Category Archives: Northeast Energy News

Energy News for week ending August 14, 2020

Hot enough for ya? | Unconstitutional | Water Woes

Happy Friday folks.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

The Economic Impact of Offshore Wind Energy, NYLCV

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

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

 

Solar

A different kind of flower power, Boston Globe

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Opinion/Editorial

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

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

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

RGGI will not benefit Pennsylvania | Opinion, PennLive

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending August 7, 2020

Path to Survival | One Billion Dollars | Clean Peak

Happy Friday folks.

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

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

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

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

 

EVs

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

Global Electric Vehicle Cords Top 1 Million, Bloomberg

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

 

Nuclear

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Gas safety legislation stalls on Beacon Hill, Salem News

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eversource: Some rate relief approved for electric customers, MassLive

 

Opinion/Editorial

Getting rid of fossil fuels in buildings, CommonWealth Magazine

The Importance of Microgrids for Marginalized Communities, Microgrid Knowledge

House takes baby steps on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

 

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending July 31, 2020

Roadmap | Healthier Kids

Happy Friday afternoon.

Running late today so just a quick recap.

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

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

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

House climate change bill calls for roadmap, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

The money case for offshore wind, Axios

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

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

 

Solar

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

 

EVs

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

 

Gas

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

Why peak electricity usage matters, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

Mass. in middle of Maine power fight, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Opinion

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending July 24, 2020

Reluctantly Rejected | Wind that Works

Happy Friday.

It’s been a fairly quiet week for energy news, so we’ll keep it short.

From Commonwealth Magazine, “Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw. Measure banned most oil, gas pipes in new buildings. Attorney General Maura Healey’s office on Tuesday reluctantly shot down a bylaw approved by the town of Brookline that would have barred the installation of most fossil fuel infrastructure in any new buildings or significant rehabs of existing buildings. In a 12-page ruling, Healey applauded the town’s bid to start addressing greenhouse gas emissions but said the bylaw approved overwhelmingly by town meeting members in November is preempted by the state building code, gas code, and a law giving the Department of Public Utilities oversight of the sale and distribution of natural gas in Massachusetts.”

Also from CommonWealth Magazine we have, “Bernhardt eager for offshore wind ‘that works.’ Secretary Of The Interior David Bernhardt flew into Boston on Tuesday where he defended putting Vineyard Wind, the nation’s first large-scale wind farm, on hold for more than a year and promised a key permitting decision on the project in December that will work for both wind developers and fishing interests. Bernhardt, whose boss, President Trump, has shown little interest in offshore wind, said he is eager to launch the offshore wind industry. ‘I am very eager to do it, but I am eager to do it in a way that works,’ he said. ‘Let me give you an example. In the West we do wind. You know where we don’t put a windmill? In the middle of a highway. You can drive all the roads in the west and you’re not going to drive into a windmill.’ His comment appeared to be a reference to concerns of fishing groups that wind turbines would block access to fishing grounds and hamper navigation. ‘We don’t whack people with an unnecessary burden if we can avoid it and do things sustainably,’ he said. ‘I need a development program that is done in a way that’s sustainable for everybody.’”

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The most powerful renewable energy, BBC

Study of emissions and virus deaths implicates EPA policy, E&E News

Climate Change Poses ‘Systemic Threat’ to the Economy, Big Investors Warn, New York Times

Global Warming Is Driving Polar Bears Toward Extinction, Researchers Say, New York Times

Rich Americans spew more carbon pollution at home than poor, AP

Major new climate study rules out less severe global warming scenarios, Washington Post

Hydrogen Becomes More Viable as a Microgrid Fuel, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Wind

Bernhardt eager for offshore wind ‘that works,’ CommonWealth Magazine

State lawmakers call for action on wind farm, Cape Cod Times

New York Issues Second Offshore Wind Solicitation, Overcoming Coronavirus Delays, Greentech Media

Development of East Providence marine terminal gains $15M in Rebuild Rhode Island incentives, Providence Business News

New Jersey drafts offshore wind solicitation for up to 2.4 GW, Utility Dive

Senate Republicans urge McConnell to include clean energy in COVID-19 recovery package, Utility Dive

Lake turbines part of new state power play, Observer Today (NY)

 

Solar

‘They need to be ready.’ Study warns of growing solar waste, E&E News

Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company Reports on Progress for Solar Project on Landfill in Brattleboro Vermont, Globe Newswire

 

EVs

Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities investigates advanced metering and time varying rates for customers with electric vehicles, Energy and Cleantech Counsel

Auto Makers Charge Ahead With Electric-Vehicle Plans, Wall St. Journal

New York investor-owned utilities to fund $701M make-ready EV infrastructure program, Utility Dive

In electric car market, it’s Tesla and a jumbled field of also-rans, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Nuclear

Nuclear power has been top-down and hierarchical. These women want to change that., Vox

Bribery Scandals Taint Efforts to Save U.S. Nuclear Plants, Bloomberg Quint

Gas

Ashland Select Board requests AG’s aid in Eversource pipeline fight, MetroWest Daily News

Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Bill to replace CMP with public entity faces key vote Friday, Press Herald

New findings show Maine Power could produce $9 billion in benefits for Maine people, Maine House Democrats

Grid operators agree on short-term gas benefits, but say it shouldn’t limit renewables growth, Utility Dive

 

Events

Hydrogen and the Green Economy, NECA Webinar, July 29, 2020

EBC Second Annual New England Climate Change, Resilence & Adaptation Summit: Part One – State Leadership, July 31, 2020

Webinar: Retail Energy Choice in 2020: An in-depth discussion on what the most recent data really means for consumers, CT Power and Energy Society, August 25, 2020

Co-Keynotes—Forging Decarbonization Plans & Essential Policies, Implementing Decarbonization Strategies—It Takes The Whole Village, Online, Restructuring Roundtable, September 25, 2020

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending July 17, 2020

Net Metering Petition Dismissed | Double Capacity | We’re Still on Top

Happy Friday.

This week’s big news came out on Thursday when FERC dismissed a petition to declare solar net metering policies illegal. From Greentech Media, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unanimously rejected a plea to declare all state solar net-metering policies illegal, a victory for solar industry groups and state policymakers. All four FERC commissioners voted to dismiss the April petition from the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), which argued that FERC, not states, should have jurisdiction over sales of electricity from customer-sited generators like rooftop solar. ‘We find that the petition does not identify a specific controversy or harm that the commission should address in a declaratory order,’ FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in Thursday’s FERC open meeting. NERA, a New Hampshire-based 501(c)(4) organization that hasn’t disclosed its backers, said FERC should take up the group’s legal argument to assert federal jurisdiction over net metering regulations in 41 states that ‘overcompensate distributed generators at the expense of all other electricity consumers.’”

Sticking with solar, in Massachusetts this week the State House News Service via WBUR reports, “New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity. Industry groups on Wednesday largely welcomed the updated regulations that the Baker administration filed for a solar energy development program, saying the new rules will help the state meet its climate goals and help the solar industry as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but some also said the update does not go far enough. The updated regulations for the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, which is designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, double the program’s capacity, expand eligibility criteria for low-income solar projects and encourage the adoption of energy storage technology.” The regulations took effect Wednesday.

Last story for this week is new “old news.” From Wallethub, “2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States. In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation. While commercial and industrial electricity use have declined in 2020 due to business closures during lockdowns, residential electricity use has actually increased, which means many people will be forking over larger checks to their power companies. To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our analysis uses a special formula that accounts for the following residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.” The results for the Northeast, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are the top 4 most expensive states. Maine comes in at six and Vermont is 11th.

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

‘Enormous Step’ for Energy Storage as Court Upholds FERC Order 841, Opening Wholesale Markets, Greentech Media

US, Canadian gas utilities’ energy efficiency investments grow to $1.47B, S&P Global

Eversource puts in place new safety guidelines for energy efficiency services, Daily Energy Insider

Net Zero as the New Standard, Commercial Property Executive

Energy storage, tick disease and antique snowmobile bills signed into law, Concord Monitor

Become More Energy Efficient And Save Money, WWLP MassAppeal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Biden unveils ambitious plan to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035, pour trillions into green energy, ABC News

Never let a good crisis go to waste, CT Mirror

This Al Gore-supported project uses AI to track the world’s emissions in near real time, Fast Company

Global Methane Emissions Reach a Record High, New York Times

Trump to Weaken Environmental Rules to Speed Infrastructure Permits, New York Times

Boston has already experienced some of the nation’s worst tidal flooding — and it’s going to get much worse, study finds, Boston Globe

Siberian heat streak and Arctic temperature record virtually ‘impossible’ without global warming, study says, Washington Post

Key trends to disrupt the US renewables market in the next six months, Smart Energy International

How the ‘15-Minute City’ Could Help Post-Pandemic Recovery, Bloomberg City Lab

Six Places Doing It Right, Politico

Tidal energy may help remote communities integrate more renewable energy, techxplor.com

UMass Lowell receives grant to support clean energy, Lowell Sun

 

Wind

Wind Port project, where towering turbines could be made, looks like game-changer for Garden State, renewable energy companies, ROI NJ

‘We’re here for the people,’ Observer Today (NY)

New Road Map for Murphy Administration’s Offshore Wind Ambitions, NJ Spotlight

 

Solar

FERC Unanimously Dismisses Effort to Undermine Solar Net Metering, Greentech Media

New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity, State House News via WBUR

Massachusetts Finalizes Distributed Solar Rules With Fewer Restrictions on Land Use, Greentech Media

 

EVs

The Energy 202: More than a dozen states unite to boost electric trucks, Washington Post

Next Up for Electrification: Heavy-Duty Trucks and Construction Machinery, Greentech Media

Electric cars got crushed in 2020, but next year could be their best, Quartz.com (subscriber content)

Where do electric vehicles fit in energy grid management,? Automotive World Today

 

Nuclear

Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects, The Hill

 

Gas

Public resistance and high costs are canceling pipelines across the country, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Natural Gas Divide, grist.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Connecticut to Look at Resilience, Renewables & NWAs in Grid Modernization Proceeding, Microgrid Knowledge

Hydro-Québec sweetens 1,200-MW transmission line deal with Maine, S&P Global

Top 3 trends shaping the future power utility sector, Smart Energy International

2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States, Wallet Hub

Former MassCEC chief takes CEO role at Burlington power company, Boston Business Journal

Eversource Energy : Delivers Summer Electricity Savings to Customers in Eastern Massachusetts, Market Screener

 

Opinion

Activists Not Only Slow Oil Pipelines, But Also Power Lines Needed For Renewable Energy, Forbes.com

Our racist fossil fuel energy system, Boston Globe

Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Myth of “Renewable Natural Gas” for Building Decarbonization, earthjustice.org

Holding on to power, Why storage is a crucial part of the state’s new energy vision, NJBiz

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for the week ending July 10, 2020

Put ‘em up | Dirty Word | Lithium

Happy summer Friday afternoon.

Just a quick recap for today. Basically the big news was all about the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and what that means for other pipeline projects both now and in the future. Both the New York Times and Greentech Media questioned whether this is the end of new pipelines.  The New York Times went further to suggest the next energy battle is between renewables and natural gas.

Bruce Mohl at Commonwealth Magazine tells us that in Maine “Mass.” becomes a dirty word in the referendum fight over the New England Clean Energy Connect project. He notes, “The referendum battle is in some ways the dark underbelly of a push for clean energy in Massachusetts.”

While this next story isn’t about a new technology it is about a new find. From NECN, “Is a Proposed Lithium Mine in Nevada the Future of Renewable Energy? Northern Nevada could soon explode into America’s ‘Lithium Valley,’ playing an even more critical role in our country’s future than Silicon Valley did with technology. Tesla built the highest-volume battery plant in the world outside Reno, but it has to import the lithium it uses from as far away as Western Australia or South America. That could soon change with a discovery that’s just a couple hours north of Tesla’s Gigafactory. A Canadian mining company identified what is one of the world’s largest lithium deposits inside the footprint of an ancient volcano.”

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

Gas

The World Can’t Take Much More Shale Gas, Wall St. Journal

Dominion Sells Gas Business and Cancels Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Greentech Media

Anti-Pipeline Playbook Snags Biggest Victories Yet. What’s Next?, Bloomberg Law

Natural gas pipeline developers aim to differentiate from Atlantic Coast and avoid its fate, Utility Dive

Is This the End of New Pipelines,? New York Times

Beginning of the End for New Oil and Gas Pipelines?, (audio) Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The Next Energy Battle: Renewables vs. Natural Gas, New York Times

As Fossil Fuel Pipelines Fall to Opposition, Utilities See Renewable Energy as Safe Bet, Greentech Media

Wall Street giants plan more active role in climate fight, Axios

While climate change divides Democrats and Republicans, renewable policy unites, PV Magazine

NYSERDA announces first-of-its-kind partnership with ASHRAE to build back better and mitigate spread of COVID while combating climate change, Niagara Frontier Publications

Virginia joins Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, CBS19 News

Pennsylvania House OKs bill curbing state’s ability to join RGGI in ongoing dispute with governor, Utility Dive

Humid Heat Extremes on the Rise, Climate Central

Major COVID-related emissions drop still ‘no cause for cheer,’ Houston Chronicle

Is a Proposed Lithium Mine in Nevada the Future of Renewable Energy,? NECN

 

Wind

Interior Department to streamline offshore wind permitting, nix unsolicited leasing, Utility Dive

Coast Guard challenged on offshore wind traffic study, Work Boat

 

Solar

Tough Questions for Massachusetts in Weighing Solar Development Against Land Conservation, GTM2 (subscriber content)

Sunrun to Acquire Vivint Solar, Creating Home Solar Giant, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Investors Still Betting on Next Big Energy Storage Technology: Solid-State Batteries, Greentech Media

Federal Energy Efficiency: Promoting Equity and the Planet, NRDC

Eversource Energy: Restarts In-Person Energy Efficiency Services with Enhanced Safety Guidelines, Market Screener

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Watch Releases Handbook on Nuclear Decommissioning, Wicked Local Kingston

General Atomics to deliver radiation monitoring systems to Millstone 3, Nuclear Engineering Intl.

