Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Energy News for week ending September 6, 2019

800 MW Expansion | Bid details released | Save the bogs

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with two renewables stories from the State House News Service that were picked up by local outlets.

From MassLive, “State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program. The Baker administration proposed an expansion of a solar energy development program Thursday, days after industry officials released a report outlining job losses in the sector that executives attributed to policy shortcomings and uncertainty. According to a senior administration official, the changes outlined in a new ‘straw proposal’ will help advance projects on utility territory waiting lists, help deliver solar energy benefits in low-income areas, and require larger solar projects to be paired with energy storage infrastructure. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, would receive an additional 800-megawatt authorization under the proposal, up from the initial 1,600 megawatts. Energy Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock said another change would define low-income communities in connection with environmental justice standards, a move that he said would enable solar energy developers to more confidently target low-income areas for new projects.”

From South Coast Today, “Latest round of offshore wind bid details released. The state and three utilities on Wednesday released the details of the three pitches they received from developers who want to build wind farms off the coast and deliver clean energy to Massachusetts homes and businesses, and will now use the next two months to select the project that most benefits Massachusetts…The state and Eversource, National Grid and Unitil are seeking to procure at least 400 megawatts of power but will consider proposals from 200 megawatts up to 800 megawatts. The procurement is expected to fulfill the second half of the Legislature’s 2016 authorization of 1,600 megawatts of wind power…The state and utilities expect to select a project by November 8 and execute a long-term contract by Dec. 13. The contract would be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for its approval by Jan. 10, 2020. The three projects vying to be selected are Mayflower Wind, Vineyard Wind 2 and Bay State Wind.”

For our last highlighted story of the week, we take another look at the SMART program with a story from WGBH, “Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs? A state solar energy incentive program launched last November has a handful of Massachusetts cranberry farmers hoping for a new way to farm their fruit — and stay in the farming business. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Energy Target (SMART) program awards farmers a stipend for the solar energy they produce from solar panels built over their active farmland. Some cranberry farmers are skeptical and say building solar panels over their bogs is too risky; it could destroy their crop. Others say solar panels are their only option to keep afloat in a struggling industry. Cranberries are the commonwealth’s largest agricultural food crop, but the industry has hit hard times. Last year, cranberry prices in Massachusetts cratered, falling to $22 for a barrel (or 100 pounds) of the fruit. It was a 29 percent tumble from prices the year before, and the lowest price per barrel in almost two decades. Under the SMART program, the state incentivizes farmers to build solar panels on their productive farmland. But there is a catch: the state requires farmers to continue producing food on the same land as the solar panels. The project’s goal is to preserve the state’s farmland while encouraging solar development. A handful of the state’s more than 300 cranberry growers are interested in installing the panels on their land. They say the state’s incentive plan would help them remain in the cranberry business.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Delays Review Of Proposed Natural Gas Compressor Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Southern N.E.’s Fossil-Fuel Infrastructure Builds Up, EcoRI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Search Continues for Strong Current of Tidal Power, EcoRI

Connecticut governor calls for 100% carbon-free power by 2040, Utility Dive

Biomass could replace natural gas at Brattleboro paper board factory, VT Digger

Repowering Rural New England Communities with Renewables, Triple Pundit

 

Wind

Latest round of offshore wind bid details released, South Coast Today

Why collaboration is critical to offshore wind and port success, Windpower Engineering & Development

Mayflower Wind promises lowest US price yet, CommonWealth Magazine

Fall River waterfront luring wind energy businesses, South Coast Today

Proposed Wind Farm Off Atlantic City May Use Oyster Creek Substation to Access Electric Grid, The Sandpaper

Kissing the Sky: The Pros and Cons of Ultra-Tall Wind Turbine Towers, Greentech Media

Select Board votes for all-wind electricity for Harvard, Harvard Press

 

Solar

State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program, MassLive

New Haven company looks to crowdfund solar panels for nonprofit, New Haven Register

Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs?, WGBH

Report: Mass. solar sector absorbing job drain, South Coast Today

Back to school: Four lessons on solar energy for the real estate industry – by Craig Huntley, New England Real Estate Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Department to prolong the lives of incandescent lightbulbs, Washington Post

Worcester scores in bottom third in national report on energy efficiency, Telegram

 

EVs

Senior center drivers get electric-powered ride, Worcester Telegram

 

Nuclear

AG seeks stay of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

C-10 to host lecture by former NRC chairman, Newburyport Daily News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents take first formal step to bring CMP’s transmission project to a statewide vote, Bangor Daily News

List of Maine towns opposing CMP transmission corridor grows, Portland Press Herald

Middlebury wastewater-to-energy proposal gains momentum, Addison Independent

Researchers Propose Floating Microgrids Made up of Electric Boats, Microgrid Knowledge

LaFleur Exit Fuels Concern Of Future FERC Slowdown, Law360

Proposed utility box irks some Amherst councilors, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CLF sues to halt Eversource’s Seacoast power line project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our view: Don’t let Vineyard Wind lose momentum, Salem News

Cuomo’s pricey wind-power gift to unions, NY Post

Mark Amato: Agriculture, solar power, are a great match for state, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. should accelerate solar development, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal Light Plants need to be part of greenhouse gas reduction efforts, The Landmark

Addressing our planet’s climate emergency, Greenfield Recorder

How net metering changes the electric utility landscape, Fosters.com

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending June 7, 2019

Crowd-sourcing | Permit denied | Transformation

 

Happy beautiful Friday afternoon folks.

Let’s get to the news.

From CommonWealth Magazine, “Crowd-sourcing energy efficiency. Eversource Energy on Wednesday began offering businesses and homeowners incentive payments ranging from $20 to $1,000 a year if they allow the company to tap into devices that would allow the utility to remotely retrieve electricity stored by customers or lower their energy usage at peak demand periods. Developed as part of the state’s $2.8 billion, three-year energy efficiency program, Eversource said the incentive payment program would target customers with electric vehicle chargers, battery storage devices, or wireless thermostats. Customers with vehicle chargers or battery storage systems would allow Eversource to remotely link to the devices ‘a few hours a month,’ drawing electricity that would be shifted on to the regional power grid at peak demand periods. For homeowners with wireless thermostats, Eversource would remotely turn down the temperature on very hot days and help reduce demand on the power grid. By aggregating the devices of several thousand customers, Eversource estimated it could reduce the need for new power plants and transmission facilities. The company described the energy impact of the program as the equivalent of taking 20,000 homes off the power grid at peak demand times.”

Another pipeline permit is denied according to a story from Crain’s NY Business, “NJ joins NY in denying permits for hotly contested natural-gas pipeline. New Jersey regulators followed New York’s in denying key permits for the Williams Transco pipeline Wednesday, prompting its developer to promise to reapply in the Garden State. The proposed $1 billion pipeline, from Tulsa-based William Cos., would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey, under a bay and the ocean to New York. The company says the pipeline is necessary to ensure adequate heating fuel for the New York region. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection rejected the permits—including one for waterfront development and wetlands works—without prejudice, meaning the company can try again. The company was similarly rebuffed by New York regulators for a water-quality permit last month. The developer has reapplied there as well. In the meantime, National Grid has stopped processing new applications for natural-gas hookups in its Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island service territories until the project is approved.”

The last highlight for this week is a story you can read or listen to and comes from WBUR, “New England’s Electric Power Grid Is Undergoing A Transformation. Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, says the region has a problem: ‘It’s really hard to be half pregnant, but we’re trying.’ The problem: We’re creating a hybrid power grid, an electric-generating network that runs on a changing combination of fuels and technologies. He says the system is more complex and less predictable than the grid we had just a few years ago.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Offshore drilling ban gets airing, Salem News

Healey intervenes in suit over oil transport, Cape Cod Times

Latest Federal Pipeline Safety Proposal Looks To Fix Problems Revealed In Merrimack Valley Gas Fires, WGBH

DEP Shows New Air Quality Data in Compressor Case, Associated Press

Weymouth compressor foes have more time to vet new air quality data, Wicked Local

Williams expects to overcome environmental concerns on Northeast Supply natgas pipe, Reuters

New Jersey joins New York in denying permits for hotly contested natural gas pipeline, Crain’s New York

Latest Federal Pipeline Safety Proposal Looks To Fix Problems Revealed In Merrimack Valley Gas Fires, WGBH

Water a big concern for utilities, but coal ash risk in billions, Bloomberg L.P.

Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million to Help End Coal, New York Times

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg: ‘This Is Not Over Yet, Not Even Close,’ Greentech Media

In future Mass bids, offshore wind could be forced to compete with other green energy, South Coast Today

Bill to require greenhouse gas study of CMP project falters in House, Press Herald

Environmentalists tout offshore wind, plastic bag, solar measures, The Day

Springfield organizers, residents voice opposition to biomass burning, WWLP

New England Is Losing Its Native Plants. Researchers Say It’s Time To Stop And Smell The Wildflowers, WBUR

 

Wind

Connecticut takes a major step into offshore wind, CT Mirror

The rush is on: to double offshore wind power, that is, Boston Globe

Wind farm critics step up efforts, National Wind Watch

Jones Act? Not a Problem for US Offshore Wind Market, Avangrid Says, Greentech Media

Revolution Wind will use State Pier, The Day

Rhode Island’s Planned New Offshore Wind Farm Reflects Growing Trend. Here’s Why Some Are Concerned, WNPR

 

Solar

New York braces for solar fight as utility regulators mull fixed charge increase, Renewable Energy World

Proposed Bridgewater solar farm re-emerges after court battle, Enterprise News

Sununu Vetoes Net Metering Bill Again, Setting Up Repeat Override Battle, New Hampshire Public Radio

Proposed solar fee raises questions about who pays for grid upgrades, VTDigger

 

Efficiency/Storage

Crowd-sourcing energy efficiency, CommonWealth Magazine

US energy storage market sees 232% year-on-year growth, Utility Dive

 

EVs

New Jersey governor announces state interagency electric vehicle partnership; 330K ZEVs by 2025, Green Car Congress

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim’s shutdown ends nuke era in Mass., Sentinel & Enterprise

Group looks to monitor Seabrook power plant radiation, Seacoast Online

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England’s Electric Power Grid Is Undergoing A Transformation, WBUR

Governor’s choice to lead Public Utilities Commission pledges to move to R.I., Providence Journal

Getting Offshore Wind Power on the Grid, T&D World

Lt. Governor Mckee announces $7.9 million in utility rate relief for Rhode Islanders, Newport Buzz

ISO-NE will require wind, intermittent hydro to bid into day-ahead energy markets, Utility Dive

New England Regulators Talk Wholesale Market Evolution, RTO Insider

The Multiple Problems With National Grid, Seeking Alpha

Growing number of towns revolt against CMP transmission line, Portland Press Herald

CMP defends competing job claims; critics cry foul, Associated Press

 

Editorial/Opinion

When companies say they’re using “100% renewable energy,” take it with a grain of salt, Fast Company

Energy forecast: Good today, future uncertain, CommonWealth Magazine

Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale, CommonWealth Magazine

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale, Commonwealth Magazine

Callous disregard for neighbors of proposed Weymouth compressor, Boston Globe

Lilly Lombard: Climate crisis solution needs help from Columbia Gas, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Energy forecast: Good today, future uncertain, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending May 3, 2019

Energy Efficiency: MBTA & Goodwill | Too Warm for Winter Sports  

We are closing out the week with some good news on the energy efficiency front and some not so good news for outdoor skating rinks and other winter sports.

A new $40 million project in partnership with Eversource and National Grid will make the MBTA more energy efficient. MassLive reports that ‘the projects are expected to save the MBTA $2.7 million a year on energy costs, while reducing the MBTA’s electricity use by 7 percent — or an amount equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 4,000 Massachusetts homes.

The projects will include installing high-efficiency LED lighting and lighting controls, upgrading HVAC equipment and building automation controls.’

And Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut is partnering with Eversource to make 17 of its facilities more energy efficient. It is estimated that Goodwill will save more than $148k in annual energy costs.  Check out the story in NA Energy for more info.

Sports Illustrated has an important piece on how climate change is impacting outdoor skating rinks, ice fisherman and the snows sports industry.  ‘Data collected by RinkWatch, a citizen science project, indicates that the number of high-quality skateable days in Toronto has dropped precipitously in the last few decades. From the late 1950s to the early ’80s, Toronto averaged between 35 and 42 of those days; recently, that number has fallen by 25%.’

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

The Next Frontier for Demand Response: Natural Gas, Greentech Media

Columbia Gas’ New President Talks About His Vision For Leading The Company After Disaster, WBUR

900 MW Invenergy natural gas plant faces uncertain future in ISO NE, Utility Dive

Columbia Gas settles lawsuit with Lawrence family who lost home, suffered injuries in 2018 gas disaster, MassLive

Cost for Merrimack Valley gas disaster could hit $1B, New Hamsphire Union Leader

National Grid seeking to raise natural gas rates nearly 7 percent, Newsday

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Winter Is Going: How Climate Change Is Imperiling Outdoor Sporting Heritage, Sports Illustrated

Can Humans Help Trees Outrun Climate Change?, New York Times

Baker admin taking the lead on carbon pricing effort, CommonWealth Magazine

Janet Mills proposes 27-member climate change council, Bangor Daily News

Lawsuit accusing ExxonMobil of ignoring risks from climate change moves forward, PRI

Bill aims to fight climate change, save forests, The Recorder

Wind

Cape Cod Commission review of Vineyard Wind underway, Cape Cod Times

Otis residents favor ban on commercial wind turbines, Ellsworth American

Wind developer offers to conserve land to lessen turbines’ threat to birds, Bangor Daily News

The Northeast leads the country in net-metered wind electricity generation capacity, EIA

Solar

Some Massachusetts Forestland Is Being Clear-cut To Put Up Solar Farms, WGBH

Tiverton Farm Receives $20k Grant For Solar Panels, Patch

Peck Electric Announces Seven Vermont Solar Projects, Solar Industry

City approves solar deal worth $900,000 annually, Valley Breeze

Titan Energy, The Town Of Scotland And Greenskies Renewable Energy Complete Solar Array At Scotland, Patch

Efficiency/Storage

$40 million project will make MBTA more energy efficient, MassLive

Eversource Partners with Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut to Help Them Save Money and Energy at 17 Locations, NA Clean Energy

Environmental Groups Add To Pressure For Energy Storage Tax Boost, Forbes

Buying an energy-efficient home is a financially bright idea, USA Today

Nuclear

NRC says Vermont Yankee cask maker violated safety regulations, VTDigger

Closing Pilgrim, WBUR

Global Nuclear Power Market is likely to generate a demand of USD 205.2 billion by 2024, while actuating at a CAGR of 8.9%, Marketwatch

Georgia Power’s parent: After Vogtle, no new nuclear until maybe 2040, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Gov. Mills proposes climate council to pursue emissions, energy goals, Portland Press Herald

In Madbury: Eversource updates selectmen on Seacoast Reliability Project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Energy : Seeks Approval for System Reliability and Clean Energy Investments, Marketscreener

Massachusetts Energy Secretary Matt Beaton will be replaced by WMass native Kathleen Theoharides, MassLive

Ongoing debate over 147-mile CMP line in Maine, The Free Press

Editorial/Opinion

MBTA’s electrification priorities stuck in traffic, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine Voices: CMP plan will allow us to cut emissions while maintaining robust economy, Press Herald

Get the most out of offshore wind revolution, The Day

Delbert Reed: CMP’s proposal really is a good deal for Mainers, Sun Journal

Column: Columbia Gas works to rebuild trust, infrastructure in Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, solar

Energy News for week ending April 26, 2019

Waiving Jones| HouseZero| Blast Day

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Here are the highlights from this week’s energy news.

We know things can change in the administration minute to minute or tweet to tweet, however the northeast got some potentially encouraging news this week via Bloomberg: Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say. “President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico or the Northeast, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting on Monday, following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three people. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is now leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private deliberations. The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.”

While many might cheer the easing of the Jones Act, the builders of one home in Cambridge are likely saying, “No thanks. We’re all good.” WGBH brings us, Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet. “On a quiet residential street close to Harvard University, there’s a wood-shingled house that’s easy to miss. Save for some funky-looking angled awnings around the windows, it’s pretty nondescript. But its simplicity belies its ambition. Welcome to HouseZero, arguably the most energy-efficient building in the world. Ali Malkawi, a Harvard professor of architecture and technology and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, designed HouseZero. When asked why that name, he chuckled. ‘Because there are a lot of zeros,’ Malkawi said. ‘The house doesn’t use almost any energy for heat and cooling. It doesn’t have any electrical light during the day. The building does not have a carbon footprint, including the amount of energy throughout the building materials…’Malkawi is trying to change not just how much energy a building consumes, but how much it produces. The Cambridge house he designed has no lights, no heating or air-conditioning system, and barely a utility bill. While most homeowners or tenants would rejoice over the idea of never having to pay a heating bill, the goal of HouseZero is to produce more energy than it will ever consume. Using passive design, windows automatically open if it starts to get a little warm or stuffy (They can also be opened manually). When the temperature dips outside, a solar chimney keeps the inside temperate… Malkawi hopes that the information gleaned from HouseZero will prove that ultra-efficient buildings like this one are scalable in any climate.”

Well, it’s official. The implosion of the two 500-foot Brayton Point cooling towers will happen tomorrow Saturday, April 27th. According to WPRI News “Time is running short for the large cooling towers at the site of the former Brayton Point Power Station. On Friday, Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said the company performing the demolition has been given the green light for 8 a.m. Saturday.” And according to the Boston Globe, if you haven’t already made your reservations to watch from one of several vantage sites, you may be out of luck. “’Everybody in this area is excited to have the towers come down,’ said Nathan Setera, a manager at Barrett’s Waterfront, a restaurant and bar in Fall River across from the towers. The restaurant is hosting a sold-out “Bring Em Down Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for 250 patrons who will have front-row seats for the implosions. The menu includes a Bloody Mary with a pair of celery stalks in honor of the two towers and a cupcake tower. Castle Island Brewing Co. in Norwood will be there to serve Lil’ Dynomite, a red ale, Setera said. Cristoff Shay, executive vice president and director at Battleship Cove, said tickets for the implosion gathering aboard the USS Massachusetts sold out within 24 hours. ‘It’s a historic event,’ he said. ‘It seemed people were very eager and excited.’”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say, Bloomberg

North Andover woman’s lawsuit is 16th filed against Columbia Gas since disaster, Eagle Tribune

Utility is undecided about seeking a rate increase after Lawrence-area disaster, Boston Globe

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely, Wall St. Journal

Con Edison deal could end natural-gas crisis—in 2023, Crain’s New York

NTSB: 5 lessons learned from a Silver Spring gas explosion that killed 7, WUSA

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: Going 100 percent renewable power means a lot of dirty mining, Salon.com

A climate change solution slowly gains ground, Washington Post

Electrifying Your Home is Good for You, Sierra Club

Maine AFL-CIO Becomes First State Federation to Support a Green New Deal Bill, In These Times

New York targets 1.5 TWh of new renewables with latest solicitation, Utility Dive

Americans love clean energy. Do they care if it includes nuclear?, Vox.com

How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules, Politico

Is South Portland the ‘greenest’ city in Maine? It’s a leader, for sure, Portland Press Herald

Why Some Landfills are Exploring Virtual Pipelines to Capitalize on Gas, Waste360

New York City eyes Quebec hydropower in bid to go green, Sun Journal

Renewable energy takes bite out of Avangrid’s 1Q profits, Hartford Business Journal

How to stave off that climate anxiety with a renewable energy supplier, Grist

MASSPIRG Campaigning for 100% Renewable Energy, The Beacon – MCLA

Regional Conference Planned on Ocean Energy Innovation, Cape Cod

 

Wind

Offshore wind auction faces a new hitch, Boston Globe

Building Out the US Offshore Wind Supply Chain—a $68 Billion Opportunity, Greentech Media

Massachusetts approves state’s first offshore wind contracts for 800 MW, Utility Dive

Developer of R.I. wind farm announces education, workforce initiative, Providence Journal

NS Zoning Board to resume turbine hearing tonight, The Call (RI)

Massachusetts offshore wind project gets green light at roughly 8.9 cents/kWh, Ars Technica

Students develop acoustic device to detect whales near offshore wind farm, Phys.org

Turbine Blade Testing Underway Ahead of Massachusetts’ 1st Wind Farm, NECN

 

Solar

New Jersey’s Community Solar Market: Ready to Shine, Greentech Media

New York updates distributed solar tariff, clearing path for 1 GW of new generation, Utility Dive

Fate of northern Vermont solar projects uncertain, VTDigger

Encore Renewable Energy takes historic silk mill solar in Keene, N.H., helping city meet its goal of 100% renewables by 2030, Utility Dive

Cape Cod Solar Company Donates Solar Panels to Hingham High School, Cape Cod Today

Seekonk farm gets state grant for solar system, Sun Chronicle

Planning Board delays solar farm application approval, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A cleaner, cheaper approach to heating and cooling, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Study Says Lighting Controls Boost LED Efficiency by 47 Percent, Buildings

GE announces first solar+storage projects since renewable business restructuring, Utility Dive

Duke, Eversource commit to create energy storage safety standards, Utility Dive

Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet, WBGH

New York Releases RFI for Energy Storage. Kicks Off $280 Million Incentive Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

This Vermont Town Took A Big Hit When Its Nuclear Plant Closed, WBUR

NRC Eases Curbs on A-Plant Licenses, Los Angeles Times

New Jersey approves up to $300M in annual nuclear plant subsidies, despite profitability claims, Utility Dive

Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner blasts state’s nuclear bailout bill, Utility Dive

Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim, WBUR

As Pilgrim Powers Down, Some Worry It Will Leave Behind Too Much Radiation, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

R.I. climate activists to hold ‘watch party’ as Brayton Point towers fall, Providence Journal

Going down: All you need to know about the implosion of Somerset’s cooling towers, Providence Journal

Tower implosion day brunches selling out fast in Fall River, Herald News

State OKs $141 million in charges for storm recovery, The Hour

Eversource seeks Seacoast Reliability Project permit, Seacoastonline.com

Future of New Haven’s defunct English Station power plant unclear, New Haven Register

ISO New England is excluding Invenergy’s proposed power plant from its future power projections, Uprise RI

Burrillville power-plant proposal wins court battle over Johnston water deal, Providence Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

An Earth Day wish: Bring hydro cars to Mass., Boston Globe

Don’t repeal the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels deception, Daily Bulldog

We’ve got plenty of gas and don’t need the PennEast pipeline winding through N.J., group says, NJ.com

Maine Voices: State should put projects on hold, plan for clean-energy future, Portland Press Herald

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending April 19, 2019

Accelerated repairs | Ambitious EE | Plastic Crystals

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Let’s end the week on a happy note. Here are three stories that all have positive vibes.

First from MassLive, Springfield councilors praise Columbia Gas for accelerated gas leak repairs. “City councilors, during a meeting Wednesday with representatives of Columbia Gas, said they are pleased with reports that the company has accelerated repairs of gas leaks in Springfield… While the company immediately repairs the most serious leaks, known as Grade 1, it accelerated its program to repair the less serious Grade 2 and 3 leaks. There are 162 known Grade 2 leaks in Springfield that will be repaired by Dec. 1, said David Nelson, operations station manager for Columbia Gas. There 233 Grade 3 leaks, which are defined as not posing a risk to life and property, with the utility company currently planning to repair the two that are deemed the “highest emitters,” Nelson said. City Councilor Jesse Lederman, chairman of the council’s Sustainability and Environment Committee, said he recalls there being 590 gas leaks in all categories in 2017. “It sounds like there is really great progress,” said Lederman, who was one of the community activists lobbying for the accelerated gas repair program. Councilor Adam Gomez also praised the efforts to go after the gas leaks.”

Next, we go to New York with a story from Greentech Media, New York City Set to Pass Ambitious Energy Efficiency Mandate. “New York City is on the verge of enacting one of the most ambitious citywide building energy efficiency laws in the country, aimed at getting its biggest buildings — including landmarks like the Empire State Building and Trump Tower — to shave their carbon emissions footprint by 40 percent by 2030 or face financial penalties. Backers of the bill say it’s an important step to help meet New York state’s broader climate change goals, and could pave the way for similar efforts in cities across the country.”

For our new technology focus we turn to New Scientist, Fridges made from plastic crystals could help cut carbon emissions. A fridge that runs on plastic crystals could solve a big problem: our need to stay cool is warming the planet. Refrigeration equipment, air conditioners and heat pumps are estimated to consume between 25 and 30 per cent of the world’s electricity – and many rely on greenhouse gases to transfer heat. Bing Li at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Metal Research in Shenyang and his colleagues have used an alternative cooling material known as plastic crystals, which they believe could use less energy and be better for the environment.

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Springfield councilors praise Columbia Gas for accelerated gas leak repairs, MassLive

FSU professor: Eversource pipe proposal is not necessary, Milford Daily News

Ashland residents decry pipe plan at hearing, Milford Daily News

State orders more sampling at proposed compressor site, Patriot Ledger

How Canada’s other major energy export could light up New England states, The Telegram

Gas pipeline proposal would tunnel under Merrimack and Souhegan rivers, The Telegraph

Serious gas leak at Andover home repaired, Boston Globe

Columbia Gas responds to over-pressurized gas lines in western Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast, Washington Post

Trump-appointed energy official: Climate change is real and we must lower carbon emissions, CNN

Electrification Myth-Busting: Heat Pumps Are Ready for Cold Climates Today, Greentech Media

Vermont Utility Green Mountain Power Commits to 100% Renewables by 2030, Greentech Media

Sen. Ed Markey: “We are now in the era of the Green New Deal,” Vox.com

Momentum Builds for Green New Deal Plans as Maine’s Bill Gets a Powerful Endorsement, Earther Gizmodo

Wild bee species critical to pollination on the decline in New England, Portland Press Herald

EPA Chief Says Climate Change Is Not His Top Priority, Time

New Hampshire’s new clean-energy consensus, Keene Sentinel

Latest EPA climate pollution data shows disturbing lack of progress, Environmental Defense Fund

Vt.’s Largest Utility Wants 100% Renewable Power by 2030, NECN

Earth Day: Climate change and the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Official warning to banks: Get real about climate change or risk going bust, CNN

Three Areas Where These Young N.H. Leaders Agree On Climate Change Policy, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

