Category Archives: Renewables

Energy News for week ending October 13, 2017

Crying Foul | CPP Repeal | Trojan Horse

Happy Friday the 13th!

This week’s energy news had lots of drama. It began with the expected proposal by Scott Pruitt of the EPA to repeal the Obama Clean Power Plan. After that came lots of ire and action, especially by state Attorneys General, including MA (Power Engineering) and CT (WNPR) who filed suit against the administration.

Next was a report from a group of university researchers working with the Environmental Defense Fund which, according to a Utility Dive article, claimed that “gas utility subsidiaries of Avangrid and Eversource have artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity in New England for years, driving up natural gas and electricity prices and potentially violating federal laws.” They said, “The systematic withholding of pipeline capacity, particularly on the coldest days, has cost New England electricity consumers $3.6 billion in higher prices over the past three years.” Eversource called the report a “complete fabrication.” The Northeast Gas Association also issued a response calling the report a “profoundly misleading and inaccurate analysis.”

Over on the pages of CommonWealth Magazine, Bruce Mohl reported that National Grid cried foul on Hydro-Quebec. Mohl writes, that during a closed-door presentation National Grid officials asserted “the intent of the energy diversity law passed last year was to finance the development of clean energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Joseph Rossignoli, director of US business development for National Grid, said the hydroelectricity Hydro-Quebec wants to sell to Massachusetts would come from generating facilities that are already open or about to open, and therefore wouldn’t reduce emissions or need financing.” HQ was “taken aback” and “dismissed” Grid’s claim asserting that the building of the transmission line made it an eligible project.

Lastly, some folks in western Mass, according to an article on Going Green are calling a bill filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, to establish the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Fund a “classic Trojan horse” to expand biomass energy production in western Massachusetts under the guise of sustainable forestry. Kulik responded, “I can say flatly and honestly that this is a very straightforward utilization of forest resources,” Kulik said. “These charges are completely false and misleading, and are, unfortunately, being spread by a small group who are deliberately mischaracterizing this bill.”

That’s it for this week. Lots of news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Eversource, Avangrid artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity for years, report argues, Utility Dive

Little-Known Gas Rules Pit a Green Group Against Power Companies, Bloomberg

Maura Healey reviewing study claiming utilities linked to $3.6B scheme, Boston Herald

American LNG developers wade into market awash with gas, Financial Times

Enbridge Unit Says Mass. Town Preempted In Pipeline Battle, Law360

Charges and Counter-Charges Boil Over at $700 Million Invenergy Hearing, GoLocalProv

Land Swap, Lousy Opinions Could Support Power Plant, ecoRI news

Invenergy Requests 35 City, Town Resolutions Against Power Plant Be Excluded From Evidence, RIPR

Clean Power Plan

EPA Takes Another Step To Advance President Trump’s America First Strategy, Proposes Repeal Of “Clean Power Plan,” (Press Release) EPA

Massachusetts Attorney General to Sue Over Clean Power Plan, Power Engineering

Connecticut Sues Over Clean Power Plan Reversal, WNPR News

Maine’s air and waters at stake in EPA rollback of Obama carbon plan, Bangor Daily News

Renewables (Policy, RGGI, Purchasing, etc.)

Google Will Hit 100% Renewable Energy This Year, Inverse

NH clean tech ‘confusion’ debated at Energy Summit, New Hampshire Business Review

Student activists push for renewable energy on campus, South Coast Today

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fall 2 percent in 2016, led by power industry: EPA, Bloomberg

Divestment bill pitched as way to speed decline of fossil fuels, Newburyport Daily News

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action, Yale Environment 360

Wind

Open Ocean Presents Considerable Opportunity For Offshore Wind Energy Generation, CleanTechnica

There’s Enough Wind Over the Ocean To Power All of Civilization, Popular Mechanics

Offshore wind farms have powerful advantage over land-based turbines, study finds, Science Magazine

Sea Change For Investing In US Offshore Wind Sector?, E&P

Restrictions on turbine noise face legislative hurdle, VT Digger

Storage

Storage is renewable energy’s greatest challenge—this low-cost sulfur battery may help, Phys.Org

WPI Researchers Receive NSF Awards to Develop Better Ways to Capture and Store Solar Energy, WPI News

Massachusetts starts inquiry into energy storage eligibility for net metering, Utility Dive

Storing renewable energy costs way too much. This battery could change that, Mic.com

Green Charge Moves Into Utility-Scale Storage With Massachusetts Project, Greentech Media

Solar

16-year PILOT agreement signed for Swansea solar farm, Herald News

Maine’s biggest solar farm now operational, Maine Biz

New solar panels shed some light on old Randolph landfill, Wicked Local Randolph

Biomass

Rep. Kulik’s woodlands bill called ‘classic Trojan horse,’ Going Green Blog

Backers of biomass project say they are paying bills, back taxes and ‘not going anywhere,’ Portland Press Herald

Forest group opposes Mohawk Trail partnership on biomass concerns, Going Green Blog

Energy Efficiency

This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero, Inhabitat

Wynn Boston Harbor to be on the Forefront of Energy Efficiency, Chelsea Record

EVs

New Amazon Drones Will Charge Your Car While You Drive, Greentech Media

Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine, Washington Post

Ikea, Exelon kick in for $22M round for Boston electric-driving startup, Boston Business Journal

