Category Archives: Electricity Costs

Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

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

Happy Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

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

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

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

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

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

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

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

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

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

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

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

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

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

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

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

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

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

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

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

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

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

 

Electric Vehicles

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

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

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending March 16, 2018

Russians at the switch | Mortally wounded |Clean Peak Standard | What’s in a name

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week brings disconcerting energy news of Russian cyberattacks where hackers had their fingers on the switches at US power plants. According to the story in the New York Times, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will…‘We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,’ said Eric Chien, a security technology director at Symantec, a digital security firm. ‘From what we can see, they were there. They have the ability to shut the power off. All that’s missing is some political motivation,’ Mr. Chien said.”

Earlier in the week, Portland Press Herald wrote about the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s decision to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass Project, “The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor…The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from Beattie Township, on the Canadian border north of Route 27 and Coburn Gore, through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail. The project cost would be borne by Massachusetts electricity customers.”

Speaking of Massachusetts, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection…The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”

Utility Dive noted that one provision of the bill is the creation of a “new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive…The proposed legislation language would direct the Department of Energy Resource to create a new clean peak standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers. The standard will require all retail electricity suppliers to provide ‘a minimum percentage of kilowatt-hour sales’ from clean peak energy resources, ultimately determined by regulations. The legislation specifies that, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ the Clean Peak Standard cannot raise individual customer rates more than $0.005/kWh in the aggregate of any year.”

Last for this week, and to end on a lighter note, is a story from Newhampshire.com which reports that some folks in New Hampshire, Seabrook to be specific, are having a hard time believing that Disney writers weren’t making ties to their community in a movie called “Zombies.” The movie is, “set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem? The fictional town is named Seabrook.” Seabrook Selectman Aboul Khan said that he’s not “worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant. ‘We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,’ he said. ‘We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.’”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Gas Pipeline Buildout Hits Bottleneck in Massachusetts, Natural Gas Intelligence

Scituate is withdrawing their opposition to Invenergy and their support for Burrillville, Uprise RI

Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?, Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers hear dueling pipeline positions, Hartford Business

From Asthma to Cancer, ‘Blistering’ New Report Details Human Cost of Fracking, EcoWatch

New York Loses Bid to Block Millennium Gas Line Project, Bloomberg Quint

Pipeline Opponents Pleased With Caveats, Valley News

Federal Regulators End Key Tax Benefit for Certain Pipeline Companies, Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Storms focus attention on climate change, as Gov. Charlie Baker releases $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, MassLive

Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive

Push is on for carbon tax in New York, Lockport Journal

Clean energy projects in Albany to get share of $1.4 billion in state money, Albany Business Review

Regional plan could provide local say on renewables, Stowe Reporter

3rd District candidate unveils green-jobs plan, Lowell Sun

State of renewables not what you might think, Rutland Herald

Could FERC Order Put State Clean Energy Policies in Danger?, Greentech Media

Report: Severe weather in Northeast tied to warming Arctic, Cape Cod Times

Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security, Natural Resources Defense Council

Towns tell state leaders to act on climate change. Are they listening?, vtdigger.org

Connecticut renewable energy supporters to push for legislative gains, Litchfield County Times

Climate Change Resolution Adopted In 35 Communities, Vermont Public Radio

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse featured among ‘Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy’, MassLive.com

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, CleanTechnica

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

NA Markets: Compliance demand re-emerges in California as RGGI awaits next week’s auction, Carbon Pulse

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

 

Wind

Bay State Wind Teams With Massachusetts Energy Storage Company, NA Windpower

Ocean City loses bid to push back offshore wind developments, Delmarvanow.com

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind backers push New London area as potential hub, theday.com

Report Quantifies Economic Impact Of Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Proposal, North American Windpower

Offshore wind company partners with Red Sox, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind plans workforce development, Barnstable Patriot

Bay State joins permit fast lane, reNews

 

Solar

Worry over solar sprawl spreads across Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Solar-powered brewery donates extra power to senior center, Caledonian Record

US solar forecast ratcheted down as tariffs weigh, The Week

Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well, Washington Post

Vermont lodge and bierhall goes solar, Solar Power World

A Push To Expand A Struggling Sector Of Solar Energy In Connecticut, WSHU

Wilton among state leaders in solar technology, Thehour.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A global game changer for energy efficiency investments, Environmental Defense Fund

How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery, Treehugger

Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings, Bloomberg

Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy, Popular Science

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy, Hartford Courant

For utilities trying to drive conservation, mixed messages may be best, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

Vermont Yankee sale case will extend into summer, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Community Engagement Experience Takes Place On Saturday in Barnstable, CapeCod.com News

Disney: ‘ZOMBIES’ movie set in power plant town called ‘Seabrook’ a coincidence, NewHampshire.com

Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power, Futurism

The quiet fight to finally send nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Washington Examiner

Nuclear subsidy bill re-engineered as three separate measures, NJSpotlight.com

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable, Greentech Media

 

Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are becoming increasingly greener in the US thanks to a cleaner electric grid, Energy Central

Pennsylvania proposal could bolster EV charging infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says, New York Times

Split FERC approves ISO-NE 2-part capacity market plan, Utility Dive

Powelson ‘very nervous’ about long-term reliability in ISO-NE, Utility Dive

ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation, Platts

Report Examines Comparatively High Expenses For New England’s Power Grid Operator, New England Public Radio

Lawyer: Site Evaluation Committee won’t decide whether to reconsider Northern Pass rejection until May, Union Leader

Time running short for N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Prospects improve for CMP’s $950 million power line plan, Press Herald

Northern Pass Hydropower Project Again Delayed, ecoRI news

Utility workers travel to restore Cape’s power, Cape Cod Times

State launches probe into utilities’ response to 2 storms, Albany Times Union

7News Investigates: Seeking Power Outage Solutions Underground, WHDH TV

Cryptocurrency Companies to See Electric Rates Rise in NY. Opening for Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Schneider Electric and REC Solar collaborate on Massachusetts microgrid, Solar Power World

Pennsylvania Microgrid Bill Wins Committee Vote. Heads to House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Stanley Rosenberg: Building our green, clean energy future, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Securing a clean energy future, Gloucester Times

Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs, Bangor Daily News

Letter: Thanks to supporters of renewable energy, Bennington Banner

New York Is Moving Aggressively To Harvest Its Offshore Wind, Forbes

Letter: A proposal on the Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee candor: A deal to decommission Vermont Yankee is promising, but only if it involves transparency, The Keene Sentinel

Stop pouring money into fusion energy research, Eagle Tribune

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

Energy News for week ending March 9, 2018

Getting Testy | Climate Bill Expected | Fusion Power

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We’re hoping you’re all safe, warm, and have electricity. And if not, that you get it back soon. Here’s to the men and women who are out there working hard to restore power and get people back into their homes.

Now for the news.

When it comes to the pipeline debate, according to CommonWealth Magazine, things are getting testy – at least on Twitter. From the article, “It started on Tuesday when [Tim] Murray, president of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, retweeted a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette raising concerns about New England’s shortage of gas in late December and early January, which forced the region to generate electricity by burning 2 million barrels of oil. ‘Underscores why we need natural gas as bridge fuel while we aggressively pursue renewable energy future…,’ Murray tweeted. The comment prompted a lot of pushback from individuals and groups who oppose the construction of new natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Some called natural gas a ‘bridge to nowhere.’”

Among those opposed to Murray’s Tweet was the Blue Mass Group that had a tweet-storm about it this morning. The Sunday Boston Globe editorial about the prospects of transporting LNG which included statements, such as “faddish anti-pipeline politics,” and “The counterproductive results of the state’s experiment with moral purity…” also resulted in pushback with blog posts by Charley on the MTA at Blue Mass Group and Craig S. Altemose of 350 Massachusetts at CommonWealth Magazine.

The recent back to back Nor’easters with their coastal flooding, high winds, and heavy precipitation have some asking for climate change mitigation measures to happen sooner rather than later. In an article from Katie Lannan of the State House News Service in the Greenfield Recorder, we have word that “Gov. Charlie Baker said he plans to file legislation next week addressing climate change…‘A lot of these places got hit pretty hard in the January 4 storm as well, and I think we’re going to have to come up with a different kind of strategy around resilience,’ Baker said during his monthly appearance on WGBH Radio.”

In our new energy technology feature for the week we have news from MIT that “Progress toward the long-sought dream of fusion power — potentially an inexhaustible and zero-carbon source of energy — could be about to take a dramatic leap forward. Development of this carbon-free, combustion-free source of energy is now on a faster track toward realization, thanks to a collaboration between MIT and a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems. CFS will join with MIT to carry out rapid, staged research leading to a new generation of fusion experiments and power plants based on advances in high-temperature superconductors — work made possible by decades of federal government funding for basic research.” What’s interesting about the federal research aspect is that according to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is considering cutting the funding for the international fusion energy project.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cheap fuel, stagnant demand drive down New England wholesale prices, Utility Dive

National Grid gas operations center coming to Peabody, The Salem News

The Next Standing Rock? A Pipeline Battle Looms in Oregon, New York Times

Hearings close on Woodridge Lake pipeline proposal, Torrington Register Citizen

Federal agency refutes EDF claims about gas pipeline usage, Wicked Local Dedham

Regulators OK Lebanon Gas Project, Valley News

National Grid pays $7 million for overcharging Massachusetts customers, Boston Business Journal

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, Gloucester Times

PUC orders emergency shutdown of key natural gas pipeline, Pittsburg Business Journal

Pipeline debate gets testy on Twitter, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

As Storms Batter Electric Grid, More Mainers Consider Cutting The Cable, MainePublic.org

As Storms Intensify, A Climate-Change Standoff Continues On Beacon Hill, WBUR

Climate change bill expected from Baker next week, Greenfield Recorder

Getting to green: At BCC summit, plotting the path to 100% renewable energy, Berkshire Eagle

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

Climate Action Makes Business Sense – See These Recent Commitments, Energy Manager Today

Young female scientist hopes to create energy efficient biofuel from bacteria, ABC Online

Questions raised over Stored Solar’s biomass subsidy, Mainebiz

Maine island’s plan to build its own energy grid could change the game for remote communities, Bangor Daily News

 

Wind

New York Readies Environmental Impact Statement for Offshore Wind Plan, Renewable Energy World

Savoy wind project chases May deadline to begin construction, National Wind Watch

These huge new wind turbines are a marvel. They’re also the future., Vox.com

BCC, Bay State Wind will partner on new Mass. energy industry, SouthCoastToday.com

Massachusetts Could Win Big In Offshore Wind Energy, WBUR

 

Solar

Why High-Efficiency Solar is Perfect for New England, Renewable Energy World

Maine House passes solar policy fix, pv magazine USA

Northeast Automatic Sprinkler Co. Installs Rooftop Solar To Power Massachusetts Facilities, Energy Manager Today

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy-efficiency gets Wilmington push, Lowell Sun

When The Heat Escapes Chilly New England Homes, So Does Money, WNPR News

Everything you need to know about making your home energy-efficient, Washington Post

The U.S. just hit a major milestone for energy storage — which is also great news for solar, Washington Post

ANALYSIS: Energy storage grows as renewables penetrate the grid, Platts

For backup power, batteries join the mix as prices come down, The Boston Globe

IRS Letter on Home Batteries Could ‘Open Floodgates for Residential Storage Retrofits,’ Greentech Media

 

Nuclear/Fusion

State strikes deal with Entergy and NorthStar on Yankee sale, Rutland Herald

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

The Energy 202: Trump administration must decide whether to back the biggest nuclear fusion project ever, Washington Post

MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power, MIT News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Canada approves disputed Northern Pass transmission line, Utility Dive

‘This Is On Them 100%’: Fire Chief Blasts National Grid For Storm Response, CBS Boston / WBZ

