Category Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending June 15, 2018

Deepwater wins again | DAC can work, but… | Pricing Carbon | Save the bees

 

Good Friday Afternoon.

The awarding of offshore wind contracts continued this week, with Connecticut selecting a proposal from Deepwater Wind. From Renewables Now, “Regulators in Connecticut have selected a proposal by Deepwater Wind to supply 200 MW of offshore wind power to the state, it was announced on Wednesday…The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said in a press release that 824,830 MWh of power will be sourced from the Revolution Wind complex between Montauk, New York, and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, which could be later paired with FirstLight Power’s 1,168-MW Northfield Mountain pumped-storage facility to allow it to act like a baseload resource. Construction works on the project could start in 2022, with completion targeted in 2023…”

This week, Dave Roberts at Vox.com looks at the pitfalls and possibilities of pulling carbon dioxide out of the air in what’s known as “Direct Air Capture” or DAC. His piece is long and detailed but worth a read. In general he concludes, “DAC itself is a bit of a Swiss army knife, useful in virtually any decarbonization scenario, so the technology seems likely to find a way forward one way or another. In the end, DAC, like most clean energy technologies, is neither a silver bullet nor bull [sugar honey ice tea]. It’s just a promising development in a world that needs all the promising developments it can get.” (My apologies to Mr. Roberts for that edit — but one needs to get past email filters…)

The Massachusetts Senate this week approved an energy bill that Bruce Mohl at Commonwealth Magazine writes, contains, “what is essentially carbon pricing but called it a “market-based compliance mechanism” instead. Massachusetts, as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, already puts a price on carbon in electricity generation, but the Senate bill would extend that approach to the rest of the economy, including transportation.” Mohl notes that the legislation is supported by National Grid, which released a white paper in which, “The utility said most of the emissions reductions to date have come in the electric generation sector. While progress there needs to continue, Grid said, the bulk of future reductions will need to come in the transportation and heating sectors, where progress has been minimal.”

The last tidbit for this week comes from the News and Observer in New York where Governor Cuomo has a bill waiting on his desk that “will encourage solar farm operators to incorporate bee-friendly vegetation on their properties…the measure would require state agricultural to create new standards for solar energy farms including guidelines for vegetation that attract and protect bees and other pollinating species.”

You can find more events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

End of the ‘gas rush?’ Renewables, storage reaching cost parity, report finds, Utility Dive

Eversource seeks to revive New England Access Northeast natgas pipe, Reuters

LaFleur defies FERC majority, will consider broad climate impacts of pipelines, Utility Dive

Gas pipeline developers to press build-out hopes in New York, New England, Platts

PUC allows contentious Mariner East 1 pipeline to restart, philly.com

Weymouth: Officials Challenge Waterways Permit for Proposed Compressor Station in Federal Court, WATD-FM

Assessing the Aftermath of Marshall County Pipeline Explosion, The Intelligencer

A Community Cracked Open by Fracking, New York Times

Court rejects fracking company’s appeal in “rule of capture” decision, State Impact

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sucking carbon out of the air won’t solve climate change, Vox

Pope Tells Oil Executives to Act on Climate: ‘There Is No Time to Lose,’ New York Times

Senate bill would ramp up clean energy development, CommonWealth Magazine

Global Investment in Wind and Solar Energy Is Outshining Fossil Fuels, Wall St. Journal

Quasi-public state agency wired $94K to cybercriminal, audit finds, Boston Business Journal

Energy Department Selects Six Awardees for $6.7 Million in Marine Energy Funding, (press release), energy.gov

Wind and fuel cell power backed by state, CT Post

Andover board Oks energy section for Town Plan, Chester (VT) Telegraph

Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Sen. Jeb Bradley and Rep. Herb Richardson: Homegrown renewable energy gets boost from legislation, Concord Monitor

Sununu May Veto Net Metering Expansion, Biomass Bill, New Hampshire Public Radio

UMass Amherst Surges in Rankings for Sustainable Universities, Moving up to No. 9 in the Nation, UMass Amherst

 

Wind

Connecticut taps Deepwater Wind for 200 MW of offshore wind, Renewables Now

As Maine shifted priorities, southern New England seized on offshore wind, Portland Press Herald

Administration looks offshore for wind energy boom, Washington Examiner

Connecticut joins the offshore wind rush, Connecticut Mirror

New report touts Maine’s potential for offshore wind, Windpower Engineering

Wind company vacates its office space in Parishville, National Wind Watch

Next Offshore Wind in U.S. Can Compete With Gas, Developer Says, Bloomberg

Regulators apply brakes to offshore wind power project led by UMaine, Press Herald

Maine PUC to review draft terms sheet for Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

Lawmakers: Make solar farm sites friendly to bees, News & Observer

Dozens of Lawmakers Object Solar Program’s Details, Banker & Tradesman

Report: Massachusetts expects steep drop in solar installations in 2018, MassLive.com

Hopkinton neighbors oppose solar panels off scenic road, MetroWest Daily News

New US Solar Record — 2.155 Cents Per kWh! (+ 400 MWh of Energy Storage), CleanTechnica

Incentives Drive U.S. Solar Into Higher Gear: Five Key Findings, Solar Industry

This passive-energy lake house unites multiple generations under one roof, Inhabitat

Developer plans second solar project in Bennington, VTDigger

Hopkinton select board mulls solar installation on landfill, Concord Monitor

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Providence Details Energy Efficiency Success—and Recommits, NRDC

Home Energy Audit May Be Coming Soon—and Why Your Home May Not Measure Up, Realtor.com

Backed by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, Breakthrough Energy Ventures places first bets on power storage, GeekWire

Vermont establishes new energy efficiency program, WRAL

The Higher Efficiency State: Massachusetts or California?, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

Postcard from the Future: Latest on How States are Preparing the Grid for Electric Vehicles, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Nuclear plant gets good report, Cape Cod Times

FERC Commissioners Agree: No Grid Emergency Exists to Justify Coal, Nuclear Bailout,

Greentech Media

Nuclear power getting more bailouts as natural gas crowds energy market, Politico

NRC Staff Holds Public Hearing On Indian Point Nuclear Power Performance, Scarsdale Daily Voice

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Massachusetts utilities conclude contract negotiations to import hydro, Utility Dive

National Grid settlement curbs rate increase, ups grid mod in Rhode Island, Utility Dive

ISO-NE implements ‘pay-for-performance’ capacity market incentives, Utility Dive

Consumer Advocate: PUC Should Close Two Cases Eversource Wants Revisited, InDepthNH.org

Power Companies’ Mistakes Can Cost Billions. Who Should Pay?, New York Times

Microgrids Benefit from New Jersey’s Push for More Renewables and Energy Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

New 785MW electric plant in Oxford comes online, New Haven Register

New England fully integrates demand response into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

New Mansfield Electric Department generator to curb costs, WickedLocal

Overheard at New England Energy Conference and Exposition 2018, RTO Insider

Baker gets a ‘C’ on environmental report card, Gloucester Daily Times

New York State Public Service Commission : National Grid LI to Pay $1.98 Million to Settle Gas Explosion Investigation, WRAL

 

Editorial/Opinion

On clean energy, we need a 7th inning stretch, CommonWealth Magazine

No 7th inning stretch needed, just clean energy home runs, CommonWealth Magazine

Conservation Law Foundation — less steward and more bully, Boston Globe

If Nuclear Power Is So Safe, Why Are We So Afraid Of It?, Forbes.com

To meet demand for rural power, communities can look to nuclear energy, CNN

Clouds over Mass. solar industry, CommonWealth Magazine

Biomass supports NH families, New Hampshire Union Leader

Keeping nuclear plants in the mix, Boston Globe

Roberta Pevear: Seabrook is an accident waiting to happen, Concord Monitor

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

Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

This week we begin with a story from Greentech Media that follows-up to last week’s grid mod announcement in Massachusetts. Digging a little deeper into the smart meter portion of the order they write, “Massachusetts regulators see a future in which customers are leaving investor-owned utilities for municipal aggregators and competitive third-party suppliers, and they aren’t sure how to fit mass-market smart meter deployments into that future. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that ‘declined to preauthorize any customer-facing investments’ — that is, smart meter deployments.” The reasons according to the article, “it found several weaknesses in each utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) business case, based on a combination of two unusual factors prevailing in the state. First, all these utilities have already deployed simpler automated meter reading systems, which have already allowed each utility to achieve the significant meter-reading savings that account for a big chunk of the AMI business case.” And second, is the inability to tap into a constant stream of data to enable real time rates, “The problem is that each utility customer that switches to a non-utility energy provider is no longer part of each utility’s list of prospective time-varying rate (TVR) adopters, even though the utility paid for the smart meter that made them available.”

In NH, three “contentious” renewable energy bills are on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk. From the NH Business Review, “New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446… (increases) fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering…SB 446 would extend the upper limit from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, allowing large businesses, municipalities and even small hydro generators to take advantage of it, paving the way for much larger renewable energy projects…SB 365…would require Eversource to pay 80 percent of the default rate to six wood-burning plants for three years…and SB 577, which would continue the current subsidized rate for the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.” When it comes to Bill 446, “Critics, including utilities and some business groups, claim that generators are paid too much for the power, and this amounts to a subsidy paid for by other ratepayers. Advocates say that renewable energy saves money on distribution and generation costs.” Other concerns include in increase in rates that could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in the state.

If you’re in need of an excuse for why you’re late; or bummed out that you showed up early for work one day – blame the power grid. From the AP, “Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time…Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that’s 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

Pipeline protesters shut down City Council subcommittee meeting (VIDEO), Lowell Sun
Fall River City Council condemns water deal with Invenergy, opposes plant construction
, Uprise RI

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections, EcoWatch

Gas leaks near schools: Wellesley School Committee contacts National Grid, Wicked Local

500 Greenpoint Locals Wait Days For National Grid To Restore Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

CT Slapped With Lawsuit Over Raid Of Clean Energy Funds, Solar Industry

3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk, NH Business Review

On Cape Cod, Tides Could Become A Renewable Energy Source, wgbh.org

IBM joins forces with a start-up to combine crypto with environmental credit trading, CNBC

Why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy, Quartz

Americans want more clean energy. Here’s what they’re actually willing to do to get it, CNBC

Portland’s Casco Bay High School hopes to become ‘greenest’ in Maine, The Forecaster

U.S. Department of Energy announces funding opportunity for marine energy R&D, Renewable Energy World

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More, Greentech Media

New York proposes strict carbon emission limits for existing power plants, Utility Dive

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available to Launch New Cleantech Accelerator, NA Clean Energy

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge, NA Clean Energy

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more, Utility Dive

World’s largest offshore wildlife aerial survey off NY’s coast halfway complete, Windpower Engineering (press release)

Offshore wind developer eyeing potential of South Brooklyn shipping hub, Offshore Wind Journal

Winning the battle to reduce the cost of offshore wind, Maritime Journal

State’s high court shoots down appeal against Antrim Wind; project can go forward, Keene Sentinel

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

Solar Power: ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to RI’s Forests, ecoRI news

Sunrun Boosts Revenue 37%, Expands Partnership With National Grid, Greentech Media

RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers, Rhode Island Public Radio

CESA honors six states for clean energy excellence, Solar Power World

68-acre solar installation proposed in Tiverton, The Providence Journal

Cumberland council OKs solar farm, mulls garage move, The Forecaster

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

Groups sue Connecticut state officials for raiding clean energy and efficiency funds, New Haven Register

US House Committee Cuts Federal Energy Research, Boosts Energy Storage, Union of Concerned Scientists

Storage Might Solve Some Big Grid Problems, but Not the Ones You Think, Greentech Media

National Grid grants $1 million in energy efficiency rebates to world’s largest housing cooperative, Daily Energy Insider

Energy savings ideas topic of Energy and Environmental Conference, Eagle Tribune

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

1st Quarter Inspection at Pilgrim Finds No Violations, CapeCod.com News

Advocacy to Keep US Nuclear Reactors Open Picks Up Steam, Energy Collective

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, Greentech Media

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

Nuclear-Waste Tax Case Battled at 11th Circuit, Courthouse News

 

EVs

Another NH utility tiptoes into a little bit of support for electric vehicles, Granite Geek

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

RMLD Celebrates New Bolt, New Charging Station, Patch.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clocks may go a little cuckoo with power grid change, AP

Massachusetts rejects smart meter rollout for ‘weaknesses in the business case’, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Rejects Smart Meter Rollouts, as Competitive Energy Undermines the Business Case, Greentech Media

Exelon sets its price for keeping Everett plants open, CommonWealth Magazine

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council Reports: Annual Assessment Forecasts Adequate Electricity Supplies for this Summer, Energy Central

US Northeast, Canada to have adequate summer power supply, Platts

Eversource plans 5% summer electricity rate cut, MassLive.com

National Grid’s full-year profits rise helped by US business, Reuters

New York ISO Zone A real-time power spikes to $1400/MWh on strong demand, Platts

Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Aims To Restore Power By Sunday After Four Tornadoes Strike, Hartford Courant

New York in bid to shut down all coal plants by 2020, Energy Voice

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Natural-Gas Constraints Bad for Business, Bad for Environment, AIM blog

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Why the offshore wind industry is about to take off, The Conversation

Meredith Angwin: Rolling Blackouts For New England?, Caledonian Record

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers, Press Herald

One Well-Placed Hurricane Will UTTERLY DESTROY Costly Offshore Wind Systems On The East Coast, Daily Caller

Rhode Island Should Lead by Example to Prevent Loss of Forestland, EcoRI

Climate disruption has real impact on health in Massachusetts and we should be doing more (Viewpoint), MassLive

Out-of-towner explains Granite Bridge opposition, Seacoastonline.com

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

Energy News for week ending May 4, 2018

Shots fired | Energy Flow Chart | Realtors Push Back

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week CommonWealth Magazine reports that new shots were fired in the gas pipeline war. From the article, “A group of natural gas pipeline opponents released a report on Thursday suggesting the operator of New England’s power grid used ‘unreasonable assumptions’ when it concluded that rolling brownouts were possible in 2024 without additional gas supplies. The new report, prepared by Synapse Energy Economics for the Conservation Law Foundation and a handful of other groups, said the power grid operator low-balled renewable energy development, hydro-electricity imports from Quebec, and liquefied natural gas imports to make its case.

Moving to a bigger picture, Vox.com gives us a detailed look at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s US energy use data. Dave Roberts writes, “Perhaps the most striking feature of the spaghetti diagram — what everyone notices the first time they see it — is the enormous amount of “rejected” energy. Not just some, but almost two-thirds of the potential energy embedded in our energy sources ended up wasted in 2017…What’s more, the US economy is trending less and less efficient over time.”

And last for this week, coming back closer to home, is an article by Christian Wade in the Eagle Tribune  that MA Governor Baker’s proposal for a new system for grading home energy efficiency is “getting a cool reception from the Massachusetts Realtors Association, which argues that mandating energy audits would impact home sales. They told lawmakers that a mandate could slow turnover in an already tight housing market and negatively affect low-income communities.”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

More shots fired in pipeline wars, CommonWealth Magazine

Invenergy Hearings Focus on Facts, Lies and Hyperbole, ecoRI news

Fracking Waste Ordinance Goes to Clinton Voters May 8, Zip06.com

Final hearing stage on Burrillville power plant begins, Valley Breeze

Proximity to fracking sites affects public support of them, study finds, Science Daily

Study: Fracking Chemicals Alter Immune System in Mice, EcoWatch

Eversource continuing construction for natural gas in Darien, Darien Times

Fore River residents set out to document health issues in the basin, The Patriot Ledger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How big can New England’s regional cap-and-trade program get?, Utility Dive

Clean Energy Advocates Reject Regional Fuel Supply Warnings, New Hampshire Public Radio

Going green helps Lanesborough farms save green, Berkshire Eagle

New York grid operator floats carbon pricing proposal, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Vineyard takes forward step, reNews

Build offshore wind farms, transmission separately, CommonWealth magazine

Offshore Wind May Finally Be Here (Really), POWER magazine

Living near municipal wind turbines has residents on guard, Patriot Ledger

Document from the National Weather Service lists possible radar interference impact from wind turbines, Watertown Daily News

Wind project off Vineyard could power hospitals, Cape Cod Times

Officials reviewing options on wind turbine, WAGM (Maine)

 

Solar

New York ISO: Distributed solar largely to blame for declining load, Utility Dive

New England colleges form partnership to purchase and use solar energy, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

New Solar Panel Array Helps RI Reduce Its Energy Consumption, Rhode Island Public Radio

2017 Was Weird For Solar. What’s Coming This Year and Beyond?, Greentech Media

Solar array planned for Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Islander

Old Sturbridge Village adds 5,400 solar panels, Worcester Business Journal

Solar at the crossroads: Is utility-scale, distributed or both the way to go?, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Providence Unveils Large Building Energy Efficiency Program, U.S. News & World Report

Realtors push back against Baker’s energy audit plan, Eagle-Tribune

Brockton is lit — city LEDs the way with streetlight project, Enterprise

Lithium-ion domination could block promising storage technologies, MIT finds, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Activists Warn Against Relicensing Seabrook Nuclear Plant, Where Cracks Are Spreading, New Hampshire Public Radio

Port council asks NRC for hearing on Seabrook emergency response plan, The Daily News of Newburyport

Regulators outline nuke-bid timeline, Hartford Business

NASA Tests New Nuclear Reactor For Future Space Travelers, New England Public Radio

House to vote next week to move ahead with Yucca Mountain as nuclear waste dump, Washington Examiner

Bill Gates in Search of Nuclear Nirvana, Scientific American

How the Nuclear Industry Is Fighting Back, Greentech Media

NuScale SMR Becomes First to Complete NRC Phase One Review, Power Engineering

DOE Invests $60M in Nuclear Energy R&D Projects, ExecutiveGov

Port council asks NRC for hearing on Seabrook emergency response plan, Newburyport Daily News

PJM: FirstEnergy nukes can retire without reliability threat, Utility Dive

New Jersey’s nuclear subsidies could go to out-of-state plants, NJspotlight.com

NASA Successfully Tests Portable Nuclear Reactor for Space, Energy Central

 

EVs

15 minute charge for a 300 mile range? DOE moves to boost EVs, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox

ISO-NE cost recovery proposal opens new front in fuel security debate, Utility Dive

ISO New England hits milestone: More grid power used at night than midday, Utility Dive

‘Cyber Blindspot’ Threatens Energy Companies Spending Too Little, Bloomberg

Utilities must detail tax savings, Salem News

Get ready for the most expensive driving season in years, Penn Energy

‘First time in New Hampshire’ rate system for Liberty gas would compensate for losses due to energy efficiency, Concord Monitor

The Power Market Fix We’ve Been Waiting For, Greentech Media

ISO says New England can meet 2018 summer heat wave electricity demand, MassLive.com

Opponents file arguments with state to scuttle or reshape CMP plan for 145-mile power line, Press Herald

Eversource dives into proxy battle over Connecticut Water, The Boston Globe

ISO-NE Planning Advisory Committee Briefs: April 26, 2018, RTO Insider

Eversource: Filing ‘Fully Addresses’ Northern Pass Criticism, U.S. News & World Report

National Grid’s tunnel vision: Digging below the Buffalo River, Buffalo News

CMP transmission project expected to fatten parent Avangrid’s bottom line, Press Herald

New Hampshire’s Energy Strategy: Lower Costs, Less Focus on Subsidies, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

Editorial/Opinion

Shocker: Opposition forms to Maine hydro plan, Boston Globe

Is Offshore Wind About To Hit Cost-Competitiveness In New York And New England?, Forbes.com

Build offshore wind farms, transmission separately, CommonWealth Magazine

Fracking is wrecking Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline

Governor, move more quickly on offshore wind, CommonWealth magazine

YOUR VIEW: Powering our march towards a renewable future, SouthCoastToday.com

Infrastructure Necessary for Energy Independence, Revere Journal

YOUR VIEW: Powering our march towards a renewable future, SouthCoastToday.com

In Mass. energy pipeline, must there be more pipelines?, The Boston Globe

Letter: RGGI is good for the earth and the economy, Albany Times Union

State Sen. Kevin Avard: Energy diversity can help reduce rates, Concord Monitor

Are Public Objections to Wind Farms Overblown?, Renewable Energy World

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

Energy News for week ending April 27, 2018

Power Struggle | Offshore Wind = 1000s of jobs | Nuclear can be flexible

 

It’s Friday afternoon so it’s time for the weekly Northeast Energy News.

We begin with an article from the Boston Globe about Central Maine Power’s proposed project to bring Canadian hydro to Massachusetts. As the article notes, “Until recently, Central Maine Power’s proposal was considered an also-ran to a similar plan in New Hampshire, called Northern Pass, the initial choice of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to import clean energy.” But like the Northern Pass project, the CMP project also goes through sensitive and important environmental areas and it has some people very unhappy. Others however, are seeing it differently due to incentives. David Abel writes, “In exchange for their support, the company has promised to lavish The Forks and neighbors — small towns that have struggled economically for years — with tens of millions of dollars…Many residents consider those payments bribes, and worry that the pledged money is pitting neighbors against each other. At the same time, they recognize the need for economic aid to offset declining tourism.”

Yesterday, Wind Power Engineering reported that “The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years — defined as one person working full-time for one year — during construction over the next 10 years and generate between $675 million and $800 million in direct economic output in Massachusetts. The Offshore Wind Workforce Report, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and authored by Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, also provides analysis and recommendations to guide the training and development needs for the offshore wind industry workforce in Massachusetts.”

The last article highlight for this week was posted by one of my favorite people on Twitter – Jesse Jenkins of the MIT Energy Initiative. From the article on Energy.MIT.edu, “Nuclear power plants generally operate at full capacity, but they are also technically capable of more flexible operation. This capability lets them respond dynamically to seasonal changes in demand or hourly changes in market prices. Reactors could also provide the standby backup regulation and reserve services needed to balance supply and demand. According to Jenkins, all reactor designs now being licensed or built in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are capable of flexible operation, as are many older reactors now in service. ‘We primarily rely on gas and coal plants to meet all those flexibility needs today, while we operate our nuclear plants fixed, or ‘must-run,’ 24/7,’ says Jenkins. ‘The question here is, what would the benefits be if we stopped operating them so inflexibly, if we started using more of their technical capabilities to ‘ramp’ output up and down on different time scales from seconds to hours to seasons?’ The answer, he says, is less reliance on the gas and coal plants—and more renewable energy integration.”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Greenfield residents suing city over plans to cut down trees for pipeline, wwlp.com

Does Region Need More Natural Gas? Invenergy’s Final Burrillville Push Begins April 26, ecoRI news

Invenergy has nine or ten contingent water suppliers in Rhode Island and Connecticut says their Attorney, Uprise RI (blog)

Following Spills, PA Stops Pipeline Work At Delaware County Site, WSKG.org

Court: Youngstown anti-fracking amendment must go on ballot, Youngstown Vindicator

Energy Transfer and Sunoco Pipelines Have Leaked Every 11 Days on Average, For 16 Years, Care2.com

Activists head to court after shutting down pipelines. Their defense? Climate change., Grist

NY nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit, Penn Energy

Nearby communities stepping in to track CPV power plant emissions, Times Herald Record

PSEG urges New Jersey to approve $1.9B gas line replacement program, Utility Dive

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI/etc.

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Clean Energy Prize rewards student innovation, MIT News

Scott Pruitt wades into a fraught science debate, declaring biomass burning ‘carbon neutral,’ Washington Post

New York launches next large-scale renewables procurement round, Recharge

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox

The Carbon Tax Could Come Soon To A State Near You, Law360

The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change, Bloomberg

2 Clark University Expert Authors On Report On Climate Change, Patch.com

U.S. Department of Energy announces $2.4 million in funding for fish passage technologies research programs, Hydro-World

 

Wind

New Massachusetts report finds 1600 MW of offshore wind would create thousands of jobs, Windpower Engineering

Opponents seek suspension of Antrim Wind Energy’s construction certificate, National Wind Watch

Savoy rejects wind turbine building permit; developer plans appeal, National Wind Watch

Convoys of huge wind turbine parts move through western NY, Penn Energy

Selection of offshore wind providers delayed one month, South Coast Today

Advocates Seek More Momentum for Massachusetts Offshore Wind, Renewable Energy World

Trump likes coal, but that doesn’t mean he’s hostile to wind, Washington Post

Winds of change calmed: PGC declares moratorium on wind turbines, National Wind Watch

How Windmills as Wide as Jumbo Jets Are Making Clean Energy Mainstream, New York Times

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power 16000 Homes, EcoWatch

Offshore wind farms concern fisherpeople, The Brown Daily Herald

NextEra CEO Robo slams US offshore wind as ‘bad business’, Recharge

 

Solar

Solect expands to Illinois, Worcester Business Journal

New Bipartisan Legislation Would Repeal Trump’s Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

Regional planners balk at part of solar project, Rutland Herald

Amherst among 5 New England colleges partnering on solar facility in Maine, wwlp.com

Londonderry Superfund site eyed for big solar array, New Hampshire Business Review

NH House panel passes a new fix to net metering bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Solar Generation, Energy Storage System Completed at SUNY New Paltz, Hudson Valley News Network

City Weighs New Regulations After ‘Solar Monster’ Complaints, CBS Boston / WBZ

Darien company installs a 129 kilowatt solar array on the roof, wins award, The Darien News

Freeport is considering a municipal solar energy project, CentralMaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In Massachusetts, Energy Storage Has Allies in High Places, Greentech Media

FERC Order 845 opens door a little wider for energy storage, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help, Greentech Media

Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create “Watershed Moment”, CleanTechnica

New York Boosts Efficiency Target, Makes Way for More Solar and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

2 buildings in Orange targeted for energy efficiency upgrades, The Recorder

Lockheed says ‘flow’ battery will boost use of renewable power, Reuters

 

EVs

The electric vehicle boom is coming. What can we learn from early adopters?, ensia.com

New York agencies propose shifting EV fast chargers to non-demand charges, Utility Dive

Utilities boost electric car incentives, (VT) Energy Central

ABB launches what it says is world’s fastest EV charger, PV Magazine

New York regulators to mull advancing EV market with new proceeding, Utility Dive

Convenience at Heart of New US Ultra-Fast EV Charging Network, Renewable Energy World

 

Nuclear

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

NY nuclear plant resumes service after scheduled outage, Penn Energy

Update on the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, vtdigger.org

NRC hosts meeting on safety of Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?, Boston Globe

US regulator considers value of resiliency, World Nuclear News

New York to launch utility energy registry this summer in data-gathering effort, Utility Dive

FERC Commissioners Testify on Energy Infrastructure, Resiliency, State-Federal Tensions, Lexology

National Grid customers won’t see relief for months, The Daily News of Newburyport

Eversource devotes $80M to tree trimming, hazardous tree removal, CT Post

Eversource, UI hit hard in new customer value survey, New Haven Register

Eversource Continues Natural Gas Expansion In Darien, Patch.com

New England line would have to take the scenic route, E&E News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why you’ll pay for Beacon Hill’s pipeline folly, Boston Globe

We need a RGGI for transportation, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine needs zones free of windmills, power lines, Press Herald

Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Energy Central/Concord Monitor

Fears about blackouts increasing, CommonWealth Magazine

Infrastructure Necessary for Energy Independence, Everett Independent

Nancy Stiles: Energy-efficiency funds important for schools, towns, state’s 10-year strategy, Concord Monitor

Bold Ideas to Address Society’s Energy Issues Deserve Consideration, not Dismissal, ecoRI news

Quebec hydro line is not without environmental costs, Bangor Daily News

Confessions of a former carbon tax skeptic, Washington Examiner

Dick Henry: Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Excuse from CMP wanted as electric bills defy logic, Press Herald

Natural gas essential to New York’s energy mix, Albany Times Union

Robert Thorson: US Backs Big Oil Against Tiny Arctic Tribe, Hartford Courant

Letter: Conservative Law Foundation is right about Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Offshore wind energy right for Connecticut, The Day

 

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

Energy News for week ending April 6, 2018

Home rating | Drive electric | Hearing on Competitive Suppliers

Good Friday afternoon – albeit a temporarily snowy one. Let’s dive into what we’re reading this week.

What grade will your house get? From the Worcester Business Journal, “A home energy efficiency score would eventually become part of the valuation of all homes on the market in Massachusetts under legislation Gov. Charlie Baker filed on Tuesday to elevate awareness of home energy efficiency and target the residential sector for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Under the bill, [by 2021] home energy auditors would be required to provide homeowners with an easy to understand scorecard that would grade a home’s energy efficiency and provide recommendations for how the home’s energy performance could be improved. While the proposal was cheered by the environmental community, realtors expressed reservations…‘If someone doesn’t have the resources to improve their home it will just be like a scarlet letter on their home,’ said Michael McDonagh, of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.”

Be on the lookout for a new EV ad campaign. According to an article in Green Car Reports, “16 major automakers are joining forces with seven states to promote sales of electric vehicles to consumers. The Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers announced it would launch two separate marketing campaigns – ‘Drive Change, Drive Electric’ and ‘Buyers Wanted’ in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Jersey…EV advocates have long noted that consumers need more education about the benefits of electrics, and these ads will provide it, focusing on performance, affordability, choice, and convenience.”

Last for this week is a follow-up story to last week’s news that Mass AG Maura Healey would like to roll back competitive supply in the residential market. From the Lowell Sun, “House and Senate lawmakers are gearing up to hold an oversight hearing to question companies cited by Healey about what she described as deceptive business practices. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy…is planning the hearing, according to the committee, to ‘consider immediate protective measures and the implications of those actions,’ learn about best practices in other states and explore issues related to the market that Healey said were beyond the scope of her review…The date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled.”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Utility Regulators Want Review Of Vermont Gas Pipeline Construction, Vermont Public Radio

Cyberattack Shows Vulnerability of Gas Pipeline Network, New York Times

Four Gas Pipeline Data Systems Shut Down as Cyberattack Hits, Bloomberg

Algonquin natural gas pipeline in US Northeast delays significant Apr 4 maintenance, Platts

Kinder Morgan still has NGL pipeline plan on pause, Danville Advocate

TransCanada completes Northwest Mainline Loop-Boundary Lake pipeline expansion, Daily Energy Insider

Residents curious, wary about natural gas expansion, Newcanaannewsonline

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

Carbon taxes can be both fair and effective, study shows, Science Daily

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, The New Yorker

Local N.H. Conservation, Climate Groups Launch Renewable Energy Campaign, NHPR

Climate change threatens ski industry, Stowe Reporter

Virginia Supreme Court upholds 100% renewable energy option, PV Magazine

Lawmaker tries to steer investments toward renewable energy, WJAR

Beaton: Natural gas not part of Massachusetts ‘clean peak’ standard, Worcester Telegram

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, New Yorker

Attorney General Maura Healey, other states sue EPA for not enforcing pollution controls, MassLive

ITM Power secures MassCEC’s grant for power-to-gas feasibility study, Power Distribution Utilities Network

Hancock County residents protest Brookfield’s dam operations, MaineBiz

Carbon Tax Bill Moves Slowly Despite Need for Urgency, ecoRI news

Green energy gets cool response at hearing in Exeter, The Providence Journal

Maine regulators approve partial subsidy to keep biomass power plants alive, Press Herald

Biomass owners say director of logging trade group is bad-mouthing business, Press Herald

 

Wind

Ørsted & Eversource Announce 200 Megawatt Connecticut Offshore Wind Farm, CleanTechnica

Three wind power projects submitted to Connecticut DEEP, New Haven Register

Effort to build offshore wind industry in Maine may hinge on 73 cents, Press Herald

Sara Lee Cake Maker Buys Wind Credits to Offset Your Dessert, Bloomberg

BOEM seeks mariners’ input on East Coast wind energy sites, WorkBoat

AEG plans to build US offshore wind vessel fleet, port facilities, Renewables Now

Atlantic wind boost on US menu, reNews

Offshore wind projects make headway, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind blows new life into dormant partnership, NJ Spotlight

Federal Agency To Study Effects Of Electric Pulses From Proposed Wind Farm On Fish, 27East.com

Moody’s likes the look of NJ, other northeastern states, for offshore wind, NJSpotlight.com

Turbine parts to be made in MA, Bay State Wind says, South Coast Today

Delays likely in offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Murphy: Danish off-shore wind firm coming to Atlantic City, Penn Energy

 

Solar

Green Lantern receives CPG for solar array at former Newfane dump, Commons

Town council to reexamine solar ordinance, Ricentral.com

Portland Highlighted for Solar Progress in New Report, Environment Maine

Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, Environment Maine

Maine solar advocates powerless again as House upholds LePage’s veto by 3 votes, Press Herald

LIPA trustees won’t delay new solar energy compensation plan, Newsday

German Developer of Solar + Storage “Smart Flower” Quietly Goes Insolvent, Renewable Energy World

Home Solar Dims as Tesla, Others Curb Aggressive Sales, Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

Longmeadow to participate in solarize program, The Reminder

Solar farms now allowed outside of industrial-zoned areas, The Reminder

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Baker proposal would rate homes on energy efficiency, Worcester Business Journal

Energy efficiency, rooftop solar to trim New England power usage, draft report says, Utility Dive

As DC retreats, NY goes all-in on energy efficiency, Crain’s New York Business

Efficiency Vermont recognized as Energy Star partner by EPA, Vermont Biz

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee’s fuel move is still on hold, Rutland Herald

Amid arguments and warnings, nuclear subsidy bill clears committee, NJ Spotlight

Auction pushes forward for zero-carbon resources, including Millstone, The Day

FirstEnergy Seeks Bankruptcy Protection for Ailing Coal and Nuclear Subsidiaries, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Buyers in seven Northeast states urged to consider electric cars, Green Car Reports

Gas stations pivot to address the threat from electric vehicles, Teslarati

Pennsylvania Driving Toward an Electrifying Win, NRDC

Eversource to Invest $45 Million in Electric Vehicle Charging Ports, CapeCod.com News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Legislature plans hearing into competitive electric supply market, Lowell Sun

Electric supply exec blasts Healey’s ‘one-sided report,‘ Lowell Sun

How to Build a Foundation for New Utility Business Models, Greentech Media

The Microgrid Way: Going Green with Solar & Supercapacitor-based Energy Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon plays power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Sandwich power plant sold, Cape Cod Times

New York is changing the face of energy innovation, Utility Dive

Spring forward: European grid fixes lag that slowed clocks, Penn Energy

Baker treads softly on Healey proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown, CommonWealth Magazine

Updated: ISO-NE seeks to keep 1,600 MW of gas generation from retirement, Utility Dive

Somerset power plant closure will raise water and sewer fees, Southcoastonline.com

CMP customers disputing high bills must pay a portion of them, Press Herald

State lawmakers say customers shouldn’t have to pay for CMP investigation, WGME

I-Team: PUC changes disconnect rules during CMP investigation, WGME

Cyberattack Bleeds Into the Utility Industry, Bloomberg

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

Connecticut grid test planned for May, Thehour.com

Hydro-Québec partner plans appeal in New Hampshire for Northern Pass project, Montreal Gazette

National Grid names new New York president, Albany Times Union

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Renewable energy’s challenges and challengers, Worcester Telegram

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Path to Zero-Subsidy Offshore-Wind Bids, NJ Spotlight

All Americans want cleaner, safer sources of energy to be encouraged, The Laconia Daily Sun

Lawmakers have third chance to avert higher electricity costs for all Mainers, Bangor Daily News

Hildt’s view: Remembering TMI, thankful for C-10, The Daily News of Newburyport

Op-Ed: Why Private Investors Must Fund ‘New Nuclear’ Power Right Now, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

My recipe for embracing renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Tony Giunta: The ripple effect of high electricity prices, Concord Monitor

The simple argument for keeping nuclear power plants open, Vox.com

Letter to the Editor: Pushing for a clean energy future, Daily Free Press

Lawmakers have third chance to avert higher electricity costs for all Mainers, Bangor Daily News

Push back against Central Maine Power, Press Herald

Letter: Stephen J. Nelson: Raise National Grid’s costs when customers lose power, Providence Journal

Tweak needed for clean peak standard, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

We’re on to Maine | Shut it down | A look inside

Happy Friday afternoon.

The big news this week, as Bill Belichick might say, is “We’re on to Maine.” In a succinctly worded announcement on the Massachusetts Clean Energy website, the new direction for the clean energy procurement went from Eversource’s Northern Pass project to Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project. The announcement read in part, “The Electric Distributions Companies are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (“NECEC Hydro”) and intend to execute agreements with NECEC Hydro for submittal to the Department of Public Utilities, assuming negotiations are concluded successfully.” For your reading enjoyment, we have included a whole section of stories related to this news.

But even before the Clean Energy Connect news broke, the Press Herald reported that new opposition is “ramping up” to CMP’s project. Tux Turkel writes, “A trio of companies, (Calpine Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Bucksport Generation LLC) which together own one-third of Maine’s generating capacity, say subsidized power from Canada could upend New England’s competitive, wholesale electric market and make some existing power plants in Maine too costly to run when they’re needed. They also say a big slug of power from Hydro-Quebec over a high-voltage, direct current line will make it technically difficult for new Maine-based wind and solar to connect to the region’s electric grid.

Normally when you hear, “shut it down” in the energy industry, it usually comes from anti-nuclear or anti-gas protesters. But this week it was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who is aiming to shut down the residential competitive supply market. According to a story on WGBH News by Colin Young of the State House News Service, “Electric customers in Massachusetts who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $176.8 million more than they would have had they stayed with their utility company from July 2015 to June 2017, the two-year period during which Healey’s office was investigating the industry, her office announced…Healey said she plans to work with the Legislature, the Department of Public Utilities and the energy industry “to close down the market for individual residential competitive electric supply in Massachusetts.”

I have to say, as someone who has hung up on countless suppliers, had debates at my front door with electric supply salespersons, and counseled volunteers working with the elderly who have switched suppliers multiple times and faced huge penalties – at a minimum something needs to be done to reign in deceptive practices and to get the bad actors out of the game. The good news is that AG Healey already did that with Viridian, as was reported in the Boston Globe “An electricity supplier will pay $5 million to settle claims of deceptive marketing and sales tactics that resulted in consumers being overcharged, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. In addition to the settlement payout announced Wednesday, Viridian Energy LLC of Norwalk, Conn., agreed it would not market its electricity supply door-to-door in Massachusetts for the next two years and that it would change some of its marketing methods.” Hear, Hear!

Last for this week is a recently released video from ISO New England that “takes you inside the ISO, showcasing how the grid operator keeps the lights on across New England – today and in the future. Shot at the ISO offices and throughout New England, the video looks at the transformation occurring in New England, as the region transitions from a grid powered by oil and coal plants to one more reliant on renewable energy.”

As always you can find more news and events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds, New York Times

State Lawmaker Secretly Sends Constituent’s Emails to Gas Pipeline Lobbyist, (MA) Huffington Post

National Grid proposes gas line along bike path, Glens Falls Post-Star

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

Judge rules civil disobedience a ‘necessity’ to prevent climate change, ThinkProgress

West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline in Boston Criminal Trial Downgraded, Patch.com

Natural Gas Act preempts local efforts to preclude construction of compressor station, Lexology

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Bill Adds Wood to RI’s Renewable-Energy Portfolio, ecoRI news

New Jersey foresees RGGI re-entry in 2019, Carbon Pulse

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much?, EandE News

Walsh: Despite cost, city must stem climate change tide, Boston Herald

Renewables or Nuclear? A New Front in the Academic War Over Decarbonization, Greentech Media

 

Wind

800 Megawatt Bay State Wind US Offshore Project Partners To Combine Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Is Offshore Wind a Better Deal With Batteries?, Greentech Media

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

Hopkinton residents receive letter from wind company offering payments on electric bills, Watertown (NY) Daily News

Deepwater’s Offshore Wind Plans Could Revolutionize Mass. Workforce and Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

Deepwater Wind narrows locations to New Bedford, Fall River or Somerset, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind to do 3rd round of marine surveys, South Coast Today

BOEM seeks public comment on proposed offshore Massachusetts wind farm, Windpower Engineering and Development

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

New Energy Plan Clears Legislative Committee, But More Changes Expected, Hartford Courant

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Environmental groups call on Senate to support energy-efficiency bill, WMUR Manchester

Annual Update on Energy Efficiency from America’s Utilities, Natural Resources Defense Council

Good News: Congress Stands Up for Energy Efficiency with Omnibus Bill, ACEEE Press Release

Mass Save beginning in Brockton through Revise Energy, Cape Verdean Association, Enterprise

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Begins Final Refueling, The Examiner News

ITER nuclear fusion project avoids delays as U.S. doubles budget, Reuters

Del. Group Seeks to Block Artificial Island Project, RTO Insider

As Nuclear Plant Closes, Fears Shift From Contamination to Financial Pain, Wall Street Journal

FirstEnergy Solutions will close its nuclear power plants, but is silent on bankruptcy restructuring (photos), Plain Dealer

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

Unexpected foes emerge to CMP’s plan to build transmission line to Canada, Press Herald

Three companies seek to block CMP’s Hydro Quebec transmission project, Mainebiz

$950M power grid project could tunnel under Kennebec River Gorge, Bangor Daily News

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

In reversal, Massachusetts puts CMP in lead position for $950 million power line project, Press Herald

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

Massachusetts Sinks Eversource Power Project, Picks Avangrid (1), Bloomberg BNA

Mass. And Utilities Ditch NH-Routed Northern Pass For Hydro Project Through Maine, WBUR

Maine In, NH Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts, New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Site Evaluation Committee should stand firm on Northern Pass decision, New Hampshire Business Review

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

Massachusetts hydro power will come through Maine, not White Mountains, Wicked Local

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts ditches Northern Pass, looks to CMP for clean energy goals, Utility Dive

 

Electric Vehicles

Prospects of Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles Boosted with Chinese Backing, Energy Collective

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Staying a Step Ahead: A look inside ISO-NE and the region’s changing power system, (video) ISONewswire.com

Grid security falls to industry to self-regulate, Salem News

Raimondo: Report critical of National Grid’s response to October storm, ProJo

Peeved about power? Eversource defends its efforts, Wicked Local Brewster

Electricity supplier to pay $5 million to settle claims it misled Massachusetts customers, Boston Globe

Vermont Public Utility Commission approves release of request for proposals for Standard Offer program, Daily Energy Insider

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, (Press Release)

Call For ‘Stiff Penalties’ Vs. Utility Companies Made By County Legislators, White Plains Daily Voice

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

Microgrid Projects and Virtual Power Plants from Maine to Australia, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, Business Wire (press release)

RI Officials: National Grid’s October Storm Response Was Inadequate, Rhode Island Public Radio

What is up with your electric bill? Eversource explains, Wicked Local

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: A pipeline lesson for Virginia, courtesy of Massachusetts, Richmond.com

The best chance for offshore wind in Mass., The Boston Globe

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Boston’s ad hoc planning doesn’t work with climate change, Boston Globe

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

The era of conventional nuclear power may be ending, Washington Examiner

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

EDITORIAL: Mass. hydropower pact takes a detour, Lowell Sun

Oppose Eversource’s use of herbicides — now, Cape Cod Times

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

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We hope you’re staying warm, dry, and safe during today’s storm.

Well, if you’ve had enough news about Russian interference in US elections then you can switch your attention to their interference in US energy markets. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reviewed a new congressional staff report that states that the Internet Research Agency’s efforts were also focused on “encouraging protests against pipeline construction in the U.S., calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels and stoking American controversy around climate change…Between 2015 and 2017, the IRA posted more than 9,000 times about U.S. energy policy or an energy event, according to the report.”

Also out this week was a FERC announcement “that a report released by the Environmental Defense Fund accusing Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of artificially driving up electricity prices in New England “was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions.” According to the article in CommonWealth Magazine, “FERC said its staff conducted a review of the allegations contained in the report using both public and non-public data and found no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity.”

In new energy technology news this week we have an article from oilprice.com titled, MIT’s Miracle Energy Breakthrough. They write, “A black box has been sitting on the roof of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building for the last few months. Beside it sits a weather monitoring system and a bigger black box to monitor the performance of the first one. That first black box is the first device that can generate power from differences in the temperature of the air—the ultimate clean energy…The team of researchers from MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is calling this device a thermal resonator: a device that draws heat from the air around it and turns this heat into electricity. It does not need to be in the sun, it could actually be put in the perpetual shade below a solar panel, and it would still generate power thanks to the always present temperature fluctuations…it has the hypothetical potential to make batteries obsolete.” Pretty cool!

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says, Wall Street Journal (paywall)

With Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. build done, Otis State Forest reopens, Berkshire Eagle

Federal agency rebuts environmentalists’ claims about gas pipeline usage, Worcester Telegram

US FERC ends probe of New England gas shippers, calls EDF study ‘flawed’, Platts

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

Rhode Island environmentalists and elected officials say ‘No’ to Trump’s offshore drilling proposal, Uprise RI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding, Vox.com

Optimism and Uncertainty for Rhode Island’s Climate Future, ecoRI news

Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy, Inhabitat

New Report Touts Success Of Regional Carbon Emissions Reduction Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Jersey Governor Requests to Rejoin Environmental Pact, U.S. News & World Report

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

Mark Jacobson Drops Lawsuit Against Critics of His 100% Renewables Plan, Greentech Media

Solar, Wind Cutting New England Power Demands, But Trouble Expected In Future, Hartford Courant

Report Claims Wood-Based Energy Doesn’t Add Up, EcoRI

 

Wind

Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry sues LePage over halting of new permits, Journal Tribune

GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, Penn Energy

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development, Bangor Daily News

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Achieves 65% Capacity Factor After 3 Months, Greentech Media

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

Plans for world’s ‘largest and most powerful’ offshore wind turbine unveiled, CNBC

One Small Step for BPU, One Small Step for Offshore Wind in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

Article on area warrants aims to gather support for studying offshore wind development, The Keene Sentinel

 

Solar

Clouds form over state’s solar future, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

M&T finances major solar project in Maine, Buffalo Business First

Massachusetts solar groups say policy changes needed to stem job loss, Energy News Network

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont utility, city to give away fossil-fuel free home, Caledonian Record

FERC’s Historic Energy Storage Ruling: A Doomsday Countdown for Natural Gas Peakers?, Greentech Media

Brattle: US storage market could reach 50 GW if costs keep declining, Utility Dive

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

New interactive map shows the economic impact that solar, wind, and energy efficiency have on US communities, Environmental Defense Fund

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

NY attorney general wins energy efficiency lawsuit, Long Island Business News

 

Nuclear

Connecticut nuclear plant guard falsified record, failed to test weapons Shoreline Times

After Months Of Negotiation, Settlement Days Away On Vermont Yankee Sale, New England Public Radio

Power restored to Indian Point reactor after shutdown caused by electrical failure, The Journal News | LoHud.com

 

Northern Pass/RFP

Eversource Asks NH To Reconsider Northern Pass Denial, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement?, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Electric Vehicles

Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles, Utility Dive

How To Prevent Electric Vehicles From Stressing The Grid, Forbes.com

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England grid operators, regulators combat vulnerabilities, theday.com

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements, RTO Insider

Maine may face brownouts, higher electric prices, Lewiston Sun Journal

Non-Payments to Eversource Nearly Double Over 2-Year Period, U.S. News & World Report

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid rate hike hearings underway, Ricentral.com

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model, CommonWealth Magazine

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

Just for the Record: Why New York’s Offshore Wind Plan Works, Renewable Energy World

Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades, The Boston Globe

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Viewpoint: Why is New England importing LNG from Russia?, Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power