Category Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending June 16, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

There are a lot of stories this week! Let’s start with one from ISO-NE’s Newswire. They are reporting that “New England will be under the shadow of the moon for much of the afternoon on August 21 during a partial solar eclipse. According to NASA, the eclipse will occur between approximately 1:20 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with the peak expected at around 2:45 p.m., when about 65% of the sun will be blocked (called obscuration). If it is a sunny day, the ISO expects that output from the region’s 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will drop during these 2 hours and 40 minutes, but anticipates having sufficient resources available to meet the resulting rise in electricity demand.” Be sure to check out the page to see the eclipse map and an easy to understand detailed explanation.

The US EIA announced this week that for the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10% of total electricity generation in the United States, based on March data. They expect similar results for April.

We all know Massachusetts is tops when it comes to energy efficiency. This week, the ACEEE announced The 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard that looks at the performance of the 51 largest electric utilities in the United States and highlights cutting-edge efforts. Topping the list are Eversource Massachusetts and National Grid Massachusetts, which both earned the same score (91%). As is noted in the blog post, “both achieved more than 3% savings as a percentage of their retail sales in 2015 — a notable achievement.” Notable indeed.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline blasting plans raise fears, Berkshire Eagle

Activists question if Keene’s part of effort to create demand for natural gas infrastructure, Keene Sentinel

Gas bills going up for 12000 National Grid customers, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

National Grid combating uptick of gas leaks in RI, Turn to 10

Eversource begins first phase of gas line project in Wallingford, New Haven Register

New Coalition Supports Burrillville Power Plant, Wants Affordable Energy Prices, Rhode Island Public Radio

Senate Hears Bill to Derail Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Departments run drill on how to respond to a leak in Spectra line, Wicked Local West Roxbury

Judge Delivers Blow To Trump Administration In Dakota Access Fight, NPR

Chicago Developer Helps Fund Pro-Power Plant Group, ecoRI news

Natural Gas Industry Brings A Fake Grassroots Group To Eastern Pipeline Fights, HuffPost

Renewable Energy

Wind and solar in March accounted for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time, US EIA

Report: Solar could power state’s flagging economy, CT Post

Competition for offshore wind ramps up in Massachusetts, ABC News

Labor, environmentalists tout first US offshore wind farm, SouthCoastToday.com

Cape Wind opposition continues, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind may help New Hampshire lower energy costs, Recharge

Where offshore wind researchers see the most opportunity, Bangor Daily News

Wind power group’s new ad campaign aims to win over Trump, The Hill

Goldman Sachs invests in wind power and will help other big brands meet their green goals, Marketplace.org

Poll: Maine Voters Support Solar Energy, But Deeply Concerned About Affordable Energy and See Lowering Costs as Top Priority, Energy Central

Saco looking to get rid of wind turbine, National Wind Watch

2017 Clean Energy Jobs Report: RI Clean Energy Jobs See 66 Percent Growth Since 2014, Energy Central

Pick My Solar Partners with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Local Non-Profits to Create An Online Solar Marketplace, Energy Central

Big business sees the promise of clean energy, The Economist

Wind Turbines: Behind the Spin, Machine Design

August eclipse will miss New England, but still could cut solar power output, Concord Monitor

RGGI CO2 auction price drops to $2.53/st, lowest price since 2012, Platts

Company gets rights to put solar panels on old Wallingford landfill, Meriden Record-Journal

Nexamp Completes Community Solar Project In Massachusetts, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

The results are in: here are the most energy-efficient utilities in the US, ACEEE Blog

Number Of Clean Energy Jobs Increasing In RI, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump’s Delay on Energy Efficiency Is Illegal, Natural Resources Defense Council

11 states sue Trump’s DOE over stalled energy-use limits, ABC News

Energy Efficiency Bill Would Help Schools, U.S. News & World Report

Genbright and Ice Energy partner to reduce peak electricity demand on Nantucket, Penn Energy

Green Mountain Power’s Latest Distributed Energy Play: Smart Water Heaters for 99 Cents a Month, GreenTech Media

Nuclear

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News, Forbes.com

DOE shells out $67M for advanced nuclear technology research, Utility Dive

Plymouth: Proposal to Build Converter Station on Pilgrim Site Goes Before Selectmen, 95.9 WATD-FM

NRC reports on Seabrook Station nuke plant, The Daily News of Newburyport

Oral arguments set for nuke plant license amendment, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee offers safety assurances as fuel move starts, Brattleboro Reformer

Trespass charge dropped against Vermont Yankee activist, vtdigger.org

Ferland: Commend citizens’ panel for an extraordinary Vermont Yankee Meeting, VermontBiz

How Retiring Nuclear Power Plants May Undercut U.S. Climate Goals, New York Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Carbon Pricing Bill Attracts Support and Opposition, Rhode Island Public Radio

Massachusetts Bills Create New Opportunities for Microgrids, Non-Wires Alternatives, MicroGrid Knowledge

Powered Down, Massachusetts’ Last Coal-Burning Plant Leaves A Void, WGBH

ISO-NE prepared to operate grid through partial solar eclipse in August, ISO-NE Newswire

Utility CEOs to DOE: Hands off state energy policies, grid planning, Utility Dive

Heat waves: Demand response’s time to shine, Utility Dive

Southern California power supply at risk this summer -FERC, Reuters

Proponents, opponents speak out at Northern Pass hearing, The Union Leader

Analyst: Northern Pass could save customers about $18 a year, The Union Leader

Cape Light Compact Concerned with Changes in New Eversource Filing, CapeCod.com

Eversource rate tweak missed review deadline; new hearings ordered, Berkshire Eagle

“Do you believe?” is the wrong question to ask public officials about climate change, Vox.com

Survey: What Electricity Customers Really Want, Greentech Media

Morse, Bradley Support Repeal of Electric Consumption Tax, Biomass Study, Energy Central

Editorial/Opinion

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News, Forbes.com

Chris McKay: Sound regulations restricting wind power, vtdigger.org

Letter: No to Northern Pass, industrial wind, Concord Monitor

Editorial: New England’s energy challenges, The Providence Journal

Millstone nuclear plant not in ‘limbo’. Needs no special financial treatment, MassLive.com

If the feds won’t face climate change, the region can, The Boston Globe

Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 9, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

Just a few quick bits for you this week.

The Harford Courant reports that Millstone Nuclear lost its legislative battle and is raising the specter of shutting down again. And in Seabrook, Seacoastonline.com reports NRC officials got an earful when they came to town to discuss the plant’s annual performance, which by the way had no safety or performance issues, but still members of the audience spoke against license renewal.

On the natural gas front, the Berkshire Eagle reports that work on a section of the Otis pipeline was stopped to provide quiet for a mystery species.

Lastly, the Worcester Business Journal via the State House News Service reports that “an emergency regulation intended to support the continued development of an additional 1,600 megawatts of solar energy was filed Monday by the Baker administration.” Let’s hope the weather predictions for more sunshine come through.

Have a great weekend.

Climate Change/Paris Climate Accord

4 New England States Join Paris Climate Goal Alliance, U.S. News & World Report

US states, cities vow to uphold Paris climate accord goals, Utility Dive

Scott commits Vt. to climate alliance, Rutland Herald

In face of Paris withdrawal, local companies vow to press forward with green energy policies, Keene Sentinel

DONG Energy says US wind projects not impacted by climate deal withdrawal, Reuters

Mass. joins other states to fulfill US pledges on carbon, The Boston Globe

Gov. Sununu: New Hampshire Will Not Join Climate Alliance, NECN

Weather Channel site goes apocalyptic after Trump Paris accord speech, AOL

Hawaii enacts law committing to goals of Paris climate accord, Reuters

In Trump Country, Renewable Energy Is Thriving, New York Times

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Some Otis State Forest pipeline work halted to provide quiet for ‘mystery’ species, Berkshire Eagle

Why local businesses should oppose the Weymouth compressor station, Climate Action Business Association

Pros and cons of fracking: Research updates, Yale Climate Connections

Anti-fracking committee members claim Griswold selectman has conflict of interest, Norwich Bulletin

Amendment Seeks to Overturn CT Pipeline Tax, Public News Service

Boston security firm hired for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. surveillance in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Natural gas pipeline work to come through Griswold this summer, Norwich Bulletin

Hopkinton neighbors oppose Eversource’s gas gate station, MetroWest Daily News

Renewable Energy

Hadley planners postpone vote on Eversource solar array, GoingGreen

State files three-month emergency solar extension, Worcester Business Journal

DONG Energy to Incorporate Batteries Into UK Offshore Wind Farm, New York Times

Sound testing for Plymouth turbines underway, Cape Cod Times

VT attorney who fought the Public Service Board on wind power becomes its chairman, Windwatch.org

Town Council Pushes For Offshore Wind In Gulf Of Maine, North American Windpower

Investing In Renewable Energy: Is It Worth It?, Seeking Alpha

Emera officials optimistic they’ll get clean energy deal with Massachusetts, CKOM

Hopkinton council hears plans for solar farm, Providence Journal

EPA ranks Swampscott 34th for renewable-energy use, Swampscott Reporter

New York State Issues RFP for $1.5 Billion in Renewables, Power Engineering

After A Decade Of Growth, Wind Energy Stalls In Maine, WBUR

RI Council to Consider 60-Acre Solar Panel Proposal, NECN

Hopkinton council hears plans for solar farm, The Providence Journal

The Latest: Trump proposes solar panels on border wall, CT Post

Simsbury Rep. John Hampton Calls For Solar Farming Transparency, Patch.com

KLPD inks 20-year deal to build solar energy array, Seacoastonline.com

Durham Town Council backs resolution supporting offshore wind, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Energy Efficiency

Renewables, efficiency will gain steam, say energy execs, vtdigger.org

Funding for Energy Efficiency is at Risk in Connecticut, and It’s Worse Than Before,

Energy Collective

Big Thinking From a Small State on Energy Systems, Energy Collective

Five URI students are first to earn new energy certificate, URI Today

Ultra-efficient Portland apartment building doesn’t need central heating, Bangor Daily News

Southborough awarded Green Communities grant, Community Advocate

Nuclear

Public argues against Seabrook nuke plant’s relicensing, Seacoastonline.com

Dominion weighs future of Connecticut Millstone nuclear power plant, Reuters

Pilgrim advisory group wants ground rules set, Cape Cod Times

Companies defend Vermont Yankee process, Brattleboro Reformer

Entergy wants to shrink Vermont Yankee security zone, vtdigger.org

Millstone Loses Market Access Battle, Raises Possible Closing Again, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-New England faces ‘seasonal reliability issues’ this summer, Gas to Power Journal (paywall)

Medway: Exelon, environmental law debate delay, Wicked Local Milford

Are Solar and Wind Really Killing Coal, Nuclear and Grid Reliability?, Renewable Energy World

Hearings on proposed Eversource rate hike to begin Wednesday, MassLive.com

Eversource deal on tap for Hingham water company, The Patriot Ledger

State closes door on coal, looks to new beginnings, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial/Opinion

Another Fracking Time Bomb Lurks Beneath US, Forbes

Editorial: Grass-roots response to climate action – Stepping in when the federal government steps away, Worcester Telegram

Opinion: Seeing opportunity in climate fight, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Letter to the Editor: Hamden should take lead on climate sustainability, New Haven Register

Rural Maine can’t wait for solar energy, Bangor Daily News

Editorial: Baker makes right move after Paris accord pullout, The Recorder

Is the state really protecting wild lands?, The Recorder

The truth about electric rates and Northern Pass, New Hampshire Business Review

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Filed under Climate Change, nuclear, Pilgrim Closing, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

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 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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