Category Archives: Electricity Costs

Energy News for week ending May 12, 2017

Sandisfield, Massachusetts, population 915, has found itself in the news no fewer than five times this week. Why? It’s home to part of the Otis State Forest that is the new home of a natural gas pipeline. Some folks are unhappy about the pipeline so they protested and were arrested (Recorder). Then they built a protest cabin (Berkshire Eagle). And now, they are fighting for their day in court, by asking to be charged with more serious offenses (Berkshire Eagle). After reviewing the situation, DigBoston offers its take on how others can get a pipeline built in four easy steps as they say was done at the Otis State Forest.

Speaking of pipelines, the ProJo offers us a glimpse at how National Grid hunts down gas pipeline leaks in Rhode Island.

There are many renewable stories this week. For the curious, the BBJ asks (and gets answers for) just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters? CommonWealth Magazine reports a big international energy player is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts. Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind contracts.

Power Engineering reports that total U.S. electrical generation is set to fall 1.2 percent in 2017 before rebounding by 1.9 percent the next year, according to the latest short-term energy forecast from the Energy Information Administration. Even with the decline, residential electricity prices are expected to increase 2.4 percent in 2017 and another 2.3 percent in 2018.

Lastly, the good news is that for this summer, Utility DIVE reports that the Northeast Power Coordinating Council says the region will have enough power. However, the retirement of one of the largest coal- and oil-fired power plants in New England could put a premium on imports for the region in order to maintain reliability during extreme weather events this summer.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Sandisfield residents upset over backyard pipeline, wwlp.com

Pipeline protests lead to more arrests, The Recorder

Pipeline resistance builds as ‘Thoreau’ protest cabin goes up in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline opponents vow to fight effort to reduce charges in Otis protests, Berkshire Eagle

How to build a natural gas pipeline in Mass in four easy steps, DigBoston

Town Draws Suit for Blocking Energy Firm’s Expansion, Courthouse News Service

Emails Show Spectra Lobbyists Cozy With Top Massachusetts Environmental Officials, DeSmog

Pipeline spill by Dakota Access company could have a ‘deadly effect’, Washington Post

Ohio officials: it will take decades for wetlands to recover after major pipeline fluid spill, ThinkProgress

Rhode Island tribe opposing Massachusetts pipeline claims FERC dropped ball on ceremonial stone landscapes, MassLive.com

Grafton town meeting puts opposition to pipeline on record, Worcester Telegram

Dakota Access pipeline suffers oil leak even before becoming operational, RT

DAPL pipeline owner blocked in Ohio after 18 leaks, 2 million gallon spill, Bismarck Tribune

How National Grid in RI hunts down leaks, The Providence Journal

Senate Defends Climate, Health by Voting Down Methane Resolution, Common Dreams

Renewable Energy

State tour on climate change and clean energy starts on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Times

Committee Kills Anti-Offshore Wind Turbine Bill, Freepress Online

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player, CommonWealth magazine

Richmond approves 23-acre solar installation with nearly 18000 panels, Westerly Sun

Antrim Wind project gets go-ahead again, could be appeal to NH Supreme Court be forthcoming, Keene Sentinel

Avangrid subsidiary gets 50 percent stake in Atlantic wind farm project, New Haven Register

Tesla starts selling solar roof; says savings to cover costs, CT Post

Vermont Renewable Energy Company Bought by St. Louis Firm, U.S. News & World Report

Hanover Becomes First New Hampshire Town to Commit to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, Energy Central

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on CT Solar Lease, Energy Central

Massachusetts towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Cambridge

Lawmakers vote against moving UMaine wind project farther from Monhegan, Portland Press Herald

Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last), Greentech Media

Just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters?, Boston Business Journal

Committee Set to Vote on Bill to Preserve Solar Incentives, Freepress Online

How Mainers keep finding new sources of energy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Cambridge, Eversource partner to launch energy pilot, Wicked Local Cambridge

US Air Force Makes A $243 Million Energy Efficiency Pitch, CleanTechnica

Kenyon International Makes Moves to Become More Energy Efficient, Patch.com

Efficiency Vermont proposes 5% rate decrease, Vermont Biz

Nuclear

NRC issues Pilgrim inspection report, Cape Cod Times

US Energy Chief Touts Nuclear Energy, Vows Cleanup Progress, U.S. News & World Report

Why Nuclear Energy Doesn’t Dominate the Globe, Popular Mechanics

Millstone bill clears a committee hurdle, theday.com

Coalition wants state to reject part of Vermont Yankee plan, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee suitor: Public shouldn’t see ‘highly confidential’ plans, vtdigger.org

How is Vermont Yankee being kept safe?, wwlp.com

DHHS: No common cause in pediatric cancer cluster, Seacoastonline.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

In Massachusetts, utilities take a collaborative approach to EV infrastructure, Utility DIVE

Trump FERC Nominees Bring Certainty for Pipeline Development, Less Certainty for Distributed Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Kicks off New Microgrid Effort. Offers Grants for Microgrid Feasibility Studies, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource Earnings Up, Northern Pass Seen on Schedule, RTO Insider

Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer, MassLive.com

Eversource projecting 1.4% increase in electric bills, The Union Leader

Southbury Eversource Customers to Pay More for Power, Patch.com

NH House panel shelves long-term power deal legislation, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass land purchases questioned, The Union Leader

U.S. Electrical Generation to Decline in 2017, Power Engineering

National Grid Taps AutoGrid for Multi-State Demand Response and Distributed Energy Software, Greentech Media

Mary Powell Is Not Your Typical Utility Executive, Greentech Media

NPCC: Northeast has sufficient power supplies to meet demand this summer, Utility DIVE

Editorial/Opinion

An ill wind blows in Augusta, Bangor Daily News

Kathy Sullivan: Hearings reveal true costs of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Letter: On Northern Pass, a visitor’s perspective, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts should raise its net energy metering caps, pv magazine USA

Robert Thorson: Climate Change And The Nuclear Power Riddle, Hartford Courant

Granite State Debates — Hunter Carbee: Biomass is a foundation of rural NH’s economy, Union Leader

Juliet Cuming: Renewable energy proud, vtdigger.org

Economy can grow under solar industry, Foster’s Daily Democrat

The downside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy, WindWatch.org

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. The weather forecast looks great for what is for many a holiday weekend, the start of school vacation week and of course Patriots Day/Marathon Monday. However, before we kick into “off mode” let’s take a brief look at this week’s energy news.

To western Mass first where there is good news. MassLive reports that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is nearing an agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric that would bypass a bottleneck in the region’s network of gas pipelines and end a two-year-old ban on new hookups in Easthampton and Northampton. It might take some time and some new infrastructure to get it done, but once Holyoke has a new way to get gas, Holyoke Gas & Electric would have less need of capacity on the Northampton lateral, freeing up capacity for Columbia to get more gas to Northampton and Easthampton. When and if this happens, it will make many people happy.

Heading north to New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports that more than 100 people, including dozens of [Northern Pass] project opponents, converged for the leadoff hearing for the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, which will decide in July whether to issue the certificate required for the $1.6 billion project. The story concludes with a vocal critic, Jack Savage saying, “The hearing ‘was really a clash of Northern Pass’ marketing and the reality of what the project is.’” Time will tell if Mr. Savage is right, or if the “marketing” does meet the sniff test.

On the energy efficiency front, we have two stories with alerts. One story from Bloomberg notes that lobbyists are working to amend a decades old conservation law that sets minimum efficiency standards for many household and commercial appliances and bars them from being weakened. However, efficiency proponents aren’t backing down, “An average American household spends about $500 less per year on utility bills because of the efficiency gains in our every day appliances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston-based organization that organizes energy efficiency proponents to advocate for standards. “Rolling back standards or weakening the law to make it harder to improve standards in the future would lead to more energy waste and hurt consumers.”

The other efficiency story from Seven Days Vermont shows a side-by-side comparison of two boxes of LEDs. Same brand. Same watts. One has the Energy Star label the other doesn’t. They wrote, “One of the packages held four highly energy-efficient, reliable bulbs that had been certified by a third-party lab. The other held four lower-quality, uncertified bulbs. An inferior product, they’d be quicker to fail and more likely to give off the wrong shade of light.” I love Energy Star and always look for the label, but it’s easy to see how a less aware consumer might grab a box and think they’re getting the best bang for their buck when in fact they’re not. Buyer beware! And, all the more reason to keep the Energy Star program around.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving Customers in Addison County, Press Release

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. given green light to begin tree cutting in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline, MassLive.com

Renewable Energy

Europeans Get Serious About America’s Offshore Wind Potential: ‘We are here for a market’, Greentech Media

Students urged to ‘take action now’ on climate change, Cape Cod Times

Proposed Bill Would Halt University of Maine Wind Research Project, Government Technology

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

California’s solar energy set power supply record in March, ABC News

Trump Once Railed Against Offshore Wind but Is Now Embracing It, MIT Technology Review

City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts switches on second solar power plant, Electric Light & Power

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

South Mountain Company advancing Martha’s Vineyard toward energy neutrality with SunPower, Penn Energy

Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency

State of the Energy Efficiency Industry: The Utility Story, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

Your Fridge May Be Washington’s Next Regulatory-Rollback Target, Bloomberg

Beware of Imposter LED Bulbs! Look for the ENERGY STAR®, Seven Days

Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community, vtdigger.org

Nuclear

Nuclear plant owners press lawmakers in Connecticut, other states for subsidies, New Haven Register

States moving to promote clean energy through pro-nuclear policies, Daily Energy Insider

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

Interest in 1,500 acre Entergy property heats up, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?, Microgrid Knowledge

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

Residents, businesses, officials decry Eversource rate hike at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Newport, Rhode Island’s Microgrid Ambitions: Small City, Small State, Big Plans, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource executive: Northern Pass ratepayer billing ‘unlikely,’ Union Leader

Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations, Utility DIVE

Higher gas prices add to ISO-NE power costs in February, Utility DIVE

Eversource grilled over why the plan isn’t to bury all of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Kane: National Grid due for $400000 tax break if town’s tangibles rate isn’t changed, Valley Breeze

Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start, Concord Monitor

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

Mass. AG Calls For DPU To Reject Eversource Request, WAMC

AG Maura Healey set to testify in Pittsfield against Eversource rate hike proposal, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

At NH House committee hearing, jobs become focus of key energy bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine’s Health at Risk from Dirty Air Days, Bangor Daily News

Eversource proposes rate hike after reported revenue shortage, wwlp.com

Editorial/Opinion

Not So Strong After All: Climate Change Is Trump’s National Security Weakness, WBUR

Our Opinion: Eversource rate increase would be bad for business, Berkshire Eagle

William J. Eccleston: Savings overestimated for proposed Burrillville plant, Providence Journal

Help more Mainers use solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Maximizing offshore wind’s benefits for Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers, Renewable Energy World

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending March 24, 2017

Good Friday evening. Running a bit behind today, but the Weekly Energy News is here.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Northeast Gas Association Announces Massachusetts Energy Reliability Awareness Campaign, (Press Release), BusinessWire

Attleboro area pipeline foes eye ‘coalition,’ Sun Chronicle

Western Mass pipeline fighters win legal battle over Clean Water Act, MassLive.com

Berkshire businesses oppose ‘pipeline tax’, Berkshire Eagle

Activists gather in Dalton to protest natural gas pipelines, wwlp.com

Regulators Seek State Opinions on Proposed Plant, US News and World Report

Local Environmentalists Oppose Policies Supporting Natural Gas, iBerkshires.com

Grafton selectmen OK resolution opposing pipeline, Worcester Telegram

Decision expected in April on review of pipeline expansion through Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Sharon business owners endorse Stop the Pipeline campaign, Wicked Local Sharon

Enbridge Cutting 1000 Jobs After Takeover of Spectra Energy, U.S. News & World Report

US pipeline regulator orders action over leaking Alaska gas pipeline, HazardEx

These Google Street View cars just got a new job — spotting harmful methane leaks in big cities, Washington Post

Renewable Energy

All In Its Design: Block Island Wind Farm Thrives In Snow Storm, Rhode Island Public Radio

Big Oil Replaces Rigs With Wind Turbines, Bloomberg

GE Unit Builds Solar Projects Throughout Northeast, Solar Industry

Northern Lights: Large-Scale Solar Power Is Spreading Across the US, Yale Environment 360

Google: Majority of US rooftops could support solar power, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources extends solar incentive program, Solar Power World

Loggers: Biomass Electricity Producer Isn’t Paying Suppliers, MainePublic.org

Deepwater Wind – leaving rivals in its wake in US offshore, Recharge

Race to Build Offshore Wind Farms That Float on Sea Gathers Pace, Bloomberg

Industry chief: Solar power doesn’t now threaten utility profits, Electric Light & Power

Waterford launches residential solar program, Norwich Bulletin

New York Offers Electric Car Rebates, Natural Resources Defense Council

Massachusetts looks to expand solar market by 2020, wwlp.com

Sanders sees ‘revolution’ in energy, vtdigger.org

Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center, University of Rhode Island to Receive $500,000 from Interior, Energy Central

SMART start? Massachusetts utilities, solar at odds over proposed incentive program, Utility DIVE

Massachusetts Seeks Clean Energy Ideas for Gas Station Resiliency During Power Outages, Microgrid Knowledge

Bills to expand solar incentives in Maine ready to launch, Press Herald

LePage seeks to change rules on biomass bailout bill he signed, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

5 NH communities start energy efficiency campaign, NH1 News

Wilton Residents Boost Energy Efficiency and Community Efforts, Patch.com

Alliance to fight energy efficiency program budget cuts, Daily Energy Insider

RI Infrastructure Bank Announces Financing for 2 Clean Energy Projects, GoLocalProv

Cumberland church preaches energy efficiency, The Forecaster

Portsmouth to install LED streetlights citywide, Seacoastonline.com

Nuclear

NorthStar makes its case for buying VY, Commons

NRC cites failures at Pilgrim, but plant remains safe enough to stay open, Boston Globe

Local group urges NRC to deny Seabrook license amendment, The Daily News of Newburyport

Millstone bill heads to full Connecticut legislature, New Haven Register

What’s The Future Of Connecticut’s Only Nuclear Plant?, WNPR News

Bloomberg: Nuclear subsidies could cost Northeast customers $3.9B annually, Utility DIVE

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

AG Maura Healey asks Eversource to cut profits, not raise rates, MassLive

New reports required for proposed Burrillville power plant, The Providence Journal

What National Grid Plans to Fix in Waltham, Patch.com

PJM watchdog joins lawsuit against nuclear subsidies, E&E News

Sununu Visits Montreal to Talk International Trade and Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass foes plan to circle the NH Statehouse on April 23, NH1 News

National Grid Urges Congress to Keep LIHEAP Funding to Protect Vulnerable Customers, Justmeans (press release)

