Category Archives: Natural Gas Pipelines

Energy News for week ending March 15, 2019

Skipping School | Pipeline Benefits | Push the Plunger

 

Good Friday afternoon. I hope you all got a chance to get out and enjoy the balmy temperatures today.

Hopefully the temperatures were good around the world today for the kids who skipped school to protest climate change. From the Washington Post, “It started 29 weeks ago when 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg began skipping school on Fridays to protest climate change by standing outside of her nation’s parliament building. Today, kids from almost 100 countries, including the United States, are following Thunberg’s lead and will play hooky from classes for something they think is ultimately more important: preventing the warming of their planet.” They asked the kids to tell their stories for why they are participating. Here is one from Massachusetts, “Saraphina Forman (age 16; Sophomore, Northampton High School, Northampton, Mass.): ‘I grew up in the country a little bit outside of Northampton, tapping trees for maple syrup, skating on a nearby pond, and I know that the effects of climate change are already happening…When I came across Greta Thunberg, I think she really sparked a movement around the world. I was very much inspired by her and wanted to do the same…I thought, why shouldn’t I do this? It’s the duty of everyone.’”

Speaking of Western Mass, here’s an article from the Cabinet Press with a headline I thought I’d never see, “Amherst Conservation Commission: Gas pipeline could benefit town.” It reads in part, “The natural gas pipeline through four miles of Amherst would have a limited long-term impact on the town’s ecology and could benefit the town as a whole. Those were two conclusions from the Amherst Conservation Commission’s environmental assessment of the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline companies. Among the areas covered in the commission’s 36-page report are land use, water resources, hazardous materials, geology and soils, wildlife, air quality, public health, visual resources and pipeline construction methods as they apply to Amherst’s terrain. The commission concluded that, “based on current knowledge, the installation of the natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan appears to have limited long-term impact on the natural systems temporarily impacted by the pipeline construction.”

Now here’s something that sounds like a lot of fun – from Southcoasttoday.com — “The Brayton Point cooling towers are scheduled to be imploded April 27, and tickets are available for those looking to be the lucky one to ‘push the plunger.’ All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall installation coordinated by the Greater Fall River Vietnam Wall Committee, according to a press release from the Office of Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad. ‘This is a ceremonial pushing of the plunger. The professional demolition team hired by Commercial Development Corporation, owners of the Brayton Point Commerce Center, will actually detonate the explosives simultaneously with the winner pushing the plunger,’ said Haddad, D-Somerset.” Only 1,000 tickets were printed. Each costs $20. You have until April 15th to get your hands on one. It’s sure to be a blast!

That covers for it for this week. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

‘Never Going to Let This Happen Again’: Incoming Columbia Gas President Offers Safety Assurances 6 Months After Merrimack Valley Disaster, NECN

Hearings Set to Resume for Burrillville Power Plant, ECO RI

Power plant would need 16k gallons of water a day, Johnston Sun Rise

Pinelands Commission says South Jersey Gas pipeline approval void, Press of Atlantic City

Amherst Conservation Commission: Gas pipeline could benefit town, Cabinet

Columbia Gas To Replace Heating Equipment, WGBH

Massachusetts Hired Energy Industry Execs to ‘Independently’ Review State’s Gas System, Desmog Blog

In America’s Shale Country, Nukes and Gas Are Duking It Out, Bloomberg

Ex-Transportation Czar to Oversee Utility’s Safety Efforts, NBC Boston

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The Energy 202: Kids are skipping school today — to protest climate change, Washington Post

National Grid acquiring renewables developer Geronimo Energy, Power Engineering

What if the US-Mexico border wall was an energy corridor that could pay for itself?, Renewable Energy World

Climate bills call for Maine to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels, Portland Press Herald

New York City has a plan to fight rising seas: Extend the Manhattan shoreline, Boston Globe

Overheard at NECA Renewable Energy Conference 2019, RTO Insider

Eversource is Helping Empower the Green Workforce of the Future, NA Clean Energy

Getting to 100% Clean Energy—and the Grid Operators that Stand in the Way, Union of Concerned Scientists

N.H. Town Meeting Voters Approve A Range Of Responses To Climate Change, NH Public Radio

Statewide Perspectives: Siting Renewable Energy Projects Takes Collaboration | #CleanTechnica Exclusive, CleanTechnica

 

Wind

At New London’s State Pier, wind power gives Connecticut its next economic development opportunity, Hartford Courant

Offshore wind industry could come to Gulf of Maine, Boston Globe

Residents resume fight over wind turbine, Valley Breeze (RI)

Van Scoyoc: Town “Probably” Won’t Ink Any Beach Lane Cable Deal for Offshore Wind Farm Before Full PSC Review, Sag Harbor Express

Controversial wind turbine back on town’s radar, The Valley Breeze (RI)

New Jersey report details strides state has made in meeting wind energy goals, Daily Energy Insider

Barnstable residents query Vineyard Wind, Barnstable Patriot

Concerned citizens speak out against installing wind turbines in Broome County, WBNG (NY)

 

Solar

Largest Community Solar & Storage Installation In Massachusetts Is Now Open For Business, CleanTechnica

Powerful times: Here comes the sun, Boston Globe

As US solar expands, states increasingly tackle compensation and community project complexities, Utility Dive

Solar array proposed in Oxford, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy-efficient programs to be less costly under state deal, Nashua Telegraph

New York’s Answer to Westchester Gas Ban Is Energy Efficiency, Yahoo Finance

AI can help fight climate change by optimizing energy efficiency, thenextweb.com

Energy efficiency: A clue to politically feasible climate policy, Phys.org

 

Nuclear

Nuclear industry pushing for fewer inspections at plants, AP

Feds seek public input on Pilgrim performance assessment, Patriot Ledger

$500 million Pennsylvania nuclear rescue plan triggers fierce battle from rival power producers, Philly.com

Arguments heat up as PSEG fights for state to subsidize nuclear plants, NJspotlight.com

Pennsylvania’s First Nuclear Subsidy Bill, Explained, NRDC.org

Indian Point 3 Starts Last Refueling, Maintenance, USA Patch

Dominion faces March 15 deadline to secure utility contracts for Millstone nuke, Utility Dive

NRC grants license extension to Seabrook Station, Eagle-Tribune

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Find out why electricity prices are rising, New Haven Register

Update: New Hampshire Microgrid Legislation Makes Progress, Microgrid Knowledge

Chatterjee: Transmission could be resilience docket solution, Utility Dive

Ipswich plan promotes local power, Wicked Local Ipswich

Overheard at NECA Renewable Energy Conference 2019, RTO Insider

Want to ‘push the plunger’ on Brayton Point? Get your tickets now, South Coast Today

