Category Archives: Renewables

Energy News for week ending September 11, 2020

High Energy Burden | Big Oil Goes Green | Where are the yeses?

Happy Friday folks.

Busy day and week. So I need to keep this short.

I direct your attention to these two articles:

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

One more interesting article to share, which was a result of yesterday’s MIT CEEPR event that featured former Energy Secretary Moniz.

From Axios:

Amy: What is the state or region that you think will have the most difficult time transitioning to a clean-energy economy? Why?

Moniz:

New England. Moniz then went on to say that that region has in recent years opposed new and existing energy infrastructure, like natural-gas pipelines, hydropower and nuclear power plants that could help reduce emissions.

“There are a lot of nos. Where are the yeses? … If we are going to go to low carbon, where is it all going to come from? It’s not all going to come from offshore wind. That’s why we need pragmatic, realistic solutions.”

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

NYISO allows full participation for energy storage in wholesale power markets, Utility Dive

FERC Order May Undermine Renewables, Energy Storage in New York’s Capacity Markets, Greentech Media

How to Keep Firefighters Safe From Batteries, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Utilities Look to Green Hydrogen to Cut Carbon Emissions, Wall St. Journal

AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, Utility Dive

Amid a Pandemic, Green Electricity Charts a Course Forward, S&P Global Market Intelligence

United in Science report: Climate change has not stopped for COVID19, UN Environment Programme

Federal report warns of financial havoc from climate change, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

House to probe US lag on leveraging clean energy for COVID-19 recovery, consider bipartisan energy bill, Utility Dive

FERC rejection of NYISO renewables plan could prompt state-managed capacity market, advocates say, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Coalition, including UMass Dartmouth, backs expanded research of offshore wind, Herald News

Vineyard Wind partners with Nantucket for support, Cape Cod Times

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Blast Off, With Help From US Taxpayers, CleanTechnica

Study Finds Offshore Wind and Lobstering Can Coexist, EcoRI

Offshore Wind in NJ Gets Boost, But Lawmakers Demand a Halt to One Project, NJ Spotlight

Wind Farm Benefits Package Totals $29 Million for East Hampton Town, East Hampton Star

 

Solar

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media

Final approval given by the Town of Glocester for new solar project, WPRI

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor station starts testing, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas lobby charts course for fuel in carbon-constrained world, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas Is the Rich World’s New Coal, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Nuclear Energy Among the Least Popular Sources of Power in the U.S., Polling Shows, Morning Consult

So, What Exactly Are Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?, Greentech Media

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Maine Microgrid Project Lands USDA funding, Microgrid Knowledge

Obama energy secretary on blackouts, campaign scrutiny, Axios

PURA holds a final hearing for public comment on energy bill ratehikes, Fox 61

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

Energy News for week ending September 4, 2020

Ambitious Goals | Kill the Zombie | 99 Turbines

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with a story from NHPR, “N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals. New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities are proposing an increase to their energy efficiency savings goals for the next three years, in a plan that aims to cut costs and carbon emissions but could slightly increase customers’ bills in the short-term. The proposal centers on the utility-run NHSaves rebate program, which gives ratepayers incentives to use less energy by upgrading things like appliances, insulation or machinery. The utilities’ new goal for that program would have them sell 5% less electricity and 3% less gas between 2021 and 2023. The current goal, spanning 2018 to 2020, was to sell 3% less electricity and 2% less gas. Eversource, Unitil, Liberty Utilities and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative filed their proposal with the Public Utilities Commission Tuesday. They say it would save customers $1.3 billion overall – more than a third of the total amount they’ve saved with this program since 2002. And they say reducing New Hampshire’s gas and electricity use, particularly in the summer, will lower carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road for a year.”

Next stop is Western MA with a story from MassLive, “Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle. More than 75 people gathered on the steps of City Hall on Thursday calling for an end to a long-proposed biomass project in East Springfield, saying it is a threat to public health and an environmental hazard. Some of those speaking used the phrase “we can’t breathe” in expressing their strong opposition to the wood-to-energy plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy LLC at 1000 Page Blvd. Verne McArthur, of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, led the activists and residents in chants against the biomass project, including, ‘We will, we will, block you, block you.’  ‘This event is about the zombie project — this biomass plant that Palmer Renewable wants to build and keeps pulling political strings to get loopholes to go do it,’ McArthur said. ‘We’ve been fighting it for 10 years and they’re now trying to come back.’ There is a climate bill before the state Legislature, in conference committee, that includes one proposed clause that would list biomass energy plants as “non-emitting sources” — a designation that would help the developers receive subsidies, opponents said. Ten city councilors have urged legislators to reject the clause, and there is also a signature petition.”

Next up is a visual story – but you’ll need a VR headset for the full effect. From NBC Philadelphia, “Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore. The company building New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm is providing a glimpse into the future — what beachgoers and residents will see when turbines are erected. Massive turbines, with blades as long as football fields, will one day spin in the Atlantic Ocean off the Jersey Shore. The first wind farm off New Jersey is expected to begin generating clean energy by 2024, according to Ørsted, the Danish company that received New Jersey’s initial permit for an 1,100-megawatt project last year. It will generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes. The company has released a first look at what the farm’s 99 turbines will look like from the beaches of Atlantic City and Stone Harbor once they are up and running. The ‘virtual reality tour’ also provides a view from one of the turbines, which will be roughly 15 miles out to sea and in an area off southern New Jersey between Cape May and Atlantic City.”

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals, NHPR

Why Aren’t Home Efficiency Scores Standard in Online Real Estate Listings?, Greentech Media

City of Framingham Hosting Home Energy Efficiency Workshop, Framingham Source

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The US and climate: New York’s bold green plans hit opposition, Pop Times UK

Biggest U.S. Utility Says Going Green May Cost You $58 a Month, Bloomberg Green

The quest for renewable energy could wreak havoc on wildlife, report warns, mic.com

Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle, MassLive

$320,703 in grants awarded to transition rural businesses to renewable energy, Press Herald

Dartmouth Study Models Bioenergy Scenarios With Major Climate Benefits, NHPR

Renewable power grid would require $338B of improvements: Industry study, Washington Examiner

 

Wind

Groups say Boston electric grid upgrades should anticipate offshore wind, Energy Central

An inside look at NYSERDA’s award-winning offshore wind program, Windpower Engineering and Development

Seven Policies To Tap U.S. Offshore Wind’s $166 Billion Economic Growth And Emissions Reduction Potential, Forbes.com

Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore, NBC Philadelphia

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Opens Educational and Community Outreach Center in Atlantic City, Yahoo! Finance

 

Solar

Orsted, the World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar, Greentech Media

Solar investment group buys former Tee Bird South golf course in Saratoga County, Albany Business Review (subscriber content)

Advocates say over 200 shovel-ready community solar projects await legislative action in Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

 

EVs

Rhode Island initiates vehicle charging station project, Transportation Today

Electric vehicle charging stations increase in a county that barely uses them, Bangor Daily News

CMP starts up incentive program for high-power electric vehicle chargers, Press Herald

Electric trucks are gaining ground over natural gas in the waste industry, Utility Dive

The great battery race, Axios

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Ends State Of Emergency For Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, Patch.com

Clean Energy Fuels’ RNG to fuel New York transit buses, Bioenergy Insight

Algonquin Gas Gets Massachusetts Plant OK’d Despite Permit Suit, Bloomberg Law (subscriber content)

New Jersey Natural Gas Strengthens Sustainability Commitment, New Jersey Business

 

Nuclear

Bill Gates’ Nuclear Startup Unveils Mini-Reactor Design Including Molten Salt Energy Storage, Forbes.com

NuScale Becomes First Modular Nuclear Reactor to Receive NRC Design Approval, Engineering News Record

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Engineering Group Sees Increase in Power Outages, Costs, Microgrid Knowledge

Springfield councilors, Eversource slate meeting to discuss rising electric bills amid coronavirus pandemic, MassLive

Facing scrutiny over rate increases, power outages, Eversource quietly files $500M smart-meter plan, Hartford Business Journal

State’s Electric Utilities Make Plans to Roll Out Smart Meters, NJ Spotlight

Massachusetts top court denies NextEra bid to block state’s PPAs with Hydro-Québec, Utility Dive

Tesla ramps up interest in electricity utility business, CNET

Local Legislators Looking For Answers From Eversource, Cheshire Herald

Connecticut customers who lose power for three days or more would receive $500 in compensation for spoiled food or medicine under draft legislation, Hartford Courant

PURA to hold another public hearing on Eversource rate hikes, WFSB

 

Opinion/Editorial

Anna Gyorgy and Patricia Hynes: State Senate should remove biomass from climate bill, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Outage outrage was phony; legislators should get back to work, Journal Inquirer

School buses should go electric – here’s how, CommonWealth Magazine

Jon Lender: After storm, now comes test of whether lawmakers can enact an effective utilities reform bill, Hartford Courant

Climate action key theme of primary races, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar energy makes more sense all the time. Why build another gas plant?, Hartford Courant

Tackling the biggest obstacle to new transmission — power providers’ commitment phobia, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending August 28, 2020

Doesn’t Have to Happen | OSW Coalition | Paint it Black

Happy Friday folks.

Coming at you early this week.

Let’s start with news from the CT Mirror, which is perhaps one of the best explainer articles we have read in a while. It’s certainly worth sharing. Kudos to Jan Ellen Spiegel for her great reporting. “CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen. As the power outages from Tropical Storm Isaias piled up in every single community in Connecticut on Aug. 4, the finger pointing began. The utilities were seen as unprepared, leading critics to suggest they should pay for everything from snapped poles to spoiled food. But even if Eversource and United Illuminating had stationed armies of repair crews ready to roll as soon as it was safe, the high likelihood is that all that power would still have gone out. Arguably the questions Isaias begs are not who to blame and how to punish them, energy experts say, but ‘How do we keep the lights on?’ The answers may require a good bit of soul searching, not just by the utility villains of the moment, but by state officials, lawmakers, advocates, and residents themselves, who for years have focused on short-term costs and electric rates instead of long-term solutions that could eventually lower those rates and provide more storm resilience.”

When it comes to getting things done, the saying goes there is strength in numbers. Hence a new coalition has been formed to support offshore wind, From the Cape Cod Times, “Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives. Sena Wazer addressed the online press conference announcing a new coalition supporting offshore wind through the eyes of a 16-year-old peering into a potentially bleak future. ‘I’m fearful for my future,’ the co-founder of the Sunrise Movement in Connecticut said. ‘In 10 years, when I’m only 26, I don’t know if I’ll have a safe planet to live on.’ Experts describe actions taken in the next decade as critical to staving off the worst-case global warming scenarios. This summer gave us an inkling of how bad it could get, with unbearably long heat waves and drought in the Northeast and California wildfires in the West… ‘This crisis will only go away if we commit to do everything in our power to make sure we have a livable home going forward,’ Wazer said. It was that sense of urgency that impelled environmentalists, businesses, researchers and labor unions to form New England for Offshore Wind, a coalition focused on pushing state legislatures and governors in the region to make commitments by 2022 to offshore wind farms that could provide for one third of the region’s power needs.”

Our “new technology” of the week is less about tech but is effective none the less. From E&E News, “Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%. Painting one of a wind turbine’s three blades black led to a dramatic decline in bird mortality along the Norwegian coast, new research shows. Bird death from turbine collisions dropped by 71.9% where a turbine blade was black, compared with unpainted turbines at the same wind farm, according to findings published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution. Researchers observed a nearly 50% reduction in mortality from collisions involving towers with a single black blade. Bård Stokke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, one of the study’s lead authors, said the findings could address the evolving wind industry’s Achilles’ heel, its impact on birds.”

That’s the recap for the week.

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

$13M in funds for clean energy projects across Massachusetts, WWLP

Connecticut’s first ‘net-zero’ schools, tapping solar and geothermal energy, to be built in Manchester and Mansfield, Hartford Courant

Over 20 percent energy use reduction in New York State buildings since 2010, informnny.com

Bloomfield bearing pioneer sets sights on wasted energy market, Hartford Business Journal

Cambridge partners with All In Energy to assist residents, Wicked Local Cambridge

Time for a diet: Today’s US homes have super-sized into “energy gluttons,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Learn How You Can Take Advantage of Horticulture Energy Efficiency Programs, Greenhouse Grower

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Energy experts warn over green hydrogen ‘shortfall,’ Renews.biz

Preserving Trees Becomes Big Business, Driven by Emissions Rules, Wall St. Journal

WoodMac: 2020s Will Be the ‘Decade Of Hydrogen,’ Greentech Media

Utilities warn New York’s $72M ‘build-ready’ renewables program could cost consumers, Utility Dive

Adirondacks seeing a push for green energy, Times Union

 

Wind

New York, New Jersey hesitant on offshore grid planning amid federal uncertainty, Politico

New York’s Hudson Valley: Future Offshore Wind Hub?, Greentech Media

Mitchell: Delays to wind projects have hurt New Bedford’s ‘first mover’ status, South Coast Today

So Much For Saving Coal Jobs: More Offshore Wind Jobs Waiting In The Wings, Cleantechnica

Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%, E&E News

Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

New Report Finds Rhode Island has Plenty of Room to Expand Solar Responsibly, EcoRI

Solar Grids Built on NJ Farmland Get Senate Backing, NJ Spotlight

Agilitas Energy’s SMART Solar Project in Auburn MA Commences Construction, Alt Energy Mag

Bakers Island Light Station Celebrates New Solar Array, North Shore Magazine

CT Green Bank sells 6 solar energy systems to Greenwich investment firm, New Haven Register

Investment firm proposes $100 million trio of solar projects for Maine, Press Herald

 

EVs

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive

Electric Vehicle Makers Find a Back Door to Wall Street, New York Times

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Not everyone happy about Columbia Gas deal, Eagle Tribune

The United States set record for daily natural gas power burn in late July, EIA.gov

 

Nuclear

NRC board extends Seabrook plant’s license with conditions relating to concrete testing, Gloucester Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen., CT Mirror

New York City’s hottest new energy fight, Grist

At Connecticut hearing on Eversource rate increases, critics demand more accountability; Blumenthal calls for break-up of utility, Hartford Courant

Breakup Eversource? Or just closely regulate? Blumenthal’s suggestion jolts PURA hearing, CT Mirror

Energy sector divided over transmission incentives for voluntary cybersecurity investments, Utility Dive

Following botched utility response to Hurricane Isaias, New York governor proposes stricter penalties, Utility Dive

Exelon: Massachusetts’ gas and oil-fired Mystic power units to close in 2021 and 2024, Power Engineering

A new voice at PURA at a pivotal time in energy oversight, CT Mirror

Opponents will still try to kill CMP corridor after court nixes referendum, Bangor Daily News

 

Opinion/Editorial

New England needs to go all in on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Resources Council CEO: State agencies failed Maine on CMP corridor, Press Herald

My Turn: Is solar net metering a net good for New Hampshire?, Concord Monitor

Opinion: CT leading the way in wind energy development, CT Post

Grow crops, not solar panels, on NJ’s best farmland, The Link News

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

Energy News for week ending August 21, 2020

Grid Plan Disappeared | OSW Terminal Leases | New and Better Transmission

Happy Friday folks.

Busy day here. Sorry no time for a recap. Not a lot of news since we’re in the dog days of summer.

But I do draw your attention to these stories:

How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared, The Atlantic

Offshore wind firms agree to $33M in leases for New Bedford terminal, Boston Business Journal

Propelling the transition: New and better transmission is key to zero carbon; here’s what’s driving it, Utility Dive

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Utilities triple energy savings goal for New York businesses, Smart Energy Intl.

Schneider Electric and Huck Capital Launch ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ Microgrids for the Mass Market, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Propelling the transition: Green hydrogen could be the final piece in a zero-emissions future, Utility Dive

Middletown resolution would take a hard stance on climate change, Middletown Press

Defying Trump, 5 Automakers Lock In a Deal on Greenhouse Gas Pollution, New York Times

National Grid Lobbied Against Massachusetts Bills to Expand Renewable Energy, Energy and Policy Institute

 

Wind

Offshore wind firms agree to $33M in leases for New Bedford terminal, Boston Business Journal

Offshore Wind Turbine Plant Proposed For Cortlandt Waterfront, Patch.com

U.S. Offshore Wind Industry To See Explosive Growth, OilPrice.com

Europe’s Latest Supergrid Plan Could Slash Offshore Wind Transmission Costs, Greentech Media

 

Solar

Regulators issue fines to Eversource and UI over shared solar program, CT Mirror

 

EVs

GM’s new charging network is less than it seems, E&E News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kennedy criticizes gas safety bill, Salem News

In the run-up to U.S. election, drilling lobby promotes natural gas as ‘clean,’ Reuters

Oil Industry Frets About Recruiting Its Next Generation of Workers, Wall St. Journal

 

Nuclear

Town meeting approves new demo bylaw, nixes $9.1 million in capital projects, Wicked Local Plymouth

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared, The Atlantic

N.J. investigating how utility companies handled Tropical Storm Isaias power outages, NJ.com

Clean energy break: NJ may consider creating its own electric grid, NJ 101.5
California’s Shift From Natural Gas to Solar Is Playing a Role in Rolling Blackouts, Greentech Media

Eversource boss Jim Judge to face legislative hearing, CT Post

Propelling the transition: The battle for control of virtual power plants is just beginning, Utility Dive

Propelling the transition: New and better transmission is key to zero carbon; here’s what’s driving it, Utility Dive

NJ Lawmakers Want In On Fight Over Power Supplies, NJ Spotlight

Following outrage over Hurricane Isaias response, Connecticut bill would put utilities on the hook for outage costs, Utility Dive

 

Opinion/Editorial

The Current System of Electric Billing No Longer Makes Sense, Greentech Media

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

Energy News for week ending August 14, 2020

Hot enough for ya? | Unconstitutional | Water Woes

Happy Friday folks.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

The Economic Impact of Offshore Wind Energy, NYLCV

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

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

 

Solar

A different kind of flower power, Boston Globe

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Opinion/Editorial

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

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

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

RGGI will not benefit Pennsylvania | Opinion, PennLive

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

Energy News for week ending August 7, 2020

Path to Survival | One Billion Dollars | Clean Peak

Happy Friday folks.

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

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

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

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

 

EVs

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

Global Electric Vehicle Cords Top 1 Million, Bloomberg

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

 

Nuclear

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Gas safety legislation stalls on Beacon Hill, Salem News

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eversource: Some rate relief approved for electric customers, MassLive

 

Opinion/Editorial

Getting rid of fossil fuels in buildings, CommonWealth Magazine

The Importance of Microgrids for Marginalized Communities, Microgrid Knowledge

House takes baby steps on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

 

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

Energy News for week ending July 24, 2020

Reluctantly Rejected | Wind that Works

Happy Friday.

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

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

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

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The most powerful renewable energy, BBC

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

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

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

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

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

Hydrogen Becomes More Viable as a Microgrid Fuel, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

Gas

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

Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

 

Events

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending July 17, 2020

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

Happy Friday.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

Net Zero as the New Standard, Commercial Property Executive

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

Become More Energy Efficient And Save Money, WWLP MassAppeal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

Never let a good crisis go to waste, CT Mirror

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

Global Methane Emissions Reach a Record High, New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

Six Places Doing It Right, Politico

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

UMass Lowell receives grant to support clean energy, Lowell Sun

 

Wind

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

 

Gas

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

The Natural Gas Divide, grist.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Opinion

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

Our racist fossil fuel energy system, Boston Globe

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending June 19, 2020

6 months | Encouraged | Pyroelectric

Good afternoon.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Proposes Regional Greenhouse Gas Changes, National Law Review

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

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

Cleantech incubator Greentown Labs expands to Houston, Utility Dive

Turning manure into money, Washington Post

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

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

Theoharides: Transpo emission pact still priority, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

Boston organization stirs ire of solar advocates, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

Gas disaster settlement fees in question, Eagle Tribune

Natural Gas Heads for Record Drop in Global Demand, Bloomberg

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

Smart Energy Grids Become More Compelling, IoT World Today

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

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

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

 

Opinion

Our view: Huge potential for offshore energy, Salem News

New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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