Eversource has concern about Trump tariffs, even as it cuts NH electric rates, Concord Monitor

5 things to know about your record-high CMP bill, Bangor Daily News

ISO New England issues abnormal conditions alert, Platts

New England Power Grid Operator Budgets Soaring, Hartford Courant

New England’s wholesale electricity prices in 2017 were second-lowest since 2003, Vermont Biz

Overheard at ISO-NE’s Consumer Liaison Group Meeting, RTO Insider

Officials To Discuss Multi-Municipality Energy Aggregation, WAMC

Haverhill Finalizes National Grid Streetlight Purchase, Cheaper Electricity Bills on the Way, WHAV News

DES Proposes Conditions For Burying Eversource’s Seacoast Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northampton eyes energy aggregation with Amherst, Pelham, Daily Hampshire Gazette

4 Predictions for Blockchain in Energy in 2018, Greentech Media

9% of region’s power bill incurred in one week, CommonWealth Magazine

Democrats Release Infrastructure Plan With $80 Billion for Grid Upgrades, Greentech Media

Hydro-Quebec Pursues New Strategy with Lac-Mégantic Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Winter cold snap a case study for energy grid limitations, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Northeast tries to dig out, power up after latest storm, Penn Energy

At your service: How well do New York’s utilities respond to customer complaints?, Energy Central

 

Editorial/Opinion

After the Storm: Building our green and clean energy future (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Our Opinion: Continuing to lead on renewable energy, Berkshire Eagle

Our View: Quebec hydro line could leverage new pipe for gas, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Gas-by-train? Beacon Hill opens the door, The Boston Globe

David Brooks: An oil refinery (yes, an oil refinery) was almost built on the NH Seacoast, Concord Monitor

Christopher Kilfoyle: Solar under siege from Cape Cod to Berkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Viewpoint: Energy and the economy — let’s move forward, Boston Business Journal

We’re not absolutists, we’re realists, CommonWealth Magazine

Globe, put down the pipe, BlueMassGroup.org

Climate readiness: think big, act fast, Boston Globe

Can carbon prices fire up gas demand in electricity generation? – The effects of a carbon price on natural gas and carbon emissions, Penn Energy

A new approach to fusion energy starts today, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We hope you’re staying warm, dry, and safe during today’s storm.

Well, if you’ve had enough news about Russian interference in US elections then you can switch your attention to their interference in US energy markets. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reviewed a new congressional staff report that states that the Internet Research Agency’s efforts were also focused on “encouraging protests against pipeline construction in the U.S., calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels and stoking American controversy around climate change…Between 2015 and 2017, the IRA posted more than 9,000 times about U.S. energy policy or an energy event, according to the report.”

Also out this week was a FERC announcement “that a report released by the Environmental Defense Fund accusing Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of artificially driving up electricity prices in New England “was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions.” According to the article in CommonWealth Magazine, “FERC said its staff conducted a review of the allegations contained in the report using both public and non-public data and found no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity.”

In new energy technology news this week we have an article from oilprice.com titled, MIT’s Miracle Energy Breakthrough. They write, “A black box has been sitting on the roof of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building for the last few months. Beside it sits a weather monitoring system and a bigger black box to monitor the performance of the first one. That first black box is the first device that can generate power from differences in the temperature of the air—the ultimate clean energy…The team of researchers from MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is calling this device a thermal resonator: a device that draws heat from the air around it and turns this heat into electricity. It does not need to be in the sun, it could actually be put in the perpetual shade below a solar panel, and it would still generate power thanks to the always present temperature fluctuations…it has the hypothetical potential to make batteries obsolete.” Pretty cool!

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.
 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says, Wall Street Journal (paywall)

With Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. build done, Otis State Forest reopens, Berkshire Eagle

Federal agency rebuts environmentalists’ claims about gas pipeline usage, Worcester Telegram

US FERC ends probe of New England gas shippers, calls EDF study ‘flawed’, Platts

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

Rhode Island environmentalists and elected officials say ‘No’ to Trump’s offshore drilling proposal, Uprise RI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding, Vox.com

Optimism and Uncertainty for Rhode Island’s Climate Future, ecoRI news

Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy, Inhabitat

New Report Touts Success Of Regional Carbon Emissions Reduction Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Jersey Governor Requests to Rejoin Environmental Pact, U.S. News & World Report

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

Mark Jacobson Drops Lawsuit Against Critics of His 100% Renewables Plan, Greentech Media

Solar, Wind Cutting New England Power Demands, But Trouble Expected In Future, Hartford Courant

Report Claims Wood-Based Energy Doesn’t Add Up, EcoRI

 

Wind

Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry sues LePage over halting of new permits, Journal Tribune

GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, Penn Energy

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development, Bangor Daily News

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Achieves 65% Capacity Factor After 3 Months, Greentech Media

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

Plans for world’s ‘largest and most powerful’ offshore wind turbine unveiled, CNBC

One Small Step for BPU, One Small Step for Offshore Wind in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

Article on area warrants aims to gather support for studying offshore wind development, The Keene Sentinel

 

Solar

Clouds form over state’s solar future, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

M&T finances major solar project in Maine, Buffalo Business First

Massachusetts solar groups say policy changes needed to stem job loss, Energy News Network

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont utility, city to give away fossil-fuel free home, Caledonian Record

FERC’s Historic Energy Storage Ruling: A Doomsday Countdown for Natural Gas Peakers?, Greentech Media

Brattle: US storage market could reach 50 GW if costs keep declining, Utility Dive

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

New interactive map shows the economic impact that solar, wind, and energy efficiency have on US communities, Environmental Defense Fund

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

NY attorney general wins energy efficiency lawsuit, Long Island Business News

 

Nuclear

Connecticut nuclear plant guard falsified record, failed to test weapons Shoreline Times

After Months Of Negotiation, Settlement Days Away On Vermont Yankee Sale, New England Public Radio

Power restored to Indian Point reactor after shutdown caused by electrical failure, The Journal News | LoHud.com

 

Northern Pass/RFP

Eversource Asks NH To Reconsider Northern Pass Denial, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement?, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Electric Vehicles

Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles, Utility Dive

How To Prevent Electric Vehicles From Stressing The Grid, Forbes.com

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England grid operators, regulators combat vulnerabilities, theday.com

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements, RTO Insider

Maine may face brownouts, higher electric prices, Lewiston Sun Journal

Non-Payments to Eversource Nearly Double Over 2-Year Period, U.S. News & World Report

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid rate hike hearings underway, Ricentral.com

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model, CommonWealth Magazine

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

Just for the Record: Why New York’s Offshore Wind Plan Works, Renewable Energy World

Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades, The Boston Globe

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Viewpoint: Why is New England importing LNG from Russia?, Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending January 5, 2018

Happy Freezing Friday and welcome to the first edition of the Northeast Energy News for 2018.

The big news this week is the combination of the prolonged colder than normal weather and yesterday’s blizzard. We have a whole section below dedicated to this topic. From Bloomberg’s, “The US just burned the most natural gas ever,” to the Boston Globe’s, “Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market,” to MassLive’sMassachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds” there is no shortage of stories and serious topics to dig into.

News about the new federal tax plan also made its way into the energy news this week. In two stories from MassLive we have Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, and AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike. Greentech media also reports that the New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations and Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers.

Last highlight for this week comes from Inside Climate News, which reports that “President Trump rolled out the antiquated arguments about why clean energy was too expensive and a threat to the grid. But markets and policies mostly ignored him.” The result? Clean Energy Soared in the U.S. in 2017.

Stay warm and have a great weekend.

Cold/Storm

Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market, Boston Globe

Blizzard Triggers a 60-Fold Surge in Prices for U.S. Natural Gas, Bloomberg

Massachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds, MassLive

Why it’s hard for Mass. power plants to stop using oil, Boston Globe

Electric utilities turn to oil in deep freeze, The Providence Journal

America’s Power Grid Still Hangs Tough in Face of Winter Wallop, Bloomberg

The U.S. Just Burned the Most Natural Gas Ever, Bloomberg

U.S. winter storms spark record natural gas demand, BBJ (subscriber content)

Arctic Blast Costly To New England Consumers And Environment, Hartford Courant

Cold snap drives gas prices, rekindles pipeline debate, The Daily News of Newburyport

Coal, oil get a boost from Northern cold snap, Utility Dive

Cold snap putting squeeze on oil-fired power plants, CommonWealth Magazine

Arctic Blast Heating Up Battle Between Energy Lobbying Groups, Bloomberg

Deep Freeze in U.S. Creates Heating Squeeze for Homeowners and Utilities, New York Times

Winter storm to test Northeast grid as FERC tees up decision on DOE grid rule, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant goes offline, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Markey and Warren want firm action from EPA and FERC for pipeline’s discharge of ‘hazardous wastewater’ in Agawam, Berkshire Eagle

Sens. Warren, Markey query feds about Tennessee Gas pipeline wastewater spill in Agawam, MassLive

Town warns residents of carbon monoxide dangers, Andover Townsman

Pennsylvania shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal judge rules again Weymouth in compressor station case, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: Oil and gas companies get a New Year’s Day gift, Washington Post

Renewable Energy Policy/RGGI/Climate Change/etc.

Lawmakers Delay Vote on RGGI, as Clean Energy Advocates Tout Benefits, New Hampshire Public Radio

Program to promote renewable energy gets new scrutiny, Bennington Banner

Bill to divert RGGI funds to ratepayers draws concern from environmentalists, Concord Monitor

Why mandates still matter in the age of cheap renewables, Utility Dive

Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy Over Christmas It Had to Pay People to Use It, ScienceAlert

Why 2018 will be a make or break year for renewables, GreenBiz

Clean Energy Soared in the US in 2017 Due to Economics, Policy and Technology, InsideClimate News

Companies tout renewable energy projects for Massachusetts, Penn Energy

The sunny optimism of clean energy shines through tech’s gloom, Wired

Energy storage safety set to move forward in 2018 with new fire standards, Utility Dive

New York clean energy proposal seeks 1.5 GW of storage, coal phaseout, Utility Dive

The Year Climate Change Began to Spin Out of Control, MIT Tech Review

EPA issues clean air designations, Northeast states sue over cross-border pollution, Utility Dive

Transition to renewable power sources too slow, Massie says, Berkshire Eagle

Wood-Burning Power Plant Shutting Down for Lack of Subsidies, Power Engineering

Solar

Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works, MassLive

Derry council reconsiders solar project, approves on second, The Union Leader

RI Launches New Statewide Solar Permitting Process, Rhode Island Public Radio

10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 2018, Greentech Media

New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations, Greentech Media

Wind

Foe takes aim at second Falmouth turbine, Cape Cod Times

Andrew Cuomo Throws Political Weight Behind Offshore Wind and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Wind Energy: The Good News in Offshore, Marine Technology News

The top five wind stories of 2017, Windpower Engineering (press release)

The Dutch plan to build the world’s biggest wind farm, complete with a large floating island, Business Insider

15 Deerfield Wind Turbines Go Online, NA Clean Energy

Energy Efficiency

How to save money and energy in buildings? There’s an app for that, The Guardian

Trump Administration Reverses Course on PACE Financing, Greentech Media

One Year Later, AC Hotel Cambridge Reaps the Benefit of Green Building Design, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

NYISO Seeks FERC Denial on Indian Point Review Deadline, RTO Insider

Nuclear pushes its role ‘softening the blow to consumers’ as cold snap enters week two, Washington Examiner

The committee to save nuclear towns is not in session, EandE News

New Jersey nuke subsidy measure unlikely to see vote in lame-duck session, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, MassLive.com

AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike, MassLive

Somerset County commissioners say they back 145-mile transmission line project, Press Herald

Dam management raises questions among locals, The Dartmouth

Energy industry a major contributor to Sununu’s campaign coffers, The Union Leader

Northern Pass to Host Second Job Fair for NH Workers, Londonderry News

Electric Car Drivers Are Too Smart to Own Electric Cars, Bloomberg

FERC: Demand response fell 10% in power markets in 2016, Utility Dive

Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers, Greentech Media

US on the cusp of enjoying ‘energy superpower’ status, analyst says, CNBC

Editorial/Opinion

Amid Deep Freeze, New Englanders Can ‘Thank’ NY Gov. Cuomo For Their High Energy Bills, Forbes

My Turn: Why should we believe energy giants?, Concord Monitor

Margaret Harrington: Vermont’s plans to dump on Nevada, vtdigger.org

Thanks to panel for renewable-energy effort, by Kathryn Conover, The Keene Sentinel

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates, CommonWealth Magazine

Columnist Marty Nathan: Build stature as clean-energy community, Daily Hampshire Gazette

US Grid Needs to Go on a Diet to Get Leaner and Greener, Renewable Energy World

Biomass’s Opportunity in Future Power Trend, Biomass Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables

Energy News for week ending December 22, 2017

Bids are in | Rate Hike Appeal | Smoke and Noises

Happy holidays everyone!

Perhaps this week’s biggest energy news was the submission of bids for Massachusetts’ offshore wind solicitation. CommonWealth Magazine reports, “The three companies vying to build the first major offshore wind farm in the United States filed their proposals on Wednesday with Massachusetts officials. Each of the firms kept their pricing a secret, so they publicly tried to differentiate their projects based on size, transmission approaches, construction timetables, and partnerships. Size was the biggest difference. Each of the companies was required to submit a bid for a 400 megawatt project, but they were free to submit additional proposals for less or for more, up to a high of 800 megawatts. The state procurement, which will be spread out over many years, calls for 1,600 megawatts in total.”

It appears MA Attorney General Maura Healey is saying just a minute, with respect to Eversource’s rate hike. Jim Kinney over at MassLive.com reports that “Healey filed an appeal Wednesday in Boston against an Eversource electric rate hike approved last month by the state Department of Public Utilities and scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. She is asking the DPU to reconsider the decision, according to a press release. Such actions often result in a negotiated settlement between the attorney general’s office and the utility, according to Healey’s website.”

If your holiday travels take you to the North Shore, the Salem News says, “Don’t be alarmed by the loud noises and apparent smoke coming from Salem Harbor Footprint later this week. It’s actually steam, and it’s just the $1 billion project cleaning out its pipes. The project is still a long way from being done, and due to significant delays on that front, Footprint is vulnerable to possible penalties from the entity that manages the New England power grid. Sometime late this week, the new natural gas-firing power plant will conduct “what, in the industry, you call ‘hot commissioning,'” explained Footprint chief operating officer Scott Silverstein. “This is the beginning of the process of starting up the turbines and boilers, and getting those up and running.”

That’s it for us this year. We’ll be back in your in-boxes on January 5, 2018.

All of us at McMahon Communications wish you all a safe, happy, wonderful, and joy-filled holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC reaffirms its approval of Atlantic Bridge pipeline, with compressor station planned in Weymouth, MassLive

Con Edison seeks ‘non-pipe’ solutions to address peak gas demand, Utility Dive

Residents hold pipeline vigils outside State House, Wicked Local Wellesley

National Grid seeks increase for gas bills, Gloucester Daily Times

Anti-fracking protester court case thrown out, Gazette & Herald

US tax overhaul likely to spur spending by refiners, pipeline cos, Reuters

Insidious Gas Leaks Are Casting Doubts Over Shell’s Clean Credentials, Bloomberg

Gas Under Threat? California Regulators Target PG&E Natural Gas Plants With Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Renewables Policy, etc.

Massachusetts agrees to slash power plant emissions under 9-state system, MassLive.com

Massachusetts Report Tallies Clean Energy Jobs, Solar Industry

Why French Utility EDF Is Entering the US Distributed Storage Market, Greentech Media

Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?, Yale Environment 360

DEEP tees up retooled renewable energy purchase plan, Hartford Business

 Wind

Neighbor demands shuttered Falmouth turbine be removed, Cape Cod Times

Acoustic tech for wind farms proves whale effective, Energy Live News

Block Island sees benefits from 1st US offshore wind farm, News Times

Nonprofit group pushes to keep Falmouth turbines spinning, Cape Cod Times

Wind turbines could soon be banned in this tiny Western Massachusetts town, MassLive

After 16 Years, Hopes for Cape Cod Wind Farm Float Away, New York Times

Lessons from the Country’s First Off-Shore Wind Farm, WCAI

Falmouth official orders plan to dismantle wind turbine, Cape Cod Times

LUPC declines to expand expedited permitting area for wind power project, Daily Bulldog

National Grid commits $20 million to the NEK as part of new Power Link line, Vermont Biz

Wind RFP

Offshore wind: Start big or small?, CommonWealth Magazine

Bay State Wind pledges $1 million to BCC if it wins contract, South Coast Today

Bids Are in for Massachusetts Offshore Wind Procurement; Storage Included, Renewable Energy News

Offshore wind bidders identify Brayton Point benefits, Fall River Herald News

Three companies submit bids for offshore wind power, Cape Cod Times

Developers Proposing Large-Scale Offshore Wind Farms, Maine Public

Solar

Congressional lawmakers urge ‘strong and effective’ remedies in solar trade case, Utility Dive

Town opposes New Milford solar project, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

Somerville Solar Array Awarded to Local Non-Profit, Patch.com

Energy Efficiency

Smart buildings save energy and improve occupant comfort, ACEEE

New York advances efficiency plans, focusing on load control and demand management, Utility Dive

Large buildings may soon get report cards for energy efficiency, The Real Deal

Clean Energy 2017: States and Cities Shine Despite Trump, Natural Resources Defense Council

Europe Inches Closer to Strong Energy Efficiency Target, Energy Collective

Nuclear

Millstone nuclear plant is profitable, new Connecticut draft report says, Utility Dive

Millstone Owner Argues Costs Are Driven Up By Being In Connecticut, Energy Central

Advocates Use Millstone’s Profitability To Question Push For New Markets, Hartford Courant

Entergy Asks FERC to Clarify Indian Point Retirement Process, RTO Insider

Nuclear regulator ignores employee safety warnings, watchdog report finds, Utility Dive

Hinkley Point: the ‘dreadful deal’ behind the world’s most expensive power plant, The Guardian

After Indian Point, power needs hinge on three proposed plants, report says, Lohud.com

N.J. committee sends nuclear subsidy bill to state legislature, Reuters

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Framingham reaches $500K settlement with Eversource over polluted site, MetroWest Daily News

Vermont Lawmakers Eye New Incentives For Electric Vehicle Purchases, Vermont Public Radio

EPA Funding Will Help Clean Diesel Projects in New England States, U.S. EPA.gov (press release)

California Sues Trump Administration, This Time Over Oil Industry Rules, Governing

Natural gas, water heaters, connected devices and EVs lead DR trends to watch, Utility Dive

Hopkinton officials still charged up over double utility poles, MetroWest Daily News

Meet the microgrid, the technology poised to transform electricity, Vox.com

Massachusetts labor union backs Eversource transmission line through New Hampshire, MassLive

Major testing of power plant begins soon, Salem News

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey appeals Eversource rate hike, MassLive.com

Blockchain shows promise for energy companies, ZD Net

2018 Promises to Be a Year of Innovation in the Energy Sector, (press release) Alt Energy Magazine

Editorial/Opinion

The Hoobub and the Grinch: Northern Pass Edition, InDepthNH.org

Approval of Electric Vehicle Utility Proposal in Massachusetts A Sign of What’s Coming Down the Pike in Northeast & Mid-Atlantic, HuffPost

A vulnerable power grid: Let’s invest in critical national infrastructure, The Hill

Nuclear Energy Pros And Cons: The True Advantage Of Nuclear Power Science Trends

Rendall: Warm wishes from Vermont Gas, Vermont Biz

 

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Renewables