Category Archives: Renewables

Energy News for week ending February 16, 2018

Foreseeing Trouble | Ugly toll | Five new spots to fish

As the late great Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Ah yes, after delaying the decision for a week, we find ourselves waiting again for MA DOER and company to let us know if they are going to stick with Northern Pass or move on to another or other proposals. The delay is causing all sorts of speculation (InDepthNH) and consternation (NHPR).

Love may have been in the air for many on Wednesday, but according to Platts, all ISO New England saw was “trouble” without investment in fuel security. From the article, “The report noted the cold snap that gripped the region from December 26 through January 7 featured “constrained pipeline capacity, substantially higher natural gas and wholesale electricity prices,” which prompted the dispatch of oil- and coal-fired generation to meet demand, but “oil supplies at plants around the region began to rapidly deplete … signficiantly (sic) increasing the reliability risk to the system.” “In the coming years as more oil, coal, and nuclear leave the system, keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition,” the report states.

Speaking of fuel security, the Boston Globe editorial board laid into just about everyone with a full page editorial on Tuesday about the region bringing in Russian gas, the implications of the same, and the lack of movement on other alternatives (i.e. a new gas pipeline). Here’s a small sample, “But apart from its geopolitical impact, Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies. Public officials, including Attorney General Maura Healey and leading state senators, have leaned heavily on righteous-sounding stands against local fossil fuel projects, with scant consideration of the global impacts of their actions and a tacit expectation that some other country will build the infrastructure that we’re too good for.”

Last for this week is a story from Renewable Energy World with an accompanying video from the American Wind Energy Association about how the Block Island Wind Farm has been a boon for the local fishing industry. At first there were worries, the article notes, but “after 6 months, their worries were starting to be alleviated and after just one year, they were completely gone. According to Chris Hobe, who has been fishing on the island since 1979, ‘within six months you had seed mussels,’ he said in a webcast announcing the release of the footage. After one year those seed mussels had turned into a deep, thick coating of mature mussels, on which smaller fish feed, attracting the fish that feed on them and on and on up the food chain.” In the video one man notes that because of the artificial reef created by the turbines there are five new fishing spots that didn’t exist before.

Then there is this, “Another added bonus according to Hobe was the increased tourism that the turbines attracted. On a whim, his company offered to take the general public on tours around the turbines so they could see them up close. He never imagined the interest that would draw. By the end of the 2017 summer season, Hobe said his company had stopped offering fishing excursions and was just doing sightseeing tours.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.
 

83D

Utilities find no common ground on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Decisive action needed on Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

As Mass. Debates Northern Pass Deal, Sununu Says Project Was ‘Railroaded’, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass rejection would have repercussions for Hydro-Québec’s future, The Globe and Mail

Massachusetts utilities to continue Northern Pass negotiations after rejection by NH regulators, Press Herald

Maine Gov. LePage Indicates Mass. May Have Already Moved On From Northern Pass, InDepthNH.org

VELCO and National Grid make key agreements for Granite State Power Link, Vermont Biz

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas pipeline opponents urge Baker to ‘break up’ with industry, Boston Metro

Energy CEO Says Fracking Build-out in New York Not Over, Wants Regulators to ‘Lay Down and Approve Every Pipeline’, DeSmog

Only Half of Proposed Burrillville Plant’s Power Sold, ecoRI news

Compressor Station Permit Appeal Could Be Heard In Summer, Patch.com

Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success, Science Daily

Ocean State Officials Pledge to Halt Offshore Drilling, ecoRI news

Ocean State’s Fossil-Fuel Hypocrisy Does Nothing to Address Climate Change, ecoRI news

Constitution Asks FERC to Rehear New York Permit Denial, RTO Insider

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

US Renewable Energy Generation Now ‘Within Striking Distance’ of Nuclear, Greentech Media

Healey unveils new renewable energy targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Citizens will demand omnibus clean energy bill, Sentinel and Enterprise
Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill, ‘matching the urgency of climate change,’ MassLive

Connecticut wants to boost renewables goal to 40% by 2030, Utility Dive

Is clean energy moving ahead fast enough in Western Massachusetts?, MassLive.com

EPA’s Scott Pruitt touts renewable energy in New England, Washington Examiner

Virginia House votes to prohibit cap-and-trade, RGGI linkage, Carbon Pulse

Think tank report pans Vermont carbon tax plan, Bennington Banner

 

Wind

AWEA Releases Underwater Footage of Block Island Wind Farm’s Artificial Reef, Renewable Energy World

Falmouth deal eases wind turbine debt, Cape Cod Times

Town of Yates passes more restrictions on wind energy projects, Buffalo News

The Launch of a US Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

FERC advances transmission line to serve Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, Utility Dive

What’s Happening With Maine Wind Power?, North American Windpower

Vineyard Wind wins state nod for undersea transmission cable, MassLive.com

Those Living Close To Wind Turbines Generally View Wind Power Positively, CleanTechnica

 

Solar

Vermont’s solar market fell 50% in 2017 (w/chart), pv magazine

A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas, Bloomberg

‘It’s so high it’s punitive’: Residents angered by local tax hike on home solar panels, Bangor Daily News

Solar Projects In Connecticut Face Local Pushback, New England Public Radio

Solar is again the flashpoint in CT’s new energy strategy, Hartford Business

Solect Energy Sees Acceleration in Solar Adoption by Massachusetts Municipalities, Schools and Nonprofits, pv magazine USA

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Alliance to Save Energy proposes changes in electricity pricing structures, Daily Energy Insider

Maryland is first state to launch energy storage tax credit, Utility Dive

Greensmith Energy Storage Technology Selected to Deliver Reliable Solar Power in Massachusetts, Power Magazine

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Most Important Energy Efficiency Program You’ve Never Heard Of, Energy Collective

Lawmakers Want To Restore Energy Efficiency Funds, But Don’t Know Where To Find The Money, Hartford Courant

Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things, The MIT Tech

Eversource News: Eversource and Lindt Chocolate Announce Landmark Energy Efficiency Partnership, North American Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

Keating pushes for nuclear plant decommissioning, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Quake rattles anti-nuclear activists in N.H., Boston Herald

Nuke critics can testify in Vermont Yankee case, Brattleboro Reformer

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Year’s Cold Snap Still Affecting People’s Pocketbooks in Western Mass, Valley Advocate

ISO New England foresees trouble without investment in fuel security, Platts

Trump Budget Backs Nuclear, Coal; Cuts Funding for Renewables, Power Magazine

Powelson: Input from PJM, ISO-NE states critical to FERC resilience docket, Utility Dive

Is the third pillar of electricity delivery preventing the building of the first two?, Utility Dive

Federal tax cut more than reverses Eversource rate increase in Massachusetts, Daily Energy Insider

Grid operations technologies protected customers from the bomb cyclone, Utility Dive

Lawmaker Accuses Eversource of Giving Consumers Misleading Billing Information, Hartford Courant

DC Circuit Remands FERC Decision Upholding ISO-NE FCM Rules Locking in Prices for New Entrants, Lexology

House coalition wants reversal of energy funds raid, Hartford Business

Local officials call National Grid’s response to October storm ‘inadequate’, Eagle-Tribune

National Grid seeks OK for New York power grid rebuild, Electric Light & Power

Selectmen pressure Eversource to undertake long-sought sidewalk work, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll, Boston Globe

Forget Quebec, look offshore for power, CommonWealth Magazine

Beware the Coalition for Sustainable Energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Proposed Burrillville power plant a step in the wrong direction, Herald News

Viewpoint: Need for Mass. clean transportation policy, Boston Business Journal

NJ needs clean energy now! Dump the carbon-trading scheme | Opinion, NJ.com

My Turn: David Spigelmyer: Rolling blackouts, skyrocketing costs, The Providence Journal

Indian Point power plant can withstand earthquakes: Letter, Poughkeepsie Journal

Just another routine day for NH ratepayers, NH Business Review

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin

 

Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from Phsy.org, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for  events. Have a great weekend.
 

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB, Ricentral.com

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process, MainePublic.org

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio

 

Wind

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines, Phys.org

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update, lexocology.com

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?, publicnow.com

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards, MassLive.com

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent

 

Nuclear

NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee, NJSpotlight.com

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs, MassLive.com

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike, theday.com

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes, wwlp.com

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine, NJ.com

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower, vtdigger.org

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending January 26, 2018

Northern Pass Wins it All | A Disaster | Wind to Beat Hydro

 

Happy sunny Friday.

 

Some of the biggest anticipated news this week was the selection of winning bids in Massachusetts’ Section 83D RFP. What was interesting is that there was just one winner. Eversource’s Northern Pass project to bring Canadian hydro to New England beat out dozens of other bidders. From WBUR, “’We had a lot of good options and this is the one that rose to the top,’ said Judith Judson, Massachusetts’ commissioner of energy resources. Evaluators determined the project would provide the ‘greatest overall value,’ to the state’s electric ratepayers, she added. When completed, the line is expected to deliver the equivalent of 17 percent of the state’s current electric load.” Not everyone is happy about the choice though. See below for statements released by several energy and environmental organizations. And as the Boston Globe article notes, years of litigation is possible.

 

From the Worcester Telegram, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and the Environment, Matthew Beaton speaking to the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change on Wednesday, reported that “During the frigid 15 days between Christmas and Jan. 9, power generators in Massachusetts burned about 2 million barrels of oil — more than twice the amount of oil they burned during all of 2016. ‘Economically, this is a disaster for us in New England. Equally as important, environmentally the emissions and the profiles of what occurred in this timeframe is nothing but a disaster,’ Beaton said. He added, ‘We can’t ignore this and I think this has to be part of an honest conversation of how we look at the challenges facing our system.’” One of the answers seems to be Siberian gas (Boston Globe).

The EIA released its short-term energy outlook this week and as the Daily Energy Insider reported the EIA revealed that “natural gas will hold its lead as the top supplier of electricity in the United States over the next two years.” However, as Utility Dive notes, the EIA also predicts that wind will beat hydro as leading US renewable resource in the same time frame.

We have a good number of articles below on Trump’s 30 percent solar tariff that was announced this week including one from Greentech Media that asks, Did Trump’s Solar Tariffs Just Launch a US Manufacturing Renaissance? And from the “Jetson’s” category we have a few articles on electric vehicles, including barges (The Guardian) and planes (Greentech Media) and another from Bloomberg that reveals, Off-the-Shelf Nuclear Plants Could Soon Help Power Electric Cars.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.

 

83D

Mass. Taps Eversource’s Northern Pass For Hydropower Project, WBUR

Baker goes with Eversource’s Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource wins big contract to build power line project through New Hampshire, Boston Globe

Northern Pass prevails in Mass. Clean Energy RFP, handing victory to Eversource and Hydro-Quebec, MassLive

Northern Pass wins entire Massachusetts clean energy bid process, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts Picks Northern Pass For Major Energy Contract, Maine Public

NEPGA Statement

NECEC Statement

RENEW Northeast Statement

CLF Statement

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

As Siberian gas awaits US landing, a second ship may be coming, Boston Globe

The end of natural gas is near, GreenBiz

EIA expects natural gas to hold lead as source for electricity generation through 2019, Daily Energy Insider

AG opposes gas-pipeline price break for new Back Bay high rise, Universal Hub

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, MetroWest Daily News

Invenergy withdraws lawsuit challenging power-plant connection costs, The Providence Journal

Invenergy Ends Water Deal With Narragansett Indian Tribe, Rhode Island Public Radio

Invenergy Lawyer Accuses Town of Burrillville of Lying, ecoRI news

Pipeline in Holyoke stirs up conversation, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Massive oil burn during cold snap a ‘disaster,’ says Beaton, Worcester Telegram

New England About To Get Liquefied Natural Gas From Unusual Source, NewBostonPost

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The trouble with Trump leaving climate change to the military, Vox.com

EPA loosens Clean Air Act rules for major pollution sources, Utility Dive

CT’s clean energy edge: Going, going . . . or coming back?, The CT Mirror

RI Environment Council Focused on Climate Change, ecoRI news

State Lawmakers Not Just Blowing Smoke About Rejoining RGGI, NJ Spotlight

City Council aims for 100 percent green, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Wind

EIA: Wind to beat hydro as leading US renewable resource in next 2 years, Utility Dive

A small town in SLC just got cut from a multimillion-dollar wind deal. Its reaction? “Relief.”, NCPR

Baker mentions offshore wind project in speech, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Vineyard wind takes more comment from the public, Cape Cod Times

LePage blocks new wind energy projects, creates secretive commission to study impacts, Press Herald

World’s biggest wind farm would have its own artificial island, NBCNews.com

Getting to ‘head-spinning’ low prices for US offshore wind, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Trump issues 30% tariff on solar imports, Utility Dive

Will utilities keep investing in solar after Trump’s tariffs?, Utility Dive

Mass. solar industry ‘just got a hit in the nose’ from Trump’s new tariff, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Critics say Eversource’s new fee casts a shadow on solar power, Boston Globe

Will the Eversource rate design that DER advocates couldn’t stop slow the Massachusetts solar boom?, Utility Dive

Did Trump’s Solar Tariffs Just Launch a US Manufacturing Renaissance?, Greentech Media

At Davos, Gore defends Trump solar tariff: report, Fox News

Solar groups balk at DPU Eversource decision, Trump tariffs, The Recorder

Massachusetts “SMART” Rates to Boost Community Solar, (press release) Energy Central

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A better battery? MIT researchers say discovery could improve storage of energy from wind, sun, Boston Globe

Saving Watts to Save Drops: Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs, (report) ACEEE

6 months after target adoption, Massachusetts sees energy storage growth, challenges, Utility Dive

Dover, Sherborn join Green Communities, Wicked Local Dover

Nissan announces energy storage solution using solar, Energy Digital

 

Electric Transportation

‘Every New Vehicle Will Be Electric’ by 2025, Disruption Expert Says, Renewable Energy World

World’s first electric container barges to sail from European ports this summer, The Guardian

How many electric cars can the grid take? Depends on your neighborhood, arstechnica.com

Electric Airplanes Could Remake Aviation, Greentech Media (Audio)

 

Nuclear

Can We Make A Nuclear Reactor That Won’t Melt Down?, Forbes.com

State Nuclear Bailout Lawsuit Moves Forward, NY Law Journal

Vermont Yankee sale settlement may be imminent, vtdigger.org

Off-the-Shelf Nuclear Plants Could Soon Help Power Electric Cars, Bloomberg

CT to move ahead with nuke power auction, Hartford Business Journal

Indian Point: Owners, workers reach tentative deal, The Journal News

Dominion’s Millstone nuclear plant could warrant subsidies, draft report says, Utility Dive

NextEra: Nuclear plant operator ‘uncompromising’ with safety, Gloucester Daily Times

Vermont Yankee fuel plan gets environmental OK, vtdigger.org

Report: Nukes should be allowed to compete with wind, solar, Penn Energy

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Milford power plant gets a boost, Milford Daily News

Attleboro area electricity collaborative renews contract, Sun Chronicle

FERC Denies New England Tx Owners ROE Rehearing, RTO Insider

FERC, RTOs: Grid Performed Better in Jan. Cold Snap vs. 2014, RTO Insider

ISO New England power study highlights fuel-security risks, Daily Energy Insider

New England Energy Grid Pushed To Brink During Recent Cold Snaps, Vermont Public Radio

Eversource customers could see another rate increase, WFSB

Advocacy groups oppose National Grid rate hike, Albany Times Union

Brayton Point sale price: $8.5 million, Herald News

State investigates National Grid’s storm response, Gloucester Times

Everett sues Baker administration to nix tax deal for power plant, Boston Globe

In Quebec, it’s power versus a people on hydroelectricity, Boston Globe

Van Welie takes energy analysis to Capitol Hill, CommonWealth Magazine

Will the New Solar Tariffs Hurt the Microgrid Industry? Yes and No, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: Unintended consequences of solar panel tariff, Berkshire Eagle

Union: Money is clouding CLF’s judgment, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happened to CLF?, CommonWealth Magazine

CLF denies financial ties to TDI, CommonWealth Magazine

To the Editor: CLF has a conflict of interest, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Maine Compass: State has reached its limit on wind power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

COLUMN-Commentary: A tale of a tanker, Russian gas, sanctions and energy politics, Reuters

Trusting industry to police industry standards leads to lasting harm, (nuclear) Commons

Editorial: Murphy says yes to RGGI and no to Christie, NorthJersey.com

How US Tariffs Will Hurt America’s Solar Industry,  New York Times

YOUR VIEW: The outrageously high cost for energy in Massachusetts is an issue that matters, SouthCoastToday.com

LETTER: Climate change demands voices be heard at State House, Wicked Local Cambridge

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending January 19, 2018

Fuel Security Risk | Climate solution | New EV infrastructure | KRUSTY

Happy Friday Afternoon.

Just when I think, “Gee it’s been a quiet week for energy news…” BOOM! ISO-New England drops its Operational Fuel-Security Analysis and the energy news board lights up. RTO Insider writes, “The report highlighted the concern that New England’s system reliability is heavily dependent on LNG and electricity imports. While dual-fuel capability for plants can provide a key contribution to reliability, permitting for construction and emissions is difficult. All but four scenarios resulted in fuel shortages requiring rolling blackouts, indicating the trends affecting the system may intensify the region’s fuel security risk.”

The report generated no shortage of opinions about what it all means and how it affects the future of New England’s energy grid. CommonWealth Magazine reported, “The two sides fighting over whether the region needs additional natural gas pipeline capacity both took comfort on Thursday from a fuel security study by the operator of the region’s power grid. The Baker administration, meanwhile, issued a statement that appeared to fall somewhere in the middle while supporting ‘additional natural gas capacity.’” According to the article, the pro- gas pipeline side says rolling black outs “would wreak havoc on the economy and New Englanders’ lives.” Those not in favor of pipeline development say, hold on, the scenarios outlined in the report “are perhaps possible but highly unlikely.” I’m sure we’ll have a lot more articles and opinion pieces on this topic in the week ahead.

Also out this week was an announcement reported by the AP in Time Magazine that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom’s meteorological office said that 2017 was the third hottest year on record. At the same time, NASA and researchers from a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, called it the second. So what’s a state or nation to do? Utility Dive takes a long look at cap and trade initiatives in New England and California to see if those programs are having a positive effect, but ultimately decides, the jury is still out.

One way to help ease climate change is to get more EVs on the road. The New Hampshire Business Review brings us a great read titled, “New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network.” The money to pay for this 734 mile network would largely come from Volkswagen settlement funds. Journalist Liisa Rajala writes, “In New England alone, approximately $214 million was paid by Volkswagen to fund programs that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, with up to $32 million available for investment in electric vehicle charging stations over the next 10 years, should states choose to do so.” They include some great infographics in the article as well. Check it out.

Last highlight for this week is a story from Reuters about KRUSTY and it’s out of this world! “Initial tests in Nevada on a compact nuclear power system (The Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology — KRUSTY) designed to sustain a long-duration NASA human mission on the inhospitable surface of Mars have been successful and a full-power run is scheduled for March…The technology could power habitats and life-support systems, enable astronauts to mine resources, recharge rovers and run processing equipment to transform resources such as ice on the planet into oxygen, water and fuel. It could also potentially augment electrically powered spacecraft propulsion systems on missions to the outer planets.” Wow! Now that’s cool.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Generators burned 2m barrels of oil over 15 days, CommonWealth Magazine

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion as grid operator warns of future blackouts, Wicked Local Scituate

Upset over Burrillville’s opposition to proposed power plant, Invenergy withholds fee payment, The Providence Journal

RI Attorney General Speaks Out Against Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Regunberg introduces resolution opposing Trump’s off-shore drilling plans, Uprise RI

FERC: Rhode Island tribe missed its chance to intervene in Massachusetts pipeline fight, MassLive.com

Fight is on to block Maine pipeline — ex-Texan says: Good luck with that, The Boston Globe

Rover Pipeline Spills Another 150000 Gallons of Drilling Fluid Into Ohio Wetlands, EcoWatch

Grid operator says new study shows need to expand access to natural gas in New England, New Haven Register

Compressor station foes encouraged by feds’ response to New York project, Patriot Ledger

Governor: Scrub NY from plan to expand offshore oil drilling, Penn Energy

Fixation on timing of peak oil is ‘misguided,’ Financial Times

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

2017 Was One of the Hottest Years Ever, Time Magazine

Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury’s still out, Utility Dive

Northampton officials show support for local goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy, MassLive

RGGI States Set a New Standard for Climate Action in 2017, Natural Resources Defense Council

Massachusetts agrees to slash power plant emissions under 9-state system, MassLive.com

Maryland, northeast states accelerate carbon pollution reduction, Baltimore Sun

Power generators contest state greenhouse gas rules, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy plays to NJ environmentalists from day one, NJ Spotlight

The Force Is With Clean Energy: 10 Predictions for 2018, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Competition Moderates Clean-Energy Costs for Ratepayers, AIM Blog

New York, Connecticut sue EPA for failing to act on smog pollution from upwind states, Utility Dive

US Utility-Scale Solar, Wind Capacity Could Double by 2020, Renewable Energy World

Global emissions ‘will plateau by 2030,’ Energy Live News

 

Wind

Turbines blow hot, cold on financial benefits for local towns, Worcester Telegram

Why Some Fishermen Are Wary Of Offshore Wind Farms, WBUR

US Working Hard to Boost Wind Energy, Adviser Says in Denmark, Bloomberg

Wind Industry Embraces Robots to Boost Safety, Cut Costs, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind to hold open house on proposed offshore project, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

On Haverhill landfill-solar proposal, council wants results, Eagle Tribune

CMP’s New CEO: If They Want, ‘Everyone Should Put Solar Panels On Their Roof’, Maine Public

Developer for proposed solar project in New Marlborough wants public’s input on project, Berkshire Eagle

Outer Cape Energize encourages use of solar panels, Cape Cod Times

New warehouse now biggest green energy provider in Peabody, The Salem News

 

Electric Vehicles

New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network, NH Business Review

North America’s largest transit system is the acid test for electric buses, Quartz

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State money helps Massachusetts towns improve energy efficiency, SouthCoastToday.com

There once was an energy storage system on Nantucket…, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Can Drive Future Tesla Growth, Not Just Autos, Seeking Alpha

 

Nuclear

U.S. tests nuclear power system to sustain astronauts on Mars, Reuters

PUC sticks with Yankee hearings postponement, Rutland Herald

Merrimac seeks NRC hearing on Seabrook plan, Gloucester Daily Times

Indian Point Utility Workers Will Strike If Contract Talks Break Down, WAMC

Offsetting Loss of Indian Pt Revenue Still Challenge One Year Later, The Examiner News

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, Litchfield County Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Energy study draws divergent reactions, CommonWealth Magazine

Report: Fuel Security Key Risk for New England Grid, RTO Insider

What Will Become of the Electric Utility in the Age of Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Oversubscribed northern Vermont power grid costing utilities millions, VT Digger

D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass, IndepthNH.org

National Grid’s Northern Pass Competitor To Talk Low-Income Benefits In Concord, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource Ranked Among Nation’s Greenest Companies, CapeCod.com News

Conn. Consumer Counsel, Eversource Energy strike deal to reduce size of distribution rate increase, Litchfield County Times

New Central Maine Power CEO Lays Out His Vision For The Company, Maine Public

National Grid asks for $26 million less in Rhode Island rate hikes, Electric Light & Power

Fuel banks seek $25M in state assistance, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

EDITORIAL: Enviro-zealots are wrong on natural gas, Lowell Sun

A bad deal for NH, (Northern Pass) The Union Leader

Letter: Wind, solar, biofuel should power Maine, The Forecaster

Offshore drilling catastrophic for Maine economy, Biddeford – Saco – OOB Courier

Lawmakers have one more chance to fix nonsensical solar rules, Bangor Daily News

Wind And Solar Energies Could Peter Out If Transmission Grid Is Not Expanded, Forbes

Our electricity grid gives us a wake-up call in New Hampshire, Manchester Ink Link

Letter: Industrial wind turbines threaten our way of life, Dansvilleonline.com

Guest Opinion: Broken energy market leaves Mass. consumers in the cold, Herald News

Mass. needs to think bigger on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending January 5, 2018

Happy Freezing Friday and welcome to the first edition of the Northeast Energy News for 2018.

The big news this week is the combination of the prolonged colder than normal weather and yesterday’s blizzard. We have a whole section below dedicated to this topic. From Bloomberg’s, “The US just burned the most natural gas ever,” to the Boston Globe’s, “Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market,” to MassLive’sMassachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds” there is no shortage of stories and serious topics to dig into.

News about the new federal tax plan also made its way into the energy news this week. In two stories from MassLive we have Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, and AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike. Greentech media also reports that the New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations and Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers.

Last highlight for this week comes from Inside Climate News, which reports that “President Trump rolled out the antiquated arguments about why clean energy was too expensive and a threat to the grid. But markets and policies mostly ignored him.” The result? Clean Energy Soared in the U.S. in 2017.

Stay warm and have a great weekend.

Cold/Storm

Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market, Boston Globe

Blizzard Triggers a 60-Fold Surge in Prices for U.S. Natural Gas, Bloomberg

Massachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds, MassLive

Why it’s hard for Mass. power plants to stop using oil, Boston Globe

Electric utilities turn to oil in deep freeze, The Providence Journal

America’s Power Grid Still Hangs Tough in Face of Winter Wallop, Bloomberg

The U.S. Just Burned the Most Natural Gas Ever, Bloomberg

U.S. winter storms spark record natural gas demand, BBJ (subscriber content)

Arctic Blast Costly To New England Consumers And Environment, Hartford Courant

Cold snap drives gas prices, rekindles pipeline debate, The Daily News of Newburyport

Coal, oil get a boost from Northern cold snap, Utility Dive

Cold snap putting squeeze on oil-fired power plants, CommonWealth Magazine

Arctic Blast Heating Up Battle Between Energy Lobbying Groups, Bloomberg

Deep Freeze in U.S. Creates Heating Squeeze for Homeowners and Utilities, New York Times

Winter storm to test Northeast grid as FERC tees up decision on DOE grid rule, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant goes offline, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Markey and Warren want firm action from EPA and FERC for pipeline’s discharge of ‘hazardous wastewater’ in Agawam, Berkshire Eagle

Sens. Warren, Markey query feds about Tennessee Gas pipeline wastewater spill in Agawam, MassLive

Town warns residents of carbon monoxide dangers, Andover Townsman

Pennsylvania shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal judge rules again Weymouth in compressor station case, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: Oil and gas companies get a New Year’s Day gift, Washington Post

Renewable Energy Policy/RGGI/Climate Change/etc.

Lawmakers Delay Vote on RGGI, as Clean Energy Advocates Tout Benefits, New Hampshire Public Radio

Program to promote renewable energy gets new scrutiny, Bennington Banner

Bill to divert RGGI funds to ratepayers draws concern from environmentalists, Concord Monitor

Why mandates still matter in the age of cheap renewables, Utility Dive

Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy Over Christmas It Had to Pay People to Use It, ScienceAlert

Why 2018 will be a make or break year for renewables, GreenBiz

Clean Energy Soared in the US in 2017 Due to Economics, Policy and Technology, InsideClimate News

Companies tout renewable energy projects for Massachusetts, Penn Energy

The sunny optimism of clean energy shines through tech’s gloom, Wired

Energy storage safety set to move forward in 2018 with new fire standards, Utility Dive

New York clean energy proposal seeks 1.5 GW of storage, coal phaseout, Utility Dive

The Year Climate Change Began to Spin Out of Control, MIT Tech Review

EPA issues clean air designations, Northeast states sue over cross-border pollution, Utility Dive

Transition to renewable power sources too slow, Massie says, Berkshire Eagle

Wood-Burning Power Plant Shutting Down for Lack of Subsidies, Power Engineering

Solar

Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works, MassLive

Derry council reconsiders solar project, approves on second, The Union Leader

RI Launches New Statewide Solar Permitting Process, Rhode Island Public Radio

10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 2018, Greentech Media

New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations, Greentech Media

Wind

Foe takes aim at second Falmouth turbine, Cape Cod Times

Andrew Cuomo Throws Political Weight Behind Offshore Wind and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Wind Energy: The Good News in Offshore, Marine Technology News

The top five wind stories of 2017, Windpower Engineering (press release)

The Dutch plan to build the world’s biggest wind farm, complete with a large floating island, Business Insider

15 Deerfield Wind Turbines Go Online, NA Clean Energy

Energy Efficiency

How to save money and energy in buildings? There’s an app for that, The Guardian

Trump Administration Reverses Course on PACE Financing, Greentech Media

One Year Later, AC Hotel Cambridge Reaps the Benefit of Green Building Design, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

NYISO Seeks FERC Denial on Indian Point Review Deadline, RTO Insider

Nuclear pushes its role ‘softening the blow to consumers’ as cold snap enters week two, Washington Examiner

The committee to save nuclear towns is not in session, EandE News

New Jersey nuke subsidy measure unlikely to see vote in lame-duck session, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, MassLive.com

AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike, MassLive

Somerset County commissioners say they back 145-mile transmission line project, Press Herald

Dam management raises questions among locals, The Dartmouth

Energy industry a major contributor to Sununu’s campaign coffers, The Union Leader

Northern Pass to Host Second Job Fair for NH Workers, Londonderry News

Electric Car Drivers Are Too Smart to Own Electric Cars, Bloomberg

FERC: Demand response fell 10% in power markets in 2016, Utility Dive

Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers, Greentech Media

US on the cusp of enjoying ‘energy superpower’ status, analyst says, CNBC

Editorial/Opinion

Amid Deep Freeze, New Englanders Can ‘Thank’ NY Gov. Cuomo For Their High Energy Bills, Forbes

My Turn: Why should we believe energy giants?, Concord Monitor

Margaret Harrington: Vermont’s plans to dump on Nevada, vtdigger.org

Thanks to panel for renewable-energy effort, by Kathryn Conover, The Keene Sentinel

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates, CommonWealth Magazine

Columnist Marty Nathan: Build stature as clean-energy community, Daily Hampshire Gazette

US Grid Needs to Go on a Diet to Get Leaner and Greener, Renewable Energy World

Biomass’s Opportunity in Future Power Trend, Biomass Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables

Energy News for week ending December 22, 2017

Bids are in | Rate Hike Appeal | Smoke and Noises

Happy holidays everyone!

Perhaps this week’s biggest energy news was the submission of bids for Massachusetts’ offshore wind solicitation. CommonWealth Magazine reports, “The three companies vying to build the first major offshore wind farm in the United States filed their proposals on Wednesday with Massachusetts officials. Each of the firms kept their pricing a secret, so they publicly tried to differentiate their projects based on size, transmission approaches, construction timetables, and partnerships. Size was the biggest difference. Each of the companies was required to submit a bid for a 400 megawatt project, but they were free to submit additional proposals for less or for more, up to a high of 800 megawatts. The state procurement, which will be spread out over many years, calls for 1,600 megawatts in total.”

It appears MA Attorney General Maura Healey is saying just a minute, with respect to Eversource’s rate hike. Jim Kinney over at MassLive.com reports that “Healey filed an appeal Wednesday in Boston against an Eversource electric rate hike approved last month by the state Department of Public Utilities and scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. She is asking the DPU to reconsider the decision, according to a press release. Such actions often result in a negotiated settlement between the attorney general’s office and the utility, according to Healey’s website.”

If your holiday travels take you to the North Shore, the Salem News says, “Don’t be alarmed by the loud noises and apparent smoke coming from Salem Harbor Footprint later this week. It’s actually steam, and it’s just the $1 billion project cleaning out its pipes. The project is still a long way from being done, and due to significant delays on that front, Footprint is vulnerable to possible penalties from the entity that manages the New England power grid. Sometime late this week, the new natural gas-firing power plant will conduct “what, in the industry, you call ‘hot commissioning,'” explained Footprint chief operating officer Scott Silverstein. “This is the beginning of the process of starting up the turbines and boilers, and getting those up and running.”

That’s it for us this year. We’ll be back in your in-boxes on January 5, 2018.

All of us at McMahon Communications wish you all a safe, happy, wonderful, and joy-filled holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC reaffirms its approval of Atlantic Bridge pipeline, with compressor station planned in Weymouth, MassLive

Con Edison seeks ‘non-pipe’ solutions to address peak gas demand, Utility Dive

Residents hold pipeline vigils outside State House, Wicked Local Wellesley

National Grid seeks increase for gas bills, Gloucester Daily Times

Anti-fracking protester court case thrown out, Gazette & Herald

US tax overhaul likely to spur spending by refiners, pipeline cos, Reuters

Insidious Gas Leaks Are Casting Doubts Over Shell’s Clean Credentials, Bloomberg

Gas Under Threat? California Regulators Target PG&E Natural Gas Plants With Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Renewables Policy, etc.

Massachusetts agrees to slash power plant emissions under 9-state system, MassLive.com

Massachusetts Report Tallies Clean Energy Jobs, Solar Industry

Why French Utility EDF Is Entering the US Distributed Storage Market, Greentech Media

Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?, Yale Environment 360

DEEP tees up retooled renewable energy purchase plan, Hartford Business

 Wind

Neighbor demands shuttered Falmouth turbine be removed, Cape Cod Times

Acoustic tech for wind farms proves whale effective, Energy Live News

Block Island sees benefits from 1st US offshore wind farm, News Times

Nonprofit group pushes to keep Falmouth turbines spinning, Cape Cod Times

Wind turbines could soon be banned in this tiny Western Massachusetts town, MassLive

After 16 Years, Hopes for Cape Cod Wind Farm Float Away, New York Times

Lessons from the Country’s First Off-Shore Wind Farm, WCAI

Falmouth official orders plan to dismantle wind turbine, Cape Cod Times

LUPC declines to expand expedited permitting area for wind power project, Daily Bulldog

National Grid commits $20 million to the NEK as part of new Power Link line, Vermont Biz

Wind RFP

Offshore wind: Start big or small?, CommonWealth Magazine

Bay State Wind pledges $1 million to BCC if it wins contract, South Coast Today

Bids Are in for Massachusetts Offshore Wind Procurement; Storage Included, Renewable Energy News

Offshore wind bidders identify Brayton Point benefits, Fall River Herald News

Three companies submit bids for offshore wind power, Cape Cod Times

Developers Proposing Large-Scale Offshore Wind Farms, Maine Public

Solar

Congressional lawmakers urge ‘strong and effective’ remedies in solar trade case, Utility Dive

Town opposes New Milford solar project, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

Somerville Solar Array Awarded to Local Non-Profit, Patch.com

Energy Efficiency

Smart buildings save energy and improve occupant comfort, ACEEE

New York advances efficiency plans, focusing on load control and demand management, Utility Dive

Large buildings may soon get report cards for energy efficiency, The Real Deal

Clean Energy 2017: States and Cities Shine Despite Trump, Natural Resources Defense Council

Europe Inches Closer to Strong Energy Efficiency Target, Energy Collective

Nuclear

Millstone nuclear plant is profitable, new Connecticut draft report says, Utility Dive

Millstone Owner Argues Costs Are Driven Up By Being In Connecticut, Energy Central

Advocates Use Millstone’s Profitability To Question Push For New Markets, Hartford Courant

Entergy Asks FERC to Clarify Indian Point Retirement Process, RTO Insider

Nuclear regulator ignores employee safety warnings, watchdog report finds, Utility Dive

Hinkley Point: the ‘dreadful deal’ behind the world’s most expensive power plant, The Guardian

After Indian Point, power needs hinge on three proposed plants, report says, Lohud.com

N.J. committee sends nuclear subsidy bill to state legislature, Reuters

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Framingham reaches $500K settlement with Eversource over polluted site, MetroWest Daily News

Vermont Lawmakers Eye New Incentives For Electric Vehicle Purchases, Vermont Public Radio

EPA Funding Will Help Clean Diesel Projects in New England States, U.S. EPA.gov (press release)

California Sues Trump Administration, This Time Over Oil Industry Rules, Governing

Natural gas, water heaters, connected devices and EVs lead DR trends to watch, Utility Dive

Hopkinton officials still charged up over double utility poles, MetroWest Daily News

Meet the microgrid, the technology poised to transform electricity, Vox.com

Massachusetts labor union backs Eversource transmission line through New Hampshire, MassLive

Major testing of power plant begins soon, Salem News

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey appeals Eversource rate hike, MassLive.com

Blockchain shows promise for energy companies, ZD Net

2018 Promises to Be a Year of Innovation in the Energy Sector, (press release) Alt Energy Magazine

Editorial/Opinion

The Hoobub and the Grinch: Northern Pass Edition, InDepthNH.org

Approval of Electric Vehicle Utility Proposal in Massachusetts A Sign of What’s Coming Down the Pike in Northeast & Mid-Atlantic, HuffPost

A vulnerable power grid: Let’s invest in critical national infrastructure, The Hill

Nuclear Energy Pros And Cons: The True Advantage Of Nuclear Power Science Trends

Rendall: Warm wishes from Vermont Gas, Vermont Biz

 

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Renewables