Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Energy News for week ending January 17, 2020

The heat is on | To exit or not to exit | Single option

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

While today actually feels like winter, the trend over the past decade has been toward warmer temperatures. From the AP in the New York Times, “The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, two U.S. agencies reported Wednesday. And scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records. “If you think you’ve heard this story before, you haven’t seen anything yet,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said at the close of a decade plagued by raging wildfires, melting ice and extreme weather that researchers have repeatedly tied to human activity. Schmidt said Earth as a whole is probably the hottest it has been during the Holocene — the past 11,500 years or so — meaning this could be the warmest period since the dawn of civilization. But scientists’ estimates of ancient global temperatures, based on tree rings, ice cores and other telltale signs, are not precise enough to say that with certainty. The 2010s averaged 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7 degrees Celsius) worldwide, or 1.4 degrees (0.8 C) higher than the 20th century average and more than one-third of a degree (one-fifth of a degree C) warmer than the previous decade, which had been the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Climate change is giving Connecticut energy leaders second thoughts about staying with the regional electric grid. From WNPR, “The state’s commissioner of energy and environmental protection said Wednesday that Connecticut is being forced to invest in natural gas plants it doesn’t want or need. Katie Dykes’ comments on the future of Connecticut’s energy policy came up during a forum at Trinity College, and they come as the legislature prepares to convene next month. Speaking to a crowd at the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Dykes said a ‘lack of leadership’ at ISO New England, which oversees the regional power grid, is hindering the state’s fight against climate change. ‘We are at the mercy of a regional capacity market that is driving investment in more natural gas and fossil fuel power plants that we don’t want and we don’t need,’ Dykes said. ‘This is forcing us to take a serious look at the cost and benefits of participating in the ISO New England markets.’ The department has scheduled a meeting on the issue for Wednesday, Jan. 22.”

The last highlight for this week comes from the Cape Cod Times, “State officials are taking the first steps toward having a single underwater transmission line that could feed electricity generated by multiple offshore wind farms into the regional power grid. The Department of Energy Resources is asking for comments on the idea of it putting out to bid ‘offshore wind energy transmission sufficient to deliver energy generation procured under’ a 2018 clean energy law that signaled Massachusetts’ intent to pursue enough additional renewable energy to double its amount of possible offshore wind power. The department will accept all comments, but is particularly interested in thoughts on ‘the general cost and benefits of coordinated offshore wind transmission for the region and/or a potential independent transmission procurement in Massachusetts.’…One primary transmission system ‘has the potential benefit of minimizing impacts on fisheries, optimizing the transmission grid, and reducing costs,’ a department report concluded.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay warm, be careful in tomorrow’s snowstorm, and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas prices in 2019 were the lowest in the past three years

UPDATE: Technicians going door to door restoring gas after major leak in Salem (NH), Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts holding hearings on gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

2020 outlook: Natural gas faces regulatory, environmental scrutiny but still wants role in carbon-free grid, Utility Dive

Green hydrogen could price gas out of power markets by 2050, Energy Voice

Ashland Conservation Commission, citing impact on wetlands, denies Eversource pipe plan, MetroWest Daily News

15 states oppose Trump plan to allow LNG shipments by rail, AP

BlackRock to sell $500 million in coal investments in climate change push, CBS News

Communities weigh closing off gas hookups, Eagle-Tribune

Residents fume as Nat Grid builds north Brooklyn pipeline, Brooklyn Paper

Rep. Joe Kennedy Still Pushing For Answers On Controversial Weymouth Gas Compressor Project, WGBH

Weymouth: Protest Continue at Fore River Compressor Station Site, WATD-FM

Arsenic near Weymouth compressor site ‘not imminent hazard’, Wicked Local

Nine more arrested in compressor station protest, Patriot Ledger

 

TCI

Straus says TCI is getting in the way, CommonWealth Magazine

Mills becomes latest governor to express concern about regional fuel pact, Boston Globe

NH Gov. Sununu predicts TCI failure, as Mass Legislature floats Plan B, Boston Herald

DeLeo doesn’t see ‘a whole lot of support’ for a regional climate pact, Boston Globe

Transportation and Climate Initiative: Caution lights are flashing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New England governors keep signaling second thoughts about Charlie Baker’s climate plan, Boston.com

State’s top environmental official tries to keep climate accord alive, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Fever Chart: Earth Had Its Hottest Decade on Record in 2010s, New York Times

U.S. clean energy investment hits new record despite Trump administration views, Reuters

How A Climate Change Nonprofit Got Eversource Thinking About A Geothermal Future, WBUR

This is what energy resilience could look like, GreenBiz

Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates, The Guardian

What would a $10 per ton carbon price mean for the Northeast?, Utility Dive

Three-Quarters of New US Generating Capacity in 2020 Will Be Renewable, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Cambridge businesses back Carbon Pricing, Wicked Local

Give Kids the Money From Carbon Taxes, New Republic

What is ‘clean’ or ‘green’ energy? Definitions differ across regions., Kennebec Journal

Why Cutting Car and Truck Emissions Is So Hard, Pew Charitable Trusts

Transmission Emerging as Major Stumbling Block for State Renewable Targets, Greentech Media

New York says new renewables financing option to reduce developers’ financial risk, save $4.6B, Utility Dive

 

Wind

State seeks feedback on offshore transmission tie-in line, Cape Cod Times

New York’s next offshore wind tender to bring at least 1 GW, Renewables Now

Land deal could mean a wind farm coming to Claremont, Valley News

Lowest cost wind price remains under wraps, Herald News

Mayflower Wind, without contract, moving ahead, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind energy giants form global ‘action coalition,’ Energy Live News

Top wind company Ørsted to open innovation hub in Providence, Boston Globe

Solar is the world’s fastest-growing source of renewable energy. Here’s why one of Europe’s largest hedge funds is betting on wind instead., Business Insider

Town of Sanford wind farm meeting gets emotional. Here’s what was said., (NY) Press Connects

 

Solar

Stamford solar power company gets $10.2 million financing package, New Haven Register

Solar projects continue to pay off for towns and developers, southcoasttoday.com

City of Augusta, Greater Augusta Utility District look to go solar, Portland Press Herald

Net metering emerges as latest Statehouse battlefront, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Cuomo: Additional $2 billion in utility energy efficiency & building electrification initiatives to combat climate change, Niagara Frontier

What Would It Take for the US to Become an Energy Storage Manufacturing Powerhouse?, Greentech Media

Battery storage facility coming to New Windsor, Record Online

Trump Says Water Efficiency Standards Mean Showers, Toilets and Dishwashers Don’t Work Properly, Newsweek

What makes Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings Market Outperforming its Substitutes, MarketWatch

Eversource challenges students to showcase their energy smarts, Revere Journal

Energy Department Launches Challenge for Next-Gen Storage Technologies, NextGov

 

EVs

New Jersey sets high standard with passage of EV incentive bill, advocates say, Utility Dive

North Shore towns power up with Bolts, charging stations, Salem News

 

Nuclear

Decommissioning contract awarded, Machinery Market

Is Nuclear Power Worth the Risk?, The New Yorker

Holtec faces tough questions about Indian Point teardown at first public meeting in Buchanan, LoHud

Nuclear Decommissioning panel to NorthStar: Start paying, Brattleboro Reformer

Canada Sends Nuclear Power Plant Warning to Millions — Before Admitting It Was an ‘Error’, YAHOO!

Nuclear safety advocacy group C-10 moves to Amesbury, Wicked Local

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Conn. Energy Head Taking ‘A Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WNPR

Stop & Shop, Major Northeast Grocery Store Chain, to Install 40 Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Grassroots Push for Microgrid on Maine Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Electricity bill could drop $150 a year for Nashua residents under new plan, New Hampshire Union Leader

Timeline: Central Maine Power’s project permit woes, Kennebec Journal

Hydro-Quebec Could Face Fine For Late Disclosure Of Efforts To Sway Maine Voters On CMP Project, Maine Public

Group backing CMP power line wins support of former environmental leaders, Portland Press Herald

In Maine’s North Woods, unplugged back-to-landers foresee irreparable harm to trout from power corridor, Kennebec Journal

In an isolated Inuit community, concern is strong over water toxins from hydropower expansion, Sun Journal

Hydro-Québec and NB Power sign electricity purchase agreement, Electrical Business

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Lamont shamefully defies FOI laws, The Day

Douglas Rooks: Maine’s long quest for public power, Press Herald

U.S. Leadership Needed to Fight Climate Change, Bloomberg

Too much focus on gas tax, when corporations should do more, Boston Globe

Our View: We should heed warnings on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Here’s Something: CMP line poses a dilemma for environmentalists, Portland Press Herald

Letter: N.H. needs a governor strong on climate change, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial: A lackluster approach to green energy, Concord Monitor

Column: Australia shows us the road to climate hell, Hartford Courant

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

Energy News for week ending December 20, 2019

TCI | Critical Source | Seawater | Small, Svelte and Safer

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

The news that got the most “ink” this week was the Transportation and Climate Initiative. We have several stories below, but found this one from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive to be a great place to start, Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

Other news that grabbed a lot of attention this week came out of New Hampshire. From the Portland Press Herald, “Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source. Leaders in states bordering the Gulf of Maine expressed strong support Thursday for offshore wind, setting the region up to become the next battleground over the resource as some members of the area’s influential fishing industry voice objections. Officials from Massachusetts and Maine, along with New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, said Thursday at the first meeting of the Agenda for the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the Gulf of Maine that they were optimistic offshore wind could help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing thousands of jobs across New England. Led by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the task force must weigh concerns from commercial fishermen, environmentalists, coastal communities and other stakeholders before deciding where leases on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine might be allocated and where they wouldn’t be allowed. There are also technical challenges, since the deep waters of the gulf may require floating platforms.”

We have two stories for our new technology feature. First from Reuters, “International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it has created a battery design that uses materials extracted from seawater and requires no cobalt, as the race to find alternative sources to the expensive mineral intensifies…The move comes as top battery makers scramble to reduce cobalt content in lithium-ion batteries, and as the expansion of the electric vehicle market is expected to result in shortages of the mineral mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. IBM said its technology has proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in cost, charging time and energy efficiency.”

The second new tech feature comes to us from Wired though the headline sounds something more like you’d read in Self. “The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer. For the last 20 years, the future of nuclear power has stood in a high bay laboratory tucked away on the Oregon State University campus in the western part of the state. Operated by NuScale Power, an Oregon-based energy startup, this prototype reactor represents a new chapter in the conflict-ridden, politically bedeviled saga of nuclear power plants. NuScale’s reactor won’t need massive cooling towers or sprawling emergency zones. It can be built in a factory and shipped to any location, no matter how remote. Extensive simulations suggest it can handle almost any emergency without a meltdown. One reason is that it barely uses any nuclear fuel, at least compared with existing reactors. It’s also a fraction of the size of its predecessors. This is good news for a planet in the grips of a climate crisis. Nuclear energy gets a bad rap in some environmentalist circles, but many energy experts and policymakers agree that splitting atoms is going to be an indispensable part of decarbonizing the world’s electricity.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a safe and happy holiday and a joyous and healthy New Year. We appreciate that you let us in your inboxes each week and look forward to sharing the energy news with you in 2020. See you next on January 10th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought, New York Times

Officials, residents concerned with compressor site cleanup, Patriot Ledger

Congressman Joseph Kennedy demands halt to Weymouth compressor station construction, Wicked Local

New England power and natgas prices spike during cold snap, CNBC

National Grid doesn’t want geothermal developer to have ‘party’ status in pipeline debate, Times Union

Newsmaker 2019: National Grid flames out in pipeline feud, Crain’s New York

N.H.-Bound Coal Train Kept Rolling, Despite Activists On The Tracks, WBUR

4 Things To Know About The N.H. Coal Plant Targeted By Climate Protesters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Uncertain role of natural gas in the transition to clean energy, Science Daily

 

TCI

Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?, MassLive

Legislators seek to stop Charlie Baker from passing Transportation Climate Initiative, Boston Herald

TCI could up gas prices 5 to 17 cents a gallon in 2022, CommonWealth Magazine

New England states mull regional gas fees after NH rejection, Boston Herald

Reducing emissions from transportation is a long, difficult road for Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Boston Could Become WICKED Hot. This is What They’re Doing About it., Discover Magazine

US Lawmakers Stiff Solar, Wind Gets Modest Victory in Tax Deal, Greentech Media

Clean energy advocates want New York to move quickly on 70% renewables goal, Utility Dive

How we know global warming is real, Washington Post

Mike Bloomberg has a plan to clean up electricity and it doesn’t need Congress, Vox

Holyoke lands $275K grant for net-zero planning, Energy Central

Migrating Birds Prefer to Eat Local New England Cuisine, Boston University

Forget the log cabin. Wood buildings are climbing skyward – with pluses for the planet., Hartford Courant

