Category Archives: Electricity Costs

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

Energy News for week ending July 19, 2019

26 days a year | At Risk | Vows to fight

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

We start with a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists and a story from WBUR, “Feeling the heat this summer? Well, it’s just going to get worse. Massachusetts is going to see more hot and humid days in the coming decades, according to a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Days that feel like 100 degrees (or higher), which rarely happen in Massachusetts now, will occur 26 times each year by the end of the century if no action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the report finds. Ninety degree temperatures will likely occur in the state about one month a year by 2050 and more than two months a year by 2100. Currently, the average is seven to 10 days.” It’s not just Massachusetts that faces increased heat. From the Hartford Courant, “Hartford could see as many as 44 days a year of summer temperatures above 90 degrees by 2050 if the U.S…Currently, Hartford averages just 11 days during the year when temperatures hit the 90-degree Fahrenheit mark.”

In some other dispiriting news, CommonWealth Magazine reports that, “Vineyard Wind says its offshore wind farm could be in jeopardy if the federal government fails to approve its environmental impact statement over the next six weeks. In a carefully worded statement issued early Thursday morning, the company appeared to be prodding federal officials at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to move quickly to approve the environmental impact statement. The statement represents a shift for the company, which had earlier acknowledged delays were expected in the review of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

Last for this week, just after we sent out last week’s Energy News, the MA DEP approved the air permit for the Weymouth compressor station. But the fight may not yet be over. From WATD, Ron Mariano represents the 3rd Norfolk District, which includes the Fore River Bridge, the proposed site for a natural gas compressor station. He’s saying that he’s disappointed in the DEP for their decision to approve the air quality permits after mishandled hearings, as well as with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC. Mariano says the fight is frustrating, but doesn’t end here.”

That’s the recap for this week. Here are two words for you to remember this weekend – hydrate and shade.

Stay cool and have a wonderful weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Hopkinton wants answers on ‘thermal anomaly’ at LNG tank, MetroWest Daily News

Weymouth: State Representative Vows to Fight Compressor Station Project After Air Permits Get Approved, WATD-FM

Pipeline foes choke region’s economy, Press Enterprise

Tribal Org. Blew Chance To Fight Pipeline, DC Circ. Told, Law360

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: By 2100, Mass. Could Have 26 Days A Year That Feel Hotter Than 100 Degrees, WBUR

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants, E&E News

Pingree’s amendment would require Pentagon to prepare for climate change, Portland Press Herald

Maryland’s highest court rules state can trump counties in deciding where solar, wind projects can go, Baltimore Sun

Study predicts more ‘extreme heat’ days in Maine as climate warms, Portland Press Herald

Climate Change Will Strain Federal Finances, Scientific American

Climate change could mean as many as 44 days with temperatures above 90 in Hartford, according to report by Union of Concerned Scientists, Hartford Courant

New York takes lead in climate change fight, Politico

Mass Audubon and Eversource Collaborate to Address Climate Change, Utility Dive

Trump officials worry warming could hurt the grid, E&E News

Millbury awarded $1 million grant as part of climate change adaptation program, Boston Globe

Maine Enacts Beneficial Electrification Law; State to Issue RFP for Pilot Projects, Mircorgrid Knowledge

How GE invested in fossil fuels, and missed the opportunity to be a clean energy giant, Fast Company

N.S. approves new attempt to harness Bay of Fundy’s powerful tides, Vancouver Courier

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind says project at risk, CommonWealth Magazine

Baker, Vineyard Wind mum on Feds’ project guidance, Southcoasttoday.com

Vineyard Wind Dealing With Potential Setbacks, WGBH

New York Awards Offshore Wind Contracts in Bid to Reduce Emissions, New York Times

Ørsted/Deepwater: We’ll Be On Time, The Independent

In Amagansett, Pushback on Offshore Wind Farm, The Easthampton Star

Freedom approves Invenergy community host agreement worth $12 million, Olean Times Herald

Maine regulators approve 22-turbine wind power project, Portland Press Herald

 

Solar

NextEra Energy Hosts Public Information Session On Large Solar Project, New Hampshire Public Radio

Rhode Island Getting Pair Of Community Solar Projects, Solar Industry

National Grid Acquires Renewables Developer Geronimo Energy, Greentech Media

Sunrun Wins Another Capacity Contract for Aggregated Home Storage, Greentech Media

 

Efficiency/Storage

NPU encourages residents to be energy efficient as heat hits region, The Bulletin

