Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Energy News for week ending November 20, 2020

Running Late Edition

Happy Friday folks. Sorry for the late send. Enjoy the stories below.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes in two weeks.

Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency advocates see $1.1T in savings potential with Biden directing DOE, Utility Dive

Green New Deal for Portland could add $6 million to school renovation costs, Press Herald

Climate Change

Biden and Electric Utilities Are Split on Emissions Goals, Scientific American (E&E News)

Walsh appointed to lead Climate Mayors group, Boston Globe

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions set to drop to lowest level in three decades, Washington Post

Report: Northeast must triple electricity to meet CO2 goals, E&E News

Considerable power market design changes needed to decarbonize New England: study, S&P Global

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announces roadmap to curb climate change, ramp up support for electric, zero-emission vehicles, MassLive

8 ways climate change is already impacting you, Mashable

Maine Takes Its Next Step on the Climate Crisis, Natural Resources Council of Maine

How climate change is complicating a Thanksgiving staple, Washington Post

Why capital markets are continuing to finance utilities facing rising flood and other climate change impacts, Utility Dive

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Charlie Baker re-evaluating TCI in Massachusetts amid coronavirus pandemic as advocates urge support, Boston Herald

Renewable targets may ‘undermine’ CO2 goals — report, E&E News

Study points to greater gas price impacts from Transpo Pact, WWLP

Job growth in clean energy sector derailed, Republican-American (CT)

Committee approves resolution opposing RGGI, Indiana Gazette

FERC’s carbon pricing statement draws criticism, cautious support, S&P Global Platts

Price Cap Will Ease Compact’s Gas Cost Concerns, TCI Supporter Says, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Wind

Developers Look Beyond Floating Wind to Hybrid Power-Generation Platforms, Greentech Media

State, regional grid operator hook up to brainstorm bringing wind power ashore, NJ Spotlight

Ørsted strikes deal with labor union on U.S. offshore wind development, Reuters

Connecticut Port Authority unable to provide documentation supporting project labor agreement for State Pier, Yankee Institute

Mayflower Wind Staff Says Project Will Not Impact Beach Views, Falmouth Enterprise

USA: Fugro Completes Mayflower Wind Site Survey, Offshore Engineer

Solar

Solar Industry Prioritizes Tax Credit Extension, Trade Policy for Biden Administration, Greentech Media

New Jersey food bank receives donation of 33-kW rooftop solar array, Solar Power World

Tax Breaks OK’d For Solar Farm In Hanover, Post-Journal

Solar farm developers say they’d preserve land for later farm use, Journal Inquirer

Portsmouth Residents Want New Solar Ordinance Revised, EcoRI

Cape Elizabeth moves forward with solar project on capped landfill, Press Herald

Solar farm to create renewable energy option, WAGM

Ameresco, Greenbacker construct solar carports at Boston apartments, Solar Power World

EVs

Electric School Bus Fleets Test the US Vehicle-to-Grid Proposition, Greentech Media

Utilities, Tesla, Uber create U.S. lobbying group for electric vehicle industry, Reuters

Cutting the Total Cost of Electrification for EV Bus and Truck Fleets, Greentech Media

Quebec to ban sale of new gasoline-powered cars from 2035, Reuters

General Motors’ electric vehicle plan just got bigger, bolder, and more expensive, The Verge

EV industry optimistic for expanded tax credits, other policy wins under ‘car guy’ Biden, Utility Dive

Nuclear

Moran Reinforces Citizen Oversight in Plymouth Plant Decommissioning, capecod.com

NYC-area nuclear plant sale for decommissioning is approved, AP News

Experts: Nuclear waste storage a concern in New Mexico, Southwest, Santa Fe New Mexican

U.S. nuclear power industry group sees reprocessing as potential waste fix, Reuters

Trump boost to nuclear power to live on in Biden administration, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Eversource makes new pitch for Ashland pipeline replacement: easement agreements with all property owners, MetroWest Daily News

Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus to discuss natural gas distribution, Newport Daily News

Middletown firefighters prepare for potential LNG incidents, NewportRI.com

NYISO, others blast gas generators’ proposed fix to alleged price distortions in capacity market, Utility Dive

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Hydropower project faces new challenge, Newburyport Daily News

FERC proposes transmission rating reform, upholds PURPA, ISO-NE orders, Utility Dive

The Top Priorities of FERC’s Most Likely New Chairman Under Biden, Greentech Media

Utilities one of most vulnerable industries as cybersecurity IT/OT threats merge, survey finds, Utility Dive

Glick vows to prioritize transmission, reassess capacity markets if named FERC Chair, Utility Dive

Central Maine Power ranks last in survey of businesses, AP News

Hundreds of ‘critical’ facilities around Connecticut were left in dark for days after Isaias, CT Post

Conn. Attorney General Scrutinizes Eversource Outage System, WSHU

Eversource pilots helicopter tree-trimming program, Union Leader

Opinion

Editorial — Wasted energy: Communities have little influence over wind, solar projects, NNY 360

Op-Ed: Environmentally responsible and economically savvy in 2020, NJ Spotlight

Weekly Planet: Vermonters voted for the environment, Rutland Herald

It’s time to use accurate line ratings, WATT Coalition Blog

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

Energy News for week ending October 30, 2020

Rethink the future| Optimistic | It was in Niagara Falls…

Happy snowy Friday folks. I hear next week at this time we may hit 70 degrees. Ah, life in New England.

Maybe it was unintentional but given the nature of the story maybe not. Regardless, I love the photo of the upside down burner that accompanies this piece from CommonWealth Magazine, “DPU orders gas utilities to rethink their future. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on Thursday ordered the state’s natural gas utilities to jointly hire consultants and come up with a way to dramatically phase down or eliminate their businesses over the next 30 years. The order is a response to Gov. Charlie Baker’s call for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It asks for strategies to achieve that goal ‘while simultaneously safeguarding ratepayer interests; ensuring safe, reliable, and cost-effective natural gas service; and potentially recasting the role of LDCs [local distribution companies] in the Commonwealth.’”

If the gas utilities aren’t feeling positive, according to the Boston Business Journal the cleantech folks are seeing the glass half full. “Mass. clean energy leaders are optimistic about future growth. How disruptive an influence has the coronavirus been on the clean energy industry this year? A recent report from BW Research Partnership showed that the U.S. clean energy sector added 12,500 jobs in September, ‘leaving just under half a million (477,900) clean energy workers out of work since February this year – an almost 14 percent decline over pre-Covid-19 employment levels.’ The report further suggests the sector has been slower to rebound than others on a national level. Of the 17 firms that have appeared on the two most recent versions of the BBJ’s Largest Clean Energy Companies list, seven companies reported year-over-year increases in local headcount, four stayed flat, and six reported decreases (although, in at least a couple of cases, the drops were minor, relatively speaking). ‘While Massachusetts continues to be a leader in clean energy employment, there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the industry,’ said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Steve Pike. ’However, Massachusetts’ commitment to combatting climate change and to growing its clean energy economy sets the stage for not just recovering those lost jobs, but also dramatic growth in the years to come.’” 