Berkshire Community College Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award, iBerkshires

Failure by Congress to Support Tax Credits for Clean Energy and EVs is Unacceptable, Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate activists, offshore wind industry groups slam House for holding off on tax credit extension, MassLive

U.S. Spending Bill Holds Win for Wind Energy, Setback for Solar, New York Times

 

Wind

Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source, Portland Press Herald

US has only one offshore wind energy farm, but a $70 billion market is on the way, CNBC

Berkshire Wind helps light North Shore homes, Salem News

Tax credit changes snub offshore wind power, Salem News

Bluestone gets green light for 125 MW wind farm in New York, Reve

Team Develops Floating Turbine To Harvest Deep-Ocean Wind Energy, Science Blog

US urged to lease more offshore wind, renews.biz

Federal talks leave mixed bag for wind energy, Herald News

Prototype of ‘world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine’ starts sending power to utility, CNBC

 

Solar

YMCA of Greater Providence Teams with Balanced Rock Energy on Breakthrough Solar Credit Agreement, (Press Release) Globe Newswire

New Saratoga County solar farm is among largest of its kind upstate, Times Union

Ground broken on solar energy farm in East Haven, New Haven Register

‘We traded green for green.’ Controversial solar array built on Simsbury farmland now producing power, Hartford Courant

City of Bangor to install its first big solar panel project, Newscentermaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State to build a large energy facility instead of a previously planned fossil fuel plant, Solar Builder Magazine

Large-scale energy storage by “liquid air” proposed for Vermont, Granite Geek

US investment in energy efficiency dropped estimated 18% in two years: Report, Utility Dive

IBM’s new battery design taps seawater as alternative mineral source, Reuters

Cuomo lays out $1.5 billion investment to improve energy efficiency at state and local government buildings, New York Daily News

Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers, Bloomberg

Rising Demand for Energy Efficiency Creates Growth Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Heat Exchangers, Business Insider

Tesla’s Musk says solar, energy storage will grow faster than electric cars, and there’s some truth to it, CNBC

What a Year! 10 Stories That Propelled Energy Storage in 2019, Greentech Media

 

EVs

New York transit authority to invest $1.1B for 500 electric buses, Utility Dive

Municipal parking lots across Boston to get electric-charging stations, Universal Hub

South Jersey Utility Seeks OK on Plan for More EV Charging Stations, NJ Spotlight

State offer would boost electric vehicles; Dollar incentives for middle, low-income Vermonters, Chester Telegraph

 

Nuclear

Board delays decision on nuclear plant’s license renewal, Newburyport Daily News

Mass. Lawmakers Criticize NRC Decision on Transfer of Pilgrim Nuke Ownership, Cape Cod Today

NRC gives permit for next-gen factory-built nuclear reactor, AP News

The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy, Popular Mechanics

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer, Wired Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator targeted in Healey’s clean-energy push, Wicked Local

State approves Eversource power line through Sudbury, Hudson, MetroWest Daily News

Healey seeks DPU crackdown on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market, Greentech Media

CMP CEO ‘absolutely’ fears losing company in consumer takeover, WGME

Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?, Scientific American

CMP aims to restore trust with ad campaign, Portland Press Herald

Eversource names new leader for NH, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills’ solar power policies already paying off, Eagle Times

My Turn: A Granite Bridge to nowhere?, Concord Monitor

If Lamont is serious about climate change he will block Killingly plant, The Day

Local legislators: Coming together for climate action, Portland Press Herald

Here’s some good news on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Maine Compass: Let’s stop CMP’s unpopular corridor project, Kennebec Journal

Reporting on climate change from Cape Cod, where sea levels could put everything at risk, USA Today

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

Energy News for week ending December 13, 2019

Climate Shocks Fishing Stocks | Arctic Report Card

Happy Friday!

Two fishing industry stories caught our attention this week.  HuffPost tells the story of how climate ‘shocks’ have eliminated 16% of New England fishing jobs. The article is based upon research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on how significant deviations from average temperatures–primarily warmer winters–have reduced fishing jobs from 1996 to 2017.

And climate change is causing chaos in the Bering Sea, home to one of America’s largest fisheries, according to NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Card.  Reuters reports that while the changes are widespread in the Arctic, the effect on wildlife is acute in the eastern shelf of the Bering Sea, which yields more than 40% of the annual U.S. fish and shellfish catch.

That’s the recap for this week. More news below!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

As climate change accelerates, U.S. senators pressure New England’s grid operator to do more to quit carbon-based fuel, Hartford Courant

Arsenic And Diesel As Thick As Peanut Butter: What’s Below The Future Weymouth Compressor?, WBUR

Neighbors want more asbestos testing at Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Brookline’s ban on natural gas connections spurs other municipalities to consider the idea, Boston Globe

Your gas tax will pay for NJ Transit’s $500M shopping list —including electric buses, NJ.com

Natural Gas Boom Fizzles as a U.S. Glut Sinks Profits, New York Times

Oil industry is spending billions on increasing plastics production, TreeHugger

Former Hingham selectman among those arrested at Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

The Gas Industry’s Bid To Kill A Town’s Fossil Fuel Ban, HuffPost

Climate Activists Arrested Trying To Block Coal Train From Reaching N.H. Power Plant, New Hampshire Public Radio

New U.S. energy secretary slams NY for blocking gas pipelines, Reuters

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Climate ‘Shocks’ Eliminated 16% Of New England Fishing Jobs, Study Finds, HuffPost

Climate change hitting top U.S. fishery in the Arctic: NOAA, Reuters

Renewable developers raise eyebrows over GMP green energy trading app, VTDigger

UN chief: ‘We are doomed’ without significant action on climate change, The Hill

Activists stormed the State House demanding Charlie Baker take ‘transformational steps to stop the climate crisis now.’, Boston.com

Lawmakers want Massachusetts to be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2045, WWLP

Climate program could be boon for border states, Salem News

Wind

Offshore Wind Task Force Meeting Draws Crowd; Sununu Pushes For Quick Development, New Hampshire Public Radio

Connecticut Selects Vineyard Wind To Redevelop Bridgeport Harbor, Provide Offshore Power, WBUR

Elizabeth Warren Unveils ‘Blue New Deal’ With Support for Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Talks accelerate on East Hampton cable for offshore wind farm, Newsday

Solar

A Massive – And Controversial – Simsbury Solar Project Is Now Operational, WNPR

Five Maine companies win federal solar grants, Portland Press Herald

New Solar Panel Project in Bloomfield Could Cut Residents’ Energy Costs, NBC Connecticut