Sen. Murkowski teases prospects for storage as committee advances 22 energy bills, Utility Dive

Why Long Island Could Become New York’s First Energy Storage Hot Spot, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee cooling towers coming down, marking the ‘end of an era,’ Vermont Digger

Bill Gates faces “daunting” nuclear energy future, Axios

Three Mile Island nuclear plant shutdown cost: $1.2 billion, The Morning Call

NRC eyes reducing inspections of nuclear reactors, The Hill

U.S. plans to extend nuclear plants’ lives to 80 years, senior energy official says, Washington Post

 

EVs

Experts: State’s goal to have 300,000 electric vehicles by 2025 will be a challenge, MetroWest Daily News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

LaFleur’s exit will leave 3 commissioners — and anxiety, E&E News

Few people show for first hearing on CMP rates in Portland, but those who did criticized the utility heavily, Bangor Daily News

Municipal utilities support House bill giving them more control, MassLive

Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?, Outside

New Environmental Secretary Katie Theoharides touts climate initiatives, MassLive

Nation’s Mayors Applaud House Committee Action to Renew Energy Block Grant Program, YAHOO! News

New Law Requires National Grid, Utility Companies To Fix Roads, Patch

National Grid Faces Possible Penalty on Non-Compliance of New York Safety Rules, New York Times

ConEd: Failed relay systems, not transmission equipment, caused NYC blackout, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Turning the page from the gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

ARENA, Weymouth: Correcting compressor station misstatements, Patriot-Ledger

YOUR VIEW: Offshore wind should not go forward until there are answers, South Coast Today

As wind energy grows, need for gas plants shrinks, Republican-American

Why did the state OK a new natural gas power plant in Killingly when the move is to renewable energy?, Hartford Courant

Clean energy comes with a high price. Lowell Sun

Holyoke Mayor Goes Full Green with Climate Change Envy, Betrays Cause, Natural Gas Now

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

Energy News for week ending July 12, 2019

Block the Compressor | Vineyard Wind Dealt 2 Blows | CMP Oppo Group Forms

 

Busy day here so no recap this week.

Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

29 senators urge DEP to block Weymouth gas facility, CommonWealth Magazine

At ‘wit’s end,’ Mariano pushes Weymouth air monitoring bill, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth: Legislation Aims at Heavy Oversight of Air Pollution at Compressor Station Sites, WATD-FM

National Grid to NYC customers: Support the Williams Pipeline or no new service, Grist

Officials outline plan to boost businesses still struggling after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

The U.S. Is Overflowing With Natural Gas. Not Everyone Can Get It., Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Study: Carbon tax carries high cost, low benefit, Boston Herald

Climate change means roads should be built differently, UNH researchers say, Boston Globe

Experts Say U.S. Power Grid Needs To Change Before Shifting To All Renewable Energy, NPR

As Brayton Point transforms, Haddad legislation has brought nearly $18 million to Somerset, South Coast Today

$1B Renewable Energy Bill to be Subject of Public Hearing, NECN

Maine Hits Clean Energy Grand Slam, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lowell Council OKs green-energy boost, Lowell Sun

Which States Build the Greenest?, New York Times

Republicans Try to Buff Up Green Image With Environmental Caucus, Bloomberg

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind dealt blows on two fronts, MV Times

AIM to Baker: Modify the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Connecticut issues draft RFP for 2 GW offshore wind, Utility Dive

 

Solar

How New York City Is Turning Its Thousands of Roofs Into Power Providers, New York Times

Polar ice chronicles a toxic metal’s surging production, Nature

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits, Wired

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer, Phys.org

 

Efficiency/Storage

Stem Steps Into Grid-Scale Storage With Partnership in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

New Jersey’s Draft Energy Plan Includes Support for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Home Energy Reports: Still the ‘biggest, baddest way’ to drive customer behavior, Utility Dive

‘Opportunities everywhere’: NREL study shows mass potential for storage to provide peaking capacity, Utility Dive

Why Long Island Could Become New York’s First Energy Storage Hot Spot, Greentech Media

US Green Building Council seeks proposals to strengthen new LEED standard, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Scientist ‘unsure’ of Seabrook nuclear plant’s safety; NextEra says claims ‘simply wrong’, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opposition Group To Launch Petition Effort To Kill CMP’s Transmission Project, Maine Public Radio

RI Ranked 22nd Most Energy Expensive State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Conn. leads the nation in energy costs, Journal Inquirer

National Grid faces possible penalty on non-compliance of NY safety rules, CNBC

Aggressive U.S. energy policy tests ties with European allies. Reuters

Pennsylvania regulators outline criteria for alternative rate proposals to support new tech, Utility Dive

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants, E&E News

N.Y. Launches Grid Modernization Challenge, North American Wind Power

 

Editorial/Opinion

Viewpoint: Mass. must double down on clean energy efforts, Boston Business Journal

Benson carbon pricing bill is smart policy, CommonWealth magazine

Editorial: Independent review makes sense on Berkshire Gas moratorium, Amherst Bulletin

My Turn: Doug Gablinske: Invenergy’s failure will cost all of us, Providence Journal

George Smith: Maine takes on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Dan Weeks: To Sununu: Go solar, Conway Daily Sun

Maine re-asserts its leadership in environmental priorities, Sun Journal

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

Energy News for week ending March 15, 2019

Skipping School | Pipeline Benefits | Push the Plunger

 

Good Friday afternoon. I hope you all got a chance to get out and enjoy the balmy temperatures today.

Hopefully the temperatures were good around the world today for the kids who skipped school to protest climate change. From the Washington Post, “It started 29 weeks ago when 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg began skipping school on Fridays to protest climate change by standing outside of her nation’s parliament building. Today, kids from almost 100 countries, including the United States, are following Thunberg’s lead and will play hooky from classes for something they think is ultimately more important: preventing the warming of their planet.” They asked the kids to tell their stories for why they are participating. Here is one from Massachusetts, “Saraphina Forman (age 16; Sophomore, Northampton High School, Northampton, Mass.): ‘I grew up in the country a little bit outside of Northampton, tapping trees for maple syrup, skating on a nearby pond, and I know that the effects of climate change are already happening…When I came across Greta Thunberg, I think she really sparked a movement around the world. I was very much inspired by her and wanted to do the same…I thought, why shouldn’t I do this? It’s the duty of everyone.’”

Speaking of Western Mass, here’s an article from the Cabinet Press with a headline I thought I’d never see, “Amherst Conservation Commission: Gas pipeline could benefit town.” It reads in part, “The natural gas pipeline through four miles of Amherst would have a limited long-term impact on the town’s ecology and could benefit the town as a whole. Those were two conclusions from the Amherst Conservation Commission’s environmental assessment of the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline companies. Among the areas covered in the commission’s 36-page report are land use, water resources, hazardous materials, geology and soils, wildlife, air quality, public health, visual resources and pipeline construction methods as they apply to Amherst’s terrain. The commission concluded that, “based on current knowledge, the installation of the natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan appears to have limited long-term impact on the natural systems temporarily impacted by the pipeline construction.”

Now here’s something that sounds like a lot of fun – from Southcoasttoday.com — “The Brayton Point cooling towers are scheduled to be imploded April 27, and tickets are available for those looking to be the lucky one to ‘push the plunger.’ All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall installation coordinated by the Greater Fall River Vietnam Wall Committee, according to a press release from the Office of Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad. ‘This is a ceremonial pushing of the plunger. The professional demolition team hired by Commercial Development Corporation, owners of the Brayton Point Commerce Center, will actually detonate the explosives simultaneously with the winner pushing the plunger,’ said Haddad, D-Somerset.” Only 1,000 tickets were printed. Each costs $20. You have until April 15th to get your hands on one. It’s sure to be a blast!

That covers for it for this week. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

‘Never Going to Let This Happen Again’: Incoming Columbia Gas President Offers Safety Assurances 6 Months After Merrimack Valley Disaster, NECN

Hearings Set to Resume for Burrillville Power Plant, ECO RI

Power plant would need 16k gallons of water a day, Johnston Sun Rise

Pinelands Commission says South Jersey Gas pipeline approval void, Press of Atlantic City

Amherst Conservation Commission: Gas pipeline could benefit town, Cabinet

Columbia Gas To Replace Heating Equipment, WGBH

Massachusetts Hired Energy Industry Execs to ‘Independently’ Review State’s Gas System, Desmog Blog

In America’s Shale Country, Nukes and Gas Are Duking It Out, Bloomberg

Ex-Transportation Czar to Oversee Utility’s Safety Efforts, NBC Boston

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The Energy 202: Kids are skipping school today — to protest climate change, Washington Post

National Grid acquiring renewables developer Geronimo Energy, Power Engineering

What if the US-Mexico border wall was an energy corridor that could pay for itself?, Renewable Energy World

Climate bills call for Maine to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels, Portland Press Herald

New York City has a plan to fight rising seas: Extend the Manhattan shoreline, Boston Globe

Overheard at NECA Renewable Energy Conference 2019, RTO Insider

Eversource is Helping Empower the Green Workforce of the Future, NA Clean Energy

Getting to 100% Clean Energy—and the Grid Operators that Stand in the Way, Union of Concerned Scientists

N.H. Town Meeting Voters Approve A Range Of Responses To Climate Change, NH Public Radio

Statewide Perspectives: Siting Renewable Energy Projects Takes Collaboration | #CleanTechnica Exclusive, CleanTechnica

 

Wind

At New London’s State Pier, wind power gives Connecticut its next economic development opportunity, Hartford Courant

Offshore wind industry could come to Gulf of Maine, Boston Globe

Residents resume fight over wind turbine, Valley Breeze (RI)

Van Scoyoc: Town “Probably” Won’t Ink Any Beach Lane Cable Deal for Offshore Wind Farm Before Full PSC Review, Sag Harbor Express

Controversial wind turbine back on town’s radar, The Valley Breeze (RI)

New Jersey report details strides state has made in meeting wind energy goals, Daily Energy Insider

Barnstable residents query Vineyard Wind, Barnstable Patriot

Concerned citizens speak out against installing wind turbines in Broome County, WBNG (NY)

 

Solar

Largest Community Solar & Storage Installation In Massachusetts Is Now Open For Business, CleanTechnica

Powerful times: Here comes the sun, Boston Globe

As US solar expands, states increasingly tackle compensation and community project complexities, Utility Dive

Solar array proposed in Oxford, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy-efficient programs to be less costly under state deal, Nashua Telegraph

New York’s Answer to Westchester Gas Ban Is Energy Efficiency, Yahoo Finance

AI can help fight climate change by optimizing energy efficiency, thenextweb.com

Energy efficiency: A clue to politically feasible climate policy, Phys.org

 

Nuclear

Nuclear industry pushing for fewer inspections at plants, AP

Feds seek public input on Pilgrim performance assessment, Patriot Ledger

$500 million Pennsylvania nuclear rescue plan triggers fierce battle from rival power producers, Philly.com

Arguments heat up as PSEG fights for state to subsidize nuclear plants, NJspotlight.com

Pennsylvania’s First Nuclear Subsidy Bill, Explained, NRDC.org

Indian Point 3 Starts Last Refueling, Maintenance, USA Patch

Dominion faces March 15 deadline to secure utility contracts for Millstone nuke, Utility Dive

NRC grants license extension to Seabrook Station, Eagle-Tribune

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Find out why electricity prices are rising, New Haven Register

Update: New Hampshire Microgrid Legislation Makes Progress, Microgrid Knowledge

Chatterjee: Transmission could be resilience docket solution, Utility Dive

Ipswich plan promotes local power, Wicked Local Ipswich

Overheard at NECA Renewable Energy Conference 2019, RTO Insider

Want to ‘push the plunger’ on Brayton Point? Get your tickets now, South Coast Today

New Hampshire Microgrid Legislation Passes Committee. Sent to House for March 14 Vote, Microgrid Knowledge

Massachusetts and California Rank High in Energy Democracy: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

Joi Scientific and New Brunswick Power to Develop World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Distributed Electricity Grid, Energy Central

Wholesale energy prices on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

ISO-NE Steady on Fuel Plan Despite NEPOOL Rebuff, RTO Insider

Final arguments delivered in CMP’s $950M hydropower transmission project, MaineBiz

Investigation of Jackman, Caratunk, Dover-Foxcroft complaints against CMP will extend through summer, Kennebec Journal

It’s time to Spotify the grid with DSO functions, Utility Dive

Eversource to Invest $41 Million in Tree Trimming Across Massachusetts, Cape Cod Today

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills gets CMP project right, Kennebec Journal

Kevin Jones: Offshore wind could remedy New England brain drain, VTDigger

Seeing into our region’s future with wind power, Lowell Sun

CMP project has no place in Maine, Kennebec Journal

Letter to the editor: Replace CMP with a public power authority, Portland Press Herald

Cautionary tales on undersea cables, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Don’t make same mistake as Falmouth, MV Times

GUEST VIEW: Lighthouse Wind: When does no mean no?, Lockport Union-Sun and Journal

Want to Stop Climate Change? Then It’s Time to Fall Back in Love With Nuclear Energy, Time Magazine

Proceed with caution on wind, MV Times

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind