Category Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending May 24, 2019

Confidence Eroded | Floating Solar | Non-wires Alternative

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

 

Weymouth Compressor Station

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Pilgrim closure could drive up carbon emissions, Eagle-Tribune

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

Municipal light communities part of rebate program, Telegram

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

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

 

Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

Speedy reactor cleanups may carry both risks and rewards, AP

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices, etc.

EIA Launches its New State Energy Portal, NA Clean Energy

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

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

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

ISO-NE on Track with GMD Standard, RTO Insider

FERC Sets Conference on New England Fuel Security, RTO Insider

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

Cuomo vs. New York, Wall St. Journal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending May 3, 2019

Energy Efficiency: MBTA & Goodwill | Too Warm for Winter Sports  

We are closing out the week with some good news on the energy efficiency front and some not so good news for outdoor skating rinks and other winter sports.

A new $40 million project in partnership with Eversource and National Grid will make the MBTA more energy efficient. MassLive reports that ‘the projects are expected to save the MBTA $2.7 million a year on energy costs, while reducing the MBTA’s electricity use by 7 percent — or an amount equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 4,000 Massachusetts homes.

The projects will include installing high-efficiency LED lighting and lighting controls, upgrading HVAC equipment and building automation controls.’

And Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut is partnering with Eversource to make 17 of its facilities more energy efficient. It is estimated that Goodwill will save more than $148k in annual energy costs.  Check out the story in NA Energy for more info.

Sports Illustrated has an important piece on how climate change is impacting outdoor skating rinks, ice fisherman and the snows sports industry.  ‘Data collected by RinkWatch, a citizen science project, indicates that the number of high-quality skateable days in Toronto has dropped precipitously in the last few decades. From the late 1950s to the early ’80s, Toronto averaged between 35 and 42 of those days; recently, that number has fallen by 25%.’

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

The Next Frontier for Demand Response: Natural Gas, Greentech Media

Columbia Gas’ New President Talks About His Vision For Leading The Company After Disaster, WBUR

900 MW Invenergy natural gas plant faces uncertain future in ISO NE, Utility Dive

Columbia Gas settles lawsuit with Lawrence family who lost home, suffered injuries in 2018 gas disaster, MassLive

Cost for Merrimack Valley gas disaster could hit $1B, New Hamsphire Union Leader

National Grid seeking to raise natural gas rates nearly 7 percent, Newsday

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Winter Is Going: How Climate Change Is Imperiling Outdoor Sporting Heritage, Sports Illustrated

Can Humans Help Trees Outrun Climate Change?, New York Times

Baker admin taking the lead on carbon pricing effort, CommonWealth Magazine

Janet Mills proposes 27-member climate change council, Bangor Daily News

Lawsuit accusing ExxonMobil of ignoring risks from climate change moves forward, PRI

Bill aims to fight climate change, save forests, The Recorder

Wind

Cape Cod Commission review of Vineyard Wind underway, Cape Cod Times

Otis residents favor ban on commercial wind turbines, Ellsworth American

Wind developer offers to conserve land to lessen turbines’ threat to birds, Bangor Daily News

The Northeast leads the country in net-metered wind electricity generation capacity, EIA

Solar

Some Massachusetts Forestland Is Being Clear-cut To Put Up Solar Farms, WGBH

Tiverton Farm Receives $20k Grant For Solar Panels, Patch

Peck Electric Announces Seven Vermont Solar Projects, Solar Industry

City approves solar deal worth $900,000 annually, Valley Breeze

Titan Energy, The Town Of Scotland And Greenskies Renewable Energy Complete Solar Array At Scotland, Patch

Efficiency/Storage

$40 million project will make MBTA more energy efficient, MassLive

Eversource Partners with Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut to Help Them Save Money and Energy at 17 Locations, NA Clean Energy

Environmental Groups Add To Pressure For Energy Storage Tax Boost, Forbes

Buying an energy-efficient home is a financially bright idea, USA Today

Nuclear

NRC says Vermont Yankee cask maker violated safety regulations, VTDigger

Closing Pilgrim, WBUR

Global Nuclear Power Market is likely to generate a demand of USD 205.2 billion by 2024, while actuating at a CAGR of 8.9%, Marketwatch

Georgia Power’s parent: After Vogtle, no new nuclear until maybe 2040, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Gov. Mills proposes climate council to pursue emissions, energy goals, Portland Press Herald

In Madbury: Eversource updates selectmen on Seacoast Reliability Project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Energy : Seeks Approval for System Reliability and Clean Energy Investments, Marketscreener

Massachusetts Energy Secretary Matt Beaton will be replaced by WMass native Kathleen Theoharides, MassLive

Ongoing debate over 147-mile CMP line in Maine, The Free Press

Editorial/Opinion

MBTA’s electrification priorities stuck in traffic, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine Voices: CMP plan will allow us to cut emissions while maintaining robust economy, Press Herald

Get the most out of offshore wind revolution, The Day

Delbert Reed: CMP’s proposal really is a good deal for Mainers, Sun Journal

Column: Columbia Gas works to rebuild trust, infrastructure in Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, solar

Energy News for week ending April 26, 2019

Waiving Jones| HouseZero| Blast Day

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Here are the highlights from this week’s energy news.

We know things can change in the administration minute to minute or tweet to tweet, however the northeast got some potentially encouraging news this week via Bloomberg: Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say. “President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico or the Northeast, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting on Monday, following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three people. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is now leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private deliberations. The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.”

While many might cheer the easing of the Jones Act, the builders of one home in Cambridge are likely saying, “No thanks. We’re all good.” WGBH brings us, Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet. “On a quiet residential street close to Harvard University, there’s a wood-shingled house that’s easy to miss. Save for some funky-looking angled awnings around the windows, it’s pretty nondescript. But its simplicity belies its ambition. Welcome to HouseZero, arguably the most energy-efficient building in the world. Ali Malkawi, a Harvard professor of architecture and technology and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, designed HouseZero. When asked why that name, he chuckled. ‘Because there are a lot of zeros,’ Malkawi said. ‘The house doesn’t use almost any energy for heat and cooling. It doesn’t have any electrical light during the day. The building does not have a carbon footprint, including the amount of energy throughout the building materials…’Malkawi is trying to change not just how much energy a building consumes, but how much it produces. The Cambridge house he designed has no lights, no heating or air-conditioning system, and barely a utility bill. While most homeowners or tenants would rejoice over the idea of never having to pay a heating bill, the goal of HouseZero is to produce more energy than it will ever consume. Using passive design, windows automatically open if it starts to get a little warm or stuffy (They can also be opened manually). When the temperature dips outside, a solar chimney keeps the inside temperate… Malkawi hopes that the information gleaned from HouseZero will prove that ultra-efficient buildings like this one are scalable in any climate.”

Well, it’s official. The implosion of the two 500-foot Brayton Point cooling towers will happen tomorrow Saturday, April 27th. According to WPRI News “Time is running short for the large cooling towers at the site of the former Brayton Point Power Station. On Friday, Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said the company performing the demolition has been given the green light for 8 a.m. Saturday.” And according to the Boston Globe, if you haven’t already made your reservations to watch from one of several vantage sites, you may be out of luck. “’Everybody in this area is excited to have the towers come down,’ said Nathan Setera, a manager at Barrett’s Waterfront, a restaurant and bar in Fall River across from the towers. The restaurant is hosting a sold-out “Bring Em Down Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for 250 patrons who will have front-row seats for the implosions. The menu includes a Bloody Mary with a pair of celery stalks in honor of the two towers and a cupcake tower. Castle Island Brewing Co. in Norwood will be there to serve Lil’ Dynomite, a red ale, Setera said. Cristoff Shay, executive vice president and director at Battleship Cove, said tickets for the implosion gathering aboard the USS Massachusetts sold out within 24 hours. ‘It’s a historic event,’ he said. ‘It seemed people were very eager and excited.’”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say, Bloomberg

North Andover woman’s lawsuit is 16th filed against Columbia Gas since disaster, Eagle Tribune

Utility is undecided about seeking a rate increase after Lawrence-area disaster, Boston Globe

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely, Wall St. Journal

Con Edison deal could end natural-gas crisis—in 2023, Crain’s New York

NTSB: 5 lessons learned from a Silver Spring gas explosion that killed 7, WUSA

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: Going 100 percent renewable power means a lot of dirty mining, Salon.com

A climate change solution slowly gains ground, Washington Post

Electrifying Your Home is Good for You, Sierra Club

Maine AFL-CIO Becomes First State Federation to Support a Green New Deal Bill, In These Times

New York targets 1.5 TWh of new renewables with latest solicitation, Utility Dive

Americans love clean energy. Do they care if it includes nuclear?, Vox.com

How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules, Politico

Is South Portland the ‘greenest’ city in Maine? It’s a leader, for sure, Portland Press Herald

Why Some Landfills are Exploring Virtual Pipelines to Capitalize on Gas, Waste360

New York City eyes Quebec hydropower in bid to go green, Sun Journal

Renewable energy takes bite out of Avangrid’s 1Q profits, Hartford Business Journal

How to stave off that climate anxiety with a renewable energy supplier, Grist

MASSPIRG Campaigning for 100% Renewable Energy, The Beacon – MCLA

Regional Conference Planned on Ocean Energy Innovation, Cape Cod

 

Wind

Offshore wind auction faces a new hitch, Boston Globe

Building Out the US Offshore Wind Supply Chain—a $68 Billion Opportunity, Greentech Media

Massachusetts approves state’s first offshore wind contracts for 800 MW, Utility Dive

Developer of R.I. wind farm announces education, workforce initiative, Providence Journal

NS Zoning Board to resume turbine hearing tonight, The Call (RI)

Massachusetts offshore wind project gets green light at roughly 8.9 cents/kWh, Ars Technica

Students develop acoustic device to detect whales near offshore wind farm, Phys.org

Turbine Blade Testing Underway Ahead of Massachusetts’ 1st Wind Farm, NECN

 

Solar

New Jersey’s Community Solar Market: Ready to Shine, Greentech Media

New York updates distributed solar tariff, clearing path for 1 GW of new generation, Utility Dive

Fate of northern Vermont solar projects uncertain, VTDigger

Encore Renewable Energy takes historic silk mill solar in Keene, N.H., helping city meet its goal of 100% renewables by 2030, Utility Dive

Cape Cod Solar Company Donates Solar Panels to Hingham High School, Cape Cod Today

Seekonk farm gets state grant for solar system, Sun Chronicle

Planning Board delays solar farm application approval, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A cleaner, cheaper approach to heating and cooling, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Study Says Lighting Controls Boost LED Efficiency by 47 Percent, Buildings

GE announces first solar+storage projects since renewable business restructuring, Utility Dive

Duke, Eversource commit to create energy storage safety standards, Utility Dive

Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet, WBGH

New York Releases RFI for Energy Storage. Kicks Off $280 Million Incentive Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

This Vermont Town Took A Big Hit When Its Nuclear Plant Closed, WBUR

NRC Eases Curbs on A-Plant Licenses, Los Angeles Times

New Jersey approves up to $300M in annual nuclear plant subsidies, despite profitability claims, Utility Dive

Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner blasts state’s nuclear bailout bill, Utility Dive

Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim, WBUR

As Pilgrim Powers Down, Some Worry It Will Leave Behind Too Much Radiation, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

R.I. climate activists to hold ‘watch party’ as Brayton Point towers fall, Providence Journal

Going down: All you need to know about the implosion of Somerset’s cooling towers, Providence Journal

Tower implosion day brunches selling out fast in Fall River, Herald News

State OKs $141 million in charges for storm recovery, The Hour

Eversource seeks Seacoast Reliability Project permit, Seacoastonline.com

Future of New Haven’s defunct English Station power plant unclear, New Haven Register

ISO New England is excluding Invenergy’s proposed power plant from its future power projections, Uprise RI

Burrillville power-plant proposal wins court battle over Johnston water deal, Providence Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

An Earth Day wish: Bring hydro cars to Mass., Boston Globe

Don’t repeal the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels deception, Daily Bulldog

We’ve got plenty of gas and don’t need the PennEast pipeline winding through N.J., group says, NJ.com

Maine Voices: State should put projects on hold, plan for clean-energy future, Portland Press Herald

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

Energy News for week ending April 5, 2019

IMBY| Maine Boost| Duck Hunting

 

Welcome to the April 5th edition of the Northeast Energy News.

This week we start in New Hampshire where the Monadnock Ledger Transcript reports, “A well-known New Hampshire entrepreneur wants to create an home-sized power plant that can provide electricity, heat and hot water using a type of engine that has been around for a century but never really commercialized…Steve Walker, founder of New England Wood Pellet and innovator in the biomass industry, who has founded a tiny company in Peterborough that just got $3 million in federal research money to develop a mini power plant that can fit in your home using a Brayton cycle engine…Walker has assembled a small team and formed a company called IMBY, which stands for “In My Back Yard.” Their goal is to put a Brayton engine combined with a heat pump in a single unit that creates both electricity and heat – known as “combined heat and power,” the most efficient way to generate energy for buildings – and to make it available for about $15,000 installed in a single-family home. If such a unit could provide a home’s electricity, heat, air conditioning and even hot water, as well as act as a backup generator during power outages and possibly make a little money by selling power back into the grid, then there’s definitely a market.”

Now we move east to Maine, where according to the State House News Service via the Worcester Business Journal, “The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission has recommended a key certificate for a major hydropower project that could bring major economic and environmental benefits to New England, though staffers acknowledged “adverse and significant” effects on scenic and recreational values in areas near the project. Maine’s Public Utilities Commission staff on Friday night recommended a certificate of public convenience and necessity for New England Clean Energy Connect, a 1,200 megawatt transmission line project running 145 miles from the Canadian border to Lewiston, Maine that is designed to move Hydro Québec power into the region.”

With respect to that bit about “’adverse and significant’ effects on scenic and recreational values,” be sure to check out the Editorial/Opinions section for several items related to that topic.

Our last stop this week is Massachusetts, where PV Magazine reports that we have really lousy weather, especially in the winter, at least when it comes to solar. “Massachusetts goes duck hunting. The state has unveiled a straw proposal of its new Clean Peak Standard, which appears to focus on mitigating future “duck curve” effects, as well as meeting winter peak energy demand. And this is good news for solar + battery storage…the administration of Governor Charlie Baker (R) has compelling reasons for designing the policy whose first draft which was unveiled today in Boston: the Clean Peak Standard. This policy is designed to incentivize energy sources that not only supply zero-carbon electricity, but supply it when it is needed.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Statewide review of natural gas systems part of budget bill, Boston Herald

Moulton, Trahan: Act now on gas-pipeline safety, Eagle Tribune

New State Regulation Could Cut Emissions From Natural Gas Leaks In Half, Report Says, WBUR

Citizens speak out during Tennessee Gas Pipeline hearing, Reminder Publications

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Get Ready For 1.5¢ Renewable Electricity, Steven Chu Says, Which Could Unleash Hydrogen Economy, Forbes.com

Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables. New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils, Microgrid Knowledge

Siting of Renewables Divides Rhode Island’s Land and People, ecoRI news

 

Wind

We Checked President Trump’s Dubious Claims on the Perils of Wind Power, New York Times

Sen. Collins stresses importance of funding wind energy program, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

As Maine re-ups net metering, fight over solar tariffs brews in Connecticut, Utility Dive

Solar Power’s Benefits Don’t Shine Equally on Everyone, Scientific American

NJ Board of Public Utilities launches solar energy pilot program, Daily Energy Insider

Massachusetts goes duck hunting, pv magazine USA

Rhode Island Sweetens Brownfield Solar Incentives, Solar Industry

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How Massachusetts Compensates Battery Storage Owners for Energy Efficiency: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

Maryland passes energy storage pilot program to determine future regulatory framework, Utility Dive

Clean Energy Group: Massachusetts creates nationwide precedent to reduce storage, Vermont Biz

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, vtdigger.org

 

Nuclear

Senate re-introduces bill to help advanced nuclear technology, Ars Technica

Commission, state to ask feds for Vt. Hearing, Brattleboro Reformer

Pa. Senate bill aims to aid state nuclear plants, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Massachusetts Says it Has Right to Intervene in Pilgrim Plant License transfer, Exchange Monitor

How the nuclear “dread” zone handicaps public support, Axios.com

Why some environmental groups oppose a bill to help out low-carbon nuclear plants, Pennsylvania Capital-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, renews.biz

Hydro project sought by Massachusetts gets boost in Maine, Worcester Business Journal

Controversial $1B Canada-US transmission line gets nod from Maine PUC staff, Utility Dive

ISO-NE releases discussion paper on energy security challenges, solutions, ISO Newswire

Ward councilor, assistant AG fight National Grid rate increase at Brockton hearing, Enterprise News

Safety first, Eagle-Tribune

Major energy project in the works in Peterborough, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Divided Mainers weigh in on CMP’s $1B transmission project, Bangor Daily News