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A Peek into the Battery Technology Pipeline, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Worcester receives state energy award, Telegram

One More Time, With Feeling: GE’s Latest Approach to Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Littleton fire chief raises concerns about battery energy-storage facility, New Hampshire Union Leader

Nuclear

Nuclear Power, a Low-Carbon Energy Source, Is Shunned by the West, Wall Street Journal

Cape faces winter without Pilgrim power, Cape Cod Times

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

MassINC poll: Infrastructure, climate change concerns drive broad support for greener transportation policy, MassLive

Eversource Energy to go ‘carbon-neutral’ by 2030, Connecticut Post

Power supply is adequate for winter, but extreme weather could test limits: ISO, Journal Inquirer

Indigenous activists fight expansion of Canadian hydropower, VTDigger

Maine regulators delay decision on CMP billing case, Portland Press Herald

Jared Golden says he is ‘not sold’ on CMP’s controversial hydropower line, Sun Journal

Legislation to protect electric grid from cyber attacks added to massive defense bill, The Hill

Editorial/Opinion

Clearing the air on green activists’ coal-train protests, Lowell Sun

Energy credits can help fight climate change, Boston Globe

Norm Needleman: CT leaders must explore new forms of energy for greener future, New Canaan Advertiser

Editorial: State made right call on Vineyard Wind, Connecticut Post

Our View: Gov. Mills’ solar power policies already paying off, Portland Press Herald

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables

Energy News for week ending December 6, 2019

Vineyard Wind takes CT | Pressing Threat | Blue Membrane

 

Happy Friday folks. Let’s get to this week’s energy news.

We begin in Connecticut. From Greentech Media, “Connecticut on Thursday selected Vineyard Wind’s 804-megawatt Park City project as the winner in a major offshore wind solicitation, setting up the seaport city of Bridgeport to become a significant hub for the emerging U.S. market. Connecticut regulators said Vineyard won with a price “lower than any other publicly announced offshore wind project in North America.” The exact price was not disclosed. Vineyard Wind, which competed against rival development groups backed by Ørsted and Shell, will now begin negotiating a final contract with Connecticut’s two electric utilities. The project is due for completion in 2025.”

The next topic – offshore drilling – always takes me by surprise when it’s said in conjunction with the northeast. But it’s a thing now so hopefully those in charge will pay attention to this story from MassLive, “An Environment America report released this week suggests offshore drilling could severely impact communities throughout Massachusetts and other coastal states. The report warned that expansion of offshore drilling, pushed by the Trump administration last year in a plan that is tied up in court, would result in onshore infrastructure that could damage the environment, including pipelines through sensitive coastal habitats and harmful greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries…The 32-page report highlights how pipelines from offshore rigs to inland processing facilities could increase the chances of oil spills and worsen water quality in estuaries. The report also argues toxic waste brought onshore from drilling operations could pollute land and drinking water. Proponents of offshore drilling say expansion could tap into vast available resources and boost the U.S. economy.”

Speaking of water, our new technology feature this week comes from Science Magazine, “Rivers could generate thousands of nuclear power plants worth of energy, thanks to a new ‘blue’ membrane. Green energy advocates may soon be turning blue. A new membrane could unlock the potential of ‘blue energy,’ which uses chemical differences between fresh- and saltwater to generate electricity. If researchers can scale up the postage stamp–size membrane in an affordable fashion, it could provide carbon-free power to millions of people in coastal nations where freshwater rivers meet the sea…Blue energy’s promise stems from its scale: Rivers dump some 37,000 cubic kilometers of freshwater into the oceans every year. This intersection between fresh- and saltwater creates the potential to generate lots of electricity—2.6 terawatts, according to one recent estimate, roughly the amount that can be generated by 2000 nuclear power plants.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Offshore drilling ‘creates pressing threat’ to Massachusetts’s environment, residents’ health, report says, MassLive

Maine eyed for project that converts electricity to storable gas, Portland Press Herald

Overpowered: Why a US gas-building spree continues despite electricity glut, S&P Global

Free Legal Aid Offered To Those Affected By Gas Explosions, WGBH

Construction begins on Weymouth compressor station, Boston Globe

Four arrested as protesters block construction crews at Weymouth compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas companies call for carbon tax, Houston Chronicle

Iroquois Pipeline project to be discussed in Brookfield, Stamford Advocate

National Grid: Pact with state won’t lead to significant hikes over prior rate requests, Newsday

Weston residents testify in support of gas legislation, Wicked Local

Hearing set on proposed Unitil gas service rate hike, Portland Press Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit a Record in 2019, Even as Coal Fades, New York Times

Why Coastal Storms Are A Threat To Tourism, WGBH

Rivers could generate thousands of nuclear power plants worth of energy, thanks to a new ‘blue’ membrane, Science

Is FERC overstepping its authority and hurting renewables? States, power groups question PURPA plan, Utility Dive

As Climate Change Worsens, A Cascade of Tipping Points Looms, Yale Environment 360

5 Things To Know About The East Coast Effort To Curb Transportation Emissions, WBUR

The Next Generation of Children Will Be Affected by Climate Change Before They’re Even Born, Mother Jones

New Hampshire Winters Are Among The Fastest-Warming In The Country, New Hampshire Public Radio

Why clean-energy innovation isn’t enough to tackle climate change, Axios

Scientists have gotten predictions of global warming right since the 1970s, Vox

 

Wind

Vineyard Wins as Connecticut Chooses 804MW Offshore Wind Project, Greentech Media

A Silver Lining in Vineyard Wind’s Delay?, Greentech Media

New Hampshire governor signs order to prepare for offshore wind development, Portland Press Herald

Nexans Steps into North American Offshore Wind Supply Chain, NRG Wind Project

Wind farm proposals causing concerns for fishing industry, RICentral.com

 

Solar

‘I’d Tell My Mom to Sign Up.’ Has Community Solar Finally Come of Age?, Greentech Media

Third time’s a charm? New Hampshire legislators work to break impasse on net metering, Utility Dive

No land, no problem. Floating solar panels might be the next big thing., Grist

Solar Industry Girds for New Fight as Trump’s Tariffs Get Review, Bloomberg

U.S. solar industry to lose 62,000 jobs due to Trump tariffs – study, Reuters

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

After 2 court losses, DOE signals it will publish 4 appliance efficiency standards, Utility Dive

Landlords must display energy-efficiency grades starting next year, Crain’s New York

Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True, Wired

Diamonds in your devices: Powering the next generation of energy storage, Phys.org

FERC Tariff Approvals Open Way for Energy Storage in Wholesale Markets, Microgrid Knowledge

 

EVs

Pennsylvania Senate Advances Transportation Electrification Bill, Microgrid Knowledge

Electric vehicles to make up 50% of new autos by 2040: Platts Analytics, S&P Global

 

Nuclear

Public meeting being held on closing of Yankee Nuclear power plant, WCAX3

Plymouth could shoulder sirens from Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Enterprise

Another Rare M2.1 Earthquake Hits Near Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Massachusetts, Strange Sounds

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England expected to have adequate electricity this winter, VT Digger (press release)

State nears approval of power line to run through Sudbury, Hudson, Stow, MetroWest Daily News

The Cybersecurity 202: Activist wants court to name and shame electric utilities for violating cybersecurity rules, Washington Post

Connecticut regulators propose restrictions on third-party electricity providers, New Haven Register

The Grid, NPR

CMP parent company fined $450,000 for lapses in reliability standards, Portland Press Herald

The hidden costs of New England’s demand for Canadian hydropower, VTDigger

CMP’s parent forms PAC to argue for bringing Canadian hydropower to New England, Portland Press Herald

State nears approval of power line to run through Sudbury, Hudson, Stow, Wicked Local

Senator Markey Questions Need for East Boston Electrical Substation, Calls on State Officials to Reopen Decision to Allow Construction of Project, US Senate

Energy paradigm shift to pressure prices in 2020, next decade, Bloomberg

 

Editorial/Opinion

Democratize access to clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

How Brookline’s Ban On Gas Heating Could Seed Regional Change, WBUR

The False Promise of Natural Gas, New England Journal of Medicine

Electric consumers shouldn’t have to pay for the expansion of electric vehicles, NJ.com

If we don’t take action on climate change today, there may be no tomorrow, Washington Post

Commentary: Carbon tax best way to cut gas emissions, Times Union

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending November 22, 2019

Fossil Ban | November 26 Deadline | Humble Chairlift

 

It’s Friday so let’s get to the news.

There were several town meetings in Massachusetts this week during which residents could vote on energy-related measures. Perhaps the most interesting took place in Brookline. From the Boston Globe, “Seeking to reduce a major source of carbon emissions, Brookline residents have voted to ban the installation of oil and gas pipes in new buildings as well as in extensive renovations of existing buildings — the first such prohibition in Massachusetts. The controversial bylaw would require homeowners and developers to install heat, hot water, and appliances that use electricity. Only three of more than 200 Town Meeting members voted against the measure Wednesday…The new bylaw, which must still be approved by the state attorney general’s office, is part of a growing movement around the country to curb the use of fossil fuels in buildings. It was modeled after similar measures adopted in communities throughout California.” Speaking of California, Bloomberg reports, “Restaurateurs have a message for local governments banning the use of natural gas in new homes and businesses: Say goodbye to good food. The California Restaurant Association is warning that the flame-seared meat and charred vegetables that foodies have grown so accustomed to ordering will become a thing of the past in Berkeley, California, which in July became the first city in America to end new gas hook-ups in an effort to curb global-warming emissions. The group is suing the city in federal court.”

We’re going to stick with gas and turn our sights to New York, where a November 26th deadline is looming for National Grid. From Politico, “As winter sets in, state officials are turning up the heat on National Grid to find solutions to its moratorium on new natural gas service. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to start a legal process to revoke the utility’s license — a negotiating tactic he’s used before, with some results — and Attorney General Tish James is gathering customer complaints in an ongoing investigation. A standoff over a controversial pipeline that Grid says is needed to meet demand continues, but the utility is expected to propose alternatives next week and offer a public defense of its actions.”

For this week’s energy innovation we bring you a story from Grist, “How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy. What do you see when you imagine a zero-carbon future? Electric buses zipping by? Rolling hills covered with solar panels? Offshore wind farms towering over the sea? If batteries are part of your vision, good thinking. But there’s a promising, if whimsical, piece of the renewable energy puzzle that might be missing from your mental picture: the world of gravity energy storage…Generating electricity using gravity is hardly a new concept…A “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant draws excess energy from the grid and uses it to pump water back up into an elevated reservoir where it can fall again…But who needs water when there are all kinds of things we can slide down a mountain or drop off a cliff? Really, you can use almost any material for gravity energy storage, as long as it’s heavy, cheap, and you can figure out how to transport it up and down a steep slope…‘Mountain Gravity Energy Storage…involves a ski-lift-style cable that carries huge bins of sand up and down a mountain. The sand gets stored in an enormous vessel at the top, and when the grid needs extra energy, it’s sent down the mountain, pulled by the force of gravity, thereby powering an electric generator. Depending on the amount of sand, the height of the mountain, and the speed of the fall, the authors estimate that it can generate electricity for anywhere from five to 555 days.” Do check out this story. It has some very interesting videos and graphics.

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes in two weeks on December 6th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Pressure mounts on National Grid for alternatives to moratorium, Politico

America’s war over natural gas hits home in New York, Axios

Gas projects galore at FERC, Politico

U.S. senators call for 11th-hour review of compressor station proposal, Patriot Ledger

The Keystone Pipeline oil leak is almost 10 times worse than initially thought, CNN

Columbia Gas hit on lack of information, Eagle Tribune

New York’s last coal plant expected online through winter, says NYISO, despite shutdown plans, Utility Dive

Should Cities Phase Out Gas Appliances and Require New Buildings to Be All Electric?, Wall St. Journal

California Restaurants Warn Natural-Gas Ban Takes Seared Steak Off the Table, Bloomberg

In a first for Massachusetts, Brookline votes to ban oil and gas pipes in new buildings, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sanders, Warren join fellow senators in urging New England to speed clean energy transition, Utility Dive

More claims of greenwashing at major US electric utilities, PV Magazine

How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy, Grist

What it takes to be carbon neutral — for a family, a city, a country, Washington Post

Homes to Sell Renewable Energy to Businesses in Vermont’s First of a Kind Local Energy Marketplace, Microgrid Knowledge

Amherst Town Council all in on climate goals, Daily Hampshire Gazette

As Climate Risk Grows, Cities Test a Tough Strategy: Saying ‘No’ to Developers, New York Times

‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019, BBC

Warming waters spell more bad news for New England shrimp, Boston Herald

Worcester’s Petty, other mayors push state to go 100% renewable, Telegram

Scientists meeting in Portland say right whales on the way to extinction, Portland Press Herald

Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up, ProPublica

Portland councilors to consider student-led ‘climate emergency’ resolution, Portland Press Herald

Poll Finds Massachusetts Residents See Climate Change As A Real Worry, WAMC

Climate change challenging Massachusetts oyster fishery, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CT lawmakers earn high marks for environmental efforts, Connecticut Post

Scientists discuss climate change impacts on R.I. natural environment, Westerly Sun

Lawmakers, Criticizing Wolf’s Executive Order On Joining Cap-And-Trade Program, Say It’s Their Call, WESA (PA)

NYC pension leader targets three utilities over emissions plans, Reuters

NYC clean energy advocates push for competitive RFP for new renewable development, Solar Power World

Ashland Town Meeting commits to being net-zero by 2040 to combat climate change, MetroWest Daily News

Democrats move to take 100% clean energy push national with new bill, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Anbaric Files Application For Offshore Transmission Network, WBUR

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project, E&E News

Vineyard Wind CEO sees both New London and Bridgeport as viable wind hubs, The Day

Wind Speeds Are Increasing Worldwide in Boost for Renewables, Bloomberg

Wind farm developers revise spacing of turbines off R.I. coast, Southcoasttoday.com

Many fishermen aren’t on board with wind industry’s new plan, Boston Globe

RI official applauds wind farm layout announcement, CommonWealth Magazine

Weighing the cost off offshore wind, WNYT

A Hush-Hush Wind Powwow, The East Hampton Star

New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target to 7.5GW, Greentech Media

Can America’s First Floating Wind Farm Help Open Deeper Water to Clean Energy?, Inside Climate News

 

Solar

National Grid: 300MW of Halted Solar Can Move Forward With ‘No Cost,’ Greentech Media

Company backed by Bill Gates claims solar breakthrough, looks to replace fossil fuels in industrial plants, Geekwire

Aldermen allow solar project at Manchester landfill for 5% cut, New Hampshire Union Leader

Two years after turning it down, Merrimack to reconsider solar tax exemptions, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bangor proposes installing solar array near airport, WABI

Fast Times for the US Residential Solar Market, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Utility-scale storage critical to achieving Massachusetts carbon goals: UMass study, Utility Dive

How to Ensure Energy Storage Policies Are Equitable, Union of Concerned Scientists

New device can capture, store energy from the sun, UPI.com

Report by Brattle Economists Evaluates Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Administrator Models, (Press Release) PR Newswire

Efficiency to meet peak demand? New study considers potential beyond energy savings,Utility Dive

 

EVs/Alt Transportation

Ford Unveils Electric Mustang SUV to Challenge Tesla Dominance, Bloomberg

Future BMW electric cars will be powered by cow poop, CNET

Electric trucks may be the future, but waste and recycling market still charging up, Utility Dive

MIT Study: Energy-Efficient Cars, Public Transportation Are Best Options For Traffic And The Planet, WBUR

Rooftop solar panels charge your car while you’re driving, The Hill

 

Nuclear

Should the Government Subsidize Nuclear Power? Advocates Square Off, Wall Street Journal

How Well Do You Know Nuclear Power? Take Our Quiz., Wall Street Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

PJM, NYISO and ISO-NE pay $1.4B annually for excess capacity: Report, Utility Dive

National Grid’s push to clear-cut trees opposed, Salem News

Invenergy declines to appeal. Their proposed power plant is dead., Uprise RI

NSP working to dispel misinformation about smart meters as installation gets underway, Cape Breton Post (Nova Scotia)

New Report Shows Homes Will Be Utility “Grid,” Code Watcher

State fires National Grid auditor over alleged report irregularities, Newsday.com

Will New Jersey Lawmakers Step up for Microgrids before the Next Disaster?, Microgrid Knowledge

Leading environmental group denounces de Blasio’s Canadian power line, Crains NY

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Demand Changes at Grid Operator ISO New England, Greentech Media

Senate Committee Approves $250 Million to Fund the Electric Grid Security, Nextgov

1st Circ. Won’t Re-Hear $3B Utilities Price-Fixing Row, Law360

National Grid Looks to AI to Prevent Damage to Its Gas Pipelines, Wall Street Journal

National Grid fallout hits other utilities, Crain’s New York

Read complete coverage of our investigation into CMP billing problems, Portland Press Herald

Two rural electric co-ops seek rate increases, VTDigger

Community Choice Aggregators on the Rise as an Alternative Electricity Provider, National Law Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Lamont’s Executive Order 3 on climate change is too little, too late, Connecticut Mirror

Commentary: Gas pipeline embargo stifles growth, hurts New Yorkers, Times Union

Utilities — Like Eversource And National Grid — Are Weak Links In Climate Defense, WGBH

Building a wind industry across Connecticut, The Day

Climate change and dark money, Boston Globe

Impact of offshore wind on fisheries unknown, Cape Cod Times

Commentary: Offshore wind farm projects would destroy ocean views, Delaware State News

Cross Sound Ferry flips out over wind assembly plans, The Day via National Wind Watch

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

Energy News for week ending November 8, 2019

Batteries vs. Blackouts | High Heat | Phototropism

 

Happy Friday afternoon. We hope you’re all staying warm on this cold and blustery day.

Speaking of windy conditions, we have a story out of Vermont from Greentech Media, “A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage. The battery backup service lasted nine hours on average, but the longest instance stretched to 82 hours…The program previously generated more headlines by saving hundreds of thousands of dollars during annual system peak events than for fulfilling the backup function. In 2018, GMP’s network of batteries reduced consumption during the ISO New England peak hour, saving about $600,000 on capacity fees. This year, a larger number of batteries, totaling 10 megawatts of capacity, responded to a late July peak, saving nearly $900,000 from a single hour of operation.”

For those of us who live in Massachusetts, the news about the cost to heat our homes this winter isn’t good. From the Salem News, “Consumers will dig deeper into their pockets to heat their homes and keep the lights turned on this winter, with electricity and natural gas rates set to increase. Beginning this month, National Grid’s residential electric rates increased by 15.2%, or about $21 a month on average, compared to rates last winter. National Grid’s gas customers, meanwhile, could get a break on their bills. Customers of Boston Gas Company, the company’s subsidiary in the region, will see their monthly bill reduced by about $14, or 7%, this winter compared to last year, depending on how much gas they use and whether it’s for heat, hot water or other uses, according to the utility.…Eversource, which serves about 1.4 million customers in the state, will be filing its proposed winter rates to state regulators on Dec. 1, according to the company. It’s not clear whether or not the utility will request an increase, but any changes to its winter rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, if approved by state regulators. The utility’s natural gas rates, which went into effect on Nov. 1, increased the average monthly bill by about $22 per month, or 14%, compared to last winter.”

For our technology story of the week we look to The Smithsonian, “In recent decades, solar cells have gotten better and cheaper, leading to a boom in the solar energy industry. But most solar panels have one major drawback—they don’t move. That means the sunlight reaching them often comes in at an angle, which hinders maximum power production. But a new light-loving, sunflower-inspired polymer may help boost the productivity of solar panels in the near future. The new polymer, described in a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is capable of phototropism, or the ability to follow the sun in its daily journey across the sky. Inventor Xiaoshi Qian of the University of California, Los Angeles and the team call the new polymer SunBOT, which stands for sunflower-like biomimetic omnidirectional tracker. Each stem is roughly one millimeter in diameter and infused with a nanomaterial that turns light into heat with a little “flower” coated with solar energy-collecting material at the top. When light hits one side of the stem, the material heats up and shrinks, bending the stem points directly at the light source while it moves around and strikes from various angles…Seung-Wuk Lee, a bioengineer at the University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the study, tells Sofie Bates at Science News that the most promising use of the SunBOTs would be integrating the material with solar cells, which could give solar technology a huge boost. Currently, solar cells capture about 24 percent of the sunlight available. By allowing the cells to operate at a near-maximum absorption rate almost all day long, the SunBOTS could boost that 90 percent, reports Bates.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid, Eversource Say They Can Meet Natural Gas Demand Without Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

Shifting Demand Fuels Weymouth Compressor Debate, WBUR

Weymouth Compressor Station’s Permit Is Delayed Again, WBUR

State board details rejection of Burrillville natural gas plant, Providence Business News

Renewables growth, market changes tanked Invenergy’s Rhode Island gas plant, regulators say, Utility Dive

Raimondo: National Grid needs to be held accountable after January gas outage, WPRI 12

R.I. regulators OK temporary natural-gas facility in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Renewable Energy: What Happens When the Sun Isn’t Shining and the Wind Isn’t Blowing, WCAI

Can farmers sow their way out of climate change?, CBS News

Can Tidal Stream Energy Finally Turn the Corner?, Greentech Media

A Massachusetts company wants to build three hydroelectric plants to harness power from Lehigh Valley rivers, dams, The Morning Call

New reactor could halve carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production, Science Magazine

Tamil Nadu to ink pact on renewable energy with Massachusetts, The Hindu

GE makes ‘big play’ in clean energy, MetroWest Daily News

Worcester contracts with electricity supplier to boost amount of renewable energy, Telegram

 

Wind

Who’s in charge of Mass. offshore wind procurements?, CommonWealth Magazine

State approves power-purchase contract with UMaine wind project, Portland Press Herald

Maine utility regulators approve tests for floating wind turbine project off Maine coast, MainePublic.org

Developing Wind Farm in New York Is No Breeze, Wall Street Journal

Vineyard Wind Pushes IRS for Subsidy Extension on Delayed Offshore Project, Greentech Media

Wind Turbine Size Changes Could Jeopardize Approvals; Agency Seeks PSC Review, The Dispatch (Maryland)

Scituate: Noise Compliance Test Near Finalization for Wind Turbine, WATD

Turbines, Petition Articles Highlights At Falmouth Precinct Meeting, Falmouth Enterprise

Town board accepts study findings, Observer Today (New York)

GE’s Culp makes rare appearance in Charlestown to welcome wind turbine blade, Boston Business Journal

A Wind Turbine Blade Bigger Than Big Ben Will Be Battered In Boston, WBUR

Fengate Acquires Maine Wind Project from Longroad Energy Partners, on Behalf of Investors, NA Clean Energy

Ørsted offers $100 million to southeastern Connecticut in offshore wind bid, The Day

UMass Amherst Researchers Receive $1.175 Million Grant To Build New Software to Simulate Off-Shore Wind Turbines, UMass (press release)

 

Solar

Tetra Tech pushes solar power on closed landfills as a clear winner for operators and owners, Utility Dive

Sunlight-Tracking Polymer, Inspired by Sunflowers, Could Maximize Solar Power, Smithsonian

Shepard Steel Turns on New Solar Energy System; Early Production Exceeds Estimates, Business Insider

Prices are down and capacity is up as solar and wind take hold, Financial Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades, Bloomberg

States, NGOs sue DOE for reversing lightbulb standards as global energy efficiency progress stalls, Utility Dive

Batteries vs. Blackouts: 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage, Greentech Media

Two National Grid Projects Selected as Energy Storage North America 2019 Innovation Award Winner, CSR Wire

Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient, Hartford Courant

New Flow Batteries Could Accelerate an Electrical Grid Powered by the Sun and Wind, SciTech Daily

State awards funds for energy efficient affordable housing, WWLP

 

EVs

Electric vehicles could help climate change – by RETURNING power to the grid, Chronicle Live

WoodMac: Workplace EV Charging Is on the Rise, Greentech Media

EV Charging Trends: Solar Absorption, Demand Response, Green Charging, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Feds Exempt Shuttered Pilgrim From Emergency Requirements, WBUR

Why the U.K. Is Pushing Nuclear Power as Others Waver, Bloomberg

An Indian nuclear power plant suffered a cyberattack. Here’s what you need to know., Washington Post

Clearwater Appeals Decision On Nuclear Subsidies, WAMC (NY)

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say, Utility Dive

National Grid’s president of US business exits suddenly, Syracuse.com

Heating costs expected to rise, Salem News

Northfield electricity aggregation awaiting DPU approval, Greenfield Recorder

Eversource’s 3Q profits rise as utility giant remains bullish on wind business, Hartford Business

Farms Can Harvest Energy Along with Food, Scientific American

Raimondo, McKee to push tougher utility regs after report blames National Grid, Enbridge for loss of heat on Aquidneck, Providence Journal

$13M Ipswich River substation has been completed, Daily Item

7 Questions For New England Grid Chief Gordon Van Welie, Law360

National Grid Announces Changes to U.S. Leadership, MarketWatch

More airports consider going off the grid as power outages ground flights, CNBC

New ‘energizing’ career for vets, WTNH

Woolwich votes to withdraw support for CMP corridor, Portland Press Herald

Opponents of CMP corridor ramp up petition efforts, push for statewide vote, Newscentermaine.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Marty Nathan: Abandonment of gas pipeline a win for climate, region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The last gasp of natural gas, Utility Dive

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Filed under Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

No Longer Gluttons | Under Investigation | Plans Won’t Meet Goals

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. I hope you’re staying warm and dry in this miserable weather. Let’s get to the news.

