Category Archives: offshore wind

Energy News for week ending January 11, 2019

Russians Hacking, Emissions Spiking, Oceans Warming, Oh My!

It’s Friday afternoon so that’s a good thing, but some of the energy news headlines this week were darn depressing.

Take these six stories for example:

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time, Washington Post

Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds, New York Times

America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It, Wall Street Journal

US power sector carbon emissions jump as gas boom outpaces coal decline, Utility Dive

2018 was Earth’s fourth-warmest year, EU scientists find, Axios

Mass. Families face home heating emergency, $30 million sought, WickedLocal.com

Ugh! And if that’s not enough to make you want to crawl under the covers, the government shutdown is causing headaches everywhere (and horrible times for government workers), but here in New England it’s also slowing things down:

Gas investigation on hold amid shutdown, Eagle Tribune

Government shutdown delays Vineyard Wind meetings, South Coast Today

Jon Chesto at the Globe brings us a positive story so we’ll end our recap here Wind turbine company picks Boston for US HQ, Boston Globe.

Enjoy the weekend and stay warm – very cold temperatures are expected.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Special Report: Gas leaks plague Bay State, Boston Herald

After setbacks, Weymouth compressor foes turn focus to Baker, Patriot Ledger

South Shore lawmakers urge Baker to reject natural gas station air permits, Boston Globe

Lawmaker looks to ban offshore drilling, Gloucester Times

Weymouth gas project advances, but fight’s not over yet, Boston Globe

Fossil generators ask Supreme Court to review state nuclear subsidies, Utility Dive

Ensuring fuel security for the electricity system: New England and the role of LNG, Utility Dive

Wind vs. Gas: Winter Wind Beats New Pipelines, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lockout finally over at National Grid, CommonWealth Magazine

Challenges Remain For National Grid, Union Workers Even With Contract, WBUR

National Grid union workers OK contract, ending lockout, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas Offers Payment Plans For Merrimack Valley Gas Bills, USA Patch

Lawmakers push for safer gas practices, Salem News

Warren, Markey call for Columbia Gas to repair damaged roads, Boston Globe

Gas investigation on hold amid shutdown, Eagle Tribune

Charlie Baker tours Merrimack Valley to promote businesses affected by gas explosions, Boston Globe

Lawrence mayor wants Columbia Gas license revoked, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time, Washington Post

Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds, New York Times

Warning Of Flooded Cities, Spilka Puts Climate Change Atop To-Do List, WGBH.org

US power sector carbon emissions jump as gas boom outpaces coal decline, Utility Dive

2018 was Earth’s fourth-warmest year, EU scientists find, Axios

The National Weather Service is ‘open,’ but your forecast is worse because of the shutdown, Washington Post

Ramping up renewable energy remains lawmakers’ focus in 2019, The Day

Pennsylvania commits to 26% GHG reductions amid federal inaction, US emissions increase, Utility Dive

Vagaries Of the Energy Market: A Boom In Renewables Leads To Higher Rates For Co-op, VPR Digital

Mass. Inaugurates Clean Peak Standard, RTO Insider

 

Wind

Wind turbine company picks Boston for US HQ, Boston Globe

Sununu Will Ask for Federal Offshore Wind Study, A First Step To Development, NHPR

Government shutdown delays Vineyard Wind meetings, South Coast Today

Public hearings set on Roxbury Wind Project, National Wind Watch (Maine)

Busy month ahead for Alle-Catt Wind Farm issues, Olean Times Herald

A key approval for the $2-billion off-shore project is set for Jan. 22, NewportRI.com

R.I. fishermen still without compensation deal from wind farm developer, ProJo

Court: Refund Swanton Wind developers, St. Albans Messenger

Rhode Island harvesters, wind farm developer still talking compensation, Undercurrent News

New Jersey receives three bids in largest state wind energy solicitation to date, Daily Energy Insider

Under New Management, New London Pier Looks To Capitalize On Offshore Wind, WNPR

 

 

Solar

Maine Mall 2,340-panel solar array poised to go online, Mainebiz

How Can You Take a Stand on Energy at the Local Level? Lebanon Has an Idea, New Hampshire Public Radio

Tax exemption could cut towns statewide from solar-farm revenue, Telegram.com

 

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency info may be coming to Mass. residential home listings, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Energy Storage Developers See Promise in Second Phase of Innovative New Hampshire Pilot, Microgrid Knowledge

California set a goal of 100% clean energy, and now other states may follow its lead, Los Angeles Times

Three Big Energy Ideas to Watch in 2019, Microgrid Knowledge

 

EVs

Before the Electric Car Takes Over, Someone Needs to Reinvent the Battery, Bloomberg

Boston transit authority adds to electric bus fleet, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Closed Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Sale Complete, NHPR

U.S. to Bill Gates: Build your scrapped China nuclear reactor in America, Axios

Energy Department Initiative Aims to Keep U.S. Competitive on Nuclear-Plant Fuel, Wall Street Journal

Pilgrim Nuke Plant Back at Full Power, CapeCod.com

NRC public meeting Jan. 15 for comments on Pilgrim decommissioning, Wicked Local Plymouth

New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution to join Vermont Yankee nuclear storage conference, VTDigger

Full scholarships offered for nuclear program at Three Rivers, The Day

Experts: Nuclear power production in country just 3%, The Tribune

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It, Wall Street Journal

New England Power Grid Operators Train For Severe Nor’Easters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Wholesale power prices were generally higher in 2018, with both winter and summer spikes, eia.gov

Regulators decide to open full investigation into CMP billing issues, Portland Press Herald

Regulators consider plan to get rebates for some electric customers, Record-Journal

Confidence Grows that Proposed Burrillville Power Plant will be Denied, ECO RI

Invenergy analyst says Burrillville plant would supplement renewables, Providence Journal

Braintree Light hopes to retire generator, Patriot Ledger

Mass. Families face home heating emergency, $30 million sought, WickedLocal.com

Activists, lawmakers rally for heating help for low-income families, WBSM.com

Data: Maine Had Longer, More Frequent Power Outages Per Customer Than Any Other State In 2017, Maine Public

 

Editorial/Opinion

Ensuring fuel security for the electricity system: New England and the role of LNG, Utility Dive

Electricity aggregation success extends beyond Newton, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Solar power, storage poised to protect Mass. businesses this winter, Boston Business Journal

Letter to the editor: Efficiency Maine Trust a burden to needy electricity customers, Portland Press Herald

Thinking globally, but acting warily, on new gas pipelines, Boston Globe

Letter to the editor: Good to hear real story on gas companies, New Haven Register

Editorial: Industry must be part of transit carbon cap policy, Boston Business Journal

 

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

NE Energy News for week ending January 4, 2019

Monitoring | Sun shines in Holyoke | What if…

Happy Friday everyone. We hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Now let’s get back to it.

This week we start with a gas story. From the Eagle Tribune, “Natural gas companies would be required to have experienced technicians on job sites to monitor gas pressure in the lines during work, under a proposal filed Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, filed the proposal in response to the gas fires and explosions that ripped through the Merrimack Valley four months ago. ‘We need to make sure that monitoring is taking place on every site where it’s warranted,’ Tarr said. ‘It’s a matter of protecting public safety and the reliability of the gas system.’ He said the proposal, if approved, would require the state Department of Public Utilities to come up with regulations to require monitors on job sites.”

Holyoke finds itself at the center of an “activists do good” story in Fast Company. “For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Later this year, as the coal plant’s smokestacks come down, the rest of the site will be developed for new industry. It’s a transition that was driven by the economic collapse of coal and accelerated by local activists who were concerned about the area’s high asthma rates, twice as high as the rest of the state.”

The last story we’re highlighting for this week comes from CommonWealth Magazine and features a “What if” scenario relative to offshore wind. “Last year at this time, New England was gripped by a blast of unusually cold weather that went on for 16 days. The prolonged low temperatures increased demand for natural gas for both heating and electricity, which with the region’s pipeline constraints led to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices and forced power generators to burn more oil in the brief period than they had in the previous two years combined. Now the operator of the region’s power grid, at the request of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, has engaged in a bit of “what if” analysis. What if a wind farm had been operating off the coast last winter? The analysis indicates a working wind farm last winter would have reduced the region’s carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity prices, but not enough to eliminate the impact of the region’s pipeline constraints.”

See below for a lot more articles and opinion pieces. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gov. Charlie Baker signs law requiring greater engineering oversight of natural gas work, MassLive

Tarr proposal would require monitors on gas projects, Eagle Tribune

New England Pipeline Upgrade Opponents Fail At DC Circ., Law360

Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast, Wall St. Journal (paywall)

Pipeline Incident Statistics Reveal Significant Dangers, NRDC.org

With Hogan ‘no’ vote, Maryland board rejects Columbia Gas pipeline expansion, Utility Dive

 

Lockout

National Grid workers say holding firm on contract demands ‘the right thing,’ Boston Globe

As National Grid Reaches Tentative Deal, Real Estate Group Warns Backlog Could Be 2 Years, WBUR

Developers cheer eased gas moratorium, impending National Grid lockout end, BBJ (paywall)

National Grid, union reach tentative agreement to end lockout, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Lawrence fire chief wants Columbia Gas to pay for extra firefighters in new year, Eagle Tribune

Andover Fire Chief: Call 911 For Gas Leaks, USA Patch

Columbia Gas customers have sticker shock at first bills since explosions in Massachusetts, WGME

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Emissions from New England power plants fall again, MassLive

Clean energy industry increases in Massachusetts, The Reminder

Bill seeks $50 million to address sea level change in Maine, Portland Press Herald

Conn. joins multi-state pact to tax auto emissions, Connecticut Post

Massachusetts activists and legislators call for action in environmental policy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

State starts from zero with clean peak energy standard, WBJournal

Westborough and Northborough Named Green Communities, USA Patch

Conn. Zero-Carbon Awards Include Nuclear, Offshore Wind, Solar, RTO Insider

 

Wind

What if an offshore wind farm was up and running last winter?, CommonWealth Magazine

PPA for 200-MW Offshore Wind Farm Approved by Connecticut Regulators, Renewable Energy World

With Vineyard Wind, the U.S. Finally Goes Big on Offshore Wind Power, IEEE Spectrum

3 firms eye building wind energy turbines off New Jersey, Houston Chronicle

 

Solar

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities releases straw proposal for transition to new solar program, Daily Energy Insider

US on cusp of unprecedented solar boom, pv magazine international

Solar farms and bridgework lead news in 2018, Breeze Publications

Solar farm on town warrant, Cabinet

Brunswick families ask state’s top court to overturn solar panel tax, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vassalboro to convert streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs, Kennebec Journal

New York energy storage sector expected to create 27,400 jobs by 2030, Business Journals

 

EVs

Massachusetts Extends Electric Vehicle Rebate Program, Electriccarsreport.com

 

Nuclear

Connecticut taps nuclear plants to generate clean energy, AP

Trump’s Tech Battle With China Roils Bill Gates Nuclear Venture, Wall St. Journal

Nuke on a truck: How Westinghouse is shrinking the nuclear power plant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nuclear Industry Still A Power Player, But Solar And Offshore Wind Energy Grow, WNPR

Regulators file complaint against maker of nuclear fuel cask at Vermont Yankee, The Post-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Town anticipates $3.5 million power plant payment, Wicked Local Sandwich

NY State Public Service Commission launches pilot program to reduce energy costs, Daily Energy Insider
US energy expenditures lowest in nearly 50 years in 2016, Daily Energy Insider

A power company mishap turns New York’s skyline blue, CNN

Electricity Use Was Up Last Year, But Why?, Bloomberg

Three Big Energy Ideas to Watch in 2019, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource continues to oppose sale of Connecticut Water to Calif. company, Journal Inquirer

ISO-NE Pulls off Fuel Security, CASPR Measures, RTO Insider

New York Looks to Expand Energy Programs in 2019, RTO Insider

CMP says Jackman outages are higher, but not as bad as residents are saying, Portland Press Herald

 

 

Editorial/Opinion

To combat climate change, Massachusetts needs to break these habits — and soon, Boston Globe

Developing Widett Circle is short-sighted, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal electricity aggregation really works, CommonWealth Magazine

Unexpected fall of Northern Pass, Concord Monitor via Energy Central

Viewpoint: New energy infrastructure must be a priority, Boston Business Journal

Whitcomb: They’re Leaving but It’s Still Crowded; NEPOOL; End of Zoning? Crowded Block, GoLocalProv

How gas demand from Boston changed a faraway island, Boston Globe

Editorial: Industry must be part of transit carbon cap policy, Boston Business Journal

Columnist Marty Nathan: ‘Pollute or convert.’ It’s time for green energy., Daily Hampshire Gazette

Editorial: Nuclear regulatory diligence is appreciated, Daily Hampshire Gazette

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

Energy News for week ending December 21, 2018

Rising Waters | Winter Wallop | Plea for LNG

Happy soggy Friday afternoon.

Here are a few stories you may have missed this week.

For those of you who enjoy taking Amtrak to destinations between Boston and DC – take note. Bloomberg Businessweek reports, Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. “By the middle of this century, climate change is likely to punch a hole through the busiest stretch of rail in North America. Parts of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor route, which carries 12 million people each year between Boston and Washington, face ‘continual inundation.’ Flooding, rising seas, and storm surge threaten to erode the track bed and knock out the signals that direct train traffic. The poles that provide electricity for trains are at risk of collapse, even as power substations succumb to floodwaters. ‘f one of the segments of track shuts down, it will shut down this segment of the NEC,’ warned members of Amtrak’s planning staff. ‘There is not an alternate route that can be used as a detour.’

If that long-term forecast doesn’t worry you, how about this short term one? The Washington Post had a story this week, Polar vortex could unleash winter wallop by January. “Winter got off to a fast start in the Lower 48 even before it was technically winter. Waves of cold gripped the eastern two-thirds of the United States and several winter storms tracked across the region. Conditions have since eased some, but the heart of winter lies ahead. Will cold and snowy conditions return and turn more harsh? The polar vortex, the roaring river of air winding around the North Pole, holds the cards. What they reveal could be very disturbing and a harbinger of extreme winter weather in the Eastern United States.”

Cold snaps often create natural gas supply issues. So what’s a region to do? The Sentinel and Enterprise reports, ‘Disaster’ has Gov. seeking LNG changes. “As cold weather and higher electricity prices start to encroach, Massachusetts energy officials want to lobby the federal government to ease restrictions on shipments of liquified (sic) natural gas into New England in hopes of controlling costs and improving reliability in the energy grid…So the Baker administration, with the support of the rest of the New England governors, is planning to try ‘working with federal officials to explore modifying the Jones Act to facilitate shipping of LNG from domestic sources,’ Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson said last week. The Jones Act has been suspended or amended before, often in the wake of a natural disaster when the government wants to maximize the number of ships that can help deliver relief aid. EEA said such a waiver or exemption ‘could be done permanently or semipermanently to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of LNG to Massachusetts consumers.’”

There are a lot of news stories below. We’ll be off next Friday for the holidays but will be back in your inboxes on January 4th. In the meantime, thank you for letting us be a part of your energy world each week and we wish you all a wonderful holiday week and a happy and healthy 2019.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

‘Disaster’ has Gov. seeking LNG changes, Sentinel and Enterprise

After change of heart, Eversource will fund repairs to Framingham couple’s home, MetroWest Daily News

Gateway Gas Pipeline Expansion Connecting to Utilities in Northeast, Power Engineering

Natural gas industry burns for more pipeline capacity in Mass., Boston Globe

Rising LNG demand to exert more pull on U.S. natgas prices, Reuters

Watchdog Finds ‘Significant’ Weakness in U.S. Pipeline Security, Bloomberg

Natural gas utility to fund ‘alternative heating’ in Western Massachusetts, MassLive

State joins suit to block offshore drilling, Salem News

East Braintree resident raises concerns about Calpine generators, Weymouth.WickedLocal.com

CT regulator wraps pipeline review, finds utilities acting properly, Hartford Business Journal

Despite moratorium’s end, new National Grid gas hookups will not begin immediately, MassLive

 

Merrimac Valley

Gas recovery will extend into fall 2019, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts senators press Columbia Gas on whistleblower’s warning, Boston Herald

Lawsuit filed against Columbia Gas, Boston Herald

Day care owner joins those suing Columbia Gas, Salem News

Recovery Will Finish More Than A Year After Gas Explosions, Patch.com

Sen. Markey Promises Hearings After Columbia Gas Whistleblower’s Warnings, NECN

Columbia Gas says it will meet DPU deadline, Eagle-Tribune

Massachusetts DPU puts Columbia Gas under engineering firm’s oversight, Boston Herald

Foundation Set To Release Third Stipend To Gas Explosion Victims, USA Patch

More Aid For Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Victims, USA Patch

 

Lockout

Massachusetts Senate passes bill to extend unemployment benefits to locked-out National Grid gas workers, MassLive

With differing bills for locked-out workers, House calls for Baker’s suggestions, Boston Globe

House, Senate at odds on Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Oops: DeLeo says Grid bill drafted incorrectly, CommonWealth Magazine

Baker backs more worker benefits if Grid lockout doesn’t end soon, CommonWealth Magazine

Senate readying bill to extend benefits for locked-out National Grid workers, Boston Globe

Decision on National Grid unlikely to help Quincy projects, Patriot Ledger

Moratorium on National Grid gas hookups lifted, Boston Globe

Montigny presses Spilka to act on lockout bill, South Coast Today

Locked-out workers blast DPU lift of National Grid moratorium, Boston Herald

Massachusetts imposes gas safety protocols on National Grid following over pressurization incident, Utility Dive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Rising Waters Are Drowning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, Bloomberg Business

From climate change to congestion, Massachusetts has a new transportation plan, MassLive

Polar vortex could unleash winter wallop by January, Washington Post

New Jersey regulators issue rules to rejoin RGGI carbon trading system, Utility Dive

New York Gov. Cuomo pledges 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, Utility Dive

New York Power Authority to invest $250M in electric grid for better access to renewables, Daily Energy Insider

DC passes ‘most ambitious’ mandate for 100% renewables by 2032, Utility Dive

Energy transitions are usually slow. Here’s why the clean energy transition might be faster., Vox.com

Report: Massachusetts clean energy sector added 1,500 jobs in 2017, MassLive

Cap-and-Trade for Cars Is Coming to the Northeast, Scientific American

In landmark agreement, Mass., eight other states vow to cut transportation emissions, Boston Globe

Conn. Looks To Mix Of Strategies To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions, WSHU News

Rhode Island Renewable Energy Becomes Part Of The Everyday Landscape, CleanTechnica

 

Wind

A 21,000% Gain Shows Sky-High Value of Offshore Wind Leases, Bloomberg

Offshore Wind Auction For 390,000 Acres South Of Mass. Blows Through Sale Record, WBUR

Vineyard Wind Lands Second Offshore Lease, Vineyard Gazette

New Jersey regulators hand third rejection to Atlantic City offshore wind pilot, Utility Dive

Avangrid Renewables expands offshore wind portfolio after auction win, Windpower Engineering & Development

CT wind, fuel cell projects win long-term contracts, Hartford Business Journal

Shell Places 1.6 Gigawatt Bet On US Offshore Wind Energy, CleanTechnica

Association to Preserve Cape Cod Formally Endorses Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod

 

Solar

New Jersey moves to end solar RECs, take next steps toward 100% renewables, Utility Dive

Portland’s newest and largest solar array moves city toward its renewable-energy goal, Press Herald

Solar Wolf Energy Expands Footprint in Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

LIPA OKs consumer-protection measures for solar customers, Newsday.com

New England Talks Solar, Storage and Public Policy, RTO Insider

ReVision Energy launches fund to help nonprofits tap solar energy, Mainebiz

Environmental group worries proposed solar farm could destroy Milford’s ecological gem, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State PSC approves increases in energy efficiency, energy storage targets, Daily Energy Insider

MIT researchers make strides on location-independent, large-scale energy storage, Daily Energy Insider

NYPA board approves $600M credit line for efficiency projects as utility targets double, Utility Dive

NY’s energy storage target: It’s the journey, not the destination, stakeholders say, Utility Dive

Waltham Considers Hiring Full-Time Sustainability Manager, USA Patch

Design Building awarded LEED Gold certification, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

 

Nuclear

Indian Point closure will put power supply in flux, Times Herald-Record

Accelerated retirement of U.S. coal, nuke plants has potential risks –NERC, Reuters

PSEG first to file for subsidies to keep its nuclear plants online, NJ Spotlight

Nuclear Advisory Group Endorses Seabrook’s Plan To Monitor Concrete Cracks, NHPR

Seabrook Station: Study: Plant can operate, Newburyport Daily News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource balks at state law ordering it to buy wood power, New Hampshire Union Leader

Consumer Energy Alliance Report Finds Higher Household Heating Costs Threaten Northeast Consumers, Boston Business Journal

Capacity pricing changes: How each power market plans to account for resource adequacy, Utility Dive

Wallingford not affected by utilities’ rate hikes, Record-Journal

Connecticut regulator weighs ‘amnesty’ for alternative electric suppliers, The Hour

Meriden To Recoup $3.4 Million From Eversource, USA Patch

Audit of CMP billing errors reveals lapses in training, testing, Portland Press Herald

FERC approves cost recovery for Exelon’s Mystic gas plant, Utility Dive

Zoning board approves generators at Fore River power plant, Patriot Ledger

Camden, N.J. Looks to Innovative Bonds to Expand Microgrid Project, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Has the Mass. solar gamble paid off?, CommonWealth Magazine

New Congress will bring a green wave on climate change, Boston Globe

In Quebec, clean energy goes to waste. Let’s use it., Boston Globe

Governor Baker, it’s time to hold gas utilities accountable, Boston Globe

Ocean plot auctions reap windfall for future, Boston Herald

The state’s social contract with utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

Clarity coming to NJ’s aggressive clean energy plan and its costs, Press of Atlantic City

Column: Justice for the Merrimack Valley starts with real accountability, Eagle-Tribune

Record-Smashing Auction Sets America on Course for Offshore Wind, Union of Concerned Scientists

Letter to the editor: Why are Massachusetts power needs prioritized over Maine’s?, Portland Press Herald

Lights out for Eversource (Letters), MassLive

Letter to the editor: Shame on National Grid, Sun Chronicle

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

Energy News for week ending December 14, 2018

410 Million | Roasted by the sun | Substantial Completion | Lobstocracy

 

Happy Friday everyone.

Here are a few highlights from this week.

From Reuters, U.S. offshore wind lease auction ends with record $410 mln sale, “A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting combined bids of $410 million, the agency that conducted the sale said. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it would announce the provisional winners of the leases on a conference call later on Friday. Combined, the three leases represent nearly 390,000 acres near the Massachusetts islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and Rhode Island’s Block Island. It was not immediately clear whether a single company claimed all three or if there were more than one winner.”

While we’re in the midst of holiday season, according to a story in the Portland Press Herald, this is what happened on Thanksgiving, Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving “On last month’s historically cold Thanksgiving Day, New England turkeys were being roasted by the sun. For the first time, according to the region’s electric grid operator, thousands of solar panels offset the midmorning peak demand for power from millions of homes and businesses cooking the holiday birds. The renewable energy milestone was noted this week by ISO-New England. It highlights the growing role of solar energy on the grid and counters lingering myths about the technology not working in cold climates.”

This is great news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, Governor, Columbia Gas announce ‘substantial completion’ of gas restoration; say service back to 98 percent of customers, “The work to restore service to more than 10,000 homes affected by the gas disaster is pretty much done, but the mission is not accomplished, state and local officials said at a press conference early Wednesday afternoon. With natural gas service restored to 98 percent of residential and business customers, Gov. Baker, local municipal leaders and Columbia Gas announced the substantial completion of the gas restoration efforts in the Merrimack Valley…Officials said 150 customers are still without gas service, most of whom decided to “self-mitigate,” or complete necessary assessments and installations themselves on their own timeline, independent of Columbia Gas contractors, or have extenuating circumstances such as damages to their homes.

We end this week on some it’s good now but not later climate change news. From MSN.com, ‘We live in a lobstocracy’: Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change, “The American lobster is a symbol of Maine, central to the state’s ethos and economy…Lobster attracts tourists, feeds locals and is a lifeblood for coastal towns. It’s (sic) importance has even swelled in recent years as lobsters have been caught in record numbers. Lobster landings – or the amount of lobster caught – have risen fivefold in the past three decades. Lobster has become a half-billion-dollar industry in Maine. And the reason for the boom, according to scientists, is climate change. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s waters, rising at three times the global average. That warming has created optimal conditions for lobsters to reproduce and survive into adulthood…But while the warming waters have resulted in a lobster bonanza, scientists say climate change will ultimately bring a bust to the boom: As the Gulf of Maine continues to warm, that temperature sweet spot for lobsters will continue to move north. That could result in a similar spike in lobsters in Canada, but leave Maine’s industry broken.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts natural gas companies would support greater engineering oversight, MassLIve

Agawam farm family protests Tennessee Gas Pipeline land-taking, MassLive

Lawmaker questions gas safety consultant’s ties to industry, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Columbia Gas appoints new executive in Massachusetts, Boston Globe

Agawam farm family protests Tennessee Gas Pipeline land-taking, MassLive

Mass. Town Asks 1st Circ. To Block Enbridge Pipeline Project, Law360

Judge halts Keystone XL pipeline, citing ‘complete disregard’ for climate, MSN

The Oil Industry’s Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules, New York Times

 

Merrimack Valley

Governor, Columbia Gas announce ‘substantial completion’ of gas restoration; say service back to 98 percent of customers, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas Holds Community Meetings For Remaining Four Percent Of Affected Customers, WGBH

Whistleblower: Columbia Gas Cut Corners Prior to Explosions, NECN

In Wake Of Gas Disaster, Lawmakers Probe Utility Companies’ Safety Plans, WGBH

Execs back Baker gas-safety bill at fiery hearing, Lowell Sun

Sen. Barrett questions gas safety consultant’s ties to industry, Lowell Sun

 

Lockout

House, in informal session, passes Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Developers left out in the cold as National Grid lockout continues, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers push harder to resolve labor dispute at National Grid, Boston Globe

Top senator to National Grid: end the lockout “immediately”, Sentinel & Enterprise

National Grid, unions start daily meetings next Monday, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Why greens are turning away from a carbon tax, Politico

That was awkward — at world’s biggest climate conference, U.S. promotes fossil fuels, Washington Post

Batteries could worsen CO2 emissions — study, E&E News

NYPA Announces $250 Million Commitment to Accelerate Flexibility of Electric Grid to Combat Climate Change, Energy Storage Association

‘We live in a lobstocracy’: Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change, MSN

Shaheen and Hassan warn of continued negative impact of climate change, Conway Daily Sun

Researchers: Sawdust is Next Wave in Renewable Energy, UMass Lowell News

Not So Sweet: Climate Change Means Slow-Growing Sugar Maples, Study Finds, NPR

France Will Save $44.5 Billion By Betting on Renewable Energy, Says Government Agency, Bloomberg L.P.

 

Wind

U.S. offshore wind lease auction ends with record $410 mln sale, Reuters

Baker: Fishing, offshore wind coexistence is ‘something we have to deal with,’ Salem News

390K acres up for auction today for offshore wind, South Coast Today

First major offshore wind project in jeopardy of being blocked, Boston Globe

Fishing industry says it doesn’t endorse Vineyard Wind’s ‘consensus plan’ for transit lanes, South Coast Today

Bay State Wind comes to O.B., MV Times

Turbines vs. eagles debate continues amid new science, National Wind Watch

Zero hour nears for Massachusetts offshore bonanza, reNews

Vineyard Wind Endorses Offshore Transit Corridor Plan, Cape Cod Today

More Than 680 Gigawatts Of New Wind Power To Come Online By 2027, CleanTechnica

 

Solar

Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving, Portland Press Herald

Watertown Becomes 1st Town In New England To Require Solar Panels On New Commercial Constructions, WBUR

Rhode Island Encourages Brownfield Solar Projects, Renewable Energy World

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report, Reuters

Renewables, Energy Storage, & Managing The Utility Grid Of The Future, CleanTechnica

Governor pushes for solar in low-income areas, New Hampshire Union Leader

Milford Eyeing Plans for 120-Acre Solar Farm, New Hampshire Public Radio

CleanChoice Launches MA Community Solar Program, Solar Industry

Solar project at Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District on target, Kennebec Journal

 

EVs

Massachusetts Needs More Than MOR-EV, Union of Concerned Scientists

Massachusetts extends electric vehicle rebate program, Gloucester Times

Survey: Consumers keen on EV purchases, though cost remains a barrier, Utility Dive

Why General Motors Is Ditching the Chevy Volt, Greentech Media

As More Cars Plug In, Utilities and Makers Juggle Ways to Power Them, New York Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

As grid operators file FERC Order 841 plans, storage floodgates open slowly, Utility Dive

New Massachusetts energy plan zeroes in on vehicles and buildings for emissions reductions, MassLive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee buyer looking for quick start, VTDigger

Are Floating Reactors The Future Of Nuclear Energy?, Oilprice.com

Department of Energy to shut down Idaho nuclear waste treatment project, deemed not to be cost-effective, Los Angeles Times

Trump plan to reclassify nuclear waste alarms environmental groups, NBC News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource plans increase in winter electric rates, MassLive

Price of electricity going up in E. Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

US unprepared for ‘catastrophic’ power outage, presidential advisory report finds, Utility Dive

Most of Maine’s electricity customers will pay higher rates next year, Energy Central

A study examined why customers remain in TOU programs, and the results were terrible, Utility Dive

NERC: Winter preparedness initiatives will help keep lights on in northern US, Utility Dive

Report: Smart Grid Upgrades Offer Less Risk, More Flexibility than Power Lines, Renewable Energy World

Why are electricity prices spiking this winter?, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP standard-offer customers electric bills will rise in 2019, Mainebiz

Eversource’s Seacoast power project approved, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Several factors could affect power this winter, Journal Inquirer

Southern Maine electricity supply prices set to rise Jan. 1, Portland Press Herald

Cape Light Compact Announces Winter Electric Pricing, Cape Cod

Businesses win exemption from costly meter installations, Portland Press Herald

Eversource sues Portsmouth in tax dispute, Seacoastonline.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh, and Robert DeLeo need to move on climate change, Boston Globe

Keeping Millstone humming, The Day

GOP and Dem lawmakers: Interstate gas pipelines must adhere to N.J’s tougher safety regulations., NJ.com

Viewpoint: Transportation commission report could be a holiday gift for entire region, Business Journals

Our View: Hydro-Quebec answers key climate question, Kennebec Journal

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending December 7, 2018

We are in Trouble | Transfer Approved | Plenty of Capacity

TGIF! Let’s get to it.

From the Washington Post, “Global emissions of carbon dioxide are reaching the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are doing. Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes appear to have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent…’We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,’ United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in the coming years.”

Some good news in what’s expected to be a trend with nuclear plants across the country, VPR reports, “State utility regulators have approved the transfer of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to NorthStar, a demolition company that has has (sic) committed to decommissioning the plant decades earlier than previously planned. The Vermont Public Utility Commission said a main benefit of NorthStar’s plan was that decommissioning will begin no later than 2021. The current owner of the Vernon plant, the Entergy Corporation, had planned to delay cleanup of the site until at least 2053.”

Last news highlight for this week comes from the north of the border. The Portland Press Herald reports, “Hydro-Quebec officials say opponents of a transmission line through western Maine are wrong when they say the company’s plan to send hydropower to Massachusetts won’t provide abundant clean energy to New England…The utility’s officials said Thursday that the company has enough capacity to ensure that the electricity sent south is clean and produced with none of the carbon emissions blamed for global warming. “We have excess (hydropower) energy in Quebec that we can’t get out,” Serge Abergel, director of public affairs for Hydro-Quebec, told the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald…But Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, disputed Abergel’s claims. He’s concerned that Hydro-Quebec could engage in a practice called greenwashing, in which a utility buys power from highly polluting generators such as coal plants when that electricity is cheap, then uses it to fulfill their own contracts rather than using their own clean hydropower. That would negate the environmental advantages of transmitting hydropower to Massachusetts.”

That’s it for this afternoon. Have a great weekend and we’ll be back in your inboxes next Friday.

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Berkshire Gas agrees to half its proposed rate hike, Berkshire Gas

Changing fuel prices impact household heating market, Connecticut Post

Portland Xpress pipeline project gets FERC environmental OK, Seeking Alpha

Berkshire Gas moratoriums in Franklin and Hampshire counties to continue indefinitely, MassLive

Algonquin Power to buy Enbridge Gas New Brunswick for C$331M, Seeking Alpha

Environmentalists slam Murphy for inaction on pipelines, NJtoday.com

Coal Is On The Way Out — Natural Gas Is Next, CleanTechnica

 

Lock Out

House, in informal session, passes Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Emotions high at National Grid lockout hearing, Lowell Sun

National Grid takes pounding on Beacon Hill, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas targeting last few hundred customers in Lawrence area still without service, Boston Globe

Politicians call for gas execs to resign after disaster, Western Mass News

Columbia Gas-Repaired Furnace Sends Family To Emergency Room, USA Patch

‘I Don’t Feel Safe’: Lawrence Woman Injured by Stove Issued After Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, NECN

With more plumbers, could Lawrence have seen faster gas service?, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018., Washington Post

Environment: Hot, dry summers have killed trees covering nearly 50,000 forest acres, Providence Journal

On Senate Floor: Shaheen Underscores Impact of Climate Change on Granite State Environment, Wildlife & Economy, NHLaborNews.com

The Energy 202: Carbon emissions were flat only two years ago. Not anymore., Washington Post

Connecticut Preps for Weather Extremes, Flooding Highlighted in Climate Report, Government Technology

How Climate Change Is Already Affecting Infrastructure In N.H., New Hampshire Pubic Radio

Climate change already reshaping South Shore coastline, Patriot Ledger

 

Wind

Biologist’s goal: wind turbines that kill fewer bats and birds, Boston Globe

NJ Begins Strategic Planning for Murphy’s Offshore-Wind Goals, NJ Spotlight

Feds Gathering Public Input on Vineyard Wind Environmental Impact Report, CapeCod.com

Aroostook wind power backers see opportunity if western Maine transmission line fails, The County

State reviewing application for wind farm in Hancock County, National Wind Watch

Vineyard Wind draft report released, Energy Central

Wind Farm Near Martha’s Vineyard In Jeopardy, The Independent

 

Solar

Governor pushes for solar in low-income areas, New Hampshire Union Leader

Consortium turning former brownfields into solar farms, Westerly Sun

Brushy Brook solar hearing concludes; decision in January, Westerly Sun

Watertown passes new solar requirement, Wicked Local Watertown

Salem Receives Award For Solar Efforts, USA Patch

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Harvard Reveals Its Ultra-Energy-Efficient Center for Green Buildings and Cities, Architectural Record

Westwood’s Thomas Philbin Among “Leading By Example” Recipients, USA Patch

Eversource and Wesleyan University Announce New Energy Efficiency Partnership, NA Clean Energy

U.S. energy storage storm grows in strength, pv magazine international

What Long Duration Energy Storage Is & Why It Kills Coal, CleanTechnica

‘Sun in a box’ would store renewable energy for the grid, TechXplore.com

 

EVs

1M EVs in the US ‘a step in our journey’ to combat climate change, Utility Dive

Trump administration says it will end electric car tax credit in the strangest way, Electrek

America’s Power Grid Isn’t Ready for Electric Cars, CityLab.com

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee Transfer Approved, NorthStar Will Decommission Plant, VPR

PURA maintains “at risk” status for Millstone, Hartford Business Journal

Pennsylvania State Lawmakers Call to End the ‘Epidemic’ of Nuclear Power Plant Closures, Greentech Media

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt., Vox.com

Canadian hydropower supplier says it has plenty of capacity for N.E., Portland Press Herald

CMP Says It Won’t Pass Costs to Customers for Billing Snafu, U.S. News & World Report

Cape Light Compact Announces Winter Electric Pricing, Cape Cod

Policymaker of the Year: Kevin McIntyre, FERC, Utility Dive

Seacoast Reliability Project continues to clear hurdles, Seacoastonline.com

CMP power line supporters make their case to Somerset County commissioners, Kennebec Journal

Connecticut standard electric rates to jump $12 to $16, Westport News

Eversource Energy reaches new contract with two Connecticut unions, New Haven Register

Reinventing the power grid in coastal Maine – well, sort of, Concord Monitor

FERC vacancy allows Democrats to win rare battle over ISO-NE market rules, Utility Dive

Non-Wires Alternatives: How Much, How Soon for Connecticut?, Microgrid Knowledge

My Car, Your Home, a Microgrid and the Future, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hassan bears down: Good points on gas explosion, New Hampshire Union Leader

Columnist Marty Nathan: Climate change demands straight talk, Daily Hampshire Gazette

OP-ED: Nautilus would put NJ at forefront of offshore wind industry, NJBIZ

Eversource project endangers children, the environment, Seacoastonline.com

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, hydro, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending November 30, 2018

Trailers Removed | Bill to end moratorium? | RI goes big | Enough power

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week we’re focused on good news.

From the Eagle Tribune, “The process of removing travel trailers placed on the South Common for local gas disaster victims started Thursday morning. Mayor Daniel Rivera said some of the trailers are now being sent to California, where 88 people have been killed and thousands have been left homeless, their homes destroyed by wildfires. The travel trailers were brought to the Merrimack Valley in mid-October after thousands of local residents were left without natural gas for heat and cooking a month earlier…Columbia Gas, the utility provider, is hoping to have gas restored to everyone affected by Dec. 16…Rivera described the removal of the trailers “as definitely a good sign.” “It means there are more people back at home with heat and hot water,” he said.

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a number of stories about how the moratorium on anything but emergency gas repairs has created havoc for some businesses and homeowners. The good news today comes from the Boston Business Journal that, “Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are set to review a bill sponsored by Gov. Charlie Baker that could spur the department of public utilities to lift its moratorium on non-emergency natural gas work throughout the commonwealth. Baker introduced the bill, titled “An Act to Ensure the Safety and Soundness of the Commonwealth’s Natural Gas Infrastructure,” on Nov. 20. Both the House and Senate have referred it to the committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy, which meets Tuesday.

From SolarIndustryMag.com we have this story, “The U.S.’ Smallest State Has Big Renewable Energy Ambitions. ‘Though she be but little, she is fierce.’ A line from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream or an appropriate description for the State of Rhode Island? Judging by its milestones in the renewable energy industry, the smallest state in the U.S. is living up to this mantra.”

Last for this week is story from MassLive that should warm all of our hearts, er homes, New England will have enough electricity to meet peak winter demands, ISO New England, which manages the power grid for the region, said Wednesday…Starting this winter, ISO New England will maintain a forecast of the region’s energy needs looking out 21 days. And it will use market incentives, so energy providers are paid more for sending gas to where ISO New England believes the gas will do the most good. ISO said it’s also working with utilities to reduce demand when the grid is under stress.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Berkshire Gas moratorium continues indefinitely, The Recorder

Invenergy: Loss of New England capacity contract won’t affect proposed gas plant, Utility Dive

Compressor opponent questions lack of outreach, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

Fore River residents raise questions about compressor station study, Patriot Ledger

Hingham: Officials Approve Intervener Status for Gas Compressor Station (Audio Story), WATD-FM

Connecticut utility regulators tentatively approve settlement agreement in Yankee Gas rate case, New Haven Register

The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?, New York Times

New England gas plants sold to private equity firm, Boston Globe

Two U.S. pipelines rack up violations, threaten industry growth, Reuters

City of Northampton opposes natural gas pipeline project in Agawam, MassLive

Residents at forum decry Longmeadow Country Club deal with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., MassLive

 

Lockout

Baker bill could help lift gas moratorium as National Grid lockout drags on, Boston Business Journal

Developers push for relief from the natural gas moratorium, Boston Globe

Grid, locked-out workers appear far apart, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid rebuffs union’s counter-proposal as sides prepare to meet, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Merrimack Valley

Trailers removed as need for shelter declines, Eagle Tribune

Lawmakers Follow Up on Lack of Inspectors in Merrimack Valley Prior to Explosions, NECN

Gas Company Offers Holiday Feast To Those Affected By Pipeline Disaster, NPR

Columbia Gas says Merrimack Valley residents should be back in homes by Christmas, MassLive

Ed Markey vows to change federal gas regulations in wake of Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

Family of man killed in gas explosion testifies at hearing; lawmakers aggressive in questioning company leaders, Eagle Tribune

Rivera: Columbia Gas should be disbanded, CommonWealth Magazine

Hearing Date Set For Lawsuits Against Columbia Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report warns of coastal impact for New England, Salem News

Emissions battle ensnares link to Canadian hydropower, E&E News

A Carbon Tax Wave? 7 States Considering Carbon Pricing to Fight Climate Change, Inside Climate News

Bipartisan group of lawmakers propose landmark carbon tax, The Hill

The U.S.’ Smallest State Has Big Renewable Energy Ambitions, Solar Industry

Let’s Re-Design Wholesale Market Rules To Reap The Benefits of Solar and Wind: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind given more time to meet fishermen’s concerns, Cape Cod Times

Upwind wind farms can reduce the energy production of downwind neighbor turbines, NSF.gov

Ørsted Raises Offshore Wind Target To 15 Gigawatts By 2025, CleanTechnica

Rhode Island Wind-Power RFP Attracts Six Times the Requested Demand, Engineering News Record

 

 

Solar

Massachusetts accepts first applications for new solar SMART incentives, MassLive

BlueWave withdraws solar array proposal in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar Project Completed On Former East Providence Landfill, Solar Industry

Tiverton taps brakes on solar development, Newport Daily News

Easthampton gives final OK to large solar farm off Park Street, MassLive

Farmington planning board approves solar project, Kennebec Journal

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

New Jersey hits milestone for installation of solar energy projects, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Weymouth middle school project aims for efficiency, resiliency, Patriot Ledger

Energy efficiency rate to decrease for most home electric bills, VTDigger

US Energy Industry Urges Congress To Fix ITC Eligibility For Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Energy efficiency can save the world — if we can figure out how to pay for it, Utility Dive

New Hampshire settlement moves ‘cutting-edge’ utility BTM storage pilot forward, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Are regulators hindering EV acceleration?, Utility Dive

GM cuts jobs, ends models amid shift to electric and autonomous cars, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Connecticut Likely to OK Millstone for Zero-carbon RFP, RTO Insider

Fight brewing over prospect of nuclear power plant shutdowns, AP News

Plymouth seeks extended benefits as Pilgrim closes, Cape Cod Times

Ammonia Spill At Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Declared ‘Unusual Event’, CBS Boston / WBZ-TV

A Growing Number Of States Are Rushing To Save Their Nuclear Plants, The Daily Caller

Nuclear panel questions cask life span, Cape Cod Times

Holtec eyes acquisition of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Daily Energy Insider

A Bill Gates-backed energy company is developing what could be a game-changing nuclear reactor, Business Insider

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Region’s electricity market in trouble, CommonWealth Magazine

Smart meter deployments slow as questions emerge over cost effectiveness, saturation, Utility Dive

ISO-NE anticipates adequate winter resources, but sees 4 possible challenges, Utility Dive

New England power grid expected to meet winter demand, MassLive

Grid able to generate ample electricity this winter, but don’t expect bills to go down, Concord Monitor

Committee begins Seacoast Reliability Project debate, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Energy priorities shift as a new administration takes hold, Portland Press Herald

Shuttered Brayton Point assessed value drops more than 75 percent, Herald News

Newton Signs Historic Green Energy Contract: Mayor, USA Patch

Salisbury to roll out community choice electricity program, Newburyport Daily News

Connecticut-based Eversource Energy launches improved outage map, New Haven Register

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter to the editor: CMP power corridor project does too much damage, should be rejected, Portland Press Herald

Our region needs the Seacoast Reliability Project, Seacoastonline.com

Maine Compass: Carbon tax best way to slow down climate change, Kennebec Journal

Boston, too, needs to do more on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

We need a Green New Deal in Massachusetts, CommonWealth Magazine

LETTER: Maintain conservative nuclear cleanup standards, Wicked Local Plymouth

Don’t curb gas utilities; clean them up, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending November 16, 2019

Multiple Breakdowns | Panicky Trading | Key Errors | Floatovoltaics

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week’s energy news is loaded with stories. Here are a few highlights:

 

One of many stories coming out of the Merrimack Valley incident this week is an NTSB report urging new safety measures. From USA Today, “Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not use a professional engineer to draw up plans to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the Merrimack Valley in September — a factor, federal authorities say, that could have contributed to the explosions that killed one person and injured at least 21 others. That’s one conclusion from an urgent safety report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday. Massachusetts, like many states, exempts utility companies from state licensing laws for engineers. The NTSB now recommends that Massachusetts end the practice.”

 

Sticking with gas for a minute, in some not-so-good news for a region that relies heavily on natural gas for heating and electricity generation, from CNBC.com, “Natural gas prices surged to a more than four-year high in panicky and volatile trading Wednesday, after the latest cold weather forecasts raised fears that the U.S. is heading for a potentially colder-than-expected winter with too little gas supply…Prices also rose across futures contracts that that would cover the winter months through March, indicating that prices could be pressured all winter by dwindling supply, which is at a 15-year low for this time of year.”

 

In a bit of an Emily Litella moment (from SNL of years past) and perhaps some good news, the Washington Post reports, “Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are…As a result, the findings suffer from too much doubt to definitively support the paper’s conclusion about how much heat the oceans have absorbed over time.” Their earlier results, if you recall, suggested there is less time than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Last story for this week is an unusual request for an energy project in Central Mass. From Telegram.com, “A Millbury-based solar energy company has floated the idea of covering 24,000 surface acres of Quabbin Reservoir with a floating photovoltaic solar array capable of producing 1 megawatt of power. In his letter, Mr. Strzelecki said he is exploring any interest in developing a floating solar farm at Quabbin, describing floating solar arrays as ‘the future of renewable energy.’…The letter states that such an array, covering 24,000 of the reservoir’s 25,000 acres, would ‘put the Quabbin back in the energy-producing business since the Winsor Dam was put out of commission nearly 30 years ago.’ Mr. Strzelecki’s letter pointed out that “floatovoltaics” benefit from the cooling effect of water as well as being shade-free. Mr. Clark said he discussed the letter with John Scannell, director of the Division of Water Supply Protection, who was dismissive of the idea.”

 

Enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re taking next Friday off for the holiday.

 

Merrimack Valley

Multiple breakdowns led to natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, NTSB says, USA Today

As Merrimack Valley Appliances Are Replaced, Some Residents Want More Energy Efficiency, WGBH

Officials talk safety in anticipation of colder temps, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts lawmakers ask President Donald Trump to declare disaster in Merrimack Valley after gas explosions, MassLive

Lawmakers to hold oversight hearings on gas explosions, Eagle-Tribune

Lawsuits In Gas Disaster Could Face Hurdle In Obscure State Protections For Utilities, WGBH

For Returning Gas Explosion Victims, Home Isn’t Always Sweet, USA Patch

After AG’s Guidance, Confusion Lingers For Landlords, Tenants, Patch.com

 

Lockout

Political leaders under pressure to fix gas crisis as developers panic, Boston Business Journal (pay wall)

Worcester Rep. O’Day files bill to force National Grid to continue health insurance for locked out workers, Telegram

Gas hookup moratorium putting chill on housing, real estate, Lowell Sun

Plans for gas oversight hearings, lockout bill taking shape, Sentinel and Enterprise

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas jumps to 4-year high in panicky trading as snow, cold push across US, CNBC

Charlton residents hear details of proposed $100M LNG plant, Worcester Telegram

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, CBS News

No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts, E&E News

Climate activists get involved in Agawam pipeline debate, MassLive

Hingham mulls applying for ‘intervenor status’ on Weymouth compressor station, Hingham.wickedlocal.com

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, The Valley Breeze

Potential for wetlands disturbance draws ire from opponents of Williams Transco compressor station, Central Jersey

Environmentalists call on Murphy to halt fossil fuel projects, NJTV

Oxford power plant is commissioned, Connecticut Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

What Will Maine’s Clean Energy Future Look Like Under New Leadership?, Maine Public

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming, Washington Post

Environmental groups hope Democrat gains will spur climate action, VTDigger

Green jobs growing across Central Mass., Telegram

ReEnergy shuts down Fort Fairfield biomass plant, Mainebiz

Ratepayer group asks FERC to nullify state’s biomass subsidy law, New Hampshire Union Leader

Storm Surge brings professor to discuss climate change, Daily News of Newburyport

Confronting Climate Change, Fishermen Collect Data on Changing Oceans, Cape and Islands NPR

 

Wind

7 big turbines rise in Johnston — biggest onshore wind farm in R.I. | video, Providence Journal

Agencies earn right to challenge wind farm studies, National Wind Watch

Motion To Intervene On Turbine Appeal Denied, Falmouth Enterprise

Arkwright hears complaints about turbine sounds, The Observer Today

Former Massachusetts Coal Plant Transitioning To Offshore Wind Support Center, North American Windpower

National Offshore Wind Consortium Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind Industry, NYSERDA

New Jersey in Right Place to Reap Benefits of Emerging Offshore-Wind Sector, NJ Spotlight

Providence zoning board to consider 3 new 364-ft. turbines at waterfront, Providence Business News

BOEM releases potential lease plots for NY offshore wind, South Coast Today

 

Solar

State throws cold water on idea of floating solar array on Quabbin Reservoir, Telegram.com

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

Cabot Corporation and SunPower Announce Helix® Solar-Plus-Storage Agreement, MarketWatch

Three Solar Projects Completed For Town Of Ashland, Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Falmouth town meeting rejects moratorium on solar permits, Cape Cod Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Barrier to Energy Storage in New York?, Microgrid Knowledge

The Forecast on Energy-Efficient Cooling Just Got a Bit Sunnier, PBS

 

EVs

School Districts Rolling Out Electric Buses as Economics Improve: ‘It’s Time to Switch,’ Greentech Media

Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other EV interests press Congress to continue federal tax credit, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Holtec Files Request to Acquire Pilgrim Nuclear Plant by End of 2019, Cape Cod Today

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Report: New England’s Nuclear Plants Will Be Key To Fighting Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Cost of US nuclear generation at ten-year low, World Nuclear News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules Protecting N.H. Residents From Winter Utility Disconnection Kick In Today, Valley News

Maine DEP tells CMP its application for 145-mile power line is incomplete, Sun Journal

CT electric generation rates on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid brass declines invite to discuss gas concerns in Leominster, Sentinel & Enterprise

Visual impact of Seacoast power project to be presented, Seacoastonline.com

Governors push fed on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

Lessons From FERC Staff Reversal In Footprint Power, Law360

Can the Electricity Industry Seize Its Resilience Moment?, Greentech Media

New England Talks Energy Security, Public Policy, RTO Insider

Cannabis Growers Eye Microgrids to Cut Energy Bills, Greentech Media

FERC chair warns of retroactive ratemaking in ISO-NE order, S&P Global Platts

To scare crows in North Adams, National Grid is bringing in a propane cannon that shoots sound, MassLive

NE governors push feds on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

LIPA seeks 2.4% hike in customer delivery charge, Newsday

Utility smart meter installations worry Rockland and Westchester homeowners on privacy, LoHud.com

The Hail Mary plan to restart a hacked us electric grid, Wired

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Baker, Walsh must step in on National Grid talks, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

To fight climate change, environmentalists say yes to nuclear power, Boston Globe

Nuclear waste dilemma, The Day

Maine Voices: Start listening, folks: All-out effort needed to prevent climate disaster, Portland Press Herald

For a safe, secure new U.S. energy grid, Lowell Sun

George Smith: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy, Kennebec Journal

GUEST OPINION: Energy Advisory Committee, past and future, Daily News of Newburyport

Ørsted, Deepwater Wind: Are Offshore Wind Mergers Good for us?, Union of Concerned Scientists

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