Category Archives: offshore wind

Energy News for week ending May 19, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. This week I call your attention to some positive news stories.

First, we start with two stories about Boston. Electric Power and Light reports that Boston repeated as the top city for energy efficiency in the U.S., according to the scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. On the cleantech side, the Boston Business Journal published a story that says Greater Boston is among the top metro areas nationwide for clean energy startups hoping to attract venture capital dollars, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Boston was beat out by San Francisco and San Jose.

Also on this warm sunny afternoon Penn Energy brings us a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, about a Northampton High School junior who is expanding his zero-pollution lawn care enterprise this summer. “This business isn’t a compromise; it’s the future of lawn care,” says Philip Hempstead, 17, who is entering his fourth year of operating ElectroCut Lawn Care. “It’s equal-cut quality, 60 percent quieter and zero emissions.” It’s a great story about a bright kid. Give it a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Reboboth selectmen back compressor station resolution, The Sun Chronicle

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Weymouth

Shrewsbury town meeting adopts resolution against pipeline; approves school budget with staff increases, Worcester Telegram

Fearing More Pipeline Spills, 114 Groups Demand Halt to Ohio Gas Project, InsideClimate News

US Bank Pulls Funds from All Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction, ColorLines magazine

Fracking is encroaching on US nuclear missile sites, general says, Washington Examiner

Renewable Energy

Tree-cutting turns sentiment against solar project in North Brookfield, Worcester Telegram

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Vermont wind power sound would be among quietest in country, Penn Energy

High school student goes all-solar with lawn care business, Penn Energy

Tesla and Green Mountain Power: Get Your Behind-the-Meter Battery for $15 a Month, Greentech Media

Boston’s clean tech cluster is third strongest in the country, says report, Boston Business Journal

Rhode Island Considers Plan to Streamline Solar Permitting, US News and World Report

Report: Trump DOE budget would cut renewables office 70%, fossil 54%, nuclear 31%, Utility Dive

Maine biomass bill postponed until 2018, Bioenergy Insight Magazine

An analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Windpower Engineering

Offshore Wind Planning Discussed at Falmouth Forum, CapeCod.com News

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Lloyd’s backs Dong in US, reNews

Swirling Controversy: Celebration, Concern Over Offshore Wind Power, NECN

The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable, Financial Times

Deepwater Wind Outlines Solar Farm Proposed In Simsbury, Hartford Courant

Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Winners Announced, Builder Magazine

Under Trump, US less attractive for renewable energy investment, FuelFix

Kennedy helps commission 4.8-MW solar project in Falmouth, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Republican Governors Of Vt. And Mass. Call On Feds To Honor Paris Agreement, Vermont Public Radio

Boston tops, LA rises in energy efficiency ranking, Electric Light & Power

Keep Your Cool This Summer With Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

Standing up for energy efficiency, Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald

Nuclear

Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help, Rhode Island Public Radio

CT’s delayed energy plan could mean trouble for Millstone bill, The CT Mirror

VY suitor: plans are ‘highly confidential’, Commons

Nuclear plant in New Brunswick up for relicensing, Bangor Daily News

Amazon’s Clean Energy Procurements Should Include Nuclear, Say Advocates, Greentech Media

Meeting to focus on Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sale, Keene Sentinel

NRC maps out needs for nuke plant license extension, Newburyport Daily News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Connecticut Siting Council Rejects 550-MW Gas Plant Construction, Power Engineering

CT sues EPA over transient Pennsylvania air pollutants, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program in Worcester, Mass. Achieves Strong Results in Customer Satisfaction, Retention and Savings, Press Release

Eversource Spraying Sparks Renewed Opposition on Vineyard, The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

Public divides over environmental regulation and energy policy, Phys.Org

Study Shows Why Trump’s Plan to Bring Back Coal Jobs Won’t Work, Greentech Media

Ex-coal CEO fresh from prison urges Trump to probe 2010 blast, Reuters

China Is Outpacing the US In Reducing Coal and Lowering Emissions, Futurism

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Region’s environmental activists stand their ground, The Recorder

Letter: Natural gas is not the savior the industry claims, SouthCoastToday.com

Curt McCormack: Bill protects energy efficiency standards, vtdigger.org

The RGGI program should work for everyone, New Hampshire Business Review

Protest Eversource’s usurious rate request, Cape Cod Times

Solar power worth saving in Maine, The Forecaster

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing, Energy Efficiency, solar, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending May 12, 2017

Sandisfield, Massachusetts, population 915, has found itself in the news no fewer than five times this week. Why? It’s home to part of the Otis State Forest that is the new home of a natural gas pipeline. Some folks are unhappy about the pipeline so they protested and were arrested (Recorder). Then they built a protest cabin (Berkshire Eagle). And now, they are fighting for their day in court, by asking to be charged with more serious offenses (Berkshire Eagle). After reviewing the situation, DigBoston offers its take on how others can get a pipeline built in four easy steps as they say was done at the Otis State Forest.

Speaking of pipelines, the ProJo offers us a glimpse at how National Grid hunts down gas pipeline leaks in Rhode Island.

There are many renewable stories this week. For the curious, the BBJ asks (and gets answers for) just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters? CommonWealth Magazine reports a big international energy player is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts. Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind contracts.

Power Engineering reports that total U.S. electrical generation is set to fall 1.2 percent in 2017 before rebounding by 1.9 percent the next year, according to the latest short-term energy forecast from the Energy Information Administration. Even with the decline, residential electricity prices are expected to increase 2.4 percent in 2017 and another 2.3 percent in 2018.

Lastly, the good news is that for this summer, Utility DIVE reports that the Northeast Power Coordinating Council says the region will have enough power. However, the retirement of one of the largest coal- and oil-fired power plants in New England could put a premium on imports for the region in order to maintain reliability during extreme weather events this summer.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Sandisfield residents upset over backyard pipeline, wwlp.com

Pipeline protests lead to more arrests, The Recorder

Pipeline resistance builds as ‘Thoreau’ protest cabin goes up in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline opponents vow to fight effort to reduce charges in Otis protests, Berkshire Eagle

How to build a natural gas pipeline in Mass in four easy steps, DigBoston

Town Draws Suit for Blocking Energy Firm’s Expansion, Courthouse News Service

Emails Show Spectra Lobbyists Cozy With Top Massachusetts Environmental Officials, DeSmog

Pipeline spill by Dakota Access company could have a ‘deadly effect’, Washington Post

Ohio officials: it will take decades for wetlands to recover after major pipeline fluid spill, ThinkProgress

Rhode Island tribe opposing Massachusetts pipeline claims FERC dropped ball on ceremonial stone landscapes, MassLive.com

Grafton town meeting puts opposition to pipeline on record, Worcester Telegram

Dakota Access pipeline suffers oil leak even before becoming operational, RT

DAPL pipeline owner blocked in Ohio after 18 leaks, 2 million gallon spill, Bismarck Tribune

How National Grid in RI hunts down leaks, The Providence Journal

Senate Defends Climate, Health by Voting Down Methane Resolution, Common Dreams

Renewable Energy

State tour on climate change and clean energy starts on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Times

Committee Kills Anti-Offshore Wind Turbine Bill, Freepress Online

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player, CommonWealth magazine

Richmond approves 23-acre solar installation with nearly 18000 panels, Westerly Sun

Antrim Wind project gets go-ahead again, could be appeal to NH Supreme Court be forthcoming, Keene Sentinel

Avangrid subsidiary gets 50 percent stake in Atlantic wind farm project, New Haven Register

Tesla starts selling solar roof; says savings to cover costs, CT Post

Vermont Renewable Energy Company Bought by St. Louis Firm, U.S. News & World Report

Hanover Becomes First New Hampshire Town to Commit to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, Energy Central

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on CT Solar Lease, Energy Central

Massachusetts towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Cambridge

Lawmakers vote against moving UMaine wind project farther from Monhegan, Portland Press Herald

Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last), Greentech Media

Just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters?, Boston Business Journal

Committee Set to Vote on Bill to Preserve Solar Incentives, Freepress Online

How Mainers keep finding new sources of energy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Cambridge, Eversource partner to launch energy pilot, Wicked Local Cambridge

US Air Force Makes A $243 Million Energy Efficiency Pitch, CleanTechnica

Kenyon International Makes Moves to Become More Energy Efficient, Patch.com

Efficiency Vermont proposes 5% rate decrease, Vermont Biz

Nuclear

NRC issues Pilgrim inspection report, Cape Cod Times

US Energy Chief Touts Nuclear Energy, Vows Cleanup Progress, U.S. News & World Report

Why Nuclear Energy Doesn’t Dominate the Globe, Popular Mechanics

Millstone bill clears a committee hurdle, theday.com

Coalition wants state to reject part of Vermont Yankee plan, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee suitor: Public shouldn’t see ‘highly confidential’ plans, vtdigger.org

How is Vermont Yankee being kept safe?, wwlp.com

DHHS: No common cause in pediatric cancer cluster, Seacoastonline.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

In Massachusetts, utilities take a collaborative approach to EV infrastructure, Utility DIVE

Trump FERC Nominees Bring Certainty for Pipeline Development, Less Certainty for Distributed Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Kicks off New Microgrid Effort. Offers Grants for Microgrid Feasibility Studies, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource Earnings Up, Northern Pass Seen on Schedule, RTO Insider

Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer, MassLive.com

Eversource projecting 1.4% increase in electric bills, The Union Leader

Southbury Eversource Customers to Pay More for Power, Patch.com

NH House panel shelves long-term power deal legislation, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass land purchases questioned, The Union Leader

U.S. Electrical Generation to Decline in 2017, Power Engineering

National Grid Taps AutoGrid for Multi-State Demand Response and Distributed Energy Software, Greentech Media

Mary Powell Is Not Your Typical Utility Executive, Greentech Media

NPCC: Northeast has sufficient power supplies to meet demand this summer, Utility DIVE

Editorial/Opinion

An ill wind blows in Augusta, Bangor Daily News

Kathy Sullivan: Hearings reveal true costs of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Letter: On Northern Pass, a visitor’s perspective, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts should raise its net energy metering caps, pv magazine USA

Robert Thorson: Climate Change And The Nuclear Power Riddle, Hartford Courant

Granite State Debates — Hunter Carbee: Biomass is a foundation of rural NH’s economy, Union Leader

Juliet Cuming: Renewable energy proud, vtdigger.org

Economy can grow under solar industry, Foster’s Daily Democrat

The downside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy, WindWatch.org

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending May 5, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

This week’s energy news brings us more of the ongoing debate about natural gas pipelines. According to the Berkshire Eagle, 18 of about 50 protesters were arrested in Sandisfield, MA at the Otis State Forest. They are opposed to the FERC-approved Connecticut Expansion Project that adds 4 miles of new underground pipeline in Massachusetts. The State Police noted they wanted to be arrested.

On the flip side, another regional utility has sounded the alarm that new gas resources are needed. According to Utility DIVE, Unitil’s CEO and President Robert Schoenberger said during an earning’s call that the region, “cannot afford to allow all the shale gas to be going someplace else as opposed to taking advantage of it.”

One last note on natural gas, MarketWatch reports that the Energy Information Administration showed that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 67 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 28 and that June natural gas fell 3.2 cents, or 1%, from Wednesday’s settlement.

On the renewables side, CommonWealth Magazine reports that this past Monday Massachusetts utilities set in motion a first-of-its-kind procurement for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power. They asked Massachusetts regulators to approve a bid process that gives companies some flexibility in setting the size of their projects while requiring them to price out two very different approaches to delivering the electricity to the mainland. Further, the RFP also raises the possibility that Massachusetts could invite a Rhode Island utility and the state of Connecticut to participate in the solicitation.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

18 pipeline protesters arrested after blocking access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Unitil latest to sound alarm over Northeast pipeline capacity, Utility DIVE

Committee Kills Fracking Bill, Freepress Online

Weymouth urges DEP to deny air permit for Algonguin, Wicked Local Weymouth

Group opposing gas pipeline in Shrewsbury seeking public support, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

One year after Pa. quakes, geologists claim fracking is to blame, WYTV

Study: Oil companies should reuse wastewater produced by fracking, HPPR

Tenn. Gas Pipeline responds to protester arrests, The Recorder

Natural-gas prices extend declines on bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. supplies, MarketWatch

FERC still silent as Otis State Forest tree cutting begins for pipeline, but questions remain, Berkshire Eagle

Renewable Energy

Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power, CommonWealth magazine

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant, Climate Central

America’s First Offshore Wind Energy Makes Landfall in Rhode Island, Inside Climate News

Delaware weighs joining RGGI states in deeper emissions cuts, Delaware First Media

Corps of Engineers Proposes to Lease Government Land in Bourne to Construct Solar Energy Project: Public Meeting Set for May 23 in Sandwich, Energy Central

Deer Island’s odd-looking turbine is a testament to failure, Boston Globe

Sen. Lynch Prata’s statewide municipal solar permit bill passes Senate, Warwick Post

Solar power advocates take fight over credits to Maine’s top court, Bangor Daily News

Talks Continue On Offshore Wind Project, WABI

Danish offshore wind firm Dong Energy opens Boston headquarters at One International Place, MassLive.com

SouthCoast leaders begin UK wind energy visit, SouthCoastToday.com

GRID Alternatives, Connecticut Green Bank Kick Off Low-Income Solar Program, Solar Industry

The US is using so much solar power that it will have to prepare for the August eclipse, Quartz

The SEC is reportedly investigating Tesla’s solar business, Business Insider

Energy Efficiency

Coal is Big. Solar’s Bigger. But Energy Efficiency is the Biggest, Energy Collective

Mass Save rebates offer big savings for energy efficiency, wwlp.com

New lights, HVAC save Greenwich Boys, Girls Club $3400 a month, Greenwich Time

Vermont ranks No. 2 in US for renewable energy, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Maine AG Mills joins fight against Trump environmental proposals, Bangor Daily News

Efficiency Vermont earns award for Sustained Excellence in Energy Efficiency Program Delivery, Vermont Biz

Storage

Using sulfur to store solar energy, Phys.Org

Startup Voltus Unstealths With 400 Megawatts of Demand Response, Greentech Media

GMP ranked high for energy storage, Mountaintimes

Nuclear

Host town backs Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Refueling at New Hampshire’s Seabrook-1 reactor ends: NextEra, Platts

Millstone bill headed to Senate, but legislators divided, Journal Inquirer

Legacy of Seabrook nuclear protest debated, The Boston Globe

Plymouth: Pilgrim Decommissioning Panel Established, 95.9 WATD-FM

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

EPA Asks What Rules to Cut, Gets Earful About Dirty Water, New York Times

Is NH getting hoodwinked on health and safety by Northern Pass?, NH1 News

Eversource tentatively agrees to move cormorant-friendly lines, Cape Cod Times

Slight Rate Increase Coming for Eversource Customers, NBC Connecticut

Northern Pass officials describe Plymouth impacts, The Union Leader

Northern Pass exec: Project would tap NH construction businesses, The Union Leader

Gov. Raimondo Not Joining Opposition to Power Plant, ecoRI news

FERC seeks new directions at intersection of state policy, wholesale markets, Daily Energy Insider

FERC hears an earful about grid tensions in eastern RTOs, E&E News

Green Mountain Power seeks 5 percent rate increase, PennEnergy

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey push bill to ban offshore drilling in Atlantic Ocean, MassLive

Editorial/Opinion

Energy-saving programs that help Earth and economy need defending, Press Herald

To the editor: Pipelines under pressure in Massachusetts, Worcester Sun

Pols should back renewable energy, Lowell Sun

Mary Sullivan: Carbon pricing plan is needed, vtdigger.org

Want to protect the climate? Time for carbon pricing, Boston Globe

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending April 28, 2017

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline opponents poised for peaceful protest Friday at Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network seeks rehearing by FERC, Berkshire Eagle

Lawmakers blast air quality plan for Weymouth compressor station, The Patriot Ledger

Gas pipeline foes file to halt start of construction, The Recorder

Tensions build before pipeline built in Massachusetts forest, Boston.com

Chamber of Commerce: Northeast pipeline constraints are a $7.6B drag on GDP, Utility Dive

Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas Moratorium, MassLive.com

Council Urged To Ban Fracking Waste, Hartford Courant

Renewable Energy

Offshore Wind Test Project “Dead in the Water” If Bill Passes, Freepress Online

RGGI will cut more carbon — but by how much?, E&E News

Questions for: ‘Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal’, New York Times

Renewable Energy Could be Cash Cow for RI Farms, ecoRI news

Environment Council of Rhode Island outlines legislative priorities, RI Future

Milford Schools Extend Solar Plans: Report, Patch.com

Solar & Single-Payer Bills Come to Augusta, Freepress Online

Massachusetts governor makes a push for solar and low-income access to renewables, PV-Tech

Not exactly a breeze: Offshore wind still faces challenges, SouthCoastToday.com

Ancient technology in Meriden’s Hanover Pond dam begins generating electricity, Meriden Record-Journal

Falmouth wins turbine nuisance case, Cape Cod Times

Energy Efficiency

How killing Energy Star could benefit Trump financially, Los Angeles Times

Energy industry turns to CT colleges for worker pipeline, Hartford Business

Proposed Massachusetts efficiency, clean energy programs shoot for low-income access, Utility Dive

Liberty Utilities Gives $6M to Customers for Energy Efficiency, Wins Award, Patch.com

Connecticut Green Bank promotes cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy, New Haven Register

Vt. ranked second in nation for clean energy momentum, progress, Mountaintimes

Nuclear

NRC grants safety upgrade exemption to Massachusetts’s Pilgrim nuclear plant, Daily Energy Insider

Lifeline for Nuclear Plants Is Threatening Wind and Solar Power, Bloomberg

On 3-1 vote, Georgetown selectmen back letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee cleanup partner stops work on nuclear dump, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Activists Raise Concerns Over Vermont Yankee Quick Fix, Valley Advocate

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Massachusetts carbon fee would save $2.9 billion in health costs over two decades, study finds, MassLive.com

Underwater power cable work may impact fishermen, Gloucester Daily Times

New diet for electricity, SouthCoastToday.com

ISO New England: Managing Power Grid Operations This Summer, (press release) POWER magazine

ISO-NE Study Projects Impact of $64/ton Carbon Price, RTO Insider

PUC will not reconsider Eversource deal for buying a portion of Northern Pass’s power, Union Leader

Protect Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource records, MetroWest Daily News

GMP ranked Number 10 for most energy storage installed in nation, Vermont Biz

Connecticut’s Latest Microgrid and Fuel Cell Project Goes Live in Hartford, Microgrid Knowledge

Islanders rally against Eversource proposed rate hikes, herbicide use, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Hundreds circle NH Statehouse to protest Northern Pass, NH1 News

Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050, Washington Post

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: FERC must be heard from on pipeline concerns, Berkshire Eagle

Liz Gamache: Earth Day Starts In Our Homes, Caledonian Record

FREEMAN: Against the Northern Pass line, Yale Daily News

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending April 21, 2017

It’s Energy News Friday so let’s get started.

Energy storage is getting a lot of play in the media of late, especially with several states, including Massachusetts, offering incentives to develop storage projects. The community of Sterling, MA however is leading the charge (pun intended) and gaining worldwide recognition as one of the leaders in deploying storage technology with its $2.7 million unit with 2MW of lithium-ion batteries and 3MW solar array. According to Renewable Energy World, the units “can be islanded in case of a power outage and will support the town’s police station and emergency dispatch center for at least two weeks — more with solar recharging — meaning Sterling’s first responders will be able to help people in need if a natural disaster knocks out the regional grid.” Moreover, the municipal utility can use the new battery system to control rising power costs. Nice.

This week the Union of Concerned Scientists released its “Clean Energy Momentum: Ranking State Progress” report. In an article in on MassLive.com, journalist Shannon Young writes that Massachusetts ranked third overall in clean energy progress. She cited, “the UCS analysis ranked Massachusetts first for the strength of its energy efficiency standards, and second for electricity savings achieved through state programs and the number of clean energy jobs created. Massachusetts further earned top-10 rankings in six other metrics, including: fifth in the amount of residential solar per capita and the strength of its global warming emissions reduction targets, and sixth in reduction of power plant pollution and creation of an environment friendly to businesses looking to procure clean energy.” California and Vermont led the rankings earning the top two spots.

Last tidbit for today is a story about the Red Sox. According to an article in the Cape Cod Times, the Red Sox “bought renewable energy credits from solar installations at two Wellfleet buildings as part of an effort to reduce the baseball team’s carbon footprint. The team bought the credits to offset all carbon emissions from Monday’s [Patriot’s Day] game.” It was both a win for the Sox and a win for the environment.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Warren, Markey take on FERC over Otis forest pipeline permit, Berkshire Eagle

Visit from state sparks pipeline protest in Shelburne Falls, The Recorder

Hingham selectmen join compressor debate, Wicked Local Braintree

No Urgency to Fix Natural-Gas Leak in Burrillville, ecoRI news

Environmental impact of National Grid pipeline rupture in Providence unknown, RI Future

EIA: Natural gas will be top generation source this summer, Utility DIVE

Chafee Announces Opposition To Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Renewable Energy

Union of Concerned Scientists ranks Massachusetts 3rd in clean energy progress, MassLive.com

From Waste To Watts: How This Grocery Chain Turns Old Food Into New Energy, WBUR

Activists urge communities on renewable energy, Salem News

Despite lack of agreement, New Hampshire groups say solar struggle is ‘worth it’, Utility DIVE

A subsidy Maine electric customers pay to encourage renewable energy is up for review, Press Herald

Sterling, Massachusetts Changes the Business of Electricity in New England — Forever, Renewable Energy World

Offshore Wind Development Threatens Endangered Roseate Tern, Energy Central

Massachusetts Readies for First Offshore Wind Procurement in June, Renewable Energy World

Partners to use wind power to cut costs, emissions, The Boston Globe

RGGI states drop less ambitious scenarios from stakeholder talks, Carbon Pulse

Danes unite for US offshore, reNews

11 Reasons to Celebrate Wind Energy’s Record Year, EcoWatch

Town will collect tax on commercial wind, solar projects, Ricentral.com

The Town of Rockport to Host Solar Celebration, Bangor Daily News

State program to give city discounts on solar energy, The Daily News of Newburyport

Red Sox buy Cape Cod solar credits, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts looks to make renewable energy more affordable, WWLP

Energy Efficiency

Reach of energy efficiency upgrades extended under grant program, Berkshire Eagle

Light bulb moment: Vermont defends EPA standards, Vermont Biz

Cambridge, Eversource partner to help multi-family buildings go green, Wicked Local Cambridge

UConn and Eversource Tout Energy Efficiency on Campus, Hartford Courant

New Milford to add energy efficiencies to police department, Danbury News Times

Nuclear

Final refueling at Pilgrim, Energy Central

Regulators Sign Off on Seabrook Station Plan to Take Cooling Tower Offline for Maintenance, New Hampshire Public Radio

Proposed cleanup company for Vermont Yankee responds to local concerns, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station exempted from safety upgrades, Cape Cod Times

As the industry struggles, is it ‘time to recognize the nuclear show’s over, Los Angeles Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Brayton Point owners among those interested in local electricity aggregation bid, Herald News

In state filing, Eversource prefers underground Sudbury-Hudson power line, MetroWest Daily News

ISO-NE proposes two-part capacity auctions to handle subsidized generation, Utility Dive

Medway selectmen approve amendments to Exelon agreements, MetroWest Daily News

TransCanada closes $1B sale of hydro assets, Utility DIVE

The great capacity market debate: Which model can best handle the energy transition?, Utility Dive

Northern Pass on path to required federal permits by end of year, NH Union Leader

Northern Pass, by the numbers: $190m already spent, NewHampshire.com

NH businesses petition against Northern Pass, Conway Daily Sun

Northern Pass’ potential health concerns debated at hearing, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass route’s hot spots for electromagnetic fields outlined, The Union Leader

Eversource: Revenues could fall short in projects first year, Seacoastonline.com

DPU to hold a hearing on Eversource rate hikes, Martha’s Vineyard Times

LePage says he wants to put a cap on energy costs for industrial users, Press Herald

Editorial/Opinion

A creative clean-energy solution, Worcester Telegram

Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing, CommonWealth Magazine

Dan Haar: Why Millstone’s Auction Request Is A Nuclear-Powered Irony, Hartford Courant

Greater Flexibility, Efficiency in Gas Markets Requires New Standards, Environmental Defense Fund

Letter: Eversource should help, not hurt, county, Berkshire Eagle

Oppose Millstone Bill, Hartford Courant

Letter: RGGI needs focus in era of Trump, SouthCoastToday.com

Our Opinion: Wind energy has a role in Berkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Why We Still Need America’s Nuclear Power Plants, At Least for Now, Energy Collective

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. The weather forecast looks great for what is for many a holiday weekend, the start of school vacation week and of course Patriots Day/Marathon Monday. However, before we kick into “off mode” let’s take a brief look at this week’s energy news.

To western Mass first where there is good news. MassLive reports that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is nearing an agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric that would bypass a bottleneck in the region’s network of gas pipelines and end a two-year-old ban on new hookups in Easthampton and Northampton. It might take some time and some new infrastructure to get it done, but once Holyoke has a new way to get gas, Holyoke Gas & Electric would have less need of capacity on the Northampton lateral, freeing up capacity for Columbia to get more gas to Northampton and Easthampton. When and if this happens, it will make many people happy.

Heading north to New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports that more than 100 people, including dozens of [Northern Pass] project opponents, converged for the leadoff hearing for the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, which will decide in July whether to issue the certificate required for the $1.6 billion project. The story concludes with a vocal critic, Jack Savage saying, “The hearing ‘was really a clash of Northern Pass’ marketing and the reality of what the project is.’” Time will tell if Mr. Savage is right, or if the “marketing” does meet the sniff test.

On the energy efficiency front, we have two stories with alerts. One story from Bloomberg notes that lobbyists are working to amend a decades old conservation law that sets minimum efficiency standards for many household and commercial appliances and bars them from being weakened. However, efficiency proponents aren’t backing down, “An average American household spends about $500 less per year on utility bills because of the efficiency gains in our every day appliances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston-based organization that organizes energy efficiency proponents to advocate for standards. “Rolling back standards or weakening the law to make it harder to improve standards in the future would lead to more energy waste and hurt consumers.”

The other efficiency story from Seven Days Vermont shows a side-by-side comparison of two boxes of LEDs. Same brand. Same watts. One has the Energy Star label the other doesn’t. They wrote, “One of the packages held four highly energy-efficient, reliable bulbs that had been certified by a third-party lab. The other held four lower-quality, uncertified bulbs. An inferior product, they’d be quicker to fail and more likely to give off the wrong shade of light.” I love Energy Star and always look for the label, but it’s easy to see how a less aware consumer might grab a box and think they’re getting the best bang for their buck when in fact they’re not. Buyer beware! And, all the more reason to keep the Energy Star program around.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving Customers in Addison County, Press Release

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. given green light to begin tree cutting in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline, MassLive.com

Renewable Energy

Europeans Get Serious About America’s Offshore Wind Potential: ‘We are here for a market’, Greentech Media

Students urged to ‘take action now’ on climate change, Cape Cod Times

Proposed Bill Would Halt University of Maine Wind Research Project, Government Technology

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

California’s solar energy set power supply record in March, ABC News

Trump Once Railed Against Offshore Wind but Is Now Embracing It, MIT Technology Review

City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts switches on second solar power plant, Electric Light & Power

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

South Mountain Company advancing Martha’s Vineyard toward energy neutrality with SunPower, Penn Energy

Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency

State of the Energy Efficiency Industry: The Utility Story, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

Your Fridge May Be Washington’s Next Regulatory-Rollback Target, Bloomberg

Beware of Imposter LED Bulbs! Look for the ENERGY STAR®, Seven Days

Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community, vtdigger.org

Nuclear

Nuclear plant owners press lawmakers in Connecticut, other states for subsidies, New Haven Register

States moving to promote clean energy through pro-nuclear policies, Daily Energy Insider

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

Interest in 1,500 acre Entergy property heats up, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?, Microgrid Knowledge

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

Residents, businesses, officials decry Eversource rate hike at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Newport, Rhode Island’s Microgrid Ambitions: Small City, Small State, Big Plans, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource executive: Northern Pass ratepayer billing ‘unlikely,’ Union Leader

Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations, Utility DIVE

Higher gas prices add to ISO-NE power costs in February, Utility DIVE

Eversource grilled over why the plan isn’t to bury all of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Kane: National Grid due for $400000 tax break if town’s tangibles rate isn’t changed, Valley Breeze

Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start, Concord Monitor

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

Mass. AG Calls For DPU To Reject Eversource Request, WAMC

AG Maura Healey set to testify in Pittsfield against Eversource rate hike proposal, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

At NH House committee hearing, jobs become focus of key energy bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine’s Health at Risk from Dirty Air Days, Bangor Daily News

Eversource proposes rate hike after reported revenue shortage, wwlp.com

Editorial/Opinion

Not So Strong After All: Climate Change Is Trump’s National Security Weakness, WBUR

Our Opinion: Eversource rate increase would be bad for business, Berkshire Eagle

William J. Eccleston: Savings overestimated for proposed Burrillville plant, Providence Journal

Help more Mainers use solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Maximizing offshore wind’s benefits for Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers, Renewable Energy World

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending March 31, 2017

Happy snowy Friday afternoon.

In this week’s energy news, Penn Energy citing an AP story reports that National Grid is proposing a transmission project that would bring up to 1,200 megawatts of clean energy from Canada to the New England power grid and run along existing lines in Vermont and New Hampshire. The project, Granite State Power Link, would primarily serve customers in Massachusetts, has two segments, and would create more than 2,000 construction jobs.

According to the Concord Monitor, opponents of the Northern Pass project, when hearing about the Granite State Power Link project said, “What took so long?” However, the story notes that it doesn’t mean Grid is going to get a warm welcome for their proposal. It will be interesting to watch this all play out.

Speaking of Northern Pass, in addition to the new competition, the Union Leader reports that Eversource learned on Monday that the NH PUC ruled against a petition the company filed last June seeking approval of a proposed 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Hydro Renewable Energy (Northern Pass), after determining the proposal is “inconsistent with New Hampshire law.”

Heading to southern New England, even though most people think the Cape Wind project is long dead (they don’t even respond for comment), the Cape Cod Times reports that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, following a court order, issued a supplemental environmental impact statement on Thursday for public comment. Journalist Mary Ann Bragg notes that despite the renewed effort to fix the environmental impact statement, the 16-year-old project’s fate remains in question if not outright decided, even among those who previously supported it. “It is not on our radar,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Offshore Wind Director William White. “We do not believe that Cape Wind is a project that is moving forward.”

And lastly, big kudos and congratulations to our good friends at Columbia Gas whose parent company, NiSource, Inc., was (for the sixth consecutive year) designated as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Wicked Local Westborough reports that Ethisphere honors those companies who recognize their role in society to influence and drive positive change, consider the impact of their actions on their employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholders and use their values and culture as an underpinning to the decisions they make every day.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Major Natural Gas Leak Contained In Downtown Providence, Rhode Island Public Radio

Rehoboth to Vote April 3 on Gas Compressor Station, ecoRI news

‘It looks like a tornado went through:’ Danvers residents upset over pipeline work, My Fox Boston

Maryland lawmakers vote to ban fracking, The Hill

Maryland Ban Shows Fracking is Not a Partisan Issue, Common Dreams

Report shows Pennsylvania fracking companies paying few fines for environmental infractions, PGH City Paper

Eversource Energy spending $50M this year on pipe replacement in Connecticut, New Haven Register

Renewable Energy

Cape Wind project review to be revised, Cape Cod Times

State approves solar array that will be Vermont’s largest, vtdigger.org

Solar Power Is White-Hot, Generating Energy, Jobs And Savings, Hartford Courant

Maine business equips sheds with solar panels for better energy returns, Press Herald

Massachusetts extends solar incentive program, Daily Energy Insider

Biomass Company Asks to Change Terms of State Subsidy, MainePublic.org

State Officials Brief NE Roundtable on Renewables Plans, RTO Insider

75 US mayors won’t enforce climate policy rollback, Curbed

Trump’s climate change rule order gets chilly reaction in RI, The Providence Journal

Solar Facility to Save Massachusetts City $2.6M Over 20 Years, Energy Manager Today

Two New Companies Vie for Remaining Wind Farm Leases, The Vineyard Gazette

National Grid unveils semi-transparent Worcester solar panels, Worcester Business Journal

Solar awning gives power boost to Worcester’s energy-saving strategy, Worcester Telegram

GE to develop 13 solar projects in northeast US, Energy Central

German offshore output soars, reNews

New solar awning project unveiled at Sustainability Hub, Clark University News Hub

Biomass company says it paid aggrieved loggers, wants to rework subsidy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Upgrades at Rhode Island College Are Expected to Save $5.1 Million, Energy Manager Today

Trump wants to cut programs that help buildings save energy. This new study says they work, Washington Post

Study: Efficiency programs return results — but not in all buildings, Utility Dive

Vermont House Passes Backup Bill on Energy Efficient Appliances, Energy Manager Today

Medford Tech partners with Mass Clean Energy Center, Wicked Local Medford

Nuclear

Senator supports moving spent nuclear fuel from Cape region, Cape Cod Times

State gives tribes role in Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

State wants more information on site contamination, Brattleboro Reformer

Nuke plant owner: Watchdog group’s claims ‘completely false’, The Daily News of Newburyport

Nuclear Power Suffers Major Blow With Westinghouse Bankruptcy, Common Dreams

Nuclear power is dying. Can radical innovation save it?, Vox

Japanese court rules for utility and lets nuclear reactors restart, The Boston Globe

Vt. Fears Covering Nuclear Cost, Valley News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

National Grid proposes 1,200-megawatt New England project, Penn Energy

Northern Pass opponents say they’ve hoped for something like the National Grid plan, Concord Monitor

National Grid dives into Quebec to New England energy fray, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Power Line Plan Includes Haverhill, Valley News

PUC short circuits Eversource deal to buy power tied to Northern Pass, The Union Leader

4 Cape towns lose appeal of Eversource herbicide plan, Cape Cod Times

National Grid launching first of its kind program in Clifton Park, WRGB

Eversource puts New Hampshire power fleet up for sale, Utility Dive

NiSource Inc. designated most ethical company, Wicked Local Westborough

At the grid-edge: Utilities look beyond traditional infrastructure to manage new technologies, Utility Dive

What Trump Misses About Energy Jobs In America, Rhode Island Public Radio

No big impact expected in Mass. after Trump energy order, Berkshire Eagle

As loggers get stiffed, Maine learns a lesson about propping up struggling industries, Bangor Daily News

Agawam power plant operators sentenced to pay more than $7M, Penn Energy

Maine man charged again with stealing electricity for home, Penn Energy

A Low-Tech Approach To Energy Storage: Molten Metals, WBUR

Editorial/Opinion

Michael Durand: Eversource is investing in an improved system, Berkshire Eagle

John Stoehr: State’s energy debate needs to evolve, CT Post

Expanding Wood Heat in New England, Biomass Magazine

Letter: Emulate spider in protecting environment, Berkshire Eagle

We all will benefit from more solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Let’s save solar, The Union Leader

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Filed under offshore wind, solar