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Mass. becomes dirty word in Maine referendum fight, CommonWealth Magazine

Commitment from Hydro-Quebec will bring electricity to Maine at discounted rate, WABI

How Utility Companies Use Charitable Giving To Influence Policy, HuffPost

Big spending, legal appeals in $1B transmission project, AP

U.S. power use to drop by record amount in 2020 due coronavirus: EIA, Reuters

 

Opinion

Explainer: Why the CMP Corridor is a Bad Deal for Maine and the Climate, National Resources Council of Maine

How energy efficiency could be a powerful force for economic recovery, NHBR

Crashing coastal property values and the economic fallout of climate change, Boston Globe

Why Advocates of 100% Clean Energy Must Overcome the ‘Resource Adequacy’ Challenge, Greentech Media

States are falling short on building decarbonization — Here’s what regulators need to do, Utility Dive

Our View: Fixing a broken system, Andover Townsman

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News

Energy News for week ending June 26, 2020

Carbon Tax | Solar Limbo | StEnSea

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start we a story from the Concord Monitor, “New England Power Generators pushing for a carbon tax. A utility group representing most of the power plants in New England is supporting the idea of a tax on the carbon content of emissions, an idea supported by many economists as the simplest and most market-based way to reduce greenhouse gas production. The report by Cavicchi and Paul Hibbard of the Analysis Group for New England Power Generators Association says a price of between $25 and $70 per ton of CO2 in emissions would drive changes in electricity production, transportation and heating that could meet the region’s emissions targets. A carbon tax would raise the price of gasoline and heating oil, spurring a switch to electric vehicles and electric heat pumps. As the power grid comes cleaner with more renewable energy, that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy, often placed under the slogan ‘electrify everything,’ is a major plank in many proposals to fight the climate emergency. The report argues that total spending would also decline by switching to electrified transportation and heating, saving customers money.”

Next up is a story from PineTreeWatch.org, “6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition. The fate of net metering in New England — and across the United States — remains unknown, but resistance to its erasure is mounting. More than 450 organizations, 57,000 individuals and 37 states submitted comments opposing a petition that could set a national precedent and end a billing practice that credits users for investing in solar. Twenty-two organizations and individuals filed support for the proposal. The public comment window ended on June 15. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has not yet set a date to rule on the petition, which was filed by the New England Ratepayers Association in April…Maine Gov. Janet Mills was among those who spoke out against the petition, asking commissioners to ‘outright dismiss this petition.’ More than 6,000 ongoing projects in Maine rely on the benefits of net metering and the petition ‘would put at risk Maine’s existing renewable energy programs and the economic benefits enjoyed by thousands of citizens,’ Mills wrote in a letter to FERC. The Maine Public Utilities Commission and Maine Office of the Public Advocate also issued statements opposing the petition. ‘We’re not going away,’ said Barry Hobbins, Maine’s Public Advocate, whose job is to look out for the interests of public utility customers in Maine. ‘This could really undercut the solar industry.’”

For our new technology feature we look to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, “Energy storage at sea could enable full transition to renewable power. A new form of pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology in Germany. The project, entitled Storing Energy at Sea (StEnSea), uses concrete spheres anchored on the seafloor. To store energy, water is pumped out of the spheres, against the pressure of the surrounding seawater. When the energy is required, water is allowed to flow back into the spheres, driving turbines. No upper reservoir or transmission pipe is required since the surrounding seawater provides the necessary water pressure. When compared to conventional PSH, the need for land is eliminated and structures are minimised. It eliminates the danger of dam collapse and improves storage efficiency since evaporation from the upper reservoir does not reduce the energy stored. It is proposed that spheres with a diameter of 30m would be located at a depth of 700m, giving a nominal storage capacity of 27MWh. When the actual internal volume and operating efficiency of the system are taken into account, this configuration is expected to yield 18.3MWh storage capacity with a peak power output of 5MW.”

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

ACEEE highlights 10 building energy performance standards to help meet climate goals, Utility Dive

New York Power Authority, Signify upgrade 500K streetlights statewide, Utility Dive

FEATURE: Energy storage at sea could enable full transition to renewable power, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Bring-Your-Own-Batteries and EV Chargers: The Future of Distributed Energy Integration?, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

New England Power Generators pushing for a carbon tax, Concord Monitor

Corporate carbon reduction targets get boost with new EEI, WRI utility emission rate tool, Utility Dive

Much of New York City’s generation needs to be displaced to reach state renewables target, agencies say, Utility Dive

US public opinion supports action on climate change — and has for years, Vox.com

Emissions reduction bill clears Senate committee, VT Digger

The Energy 202: House Democrats push aid for wind and solar in new infrastructure bill, Washington Post

Why Tackle Climate Change? To Save Craft Beer and Outdoor Sports, Greentech Media

 

Wind

Health board hopes to hold hearing ‘when feasible’ on wind turbines, Wicked Local Plymouth

Wind farm-related relocation of Connecticut fishermen stirs funding debate, Undercurrent News

New London and Connecticut Port Authority again at odds on funding, the Day

In New York, The Town Of Freedom Isn’t Free From Big Wind, Forbes.com

Trump administration wind and solar approvals lag Obama record: study, Reuters

Deep in the Heart of Texas, a Chinese Wind Farm Raises Eyebrows, Foreign Policy

 

Solar

6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition, Pine Tree Watch

Trapping the sun: New thin-film technology uses sustainable components for solar panels, Phys.org

GMP has app to let customers support small biz and nonprofits, Rutland Herald

BlackRock Leads $50M Investment Into Off-Grid Solar Technology That Generates Water, Greentech Media

Environmental Group Pursues Residential Solar Mandate in 10 States, Greentech Media

 

EVs

State Expanding Clean Car Rebates to Commercial Fleets, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Apple Maps gets electric vehicle routing to find EV chargers, Techcrunch

Ford aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, The Verge

 

Nuclear

Citizens’ Panel Reviews Pilgrim Nuclear Settlement, WCAI

Local leaders like Pilgrim deal but want more for Plymouth, Wicked Local Plymouth

Report: Company Decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Under Criminal Investigation, WBUR

Truck hauling empty Vermont Yankee waste containers tips over, WCAX

Judge Orders Decommissioning Temporarily Halted at Former Nuclear Plant, (NJ) The Sandpaper

 

Gas

Report cites slow progress fixing gas leaks, Salem News

Columbia Gas Ordered To Pay $53M Fine For Merrimack Valley Explosions, WBUR

UPDATE: Federal judge formally sentences Columbia Gas for Merrimack Valley disaster, Eagle Tribune

LNG shipments by rail OK’d in US amid pipeline battles, Gloucester Times

PG&E First Major Utility to Support State Bans on Natural Gas, Bloomberg Law

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Feds OK $140 million fuel subsidy for New England power plants in winter, Concord Monitor

Black households pay more for energy than white households: analysis, The Hill

Norwich Public Utilities continues to see impacts of COVID-19 on customers, The Day

What is Transactive Energy and Why is it Important to Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

CMP Transmission Line Faces New Legal Challenges, Including One Over Public Lands, Maine Public

Trump’s Grid Order Baffles Utilities Over What They Can Buy, Yahoo! Finance

 

Opinion

Op-Ed: Off-shore wind can still power Massachusetts, Boston Business Journal

Our view: South Jersey to get another piece of state’s offshore wind industry, Press of Atlantic City

MY VIEW: Storage of spent nuclear fuel a matter of public safety, Cape Cod Times

The truth about the future of gas: We don’t need to build anymore, Utility Dive

Hard truths about net metering and the perils of regulatory nihilism, Utility Dive

Rural New York pays price as NYC benefits, Times Union

Will New Jersey’s New Wind Port Be A Game Changer Or A Financial Boondoggle?, Forbes.com

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 19, 2020

6 months | Encouraged | Pyroelectric

Good afternoon.

We start this week’s recap with some grim news from The Guardian. “The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe, one of the world’s foremost energy experts has warned. ‘This year is the last time we have, if we are not to see a carbon rebound,’ said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. Governments are planning to spend $9tn (£7.2tn) globally in the next few months on rescuing their economies from the coronavirus crisis, the IEA has calculated. The stimulus packages created this year will determine the shape of the global economy for the next three years, according to Birol, and within that time emissions must start to fall sharply and permanently, or climate targets will be out of reach. ‘The next three years will determine the course of the next 30 years and beyond,’ Birol told the Guardian. ‘If we do not [take action] we will surely see a rebound in emissions. If emissions rebound, it is very difficult to see how they will be brought down in future. This is why we are urging governments to have sustainable recovery packages.’”

One of the ways to keep emissions down is to bring more renewable resources online. The State House News Service via the Cape Cod Times reported this week that Vineyard Wind got some encouraging news. “Vineyard Wind I, the project that has been eyed as the first utility-scale offshore wind development in the country, will be ready to move forward once a federal permit the developer hopes will be issued by December is in hand, the project’s chief executive said. Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said Thursday his company views the recent Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s supplement to the draft environmental impact statement for the 800-megawatt project as a positive step forward. ‘We read it in a way where we feel that BOEM is acknowledging that the impacts that we have, the changes that we have made, all in all makes it a project that should be moving forward, and that the mitigations we have put in place for various stakeholders are sufficient to counter the impacts that the project will have,’ he said. The bureau rocked the entire offshore wind industry in August with its plan to withhold the final environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind I while it studied the wider impacts of a sector that is hoping to ramp up in Northeast and mid-Atlantic waters also used by the fishing sector. Last week, the agency issued its update and began a 45-day public comment period. A federal decision on a final permit for Vineyard Wind I is expected by Dec. 18. Before federal officials launched the broad review of wind projects, a decision on permit approval had been expected by Aug. 16, 2019. The 800-megawatt project is a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables planned for waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.”

For our new energy technology feature this week we look to UConn. “UConn’s Associate Dean for Research and Industrial Partnerships, S. Pamir Alpay, and Yomery Espinal ’18 PhD (ENG) have published a paper on a novel portable pyroelectric technology in Cell Reports Physical Science with support from the Army Research Laboratory. Pyroelectric energy research is focused on how to generate energy from heat that would otherwise be wasted in a catalytic chemical reaction. When pyroelectric materials are heated, their polarization changes, leading to an electron flow that generates energy. These materials are commonly used in household devices like motion sensor lights, which detect body heat to determine when someone is near. Anytime there is a catalytic reaction, heat is generated. These devices harness that heat and use it as energy. For example, a combustion engine in a car produces heat that, with this kind of technology, could be used to power the electrical functions of the car that otherwise rely on battery power. The Army Research Lab (ARL) is particularly interested in this technology because it can provide more power with less weight, which is important for soldiers carrying heavy bags. While scientists have been experimenting with pyroelectric power for decades, the technology proposed in this paper is completely novel.”

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Eversource Providing Virtual Energy Efficiency Pre-Assessments To Customers, Patch.com

IEA calls for $3tn green recovery plan targeting energy efficiency and renewables, Engineering and Technology

Bill would pay home batteries for peak shaving and avoiding power-line buildout, Granite Geek

Homes Gain Momentum as ‘Grid Flexibility’ Resources, Microgrid Knowledge

Sunrun to Turn Home Batteries Into Grid Resources for 2 Major Utilities, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Climate Change Is Killing Americans. Health Departments Aren’t Equipped To Respond, PublicIntegrity.org

Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most, New York Times

World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert, The Guardian

A War Against Climate Science, Waged by Washington’s Rank and File, New York Times

Temperature spike: Earth ties record high heat May reading, Politico

Carbon Capture Will Require Large Public Subsidies to Support Coal and Gas Power, Desmog Blog

New York Proposes Regional Greenhouse Gas Changes, National Law Review

Trump’s EPA balks at a chance to save black lives, Vox.com

The deep sea could hold the key to a renewable future. Is it worth the costs?, Grist.org

Cleantech incubator Greentown Labs expands to Houston, Utility Dive

Turning manure into money, Washington Post

Emissions Are Surging Back as Countries and States Reopen, New York Times

Clean energy groups to propose FERC rules for national transmission system saving $47B a year, Utility Dive

Theoharides: Transpo emission pact still priority, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine gets more than $2.5M from cap-and-trade program, Caledonian Record

State Environmental Officials Announce Student and School Recipients of ‘Green Team’ Awards, Lynn Journal

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind encouraged by federal signals, State House News via Cape Cod Times

New Jersey to Build Nation’s Largest Offshore Wind Port, Greentech Media

As They Reach Retirement Age, Wind Farms Become Prime Investments, Bloomberg Green

FERC schedules technical conferences on carbon pricing, offshore wind integration challenges, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Solar net metering changes could harm US market, affect energy storage, S&P Global Platts

Boston organization stirs ire of solar advocates, CommonWealth Magazine

Utilities remain mute on FERC net metering petition, leave filing to face overwhelming opposition, Utility Dive

In a first, STAG launches solar projects in Mass., Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

NARUC, NASEO team up to tackle distributed solar cyber risks as vulnerabilities grow, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Electric vehicles to set new market share record in 2020, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Lyft Pledges Shift to 100% Electric Vehicles by 2030, Greentech Media

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

With Air Permit Vacated, Senators Call For Construction To Stop On Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

New York activists target National Grid gas project after Williams shelves pipeline, S&P Global Platts

Gas disaster settlement fees in question, Eagle Tribune

Natural Gas Heads for Record Drop in Global Demand, Bloomberg

Effort to keep state’s largest power plant open fuels concern about climate, public health, Boston Globe

The Gas Industry Is Paying Instagram Influencers to Gush Over Gas Stoves, Mother Jones

 

Nuclear

Holtec and state agree on safety and financial terms for decommissioning Pilgrim nuclear plant, Boston Globe

Settlement sets guardrails for Plymouth nuclear plant decommissioning, South Coast Today

Trump policy change could be game changer for small nuclear reactors, Washington Examiner

Bills for Jobs, Local Funding at Indian Point Approved, The Examiner

Global annual installed capacity of nuclear power to decline to 3GW due to Covid-19, Power Technology

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Before the U.S. Can Have Clean Power, It Needs More Power Lines, Bloomberg News via Financial Post

Rising energy loads from fewer COVID-19 limits, warming weather spark utility readiness concerns, Utility Dive

Smart Energy Grids Become More Compelling, IoT World Today

What the Coming Wave of Distributed Energy Resources Means for the US Grid, Greentech Media

Divided FERC approves New England ISO short-term fuel security plan despite cost concerns, Utility Dive

Novel Waste-to-Energy Microgrid Aims to Provide Resilience in Camden, New Jersey, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Opinion

Our view: Huge potential for offshore energy, Salem News

New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

It’s time for a green stimulus: Here’s how a small Vermont utility can show the way, Utility Dive

This is not the way to move beyond net metering, Utility Dive

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 12, 2020

Focus on Mystic | The Oceans Have It | $11B in Savings

Happy Friday afternoon.

There were a cluster of letters and stories this week that focused on and/or mentioned the Mystic Generating Station in Everett, MA.

Another interesting trend this week was stories about ocean-related climate and renewable energy possibilities.

Lastly, here is some good news about what we all know about energy efficiency, DOE’s Better Buildings initiative notches $11B in savings across 10 years, Utility Dive

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New Jersey sets ‘top tier’ energy efficiency goal, targets more than 2% electricity savings, Utility Dive

So, What Exactly Is Building Electrification?, Greentech Media

New York Grid Operator Prepares for DERs & Storage as Part of Sweeping Change, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

90% Clean Grid by 2035 Is Not Just Feasible, But Cheaper, Study Says, Greentech Media

NYSERDA moves to launch program targeting brownfields and other less desirable sites for renewables, Utility Dive

Clues to the impact of climate change may seep from a volcano in Costa Rica, Washington Post

A Drop in Sulfate Emissions During the Coronavirus Lockdown Could Intensify Arctic Heatwaves, Inside Climate News

‘Surprisingly rapid’ rebound in carbon emissions post-lockdown, The Guardian

Renewables may lag through 2030: What it means for CO2, E&E News (subscriber content)

Renewable Energy Advocates Want Job Training Focus in COVID-19 Recovery, NHPR

 

Wind

Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment, CommonWealth Magazine

New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts, Greentech Media

Feds see 2,000 East Coast turbines over 10 years, State House News Service via Newburyport Daily News

 

Solar

Rules cast shadow over some solar power projects, State House News Service via WWLP

Foes of Rhode Island solar project lose legal battle, NewportRI.com

Coronavirus Won’t Stop US Solar Growth in 2020, But Rooftop Installers Take Serious Hit, Greentech Media

New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts, Greentech Media

Utility-scale solar to soar in 2020, despite COVID, while coal decline accelerates, SEIA, EIA project, Utility Dive

 

EVs

EV supply chain could see years of shortages — report, E&E News (subscriber content)

Investors Bullish on EV Charging Despite Slowdown in Car Sales, Greentech Media

Tesla says air quality jumps from coronavirus lockdowns make case for electric vehicles, Axios.com

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sentencing of utility behind 2018 Mass. gas explosions delayed over probation issue, Reuters

Trump’s New Clean Water Act Rules Could Affect Embattled Natural Gas Projects on Both Coasts, Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

Officials Investigating Another Unplanned Shutdown ‘Scram’ At Seabrook Nuclear Plant, NHPR

Nuclear Fusion Technology Being Developed For Electric Vehicles, Autoversed.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

AARP contests Eversource’s proposed rate hike, citing pandemic, Keene Sentinel

NYISO market monitor recommends dynamic reserve procurement, S&P Global

State Of The New York City Grid, Urban Green Council

New York’s economy is slowly reopening, but electricity demand remains clipped due to COVID-19, Utility Dive

Public Policy Challenges Top NYISO Grid Plans, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Using Microbial Nanowires for Electricity Generation, AzoNano.com

 

Opinion

Putting land for solar off-limits could hurt farmers, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP corridor project will create new wildfire dangers in remote Maine, Bangor Daily News

Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues, New Yorker

Massachusetts’ Clean Peak Standard — A trailblazer in the nation’s clean energy transition, Utility Dive

Union issues strike authorization for New York Con Edison workers, Reuters

Letter: Paying too much for power doesn’t help environment, Union Leader

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 5, 2020

Natural Gas Be Gone | Compressor Ups and Downs | Efficiency: Cheaper Than Gas

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, it’s not been a very good week for natural gas, especially in Massachusetts.

We start with an article from CommonWealth Magazine, “Healey calls for orderly transition away from natural gas. Attorney General Maura Healey petitioned the Department of Public Utilities on Thursday to investigate how the state’s natural gas utilities should transition to a future where the fuel they are selling no longer fits in with the state’s carbon emission goals. Massachusetts has set a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, and Healey argues the state, natural gas utilities, and their customers need to start planning…Healey recommended the investigation be conducted in two phases – one phase focusing on utility forecasts about their role in a decarbonized economy and the second on the policies needed to reach the state’s emission mandates. Her petition raises a host of questions that need to be answered, including whether renewable natural gas (gas made from cow manure, for example) has potential. The attorney general’s petition comes at a time when environmental advocates are pressing for a reduction in natural gas usage even as industry officials say the fuel is cheap, plentiful, and gaining market share.”

Note – the State House News reported today that “The first step for the Department of Public Utilities, an official said, is to review Attorney General Maura Healey’s filing to determine whether the request is within the jurisdiction of the DPU. If the department determines that it is, then it will decide whether it would be appropriate to launch the investigation and what its scope would be.” (subscriber content)

We stay in Massachusetts for our next two stories, both about the natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. On Wednesday, the State House News Service via Wicked Local Weymouth wrote, “Air permit for Weymouth gas project overturned. A federal appeals court vacated an air permit Massachusetts regulators awarded to a controversial natural gas project, ruling Wednesday that the state did not sufficiently assess emissions-reducing technology set to be used. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit scrapped the air permit for Enbridge’s under-construction natural gas compressor station in Weymouth and ordered the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a new analysis of what would be the best available control technology to limit air pollution. In a lengthy decision Wednesday, Judge William Kayatta said the permit cannot stand because the DEP did not follow its own procedures when it approved a turbine rather than an electric motor to cut emissions.”

The next day however, the State House New Reported, via WGBH that, “Celebration May Be Premature For Gas Project Opponents. A celebratory car parade is planned for Saturday, but even the opponents of a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth say a new court ruling in their favor will not stop project construction. ‘Although Enbridge may continue constructing, they cannot operate this facility without the air quality permit,’ Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station wrote in an email to its supporters Thursday morning. ‘And, it gives us more room to fight to stop it from ever operating…’ Kayatta’s decision also includes components that are favorable to Enbridge and the Department of Environmental Protection.”

The last highlight for this week comes from Utility Dive, “Efficiency significantly cheaper than natural gas, DOE study concludes. Natural gas energy efficiency programs run by utilities saved energy at a cost of about $0.40/therm from 2012 to 2017 — less than half of the national average retail price of gas during that period, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Gas cost about $1/therm during those years, according to researchers, and U.S. households and businesses spent approximately $65 billion on utility-supplied natural gas in 2018. In that same year, utilities spent more than $1.4 billion on gas efficiency programs, according to the American Gas Association (AGA) which represents gas delivery companies. Efficiency advocates say there are even more savings to be had through the electrification of end-uses — something the study did not consider. They say the gas industry may be building unnecessary infrastructure. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, around 90% of proposed gas power plants and their pipelines are likely to be unnecessary by 2035.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Healey asks DPU to lead on clean energy transition, WWLP

Healey calls for orderly transition away from natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Celebration May Be Premature For Gas Project Opponents, WGBH

Air permit for Weymouth gas project overturned, Wicked Local Weymouth

E.P.A. Limits States’ Power to Oppose Pipelines and Other Energy Projects, New York Times

Investment in U.S. Shale Projects to Halve in 2020, IEA Says, Wall St. Journal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

This is how the oceans can be used to help fight climate change, World Economic Forum

Earth’s carbon dioxide levels hit record high, despite coronavirus-related emissions drop, Washington Post

Responding to protests, green groups reckon with a racist past, Grist.org

Why we can’t count on carbon-sucking farms to slow climate change, MIT Review

Hydrogen as Fuel? An Italian Pasta Factory Shows How It Could Work, New York Times

IRS clarifies carbon capture tax credit, but more policies needed to drive deployment, analysts say, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy Overtakes Coal, Still Lags Far Behind Oil And Natural Gas, Forbes.com

Economic Giants Are Restarting. Here’s What It Means for Climate Change., New York Times

Massachusetts hopes ‘localized approach’ to GHG inventory can spread, Utility Dive

Solar, Wind, Storage Link Arms in Push for “Majority Renewables” by 2030, Greentech Media

Summers are growing longer due to climate change, while winters are dramatically shrinking, Washington Post

World’s First Integrated Hydrogen Power-to-Power Demonstration Launched, Power Magazine

 

Wind

Wind Power: Wakefield Company Vying to Replace Mystic Generation Station with Wind Power ‘Highway,’ Everett Independent

What Offshore Wind Can Bring to the Corporate PPA Party, Greentech media

The Future Of Wind Energy, Oilprice.com

MassCEC Contributes to Greentown Labs Offshore Wind Challenge, NA Windpower

State’s largest wind farm to date is approved, Times Union (NY)

 

Solar

National Grid Releases Latest Results on Massachusetts Distributed Solar ‘Cluster’ Study, Greentech Media

As utility solar costs drop 82%, US renewable leaders target majority generation share by 2030, Utility Dive

Edison Electric Institute Declines to Support Petition Seeking Federal Overturn of Net Metering, Greentech Media

Utilities stay silent on proposal to federalize net metering as states call it a ‘threat’ to solar policy, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Efficiency significantly cheaper than natural gas, DOE study concludes, Utility Dive

Energy-efficiency industry group presses for tax credits, RollCall.com

 

EVs

EV charging gets small slice in Democrats’ $494B transport infrastructure bill, Utility Dive

Utilities Need to Play Bigger Role in Electrifying Transportation Sector, Industry Officials Say, NJ Spotlight

 

Nuclear

Seabrook Nuclear Plant Gets Back Online Safely After Unexpected Shutdown, NHPR

Federal Inspections Set To Ramp Up At Seabrook Nuclear Plant As Economy Reopens, NHPR

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT electric, gas companies offer payment plan to relieve pandemic debt, New Haven Register

FERC, states see transmission projects fueling recovery, E&E News

Overcoming Forecast Uncertainties for Better DER Planning, Greentech Media

New York Revises Demand Response in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic, Microgrid Knowledge

State regulators reject CMP plan for $500,000 virus relief fund for customers, Press Herald

New York region has plenty of capacity to handle summer energy load, Daily Energy Insider

 

Opinion

Indian Point Closure Making Guinea Pigs Out of All New Yorkers, Natural Gas Now

Letter: Urge lawmakers to support net metering bill, Concord Monitor

Leave a comment

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