Category Archives: nuclear

Energy News for week ending August 9, 2019

Cooking with gas – or not? | Turn to Stone | Chernobyl “Atomik”

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We start this week’s news recap with a question posed in a WBUR headline – Give up your gas stove to save the planet? “As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, some are taking aim at a new target: natural gas inside homes. Buildings, through heating and cooking, use almost a third of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. In July, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the country to ban natural gas in new buildings, starting next year. City officials say new efficient electric appliances have lower carbon footprints than gas-powered furnaces and water heaters…Cities like San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles are developing their own policies to make buildings zero carbon, and a number of cities around the world have pledged to do the same. But opponents say the push to get rid of gas goes against what consumers are asking for, especially in their kitchens. ‘People love their gas stoves,’ says Bob Raymer, technical director with the California Building Industry Association. ‘We don’t want to force something onto the consumer that makes the consumer feel uncomfortable, or that they just don’t like. After all, it’s their home.’ But California has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2045, and about a quarter of the state’s emissions come from energy used by buildings. To reach its ambitious climate change goals, the state will eventually have to force — or entice — homeowners to electrify everything.”

If you’re not yet ready to give up your gas appliances, there’s another option to help reduce your climate footprint. In the words of an ELO song you can “turn to stone.” From Quartz – “…One option, if you care about the environment…is to offset your personal carbon use—by turning it into stone. Starting in June, a company called Climeworks began offering customers the option to buy a personal carbon offset subscription. You can choose one of three tiers: €7 a month (~$8) will pay for trapping 85 kg of carbon dioxide in a year (about the same as driving 700 km or 435 miles in a gasoline car); €21 a month will get you 255 kg in a year; and €49 a month will convert 600 kg of carbon dioxide into stone. You can also customize your payments up to as much as €2,000 per month to offset 25,000 kg…Climeworks is one of just three companies in the world that have the technology to draw carbon dioxide from the air, called direct air capture (DAC). And it already has a few small commercial plants running…[one] in Iceland captures carbon dioxide and pumps it underground, where it is converted into stone in less than two years.”

Because it’s Friday afternoon and I have the weekend on my mind, here’s an interesting story about a new vodka. From Breaking News Ireland, “A radioactivity-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl’s abandoned zone has been brewed by a team of British scientists. Professor Jim Smith, from the University of Portsmouth, described the artisan vodka – branded Atomik – as ‘possibly the most important bottle of spirits in the world’ as he believed it would help the region recover economically. He said tests on the vodka showed that, following the distillation process, only ‘natural Carbon-14’ radioactivity was found in line with any normal spirit drink. Prof Smith now wants to produce the traditionally-brewed vodka for sale through a social enterprise called The Chernobyl Spirit Company, with 75% of the profits going back to the affected community in Ukraine.” OK — I’m not sure the land has been cleaned to US standards of “unrestricted use” and they mention “the team found some radioactivity in the grain: Strontium-90 is slightly above the cautious Ukrainian limit of 20 Bq/kg.” But that after distilling it went away. I don’t know about you, but I’m still not convinced. However, the Atomik vodka appears to have a wild boar on the label, so if you’ve been enjoying the social media trend this week on wild boars, there’s that.

That’s the recap. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Uniform reporting of gas leaks sought, Salem News

State delays key review for Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local

Give Up Your Gas Stove To Save The Planet? Banning Gas Is The Next Climate Push, WBUR

The Leaks That Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas, Wall St. Journal

Environmental advocates denounce planned natural gas plant in Killingly, Hartford Courant

Protests will seek to ‘shut down’ Merrimack Station power plant in Bow, Concord Monitor

Too Soon To Know If Gas Disaster Settlement Is Adequate: Rep, Patch

A primer on methane (and cow flatulence), Boston Globe

National Grid takes campaign for gas pipeline to radio, Newsday

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The UN’s New Climate Warning: “The Land Is Out of Balance”, Atlantic

Power struggle hindering U.S. growth of renewable energy, experts say, UPI

A clean energy breakthrough could be buried deep beneath rural Utah, LA Times

The Renewable Energy Industry: What’s Ahead, Wall Street Journal

Report Highlights Local Leadership on Renewable Energy, WGBH

You can now pay to turn your carbon emissions to stone, Quartz

Climate Change Could Lead to Food Shortages, UN Report Says, YAHOO! News

New Haven-based water utility going ‘green’ to meet power needs, New Haven Register

FuelCell Energy Celebrates 9 Million MWH of Clean Power Generation, YAHOO! News

Double Tax Hits Slows Renewable-Energy Development, ECO RI

GOP senator wants to override Sununu’s biomass bill veto, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Environmental groups accuse state of ‘deeply flawed’ review of biomass changes; call for more input, MassLive

Progressive Idea: Municipal Renewable Energy Utilities, EcoRI

 

Wind

Massachusetts Officials Frustrated By Wind Turbine Court Havoc They Created, Patch

Federal agencies, Vineyard Wind at odds over wind farm setup, Southcoasttoday.com

Dominion invests $1.1B in offshore wind, watches Northeast developments, Utility Dive

R.I. fishermen critical of wind farm plan, Providence Journal

Recreational fishermen want more studies on New York wind farm, South Coast Today

US Wind Farm Development Reaches Record High in Q2, Greentech Media

New York looks to Europe for offshore wind coordination, interconnection models to develop 9 GW, Utility Dive

Governor signs Vineyard Wind easement bill, South Coast Today

 

Solar

New solar canopy saves MWRTA more than $20K in electrical costs, MetroWest Daily News

Floating Solar Gets Ready for the High Seas, Greentech Media

Shared solar program heading towards approval, complaints in tow, Connecticut Mirror

Huge Sanford airport solar project moves forward, Portland Press Herald

UMass Amherst Researchers Develop New Method To Estimate Solar Rooftop Potential, Solar Industry

Joe Kennedy II unveils solar energy program in Revere, Boston Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Using electricity at different times of day could save us billions of dollars, Vox.com

UMass attaches largest label to Dartmouth battery storage system, Herald News

Trump Administration Moves to Finalize Weakening of Car Efficiency Standards, Greentech Media

California opens $1B in efficiency funding to electrification, Utility Dive

 

EVs

It’s Electri-Flying: Cape Air Pioneers Flights Without Fossil Fuels, WBUR

As T plugs into e-buses, new questions about garages, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Nuclear

NRC denies bid to postpone license for nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Chernobyl ‘Sarcophagus’ That Holds in Radiation From the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster Is About to Cave in Under Its Own Weight, Newsweek

Pilgrim principals oppose delay in license review, Cape Cod Times

A commercial path to fusion, Physics World

Chernobyl vodka: British scientists produce alcohol from nuclear exclusion zone, Breaking News Ireland

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators likely to consider CMP compensation fund by year’s end, Portland Press Herald

Power plant retirements offset nearly 90% of U.S. capacity additions in June, IEEFA

New York Launches Investigation into Electric Resource Adequacy, Microgrid Knowledge

Portsmouth gets win in tax dispute with Eversource, Seacoastonline.com

CMP power line approval ‘replete with errors,’ energy supplier says in appeal, CentralMaine.com

Coal, nuclear could see boost in New England this winter as new tariff goes into effect, Utility Dive

Melrose power buyers beware as officials aim to curb scam suppliers, Wicked Local Melrose

Massachusetts Examines the Feasibility of Microgrid Projects, Microgrid Knowledge

Connecticut Supercharges Plan for World’s Largest Fuel Cell Microgrid at $1 Billion Data Center, Microgrid Knowledge

Timber! Mount Tom Power Plant smokestack demolished, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Editorial/Opinion

  1. Maurice Kreis: After the Northern Pass failure, is it time for ‘Rayno Regionalism’?, Conway Daily Sun

Editorial: Paying Homage to the Nuclear Resistance, Valley Advocate

‘Climate Stripes’ show reality of dangerous situation: Op-Ed, New Haven Register

Ohio nuclear and coal bailout is a loss for nuclear power and the climate, Utility Dive

Ehrlich: State needs to transition off natural gas, Daily Item

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

Energy News for week ending June 28, 2019

Permit Approved | No difference | Eat ‘em up

 

Happy glorious summer Friday afternoon!

Let’s see what’s in this week’s energy news.

From the Patriot Ledger, “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for a site in Weymouth were dealt another blow Thursday as a state adjudicator recommended the approval of an air-quality permit for the project. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold a permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree, Hingham and a citizens group, which together had argued that the proposed station would worsen air pollution in the Fore River Basin and endanger the lives of nearby residents. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg has the final say on the approval of the permit, but Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund said he doesn’t expect Suuberg to deny it. Hedlund on Thursday said he is ‘disappointed but not shocked’ by the decision, and said the town was considering its legal options for further appeal.”

On Monday, Vineyard Wind said it would move three turbines to help preserve fishing grounds, but yesterday according to an article on South Coast Today the fisheries groups basically replied, “Yeah. No.” “Vineyard Wind’s decision to move three turbines farther away from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket makes no significant difference to the preservation of fishing grounds, fisheries sources say. The offshore wind company announced Monday that it had removed three of the 84 planned turbines from the north end of the grid and placed them elsewhere among its 106 approved turbine locations. The south side of the Islands, where the change was made, is a prime squid fishing ground. Katie Almeida, fisheries policy analyst for Rhode Island squid dealer The Town Dock, told The Standard-Times the move will do little to help the industry. ‘The removal of the turbines gives a very small portion of our traditional fishing grounds back, however we still don’t know how construction and operation are going to affect squid in and around that lease area,’ she said. With spacing of Vineyard Wind turbines starting at eight-tenths of a mile apart, the space represents a few square miles. The wind farm is about 14 miles from shore.”

Lord knows I love my calamari (that just sounds so much more appetizing than squid), but how about Green Eggs and Ham? Scratch that – I meant to write green crabs. From the Boston Globe, “Green crabs are wreaking havoc on our coastal habitat. So let’s eat them. “When life gives you lemons,” the saying goes, “make lemonade.” And when life fills the ocean with invasive green crabs that prey on the local shellfish population and wreak havoc on the coastal habitat, The Green Crab R&D Project says eat them. Not only will you be helping the environment, you will enjoy a culinary specialty that has been celebrated in Venice for generations. Green crabs (which, despite the name can be any color, even multi-hued) are native to parts of Western Europe and North Africa. They first appeared on the East Coast of North America in the early 1800s, but did not proliferate until the late 20th century. Today they have invaded nearly every continent, and their populations and range are expected to increase with climate change. Though relatively small, they are fierce and prey on a variety of shellfish. In their search the crabs cut through eelgrass, damaging essential sea life habitats. Each female can lay 185,000 eggs per year, and according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, a single crab can eat 40 half-inch clams in a day. The Green Crab R&D Project (greencrab.org), established in 2017, is a nonprofit dedicated to developing markets for green crabs, both to remove the predatory creatures from the water and to help fishermen and -women develop alternative sources of revenue. In February the group released “The Green Crab Cookbook,” written by executive director Mary Parks and Thanh Thai and contributors to the Project. All proceeds from the book go to the organization.”

Consider that your tip for your next barbecue.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State adjudicator OKs Weymouth compressor station air permit, Patriot Ledger

For power plant opponents, EFSB decision was grown on home turf, Breeze Publications

Fed up lawmakers seek air monitoring laws near Weymouth compressor, Wicked Local

Philly refinery explosion set to drive up holiday gas prices in Northeast U.S., PhillyVoice

Activists use art to draw attention to Weymouth compressor controversy, Patriot Ledger

NextEra sees batteries displacing gas-fired peakers, otherwise bullish on gas, Platts

Health officials want studies of natural gas projects, Gloucester Times

Cuomo’s opposition to natural gas hurts environment, report argues,  Crain’s NY Business

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Senators target 50% national renewable energy standard by 2035, zero-carbon by 2050, Utility Dive

Kids suing governments about climate: It’s a global trend, National Geographic

A Whale Of A Problem: Youth Climate Activists Construct Mosaic In Boston, Demand Action, WBUR

How Do You Talk to Children About Climate Change?, New York Times

Green crabs are wreaking havoc on our coastal habitat. So let’s eat them., Boston Globe

Governor wants Pennsylvania to join greenhouse gas reduction program, Reuters

Massachusetts regulators approve state’s largest clean energy procurement, Utility Dive

Lawmakers discuss Brayton Point’s potential as ‘renewable energy headquarters,’ Herald News