Wind

CT’s sole wind farm wants Eversource to cover costly outages, Hartford Business

Offshore wind farms are spinning up in the US—at last, Wired

DPU gives $168m offshore wind bonus to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

CDC getting ready to take down towers at Brayton Point, southcoasttoday.com

State Pier’s future — wind or no wind?, The Day

Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up in the US—At Last, Wired

 

Solar

Proposed R.I. solar farms endangering rural forests, environmentalists say, Providence Journal

Norton town meeting sides with solar farm opponents, Sun Chronicle

Discussion Sheds Light On Second Phase Of EDIC Solar Array, Falmouth Enterprise

UMPI looking into solar energy projects to replace wind turbine, WAGM TV

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

EPA honors Efficiency Vermont with ENERGY STAR award, Rutland Herald

Fridges made from plastic crystals could help cut carbon emissions, New Scientist

New York City Set to Pass Ambitious Energy Efficiency Mandate, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Millstone workers, state & local officials tout 10-year deal, The Day

Electric bills to rise as NJ approves nuclear plant subsidies, WKXW

Entergy announces plan to sell Indian Point by 2021, Lohud.com

Gov. addresses future of Millstone nuclear facility, WFSB

Where will the nuclear waste go after Three Mile Island shuts down?, Philly.com

Supreme Court won’t hear nuke subsidy cases, clarifying state energy jurisdiction, Utility Dive

NRC to Meet With Connecticut Nuclear Energy Advisory Council to Discuss 2018 Millstone Station Performance, Energy Central

Hulking Nuclear Plants Try to Get Nimble in Volatile Power Markets, Bloomberg

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change, Bloomberg

N.J. approves $300 million annual subsidy for nuclear industry that threatened shutdown, WHYY

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Lewiston the big winner in controversial power line project, Portland Press Herald

In CT electric market, ‘buyer beware’ not enough?, The Hour

Durham approves $1M settlement with Eversource, Seacoastonline.com

South Portland-Montreal pipeline pitched as possible route for proposed CMP line, Portland Press Herald

State Releases More Heating Aid; Advocates Want Full Amount, WBUR

What Electrification of Transportation and Buildings Means to Microgrids: Interview, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

We need both renewables and natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

BAKER AND LAROCQUE: Compressor station threatens Weymouth’s health and safety, Patriot Ledger

Letter: The right way to use RGGI money, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Wind-, solar-charged batteries better option than NECEC, Portland Press Herald

It’s time for power grid to look at benefits of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the editor: CMP line would bring clean power to New England, Press Herald

In face of climate change, time to retreat, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending April 12, 2019

Transparent Wood | Housing Upgrade | No. 1 Threat to the Grid

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

 

This week we start with something that’s seems fantastical but is possible – see-through wood. From the New Scientist, “Transparent wood could one day replace glass in windows. A process for turning it see-through also gives it heat-retaining powers, which could help regulate the temperature of buildings. Céline Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and colleagues built on previous work which created transparent wood by removing a structural component called lignin from wood, allowing light to filter through. For the next stage, the team soaked de-lignified birch wood in PEG (polyethylene glycol), a polymer that is also found in theatre smoke machines and toothpaste. When encapsulated in the wood panels, this makes it harder for heat to cross – whether you’re insulating a building against the cold outside, or trying to keep out summer heat…’When we build we try to use a lot of glass, but it has a drawback of being a bad insulator, so there are large amounts of heat loss,’ says Montanari. ‘Wood is really amazing, 10 times better at insulating, but it does not transmit light.’ The composite wood isn’t quite as good an insulator as natural wood, but is around four times better than high-end double glazing. The material can also bear heavy loads and is biodegradable, making it easier to dispose of than concrete or glass.”

Next we have a story that I don’t think anyone can complain about. From WCAI, Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade. “Harwich residents brought doughnuts out for Eversouce Energy workers on Tuesday morning as the crew put up a nest platform for a pair of ospreys on Route 28. The birds arrived in the area at the end of March for nesting season but when they went to settle into their old haunt on top of a telephone pole, the nest was gone. Eversource had dismantled the osprey’s nest and covered the site with a rounded plastic guard because the nest posed a safety hazard, says Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. ‘It is a matter of a risk to our electric system, to people and to ospreys themselves, in fact, as these nests do have the potential to cause a fire.’ Every time Eversouce takes down an osprey nest from one of their utility poles, they look for a nearby location to build an alternative nesting platform, Lamberty says. But they can’t always find a good spot…This time though, the birds got lucky. After bird watcher Sally Steinmann of South Harwich complained to Eversource, the company agreed to build a nest platform off a nearby utility pole. ‘The public outcry is what made this happen,’ Steinmann says. ‘But it’s the birds who made us want to help them.’”

Speaking of grid hazards, most people think cyber attacks are the greatest threat to the electric grid. It turns out that’s not the case. From Inside Sources, “Last week, President Donald Trump released an executive order intended to protect the U.S. from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks against the electric grid. But there is another threat to the grid, one that is far more low-tech and far more common, than a smuggled EMP device: Squirrels. ‘I’m all for increasing grid resilience, but here’s a threat priority list: 1. Squirrels 2. Tree branches 3. Heat waves/hurricanes/other climate-amplified threats,’ joked Costa Samaras, an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation in a tweet. He may have been joking, but his math is dead on.  For a small mammal, squirrels cause a surprising amount of damage to the grid. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by squirrels, cutting off power to more than 193,873 customers. These incidents are more common in the spring and fall but can happen throughout the year. To try to stop the furry menaces and to keep equipment safe, utility companies employ a variety of deterrents like wheels, cages, and guards. Despite these efforts, squirrels are a constant operating hazard.” And here I thought keeping them out of the bird feeder was hard enough.

That’s the news for this week. Enjoy the stories below. Have a great weekend. And if you’re running Boston on Monday, take care and have fun!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sen. Markey unveils federal pipeline safety legislation named after Leonel Rondon, killed in Valley gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Pennsylvania governor under scrutiny for role in approving pipeline, The Guardian

Trump Plans to Sign Executive Orders to Expedite Pipelines, Wall St. Journal

Study: Natural gas pipelines leaking in Danbury, other cities, Connecticut Post

Power Plant Hearings End, Decision This Summer, ECO RI

Compressor Station Opponents Urged to Oppose Gas, ECO RI

Trump’s order would make it harder for states to block pipelines, Kennebec Journal

Utility Blamed for Gas Explosions Resumes Efforts to Replace Damaged Heating Equipment, NECN

Ocean uproar: saving marine life from a barrage of noise, Nature

Dominion gas explosion kills one, injures 17 in North Carolina, Utility Dive

‘Bomb Trains.’ Trump’s Plan to Ship Natural Gas by Rail Raises Alarm, Fortune

MIT says we’re overlooking a near-term solution to diesel trucking emissions, Ars Technica

Inside the Gas Industry’s Plan to Sink Nuclear Power, Daily Beast

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Climate Change Is Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis, The New Yorker

Is Mass. Keeping Its Offshore Wind, Hydro Procurement Promises?, Climate X Change

Global CO2 levels ‘unprecedented’ in last 3M years, E&E News

Millennial legislators bond around push for renewables, Taunton Gazette

Investors Should Worry If Climate Goals Are Missed, Report Warns, Bloomberg

Maryland General Assembly approves 50 percent renewable energy target for 2030, The Baltimore Sun

Nahant earns Green Community designation, Daily Item

100% renewable energy ‘moonshot’ for millennials at Fitchburg State forum, Telegram

Among other millennials, Framingham state Rep. Maria Robinson pushes for renewables, MetroWest Daily News

Climate Change Throws Shade on Forest Wildflowers, Boston University

UNH research: 14 wild bee species native to New England on the decline, New Hampshire Union Leader

Biomass plants ask state Supreme Court to intervene over law, WMUR

 

Wind

State delays decision on Vineyard Wind cable, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind commits to fisheries monitoring, Cape Cod Times

New Jerseyans like the idea of expanding wind power, poll finds, NJ 101.5

New Jersey governor unveils portal to enhance state’s offshore wind supply chain, Utility Dive

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, reNews

Scaling the US East Coast offshore wind industry to 20 gigawatts and beyond, McKinsey & Company

Offshore wind output beats solar for the first time in Germany, Recharge

Bernie Sanders Video Mocks Trump for Being the ‘Only Person in the World’ Who Believes Wind Turbines Cause Cancer, Newsweek

Windsor and Sanford Residents voice their displeasure with a planned wind turbine project, WICZ

 

Solar

L.A. could replace traditional power plants with home solar, experts say, NBC News

New community solar project in Hartland, VT converts brownfield to brightfield, VTDigger

As key solar perk hits sunset, CT grapples with net metering, Connecticut Post

SW looks at solar panels on school roofs, Journal Inquirer

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Windows made of transparent wood could help keep buildings warm, New Scientist

States can grow battery resources with ‘one simple step,’ report finds, Utility Dive

Eversource advances Cape Cod battery project, defers 13-mile distribution line, Utility Dive

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, VTDigger

MASS SAVE earns 2019 Energy Star® partner of the year – sustained excellence award, Utility Dive

Researchers charge ahead on battery storage, Phys.org

Vattenfall to test salt-based power storage technology, Reuters

 

EVs

Bipartisan group of lawmakers proposes extending tax credits for electric, fuel cell vehicles, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Three Mile Island nuclear reactor dismantling could take six decades, more than $1 billion, Philadelphia Enquirer

NRC sets Sept. hearing date for C-10’s filing, Newburyport Daily News

Indian Point Unit 3 returns to service after final refueling, Mid-Hudson News

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewing Millstone decommissioning funds, The Day

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bailout Plan for the State’s Two Nuclear Power Plants, WKSU

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource fights to keep Northern Pass alive, Boston Globe

This Threat To America’s Energy Grid Is Driving Security Experts Nuts, Inside Sources

How the Energy Department Tackles Cyberthreats, Fedtech Magazine

Berkshire delegation says Baker’s cuts to LIHEAP ‘a shock,‘ Berkshire Eagle

ISO-NE considers new seasonal forward market to improve energy security, Utility Dive

CMP wins key certificate from regulators for transmission line, Portland Press Herald

Watertown hydro plant’s three turbines creating power, Watertown Daily Times

Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade, Cape and Islands NPR

Opponents of CMP transmission line project push bills to slow it down, Portland Press Herald

$30M in state funding available for electric grid projects, Syracuse.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Nuclear Power Can Save the World, New York Times

Gas hookup moratoriums are not good for any of us, CommonWealth Magazine

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

Power companies must prove need for extending natural gas pipelines in New England (Letters), MassLive

Steven Kahl: The Electric Economy is the future, Kennebec Journal

As I See It: Solar on all new homes would help protect Massachusetts’ air and water, Telegram

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending March 29, 2019

Wind Round 2 | NH Unhappy with Nuclear Option | Service Recap

 

Happy Friday!

 

It’s been a very busy day so no big recap this week.  We just point your attention to these few stories:

Round 2 begins for the state’s offshore wind contest, Boston Globe

New Hampshire officials unhappy with neighbors’ nuclear option, New Hampshire Union Leader

Former Mass. DPU Chair Reflects on Service, RTO Insider

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Opponents of Tennessee Gas Pipeline plan speak out at Longmeadow hearing, MassLive

National Grid slow to rebound after lockout, Patriot Ledger

ISO-NE files short-term fuel security plan to relieve gas constraints, Utility Dive

Summit Natural Gas rekindles interest in Farmingdale pipeline, Kennebec Journal

Grid steps up pressure to get state approval of undersea pipeline, Newsday

Can New York have a Green New Deal and a new fracked gas pipeline?, Grist

In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018, Washington Post

Seismic Testing Approval Process Raises Concern About Impact On Right Whales, WBGH

Trump to sign executive order to speed up pipeline development, Axios

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Solar and wind firms call the ‘Green New Deal’ too extreme, Reuters

Climate change fears spur investment in carbon capture technology, Financial Times via the BBJ (subscriber content)

They Grew Up Around Fossil Fuels. Now, Their Jobs Are in Renewables, New York times

New Hampshire officials unhappy with neighbors’ nuclear option, New Hampshire Union Leader

Despite Favorable Political Winds, Scant Progress in NJ on Climate Change, NJ Spotlight

Where does US climate policy stand in 2019?, Brookings Institution

Legislature approves green energy bills, plastic restrictions, Foster’s Daily Democrat

PJM Members Welcome Carbon Pricing Talks, RTO Insider

Zoning commission considers new rules on green-energy systems, Ridgefield Press

 

Wind

Feds, fishermen reach understanding on wind, Gloucester Times

Round 2 begins for the state’s offshore wind contest, Boston Globe

Baker makes few changes in offshore wind RFP, CommonWealth Magazine

Martha’s Vineyard Turbine Cables Hearing Ends In Murky Waters, USA Patch

Mass. sets specifics for second offshore wind procurement, Southcoasttoday.com

Wind-energy companies pitch benefits for LI in bid for contract, Newsday

Offshore Wind Energy Market is Anticipated to Reach 81,000.0 MW by 2024, MarketWatch

The State Of The U.S. Offshore Wind Market, North American Windpower

Battery and offshore wind costs ‘tumble’, reNews

Big hitters join New York offshore alliance, reNews

Mass. sets specifics for second offshore wind procurement, Herald News

 

Solar

Hartland brownfield site sees a sunny future with solar farm, Valley News

Westerly council OKs solar ordinance, but some worry about effect on homeowners, Westerly Sun

How Co-ops Are Bringing Solar Power to Rural America, Scientific American

Greenskies completes 30th solar system for Town of Fairfield, Fairfield Citizen

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Trump Administration Flips Switch On Energy Efficient Light Bulbs, NPR

Dominion bows to pressure on energy efficiency spending, Washington Post

Energy-Guzzling Hospitals Find Ways to Cut Consumption and Costs, Greentech Media

Medford Revamping Its Energy System, USA Patch

National Grid customers cash in on millions in energy efficiency incentives, WPRI 12

Eversource Plans Battery Storage Facility in Provincetown, Cape Cod

 

Nuclear

40 Years After A Partial Nuclear Meltdown, A New Push To Keep Three Mile Island Open, KCUR

The Energy 202: Rick Perry calls expanding nuclear energy “the real” Green New Deal, Washington Post

Perry defends plan for Nevada nuclear-waste storage site, AP News

CEOs Say Preserving the Nuclear Power Fleet Is Imperative, Power Magazine

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Chamber: National Grid delays affecting manufacturers, development, Worcester Business Journal

New England Grid Operator Puzzles in Microgrids and Energy Storage: Regional Outlook, Microgrid Knowledge

Emera to sell Maine utility for $1.3B, completing 3-year fundraising plan, Utility Dive

Andover-based energy giant gobbles up Kansas renewable-development partner, Boston Business Journal

Former Mass. DPU Chair Reflects on Service, RTO Insider

Maine Lawmakers Revive Microgrid Bill as New Governor Creates a Pro-Green Climate, Microgrid Knowledge

Medford, Massachusetts Moves Forward with Microgrid to Reduce Demand Charges, Improve Resiliency, Microgrid Knowledge

Norwich Public Utilities proposes $93.7 million budget, no rate increases, The Day

Overheard at the NE Electricity Restructuring Roundtable, RTO Insider

Food waste-to-energy company in talks with United Metro Energy to locate at EPCAL, RiverheadLOCAL

Unitil rebates will help school recoup project costs, Sentinel & Enterprise

Eversource wants rate hike to cover infrastructure upgrades, WCAX

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter to the editor: Pipeline editorial ‘shortsighted’, Connecticut Post

Column: Addressing the impact of climate change, Gloucester Daily Times

Joey Bergstein: Carbon pricing will reduce climate change for future generations, VTDigger

Commentary: Three new technologies could reshape Maine’s economy, climate in a good way, Portland Press Herald

Another View: Maine can reduce emissions without CMP project, Portland Press Herald

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