Electric vehicles are about to flood the market, Business Insider

Electric cars win on energy efficiency vs hydrogen, gasoline, diesel: analysis, Green Car Reports

Nuclear

Nuclear power plant identifies and stops small hydrogen leak, Norwich Bulletin

Nuclear plant closures to test sufficiency of decommissioning funds, Utility Dive

Watchdog Group Allowed to Weigh In on Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Review, New Hampshire Public Radio

Welch bill would compensate nuclear fuel communities, VT Digger

With no plan for replacing Millstone, what are CT’s options?, Hartford Business Review

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Pro-Trump energy group blasts plan to help coal, nuclear, The Hill

DOE limits NOPR to RTOs with capacity markets as FERC denies extension request, Utility Dive

Utility-Branded Marketplaces Offer DER Services to 32 Million Metered Customers, Greentech Media

Utilities on both sides of bargaining table, CommonWealth Magazine

Brewster herbicide appeal dismissed, Cape Cod Times

Consultant questions whether Bay State will accept power project without approvals, The Union Leader

The 4 Main Pillars of Enhancing Utility Grid Resilience, Greentech Media

Could Cyberattacks Knock Out Power in the US? Not so Easily, Power Engineering

Natl. Grid calls foul on Hydro-Quebec proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Canada Wants to Solve U.S. Nuclear Woes With Faraway Dams, Bloomberg

Eversource seeks approval to sell power plants, Laconia Daily Sun

Editorial/Opinion

VY land deserves to be more than a used industrial site, Commons

Our View: Maine will suffer from Pruitt’s pro-coal stand, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Investing in energy efficiency makes good sense for hospital, Commons

My Turn: A renewable energy vision for Concord, Concord Monitor

Trump Is About to Stifle US Solar Power. Why?, Fortune

Pipeline gas report is misleading, inaccurate, CommonWealth Magazine

Truths and tales about electricity, NH Business Review

Leave a comment

Filed under Electricity Costs, Renewables

Energy News for week ending October 6, 2017

Try a little voodoo | Methane Moooystery Solved | Troubling Conclusion

Happy Friday afternoon. The Energy News list today is UGE! In order to make it easier for folks to find what they want we created more categories. This may not be the case every week, but when have nearly 80 stories, like today, a little more sorting seems to help.

We’ve also been expanding our range to include more Northeast (i.e. beyond New England) stories, and of course have national news stories with potential local and regional implications. We hope you’re enjoying the change. Now, let’s get to a few of the news items.

I love the lede in this Berkshire Eagle article, “When all else fails, keep bugging the pipeline company, and try a little voodoo.” While it sounds like a lot of shenanigans were going on, the story also touches on some kind human interactions between the members of the police detail and the protestors. With all that’s been going on in the world, examples of peaceful protests are welcome news.

The Washington Post brings us the results of a study on upticks in methane over recent years. It seems the cause may be burping bovines. “Just from livestock methane emissions, our revisions resulted in 11 percent more methane in a recent year than what we were previously estimating,” said Julie Wolf, lead author of the study who completed the work while a postdoc at the institute and now works at the Department of Agriculture. “It’s not the biggest contributor to the annual methane budget in the atmosphere, but it may be the biggest contributor to increases in the atmospheric budget over recent years.” And, if you thought the emissions came from the other end of the cow, check out the embedded 2015 story about how that’s not the case.

Lastly this week, also from the Washington Post comes the results of 26-year climate change study that has been taking place in the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. From the article, “The research, tracking the emissions of carbon from artificially heated plots of a forest in Massachusetts, reinforces fears about the possibility of a climate change “feedback” involving the planet’s soils, one that could pile on top of and substantially worsen the ongoing warming trend triggered by the burning of fossil fuels.” Check it out, it’s pretty interesting stuff.

As always, be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great Columbus Day weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Methane

Activists relentless as Tennessee Gas tries to wrap up pipeline work, gas to flow in November, Berkshire Eagle

Scientists may have found a solution to the atmosphere’s methane mystery, Washington Post

New York power plant raises concerns, Greater New Milford Spectrum

TransCanada says it’s cancelling Energy East pipeline, CT Post

LISTEN: The science behind gas leaks under our cities and towns, The Patriot Ledger

Massive Pennsylvania gas leak proves industry requires more oversight, Environmental Defense Fund

Looking beyond pipelines to address New England’s electricity needs, Environmental Defense Fund

Renewables (Policy/RGGI/Purchasing, etc.)

Murphy or Guadagno: There’s Likely RGGI in New Jersey’s Future, NJ Spotlight

Vermont a Leader in Renewables, PUC Chair Says, RTO Insider

Renewable energy fans flex lobbying muscles in Massachusetts, Penn Energy

Council president, mayor differ on green electricity plan for city, Boston Globe

Wind

Energy Companies’ Proposal Could Help Expand Maine’s Wind Power Capacity, Maine Public

New York To BOEM: Here’s Where We Can Build Offshore Wind, North American Windpower

NY State clears way for more offshore wind, Long Island Business News

Senvion’s 3.7M144 Wind Turbine Arrives In North America, North American Windpower

If Wind Power Is Going to Replace Fossil Fuels, We Need Bigger Turbines, Futurism

From Black to Green: DONG Energy is Now Ørsted, Renewable Energy World

So Long, DONG: Danish Energy Giant Changes Name While Dropping Fossil Fuels, Greentech Media

Scituate selectmen consider shutting down wind turbine, Patriot Ledger

Solar

Net Metering Cap Stalls $78 Million Worth Of Massachusetts Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Massachusetts Solar Industry Testifies in Support of Raising Net Metering Caps, Energy Collective

Claremont solar array project moves forward, The Union Leader

Rebuilding After the Hurricanes: These Solar Homes Use Almost No Energy, InsideClimate News

Regulations Force Boston Churches to Cut Back Solar Plan, WGBH

Solar industry turns up heat on Mass. Legislature, Boston Globe

New tariff proposals put solar in ‘a land of complete uncertainty’ ahead of ITC hearing, Utility Dive

Fairfield enters partnership to explore solar array on closed landfill, Energy Central/Morning Central

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, News Times

Low-income families left in dark by solar law, Wicked Local Littleton

Tidal

N.S. opens door to new energy ventures among world’s highest tides in Fundy, Times Colonist

Tidal turbine test site at Cape Cod Canal gets green light, Cape Cod Times

Climate Change

One of the oldest climate change experiments has led to a troubling conclusion, Washington Post

Storage

Massachusetts’ largest ESS will help ‘stabilise’ utility customers’ rates for 20 years, Energy Storage News

National Grid, battery company unveil power system at Holy Name, Worcester Business Journal

ENGIE and Massachusetts utility team up for 6 MWh energy storage project, Utility Dive

Energy Efficiency

Pot power drain on the minds of Bay State utilities, Gloucester Times

Happy Energy Efficiency Day: Buy an LED Bulb to Celebrate, Natural Resources Defense Council

Efficiencies helped households save up to 30 percent on energy bills in 2016: IEA, Reuters

States Lead the Way on Energy Efficiency as Feds Falter, Natural Resources Defense Council

Portsmouth joins national Energy Efficiency Day, Seacoastonline.com

Start saving money, reducing pollution on Energy Efficiency Day, wwlp.com

Despite Trump, states keep getting more energy-efficient., Grist

Connecticut slips slightly in state-by-state ranking of energy efficiency, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

Want To Build An Energy Efficient House? Try Concrete, WNPR News

LED streetlight conversion leads to $115K grant, Daily Times Chronicle

Nuclear

Nuclear Regulatory Commission responds to Seabrook safety activist’s concerns, Wicked Local Ipswich

At Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant, A Rumble Over Rubble, New England Public Radio

Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund grows by $13M, Brattleboro Reformer

Entergy, NorthStar want critical comments nixed, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim owner backs off another nuclear plant closure, Cape Cod Times

Proposed federal bill would give millions to cities storing nuclear waste, Chicago Tribune

Courtney targets nuclear waste, Hartford Business

DOE NOPR FERC

US DOE proposal for FERC market reforms draws heavy fire at GCPA, Platts

An Obscure Statute Is Helping Trump Save U.S. Coal, Nuclear, Bloomberg

How DOE’s baseload power rule ‘would blow the market up,’ Utility Dive

Behind the Backlash to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Demand for Coal-Nuclear Market Intervention, Greentech Media

The Energy Department is Making up Reasons Why You Need to Pay More For Dirty Energy, Fast Company

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

State budget woes jeopardize environmental funding, New Haven Register

Eversource predicts dip in monthly bills by 5.5 percent, The Union Leader

Site Evaluation Committee views potential impact of Northern Pass on Concord, Concord Monitor

World’s First Technology To Measure Electricity Grid Stability Announced, CleanTechnica

Land Conservationists Worry Power Plant Will Fragment Forest, Harm Species, WNPR News

Invenergy announces water deal with Narragansett Tribe, RI Future

Rep. Cushing to PUC: Don’t Let ‘Polluter’ Eversource Buy Aquarion Water, InDepthNH.org

Worcester balks at National Grid repair bills for DCU Center, Worcester Telegram

EPA chief wants more of Northern Pass underground, The Union Leader

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

FERC eschews social cost of carbon measurement in new downstream analysis, Utility Dive

Winter energy prices to rise at least seven percent in Mass, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass hits another obstacle, CommonWealth Magazine

Imagining the Utility of the Future, Utility Dive

Gardner deal to trim electricity bills, Telegram

Editorial/Opinion

Stopping Climate Change Starts at Home, Commonwealth Magazine

Editorial: Energy project shows promise, once connected to the grid, The Recorder

Northern Pass is committed to working with businesses, The Laconia Daily Sun

Forum: Protect Millstone’s workers and communities, not its shareholders, New Haven Register

Amelia Shea: A long-term view of Vermont Yankee site, vtdigger.org

Could electricity become too cheap to meter?, CommonWealth Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending September 29, 2017

Cost Recovery for baseload | Brain Research for Storage |Power from Evaporation

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

The big news this week actually broke today with the announcement, carried by Utility Dive, that the “DOE filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the Federal Power Act to enhance grid resilience, directing FERC to ‘accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency.’ The rule would provide for ‘recovery of costs of fuel-secure generation units frequently relied upon to make our grid reliable and resilient.’” If passed, it could be good news for coal and nuclear plants that keep fuel on site. As an aside, I got it from a very good source today that FERC is interested in receiving comments – so send them in.

Sticking with national news, we have an interesting story from Microgrid Knowledge about how some “Duke University brain science researchers are hoping to use electronics they developed for non-invasive brain stimulation to revolutionize energy storage technology, making batteries safer, more efficient and less expensive.”

Last tidbit for this week comes from Science Daily which reports that “In the first evaluation of evaporation as a renewable energy source, researchers at Columbia University find that U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate 325 gigawatts of power, nearly 70 percent of what the United States currently produces.” They add, “Though still limited to experiments in the lab, evaporation-harvested power could in principle be made on demand, day or night, overcoming the intermittency problems plaguing solar and wind energy.” Cool stuff.

Be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

As Perry slams state pipeline decisions, lawyers say DOE has little authority to intervene, Utility Dive

EIA Says US Electric Rates Up This Year on Higher NatGas Prices, Natural Gas Intelligence

US lawmakers ask Facebook, Twitter for information on anti-fracking ads, Reuters

118 Groups Urge Trump to Ban Fracking on Public Lands, Center for Biological Diversity

Otis State Forest pipeline protesters make a plea for the planet during court hearings, Berkshire Eagle

Rick Perry links pipelines, natural security, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

This Bipartisan Senate Bill Could Enable US Offshore Wind to Take Off, Greentech Media

Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear – the energy revolution is happening, The Guardian

Wind Energy Could Power 30% Of Europe’s Needs By 2030, Reports WindEurope, CleanTechnica

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, Danbury News Times

US Climate Change Policy: Made in California, New York Times

New Jersey to examine solar incentives, cost differentials, Utility Dive

The most effective clean energy policy gets the least love, Vox.com

Savoy voters reject bylaw allowing taller wind turbines, Berkshire Eagle

Solar to power Middle East oil, natural gas exports, Platts

Stronger RGGI Cuts Projected to Be Achieved at Low Cost, Natural Resources Defense Council

RGGI issues first ever offsets as states narrow opportunities, Carbon Pulse

State environmental groups rip GOP cuts as short-sighted, New Haven Register

NextEra: Four former Ranger solar projects will be operating by end of 2019, Mainebiz

Let the Sun Shine In: Solar Prices Decreasing, ecoRI news

Ruling Finds Solar Panels From China Hurt US Makers, Maine Public

Scituate Wind turbine noise still a problem for some, Wicked Local Scituate

Renewable developers respond in droves to New York solicitation, Utility Dive

Large solar array in works for old gravel pit in Williamsburg, Going Green

Wind and water: Powering our past, and future, Seacoast Online

Energy Efficiency

Massachusetts stays atop NGO’s state energy efficiency rankings, Utility Dive

State money to help Central Mass. communities switch to energy-saving LED streetlights, Worcester Telegram

Meriden councilors favor program with Eversource to upgrade lights in city buildings, Meriden Record-Journal

How your air conditioner plays catch-up to regulations, Axios.com

Weymouth to convert 3,800 street lights to LED, Patriot Ledger

Nuclear

Entire US Nuclear Power Fleet Could Disappear in 38 Years: S&P, Bloomberg

Energy Company Finances At Center Of Battle Over Millstone, Hartford Courant

Plans to clean up Vt. Yankee met with criticism from environmental groups, The Recorder

Port council votes to send letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

NorthStar leader, engineering consultant talk future of Vt. Yankee, Going Green

Energy Storage

New York City Aims To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Using Energy Storage, Forbes.com

Years In, NY REV Lacks Major Storage Action. That May Have to Change Soon, Greentech Media

Brain Research Tools Could Help Revolutionize Energy Storage Technology, Microgrid Knowledge

Climate Change

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year, National Geographic

States Can Lead the Way on Climate Change, Scientific American

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE proposes cost recovery for baseload generators in new FERC rule, Utility Dive

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

SEC Member: Northern Pass Could Cost Taxpayers More For Public Construction Projects, indepthnh.org

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Tisbury looks to join Brewster in Eversource spraying battle, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Texas firm sells Milford power plant in $119M sale, Worcester Business Journal

Sudbury property values (partially) fair play in Eversource case, MetroWest Daily News

Cushing bill looks to block utility monopolies, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

National Grid in settlement talks with NY over rates, Albany Times Union

Great Barrington pursues ‘low cost and green’ collective power purchase plan, Berkshire Eagle

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Energy harvested from evaporation could power much of US, Science Daily

NiSource Again Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Business West

Can Distributed Energy Resources Get Paid to Serve as ‘Virtual Transmission Lines’?, Greentech Media

Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource lease, MetroWest Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Not clean, not green, Concord Monitor

Approve bill to help Millstone secure its future, theday.com

Nuclear Power Is ‘On Its Back,’ Former CIA Director Says, Forbes

Lisa Ostrove: Why Candlewood Solar is a bad deal for our town, Danbury News Times

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending September 22, 2017

FERC Priorities | Seaweed Biofuel | Green Hospitals

Happy Friday to All,

Commonwealth Magazine reports on a recent FERC ruling that signals the agency is “willing to take a more activist role in state pipeline battles.” In other news from our nation’s capital, the Department of Energy says US offshore resources could support enough seaweed production to supply up to 10% of the current demand for transportation fuel and they have awarded $22 million in grants to accelerate the development of seaweed as a next-generation biofuel. And for some good green news, the Boston Business Journal has a story on how Boston hospitals have made great progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions–a 9 percent reduction since 2011.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy your weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Could feds pave way for new Mass. gas project?, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas leaks delay tree planting, Salem News

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Gas pipeline protesters turn up heat on FERC, Utility Dive

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Senate Bill Would Streamline FERC NatGas Pipeline Permitting, Natural Gas Intelligence
Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
, OilPrice.com

Renewable Energy

Trump Admin. Pitches Seaweed For Biofuel-Powered Car Of The Future, CleanTechnica

California’s Plan for 100% Renewables Falls Flat in the 11th Hour, Greentech Media

Why Solar Advocates Are Crying Foul Over New York’s Latest REV Order, Greentech Media

After slide, prices tick up in latest RGGI auction, Hartford Business

Two RGGI offset protocols to bite the dust as states publish more details on proposed market changes, Carbon Pulse

Bill Would Commit Massachusetts To 100 Percent Renewable Energy, WGBH

Fishing industry takes more action against New York offshore wind lease, National Wind Watch

Deepwater Wind Installs Wildlife Tracking Station on Offshore Block Island Wind, Power Engineering

Boxford’s Municipal Solar Power Generation Facility, Valley Patriot

Oakham Farm Inspires Central Massachusetts’ 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal, GovTech.com

Connecticut unions, environmentalists want more wind power, New Haven Register

Activists urge legislators to support ‘Green Bank,’ Greenfield Recorder

Fall River solar farm near North Watuppa Pond moving forward, Herald News

Canada has too much clean electricity. Anybody want it?, E&E News

States pick up the clean energy torch, The Boston Globe

Energy Efficiency

Six climate change solutions we can all agree on, Phys.Org

Blockchain: Coming to a Smart Building Near You?, Greentech Media

Derby Residents Can Upgrade To New LED Bulbs, Patch.com

National Grid gives King Brothers Dairy $120000 for energy-efficient gear, The Daily Gazette

Nuclear

Seabrook nuclear plant watchdog’s request rejected, Portsmouth Herald

Vernon seeks ‘unrestricted’ future for Vermont Yankee site, VT Digger

Tribes seek voice in nuclear plant cleanup, land restoration, Penn Energy

Dominion’s lips remain sealed on Millstone financials, Hartford Business

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Why utilities don’t move power lines out of hurricanes’ way, Vox.com

As Brayton Point taxes wither, residents say they’d be willing to pay more for some services, Herald News

Medway: Work begins on Exelon expansion, MetroWest Daily News

Harvard University: A Valedictorian of Microgrids and Distributed Energy, Microgrid Knowledge

Boston area hospitals cut greenhouse gases by 9% since 2011, BBJ

Upton selectmen seek cheaper energy, Wicked Local Upton

Changing Massachusetts time zone could improve health, boost retail sales, save energy, commission finds, MassLive

A ‘Tax’ Or ‘The Cost Of Pollution’? Mass. Debates Surcharge On Fossil Fuels, WBUR

Heating Prices Rise in Maine as Fall Weather Nears, US News and World Report

State committee says Northern Pass plans have ‘potential inaccuracies’, The Union Leader

Budget Crisis Leads to Proposed Electric Bill Changes, NBC CT

Worcester crew part of National Grid aid efforts in Florida, Worcester Telegram

Siting Board Denies Latest Appeal to Halt Power Plant, ecoRI news

ISO-NE Forecast Sees Flat Loads, More Solar, No Congestion, RTO Insider

Raimondo establishes a Chief Resiliency Officer to combat climate change effects, RI Future

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

Editorial/Opinion

States pick up the clean energy torch, Boston Globe

Milton Eaton: Defending Vermont Yankee decommissioning, VT Digger

Hydrogen fueling stations central to CCAT-hosted events, Hartford Courant

Carbon fee is our climate ‘moon shot,’ and it’s well within reach, The Boston Globe

Our View: Global warming needs political climate change, Press Herald

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending September 15, 2017

What’s old is new | Millstone deal struck | It’s electric!

Happy Friday afternoon.

Some cool news this week from the folks at MIT who looked back in time – over 3 millennia – to find a potential solution to energy storage challenges. According to the article on Curbed.com, MIT researchers have reinvented firebricks, a Bronze-Age technology created by the Hittites in the 17th century BC. Firebricks were designed to retain heat for long periods of time. The MIT team’s Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage (FIRES) system stores thermal energy (heat) in firebricks and later converts the energy back into electricity at about 1/40th the price of putting it into batteries. As the article notes, it could be a game changer for renewables.

According to the CT Mirror, the Connecticut General Assembly and the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have agreed in principle on bipartisan legislation authorizing state energy officials to take measures to stabilize the profitability of New England’s largest power plant, the Millstone nuclear station in Waterford. The Hartford Courant reported Friday afternoon that the Senate approved the measure which now awaits House action. The new proposal does not include a fee paid by Millstone’s parent company Dominion Energy.

In honor of the upcoming AltWheels event we have section on EV news. According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, electric vehicle ownership is rising in Massachusetts. They cite data from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection that shows the number of electric vehicles in the state has grown from 782 as of July 31, 2013, to 3,770 as of March 31, 2017. The number of plug-in hybrids, which can also utilize gasoline, has increased from 1,034 to 5,701 during that time frame. There is still a long way to go, but it’s a huge leap in numbers from the days yours truly spent promoting DOER’s EV program in the mid-late 90s.

On the same topic, The Huffington Post asks, Should Utilities Build Charging Stations For Electric Cars? Some arguments for and against are that, “Building more charging stations could help alleviate ‘range anxiety,’ the fear of running out of charge with no station in sight, and therefore stimulate sales of the clean-air-friendly cars. But in some states, officials say that letting the utility industry build more stations would force all electricity consumers to pay for a service that only a few, relatively affluent, people will use.” Hmmm. The article does contain a lot more detail on the pros and cons. It’s worth a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Feds overrule New York’s natural gas pipeline permit denial, Fox Business

10 arrested in pipeline protest at Tennessee Gas Co. headquarters in Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

Local officials seeking to stop gas leaks, MetroWest Daily News

Reliance on natural gas expected to grow, CommonWealth Magazine

Tennessee Gas Pipeline opponents plan flotilla on Lower Spectacle Pond, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline maintenance cuts path through quiet neighborhood in Lynnfield, ItemLive

Climate Change

Climate change did not “cause” Harvey or Irma, but it’s a huge part of the story, Vox.com

Renewables

MIT turns to millennia-old tech for renewable energy storage, Curbed.com

Agency: Turbines could spin during bird migrations, Cape Cod Times

Family donates solar power systems to 8 nonprofits, Going Green

Cost of U.S. Solar Drops 75 percent in Six Years, Ahead of Federal Goal, YaleEnvironment360

CT greenlights major renewable projects, Hartford Business Journal

Massachusetts business coalition seeks steeper renewable energy standard, Electric Light and Power

The New 1,600 Megawatt Solar Program For Massachusetts Really Is SMART, Clean Technica

Eversource Building Solar Power Sites In Western Mass., WAMC

Solar project planned for Fitchburg site with history of energy production, Worcester Telegram

Cohasset’s new solar array officially open, Patriot Ledger

Farms that grow crops and solar power together, Greenfield Recorder

Maine cities, towns hope to pump up demand for air-sourced heat, The Forecaster

Stars Aligning for Clean Energy in the State…and NH Sustainable Energy Association is Helping Make it Happen, Keene Sentinel

Energy Efficiency

Mortgage Loans Still a Missing Link to Energy Efficiency Growth, Energy Collective

The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here, New York Times

Nuclear

Senate Approves Millstone Aid, Bill Awaits House Action, Hartford Courant

Deal struck on stabilizing profits of Millstone nuclear station, CT Mirror

Pilgrim addresses deteriorating protective panels, Energy Central

Activist posts billboard warning about Seabrook nuclear plant, Ipswich Chronicle

Planners look to future of VY site, Brattleboro Reformer

EVs

Electric vehicle ownership rising in the state, MetroWest Daily News

Should Utilities Build Charging Stations For Electric Cars?, Huffington Post

R.I., 6 other states face decision on plug-in cars, Providence Journal

Electric car dream collides with reality on profits, Boston Business Journal (subscriber article)

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE Visits Vermont to Discuss Tx Planning, RTO Insider

Power Plant Lawsuit Worries Town Of Sandwich, The Sandwich Enterprise

CMP, Gas Companies & Solar Proponents Battle Over Energy Policy, The Free Press

Utilities see benefits in energy storage, even without mandates, Utility Dive

No Fish Story. Tiny Island Lands Big Catch with Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Northern Pass Spokesman Says ‘End in Sight,’ As SEC Pushes Back Decision, NHPR

U.S. Court Allows Suit Alleging ExxonMobil’s Everett Tank Farm Is A Hazard To Proceed, WGBH

CMP & Others Bidding for New Transmission Lines Across Maine, The Free Press

As Brayton Point hits the market, golf course, industrial park among pitches, Herald News

Pass rep questioned on whether project will affect scenic resources, Union Leader

Wellesley no longer at odds over Clean Energy Standard regulations, Wicked Local Wellesley

Baker Stepping Up Emissions Strategy With Focus On Transportation, Banker & Tradesman (subscriber article)

Opinion

New England’s power grid operator is biased, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy efficiency benefits NH businesses, NHBR

Kathy Sullivan: Northern Pass is not ready for prime time, Union Leader

Eversource’s solar proposal needs to go, CommonWealth Magazine

A Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Moment for Natural Gas in NH, IndepthNH

Karen Glitman: Efficiency Vermont’s listening tour, VT Digger

Leave a comment

Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending September 8, 2017

ISO-NE spoiled | Varying approaches to Grid Mod | Hacked

Good Friday Afternoon.

Harvey. Irma. Jose. Katia. It’s hard to fathom how much devastation has already occurred in Texas and the Caribbean as we continue to watch and pray for the folks in Florida, Mexico and again in the Leeward Islands as the massive hurricanes continue on their paths.

Closer to home we have a story from POWER magazine digging deep into ISO-New England’s 20-year history and asking if the success of the past can be replicated in the future – or is ISO-NE spoiled by its success? With winter approaching, here is an interesting quote from the article, “According to van Welie, the ISO has largely given up on the idea of bringing more gas to the region, in the face of the inability of pipeline developers to win support for their projects. The problem now, he said, ‘is how to get efficient electricity production during winter, assuming we see no further investment in gas infrastructure.’ He added, ‘Fuel has to come from somewhere when the existing pipelines are constrained.’”

This week Utility Dive dug into the Massachusetts utilities’ grid mod proposals. The question they say is that regulators must choose whether to embrace their original grid mod goals, opt for newly-proposed performance metrics, or go back to the drawing board. Further they add that Massachusetts regulators ordered the state’s utilities to develop a grid modernization plan (GMP) in 2014 but divergent approaches have so far prevented implementation.

If the Equifax hack wasn’t bad enough, we bring you a BuzzFeed story based on reports from Symantec that hackers infiltrated and gained access to operational controls of US electric companies.  Symantec, a California-based firm that provides cybersecurity services and worldwide research against online threats, says the group, which it’s nicknamed Dragonfly 2.0, may have compromised more than a dozen American companies in recent months.

Be sure to check out our events page. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Is Big Oil Prepared For The Natural Gas Era?, OilPrice.com

Sugar Shack Alliance protests fossil fuels on I-91, The Recorder

Burrillville asks EFSB to dismiss Invenergy application because it’s incomplete, RI Future

FERC Orders Tech Conference on Algonquin No-Notice Changes, RTO Insider

Citing climate impacts, New York state blocks yet another natural gas pipeline, MassLive.com

Mother Nature Whips Natural Gas Amid Harvey And Irma, Investing.com

Natural gas pipeline projects move closer to development, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

Public, private leaders call for renewable energy push, Worcester Business Journal

Connecticut pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions, CT Post

Portland Airport to Get $1.3 Million for Solar Array, U.S. News & World Report

Giant Batteries Help Renewable Energy Grow In New England, WBUR

Grid strained by new solar farms, Berkshire Eagle

RGGI prices to continue languishing below $10 through 2030 despite reforms, analysts warn, Carbon Pulse

20 megawatts: Solar developer targets southern Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer

Shrewsbury town meeting OK gas line extensions, solar deal, Worcester Telegram

Resident group opposes solar proposal for Candlewood Mountain, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

VIDEO: World’s First Offshore Wind Facility Completely Dismantled, Power Engineering Magazine

Ocean Turbines Could Turn the Tide for Energy Generation, Government Technology

Wind turbine manufacturers are dipping toes into energy storage projects, Ars Technica

CleanChoice Energy opens office in Massachusetts, Clean Technology Business Review

Lynn Working to Become A Green Community, Lynn Journal

Two Energy Powerhouses Broaden Community Solar Access in Massachusetts, Energy Central

Wastewater treatment authority on path to full renewability, Penn Energy

Maine island completes conversion to ’90 percent cleaner’ energy, Bangor Daily News

Potential Tariff On Solar Panels Has Some Developers Concerned, Vermont Public Radio

Energy Efficiency

UMass, Eversource sign energy efficiency partnership, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Were thermal images taken of your Springfield house? Look for a postcard in the mail outlining energy-savings plan, MassLive.com

Bash the incandescent bulb and save money, The Cabinet Press

Nuclear

Entergy Seeks Approval To Accelerate Prep Work At Vermont Yankee, Vermont Public Radio

State OKs reduction in Vermont Yankee security, vtdigger.org

Report claims there’s no new pollution at VY, Commons

In advertising blitz, nuclear industry seeks reset, Axios

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Could Success Spoil ISO-NE?, Power Magazine

Massachusetts utilities take divergent approaches to grid modernization, Utility Dive

Electricity Providers Targeted In Massive Hack, Buzzfeed

LePage can’t lower energy prices by himself, but that won’t stop him from trying, Bangor Daily News

How States Will Hit 100 Percent Clean Energy, Scientific American

CMP faces questions about power line plan for western Maine, Portland Press Herald

Environmental group appeals approval of Sandwich plant expansion, Cape Cod Times

Northern Pass transmission slated to bring Quebec electricity to Massachusetts gains OK from US Forest Service, MassLive.com

31 Northern Pass Hearings Added; Delay Prompts Lively Facebook Exchange, InDepthNH.org

Northern Pass route through White Mountains clears hurdle, WMUR Manchester

Northern Pass: Residents, Eversource Offer Differing Views On Another SEC Delay, Caledonian Record

Northern Pass project decision delayed by New Hampshire siting committee, Utility Dive

United States: DOE Report Offers Extensive Insight, But Limited Policy Suggestions, Mondaq News Alerts

Towns intervene in Eversource acquisition of Aquarion, Seacoastonline.com

Proposed State Energy Strategy Draws Critics, Hartford Courant

Major energy legislation of Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure, Bangor Daily News

The simple reason most power utilities suck, Vox.com

Editorial/Opinion

Wait ’til next year: More Northern Pass delays, The Union Leader

Carbon emissions problem has more than one solution, Press Herald

ALTERNATE ENERGY: The lure of nuclear energy no longer makes ‘cents’, Finger Lakes Times

Massachusetts’ leaders should go big on clean energy (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Harvey Exposed Oil Issues We Must Address, Natural Resources Defense Council

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing, Energy Efficiency, solar

Energy News for week ending September 1, 2017

Gas Pump Pain | Giant Batteries | Northern Pass Delay

Hopefully many of you are headed out of the door to start your long weekend so we’ll keep the news highlights short.  Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey–it has been hard to wrap our heads around the scale of devastation and destruction. Damage to energy supplies in Texas combined with the normal increase in Labor Day holiday travel is already leading to higher gas prices throughout New England.  In better news, giant batteries are starting to make a positive mark on the electric grid reports WNPR. And depending upon which side of the Northern Pass issue you are on, you may or may not be happy to learn NH State regulators announced they will delay their final decision on the Northern Pass by another six months to March 30, 2018.  We hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Hurricane Harvey: New England Impact

Hurricane fuels gas-price hike as reserves tapped, Lowell Sun

Energy Dept. taps into emergency oil reserves after Harvey, The Hill

Colonial Pipeline to shut US Northeast fuel lines due to Harvey, Reuters

Harvey’s impact in Southern New England might be at the pump, Turn to 10

EPA waives emission rules in 38 states amid fears of fuel shortages, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Discharge water from Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline testing worries environmentalists, Berkshire Eagle

State drops charges against 4 pipeline protesters arrested for blocking access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Putin-linked steel company supplies pipes for Kinder Morgan’s expansion project in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

FERC Denies Request To Halt Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion, Again, WAMC

Smell Natural Gas Outside? Report It, But Don’t Always Expect A Fix, Cape Cod Chronicle

Gas Co. Challenges NY Pipeline Permit Denial At 2nd Circ., Law360

Weymouth: Sen. Warren Reaffirms Opposition to Compressor Station, 95.9 WATD-FM

Natural Gas Upgrade: Eversource Begins $2.2M Project In East Norwalk, Norwalk Daily Voice

Renewable Energy

Gigantic Batteries Help Grow Renewable Energy In Maine, New England, WNPR News

RI Wastewater Treatment Authority To Reach 100% Renewable Energy By 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio

Solar power microgrid goes online in Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, Electric Light & Power

History-rich Maine island goes green, WLBZ-TV

Chemetal taps into solar with 560-panel roof array, GazetteNET

Possible tariff puts NH solar firms on edge, New Hampshire Business Review

From Fenway Park to Wembley, these stadiums are going big on renewable energy, CNBC

No anti-competitive behavior in RGGI secondary market, report finds, Utility Dive

Sununu Satisfied With Latest RGGI Proposal, New Hampshire Public Radio

Policymaker support key to offshore wind prospects in US, Utility Dive

World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Maker Waves Goodbye to Oil Industry, Bloomberg

Narragansett Bay Commission Adding Solar, Will Be Nearly 100% Renewable, GoLocalProv

Energy Efficiency

How Does the United States Rate in Energy Efficiency?, Energy Collective

Making data centers more energy efficient, MIT News

Heating Camden’s new middle school from town’s sewer plant: What’s the cost and can it be done?, PenBayPilot.com

500 cities have committed to going big on clean energy this year – now what?, Into the Wind

Nuclear

If nuclear is not in the future US energy mix, what will replace it?, Utility Dive

Newburyport City Council to review letter to NRC calling for hearing, The Daily News of Newburyport

Opponents launch petition against Millstone “deal”; Dominion says group “misleads” consumers, theday.com

Environmental Group Seeks Added Financial Protections In Vermont Yankee Sale, Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Yankee companies expand request to seal documents, vtdigger.org

No new pollution at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource dealt 6-month setback for Northern Pass transmission line, MassLive.com

State committee delays Northern Pass decision until 2018, The Union Leader

Northern Pass dealt regulatory blow, Commonwealth Magazine

Eversource Asks PUC To Conceal Fiscal Info On Berlin Biomass Plant, Caledonian Record

Utilities Grapple with Rooftop Solar and the New Energy Landscape, Yale Environment 360

Executive Councilor: Sununu Needs To Do More Outreach On Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

National Grid, Hydro-Quebec snipe over hydro power, Commonwealth Magazine

RI approves rate hike for National Grid, The Sun Chronicle

Could Success Spoil ISO-NE?, POWER magazine

Editorial/Opinion

States Dare to Think Big on Climate Change, New York Times

Misinformation being spread about Northern Pass project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

My Turn: Michael F. Sabitoni: Natural gas plant vital for RI, The Providence Journal

Foss: Proposed energy rate increase is too much, The Daily Gazette

My Turn: Hydro-Quebec cannot rewrite history, Concord Monitor

Letter: Colin Nagle: National Grid ought to modernize energy infrastructure, The Providence Journal

Renewing RGGI: Do nothing, but more of it, The Union Leader

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar, Wind Power