Category Archives: Electric Grid

Energy News for week ending January 15, 2021

Vetoed! | Imminent Start | Bug Robot

Happy Friday folks.

Well, we got the answer to last week’s question about whether Governor Baker was going to sign the climate bill or not. Thursday evening he opted for the veto. The good news is that Senate President Spilka and House Speaker Mariano are prepared to refile the bill, but it’s likely to face some significant changes. We have several stories related to this for you below.

According to the Portland Press Herald there are signs of preparation in Maine for the NECEC. “Obscured by a swirling snow squall, an amphibious off-road transporter with 5-foot-high tires maneuvered Friday along the Maine ITS 89 snowmobile trail at the base of Coburn Mountain. At a junction, two workers from Northern Clearing, a Wisconsin-based right-of-way contractor, stepped into the wind and 11-degree cold and secured a sign and pink flagging tape to a small tree. The sign was one of hundreds being erected in remote stretches of northwestern Maine between the Canadian border and The Forks. They will guide crews – likely starting next week – to where they will begin clearing sections of a 53-mile-long corridor through the forest for Central Maine Power’s $1 billion hydroelectric power corridor project, called New England Clean Energy Connect.”

For the new tech feature we have a giant bug for you. From Electrek, “Robots aren’t going to take over the world, but they can definitely make life a lot easier for humans. And that was the aim of BladeBUG, a UK startup that has developed insect-like robots to inspect, maintain, and repair offshore wind turbine blades without the need for rope access…How will the offshore wind industry maintain and repair the giant turbine blades once they’re swooshing through the air, high above the water, without requiring wind turbine workers to dangle precariously above the sea? (Who’s going to want to hang off the giant 14 MW Haliade-X Dogger Bank turbine blades? Yikes.) Not only does the robot make it safer for rope access technicians; it also saves money for the wind turbine companies, as it’s expensive to have humans climb out onto turbine blades.”

That’s the recap for this week. As always enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

Massachusetts Climate Bill

Massachusetts lawmakers prepare to refile climate bill if Gov. Charlie Baker lets clock run out, MassLive

In veto letter, Baker objects to a lot in climate change bill, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes climate bill that sets carbon emissions targets ahead of 2050, MassLive

Reluctantly, governor vetoes Mass. climate change bill, but it may soon be back on his desk, Boston Globe

Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes sweeping climate change bill, AP

Massachusetts Gov. Vetoes Bill Calling for Net-Zero Emissions by Midcentury, Greentech Media

Climate Change

Climate coalition wants brighter light on Beacon Hill voting, Herald News

Covid-19 Took a Bite From U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2020, New York Times

Details, timing could lead to climate bill veto, WWLP

The carbon skyscraper: A new way of picturing rapid, human-caused climate change, Washington Post

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Almost All New US Power Plants Built in 2021 Will Be Carbon-Free, Greentech Media

Clean Energy & COVID-19 Crisis | December 2020 Unemployment Analysis, E2

Wind, solar to make up 70% of new US generation in 2021 while batteries gain momentum: EIA, Utility Dive

The New Climate Bill Won’t Make Or Break A Proposed Biomass Plant In Springfield. But Another State Plan Will, WBUR

Gov. Cuomo pushes wind, solar expansion amid COVID-19 economic downturn, NY Post

Report: Raimondo’s 2030 renewables goal achievable, Providence Journal

2021 Outlook: Will hydrogen experience a breakthrough?, Utility Dive

Wind

To bolster green economy, New York will build nation’s largest offshore wind program, Utility Dive

Power from Mayflower Wind could be cheaper thanks to stimulus bill, Boston Herald

Wind Developers Tout Safety Of Transmission Cables Being Constructed In East Hampton, WSHU (NY)

This ‘bug’ robot will inspect and repair offshore wind turbine blades, Electrek

New York’s Latest Clean Energy Push Includes 2.5GW of Offshore Wind Contracts for Equinor and BP, Greentech Media

Efficiency/Storage

Halt to progress of utility efficiency programs could rob New Hampshire of economic boost, ACEEE Blog

Eversource extends energy incentives to COVID-19 vaccine freezers, Hartford Business Journal

Trump’s DOE Saddles Households with High-Cost, High-Emission Furnaces and Water Heaters, ACEEE

EVS

GM ushers in electric era with ambitious brand refresh, inclusive marketing campaign, Utility Dive

2021 Outlook: The future of electric vehicle charging is bidirectional — but the future isn’t here yet, Utility Dive

Proterra Set To Take Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Business Public via SPAC Transaction, Greentech Media

Nuclear

Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation Review Could Signal Federal Repository Approval, The Sand Paper

The social costs of nuclear power plant closure, NEI Magazine

Natural Gas

2021 Outlook: Greening natural gas while planning for service reliability, Utility Dive

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Data centers are energy hogs. Could they help power the grid?, Grist

MIT Study: Transmission Is Key to a Low-Cost, Decarbonized US Grid, Greentech Media

New transmission approaches can cut billions in decarbonization costs: MIT, clean energy coalition, Utility Dive

Pearl Street Technologies: A New Way to Optimize the Transmission Grid, Greentech Media

Climate-Proofing Your Home: Improving Your Backup Power Supply, Bloomberg Green

Green economy plans fuel new metals and energy ‘supercycle,’ The Guardian

Report: Renewables Are Suffering From Broken US Transmission Policy, Greentech Media

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

Energy News for week ending December 18, 2020

Start-up Delayed | Mass Loses EE Crown | Off the Table

Happy Friday folks.

Sorry, no time for a detailed recap today but we do draw your attention to these three articles:

Start-up of Weymouth compressor station delayed, Patriot Ledger (And if you missed it earlier this week, it check out the Boston Globe article below about the local activists’ efforts to try and stop the compressor. It’s a great read)

Mass. no longer most energy-efficient state, CommonWealth Magazine (The #2 spot isn’t so bad)

Vineyard Wind Project Officially Taken Off The Table for Now, State House News Service via WWLP

All of us at McMahon Communications wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a wonderful New Year. We’ll be back in your inboxes on January 8, 2021.

As always enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

Climate Change

Lofty Climate Goals Get Reality Check at Global Summit, Bloomberg Green

Covid-19 sparked a run on outdoor heaters and fire pits. Which is better for the planet?, Washington Post

To Cut Emissions to Zero, U.S. Needs to Make Big Changes in Next 10 Years, New York Times

Mass., other states near historic agreement to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

Meet Gina McCarthy, a Mass. native who is set to serve as White House climate coordinator, Boston Globe

The Big Thaw: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World, ProPublica

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

FERC ruling seen as setback for Northeast renewables, E&E news

No ‘green halo’ for renewables: First Solar, Veolia, others tackle wind and solar environmental impacts, Utility Dive

Why Offshore Wind and Energy Giants Are Chasing Off-Grid Green Hydrogen, Greentech Media

Wind

Offshore wind CEO denies claims he’s biding time for Biden, E&E News

Vineyard Wind Is Said to Face Lengthy Delay After Pulling Permit, Bloomberg Green

Vineyard Wind Withdraws From Federal Permitting Process, The Vineyard Gazette

Vineyard Wind Project Officially Taken Off The Table for Now, State House News Service via WWLP

US DOE Gives $21 Million for Innovative Offshore Wind Technologies, Offhorewind.biz

Solar

New weather station to help with wildfire prevention, AP

Efficiency/Storage

Craft Beverage Industry To Get Energy Efficiency Assistance, AP

The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ACEEE

California replaces Massachusetts as most energy efficient state, State House News Service via WWLP

Mass. no longer most energy-efficient state, CommonWealth Magazine

EVs

Electric vehicle models expected to triple in 4 years as declining battery costs boost adoption, Utility Dive

Jay Leno on How Driving Changed in 2020—and How It Will Change Even More, Wall St. Journal

Nuclear

East Coast nuke plants prepare to send waste to New Mexico via Holtec project, Carlsbad Argus

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Start-up of Weymouth compressor station delayed, Patriot Ledger

In Weymouth, a brute lesson in power politics, Boston Globe

Lawmakers Push For Gas Pipeline Safety In Climate Bill, GBH

Weymouth Compressor Could Get A Fresh Look From Feds, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Want 100% clean power? Forget new technology, study says, E&E News

Eversource Named #1 Energy & Utility Company In Newsweek Magazine’s List Of Most Responsible Companies, Patch.com

Major hack hits energy companies, U.S. agencies, E&E News

Biden to name Granholm as energy secretary, Washington Post

Trio of New England decisions could help or hurt renewables as ISO-NE, NEPOOL face off at FERC, Utility Dive

Maine regulators will consider how to better measure utilities’ service quality, Bangor Daily News

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

Energy News for week ending December 11, 2020

New Climate Bill | Greener Cement | House of Tomorrow

Happy Friday folks.

We begin with a story from the State House News Service via the Berkshire Eagle, “Massachusetts state senator prods climate bill negotiators with new bill. Hoping to deliver ‘a wake-up call’ and highlight the urgency of the issue, state Sen. Marc Pacheco this week filed a new bill combining what he viewed as the best parts of the climate policy bills that six other lawmakers have been trying to reconcile since August. The Senate dean who chairs its Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change filed essentially his own vision for a conference committee report Wednesday and said he wanted to make sure Beacon Hill is ‘not losing sight of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…’ The late-session bill, which was not referred to a committee when the Senate met Thursday, would establish a requirement to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 with interim limits every five years, increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard that governs the amount of clean energy that utilities must purchase, codify environmental justice policy terms, increase the state’s offshore wind authorization to 6 gigawatts by 2035, and establish a goal that 100 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2035.

This next story from Utility Dive is pretty cool. “GE announces first US wind turbine blade recycling program with Veolia. GE Renewable Energy announced Tuesday a multi-year agreement with Veolia North America for the first U.S. wind turbine blade recycling program of its kind. The majority of blades from onshore turbines that GE changes out during repowering efforts will be shredded and used to replace raw materials for cement manufacturing, creating a ‘circular economy for composite materials,’ Anne McEntee, CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Digital Services, said in a statement. In Europe, such recycling processes have grown to commercial scale, and GE plans to deploy the program at scale quickly. The process will make wind turbines fully recyclable, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cement production by a net 27%, according to environmental impact analysis by Quantis U.S. The reprocessed blade has a net-positive environmental impact by replacing coal or other raw materials in the cement production process, according to GE.”

This next article is also cool and is more interactive than wordy. You can scroll the “House of Tomorrow” and see all the features including refrigerators that order ahead, a green roof, solar on the outside walls, interchangeable rooms, and cones of silence! (OK they didn’t call them that, but basically that’s what they are) all available at The House Of Tomorrow, Wall St. Journal.

That’s the recap for this week. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

Climate Change

Massachusetts state senator prods climate bill negotiators with new bill, State House News Service via The Berkshire Eagle

As Climate Envoy, Kerry To Seek ‘Ambition’ With ‘Humility,’ WGBH

Earth just notched its warmest November, as 2020 closes in on record for hottest year, Washington Post

‘Very small silver lining’ of COVID-19? An extra 2.5 years to reduce power sector emissions: report, Utility Dive

Are utilities legally required to plan for climate change? ‘The devil is in the details.,’ Utility Dive

Most states are below their greenhouse gas reduction goals: report, The Hill

Global warming has profoundly transformed Arctic in just 15 years, report warns, Washington Post

The world’s rich need to cut their carbon footprint by a factor of 30 to slow climate change, U.N. warns, Washington Post

The Paris agreement survived the Trump administration. What happens now?, Washington Post

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Poll: Majority of Mass. Voters Support Regional Greenhouse Gas Pact, WBUR

R.I. Works On Creating Right Mix of Renewable Energy, EcoRI

Peterborough voters to consider transition to clean energy, Sentinel Source

Vanguard Renewables announces opening of Organics Recycling Facility, Waste Today Magazine

Ellsworth hydro project and future of Graham Lake are inextricably linked, Bangor Daily News

New York Power Authority’s plan for 70% renewable energy by 2030 approved, PV-Tech

The Bumpy Road to a Hydrogen Economy, Greentech Media

The New Green Energy Giants Challenging Exxon and BP, Wall St. Journal

Does low-cost renewable energy, storage mean hydrogen is here to stay,? Utility Dive

Wind

N.J.’s first offshore wind farm gets boost, E&E News

PSEG says it will take 25% stake in Ørsted Ocean Wind project, NJ Spotlight

GE announces first US wind turbine blade recycling program with Veolia, Utility Dive

Mayflower Wind Awards Contract to Burns & McDonnell for Feed Design of Onshore Substation and Cable System, Press Release, Utility Dive

Offshore wind CEO on Biden and why Trump critics are wrong, E&E News

Maine signs wind-focused clean energy accord with United Kingdom, Press Herald

Atlantic Shores, Ørsted apply in new round of offshore wind contracts, Press Of Atlantic City

Solar

Solar vs. wind: Federal study finds a winner, E&E News

Confusion over tax status stymies solar projects, CommonWealth Magazine

AUI Partners building Rhode Island’s largest single-rooftop solar project, Solar Power World

Bath Iron Works set to buy energy from 6 Maine solar projects, Press Herald

Solar developer, investor, unite on pollinator-friendly projects, Rutland Herald

First R.I. community solar project at affordable-housing complex marks completion, Providence Business News

Solar power, which can save money even for people who don’t have it, is the future, Concord Monitor

Decision on Southington solar panel project delayed, My Record Journal

Efficiency/Storage

The House Of Tomorrow, Wall St. Journal

Green buildings ‘unheralded hero’ in emissions fight, experts say, Utility Dive

A Danbury battery startup business faces its first big test, CT Post

EVs

The T’s next set of battery-powered buses wouldn’t reduce much pollution, Boston Globe

Is This The Electric Vehicle Filling Station of the Future?, Greentech Media

The electric bike that could change delivery as we know it, E&E News

Feds eye nuclear-powered EVs: Breakthrough or bad idea?, E&E News

About 150 U.S. Cadillac Dealers to Exit Brand, Rather Than Sell Electric Cars, Wall St. Journal

This breakthrough electric vehicle never needs to be plugged in, Fast Company

QuantumScape is building a better electric car battery that it says charges to 80% in 15 minutes, CNBC

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power deploys vehicle-to-grid charger, publicpower.org

Con Edison testing V2G service from 5 electric school buses, Green Car Congress

Nuclear

MIT Study Lays Bare Why Nuclear Costs Keep Rising, Greentech Media

This Is the Company That Will Decommission Indian Point in Buchanan, Westchester Magazine

Does nuclear power deserve to be in the Green New Deal?, Medium.com

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Why Gas Stoves Are More Hazardous Than We’ve Been Led to Believe, Slate

Battle reignites over first East Coast gas bans, E&E News

NOAA greenlights seismic harassment of dolphins and whales, E&E News

N.Y. pledges to purge fossil fuel risks from pension fund, E&E News

Entire Aquidneck Island delegation opposes planned expansion of fracked gas, Uprise RI

Inside Clean Energy: The Era of Fossil Fuel Power Plants Is Rapidly Receding. Here Is Their Life Expectancy, Inside Climate News

Dartmouth College drops plans for wood chip heating, pivots toward cleaner oil, Valley News

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator projects sufficient energy for winter demand, Eagle Times (NH)

Residents call for Burrillville’s Ocean State Power Plant to be phased out using “just transition” framework, Uprise RI

Residents: How will Keene’s power plan affect my electric bill?, Sentinel Source

Transmission, local resources, market improvements key to decarbonization: CAISO and NYISO chiefs, Utility Dive

Long-running dispute over regional energy market settled, Bangor Daily News

Dynamic Line Rating: Expanding Transmission Grid Capacity for Clean Energy, Greentech Media

16 Mass. Elected Officials Challenge State Agency On East Boston Substation, WBUR

How an Energy Startup’s Plan to Disrupt the Power Grid Got Disrupted, Wall St. Journal

Need for heating assistance growing in Mass. during pandemic, South Coast Today

As residents grapple with COVID and harsh winter, Sen. Ed Markey, advocates call for $10B boost to low-income home energy assistance, MassLive

