forward with reactor refueling amid COVID-19 pandemic, The Day

Could Full Decarbonization Depend on New Nuclear or CCS?, Greentech Media

New ‘Beyond Indian Point’ Campaign Launches as Nuclear Facility Shuts Down; Focuses on NY’s Transition to Renewable Energy, Riverkeeper

Pennsylvania raises alarms on transfer of radioactive Three Mile Island reactor, WHYY

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England Ratepayers Association files net metering petition with FERC, Daily Energy Insider

CMP power line’s chief backer spent $5 million this year to promote it, Press Herald

Federal spending makes more energy assistance available, AP News

Judge OKs referendum on utility corridor; appeal is expected, News Center Maine

Microgrid Bill that Clarifies Utility & Operator Roles Approved by Maine House, Microgrid Knowledge

How New England Is Keeping The Lights On During The Pandemic, WBUR

Electricity prices pushed to new lows as coronavirus cuts New England demand with businesses closed and employees at home, Hartford Courant

Power forecasters struggle to find grid’s ‘new normal,’ E&E News

Virus Throws $6 Billion in Higher U.S. Utility Bills Into Limbo, Bloomberg

 

Editorial/Opinion

THE ARGUMENT: Should Massachusetts cities and towns ban new natural gas hook-ups,? Boston Globe

Will the Coronavirus Kill the Oil Industry?, New Yorker

Post-coronavirus economic recovery requires EV adoption, Utility Dive

New York’s Fracking Ban and Its Discontents, Energy Central

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

Energy News for week ending April 10, 2020

CCC | Decarbonize the Peak | Float

Happy Friday afternoon.

While many types of work have stopped due to the pandemic, the State House News Service via WBUR tells us that the Weymouth Compressor Construction Continues. “The construction of a major natural gas infrastructure project in Weymouth is one effort that hasn’t been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic. ‘We are currently proceeding with construction activities for the Weymouth Compressor Station, while taking steps to protect work crews and the public,’ Enbridge spokesman Max Bergeron said. Enbridge is following guidance provided by governmental authorities, Bergeron said, noting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified energy infrastructure as being critical during the COVID-19 response.”

From the National Law Journal we have news about Massachusetts. “Following months of development and building on a host of previous renewable and alternative energy portfolio programs intended to incrementally decarbonize the electric sector, Massachusetts is poised to codify a Clean Energy Peak Standard (CPS) in the summer of 2020. In contrast to the existing Massachusetts programs, which have incentivized renewable and alternative energy sources simply to ‘show-up,’ the CPS takes aim at incentivizing new and existing generation resources to ‘show-up at the right time’ in order to further reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Electricity generators and commercial, industrial and residential energy consumers alike should understand this new incentive program.”

Our new technology story this week comes out of Northeastern. “If you’re a wind turbine, there’s one place where you’d want to be. Far from the shore, out in the open ocean, and particularly in the North Atlantic, where the wind’s energy could potentially power an entire country the size of the United States. But harvesting wind energy in the ocean has posed an engineering feat that requires specialized equipment to manufacture and install heavy towers and propeller-like blades to catch the wind. Those towers—massive steel structures larger than the Statue of Liberty—need to be affixed to the sea floor. That means wind energy is a resource that can only be tapped in shallow waters, and that turbines need to be constructed at sea. Andrew Myers, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern, and his collaborator, Jim Papadopoulos, intend to change that. Myers envisions a process by which wind turbines could be built in U.S. boatyards, launched in shallow ports, and then towed out to the sea. For the past two years, Myers and Papadopoulos have been designing a super light wind turbine that floats in the ocean and that can be installed in both shallow and deep waters. This kind of turbine, anchored to the sea floor, is also designed to reorient itself naturally to face the wind.

That’s the recap for the week. Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth Compressor Construction Continues Despite Pandemic, WBUR

No need for natural gas pipeline across Raritan Bay, environmental report says, My Central Jersey

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Massachusetts Races to Decarbonize the Peak, National Law Review

New York launches $16m fund for clean energy businesses, Renews.biz

New renewable energy siting act voted into law with some changes, NNY360

Wood Mackenzie: What Crashing LNG Prices Mean for Renewables, Greentech Media

New York becomes first state to establish renewables siting office in an effort to speed up deployment, Utility Dive

The coronavirus is hitting renewable energy supply chains and factories, and could slow the global energy transition, CNBC

Even Facing A Pandemic, New York State Remains In The Grip Of The Green Movement, Forbes.com

Oil Companies Are Collapsing, but Wind and Solar Energy Keep Growing, New York Times

Burlington sets ‘Green Stimulus Package’ as part of response to virus, VT Digger

Inside clean energy’s coronavirus job crash, E&E News

7 Transmission Projects That Could Unlock a Renewable Energy Bounty, Greentech Media

Green Hydrogen Pipeline Surges on a Wave of Announced Mega-Projects, Greentech Media

 

Wind

It’s hard to anchor wind turbines to the ocean floor. He’s building one that floats., Northeastern News

Vineyard files Park City Wind mitigation plan, Renews.biz

Coronavirus Unnerves US Wind Market During Record Year for Construction, Greentech Media

New England fishing groups wary of rapid offshore wind development plans , National Wind Watch

Sound from Scituate Wind turbine in compliance with MassDEP regs, Wicked Local Scituate

Turbine work upsets residents, The Observer (NY)

 

Solar

Utility Customers Will No Longer Fund State’s Solar Projects, BPU Rules, NJ Spotlight

Officials outraged over proposed solar siting changes, Hudson Valley 360

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency efforts are shutting down due to COVID-19, threatening jobs and savings, Utility Dive

DOE eyes storage technologies to improve the performance of fossil fuel plants, Utility Dive

‘Horrible.’ Coronavirus unravels energy efficiency industry, E&E News

Residents and Businesses Can Earn Cash for Energy Saving Actions Through Innovative “GridRewards” Pilot Program, The Daily Times (NY)

States step up climate efforts by requiring utilities to increase energy efficiency, Greenbiz

 

EVs

Why You May Want to Seriously Consider a Microgrid for your Electric Vehicles, Microgrid Knowledge

Ahead of the EV pack: How other states can replicate New Jersey’s legislative success, Utility Dive

IDTechEx Predicts Electric Vehicle Charging Going Zero-Emission, Off-Grid, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Transfer To Go On Despite Coronavirus Concerns, WBUR

NRC to Conduct Public Webinar on April 21 to Discuss Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Topics, Energy Central

NRC to Meet with Connecticut Nuclear Energy Advisory Council to Discuss Millstone Nuclear Power Plant Performance, NRC News Release

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

A warning sign? N.Y. lockdown jolts electricity demand, E&E News

WoodMac: Coronavirus Will Undercut North American Power Demand Through 2021, Greentech Media

Utilities move to delay rate case proceedings during pandemic, Utility Dive

Nearly 650 MW of New York City peaking capacity will retire to comply with tighter regulations, S&P Global Platts

The Power Plant of the Future Is Right in Your Home, Wired

CMP affiliate awards $300 million in contracts for power line project, Press Herald

Virus May Nix 39% of Projects to Build New U.S. Power Plants, Bloomberg Law

How Coronavirus Is Transforming Power Demand in MISO and the Northeast, Greentech Media

Another Way to See the Recession: Power Usage Is Way Down, New York Times

Coronavirus response: Eversource donates $2M to nonprofits; Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is one recipient, MassLive

Microgrid Bill that Clarifies Utility & Operator Roles Approved by Maine House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hybrid Power Plants Are Growing Rapidly, But Are They a Good Idea?, Greentech Media

Mainers know truth about CMP, Central Maine

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

Energy News for week ending April 3, 2020

Nukes Offline | Open for Business | Climate Change Vodka

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start with news from the CT Mirror that “Most NE nuclear power offline due to timing fluke and problem. All but unnoticed as the coronavirus pandemic tears through the Northeast: the New England power grid is without 75% of its nuclear power – with more to go…The Seabrook Nuclear plant in New Hampshire went offline on Tuesday for its refueling – that’s 1,245 megawatts of power. Unit 2 of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, with about 870 megawatts, is due for refueling this spring as well. But in the meantime, Millstone Unit 3,  which carries about 1,230 megawatts , tripped offline less than a day after the Seabrook shutdown due to a circuit fault between the main generator and the switchyard, according to Kenneth Holt, spokesman for the plant’s owner Dominion Energy. The automatic reactor protection system kicked in as it was supposed to and the plant was shut down. As of Friday noon, the grid mix showed nuclear at 8% and natural gas at a whopping 68%.”

According to ReNews.biz, “Brayton Point Commerce Center in Massachusetts is open for business for the offshore wind industry, having completed upgrades to support heavy-lift port operations and receive deep-draft vessels at the site…Works include preparing Brayton Point as a suitable location for an offshore wind marshalling port and hub for manufacturing offshore wind components…CDC has been engaged in discussions with offshore wind industry companies. Prospective tenants include manufacturing, logistics, cable interconnections, maintenance, and other bulk materials, said the company. CDC executive vice president Stephen Collins said: ‘e have seen significant interest from prospective tenants wishing to use the port for offshore wind operations. These discussions take time as the investments are sizable.’ To date Brayton Point has received a total of nine vessel calls, including offshore wind research boats. In May 2019 grid asset developer Anbaric signed an agreement with CDC to build a 1200MW high voltage direct current converter and 400MW battery storage plant at Brayton Point to support the offshore wind industry.”

For our new technology feature we bring you this story from the New York Times, “Vodka From Thin Air: An Unusual Climate Prize Hits a Coronavirus Snag. In 2017, Stafford Sheehan handed a friend an unusual bottle of booze. He had made it himself — but not the usual way. A chemical physicist, Dr. Sheehan had invented a process to make alcohol from carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas associated with climate change, not cocktail hour. ‘‘I said, ‘Hold on, you made this from carbon dioxide?’’ recalled his friend, Gregory Constantine, who worked in marketing for Smirnoff. Now the two are in the vodka business, using Dr. Sheehan’s technology and marketing it as a way to fight global warming. Their company, Air Co., was one of 10 finalists for a pair of $7.5 million prizes to be awarded this year to the teams that can devise the most profitable use for carbon dioxide…The five-year competition, the Carbon XPrize, was designed to create a financial incentive to capture carbon dioxide and use it profitably, instead of releasing it. However, just as the Brooklyn vodka makers — along with the nine other finalists from as far afield as Nova Scotia (stronger concrete), India (an ingredient in pharmaceuticals) and China (a plastics replacement) — were approaching the finish line, the competition has been delayed by the coronavirus crisis.” Bummer.

That’s the recap for the week. Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Fracking Once Lifted Pennsylvania. Now It Could Be a Drag., New York Times

New York’s last coal-burning power plant closes on Lake Ontario shore, The Buffalo News

Curing hospitals’ addiction to the fossil fuels that make people sick, Boston Globe Magazine

Coronavirus, cheap natural gas and building electrification, GreenBiz

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

What the Renewables Industry Wants From the Next Stimulus Bill, Greentech Media

Vodka From Thin Air: An Unusual Climate Prize Hits a Coronavirus Snag, New York Times

COVID-19 will slow the global shift to renewable energy, but can’t stop it, The Conversation

The missing puzzle piece for getting to 100% clean power, Vox

Legislature Opposes Governor ‘Fast Tracking’ Renewable Energy Projects, The Post Journal

GTM’s Live Coronavirus Blog: The Impact on Clean Energy, Greentech Media

Wind, Solar Farms Are Seen as Havens in Coronavirus Storm, Wall St. Journal

The ozone layer is healing and redirecting wind flows around the globe, New Scientist

Economic fallout threatens Washington momentum to counter climate change, Washington Examiner

 

Wind

When will the US get 1 GW of offshore wind on the grid?, Utility Dive

Wind Giant Iberdrola Throws Its Weight Behind Floating Offshore Market, Greentech Media

‘Disappointed’ US wind sector vows to fight on after $2trn coronavirus stimulus lockout, Recharge News

Pomfret makes changes to wind turbine law, Observer Today (NY)

Orsted secures Ocean Wind interconnection, Renews.biz

Connecticut Port Authority secures use of more land in New London, The Day

Brayton ‘open for US offshore wind business’, Renews.biz

 

Solar

Most US Solar Manufacturing Continues Despite Coronavirus Restrictions, Greentech Media

Rockland considers signing on to Skowhegan solar farm project, Penobscot Bay Pilot

State OKs plan to buy power from Conn. solar project, Providence Journal

Live free of fossil fuels or die trying: A New Hampshire solar case study, Solar Power World

New Hampshire net metering bill remains in limbo, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

The best ways to save energy during the coronavirus pandemic, Bangor Daily News

First “Passive Building” residence hall in Mass. cuts costs by 50%, New England Real Estate Journal

New York state on course to meet aggressive energy storage goals, Niagara Frontier Publications

Distributed storage could see growth in demand amid COVID-19 pandemic, analysts say, Utility Dive

Eversource pulls Westmoreland project planned to help during outages, Keene Sentinel

New Jersey’s energy efficiency approach could reduce incentive to invest, stakeholders warn, Utility Dive

New York’s ‘VDER’ Alternative Payment Method Helps Spur Energy Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

COVID-19 disrupts storage bidding processes for New York utilities, but state report shows progress, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Most NE nuclear power offline due to timing fluke and problem, CTMirror

How The Coronavirus Is Complicating Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant’s Plan To Replace Fuel Rods, WBUR (Audio)

EIA issues report on the nuclear power plants in the United States, Daily Energy Insider

NRC board delays Seabrook concrete decision until July, Newburyport Daily News

Pilgrim decommissioning continues during pandemic, MV Times

US allowing longer shifts at nuclear plants in pandemic, AP News

Spent-fuel transfer moves forward despite coronavirus concerns, Cape Cod Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Enough valid signatures to get CMP transmission corridor on ballot, officials say, WGME

State’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund requesting donations, Sentinel and Enterprise

New Jersey looks to exit PJM capacity market, worried the MOPR will impede its 100% carbon-free goals, Utility Dive

NYISO Workers Now Living at Grid Control Centers, Power Magazine

Winter 2019/2020 recap: Power system performed well during mild winter, ISO Newswire

Congress strikes deal to restore low-income heating assistance funds, Press Herald

Grid crisis plan gets pandemic test, E&E News

Energy Groups Supply Gear, Donate Millions to Fight COVID-19, Power Magazine

National Grid workers sequestered so they can keep the power on, Telegram.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Think Solar While Hunkered Down At Home, Sandwich Enterprise

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

Energy News for week ending March 20, 2020

Protect marine life | The neighbors hate it | Initial approval

TGIF. We hope everyone is staying well and following all public health rules for keeping us all safe in these crazy times. Sticking together while staying apart may be an oxymoron but it’s a lifesaving one. That’s today’s public service announcement.

By the way, we have a whole section on the coronavirus and Covid-19 and its effects on the energy industry below. But for our part, we’ve selected three other stories to highlight to give you a break from that news.

From North American Wind Power, “Greentown Labs, a North American cleantech incubator, and Vineyard Wind, developer of the first utility-scale offshore wind energy generation facility in the U.S., are accepting applications for the Offshore Wind Challenge. Greentown Labs and Vineyard Wind are seeking submissions from startups that are innovating in marine mammal monitoring, either surrounding data collection and real-time transmission or data analysis…The Offshore Wind Challenge is for startups with a technology readiness level between three and six and a proof of concept that can be brought to a state of practice.”

They say good fences make good neighbors, but I don’t think a fence will help this guy. From the New York Times, “He Set Up a Big Solar Farm. His Neighbors Hated It. Neighbors used to wave to Timothy Masters whenever he stood outside his cherry-red barn, trading hellos across his corn and soybean fields in this small town about 10 miles north of Niagara Falls. That ended about a year ago, when a field of solar panels was deposited on 18 acres of Mr. Masters’s land. Mr. Masters, the building inspector in Lewiston, is among a growing number of landowners trying to cash in on New York State’s push toward renewable energy: The solar company now leasing his land, he said, pays him 20 times more than the soybean farmer who had previously rented it. But by replacing lush green soybean plants with rows of silicon and metal solar panels, Mr. Masters has found himself the target of a growing backlash against the spread of solar farms in rural areas.”

Last up for this week, from the Portland Press Herald, “CMP power line project wins initial approval from Maine DEP. Central Maine Power Co.’s plan to build a transmission line through western Maine’s mountains cleared a significant hurdle [last] Friday when the Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued a draft permit for the $1 billion project. The initial approval puts significant conditions on the project to limit its impacts, in one instance decreasing the width of the corridor to nearly one-third of what the company had requested. In announcing the order, the DEP said in a statement that its approval ‘requires an unprecedented level of environmental and natural resource protection in the permitting of Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect Project.’ But opponents of the project were quick to dismiss the permit order as doing little to protect Maine’s environment and resources, and some foes called out the DEP for announcing its decision while the state is focused on battling the coronavirus pandemic.”

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

Coronavirus/Covid-19

‘An immediate and dramatic business concern’: How COVID-19 is disrupting the energy sector, Utility Dive

What COVID-19 and Climate Change Have in Common, Greentech Media

Coronavirus response should promote clean energy — IEA, Axios

For Wind and Solar Sectors, Biggest Coronavirus Risk May Be a Damaged Economy, Greentech Media

Coronavirus fallout could be the ‘nail in the coffin’ for smaller oil companies, Grist

What climate change can teach us about fighting the coronavirus, Hartford Courant

Pandemic Creating ‘Crisis’ for Solar Industry, Power Magazine

Keeping the Lights On: US Utility Sector Braces for Coronavirus Impact, Greentech Media

U.S. Power Use Weakening After Plunging in Italy Amid Coronavirus, Wall St. Journal

U.S. power industry may ask key employees to live at work if coronavirus worsens, Reuters

Coronavirus Could Make It Harder to Keep Wind Farms Up and Running, Greentech Media

National Grid sets aside $500K in customer aid, WHEC

R.I. Utilities Commission Offers Relief from Shut-Offs, ECO RI

Unitil, Eversource, Liberty Utilities suspend power shutoffs amid coronavirus crisis, Foster’s Daily Democrat

National Grid suspends disconnections, collections, Telegram

Avangrid’s CT companies suspend penalty fees for payment problems during coronavirus pandemic, New Haven Register

Maine energy regulators issue emergency moratorium on utilities service disconnections, Bangor Daily News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawyers in Columbia Gas settlement seek early payout, Gloucester Times

Residents call for halt to compressor station construction, Patriot Ledger

Eliot to net $900K a year for gas line station expansion, Seacoastonline.com

U.S. Gulf oil lease sale is weakest since 2016, Reuters

A Tiny Country, an Oil Giant, and Their Shared Fortune, New York Times

Newfoundland offshore Bay du Nord project deferred indefinitely, Chronicle Herald

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Proposed New England power projects reflect ‘dramatic shift’ from gas to renewables, IEEFA

Curbing emissions could save Vermonters $800 million, report says, VTDigger

New York develops 21 new renewable energy projects, CSO Magazine

Solar Dominates Wind in New York’s Latest Renewable Procurement, Greentech Media

Why Scientists Should Shape Environmental Policy, Foreign Policy

Coalition calls for carbon cap-and-trade program across Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, WHYY

New York forestland could provide carbon credit to polluters, Northcountrypublicradio.org

State to Get Millions for Climate Change Strategies After Rejoining Regional Energy Initiative, NJ Spotlight

Study: global banks ‘failing miserably’ on climate crisis by funneling trillions into fossil fuels, Guardian

Lynn is designated a ‘green community’ and receives state funds, Boston Globe

 

Wind

Planned Offshore Wind Turbines Will Have Connection To Shore Substation, Falmouth Enterprise

Maine Will Soon Be Home to 15 MW Wind Power Project, Environmental Leader

Apex Clean Energy applies for 33 wind turbines in Orleans County, Buffalo News

Oil major Total buys 80% stake in Erebus floating offshore wind project, Reuters

Wind power firm picks Rhode Island over New York for industry hub, Newsday

Offshore Wind Farm Development to Include Underground Cables, U.S. News & World Report

Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind Launch Offshore Challenge to Protect Marine Life, NRG Wind Project

 

Solar

New York taps developers for almost 1.3 GW of solar, wind and storage across upstate region, Utility Dive

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

He Set Up a Big Solar Farm. His Neighbors Hated It., New York Times

Top 5 Emerging Solar Markets in the US, Greentech Media

Solar Drives Down Price for ISO-NE Power, Power Magazine

Solar Industry Grows 23% in 2019, But Clouds Are on the Horizon, Motley Fool

Solar-powered Harvard ArtLab to meet net-zero energy targets, Inhabitat

Castile solar farm among 21 renewable energy projects unveiled by state officials, Daily News Online

NH developers plan to build solar array in Maine, Journal Record

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Virginia Just Created a Storage Market Out of Thin Air, Greentech Media

These new battery technologies could be the future of energy storage, CNBC

Lead batteries make innovation push to better compete for energy storage projects, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

No halt in Vermont Yankee decommissioning, Brattleboro Reformer

Pennsylvania Move to Join RGGI May Save Nuclear Plant, Power Magazine

Billionaires Chasing Fusion Energy Face a Credibility Test, Bloomberg Green

Politics Continues to Complicate the Nation’s Nuclear Waste Disposal Dilemma, Inside Sources

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Shows Dry Cask Storage Is Safe – Yet Again, Forbes.com

Addressing Safety of Smart Devices for Use in Nuclear Power Plants, iaea.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP power line project wins initial approval from Maine DEP, Portland Press Herald

Hydropower plan faces opposition, uncertain future, Salem News

New England’s wholesale energy market reaches historic low in 2019, (Press Release), ISO – NE

A New Era Is Beginning for the Grid Edge. Is the Utility Industry Ready,? Greentech Media

Retail buyers may be key to clean energy procurement in ISO-NE, PJM, NYISO: Report, Utility Dive

Smart Wires Looks to Ease Transmission Grid’s Mounting Challenges With Digital Controls, Greentech Media

ISO Outlook 2020: New England capacity additions about the same as 2019, S&P Global

State regulators approve sale of Emera Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

What Comes After Fossil Fuels?, The New Yorker

Column: Why we need offshore wind energy, Salem News

Should the public buy Columbia Gas?, CommonWealth Magazine

Op-ed: AG should focus on climate solutions, not lawsuits, Business Journals

NJ RGGI proceeds, Politico

This controversial energy stance splits top Democrats — and likely the country, MarketWatch

Anne Watson: Transportation & Climate Initiative would be a win for Vermont, VTDigger

What if we responded to the climate crisis with the same urgency as the coronavirus?, Boston Globe

LETTER: Why we need offshore wind energy, southcoasttoday.com

American Wind Energy Association Statement on Draft Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Routes Study, NA Clean Energy

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