New Hampshire Microgrid Legislation Passes Committee. Sent to House for March 14 Vote, Microgrid Knowledge

Massachusetts and California Rank High in Energy Democracy: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

Joi Scientific and New Brunswick Power to Develop World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Distributed Electricity Grid, Energy Central

Wholesale energy prices on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

ISO-NE Steady on Fuel Plan Despite NEPOOL Rebuff, RTO Insider

Final arguments delivered in CMP’s $950M hydropower transmission project, MaineBiz

Investigation of Jackman, Caratunk, Dover-Foxcroft complaints against CMP will extend through summer, Kennebec Journal

It’s time to Spotify the grid with DSO functions, Utility Dive

Eversource to Invest $41 Million in Tree Trimming Across Massachusetts, Cape Cod Today

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills gets CMP project right, Kennebec Journal

Kevin Jones: Offshore wind could remedy New England brain drain, VTDigger

Seeing into our region’s future with wind power, Lowell Sun

CMP project has no place in Maine, Kennebec Journal

Letter to the editor: Replace CMP with a public power authority, Portland Press Herald

Cautionary tales on undersea cables, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Don’t make same mistake as Falmouth, MV Times

GUEST VIEW: Lighthouse Wind: When does no mean no?, Lockport Union-Sun and Journal

Want to Stop Climate Change? Then It’s Time to Fall Back in Love With Nuclear Energy, Time Magazine

Proceed with caution on wind, MV Times

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

Energy News for week ending March 1, 2019

Map It Out | Feeling Pressure | Would you be a good neighbor

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

It’s getting late so we’ll just call your attention to a few bits of news.

First – this is a post from Visual Capitalist from late January, but we just caught wind of it today. It’s map of all the power plants in the US. You can scroll between 2007 and 2016 to see how things have changed. It’s kind of cool.

Second, there is news of more moratoriums on natural gas hookups in Massachusetts. From Jon Chesto at the Globe, “The municipal utilities that serve Holyoke and Middleborough just imposed separate moratoriums on new natural gas hookups, citing supply constraints. Is your community close behind? Probably not. The two biggest gas providers in Massachusetts, National Grid and Eversource, say their supplies are adequate for now.

To close, have you ever seen those green envelopes in your utility bills? They are for the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, which helps keep those less fortunate stay warm during the winter. The Gardner News is reporting that “The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is appealing to Massachusetts’ residents and businesses to make a donation to the Fund’s 2019 “Give the Gift of Warmth” campaign due to a heightened urgency of need brought on by bitter cold temperatures and the resulting increase in home energy consumption throughout the state…’The falling temperatures are generating an increase in the number of inquiries by individuals and families in need of energy assistance,’ said Mary Ellen Molloy, chairwoman of the 2018-2019 Good Neighbor Energy Fund campaign and regulatory relations specialist for Eversource Energy. ‘To meet their need, we appeal to the giving spirit of all our neighbors in the state and ask that you consider enclosing a donation of any amount in the green envelopes found in your utility bills or online at http://magoodneighbor.org/.’” FYI – you don’t need to live in MA to make a donation.

That’s it for this week. More snow is on the way so stay safe out there and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts gas explosions cost Columbia Gas more than $1 billion, Boston.com

Communities feeling pipeline pressure, Boston Globe

SEC Investigating Columbia Gas Parent For Pre-Disaster Filings, USA Patch

Columbia Gas parent won’t rule out rate hikes, Andover Townsman

The First Battle of the ‘Green New Deal’ Is the New York Pipeline Fight, Daily Beast

Coal power still gets NH through coldest days of the year, Union Leader

Anti-pipeline group questions HG&E moratorium decision, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts house speaker introduces plan to allocate $1B for green infrastructure, Utility Dive

America’s strongest climate governor might be a Republican, E&E News

Amesbury awaits state approval of green initiative, Newburyport Daily News

Neal backs ‘bold action’ on climate change, falls short of endorsing ‘Green New Deal,’ MassLive

US keeps air pollution standard established under Obama, AP

When environmentalists busted up dams, coal moved in, Grist.com

Paul Mercer Appointed To Head New England EPA Office, WGBH

New York moves to phase out older peaking plants as it targets 100% clean energy, Utility Dive

Baker proposes controversial change in how Mass. spends money on global warming, Boston Globe

6 Clean Energy Milestones to Watch For, Union of Concerned Scientists

Community forum to provide update on Brayton Point, Herald News

Climate change is depleting our essential fisheries, National Geographic

Vermont Farmers Learn to Adapt to a Changing Climate, Seven Days

Will Massachusetts and Other Northeastern States Move to Aggressively Price Carbon Emissions?, National Law Review

Mills sets renewable energy goals in climate change speech, Portland Press Herald

Very high carbon dioxide could suppress cooling clouds, climate change model warns, New York Times

 

Wind

Cranston won’t sue Johnston over wind farm, Turn to 10

Rhode Island fishermen accept Vineyard Wind mitigation, South Coast Today

$2B offshore wind farm gets R.I. approval, Providence Journal

Nantucket fishermen raise concerns about wind farm, Cape cod Times

Offshore wind flexes 69GW potential to 2027, reNews

 

Solar

27 MW of distributed solar to be installed in New York and Rhode Island, Renewable Energy World

Burlington solar company nets $1 million investment, VTDigger

Solar energy incentives bill moves forward, Portland Press Herald

Tremont solar project latest in CEI, Nature Conservancy funding collaboration, Mainebiz

Solar farms growing along the countryside, WTNH

Solar facility expanding into Franklin, The Bulletin

Homeowners rush to install solar, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

17-acre solar farm in Northampton seeks Planning Board approval, MassLive

Clean energy groups support solar policy reforms in New York State, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Eversource wants to remotely lower users air conditioners, Valley News

PPL Expanding Energy Efficiency Programs with EFI’s Award Winning Utility Marketplace and Instant Rebate, Business Journals

Massachusetts speaker proposes $1B for energy efficiency grants, Journal-Record

The Energy Burden: How Bad is it and How to Make it Less Bad., Union of Concerned Scientists

How the US Became the Most Varied and Groundbreaking Energy Storage Market, Greentech Media

Investors in the energy-storage company Tesla is trying to buy for $218 million are suing to block the sale, Business Insider

New York utilities, NYISO to collaborate on allowing storage in state’s wholesale and retail markets, Utility Dive

FERC allows storage to access New England real-time energy markets, Utility Dive

Designing Liberty Utilities’ New Hampshire residential storage program, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

CT taxpayers on hook for another round of nuke payouts, New Haven Register

Entergy Works On Selling Indian Point After It Shuts Down, WAMC

The Energy 202: Should nuclear plants get a bailout in the name of climate change? Pennsylvania debates, Washington Post

Read a draft of Pennsylvania’s nuclear bailout bill, State Impact PA

U.S. still has no place for spent nuclear fuel, so Maine Yankee’s owner gets millions, Portland Press Herald

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Regulators fine energy business $1.5 million as state lawmakers debate industry regulations, Hartford Courant

NEPPA CALLS FOR SPECIAL COMMISSION TO ADDRESS FUTURE ELECTRICITY NEEDS, Utility Dive

Who paid for ad critical of Mills’ support for CMP power line? No one’s saying., Portland Press Herald

Central Maine Power, opponent address proposed transmission line, Portland Press Heralds

Maine PUC wants to cut CMP’s allowable profit, WGME

Brayton Point towers to be imploded April 27, Herald News

The state’s ban on food waste lacks teeth, critics say, Boston Globe

Mapped: Every Power Plant in the United States, Visual Capitalist

National Grid expands customer engagement platform to 2 million customers, Electric Light and Power

 

Editorial/Opinion

Three takes on natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

EDITORIAL: There’s plentiful gas on our doorstep. Let’s use it, Lowell Sun

Letter: Weather vs Green New Deal, New Hampshire Union Leader

Editorial: Hopes for hydro from Canada, Providence Journal

Put RGGI funds into energy efficiency, by Chris Balch, Keene Sentinel

EDITORIAL: Bay State takes rising seas seriously, Daily News of Newburyport

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

Energy News for week ending January 25, 2019

Global Warming Movie | Blowin’ In the Wind | Centaur-Like Robot

Happy Friday afternoon. I’m sure glad to hear that the partial government shutdown is presumably over, well at least for a few weeks. It’s good to know the government workers will be made whole too.

It’s late and it’s been a busy week so we’ll highlight a few videos.

This story from “Berkeley Earth” Global Temperature Report for 2018 includes an animation showing the evolution of temperatures since 1850 across the globe.

Taste of Country brings us Budweiser’s New Super Bowl Commercial that Celebrates Wind Power.

And from Futurism.com we have “Responding to a nuclear disaster is no job for humans. Even while wearing protective suits, our bodies can’t handle the radiation. It could be a job for robots, though. Researchers in the U.K. are developing a centaur-like robot designed to work in settings too dangerous for humans to navigate — and it could one day play a major role in disaster response efforts including nuclear catastrophes.” Uh…let’s hope this robot never has to get off the shelf. But check out the video that shows the cool things this creature can do.

Have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Offshore drilling ban sought for state waters, Salem News

Weymouth compressor station foe restarts sit-ins at governor’s office, Patriot Ledger

Region’s power generators using more oil, coal, CommonWealth Magazine

Oceans Are Getting Louder, Posing Potential Threats to Marine Life, New York Times

White House eyes energy push as Russia strategy, Politico

Connecticut trade group calls for an immediate halt to natural gas expansion, The Advocate

Killingly power plant returns to CT Siting Council, Hartford Business Journal

U.S. natgas pipeline flows reversed after Enbridge TETCO Ohio pipe blast, Reuters

Weymouth waits for DEP ruling on appeal of Spectra’s wetlands permit, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

 

RI

Gas outages hit 10K in Rhode Island after issue on Algonquin pipeline, Utility Dive

Pipeline operator Enbridge admits ‘equipment malfunction’ was factor in Newport gas outage, MSN

Spike in demand triggered natural-gas crisis? Not likely, experts say, Providence Journal

Gas outage cause tracked back to Mass., Herald News

Rhode Island natural gas outage linked to Weymouth, Patriot Ledger

National Grid must get remaining homes offline before restoring gas service, WPRI 12

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas will pay for extra Lawrence firefighters, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas Says Pipeline Replacement Is Complete, CBS Boston/WBZ

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Is the Public Willing to Pay to Help Fix Climate Change?, AP

The Unprecedented Surge in Fear About Climate Change, Science

Greenland’s Melting Ice Nears a ‘Tipping Point,’ Scientists Say, New York Times

Global Temperature Report for 2018, Berkeley Earth

Baker wants tax hike as communities grapple with climate change, Lowell Sun

Northeast states target transportation emissions, Portland Press Herald

‘Ecstatic chaos’ for renewable energy bills in Maine, Seacoastonline.com

New biomass plant will increase Dartmouth’s sustainability, Biomass Magazine

Massachusetts carbon tax ‘would save 340 lives’, Physics World

 

Wind

Massachusetts wind-power project to move forward despite shutdown, Reuters

‘Green energy blues’ in a town that sought to do something about climate change, Boston Globe

New Hampshire Enters the Offshore Wind Race, Greentech Media

No word on extension for input on wind farm south of Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod Times

The Energy 202: ‘Year from hell’ means more Americans are taking climate change personally, new polling shows, Washington Post

Vineyard Wind offers concessions to fishermen, environmentalists, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind, Conservation Groups Reach Historic Agreement to Protect Right Whales, NRDC.org

Budweiser’s New Super Bowl Commercial Celebrates Wind Power [Watch], Taste of Country

Wind farm expansion to power local homes, Telegram

Offshore Wind: Four Ways You Can Help, Union of Concerned Scientists

 

Solar

A new lease on life for Holyoke, Massachusetts’ former coal-fired power plant, Utility Dive

New Jersey advances first community solar pilot to power 45K homes, Utility Dive

Major Solar Array Could Soon Sprout At Concord Produce Farm, New Hampshire Public Radio

Town moves to block Candlewood Mountain solar project, New Haven Register

Cranston’s half-dozen solar projects spark heated debate, Providence Journal

Solar-panel plan for Blaine House sends a message, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mass Save Earns National Recognition for Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, North American Clean Energy

New Hampshire Approves Groundbreaking Home Battery Pilot to Fight System Peaks, Greentech Media

Comparing Grid Operators’ Energy Storage Market Proposals, Law360

Eversource gets award from energy efficiency group, New Britain Herald

 

Nuclear

NRC: Pilgrim has addressed deficiencies, Cape Cod Times

Seabrook Station nuclear plant license extension delayed, Seacoast Online

Lawmakers oppose NRC’s plan to extend Seabrook license by Jan. 30, Gloucester Times

Legislators seek clarification on Pilgrim decommissioning, Cape Cod Times

A notable milestone: The sale of Vermont Yankee isn’t the end of the story, but it’s significant, Keene Sentinel

State of Energy: Indian Point impact looms, Poughkeepsie Journal

Nuclear Power Regulators Scale Back Draft Safety Rule, Wall St. Journal

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England Tries A New Way To Help The Grid Survive Winter, WBUR

State fines National Grid for storm response, Boston Globe

What Utilities Can Do to Strengthen the Grid, Wall St. Journal

New US power capacity in 2019 will come from renewables, natural gas – EIA, Renewables Now

Energy leaders urge new governor to focus on transportation, Island Institute

State: National Grid mishandled South Shore windstorm, Patriot Ledger

Ruling: CT utility ratepayers will see tax-cut savings, Hartford Business Journal

Maine regulators consider extending window for CMP bill disputes, Portland Press Herald

Farmington selectmen hear opposition to New England Clean Energy Connect project, Kennebec Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Ben Downing: Tackling Climate Change, WAMC

Op-Ed: The power of energy aggregation means benefits for Connecticut municipalities, Connecticut Post

Maine Voices: Join the effort to support renewable energy development, Portland Press Herald

Letter to the editor: CMP doesn’t want you to pull back the curtain, Portland Press Herald

OPINION: Mothers want a net zero high school for Waltham, WickedLocal Waltham

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

NE Energy News for week ending January 4, 2019

Monitoring | Sun shines in Holyoke | What if…

Happy Friday everyone. We hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Now let’s get back to it.

This week we start with a gas story. From the Eagle Tribune, “Natural gas companies would be required to have experienced technicians on job sites to monitor gas pressure in the lines during work, under a proposal filed Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, filed the proposal in response to the gas fires and explosions that ripped through the Merrimack Valley four months ago. ‘We need to make sure that monitoring is taking place on every site where it’s warranted,’ Tarr said. ‘It’s a matter of protecting public safety and the reliability of the gas system.’ He said the proposal, if approved, would require the state Department of Public Utilities to come up with regulations to require monitors on job sites.”

Holyoke finds itself at the center of an “activists do good” story in Fast Company. “For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Later this year, as the coal plant’s smokestacks come down, the rest of the site will be developed for new industry. It’s a transition that was driven by the economic collapse of coal and accelerated by local activists who were concerned about the area’s high asthma rates, twice as high as the rest of the state.”

The last story we’re highlighting for this week comes from CommonWealth Magazine and features a “What if” scenario relative to offshore wind. “Last year at this time, New England was gripped by a blast of unusually cold weather that went on for 16 days. The prolonged low temperatures increased demand for natural gas for both heating and electricity, which with the region’s pipeline constraints led to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices and forced power generators to burn more oil in the brief period than they had in the previous two years combined. Now the operator of the region’s power grid, at the request of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, has engaged in a bit of “what if” analysis. What if a wind farm had been operating off the coast last winter? The analysis indicates a working wind farm last winter would have reduced the region’s carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity prices, but not enough to eliminate the impact of the region’s pipeline constraints.”

See below for a lot more articles and opinion pieces. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gov. Charlie Baker signs law requiring greater engineering oversight of natural gas work, MassLive

Tarr proposal would require monitors on gas projects, Eagle Tribune

New England Pipeline Upgrade Opponents Fail At DC Circ., Law360

Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast, Wall St. Journal (paywall)

Pipeline Incident Statistics Reveal Significant Dangers, NRDC.org

With Hogan ‘no’ vote, Maryland board rejects Columbia Gas pipeline expansion, Utility Dive

 

Lockout

National Grid workers say holding firm on contract demands ‘the right thing,’ Boston Globe

As National Grid Reaches Tentative Deal, Real Estate Group Warns Backlog Could Be 2 Years, WBUR

Developers cheer eased gas moratorium, impending National Grid lockout end, BBJ (paywall)

National Grid, union reach tentative agreement to end lockout, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Lawrence fire chief wants Columbia Gas to pay for extra firefighters in new year, Eagle Tribune

Andover Fire Chief: Call 911 For Gas Leaks, USA Patch

Columbia Gas customers have sticker shock at first bills since explosions in Massachusetts, WGME

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Emissions from New England power plants fall again, MassLive

Clean energy industry increases in Massachusetts, The Reminder

Bill seeks $50 million to address sea level change in Maine, Portland Press Herald

Conn. joins multi-state pact to tax auto emissions, Connecticut Post

Massachusetts activists and legislators call for action in environmental policy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

State starts from zero with clean peak energy standard, WBJournal

Westborough and Northborough Named Green Communities, USA Patch

Conn. Zero-Carbon Awards Include Nuclear, Offshore Wind, Solar, RTO Insider

 

Wind

What if an offshore wind farm was up and running last winter?, CommonWealth Magazine

PPA for 200-MW Offshore Wind Farm Approved by Connecticut Regulators, Renewable Energy World

With Vineyard Wind, the U.S. Finally Goes Big on Offshore Wind Power, IEEE Spectrum

3 firms eye building wind energy turbines off New Jersey, Houston Chronicle

 

Solar

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities releases straw proposal for transition to new solar program, Daily Energy Insider

US on cusp of unprecedented solar boom, pv magazine international

Solar farms and bridgework lead news in 2018, Breeze Publications

Solar farm on town warrant, Cabinet

Brunswick families ask state’s top court to overturn solar panel tax, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vassalboro to convert streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs, Kennebec Journal

New York energy storage sector expected to create 27,400 jobs by 2030, Business Journals

 

EVs

Massachusetts Extends Electric Vehicle Rebate Program, Electriccarsreport.com

 

Nuclear

Connecticut taps nuclear plants to generate clean energy, AP

Trump’s Tech Battle With China Roils Bill Gates Nuclear Venture, Wall St. Journal

Nuke on a truck: How Westinghouse is shrinking the nuclear power plant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nuclear Industry Still A Power Player, But Solar And Offshore Wind Energy Grow, WNPR

Regulators file complaint against maker of nuclear fuel cask at Vermont Yankee, The Post-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Town anticipates $3.5 million power plant payment, Wicked Local Sandwich

NY State Public Service Commission launches pilot program to reduce energy costs, Daily Energy Insider
US energy expenditures lowest in nearly 50 years in 2016, Daily Energy Insider

A power company mishap turns New York’s skyline blue, CNN

Electricity Use Was Up Last Year, But Why?, Bloomberg

Three Big Energy Ideas to Watch in 2019, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource continues to oppose sale of Connecticut Water to Calif. company, Journal Inquirer

ISO-NE Pulls off Fuel Security, CASPR Measures, RTO Insider

New York Looks to Expand Energy Programs in 2019, RTO Insider

CMP says Jackman outages are higher, but not as bad as residents are saying, Portland Press Herald

