Category Archives: Electricity Costs

Energy News for week ending October 13, 2017

Crying Foul | CPP Repeal | Trojan Horse

Happy Friday the 13th!

This week’s energy news had lots of drama. It began with the expected proposal by Scott Pruitt of the EPA to repeal the Obama Clean Power Plan. After that came lots of ire and action, especially by state Attorneys General, including MA (Power Engineering) and CT (WNPR) who filed suit against the administration.

Next was a report from a group of university researchers working with the Environmental Defense Fund which, according to a Utility Dive article, claimed that “gas utility subsidiaries of Avangrid and Eversource have artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity in New England for years, driving up natural gas and electricity prices and potentially violating federal laws.” They said, “The systematic withholding of pipeline capacity, particularly on the coldest days, has cost New England electricity consumers $3.6 billion in higher prices over the past three years.” Eversource called the report a “complete fabrication.” The Northeast Gas Association also issued a response calling the report a “profoundly misleading and inaccurate analysis.”

Over on the pages of CommonWealth Magazine, Bruce Mohl reported that National Grid cried foul on Hydro-Quebec. Mohl writes, that during a closed-door presentation National Grid officials asserted “the intent of the energy diversity law passed last year was to finance the development of clean energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Joseph Rossignoli, director of US business development for National Grid, said the hydroelectricity Hydro-Quebec wants to sell to Massachusetts would come from generating facilities that are already open or about to open, and therefore wouldn’t reduce emissions or need financing.” HQ was “taken aback” and “dismissed” Grid’s claim asserting that the building of the transmission line made it an eligible project.

Lastly, some folks in western Mass, according to an article on Going Green are calling a bill filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, to establish the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Fund a “classic Trojan horse” to expand biomass energy production in western Massachusetts under the guise of sustainable forestry. Kulik responded, “I can say flatly and honestly that this is a very straightforward utilization of forest resources,” Kulik said. “These charges are completely false and misleading, and are, unfortunately, being spread by a small group who are deliberately mischaracterizing this bill.”

That’s it for this week. Lots of news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Eversource, Avangrid artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity for years, report argues, Utility Dive

Little-Known Gas Rules Pit a Green Group Against Power Companies, Bloomberg

Maura Healey reviewing study claiming utilities linked to $3.6B scheme, Boston Herald

American LNG developers wade into market awash with gas, Financial Times

Enbridge Unit Says Mass. Town Preempted In Pipeline Battle, Law360

Charges and Counter-Charges Boil Over at $700 Million Invenergy Hearing, GoLocalProv

Land Swap, Lousy Opinions Could Support Power Plant, ecoRI news

Invenergy Requests 35 City, Town Resolutions Against Power Plant Be Excluded From Evidence, RIPR

Clean Power Plan

EPA Takes Another Step To Advance President Trump’s America First Strategy, Proposes Repeal Of “Clean Power Plan,” (Press Release) EPA

Massachusetts Attorney General to Sue Over Clean Power Plan, Power Engineering

Connecticut Sues Over Clean Power Plan Reversal, WNPR News

Maine’s air and waters at stake in EPA rollback of Obama carbon plan, Bangor Daily News

Renewables (Policy, RGGI, Purchasing, etc.)

Google Will Hit 100% Renewable Energy This Year, Inverse

NH clean tech ‘confusion’ debated at Energy Summit, New Hampshire Business Review

Student activists push for renewable energy on campus, South Coast Today

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fall 2 percent in 2016, led by power industry: EPA, Bloomberg

Divestment bill pitched as way to speed decline of fossil fuels, Newburyport Daily News

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action, Yale Environment 360

Wind

Open Ocean Presents Considerable Opportunity For Offshore Wind Energy Generation, CleanTechnica

There’s Enough Wind Over the Ocean To Power All of Civilization, Popular Mechanics

Offshore wind farms have powerful advantage over land-based turbines, study finds, Science Magazine

Sea Change For Investing In US Offshore Wind Sector?, E&P

Restrictions on turbine noise face legislative hurdle, VT Digger

Storage

Storage is renewable energy’s greatest challenge—this low-cost sulfur battery may help, Phys.Org

WPI Researchers Receive NSF Awards to Develop Better Ways to Capture and Store Solar Energy, WPI News

Massachusetts starts inquiry into energy storage eligibility for net metering, Utility Dive

Storing renewable energy costs way too much. This battery could change that, Mic.com

Green Charge Moves Into Utility-Scale Storage With Massachusetts Project, Greentech Media

Solar

16-year PILOT agreement signed for Swansea solar farm, Herald News

Maine’s biggest solar farm now operational, Maine Biz

New solar panels shed some light on old Randolph landfill, Wicked Local Randolph

Biomass

Rep. Kulik’s woodlands bill called ‘classic Trojan horse,’ Going Green Blog

Backers of biomass project say they are paying bills, back taxes and ‘not going anywhere,’ Portland Press Herald

Forest group opposes Mohawk Trail partnership on biomass concerns, Going Green Blog

Energy Efficiency

This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero, Inhabitat

Wynn Boston Harbor to be on the Forefront of Energy Efficiency, Chelsea Record

EVs

New Amazon Drones Will Charge Your Car While You Drive, Greentech Media

Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine, Washington Post

Ikea, Exelon kick in for $22M round for Boston electric-driving startup, Boston Business Journal

Electric vehicles are about to flood the market, Business Insider

Electric cars win on energy efficiency vs hydrogen, gasoline, diesel: analysis, Green Car Reports

Nuclear

Nuclear power plant identifies and stops small hydrogen leak, Norwich Bulletin

Nuclear plant closures to test sufficiency of decommissioning funds, Utility Dive

Watchdog Group Allowed to Weigh In on Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Review, New Hampshire Public Radio

Welch bill would compensate nuclear fuel communities, VT Digger

With no plan for replacing Millstone, what are CT’s options?, Hartford Business Review

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Pro-Trump energy group blasts plan to help coal, nuclear, The Hill

DOE limits NOPR to RTOs with capacity markets as FERC denies extension request, Utility Dive

Utility-Branded Marketplaces Offer DER Services to 32 Million Metered Customers, Greentech Media

Utilities on both sides of bargaining table, CommonWealth Magazine

Brewster herbicide appeal dismissed, Cape Cod Times

Consultant questions whether Bay State will accept power project without approvals, The Union Leader

The 4 Main Pillars of Enhancing Utility Grid Resilience, Greentech Media

Could Cyberattacks Knock Out Power in the US? Not so Easily, Power Engineering

Natl. Grid calls foul on Hydro-Quebec proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Canada Wants to Solve U.S. Nuclear Woes With Faraway Dams, Bloomberg

Eversource seeks approval to sell power plants, Laconia Daily Sun

Editorial/Opinion

VY land deserves to be more than a used industrial site, Commons

Our View: Maine will suffer from Pruitt’s pro-coal stand, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Investing in energy efficiency makes good sense for hospital, Commons

My Turn: A renewable energy vision for Concord, Concord Monitor

Trump Is About to Stifle US Solar Power. Why?, Fortune

Pipeline gas report is misleading, inaccurate, CommonWealth Magazine

Truths and tales about electricity, NH Business Review

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Renewables

Energy News for week ending July 28, 2017

The bids are in | The saga continues | New wires and pipes

Happy Friday afternoon!

The news topic getting the most “ink” this week was the Clean Energy RFP and the bids that came in response. We’ve dedicated a whole section to it below. It seems the biggest surprise (AP via Energy Central) was the entrance of Central Maine Power into the mix.

Here’s one that makes us say, “Wut?” It seems members of the Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) have complained they were not given proper notification by the town of Spectra’s decision to withdraw plans for the station. According to a story in The Sun Chronicle, Rehoboth selectmen say they are baffled at the criticisms lodged against them by CARCS. (Um yeah, the story was all over the news and you’d think the CARCS would be celebrating…) Nonetheless, the board has invited them to air their grievances on August 7th. We’ll look for the follow-up story so we can share with you the reasons for CARCS’ unhappiness. A saga indeed.

Lastly, on projects that as far as we can tell didn’t have many detractors, the Telegram brings us details on a number of energy improvement projects in Central MA. The article notes, “The work coincides with a national effort by utilities to update aging infrastructure and make natural gas and electricity services more reliable for customers at a time when energy technology is advancing and consumers are demanding better options.”

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Compressor station saga continues in Rehoboth, The Sun Chronicle

Hingham may form compressor station task force, The Patriot Ledger

State Rep. Lynch calls for stronger pipeline safety provisions, Wicked Local Westwood

ETP’s $4 billion Rover line hits another snag, this time in West Virginia, Reuters

The conflicts of interest hiding behind pro-pipeline op-eds around the country, Media Matters for America

Dakota Access developer’s new pipeline rankling regulators, The Boston Globe

State Sen. Adam Hinds visits anti-pipeline activists in Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

Acushnet selectmen confirm pipeline plan is ‘dead’, SouthCoastToday.com

Clean Energy RFP

5 major transmission, hydro and wind partners bid into Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, Masslive

Hydro-Quebec partners up, CommonWealth Magazine

Central Maine Power joins green energy competition, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Maine utility a late surprise in green energy competition, Energy Central

CMP unveils plan that could quench LePage’s thirst for Quebec hydropower, Bangor Daily News

Governor Scott supports underwater Power Link from Canada, Vermont Biz

National Grid’s Plan To Run Power Line Through MA, NY Towns, WAMC

Eversource and Hydro-Québec Offer Two Proposals to Clean Energy Solicitation, (press release) Business Wire

Renewable Energy

State rule squeezes green energy producers, including Newburyport company, Newburyport Daily News

Impending eclipse underscores solar’s contribution to grid, Press Herald

Lights dim for cleantech funding under Trump’s budget, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

50% Rise in Renewable Energy Needed to Meet Ambitious State Standards, Inside Climate News

Renewables on the Rise, (report) Environment Maine

NE Environmentalists Want More Ambitious Carbon Emissions Cap For Power Plants, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Hampshire temporarily suspends solar rebate programs, Daily Energy Insider

The Top 5 Emerging Markets for Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Report: Renewables Capable Of Being ‘America’s Energy Choice’, North American Windpower

LIPA declines to back 210MW Deepwater Wind project: report, Recharge

Seize the Day: RGGI Leadership More Important Than Ever, Union of Concerned Scientists

State energy plan calls for more renewables, Hartford Business

Massachusetts Town Saves $101,000 in 12 Months with Solar, Energy Manager Today

Analysis: Ratepayers Foot the Bill for Utilities’ Push Against Rooftop Solar, Renewable Energy World

New York will rebuild 78 miles of transmission to meet 50% renewables standard, Utility Dive

Solar farm covering 57 acres in Pittsfield (ME) wins regulators’ OK, Energy Central

Scientist: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, Cape Cod Times

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency’s Existential Crisis Is Also an Opportunity, Greentech Media

Litchfield High School recognized for energy efficiency, Litchfield County Times

Ultra-Efficient, Economical Apartments Now In South Boston Are Part Of ‘Big Wave’, WBUR

Needham-Newton Businesses Net $2.7M Through Energy Savers Program, Patch.com

Nuclear

Connecticut Gov. Malloy orders financial review of Millstone nuke, Utility Dive

Can Millstone Survive Natural Gas? Malloy Orders State Review, Hartford Courant

Rowley activist: Public hearing needed on Seabrook evacuation plan, Wicked Local Ipswich

Vermont Yankee concerns ‘unfounded,’ companies say, Brattleboro Reformer

VT Yankee closing leads New England colleges to form a green hub training program, NH1 News

Connecticut’s latest energy roadmap likely to raise debate over Millstone, alternative sources, New Haven Register

Report: Advanced Nuclear Tech Could Be Lifeline for Industry, Power

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Virtual Power Plants & Transactive Energy: How Will They Change the Energy Business?, Microgrid Knowledge

Medway: State approves Exelon water plan, MetroWest Daily News

Monthly Wholesale Electricity Prices and Demand in New England, June 2017, Energy Central

Connecticut updates goals for energy, climate change, CT Mirror

Why We Need More Microgrids for Resilience, but Aren’t Getting Them, Microgrid Knowledge

Healey to DPU: Cut Eversource rates, CommonWealth Magazine

Providence Looks to Switch Sides in Power-Plant Case, ecoRI news

Vermont gov. creates climate commission to reach energy goal, Penn Energy

Utilities spend millions to replace old pipes, lay new wires and update infrastructure in Central Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram

Updated Energy Strategy Hampered By New England’s Congested Grid, WNPR News

National Grid seeking 53-percent rate hike, The Providence Journal

EIA: US residential power sales in decline since 2010, Utility Dive

National Grid talks energy, safety, and efficiency, Daily Item

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey takes aim at proposed Eversource rate hike, MassLive.com

Would Eversource’s power line reduce property values?, Wicked Local Hudson

Hudson selectmen, residents fear environmental impacts of proposed powerline, Community Advocate

Hiding in plain sight: Aggregated DERs in wholesale power markets, Utility Dive

Northern Pass site visits begin in the North Country, The Union Leader

Northern Pass to withdraw purchase power agreement, The Union Leader

Editorial/Opinion

10 Years After Launch of its Wind Turbine, Jiminy Peak Now Reducing Carbon Footprint, Renewable Energy World

3 takeaways on the offshore wind RFP, CommonWealth Magazine

Expanding energy efficiency, Rutland Herald

Karen Glitman: Efficiency Vermont — yesterday, today and tomorrow, vtdigger.org

Our View: Regional climate compact victim of its own success, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Let’s make New Bedford the US center for offshore wind, SouthCoastToday.com

Susan Schibanoff: Franconia Area Residents Take Northern Pass Concerns To Concord, Caledonian Record

Columnist Kathryn R. Eiseman: Berkshire Gas must update business model, Greenfield Recorder

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

Energy News for week ending July 14, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon all.

This week there is something in the news for everyone – regardless of what side of the energy fence you sit on.

One thing I think we can all get behind is 14-year-old aspiring environmental scientist, Anika Bhagavatula from Wilton, Connecticut. According to a story on EcoWatch.com, Anika found “that a mix of pomegranate husks and orange peels could absorb motor oil two to three times its own weight.”

“Bhagavatula’s project was inspired by the ongoing fears that the Dakota Access Pipeline could spill and pollute the Missouri River. “I wanted to find a natural sorbent which could clean up these oil spills and would replace harmful remediation solutions, which, while effective, can damage the environment,” she added. The eighth grader presented her research at her middle school and state science fairs. She not only took home first place awards for her project, she also earned a spot as a finalist in the 2017 Young Scientist Challenge where she could win $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.””

Kudos to Anika.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

With Access Northeast Suspension, No Relief In Sight For Gas-Starved Region, Oil and Gas Investor

Massachusetts regulators approve Berkshire Gas 5-year plan, while insisting company must work to lift moratorium, MassLive.com

New studies reinforce importance of natural gas for clean energy future, PennEnergy

Massachusetts regulators approve NRG gas plant, Utility Dive

US ‘will become one of the world’s top gas exporters by 2020’, The Guardian

Rehoboth officials receive word natural gas project may resurface, The Sun Chronicle

Baker may visit site of proposed compressor station, wwlp.com

Baker facing mounting pressure on Weymouth gas facility, The Boston Globe

Opening of proposed Burrillville power plant delayed until 2020, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Inspired By DAPL, 14 Year Old Finds Novel Solution to Pipeline Spills, EcoWatch

Eversource Expands Natural Gas System in New Canaan, HamletHub

Renewable Energy

Controversial clean energy bill becomes law without governor’s signature, New Hampshire Business Review

Falmouth won’t appeal order to shut down wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Falmouth officials: Turbine losses could total $12M, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth — Episode 41 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast, CleanTechnica

Gov. LePage vetoes solar ‘net metering’ bill, again, Portland Press Herald

Can the world thrive on 100% renewable energy?, The Economist

US Offshore Wind Stays Small As Dominion Energy Moves Forward With DONG Energy On Virginia Project, CleanTechnica

National Grid sees subsidy-free offshore wind by 2040, Windpower Monthly

Rhode Island Looks to Sustain Clean Jobs Gains, RTO Insider

Four local towns look to harness power of the sun; others already have, The Keene Sentinel

As Virginia explores options for carbon trading, joining RGGI a possibility, Southeast Energy News

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists, New York Times

Project may double MDI’s solar output, Mount Desert Islander

Maine biomass plant offline for third straight month, forfeiting taxpayer cash, Bangor Daily News

Mass. Leaders Featured in Project Highlighting ‘Voices for 100 Percent Renewable Energy,’ Energy Central

Wind turbines damage human health says Portuguese scientist, National Wind Watch

Energy Efficiency

Administration rebuffed on call to cut energy efficiency funds, vtdigger.org

Boston Tops List Of Energy-Efficient Cities, Banker & Tradesman

Energy efficiency is a ‘win-win’ for investors, GreenBiz

Massachusetts aims for 200 MWh energy storage target, Electric Light & Power

Eversource, National Grid atop ACEEE’s Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Electric Light & Power

National Grid revises proposed electric and gas price changes for smaller bill hikes, WatertownDailyTimes.com

Nuclear

Why Nuclear Power, Once Cash Cow, Now Has Tin Cup, Bloomberg

Company Signs Deal To Handle Radioactive Reactor Components At Vermont Yankee, Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Yankee: Anti-nuclear group doubts cleanup plan, Brattleboro Reformer

The Latest In Nuclear Energy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Battle over Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear plant rages on, New Haven Register

Dominion pushes inclusion of Millstone nuke provisions in Connecticut budget bill, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Law and Effect: The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, WGBH

Debunking Three Myths About “Baseload,” Energy Central

Maine and New England consider stronger CO2 caps, Bangor Daily News

After sector outcry, Massachusetts energy chief defends 200 MWh storage target, Utility Dive

Analysis shows market forces, not policy, driving shifts in power sector, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

Unitil seeks to raise average gas bill 9 percent for households, Bangor Daily News

New England Residents Pay Most in Contiguous US for Electricity, GoLocal Worcester

Connecticut residents pay highest energy costs in nation, analysis finds, New Haven Register

Energy CEOs say investor money and jobs at risk because FERC isn’t functional, CNBC

Concord adamant on burial of Northern Pass power lines, Concord Monitor

Public meetings start for Granite State Power Link, a Northern Pass-like proposal, Concord Monitor

How wholesale power markets and state environmental policies can work together, Utility Dive

Eversource makes case for Sudbury-Hudson power line, MetroWest Daily News

MBTA hides parts of Hudson-to-Sudbury power-line deal, Worcester Telegram

Eversource on hook for Harbor project under deal with feds, Boston Business Journal

3 Ways the Trump Administration Is Changing How It Talks About Energy, Greentech Media

Medway: Massive truck set to deliver Exelon generator, MetroWest Daily News

Towns gear up to fight Eversource herbicide plan, Wicked Local Brewster

Editorial/Opinion

Between the Lines: Frances Crowe Has The Right Idea, Valley Advocate

Commentary: Maine lawmakers siding with passing responsible energy policy, Press Herald

No reason to open new marine monument to oil drilling when industry doesn’t want it, Bangor Daily News

The problems with Trump’s push on natural-gas exports, Axios

Another View: Cheap hydro power from Canada is not so cheap, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Letter: William J. Eccleston: It’s time for RI to fight excessive transmission costs, The Providence Journal

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

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