Category Archives: offshore wind

Energy News for week ending July 12, 2019

Block the Compressor | Vineyard Wind Dealt 2 Blows | CMP Oppo Group Forms

 

Busy day here so no recap this week.

Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

29 senators urge DEP to block Weymouth gas facility, CommonWealth Magazine

At ‘wit’s end,’ Mariano pushes Weymouth air monitoring bill, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth: Legislation Aims at Heavy Oversight of Air Pollution at Compressor Station Sites, WATD-FM

National Grid to NYC customers: Support the Williams Pipeline or no new service, Grist

Officials outline plan to boost businesses still struggling after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

The U.S. Is Overflowing With Natural Gas. Not Everyone Can Get It., Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Study: Carbon tax carries high cost, low benefit, Boston Herald

Climate change means roads should be built differently, UNH researchers say, Boston Globe

Experts Say U.S. Power Grid Needs To Change Before Shifting To All Renewable Energy, NPR

As Brayton Point transforms, Haddad legislation has brought nearly $18 million to Somerset, South Coast Today

$1B Renewable Energy Bill to be Subject of Public Hearing, NECN

Maine Hits Clean Energy Grand Slam, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lowell Council OKs green-energy boost, Lowell Sun

Which States Build the Greenest?, New York Times

Republicans Try to Buff Up Green Image With Environmental Caucus, Bloomberg

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind dealt blows on two fronts, MV Times

AIM to Baker: Modify the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Connecticut issues draft RFP for 2 GW offshore wind, Utility Dive

 

Solar

How New York City Is Turning Its Thousands of Roofs Into Power Providers, New York Times

Polar ice chronicles a toxic metal’s surging production, Nature

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits, Wired

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer, Phys.org

 

Efficiency/Storage

Stem Steps Into Grid-Scale Storage With Partnership in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

New Jersey’s Draft Energy Plan Includes Support for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Home Energy Reports: Still the ‘biggest, baddest way’ to drive customer behavior, Utility Dive

‘Opportunities everywhere’: NREL study shows mass potential for storage to provide peaking capacity, Utility Dive

Why Long Island Could Become New York’s First Energy Storage Hot Spot, Greentech Media

US Green Building Council seeks proposals to strengthen new LEED standard, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Scientist ‘unsure’ of Seabrook nuclear plant’s safety; NextEra says claims ‘simply wrong’, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opposition Group To Launch Petition Effort To Kill CMP’s Transmission Project, Maine Public Radio

RI Ranked 22nd Most Energy Expensive State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Conn. leads the nation in energy costs, Journal Inquirer

National Grid faces possible penalty on non-compliance of NY safety rules, CNBC

Aggressive U.S. energy policy tests ties with European allies. Reuters

Pennsylvania regulators outline criteria for alternative rate proposals to support new tech, Utility Dive

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants, E&E News

N.Y. Launches Grid Modernization Challenge, North American Wind Power

 

Editorial/Opinion

Viewpoint: Mass. must double down on clean energy efforts, Boston Business Journal

Benson carbon pricing bill is smart policy, CommonWealth magazine

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

My Turn: Doug Gablinske: Invenergy’s failure will cost all of us, Providence Journal

George Smith: Maine takes on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Dan Weeks: To Sununu: Go solar, Conway Daily Sun

Maine re-asserts its leadership in environmental priorities, Sun Journal

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending June 28, 2019

Permit Approved | No difference | Eat ‘em up

 

Happy glorious summer Friday afternoon!

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

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

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

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

Consider that your tip for your next barbecue.

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State adjudicator OKs Weymouth compressor station air permit, Patriot Ledger

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

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

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

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

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

Health officials want studies of natural gas projects, Gloucester Times

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

Governor wants Pennsylvania to join greenhouse gas reduction program, Reuters

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will future sunsets over Lake Erie include windmills?, WBFO

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

 

Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts sweetening the deal for energy storage systems, Axios

Haddam home among Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge winners, The Advocate

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

Maine Decides to Go Big on Heat Pumps, Greentech Media

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

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

 

EVs

State plans to scrap electric vehicle rebate, Salem News

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

Concrete expert to speak on Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices, etc.

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

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

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

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

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

Smart meter swap promised savings that never came, Sun Journal

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending June 21, 2019

LaFleur Leaving FERC Late August | No on Burrillville | $18 Billion

 

Good afternoon. Here are few quick hits from this week’s energy news.

From S&P Global Platts, “US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Cheryl LaFleur will step down at the end of August, she announced on Twitter Thursday. The departure of LaFleur, a Democrat, likely will restore a Republican majority at the commission responsible for critical decisions affecting the US electric power and natural gas sectors. FERC has had an even 2-2 split of Republicans and Democrats since former Commissioner Kevin McIntyre died in early January. The White House has yet to nominate his replacement, although FERC General Counsel James Danly is considered the likely nominee. Whether the White House would put forward a Democrat to replace LaFleur in the near future is more uncertain. ‘After 9 amazing years, I will be leaving @FERC at the end of August,’ LaFleur wrote, noting that FERC’s July 18 open meeting would be her last.”

From the Providence Journal we learn, “In a long-awaited decision with far-reaching implications for the state’s energy regime and environment, Rhode Island regulators on Thursday rejected approval of a proposal to build a $1-billion fossil-fuel burning power plant in Burrillville that would be among New England’s largest. The Energy Facility Siting Board is the lead permitting agency for major energy projects in Rhode Island, and its decision to deny a license to the Clear River Energy Center would appear to seal the fate of the divisive proposal put forward by the Chicago-based developer Invenergy four years ago. The company has the right to appeal the ruling to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, but it is unclear if it will.”

The last tidbit for this week comes from the Salem News, “Massachusetts will have to spend more than $18 billion to fortify its coastline against rising seas and monster storms fueled by a changing climate, according to a new report. The report, compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Climate Integrity — a nonprofit that supports states and communities that sue polluters — estimates the state would have to spend that much over the next 20 years to fortify seawalls and other barriers to defend against erosion, flooding and other impacts of a warming planet. Nationwide, 22 coastal states and Washington, D.C. will have to spend $400 billion collectively in that period to fend off the impacts of climate change, the report stated.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

U.S. Oil, Gas Hit Record Production Levels in 2018, Wall St. Journal

New York emissions-reduction bill would push natural gas out of power sector by 2040, Platts

No on Burrillville power plant: State agency rules it’s not needed, Providence Journal

NiSource Plans Sale of Unit Tied to Gas Explosions, Bloomberg L.P.

President promises to avoid disasters, Eagle-Tribune

Eversource pledges to fix gas leaks near 5 Worcester schools, Telegram.com

 

Weymouth

Compressor foes state their case at hearing, Patriot Ledger

Confused About The Weymouth Compressor? Here’s What You Need To Know, WBUR

Federal Pipeline Regulators Hear Safety Concerns About Weymouth Compressor From Officials and Residents, WGBH

Lynch urges reset on compressor project, MetroWest Daily News

Residents come out strong against proposed Weymouth compressor, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Best Carbon Capture Facility In World Emits 25 Times More CO2 Than Sequestered, Clean Technica

New Jersey adopts rules to rejoin RGGI, heading to 100% clean energy by 2050, Utility Dive

US air quality is slipping after years of improvement, AP

The global transition to clean energy, explained in 12 charts, Vox.com

With More Storms and Rising Seas, Which U.S. Cities Should Be Saved First?, New York Times

Climate change prep will cost $18B, Salem News

New York State passes sweeping renewable energy measure that could provide a model for Connecticut, Hartford Courant

Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor, Portland Press Herald

Congress pushes for renewables to have same private investment incentives as fossil fuels, Utility Dive

Proposed changes to state’s renewable energy regs stir controversy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Climate change threatens commercial fishers from Maine to North Carolina, Phys.org

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

 

Wind

Maine’s Floating Offshore Wind Project Anticipates New Investor This Year, Greentech Media

Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy, Portland Press Herald

‘Open to everyone’: Brayton Point company says it’s prepared for busy port, Providence Journal

Feds delay Vineyard Wind assessment one month, southcoasttoday.com

US looking to harness the ocean winds with British help, BBC

Two Erie County legislators oppose wind turbines on lake, Observer Today

 

Solar

Big solar bill gets near-unanimous approval in Maine Senate, WABI-TV

12-acre solar farm operational on Fidelity campus in Merrimack, WMUR

Two companies petitioned for Trump’s solar tariffs—now they’re both out of business, Quartz

US sees record solar installations at 2.7 GW in Q1, but challenges remain: report, Utility Dive

Rooftop solar panels get boost from tool that previews a year on grid in minutes, Phys.org

 

Efficiency/Storage

Power Companies Want to Tap the Tesla Batteries in Your Home, Bloomberg L.P.

These 100 year old homes are on the cutting edge of energy efficiency, djournal.com

Southern New Hampshire Health Partners with Eversource to Advance Energy Efficiency, NA Clean Energy

New Jersey’s 2021 storage goals could require $650M in subsidies, report for legislature finds, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Americans are paying more than ever to store deadly nuclear waste, Los Angeles Times

C-10 plans public meeting on Seabrook nuclear safety, Wicked Local

Semi-autonomous robots to make decommissioning nuclear reactors faster and safer, New Atlas

Fusion-Powered Spacecraft Could Be Just a Decade Away, Space

Decades later, Maine Yankee plant stuck with spent nuclear fuel as feds pick up $10M tab, LoHud.com

Dismantling nuclear plants is a gold mine for some, but at what risk to you?, LoHud.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

FERC commissioner LaFleur to leave late August, restoring Republican majority, S&P Global Platts

Anbaric Eyes New York-New Jersey Ocean Grid, Subsea News

Mills’ vetoes of CMP bills survive override votes in House, Portland Press Herald

Trump Administration Relaxes Emissions Limits on Power Plants, Scientific American Magazine

Colorado firm continues to consolidate energy tech business with Mass. Company, Boston Business Journal

Women Are Missing Out on the Biggest Job Boom in America, Bloomberg

Research on electricity system data gets $3.8M grant from Rockefeller Foundation, Boston Business Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Turn: Dave Chenevert and Doug Gablinske: We must address R.I. energy crisis, Providence Journal

Biomass regulatory changes no big deal, CommonWealth Magazine

New Jersey should support multiple offshore wind developers, says Gregory Lalevee, The Press of Atlantic City

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

Energy News for week ending June 7, 2019

Crowd-sourcing | Permit denied | Transformation

 

Happy beautiful Friday afternoon folks.

Let’s get to the news.

From CommonWealth Magazine, “Crowd-sourcing energy efficiency. Eversource Energy on Wednesday began offering businesses and homeowners incentive payments ranging from $20 to $1,000 a year if they allow the company to tap into devices that would allow the utility to remotely retrieve electricity stored by customers or lower their energy usage at peak demand periods. Developed as part of the state’s $2.8 billion, three-year energy efficiency program, Eversource said the incentive payment program would target customers with electric vehicle chargers, battery storage devices, or wireless thermostats. Customers with vehicle chargers or battery storage systems would allow Eversource to remotely link to the devices ‘a few hours a month,’ drawing electricity that would be shifted on to the regional power grid at peak demand periods. For homeowners with wireless thermostats, Eversource would remotely turn down the temperature on very hot days and help reduce demand on the power grid. By aggregating the devices of several thousand customers, Eversource estimated it could reduce the need for new power plants and transmission facilities. The company described the energy impact of the program as the equivalent of taking 20,000 homes off the power grid at peak demand times.”

Another pipeline permit is denied according to a story from Crain’s NY Business, “NJ joins NY in denying permits for hotly contested natural-gas pipeline. New Jersey regulators followed New York’s in denying key permits for the Williams Transco pipeline Wednesday, prompting its developer to promise to reapply in the Garden State. The proposed $1 billion pipeline, from Tulsa-based William Cos., would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey, under a bay and the ocean to New York. The company says the pipeline is necessary to ensure adequate heating fuel for the New York region. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection rejected the permits—including one for waterfront development and wetlands works—without prejudice, meaning the company can try again. The company was similarly rebuffed by New York regulators for a water-quality permit last month. The developer has reapplied there as well. In the meantime, National Grid has stopped processing new applications for natural-gas hookups in its Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island service territories until the project is approved.”

The last highlight for this week is a story you can read or listen to and comes from WBUR, “New England’s Electric Power Grid Is Undergoing A Transformation. Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, says the region has a problem: ‘It’s really hard to be half pregnant, but we’re trying.’ The problem: We’re creating a hybrid power grid, an electric-generating network that runs on a changing combination of fuels and technologies. He says the system is more complex and less predictable than the grid we had just a few years ago.”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Offshore drilling ban gets airing, Salem News

Healey intervenes in suit over oil transport, Cape Cod Times

Latest Federal Pipeline Safety Proposal Looks To Fix Problems Revealed In Merrimack Valley Gas Fires, WGBH

DEP Shows New Air Quality Data in Compressor Case, Associated Press

Weymouth compressor foes have more time to vet new air quality data, Wicked Local

Williams expects to overcome environmental concerns on Northeast Supply natgas pipe, Reuters

New Jersey joins New York in denying permits for hotly contested natural gas pipeline, Crain’s New York

Latest Federal Pipeline Safety Proposal Looks To Fix Problems Revealed In Merrimack Valley Gas Fires, WGBH

Water a big concern for utilities, but coal ash risk in billions, Bloomberg L.P.

Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million to Help End Coal, New York Times

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg: ‘This Is Not Over Yet, Not Even Close,’ Greentech Media

In future Mass bids, offshore wind could be forced to compete with other green energy, South Coast Today

Bill to require greenhouse gas study of CMP project falters in House, Press Herald

Environmentalists tout offshore wind, plastic bag, solar measures, The Day

Springfield organizers, residents voice opposition to biomass burning, WWLP

New England Is Losing Its Native Plants. Researchers Say It’s Time To Stop And Smell The Wildflowers, WBUR

 

Wind

Connecticut takes a major step into offshore wind, CT Mirror

The rush is on: to double offshore wind power, that is, Boston Globe

Wind farm critics step up efforts, National Wind Watch

Jones Act? Not a Problem for US Offshore Wind Market, Avangrid Says, Greentech Media

Revolution Wind will use State Pier, The Day

Rhode Island’s Planned New Offshore Wind Farm Reflects Growing Trend. Here’s Why Some Are Concerned, WNPR

 

Solar

New York braces for solar fight as utility regulators mull fixed charge increase, Renewable Energy World

Proposed Bridgewater solar farm re-emerges after court battle, Enterprise News

Sununu Vetoes Net Metering Bill Again, Setting Up Repeat Override Battle, New Hampshire Public Radio

Proposed solar fee raises questions about who pays for grid upgrades, VTDigger

 

Efficiency/Storage

Crowd-sourcing energy efficiency, CommonWealth Magazine

US energy storage market sees 232% year-on-year growth, Utility Dive

 

EVs

New Jersey governor announces state interagency electric vehicle partnership; 330K ZEVs by 2025, Green Car Congress

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim’s shutdown ends nuke era in Mass., Sentinel & Enterprise

Group looks to monitor Seabrook power plant radiation, Seacoast Online

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England’s Electric Power Grid Is Undergoing A Transformation, WBUR

Governor’s choice to lead Public Utilities Commission pledges to move to R.I., Providence Journal

Getting Offshore Wind Power on the Grid, T&D World

Lt. Governor Mckee announces $7.9 million in utility rate relief for Rhode Islanders, Newport Buzz

ISO-NE will require wind, intermittent hydro to bid into day-ahead energy markets, Utility Dive

New England Regulators Talk Wholesale Market Evolution, RTO Insider

The Multiple Problems With National Grid, Seeking Alpha

Growing number of towns revolt against CMP transmission line, Portland Press Herald

CMP defends competing job claims; critics cry foul, Associated Press

 

Editorial/Opinion

When companies say they’re using “100% renewable energy,” take it with a grain of salt, Fast Company

Energy forecast: Good today, future uncertain, CommonWealth Magazine

Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale, CommonWealth Magazine

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale, Commonwealth Magazine

Callous disregard for neighbors of proposed Weymouth compressor, Boston Globe

Lilly Lombard: Climate crisis solution needs help from Columbia Gas, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Energy forecast: Good today, future uncertain, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending May 31, 2019

End of an Era | Upended | Freedom Gas

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, we all knew it was coming. Today is the day that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth shuts down for good. I’m a bit biased since I worked closely with Pilgrim employees and Entergy over the past 10+ years, but I think it’s safe to say that while the divide about Pilgrim and nuclear power in general remains, we can probably all agree that it must be a tough day for the folks who work at the plant. The crew of nearly 600 employees worked tirelessly the past few years to bring the plant’s NRC safety rating back to green or “normal oversight” and they did it because they have pride in their work and value the benefits that Pilgrim’s near carbon-free power brought to the grid and the environment. So, we offer our thanks to the men and women who worked there over the past 46+ years for keeping us safe and providing us with an abundance of clean power and wish them well on what life’s adventure brings them next. Here’s a story from the Cape Cod Times on Pilgrim’s shutdown.

We move to another controversial subject in Massachusetts which is that of the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station. From the Patriot Ledger, “The Department of Environmental Protection’s three-day delay in notifying parties of new data relevant to an air quality permit appeal case “upended the proceedings” and, as a result, the hearing will be extended to allow full consideration of the latest information, the adjudicator overseeing the case ruled Thursday. After receiving arguments from all parties on whether the latest batch of data concerning a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth warrants continuation of the appeal, hearing officer Jane Rothchild ruled that, by waiting to release the data until the hearing was nearly complete, the DEP “prevented (petitioners) from having a fair and complete opportunity” to cross-examine witnesses. In another article from the same outlet, they quoted Attorney General Maura Healey with saying that, “State environmental regulators ‘really bungled’ air-quality testing in connection with the review of a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.’

Last story for this week comes from the, “What were they thinking?” bin and was analyzed by Axios, “Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports ‘freedom gas.’ The Department of Energy uncorked a memorable phrase yesterday when it approved expanded shipments from the Freeport LNG site in Texas. Here’s Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes yesterday in DOE’s greatest press release ever: ‘Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.’ Another DOE official touted ‘molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world.’ The fallout: The phrasing got a ton of coverage and produced some fun writing, like this from Slate’s Jordan Weissmann: ‘As one of my colleagues put it, spreading freedom gas sounds like what happens when you’re newly single and suddenly have the apartment to yourself.’” Be sure to check out the article for why the statement matters.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Charlton residents voice concern over proposed liquid natural gas plant on Route 169, Worcester Telegram

Fire chief discusses gas leaks on ‘Wayland Weekly Buzz’, Wicked Local Wayland

‘Freedom Gas,’ the Next American Export, New York Times

Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports “freedom gas,” Axios

Leaks Threaten Safety – and Success – of America’s Top Natural Gas Exporter, Center for Public Integrity

 

Weymouth

2 more days of hearings scheduled in compressor case, Patriot Ledger

Proposed gas compressor station in Massachusetts poses air pollution risks, Harvard Medical School

Energy Company Behind Weymouth Compressor Says New Air Quality Data Shouldn’t Affect Permits, WBUR

Healey says DEP ‘really bungled’ compressor data, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers urge DEP to revoke Weymouth compressor permit, Wicked Local

Hearing on compressor station safety set for June 17, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The ticket to 100% renewable power is underneath our feet, Grist

DeLeo touts $1.3b GreenWorks program, Boston Globe

Cities Are Making Big Climate Promises. Keeping Them Can Be Tough, NPR

NH Senate approves more subsides for biomass plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

Businesses lobby for renewable energy bills at State House, New Hampshire Union Leader

Climate driving new right whale movement, Phys.org

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the U.S. East Coast from hurricanes, Phys.org

Climate Change May Have Caused Mass Puffin Die-Off, Discover

The White House Plan to Change Climate Science, New York Times

Once again, it’s not easy being green, The Day

Maine natural gas company has big plans to turn cow manure into renewable energy, WGME

 

Wind

Orsted: US Offshore Wind Supply Chain Decisions Coming Soon, Greentech Media

$1B Rhode Island Wind Farm To Power 270,000 Homes, Patch

PSEG looks to benefit from — but not build — offshore wind developments, WHYY

Defense bill raises fear of delayed projects, or worse, E&E News

US Energy Department Wants to See Lighter Offshore Wind Turbines, Greentech Media

State approves 22-turbine wind project for Hancock County, Bangor Daily News

 

Solar

New York state winters could pose solar farm ‘ramping’ snag for power grid, Science Daily

Connecticut House saves net metering, for now, but green groups want more, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Program Increases Solar Access For Municipal Light Plant Customers, Solar Industry

The Energy 202: California utilities’ planned blackouts this wildfire season prompt residents to adopt solar power, Washington Post

 

Efficiency/Storage

World’s Largest Renewable Energy Storage Project Announced in Utah, Associated Press

New York utilities increasingly embrace non-wires alternatives as ConEd forges the path, Utility Dive

 

Pilgrim Closing

After 46 years, Pilgrim nuclear plant shutting down, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear power plant workers prep for shutdown after 47 years, AP

You Asked, We Answered: Questions About The Pilgrim Shutdown, WBUR

Pilgrim Is Closing. So Then What Happens To The Radioactive Waste?, WBUR

 

Nuclear

Nuclear plant’s new owners receive high marks, Daily Hampshire Gazette

IEA rings alarm bell on phasing out nuclear energy, Reuters

Three Mile Island’s closure haunts Pennsylvania’s nuclear debate, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New Map Shows Expanse Of U.S. Nuclear Waste Sites, Forbes.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

FERC Rejects New England Tx Rate Settlement, RTO Insider

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Seacoastonline.com

‘Grid Transformation Day’ Highlights ISO-NE Challenges, RTO Insider

APPA: Deregulation has not achieved intended results, Utility Dive

National Grid agrees to pass savings from federal tax cuts to R.I. ratepayers, Providence Journal

Judge reconsidering stay in CMP complaint lawsuit, Portland Press Herald

Who Pays on a Decentralized Grid? New York Tackles the Equity Problem with New Rates, Microgrid Knowledge

US Northeast power markets try to balance changes to capacity markets, valuation mechanisms, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Changing energy sources should be top priority, Eagle-Tribune

Letter: Brydon Ross: R.I. energy costs among the worst in nation, Providence Journal

Climate crisis requires urgent action: Op-Ed, The Advocate

Kicking the tires on battery-electric buses, Commonwealth Magazine

Why Advanced Nuclear Reactors May Be Here Sooner Than Many Imagine, Greentech Media

How to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs, Boston Globe

Maine Voices: Proposal to revive offshore wind project does not pass the smell test, Portland Press Herald

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

Energy News for week ending May 24, 2019

Confidence Eroded | Floating Solar | Non-wires Alternative

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news.

We start on the South Shore with an article from the Patriot Ledger about the ongoing saga of the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station. Jessica Trufant reports, “Lawmakers are urging a state regulator to overturn the air-quality permit issued for a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth due to what they see as incomplete air testing, a delayed disclosure of new data and questionable appeal proceedings. Nine South Shore legislators sent a letter to hearing officer Jane Rothchild this week requesting that she reject the air-quality plan and force gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge to resubmit a plan that incorporates all data. State environmental regulators last week released hundreds of pages of additional air-quality testing data from the Fore River Basin several days after they received it, and two days into an appeal hearing on the air-quality permit. Experts, residents and officials opposed to the 7,700-horsepower natural gas compressor say the new data show existing pollution levels are higher than state officials previously acknowledged. State Sen. Patrick O’Connor, a Weymouth Republican, said the public has lost complete trust in the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the process should revert to the beginning.”

A few months back we shared an article about a person who wanted to put floating solar panels on Massachusetts’ largest drinking water source – the Quabbin Reservoir. We still think that’s a bit of a hinky idea, but Greentech Media reports that “Floating Solar Excels Where Land Is Scarce, and That’s a Lot of Places. Floating photovoltaics have already delivered 1.1 gigawatts of installations worldwide, according to the World Bank. That’s a small slice of the broader solar industry, which now installs close to 100 gigawatts a year. That said, floating solar excels in markets where land is scarce or otherwise unavailable, and that tracks well with major growth markets for the solar industry, analysts noted at GTM’s Solar Summit in Scottsdale last week. Putting solar on the water costs more than building it on land — although there is little data to show exactly how much — but it brings several operational benefits. Most importantly, it allows developers to generate power without taking land offline for other uses…‘It’s ideal in places where you have limited land availability,’ said Teresa Barnes of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Floating developers aren’t targeting just any body of water. They’re focusing on the aquatic equivalent of a brownfield site: man-made, inland, generally calm. Exposing a solar installation to battering ocean waves, or plopping one on a pristine natural lake, is not on the menu so far. Floating solar makes the most sense in areas where land is expensive, or required for more valuable uses, like agriculture. Man-made pools can also offer space to generate power close to the point of use when it otherwise would not be possible.

Last up for this week we take you to Westmoreland, NH with a story from New Hampshire Rublic Radio. “Eversource wants to bring battery storage and other new energy technology to a small, rural town in western New Hampshire. The utility’s clean energy strategy director, Charlotte Ancel, says the town of Westmoreland experiences some of the longest, most frequent power outages of any town in the utility’s New Hampshire service area. Ancel says this is because Westmoreland relies on one power line with no backups, and it’s vulnerable to falling tree branches in storms the utility expects to increase with climate change. ‘So we view the need to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective power to our customers as being an urgent and non-negotiable need,’ she says. But Ancel says building another power line to address the problem would cost $6 million. Instead, Eversource wants to build a battery, for $7 million – with an estimated long-term savings of $2 million for all the company’s New Hampshire customers. Ancel says the project aims to reduce costs, improve reliability and lower carbon emissions for customers in Westmoreland and across the state.”

One side note – this week we’ve pared back the number of stories to bring you higher level, policy-type news and less of what’s happening in local communities. Tell us what you think – is less more or do you like to see all the local headlines? Just reply to this email or leave a comment on the blog and let us know your thoughts.

We hope you all enjoy the long holiday weekend. And please remember to take a moment to appreciate those who gave their lives in service to our country.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Effort to Trade Gas for Hydropower in Northeast Meets Resistance, Scientific American

N.H. remains reliant on heating oil, other fossil fuels to keep warm, Concord Monitor

National Grid says no new NYC natgas customers without Williams pipeline, Reuters

 

Weymouth Compressor Station

Lawmakers: Compressor case eroded public confidence in regulators, Patriot Ledger

Hearing Officer To DEP: Tell Me Why I Shouldn’t Sanction You, WGBH

Compressor Station Permit Based On Incomplete Air Tests, State Admits, WBUR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Pilgrim closure could drive up carbon emissions, Eagle-Tribune

NH Senate approves more subsides for biomass plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

New environmental commissioner Katie Dykes takes helm in era of escalating climate change, Hartford Courant

 

Wind

Lawmakers urged to help revive UMaine-led offshore wind project, Portland Press Herald

National Grid, offshore wind company to bury cables exposed on Block Island, Southcoasttoday

Massachusetts Looks To Harness The Winds, With Some British Help, WGBH

DPU approves 2nd round of offshore energy bids, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Municipal light communities part of rebate program, Telegram

New Hampshire legislators quintuple net metering cap by veto-proof margin, Utility Dive

Floating Solar Excels Where Land Is Scarce, and That’s a Lot of Places, Greentech Media

 

Efficiency/Storage

The unsung reliability hero of New England: Energy efficiency, Environmental Defense Fund

Eversource Plans $7M Battery Storage Demonstration Project In Westmoreland, New Hampshire Public Radio

The Story on Storage: Is it Truly Charging Ahead?, Electric Light & Power

For existing homes, energy efficiency often has a better return on investment than solar, ACEEE Blog

 

Nuclear

A Post-Nuclear Reality Settles In For Vernon, Vermont, NEPR

Speedy reactor cleanups may carry both risks and rewards, AP

NJ utility board going to court over $300M nuclear bailout, Press of Atlantic City

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices, etc.

EIA Launches its New State Energy Portal, NA Clean Energy

Brockton mayor ‘livid’ with National Grid response to repeated manhole explosions, Brockton Enterprise

What’s in your electricity bill?, (Video) CommonWealth Magazine

States squandering $3B VW settlement fund with lack of EV focus: report, Utility Dive

ISO-NE on Track with GMD Standard, RTO Insider

FERC Sets Conference on New England Fuel Security, RTO Insider

Eversource Balks at ISO-NE Plan on CIP Costs, RTO Insider

FERC Is No Shield For $3.6B Utility Scheme, 1st Circ. Told, Law360

 

Editorial/Opinion

Cuomo vs. New York, Wall St. Journal

Giveaways to Millstone won’t guarantee more winter power, Connecticut Mirror

My Turn: Bill plugs net metering utility loophole, Concord Monitor

COMMENTARY: Take rising seas and Seabrook Station seriously, Daily News of Newburyport

State must end fossil fuel dependency: Op-Ed, New Haven Register

Accelerated gas leak repair campaign shows power of community advocacy, need for continued accountability (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Renewables aren’t reliable enough to generate that much power, Sentinel and Enterprise

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar, Uncategorized

Energy News for week ending May 17, 2019

We’re gonna need a bigger boat | Could not win | Sound advice

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s round-up with a story about a new demand created by the offshore wind industry. From Bloomberg, “Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats. How do you install a wind turbine almost the size of the Chrysler building in the open ocean? Just get a boat with deck space larger than a football field and a crane that can lift the weight of 1,100 Chevy Suburban SUVs. Those specialist ships are scarce, numbering about a dozen in the world. And at a cost of more than $300 million, they each need to be capable of hoisting generators the size of shipping containers atop steel towers hundreds of feet tall. While wind turbine manufacturers led by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S and General Electric Co. are expanding the size of their machines quickly, the small cadre of mainly closely-held specialist shipowners that does the installations is hesitant to build more ships before they know how big the vessels need to be. That indicates a looming ship shortage in the next decade, threatening the outlook for a seven-fold jump in offshore wind capacity by 2030.”

From the Monty Python, “Not dead yet” category we have a story from NHPR about Northern Pass. “At N.H. Supreme Court, Eversource Argues It ‘Could Not Win’ On Northern Pass. The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Eversource’s bid to revive its Northern Pass transmission line. The justices are considering whether the proposal – a nearly 200-mile high-voltage power line to bring Canadian hydropower through the White Mountains to New England – should get a new hearing with the state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC. The court’s ruling in the case, which isn’t due out for several months to a year, could also provide new insight on how the SEC functions and whether the legislature should reform it…At Wednesday’s oral arguments, Eversource attorney Bill Glahn contended the utility did pass that test – the SEC just didn’t look properly at all the evidence made available to them. “What they did was put us in a position where we could not win,” Glahn said.”

We wrap up this week with another wind story – this one from EurekAlert! “Can sound protect eagles from wind turbine collisions? Every year, bald and golden eagles are killed when they inadvertently fly into wind turbine blades. One possible way to prevent these deaths is to chase the birds away with acoustic signals — sound. To determine what types of sounds are most effective in deterring the birds, researchers at the University of Minnesota and their colleagues tested the behavioral responses of bald eagles to a battery of both natural and synthetic acoustic stimuli…Perhaps not surprisingly, the eagles were more interested in, and paid closer attention to, natural calls rather than synthetic signals…The study also showed that bald and golden eagles’ ‘working auditory space’ falls within a fairly well-defined frequency band, with an upper cutoff frequency of approximately 6 kilohertz and a lower cut-off frequency below 0.35 kHz. The researchers recommend that signal designers use the data as a developmental guideline in efforts to design effective and efficient acoustic deterrent systems. The results from the project take one critical step forward in the effort to develop acoustic alerting or deterrence technologies that might discourage eagles from flying into wind farm airspaces and reduce instances of injury and death associated with turbine collision, McGee explained.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Mass. should step up gas-disaster plans, consultant says, Boston Globe

Longmeadow Town Meeting voters approve restrictions on natural gas facilities, MassLive

Con ed: no new natural gas for Westchester until 2023?, Yonkers Times

A Keystone-Like Pipeline Opens Fierce Battle Over New York’s ‘Energy Future,’ New York Times

National Grid’s 7-month lockout cost utility $362 million, Boston Herald

N.Y. Deals Critical Blow to $1 Billion Shale Gas Pipeline, Bloomberg

Mixed reviews for $80 million gas deal, Andover Townsman

 

Weymouth Compressor Station

Protesters Bolster Case Against Weymouth Compressor Station, WGBH

New Report Finds More Safety Concerns About Proposed Weymouth Compressor Station, WBUR

Opposition ramps up in compressor station fight, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas facility opponents gain support, Boston Globe

Professor accuses DEP of accepting Enbridge, “coaching” on air quality, Wicked Local

Two Days Into Weymouth Gas Compressor Hearings, Safety Of Emissions Disputed, WGBH

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

‘Net Zero’ proponents say science supports new emissions goals, Wicked Local Cohasset

Proposed state rule changes rekindle biomass debate, Berkshire Eagle

Snowing in New England, Soaking in the South — You Call This Spring?, New York Times

Extremes Are the New Norm: Why This Cold Spell is Lingering, NECN

Bates College achieves carbon neutral status to help stave off climate change, Sun Journal

Old, misleading info among perils of teaching climate change, Portland Press Herald

How climate change will affect the rural northeast: Expect three weeks of heat, Phys.org

 

Wind

Floating Offshore Wind Holds Promise for Vertical-Axis Turbines, Greentech Media

Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats, Bloomberg

Anbaric to flip Massachusetts coal plant site into offshore wind facility with 400 MW storage, Utility Dive

Connecticut House Green-Lights Offshore Wind Legislation, North American Wind Power

House approves bipartisan plan for wind power off New London, Hartford Courant

Wind power would bring new energy source to CT, Connecticut Post

Bose volunteers bond with Framingham students on wind projects, Milford Daily News

Vineyard Wind Receives Key Permit for Construction of Wind Farm Interconnection to Grid, Renewable Energy Magazine

Citizen group calls on Cuomo to squelch Lake Ontario wind power project, The Buffalo News

New London gets shorted in the wind deal, The Day

Prysmian reels in major US cable deal for Vineyard Wind, Recharge News

Can sound protect eagles from wind turbine collisions?, EurekAlert!

No vote on controversial wind turbine, Valley Breeze

Barnstable residents object to Vineyard Wind plans, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Scorching revenue growth at solar developer BlueWave, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

WoodMac: Solar Plants Cheaper Than Natural Gas ‘Just About Everywhere’ by 2023, Greentech Media

NY school district opens 3-MW solar farm, Renewables Now

New York provides $1 million for Anheuser-Busch solar array, AP

World’s First Drone-Based Shading Tool Approved in New York, Massachusetts, North American Clean Energy

Simsbury solar power project moves forward as developer buys land, Hartford Courant

State launches solar rebate program for customers of municipal light plants like Shrewsbury’s, Telegram

Sometimes solar panels are not a good fit for your home. Here’s why., Boston Globe

 

Efficiency/Storage

DOE proposal to roll back lightbulb efficiency puts billions in energy savings on the line, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Market size in US worth $4000 million by 2024, MarketWatch

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency, Science Daily

At Eversource, Energy Conservation Is the ‘First Fuel’, BusinessWest

Two Wayland homes get ‘Gold’ rating for efficiency, WickedLocal

 

EVs

Self-driving buses come to Providence, Boston Globe

 

Nuclear

Most Profitable Job in Nuclear Today Is Tearing Down Reactors, Bloomberg

Green New Deal activists dismiss nuclear power, Axios

NJ utility board going to court over $300M nuclear bailout, Press of Atlantic City

The Fusion Reactor Next Door, New York Times

Seabrook selectmen OK $36M tax agreement with nuke plant, Seacoast Online

Regulators ramp up oversight as Vermont Yankee dismantling begins, VTDigger

Disney could still build nuclear power plant after bill fizzles in Legislature, Orlando Sentinel

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

At N.H. Supreme Court, Eversource Argues It ‘Could Not Win’ On Northern Pass, NHPR

CMP: Bill to create consumer-owned utility amounts to ‘hostile takeover,’ Maine Biz

Northeastern University Aims to Set New Standard for Higher Ed with Advanced Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

I-Team: Metering, billing problems at CMP prompt two new state laws, WGME

National Grid says state ownership would delay UK’s move to green energy, Reuters

Massachusetts will have enough power to beat summer heat, ISO New England says, MassLive

With Construction Underway, Opponents Appeal Seacoast Power Line To N.H. Supreme Court, New Hampshire Public Radio

Is there a non-micro role on the New Hampshire power grid for microgrids?, Concord Monitor

Ethics of Beaton’s move to Lowell energy firm questioned, Sentinel & Enterprise

Chairman’s departure leaves Maine PUC with vacancy at critical time, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Accelerated gas leak repair campaign shows power of community advocacy, need for continued accountability (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

BIA Business Perspective: To lawmakers — Tread carefully on energy legislation, New Hampshire Union Leader

Letter to the editor: Oil pipeline can’t be swapped for CMP proposal, Portland Press Herald

Benefits of Killingly Energy Center begin with jobs, Connecticut Mirror

Irony of relying on natural gas, pursuit of pipeline should strike cord, The Telegraph

Letter to the editor: NECEC will benefit Maine’s energy supply, environment, Portland Press Herald

Losing nuclear comes at a cost, Daily Item

Get ready for another biomass battle, CommonWealth Magazine

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