Editorial/Opinion

Imagine consequences of closing down Pilgrim, Cape Cod Times

As I See It: Sustainability Hub of National Grid efforts, Worcester Telegram

Energy Efficiency Needs “Historic Level of Public-Private Cooperation”, Energy Collective

Letter to the editor: Pass solar bill to lift Maine economy, Press Herald

Should Shrewsbury oppose the proposed natural gas pipeline?, The Boston Globe

My Turn: The truth matters when it comes to our energy future, Concord Monitor

Taking issue with story on nuclear plant, The Daily News of Newburyport

George Smith: Maine could (and should) be energy independent, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Forum: Carbon tax is bad economic and public policy, New Haven Register

API: Subsidies for Nuclear Power Generation Could Hurt Connecticut Consumers, Energy Central

ViewPoint: In Massachusetts, a resounding yes for zero-emission vehicles, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending March 3, 2017

Happy FriYAY! An arctic storm front is expected to move through this evening so bundle up – winter is back, but the forecasters say it’s just for a couple of days.

In this week’s news, we have a story from Vox that explains RGGI. But, they note there is good and bad news. The good news is that it’s working. The bad news is that it’s not reducing carbon. To clarify that they wrote, “it (RGGI) has benefitted from emission reductions in the Northeast, but it hasn’t really caused any, or at least not many. Whether it can serve as an instrument of meaningful decarbonization — and retain its integrity and popularity — largely remains to be seen.”

Speaking of decarbonization, North American Windpower reports that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is seeking to grow renewable energy in the state by a “whopping” 1,000 percent. In the press release she said, “The goal will include energy from a broad portfolio of clean energy resources, including offshore and onshore wind and solar.” The article goes on to note that a Providence Business News article brings up a notable point: There is not yet any legislation to go along with the governor’s goal. Further, as of June 2016, approximately 95% of Rhode Island’s net electricity generation was derived from natural gas.

Last note for today – Wicked Local Woburn tells a story of how a monster slowly made its way through several Massachusetts towns. A high capacity autotransformer, weighing approximately 467,000 pounds, was moved from a dock in Everett to Eversource’s Woburn substation on Pond Street. The 35-foot long, 13-feet wide, 18-feet tall piece of equipment was moved with State Police escort on a 12-axel transport trailer through Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, Medford, Arlington and Winchester. The convoy traveled at about 5 miles per hour over several hours, Eversource officials said. Here’s to improved electric capacity and reliability!

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

3 million Americans at risk from human-induced earthquakes this year, USA TODAY

Residents quietly protest proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

Revealed: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Close Ties to Lobbyists for Spectra Energy, Whose Pipeline Projects He Backs, DeSmog

Rehoboth selectmen unhappy with Spectra Energy, The Sun Chronicle

Cities, Enviros Urge FERC To Pull Pipeline Project OK, Law360

Propane for schools removed from budget; Town to explore natural gas, New Canaan Advertiser

Earthquakes Have to Do with One Very Specific Part of Fracking, Big Think

Trump’s new pipelines are going to get a ‘dog fight’ in some parts of the United States, CNBC

Renewable Energy

Eversource solar array project stalled once again, Berkshire Record

Wind Turbines Loom on Off-Cape Waters, Wicked Local Wellfleet

NH’s wood heat efforts slow, NH Business Review

Making it happen: 2017 is the year for US offshore wind energy, Windpower Engineering

Rhode Island Governor Plots Whopping 1,000% Renewables Increase, North American Windpower

The Northeast’s carbon trading system works quite well. It just doesn’t reduce much carbon, Vox

Vermont among leaders in solar jobs per capita, Vermont Biz

Environmental groups to make hard push to reverse Maine’s new solar rules, Press Herald

Trump Can’t Stop This: Global Renewable Energy Booms, Natural Resources Defense Council

How to Support Renewable Energy (and Why You Really Should), Scientific American

N.Y. tries to balance solar power growth with land-use issues, USA Today

Energy Efficiency

Don’t Underestimate the Secondary Benefits of Energy Efficiency, Energy Manager Today

Heating (Or Cooling) Costs Too High? Heat Pump Technology Has The Answer, Hartford Courant

A Carbon Tax Gains Traction Among Some Conservatives, MainePublic.org

Nuclear

Entergy takes step toward Pilgrim shutdown, Cape Cod Times

State schedules Vermont Yankee sale hearing, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim Station decommissioning panel has four Plymouth members, Wicked Local Plymouth

Scientists Say They’re Finally Getting Close To Fusion Power, Daily Caller

2 Connecticut energy bills aim to help Millstone owner, spur fuel cell use, New Haven Register

NRC bans fired Seabrook Station nuclear plant guard, Seacoastonline.com

California Nuclear Closures Resulted in 250% Higher Emissions from Electricity, The Energy Collective

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Renewables and Microgrids and Nothing Else: Crazy or Maybe?, Microgrid Knowledge

Wholesale electric prices reach new low in New England, but retail prices remain high, Boston Globe

Suppliers see lower electric prices ahead, NH Union Leader

Exelon: Millis water not needed for Medway plant, MetroWest Daily News

State approves transmission line to run under Winchester roads, Wicked Local Winchester

ISO-NE Begins Discussing Order 1000 Public Policy Tx Projects, RTO Insider

2 Vermont utilities say customers targeted by phone scam, Penn Energy

Wholesale electricity prices drop to 13-year low, CommonWealth Magazine

Needham selectmen dig deeper into Eversource project, Wicked Local Needham

Public Hearings to Discuss Eversource’s Proposed Rate Hike, CapeCod.com

Public counsel fires back over businesses’ Northern Pass claims, New Hampshire Business Review

How Secure Is Our Smart Grid?, Government Technology

Woburn autotransformer to up energy output, Wicked Local Woburn

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Making ‘dirty energy’ a thing of the past, MetroWest Daily News

Should Massachusetts commit itself to 100 percent renewable energy?, Boston Globe

Support RGGI for cleaner, healthier air, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Columnist Marty Nathan: Massachusetts leads on renewable energy, GazetteNET

Your Turn, NH — David Worthen: RGGI is good for NH businesses, The Union Leader

Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health — Here’s Why, Forbes

Invenergy plant provides today’s power needs, Valley Breeze

OPINION: Energy efficiency saves money, adds jobs, Daily Record

You Can’t Have Offshore Wind Power Without Petroleum, Forbes

Guy Page: Earlier decommissioning of Vermont Yankee has multiple benefits, vtdigger.org

The trials and triumphs of offshore wind, GreenBiz

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending February 24, 2017

TGIF. There are lots of stories and opinions this week. Let’s start with some intrigue. CommonWealth Magazine reports that some environmentalists are “alleging that the 1,200 megawatt clean energy solicitation developed by the Baker administration is biased in favor of large-scale hydro projects favored by some of the state’s utilities.” The intrigue comes in because “the state’s electric utilities are not only helping to write the RFP with the Department of Energy Resources but expect to benefit from it by building the transmission lines that deliver the power.”

Questions about the future Rehoboth Gas Compressor Station and the Access Northeast Pipeline are also rattling around in the Attleboro area according to the Sun Chronicle. Some suggest (hope?) that the cancellation of a public meeting means the project is dead. Others say, not so fast. One item that appears to be dead is the Brockton Power Plant proposal with the news from WickedLocal this week that the land where it was to be sited is up for sale.

In Connecticut, Bloomberg says environmental groups opposed to subsidies for nuclear power may be facing a do-or-die moment when it comes to legislation to help bail-out Millstone Nuclear.

And, lastly, I’m not sure how this fits with “competitive” as in competitive energy markets, but Energy Manager Today reports that in Maine, legislation has been filed that would prohibit a competitive electricity provider from charging a residential consumer a rate for generation service that is higher than the rate charged for standard-offer service. Not sure how that will fly with those who opt to pay more to support renewable generation.

Don’t forget to check out the events page. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Plants

Pipeline developers pursue multi-pronged approach, Hartford Business

Killingly postpones meeting on proposed power plant issues, Norwich Bulletin

6600 spills from fracking in just four states, Science Daily

Fracking Caused Pennsylvania Earthquakes, New Report Confirms, EcoWatch

Cancellation of meeting on Rehoboth gas compressor station raises questions about status of project, The Sun Chronicle

Pipeline advocates gird for battle, The Sun Chronicle

Weymouth mayor looks to state permitting process to halt Spectra station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Baker: State has ‘minor role’ in permitting for Weymouth compressor, The Patriot Ledger

Weymouth compressor station foes raise money for legal battle, The Patriot Ledger

Local pipeline opponents stand with Standing Rock, The Recorder

Trump Eyes Easing Obama Rules for Sprawling Pipeline Network, Bloomberg

Natural Gas Bulls Crushed As Prices Tank, OilPrice.com

How booming US natural gas exports could affect power utilities and consumers, Utility DIVE

Environmental group to EFSB: Pull the plug on Brockton Power over bait-and-switch tactics, WickedLocal

Eversource facing big Beacon Hill challenge, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

Clean energy intrigue alleged, CommonWealth Magazine

Could Massachusetts run on all renewable energy by 2050?, Wicked Local Medford

Study throws cold water on residential solar-plus-storage economics, Utility DIVE

Overheard at the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum, RTO Insider

Baker urged to lead on anti-carbon compact changes, wwlp.com

New farmland harvest – solar energy – creating political sparks, The CT Mirror

New Hampshire church hits zoning snag over solar panels, Press Herald

Why Wind Turbines Should Talk to Each Other, Greentech Media

New Campaign Celebrates Growing Renewable Energy Sector, Solar Industry

Connecticut DEEP rejects two utility storage pilots as too costly, Utility DIVE

Chemists improve batteries for renewable energy storage, Phys.Org

Wind Briefly Sets Record as Source for Electricity in US, Climate Central

Alabama company buys closed biomass power plant in northern Maine, Press Herald

Retiring worn-out wind turbines could cost billions that nobody has, Energy Central

Eversource gains approval for 23-acre solar farm on Montague Plains, MassLive.com

Merrimack officials debate solar panel tax exemptions, The Union Leader

Covanta Extends Partnership with Southeastern Connecticut Communities for Sustainable Waste Disposal, Energy Central

FuelCell officials hope proposed legislation will aid energy procurement in Connecticut, Register Citizen

Baker, officials tout solar incentive program, MetroWest Daily News

US grid can handle more offshore wind power, cutting pollution and power costs, Science Daily

Energy Efficiency

How Every State Benefits from Energy Efficiency Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council

Partnership gives cities such as Somerville millions in energy grants, Wicked Local Somerville

Internet of Things helped Connecticut district cut electricity bill by 84%, Education Dive

Energy groups urge Congress to advance efficiency bill, Daily Energy Insider

Greenfield energy department reduces carbon, costs, Going Green

Nuclear

Closure of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant boosted greenhouse gas emissions in New England, MassLive.com

Dominion’s Nuclear ‘Bailout’ a Do-or-Die Moment for Opponents, Bloomberg

Yankee sale may be in ’18, Rutland Herald

Connecticut girds for nuclear power debate as critics line up against Millstone support bill, Utility DIVE

Public input sought on Seabrook nuke plant degradation, Seacoastonline.com

Citizens panel wants help to deal with Vermont Yankee sale, Commons

Endless nuclear power can be found in the seas, EnGadget

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Maine Legislation Would Cap Retail Pricing, Energy Manager Today

Local officials, environmentalists raise concerns about EPA under Pruitt, MetroWest Daily News

Senate bill could open the door to ratepayer-funded energy projects, Concord Monitor

Land once targeted for Brockton Power project goes up for sale, WickedLocal

Utility raises concerns on emission targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource reports profit gain on eve of key state hearings, Thehour.com

This outspoken refrigeration technician is LePage’s go-to energy advisor, Press Herald

Eversource Investing $36 Million in Tree Trimming, CapeCod.com

Newton names Ann Berwick as co-director of sustainability, WickedLocal Newton

Mansfield, North Attleboro electric departments oppose new environmental regulations, Sun Chronicle

Editorial/Opinion

As I See It: Accelerating electric vehicle use, Worcester Telegram

How to fight climate change without Washington, Boston Globe

Don’t put customers on the hook for pipeline costs, by Susan Wessels, The Keene Sentinel

Pressure LePage to strengthen RGGI, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision cripples Maine solar industry, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision confirms ratepayers pay twice, The Maine Wire

Sorry, Coal. Solar Is Where the Jobs Are, Fortune

Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems, The Economist

Karl Meyer: Connecticut River power storage plant is an ecological, economic and energy disaster, Vtdigger.org

Maine needs the good-paying jobs nuclear energy provides, Bangor Daily News

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending February 17, 2017

Happy Friday. This week’s energy news brings us more response to a pipeline study released last week that claims the Access Northeast pipeline will cost twice what proponents claim. According to MassLive, Eversource Energy called the report “a disservice to communities.”

During last week’s ISO-NE energy auction Invenergy’s proposed Burrillville, RI gas plant only managed to sell half its expected capacity. EcoRI reports that Jerry Elmer of the Conservation Law Foundation, said, “the lack of demand for the electricity shows there is more than enough power generation to meet future energy needs and, thus, the proposed Clear River Energy Center is unnecessary and shouldn’t be built.”

But natural gas advocates, should not dismay! The American Gas Association released its 2017 playbook touting all of the benefits that natural gas brings to the US. Specifically, the playbook offers a concise, fact-based narrative detailing how the industry and utilities are helping increase our energy security, improving our environment and boosting our economy.

Lastly, on the gas front, WGBH talks with Governor Baker about how much he can or can’t influence the Weymouth gas compressor station. His response, “In the end, these decisions get made by the federal government.”

In other news, Maine is starting to look like Washington; or is it that Washington is starting to look like Maine? Regardless, the Sun Journal tells us that Gov. LePage is telling utility commissioners to resign over “their absolutely horrendous decision” that rolled back net metering but didn’t eliminate it. And the Bangor Daily News reports he seeks to replace at least one of them with a solar energy critic.

New Hampshire also has its fair share of renewable critics. Utility DIVE reports on legislation that would remove the state from RGGI and repeal the renewables mandate.

Speaking of renewables mandates, MassLive reports that more than 50 Massachusetts lawmakers have signed on to a bill that would require Massachusetts to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. All of its heating, transportation and other sectors would have to be powered by renewable energy by 2050. No word yet on the cost, but we can look to Vermont where the Energy Collective said a study released this week found its 90 percent renewables mandate would cost $33 billion by 2050. They did the math and found if the US were to adopt Vermont’s 90% RE goal, the capital cost would be $17,316 billion, which is in the same ballpark as the US national debt. Ouch.

There is much more news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Can Gov. Baker Actually Block A Controversial Gas Compressor?, WGBH.org

Is NED pipeline back on the table?, Nashua Telegraph (pay wall)

AGA Releases 2017 Playbook, True Blue Natural Gas

Eversource and activists at odds over latest New England pipeline study, MassLive.com

New report questions need, cost of Access Northeast gas pipeline project, Utility Dive

Reports Conflict on Need for New Gas Power Plant, ecoRI news

Air battle looms over proposed Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Pope appears to back native tribes in Dakota Pipeline conflict, Reuters

Company Behind DAPL Reported 69 Accidents, Polluting Rivers in 4 States in Last Two Years, EcoWatch

Fracking Rule Text Disappears From Interior Department Website, EcoWatch

Vt. Gas Takes Financial Hit, Pipeline Protests Continue, Middlebury Campus

Germany largely bans fracking with new laws, Deutsche Welle

Refugio pipeline explosion shakes homes 60 miles away, KHOU.com

Renewable Energy

New Hampshire bills would withdraw state from RGGI, repeal renewables mandate, Utility Dive

Vermont’s 90% Renewable Energy Goal to Cost $33 Billion by 2050, Energy Collective

Wind Power Now Generates More Than 10 Percent of Electricity for 13 States, Power Engineering

State incentives in the offing as more companies, communities adopt solar power, MassLive.com

LePage eyes replacing utilities commissioner with solar energy critic, Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage urges Maine utility regulators to resign over solar decision, Lewiston Sun Journal

Here’s an early look at how Maine’s biomass bailout money is being spent, Bangor Daily News

Fight over renewable energy comes to New Hampshire, Penn Energy

Trump urged to back offshore, reNews

Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm, Cape Cod Times

Deepwater Wind opens Massachusetts office in New Bedford, SouthCoastToday.com

Solar and wind energy propel growth in US renewables, Nature.com

Victory: These Two Cities Just Committed to 100% Renewable Energy, EcoWatch

Environmentalists push for 100% renewable energy use in Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Wind turbines inspired by insect wings are 35% more efficient, Science Magazine

US Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy, Bloomberg

UPS Announces $18 Million Investment In Onsite Solar Energy, 5x Onsite Solar Growth, CleanTechnica

Governor’s letter to Trump — Support solar and wind energy, Digital Journal

Companies Collaborates with Beaumont Solar on New 680,305 sq ft LEED Certified Headquarters, Incorporating a 2.2 Megawatt Solar System, Energy Central

The crisis at Oroville Dam, explained, Vox.com

Energy Efficiency

Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced in Senate, Lexology

Report: HI, CT, MA, RI, and AK Households Save Most On Overall Utility Bills Due To Appliance Standards, (Press Release), Appliance Standards Awareness Project

Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, (Report) Environment Maine

Massachusetts Green Communities Program Continues to Grow, Energy Manager Today

An Energy Storage Target for Massachusetts: Go Bigger, Bellwether?, Microgrid Knowledge

Vermont Churches Awarded Grants for Energy Audits, vtdigger.org

National Grid launches its first commercial & industrial demand response program, Utility DIVE

Nuclear

Entergy Addresses Critical Report (video), ‘The Take’ NECN

Connecticut lawmakers again asked to consider nuclear energy, New Haven Register

Federal application filed for Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim nuclear power plant back online after shutdown, The Boston Globe

Public hearings planned on proposed Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

NRC starts comment clock on Seabrook amendment to rent extension, The Daily News of Newburyport

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules to cut carbon emissions in Mass. may increase them in New England, critics say, Boston Globe

New review is critical of Northern Pass project, The Union Leader

Massachusetts Plans to Identify Microgrid Opportunities Statewide, Microgrid Knowledge

Prices plummet in ISO-NE capacity auction, raising questions about new generation plans, Utility Dive

Expanded Use Of EVs in CT, MA, MD, NY & PA Could Yield “Multi-Billions” in Savings and Benefits, CleanTechnica

Plymouth triangle lot could produce new revenue (underwater cables), Wicked Local Plymouth

Utilidata, National Grid announce Volt/VAR optimization project, Electric Light & Power

Energy executives, secretive nonprofit raise money to back Pruitt, Politico

Citing ownership change, Brockton Power asks for six-month permit extension, Enterprise

Brady to state board: Deny Brockton Power 4th extension after it sat out auction, Enterprise

Editorial/Opinion

Power Precursor, New Hampshire Magazine

Reviving the Keystone Pipeline is one of Trump’s foolish acts, Ricentral.com

Eversource solar hikes unwarranted, CommonWealth Magazine

Commentary: PUC’s mishandling of solar rules will hurt industry, utilities and ratepayers, Press Herald

Letter to the editor: SMCC is all talk, no action on renewable energy future, Press Herald

Markey, Kennedy Statement on Results of New England Electricity Capacity Auction #11, Energy Central

Ronald C. DeCurzio: Massachusetts municipal utilities doing their part to reach clean energy milestones, MassLive

Letter to the Editor: Unnecessary pipeline project would do damage, New Haven Register

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending February 3, 2017

Good afternoon. It’s Super Bowl Weekend! With that in mind let’s start off with a fun infographic from Penn Energy that describes what it would take for certain types of renewable energy to power a 60 inch plasma for the duration of the game. Any guesses on the number of potato batteries required?

In other news, MassLive reports that Senators Markey and Warren have asked FERC to rescind the Atlantic Bridge pipeline, but they may be out of luck with their request. Why you ask? Well it seems that despite “loving pipelines” the Washington Post reports that Trump’s personnel moves at FERC left them without a quorum, pretty much stopping them from getting anything done any time soon.

There was a lot of solar news this week from all around the region. The Union Leader reports the largest solar array in New England is planned in Hinsdale, NH – 65 MW total. Eversource, according to CommonWealth Magazine, is seeking higher fees on customers with solar. Bob Rio, writing on the AIM Blog says Massachusetts’ new solar subsidy program “gets it right.” And in Maine, Greentech Media reports that solar customers are going to receive lower bill credits.

Lastly, the NRC tells the Boston Globe that Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth is safe. In fact, it can refuel this spring and remain in operation until their planned shutdown date in May 2019.

Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Trump loves pipelines. But he just accidentally froze a bunch of them, Washington Post

Sens. Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren call on FERC to rescind Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline authorization, MassLive

Burrillville seeks more time to analyze Invenergy proposal, Valley Breeze

Rhode Island GOP leader asks Trump to jumpstart pipeline, Greeneville Sun

Ruling on Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal may be delayed, Danville Advocate

Tax hike to be on Rehoboth ballot, The Sun Chronicle

New analysis suggests ways for landowners to limit fracking and mineral extraction without regulations, Stanford University News

Florida Fracking Ban Bill Draws Bipartisan Support, InsideClimate News

New data: Pipeline leaks caused by human error are increasing, Digital Journal

US energy official’s resignation not expected to change Spectra decision, The Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

Super Bowl and the Environment: A fun look at renewable energy, Penn Energy

Net Metering: Energy Providers Clash On Cap, Utility Rates, New Hampshire Public Radio

Future of clean energy investment fund uncertain, VTdigger.org

Mass. Town To See Savings With Large Rooftop Solar Project, Solar Industry Magazine

Eversource seeks higher fees on customers with solar, Commonwealth Magazine

Solar Groups Praise Massachusetts’ Continued Support Of Incentives, Solar Industry Magazine

New solar plan cuts subsidies in half, CommonWealth magazine

Wind costs heading in the right direction, Windpower Monthly

Wind Turbines Blow Past Energy Records in Denmark, Popular Mechanics

Wind lender backs away from coal, Windpower Monthly

Proposed solar project in Hinsdale could be largest in New England. Union Leader

Maine Solar Customers to Receive Lower Bill Credits Starting in 2018, Greentech Media

Renewable Energy & Energy Storage To Expand Hand-In-Hand In Emerging Markets, Concludes World Bank, CleanTechnica

US Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Fossil Fuel Employment, Natural Resources Defense Council

Maine PUC tries to strike balance in phased reduction of NEM credit, Utility DIVE

UNH research: Trump voters don’t believe humans affecting climate, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Solar Policy Actions Spiked in 2016, With a Focus on Net Metering, Greentech Media

Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Inks Community Solar Deal, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Program Expanded To Burlington Homeowners, WAMC

RI Environmental Activists Ponder Being Trumped, ecoRI news

Vermont Gas, BED launch residential energy efficiency program, Vermont Biz

A small efficiency experiment with big results, Rutland Herald

Energy savings and sustainable practices not out of reach midwinter, Bangor Daily News

Nuclear

Feds allow Pilgrim nuclear plant to remain open, BostonGlobe.com

Vermont Yankee decommissioning panel seeks more local reps, The Recorder

Vermont Yankee to move fuel in spring, vtdigger.org

Seabrook petition seeks to roll back impact fees, The Daily News of Newburyport

AARP wants disclosure, protections for ratepayers in Millstone bill, theday.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

‘Fuel security’ tops ISO New England’s challenges: CEO, Platts

National Grid Helps Drive Massachusetts Toward a Clean Energy Future, (press release) Justmeans.com

NH Supreme Court upholds Northern Pass access decision, The Union Leader

Regional Power Manager Warns of Future Grid Vulnerabilities In New England, WSHU

National Grid proposes added electricity rate reduction in R.I., beginning April 1, Fall River Herald News

An aging Maine power plant and nearby battery illuminate New England’s energy challenges, Bangor Daily News

NH’s high electricity costs threaten state economy, Seacoastonline.com

Vermonters spend less on electricity, despite high rates, BurlingtonFreePress.com

ICYMI: Electric Aggregation Coming To Sudbury Soon, Patch.com

Maine legislative committee questions electricity program staff, Bangor Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

New Solar Subsidy Program Gets it Right, AIM Blog

ViewPoint: Energy costs are costing New England companies, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

“Fitness for Purpose” Obligations for the Offshore Wind Sector, POWER magazine

Letter to the Editor: Regional emissions-cutting program saves money, lives, report shows, New Haven Register

‘Trump Can’t Stop Renewables Energy Growth At Home Or Abroad’, Forbes

Build the pipeline, not the wall, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Maine Compass: Biomass power benefits Maine, CentralMaine.com

Stalled federal policy hurts NH biomass, NHBR

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Pilgrim Closing, solar