Category Archives: Natural Gas Pipelines

Energy News for week ending June 23, 2017

Good Friday Afternoon.

This week’s energy news includes a story in the MIT Technology Review about a new paper from nearly two dozen “prominent researchers” that sharply critiqued an influential paper arguing that wind, solar, and hydroelectric power could affordably meet most of the nation’s energy needs by 2055. The researchers said the 2015 paper “contained modeling errors and implausible assumptions that could distort public policy and spending decisions.” That the 2015 paper was influential is right. Massachusetts, California and other states are now considering 100 percent renewable energy targets not only for electricity generation, but for transportation and heating as well. Greentech Media pulled together a podcast on the “bitter debate” that ensued after the critical paper was released. It also includes some links to Tweetstorms that erupted after the paper was released.

Also this week, the Consumer Energy Alliance released the results of a poll that showed “a large majority of voters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York embrace affordable and reliable energy in New England, but a much smaller majority embrace natural gas pipelines to make that happen.” The article in Natural Gas Intelligence reported, “CEA noted that the polling shows only 6% of respondents thought that a lack of natural gas or oil infrastructure was the cause for the region’s high electric rates. This shows ‘an apparent disconnect or lack of understanding from respondents as to how pipelines and other related energy infrastructure impact fuel and electricity prices,’ the group said.”

The last highlight this week is a story from the Cape Cod Times about the ongoing battle to shut down Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility. According to the story, “a Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down [the] two town-owned wind turbines. Judge Cornelius Moriarty issued his decision at about 4:30 p.m. in the case which pitted the town against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and a neighbor of the turbines. The Board of Selectmen had appealed a decision by the zoning board that found the turbines are a nuisance.” More court cases over the turbines are in process so this order to shut them down isn’t necessarily ‘case closed.’

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC says no environmental review for ‘heavy-duty’ vehicle use variance, says it will trust Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., Berkshire Eagle

New England Poll Finds ‘Disconnect’ Between Voter Support for Affordable Energy, Pipelines, Natural Gas Intelligence

18 Arrested At Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project Will Go To Court, WAMC

Despite trespassing arrests, Sugar Shack Alliance members vow to begin ‘summer days of resistance’ protest, Berkshire Eagle

Keene City Council backs natural gas proposal, delays climate change vote, Keene Sentinel

Weymouth residents continue air quality testing in the Fore River Basin, The Patriot Ledger

Court Issues Burrillville Power Plant a Setback, ecoRI news

Defending Burrillville from Invenergy may cost town millions, RI Future

API positions gas as all-purpose resource for grid reliability, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan, MIT Technology Review

Major Simsbury Solar Project Opposed By State Officials Moving Ahead Thanks to Mass., R.I., Hartford Courant

Grafton solar project helps preserve Knowlton Farm, Telegram.com

Your Guide to the Bitter Debate Over 100% Renewable Energy, Greentech Media

Maine legislators get set for net metering vote that could impact PUC ruling, Daily Energy Insider

Falmouth ordered to shut down turbines, Cape Cod Times

Murphy and Esty Want $5 Billion for ‘National Green Bank’, Hartford Courant

Supporters tout carbon pricing plan from Lexington state senator, Wicked Local Lexington

What’s Next For Climate Change Efforts in NH?, New Hampshire Public Radio

Can Offshore Wind Power Revive US Ports?, Scientific American

Battle for US offshore wind jobs hots up, Recharge

Offshore Wind Faces Stiff Test From Hurricanes, ecoRI news

House and Senate Approve Solar Bill, More Votes Ahead, WAGM

Massachusetts Businesses Taking Climate Change Seriously, CBS Boston / WBZ

Vivint Solar Continues Huge Month With Expansion Into Vermont, CleanTechnica

Wind noise should be overseen by state, not developer, Brattleboro Reformer

Video: P.E.I. wind farm brings in special scaffolding to repair turbine blade, CBC News

At Pittsfield stop on Clean Energy Future Tour, anti-turbine sentiment a frequent topic, Berkshire Eagle

Report: Renewable energy is no threat to power reliability, Utility Dive

Rhode Island Considering Legislation to Streamline Process of Developing Renewable Energy Projects, JD Supra

Energy Efficiency

Critics of RI budget take aim at one-time revenue transfers, The Providence Journal

National Grid named one of the most energy efficient utilities in US, Daily Energy Insider

Donovan joins suit against US Department of Energy, Vermont Biz

Green Massachusetts, green Harvard, Harvard Press

Hinds, Pacheco Host MA Clean Energy Future Tour In Pittsfield, WAMC

6 towns get Green Communities grants totaling $830211, The Recorder

Nuclear

New York Senate narrowly passes bill to reallocate funds for nuclear subsidies, Utility Dive

Pilgrim advisory panel ‘ready to get to work’, Cape Cod Times

Judge blocks sale of Vermont Yankee disposal company, Brattleboro Reformer

Activists And Climate Scientists Push For Support Of Millstone Nuclear Power, WSHU

Entergy prepares to leave Plymouth; Emera hopes to enter, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England, California could see tight spots with reliability this summer, says FERC, Utility Dive

DOE grid study deadline delayed as Perry defends budget proposal, Utility Dive

MassDEP reaffirms Exelon plant in Medway is safe, despite project criticism, MetroWest Daily News

Medway: Exelon, law group spar over contractor suspension, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass foes show up in force, The Union Leader

From Yale to the North Country, Northern Pass elicits strong opinions, The Keene Sentinel

University statement on the Northern Pass hydropower transmission line, Yale News

Weymouth school gets energy assist from Celtics, National Grid, Wicked Local Weymouth

Senate Chair on Global Warming Takes Input on Energy Policy, iBerkshires.com

New York lawmakers clear bill creating an energy storage mandate, Utility Dive

A Massachusetts Co-op Makes A Powerful Vintage, Renewable Energy World

Enel to Buy EnerNOC for $250M, in Bid for Demand Response and Energy Software Market Share, Greentech Media

Editorial/Opinion

Finally – A Market-Based, Investable Approach to Energy Efficiency, Electric Light & Power

Another View — Richard Sampson: Yale could stop Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Our View: Solar bill would let Maine grow clean energy jobs, Press Herald

Exports explain interest in gas pipeline, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Footprint’s deal is a good one for neighbors and the city, Salem News

The upside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending May 26, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. A few quick bits this week before heading out for the holiday weekend.

Two power plants in southern Massachusetts mark milestones here at the end of May. For Pilgrim in Plymouth, the Worcester Business Journal reports the plant came back online Monday after its final refueling outage. And, in Somerset, MassLive reports that next Thursday, June 1 is the day that the coal-fired Brayton Point plant is set to retire.

Environmentalists are cheering the loss of Massachusetts’ last coal-fired generating station, but they are crying foul about Spectra’s proposed natural gas compression station. According to the Patriot Ledger, residents against a proposed natural gas compressor station want an independent consultant to conduct a new air quality analysis for the project after what they see as a biased review by state environmental regulators.

Last bit for this week is an article in the MetroWest Daily News where the battle over a new transmission line that goes through Sudbury, MA among other communities, came to a head at a meeting with the Energy Facilities Siting Board. From the article, “Spilling out of a 750-seat auditorium where applause followed nearly every speaker, dozens of residents and elected officials spoke seemingly with one voice Thursday night. Their message: An inactive, wooded railroad corridor abutting residential neighborhoods, wildlife habitats, and conservation lands is no place for a power line.” It appears the best line of the night was this, “First, a poem,” resident Bill Schineller said. “I went into the woods because I wanted to pick a site for a transmission line, wrote Henry David Thoreau never.”

As always, you can find event listings at New England Energy News. Enjoy the long weekend and please take a moment to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC denies efforts to stop pipeline work, The Recorder

FERC denies ‘stop work’ requests for pipeline project in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Norfolk TM speaks out against proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Norfolk

Massachusetts Admits to ‘Regularly’ Allowing Companies to Edit Draft Pollution Permits, DeSmog

DEP approves waterways permit for compressor station, Wicked Local Hingham

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Braintree

Dakota Access pipeline springs 2 more oil leaks, RT

Another Regional Natural-Gas Pipeline Project Moves Forward Despite Widespread Community Opposition, ecoRI news

US should act against proposed Russian gas pipeline, Democratic senator says, MarketWatch

Natural gas boom, cyberthreats drive FERC’s need for budget boost, Washington Examiner

Opponents of proposed compressor station want independent air quality review, Patriot Ledger

Fore River residents say independent air testing shows hazardous pollutants, Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

Meriden power plant uses Archimedes Screw Turbine, Register Citizen

Obama’s Clean Power Plan Might Be Dead In DC, But States Are Rebuilding It Themselves, Fast Company

As solar matures, rate design and incentive debates grow ever more complex, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Community Solar Project Goes Online, Solar Industry

Towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Winchester

Groups Say Billions Needed To Jumpstart Stalled Wind Energy in Maine, Maine Public

America’s first offshore wind farm launched with GE turbines twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, Business Insider

What’s Up With Wind Power in Vermont?, CleanTechnica

What’s With Burlington’s Solar-Powered Trash Cans?, Seven Days

Proposed Army Corps solar project on Cape Cod Canal first of its kind, Cape Cod Times

Framingham inks 20-year net metering agreement, MetroWest Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Connecticut Green Bank named finalist in national awards, Danbury News Times

Harvard’s building a model for energy efficiency by renovating a decades-old home, Curbed

Energy Efficiency: A Big Loser in Trump’s Proposed Budget, Natural Resources Defense Council

Ellington Home Wins Energy Efficiency Contest, Hartford Courant

Why Don’t Green Buildings Live Up to Hype on Energy Efficiency?, Yale Environment 360

Create Jobs: Revive Energy Efficient Building Tax Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council

Nuclear

Millstone bill heads to full Connecticut legislature, New Haven Register

Nuclear brinksmanship: Does Millstone need help to stay open?, The CT Mirror

Pilgrim fueled for last two years, Worcester Business Journal

Decommissioning in Focus: Pilgrim Panel Holds First Meeting, CapeCod.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Sudbury: Residents decry ‘catastrophe’ of Eversource power line, MetroWest Daily News

Why There’s No Such Thing As a Free Market for Electricity, Greentech Media

Last coal plant in Massachusetts to close for good June 1, MassLive.com

NECEC Institute and Mass Energy: An Analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Electric Light & Power

New Network Launches for Vermont Climate Economy Businesses, vtdigger.org

Eversource pulls Agawam solar farm plans, wwlp.com

Eversource presents proposed route for 115-kilovolt transmission lines, Thehour.com

Town of Avon, Connecticut, Issues RFP for Microgrid Project Design, Microgrid Knowledge

‘Leading edge’ restrictions on electricity sellers become Maine law, Bangor Daily News

New electricity aggregation plan offers slightly lower price and more renewable energy, Arlington Advocate

Rhode Island Leapfrogs toward a Grid of the Future and Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

A Fuel Cell Microgrid Keeps the Lights on for a Connecticut High School, Microgrid Knowledge

For the first time in years, NOAA predicts an above-average hurricane season, Washington Post

Editorial/Opinion

AWEA 2017: Building on the momentum in the US offshore wind industry, Windpower Monthly

Guest commentary: RI Infrastructure Bank supports economy, clean environment, Westerly Sun

Stop the Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Making best use of Yankee site, Rutland Herald

Why Nuclear Power Subsidies Must End, The Beacon

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Pilgrim Closing

Energy News for week ending May 19, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. This week I call your attention to some positive news stories.

First, we start with two stories about Boston. Electric Power and Light reports that Boston repeated as the top city for energy efficiency in the U.S., according to the scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. On the cleantech side, the Boston Business Journal published a story that says Greater Boston is among the top metro areas nationwide for clean energy startups hoping to attract venture capital dollars, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Boston was beat out by San Francisco and San Jose.

Also on this warm sunny afternoon Penn Energy brings us a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, about a Northampton High School junior who is expanding his zero-pollution lawn care enterprise this summer. “This business isn’t a compromise; it’s the future of lawn care,” says Philip Hempstead, 17, who is entering his fourth year of operating ElectroCut Lawn Care. “It’s equal-cut quality, 60 percent quieter and zero emissions.” It’s a great story about a bright kid. Give it a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Reboboth selectmen back compressor station resolution, The Sun Chronicle

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Weymouth

Shrewsbury town meeting adopts resolution against pipeline; approves school budget with staff increases, Worcester Telegram

Fearing More Pipeline Spills, 114 Groups Demand Halt to Ohio Gas Project, InsideClimate News

US Bank Pulls Funds from All Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction, ColorLines magazine

Fracking is encroaching on US nuclear missile sites, general says, Washington Examiner

Renewable Energy

Tree-cutting turns sentiment against solar project in North Brookfield, Worcester Telegram

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Vermont wind power sound would be among quietest in country, Penn Energy

High school student goes all-solar with lawn care business, Penn Energy

Tesla and Green Mountain Power: Get Your Behind-the-Meter Battery for $15 a Month, Greentech Media

Boston’s clean tech cluster is third strongest in the country, says report, Boston Business Journal

Rhode Island Considers Plan to Streamline Solar Permitting, US News and World Report

Report: Trump DOE budget would cut renewables office 70%, fossil 54%, nuclear 31%, Utility Dive

Maine biomass bill postponed until 2018, Bioenergy Insight Magazine

An analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Windpower Engineering

Offshore Wind Planning Discussed at Falmouth Forum, CapeCod.com News

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Lloyd’s backs Dong in US, reNews

Swirling Controversy: Celebration, Concern Over Offshore Wind Power, NECN

The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable, Financial Times

Deepwater Wind Outlines Solar Farm Proposed In Simsbury, Hartford Courant

Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Winners Announced, Builder Magazine

Under Trump, US less attractive for renewable energy investment, FuelFix

Kennedy helps commission 4.8-MW solar project in Falmouth, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Republican Governors Of Vt. And Mass. Call On Feds To Honor Paris Agreement, Vermont Public Radio

Boston tops, LA rises in energy efficiency ranking, Electric Light & Power

Keep Your Cool This Summer With Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

Standing up for energy efficiency, Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald

Nuclear

Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help, Rhode Island Public Radio

CT’s delayed energy plan could mean trouble for Millstone bill, The CT Mirror

VY suitor: plans are ‘highly confidential’, Commons

Nuclear plant in New Brunswick up for relicensing, Bangor Daily News

Amazon’s Clean Energy Procurements Should Include Nuclear, Say Advocates, Greentech Media

Meeting to focus on Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sale, Keene Sentinel

NRC maps out needs for nuke plant license extension, Newburyport Daily News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Connecticut Siting Council Rejects 550-MW Gas Plant Construction, Power Engineering

CT sues EPA over transient Pennsylvania air pollutants, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program in Worcester, Mass. Achieves Strong Results in Customer Satisfaction, Retention and Savings, Press Release

Eversource Spraying Sparks Renewed Opposition on Vineyard, The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

Public divides over environmental regulation and energy policy, Phys.Org

Study Shows Why Trump’s Plan to Bring Back Coal Jobs Won’t Work, Greentech Media

Ex-coal CEO fresh from prison urges Trump to probe 2010 blast, Reuters

China Is Outpacing the US In Reducing Coal and Lowering Emissions, Futurism

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Region’s environmental activists stand their ground, The Recorder

Letter: Natural gas is not the savior the industry claims, SouthCoastToday.com

Curt McCormack: Bill protects energy efficiency standards, vtdigger.org

The RGGI program should work for everyone, New Hampshire Business Review

Protest Eversource’s usurious rate request, Cape Cod Times

Solar power worth saving in Maine, The Forecaster

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing, Energy Efficiency, solar, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending May 12, 2017

Sandisfield, Massachusetts, population 915, has found itself in the news no fewer than five times this week. Why? It’s home to part of the Otis State Forest that is the new home of a natural gas pipeline. Some folks are unhappy about the pipeline so they protested and were arrested (Recorder). Then they built a protest cabin (Berkshire Eagle). And now, they are fighting for their day in court, by asking to be charged with more serious offenses (Berkshire Eagle). After reviewing the situation, DigBoston offers its take on how others can get a pipeline built in four easy steps as they say was done at the Otis State Forest.

Speaking of pipelines, the ProJo offers us a glimpse at how National Grid hunts down gas pipeline leaks in Rhode Island.

There are many renewable stories this week. For the curious, the BBJ asks (and gets answers for) just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters? CommonWealth Magazine reports a big international energy player is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts. Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind contracts.

Power Engineering reports that total U.S. electrical generation is set to fall 1.2 percent in 2017 before rebounding by 1.9 percent the next year, according to the latest short-term energy forecast from the Energy Information Administration. Even with the decline, residential electricity prices are expected to increase 2.4 percent in 2017 and another 2.3 percent in 2018.

Lastly, the good news is that for this summer, Utility DIVE reports that the Northeast Power Coordinating Council says the region will have enough power. However, the retirement of one of the largest coal- and oil-fired power plants in New England could put a premium on imports for the region in order to maintain reliability during extreme weather events this summer.

That’s the news for this week. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Sandisfield residents upset over backyard pipeline, wwlp.com

Pipeline protests lead to more arrests, The Recorder

Pipeline resistance builds as ‘Thoreau’ protest cabin goes up in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline opponents vow to fight effort to reduce charges in Otis protests, Berkshire Eagle

How to build a natural gas pipeline in Mass in four easy steps, DigBoston

Town Draws Suit for Blocking Energy Firm’s Expansion, Courthouse News Service

Emails Show Spectra Lobbyists Cozy With Top Massachusetts Environmental Officials, DeSmog

Pipeline spill by Dakota Access company could have a ‘deadly effect’, Washington Post

Ohio officials: it will take decades for wetlands to recover after major pipeline fluid spill, ThinkProgress

Rhode Island tribe opposing Massachusetts pipeline claims FERC dropped ball on ceremonial stone landscapes, MassLive.com

Grafton town meeting puts opposition to pipeline on record, Worcester Telegram

Dakota Access pipeline suffers oil leak even before becoming operational, RT

DAPL pipeline owner blocked in Ohio after 18 leaks, 2 million gallon spill, Bismarck Tribune

How National Grid in RI hunts down leaks, The Providence Journal

Senate Defends Climate, Health by Voting Down Methane Resolution, Common Dreams

Renewable Energy

State tour on climate change and clean energy starts on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Times

Committee Kills Anti-Offshore Wind Turbine Bill, Freepress Online

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player, CommonWealth magazine

Richmond approves 23-acre solar installation with nearly 18000 panels, Westerly Sun

Antrim Wind project gets go-ahead again, could be appeal to NH Supreme Court be forthcoming, Keene Sentinel

Avangrid subsidiary gets 50 percent stake in Atlantic wind farm project, New Haven Register

Tesla starts selling solar roof; says savings to cover costs, CT Post

Vermont Renewable Energy Company Bought by St. Louis Firm, U.S. News & World Report

Hanover Becomes First New Hampshire Town to Commit to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, Energy Central

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on CT Solar Lease, Energy Central

Massachusetts towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Cambridge

Lawmakers vote against moving UMaine wind project farther from Monhegan, Portland Press Herald

Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last), Greentech Media

Just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters?, Boston Business Journal

Committee Set to Vote on Bill to Preserve Solar Incentives, Freepress Online

How Mainers keep finding new sources of energy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Cambridge, Eversource partner to launch energy pilot, Wicked Local Cambridge

US Air Force Makes A $243 Million Energy Efficiency Pitch, CleanTechnica

Kenyon International Makes Moves to Become More Energy Efficient, Patch.com

Efficiency Vermont proposes 5% rate decrease, Vermont Biz

Nuclear

NRC issues Pilgrim inspection report, Cape Cod Times

US Energy Chief Touts Nuclear Energy, Vows Cleanup Progress, U.S. News & World Report

Why Nuclear Energy Doesn’t Dominate the Globe, Popular Mechanics

Millstone bill clears a committee hurdle, theday.com

Coalition wants state to reject part of Vermont Yankee plan, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee suitor: Public shouldn’t see ‘highly confidential’ plans, vtdigger.org

How is Vermont Yankee being kept safe?, wwlp.com

DHHS: No common cause in pediatric cancer cluster, Seacoastonline.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

In Massachusetts, utilities take a collaborative approach to EV infrastructure, Utility DIVE

Trump FERC Nominees Bring Certainty for Pipeline Development, Less Certainty for Distributed Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Kicks off New Microgrid Effort. Offers Grants for Microgrid Feasibility Studies, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource Earnings Up, Northern Pass Seen on Schedule, RTO Insider

Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer, MassLive.com

Eversource projecting 1.4% increase in electric bills, The Union Leader

Southbury Eversource Customers to Pay More for Power, Patch.com

NH House panel shelves long-term power deal legislation, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass land purchases questioned, The Union Leader

U.S. Electrical Generation to Decline in 2017, Power Engineering

National Grid Taps AutoGrid for Multi-State Demand Response and Distributed Energy Software, Greentech Media

Mary Powell Is Not Your Typical Utility Executive, Greentech Media

NPCC: Northeast has sufficient power supplies to meet demand this summer, Utility DIVE

Editorial/Opinion

An ill wind blows in Augusta, Bangor Daily News

Kathy Sullivan: Hearings reveal true costs of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Letter: On Northern Pass, a visitor’s perspective, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts should raise its net energy metering caps, pv magazine USA

Robert Thorson: Climate Change And The Nuclear Power Riddle, Hartford Courant

Granite State Debates — Hunter Carbee: Biomass is a foundation of rural NH’s economy, Union Leader

Juliet Cuming: Renewable energy proud, vtdigger.org

Economy can grow under solar industry, Foster’s Daily Democrat

The downside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy, WindWatch.org

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending May 5, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

This week’s energy news brings us more of the ongoing debate about natural gas pipelines. According to the Berkshire Eagle, 18 of about 50 protesters were arrested in Sandisfield, MA at the Otis State Forest. They are opposed to the FERC-approved Connecticut Expansion Project that adds 4 miles of new underground pipeline in Massachusetts. The State Police noted they wanted to be arrested.

On the flip side, another regional utility has sounded the alarm that new gas resources are needed. According to Utility DIVE, Unitil’s CEO and President Robert Schoenberger said during an earning’s call that the region, “cannot afford to allow all the shale gas to be going someplace else as opposed to taking advantage of it.”

One last note on natural gas, MarketWatch reports that the Energy Information Administration showed that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 67 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 28 and that June natural gas fell 3.2 cents, or 1%, from Wednesday’s settlement.

On the renewables side, CommonWealth Magazine reports that this past Monday Massachusetts utilities set in motion a first-of-its-kind procurement for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power. They asked Massachusetts regulators to approve a bid process that gives companies some flexibility in setting the size of their projects while requiring them to price out two very different approaches to delivering the electricity to the mainland. Further, the RFP also raises the possibility that Massachusetts could invite a Rhode Island utility and the state of Connecticut to participate in the solicitation.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

18 pipeline protesters arrested after blocking access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Unitil latest to sound alarm over Northeast pipeline capacity, Utility DIVE

Committee Kills Fracking Bill, Freepress Online

Weymouth urges DEP to deny air permit for Algonguin, Wicked Local Weymouth

Group opposing gas pipeline in Shrewsbury seeking public support, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

One year after Pa. quakes, geologists claim fracking is to blame, WYTV

Study: Oil companies should reuse wastewater produced by fracking, HPPR

Tenn. Gas Pipeline responds to protester arrests, The Recorder

Natural-gas prices extend declines on bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. supplies, MarketWatch

FERC still silent as Otis State Forest tree cutting begins for pipeline, but questions remain, Berkshire Eagle

Renewable Energy

Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power, CommonWealth magazine

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant, Climate Central

America’s First Offshore Wind Energy Makes Landfall in Rhode Island, Inside Climate News

Delaware weighs joining RGGI states in deeper emissions cuts, Delaware First Media

Corps of Engineers Proposes to Lease Government Land in Bourne to Construct Solar Energy Project: Public Meeting Set for May 23 in Sandwich, Energy Central

Deer Island’s odd-looking turbine is a testament to failure, Boston Globe

Sen. Lynch Prata’s statewide municipal solar permit bill passes Senate, Warwick Post

Solar power advocates take fight over credits to Maine’s top court, Bangor Daily News

Talks Continue On Offshore Wind Project, WABI

Danish offshore wind firm Dong Energy opens Boston headquarters at One International Place, MassLive.com

SouthCoast leaders begin UK wind energy visit, SouthCoastToday.com

GRID Alternatives, Connecticut Green Bank Kick Off Low-Income Solar Program, Solar Industry

The US is using so much solar power that it will have to prepare for the August eclipse, Quartz

The SEC is reportedly investigating Tesla’s solar business, Business Insider

Energy Efficiency

Coal is Big. Solar’s Bigger. But Energy Efficiency is the Biggest, Energy Collective

Mass Save rebates offer big savings for energy efficiency, wwlp.com

New lights, HVAC save Greenwich Boys, Girls Club $3400 a month, Greenwich Time

Vermont ranks No. 2 in US for renewable energy, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Maine AG Mills joins fight against Trump environmental proposals, Bangor Daily News

Efficiency Vermont earns award for Sustained Excellence in Energy Efficiency Program Delivery, Vermont Biz

Storage

Using sulfur to store solar energy, Phys.Org

Startup Voltus Unstealths With 400 Megawatts of Demand Response, Greentech Media

GMP ranked high for energy storage, Mountaintimes

Nuclear

Host town backs Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Refueling at New Hampshire’s Seabrook-1 reactor ends: NextEra, Platts

Millstone bill headed to Senate, but legislators divided, Journal Inquirer

Legacy of Seabrook nuclear protest debated, The Boston Globe

Plymouth: Pilgrim Decommissioning Panel Established, 95.9 WATD-FM

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

EPA Asks What Rules to Cut, Gets Earful About Dirty Water, New York Times

Is NH getting hoodwinked on health and safety by Northern Pass?, NH1 News

Eversource tentatively agrees to move cormorant-friendly lines, Cape Cod Times

Slight Rate Increase Coming for Eversource Customers, NBC Connecticut

Northern Pass officials describe Plymouth impacts, The Union Leader

Northern Pass exec: Project would tap NH construction businesses, The Union Leader

Gov. Raimondo Not Joining Opposition to Power Plant, ecoRI news

FERC seeks new directions at intersection of state policy, wholesale markets, Daily Energy Insider

FERC hears an earful about grid tensions in eastern RTOs, E&E News

Green Mountain Power seeks 5 percent rate increase, PennEnergy

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey push bill to ban offshore drilling in Atlantic Ocean, MassLive

Editorial/Opinion

Energy-saving programs that help Earth and economy need defending, Press Herald

To the editor: Pipelines under pressure in Massachusetts, Worcester Sun

Pols should back renewable energy, Lowell Sun

Mary Sullivan: Carbon pricing plan is needed, vtdigger.org

Want to protect the climate? Time for carbon pricing, Boston Globe

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending April 28, 2017

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline opponents poised for peaceful protest Friday at Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network seeks rehearing by FERC, Berkshire Eagle

Lawmakers blast air quality plan for Weymouth compressor station, The Patriot Ledger

Gas pipeline foes file to halt start of construction, The Recorder

Tensions build before pipeline built in Massachusetts forest, Boston.com

Chamber of Commerce: Northeast pipeline constraints are a $7.6B drag on GDP, Utility Dive

Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas Moratorium, MassLive.com

Council Urged To Ban Fracking Waste, Hartford Courant

Renewable Energy

Offshore Wind Test Project “Dead in the Water” If Bill Passes, Freepress Online

RGGI will cut more carbon — but by how much?, E&E News

Questions for: ‘Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal’, New York Times

Renewable Energy Could be Cash Cow for RI Farms, ecoRI news

Environment Council of Rhode Island outlines legislative priorities, RI Future

Milford Schools Extend Solar Plans: Report, Patch.com

Solar & Single-Payer Bills Come to Augusta, Freepress Online

Massachusetts governor makes a push for solar and low-income access to renewables, PV-Tech

Not exactly a breeze: Offshore wind still faces challenges, SouthCoastToday.com

Ancient technology in Meriden’s Hanover Pond dam begins generating electricity, Meriden Record-Journal

Falmouth wins turbine nuisance case, Cape Cod Times

Energy Efficiency

How killing Energy Star could benefit Trump financially, Los Angeles Times

Energy industry turns to CT colleges for worker pipeline, Hartford Business

Proposed Massachusetts efficiency, clean energy programs shoot for low-income access, Utility Dive

Liberty Utilities Gives $6M to Customers for Energy Efficiency, Wins Award, Patch.com

Connecticut Green Bank promotes cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy, New Haven Register

Vt. ranked second in nation for clean energy momentum, progress, Mountaintimes

Nuclear

NRC grants safety upgrade exemption to Massachusetts’s Pilgrim nuclear plant, Daily Energy Insider

Lifeline for Nuclear Plants Is Threatening Wind and Solar Power, Bloomberg

On 3-1 vote, Georgetown selectmen back letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee cleanup partner stops work on nuclear dump, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Activists Raise Concerns Over Vermont Yankee Quick Fix, Valley Advocate

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Massachusetts carbon fee would save $2.9 billion in health costs over two decades, study finds, MassLive.com

Underwater power cable work may impact fishermen, Gloucester Daily Times

New diet for electricity, SouthCoastToday.com

ISO New England: Managing Power Grid Operations This Summer, (press release) POWER magazine

ISO-NE Study Projects Impact of $64/ton Carbon Price, RTO Insider

PUC will not reconsider Eversource deal for buying a portion of Northern Pass’s power, Union Leader

Protect Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource records, MetroWest Daily News

GMP ranked Number 10 for most energy storage installed in nation, Vermont Biz

Connecticut’s Latest Microgrid and Fuel Cell Project Goes Live in Hartford, Microgrid Knowledge

Islanders rally against Eversource proposed rate hikes, herbicide use, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Hundreds circle NH Statehouse to protest Northern Pass, NH1 News

Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050, Washington Post

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: FERC must be heard from on pipeline concerns, Berkshire Eagle

Liz Gamache: Earth Day Starts In Our Homes, Caledonian Record

FREEMAN: Against the Northern Pass line, Yale Daily News

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. The weather forecast looks great for what is for many a holiday weekend, the start of school vacation week and of course Patriots Day/Marathon Monday. However, before we kick into “off mode” let’s take a brief look at this week’s energy news.

To western Mass first where there is good news. MassLive reports that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is nearing an agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric that would bypass a bottleneck in the region’s network of gas pipelines and end a two-year-old ban on new hookups in Easthampton and Northampton. It might take some time and some new infrastructure to get it done, but once Holyoke has a new way to get gas, Holyoke Gas & Electric would have less need of capacity on the Northampton lateral, freeing up capacity for Columbia to get more gas to Northampton and Easthampton. When and if this happens, it will make many people happy.

Heading north to New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports that more than 100 people, including dozens of [Northern Pass] project opponents, converged for the leadoff hearing for the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, which will decide in July whether to issue the certificate required for the $1.6 billion project. The story concludes with a vocal critic, Jack Savage saying, “The hearing ‘was really a clash of Northern Pass’ marketing and the reality of what the project is.’” Time will tell if Mr. Savage is right, or if the “marketing” does meet the sniff test.

On the energy efficiency front, we have two stories with alerts. One story from Bloomberg notes that lobbyists are working to amend a decades old conservation law that sets minimum efficiency standards for many household and commercial appliances and bars them from being weakened. However, efficiency proponents aren’t backing down, “An average American household spends about $500 less per year on utility bills because of the efficiency gains in our every day appliances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston-based organization that organizes energy efficiency proponents to advocate for standards. “Rolling back standards or weakening the law to make it harder to improve standards in the future would lead to more energy waste and hurt consumers.”

The other efficiency story from Seven Days Vermont shows a side-by-side comparison of two boxes of LEDs. Same brand. Same watts. One has the Energy Star label the other doesn’t. They wrote, “One of the packages held four highly energy-efficient, reliable bulbs that had been certified by a third-party lab. The other held four lower-quality, uncertified bulbs. An inferior product, they’d be quicker to fail and more likely to give off the wrong shade of light.” I love Energy Star and always look for the label, but it’s easy to see how a less aware consumer might grab a box and think they’re getting the best bang for their buck when in fact they’re not. Buyer beware! And, all the more reason to keep the Energy Star program around.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving Customers in Addison County, Press Release

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. given green light to begin tree cutting in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline, MassLive.com

Renewable Energy

Europeans Get Serious About America’s Offshore Wind Potential: ‘We are here for a market’, Greentech Media

Students urged to ‘take action now’ on climate change, Cape Cod Times

Proposed Bill Would Halt University of Maine Wind Research Project, Government Technology

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

California’s solar energy set power supply record in March, ABC News

Trump Once Railed Against Offshore Wind but Is Now Embracing It, MIT Technology Review

City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts switches on second solar power plant, Electric Light & Power

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

South Mountain Company advancing Martha’s Vineyard toward energy neutrality with SunPower, Penn Energy

Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency

State of the Energy Efficiency Industry: The Utility Story, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

Your Fridge May Be Washington’s Next Regulatory-Rollback Target, Bloomberg

Beware of Imposter LED Bulbs! Look for the ENERGY STAR®, Seven Days

Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community, vtdigger.org

Nuclear

Nuclear plant owners press lawmakers in Connecticut, other states for subsidies, New Haven Register

States moving to promote clean energy through pro-nuclear policies, Daily Energy Insider

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

Interest in 1,500 acre Entergy property heats up, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?, Microgrid Knowledge

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

Residents, businesses, officials decry Eversource rate hike at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Newport, Rhode Island’s Microgrid Ambitions: Small City, Small State, Big Plans, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource executive: Northern Pass ratepayer billing ‘unlikely,’ Union Leader

Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations, Utility DIVE

Higher gas prices add to ISO-NE power costs in February, Utility DIVE

Eversource grilled over why the plan isn’t to bury all of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Kane: National Grid due for $400000 tax break if town’s tangibles rate isn’t changed, Valley Breeze

Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start, Concord Monitor

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

Mass. AG Calls For DPU To Reject Eversource Request, WAMC

AG Maura Healey set to testify in Pittsfield against Eversource rate hike proposal, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

At NH House committee hearing, jobs become focus of key energy bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine’s Health at Risk from Dirty Air Days, Bangor Daily News

Eversource proposes rate hike after reported revenue shortage, wwlp.com

Editorial/Opinion

Not So Strong After All: Climate Change Is Trump’s National Security Weakness, WBUR

Our Opinion: Eversource rate increase would be bad for business, Berkshire Eagle

William J. Eccleston: Savings overestimated for proposed Burrillville plant, Providence Journal

Help more Mainers use solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Maximizing offshore wind’s benefits for Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers, Renewable Energy World

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar