Category Archives: Electricity Costs

Energy News for week ending November 22, 2019

Fossil Ban | November 26 Deadline | Humble Chairlift

 

It’s Friday so let’s get to the news.

There were several town meetings in Massachusetts this week during which residents could vote on energy-related measures. Perhaps the most interesting took place in Brookline. From the Boston Globe, “Seeking to reduce a major source of carbon emissions, Brookline residents have voted to ban the installation of oil and gas pipes in new buildings as well as in extensive renovations of existing buildings — the first such prohibition in Massachusetts. The controversial bylaw would require homeowners and developers to install heat, hot water, and appliances that use electricity. Only three of more than 200 Town Meeting members voted against the measure Wednesday…The new bylaw, which must still be approved by the state attorney general’s office, is part of a growing movement around the country to curb the use of fossil fuels in buildings. It was modeled after similar measures adopted in communities throughout California.” Speaking of California, Bloomberg reports, “Restaurateurs have a message for local governments banning the use of natural gas in new homes and businesses: Say goodbye to good food. The California Restaurant Association is warning that the flame-seared meat and charred vegetables that foodies have grown so accustomed to ordering will become a thing of the past in Berkeley, California, which in July became the first city in America to end new gas hook-ups in an effort to curb global-warming emissions. The group is suing the city in federal court.”

We’re going to stick with gas and turn our sights to New York, where a November 26th deadline is looming for National Grid. From Politico, “As winter sets in, state officials are turning up the heat on National Grid to find solutions to its moratorium on new natural gas service. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to start a legal process to revoke the utility’s license — a negotiating tactic he’s used before, with some results — and Attorney General Tish James is gathering customer complaints in an ongoing investigation. A standoff over a controversial pipeline that Grid says is needed to meet demand continues, but the utility is expected to propose alternatives next week and offer a public defense of its actions.”

For this week’s energy innovation we bring you a story from Grist, “How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy. What do you see when you imagine a zero-carbon future? Electric buses zipping by? Rolling hills covered with solar panels? Offshore wind farms towering over the sea? If batteries are part of your vision, good thinking. But there’s a promising, if whimsical, piece of the renewable energy puzzle that might be missing from your mental picture: the world of gravity energy storage…Generating electricity using gravity is hardly a new concept…A “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant draws excess energy from the grid and uses it to pump water back up into an elevated reservoir where it can fall again…But who needs water when there are all kinds of things we can slide down a mountain or drop off a cliff? Really, you can use almost any material for gravity energy storage, as long as it’s heavy, cheap, and you can figure out how to transport it up and down a steep slope…‘Mountain Gravity Energy Storage…involves a ski-lift-style cable that carries huge bins of sand up and down a mountain. The sand gets stored in an enormous vessel at the top, and when the grid needs extra energy, it’s sent down the mountain, pulled by the force of gravity, thereby powering an electric generator. Depending on the amount of sand, the height of the mountain, and the speed of the fall, the authors estimate that it can generate electricity for anywhere from five to 555 days.” Do check out this story. It has some very interesting videos and graphics.

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes in two weeks on December 6th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Pressure mounts on National Grid for alternatives to moratorium, Politico

America’s war over natural gas hits home in New York, Axios

Gas projects galore at FERC, Politico

U.S. senators call for 11th-hour review of compressor station proposal, Patriot Ledger

The Keystone Pipeline oil leak is almost 10 times worse than initially thought, CNN

Columbia Gas hit on lack of information, Eagle Tribune

New York’s last coal plant expected online through winter, says NYISO, despite shutdown plans, Utility Dive

Should Cities Phase Out Gas Appliances and Require New Buildings to Be All Electric?, Wall St. Journal

California Restaurants Warn Natural-Gas Ban Takes Seared Steak Off the Table, Bloomberg

In a first for Massachusetts, Brookline votes to ban oil and gas pipes in new buildings, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sanders, Warren join fellow senators in urging New England to speed clean energy transition, Utility Dive

More claims of greenwashing at major US electric utilities, PV Magazine

How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy, Grist

What it takes to be carbon neutral — for a family, a city, a country, Washington Post