Unlike a certain person who lives in the White House, it seems most people don’t think LEDs make you look orange. In fact according to a story in the Wall St. Journal, “Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb. For more than five years, Americans have been doing something decidedly un-American: We’ve been using less electricity…The downward trend began soon after the 2008 financial crisis took hold… But in a historical departure, after the economy rebounded, the decline in electricity use persisted…By 2017, electricity use was as low as it had been since the turn of the millennium with an average residence consuming 10.4 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, down from a peak of 11.5 megawatt-hours in 2010…None of this means that Americans are turning off their lights…But today’s appliances and electronics are more efficient. New homes are tighter and better insulated. And most important, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have replaced traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “No other change is so dramatic,” Dr. Davis said. “When you take an incandescent bulb out and screw in an LED, consumption goes down 80%. Imagine you could get a car that uses 80% less gasoline. That would be amazing.” With the transition to LEDs, the amount of electricity used for lighting dropped 26% from 2015 to 2017. In raw numbers, that meant consumption slipped from 129.7 million megawatt-hours a year nationwide to 95.5 million megawatt-hours. By 2021, if incandescent and halogen bulbs continue to be eliminated, the energy used for lighting is expected to decline by more than half, dropping to 61.3 million megawatt-hours annually.”

Next up, the State House News Service via WBUR brings us news of an investigation, “DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management. State utility regulators have ordered a broad investigation into the management of National Grid in a rare move born of concerns that one of the state’s largest electricity providers failed to communicate about the potential for severe delays in solar power installations. The Department of Public Utilities is also questioning National Grid’s management of its electric vehicles program and whether the company’s cybersecurity plan adequately takes into account benefits for customers who are paying for the technology upgrades. The independent management audit was ordered as part of a 586-page decision issued late last month in which DPU approved a $90.4 million increase in National Grid’s base distribution rates. In blunt terms, regulators said the rare, but not unprecedented audit was necessary to examine ‘potential management problems through to the highest levels of the organization.’”

Last up for this week is a story from E&E News via the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. “Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals. New England’s six states are falling short of the low-carbon energy deployment needed to reach their shared 2050 climate goals, according to a new analysis from the Brattle Group. By midcentury, every state in New England aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% over 1990 levels. At the behest of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a solar trade association, Brattle looked late last month at how much clean energy would be needed to meet those goals, if the region engaged in a mass switch from fossil fuel sources to electricity. Demand for electricity would roughly double by 2050, despite efficiency measures — about the same amount as for the nation at large, if it were to follow a similar path, the consultancy said. To supply that power, about four to eight times more renewables would need to come online annually, across the 2020s, than what is currently planned for the region…‘Achieving the GHG reduction goals set by New England states will require significantly accelerating clean energy resource deployment,’ said Jürgen Weiss, principal at Brattle and co-author of the study. That’s not an impossible feat, Weiss said.”

That’s the recap for this week. There are many more interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask gas company CEO to pull compressor station plans, Patriot Ledger

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

‘Major’ gas leak in New London causes evacuations, power outage to entire city, WFSB

Oil Companies Ponder Climate Change, but Profits Still Rule, New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case of gas pipeline seeking to cross Appalachian Trail in Va., Washington Post

Dog returns to owner year after running away after explosion, New York Daily News

Lawmakers weigh ‘nuclear option’ for Columbia Gas, Eagle-Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions, The Guardian

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New England winters are on the decline due to climate change, study says, Boston Globe

How State and Local Governments Are Leading the Way on Climate Policy, National Audubon Society

National Grid Files First-of-its-Kind Clean Energy Proposal, MarketWatch

New city-owned buildings will be carbon-neutral under updated climate plan, Boston Globe

An Overheating Gulf of Maine Is Forcing Wildlife to Adapt—or Move, National Audubon Society

In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market, Seven Days

Somerville shows climate change is hot election issue at candidate forum, WickedLocal

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox.com

Could squeezing more oil out of the ground help fight climate change?, Vox.com

Can We Really Reach These Big Green Goals?, Microgrid Knowledge

Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

The amount of voluntary renewable energy purchases keeps rising, Axios.com

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

Rep. Tonko on Extending Wind and Solar Tax Credits: ‘Odds Are Good,’ Greentech Media

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America, New York Times

 

Wind

Hopkinton council OKs ban on industrial wind turbines, but some say farmers’ viability could suffer, Westerly Sun

SouthCoast leaders urge state to make bigger wind investment, Southcoasttoday.com

State kicks off wind project; effort begins with 3 proposals, Republican-American

After Early Windfall, Offshore Developer Settles In for Long Game in Maryland, Greentech Media

 

Solar

BlueWave parent company appeals permit denial for solar farm in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

Baker’s latest solar goal called too small, CommonWealth Magazine

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar, New York Times

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

Survey: Residents favor renewable energy, but don’t want large scale solar arrays in their neighborhood, Athol Daily News

New law and Gov. Mills’ energy goals set off solar-farm land rush, Portland Press Herald

Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states, CNBC

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb, Wall St. Journal

How a new class of startups are working to solve the grid storage puzzle, MIT Technology Review

Report: MA, VT, NY Lead In Energy Efficiency, WAMC

Lamont talks energy efficiency as he tours Farmington aerospace manufacturer, Hartford Courant

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

Massachusetts rejects National Grid EV plan, advocates say oil interests sowed disinformation, Utility Dive

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Five states have implemented programs to assist nuclear power plants, US Energy Information

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

Red Flags Raised Over Radioactive Waste at Indian Point Plants, The Examiner

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

EPA tells churches to cut mercury but says restrictions on power plants unnecessary, Catholic News Network

Brayton Point gears up to welcome more tenants, South Coast Today

Federal judge soon to decide fate of Seacoast power project, New Hampshire Union Leader

CMP says new substation will help all of New England, newscentermaine.com

Electricity supplier enters Ch. 11 bankruptcy, owes state $8.2M, Hartford  Business

Two years on, CMP billing saga still confounds, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Terms of gas settlement should be renegotiated, Eagle-Tribune

YOUR VIEW: SouthCoast has short window to become the center of wind industry, Southcoasttoday.com

These trends are defining the future of energy efficiency: Here’s how utilities can prepare, Utility Dive

Our view: State should accelerate approvals on solar projects, Salem News

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar