Category Archives: Electric Grid

Energy News for week ending November 8, 2019

Batteries vs. Blackouts | High Heat | Phototropism

 

Happy Friday afternoon. We hope you’re all staying warm on this cold and blustery day.

Speaking of windy conditions, we have a story out of Vermont from Greentech Media, “A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage. The battery backup service lasted nine hours on average, but the longest instance stretched to 82 hours…The program previously generated more headlines by saving hundreds of thousands of dollars during annual system peak events than for fulfilling the backup function. In 2018, GMP’s network of batteries reduced consumption during the ISO New England peak hour, saving about $600,000 on capacity fees. This year, a larger number of batteries, totaling 10 megawatts of capacity, responded to a late July peak, saving nearly $900,000 from a single hour of operation.”

For those of us who live in Massachusetts, the news about the cost to heat our homes this winter isn’t good. From the Salem News, “Consumers will dig deeper into their pockets to heat their homes and keep the lights turned on this winter, with electricity and natural gas rates set to increase. Beginning this month, National Grid’s residential electric rates increased by 15.2%, or about $21 a month on average, compared to rates last winter. National Grid’s gas customers, meanwhile, could get a break on their bills. Customers of Boston Gas Company, the company’s subsidiary in the region, will see their monthly bill reduced by about $14, or 7%, this winter compared to last year, depending on how much gas they use and whether it’s for heat, hot water or other uses, according to the utility.…Eversource, which serves about 1.4 million customers in the state, will be filing its proposed winter rates to state regulators on Dec. 1, according to the company. It’s not clear whether or not the utility will request an increase, but any changes to its winter rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, if approved by state regulators. The utility’s natural gas rates, which went into effect on Nov. 1, increased the average monthly bill by about $22 per month, or 14%, compared to last winter.”

For our technology story of the week we look to The Smithsonian, “In recent decades, solar cells have gotten better and cheaper, leading to a boom in the solar energy industry. But most solar panels have one major drawback—they don’t move. That means the sunlight reaching them often comes in at an angle, which hinders maximum power production. But a new light-loving, sunflower-inspired polymer may help boost the productivity of solar panels in the near future. The new polymer, described in a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is capable of phototropism, or the ability to follow the sun in its daily journey across the sky. Inventor Xiaoshi Qian of the University of California, Los Angeles and the team call the new polymer SunBOT, which stands for sunflower-like biomimetic omnidirectional tracker. Each stem is roughly one millimeter in diameter and infused with a nanomaterial that turns light into heat with a little “flower” coated with solar energy-collecting material at the top. When light hits one side of the stem, the material heats up and shrinks, bending the stem points directly at the light source while it moves around and strikes from various angles…Seung-Wuk Lee, a bioengineer at the University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the study, tells Sofie Bates at Science News that the most promising use of the SunBOTs would be integrating the material with solar cells, which could give solar technology a huge boost. Currently, solar cells capture about 24 percent of the sunlight available. By allowing the cells to operate at a near-maximum absorption rate almost all day long, the SunBOTS could boost that 90 percent, reports Bates.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid, Eversource Say They Can Meet Natural Gas Demand Without Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

Shifting Demand Fuels Weymouth Compressor Debate, WBUR

Weymouth Compressor Station’s Permit Is Delayed Again, WBUR

State board details rejection of Burrillville natural gas plant, Providence Business News

Renewables growth, market changes tanked Invenergy’s Rhode Island gas plant, regulators say, Utility Dive

Raimondo: National Grid needs to be held accountable after January gas outage, WPRI 12

R.I. regulators OK temporary natural-gas facility in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Renewable Energy: What Happens When the Sun Isn’t Shining and the Wind Isn’t Blowing, WCAI

Can farmers sow their way out of climate change?, CBS News

Can Tidal Stream Energy Finally Turn the Corner?, Greentech Media

A Massachusetts company wants to build three hydroelectric plants to harness power from Lehigh Valley rivers, dams, The Morning Call

New reactor could halve carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production, Science Magazine

Tamil Nadu to ink pact on renewable energy with Massachusetts, The Hindu

GE makes ‘big play’ in clean energy, MetroWest Daily News

Worcester contracts with electricity supplier to boost amount of renewable energy, Telegram

 

Wind

Who’s in charge of Mass. offshore wind procurements?, CommonWealth Magazine

State approves power-purchase contract with UMaine wind project, Portland Press Herald

Maine utility regulators approve tests for floating wind turbine project off Maine coast, MainePublic.org

Developing Wind Farm in New York Is No Breeze, Wall Street Journal

Vineyard Wind Pushes IRS for Subsidy Extension on Delayed Offshore Project, Greentech Media

Wind Turbine Size Changes Could Jeopardize Approvals; Agency Seeks PSC Review, The Dispatch (Maryland)

Scituate: Noise Compliance Test Near Finalization for Wind Turbine, WATD

Turbines, Petition Articles Highlights At Falmouth Precinct Meeting, Falmouth Enterprise

Town board accepts study findings, Observer Today (New York)

GE’s Culp makes rare appearance in Charlestown to welcome wind turbine blade, Boston Business Journal

A Wind Turbine Blade Bigger Than Big Ben Will Be Battered In Boston, WBUR

Fengate Acquires Maine Wind Project from Longroad Energy Partners, on Behalf of Investors, NA Clean Energy

Ørsted offers $100 million to southeastern Connecticut in offshore wind bid, The Day

UMass Amherst Researchers Receive $1.175 Million Grant To Build New Software to Simulate Off-Shore Wind Turbines, UMass (press release)

 

Solar

Tetra Tech pushes solar power on closed landfills as a clear winner for operators and owners, Utility Dive

Sunlight-Tracking Polymer, Inspired by Sunflowers, Could Maximize Solar Power, Smithsonian

Shepard Steel Turns on New Solar Energy System; Early Production Exceeds Estimates, Business Insider

Prices are down and capacity is up as solar and wind take hold, Financial Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades, Bloomberg

States, NGOs sue DOE for reversing lightbulb standards as global energy efficiency progress stalls, Utility Dive

Batteries vs. Blackouts: 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage, Greentech Media

Two National Grid Projects Selected as Energy Storage North America 2019 Innovation Award Winner, CSR Wire

Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient, Hartford Courant

New Flow Batteries Could Accelerate an Electrical Grid Powered by the Sun and Wind, SciTech Daily

State awards funds for energy efficient affordable housing, WWLP

 

EVs

Electric vehicles could help climate change – by RETURNING power to the grid, Chronicle Live

WoodMac: Workplace EV Charging Is on the Rise, Greentech Media

EV Charging Trends: Solar Absorption, Demand Response, Green Charging, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Feds Exempt Shuttered Pilgrim From Emergency Requirements, WBUR

Why the U.K. Is Pushing Nuclear Power as Others Waver, Bloomberg

An Indian nuclear power plant suffered a cyberattack. Here’s what you need to know., Washington Post

Clearwater Appeals Decision On Nuclear Subsidies, WAMC (NY)

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say, Utility Dive

National Grid’s president of US business exits suddenly, Syracuse.com

Heating costs expected to rise, Salem News

Northfield electricity aggregation awaiting DPU approval, Greenfield Recorder

Eversource’s 3Q profits rise as utility giant remains bullish on wind business, Hartford Business

Farms Can Harvest Energy Along with Food, Scientific American

Raimondo, McKee to push tougher utility regs after report blames National Grid, Enbridge for loss of heat on Aquidneck, Providence Journal

$13M Ipswich River substation has been completed, Daily Item

7 Questions For New England Grid Chief Gordon Van Welie, Law360

National Grid Announces Changes to U.S. Leadership, MarketWatch

More airports consider going off the grid as power outages ground flights, CNBC

New ‘energizing’ career for vets, WTNH

Woolwich votes to withdraw support for CMP corridor, Portland Press Herald

Opponents of CMP corridor ramp up petition efforts, push for statewide vote, Newscentermaine.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Marty Nathan: Abandonment of gas pipeline a win for climate, region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The last gasp of natural gas, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending October 18, 2019

Moratorium Extended | Compressor Approvals | Wind to Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We hope you’re all doing well after the big windstorm.

We’re highlighting a couple of Massachusetts-related gas stories this week, though we have a lot of stories below about the ongoing battle between National Grid and New York.

First from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A moratorium on adding new natural gas customers in Northampton and Easthampton will continue indefinitely following a decision by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to abandon a project aimed at increasing the pipeline capacity for both cities.  The company last week announced that the moratorium for Northampton and Easthampton, which began in 2015 and has since meant new connections to its supply line are not allowed, will be extended due to changes in the planned ‘Greater Springfield Service Territory Reliability Project’ first unveiled in November 2017. Two years ago, the company pledged that five interrelated projects throughout the region would increase the natural gas supply and put an end to the moratorium in 2020 or 2021. Instead, Columbia Gas has eliminated the ‘alternate backfeed’ project, a 6-mile-long, 12-inch pipe that would have run between Agawam and Holyoke…Columbia Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Kempic said in a statement that the decision to abandon the ‘alternate backfeed’ was made based on review and analysis over the past few months of the cost impact and benefits to customers, and is unrelated to the work moratorium imposed by the state’s Department of Public Utilities on the Columbia Gas system. ‘Our determination is that we can accomplish the goals of removing leak-prone pipe in Agawam and West Springfield, as well as enhance operational flexibility, with the four remaining projects,’ Kempic said.”

We move from Western Mass to the South Shore where the Patriot Ledger reports, “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for the Fore River Basin were dealt two major blows Wednesday when a state adjudicator recommended the approval of a waterways license and a wetlands permit for the project, triggering the start of the final state review in the approval process. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold the license and permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth and a citizens group, which together had argued that the proposed station would worsen air and noise pollution in the Fore River Basin and is not an appropriate use based on state waterways regulations. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg has the final say on the approval of the permit and license…‘In sum, the petitioners have failed to offer persuasive evidence demonstrating that the proposed project does not conform to the requirements of the applicable waterways regulations,’ Rothchild wrote in her decision on the waterways license. Mayor Robert Hedlund said the rulings Wednesday were ‘further salt in the wound’ and a continuation of the town’s disappointment with state officials.”

For our new technology feature we bring you this news from Phys.org, “Alternative energy conserves natural resources and is environmentally friendly. However, the challenge is to develop reliable plants that continuously generate energy. Scientists of South Ural State University have found a way to achieve this using wind turbines and hydrogen…‘We have combined a power plant with equipment for producing hydrogen, as well as electrical energy from hydrogen. In other words, this installation converts electricity into hydrogen, which we can store or even transport. From the same hydrogen, we conduct electricity back,’ Andrei Martyanov says, associate professor at the Department of Power Stations, Networks and Power Supply Systems of the Polytechnic Institute of SUSU. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen occurs through electrolysis, then the hydrogen is placed in special containers, which are stored until the moment when the consumer will require electricity. The reverse process of getting energy from hydrogen occurs due to an electrochemical reaction in which hydrogen interacts with oxygen, electricity and thermal energy are generated. By the end of 2019, scientists plan to complete work on the creation of a digital twin of a wind turbine.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot of interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas vows to meet Friday deadline, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas extends moratorium for Northampton, Easthampton customers, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columbia Gas hires retired utility exec to oversee safety in Massachusetts, Wicked Local North Andover

Despite ‘political tug-of-war,’ the US ‘still needs fossil fuels’: DOE General Counsel, Utility Dive

Williams pipeline pending, Politico

New Jersey Denies Permits For Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline, CBS Philly

Weymouth compressor foes sift through soil removal plan, Wicked Local

State official backs two key approvals for compressor station, Patriot Ledger

National Grid gas shortage warning questioned by pipeline critics, Newsday

National Grid says it will reconnect natgas customers after NY order, CNBC

‘Margins Are Very Tight’: National Grid President Defends Decision To Not Provide Thousands With Heat, Gas, CBS New York

State regulators admit there’s a gas shortage amid utility fight, New York Post

NY regulators blast National Grid over gas service denials, SNL

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Kingston renewable energy loan program on hold, Wicked Local Kingston

Clean Energy Ventures raises $110M for its first fund, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Hogan administration releases delayed plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions, Baltimore Sun

How Will Climate Change Alter Agriculture? Winemakers Are Finding Out, New York Times

Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?, Environmental Defense Fund

New tool enables Nova Scotia lobster fishery to address impacts of climate change, Phys.org

Documents Show Massachusetts AG Ready to File Climate Case Against Exxon, Bloomberg Environment

 

Wind

GE: ‘Inevitable’ That Offshore Wind Manufacturing Comes to the US, Greentech Media

Homeowner group objects to wind-farm proposal, Coastal Point (MD)

Regulators grant first federal permits for offshore wind to Dominion, Ørsted pilot, Utility Dive

Boston energy firm sues GE over damaged turbine, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Moratorium on Portland wind turbines may get extended, Observer (NY)

From the wind to hydrogen and vice versa: a new generation wind power plant is developed, Phys.org

3 Companies Banking on U.S. Offshore Wind, Motley Fool

Researchers develop ‘fully autonomous’ drones that can inspect and fix wind turbines, CNBC

Fishermen Demand a Say in Decisions on Offshore Wind Energy, NECN

In a Reversal, Wind Power Industry Wants More U.S. Tax Credits, YAHOO!

Vineyard Wind Submits Proposal to Deliver up to 1200 MW of Offshore Wind and Create Offshore Wind Hub in Connecticut, Renewable Energy Magazine

Vineyard Wind starts seabed probe, renews.biz

 

Solar

Woburn Continues to be Leader in Green Energy Production–New Solar System on Joyce Middle School to Save the City $29,000 a Year, Business Insider

Portland schools look to large-scale solar providers for energy, Portland Press Herald

West Greenwich residents air concerns over proposed solar project, Providence Journal

Falmouth revives interest in municipal solar project, Portland Press Herald

Saugerties solar farm delayed, HV1

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont residents get special pricing for innovative home energy monitor powered by AI through Efficiency Vermont program, VTDigger

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 2.5 GWh project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

 

Alternative Fuel Vehicles/Transportation

Hydrogen is still a mystery to drivers, but Toyota plans 10 times more cars, Los Angeles Times

The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly, Ars Technica

E-vehicle rebate program gets lifeline, Gloucester Times

Electric revolution: As EV demand increases, can utilities and cities keep up?, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear waste? These microbes might help with the cleanup, Nature

Nuclear Fusion Could Rescue the Planet From Climate Catastrophe, YAHOO!

Stand Up For Nuclear / Supporters To Gather This Weekend In 30 Cities, NucNet

Anti-nuke pills being readied for parts of C-K, Windsor Star

DOE, NRC team up to accelerate deployment of advanced reactors, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts Regulators Audit National Grid Over Concerns With Management, Greentech Media

Sudbury rail corridor dispute reaches state Supreme Judicial Court, Wicked Local Sudbury

Green Mountain Power turnaround driven by customer obsession, cultural shift: CEO, Utility Dive

PPL in merger talks with Connecticut utility to form $67 billion company, The Morning Call

Italian energy giant launches clean tech VC arm in Boston, Business Journals

Rep. Golden requests hearing on CMP power line, Hartford Courant

Energy Secretary Perry says he is resigning by year’s end, AP

New York adopts utility-ESCO cybersecurity requirements, rejects insurance requirements, Utility Dive

Brooklyn Microgrid Launches Campaign to Create Regulatory Sandbox, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

State attorneys general prepare to fight for clean energy rights, The Hill

Letter: Pros and cons of new gas pipeline, Newsday

State should speed up approvals on solar projects, Haverhill Gazette

Opinion: For the sake of our oceans, we need to get serious about climate change, Connecticut Post

Riding The Green Energy Wave In Plug Power, Seeking Alpha

Editorial: Wind plan makes sense for Bridgeport, Connecticut Post

Why is Lamont’s wind deal not done yet?, The Day

5 key takeaways from the National Grid rate case, Utility Dive

Turbine gone with the wind? Ocean Gate residents certainly hope so | Mulshine, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

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

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

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

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

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

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

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

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

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

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

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

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

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

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

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

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

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

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

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

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

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

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

 

Nuclear

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

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending October 4, 2019

Mass Tops the Chart Again | Revised Route | Solar Potential

Good Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

States unveil plan to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

East Coast states outline carbon pricing plan, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

7Investigates: MBTA Wind Turbines, 7 News Boston

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

US offshore majors submit Connecticut proposals, Windpower Monthly

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

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

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

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

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

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind Settle Undersea Cable Dispute, Vineyard Gazette

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

 

Solar

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

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

State wants to gauge its solar potential, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

DPU approves National Grid rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Letter: Community solar benefits everyone, Albany times Union

Letter: Opt for green electricity, Metrowest Daily News

Editorial: Steady progress, Mt. Desert Islander

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

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

Energy News for week ending September 13, 2019

Still recovering | Energy constrained | Sputtering Solar | Night light

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

Board demands safety report from Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Monitors on gas projects still not mandated, Eagle Tribune

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes, National Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy, NPR

Offshore Wind-Power Prices Are Plunging, Bloomberg

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

NJEDA’s offshore wind registry tops 400 businesses, NJBIZ

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

Enel turns Gillette Stadium green with wind energy, EVWind

 

Solar

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

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

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

Proctor eyes possible solar sites, Rutland Herald

Court sends solar project back to regulators, Bennington Banner

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending August 16, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Converting to Geothermal Energy, New York Times

 

Vineyard Wind

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

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

Vineyard Wind backers commit to delayed project, Taunton Gazette

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

Vineyard Wind layout tough issue for regulators, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

Commissioners divided on Hancock Wind settlement, Ellsworth America

 

Solar

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

Former Maine landfills finding new life with solar development, MaineBiz

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

 

Nuclear

NRC staff approves sale of Pilgrim nuclear power plant, AP

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

New resident inspector named at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

Role of decommissioning citizen panels questioned, Brattleboro Reformer

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

State agrees to additional public hearing on rate changes, SILive

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

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

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

Wilton calls special town meeting for utility moratorium, Sun Journal

Study on Massachusetts utilities released, Wicked Local

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

Now is the time for offshore wind, The Hill

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

Energy News for week ending August 9, 2019

Cooking with gas – or not? | Turn to Stone | Chernobyl “Atomik”

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We start this week’s news recap with a question posed in a WBUR headline – Give up your gas stove to save the planet? “As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, some are taking aim at a new target: natural gas inside homes. Buildings, through heating and cooking, use almost a third of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. In July, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the country to ban natural gas in new buildings, starting next year. City officials say new efficient electric appliances have lower carbon footprints than gas-powered furnaces and water heaters…Cities like San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles are developing their own policies to make buildings zero carbon, and a number of cities around the world have pledged to do the same. But opponents say the push to get rid of gas goes against what consumers are asking for, especially in their kitchens. ‘People love their gas stoves,’ says Bob Raymer, technical director with the California Building Industry Association. ‘We don’t want to force something onto the consumer that makes the consumer feel uncomfortable, or that they just don’t like. After all, it’s their home.’ But California has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2045, and about a quarter of the state’s emissions come from energy used by buildings. To reach its ambitious climate change goals, the state will eventually have to force — or entice — homeowners to electrify everything.”

If you’re not yet ready to give up your gas appliances, there’s another option to help reduce your climate footprint. In the words of an ELO song you can “turn to stone.” From Quartz – “…One option, if you care about the environment…is to offset your personal carbon use—by turning it into stone. Starting in June, a company called Climeworks began offering customers the option to buy a personal carbon offset subscription. You can choose one of three tiers: €7 a month (~$8) will pay for trapping 85 kg of carbon dioxide in a year (about the same as driving 700 km or 435 miles in a gasoline car); €21 a month will get you 255 kg in a year; and €49 a month will convert 600 kg of carbon dioxide into stone. You can also customize your payments up to as much as €2,000 per month to offset 25,000 kg…Climeworks is one of just three companies in the world that have the technology to draw carbon dioxide from the air, called direct air capture (DAC). And it already has a few small commercial plants running…[one] in Iceland captures carbon dioxide and pumps it underground, where it is converted into stone in less than two years.”

Because it’s Friday afternoon and I have the weekend on my mind, here’s an interesting story about a new vodka. From Breaking News Ireland, “A radioactivity-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl’s abandoned zone has been brewed by a team of British scientists. Professor Jim Smith, from the University of Portsmouth, described the artisan vodka – branded Atomik – as ‘possibly the most important bottle of spirits in the world’ as he believed it would help the region recover economically. He said tests on the vodka showed that, following the distillation process, only ‘natural Carbon-14’ radioactivity was found in line with any normal spirit drink. Prof Smith now wants to produce the traditionally-brewed vodka for sale through a social enterprise called The Chernobyl Spirit Company, with 75% of the profits going back to the affected community in Ukraine.” OK — I’m not sure the land has been cleaned to US standards of “unrestricted use” and they mention “the team found some radioactivity in the grain: Strontium-90 is slightly above the cautious Ukrainian limit of 20 Bq/kg.” But that after distilling it went away. I don’t know about you, but I’m still not convinced. However, the Atomik vodka appears to have a wild boar on the label, so if you’ve been enjoying the social media trend this week on wild boars, there’s that.

That’s the recap. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Uniform reporting of gas leaks sought, Salem News

State delays key review for Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local

Give Up Your Gas Stove To Save The Planet? Banning Gas Is The Next Climate Push, WBUR

The Leaks That Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas, Wall St. Journal

Environmental advocates denounce planned natural gas plant in Killingly, Hartford Courant

Protests will seek to ‘shut down’ Merrimack Station power plant in Bow, Concord Monitor

Too Soon To Know If Gas Disaster Settlement Is Adequate: Rep, Patch

A primer on methane (and cow flatulence), Boston Globe

National Grid takes campaign for gas pipeline to radio, Newsday

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The UN’s New Climate Warning: “The Land Is Out of Balance”, Atlantic

Power struggle hindering U.S. growth of renewable energy, experts say, UPI

A clean energy breakthrough could be buried deep beneath rural Utah, LA Times

The Renewable Energy Industry: What’s Ahead, Wall Street Journal

Report Highlights Local Leadership on Renewable Energy, WGBH

You can now pay to turn your carbon emissions to stone, Quartz

Climate Change Could Lead to Food Shortages, UN Report Says, YAHOO! News

New Haven-based water utility going ‘green’ to meet power needs, New Haven Register

FuelCell Energy Celebrates 9 Million MWH of Clean Power Generation, YAHOO! News

Double Tax Hits Slows Renewable-Energy Development, ECO RI

GOP senator wants to override Sununu’s biomass bill veto, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Environmental groups accuse state of ‘deeply flawed’ review of biomass changes; call for more input, MassLive

Progressive Idea: Municipal Renewable Energy Utilities, EcoRI

 

Wind

Massachusetts Officials Frustrated By Wind Turbine Court Havoc They Created, Patch

Federal agencies, Vineyard Wind at odds over wind farm setup, Southcoasttoday.com

Dominion invests $1.1B in offshore wind, watches Northeast developments, Utility Dive

R.I. fishermen critical of wind farm plan, Providence Journal

Recreational fishermen want more studies on New York wind farm, South Coast Today

US Wind Farm Development Reaches Record High in Q2, Greentech Media

New York looks to Europe for offshore wind coordination, interconnection models to develop 9 GW, Utility Dive

Governor signs Vineyard Wind easement bill, South Coast Today

 

Solar

New solar canopy saves MWRTA more than $20K in electrical costs, MetroWest Daily News

Floating Solar Gets Ready for the High Seas, Greentech Media

Shared solar program heading towards approval, complaints in tow, Connecticut Mirror

Huge Sanford airport solar project moves forward, Portland Press Herald

UMass Amherst Researchers Develop New Method To Estimate Solar Rooftop Potential, Solar Industry

Joe Kennedy II unveils solar energy program in Revere, Boston Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Using electricity at different times of day could save us billions of dollars, Vox.com

UMass attaches largest label to Dartmouth battery storage system, Herald News

Trump Administration Moves to Finalize Weakening of Car Efficiency Standards, Greentech Media

California opens $1B in efficiency funding to electrification, Utility Dive

 

EVs

It’s Electri-Flying: Cape Air Pioneers Flights Without Fossil Fuels, WBUR

As T plugs into e-buses, new questions about garages, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Nuclear

NRC denies bid to postpone license for nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Chernobyl ‘Sarcophagus’ That Holds in Radiation From the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster Is About to Cave in Under Its Own Weight, Newsweek

Pilgrim principals oppose delay in license review, Cape Cod Times

A commercial path to fusion, Physics World

Chernobyl vodka: British scientists produce alcohol from nuclear exclusion zone, Breaking News Ireland

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators likely to consider CMP compensation fund by year’s end, Portland Press Herald

Power plant retirements offset nearly 90% of U.S. capacity additions in June, IEEFA

New York Launches Investigation into Electric Resource Adequacy, Microgrid Knowledge

Portsmouth gets win in tax dispute with Eversource, Seacoastonline.com

CMP power line approval ‘replete with errors,’ energy supplier says in appeal, CentralMaine.com

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

Melrose power buyers beware as officials aim to curb scam suppliers, Wicked Local Melrose

Massachusetts Examines the Feasibility of Microgrid Projects, Microgrid Knowledge

Connecticut Supercharges Plan for World’s Largest Fuel Cell Microgrid at $1 Billion Data Center, Microgrid Knowledge

Timber! Mount Tom Power Plant smokestack demolished, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Editorial/Opinion

  1. Maurice Kreis: After the Northern Pass failure, is it time for ‘Rayno Regionalism’?, Conway Daily Sun

Editorial: Paying Homage to the Nuclear Resistance, Valley Advocate

‘Climate Stripes’ show reality of dangerous situation: Op-Ed, New Haven Register

Ohio nuclear and coal bailout is a loss for nuclear power and the climate, Utility Dive

Ehrlich: State needs to transition off natural gas, Daily Item

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