Wild Weather Is Endangering World’s Oldest Form of Clean Power, Bloomberg

It’s true: Environmental and business groups are on the same page, Boston Globe

How an Eagle’s Nest Shows the Challenges of New York’s Climate Plan, New York Times

How America’s biggest renewable-energy power line failed, Axios

 

Wind

Fishermen say Vineyard Wind’s turbine relocation makes no difference, South Coast today

Vineyard Wind moves turbines to aid fishing vessels, South Coast Today

Orsted Wins New Jersey’s First Offshore Wind Solicitation, Greentech Media

Building the Wind Turbines Was Easy. The Hard Part Was Plugging Them In, Wall St. Journal

After Brayton Point visit, Markey backs extended tax credits for wind industry, Herald News

Interior delays, costs may dim offshore wind’s prospects, E&E News

The Push Is On For More Wind Farms Off the South Fork, Sag Harbor Express

Will future sunsets over Lake Erie include windmills?, WBFO

Building an offshore wind industry along the US East Coast: The role of state collaboration, McKinsey & Company

N.J. just gave the green light to build the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, NJ.com

Court rules in favor of Villenova residents in wind turbine lawsuit, Observer Today

 

Solar

Tufts adds new solar energy systems, expands its commitment to clean energy, Newswise.com

New laws hope to build up solar and fight climate change, NewscenterMaine.com

The reality behind solar power’s next star material, Nature

Charge your phone with solar power as a first step to going green, CNET

 

Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts sweetening the deal for energy storage systems, Axios

Haddam home among Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge winners, The Advocate

As Trump Administration pursues wide-ranging attacks on energy efficiency, states, others fight back, Utility Dive

Maine Decides to Go Big on Heat Pumps, Greentech Media

Arizona, New Jersey homes costliest to cool in summer, Sense finds, Utility Dive

Heat Pump Water Heaters Can be Demand Response Assets, Greentech Media

 

EVs

State plans to scrap electric vehicle rebate, Salem News

In lobbying battle for electric vehicle tax credit, it’s car makers vs. the oil and gas industry, Washington Post

 

Nuclear

The Latest: US senators look to end nuclear waste stalemate, AP

SNC Lavalin : AMERICA’S $60 BILLION POT OF GOLD, Marketscreener.com

Concrete expert to speak on Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

Regulators Tour Seabrook Nuclear Plant Ahead Of Hearing On Concrete Cracks, New Hampshire Public Radio

A Boston startup developing a nuclear fusion reactor just got a roughly $50 million boost, TechCrunch

Cambridge fusion energy startup completes $115 million funding round, Boston Globe

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices, etc.

Newspaper’s investigation says Maine utility misled public, Associated Press

New operating reserve region to launch in NYISO’s energy markets, S&P Global Platts

Despite emissions concerns, Hydro-Quebec contracts OK’d, CommonWealth Magazine

Residents: Eversource’s plan to spray herbicides must be stopped, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Work on Seacoast Reliability Project moves ahead, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Smart meter swap promised savings that never came, Sun Journal

Large and Unique Mass Transit Microgrid Moves Forward in New Jersey, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Four reasons sununu’s net metering veto harms NH, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Polisena: Board’s decision on Burrillville plant ‘disappointing’, Johnston Sun Rise

As Trump Administration pursues wide-ranging attacks on energy efficiency, states, others fight back, Keene Sentinel

Our View: Customers need real answers from Central Maine Power, Portland Press Heralds

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

Energy News for week ending June 14, 2019

Bury it | Major Risks | Sandwich Solar

 

Happy Flag Day! Here is this week’s energy news.

From the Washington Post, “The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it. It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it. Last month, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpassed 415 parts per million, the highest in human history. Environmental experts say the world is increasingly on a path toward a climate crisis. The most prominent efforts to prevent that crisis involve reducing carbon emissions. But another idea is also starting to gain traction — sucking all that carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it underground. It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it, breathing carbon dioxide and then depositing it via roots and decay into the soil. That’s why consumers and companies often “offset” their carbon emissions by planting carbon-sucking trees elsewhere in the world. But an upstart company, ­Boston-based Indigo AG, now wants to transform farming practices so that agriculture becomes quite the opposite of what it is today — a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.”

If we don’t do something about carbon emissions, the New York Times reports, “Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns. A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration has sought to suppress climate science. Rostin Behnam, who sits on the federal government’s five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a powerful agency overseeing major financial markets including grain futures, oil trading and complex derivatives, said in an interview on Monday that the financial risks from climate change were comparable to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.”

To help get us out of this mess, one company is proposing a solar farm for the Cape. From the Cape Cod Times, “Large-scale solar project proposed for Sandwich. A Denver-based renewable energy company is seeking a special permit to install a large-scale solar panel in a forested area in Sandwich. ASD Cotuit MA Solar is proposing a roughly 5.6 megawatt “ground-mounted solar energy system” for an 18.8-acre site off Cotuit Road. The project will generate clean and renewable energy for homes and businesses and help the state meet its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards goals, proponents say.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot more stories below.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump’s Plan for Finding Oil in Alaska May Put Polar Bears at Risk, Reuters

Kempic “confident” disasters won’t happen again, Andover Townsman

Killingly energy plant plans clear Siting Council hurdle, The Bulletin

DEM to Hold Public Hearing on Invenergy’s Draft Air Permit, GoLocalProv

Gas Pipelines Take a Huge Toll on Delaware River Basin, New Report Finds, Yahoo!