Nova Scotia Power Picks Sunverge for Virtual Power Plant, Microgrid Knowledge

With closing date set for MIRA trash plant, Connecticut looks for a long-term solution, Hartford Courant

Opinion

Solar revolution is stalled, needs to shift into gear, CommonWealth Magazine

Why energy-efficiency programs are good for New Hampshire businesses, consumers, NHBR

Out with the old, in with the new: Why regionalized grid coordination is inevitable, Utility Dive

Utility regulators wake up to the long-term risks of gas, Opinion

Op-Ed: Repower NJ’s ‘sacrifice zones,’ NJ Spotlight

Opinion/Getting ready: Maine won’t wait to take action on climate, Seacoastonline.com

DEEP should make solving the puzzle of siting large scale solar a priority, CT Mirror

My Turn: State’s triennial energy efficiency plan is under attack, Concord Monitor

Don’t squander State Pier opportunity, The Day

Op-Ed: How fishing and offshore wind can — and should — coexist, NJ Spotlight

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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 December 4, 2020

Taking a pause | Ugly, but needed | Postpone Efficiency

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with Vineyard Wind news from the State House News Service via Saving Seafood. “On the heels of another federal permitting delay, Vineyard Wind announced Tuesday that it is temporarily withdrawing its construction and operations plan from further review by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management but the company says its pause won’t delay the planned start of clean power generation. The announcement came in conjunction with news that the 800-megawatt offshore wind project plans to use GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X wind turbine generators when it begins construction, which it called ‘industry leading’ and ‘the most powerful in operation to date.’ Project developers told BOEM on Tuesday that they plan to launch their own ‘final technical review associated with the inclusion of the Haliade-X into the final project design’ and have asked for a pause in the federal review, which had been expected to be completed this month before recently being pushed to January.”

Next up is a story from Bloomberg Business Week which, considering the topic was mentioned by Present-Elect Biden, I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about this in the coming years, “High-Voltage Power Lines Are Ugly, and the U.S. Needs More. Places where the sun shines bright and the wind blows hard aren’t always places where a lot of people live. High-voltage transmission lines are needed to bring electricity from renewable energy installations to the towns and cities where it’s consumed. The U.S. is way behind other countries in building these lines… Investors and utilities in the U.S. do want to build high-voltage transmission lines. There are dozens of projects at various stages of consideration, with colorful names such as Power From the Prairie, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, and Zephyr Power Transmission. The problem is getting approval. Ownership of the U.S. power grid is balkanized, Nimby-ism is common, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been reluctant to override local authorities to get lines sited.”

This next story from NH is a bit of head scratcher since this is a great way to save money and help the environment. From the Concord Monitor, “Citing economic fears, House Republicans call on PUC to postpone 2021 energy efficiency plan. Citing pandemic-driven economic concerns, top Republican state lawmakers are asking the Public Utilities Commission to put off the adoption of more aggressive energy efficiency goals, currently set to take effect at the start of next year. The letter, sent Monday from incoming House Majority Leader Dick Hinch and incumbent Republicans on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, calls on the PUC to ‘indefinitely postpone implementation’ of the next three-year statewide energy efficiency plan… The proposal is more aggressive than past versions, aiming to reduce electricity sales by 5% and gas sales by 3% at a three-year cost of about $367 million. The utilities say these cuts will create jobs and enable all kinds of customers to buy less energy, ultimately saving them $1.3 billion or more than three times what the plan costs. They say it will create jobs and business opportunities in weatherization and efficiency upgrades, free up business and municipal revenues to cover other services and improvements, and save residents money to reinvest in their local economies. The utilities also expect the plan to improve public health and fight climate change by preventing the equivalent carbon emissions of more than half a million average homes’ annual energy use, according to an Environmental Protection Agency calculator. The House Republicans, in their letter, argue these long-term savings goals are not worth the short-term costs the plan will carry for manufacturers, small businesses such as restaurants and municipalities hard-hit by the economic downturn of COVID-19.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

Climate Change

‘Climate change continued its relentless march’: 2020 on track to be 2nd warmest year in recorded history, MassLive

Mills unveils 4-year climate action plan, makes plea for urgent action, Press Herald

Cuomo Strengthens RGGI to Cap, Reduce New York GHG Emissions, North American Wind Power

New York to include small combustion turbines in annual carbon emission limits, Utility Dive

Special Report: U.S. air monitors routinely miss pollution – even refinery explosions, Reuters.com

NYC Climate Progress on Ambitious Emissions Goals Backslides As Strategic Plan Sprawls, The City

Grant aims to help coastal communities cope with rising sea levels, more, Press Herald

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

The New Energy Giants are Renewable Companies, Bloomberg Green

Top officials see shift coming on energy front, WWLP

Maine company working on tidal power with help from feds, Bangor Daily News

How New York is trying to build lots of renewables, fast, Grist.com

A ‘world first’ project to heat homes using renewable hydrogen gets the green light, CNBC

Top Baker aide says full steam ahead with TCI, CommonWealth Magazine

AG vows to defend clean energy law as governor seeks tweaks, Wilton Bulletin

Court denies group’s request to see statewide energy plan, NCPR (New York)

Wind

Feds Push Vineyard Wind Decision Into 2021, WBUR

Vineyard Wind plans to use GE wind turbines for clean power project, Boston Business Journal

Vineyard Wind Pause May Kick Project Decision To Biden Admin, Saving Seafood

Offshore wind threatened by ‘key bottleneck’ — report, E&E News

Offshore Wind Looks at Crowded Future in New England, RTO Insider

Solar

How Maine’s Solar Power Boom Could Unintentionally Stunt Adoption Of Climate-Friendly Technologies, Maine Public

Report finds small-scale solar has saved New Englanders more than $1.1 billion over six years, Solar Power World

‘A huge setback’: Candlewood Mountain solar project dealt blow, News Times

Efficiency/Storage

Citing economic fears, House Republicans call on PUC to postpone 2021 energy efficiency plan, Concord Monitor

Eversource Urges Customers To Utilize Assistance Programs, Patch.com

EVs

Boston roadmap details 10-minute EV access for all, Utility Dive

Bipartisan bill aims to boost charging infrastructure, E&E News

Solar company wants to power Port Jervis cars, Record Online

New Hampshire remains a laggard in building EV charging station network, NHBR

Nuclear

NRC formalizes Seabrook oversight, Eagle Tribune 

Much work remains as Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station moves toward decommissioning, Old Colony Memorial

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Feds Give Weymouth Compressor Station Approval To Start Up, WBUR

Weymouth Compressor May Vent Gas As Part Of Its Startup Week, WBUR

Green Hydrogen in Natural Gas Pipelines: Decarbonization Solution or Pipe Dream?, Greentech Media

‘National Grid has failed… to demonstrate that this pipeline is needed’: Mayor de Blasio blasts fossil fuel expansion project in Brooklyn, NY Daily News

Tackling The Natural Gas Industry’s Biggest Problem, oilprice.com

Peak Oil is Suddenly Upon Us, Bloomberg Green

Should it be called “natural gas” or “methane”?, Climate Communication

PA’s Natural Gas Is Stranded from ‘High Risk’ Energy Regions Like New England, Delaware Journal

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

High-Voltage Power Lines Are Ugly, and the U.S. Needs More, Bloomberg

Construction of $1B power corridor to be delayed by a several weeks, WMTW

Whether NJ bolts regional power grid could depend on offshore wind — and Biden rules, NJ Spotlight

Marblehead among 19 Mass. utilities to sign hydroelectric power deal, Salem News

Is New York’s energy industry prepared for both winter and the Covid pandemic?, Buffalo News

Peco plans hourly rates to encourage customers to shift energy use to off-peak periods, Philadelphia Inquirer

‘The Landscape Has Shifted’: Neil Chatterjee on FERC’s Role in the Energy Transition, Greentech Media

PURA overhauls electric rate process, restricts costs utilities can recoup, CT Mirror

Hudson River towns worry about planned power line in the river, Times Union

Opinion

Op-ed: Hydrogen is the missing piece of Mass. clean energy economy, BBJ

‘No net loss!’ Don’t cut down forests to build solar sites, CT Mirror

Scott Campell: Gov. Scott, please get on with it, VT Digger

The PUC Gets a Really Bad Letter, InDepthNH

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

Energy News for week ending November 20, 2020

Running Late Edition

Happy Friday folks. Sorry for the late send. Enjoy the stories below.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes in two weeks.

Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency advocates see $1.1T in savings potential with Biden directing DOE, Utility Dive

Green New Deal for Portland could add $6 million to school renovation costs, Press Herald

Climate Change

Biden and Electric Utilities Are Split on Emissions Goals, Scientific American (E&E News)

Walsh appointed to lead Climate Mayors group, Boston Globe

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions set to drop to lowest level in three decades, Washington Post

Report: Northeast must triple electricity to meet CO2 goals, E&E News

Considerable power market design changes needed to decarbonize New England: study, S&P Global

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announces roadmap to curb climate change, ramp up support for electric, zero-emission vehicles, MassLive

8 ways climate change is already impacting you, Mashable

Maine Takes Its Next Step on the Climate Crisis, Natural Resources Council of Maine

How climate change is complicating a Thanksgiving staple, Washington Post

Why capital markets are continuing to finance utilities facing rising flood and other climate change impacts, Utility Dive

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Charlie Baker re-evaluating TCI in Massachusetts amid coronavirus pandemic as advocates urge support, Boston Herald

Renewable targets may ‘undermine’ CO2 goals — report, E&E News

Study points to greater gas price impacts from Transpo Pact, WWLP

Job growth in clean energy sector derailed, Republican-American (CT)

Committee approves resolution opposing RGGI, Indiana Gazette

FERC’s carbon pricing statement draws criticism, cautious support, S&P Global Platts

Price Cap Will Ease Compact’s Gas Cost Concerns, TCI Supporter Says, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Wind

Developers Look Beyond Floating Wind to Hybrid Power-Generation Platforms, Greentech Media

State, regional grid operator hook up to brainstorm bringing wind power ashore, NJ Spotlight

Ørsted strikes deal with labor union on U.S. offshore wind development, Reuters

Connecticut Port Authority unable to provide documentation supporting project labor agreement for State Pier, Yankee Institute

Mayflower Wind Staff Says Project Will Not Impact Beach Views, Falmouth Enterprise

USA: Fugro Completes Mayflower Wind Site Survey, Offshore Engineer

Solar

Solar Industry Prioritizes Tax Credit Extension, Trade Policy for Biden Administration, Greentech Media

New Jersey food bank receives donation of 33-kW rooftop solar array, Solar Power World

Tax Breaks OK’d For Solar Farm In Hanover, Post-Journal

Solar farm developers say they’d preserve land for later farm use, Journal Inquirer

Portsmouth Residents Want New Solar Ordinance Revised, EcoRI

Cape Elizabeth moves forward with solar project on capped landfill, Press Herald

Solar farm to create renewable energy option, WAGM

Ameresco, Greenbacker construct solar carports at Boston apartments, Solar Power World

EVs

Electric School Bus Fleets Test the US Vehicle-to-Grid Proposition, Greentech Media

Utilities, Tesla, Uber create U.S. lobbying group for electric vehicle industry, Reuters

Cutting the Total Cost of Electrification for EV Bus and Truck Fleets, Greentech Media

Quebec to ban sale of new gasoline-powered cars from 2035, Reuters

General Motors’ electric vehicle plan just got bigger, bolder, and more expensive, The Verge

EV industry optimistic for expanded tax credits, other policy wins under ‘car guy’ Biden, Utility Dive

Nuclear

Moran Reinforces Citizen Oversight in Plymouth Plant Decommissioning, capecod.com

NYC-area nuclear plant sale for decommissioning is approved, AP News

Experts: Nuclear waste storage a concern in New Mexico, Southwest, Santa Fe New Mexican

U.S. nuclear power industry group sees reprocessing as potential waste fix, Reuters

Trump boost to nuclear power to live on in Biden administration, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Eversource makes new pitch for Ashland pipeline replacement: easement agreements with all property owners, MetroWest Daily News

Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus to discuss natural gas distribution, Newport Daily News

Middletown firefighters prepare for potential LNG incidents, NewportRI.com

NYISO, others blast gas generators’ proposed fix to alleged price distortions in capacity market, Utility Dive

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Hydropower project faces new challenge, Newburyport Daily News

FERC proposes transmission rating reform, upholds PURPA, ISO-NE orders, Utility Dive

The Top Priorities of FERC’s Most Likely New Chairman Under Biden, Greentech Media

Utilities one of most vulnerable industries as cybersecurity IT/OT threats merge, survey finds, Utility Dive

Glick vows to prioritize transmission, reassess capacity markets if named FERC Chair, Utility Dive

Central Maine Power ranks last in survey of businesses, AP News

Hundreds of ‘critical’ facilities around Connecticut were left in dark for days after Isaias, CT Post

Conn. Attorney General Scrutinizes Eversource Outage System, WSHU

Eversource pilots helicopter tree-trimming program, Union Leader

Opinion

Editorial — Wasted energy: Communities have little influence over wind, solar projects, NNY 360

Op-Ed: Environmentally responsible and economically savvy in 2020, NJ Spotlight

Weekly Planet: Vermonters voted for the environment, Rutland Herald

It’s time to use accurate line ratings, WATT Coalition Blog

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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 November 13, 2020

Lawsuit and Opposition | OSW Delays | Absorbent Mural

Happy Friday folks.

We’re keeping the recap short today, but did want to draw your attention to the following stories.

More trouble in Maine for NECEC, Lawsuit seeks to stop construction of $1B transmission line, AP News and CMP corridor project facing opposition on both sides of the border, Franklin Journal.

More delays for offshore wind projects:

U.S. agency again delays key permit for first major U.S. offshore wind farm, Reuters

Orsted announces Skipjack Wind Farm project may be delayed again, Delmarva Now

And on the good news front, we think this is a great idea –pollution control combined with public art, This Mural Absorbs as Much Pollution as 780 Trees, Oddity Central. (We promise there are more good news stories below.)

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

Efficiency/Storage

14 states, advocacy groups sue DOE over failure to update 25 appliance efficiency standards, Utility Dive

Hotels Lag in Energy Sustainability. One Project May Change That., New York Times

Climate Change

A Biden victory positions America for a 180-degree turn on climate change, Washington Post

How Joe Biden plans to use executive powers to fight climate change, Vox.com

Trump Administration Removes Scientist in Charge of Assessing Climate Change, New York Times

In first for Fed, U.S. central bank says climate poses stability risks, Reuters

Declining Snow Cover in U.S. Northeast Will Have Major Impacts on Rivers, Study Finds, Yale Environment 360

Hurricanes are staying stronger even over land as oceans warm from climate change, study finds, Washington Post

Long-awaited Maine climate plan leans on existing initiatives, ducks some funding questions, Bangor Daily News

Facing the future: Worcester’s green plan to prepare for climate change, Worcester Magazine

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Senate uncertainty muddies clean energy path, but offshore wind, EVs poised to gain with Biden: analysts, Utility Dive

Several renewable energy initiatives passed in the 2020 election. Here’s what you need to know., The Hill

Building a renewable future poses daunting task for Maine, Maine Monitor

Report links Maine’s post-pandemic economic recovery to clean energy efforts, Press Herald

Bennington hydro plant to have new owner, Bennington Banner

Activists Alarmed by Pace of T’s Zero-Emission Transition, State House News Service

Investors Bet Biden Will Accelerate Shift to Renewable Energy, Wall St. Journal

200 Organizations Urge Northeast, Mid-Atlantic Governors To Move On “Ambitious And Equitable” Transportation And Climate Initiative (TCI), Insider NJ

This Mural Absorbs as Much Pollution as 780 Trees, Oddity Central

Danvers among 21 light departments to sign hydropower deal, Salem News 

Green Energy Industry Jobs Are Lit, In Connecticut: Report, Patch.com

Report links Maine’s post-pandemic economic recovery to clean energy efforts, Press Herald

Coxsackie greenlights hydroelectricity project, Hudson Valley 360

Wind

U.S. agency again delays key permit for first major U.S. offshore wind farm, Reuters

Mass. DPU approves Mayflower Wind contracts with utilities, South Coast Today

Orsted announces Skipjack Wind Farm project may be delayed again, Delmarva Now

With Energy Deal, Ocean Winds Now Behind Mayflower, WBUR

Falmouth beaches to serve as Mayflower Wind test sites, Cape Cod Times

A Looming Transmission Crunch for the US East Coast’s Offshore Wind Ambitions, Greentech Media

ENGIE and EDPR launch North American offshore wind company, Power Engineering International

South Korean Firm Touts Novel Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine Tower Concept, Greentech Media

Maine Offshore Wind Demo Project Starts Search for vendors, suppliers, Press Herald

Power cable from massive offshore wind farm to make landfall at Smith Point Park, Newsday

Equinor suggests Port of Albany for offshore wind tower manufacturing facility, Windpower Engineering

Solar

Environmental official: Proposed solar project in New Milford shouldn’t continue, News Times

State says host a solar or wind farm and get a rebate on your bill, Albany Times Union

Philadelphia architecture firm installs wild solar project to maximize onsite power production, Solar Power World

Rangeley joins efforts for state’s first multi-town solar power project, Daily Bulldog

EVs

Why backing for electric cars seen as key to cleaner Berkshires commutes, Berkshire Eagle

The drive toward vehicle electrification in Maine, Maine Monitor

New York faces a long road on electric vehicle commitments, Politico

As EV infrastructure expands, researchers show charging stations vulnerable to low-cost hacking, Utility Dive

General Motors to add 3,000 jobs focused on electric vehicles, CNBC

Cummins and Navistar prototype hydrogen truck with 300-mile range, Utility Dive

$11M in Volkswagen settlement funds to fund statewide expansion of electric vehicle charging stations, informnny.com

Rural Communities Could Benefit Most from Electric Vehicles, Union of Concerned Scientists

MTA Bus Boss: All-Electric Fleet is Still Years Away, Even With Fed Help, NYC Streetsblog

Nuclear

Nuclear power rises with shifting political tides, Stockhead

Groups line up to challenge nuclear subsidies, NJ Spotlight

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth councilors want review of impact of compressor deal, Patriot Ledger

Quincy vows to continue compressor station fight, Patriot Ledger

No more natural gas in new San Francisco buildings starting next year, San Francisco Chronicle

Portsmouth wants second opinion on heating options, EcoRI News

Generation share for gas in the US Northeast likely to fall this winter as prices rise, S&P Global

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Lawsuit seeks to stop construction of $1B transmission line, AP News

ISO-NE commits to address regional energy security challenges as FERC rejects proposal, Utility Dive

Successful Appeal Sends Eversource Profit Case Back to DPU, State House News Service

Eversource submits prices for winter supply costs in CT, Wilton Bulletin

Cities pass all-renewable plans: A grid threat?, E&E News

Could COVID-19 provide a windfall to utilities from shifting demand? Report says yes, but it’s complicated, Utility Dive

Transmission troubles? A solution could be lying along rail lines and next generation highways, Utility Dive

Court ruling throws Pennsylvania smart-meter plan into turmoil, Philadelphia Inquirer

Utility Regulators Ignored Conflict Of Interest Concerns For National Grid Audit, WBUR

Chatterjee says exclusion of state regulators from carbon pricing conference was a ‘mistake,’ Utility Dive

PECO: Billions of investment at risk with Pennsylvania court’s rejection of smart meter mandate, Utility Dive

Electricity Maine’s $14 Million Deal Over False Rate Claims OK, Bloomberg Law (subscriber content)

JCP&L to sell off last generating station. Some of profits to offset storm-recovery costs, NJ Spotlight

CMP corridor project facing opposition on both sides of the border, Franklin Journal

Opinion

Was Massachusetts right to adopt new rules limiting financial incentives for solar projects on sensitive lands?, Boston Globe

Why Biden Can Unite America With Nuclear Power — Or Divide It With Renewables, Forbes.com

When Will Electricity Companies Finally Quit Natural Gas,? New York Times

Support Mayflower Wind – Letter, Capenews.net

Another Voice: Renewable energy siting law has strong protections, Buffalo News

A bipartisan energy proposal for carbon capture and Pennsylvania jobs, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Poison pill provision undermines Massachusetts climate legislation, Boston Herald

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

Energy news for week ending November 6, 2020

Survive the transition? | New referendum | Seaweed to the rescue

Happy warm and sunny Friday!

It’s been a very interesting week politically so let’s distract ourselves with a bit of energy news.

Up first is a story from Grist about Massachusetts’ look into the future of the natural gas industry. While we covered this in last week’s edition, there are a few more insights in this story. “Massachusetts may be a climate leader in the U.S., with a goal to reduce economy-wide emissions in the state to net-zero by 2050, but it will face a major obstacle along the way: More than 1.3 million of its households make it through those cold New England winters by burning natural gas. Roughly one-third of the state’s emissions come from the fuels burned in buildings for heating, hot water, and cooking. Now the state is responding to pressure from its attorney general, Maura Healey, to take a look at what the path to net-zero in the building sector might look like, particularly for the gas companies whose entire reason for existing could be eliminated in the process. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) officially opened a new proceeding to start guiding utilities into a decarbonized future while protecting their customers. As the number of people using the gas system shrinks over time, the cost of maintaining reliable service for remaining ratepayers could balloon. ‘It’s a really complicated set of issues as you look at what’s going to be happening on the gas side as people peel off,’ said Susan Tierney, a senior advisor and energy expert at the Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm. ‘There’s real trade-offs about affordability of supply, safety of service.’…Audrey Schulman and Zeyneb Magavi, co-executive directors of the Massachusetts–based environmental nonprofit HEET, applauded the new inquiry, but they are concerned that the process it outlines will result in a one-sided picture of what’s possible, and could stymie more creative solutions.”

The fight in Maine against the New England Clean Energy Connect project hasn’t ended. From the Press Herald, “A new referendum drive aimed at stopping a 145-mile hydropower transmission corridor in western Maine is underway. The Maine secretary of state on Friday provided the paperwork necessary for signature collection to begin, and referendum supporters plan to be at polling places with petitions on Election Day. ‘With a decision this important, Mainers deserve to be heard, but so far during the permitting process, their overwhelming opposition to this project has fallen on deaf ears,’ said Tom Saviello, a former state lawmaker who opposes the project. It would be the second referendum targeting Central Maine Power’s $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect, which aims to serve as a conduit for up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to reach New England. The project would be fully funded by Massachusetts ratepayers, but the entire region would benefit through reduced greenhouse emissions and stabilization of energy prices, supporters say. Critics say the benefits are overstated and that the project would spoil part of Maine’s North Woods.”

Last up this week is an interesting story from the Wall St. Journal about a new way to help stem methane emissions. “Cows Make Climate Change Worse. Could Seaweed Help? Scientists have spent years coaxing a fussy red seaweed called asparagopsis into cultivation. Their plan: to feed the underwater plant to cows and sheep in an effort to make the animals less environmentally destructive. The belching and flatulence of livestock release large quantities of methane and make up around 4% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, according to data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. That’s equivalent to the amount contributed by Japan and Germany combined. Seaweed alters bovine digestion, reducing the methane an animal produces by 80% or more, according to scientists at the University of California, Davis, and Australia’s national science agency. It is one of the plants and chemicals that meat and dairy businesses are experimenting with to reduce their contribution to global warming.” And if you’re looking for ways to cut back on your beef and lamb intake, the Bangor Daily News offers up this alternative, How to hunt and prepare squirrel meat.

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

Efficiency/Storage

Study: Long Island’s smallest power plants could be replaced by trailer-sized batteries, Newsday

New York City Becomes The Most Energy Efficient City In ACEEE Scorecard 2020, Construction Review

Revamped Energy Efficiency Programs Are the Key to Deep Carbon Reductions, Greentech Media

New York Housing Authority announces new bold commitment to electrification, Greenbiz

Efficiency meets style in this net-zero home in Jamestown, Rhode Island Monthly

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Hydrogen is having a moment, and power generation is leading the way, Utility Dive

The State of Carbon Capture, Removal and Utilization, Greentech Media

Cows Make Climate Change Worse. Could Seaweed Help,? Wall St. Journal

Look Ahead, Vermont: Global Warming Solutions Act takes first steps as Climate Council appointees named, Brattleboro Reformer

Environmental groups press Murphy to reject regional anti-pollution pact. They say it’s not bold enough, NJ Spotlight

Maine regulators deny requests to reconsider renewable energy projects, Bangor Daily News

Voters give non-binding ballot questions on renewable energy, open-door government widespread support, Hampshire Daily Gazette

Museum of the Earth unable to promote climate change exhibit amid 2020 election, Ithaca Voice

Local elections are changing America’s energy mix, one city at a time, The Verge

Are renewable energy targets useful? Analysts dispute new study questioning their value, Utility Dive

If true geothermal arrives here, it’ll have to be around Conway, Granite Geek

Latest Rhode Island Green Report Card Gives Statehouse an ‘Incomplete and Lacking Leadership,’ EcoRI

A Bipartisan Climate Policy? It Could Happen Under a Biden Administration, Washington Veterans Say, Inside Climate News

Wind

First offshore wind farm goes offline: An industry warning,? E&E News

Shipbuilding on the ballot? Offshore wind sees an opening, E&E News

Rhode Island in Position for Offshore Wind Power Grab, EcoRI

Solar

New firm will optimize performance of New England solar projects, Vermont Biz

Farmington approves land lease for solar project, Sun Journal

EVs

Patchogue Village purchases first electric car, Long Island Advance

Nuclear

Shipping industry should consider nuclear option for decarbonizing: experts, S&P Global Platts

Holtec accelerates US NRC design certification for SMR-160, Nuclear Engineering International

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Can gas utilities survive the energy transition? Massachusetts is going to find out., Grist

Gas workers call on lawmakers to improve safety, Salem News

In effort to curb emissions, state regulators probe the future of natural gas in Massachusetts, Boston Globe

Gas supply rates rise for Eversource customers; increase driven by market forces, not purchase of former Columbia Gas, MassLive

Tennessee Gas and contractor to pay $800,000 in penalties, repairs over controversial natural gas project in Otis State Forest, MassLive

Final order on Eversource gas rates announced, WickedLocal Hanover

Cold Weather Thaws Natural-Gas Prices, Wall St. Journal

Thousands in Derby, Ansonia lose natural gas service, Stamford Advocate

St. Albans meadery converting to 100% renewable natural gas to fight climate change, Burlington Free Press

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents of CMP hydropower corridor launch new referendum drive, Press Herald

PURA Opts for Existing Programs Over Shutoff Moratorium, CT Examiner

CMP hydropower project wins key permit, likely to start construction soon, Bangor Daily News

Trump ousts Chatterjee, taps Danly to lead FERC, Utility Dive

Eversource: Tropical Storm Isaias restoration topped $275 million, still counting costs, CT Insider

Larger, vertically-integrated utilities better prepared to face cyber threats, says Moody’s, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Blazes Its Own Trail on Distributed Energy Policy, Greentech Media (subscriber content)

National Grid’s Massachusetts president to retire, Boston Globe

MASSCAP, Action Inc. launch heating help awareness campaign, Wicked Local Gloucester

Eversource Proposes Rate Increase In CT, Cites Generation Costs, Patch.com

Eversource submits proposal for winter rate increase, says they won’t profit, Fox 61

‘Totally worth it’: Chatterjee speculates DER order, carbon pricing are behind Trump ousting him, Utility Dive

Opinion

Maine Voices: New plan to kill CMP corridor will have unintended consequences, centralmaine.com

How to Overcome Barriers to Community Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Give community power a chance, by Mary Ewell, Keene Sentinel

Tree Talk: Renewable wood energy, Sun Journal

Op-Ed: NJ needs to rethink Energy Master Plan, prioritize affordable energy, NJ Spotlight

We don’t have to wipe out farmland to grow solar energy in N.J. | Opinion, NJ.com

Pull plug on destructive Quebec hydropower proposal, Albany Times Union

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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 October 30, 2020

Rethink the future| Optimistic | It was in Niagara Falls…

Happy snowy Friday folks. I hear next week at this time we may hit 70 degrees. Ah, life in New England.

Maybe it was unintentional but given the nature of the story maybe not. Regardless, I love the photo of the upside down burner that accompanies this piece from CommonWealth Magazine, “DPU orders gas utilities to rethink their future. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on Thursday ordered the state’s natural gas utilities to jointly hire consultants and come up with a way to dramatically phase down or eliminate their businesses over the next 30 years. The order is a response to Gov. Charlie Baker’s call for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It asks for strategies to achieve that goal ‘while simultaneously safeguarding ratepayer interests; ensuring safe, reliable, and cost-effective natural gas service; and potentially recasting the role of LDCs [local distribution companies] in the Commonwealth.’”

If the gas utilities aren’t feeling positive, according to the Boston Business Journal the cleantech folks are seeing the glass half full. “Mass. clean energy leaders are optimistic about future growth. How disruptive an influence has the coronavirus been on the clean energy industry this year? A recent report from BW Research Partnership showed that the U.S. clean energy sector added 12,500 jobs in September, ‘leaving just under half a million (477,900) clean energy workers out of work since February this year – an almost 14 percent decline over pre-Covid-19 employment levels.’ The report further suggests the sector has been slower to rebound than others on a national level. Of the 17 firms that have appeared on the two most recent versions of the BBJ’s Largest Clean Energy Companies list, seven companies reported year-over-year increases in local headcount, four stayed flat, and six reported decreases (although, in at least a couple of cases, the drops were minor, relatively speaking). ‘While Massachusetts continues to be a leader in clean energy employment, there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the industry,’ said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Steve Pike. ’However, Massachusetts’ commitment to combatting climate change and to growing its clean energy economy sets the stage for not just recovering those lost jobs, but also dramatic growth in the years to come.’” 

Our last feature story comes from Niagara Falls which when hearing of that place I confess it always makes me think of this Three Stooges episode. That aside, it’s a cool story about water-based transit. From the Washington Post, “A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats. Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls has launched North America’s first all-electric, zero-emissions tour boats. With the sun streaming into the Niagara Gorge, visitors lined up in socially distanced groups waiting to shuffle onto the Maid of the Mist, the boats that have ferried tourists to the base of Niagara Falls for the past 174 years. Whether they knew it or not, these passengers were experiencing a new era of maritime transportation: boats powered by electricity. Earlier this month, the Maid of the Mist launched two electric catamarans into the gorge, the first of their kind in North America. The hulking double-deckers run on dual banks of lithium-ion batteries. All the power used to charge the batteries is supplied by the nearby Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, one of the most productive hydroelectric facilities in the United States, making the boats a zero-emission operation. Maid of the Mist is at the forefront of what observers say is an emerging trend in maritime operations.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a safe and fun Halloween and don’t forget to fall back Saturday night.