Homes to Sell Renewable Energy to Businesses in Vermont’s First of a Kind Local Energy Marketplace, Microgrid Knowledge

Amherst Town Council all in on climate goals, Daily Hampshire Gazette

As Climate Risk Grows, Cities Test a Tough Strategy: Saying ‘No’ to Developers, New York Times

‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019, BBC

Warming waters spell more bad news for New England shrimp, Boston Herald

Worcester’s Petty, other mayors push state to go 100% renewable, Telegram

Scientists meeting in Portland say right whales on the way to extinction, Portland Press Herald

Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up, ProPublica

Portland councilors to consider student-led ‘climate emergency’ resolution, Portland Press Herald

Poll Finds Massachusetts Residents See Climate Change As A Real Worry, WAMC

Climate change challenging Massachusetts oyster fishery, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CT lawmakers earn high marks for environmental efforts, Connecticut Post

Scientists discuss climate change impacts on R.I. natural environment, Westerly Sun

Lawmakers, Criticizing Wolf’s Executive Order On Joining Cap-And-Trade Program, Say It’s Their Call, WESA (PA)

NYC pension leader targets three utilities over emissions plans, Reuters

NYC clean energy advocates push for competitive RFP for new renewable development, Solar Power World

Ashland Town Meeting commits to being net-zero by 2040 to combat climate change, MetroWest Daily News

Democrats move to take 100% clean energy push national with new bill, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Anbaric Files Application For Offshore Transmission Network, WBUR

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project, E&E News

Vineyard Wind CEO sees both New London and Bridgeport as viable wind hubs, The Day

Wind Speeds Are Increasing Worldwide in Boost for Renewables, Bloomberg

Wind farm developers revise spacing of turbines off R.I. coast, Southcoasttoday.com

Many fishermen aren’t on board with wind industry’s new plan, Boston Globe

RI official applauds wind farm layout announcement, CommonWealth Magazine

Weighing the cost off offshore wind, WNYT

A Hush-Hush Wind Powwow, The East Hampton Star

New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target to 7.5GW, Greentech Media

Can America’s First Floating Wind Farm Help Open Deeper Water to Clean Energy?, Inside Climate News

 

Solar

National Grid: 300MW of Halted Solar Can Move Forward With ‘No Cost,’ Greentech Media

Company backed by Bill Gates claims solar breakthrough, looks to replace fossil fuels in industrial plants, Geekwire

Aldermen allow solar project at Manchester landfill for 5% cut, New Hampshire Union Leader

Two years after turning it down, Merrimack to reconsider solar tax exemptions, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bangor proposes installing solar array near airport, WABI

Fast Times for the US Residential Solar Market, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Utility-scale storage critical to achieving Massachusetts carbon goals: UMass study, Utility Dive

How to Ensure Energy Storage Policies Are Equitable, Union of Concerned Scientists

New device can capture, store energy from the sun, UPI.com

Report by Brattle Economists Evaluates Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Administrator Models, (Press Release) PR Newswire

Efficiency to meet peak demand? New study considers potential beyond energy savings,Utility Dive

 

EVs/Alt Transportation

Ford Unveils Electric Mustang SUV to Challenge Tesla Dominance, Bloomberg

Future BMW electric cars will be powered by cow poop, CNET

Electric trucks may be the future, but waste and recycling market still charging up, Utility Dive

MIT Study: Energy-Efficient Cars, Public Transportation Are Best Options For Traffic And The Planet, WBUR

Rooftop solar panels charge your car while you’re driving, The Hill

 

Nuclear

Should the Government Subsidize Nuclear Power? Advocates Square Off, Wall Street Journal

How Well Do You Know Nuclear Power? Take Our Quiz., Wall Street Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

PJM, NYISO and ISO-NE pay $1.4B annually for excess capacity: Report, Utility Dive

National Grid’s push to clear-cut trees opposed, Salem News

Invenergy declines to appeal. Their proposed power plant is dead., Uprise RI

NSP working to dispel misinformation about smart meters as installation gets underway, Cape Breton Post (Nova Scotia)

New Report Shows Homes Will Be Utility “Grid,” Code Watcher

State fires National Grid auditor over alleged report irregularities, Newsday.com

Will New Jersey Lawmakers Step up for Microgrids before the Next Disaster?, Microgrid Knowledge

Leading environmental group denounces de Blasio’s Canadian power line, Crains NY

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Demand Changes at Grid Operator ISO New England, Greentech Media

Senate Committee Approves $250 Million to Fund the Electric Grid Security, Nextgov

1st Circ. Won’t Re-Hear $3B Utilities Price-Fixing Row, Law360

National Grid Looks to AI to Prevent Damage to Its Gas Pipelines, Wall Street Journal

National Grid fallout hits other utilities, Crain’s New York

Read complete coverage of our investigation into CMP billing problems, Portland Press Herald

Two rural electric co-ops seek rate increases, VTDigger

Community Choice Aggregators on the Rise as an Alternative Electricity Provider, National Law Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Lamont’s Executive Order 3 on climate change is too little, too late, Connecticut Mirror

Commentary: Gas pipeline embargo stifles growth, hurts New Yorkers, Times Union

Utilities — Like Eversource And National Grid — Are Weak Links In Climate Defense, WGBH

Building a wind industry across Connecticut, The Day

Climate change and dark money, Boston Globe

Impact of offshore wind on fisheries unknown, Cape Cod Times

Commentary: Offshore wind farm projects would destroy ocean views, Delaware State News

Cross Sound Ferry flips out over wind assembly plans, The Day via National Wind Watch

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

Energy News for week ending November 15, 2019

Climate Solutions | Bamboo

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with three stories about climate change solutions. There are plenty of bad climate news articles below, so let’s focus on the positive:

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years, The Atlantic

Group offers cool ideas for a hotter Boston in coming decades, Boston Globe

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change, New York Times

Our new “tech” feature for this week comes from Phys.org, “Visualizing heat flow in bamboo could help design more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings. Modified natural materials will be an essential component of a sustainable future, but first a detailed understanding of their properties is needed. The way heat flows across bamboo cell walls has been mapped using advanced scanning thermal microscopy, providing a new understanding of how variations in thermal conductivity are linked to the bamboo’s elegant structure. The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, will guide the development of more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings, made from natural materials, in the future. The building sector currently accounts for 30-40% of all carbon emissions, due to both the energy-intensive production of the materials (predominantly steel and concrete), and the energy used in heating and cooling the finished buildings. As the global population grows and becomes increasingly based in towns and cities, traditional building approaches are becoming unsustainable. Renewable, plant-based materials such as bamboo have huge potential for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. Their use would dramatically reduce emissions compared to traditional materials, helping to mitigate the human impact on climate change. This approach would also help keep carbon out of the atmosphere by diverting timber away from being burnt as fuel.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Local lawmakers press for tougher gas safety rules, Salem News

Cuomo Threatens National Grid: Provide Gas or Lose Your License, New York Times

National Grid to truck natgas to meet winter demand in New England/New York, CNBC

National Grid Says It Will Meet Timeline, CBS Boston / WBZ

Newport gas outage report leads to amended lawsuits, NewportRI.com

Hedlund says compressor may not be needed, calls for review, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth Compressor Station Passes Final State Regulatory Hurdle, WBUR

Senator Markey Statement on Weymouth Compressor Station Final Approval: We Will Not Stop Fighting, US Senate

AP Exclusive: FBI eyes how Pennsylvania approved pipeline, AP News

Fearing for Its Future, a Big Utility Pushes ‘Renewable Gas,’ Urges Cities to Reject Electrification, Inside Climate News

High School Seniors Put Out 1st Documentary On Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, WBUR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Why some hydropower plants are worse for the climate than coal, Grist

5 Global Trends Shaping Our Climate Future, New York Times

Climate change could end mortgages as we know them, CBS News

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change, New York Times

Group offers cool ideas for a hotter Boston in coming decades, Boston Globe

Shell New Energies EVP: Hydrogen Subsidies Will Pay Off, Just Like They Did for Solar, Greentech Media

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years, The Atlantic

Climate change will fundamentally shape the lives of children born in 2019, Fast Company

Renewable ‘blueprint’ for city seen as statewide model, Cranston Herald

Federal Reserve Leaves Action on Climate Change to Politicians, Bloomberg

Why the Fed, Long Reticent, Has Started to Talk About Climate Change, New York Times

Maine’s Shrimp Crisis Reveals A Big Climate Change Problem We’re Not Talking About, HuffPost

Does climate change mean the end of wine?, Quartz

 

Wind

Associated Industries of Mass. joins the effort to save Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

State board to hear application for wind farm at Lowville, Rome (NY) Sentinel

With wind turbine decision under appeal, developer turns to solar on Pacheco property, Valley Breeze (RI)

No Consensus on How to Bring Offshore Wind Power Ashore in NJ, NJSpotlight.com

Siting Board Approves Lewis County Wind Farm: 105.8 MW Clean Energy Facility Forecasted to Bring Over $44.2 Million to Local Economy, (NY) Electric Energy Online

Upgrading lakeshore wind turbines will cost $21.3 million, National Wind Watch

Falmouth town meeting approves $2.5M to dismantle wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Wind turbines off Ocean City would be 200 feet taller than planned, prompting regulators to reopen debate, Baltimore Sun

Offshore wind port facility could be ‘major opportunity’ for Staten Island, SILive

 

Solar

Giant solar grid completed in New York, Engineer Live

U.S. Solar Companies Are Stockpiling a Massive Amount of Panels, Bloomberg

Solar coalition asks Long Island Power Authority to preserve community solar incentives, Solar Power World

Solar Developers Smell Trouble on Long Island as Offshore Wind Arrives, Greentech Media

Solar growth pushes Peck Company to large revenue increase, VTDigger

R.I. celebrates start of largest ‘community solar’ project, in North Smithfield, Providence Journal

Perovskite solar cells: Possible aspects of high efficiency uncovered, Phys.org

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How do efficiency programs serve low-income communities? New study takes a look., ACEEE

To meet renewable energy goals, Maine must take charge on big battery incentives, Portland Press Herald

Visualizing heat flow in bamboo could help design more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings, Phys.org

Philanthropic Project Promotes Use Of Existing Energy Efficiency Programs, WAMC

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

Building a Lithium-Ion Battery That Won’t Explode, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Will Your EV Keep the Lights On When the Grid Goes Down?, Greentech Media

U.S. Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets, Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

Lessons from the cyberattack on India’s largest nuclear power plant, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How Nuclear Power Will Impact NJ’s Clean Energy Future, NJ Spotlight

Nuclear a viable part of global energy transition says S&P report, Power Engineering

NRC explores streamlined environmental reviews to accelerate advanced reactor approvals, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

NERC’s simulated grid attack leaves thousands of New York customers in hypothetical darkness, Utility Dive

Massachusetts energy commissioner Judith Judson stepping down, MassLive

Regulators approve dramatic rate cut for Emera Maine customers, Bangor Daily News

In net metering talks, state ideals clash with ratepayer realities, VTDigger

The world’s energy report card just came out. We failed 3 subjects., Grist

Eversource earns $319 million, The Telegraph

Electricity will get cheaper for most Mainers, but CMP rate hike could cut into savings, Portland Press Herald

So. Maine lawmakers look to tackle energy, climate change, Seacoastonline.com

National Grid pushed officials to write letters for pipeline, Times Union

Heating costs expected to rise, Eagle-Tribune

 

Editorial/Opinion

Next steps on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Rethinking Future Investments in Natural Gas Infrastructure, Greentech Media

How To Reach U.S. Net Zero Emissions By 2050: Decarbonizing Electricity, Forbes

Our view: Move swiftly to address natural gas network, Salem News

Our view: All of this for a clothesline?, Salem News

More steps needed to ensure gas system’s safety, Haverhill Gazette

Letter: Let’s take action against oil companies, Concord Monitor

New York’s reckless gamble on offshore wind power, Crain’s New York

Mindy Messmer: Governor, join other states’ climate-change lawsuit, Conway Daily Sun

Winds of change coming to Connecticut, Connecticut Mirror

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

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 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 August 23, 2019

License Transfer Approved | Is there anybody out there | Charge up with soap and laxatives

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s Energy News with news out today that the NRC approved Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license transfer from Entergy to Holtec. Holtec promises to decommission the plant in 8-10 years vs. 60 years if Entergy were to remain the owner. From Power Engineering, “Federal regulators have approved Entergy Corp.’s application to transfer the licenses of the closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to a decommissioning specialist firm. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the Pilgrim transfer from Entergy to a subsidiary of Holtec International. This will pave the way for completing the plant sale to Holtec…Holtec International is a large player in the nuclear decommissioning and cleanup sector. Earlier this year, Entergy also decided on Holtec as the buyer for its Indian Point nuclear facility in New York, planned for closure by 2021. Pilgrim still employs close to 230 people after permanent shutdown on May 31.”

I’m guessing the answer is yes and we’ll find out soon enough as South Coast Today asks, “Will anyone bid? Bids are due Friday for Massachusetts’ second offshore wind farm, even as the first, Vineyard Wind, struggles to get federal approval. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 23 for confidential bids. By Aug. 30, companies must submit public versions of those bids that do not have to include pricing information. Vineyard Wind’s wholesale energy price last year was lower than expected, leading to concerns that bidders would shy away from trying to beat that price. The state’s 2016 energy law set a price cap by requiring each procurement to produce a lower energy price than the last. Within the last few weeks, Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature agreed to amend the fiscal year 2020 state budget to eliminate the price cap until 2021, when the cap will be reestablished, according to an official at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Vineyard Wind’s price was 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, in 2017 dollars, levelized over a 20-year term.”

The last highlight for this week, from our love of new technology stories, comes from the New York Times, “Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative. Living in a world with smartphones, laptops and cars powered by batteries means putting up with two things: waiting for a depleted battery to charge, and charging it more frequently when its once-long life inevitably shortens. That’s why the battery’s cousin, the supercapacitor, is still in the game, even though batteries dominate electricity storage…In a study this month in the journal Nature Materials, researchers reported a new phenomenon that could potentially bring a supercapacitor’s energy storage capacity on par with lithium-ion batteries: by using a new class of electrolytes composed of ionic liquids, or salts that remain liquid at room temperature. The materials are abundant: The molecular components in this novel class of liquid salts are found in soaps, detergents and even stool softeners.” Talk about cleantech.

That’s the recap for this week. We’re going to take next Friday off from the news so we’ll be back in your inboxes on September 6th.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the Labor Day holiday.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

After dumping coal in front of State House, protesters vow to shut Bow power plant, Concord Monitor

Utility company tries to ease fears as gas pipeline, storage tank push continues, New Hampshire Union Leader

Longmeadow votes to ban construction of gas facility in residential zone, WWLP

21 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules, AP

Federal judge nixes lawsuit seeking gas pipeline in Maryland, Washington Post

Somerville startup wins spot in energy-focused accelerator program, (paywall) Boston Business Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How grid operators forecast weather and output from renewables, Utility Dive

Vermont farm turns manure into renewable energy, powering Middlebury College, NBC 5

Climate change exacerbates hurricane flood hazards along US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in spatially varying patterns, Nature

Study: Air Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Death, U.S. News & World Report

Massachusetts’ law for clean energy could leave Maine woods a mess, Sun Journal

Wind And Solar Gaining Edge Over Natural Gas, Oilprice.com

Town to amend solar and wind energy laws, Ithaca.com

 

Wind

Second offshore wind bids due Friday, but will anyone bid?, South Coast Today

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay, CommonWealth Magazine

New Jersey to establish WIND Institute Council, Energy Live News

Sources: Vineyard Wind Decision Delayed Until December 2020, WNPR

Wind power company poised to move to R.I., Providence Journal

Hopkinton council hears pros, cons of proposed ban on wind turbines, Westerly Sun

Connecticut kicks off 2GW offshore bid round, Renews.biz

Despite Feds’ Raised Bar, $2.8B Massachusetts Offshore Wind Project Presses On, Engineering News Record

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms, Providence Journal

Orsted, Eversource confident in offshore wind as competitor faces delay in Massachusetts, The Day

US offshore wind pipeline exceeds 25GW, reNEWS

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Names Leader, Welcomes GE To Board, NRG Wind Project

Vineyard Wind project gains bipartisan support from federal lawmakers, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Solar-powered charging bench in Easthampton begins one-month trial, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Portland school board approves solar energy project, Portland Press Herald

Hanover, Lebanon celebrate solar in push toward renewable energy, Valley News

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Long-duration energy storage: The future of grid stability, Utility Dive

Is Proposed Battery-Storage Project a Power Plant?, ECO RI

Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative, New York Times

New England’s Municipal Utilities Get a Taste for Battery Storage, Greentech Media

How Did Massachusetts Blossom Into an Environment Ripe for Energy Storage, Pushing Technology and Business Models to the Cutting Edge?, Global Energy World

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Pilgrim nuclear license transfer from Entergy to Holtec, Power Engineering

Keeping watch at Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoastonline.com

‘I tell the truth;’ Rep. Seth Moulton embraces nuclear energy in opposition to the majority of his peers, MassLive

Elizabeth Warren: ‘Coherent plan’ needed for nuclear waste storage, not Yucca Mountain, Aiken Standard

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Major milestone is reached as power line through Boston Harbor gets charged up, Boston Globe

Microgrid to Serve as Core of $110-$120M Connecticut Mixed-Use Project, Mircogrid Knowledge

CMP withdraws controversial customer letter, Portland Press Herald

Some East Boston Residents Are Wary Of Proposed Electrical Substation, WBUR

Homeowners unhappy with new ‘surprise bills’ from Eversource, WTNH

Report: Municipal light plants leading way on carbon-free power generation, Telegram

Connecticut tops continental U.S. in electricity prices: what gives?, The Day

New NRDC Tool Compares Electric Generation Cost by Resource, nrdc.org

New York Lawmaker Urging Long Island Residents To Fight Another Rate Hike Attempt From National Grid, CBS Boston / WBZ

Livermore Falls voters oppose proposed CMP transmission line, Sun Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

How to have an all-renewable electric grid, Boston Business Journal

Why I support New England Clean Energy Connect, Sun Journal

Letter: Renewables bill is a smart investment in our economy, Concord Monitor

No logic in delaying offshore wind projects, Cape Cod Times

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Pursuing wind energy is much better than solar for Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

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

Energy News for week ending August 2, 2019

Whack-a-Mole | Protection Eliminated | RI Raises Concerns

Happy Thursday! We’re coming at you a day early this week, because tomorrow is a busy day.

So let’s get at it.

We don’t normally feature an Op Ed, but this one from MA Attorney General Maura Healey caught our attention. As CommonWealth Magazine explains it, “Attorney General Maura Healey’s office issued a new report on Thursday indicating that consumers who signed on with competitive electricity suppliers between July 2017 and June 2018 paid $76.2 million more than if they remained with their existing service carrier. An earlier report reached similar conclusions. Healey has filed legislation that would bar competitive suppliers from contracting with new residential customers after January 1.”

In another item from CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie baker and the Legislature on Wednesday rushed through a measure that eliminates the state requirement that the next offshore wind contract come in at a price lower than the last one. The so-called declining price cap was approved in 2016 because of fears the price of offshore wind power would be high, with electricity ratepayers needing some protection against excessive prices. But the initial contract price with Vineyard Wind was much lower than expected, so low that many are concerned no companies will even bid on the next contract. Bids are due on the next contract August 9.”

Speaking of wind, it seems our neighbors to the south are making it tough for Vineyard Wind to move forward. From the Boston Globe, “If the nation’s first major offshore wind farm doesn’t get off the ground, there will be plenty of finger-pointing to go around. Some may be pointed at Rhode Island’s congressional delegation. The state’s two senators and two representatives sent a letter on July 12 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, expressing concerns about how the federal agency has handled the review of offshore wind development. In particular, they want BOEM to be more sensitive to potential conflicts with fishermen and marine life. (They also want the agency to open a regional office in Rhode Island.) The letter doesn’t mention the Vineyard Wind project by name. But the timing indicates Vineyard Wind was on their minds: The letter went out the same week the developer learned that a crucial permit from BOEM would be delayed. Vineyard Wind, a venture owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, said it would need the permit within the next several weeks. If not, its 800-megawatt wind farm proposal for waters south of Martha’s Vineyard couldn’t proceed in its current form.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Have a great Friday and weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts House of Representatives approves air monitoring station near Weymouth compressor, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas settles class action lawsuits related to gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Oil and gas groups under pressure to plug leaks, Financial Times

Controversial Williams Pipeline Could Still be Built Despite Rejection, Spectrum News NY1

PSEG on track to reduce emissions 80%, will divest all remaining coal interests, Utility Dive

Rally calls for National Grid to repair gas leaks, Boston Globe

Hempstead Town may drop National Grid to save millions on gas bills for homes, businesses, Newsday

State filings detail lawmakers’ financial interests, possible conflicts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Scientists say they debunked claims of natural warming, E&E News

At Cape planning summit, future is climate change, Cape Cod Times

R.I. says clean energy plan falls short, Providence Journal

These states are producing the most renewable energy. Where does yours rank?, USA Today

New Bedford cited as a leader among clean energy communities, southcoasttoday.com

Pittsfield’s Renewable Energy Work Highlighted, IBerkshires

Few US cities on track to meet climate goals: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Wellesley receives $25,000 grant to help combat climate change, Boston Globe

Three Dartmouth alumni oppose $200 million biomass plant, New Hampshire Union Leader

House passes $1.3 billion for community climate resiliency projects, Wicked Local

Somerset plant awarded low-cost electricity, Niagara Gazette

 

Wind

Offshore wind price protection eliminated, CommonWealth Magazine

Exclusive: First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns, Reuters

Baker developing ‘cure plan’ for Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

R.I. delegation raises concerns with speed of offshore wind review, Boston Globe

Island taking steps to seek mitigation money from Vineyard Wind, The Inquirer and Mirror

Scientists say Vineyard Wind project poses little risk to endangered whales, Energy Central

NY contracts with Eversource project, Journal Inquirer

Renewable groups pressure governor on wind price caps, southcoasttoday.com

Bourne homeowners file suit over turbines, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Brunswick’s tax on solar panels is legal, court rules, Portland Press Herald

Natick High School Could Save $20K with New Solar Panels, Patch

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

“Net zero” schools opening soon in Lexington, receive statewide recognition, Wicked LocaL

Engie Will Pay Storage Developers for Wholesale Market Dispatch Rights, Greentech Media

Study: New York State regulators are ignoring battery-storage trends, IEEFA

NY-BEST: New York peaker study underestimates storage potential, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Senate committee unanimously approves $1 billion for EV, natural gas and hydrogen fuel infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC denies group’s emergency petition, Daily News of Newburyport

Lockheed Martin Doubles Down on Cold Fusion, Motley Fool

CDI joint venture wins contract to decommission Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, S&P Global Platts

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

LaFleur cautions on administrative interference as she exits FERC, Utility Dive

Raimondo’s pick to lead Public Utilities Commission withdraws, Providence Journal

Dozens of Portland streetlights stay dark amid contract dispute with CMP, Portland Press Herald

First in the Nation Municipal Microgrid Program Advances Toward Final Goal Line, Microgrid Knowledge

Small Businesses in New York City Install Microgrids with RISE Funds, Microgrid Knowledge

Lawmakers hike assessment on utilities 50%, CommonWealth Magazine

Power line requiem or the Northern Pass megawatt blues, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Regulator: Decision on CMP rate request likely to be delayed, Portland Press Herald

S&P revises Eversource outlook to negative on offshore wind investment, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Time to put an end to whack-a-mole electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Burning more fossil fuels has no place in addressing climate crisis, Telegram

Jump on solar project while we can, by Stephanie Scherr, Keene Sentinel

Terry M. Jarrett | State power grids feel the strain of summer heat, Tribune-Democrat

The false promise of nuclear power, Boston Globe

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