Category Archives: Electricity Costs

Energy News for week ending December 14, 2018

410 Million | Roasted by the sun | Substantial Completion | Lobstocracy

 

Happy Friday everyone.

Here are a few highlights from this week.

From Reuters, U.S. offshore wind lease auction ends with record $410 mln sale, “A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting combined bids of $410 million, the agency that conducted the sale said. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it would announce the provisional winners of the leases on a conference call later on Friday. Combined, the three leases represent nearly 390,000 acres near the Massachusetts islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and Rhode Island’s Block Island. It was not immediately clear whether a single company claimed all three or if there were more than one winner.”

While we’re in the midst of holiday season, according to a story in the Portland Press Herald, this is what happened on Thanksgiving, Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving “On last month’s historically cold Thanksgiving Day, New England turkeys were being roasted by the sun. For the first time, according to the region’s electric grid operator, thousands of solar panels offset the midmorning peak demand for power from millions of homes and businesses cooking the holiday birds. The renewable energy milestone was noted this week by ISO-New England. It highlights the growing role of solar energy on the grid and counters lingering myths about the technology not working in cold climates.”

This is great news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, Governor, Columbia Gas announce ‘substantial completion’ of gas restoration; say service back to 98 percent of customers, “The work to restore service to more than 10,000 homes affected by the gas disaster is pretty much done, but the mission is not accomplished, state and local officials said at a press conference early Wednesday afternoon. With natural gas service restored to 98 percent of residential and business customers, Gov. Baker, local municipal leaders and Columbia Gas announced the substantial completion of the gas restoration efforts in the Merrimack Valley…Officials said 150 customers are still without gas service, most of whom decided to “self-mitigate,” or complete necessary assessments and installations themselves on their own timeline, independent of Columbia Gas contractors, or have extenuating circumstances such as damages to their homes.

We end this week on some it’s good now but not later climate change news. From MSN.com, ‘We live in a lobstocracy’: Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change, “The American lobster is a symbol of Maine, central to the state’s ethos and economy…Lobster attracts tourists, feeds locals and is a lifeblood for coastal towns. It’s (sic) importance has even swelled in recent years as lobsters have been caught in record numbers. Lobster landings – or the amount of lobster caught – have risen fivefold in the past three decades. Lobster has become a half-billion-dollar industry in Maine. And the reason for the boom, according to scientists, is climate change. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s waters, rising at three times the global average. That warming has created optimal conditions for lobsters to reproduce and survive into adulthood…But while the warming waters have resulted in a lobster bonanza, scientists say climate change will ultimately bring a bust to the boom: As the Gulf of Maine continues to warm, that temperature sweet spot for lobsters will continue to move north. That could result in a similar spike in lobsters in Canada, but leave Maine’s industry broken.

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts natural gas companies would support greater engineering oversight, MassLIve

Agawam farm family protests Tennessee Gas Pipeline land-taking, MassLive

Lawmaker questions gas safety consultant’s ties to industry, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Columbia Gas appoints new executive in Massachusetts, Boston Globe

Agawam farm family protests Tennessee Gas Pipeline land-taking, MassLive

Mass. Town Asks 1st Circ. To Block Enbridge Pipeline Project, Law360

Judge halts Keystone XL pipeline, citing ‘complete disregard’ for climate, MSN

The Oil Industry’s Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules, New York Times

 

Merrimack Valley

Governor, Columbia Gas announce ‘substantial completion’ of gas restoration; say service back to 98 percent of customers, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas Holds Community Meetings For Remaining Four Percent Of Affected Customers, WGBH

Whistleblower: Columbia Gas Cut Corners Prior to Explosions, NECN

In Wake Of Gas Disaster, Lawmakers Probe Utility Companies’ Safety Plans, WGBH

Execs back Baker gas-safety bill at fiery hearing, Lowell Sun

Sen. Barrett questions gas safety consultant’s ties to industry, Lowell Sun

 

Lockout

House, in informal session, passes Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Developers left out in the cold as National Grid lockout continues, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers push harder to resolve labor dispute at National Grid, Boston Globe

Top senator to National Grid: end the lockout “immediately”, Sentinel & Enterprise

National Grid, unions start daily meetings next Monday, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Why greens are turning away from a carbon tax, Politico

That was awkward — at world’s biggest climate conference, U.S. promotes fossil fuels, Washington Post

Batteries could worsen CO2 emissions — study, E&E News

NYPA Announces $250 Million Commitment to Accelerate Flexibility of Electric Grid to Combat Climate Change, Energy Storage Association

‘We live in a lobstocracy’: Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change, MSN

Shaheen and Hassan warn of continued negative impact of climate change, Conway Daily Sun

Researchers: Sawdust is Next Wave in Renewable Energy, UMass Lowell News

Not So Sweet: Climate Change Means Slow-Growing Sugar Maples, Study Finds, NPR

France Will Save $44.5 Billion By Betting on Renewable Energy, Says Government Agency, Bloomberg L.P.

 

Wind

U.S. offshore wind lease auction ends with record $410 mln sale, Reuters

Baker: Fishing, offshore wind coexistence is ‘something we have to deal with,’ Salem News

390K acres up for auction today for offshore wind, South Coast Today

First major offshore wind project in jeopardy of being blocked, Boston Globe

Fishing industry says it doesn’t endorse Vineyard Wind’s ‘consensus plan’ for transit lanes, South Coast Today

Bay State Wind comes to O.B., MV Times

Turbines vs. eagles debate continues amid new science, National Wind Watch

Zero hour nears for Massachusetts offshore bonanza, reNews

Vineyard Wind Endorses Offshore Transit Corridor Plan, Cape Cod Today

More Than 680 Gigawatts Of New Wind Power To Come Online By 2027, CleanTechnica

 

Solar

Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving, Portland Press Herald

Watertown Becomes 1st Town In New England To Require Solar Panels On New Commercial Constructions, WBUR

Rhode Island Encourages Brownfield Solar Projects, Renewable Energy World

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report, Reuters

Renewables, Energy Storage, & Managing The Utility Grid Of The Future, CleanTechnica

Governor pushes for solar in low-income areas, New Hampshire Union Leader

Milford Eyeing Plans for 120-Acre Solar Farm, New Hampshire Public Radio

CleanChoice Launches MA Community Solar Program, Solar Industry

Solar project at Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District on target, Kennebec Journal

 

EVs

Massachusetts Needs More Than MOR-EV, Union of Concerned Scientists

Massachusetts extends electric vehicle rebate program, Gloucester Times

Survey: Consumers keen on EV purchases, though cost remains a barrier, Utility Dive

Why General Motors Is Ditching the Chevy Volt, Greentech Media

As More Cars Plug In, Utilities and Makers Juggle Ways to Power Them, New York Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

As grid operators file FERC Order 841 plans, storage floodgates open slowly, Utility Dive

New Massachusetts energy plan zeroes in on vehicles and buildings for emissions reductions, MassLive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee buyer looking for quick start, VTDigger

Are Floating Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Energy?, Oilprice.com

Department of Energy to shut down Idaho nuclear waste treatment project, deemed not to be cost-effective, Los Angeles Times

Trump plan to reclassify nuclear waste alarms environmental groups, NBC News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource plans increase in winter electric rates, MassLive

Price of electricity going up in E. Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

US unprepared for ‘catastrophic’ power outage, presidential advisory report finds, Utility Dive

Most of Maine’s electricity customers will pay higher rates next year, Energy Central

A study examined why customers remain in TOU programs, and the results were terrible, Utility Dive

NERC: Winter preparedness initiatives will help keep lights on in northern US, Utility Dive

Report: Smart Grid Upgrades Offer Less Risk, More Flexibility than Power Lines, Renewable Energy World

Why are electricity prices spiking this winter?, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP standard-offer customers electric bills will rise in 2019, Mainebiz

Eversource’s Seacoast power project approved, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Several factors could affect power this winter, Journal Inquirer

Southern Maine electricity supply prices set to rise Jan. 1, Portland Press Herald

Cape Light Compact Announces Winter Electric Pricing, Cape Cod

Businesses win exemption from costly meter installations, Portland Press Herald

Eversource sues Portsmouth in tax dispute, Seacoastonline.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh, and Robert DeLeo need to move on climate change, Boston Globe

Keeping Millstone humming, The Day

GOP and Dem lawmakers: Interstate gas pipelines must adhere to N.J’s tougher safety regulations., NJ.com

Viewpoint: Transportation commission report could be a holiday gift for entire region, Business Journals

Our View: Hydro-Quebec answers key climate question, Kennebec Journal

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Filed under Vermont Yankee Closing, Electricity Costs, solar, offshore wind, Northeast Energy News, New England Energy News

Energy News for week ending August 31, 2018

Solar: 20 million in savings | Limiting Range Anxiety | Unsteady Progress

Happy long-weekend Friday!

Here’s what we found interesting in the energy news for this week.

From Utility Dive, Distributed solar saved ISO-NE consumers $20M during July heatwave, report says “Distributed solar reduced New England wholesale power costs by nearly $20 million dollars during a heat wave from July 1 to July 7, according to a new analysis completed by Synapse Energy Economics. During peak hours for electricity demand, distributed solar can reduce load on the New England grid by more than 1 GW, the report found, helping to reduce system-wide costs. The analysis was commissioned by SunCommon, a distributed solar provider…The analysis found solar is expected to produce 2,162 GWh of total annual energy savings in 2018, rising to almost 4,800 GWh in 2027.”

From MassLive, Eversource begins rollout of 400 electric car chargers across Massachusetts; ‘range anxiety’ seen as enemy to emissions progress “…Over the next five years, Eversource will spent [sic] $45 million to install more than 400 charging sites across Massachusetts as part of its Grid Modernization plan. Hunt [Eversource senior vice president and chief communications officer] said Eversource has made great progress in switching from dirty coal to cleaner fuels like natural gas, offshore wind, hydroelectricity and solar power. But 40 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions come in the transportation sector, Hunt said. ‘The trick is getting those clean fuels into the cars,’ Hunt said. ‘Range anxiety is a real limiting factor,’ Hunt said, referring to the fear of being stuck someplace without a charging station to get home. He said a four-hour charge will boost most electric car batteries to 80 percent of their capacity.”

From CommonWealth Magazine, Mass. makes unsteady progress on emissions “Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions increased for the fourth year in a row in 2015, but state officials are forecasting a downturn when numbers are crunched for 2016, according to an email sent out by the Baker administration. State law mandates that emissions reach a target of 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Data lag by several years, but the numbers suggest the state has been going the wrong way the last few years, with emissions falling to 72 million tons in 2012 before rising in 2013 and 2014 and hitting 76.3 million tons in 2015. The 2015 number was 19.2 percent below 1990 levels, which was not as good as 2014 (21.5 percent below) or 2013 (19.7 percent). Officials are forecasting emission levels to be 20.8 percent below 1990 levels in 2016.”

That’s it for this week. Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State: Environmental Impact Report needed for Tennessee Gas Pipeline projects in Agawam and Longmeadow, MassLive

Weymouth compressor opponents to unveil Braintree billboard, Weymouth.WickedLocal.com

Rally to revive Energy East pipeline meets opposition in Halifax, CBC.ca

Oil companies, staff remain liable for spill damage during N.J. home deliveries, WHYY

Portland, Maine, rule blocking pipeline OK’d in court, Boston Globe

European Oil Majors Are Out-Talking American Peers on Climate, Bloomberg L.P.

National Grid workers plan to rally outside Mass. Department of Public Utilities, WHDH

Billerica issues moratorium on future National Grid work, Billerica.wickedlocal.com

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Regional Environmental Groups Pan Proposed Pollution Rule, WAMC

Mass. makes unsteady progress on emissions, CommonWealth Magazine

Portland tidal energy startup entering rough investment waters, Press Herald

Two roads diverging: Pennsylvania lawmakers rethink their renewables mandate, Utility Dive

Carbon price hits decade high in boost for cleaner fuels, Financial Times

New analyses agree carbon pricing is a powerful solution, Environmental Defense Fund

New “Affordable Clean Energy” Plan Lands With A Thud, CleanTechnica

Facebook says it will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2020, MSN

How New Jersey can finance its bold new clean energy targets, Environmental Defense Fund

 

Wind

Barnstable Considered as Possible Home to Vineyard Wind Substation, CapeCod.com

Falmouth Resident Tells Of Lasting Turbine Troubles, Falmouth Enterprise

Petition mobilizes opponents of proposed Yarmouth power line, Cape Cod Times

The Race to Build a Wind Behemoth, Wall Street Journal

Antrim Wind blasting resumes after one day cease and desist, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Neighbors of Plymouth turbines bring health concerns to Bourne board, Cape Cod Times

Paperwork filed to transfer ownership of Antrim Wind Project, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Massachusetts offshore wind farm forecasts incredibly low rates, Institute for Energy Research

DOE Report: Cost of Wind Energy Technology Falls, Engineering News-Record

Offshore Wind Energy Market Projected To Exceed $60 Billion By 2024, epmag.com

U.S. Wind Power Is ‘Going All Out’ with Bigger Tech, Falling Prices, Reports Show, Inside Climate News

In 2017, four US states generated more than 30% of their electricity from wind, Ars Technica

 

Solar

Distributed solar saved ISO-NE consumers $20M during July heatwave, report says, Utility Dive

Solar supplies more than 10% of electricity in five US states, pv magazine International

As the heat rises, solar drives New England grid savings, VTDigger

M&A Action: Mitsubishi Subsidiary Invests In Massachusetts Energy Companies, Solar Industry

SouthCoast solar field revenues earmarked for New Bedford, Fairhaven housing authorities, Southcoasttoday

Air pollution can put a dent in solar power, Science Daily

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Xcel to Replace 2 Colorado Coal Units With Renewables and Storage, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Owning An Electric Car & The Neighborhood Effect, CleanTechnica

Eversource begins rollout of 400 electric car chargers across Massachusetts; ‘range anxiety’ seen as enemy to emissions progress, MassLive

 

Nuclear

The Nuclear Power Plant of the Future May Be Floating Near Russia, New York Times

Researchers use Microwaves to Stabilize Fusion Reactor Plasma, EdgyLabs.com

Board of Public Utilities moves to create zero emission credit program for nuclear plants, Press of Atlantic City

Seabrook residents plea to have water/sewer rates raised, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Massachusetts hit with power outages as heat sets in, Boston Herald

Sudbury: Eversource can do soil tests, but with conditions, MetroWest Daily News

Eversource completes sale of New Hampshire hydro plants, Utility Dive

Rhode Island approves National Grid modernization plan, rate increase, Utility Dive

Under fire from all sides, CMP losing the power of its word, Portland Press Herald

Energy companies dominate list of top spenders on lobbying in Mass., Boston Globe

SouthCoast solar field revenues earmarked for New Bedford, Fairhaven housing authorities, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource completes $83m sale of hydro plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

Otis Air National Guard Base Cuts Ribbon on New Energy Grid, Cape Cod

Eversource Cable Route Draws Criticism In Norwalk, WSHU

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: High tension moment for Seacoast Reliability Project, Seacoastonline.com

Say yes to renewable energy, New Hampshire Union Leader

Lawmakers have more work to do on energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: National Grid pursuing improvements in region, The Eagle-Tribune

Maine Voices: Now is the time for a public electric utility in Maine, Portland Press Herald

Slow and Steady Approach to Clean Energy Protects Ratepayers, AIM Blog

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending August 17, 2018

Abnormally hot | There’s something in the water | Focus on affordability

Happy Friday afternoon.

If you think it’s been hot this summer and your electric bill is skyrocketing from running the A/C so much, you might want to skip this story from US News and World Report, 2018 to 2022 Expected to Be Abnormally Hot. “Around the world, the years 2018 to 2022 are expected to be abnormally hot. According to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers developed a new system that predicted the current record-setting heat wave will likely continue through 2022, according to a press release. Most recently, June 2018 was the third warmest June on record for the U.S., July was the 11th warmest and the period from May through July was the warmest ever on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The press release stated temperatures will likely be hotter than expected because of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cooling off often means a dip in the water. And while people swimming off the Cape have sharks to worry about, the folks on Block Island need not worry about the exposed electric cable. According to a story in the Block Island Times, brought to us via National Wind Watch, Grid seeking remedy to cable issue, “The sea2shore transmission cable, installed by National Grid as part of the Block Island Wind Farm project, can now be seen about 25 feet from Town Beach at low tide…Beachgoers were floating and swimming above the cable, which at low tide was about three feet below the water…There are 34,500 volts running through the cable. ‘While we share the concern about public safety, we are confident that the cable itself is, as it always has been, safe even if not fully covered by sediment,’ he [Ted Kresse, Director of Strategic Communications for National Grid] said.”

Last story for this week we bring an article from Vermont Biz New England governors urge ISO-NE to focus on affordability, “Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement related to ISO New England and affordable electricity… ‘Affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental precursor for a vibrant and competitive New England economy. New England states have to be competitive to attract and retain businesses and residents. Efforts must be made to keep electric rates as affordable as possible. Increasingly, cleaner sources of energy have also become important to our energy system, regional economy, and shared environment. It is vital that our pursuit of a reliable and lower-carbon grid leverage available technologies and competitive markets to foster affordable electric rates for all consumers, particularly the most vulnerable among us…’”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New Granite Bridge gas pipeline gains support, New Hampshire Union Leader

Tennessee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop, MassLive

FERC rules in favor of natural gas pipeline project, WKBW

The Latest Pipeline Battle Is Ramping Up in New York, The Nation

As National Grid lockout enters week 8, some say ‘hard feelings’ will linger beyond bargaining, Boston Business Journal

The US’ hidden methane problem, Climate Home News

Is the anti-pipeline playbook starting to work?, E and E News

Report: Cheap Natural Gas and Renewables Could Close Half of US Coal Fleet by 2030, Greentech Media

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Somerset has $10M in free cash certified; among first in the state, Herald News

Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands, Portland Press Herald

Run on renewables: Real estate trusts finally start going green, Boston Business Journal

Advocates say clean energy bill falls short, Gloucester Times

2018 to 2022 Expected to Be Abnormally Hot, US News and World Report

Global Warming? Tell it to the Judge, US News and World Report

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind has a big selling point for its power: cheaper prices, The Boston Globe

NJBPU unveils financing rules for offshore wind, NJBiz

Researchers studying seafloor at offshore wind site, Herald News

New York studies European offshore wind industry to inform development plans, Utility Dive

Atlantic Wind hearings continue before the Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board, Times News Online

Wind farm project on Quebec’s North Shore divides government, Hydro Quebec, CTV News Montreal

Grid seeking remedy to cable issue, Block Island Times via National Wind Watch

 

Solar

State approves rezoning 700 acres in Hancock County for use as a solar farm, MSN

Encore Renewable Energy to Develop 10 MW of Solar Capacity in Vermont, Acres

Massachusetts’ New Clean Energy Bill: Heavy On Storage, Light On Solar, Solar Industry

Town ordered to allow church solar panels, WickedLocal.com

Neighbors object to Webster solar energy project, Worcester Telegram

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big NYC Landlords Join Plan to Cut Energy Use 20% by 2030, Bloomberg L.P.

Green Mountain Power uses Tesla Power Walls to reduce electricity demand, VTDigger

Liquid battery could lead to flexible energy storage, Phys.org

Commercial buildings in Agawam now eligible for special clean energy financing, MassLive

Will energy efficiency stall climate disruption?, David Suzuki Foundation Blog

 

EVs

Governors and premiers promote electric vehicle revolution, VTDigger

Electric vehicle charging takes longer in cold weather, researchers say, The Day

 

Nuclear

New England Governors Highlight Value of Nuclear for Their Region, Electric Energy Online

VY completes another decommissioning milestone, The Commons Online

NRC finishes inspection of Seabrook nuclear plant, Newburyport Daily News

Prospective Pilgrim owner touts experience, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Maine environmental group opposes Mass. energy transmission project, Worcester Business Journal

New England governors urge ISO-NE to focus on affordability, Vermont Biz

New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council, MassLive

NEPOOL Files Press Ban with FERC, RTO Insider

Overheard at New York Energy Market Summit, RTO Insider

Suit alleging CMP fraud filed in Portland, Portland Press Herald

Eversource persists with Conn. Water buyout bid, Journal Inquirer

Eversource appeals Northern Pass case to NH Supreme Court, WMUR

Power: BEDC Laments Disruption, Instability from National Grid, This Day

Lawsuit alleges CMP workers were told to blame customers for their high bills, Press Herald

CMP says ‘We’re sorry’ for response to billing complaints, Maine Biz

Environmentalists: Power from massive Canadian dams isn’t renewable, Bennington Banner

 

Editorial/Opinion

The NIMBY State: Saying no to new energy, New Hampshire Union Leader

Letter: William J. Eccleston: Proposed natural gas plant would harm the ecology, Providence Journal

Columnists Ariel Moyal and Julie Johnson: Leadership needed on renewable energy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Enviro group: Hydro contract bad for Maine, Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Our View: Ignoring climate change puts Mainers in danger, Portland Press Herald

Op-Ed: Learn from Europe, Keep Wind Generation and Transmission Separate, NJ Spotlight

Maine Voices: Absent oversight, condo associations can stymie energy-efficiency goals, Portland Press Herald

Unions: National Grid’s lockout is threat to public safety, The Lowell Sun

Mass. puts wind power in gear, CommonWealth Magazine

Is wind power blowing holes in Hydro-Québec’s profits?, Globe and Mail

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

Energy News for week ending July 27, 2018

Powerwalls pay off | Russians Hack Utilities | 50 Million dollars

Happy Friday afternoon.

Below are a few articles from this week that we found interesting.

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave (Concord Monitor) “An innovative program in Vermont that uses batteries in customers’ homes as a “virtual power plant” paid off to the tune of almost half a million dollars during the recent heat wave, according to the utility running the project…At times during the heat wave that covered much of the first week of July, the utility – often known as GMP – drew electricity out of about 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in the home of about 400 customers and fed it into the grid. This meant GMP had to buy less electricity from power plants when the wholesale price of power in New England, which changes every five minutes depending on demand and supply, was particularly high. This had a double price benefit. It saves on the momentary energy charge, but more importantly it can reduce the utility’s payment to the bulk transmission system in New England…”

In some disquieting national news we have some local assurance, After Russians hack into US electrical utilities, ISO New England says it constantly upgrades security (MassLive)After federal officials announced hackers working for Russia gained access to the control rooms of US electric utilities, ISO New England said the company has a myriad of ways to safeguard the region’s power grid against security threats. The company has redundant facilities and continues to change and upgrade security measures as cyber threats evolve, said Marcia Blomberg, senior media relations specialist for ISO New England.”

Here is some good news out of Maine, CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts (Press Herald) “Central Maine Power has agreed to give $50 million to energy-assistance programs that will benefit low-income electric customers – in Massachusetts. CMP will provide $50 million over 40 years to several programs and initiatives in Massachusetts, as a condition of winning the bid to build a high-voltage transmission line from Quebec through Maine that will carry hydroelectricity to the Commonwealth. The disclosure comes as CMP is under multiple investigations and lawsuits over allegations it overcharged Maine ratepayers. None of the money for the program will come from ratepayers in Maine or Massachusetts, according to Avangrid, CMP’s parent company. It will be taken out of profits.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Debate over proposed power plant in Burrillville centers on power needs, The Providence Journal

Maine oil dealers begin delivering new, cleaner blend of heating oil, MaineBiz

Trump Says Europe Will Buy More American Gas. Is That Possible?, New York Times

DEP’s overdue Marcellus Shale air study finds few health risks, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

National Grid lockout causing headaches for customers, Boston Globe

Lowell Council won’t act on National Grid gas work during lockout, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Use of renewable energy increasing in NH, WMUR

Group Says N.H. Renewable Energy Mandates Use Too Much ‘Dirty’ Fuel, New Hampshire Public Radio

Audubon Says Carbon Pricing Bill is a “refreshingly bold move”, National Audubon Society

State organization calls for 100 percent renewable energy in Massachusetts by 2035, Valley Advocate

Connecticut Green Bank and PosiGen “Solar for All” Partnership – Bringing the Benefits of Clean Energy to LMI Communities, Renewable Energy World

The 5 most important questions about carbon taxes, answered, Vox.com

Vermont PUC seeks alternative ratemaking proposals to boost renewables, Utility Dive

Massachusetts energy bills stall as deadline approaches, PV Magazine

Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready., Vox.com

 

Wind

Kingston Wind Independence promises payment of back taxes, Wicked Local Kingston

Judge scraps lawsuit against Maine wind moratorium, Utility Dive

Vineyard Wind to cover Yarmouth costs for review, Cape Cod Times

Between lines on Savoy wind energy project denial, National Wind Watch

Offshore wind hits early turbulence: who will bring the power ashore?, NJ Spotlight

Wind turbines could be on Guilford’s horizon, National Wind Watch

NYS Exposed: NY towns fight controversial wind turbine project, WHEC

Judge tosses challenge of order halting wind turbines, Bangor Daily News

State urged to move fast on offshore wind, but get it right, The Press of Atlantic City

Electric rates will rise due to wind power, The Day

 

Solar

Massachusetts Legislature Could Overturn Eversource’s New Demand Charge for Resi Solar, Greentech Media

City Hall solar sparks ire from council, Salem News

Fall River trying again to create solar farm off Blossom Road, Herald News

Goldman Sachs Puts a Grim Number on Solar Slump for This Year, Bloomberg

NH Co-ops solar facility adds green energy to the power grid, Energy Central

Molly Kelly Tours North Hampton Brewery That’s Saving Money Thanks to Solar Energy, NHlabornews

Solar delivers during New England heatwave, PV Magazine USA

State seeking towns’ input to help develop solar guidelines, Westerly Sun

Residents air concerns over big solar array project, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Rural Westhampton could see 20-acre solar plant, MassLive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Beyond weatherization: Are utilities doing enough to engage low-income customers?, Utility Dive

Using customer batteries as a power source saved Vt. utility $500K, Granite Geek

Massachusetts power players scramble for deal in critical storage, DER docket, Utility Dive

Efficiency Vermont and Sense Conduct Pilot Study of Advanced Home Energy Monitoring, Energy Central

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave, Concord Monitor

Rocky Mountain Institute study shows that with heat pumps and smart thermostats, we can live better electrically, Treehugger

Liquid metal battery could lower cost of storing renewable energy, Engadet

 

EVs

Electric buses are cleaner in all parts of U.S., study finds, Metro Magazine

 

Nuclear

Study: US Unlikely To See New Nuclear Power Anytime Soon, WABE

Yucca Mountain revival efforts appear dead – for now, Review Journal

WPI receives $600K for nuclear program, Worcester Business Journal

Next-Gen Nuclear Is Coming—If Society Wants It, Wired

Mapped: The US nuclear power plants ‘at risk’ of shutting down, Carbon Brief

Nuclear power looks to shrink its way to success, Financial Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Russian Hackers Reach U.S. Utility Control Rooms, Homeland Security Officials Say, Wall St. Journal

After Russians hack into US electrical utilities, ISO New England says it constantly upgrades security, MassLive

How vulnerable is the grid to cyberattacks, really?, Utility Dive

3 utilities seek $426m for negotiating hydro contracts, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts, Press Herald

Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits, CommonWealth Magazine

What Will Maine Get Out Of It? Groups Skeptical Over CMP’s Hydropower Plan, Maine Public

Group nixes plan for hydro project at Keene dam, Keene Sentinel

State Argues Budget Sweep of Energy Funds No Big Deal, Hartford Courant

More than 600 customers sue CMP, claiming the company overcharged them, then gave them ‘the cold shoulder’, Portland Press Herald

Class-action lawsuit filed against CMP over alleged overbillings, MaineBiz

Kelly questions Sununu’s energy bill vetoes, Seacoastonline.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s Time to Stop Investing in New Oil and Gas Pipelines, Scientific American

Renewables, not gas, key to our clean energy future | Opinion, NJ.com

Power prices — and long-term costs, Boston Globe

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

LETTER: Mention of Chernobyl serves as a reminder, Daily News of Newburyport

Go Nuclear For Power Policy Winners Among Utilities, Forbes

Viewpoint: For energy fix in Mass., natural gas capacity must be increased, Boston Business Journal

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

A sharp slap of reality, Watertown Daily Times

Opinion: Cape leads the way on renewable energy; state must do more, Taunton Gazette

Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

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Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

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

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

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

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

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

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

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

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

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

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

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

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

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

 

EVs

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

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

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

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

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

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

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

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Energy News for week ending April 27, 2018

Power Struggle | Offshore Wind = 1000s of jobs | Nuclear can be flexible

 

It’s Friday afternoon so it’s time for the weekly Northeast Energy News.

We begin with an article from the Boston Globe about Central Maine Power’s proposed project to bring Canadian hydro to Massachusetts. As the article notes, “Until recently, Central Maine Power’s proposal was considered an also-ran to a similar plan in New Hampshire, called Northern Pass, the initial choice of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to import clean energy.” But like the Northern Pass project, the CMP project also goes through sensitive and important environmental areas and it has some people very unhappy. Others however, are seeing it differently due to incentives. David Abel writes, “In exchange for their support, the company has promised to lavish The Forks and neighbors — small towns that have struggled economically for years — with tens of millions of dollars…Many residents consider those payments bribes, and worry that the pledged money is pitting neighbors against each other. At the same time, they recognize the need for economic aid to offset declining tourism.”

Yesterday, Wind Power Engineering reported that “The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years — defined as one person working full-time for one year — during construction over the next 10 years and generate between $675 million and $800 million in direct economic output in Massachusetts. The Offshore Wind Workforce Report, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and authored by Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, also provides analysis and recommendations to guide the training and development needs for the offshore wind industry workforce in Massachusetts.”

The last article highlight for this week was posted by one of my favorite people on Twitter – Jesse Jenkins of the MIT Energy Initiative. From the article on Energy.MIT.edu, “Nuclear power plants generally operate at full capacity, but they are also technically capable of more flexible operation. This capability lets them respond dynamically to seasonal changes in demand or hourly changes in market prices. Reactors could also provide the standby backup regulation and reserve services needed to balance supply and demand. According to Jenkins, all reactor designs now being licensed or built in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are capable of flexible operation, as are many older reactors now in service. ‘We primarily rely on gas and coal plants to meet all those flexibility needs today, while we operate our nuclear plants fixed, or ‘must-run,’ 24/7,’ says Jenkins. ‘The question here is, what would the benefits be if we stopped operating them so inflexibly, if we started using more of their technical capabilities to ‘ramp’ output up and down on different time scales from seconds to hours to seasons?’ The answer, he says, is less reliance on the gas and coal plants—and more renewable energy integration.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Greenfield residents suing city over plans to cut down trees for pipeline, wwlp.com

Does Region Need More Natural Gas? Invenergy’s Final Burrillville Push Begins April 26, ecoRI news

Invenergy has nine or ten contingent water suppliers in Rhode Island and Connecticut says their Attorney, Uprise RI (blog)

Following Spills, PA Stops Pipeline Work At Delaware County Site, WSKG.org

Court: Youngstown anti-fracking amendment must go on ballot, Youngstown Vindicator

Energy Transfer and Sunoco Pipelines Have Leaked Every 11 Days on Average, For 16 Years, Care2.com

Activists head to court after shutting down pipelines. Their defense? Climate change., Grist

NY nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit, Penn Energy

Nearby communities stepping in to track CPV power plant emissions, Times Herald Record

PSEG urges New Jersey to approve $1.9B gas line replacement program, Utility Dive

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI/etc.

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Clean Energy Prize rewards student innovation, MIT News

Scott Pruitt wades into a fraught science debate, declaring biomass burning ‘carbon neutral,’ Washington Post

New York launches next large-scale renewables procurement round, Recharge

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

The Carbon Tax Could Come Soon To A State Near You, Law360

The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change, Bloomberg

2 Clark University Expert Authors On Report On Climate Change, Patch.com

U.S. Department of Energy announces $2.4 million in funding for fish passage technologies research programs, Hydro-World

 

Wind

New Massachusetts report finds 1600 MW of offshore wind would create thousands of jobs, Windpower Engineering

Opponents seek suspension of Antrim Wind Energy’s construction certificate, National Wind Watch

Savoy rejects wind turbine building permit; developer plans appeal, National Wind Watch

Convoys of huge wind turbine parts move through western NY, Penn Energy

Selection of offshore wind providers delayed one month, South Coast Today

Advocates Seek More Momentum for Massachusetts Offshore Wind, Renewable Energy World

Trump likes coal, but that doesn’t mean he’s hostile to wind, Washington Post

Winds of change calmed: PGC declares moratorium on wind turbines, National Wind Watch

How Windmills as Wide as Jumbo Jets Are Making Clean Energy Mainstream, New York Times

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power 16000 Homes, EcoWatch

Offshore wind farms concern fisherpeople, The Brown Daily Herald

NextEra CEO Robo slams US offshore wind as ‘bad business’, Recharge

 

Solar

Solect expands to Illinois, Worcester Business Journal

New Bipartisan Legislation Would Repeal Trump’s Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

Regional planners balk at part of solar project, Rutland Herald

Amherst among 5 New England colleges partnering on solar facility in Maine, wwlp.com

Londonderry Superfund site eyed for big solar array, New Hampshire Business Review

NH House panel passes a new fix to net metering bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Solar Generation, Energy Storage System Completed at SUNY New Paltz, Hudson Valley News Network

City Weighs New Regulations After ‘Solar Monster’ Complaints, CBS Boston / WBZ

Darien company installs a 129 kilowatt solar array on the roof, wins award, The Darien News

Freeport is considering a municipal solar energy project, CentralMaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In Massachusetts, Energy Storage Has Allies in High Places, Greentech Media

FERC Order 845 opens door a little wider for energy storage, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help, Greentech Media

Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create “Watershed Moment”, CleanTechnica

New York Boosts Efficiency Target, Makes Way for More Solar and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

2 buildings in Orange targeted for energy efficiency upgrades, The Recorder

Lockheed says ‘flow’ battery will boost use of renewable power, Reuters

 

EVs

The electric vehicle boom is coming. What can we learn from early adopters?, ensia.com

New York agencies propose shifting EV fast chargers to non-demand charges, Utility Dive

Utilities boost electric car incentives, (VT) Energy Central

ABB launches what it says is world’s fastest EV charger, PV Magazine

New York regulators to mull advancing EV market with new proceeding, Utility Dive

Convenience at Heart of New US Ultra-Fast EV Charging Network, Renewable Energy World

 

Nuclear

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

NY nuclear plant resumes service after scheduled outage, Penn Energy

Update on the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, vtdigger.org

NRC hosts meeting on safety of Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?, Boston Globe

US regulator considers value of resiliency, World Nuclear News

New York to launch utility energy registry this summer in data-gathering effort, Utility Dive

FERC Commissioners Testify on Energy Infrastructure, Resiliency, State-Federal Tensions, Lexology

National Grid customers won’t see relief for months, The Daily News of Newburyport

Eversource devotes $80M to tree trimming, hazardous tree removal, CT Post

Eversource, UI hit hard in new customer value survey, New Haven Register

Eversource Continues Natural Gas Expansion In Darien, Patch.com

New England line would have to take the scenic route, E&E News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why you’ll pay for Beacon Hill’s pipeline folly, Boston Globe

We need a RGGI for transportation, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine needs zones free of windmills, power lines, Press Herald

Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Energy Central/Concord Monitor

Fears about blackouts increasing, CommonWealth Magazine

Infrastructure Necessary for Energy Independence, Everett Independent

Nancy Stiles: Energy-efficiency funds important for schools, towns, state’s 10-year strategy, Concord Monitor

Bold Ideas to Address Society’s Energy Issues Deserve Consideration, not Dismissal, ecoRI news

Quebec hydro line is not without environmental costs, Bangor Daily News

Confessions of a former carbon tax skeptic, Washington Examiner

Dick Henry: Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Excuse from CMP wanted as electric bills defy logic, Press Herald

Natural gas essential to New York’s energy mix, Albany Times Union

Robert Thorson: US Backs Big Oil Against Tiny Arctic Tribe, Hartford Courant

Letter: Conservative Law Foundation is right about Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Offshore wind energy right for Connecticut, The Day

 

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Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

We’re on to Maine | Shut it down | A look inside

Happy Friday afternoon.

The big news this week, as Bill Belichick might say, is “We’re on to Maine.” In a succinctly worded announcement on the Massachusetts Clean Energy website, the new direction for the clean energy procurement went from Eversource’s Northern Pass project to Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project. The announcement read in part, “The Electric Distributions Companies are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (“NECEC Hydro”) and intend to execute agreements with NECEC Hydro for submittal to the Department of Public Utilities, assuming negotiations are concluded successfully.” For your reading enjoyment, we have included a whole section of stories related to this news.

But even before the Clean Energy Connect news broke, the Press Herald reported that new opposition is “ramping up” to CMP’s project. Tux Turkel writes, “A trio of companies, (Calpine Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Bucksport Generation LLC) which together own one-third of Maine’s generating capacity, say subsidized power from Canada could upend New England’s competitive, wholesale electric market and make some existing power plants in Maine too costly to run when they’re needed. They also say a big slug of power from Hydro-Quebec over a high-voltage, direct current line will make it technically difficult for new Maine-based wind and solar to connect to the region’s electric grid.

Normally when you hear, “shut it down” in the energy industry, it usually comes from anti-nuclear or anti-gas protesters. But this week it was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who is aiming to shut down the residential competitive supply market. According to a story on WGBH News by Colin Young of the State House News Service, “Electric customers in Massachusetts who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $176.8 million more than they would have had they stayed with their utility company from July 2015 to June 2017, the two-year period during which Healey’s office was investigating the industry, her office announced…Healey said she plans to work with the Legislature, the Department of Public Utilities and the energy industry “to close down the market for individual residential competitive electric supply in Massachusetts.”

I have to say, as someone who has hung up on countless suppliers, had debates at my front door with electric supply salespersons, and counseled volunteers working with the elderly who have switched suppliers multiple times and faced huge penalties – at a minimum something needs to be done to reign in deceptive practices and to get the bad actors out of the game. The good news is that AG Healey already did that with Viridian, as was reported in the Boston Globe “An electricity supplier will pay $5 million to settle claims of deceptive marketing and sales tactics that resulted in consumers being overcharged, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. In addition to the settlement payout announced Wednesday, Viridian Energy LLC of Norwalk, Conn., agreed it would not market its electricity supply door-to-door in Massachusetts for the next two years and that it would change some of its marketing methods.” Hear, Hear!

Last for this week is a recently released video from ISO New England that “takes you inside the ISO, showcasing how the grid operator keeps the lights on across New England – today and in the future. Shot at the ISO offices and throughout New England, the video looks at the transformation occurring in New England, as the region transitions from a grid powered by oil and coal plants to one more reliant on renewable energy.”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds, New York Times

State Lawmaker Secretly Sends Constituent’s Emails to Gas Pipeline Lobbyist, (MA) Huffington Post

National Grid proposes gas line along bike path, Glens Falls Post-Star

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

Judge rules civil disobedience a ‘necessity’ to prevent climate change, ThinkProgress

West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline in Boston Criminal Trial Downgraded, Patch.com

Natural Gas Act preempts local efforts to preclude construction of compressor station, Lexology

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Bill Adds Wood to RI’s Renewable-Energy Portfolio, ecoRI news

New Jersey foresees RGGI re-entry in 2019, Carbon Pulse

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much?, EandE News

Walsh: Despite cost, city must stem climate change tide, Boston Herald

Renewables or Nuclear? A New Front in the Academic War Over Decarbonization, Greentech Media

 

Wind

800 Megawatt Bay State Wind US Offshore Project Partners To Combine Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Is Offshore Wind a Better Deal With Batteries?, Greentech Media

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

Hopkinton residents receive letter from wind company offering payments on electric bills, Watertown (NY) Daily News

Deepwater’s Offshore Wind Plans Could Revolutionize Mass. Workforce and Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

Deepwater Wind narrows locations to New Bedford, Fall River or Somerset, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind to do 3rd round of marine surveys, South Coast Today

BOEM seeks public comment on proposed offshore Massachusetts wind farm, Windpower Engineering and Development

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

New Energy Plan Clears Legislative Committee, But More Changes Expected, Hartford Courant

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Environmental groups call on Senate to support energy-efficiency bill, WMUR Manchester

Annual Update on Energy Efficiency from America’s Utilities, Natural Resources Defense Council

Good News: Congress Stands Up for Energy Efficiency with Omnibus Bill, ACEEE Press Release

Mass Save beginning in Brockton through Revise Energy, Cape Verdean Association, Enterprise

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Begins Final Refueling, The Examiner News

ITER nuclear fusion project avoids delays as U.S. doubles budget, Reuters

Del. Group Seeks to Block Artificial Island Project, RTO Insider

As Nuclear Plant Closes, Fears Shift From Contamination to Financial Pain, Wall Street Journal

FirstEnergy Solutions will close its nuclear power plants, but is silent on bankruptcy restructuring (photos), Plain Dealer

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

Unexpected foes emerge to CMP’s plan to build transmission line to Canada, Press Herald

Three companies seek to block CMP’s Hydro Quebec transmission project, Mainebiz

$950M power grid project could tunnel under Kennebec River Gorge, Bangor Daily News

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

In reversal, Massachusetts puts CMP in lead position for $950 million power line project, Press Herald

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

Massachusetts Sinks Eversource Power Project, Picks Avangrid (1), Bloomberg BNA

Mass. And Utilities Ditch NH-Routed Northern Pass For Hydro Project Through Maine, WBUR

Maine In, NH Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts, New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Site Evaluation Committee should stand firm on Northern Pass decision, New Hampshire Business Review

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

Massachusetts hydro power will come through Maine, not White Mountains, Wicked Local

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts ditches Northern Pass, looks to CMP for clean energy goals, Utility Dive

 

Electric Vehicles

Prospects of Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles Boosted with Chinese Backing, Energy Collective

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Staying a Step Ahead: A look inside ISO-NE and the region’s changing power system, (video) ISONewswire.com

Grid security falls to industry to self-regulate, Salem News

Raimondo: Report critical of National Grid’s response to October storm, ProJo

Peeved about power? Eversource defends its efforts, Wicked Local Brewster

Electricity supplier to pay $5 million to settle claims it misled Massachusetts customers, Boston Globe

Vermont Public Utility Commission approves release of request for proposals for Standard Offer program, Daily Energy Insider

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, (Press Release)

Call For ‘Stiff Penalties’ Vs. Utility Companies Made By County Legislators, White Plains Daily Voice

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

Microgrid Projects and Virtual Power Plants from Maine to Australia, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, Business Wire (press release)

RI Officials: National Grid’s October Storm Response Was Inadequate, Rhode Island Public Radio

What is up with your electric bill? Eversource explains, Wicked Local

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: A pipeline lesson for Virginia, courtesy of Massachusetts, Richmond.com

The best chance for offshore wind in Mass., The Boston Globe

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Boston’s ad hoc planning doesn’t work with climate change, Boston Globe

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

The era of conventional nuclear power may be ending, Washington Examiner

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

EDITORIAL: Mass. hydropower pact takes a detour, Lowell Sun

Oppose Eversource’s use of herbicides — now, Cape Cod Times

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