Efficiency/Storage

Eversource creates online hub for energy efficient services with City of Boston, Daily Energy Insider

NH Guard strives for net-zero energy use at training site, Army.mil

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

RI climate suit to stay in state court, ProJo

Mass. clean energy leaders are optimistic about future growth, Boston Business Journal

Exclusive: GM, Ford knew about climate change 50 years ago, E&E News

A woman warned GM about warming. Men didn’t listen, E&E News

As Climate Disasters Pile Up, a Radical Proposal Gains Traction, New York Times

‘It just goes into a black hole,’ Grist.org

‘Sleeping giant’ Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find, The Guardian

At the intersection of clean energy and bluetech, BlueGreen Innovation Challenge emerges, RhodeIslandInno

Trump’s pullback of pollution controls is even more hazardous than you think, Vox.com

Unlimited, on-demand renewable energy anywhere in the world — is Eavor-Loop climate change’s holy grail?, Recharge

Poll: NJ voters strongly support investing in clean energy as part of pandemic recovery, NJ Insider

DEP warns environmentalists not to prejudge climate regulation review, NJ Spotlight

UMass Boston report shows that climate change views vary by race, Dorchester Reporter

Cuomo adviser: New York is “putting equity at the center” of climate work, Axios

NJ Transit Switches to Renewables for Microgrid, Plans Nov. 25 Solicitation, Microgrid Knowledge

Kennebunkport selectmen explore goals for tackling climate change, Seacoastonline.com

Wind

Vineyard Wind Secures Transmission Agreement With ISO-NE, Power Magazine

RI set to double down on offshore wind power, ProJo

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Set to Make Inroads in U.S., Scientific America (E&E News)

FERC Pushed to Change Tx Rules for OSW, RTO Insider (Subscriber content)

How the Virus Slowed the Booming Wind Energy Business, New York Times

Falmouth no closer to dismantling wind turbines Town officials frustrated by state actions, Cape Cod Times

Ørsted Looks to Soften Impact of US Permitting Delays With Bigger Turbines, Greentech media

Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia partnering on offshore wind energy development, The Hill

Solar

Wind remains cheaper, but solar’s costs are falling faster, Lazard finds, Utility Dive

New Solar Projects Save Energy Costs Across Cape, Capecod.com

This spooky Halloween display in Western Massachusetts is completely solar powered, MassLive

42-acre solar farm proposed on Bucksport Road, Ellsworth American

Gray solar array on track for December completion, Press Herald

Seneca Nation calls on solar developer to ‘cease and desist’ following bone discovery, Livingston County News

EVs

A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats, Washington Post

Auto Makers Shift Their Hydrogen Focus to Big Rigs, Wall St. Journal

Trump administration funds projects to more efficiently charge and deploy electric buses, Utility Dive

Electric vehicles see state-level gains, The Hill

Nuclear

NRC names new inspector at Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoast Online

NuScale Faces Questions on Nuclear Reactor Safety and Financing Its First Project, Greentech Media

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

DPU Opens Look Into Natural Gas Industry, State House News Service via WBUR

RI regulators approve natural gas rate increases but defer bill impacts, ProJo

Beacon Hill’s Iconic Gas Lamps Are Going Green, WBUR

Healey wades into debate over Weymouth gas compressor station, WHDH

Town’s public safety officials offer plan for compressor station emergency, Patriot Ledger

Activist group urges Eversource CEO to scrap plans for regional natural gas pipeline, MassLive

National Grid looks to move LNG facility off Old Mill Lane in Portsmouth; Middletown wants say, Newport Daily News

Company plans biorefinery for zero-emission heating oil in Maine, Press Herald

In Battleground Pennsylvania, Fracking and Renewables Compete to Be the Future of Energy, Wall St. Journal

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Gov. Cuomo proposes bill to ‘dramatically increase penalties’ for NY utility storm response failures, Utility Dive

CMP goes back to the future in bid to calm customers, short-circuit revolt, Press Herald

Lawsuit seeks environmental review of Maine energy project, AP News

Mainers encouraged to apply for jobs on controversial power line, Sun Journal

Advocates press state regulators to extend moratoriums on power utility shut-offs, CT Post

NYS Public Service Commission to identify transmission projects to meet clean energy goals, Daily Energy Insider

How Does Your State Make Electricity?, New York Times

Tesla microgrids spread as U.S. grid ‘gets worse and worse,’ E&E News

Opinion

Another Voice: Hydrogen, natural gas make a dynamic energy duo, Buffalo News

Op-Ed: Here’s how NJ can protect consumers and state clean-energy policy from feds’ fossil fuel favors, NJ Spotlight

The US power sector has prevented millions of cyberattacks in 2020 — that takes 24/7 commitment, Utility Dive

Op-Ed: ‘Blue holes’ offer New Jersey unique opportunity for solar development, NJ Spotlight

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

Energy News for week ending October 23, 2020

Here to Stay | Save Billions | Construction this Year

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s energy news recap with a story from Greentech Media, “From Pilot to Permanent: Green Mountain Power’s Home Battery Network Is Here to Stay. The Vermont utility now controls several thousand Tesla Powerwall batteries sited in customers’ homes. The results have been promising. Utility pilot projects aren’t famous for being standout financial successes. Usually, the goal is to verify a technology in the field before attempting broader deployment. Sometimes nothing follows the pilot. Vermont utility Green Mountain Power not only verified the efficacy of residential batteries for meeting grid needs, but it also saved its customers millions of dollars with them. Now, that program has been ratified by the state’s Public Utility Commission as a permanent residential storage tariff, which means battery installations — and utility savings — will continue to rise.”

Speaking of savings, according to a new study, a big push to renewables could save Americans a lot of money. From The Guardian, “Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study. An aggressive push towards 100% renewable energy would save Americans as much as $321bn in energy costs, while also slashing planet-heating emissions, according to a new report. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has vowed to eliminate greenhouse gases from the US power grid within 15 years and essentially zero out emissions by 2050, a plan assailed by Donald Trump as costly and detrimental to the American economy. But a new analysis by Rewiring America, an energy policy organization, finds that households would benefit financially from a complete switch to clean energy sources such as solar and wind. More than 40% of energy emissions are determined by appliances in and around the home, according to the report, such as heating, electricity, refrigeration and car use. Should all of these related factors be fully electrified and sourced from clean energy, households could save as much as $321bn in energy costs, the report finds, or up to $2,500 a household a year. Households would be faced with the upfront costs of installing solar panels and electric devices such as stovetops and heat pumps, but Rewiring America says strong government assistance for renewables would help deliver long-term savings.

Each week there seems to be something new going on with the NECEC project in Maine. This week, the State House News Service reports we can expect to see action. “Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year. Utility company executives behind the project that would deliver clean power from Hydro-Québec to the Massachusetts and New England power grid said Wednesday construction should start before the end of 2020, about a year later than the company once projected. New England Clean Energy Connect, a 145-mile transmission project of Central Maine Power Company, is expected to link the electrical grids in Quebec and New England to provide cleaner and more reliable hydropower directly to a converter station in Lewiston, Maine, and into the regional grid. Bay State utilities and Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration chose the project to help Massachusetts meet its statutory requirements to increase renewable energy supplies. During an earnings call for CMP parent company Avangrid on Wednesday morning, CEO Dennis Arriola said the project is ‘on track to start construction in Q4 2020, once we receive the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which we expect by the end of this month.’”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend, and as always, stay safe.

Efficiency/Storage

NRDC Sues US Department Of Energy Over Efficiency Standards Process Changes, CleanTechnica

From Pilot to Permanent: Green Mountain Power’s Home Battery Network Is Here to Stay, Greentech Media

Looking towards a net-zero future, Burlington considers requiring all-electric buildings, VT Digger

The town that built back green, Washington Post

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study, The Guardian

In the nation’s asthma capital, plans to burn wood for energy spark fury, Boston Globe

BDCC drops biomass project, Brattleboro Reformer

In defense of the sturgeon, green group wants to put brakes on Canadian hydropower plan for the Hudson, lohud.com

New York City Is About to Get an Injection of Tidal Power. Is This Time Different?, Greentech Media

Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox.com

Belching Cows and Endless Feedlots: Fixing Cattle’s Climate Issues, New York Times

Promise or Peril? Importing Hydropower to Fuel the Clean Energy Transition, The Revelator

Keene’s future energy plan put before public, Sentinel

FERC commissioner: Listen to the scientists, Rutland Herald

Cease-and-desist order sought, Ellsworth American

New York Reforms Clean Energy Standard, Power Magazine

Wind

So, What Exactly Is Floating Offshore Wind?, Greentech Media

Wind Energy Hub Project in Cortlandt Withdrawn by Developers, The Examiner

Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill, The Hill

Vineyard carries out cable corridor research, ReNews

Scores more wind turbines proposed for Long Island’s South Shore, Newsday

Solar

Maffei looks to reduce solar project, Hometown Weekly (Norfolk, MA)

Regulators Approve N.H.’s First Large Solar Array, Planned By NextEra In Fitzwilliam, NHPR

Ellsworth will buy all its electricity through local 11,000-panel solar project, Bangor Daily News

Borrego Solar Expands Maine Distributed Solar Portfolio, Solar Industry Magazine

Clifton Park residents oppose solar array, Times-Union

South Burlington to add solar array to Market Street complex, WCAX

SunBug Solar Announces Solar Tech Meets Tradition on A Monson Family Farm, Massachusetts Newswire (press release)

EVs

Auto Makers Grapple With Battery-Fire Risks in Electric Vehicles, Wall St. Journal

GM to Plan Third Electric-Vehicle Plant in Big Plug-In Bet, Bloomberg

An Electric Car With Swedish Roots, and a Rebellious Streak, New York Times

Nuclear

MIT Validates Science Behind New Nuclear Fusion Reactor Design, Greentech Media

Nuclear Panel Says ‘Logjam’ Is Baked Into Their Voting Rules, WCAI

Schumer & Gillibrand Call for Nuclear Regulatory Commission Before Transfer, Kings County Politics

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Fuel oil prices flirt with 16-year low in Maine as the heating season approaches, Press Herald

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Hydro contract ruling offers clarity in clean energy law, State House News Service via WWLP

Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year, State House News Service

CMP Spinoff Company Gets Final Approval, Maine Public

First Transmission Project Moves Forward Under NY Renewable Energy Growth Act, T&D World

It’s not just your perception, weather-related power outages are increasing, News Center Maine

At PURA hearing, customers get their turn to criticize Eversource and UI over outages caused by Isaias; power companies face fines, Hartford Current

Towns Ask N.H.’s Public Utilities Commission For Regulations That Would Enable Community Power, NHPR

Gas generators ask FERC to apply PJM MOPR logic to NYISO, Utility Dive

The lockdown increased NH electricity use – wait, increased it?!?, Granite Geek

So, What Exactly Are Virtual Power Plants?, Greentech Media

Opinion

When it comes to solar geoengineering, we’re still very much in the dark, Boston Globe

Most N.E. governors want the power grid to change (guess which one doesn’t?), Granite Geek

Fossil fuels endanger communities of color | Opinion, NJ.com

Ben Edgerly Walsh: Gov. Scott has failed to demonstrate leadership on climate crisis, Brattleboro Reformer

The Impact of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Bloomberg Law

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

Energy News for week ending October 16, 2020

Interference | Reform Needed | Recharge

Happy Friday folks.

Busy day – no time for a deep recap.

Here are a few stories to which we’d like to call your attention.

Avangrid accuses NextEra of interference with Maine transmission project, S&P Global

Governors Demand More From Region’s Power Grid Operator, State House News via WWLP

This breakthrough battery recharges itself for limitless energy, Fast Company

Have a great weekend, and as always, stay safe.

Efficiency/Storage

To batteries and beyond: In a high-renewables world, pumped hydro storage could be ‘the heavy artillery,’ Utility Dive

Here’s a story about the state’s energy efficiency push that doesn’t use “negawatt”! (Such self-restraint), Granite Geek

Sustaining Utility Natural Gas Efficiency Programs in a Time of Low Gas Prices, ACEEE Report

The Dakota Got a C: How 50 New York Buildings Scored on Their Energy-Efficiency Report Cards, Curbed.com

Statewide energy efficiency program’s goal is to do more with less, Concord Monitor

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Coronavirus Pandemic Speeds Shift to Cleaner Energy, Wall St. Journal

Eversource Sets Ambitious Goal Of Carbon Neutrality By 2030, Business West

Environmentalists and Dam Operators, at War for Years, Start Making Peace, New York Times

Mass. Lost Ground On Emissions Reductions In 2018, New Report Says, State House News via WBUR

National Grid Launches its Renewables Arm to Focus on Solar, Wind, and Storage, Environment and Energy Leader

Cape Commission: All towns need a Climate Action Plan, Cape Cod Times

Portland ‘Green New Deal’ referendum: Housing fix or Trojan horse,? Maine.biz

Carbon Mitigation Taskforce presents plans for a more eco-friendly UMass, The Daily Collegian

Climate Crisis Will Deepen Disparities and Inequities, EcoRI

NJ to push for public backing on climate action with new regulations, NJ Spotlight

The Impact of New Jersey’s New Environmental Justice Law, Waste 360

No gas-powered cars, no heating oil for homes. Climate report calls for major action, NJ Spotlight

New York expands state clean energy standard, moves to boost renewables use in the Big Apple, Utility Dive

New York Gives Big Boost to Renewable Energy, NRDC Blog

Wind

BOEM needs staffing help with offshore wind permitting regardless of election results, experts say, Utility Dive

Coordinated OSW Tx a ‘Perishable’ Chance for US, RTO Insider

OSW Growth to Test New York’s Transmission Grid, RTO Insider

Mayflower Wind intends to recruit workers from Shell, Renews.biz

Massachusetts to Gauge Offshore Wind Supply Chain, OffshoreWind.biz

Solar

Solar project at former Hopatcong municipal landfill to be unveiled, NJ Herald

Views and birds among the concerns over Saddleback’s new lodge and solar farm plans, Sun Journal

Presque Isle Council amends marijuana rule, OKs solar energy farm, The County

Developer halts Unity Island solar farm after community concern, Buffalo Business First

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Leaders mark ‘new beginning’ with Eversource, Eagle Tribune

The Controversial Natural Gas Compressor In Weymouth, Explained, WBUR

Researchers find elevated radiation near U.S. fracking sites, Reuters

CT regulators stall pipeline to controversial power plant site, New Haven Register

North Bergen calls for the closure of Ridgefield power plant, Hudson Reporter

State looks to help people still burning coal for heat to change their ways, VT Digger

Faulty fuel tanks — and a new state law — are blocking heating oil deliveries to hundreds, VT Digger

National Grid presents options for Aquidneck Island’s energy future, Uprise RI

With Bankruptcies Mounting, Faltering Oil and Gas Firms Are Leaving a Multi-billion Dollar Cleanup Bill to the Public, Desmog Blog

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Governors Demand More From Region’s Power Grid Operator, State House News via WWLP

Regional governors call for power grid reform, Bennington Banner

FERC’s Glick blasts fellow commissioners for intruding on New York’s resource mix decisions, Utility Dive

Four Types of Scandals Utility Companies Get Into With Money From Your Electric Bills, ProPublica

How Trump grid orders ran aground, E&E News

‘The project is idiotic’: East Boston residents encourage city authorities to derail substation proposal, Boston Globe

NYPA, Environmental Justice Groups to Work Together on Peaker Plant Replacements, Greentech Media

Pennsylvania to be a testing ground for how utilities manage distributed energy, Utility Dive

Avangrid accuses NextEra of interference with Maine transmission project, S&P Global

CMP parent says top competitor is illegally obstructing $1B corridor project, Bangor Daily News

Utility shutoff notices begin going out to Granite Staters, WMUR

Moratorium on utility disconnections set to expire Thursday, VT Digger

Murphy asks NJ utilities to extend coronavirus shutoff moratorium, app.com

Electricity Maine lawsuit approaches settlement, but state probe continues, Press Herald

Lack of support stalls Maine lawmaker’s push for consumer-owned power, Press Herald

UAlbany, utility firms team up to predict outage-causing storms, Times Union

Opinion

Our View: A final break from Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

After Isaias, a call to “take back our grid,” The Day

Legislature needs to act on transportation electrification, CommonWealth Magazine

Ben Edgerly Walsh: Governor fails to lead on climate action, VT Digger

Events

NEWIEE’s Boston Chapter: Massachusetts Energy and Environment Legislative Leaders Update, October 28, 2020

EBC Second Annual New Hampshire Offshore Wind Webinar: Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine, October 28, 2020

NECBC’s 28th Annual Executive Energy Conference, 2-Day Webinar, November 12-13, 2020

2020 Virtual New England Energy Summit, NEPGA and the DuPont Group, November 16, 23 and 30, 2020

CEO Viewpoints on the Future of Energy, “The Future of Energy is Decarbonization, Webinar, CT Power & Energy Society, November 18, 2020

NEWIEE’s Virtual Annual Meeting and Fall Fete 2020: DEI Sparkposium, November 19, 2020

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