New and better way to assess the climate impact of new pipelines, Environmental Defense Fund

 

Weymouth

Rep. Lynch urges state to hit reset on compressor project, Patriot Ledger

Charlie Baker pressed to halt Weymouth compressor station, Boston Herald

State: New toxins data don’t change stance on Weymouth gas facility, CommonWealth Magazine

State handling of Weymouth air-quality data called ‘unfortunate process,’ Wicked Local Weymouth

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Powerful business group adds climate change to its priorities, Boston Globe

The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it., Washington Post

Wheelabrator Millbury is cited as a top polluter, example of ‘environmental apartheid,’ Telegram.com

Utilities must address widening business-residential knowledge gap on clean energy: Deloitte, Utility Dive

Baker calls for $2.43B in borrowing, Salem News

Extreme weather sends energy demand growth to 9-year high, Financial Times

The Think Tank Struggling to Write the Green New Deal, The Atlantic

Some Republican Lawmakers Break With Party on Climate Change, Wall St. Journal

Planet is entering ‘new climate regime’ with ‘extraordinary’ heat waves intensified by global warming, study says, Washington Post

Maine Passes State-Level Green New Deal for Workforce Development, Greentech Media

Nova Scotia Power says it now generates 30% of its power from renewables, CBC.ca

Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns, New York Times

Older forests resist change—climate change, that is, Phys.org

Sen. Shaheen hears dire concerns about climate change, Seacoastonline.com

Warming Climate May Reduce Sea Life by 17%, Study Finds, NBC New York

Green Development Says Renewable Energy Proposal Could Save Coventry $19M Over 25 Years, GoLocalProv

 

Wind

Baker addresses pace of offshore wind energy development, Taunton Gazette

Vineyard Wind makes late pitch to residents, South Coast Today

Perfect port an elusive goal for East Coast offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Thanning Pedersen Looks at the Future of OW, New Energy Update

After pause, Maine may have missed the boat on offshore wind, Press Herald

Questions raised over how to bring wind energy to shore, Taunton Gazette

Giant wind farm planned for Allegany, Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties gets mixed reaction, WIVB (NY)

For Fishermen, Wind Farm Debate Contains A Dose Of Inevitability, 27East.com

Estimate the Energy of an Utterly Massive Wind Turbine, Wired

Massachusetts looks to beef up commitment to offshore wind, AP

What’s The Significance Of Connecticut’s New Commitment To Offshore Wind?, WNPR

A clean slate: Bill White brings new energy to wind power firm EnBW, Boston Business Journal

 

Solar

Large-scale solar project proposed for Sandwich, Cape Cod Times

Solar Has New Way to Duck Trump’s Tariffs: Two-Sided Panels, Bloomberg

Maine steps up clean energy turnaround, tees up 80% RPS, pro-solar bills, Utility Dive

Hudson Light joins state solar rebate program, Wicked Local

In Worcester, Access to Solar Energy is Not Equal, Worcester Mag

MA One of States Targeted in Bank of America Solar Initiative, Banker & Tradesman

 

Efficiency/Storage

Green groups ‘stunned’ by fed decision not to hold hearing on energy efficiency rule, The Hill on MSN.com

Viking Cold Solutions Installs 1.3 MW of Thermal Energy Storage in Industrial Cold Storage Facilities as Part of a Massachusetts Utility Demand Management Program, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Board defers decision on nuclear plant owner’s legal motion, Gloucester Daily Times

As Ohio Senate nears vote on nuke subsidy bill, PJM finds closing plants could save $1.6B, Utility Dive

Murphy’s clean energy goals include nuclear in long-awaited master plan, NorthJersey.com

Plan to Reclassify Radioactive Nuclear Waste Spurs Anger, US News & World Report

Part 3: Decommissioning and development – the future of Pilgrim Station, Wicked Local Plymouth

NRC Taking Comments on Petition to Revise Rules on Decommissioning Trusts, Exchange Monitor

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

The money at stake in the battle over CMP’s 145-mile electric line, Bangor Daily News

Judge dismisses antitrust lawsuit against energy providers Eversource, Avangrid, Reuters

More States Explore Performance-based Ratemaking, But Few Incentives in Place, Greentech Media

Governor vetoes bills that target CMP transmission project, Portland Press Herald

National Grid invests in 4 startups, 2 VC funds to boost energy tech, VentureBeat

PUC puts proposed Eversource rate hike on hold, New Hampshire Union Leader

The highly dangerous ‘Triton’ hackers have probed the us grid, Wired

NY utilities to face revenue hit for missed reliability, customer service targets, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hydro power is good, but safeguards needed, CommonWealth Magazine

My Turn: Biomass is an important piece of state’s energy picture, Concord Monitor

Michael Meeropol: How To Pay For The Green New Deal, WAMC

Energy innovation of the future cannot rely on retail choice as its delivery vehicle, Utility Dive

Column: Green energy plan should protect, support our communities, Eagle-Tribune

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Filed under Climate Change, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, Renewables

Energy News for week ending April 26, 2019

Waiving Jones| HouseZero| Blast Day

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Here are the highlights from this week’s energy news.

We know things can change in the administration minute to minute or tweet to tweet, however the northeast got some potentially encouraging news this week via Bloomberg: Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say. “President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico or the Northeast, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting on Monday, following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three people. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is now leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private deliberations. The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.”

While many might cheer the easing of the Jones Act, the builders of one home in Cambridge are likely saying, “No thanks. We’re all good.” WGBH brings us, Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet. “On a quiet residential street close to Harvard University, there’s a wood-shingled house that’s easy to miss. Save for some funky-looking angled awnings around the windows, it’s pretty nondescript. But its simplicity belies its ambition. Welcome to HouseZero, arguably the most energy-efficient building in the world. Ali Malkawi, a Harvard professor of architecture and technology and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, designed HouseZero. When asked why that name, he chuckled. ‘Because there are a lot of zeros,’ Malkawi said. ‘The house doesn’t use almost any energy for heat and cooling. It doesn’t have any electrical light during the day. The building does not have a carbon footprint, including the amount of energy throughout the building materials…’Malkawi is trying to change not just how much energy a building consumes, but how much it produces. The Cambridge house he designed has no lights, no heating or air-conditioning system, and barely a utility bill. While most homeowners or tenants would rejoice over the idea of never having to pay a heating bill, the goal of HouseZero is to produce more energy than it will ever consume. Using passive design, windows automatically open if it starts to get a little warm or stuffy (They can also be opened manually). When the temperature dips outside, a solar chimney keeps the inside temperate… Malkawi hopes that the information gleaned from HouseZero will prove that ultra-efficient buildings like this one are scalable in any climate.”

Well, it’s official. The implosion of the two 500-foot Brayton Point cooling towers will happen tomorrow Saturday, April 27th. According to WPRI News “Time is running short for the large cooling towers at the site of the former Brayton Point Power Station. On Friday, Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said the company performing the demolition has been given the green light for 8 a.m. Saturday.” And according to the Boston Globe, if you haven’t already made your reservations to watch from one of several vantage sites, you may be out of luck. “’Everybody in this area is excited to have the towers come down,’ said Nathan Setera, a manager at Barrett’s Waterfront, a restaurant and bar in Fall River across from the towers. The restaurant is hosting a sold-out “Bring Em Down Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for 250 patrons who will have front-row seats for the implosions. The menu includes a Bloody Mary with a pair of celery stalks in honor of the two towers and a cupcake tower. Castle Island Brewing Co. in Norwood will be there to serve Lil’ Dynomite, a red ale, Setera said. Cristoff Shay, executive vice president and director at Battleship Cove, said tickets for the implosion gathering aboard the USS Massachusetts sold out within 24 hours. ‘It’s a historic event,’ he said. ‘It seemed people were very eager and excited.’”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say, Bloomberg

North Andover woman’s lawsuit is 16th filed against Columbia Gas since disaster, Eagle Tribune

Utility is undecided about seeking a rate increase after Lawrence-area disaster, Boston Globe

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely, Wall St. Journal

Con Edison deal could end natural-gas crisis—in 2023, Crain’s New York

NTSB: 5 lessons learned from a Silver Spring gas explosion that killed 7, WUSA

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: Going 100 percent renewable power means a lot of dirty mining, Salon.com

A climate change solution slowly gains ground, Washington Post

Electrifying Your Home is Good for You, Sierra Club

Maine AFL-CIO Becomes First State Federation to Support a Green New Deal Bill, In These Times

New York targets 1.5 TWh of new renewables with latest solicitation, Utility Dive

Americans love clean energy. Do they care if it includes nuclear?, Vox.com

How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules, Politico

Is South Portland the ‘greenest’ city in Maine? It’s a leader, for sure, Portland Press Herald

Why Some Landfills are Exploring Virtual Pipelines to Capitalize on Gas, Waste360

New York City eyes Quebec hydropower in bid to go green, Sun Journal

Renewable energy takes bite out of Avangrid’s 1Q profits, Hartford Business Journal

How to stave off that climate anxiety with a renewable energy supplier, Grist

MASSPIRG Campaigning for 100% Renewable Energy, The Beacon – MCLA

Regional Conference Planned on Ocean Energy Innovation, Cape Cod

 

Wind

Offshore wind auction faces a new hitch, Boston Globe

Building Out the US Offshore Wind Supply Chain—a $68 Billion Opportunity, Greentech Media

Massachusetts approves state’s first offshore wind contracts for 800 MW, Utility Dive

Developer of R.I. wind farm announces education, workforce initiative, Providence Journal

NS Zoning Board to resume turbine hearing tonight, The Call (RI)

Massachusetts offshore wind project gets green light at roughly 8.9 cents/kWh, Ars Technica

Students develop acoustic device to detect whales near offshore wind farm, Phys.org

Turbine Blade Testing Underway Ahead of Massachusetts’ 1st Wind Farm, NECN

 

Solar

New Jersey’s Community Solar Market: Ready to Shine, Greentech Media

New York updates distributed solar tariff, clearing path for 1 GW of new generation, Utility Dive

Fate of northern Vermont solar projects uncertain, VTDigger

Encore Renewable Energy takes historic silk mill solar in Keene, N.H., helping city meet its goal of 100% renewables by 2030, Utility Dive

Cape Cod Solar Company Donates Solar Panels to Hingham High School, Cape Cod Today

Seekonk farm gets state grant for solar system, Sun Chronicle

Planning Board delays solar farm application approval, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A cleaner, cheaper approach to heating and cooling, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Study Says Lighting Controls Boost LED Efficiency by 47 Percent, Buildings

GE announces first solar+storage projects since renewable business restructuring, Utility Dive

Duke, Eversource commit to create energy storage safety standards, Utility Dive

Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet, WBGH

New York Releases RFI for Energy Storage. Kicks Off $280 Million Incentive Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

This Vermont Town Took A Big Hit When Its Nuclear Plant Closed, WBUR

NRC Eases Curbs on A-Plant Licenses, Los Angeles Times

New Jersey approves up to $300M in annual nuclear plant subsidies, despite profitability claims, Utility Dive

Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner blasts state’s nuclear bailout bill, Utility Dive

Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim, WBUR

As Pilgrim Powers Down, Some Worry It Will Leave Behind Too Much Radiation, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

R.I. climate activists to hold ‘watch party’ as Brayton Point towers fall, Providence Journal

Going down: All you need to know about the implosion of Somerset’s cooling towers, Providence Journal

Tower implosion day brunches selling out fast in Fall River, Herald News

State OKs $141 million in charges for storm recovery, The Hour

Eversource seeks Seacoast Reliability Project permit, Seacoastonline.com

Future of New Haven’s defunct English Station power plant unclear, New Haven Register

ISO New England is excluding Invenergy’s proposed power plant from its future power projections, Uprise RI

Burrillville power-plant proposal wins court battle over Johnston water deal, Providence Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

An Earth Day wish: Bring hydro cars to Mass., Boston Globe

Don’t repeal the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels deception, Daily Bulldog

We’ve got plenty of gas and don’t need the PennEast pipeline winding through N.J., group says, NJ.com

Maine Voices: State should put projects on hold, plan for clean-energy future, Portland Press Herald

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

Energy News for week ending April 19, 2019

Accelerated repairs | Ambitious EE | Plastic Crystals

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Let’s end the week on a happy note. Here are three stories that all have positive vibes.

First from MassLive, Springfield councilors praise Columbia Gas for accelerated gas leak repairs. “City councilors, during a meeting Wednesday with representatives of Columbia Gas, said they are pleased with reports that the company has accelerated repairs of gas leaks in Springfield… While the company immediately repairs the most serious leaks, known as Grade 1, it accelerated its program to repair the less serious Grade 2 and 3 leaks. There are 162 known Grade 2 leaks in Springfield that will be repaired by Dec. 1, said David Nelson, operations station manager for Columbia Gas. There 233 Grade 3 leaks, which are defined as not posing a risk to life and property, with the utility company currently planning to repair the two that are deemed the “highest emitters,” Nelson said. City Councilor Jesse Lederman, chairman of the council’s Sustainability and Environment Committee, said he recalls there being 590 gas leaks in all categories in 2017. “It sounds like there is really great progress,” said Lederman, who was one of the community activists lobbying for the accelerated gas repair program. Councilor Adam Gomez also praised the efforts to go after the gas leaks.”

Next, we go to New York with a story from Greentech Media, New York City Set to Pass Ambitious Energy Efficiency Mandate. “New York City is on the verge of enacting one of the most ambitious citywide building energy efficiency laws in the country, aimed at getting its biggest buildings — including landmarks like the Empire State Building and Trump Tower — to shave their carbon emissions footprint by 40 percent by 2030 or face financial penalties. Backers of the bill say it’s an important step to help meet New York state’s broader climate change goals, and could pave the way for similar efforts in cities across the country.”

For our new technology focus we turn to New Scientist, Fridges made from plastic crystals could help cut carbon emissions. A fridge that runs on plastic crystals could solve a big problem: our need to stay cool is warming the planet. Refrigeration equipment, air conditioners and heat pumps are estimated to consume between 25 and 30 per cent of the world’s electricity – and many rely on greenhouse gases to transfer heat. Bing Li at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Metal Research in Shenyang and his colleagues have used an alternative cooling material known as plastic crystals, which they believe could use less energy and be better for the environment.

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Springfield councilors praise Columbia Gas for accelerated gas leak repairs, MassLive

FSU professor: Eversource pipe proposal is not necessary, Milford Daily News

Ashland residents decry pipe plan at hearing, Milford Daily News

State orders more sampling at proposed compressor site, Patriot Ledger

How Canada’s other major energy export could light up New England states, The Telegram

Gas pipeline proposal would tunnel under Merrimack and Souhegan rivers, The Telegraph

Serious gas leak at Andover home repaired, Boston Globe

Columbia Gas responds to over-pressurized gas lines in western Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast, Washington Post

Trump-appointed energy official: Climate change is real and we must lower carbon emissions, CNN

Electrification Myth-Busting: Heat Pumps Are Ready for Cold Climates Today, Greentech Media

Vermont Utility Green Mountain Power Commits to 100% Renewables by 2030, Greentech Media

Sen. Ed Markey: “We are now in the era of the Green New Deal,” Vox.com

Momentum Builds for Green New Deal Plans as Maine’s Bill Gets a Powerful Endorsement, Earther Gizmodo

Wild bee species critical to pollination on the decline in New England, Portland Press Herald

EPA Chief Says Climate Change Is Not His Top Priority, Time

New Hampshire’s new clean-energy consensus, Keene Sentinel

Latest EPA climate pollution data shows disturbing lack of progress, Environmental Defense Fund

Vt.’s Largest Utility Wants 100% Renewable Power by 2030, NECN

Earth Day: Climate change and the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Official warning to banks: Get real about climate change or risk going bust, CNN

Three Areas Where These Young N.H. Leaders Agree On Climate Change Policy, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

Wind

CT’s sole wind farm wants Eversource to cover costly outages, Hartford Business

Offshore wind farms are spinning up in the US—at last, Wired

DPU gives $168m offshore wind bonus to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

CDC getting ready to take down towers at Brayton Point, southcoasttoday.com

State Pier’s future — wind or no wind?, The Day

Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up in the US—At Last, Wired

 

Solar

Proposed R.I. solar farms endangering rural forests, environmentalists say, Providence Journal

Norton town meeting sides with solar farm opponents, Sun Chronicle

Discussion Sheds Light On Second Phase Of EDIC Solar Array, Falmouth Enterprise

UMPI looking into solar energy projects to replace wind turbine, WAGM TV

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

EPA honors Efficiency Vermont with ENERGY STAR award, Rutland Herald

Fridges made from plastic crystals could help cut carbon emissions, New Scientist

New York City Set to Pass Ambitious Energy Efficiency Mandate, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Millstone workers, state & local officials tout 10-year deal, The Day

Electric bills to rise as NJ approves nuclear plant subsidies, WKXW

Entergy announces plan to sell Indian Point by 2021, Lohud.com

Gov. addresses future of Millstone nuclear facility, WFSB

Where will the nuclear waste go after Three Mile Island shuts down?, Philly.com

Supreme Court won’t hear nuke subsidy cases, clarifying state energy jurisdiction, Utility Dive

NRC to Meet With Connecticut Nuclear Energy Advisory Council to Discuss 2018 Millstone Station Performance, Energy Central

Hulking Nuclear Plants Try to Get Nimble in Volatile Power Markets, Bloomberg

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change, Bloomberg

N.J. approves $300 million annual subsidy for nuclear industry that threatened shutdown, WHYY

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Lewiston the big winner in controversial power line project, Portland Press Herald

In CT electric market, ‘buyer beware’ not enough?, The Hour

Durham approves $1M settlement with Eversource, Seacoastonline.com

South Portland-Montreal pipeline pitched as possible route for proposed CMP line, Portland Press Herald

State Releases More Heating Aid; Advocates Want Full Amount, WBUR

What Electrification of Transportation and Buildings Means to Microgrids: Interview, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

We need both renewables and natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

BAKER AND LAROCQUE: Compressor station threatens Weymouth’s health and safety, Patriot Ledger

Letter: The right way to use RGGI money, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Wind-, solar-charged batteries better option than NECEC, Portland Press Herald

It’s time for power grid to look at benefits of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the editor: CMP line would bring clean power to New England, Press Herald

In face of climate change, time to retreat, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending April 12, 2019

Transparent Wood | Housing Upgrade | No. 1 Threat to the Grid

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

 

This week we start with something that’s seems fantastical but is possible – see-through wood. From the New Scientist, “Transparent wood could one day replace glass in windows. A process for turning it see-through also gives it heat-retaining powers, which could help regulate the temperature of buildings. Céline Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and colleagues built on previous work which created transparent wood by removing a structural component called lignin from wood, allowing light to filter through. For the next stage, the team soaked de-lignified birch wood in PEG (polyethylene glycol), a polymer that is also found in theatre smoke machines and toothpaste. When encapsulated in the wood panels, this makes it harder for heat to cross – whether you’re insulating a building against the cold outside, or trying to keep out summer heat…’When we build we try to use a lot of glass, but it has a drawback of being a bad insulator, so there are large amounts of heat loss,’ says Montanari. ‘Wood is really amazing, 10 times better at insulating, but it does not transmit light.’ The composite wood isn’t quite as good an insulator as natural wood, but is around four times better than high-end double glazing. The material can also bear heavy loads and is biodegradable, making it easier to dispose of than concrete or glass.”

Next we have a story that I don’t think anyone can complain about. From WCAI, Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade. “Harwich residents brought doughnuts out for Eversouce Energy workers on Tuesday morning as the crew put up a nest platform for a pair of ospreys on Route 28. The birds arrived in the area at the end of March for nesting season but when they went to settle into their old haunt on top of a telephone pole, the nest was gone. Eversource had dismantled the osprey’s nest and covered the site with a rounded plastic guard because the nest posed a safety hazard, says Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. ‘It is a matter of a risk to our electric system, to people and to ospreys themselves, in fact, as these nests do have the potential to cause a fire.’ Every time Eversouce takes down an osprey nest from one of their utility poles, they look for a nearby location to build an alternative nesting platform, Lamberty says. But they can’t always find a good spot…This time though, the birds got lucky. After bird watcher Sally Steinmann of South Harwich complained to Eversource, the company agreed to build a nest platform off a nearby utility pole. ‘The public outcry is what made this happen,’ Steinmann says. ‘But it’s the birds who made us want to help them.’”

Speaking of grid hazards, most people think cyber attacks are the greatest threat to the electric grid. It turns out that’s not the case. From Inside Sources, “Last week, President Donald Trump released an executive order intended to protect the U.S. from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks against the electric grid. But there is another threat to the grid, one that is far more low-tech and far more common, than a smuggled EMP device: Squirrels. ‘I’m all for increasing grid resilience, but here’s a threat priority list: 1. Squirrels 2. Tree branches 3. Heat waves/hurricanes/other climate-amplified threats,’ joked Costa Samaras, an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation in a tweet. He may have been joking, but his math is dead on.  For a small mammal, squirrels cause a surprising amount of damage to the grid. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by squirrels, cutting off power to more than 193,873 customers. These incidents are more common in the spring and fall but can happen throughout the year. To try to stop the furry menaces and to keep equipment safe, utility companies employ a variety of deterrents like wheels, cages, and guards. Despite these efforts, squirrels are a constant operating hazard.” And here I thought keeping them out of the bird feeder was hard enough.

That’s the news for this week. Enjoy the stories below. Have a great weekend. And if you’re running Boston on Monday, take care and have fun!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sen. Markey unveils federal pipeline safety legislation named after Leonel Rondon, killed in Valley gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Pennsylvania governor under scrutiny for role in approving pipeline, The Guardian

Trump Plans to Sign Executive Orders to Expedite Pipelines, Wall St. Journal

Study: Natural gas pipelines leaking in Danbury, other cities, Connecticut Post

Power Plant Hearings End, Decision This Summer, ECO RI

Compressor Station Opponents Urged to Oppose Gas, ECO RI

Trump’s order would make it harder for states to block pipelines, Kennebec Journal

Utility Blamed for Gas Explosions Resumes Efforts to Replace Damaged Heating Equipment, NECN

Ocean uproar: saving marine life from a barrage of noise, Nature

Dominion gas explosion kills one, injures 17 in North Carolina, Utility Dive

‘Bomb Trains.’ Trump’s Plan to Ship Natural Gas by Rail Raises Alarm, Fortune

MIT says we’re overlooking a near-term solution to diesel trucking emissions, Ars Technica

Inside the Gas Industry’s Plan to Sink Nuclear Power, Daily Beast

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Climate Change Is Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis, The New Yorker

Is Mass. Keeping Its Offshore Wind, Hydro Procurement Promises?, Climate X Change

Global CO2 levels ‘unprecedented’ in last 3M years, E&E News

Millennial legislators bond around push for renewables, Taunton Gazette

Investors Should Worry If Climate Goals Are Missed, Report Warns, Bloomberg

Maryland General Assembly approves 50 percent renewable energy target for 2030, The Baltimore Sun

Nahant earns Green Community designation, Daily Item

100% renewable energy ‘moonshot’ for millennials at Fitchburg State forum, Telegram

Among other millennials, Framingham state Rep. Maria Robinson pushes for renewables, MetroWest Daily News

Climate Change Throws Shade on Forest Wildflowers, Boston University

UNH research: 14 wild bee species native to New England on the decline, New Hampshire Union Leader

Biomass plants ask state Supreme Court to intervene over law, WMUR

 

Wind

State delays decision on Vineyard Wind cable, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind commits to fisheries monitoring, Cape Cod Times

New Jerseyans like the idea of expanding wind power, poll finds, NJ 101.5

New Jersey governor unveils portal to enhance state’s offshore wind supply chain, Utility Dive

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, reNews

Scaling the US East Coast offshore wind industry to 20 gigawatts and beyond, McKinsey & Company

Offshore wind output beats solar for the first time in Germany, Recharge

Bernie Sanders Video Mocks Trump for Being the ‘Only Person in the World’ Who Believes Wind Turbines Cause Cancer, Newsweek

Windsor and Sanford Residents voice their displeasure with a planned wind turbine project, WICZ

 

Solar

L.A. could replace traditional power plants with home solar, experts say, NBC News

New community solar project in Hartland, VT converts brownfield to brightfield, VTDigger

As key solar perk hits sunset, CT grapples with net metering, Connecticut Post

SW looks at solar panels on school roofs, Journal Inquirer

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Windows made of transparent wood could help keep buildings warm, New Scientist

States can grow battery resources with ‘one simple step,’ report finds, Utility Dive

Eversource advances Cape Cod battery project, defers 13-mile distribution line, Utility Dive

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, VTDigger

MASS SAVE earns 2019 Energy Star® partner of the year – sustained excellence award, Utility Dive

Researchers charge ahead on battery storage, Phys.org

Vattenfall to test salt-based power storage technology, Reuters

 

EVs

Bipartisan group of lawmakers proposes extending tax credits for electric, fuel cell vehicles, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Three Mile Island nuclear reactor dismantling could take six decades, more than $1 billion, Philadelphia Enquirer

NRC sets Sept. hearing date for C-10’s filing, Newburyport Daily News

Indian Point Unit 3 returns to service after final refueling, Mid-Hudson News

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewing Millstone decommissioning funds, The Day

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bailout Plan for the State’s Two Nuclear Power Plants, WKSU

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource fights to keep Northern Pass alive, Boston Globe

This Threat To America’s Energy Grid Is Driving Security Experts Nuts, Inside Sources

How the Energy Department Tackles Cyberthreats, Fedtech Magazine

Berkshire delegation says Baker’s cuts to LIHEAP ‘a shock,‘ Berkshire Eagle

ISO-NE considers new seasonal forward market to improve energy security, Utility Dive

CMP wins key certificate from regulators for transmission line, Portland Press Herald

Watertown hydro plant’s three turbines creating power, Watertown Daily Times

Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade, Cape and Islands NPR

Opponents of CMP transmission line project push bills to slow it down, Portland Press Herald

$30M in state funding available for electric grid projects, Syracuse.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Nuclear Power Can Save the World, New York Times

Gas hookup moratoriums are not good for any of us, CommonWealth Magazine

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

Power companies must prove need for extending natural gas pipelines in New England (Letters), MassLive

Steven Kahl: The Electric Economy is the future, Kennebec Journal

As I See It: Solar on all new homes would help protect Massachusetts’ air and water, Telegram

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending April 5, 2019

IMBY| Maine Boost| Duck Hunting

 

Welcome to the April 5th edition of the Northeast Energy News.

This week we start in New Hampshire where the Monadnock Ledger Transcript reports, “A well-known New Hampshire entrepreneur wants to create an home-sized power plant that can provide electricity, heat and hot water using a type of engine that has been around for a century but never really commercialized…Steve Walker, founder of New England Wood Pellet and innovator in the biomass industry, who has founded a tiny company in Peterborough that just got $3 million in federal research money to develop a mini power plant that can fit in your home using a Brayton cycle engine…Walker has assembled a small team and formed a company called IMBY, which stands for “In My Back Yard.” Their goal is to put a Brayton engine combined with a heat pump in a single unit that creates both electricity and heat – known as “combined heat and power,” the most efficient way to generate energy for buildings – and to make it available for about $15,000 installed in a single-family home. If such a unit could provide a home’s electricity, heat, air conditioning and even hot water, as well as act as a backup generator during power outages and possibly make a little money by selling power back into the grid, then there’s definitely a market.”

Now we move east to Maine, where according to the State House News Service via the Worcester Business Journal, “The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission has recommended a key certificate for a major hydropower project that could bring major economic and environmental benefits to New England, though staffers acknowledged “adverse and significant” effects on scenic and recreational values in areas near the project. Maine’s Public Utilities Commission staff on Friday night recommended a certificate of public convenience and necessity for New England Clean Energy Connect, a 1,200 megawatt transmission line project running 145 miles from the Canadian border to Lewiston, Maine that is designed to move Hydro Québec power into the region.”

With respect to that bit about “’adverse and significant’ effects on scenic and recreational values,” be sure to check out the Editorial/Opinions section for several items related to that topic.

Our last stop this week is Massachusetts, where PV Magazine reports that we have really lousy weather, especially in the winter, at least when it comes to solar. “Massachusetts goes duck hunting. The state has unveiled a straw proposal of its new Clean Peak Standard, which appears to focus on mitigating future “duck curve” effects, as well as meeting winter peak energy demand. And this is good news for solar + battery storage…the administration of Governor Charlie Baker (R) has compelling reasons for designing the policy whose first draft which was unveiled today in Boston: the Clean Peak Standard. This policy is designed to incentivize energy sources that not only supply zero-carbon electricity, but supply it when it is needed.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Statewide review of natural gas systems part of budget bill, Boston Herald

Moulton, Trahan: Act now on gas-pipeline safety, Eagle Tribune

New State Regulation Could Cut Emissions From Natural Gas Leaks In Half, Report Says, WBUR

Citizens speak out during Tennessee Gas Pipeline hearing, Reminder Publications

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Get Ready For 1.5¢ Renewable Electricity, Steven Chu Says, Which Could Unleash Hydrogen Economy, Forbes.com

Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables. New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils, Microgrid Knowledge

Siting of Renewables Divides Rhode Island’s Land and People, ecoRI news

 

Wind

We Checked President Trump’s Dubious Claims on the Perils of Wind Power, New York Times

Sen. Collins stresses importance of funding wind energy program, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

As Maine re-ups net metering, fight over solar tariffs brews in Connecticut, Utility Dive

Solar Power’s Benefits Don’t Shine Equally on Everyone, Scientific American

NJ Board of Public Utilities launches solar energy pilot program, Daily Energy Insider

Massachusetts goes duck hunting, pv magazine USA

Rhode Island Sweetens Brownfield Solar Incentives, Solar Industry

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How Massachusetts Compensates Battery Storage Owners for Energy Efficiency: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

Maryland passes energy storage pilot program to determine future regulatory framework, Utility Dive

Clean Energy Group: Massachusetts creates nationwide precedent to reduce storage, Vermont Biz

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, vtdigger.org

 

Nuclear

Senate re-introduces bill to help advanced nuclear technology, Ars Technica

Commission, state to ask feds for Vt. Hearing, Brattleboro Reformer

Pa. Senate bill aims to aid state nuclear plants, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Massachusetts Says it Has Right to Intervene in Pilgrim Plant License transfer, Exchange Monitor

How the nuclear “dread” zone handicaps public support, Axios.com

Why some environmental groups oppose a bill to help out low-carbon nuclear plants, Pennsylvania Capital-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, renews.biz

Hydro project sought by Massachusetts gets boost in Maine, Worcester Business Journal

Controversial $1B Canada-US transmission line gets nod from Maine PUC staff, Utility Dive

ISO-NE releases discussion paper on energy security challenges, solutions, ISO Newswire

Ward councilor, assistant AG fight National Grid rate increase at Brockton hearing, Enterprise News

Safety first, Eagle-Tribune

Major energy project in the works in Peterborough, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Divided Mainers weigh in on CMP’s $1B transmission project, Bangor Daily News

 

Editorial/Opinion

The Climate Needs Nuclear Power, Wall St. Journal

FLOATING WIND TURBINES – A No-Brainer for Newfoundland Offshore, The OGM

Maine Voices: CMP corridor’s climate claims don’t hold up to scrutiny, Press Herald

Letter to the Editor: Dismayed about CMP power line, Daily Bulldog

Do not bury solar energy in Connecticut, The CT Mirror

New England Grid Operator Ignores Value of Offshore Wind, Natural Resources Defense Council

Our View: Maine’s new solar law is just a first step, Press Herald

Viewpoint: Corridor would compromise forests, Mount Desert Islander

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, Pilgrim Closing, solar