Our last feature story comes from Niagara Falls which when hearing of that place I confess it always makes me think of this Three Stooges episode. That aside, it’s a cool story about water-based transit. From the Washington Post, “A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats. Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls has launched North America’s first all-electric, zero-emissions tour boats. With the sun streaming into the Niagara Gorge, visitors lined up in socially distanced groups waiting to shuffle onto the Maid of the Mist, the boats that have ferried tourists to the base of Niagara Falls for the past 174 years. Whether they knew it or not, these passengers were experiencing a new era of maritime transportation: boats powered by electricity. Earlier this month, the Maid of the Mist launched two electric catamarans into the gorge, the first of their kind in North America. The hulking double-deckers run on dual banks of lithium-ion batteries. All the power used to charge the batteries is supplied by the nearby Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, one of the most productive hydroelectric facilities in the United States, making the boats a zero-emission operation. Maid of the Mist is at the forefront of what observers say is an emerging trend in maritime operations.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a safe and fun Halloween and don’t forget to fall back Saturday night.

Efficiency/Storage

Eversource creates online hub for energy efficient services with City of Boston, Daily Energy Insider

NH Guard strives for net-zero energy use at training site, Army.mil

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

RI climate suit to stay in state court, ProJo

Mass. clean energy leaders are optimistic about future growth, Boston Business Journal

Exclusive: GM, Ford knew about climate change 50 years ago, E&E News

A woman warned GM about warming. Men didn’t listen, E&E News

As Climate Disasters Pile Up, a Radical Proposal Gains Traction, New York Times

‘It just goes into a black hole,’ Grist.org

‘Sleeping giant’ Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find, The Guardian

At the intersection of clean energy and bluetech, BlueGreen Innovation Challenge emerges, RhodeIslandInno

Trump’s pullback of pollution controls is even more hazardous than you think, Vox.com

Unlimited, on-demand renewable energy anywhere in the world — is Eavor-Loop climate change’s holy grail?, Recharge

Poll: NJ voters strongly support investing in clean energy as part of pandemic recovery, NJ Insider

DEP warns environmentalists not to prejudge climate regulation review, NJ Spotlight

UMass Boston report shows that climate change views vary by race, Dorchester Reporter

Cuomo adviser: New York is “putting equity at the center” of climate work, Axios

NJ Transit Switches to Renewables for Microgrid, Plans Nov. 25 Solicitation, Microgrid Knowledge

Kennebunkport selectmen explore goals for tackling climate change, Seacoastonline.com

Wind

Vineyard Wind Secures Transmission Agreement With ISO-NE, Power Magazine

RI set to double down on offshore wind power, ProJo

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Set to Make Inroads in U.S., Scientific America (E&E News)

FERC Pushed to Change Tx Rules for OSW, RTO Insider (Subscriber content)

How the Virus Slowed the Booming Wind Energy Business, New York Times

Falmouth no closer to dismantling wind turbines Town officials frustrated by state actions, Cape Cod Times

Ørsted Looks to Soften Impact of US Permitting Delays With Bigger Turbines, Greentech media

Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia partnering on offshore wind energy development, The Hill

Solar

Wind remains cheaper, but solar’s costs are falling faster, Lazard finds, Utility Dive

New Solar Projects Save Energy Costs Across Cape, Capecod.com

This spooky Halloween display in Western Massachusetts is completely solar powered, MassLive

42-acre solar farm proposed on Bucksport Road, Ellsworth American

Gray solar array on track for December completion, Press Herald

Seneca Nation calls on solar developer to ‘cease and desist’ following bone discovery, Livingston County News

EVs

A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats, Washington Post

Auto Makers Shift Their Hydrogen Focus to Big Rigs, Wall St. Journal

Trump administration funds projects to more efficiently charge and deploy electric buses, Utility Dive

Electric vehicles see state-level gains, The Hill

Nuclear

NRC names new inspector at Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoast Online

NuScale Faces Questions on Nuclear Reactor Safety and Financing Its First Project, Greentech Media

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

DPU Opens Look Into Natural Gas Industry, State House News Service via WBUR

RI regulators approve natural gas rate increases but defer bill impacts, ProJo

Beacon Hill’s Iconic Gas Lamps Are Going Green, WBUR

Healey wades into debate over Weymouth gas compressor station, WHDH

Town’s public safety officials offer plan for compressor station emergency, Patriot Ledger

Activist group urges Eversource CEO to scrap plans for regional natural gas pipeline, MassLive

National Grid looks to move LNG facility off Old Mill Lane in Portsmouth; Middletown wants say, Newport Daily News

Company plans biorefinery for zero-emission heating oil in Maine, Press Herald

In Battleground Pennsylvania, Fracking and Renewables Compete to Be the Future of Energy, Wall St. Journal

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Gov. Cuomo proposes bill to ‘dramatically increase penalties’ for NY utility storm response failures, Utility Dive

CMP goes back to the future in bid to calm customers, short-circuit revolt, Press Herald

Lawsuit seeks environmental review of Maine energy project, AP News

Mainers encouraged to apply for jobs on controversial power line, Sun Journal

Advocates press state regulators to extend moratoriums on power utility shut-offs, CT Post

NYS Public Service Commission to identify transmission projects to meet clean energy goals, Daily Energy Insider

How Does Your State Make Electricity?, New York Times

Tesla microgrids spread as U.S. grid ‘gets worse and worse,’ E&E News

Opinion

Another Voice: Hydrogen, natural gas make a dynamic energy duo, Buffalo News

Op-Ed: Here’s how NJ can protect consumers and state clean-energy policy from feds’ fossil fuel favors, NJ Spotlight

The US power sector has prevented millions of cyberattacks in 2020 — that takes 24/7 commitment, Utility Dive

Op-Ed: ‘Blue holes’ offer New Jersey unique opportunity for solar development, NJ Spotlight

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

Energy News for week ending October 23, 2020

Here to Stay | Save Billions | Construction this Year

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s energy news recap with a story from Greentech Media, “From Pilot to Permanent: Green Mountain Power’s Home Battery Network Is Here to Stay. The Vermont utility now controls several thousand Tesla Powerwall batteries sited in customers’ homes. The results have been promising. Utility pilot projects aren’t famous for being standout financial successes. Usually, the goal is to verify a technology in the field before attempting broader deployment. Sometimes nothing follows the pilot. Vermont utility Green Mountain Power not only verified the efficacy of residential batteries for meeting grid needs, but it also saved its customers millions of dollars with them. Now, that program has been ratified by the state’s Public Utility Commission as a permanent residential storage tariff, which means battery installations — and utility savings — will continue to rise.”

Speaking of savings, according to a new study, a big push to renewables could save Americans a lot of money. From The Guardian, “Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study. An aggressive push towards 100% renewable energy would save Americans as much as $321bn in energy costs, while also slashing planet-heating emissions, according to a new report. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has vowed to eliminate greenhouse gases from the US power grid within 15 years and essentially zero out emissions by 2050, a plan assailed by Donald Trump as costly and detrimental to the American economy. But a new analysis by Rewiring America, an energy policy organization, finds that households would benefit financially from a complete switch to clean energy sources such as solar and wind. More than 40% of energy emissions are determined by appliances in and around the home, according to the report, such as heating, electricity, refrigeration and car use. Should all of these related factors be fully electrified and sourced from clean energy, households could save as much as $321bn in energy costs, the report finds, or up to $2,500 a household a year. Households would be faced with the upfront costs of installing solar panels and electric devices such as stovetops and heat pumps, but Rewiring America says strong government assistance for renewables would help deliver long-term savings.

Each week there seems to be something new going on with the NECEC project in Maine. This week, the State House News Service reports we can expect to see action. “Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year. Utility company executives behind the project that would deliver clean power from Hydro-Québec to the Massachusetts and New England power grid said Wednesday construction should start before the end of 2020, about a year later than the company once projected. New England Clean Energy Connect, a 145-mile transmission project of Central Maine Power Company, is expected to link the electrical grids in Quebec and New England to provide cleaner and more reliable hydropower directly to a converter station in Lewiston, Maine, and into the regional grid. Bay State utilities and Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration chose the project to help Massachusetts meet its statutory requirements to increase renewable energy supplies. During an earnings call for CMP parent company Avangrid on Wednesday morning, CEO Dennis Arriola said the project is ‘on track to start construction in Q4 2020, once we receive the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which we expect by the end of this month.’”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend, and as always, stay safe.

Efficiency/Storage

NRDC Sues US Department Of Energy Over Efficiency Standards Process Changes, CleanTechnica

From Pilot to Permanent: Green Mountain Power’s Home Battery Network Is Here to Stay, Greentech Media

Looking towards a net-zero future, Burlington considers requiring all-electric buildings, VT Digger

The town that built back green, Washington Post

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study, The Guardian

In the nation’s asthma capital, plans to burn wood for energy spark fury, Boston Globe

BDCC drops biomass project, Brattleboro Reformer

In defense of the sturgeon, green group wants to put brakes on Canadian hydropower plan for the Hudson, lohud.com

New York City Is About to Get an Injection of Tidal Power. Is This Time Different?, Greentech Media

Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox.com

Belching Cows and Endless Feedlots: Fixing Cattle’s Climate Issues, New York Times

Promise or Peril? Importing Hydropower to Fuel the Clean Energy Transition, The Revelator

Keene’s future energy plan put before public, Sentinel

FERC commissioner: Listen to the scientists, Rutland Herald

Cease-and-desist order sought, Ellsworth American

New York Reforms Clean Energy Standard, Power Magazine

Wind

So, What Exactly Is Floating Offshore Wind?, Greentech Media

Wind Energy Hub Project in Cortlandt Withdrawn by Developers, The Examiner

Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill, The Hill

Vineyard carries out cable corridor research, ReNews

Scores more wind turbines proposed for Long Island’s South Shore, Newsday

Solar

Maffei looks to reduce solar project, Hometown Weekly (Norfolk, MA)

Regulators Approve N.H.’s First Large Solar Array, Planned By NextEra In Fitzwilliam, NHPR

Ellsworth will buy all its electricity through local 11,000-panel solar project, Bangor Daily News

Borrego Solar Expands Maine Distributed Solar Portfolio, Solar Industry Magazine

Clifton Park residents oppose solar array, Times-Union

South Burlington to add solar array to Market Street complex, WCAX

SunBug Solar Announces Solar Tech Meets Tradition on A Monson Family Farm, Massachusetts Newswire (press release)

EVs

Auto Makers Grapple With Battery-Fire Risks in Electric Vehicles, Wall St. Journal

GM to Plan Third Electric-Vehicle Plant in Big Plug-In Bet, Bloomberg

An Electric Car With Swedish Roots, and a Rebellious Streak, New York Times

Nuclear

MIT Validates Science Behind New Nuclear Fusion Reactor Design, Greentech Media

Nuclear Panel Says ‘Logjam’ Is Baked Into Their Voting Rules, WCAI

Schumer & Gillibrand Call for Nuclear Regulatory Commission Before Transfer, Kings County Politics

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Fuel oil prices flirt with 16-year low in Maine as the heating season approaches, Press Herald

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Hydro contract ruling offers clarity in clean energy law, State House News Service via WWLP

Utility Sees Maine Transmission Project Construction This Year, State House News Service

CMP Spinoff Company Gets Final Approval, Maine Public

First Transmission Project Moves Forward Under NY Renewable Energy Growth Act, T&D World

It’s not just your perception, weather-related power outages are increasing, News Center Maine

At PURA hearing, customers get their turn to criticize Eversource and UI over outages caused by Isaias; power companies face fines, Hartford Current

Towns Ask N.H.’s Public Utilities Commission For Regulations That Would Enable Community Power, NHPR

Gas generators ask FERC to apply PJM MOPR logic to NYISO, Utility Dive

The lockdown increased NH electricity use – wait, increased it?!?, Granite Geek

So, What Exactly Are Virtual Power Plants?, Greentech Media

Opinion

When it comes to solar geoengineering, we’re still very much in the dark, Boston Globe

Most N.E. governors want the power grid to change (guess which one doesn’t?), Granite Geek

Fossil fuels endanger communities of color | Opinion, NJ.com

Ben Edgerly Walsh: Gov. Scott has failed to demonstrate leadership on climate crisis, Brattleboro Reformer

The Impact of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Bloomberg Law

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

Energy News for week ending October 9, 2020

Ludicrous…Propaganda | Hard 2021 | Radiative Cooling

Happy Friday folks.

We have quite a few stories below about CT’s new legislation aimed at requiring utilities to pay up if power isn’t restored after 96 hours among other penalties and incentives. This article won the headline war though, Electric rate hikes as a result of new law? ‘Ludicrous…propaganda.’ (Middletown Press)

With election day fast approaching, things are heating up in Maine over the Clean Energy Connect power line. Despite this story from the Press Herald New England Clean Energy Connect may start construction in November, despite opposition, there is this report from the Bangor Daily News CMP could have hard 2021 in Augusta as legislative hopefuls turn against corridor.

For a new technology story this week, we alert you to Bringing the chill of the cosmos to a warming planet “Scientists are tapping into a law of physics to create cooling systems that work without special fuel or electricity.” (Washington Post)

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the long weekend, and as always, stay safe.

Efficiency/Storage

GMP energy storage program saves customers millions, WCAX

Once shut out, Maine cannabis industry now eligible for sustainable energy grants, Press Herald

Will the Distributed Energy Revolution Leave Renters Behind?, Greentech Media

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

RI Updates 2030 Load and Renewables Forecast, RTO Insider

DOE study: Solar-hydro projects could power 40% of world, E&E News

National Grid sees hydrogen as a lynchpin, joins utilities targeting net zero carbon by 2050, Utility Dive

Boston near top in new clean energy scorecard, WHDH

Coalition: Avoided Deaths, Asthma Cases Underscore Need for TCI, State House News Service

Transportation and Climate Initiative gets corporate push, Worcester Business Journal

Can the US Catch Up in the Green Hydrogen Economy,? Greentech Media

MBTA embracing renewable energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Bringing the chill of the cosmos to a warming planet, Washington Post

Job losses in renewables sector total 75,669; clean energy losses at 477,862: report, S&P Global

Wind, solar smash records. But analysts worry it won’t last, E&E News (subscriber content)

Long-delayed Trump administration study finds that climate change threatens polar bears, Washington Post

Is Wave Energy Ready to Climb Out of the ‘Valley of Death’?, Greentech Media

Second wave: Ocean Power Technologies’ power-grid plan sank, but it grabbed life preserver by switching focus to niche offshore systems, ROI-NJ

Jaffrey’s MilliporeSigma unveils new $14.4M wastewater treatment plant, Keene Sentinel

Wind

UMaine continues to develop floating concrete wind turbine, WBAI TV

European developers build out dominance in US offshore wind race, S&P Global

Ørsted to Host Three Virtual Open Houses: Offer Updates on the Progress of the Ocean Wind Offshore Wind Project, tapinto.net

Solar

Plymouth Planning Board considers solar fields on bogs, Wicked Local Plymouth

Company eyes solar farm at New England Dragway, seacoastonline.com

Marsh Sanctuary alleges special treatment for proposed Mount Kisco solar farm, Westchester and Fairfield County Business Journals

Oregon solar company eyes two projects in Rutland Town, Rutland Herald

EVs

Vermont offering up to $5,000 towards purchase of energy efficient used car, St. Albans Messenger

New kind of ride in Beverly, Beverly officials charged up about first electric school bus, Salem News

Electric Trash Trucks Are Coming Quietly to Your Town, Wall St. Journal

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lynch: FBI To Investigate Possibility of Cyberattack At Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

Weymouth officials, residents want to see gas company’s emergency plan, Patriot Ledger

State approves $56 million settlement with Columbia Gas for Merrimack Valley gas explosions, Boston Globe

Nuclear

Bill Gates-backed nuclear fusion pioneer: ‘We can fill the gaps left by wind and solar,’ Recharge

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator calls for ‘net carbon pricing,’ CommonWealth Magazine

R.I.’s Climate Crisis Means Higher Energy Bills and Less Work, EcoRI

After a summer of widespread outages and rising rates, anger at utility companies explodes on the campaign trail, Hartford Courant

Massachusetts City Plans “Microgrid without Borders,” Microgrid Knowledge

CT Utility Reform Bill Passes: Here’s What It Means For Customers, Patch.com

A new bill requires Connecticut utility companies to pay up when the power is out for an extended period. Here are 7 ways it affects customers., Hartford Courant

Electric rate hikes as a result of new law? ‘Ludicrous…propaganda,’ Middletown Press

New England Clean Energy Connect may start construction in November, despite opposition, Press Herald

CMP could have hard 2021 in Augusta as legislative hopefuls turn against corridor, Bangor Daily News

Five First Nations file brief with DOE opposing New England Clean Energy Connect, Energy Central

Mayor: Plan will lower residents’ electric bills, Eagle Tribune

Inside the Utility Company Lobbying Blitz That Will Hike Electric Bills, ProPublica

How to Prepare for Increased Energy Disruptions Due to Extreme Weather, NY1

Power-buying policy still an open question in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Opinion

Opinion: A clean energy future for Connecticut, CT Post

NY needs clean renewable energy like Québec hydropower, Altamont Enterprise

Maine Voices: Canada’s ‘Atlantic Loop’ power grid could bring big value to Maine, CentralMaine.com

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

Energy News for week ending October 2, 2020

Compressor Shut Down Again | The Blob | Driven Out

Happy Friday folks.

Here are a few articles that piqued our interest this week:

Feds warn of ‘serious harm’ without compressor fixes, Herald News

‘The Blob’: Low-oxygen water killing lobsters, fish in Cape Cod Bay, Cape Cod Times

Coalition of solar advocates say Massachusetts pro-utility legislation would drive out independent solar installers, Solar Power World

Have a great weekend, and as always, stay safe.

Efficiency/Storage

Governor Phil Scott signs S.337 which directs funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in thermal energy and transportation sectors, VT Digger

Want lower utility bills? Companies to push customers to use less gas, electricity, NJ Spotlight

GMP program cuts costs, reduces carbon, Rutland Herald

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

It’s Time to Stop Confusing Key Climate Terms, Bloomberg Green

Wolf vetoes bill that would keep Pennsylvania out of RGGI, State Impact PA (NPR)

‘The Blob’: Low-oxygen water killing lobsters, fish in Cape Cod Bay, Cape Cod Times

Wind

US funds Maine offshore wind roadmap, ReNews

Trump’s Offshore Oil Ban to Halt Coastal Wind Farms Too, Bloomberg via GCaptain.com

Solar

Coalition of solar advocates say Massachusetts pro-utility legislation would drive out independent solar installers, Solar Power World

Study: Solar projects driving down home values in R.I. suburbs, Providence Journal

Supporters and foes of Greene County solar farm speak out, Times Union

U.S. solar generation grows 22.2% even through coronavirus pandemic, Solar Power World

Power company throws shade on solar plans for new school, Harvard Press

EVs

Ninety Percent of U.S. Cars Must Be Electric by 2050 to Meet Climate Goals, Online EV

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lynch: FBI Asked to Explore Possible Cyberintrusion at Compressor, State House News Service

Second ‘Unplanned’ Gas Release At Weymouth Compressor This Month, WBUR

Feds warn of ‘serious harm’ without compressor fixes, Herald News

Enbridge Agrees To Pause Weymouth Compressor Station Startup, WBUR

Weymouth gas compressor on pause as feds order investigation, Patriot Ledger

Daily on Energy: Unions look to keep natural gas and nuclear in Biden energy plan, Washington Examiner

Officials: Columbia Gas caused recent gas leak, Eagle Tribune

Eversource Energy expects state OK for Columbia Gas acquisition next week, MassLive

Nuclear

New radiation monitor installed near Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoast Online

Plymouth: Update on the Decommissioning of Pilgrim with Duxbury’s Nuclear Advisory Committee, WATD

PSEG applies to keep $300M annual subsidies for South Jersey nuclear plants, NJ Spotlight

Lowey secures $3.2 million for Town of Cortlandt as Indian Point shuts down, Mid-Hudson News

Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest, New York Times

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Southern Maine Group Seeks To Launch Petition Drive Aimed At Creating A Consumer-Owned Utility, Maine Public

Backers of consumer-owned power utility move to put question on Maine ballot, Press Herald

Coronavirus Has Propelled Us Into the Future of Energy Spending, Bloomberg Green

Despite Dead DOE Rule, Grid Resiliency Persists as a Major Concern, Power Magazine

CT House of Representatives passes Energy bill targeting utility companies’ response to Tropical Storm Isaias, Fox 61

Millions of Americans risk losing power and water as massive, unpaid utility bills pile up, Washington Post

Opinion

U.S. Energy Secretary: New England needs natural gas for energy choice, cost reduction, MassLive

Outside of a Small Circle of Friends . . . at ISO New England, In Depth NH

Building out our energy infrastructure can help speed economic recovery, The Hill

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

Energy News for week ending September 25, 2020

Left Behind | 2nd Highest | Is it a win?

 

Happy Friday folks.

Here are a few articles that piqued our interest this week:

Have a great weekend, enjoy the beautiful weather, and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Needham Small Businesses Get Energy Efficient Boost, Patch.com

New York offers $50m to boost energy efficiency of buildings, Energy Live News

With PSE&G’s new $1B efficiency program, New Jersey takes early moves toward new utility business model, Utility Dive

Some Mass. Communities Left Behind By Energy Efficiency Program, Study Finds, NBC Boston

New York sets minimum 3-year term for new load management programs to drive more energy storage, Utility Dive

New York Regulators Approve Demand Response Change to Spur Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

Trump administration moves closer to ensuring many furnaces, water heaters keep wasting gas, ACEEE Blog

House backs bill to boost ‘clean energy,’ enhance efficiency, Washington Post

‘Button Up NH’ home weatherization workshop goes virtual, Seacoastonline.com

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Is New England’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project Really a Win for the Climate?, The Revelator

Environmentalists split in their opposition to New England’s latest power transmission line, Hartford Courant

Panelists: Keep heat on emissions and energy bills, Taunton Gazette

Climate change since 2000 will cut U.S. growth over next 30 years – CBO, Reuters

Coastal study reveals Falmouth spots vulnerable to climate change, Cape Cod Times

Climate Disruption is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial., New York Times

Senate overrides veto of Global Warming Solutions Act, making it law, VT Digger

WoodMac: Energy Sector Faces ‘Darwinian Challenge’ to Tame Climate Change, Greentech Media

John Kerry takes the climate change fight to Wall Street, Boston Globe

Ginsburg death leaves ‘no environmental voice’ on bench, E&E News

Springfield Councilor Jesse Lederman submits petition opposing favorable biomass legislation, MassLive

 

Wind

Falmouth Conservation Commission Approves Testing For Undersea Cables, Falmouth Enterprise

UMass Dartmouth wind turbine comes down after stormy history, South Coast Today

FISHING REPORT: Wind farm studies yield food for thought, Providence Journal

New London argues State Pier project will need local approvals, The Day

 

Solar

Solar Dominates Maine’s Largest Renewables Procurement on Record, Greentech Media

Vermont solar industry concerned about net metering reduction, Times Argus

 

EVs

The Age of Electric Cars Is Dawning Ahead of Schedule, New York Times

Electric Car Sharing Program Receives MassCEC Award, (press release) Alt Energy Mag

BPU Moves to Increase Electric Vehicle Infrastructure in NJ, New Jersey Business Magazine

MAPC receives grant for electric school bus expansion, Wicked Local Cambridge

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Markey, Warren join call for compressor shutdown, Gloucester Times

Feds Give Weymouth Natural Gas Compressor Station Final Green Light To Begin Operations, WBUR

Columbia Gas donating $10M to area nonprofits, Eagle Tribune

 

Nuclear

Proposed nuclear decommissioning bill carries big bonus for Vernon, Brattleboro Reformer

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Gas pipeline rupture wouldn’t pose danger for Indian Point, Lowhud.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts residents see 2nd highest utility bills in United States, new study shows, MassLive

Prep Your Tech for Power Outages and Other Emergencies, Wall St. Journal

Pollution Payday: Analysis of executive compensation and incentives of the largest U.S. investor-owned utilities, (Eversource) Energy and Policy Institute

New electricity agreement will save Plymouth residents millions of dollars, Wicked Local Plymouth

 

Opinion

Utilities aren’t rewarded for saving money. FERC now has a chance to fix this, Utility Dive

OPINION: Local and state initiatives are how to address climate change, Herald News

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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 September 4, 2020

Ambitious Goals | Kill the Zombie | 99 Turbines

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with a story from NHPR, “N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals. New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities are proposing an increase to their energy efficiency savings goals for the next three years, in a plan that aims to cut costs and carbon emissions but could slightly increase customers’ bills in the short-term. The proposal centers on the utility-run NHSaves rebate program, which gives ratepayers incentives to use less energy by upgrading things like appliances, insulation or machinery. The utilities’ new goal for that program would have them sell 5% less electricity and 3% less gas between 2021 and 2023. The current goal, spanning 2018 to 2020, was to sell 3% less electricity and 2% less gas. Eversource, Unitil, Liberty Utilities and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative filed their proposal with the Public Utilities Commission Tuesday. They say it would save customers $1.3 billion overall – more than a third of the total amount they’ve saved with this program since 2002. And they say reducing New Hampshire’s gas and electricity use, particularly in the summer, will lower carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road for a year.”

Next stop is Western MA with a story from MassLive, “Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle. More than 75 people gathered on the steps of City Hall on Thursday calling for an end to a long-proposed biomass project in East Springfield, saying it is a threat to public health and an environmental hazard. Some of those speaking used the phrase “we can’t breathe” in expressing their strong opposition to the wood-to-energy plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy LLC at 1000 Page Blvd. Verne McArthur, of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, led the activists and residents in chants against the biomass project, including, ‘We will, we will, block you, block you.’  ‘This event is about the zombie project — this biomass plant that Palmer Renewable wants to build and keeps pulling political strings to get loopholes to go do it,’ McArthur said. ‘We’ve been fighting it for 10 years and they’re now trying to come back.’ There is a climate bill before the state Legislature, in conference committee, that includes one proposed clause that would list biomass energy plants as “non-emitting sources” — a designation that would help the developers receive subsidies, opponents said. Ten city councilors have urged legislators to reject the clause, and there is also a signature petition.”

Next up is a visual story – but you’ll need a VR headset for the full effect. From NBC Philadelphia, “Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore. The company building New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm is providing a glimpse into the future — what beachgoers and residents will see when turbines are erected. Massive turbines, with blades as long as football fields, will one day spin in the Atlantic Ocean off the Jersey Shore. The first wind farm off New Jersey is expected to begin generating clean energy by 2024, according to Ørsted, the Danish company that received New Jersey’s initial permit for an 1,100-megawatt project last year. It will generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes. The company has released a first look at what the farm’s 99 turbines will look like from the beaches of Atlantic City and Stone Harbor once they are up and running. The ‘virtual reality tour’ also provides a view from one of the turbines, which will be roughly 15 miles out to sea and in an area off southern New Jersey between Cape May and Atlantic City.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great Labor Day weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals, NHPR

Why Aren’t Home Efficiency Scores Standard in Online Real Estate Listings?, Greentech Media

City of Framingham Hosting Home Energy Efficiency Workshop, Framingham Source

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The US and climate: New York’s bold green plans hit opposition, Pop Times UK

Biggest U.S. Utility Says Going Green May Cost You $58 a Month, Bloomberg Green

The quest for renewable energy could wreak havoc on wildlife, report warns, mic.com

Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle, MassLive

$320,703 in grants awarded to transition rural businesses to renewable energy, Press Herald

Dartmouth Study Models Bioenergy Scenarios With Major Climate Benefits, NHPR

Renewable power grid would require $338B of improvements: Industry study, Washington Examiner

 

Wind

Groups say Boston electric grid upgrades should anticipate offshore wind, Energy Central

An inside look at NYSERDA’s award-winning offshore wind program, Windpower Engineering and Development

Seven Policies To Tap U.S. Offshore Wind’s $166 Billion Economic Growth And Emissions Reduction Potential, Forbes.com

Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore, NBC Philadelphia

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Opens Educational and Community Outreach Center in Atlantic City, Yahoo! Finance

 

Solar

Orsted, the World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar, Greentech Media

Solar investment group buys former Tee Bird South golf course in Saratoga County, Albany Business Review (subscriber content)

Advocates say over 200 shovel-ready community solar projects await legislative action in Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

 

EVs

Rhode Island initiates vehicle charging station project, Transportation Today

Electric vehicle charging stations increase in a county that barely uses them, Bangor Daily News

CMP starts up incentive program for high-power electric vehicle chargers, Press Herald

Electric trucks are gaining ground over natural gas in the waste industry, Utility Dive

The great battery race, Axios

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Ends State Of Emergency For Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, Patch.com

Clean Energy Fuels’ RNG to fuel New York transit buses, Bioenergy Insight

Algonquin Gas Gets Massachusetts Plant OK’d Despite Permit Suit, Bloomberg Law (subscriber content)

New Jersey Natural Gas Strengthens Sustainability Commitment, New Jersey Business

 

Nuclear

Bill Gates’ Nuclear Startup Unveils Mini-Reactor Design Including Molten Salt Energy Storage, Forbes.com

NuScale Becomes First Modular Nuclear Reactor to Receive NRC Design Approval, Engineering News Record

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Engineering Group Sees Increase in Power Outages, Costs, Microgrid Knowledge

Springfield councilors, Eversource slate meeting to discuss rising electric bills amid coronavirus pandemic, MassLive

Facing scrutiny over rate increases, power outages, Eversource quietly files $500M smart-meter plan, Hartford Business Journal

State’s Electric Utilities Make Plans to Roll Out Smart Meters, NJ Spotlight

Massachusetts top court denies NextEra bid to block state’s PPAs with Hydro-Québec, Utility Dive

Tesla ramps up interest in electricity utility business, CNET

Local Legislators Looking For Answers From Eversource, Cheshire Herald

Connecticut customers who lose power for three days or more would receive $500 in compensation for spoiled food or medicine under draft legislation, Hartford Courant

PURA to hold another public hearing on Eversource rate hikes, WFSB

 

Opinion/Editorial

Anna Gyorgy and Patricia Hynes: State Senate should remove biomass from climate bill, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Outage outrage was phony; legislators should get back to work, Journal Inquirer

School buses should go electric – here’s how, CommonWealth Magazine

Jon Lender: After storm, now comes test of whether lawmakers can enact an effective utilities reform bill, Hartford Courant

Climate action key theme of primary races, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar energy makes more sense all the time. Why build another gas plant?, Hartford Courant

Tackling the biggest obstacle to new transmission — power providers’ commitment phobia, Utility Dive

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending August 14, 2020

Hot enough for ya? | Unconstitutional | Water Woes

Happy Friday folks.

Well, it isn’t your imagination. It’s been wicked hot. From the Washington Post, “Seven East Coast states saw their hottest July on record. July 2020 was record hot for much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Sizzling temperatures and sultry humidity baked the Acela corridor for most of the month, with heat indices rising into the triple digits and making conditions all the more unbearable. The entire Lower 48 experienced temperatures near or above normal during July, the toasty temperatures becoming routine as human-induced climate change continues to take is toll. The month ranked as the 11th warmest on record overall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Seven states — Virginia (tie), Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania (tie), New Jersey, Connecticut (tie) and New Hampshire — all clinched the top spot for their sweltering July heat. Records date back to 1895. The heat was ubiquitous along the East Coast, with states east of the Appalachians recording a top five warmest July except Georgia and South Carolina.”

The battle in Maine over the New England Clean Energy Connect line just took a dramatic turn. From the Portland Press Herald, “Supreme court rules CMP corridor referendum unconstitutional. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court finds that the initiative to reverse a decision by the Public Utilities Commission ‘exceeds the scope of the people’s legislative power.’ The state’s top court has blocked a referendum to stop a planned hydroelectric power corridor through western Maine. In a ruling issued Thursday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court decided the state’s Constitution does not give voters the power to reverse a decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, as the referendum is designed to do, so the question cannot be included on the November ballot as planned. The referendum “exceeds the scope of the people’s legislative powers conferred by … the Maine Constitution,” the ruling says. The decision is a significant blow to environmentalists and others who oppose the $1 billion project being developed by Central Maine Power parent company Avangrid, which is owned by Iberdrola, a multinational electric utility conglomerate based in Spain. The 145-mile transmission line would carry hydroelectric power from Quebec to Lewiston to supply regional power.

Here’s an interesting efficiency story. From the Washington Examiner, “Trump says EPA looking ‘very strongly’ into ‘situation’ with toilets and bathrooms. President Trump said he had directed the Environmental Protection Agency to consider loosening water efficiency standards for toilets and other bathroom appliances…‘We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms,’ Trump said Friday. ‘People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once,’ Trump said. ‘They end up using more water.’ He complained that strict conservation standards had damaged the performance of bathroom appliances…The EPA regulates water quality and water pollution, and it has a voluntary partnership program called WaterSense through which it labels water-efficient products — but the Department of Energy issues the bulk of energy efficiency and water conservation standards for appliances. The Energy Department has proposed to weaken or has slowed a number of efficiency standards during the Trump administration, including efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs. That move was met with legal opposition from environmental and efficiency groups.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Businesses Charge Up Batteries to Corral Power Costs, Wall St. Journal

Trump says EPA looking ‘very strongly’ into ‘situation’ with toilets and bathrooms, Washington Examiner

Assessing the value of battery energy storage in future power grids, MIT News

Energy efficiency enhances other DERs’ value, but few utilities incentivize combinations of them, Energy Central

Catamount Solar and Northern Reliability to install solar array and battery storage system, Vermont Biz

Maine schools take advantage of empty halls to make efficiency upgrades, Energy Central

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Climate Activists Will Launch Utility Bill Strike In New England Sept. 1, NHPR

Seven East Coast states saw their hottest July on record, Washington Post

Earth is overheating. Millions are already feeling the pain., New York Times

U.S. Gas, Power Utilities Join $100 Million Clean-Tech Effort, Bloomberg Green

Covid-19 Curbing Corporate Deals for U.S. Clean-Energy Projects, Bloomberg

NY – New York’s Hydropower Plan Stirs Concerns Over Impact on Waterways, Coastal News Today

U.S. Oil Refiners Accelerate Shift to Renewables in Downturn, Wall St. Journal

Global Warming Could Unlock Carbon From Tropical Soil, New York Times

Springfield city councilors raise concerns that House climate bill helps biomass plant, MassLive

 

Wind

The Economic Impact of Offshore Wind Energy, NYLCV

Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind Select Offshore Wind Challenge Startups, NA Windpower

New offshore wind hub jobs could be coming to Westchester, adjacent to Indian Point, Hudson Valley News

 

Solar

A different kind of flower power, Boston Globe

Solar energy farm subscribers in Maine can get a break on electric bills, CentralMaine.com

Two R.I. parking lot solar arrays approved in National Grid’s first-round renewable energy program, Providence Business News

Newark launches $10 million project to install solar panels, other energy efficiency upgrades, Newark Post

 

EVs

Effort for car-charging station shorts out in Lebanon, Valley News

NJ Planned to Help People Buy Electric Cars With a $5,000 Rebate. Now, Not So Much, NJ Spotlight

WoodMac: 54,000 Electric Trucks on US Roads by 2025, Greentech Media

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New York City’s Hottest New Energy Fight, Huffington Post

How New York Can Shut Down Far More Fossil Peakers, Greentech Media

Trump administration scraps limits on methane leaks at oil and gas sites, Washington Post

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Maine Supreme Court rules CMP corridor referendum unconstitutional, Portland Press Herald

FERC staff to Congress: HV transmission essential to reducing carbon, deploying renewables, Utility Dive

Amid power outages, CEO of generator maker anticipates ‘massive change’ coming to the grid, CNBC

Isaias Shows Our ‘Dinosaur Energy System’ Isn’t Ready for Climate Change, Gizmodo

As Connecticut municipal leaders mull legal action over Eversource’s handling of Tropical Storm Isaias utility says final customers will get power back by midnight Thursday, Hartford Current

At Least 160,000 in New York Region Have No Power Six Days After Isaias, Bloomberg

What Isaias Laid Bare about the East Coast’s Progress — or Lack of — on Energy Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

State officials considering new performance-based regulation system for energy companies, WTNH (CT)

Lingering Outages After Isaias May Prompt BPU to Speed Rollouts of Smart Meters, NJ Spotlight

Sen. Heinrich, 12 Senate Democrats Request That FERC Provide Smart-Grid Technology Deployment Incentives to Reduce Consumer Costs, Improve Transmission, Energy Central

Maine regulators approve double-digit rate cut for Versant customers starting next month, Bangor Daily News

Majority of Guilderland council approves buried NYC power cable to run along rail line, Altamont Enterprise

 

Opinion/Editorial

Are New Transmission Projects Contributing to Clean Energy?, Energy Central

Why floating turbines are so important to Maine’s offshore wind prospects, Energy Central

Dan Haar: Where’s Jim Judge, the invisible Eversource boss?, Middletown Press

RGGI will not benefit Pennsylvania | Opinion, PennLive

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

Energy News for week ending August 7, 2020

Path to Survival | One Billion Dollars | Clean Peak

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with a story from Greentech Media, “Massachusetts Pilot Project Offers Gas Utilities a Possible Path to Survival. Utility Eversource is partnering on Boston-area district geothermal pilots as the state contemplates a gas-free future for buildings. In June, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey asked the state’s Department of Public Utilities to open an investigation into the future of natural-gas companies in the state…The attorney general’s office asked utility regulators to explore the potential for a range of alternatives to decarbonize heating, including building electrification, energy efficiency and ‘geothermal network applications.’ The last option is a nod to work by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) to advance a concept called the GeoMicroDistrict, which would see heat pumps in individual buildings transferring thermal energy between a shared district water loop and their own heating and cooling distribution systems. In such a system, gas companies could deliver thermal energy instead of gas — minus the carbon, says Audrey Schulman, HEET’s co-executive director.”

Next we shift to NY news with this story from Grist, “New York is spending $1 billion to help residents conserve energy — and lower their bills. As summer heat waves converge with a surging pandemic and an impending economic collapse, energy-efficient homes are becoming particularly critical to Americans’ well-being. Millions now face tough choices when it comes to energy usage: The longer they stay home to stay safe from both scorching heat and COVID-19, the higher their utility bills climb. New York’s state government, for its part, is eyeing a long-term solution to this conundrum. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is collaborating with the region’s investor-owned utilities to provide clean and energy-efficient solutions to more than 350,000 low-to-moderate income households throughout the state. The collaboration aims to more than double the number of lower-income households that have access to services like voluntary electric load reduction, as well as better insulation and air sealing for more efficient cooling and heating, according to an announcement from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office last week. The initiative will also provide education and community support programs to connect these upgrades to the households most in need.”

For the last highlight of this week we look to a State House News story brought to us by MassLive. “New program aims to sub in clean power during peak energy periods. The Baker administration rolled out the final regulations Tuesday for a first-in-the-nation financial incentive program that aims to promote clean energy generation to supply power when demand on the grid is at its highest, and officials said it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save ratepayers money. The clean peak energy standard would require every retail electric supplier with a contract signed or extended since the start of 2019 to provide a minimum percentage of its kilowatt-hour sales to end-use customers in Massachusetts from ‘clean peak’ resources — renewables, energy storage systems or ‘clean energy technologies that can supply electricity or reduce demand during seasonal peak demand periods.’ The idea is to address periods of the greatest demand on the electric grid — when power generators sometimes turn to dirtier fossil fuels.”

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York is spending $1 billion to help residents conserve energy — and lower their bills, Grist

Mandated energy efficiency scores would influence home buying: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Mass. launches financing program for business energy projects, Worcester Business Journal

As grant-funded lighting project nears end, town struggles to meet long-term energy goals, Harvard Press

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

CT’s long road to replace nuclear power with wind and solar, Middletown Press

Report suggests increasing pumped storage could cut electric costs and carbon emissions, Water Power Magazine

Who Will Own the Hydrogen Future: Oil Companies or Power Utilities?, Greentech Media

Report: Climate Change Raises Flood Risks For Superfund Sites In N.H., Elsewhere, NHPR

Report: ‘Total decarbonization’ would create 25M jobs, E&E News

The Worst-Case Scenario for Global Warming Tracks Closely With Actual Emissions, Inside Climate News

New program aims to sub in clean power during peak energy periods, State House News via Taunton Daily Gazette

Massachusetts lawmakers in climate policy bill conference committee snuff out carbon emissions, State House News Service via MassLive

Which states are making the most progress on emissions? Not the ones you think., Grist

Investors launch climate plan to get to net zero emissions by 2050, Reuters

Hurricane, Fire, Covid-19: Disasters Expose the Hard Reality of Climate Change, New York Times

Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study, The Guardian

How falling solar costs have renewed clean hydrogen hopes, MIT Technology Review

 

Wind

Massachusetts puts grid backbone on the back burner, 4C Offshore

CT’s largest ever renewable energy investment nears final approval, Hartford Business Journal

URI Researcher to Map Commercial Fishing Activity to Reduce Conflict Between Industry and Energy Projects, EcoRI

Floating Offshore Wind on Cusp of Unlocking Big Source of Finance, Experts Say, Greentech Media

U.S. Offshore Wind Needs to Clear a Key Hurdle: Connecting to the Grid, Scientific American

Offshore wind report forecasts $1.7B of revenue from new federal lease auctions by 2022, Utility dive

GE plans to give offshore wind energy a supercomputing boost, The Verge

Maine’s $100M Floating Offshore Wind Project Finds Major Backers: RWE and Mitsubishi, Greentech Media

 

Solar

Newark launches $10 million project to install solar panels, other energy efficiency upgrades, Newark Post

 

EVs

GM, EVgo to install 2,700 electric-vehicle charging stations, Detroit News

Global Electric Vehicle Cords Top 1 Million, Bloomberg

A new kind of command car at Kennebunk Fire Department, Press Herald

 

Nuclear

Smaller Nuclear Plants May Come With Less Stringent Safety Rules, NPR

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts Pilot Project Offers Gas Utilities a Possible Path to Survival, Greentech Media

Gas safety legislation stalls on Beacon Hill, Salem News

As natural gas bans go national, can cities fill the gap?, E&E News

How climate and business woes are sinking a natural-gas project, Axios

Oil and Gas Groups See ‘Some Common Ground’ in Biden Energy Plan, New York Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents debate merits of Maine hydro project, Codcast CommonWealth Magazine (audio)

Maine’s high court wrestles with lawsuit holding major implications for CMP corridor, Bangor Daily News

Eversource faces the wrath of Connecticut officials as more than 600,000 remain without electricity cut by Tropical Storm Isaias, Hartford Current

Storm recovery upsets Norwich Public Utilities cost-cutting efforts, The Day

Municipalities who own power plants not zapped by electricity price hikes, WTNH (CT)

After a week of complaints, utility regulators temporarily pull plug on Eversource rate hike, CT Mirror

New Jersey’s PSEG Seeks to Sell Merchant Fossil, Solar Fleet, Greentech Media

New York And Connecticut Call For Probes Into Utility Companies’ Response To Isaias, NPR

Con Edison seeks approval to offer access to green power, Queens Gazette

Eversource: Some rate relief approved for electric customers, MassLive

 

Opinion/Editorial

Getting rid of fossil fuels in buildings, CommonWealth Magazine

The Importance of Microgrids for Marginalized Communities, Microgrid Knowledge

House takes baby steps on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Columnist Marty Nathan: Legislature’s opaque process hurts climate fight, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Why the CMP corridor is a bad deal for Maine and the climate, Maine Beacon

Best climate change policy you’ve never heard of, CommonWealth Magazine

 

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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 July 31, 2020

Roadmap | Healthier Kids

Happy Friday afternoon.

Running late today so just a quick recap.

From CommonWealth Magazine, “The House unveiled a climate change bill on Wednesday that directs the executive branch of government to create a roadmap for reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and includes sections dealing with solar power subsidies, grid modernization, clean energy jobs, and municipal light plants. The bill is expected to be taken up in the House on Thursday and then go to a conference committee that will be charged with sorting out differences with a Senate bill that is broader in scope and far more detailed in its instructions. The House bill requires the administration to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and sets interim goals for 2030 and 2040. It charges the administration with coming up with a roadmap of policies, regulations, legislative recommendations, and carbon pricing mechanisms to reach the targets.”

And some good news resulting from RGGI brought to us by Environmental Health News. “A climate change initiative in the Northeastern U.S. designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions has also greatly reduced harmful air pollution and related impacts to kids’ health, such as asthma, preterm births and low birth weights, according to a new study. Led by researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the study found the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has reduced fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and, due to this reduction, the region avoided an estimated 537 cases of child asthma, 112 preterm births, 98 cases of autism spectrum disorder, and 56 cases of low birthweight from 2009 to 2014. By avoiding such impacts to children’s health, the researchers estimate an economic savings of between $191 million to $350 million.”

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State Offers New Option for Energy Efficiency Project Financing, Banker & Tradesman

NY’s investor-owned utilities work to increase access to energy efficiency for low-income households, Daily Energy Insider

Gillette Stadium Turns to Energy Efficient Servers to Reduce Annual CO2 Output, Environment and Energy Leader

This prof is shedding light on energy injustice — and how to fix it, Grist

Electrification drives the need for energy efficiency, Smart Energy Intl.

GSA Picks 4 Building Mgmt Concepts for Energy Efficiency Pilot, ExecutiveGov

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

House climate change bill calls for roadmap, CommonWealth Magazine

Q&A With Rishi Reddi, The State’s Top Environmental Justice Leader, WBUR

Biden calls for 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. Here’s how far we have to go., Washington Post

Clean energy to assist over 350,00 low-to-moderate income households in NYS, InformNNY.com

Microsoft Eyes New Tool in Decarbonization Quest: Green Hydrogen, Greentech Media

Mayors to state: Environmental justice can’t wait, Lowell Sun

Believe It Or Not, Forests Migrate — But Not Fast Enough For Climate Change, NPR

Biden plots $2tn green revolution but faces wind and solar backlash, The Guardian

A Northeast US climate initiative has had a major side benefit—healthier children, Environmental Health News

 

Wind

The money case for offshore wind, Axios

Massachusetts Institutions Get Grants for Offshore Wind Workforce Training, Maritime Jobs News

Policy Shift Aims to Bring More Offshore Wind Sooner, State House News Service (subscriber content)

 

Solar

A blow to small solar, a win for states and utilities? Regulators, analysts assess FERC’s PURPA rule, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Utilities must prioritize customer experience to advance role of electric vehicles on the grid: experts, Utility Dive

Inside Clean Energy: How Soon Will An EV Cost the Same as a Gasoline Vehicle? Sooner Than You Think., Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

America Wants to Put a Nuclear Power Plant on the Moon, Popular Mechanics

 

Gas

Town group tracking gas leaks seeks scent of danger, yourArlington.com

Mass. gas ban backers press ahead after state strikes down 1st East Coast bylaw, S&P Global

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

‘Tidal Wave’ Of Power Shut-Offs Looms As Nation Grapples With Heat, NPR

Why peak electricity usage matters, CommonWealth Magazine

ISO-NE: Minor COVID Impacts on Summer Load, Forecasts, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Hackers Are Targeting the Remote Workers Who Keep Your Lights On, Bloomberg

US energy use hit 30-year low during pandemic shutdowns, AP News

No easy fix for upgrading power lines to deliver wind and solar power, energy regulator says, Washington Examiner

Maine’s most expensive ballot fight ever unites natural gas companies and environmentalists, Washington Examiner

Mass. in middle of Maine power fight, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Opinion

Op-ed: A cleaner economy must be a priority as we rebuild Mass., BBJ (Subscriber content)

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News