 

 

Editorial/Opinion

To combat climate change, Massachusetts needs to break these habits — and soon, Boston Globe

Developing Widett Circle is short-sighted, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal electricity aggregation really works, CommonWealth Magazine

Unexpected fall of Northern Pass, Concord Monitor via Energy Central

Viewpoint: New energy infrastructure must be a priority, Boston Business Journal

Whitcomb: They’re Leaving but It’s Still Crowded; NEPOOL; End of Zoning? Crowded Block, GoLocalProv

How gas demand from Boston changed a faraway island, Boston Globe

Editorial: Industry must be part of transit carbon cap policy, Boston Business Journal

Columnist Marty Nathan: ‘Pollute or convert.’ It’s time for green energy., Daily Hampshire Gazette

Editorial: Nuclear regulatory diligence is appreciated, Daily Hampshire Gazette

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

Energy News for week ending December 21, 2018

Rising Waters | Winter Wallop | Plea for LNG

Happy soggy Friday afternoon.

Here are a few stories you may have missed this week.

For those of you who enjoy taking Amtrak to destinations between Boston and DC – take note. Bloomberg Businessweek reports, Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. “By the middle of this century, climate change is likely to punch a hole through the busiest stretch of rail in North America. Parts of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor route, which carries 12 million people each year between Boston and Washington, face ‘continual inundation.’ Flooding, rising seas, and storm surge threaten to erode the track bed and knock out the signals that direct train traffic. The poles that provide electricity for trains are at risk of collapse, even as power substations succumb to floodwaters. ‘f one of the segments of track shuts down, it will shut down this segment of the NEC,’ warned members of Amtrak’s planning staff. ‘There is not an alternate route that can be used as a detour.’

If that long-term forecast doesn’t worry you, how about this short term one? The Washington Post had a story this week, Polar vortex could unleash winter wallop by January. “Winter got off to a fast start in the Lower 48 even before it was technically winter. Waves of cold gripped the eastern two-thirds of the United States and several winter storms tracked across the region. Conditions have since eased some, but the heart of winter lies ahead. Will cold and snowy conditions return and turn more harsh? The polar vortex, the roaring river of air winding around the North Pole, holds the cards. What they reveal could be very disturbing and a harbinger of extreme winter weather in the Eastern United States.”

Cold snaps often create natural gas supply issues. So what’s a region to do? The Sentinel and Enterprise reports, ‘Disaster’ has Gov. seeking LNG changes. “As cold weather and higher electricity prices start to encroach, Massachusetts energy officials want to lobby the federal government to ease restrictions on shipments of liquified (sic) natural gas into New England in hopes of controlling costs and improving reliability in the energy grid…So the Baker administration, with the support of the rest of the New England governors, is planning to try ‘working with federal officials to explore modifying the Jones Act to facilitate shipping of LNG from domestic sources,’ Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson said last week. The Jones Act has been suspended or amended before, often in the wake of a natural disaster when the government wants to maximize the number of ships that can help deliver relief aid. EEA said such a waiver or exemption ‘could be done permanently or semipermanently to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of LNG to Massachusetts consumers.’”

There are a lot of news stories below. We’ll be off next Friday for the holidays but will be back in your inboxes on January 4th. In the meantime, thank you for letting us be a part of your energy world each week and we wish you all a wonderful holiday week and a happy and healthy 2019.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

‘Disaster’ has Gov. seeking LNG changes, Sentinel and Enterprise

After change of heart, Eversource will fund repairs to Framingham couple’s home, MetroWest Daily News

Gateway Gas Pipeline Expansion Connecting to Utilities in Northeast, Power Engineering

Natural gas industry burns for more pipeline capacity in Mass., Boston Globe

Rising LNG demand to exert more pull on U.S. natgas prices, Reuters

Watchdog Finds ‘Significant’ Weakness in U.S. Pipeline Security, Bloomberg

Natural gas utility to fund ‘alternative heating’ in Western Massachusetts, MassLive

State joins suit to block offshore drilling, Salem News

East Braintree resident raises concerns about Calpine generators, Weymouth.WickedLocal.com

CT regulator wraps pipeline review, finds utilities acting properly, Hartford Business Journal

Despite moratorium’s end, new National Grid gas hookups will not begin immediately, MassLive

 

Merrimac Valley

Gas recovery will extend into fall 2019, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts senators press Columbia Gas on whistleblower’s warning, Boston Herald

Lawsuit filed against Columbia Gas, Boston Herald

Day care owner joins those suing Columbia Gas, Salem News

Recovery Will Finish More Than A Year After Gas Explosions, Patch.com

Sen. Markey Promises Hearings After Columbia Gas Whistleblower’s Warnings, NECN

Columbia Gas says it will meet DPU deadline, Eagle-Tribune

Massachusetts DPU puts Columbia Gas under engineering firm’s oversight, Boston Herald

Foundation Set To Release Third Stipend To Gas Explosion Victims, USA Patch

More Aid For Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Victims, USA Patch

 

Lockout

Massachusetts Senate passes bill to extend unemployment benefits to locked-out National Grid gas workers, MassLive

With differing bills for locked-out workers, House calls for Baker’s suggestions, Boston Globe

House, Senate at odds on Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Oops: DeLeo says Grid bill drafted incorrectly, CommonWealth Magazine

Baker backs more worker benefits if Grid lockout doesn’t end soon, CommonWealth Magazine

Senate readying bill to extend benefits for locked-out National Grid workers, Boston Globe

Decision on National Grid unlikely to help Quincy projects, Patriot Ledger

Moratorium on National Grid gas hookups lifted, Boston Globe

Montigny presses Spilka to act on lockout bill, South Coast Today

Locked-out workers blast DPU lift of National Grid moratorium, Boston Herald

Massachusetts imposes gas safety protocols on National Grid following over pressurization incident, Utility Dive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, Bloomberg Business

From climate change to congestion, Massachusetts has a new transportation plan, MassLive

Polar vortex could unleash winter wallop by January, Washington Post

New Jersey regulators issue rules to rejoin RGGI carbon trading system, Utility Dive

New York Gov. Cuomo pledges 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, Utility Dive

New York Power Authority to invest $250M in electric grid for better access to renewables, Daily Energy Insider

DC passes ‘most ambitious’ mandate for 100% renewables by 2032, Utility Dive

Energy transitions are usually slow. Here’s why the clean energy transition might be faster., Vox.com

Report: Massachusetts clean energy sector added 1,500 jobs in 2017, MassLive

Cap-and-Trade for Cars Is Coming to the Northeast, Scientific American

In landmark agreement, Mass., eight other states vow to cut transportation emissions, Boston Globe

Conn. Looks To Mix Of Strategies To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions, WSHU News

Rhode Island Renewable Energy Becomes Part Of The Everyday Landscape, CleanTechnica

 

Wind

A 21,000% Gain Shows Sky-High Value of Offshore Wind Leases, Bloomberg

Offshore Wind Auction For 390,000 Acres South Of Mass. Blows Through Sale Record, WBUR

Vineyard Wind Lands Second Offshore Lease, Vineyard Gazette

New Jersey regulators hand third rejection to Atlantic City offshore wind pilot, Utility Dive

Avangrid Renewables expands offshore wind portfolio after auction win, Windpower Engineering & Development

CT wind, fuel cell projects win long-term contracts, Hartford Business Journal

Shell Places 1.6 Gigawatt Bet On US Offshore Wind Energy, CleanTechnica

Association to Preserve Cape Cod Formally Endorses Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod

 

Solar

New Jersey moves to end solar RECs, take next steps toward 100% renewables, Utility Dive

Portland’s newest and largest solar array moves city toward its renewable-energy goal, Press Herald

Solar Wolf Energy Expands Footprint in Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

LIPA OKs consumer-protection measures for solar customers, Newsday.com

New England Talks Solar, Storage and Public Policy, RTO Insider

ReVision Energy launches fund to help nonprofits tap solar energy, Mainebiz

Environmental group worries proposed solar farm could destroy Milford’s ecological gem, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State PSC approves increases in energy efficiency, energy storage targets, Daily Energy Insider

MIT researchers make strides on location-independent, large-scale energy storage, Daily Energy Insider

NYPA board approves $600M credit line for efficiency projects as utility targets double, Utility Dive

NY’s energy storage target: It’s the journey, not the destination, stakeholders say, Utility Dive

Waltham Considers Hiring Full-Time Sustainability Manager, USA Patch

Design Building awarded LEED Gold certification, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

 

Nuclear

Indian Point closure will put power supply in flux, Times Herald-Record

Accelerated retirement of U.S. coal, nuke plants has potential risks –NERC, Reuters

PSEG first to file for subsidies to keep its nuclear plants online, NJ Spotlight

Nuclear Advisory Group Endorses Seabrook’s Plan To Monitor Concrete Cracks, NHPR

Seabrook Station: Study: Plant can operate, Newburyport Daily News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource balks at state law ordering it to buy wood power, New Hampshire Union Leader

Consumer Energy Alliance Report Finds Higher Household Heating Costs Threaten Northeast Consumers, Boston Business Journal

Capacity pricing changes: How each power market plans to account for resource adequacy, Utility Dive

Wallingford not affected by utilities’ rate hikes, Record-Journal

Connecticut regulator weighs ‘amnesty’ for alternative electric suppliers, The Hour

Meriden To Recoup $3.4 Million From Eversource, USA Patch

Audit of CMP billing errors reveals lapses in training, testing, Portland Press Herald

FERC approves cost recovery for Exelon’s Mystic gas plant, Utility Dive

Zoning board approves generators at Fore River power plant, Patriot Ledger

Camden, N.J. Looks to Innovative Bonds to Expand Microgrid Project, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Has the Mass. solar gamble paid off?, CommonWealth Magazine

New Congress will bring a green wave on climate change, Boston Globe

In Quebec, clean energy goes to waste. Let’s use it., Boston Globe

Governor Baker, it’s time to hold gas utilities accountable, Boston Globe

Ocean plot auctions reap windfall for future, Boston Herald

The state’s social contract with utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

Clarity coming to NJ’s aggressive clean energy plan and its costs, Press of Atlantic City

Column: Justice for the Merrimack Valley starts with real accountability, Eagle-Tribune

Record-Smashing Auction Sets America on Course for Offshore Wind, Union of Concerned Scientists

Letter to the editor: Why are Massachusetts power needs prioritized over Maine’s?, Portland Press Herald

Lights out for Eversource (Letters), MassLive

Letter to the editor: Shame on National Grid, Sun Chronicle

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

Energy News for week ending November 16, 2019

Multiple Breakdowns | Panicky Trading | Key Errors | Floatovoltaics

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week’s energy news is loaded with stories. Here are a few highlights:

 

One of many stories coming out of the Merrimack Valley incident this week is an NTSB report urging new safety measures. From USA Today, “Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not use a professional engineer to draw up plans to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the Merrimack Valley in September — a factor, federal authorities say, that could have contributed to the explosions that killed one person and injured at least 21 others. That’s one conclusion from an urgent safety report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday. Massachusetts, like many states, exempts utility companies from state licensing laws for engineers. The NTSB now recommends that Massachusetts end the practice.”

 

Sticking with gas for a minute, in some not-so-good news for a region that relies heavily on natural gas for heating and electricity generation, from CNBC.com, “Natural gas prices surged to a more than four-year high in panicky and volatile trading Wednesday, after the latest cold weather forecasts raised fears that the U.S. is heading for a potentially colder-than-expected winter with too little gas supply…Prices also rose across futures contracts that that would cover the winter months through March, indicating that prices could be pressured all winter by dwindling supply, which is at a 15-year low for this time of year.”

 

In a bit of an Emily Litella moment (from SNL of years past) and perhaps some good news, the Washington Post reports, “Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are…As a result, the findings suffer from too much doubt to definitively support the paper’s conclusion about how much heat the oceans have absorbed over time.” Their earlier results, if you recall, suggested there is less time than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Last story for this week is an unusual request for an energy project in Central Mass. From Telegram.com, “A Millbury-based solar energy company has floated the idea of covering 24,000 surface acres of Quabbin Reservoir with a floating photovoltaic solar array capable of producing 1 megawatt of power. In his letter, Mr. Strzelecki said he is exploring any interest in developing a floating solar farm at Quabbin, describing floating solar arrays as ‘the future of renewable energy.’…The letter states that such an array, covering 24,000 of the reservoir’s 25,000 acres, would ‘put the Quabbin back in the energy-producing business since the Winsor Dam was put out of commission nearly 30 years ago.’ Mr. Strzelecki’s letter pointed out that “floatovoltaics” benefit from the cooling effect of water as well as being shade-free. Mr. Clark said he discussed the letter with John Scannell, director of the Division of Water Supply Protection, who was dismissive of the idea.”

 

Enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re taking next Friday off for the holiday.

 

Merrimack Valley

Multiple breakdowns led to natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, NTSB says, USA Today

As Merrimack Valley Appliances Are Replaced, Some Residents Want More Energy Efficiency, WGBH

Officials talk safety in anticipation of colder temps, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts lawmakers ask President Donald Trump to declare disaster in Merrimack Valley after gas explosions, MassLive

Lawmakers to hold oversight hearings on gas explosions, Eagle-Tribune

Lawsuits In Gas Disaster Could Face Hurdle In Obscure State Protections For Utilities, WGBH

For Returning Gas Explosion Victims, Home Isn’t Always Sweet, USA Patch

After AG’s Guidance, Confusion Lingers For Landlords, Tenants, Patch.com

 

Lockout

Political leaders under pressure to fix gas crisis as developers panic, Boston Business Journal (pay wall)

Worcester Rep. O’Day files bill to force National Grid to continue health insurance for locked out workers, Telegram

Gas hookup moratorium putting chill on housing, real estate, Lowell Sun

Plans for gas oversight hearings, lockout bill taking shape, Sentinel and Enterprise

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas jumps to 4-year high in panicky trading as snow, cold push across US, CNBC

Charlton residents hear details of proposed $100M LNG plant, Worcester Telegram

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, CBS News

No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts, E&E News

Climate activists get involved in Agawam pipeline debate, MassLive

Hingham mulls applying for ‘intervenor status’ on Weymouth compressor station, Hingham.wickedlocal.com

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, The Valley Breeze

Potential for wetlands disturbance draws ire from opponents of Williams Transco compressor station, Central Jersey

Environmentalists call on Murphy to halt fossil fuel projects, NJTV

Oxford power plant is commissioned, Connecticut Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

What Will Maine’s Clean Energy Future Look Like Under New Leadership?, Maine Public

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming, Washington Post

Environmental groups hope Democrat gains will spur climate action, VTDigger

Green jobs growing across Central Mass., Telegram

ReEnergy shuts down Fort Fairfield biomass plant, Mainebiz

Ratepayer group asks FERC to nullify state’s biomass subsidy law, New Hampshire Union Leader

Storm Surge brings professor to discuss climate change, Daily News of Newburyport

Confronting Climate Change, Fishermen Collect Data on Changing Oceans, Cape and Islands NPR

 

Wind

7 big turbines rise in Johnston — biggest onshore wind farm in R.I. | video, Providence Journal

Agencies earn right to challenge wind farm studies, National Wind Watch

Motion To Intervene On Turbine Appeal Denied, Falmouth Enterprise

Arkwright hears complaints about turbine sounds, The Observer Today

Former Massachusetts Coal Plant Transitioning To Offshore Wind Support Center, North American Windpower

National Offshore Wind Consortium Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind Industry, NYSERDA

New Jersey in Right Place to Reap Benefits of Emerging Offshore-Wind Sector, NJ Spotlight

Providence zoning board to consider 3 new 364-ft. turbines at waterfront, Providence Business News

BOEM releases potential lease plots for NY offshore wind, South Coast Today

 

Solar

State throws cold water on idea of floating solar array on Quabbin Reservoir, Telegram.com

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

Cabot Corporation and SunPower Announce Helix® Solar-Plus-Storage Agreement, MarketWatch

Three Solar Projects Completed For Town Of Ashland, Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Falmouth town meeting rejects moratorium on solar permits, Cape Cod Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Barrier to Energy Storage in New York?, Microgrid Knowledge

The Forecast on Energy-Efficient Cooling Just Got a Bit Sunnier, PBS

 

EVs

School Districts Rolling Out Electric Buses as Economics Improve: ‘It’s Time to Switch,’ Greentech Media

Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other EV interests press Congress to continue federal tax credit, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Holtec Files Request to Acquire Pilgrim Nuclear Plant by End of 2019, Cape Cod Today

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Report: New England’s Nuclear Plants Will Be Key To Fighting Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Cost of US nuclear generation at ten-year low, World Nuclear News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules Protecting N.H. Residents From Winter Utility Disconnection Kick In Today, Valley News

Maine DEP tells CMP its application for 145-mile power line is incomplete, Sun Journal

CT electric generation rates on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid brass declines invite to discuss gas concerns in Leominster, Sentinel & Enterprise

Visual impact of Seacoast power project to be presented, Seacoastonline.com

Governors push fed on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

Lessons From FERC Staff Reversal In Footprint Power, Law360

Can the Electricity Industry Seize Its Resilience Moment?, Greentech Media

New England Talks Energy Security, Public Policy, RTO Insider

Cannabis Growers Eye Microgrids to Cut Energy Bills, Greentech Media

FERC chair warns of retroactive ratemaking in ISO-NE order, S&P Global Platts

To scare crows in North Adams, National Grid is bringing in a propane cannon that shoots sound, MassLive

NE governors push feds on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

LIPA seeks 2.4% hike in customer delivery charge, Newsday

Utility smart meter installations worry Rockland and Westchester homeowners on privacy, LoHud.com

The Hail Mary plan to restart a hacked us electric grid, Wired

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Baker, Walsh must step in on National Grid talks, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

To fight climate change, environmentalists say yes to nuclear power, Boston Globe

Nuclear waste dilemma, The Day

Maine Voices: Start listening, folks: All-out effort needed to prevent climate disaster, Portland Press Herald

For a safe, secure new U.S. energy grid, Lowell Sun

George Smith: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy, Kennebec Journal

GUEST OPINION: Energy Advisory Committee, past and future, Daily News of Newburyport

Ørsted, Deepwater Wind: Are Offshore Wind Mergers Good for us?, Union of Concerned Scientists

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending November 9, 2018

Write off | LNG in Central MA | A gas leak every mile | About Face

Happy Friday afternoon. Be careful heading home or out this evening. We have a flash flood watch from 5:00 PM today until 3:00 PM Saturday for many parts of New England.

We start this week with three natural gas stories. First, from Jon Chesto at the Boston Globe, Eversource writes off its investment in Access Northeast because of Columbia Gas disaster, “When fires and explosions rocked Lawrence-area homes and businesses in September, the Columbia Gas incident was bound to hurt the already-tenuous political stature of the natural gas industry around here. Now, Eversource Energy is paying a price for the damage to the industry’s reputation: $32.9 million. That’s the pretax value of Eversource’s 40 percent stake in the proposed Access Northeast pipeline expansion project. Eversource just wrote off the full amount. The company hasn’t officially given up on Access Northeast. But the utility’s accountants have decided, at least for now, that its share in the project is worthless. The reason? Eversource blamed the Merrimack Valley gas disaster, in a document filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, even though the incident didn’t take place in Eversource’s gas service territory.”

While Eversource may have temporarily given up on Access Northeast, the Merrimack Valley disaster is not stopping Liberty Energy Trust of Pennsylvania from proposing a $100M LNG plant in Charlton, MA. From the Worcester Telegram, “On the fiercest of cold days this winter, thousands of Massachusetts residents will rely on the liquid form of natural gas for heat, and they likely won’t care where it comes from or how it gets to them, as long as it keeps their homes warm. Behind the scenes, though, utility companies take note every time a gigantic tanker ship carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) docks at the Distrigas terminal in Everett. The imported LNG, arriving from places like Trinidad and Russia, helps offset their natural gas supplies, but, with no power over the domestic and international markets, they worry about relying solely on overseas fuel. To assure reliability, the companies say, the state must find ways to create its own sources for LNG. Charlton could emerge as an option…Liberty Energy Trust has proposed construction of a more than $100-million LNG plant — operating under the name Northeast Energy Center LLC — on roughly 25 acres of a 220-acre wooded site at 249 Sturbridge Road (Route 20).”

USA Today brings us our third natural gas story, A gas leak every mile: Google Street View cars find problems that utilities don’t “In older American cities like New York and Boston, there can be as many gas leaks as there are miles of road. How do we know? Because Google drove those city streets – and mapped every leak. In some communities, those funny-looking Google Street View cars driving around taking pictures of houses and storefronts are also sniffing for natural gas – part of an effort to detect and fix leaks before they become bigger problems.”

Last for this week is a blog post from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which this week, basically did a 180 on their view of nuclear power. “Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a sobering report. Based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence, the report warns that we are rapidly losing any appreciable chance of meeting the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report also makes clear that if we fail to meet this goal, the consequences will not only be severe, but they will be experienced sooner than expected…These sobering realities dictate that we keep an open mind about all of the tools in the emissions reduction toolbox—even ones that are not our personal favorites. And that includes existing nuclear power plants in the United States, which currently supply about 20 percent of our total electricity needs and more than half of our low-carbon electricity supply…Factoring all of these considerations in, our new report calls for proactive policy to preserve nuclear power from existing plants that are operating safely but are at risk of premature closures for economic reasons or to ensure that lost nuclear capacity is replaced with carbon-free sources.”

That’s it for this week’s recap. Have a great weekend and please be sure to take a moment to give thanks to our veterans.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Eversource writes off its investment in Access Northeast because of Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

States raise Exelon market power concerns over Mystic cost recovery proposal at FERC, Utility Dive

Fossil fuel money crushed clean energy ballot initiatives across the country, Vox

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, Valley Breeze

$100M LNG plant proposed on Route 20 in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

A gas leak every mile: Google Street View cars find problems that utilities don’t, USA Today

US and British steelworkers’ union call on National Grid to end the lockout in Massachusetts, Morning Star

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas Pledges To Promote Energy Efficiency In Affected Merrimack Valley Homes, WBUR

Baker, Rivera warn ‘frustration’ will continue, Eagle Tribune

20,000 Thanksgiving meals planned for gas-deprived residents, Eagle Tribune

Drinking with the Merrimack Valley recovery workers who live on an old cruise ship in Southie, DigBoston.com

Tenants Affected By Gas Explosions Can Withhold Rent: AG, USA Patch

Feds open criminal investigation into Merrimack Valley gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas filing hints at future rate hike, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Governors could drive the next wave of climate change action, Vox.com

The Elections, and What They Mean for Climate, Energy, and Science, Union of Concerned Scientists

N.H. Missing From State Coalition Opposing Clean Power Plan Rollback, New Hampshire Public Radio

On climate change, Trump disavows his own scientists, government, Axios.com

Carbon Pricing Winning Issue in Mass. Legislative Races, ClimateXChange

 

Wind

Fishermen ask for more time to study wind impact, South Coast Today

Disabled and disassembled: Blades removed from Applied Materials turbine, Gloucester Times

Market forces buffeting future of wind power in Maine, Portland Press Herald

New York offers 800MW offshore prize, reNews

Offshore wind giant with plans in A.C. closes $510M deal with competitor, Press of Atlantic City

Yarmouth, Barnstable react to status of wind farm cable review, Cape Cod Times

SCC reluctantly approves Dominion offshore wind test, The Virginian Pilot

Minorities need a place at table for wind employment, Andrade says, South Coast Today

 

Solar

Midterm Election Brings Victory And Defeat To Clean Energy Industry, Solar Industry

Town of Ashland and Ameresco Celebrate Completion of Three Municipal Solar Projects, Business Journals

Solar industry lights up over Republican governor’s win in Massachusetts, Washington Examiner

Salem State University Tripling On-Site Solar Through Massachusetts Grant, Solar Industry

Solar farm back on Ware Planning Board agenda after denial, MassLive

Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time, Science Daily

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New England moves to open the market for battery storage, pv-magazine-USA.com

Ahead of biggest energy storage rule change yet, US’ transmission network operators open up markets, Energy-storage.news

Cape Light Compact Files Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan, CapeCod.Com

Massachusetts grants help get energy storage projects off the ground, MA Clean Energy Center

EIA: Reduced electric demand has halved carbon emissions in power sector, ACEEE

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles Are Coming, And New England And California Better Watch Out, Forbes.com

Car Battery Pioneer Says New Breakthrough Will Lower Cobalt Use, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Millstone Unit 2 is shut down for repairs, The Day

Seabrook nuclear plant refueling boosts local businesses, Newburyport Daily News

Environmental group: Keep open nuclear power plants, Axios.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England unveils new initiatives to enhance winter reliability, Utility Dive

Canada, New England Talk Trade, Politics and Clean Energy, RTO Insider

PUC won’t decide CMP’s $950M transmission line project until March, Mainebiz

Eversource misses window for herbicide spraying on Cape, Cape Cod Times

ISO-NE frets over reliability as winter approaches, Vermont Biz

States raise Exelon market power concerns over Mystic cost recovery proposal at FERC, Utility Dive

State tells CMP its application to build 145-mile power line incomplete, Kennebec Journal

CMP power line opponents plead case to Somerset County commissioners, Kennebec Journal

National Grid electric bills going up, Boston Globe

Company thinks Eversource customers can lower energy costs with online auction, New Hampshire Union Leader

National Grid unveils $250M corporate venture capital arm, TechCrunch

 

Editorial/Opinion

Are Trojan horses full of windmill parts destined for New London?, The Day

Why We’re Taking a Hard Look at Nuclear Power Plant Closures, Union of Concerned Scientists

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, USA Today

Ansley Bloomer: Never a better time to heat with wood, VTDigger

LETTER: Seabrook plant should share more information, Daily News of Newburyport

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear