Category Archives: nuclear

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 May 1, 2020

Texas | Cheapest in the Word | Supercapacitor | Betty and Nike

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start with a blog post from David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Seriously. He has a blog named Reasons to Be Cheerful (which makes me think more of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, but this is not a music newsletter). It is a long and thoughtful piece, and definitely worth a read. From the post, “Can’t We all be Like Texas? Last week, oil prices went negative. There is nowhere to store the oil being pumped out of the ground because demand, due to the coronavirus, has collapsed. There is less flying, less driving and fewer factories operating. So oil producers and their financial backers have been paying folks to take their oil. There are jokes going around that if you had a big storage tank in your basement, you could get paid to take some oil and sell it at a huge profit when, and if, the price goes up again. West Texas is oil country. But there is something else going on in West Texas: it is a world capital of wind energy. Last year, Texas got more of its energy from wind — 23.4 percent — than any other U.S. state. In fact, if Texas were a country (which some might argue it is) it would rank fifth in the world in wind power generation, just behind Germany and India. Wind in oil country may seem like a contradiction, but to Texans it makes perfect sense…All this focus on wind may seem surprising — we all know West Texas is oil country, and that the entire state often leans to the right politically. What’s encouraging is that, in this respect, Texans are behaving like conservatives are supposed to: they are ignoring ideological and partisan dogma and instead doing what makes economic sense. Wind has been forecast to be cheaper than oil in the long run — once the transmission lines and windmills are up, the costs, in theory, drop way down.”

To provide a proof point for Byrne’s economic benefit statement there is this from Bloomberg, Solar and Wind Cheapest Sources of Power in Most of the World.

For our new technology feature this week, we bring you a couple of solar stories and one for storage. Engineers make a promising material stable enough for use in solar cells, Purdue and Are Solar Windows The Next Big Renewable Breakthrough?, Oilprice.com

And from Popular Mechanics, “How to Turn Coal, Tar, and Pitch Into Useful Stuff—with Lasers! From petroleum trash to treasure. In a future where we no longer process and burn up our heavy hydrocarbons like coal, tar, and pitch, could they have new life as sophisticated manufactured goods? Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology have published a new paper in Science Advances describing case studies for new ways to use these complex chemicals. ‘In a sense, what the team did is the inverse of traditional processing of fossil fuels, in which the complex mix of hydrocarbons undergoes stage after stage of breaking down chemical bonds and separating out different compounds,’ MIT said in a statement. ‘In this work, the various kinds of heavy hydrocarbon complexes were used just as they are, making use of the wide variety of properties to be found in the different materials.’…Using this technique, the team applied different materials to make ‘a supercapacitor to store electricity, a flexible strain gauge, and a transparent heater.’”

As for Betty and Nike. These stories have nothing to do with energy. But I’m sharing them because: A. I like cats and the weather. B. I like dogs and the Patriots (but not necessarily in that order or together). And C. Who can’t use some good and funny animal stories these days? These two became stars because of WFH. Enjoy!

How ‘Betty the Weathercat’ became a star on TV news in Indiana, Washington Post

Please! Let Bill Belichick’s Dog Coach the Patriots, Wall St. Journal

Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

The coal industry was already struggling. Now it’s getting hammered by coronavirus, NPR State Impact

Critics of LNG Plan Say Army Corps Failed to Assess Impacts Before Issuing Permit, NJ Spotlight

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

A Satellite Lets Scientists See Antarctica’s Melting Like Never Before, New York Times

Government probe finds companies claiming carbon capture tax credit didn’t follow EPA requirements, The Hill

Renewables Giants May Get Even Bigger as Crisis Tightens Finance Markets, Greentech Media

How Concern Over Climate Change Correlates With Coronavirus Responses, Morning Consult

Solar and Wind Cheapest Sources of Power in Most of the World, Bloomberg

Emissions Declines Will Set Records This Year. But It’s Not Good News., New York Times

Clean Energy Center’s financial woes continue to mount, CommonWealth Magazine

Shell and BP Slash Spending but Renewables Largely Spared, Greentech Media

Billions in Clean Energy Loans Go Unused as Coronavirus Ravages Economy, New York Times

The Biomass Fiasco, Counterpunch.org

 

Wind

Mayflower Wind airs offshore plans, MV Times

5 Orsted US Offshore Wind Projects Face Possible Delay Due to COVID-19, Permitting Challenges, Greentech Media

Offshore Wind Finding Direction in U.S., Power Magazine

Ipswich still waiting for answers on complicated process to remove broken wind turbine, localne.ws

Struggling Distributed Wind Sector Eyes Role in Microgrids Market, Greentech Media

Can We All Be Like Texas?, Reasons to be Cheerful

Avangrid Withdraws Guidance due to Coronavirus, Vineyard Wind Uncertainty, Greentech Media

Judge strikes plan to put wind turbines on Bethlehem Authority land, The Morning Call

US wind industry weathers COVID-19 to deliver 1,800 more megawatts in first quarter, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

AG sues solar array developer over environmental damage in Williamsburg, Daily Hampshire Gazette

More Money for Brownfield Solar Offered, But Better Land Protection Needed, EcoRI

Engineers make a promising material stable enough for use in solar cells, Purdue

How Northeast state solar programs are reacting to COVID-19, Solar Power World

Standard Solar’s Wallingford, Vermont, 3.2 MW Brownfield Solar Project for Renewable Energy Program Complete, Electric Energy Online

After the Coronavirus pandemic, expect solar energy to change farming for the better, redgreenandblue.org

Torrington’s O&G debuts 1.3 megawatt solar array at Southbury quarry, Litchfield County Times

So, What Exactly Is Community Solar,? Greentech Media

Are Solar Windows The Next Big Renewable Breakthrough?, Oilprice.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mass. energy efficiency program goes virtual to help with rise in home electricity use, Boston 25 News

New Incentives Help University Save Energy, Money, UMassLowell

New York expedites energy efficiency vendor payments to bolster industry rattled by COVID-19, Utility Dive

Reading Municipal Light Department offering lawn equipment rebates, Wicked Local

How to Turn Coal, Tar, and Pitch Into Useful Stuff—with Lasers!, Popular Mechanics

Size Matters: Energy Storage Scales Up To Beat Down Fossil Fuels, CleanTechnica

 

EVs

Electric vehicle roadmap released for CT, Middletown News

Could Hydrogen Fuel Cells Revive, Threaten Battery Technology In Cars,? Forbes.com

 

Nuclear

30 Years Later, This Big Boy Fusion Reactor Is Almost Ready to Turn On, Scientific American

Accelerating reactor decommissioning, Nuclear Engineering International

Curtain lowers on nuke plant a stone’s throw from Manhattan, AP News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP corridor proponents appeal decision to allow anti-powerline ballot question, Bangor Daily News

Residential electricity use increasing amid pandemic, Western Mass News

GE, Siemens, Utilities Take Hits From Coronavirus, Power Magazine

5 Key Threats for US Utilities as Earnings Season Kicks Off, Greentech Media

Maine PUC examining the impacts of COVID-19 on customers, utilities, Daily Energy Insider

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Nuclear power must compete in the deregulated market, Telegram.com

The pandemic’s impact on our electric grid and those who maintain it, Hartford Courant

Letter to the Editor: Not a good deal, Daily Bull Dog

Post-COVID-19: A positive outlook for the commercial solar industry, Utility Dive

States Standing Strong on Clean Energy Commitments Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Greentech Media

Michael Moore’s green energy takedown—worse than Netflix’s Goop series,? Ars-Technica

Opinion: A No-Cost Way to Save US Clean Energy Jobs During the Crisis, Greentech Media

Op-Ed: Batteries Can Help NJ Achieve Clean-Energy Goals, Save Money for Ratepayers, NJ spotlight

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending April 24, 2020

Secretive Group | Rejected | Increased Performance | Complex Power

Happy Friday afternoon.

It has been a very busy day here so we’re cutting out the full recap for this week. Sorry about that.

Instead here are the links to some stories that piqued our curiosity and have the potential for big impacts.

Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New report says R.I. will transition away from natural gas and oil heat, Providence Journal

Markey, Warren seek Weymouth compressor station’s coronavirus plan, Patriot Ledger

Report: Natural gas is a loser for long-term utility shareholder value, Utility Dive

Oil Plunges to Lowest Since 1986 Ahead of Contract Expiration, Bloomberg

The Fight To Stop Fossil Fuel Financing Is Poised To Get Some Powerful New Allies, Huffington Post

The coronavirus crisis means we may have already reached peak carbon, CNBC

Oil price goes negative as demand collapses; stocks dip, Taunton Gazette

Pandemic Shutdown Is Speeding Up The Collapse Of Coal, NPR

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

This year is on track to be Earth’s warmest on record, beating 2016, NOAA says, Washington Post

Senators’ letter urge Gov. Wolf to rescind RGGI, Indiana Gazette

After Pandemic, New York’s Buildings Face Daunting Decarbonization Mandate, Greentech Media

‘Dead in the water’: New York’s clean energy sector looks for a jump-start, Politico.com

Clean energy can be a ‘huge job creator’ as economy recovers, Tom Steyer says, LA Times

Harvard pledges net-zero investment in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Boston Globe

Pandemic to drive carbon emissions down 6% this year: WMO, Reuters

Analysis: Coronavirus set to cause largest ever annual fall in CO2 emissions, Carbon Brief

Drop in emissions due to pandemic won’t fix climate, WMO says, Reuters

Arctic will see ice-free summers by 2050 as globe warms, study says, USA Today

Net-zero target gets mixed reviews, CommonWealth Magazine

New Renewable Energy Agreements To Reduce Boston Scientific Carbon Footprint By Half, Global Energy World

 

Wind

New York hits the brakes on 2.5 GW solicitation of offshore wind due to COVID-19, Utility Dive

Can Offshore Wind Prop Up Oil’s Supply Chain Through the Price Crunch,? Greentech Media

Brayton Point owners say wind industry showing interest in site, The Herald News

Wind is Now America’s Largest Renewable Energy Provider and the Top Choice for New Utility-Scale Power, NA Clean Energy

Vineyard Wind’s Permitting On Track Despite Coronavirus, BOEM Says, Greentech Media

Rooftop Wind Power Might Take Off by Using Key Principle of Flight, Scientific American

Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration, EurakAlert!.org

BOEM considers virtual public comment on Vineyard Wind study, National Fisherman

Skipjack offshore wind announces 1 year delay due to federal permitting holdups, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Grant will bring solar planning to 3 Western Massachusetts towns, MassLive

A New Response to Coronavirus: Giving Solar Away for Free, Greentech Media

Trump Administration Removes Tariff Exemption for Bifacial Solar Panels — Again, Greentech Media

Secretive group’s petition to FERC could ‘end net metering as we know it,’ lawyers say, Utility Dive

Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy, Phys.org

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Renewable industry urges New Jersey to address the peak with storage, PV Magazine

Storage, smart grid, energy efficiency sectors see $337M in Q1 corporate funding: Report, Utility Dive

 

EVs

New Jersey to Devote Cap-and-Trade Revenue to Electrifying Transportation, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Fate of Beaver Valley plant could hinge on federal fight over nuclear payments in power markets, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Nuclear Industry Pushes Back Against Coronavirus, Forbes

1st Shutdown Imminent At Indian Point, Patch.com

Indian Point closure during pandemic is wrong, says climate group, World Nuclear News

NextEra, NRC pressed for pandemic plan at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

NRC Delivers Briefing On Indian Point Decommissioning, WAMC

Trump officials pitch nuclear plan that would bolster struggling uranium industry, The Hill

Petition calls for Indian Point nuclear plant to continue operating, NEI Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Shedding light on complex power systems, MIT News

Utility Stocks Aren’t Immune to COVID-19’s Impact, NASDAQ.com

New England grid operator, market participants divided over how to improve region’s energy security, Utility Dive

New York demand response providers press regulators for flexibility as COVID-19 challenges mount, Utility Dive

See how covid-19 is reshaping the electric rhythms of New York City, New York Times

How utilities are using AI to adapt to electricity demands, VentureBeat.com

Judge rejects lawsuit aimed at derailing vote on CMP Power line project, Press Herald

NARUC Publishes New Smart Grid Interoperability Report, NARUC.org (press release)

 

Editorial/Opinion

Dear efficiency advocates: Don’t fear electrification, Utility Dive

Reflections on the First Earth Day and What’s Ahead for New York, NRDC.org

Envisioning a vibrant, healthy state powered by 100% renewable energy, Greenfield Recorder

Letter to the Editor: CMP headlines, Daily BullDog

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

Energy News for week ending April 10, 2020

CCC | Decarbonize the Peak | Float

Happy Friday afternoon.

While many types of work have stopped due to the pandemic, the State House News Service via WBUR tells us that the Weymouth Compressor Construction Continues. “The construction of a major natural gas infrastructure project in Weymouth is one effort that hasn’t been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic. ‘We are currently proceeding with construction activities for the Weymouth Compressor Station, while taking steps to protect work crews and the public,’ Enbridge spokesman Max Bergeron said. Enbridge is following guidance provided by governmental authorities, Bergeron said, noting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified energy infrastructure as being critical during the COVID-19 response.”

From the National Law Journal we have news about Massachusetts. “Following months of development and building on a host of previous renewable and alternative energy portfolio programs intended to incrementally decarbonize the electric sector, Massachusetts is poised to codify a Clean Energy Peak Standard (CPS) in the summer of 2020. In contrast to the existing Massachusetts programs, which have incentivized renewable and alternative energy sources simply to ‘show-up,’ the CPS takes aim at incentivizing new and existing generation resources to ‘show-up at the right time’ in order to further reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. Electricity generators and commercial, industrial and residential energy consumers alike should understand this new incentive program.”

Our new technology story this week comes out of Northeastern. “If you’re a wind turbine, there’s one place where you’d want to be. Far from the shore, out in the open ocean, and particularly in the North Atlantic, where the wind’s energy could potentially power an entire country the size of the United States. But harvesting wind energy in the ocean has posed an engineering feat that requires specialized equipment to manufacture and install heavy towers and propeller-like blades to catch the wind. Those towers—massive steel structures larger than the Statue of Liberty—need to be affixed to the sea floor. That means wind energy is a resource that can only be tapped in shallow waters, and that turbines need to be constructed at sea. Andrew Myers, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern, and his collaborator, Jim Papadopoulos, intend to change that. Myers envisions a process by which wind turbines could be built in U.S. boatyards, launched in shallow ports, and then towed out to the sea. For the past two years, Myers and Papadopoulos have been designing a super light wind turbine that floats in the ocean and that can be installed in both shallow and deep waters. This kind of turbine, anchored to the sea floor, is also designed to reorient itself naturally to face the wind.

That’s the recap for the week. Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth Compressor Construction Continues Despite Pandemic, WBUR

No need for natural gas pipeline across Raritan Bay, environmental report says, My Central Jersey

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Massachusetts Races to Decarbonize the Peak, National Law Review

New York launches $16m fund for clean energy businesses, Renews.biz

New renewable energy siting act voted into law with some changes, NNY360

Wood Mackenzie: What Crashing LNG Prices Mean for Renewables, Greentech Media

New York becomes first state to establish renewables siting office in an effort to speed up deployment, Utility Dive

The coronavirus is hitting renewable energy supply chains and factories, and could slow the global energy transition, CNBC

Even Facing A Pandemic, New York State Remains In The Grip Of The Green Movement, Forbes.com

Oil Companies Are Collapsing, but Wind and Solar Energy Keep Growing, New York Times

Burlington sets ‘Green Stimulus Package’ as part of response to virus, VT Digger

Inside clean energy’s coronavirus job crash, E&E News

7 Transmission Projects That Could Unlock a Renewable Energy Bounty, Greentech Media

Green Hydrogen Pipeline Surges on a Wave of Announced Mega-Projects, Greentech Media

 

Wind

It’s hard to anchor wind turbines to the ocean floor. He’s building one that floats., Northeastern News

Vineyard files Park City Wind mitigation plan, Renews.biz

Coronavirus Unnerves US Wind Market During Record Year for Construction, Greentech Media

New England fishing groups wary of rapid offshore wind development plans , National Wind Watch

Sound from Scituate Wind turbine in compliance with MassDEP regs, Wicked Local Scituate

Turbine work upsets residents, The Observer (NY)

 

Solar

Utility Customers Will No Longer Fund State’s Solar Projects, BPU Rules, NJ Spotlight

Officials outraged over proposed solar siting changes, Hudson Valley 360

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency efforts are shutting down due to COVID-19, threatening jobs and savings, Utility Dive

DOE eyes storage technologies to improve the performance of fossil fuel plants, Utility Dive

‘Horrible.’ Coronavirus unravels energy efficiency industry, E&E News

Residents and Businesses Can Earn Cash for Energy Saving Actions Through Innovative “GridRewards” Pilot Program, The Daily Times (NY)

States step up climate efforts by requiring utilities to increase energy efficiency, Greenbiz

 

EVs

Why You May Want to Seriously Consider a Microgrid for your Electric Vehicles, Microgrid Knowledge

Ahead of the EV pack: How other states can replicate New Jersey’s legislative success, Utility Dive

IDTechEx Predicts Electric Vehicle Charging Going Zero-Emission, Off-Grid, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Transfer To Go On Despite Coronavirus Concerns, WBUR

NRC to Conduct Public Webinar on April 21 to Discuss Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Topics, Energy Central

NRC to Meet with Connecticut Nuclear Energy Advisory Council to Discuss Millstone Nuclear Power Plant Performance, NRC News Release

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

A warning sign? N.Y. lockdown jolts electricity demand, E&E News

WoodMac: Coronavirus Will Undercut North American Power Demand Through 2021, Greentech Media

Utilities move to delay rate case proceedings during pandemic, Utility Dive

Nearly 650 MW of New York City peaking capacity will retire to comply with tighter regulations, S&P Global Platts

The Power Plant of the Future Is Right in Your Home, Wired

CMP affiliate awards $300 million in contracts for power line project, Press Herald

Virus May Nix 39% of Projects to Build New U.S. Power Plants, Bloomberg Law

How Coronavirus Is Transforming Power Demand in MISO and the Northeast, Greentech Media

Another Way to See the Recession: Power Usage Is Way Down, New York Times

Coronavirus response: Eversource donates $2M to nonprofits; Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is one recipient, MassLive

Microgrid Bill that Clarifies Utility & Operator Roles Approved by Maine House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hybrid Power Plants Are Growing Rapidly, But Are They a Good Idea?, Greentech Media

Mainers know truth about CMP, Central Maine

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

Energy News for week ending March 13, 2020

Something else not to feel good about | Can we keep the jobs? | Ethics Investigation

 

Happy Friday the 13th folks. What.A.Week.

Let’s start with coronavirus-related news. From the Washington Post, “Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that. Humans have seemed unable to get a handle on climate change, with global emissions of greenhouse gases continuing to grow every year. But a microscopic pathogen, so structurally simple that it does not even have a single cell and is arguably not even alive, may be capable of accomplishing what our political leaders thus far cannot. Experts say that greenhouse gas emissions in China, the world’s largest current contributor to climate change, are down 25 percent in recent weeks as the country conducted a massive societal intervention to stop the spread of the virus. Air pollution is also down, due to decreased driving and less coal burning. Meanwhile, as the virus enters a second phase, spreading beyond China to other countries, it is dampening global demand for oil and air travel, and threatening overall global economic growth. All of these are strongly linked to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Next up, Greentech Media asks, “Can New England Hang On to Its Offshore Wind Jobs? Siemens Gamesa, the world’s leading supplier of offshore wind turbines, recently revealed that it’s considering building a $200 million blade factory in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region — a potential cornerstone investment for the domestic supply chain. That’s great news for the U.S. offshore wind industry, though New England officials could be forgiven for being less than thrilled with the choice of location. An offshore wind jobs boom looks set to wash up on American shores…But where those jobs end up is still an open question. And it’s one that officials in New England…may have reason to be nervous about. New England is the cradle of the American offshore wind market and in many ways its spiritual home. It hosts the country’s only operating project (Block Island, off Rhode Island) and its only tailor-made offshore wind port (New Bedford, Massachusetts). Many of the U.S. industry’s most important companies are currently based here. But the region’s future role in the industry — particularly in manufacturing — looks uncertain. Waterside space is tight in southern New England, where many projects are clustered. A number of states in the Mid-Atlantic region, where the population and electricity demand are far larger, now have much higher offshore wind targets.”

We try to be fair and balanced in what we feature, so the last story highlight for this week is out of Maine – a follow-up to the private eye story from last week. From the Portland Press Herald, “Maine Ethics Commission votes 2-1 to investigate power line opponent. The Maine Ethics Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to launch an investigation into one of several groups opposing Central Maine Power Co.’s proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line through the mountains of western Maine. Commission staff will investigate whether Stop the Corridor should have registered as a ballot question committee or a political action committee when it collected funds and made in-kind contributions to a campaign that was gathering signatures for a statewide ballot question to block the corridor. A complaint by Clean Energy Matters, a CMP-funded political action committee that’s working to support the $1 billion project, prompted the commission’s action Tuesday. The investigation is expected to take at least a month.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Have a fun, safe, and healthy weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas-Heavy ISO-New England Braces for Steep Influx of Wind, Solar, Storage, Power Magazine

Maine Natural Gas to be fined $50,000 for safety violations, Portland Press Herald

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth,  CBS Local

National Grid holds first public meeting on gas supply options, Newsday

Trump administration moving to allow railroads to haul liquefied natural gas. Opponents say it’s a risk. Washington Post

Judge issues final approval of $143M gas disaster settlement, Eagle Tribune

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that., Washington Post

Some of Boston’s Priciest Real Estate Is Sinking Into the Earth, WSJ

Healey calls for expanded carbon pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

Coronavirus ‘Really Not the Way You Want To Decrease Emissions,’ Inside Climate News

Massachusetts Pursues New Climate Goals With Help From Local Clean Tech Industry, WGBH

Climate Change Impacting New England’s Maple Syrup Industry, CBS Boston

Climate change front and center at League of Women Voters forum, Boston Globe

Fossil-Fuel-Free Mutual Funds Growing In Popularity, WGBH

Climate report warns “time is fast running out” to avoid worst, CBS News

Giant greenhouses plan given 10th extension in Berlin, New Hampshire Union Leader

New York Setting the Pace for Accelerated Growth in Renewable Energy, with New Battery Tech, MarketWatch

Wayland residents to vote on greener electricity options, Wicked Local

City Council continues to push for ‘100% Renewable Energy’, City of Boston

Virginia becomes the first state in the South to target 100% clean power, Vox

Fiberight’s Waste Conversion Plant in Maine Finally Moves Forward, Waste360

Trump Administration Presses Cities to Evict Homeowners from Flood Zones, New York Times

 

Wind

Can New England Hang On to Its Offshore Wind Jobs,? Greentech Media

A Recycling Plan to Clear Wind Turbine Blades From Graveyards, Bloomberg Green

Trump’s punt on offshore wind sparks lobbying blitz, E&E News

AWEA: U.S. Offshore Wind Positioned for Massive Growth, NRG Wind Project

Why Orsted Doesn’t Need Anything but Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

While delays have hampered offshore wind, land-based turbines loom large in R.I., Providence Business News

Wind-powered turbines could clean pollutants from our air, New Scientist

 

Solar

The Vermont Solar Carport – A collaboration between Vermont Cooperatives, VTDigger

New Hampshire Developers Plan to Build Solar Array in Maine, U.S. News & World Report

Waterford Reconsiders 75-Acre Solar Farm, WSHU News

St. Johnsbury School to lease land for solar panel project, VTDigger

New Jersey Finalizes Transitional Solar Incentives, Giving Industry Price Certainty, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In these super-sustainable new apartments, you may never pay a heating bill, Curbed

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings, CNBC

Storage Hybrid Plants Becoming More Attractive in Maturing Wind and Solar Markets, Greentech Media

 

AFVs

Massachusetts Pursues New Climate Goals With Help From Local Clean Tech Industry, WGBH

Hydrogen Mobility: Coming Soon to a Bus or Truck Near You?, Greentech Media

EVs just got a boost from climate scientists worried about ride-hailing, Quartz

The Main Challenges For Electric Cars This Decade, Yahoo! Finance

 

Nuclear

When it comes to nuclear power, could smaller be better?, Grist

Nuclear energy storage? Advanced reactor developers trying to expand nuclear power’s selling points, Utility Dive

Ballot May Be Too Big For Non-Binding Question On Pilgrim, Falmouth Enterprise

Impact statement released for nuclear waste facility, Albuquerque Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

National Grid’s plans are ‘onerously expensive and environmentally detrimental:’ NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York Daily News

Maine Ethics Commission votes 2-1 to investigate power line opponent, Portland Press Herald

Smart Meters Set for $30B Gusher of Investment Over Next 5 Years, Greentech Media

Eversource substation would add to E. Boston environmental problems, face flooding, critics say, Boston Globe

ISO-NE Study to Chart Transition to Future Grid, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Utilities on high alert as phishing attempts, cyber probing spike related to Coronavirus, Utility Dive

Wind, solar and storage take up 95% of ISO-New England interconnection queue, marking ‘dramatic shift,’ Utility Dive

Opposition to new energy agency grows, Hudson Valley 360

Massive Senate Energy Bill Falters, Greentech Media

Does this tiny island off the coast of Maine hold the answer to the future of electricity,? Ensia.com

Workers At Massachusetts’ Largest Power Plant Go On Strike, WBUR

New Hampshire Senate digs deep into renewable energy policy, NH Business Review

Carbon Pricing Is Missing From a Bipartisan Energy Bill Expected to Pass the Senate, Barron’s

Power-line developers line up for an opportunity to ensure Boston’s lights stay on, Boston Globe

Lawmakers want to reassess fossil fuel breaks, Times Union

Maine regulators seek input on who should pay for CMP audit, Portland Press Herald

Eversource: Seacoast Reliability project nearing completion, Seacoastonline.com

New Microgrid Serving Mall in Brooklyn, N.Y. Supports Grid and Helps ConEd During Blackout, Microgrid Knowledge

New York power plant mines Bitcoin using excess energy, Engadget

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Independent review makes sense on Berkshire Gas moratorium, Amherst Bulletin

Column: State must switch to clean energy, Eagle-Tribune

Angry US landowners are killing off renewable energy projects, New York Post

Letter: Yarmouth solar energy purchase story misleading, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Natural gas wrong for state’s power future, Connecticut Post

Why Don’t We Treat The Climate Crisis With The Same Urgency As Coronavirus,? WBUR

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending February 21, 2020

Lunch conversation | WSJ Series | Nuclear Waste

 

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week with an article by Spencer Buell of Boston Magazine that recaps his conversation with Professor Nathan Phillips on his hunger strike over the Weymouth Compressor Station. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, we think it makes for interesting reading.

No recap for this, but if you have access check out the Wall St. Journal’s series on the Future of Everything related to energy. It’s a positive look at the future. All of the links are embedded below but here are a couple that are particularly cool: To store the wind and sun, energy startups look to gravity and What’s next for the energy grid.

And for our new tech feature we bring you a story from Grist, “The power plant of the future could run on nuclear waste. A California-based start-up’s plans to develop a power plant that can turn nuclear waste into energy just took a big step closer to reality. The company, Oklo, got a permit in December to build the next-generation power plant at the Idaho National Laboratory, in Idaho Falls. The lab announced Wednesday that it will also provide Oklo with fuel — the waste products of a nuclear reactor. The Oklo design is for a small plant providing up to 1.5 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 1,000 homes — which operates like a long-lasting battery, without the need for a team of operators or refueling for 20 years.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

My Lunch with the Hunger Striker Who Took on Charlie Baker, Boston Magazine

More than a dozen arrested at Weymouth compressor station protest, Patriot Ledger

State regulators won’t do more asbestos testing at Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Bow power plant wins funding through 2024, Concord Monitor

Demonstrators protest National Grid’s fracked gas pipeline in Williamsburg, MSN

Fossil Fuel Emissions Contribute More Methane Than Previously Estimated, Discover Magazine

National Grid is Raising Rates in Order to Build a Fracked-Gas Pipeline in Brooklyn, The Indypendent

Explosions, health risks, higher bills: Why North Brooklyn residents are fighting this project., Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Transocean: The Offshore Drilling Industry Is In Crisis But Is Not Gone, Seeking Alpha

Yale faculty meeting to discuss school’s ethical obligation on fossil fuel investment, WTNH

Climate activists have a target: Harvard’s endowment, Boston Globe

Vermont Gas seeks 2.9% rate increase, VTDigger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Clean Is Massachusetts’ Clean Peak Rule? Not So Much, New Study Says, Greentech Media

Baker’s push to curb emissions draws a familiar foe: his own party, Boston Globe

FERC rules clean energy must pay higher market price in New York, Reuters

Boston harbor brings ashore a new enemy: Rising seas, Washington Post

Methane is a hard-hitting greenhouse gas. Now scientists say we’ve dramatically underestimated how much we’re emitting, Washington Post

Growing bricks and more ways to shrink concrete’s carbon footprint, Wall St. Journal

Researchers Debate Whether Global Emissions Have Peaked, Bloomberg Green

Turning the tide: South Shore legislators are on the front lines of climate change, Patriot Ledger

Baker Administration Planning Rule To Ban Hydrofluorocarbon, WBUR

Google Spinout Dandelion Energy Ramps Up Home Geothermal Installations, Greentech Media

Energy from air: UMass researchers develop device that generates electricity from humidity, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Senators consider requiring utilities to buy more local renewables, VT Digger

ITC Probing Economic Impact of Renewable Goals, Imports to New England, Power Magazine

‘With so much coast and so little land, R.I. is the most vulnerable state in New England’, Boston Globe

ITC To Probe Economic Effect Of Renewable Energy In Mass.. Law360

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind facing lots of hurdles, CommonWealth Magazine

Report: Utilities raised concerns on Mayflower, CommonWealth Magazine

Plymouth health board reviewing wind turbines on Bourne line, Wicked Local Plymouth

Sununu wants offshore wind farm, The Telegraph

MONTI: Ocean wind farms good for fishing, but dialogue needs balance, Sun Chronicle

In ritzy East Hampton, the biggest hurdle to offshore wind is a single cable, Politico

Right Whale Protection At Heart Of New Vineyard Wind Partnership, WGBH

Wind energy gives American farmers a new crop to sell in tough times, USA Today

 

Solar

Cash-strapped farms are growing a new crop: Solar panels, Grist

Nautilus Solar acquires 3.5-MW Superfund community solar project, Solar Power World

More efficient photocatalysts could unlock the potential of solar energy, Phys.org

CT solar jobs hold steady as U.S. industry stems losses | Hartford Business Journal, Hartford Business

New world record for conversion of solar energy to electricity using quantum dots, Science Daily

The path to market for perovskites, pv magazine International

Portland council endorses solar initiative with 8-0 vote, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Three Innovations To Upend The Energy Storage Market, YAHOO!

To store the wind and sun, energy startups look to gravity, Wall St. Journal

Yale Divinity School receives $15 million for energy-neutral Living Village, New Haven Register

 

EVs

The Carmaker Putting Solar Panels on Its Electric Vehicles, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

The power plant of the future could run on nuclear waste, Grist

When It Comes to Nuclear Power, Could Smaller Be Better?, Yale Environment 360

France Shuts Oldest Reactors, But Nuclear Power Still Reigns, International Business Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

RTOs need better market signals for using gas, analysts say, as ISO-NE preps related rule, Utility Dive

What’s next for the energy grid, Wall St. Journal

The key to keeping the lights on: artificial intelligence, Wall St. Journal

Public takeover of Maine’s electric utilities could bring higher rates, tax revenue losses, Portland Press Herald

Grid secures future power commitments at low price, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP brings back former CEO with a mission to ‘restore public trust,’ Bangor Daily News

Panel endorses bill requiring CMP to renegotiate lease along corridor route, Portland Press Herald

US State Energy Policies and Power Utility Regulation, Greentech Media

Energy-capacity auction results in record low New England price | Hartford Business Journal, Hartford Business

Consumer-owned utility proposed to replace CMP to be discussed in Kittery, Seacoastonline.com

Northern Pass losses zap Eversource Energy’s 2019 earnings, Stamford Advocate

Utilities don’t see stranded assets as a top risk. Should they?, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hunger and the clean energy transition, CommonWealth Magazine

Physicians critique National Grid official’s stance, CommonWealth Magazine

Why States Need to Ban New Gas Hookups in Buildings (in 5 Charts), Greentech Media

Commentary: ‘To get the carbon out,’ Maine should look to energy from wood fiber, Portland Press Herald

Commentary: Regional climate collaboration is a critical policy debate – not just political division, Portland Press Herald

Columnist Johanna Neumann: Proposed gas rule is off the rails, Daily Hampshire Gazette

For gas utilities, voluntary RNG programs can play an important role on the path to decarbonization, Utility Dive

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending February 7, 2020

Problem and Solution Edition

 

Happy Friday folks.

Today we offer you a problem and solution edition. We don’t take any of the problems lightly by any means but thought that by combining our new energy technology features with some otherwise gloomy news, we might add a little hope to certain situations. Here goes.

Problem: From CommonWealth Magazine, “Report raises gas utility safety issues. A panel reviewing the physical integrity and safety of the state’s natural gas distribution system found a gap exists between the way gas utilities say their crews perform work on the gas system and the way that work actually happens in the field. It also found that National Grid, the utility serving eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, is struggling to contain leaks on its gas distribution system.”

Solution: From UPI, “Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines.  Using the unique ultrasound system deployed by bats as inspiration, engineers have developed a new way to locate corroding metal in oil and gas pipelines. To hunt prey and dodge objects while flying through the air, usually in the dark, bats use a combination of different ultrasound wavelengths. The new corrosion detection system uses two different kinds of radiation, fast neutrons and gamma rays. Ultrasonic or electromagnetic methods are typically used for finding corrosion in pipes, but the techniques don’t work for underground pipes or pipes with concrete or plastic insulation. The new system works on all kinds of metal and composite pipes.”

Problem: From the Washington Post Energy 202: “Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada. President Trump with one single tweet appeared to reverse his administration’s support of entombing dangerous radioactive material under the Yucca mountain…The administration had promised to finish building the Yucca repository, first proposed in the 1980s as the site to store the nation’s ever growing pile of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste.”

Solution: From Popular Mechanics, “You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation. Scientists have discovered that a longtime fungal resident of the Chernobyl complex could actually “eat” radiation. In an upcoming paper, scientists will share the results of growing the fungus on the International Space Station. Scientists have known about this fungus, and similar extremophile organisms that can thrive on radiation, since at least 2007. The variety found in Chernobyl “can decompose radioactive material such as the hot graphite in the remains of the Chernobyl reactor,” Nature said in 2007. The fungus grows toward the hottest and most radioactive places, like phototropism but for deadly toxins. How can this fungus process radiation in this way? Because it has tons of very dark melanin pigment that absorbs radiation and processes it in a harmless way to produce energy. Scientists believe this mechanism could be used to make biomimicking substances that both block radiation from penetrating and turn it into a renewable energy source.

Problem: Climate Change: Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green. The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post. Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times…

Solution: From Vice.com “This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water. What if your umbrella could charge your phone? That speculative tech just got a bit closer to reality now that scientists have designed a small, highly efficient electricity generator that can create enough charge with a single droplet of tap, rain, or seawater to power 100 LED light bulbs. The researchers hope that, alongside solar and wind power, the approach can help tackle the world’s energy crisis. Obviously, generating electricity with water is nothing new. But the study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, looked at how a unique connection between the water droplets and the generator interface increased the generator’s overall power. By coating their droplet generator in a material with a near-permanent electric charge, the team observed that their generator was able to slowly collect charge from continuously falling droplets and store it until reaching its capacity. This allowed the generator to more efficiently convert the droplet’s energy. From just a single droplet the generator was able to generate enough power to light up 100 small LED light bulbs, and with four droplets it could power nearly 1,500.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC reorganizes to address landowner disputes, E&E News

Jim Cramer, ‘Mad Money’ host, declares fossil fuels dead, Grist

Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants, Despite the Climate Risks, New York Times

Fight to stop gas-powered generation plant may be futile, Stamford Advocate

Coal-fired electricity declines in New York and New England, WTEN

Report raises gas utility safety issues, CommonWealth Magazine

Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines, UPI.com

Why Democratic presidential candidates, for once, are not fighting over ethanol, Vox

Democrats’ Fracking War Heats Up As 2020 Voting Begins, HuffPost

Climate change fears put US gas utilities on defensive, Financial Times

 

Weymouth Compressor

DEP to meet with Newton man, other gas project opponents, Wicked Local Newton

Compressor station foes to meet with regulators Friday, Patriot Ledger

BU Professor Is On Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

The Cohasset Democratic Town Committee votes to support the efforts of the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station in Weymouth, Wicked Local

 

Climate Change/RGGI

Lawmakers hear about enforcement and energy curtailment for Global Warming Solutions Act, True North Reports (VT)

Poll tested public opinion on climate change, Taunton Daily Gazette

Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green

Attleboro area state senators support climate-change legislation, Sun Chronicle

The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post

Clean Energy Center’s focus could shift from jobs to climate change, Boston Globe

7 takes on Senate climate change debate, CommonWealth Magazine

Power plant emissions down 47% under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Connecticut Mirror

Program to focus on ‘blue carbon’ habitats, climate change, Salem News

Climate Change Is Ruining My Birthday Outside

Maine must plug in to fight climate change, study concludes, Portland Press Herald

Rhode Island towns moving to block TCI, Boston Herald

Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times

Baker announces climate change grants in New Bedford, South Coast Today

 

Renewables

$64 Million Makes It Official: Renewable Hydrogen In, Natural Gas Out (Eventually), Clean Technica

This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water, Vice.com

Clash between Holyoke gas utility, advocacy group imperils $275,000 clean energy grant, MassLive

New York unveils $6m co-investment fund to support emerging clean energy firms, Energy Central

Wellesley-based Vanguard Renewables Ag part of a project to convert dairy farm manure to natural gas, Wicked Local

Martha’s Vineyard Running Entirely on Renewable Energy? Town Meeting Voters May Get to Decide, Cape and Islands NPR

How this Danish energy company is transitioning from oil and gas to all renewables, Fast Company

Attleboro wins Green Community designation and $244,000 grant, Sun Chronicle

 

Wind

GAO urged to probe energy project ‘double standard,’ Worcester Telegram

Mass. lawmakers, Trump administration spar over Vineyard Wind review, CommonWealth Magazine

How the end of a major tax incentive may impact wind energy, PBS Newshour

Suit filed over proposed wind project in Guilford, The Daily Star (NY)

For offshore wind, expect more delays, CommonWealth Magazine

New York aims to kick off solicitation for up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind in 2020, Utility Dive

The world’s biggest offshore wind developer wants a carbon-neutral supply chain, CNBC

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills, Bloomberg Green

State: Blittersdorf Should Pay $2,500 Penalty In Kidder Hill Case In Irasburg, Caledonian Record

Leading Marine Mammal Acoustic Expert Joins Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Today

Offshore wind transportation to receive boost from state grant, RICentral.com

NH moving ahead with planning & development of offshore wind energy, WMUR9

Grant to aid MMA study of offshore wind technology, Cape Cod Times

ConCom to draft conditions for Brayton Point project, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Chopping Down Trees For Solar Panels? The Choice Isn’t Clear-Cut For Stoughton Church, WBUR

Solar farm company promises savings for residents, Salem News

SEIA backs carbon pricing for New York wholesale power, PV Magazine

Anti-solar panels pointed at space could generate power at night, Techspot

Captona Adds 24 MW of New England Solar to Portfolio, Solar Industry

R.I. electric utilities agree to buy power from new Connecticut solar project, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How ConEd and National Grid are experimenting with energy storage in New York, Utility Dive

‘All-Electric’ Movement Picks Up Speed, Catching Some Off Guard, New York Times

Going electric has more perks than you might think (beyond saving the planet and gas money), Mashable

VCs poured $1.7 billion into batteries in 2019. Here are the 9 startups that scored the biggest deals., Business Insider

Polar Beverages of Worcester bottles energy savings, Telegram

 

EVs

Super Bowl Ads Hyped Electric Cars. But Will Anyone Buy Them?, New York Times

Cost of electric school bus service in Amherst districts may be too much, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sluggish sales throw the future of electric vehicles into uncertainty, Axios

There are Cars and Then There are Electric Cars, Boston Broadside.com

U.S. House Democrats propose electric vehicle charging network, Reuters

 

Nuclear

You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation, Popular Mechanics

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station warns of layoffs as decommissioning continues, MassLive

Duxbury: Safety Precaution Reduced After DPH Deems Pilgrim Power Nuclear Station Not a Threat, WATD

We need nuclear power to fight climate change, but is it doomed?, New Scientist

Plymouth: EPA Permit Issued to Monitor Wastewater at Pilgrim, WATD

The Energy 202: Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada, Washington Post

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

ISO-NE capacity prices fall to new low, but latest auction shut out some renewables and storage, Utility Dive

CMP corridor opponents say they have signatures to put western Maine project to a vote, Bangor Daily News

Opponents Of CMP Transmission Line Submit Signatures For Statewide Vote On Project, Maine Public

Power to the people: Bernie calls for federal takeover of electricity production, Politico

30,000 Connecticut residents still have banned electricity deals, Energy Central

Final New Jersey Energy Master Plan Makes Way for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Women in energy are far less represented than corporate average, Axios

EEI rallies Wall Street with sunny prospects for electric utilities, Daily Energy Insider

Quincy moving ahead with municipal aggregation, Patriot Ledger

Eversource reminds customers: Energy assistance programs available, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Is natural gas essential for the state to reach zero-carbon goals?, Hartford Courant

Letter: Legislators need to address gas leaks, Salem News

Columnist Marty Nathan: Locust swarms and the climate emergency, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Tom Evslin: Preparing for electric vehicles, VTDigger

How to maximize Vt’s electric status, St. Albans Messenger

Time for New York to lead on fossil fuel divestment, New York Daily News

Mainers’ health vulnerable to climate change, Kennebec Journal

To protect ecosystem, improve balance on critical regulatory panel, The Day

Picking apart Rep. Kearney’s fishy argument, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Report is a roadmap for gas system improvements, Salem News

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 24, 2020

Ambitious Goals | New oil | Nuclear diamonds

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Let’s get to this week’s news highlights.

Over the past week or so the leaders of two New England states set dates for reaching some ambitious renewable energy and emissions goals. From the Providence Journal, “Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Friday that sets Rhode Island on the path to getting all of the state’s electric supply from renewable sources by the end of the decade. While Rhode Island is not the first state to adopt a 100% renewables target, the timeline put forth by Raimondo is the most aggressive in the nation. In a speech before the signing, the governor said that transforming the state’s energy system is needed to fight climate change…‘The bad news is climate change is real, urgent, closing in on us,’ she said. ‘The good news is Rhode Island is a leader in the fight against climate change. Today is about maintaining our leadership position and pushing ourselves to do more, go faster.’”

In Massachusetts, Governor Baker set a target of 2050 for taking the state to net-zero emissions. From CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie Baker’s top energy aide said his proposal for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 puts Massachusetts among a very small group of states and countries attempting to limit the impact of climate change. Kathleen Theoharides, the governor’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said Massachusetts is joining Hawaii, New York, and California in pursuing net-zero emissions by 2050…Net-zero is an imprecise term. It doesn’t mean the state will cease all greenhouse gas emissions. It means, according to Theoharides, that the state will attempt to reduce emissions as much as possible through the development of renewable, low-emission forms of energy; aggressive energy efficiency programs; and sequestration efforts, including the development of new forests and wetlands. Theoharides said policies could also be developed that would allow polluters to offset their emissions by buying some form of credit, with the proceeds being used to produce more renewable energy generating fewer emissions. The secretary acknowledged that the state’s economy is likely to change dramatically over the next few decades to meet the emission target.”

The Massachusetts senate is also getting in on the action. From WBUR, “The Massachusetts Senate next week plans to take up a far-reaching package of climate bills whose major components include an electric MBTA bus fleet by 2040, carbon-pricing mechanisms for transportation, homes and commercial buildings, and a series of five-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements that ramp up to net-zero emissions in 2050. The three bills, teed up for debate on Thursday, Jan. 30, with amendments due by Monday, amount to what Senate President Karen Spilka called a ‘comprehensive plan for the state’ to respond to an international issue: global climate change.”

Greentech Media’s Interchange podcast this week looked at the reemergence of renewable hydrogen. “Less than 1 percent of all hydrogen produced today comes from renewables. Is that about to change? The vice president of Siemens Middle East just predicted that green hydrogen will assume the mantle of the ‘new oil’ in the coming decades. A lot of big industrial companies and oil majors are taking another serious look at hydrogen. Why? In an era of extremely cheap renewables that are increasingly being curtailed, hydrogen production could finally become an attractive use case, due in part to the emerging regulatory pressures on existing hydrogen production.”

For our new energy technology focus we turn to Popular Mechanics. “Scientists in England are trying to recycle decommissioned nuclear plant materials into cutting-edge diamond batteries. The pressing of this kind of carbon into manufactured diamonds is called chemical vapor deposition…By ‘encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds,’ lead researcher Tom Scott of the University of Bristol says the graphite can be turned into durable, extremes-tolerant electricity via diamond batteries. The secret is in harvesting the radioactive carbon-14 isotope from the plant’s supply of spent graphite. Scott says the factory to turn graphite carbon into diamonds for batteries could be built on the same spot as the decommissioned plant. The carbon has a half life of over 5,000 years, giving a diamond battery an overall life span, well, thousands of times more than the hearing aid battery or the pair of AAAs that powers your remote control. And because the radioactivity is encased within a diamond, there’s no chance it will break down before it runs out of juice.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor opponents occupy Mass DEP office, Wicked Local

Weymouth councilors raise concerns over trucks at compressor site, Wicked Local

Residents still pushing for asbestos testing at compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Five states raise alarms about EPA coal-fired power plant waste disposal proposal, The Hill

Film explores region’s gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Environmental officials want to reverse course on natural gas, Journal Inquirer

Natural-Gas Prices Fall Below $2, Wall St. Journal

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Bloomberg Green

Renewable energy is growing fast in the U.S., but fossil fuels still dominate, Pew Research Center

The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning With Climate Change, Time

 

TCI

While Gov. Charlie Baker opposes gas tax, opponents say Transportation and Climate Initiative a ‘hidden tax,’ MassLive

Poll shows Massachusetts majority oppose cost of TCI, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Could Green Hydrogen Become the ‘New Oil’?, Greentech Media

How to Get to 100% Renewables? Use Microgrids Says Plan for Cranston, Rhode Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Raimondo orders 100% clean electricity in R.I. by 2030, Providence Journal

Cuomo plots course to accelerate renewable energy development, Politico

Don’t celebrate yet: Clean energy jobs have slipped in Mass., Boston Globe

Bill For A N.H. State Climate Action Plan Gets First Hearing, NHPR

Package Of State House Climate Bills Would Apply Carbon Pricing To All Emissions, WBUR

Net-zero target called most aggressive in world, CommonWealth Magazine

Carbon finds itself in Beacon Hill’s crosshairs, Lowell Sun

Energy chief: Deregulation, Trump slowing carbon-free progress, Connecticut Post

Dorset residents pay less energy bills with renewable scheme, Dorset Echo

Energy office set to begin work on new renewable energy goal, WRAL

Environment Council of R.I. disappointed in Mattiello’s climate change comments, Boston Globe

What Would an Accelerated Global Energy Transition Look Like?, Greentech Media

FERC Faces Heat Over State Clean Energy Subsidies Order, Law360

 

Wind

Proposed Vermont wind project halts development, citing hostile political environment, Wind Power Engineering

NYS invests $20M into offshore wind training institute at SBU, SBStatesman.com

Murphy signs bill expanding definition of qualified offshore wind project, NJ Biz

Inside New York’s Push to Be ‘Center of Gravity’ for US Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Vestas to Produce Zero-Waste Wind Turbines by 2040, NA Clean Energy

After Years Of Slow Action On Climate Change, What Sets Offshore Wind Apart For N.H.?, NHPR

Looking for a windfall from offshore wind farms, Newsday

Redevelopment plan for State Pier expected to be more costly than projected, The Day

Offshore wind key as Rhode Island sets 100% clean-energy goal for 2030, Recharge

Orsted US team targets whale protection, reNEWS

The US is set to experience yet a new energy revolution: Offshore Wind, Energy Voice

Huge crowd packs OC hearing, Energy Central

Blade breaks off wind turbine in Cohocton, Evening Tribune

Heritage Wind to file application for up to 33 wind turbines in Barre, (NY) The Daily News

Public hearing set on financial contributions from proposed wind farm, Ellsworth American

 

Solar

She’s Taking on Elon Musk on Solar. And Winning., New York Times

Kearsarge, NEC Energy Complete Amesbury Solar+ Storage Project, Solar Industry

Commercial solar project eyed for Woodstock, Sun Journal

33 RIPTA buses get solar system developed by Warwick company, Cranston Herald

America’s Concentrated Solar Power Companies Have All but Disappeared, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

2020 Outlook: From light bulbs to dishwashers, court battles to continue on DOE’s efficiency moves, Utility Dive

Energy Storage As A Transmission Asset In Regional Markets, Law360

State approves $2B energy efficiency incentive plan, Times Union

City Comptroller Scott Stringer calls on de Blasio to commit $1 billion per year to energy efficiency, New York Daily News

Home energy efficiency could be improved significantly through simple tweaks like roof colour, ABC News

Eversource and Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa Partner on Eco-Friendly, Cost-Saving Upgrades, NA Clean Energy

 

EVs

Electric school buses latest stop on Maine’s climate-change journey, Portland Press Herald

Automakers: New tech, battery advances will curb EV range anxiety, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Asks: Do You Want A Hearing On Sale Of Indian Point, Patch.com

Lawmakers seek safeguards on nuclear plant decommissioning, Taunton Gazette

State AG: ‘Grave concerns’ over Indian Point nuclear plant decommissioning, Ithaca Journal

How to Turn Nuclear Waste Into Diamond Batteries, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Augusta puzzled over Janet Mills’ call to reconsider utility regulations, Bangor Daily News

Maine regulators vote to investigate CMP’s winter disconnect notices, Press Herald

NY to pay another $6M to firm that took millions in disgraced Empire Zone breaks, Syracuse.com

The Limits of Environmental Activism From BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Wall St. Journal

New York ISO carbon pricing proposal ‘in a holding pattern,’ says grid chief, Utility Dive

As Mass. Considers Carbon Pricing, Conn. Takes ‘Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WBUR

 

Editorial/Opinion

A path forward for New England to a low-carbon future: Why a capacity market still matters, Utility Dive

Baker’s net-zero goal is business-as-usual, CommonWealth Magazine

Column: Setting climate solutions into action, Salem News

Letter: Balentine needs to get his facts straight on CMP line, Portland Press Herald

The Universal Notebook: CMP project supported by old guard ‘environmentalists’, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: Climate change, not CMP project, is the real enemy, Kennebec Journal

Editorial: Keeping heat on in Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Guest Opinion: Rhode Island needs real environmental action in 2020, Westerly Sun

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Energy News for week ending December 20, 2019

TCI | Critical Source | Seawater | Small, Svelte and Safer

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

The news that got the most “ink” this week was the Transportation and Climate Initiative. We have several stories below, but found this one from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive to be a great place to start, Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

Other news that grabbed a lot of attention this week came out of New Hampshire. From the Portland Press Herald, “Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source. Leaders in states bordering the Gulf of Maine expressed strong support Thursday for offshore wind, setting the region up to become the next battleground over the resource as some members of the area’s influential fishing industry voice objections. Officials from Massachusetts and Maine, along with New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, said Thursday at the first meeting of the Agenda for the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the Gulf of Maine that they were optimistic offshore wind could help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing thousands of jobs across New England. Led by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the task force must weigh concerns from commercial fishermen, environmentalists, coastal communities and other stakeholders before deciding where leases on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine might be allocated and where they wouldn’t be allowed. There are also technical challenges, since the deep waters of the gulf may require floating platforms.”

We have two stories for our new technology feature. First from Reuters, “International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it has created a battery design that uses materials extracted from seawater and requires no cobalt, as the race to find alternative sources to the expensive mineral intensifies…The move comes as top battery makers scramble to reduce cobalt content in lithium-ion batteries, and as the expansion of the electric vehicle market is expected to result in shortages of the mineral mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. IBM said its technology has proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in cost, charging time and energy efficiency.”

The second new tech feature comes to us from Wired though the headline sounds something more like you’d read in Self. “The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer. For the last 20 years, the future of nuclear power has stood in a high bay laboratory tucked away on the Oregon State University campus in the western part of the state. Operated by NuScale Power, an Oregon-based energy startup, this prototype reactor represents a new chapter in the conflict-ridden, politically bedeviled saga of nuclear power plants. NuScale’s reactor won’t need massive cooling towers or sprawling emergency zones. It can be built in a factory and shipped to any location, no matter how remote. Extensive simulations suggest it can handle almost any emergency without a meltdown. One reason is that it barely uses any nuclear fuel, at least compared with existing reactors. It’s also a fraction of the size of its predecessors. This is good news for a planet in the grips of a climate crisis. Nuclear energy gets a bad rap in some environmentalist circles, but many energy experts and policymakers agree that splitting atoms is going to be an indispensable part of decarbonizing the world’s electricity.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a safe and happy holiday and a joyous and healthy New Year. We appreciate that you let us in your inboxes each week and look forward to sharing the energy news with you in 2020. See you next on January 10th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought, New York Times

Officials, residents concerned with compressor site cleanup, Patriot Ledger

Congressman Joseph Kennedy demands halt to Weymouth compressor station construction, Wicked Local

New England power and natgas prices spike during cold snap, CNBC

National Grid doesn’t want geothermal developer to have ‘party’ status in pipeline debate, Times Union

Newsmaker 2019: National Grid flames out in pipeline feud, Crain’s New York

N.H.-Bound Coal Train Kept Rolling, Despite Activists On The Tracks, WBUR

4 Things To Know About The N.H. Coal Plant Targeted By Climate Protesters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Uncertain role of natural gas in the transition to clean energy, Science Daily

 

TCI

Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?, MassLive

Legislators seek to stop Charlie Baker from passing Transportation Climate Initiative, Boston Herald

TCI could up gas prices 5 to 17 cents a gallon in 2022, CommonWealth Magazine

New England states mull regional gas fees after NH rejection, Boston Herald

Reducing emissions from transportation is a long, difficult road for Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Boston Could Become WICKED Hot. This is What They’re Doing About it., Discover Magazine

US Lawmakers Stiff Solar, Wind Gets Modest Victory in Tax Deal, Greentech Media

Clean energy advocates want New York to move quickly on 70% renewables goal, Utility Dive

How we know global warming is real, Washington Post

Mike Bloomberg has a plan to clean up electricity and it doesn’t need Congress, Vox

Holyoke lands $275K grant for net-zero planning, Energy Central

Migrating Birds Prefer to Eat Local New England Cuisine, Boston University

Forget the log cabin. Wood buildings are climbing skyward – with pluses for the planet., Hartford Courant

Berkshire Community College Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award, iBerkshires

Failure by Congress to Support Tax Credits for Clean Energy and EVs is Unacceptable, Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate activists, offshore wind industry groups slam House for holding off on tax credit extension, MassLive

U.S. Spending Bill Holds Win for Wind Energy, Setback for Solar, New York Times

 

Wind

Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source, Portland Press Herald

US has only one offshore wind energy farm, but a $70 billion market is on the way, CNBC

Berkshire Wind helps light North Shore homes, Salem News

Tax credit changes snub offshore wind power, Salem News

Bluestone gets green light for 125 MW wind farm in New York, Reve

Team Develops Floating Turbine To Harvest Deep-Ocean Wind Energy, Science Blog

US urged to lease more offshore wind, renews.biz

Federal talks leave mixed bag for wind energy, Herald News

Prototype of ‘world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine’ starts sending power to utility, CNBC

 

Solar

YMCA of Greater Providence Teams with Balanced Rock Energy on Breakthrough Solar Credit Agreement, (Press Release) Globe Newswire

New Saratoga County solar farm is among largest of its kind upstate, Times Union

Ground broken on solar energy farm in East Haven, New Haven Register

‘We traded green for green.’ Controversial solar array built on Simsbury farmland now producing power, Hartford Courant

City of Bangor to install its first big solar panel project, Newscentermaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State to build a large energy facility instead of a previously planned fossil fuel plant, Solar Builder Magazine

Large-scale energy storage by “liquid air” proposed for Vermont, Granite Geek

US investment in energy efficiency dropped estimated 18% in two years: Report, Utility Dive

IBM’s new battery design taps seawater as alternative mineral source, Reuters

Cuomo lays out $1.5 billion investment to improve energy efficiency at state and local government buildings, New York Daily News

Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers, Bloomberg

Rising Demand for Energy Efficiency Creates Growth Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Heat Exchangers, Business Insider

Tesla’s Musk says solar, energy storage will grow faster than electric cars, and there’s some truth to it, CNBC

What a Year! 10 Stories That Propelled Energy Storage in 2019, Greentech Media

 

EVs

New York transit authority to invest $1.1B for 500 electric buses, Utility Dive

Municipal parking lots across Boston to get electric-charging stations, Universal Hub

South Jersey Utility Seeks OK on Plan for More EV Charging Stations, NJ Spotlight

State offer would boost electric vehicles; Dollar incentives for middle, low-income Vermonters, Chester Telegraph

 

Nuclear

Board delays decision on nuclear plant’s license renewal, Newburyport Daily News

Mass. Lawmakers Criticize NRC Decision on Transfer of Pilgrim Nuke Ownership, Cape Cod Today

NRC gives permit for next-gen factory-built nuclear reactor, AP News

The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy, Popular Mechanics

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer, Wired Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator targeted in Healey’s clean-energy push, Wicked Local

State approves Eversource power line through Sudbury, Hudson, MetroWest Daily News

Healey seeks DPU crackdown on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market, Greentech Media

CMP CEO ‘absolutely’ fears losing company in consumer takeover, WGME

Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?, Scientific American

CMP aims to restore trust with ad campaign, Portland Press Herald

Eversource names new leader for NH, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills’ solar power policies already paying off, Eagle Times

My Turn: A Granite Bridge to nowhere?, Concord Monitor

If Lamont is serious about climate change he will block Killingly plant, The Day

Local legislators: Coming together for climate action, Portland Press Herald

Here’s some good news on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Maine Compass: Let’s stop CMP’s unpopular corridor project, Kennebec Journal

Reporting on climate change from Cape Cod, where sea levels could put everything at risk, USA Today

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

Energy News for week ending October 18, 2019

Moratorium Extended | Compressor Approvals | Wind to Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We hope you’re all doing well after the big windstorm.

We’re highlighting a couple of Massachusetts-related gas stories this week, though we have a lot of stories below about the ongoing battle between National Grid and New York.

First from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A moratorium on adding new natural gas customers in Northampton and Easthampton will continue indefinitely following a decision by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to abandon a project aimed at increasing the pipeline capacity for both cities.  The company last week announced that the moratorium for Northampton and Easthampton, which began in 2015 and has since meant new connections to its supply line are not allowed, will be extended due to changes in the planned ‘Greater Springfield Service Territory Reliability Project’ first unveiled in November 2017. Two years ago, the company pledged that five interrelated projects throughout the region would increase the natural gas supply and put an end to the moratorium in 2020 or 2021. Instead, Columbia Gas has eliminated the ‘alternate backfeed’ project, a 6-mile-long, 12-inch pipe that would have run between Agawam and Holyoke…Columbia Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Kempic said in a statement that the decision to abandon the ‘alternate backfeed’ was made based on review and analysis over the past few months of the cost impact and benefits to customers, and is unrelated to the work moratorium imposed by the state’s Department of Public Utilities on the Columbia Gas system. ‘Our determination is that we can accomplish the goals of removing leak-prone pipe in Agawam and West Springfield, as well as enhance operational flexibility, with the four remaining projects,’ Kempic said.”

We move from Western Mass to the South Shore where the Patriot Ledger reports, “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for the Fore River Basin were dealt two major blows Wednesday when a state adjudicator recommended the approval of a waterways license and a wetlands permit for the project, triggering the start of the final state review in the approval process. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold the license and permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth and a citizens group, which together had argued that the proposed station would worsen air and noise pollution in the Fore River Basin and is not an appropriate use based on state waterways regulations. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg has the final say on the approval of the permit and license…‘In sum, the petitioners have failed to offer persuasive evidence demonstrating that the proposed project does not conform to the requirements of the applicable waterways regulations,’ Rothchild wrote in her decision on the waterways license. Mayor Robert Hedlund said the rulings Wednesday were ‘further salt in the wound’ and a continuation of the town’s disappointment with state officials.”

For our new technology feature we bring you this news from Phys.org, “Alternative energy conserves natural resources and is environmentally friendly. However, the challenge is to develop reliable plants that continuously generate energy. Scientists of South Ural State University have found a way to achieve this using wind turbines and hydrogen…‘We have combined a power plant with equipment for producing hydrogen, as well as electrical energy from hydrogen. In other words, this installation converts electricity into hydrogen, which we can store or even transport. From the same hydrogen, we conduct electricity back,’ Andrei Martyanov says, associate professor at the Department of Power Stations, Networks and Power Supply Systems of the Polytechnic Institute of SUSU. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen occurs through electrolysis, then the hydrogen is placed in special containers, which are stored until the moment when the consumer will require electricity. The reverse process of getting energy from hydrogen occurs due to an electrochemical reaction in which hydrogen interacts with oxygen, electricity and thermal energy are generated. By the end of 2019, scientists plan to complete work on the creation of a digital twin of a wind turbine.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot of interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas vows to meet Friday deadline, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas extends moratorium for Northampton, Easthampton customers, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columbia Gas hires retired utility exec to oversee safety in Massachusetts, Wicked Local North Andover

Despite ‘political tug-of-war,’ the US ‘still needs fossil fuels’: DOE General Counsel, Utility Dive

Williams pipeline pending, Politico

New Jersey Denies Permits For Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline, CBS Philly

Weymouth compressor foes sift through soil removal plan, Wicked Local

State official backs two key approvals for compressor station, Patriot Ledger

National Grid gas shortage warning questioned by pipeline critics, Newsday

National Grid says it will reconnect natgas customers after NY order, CNBC

‘Margins Are Very Tight’: National Grid President Defends Decision To Not Provide Thousands With Heat, Gas, CBS New York

State regulators admit there’s a gas shortage amid utility fight, New York Post

NY regulators blast National Grid over gas service denials, SNL

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Kingston renewable energy loan program on hold, Wicked Local Kingston

Clean Energy Ventures raises $110M for its first fund, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Hogan administration releases delayed plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions, Baltimore Sun

How Will Climate Change Alter Agriculture? Winemakers Are Finding Out, New York Times

Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?, Environmental Defense Fund

New tool enables Nova Scotia lobster fishery to address impacts of climate change, Phys.org

Documents Show Massachusetts AG Ready to File Climate Case Against Exxon, Bloomberg Environment

 

Wind

GE: ‘Inevitable’ That Offshore Wind Manufacturing Comes to the US, Greentech Media

Homeowner group objects to wind-farm proposal, Coastal Point (MD)

Regulators grant first federal permits for offshore wind to Dominion, Ørsted pilot, Utility Dive

Boston energy firm sues GE over damaged turbine, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Moratorium on Portland wind turbines may get extended, Observer (NY)

From the wind to hydrogen and vice versa: a new generation wind power plant is developed, Phys.org

3 Companies Banking on U.S. Offshore Wind, Motley Fool

Researchers develop ‘fully autonomous’ drones that can inspect and fix wind turbines, CNBC

Fishermen Demand a Say in Decisions on Offshore Wind Energy, NECN

In a Reversal, Wind Power Industry Wants More U.S. Tax Credits, YAHOO!

Vineyard Wind Submits Proposal to Deliver up to 1200 MW of Offshore Wind and Create Offshore Wind Hub in Connecticut, Renewable Energy Magazine

Vineyard Wind starts seabed probe, renews.biz

 

Solar

Woburn Continues to be Leader in Green Energy Production–New Solar System on Joyce Middle School to Save the City $29,000 a Year, Business Insider

Portland schools look to large-scale solar providers for energy, Portland Press Herald

West Greenwich residents air concerns over proposed solar project, Providence Journal

Falmouth revives interest in municipal solar project, Portland Press Herald

Saugerties solar farm delayed, HV1

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont residents get special pricing for innovative home energy monitor powered by AI through Efficiency Vermont program, VTDigger

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 2.5 GWh project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

 

Alternative Fuel Vehicles/Transportation

Hydrogen is still a mystery to drivers, but Toyota plans 10 times more cars, Los Angeles Times

The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly, Ars Technica

E-vehicle rebate program gets lifeline, Gloucester Times

Electric revolution: As EV demand increases, can utilities and cities keep up?, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear waste? These microbes might help with the cleanup, Nature

Nuclear Fusion Could Rescue the Planet From Climate Catastrophe, YAHOO!

Stand Up For Nuclear / Supporters To Gather This Weekend In 30 Cities, NucNet

Anti-nuke pills being readied for parts of C-K, Windsor Star

DOE, NRC team up to accelerate deployment of advanced reactors, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts Regulators Audit National Grid Over Concerns With Management, Greentech Media

Sudbury rail corridor dispute reaches state Supreme Judicial Court, Wicked Local Sudbury

Green Mountain Power turnaround driven by customer obsession, cultural shift: CEO, Utility Dive

PPL in merger talks with Connecticut utility to form $67 billion company, The Morning Call

Italian energy giant launches clean tech VC arm in Boston, Business Journals

Rep. Golden requests hearing on CMP power line, Hartford Courant

Energy Secretary Perry says he is resigning by year’s end, AP

New York adopts utility-ESCO cybersecurity requirements, rejects insurance requirements, Utility Dive

Brooklyn Microgrid Launches Campaign to Create Regulatory Sandbox, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

State attorneys general prepare to fight for clean energy rights, The Hill

Letter: Pros and cons of new gas pipeline, Newsday

State should speed up approvals on solar projects, Haverhill Gazette

Opinion: For the sake of our oceans, we need to get serious about climate change, Connecticut Post

Riding The Green Energy Wave In Plug Power, Seeking Alpha

Editorial: Wind plan makes sense for Bridgeport, Connecticut Post

Why is Lamont’s wind deal not done yet?, The Day

5 key takeaways from the National Grid rate case, Utility Dive

Turbine gone with the wind? Ocean Gate residents certainly hope so | Mulshine, NJ.com

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