 

Editorial/Opinion

The Climate Needs Nuclear Power, Wall St. Journal

FLOATING WIND TURBINES – A No-Brainer for Newfoundland Offshore, The OGM

Maine Voices: CMP corridor’s climate claims don’t hold up to scrutiny, Press Herald

Letter to the Editor: Dismayed about CMP power line, Daily Bulldog

Do not bury solar energy in Connecticut, The CT Mirror

New England Grid Operator Ignores Value of Offshore Wind, Natural Resources Defense Council

Our View: Maine’s new solar law is just a first step, Press Herald

Viewpoint: Corridor would compromise forests, Mount Desert Islander

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending March 29, 2019

Wind Round 2 | NH Unhappy with Nuclear Option | Service Recap

 

Happy Friday!

 

It’s been a very busy day so no big recap this week.  We just point your attention to these few stories:

Round 2 begins for the state’s offshore wind contest, Boston Globe

New Hampshire officials unhappy with neighbors’ nuclear option, New Hampshire Union Leader

Former Mass. DPU Chair Reflects on Service, RTO Insider

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Opponents of Tennessee Gas Pipeline plan speak out at Longmeadow hearing, MassLive

National Grid slow to rebound after lockout, Patriot Ledger

ISO-NE files short-term fuel security plan to relieve gas constraints, Utility Dive

Summit Natural Gas rekindles interest in Farmingdale pipeline, Kennebec Journal

Grid steps up pressure to get state approval of undersea pipeline, Newsday

Can New York have a Green New Deal and a new fracked gas pipeline?, Grist

In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018, Washington Post

Seismic Testing Approval Process Raises Concern About Impact On Right Whales, WBGH

Trump to sign executive order to speed up pipeline development, Axios

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Solar and wind firms call the ‘Green New Deal’ too extreme, Reuters

Climate change fears spur investment in carbon capture technology, Financial Times via the BBJ (subscriber content)

They Grew Up Around Fossil Fuels. Now, Their Jobs Are in Renewables, New York times

New Hampshire officials unhappy with neighbors’ nuclear option, New Hampshire Union Leader

Despite Favorable Political Winds, Scant Progress in NJ on Climate Change, NJ Spotlight

Where does US climate policy stand in 2019?, Brookings Institution

Legislature approves green energy bills, plastic restrictions, Foster’s Daily Democrat

PJM Members Welcome Carbon Pricing Talks, RTO Insider

Zoning commission considers new rules on green-energy systems, Ridgefield Press

 

Wind

Feds, fishermen reach understanding on wind, Gloucester Times

Round 2 begins for the state’s offshore wind contest, Boston Globe

Baker makes few changes in offshore wind RFP, CommonWealth Magazine

Martha’s Vineyard Turbine Cables Hearing Ends In Murky Waters, USA Patch

Mass. sets specifics for second offshore wind procurement, Southcoasttoday.com

Wind-energy companies pitch benefits for LI in bid for contract, Newsday

Offshore Wind Energy Market is Anticipated to Reach 81,000.0 MW by 2024, MarketWatch

The State Of The U.S. Offshore Wind Market, North American Windpower

Battery and offshore wind costs ‘tumble’, reNews

Big hitters join New York offshore alliance, reNews

Mass. sets specifics for second offshore wind procurement, Herald News

 

Solar

Hartland brownfield site sees a sunny future with solar farm, Valley News

Westerly council OKs solar ordinance, but some worry about effect on homeowners, Westerly Sun

How Co-ops Are Bringing Solar Power to Rural America, Scientific American

Greenskies completes 30th solar system for Town of Fairfield, Fairfield Citizen

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Trump Administration Flips Switch On Energy Efficient Light Bulbs, NPR

Dominion bows to pressure on energy efficiency spending, Washington Post

Energy-Guzzling Hospitals Find Ways to Cut Consumption and Costs, Greentech Media

Medford Revamping Its Energy System, USA Patch

National Grid customers cash in on millions in energy efficiency incentives, WPRI 12

Eversource Plans Battery Storage Facility in Provincetown, Cape Cod

 

Nuclear

40 Years After A Partial Nuclear Meltdown, A New Push To Keep Three Mile Island Open, KCUR

The Energy 202: Rick Perry calls expanding nuclear energy “the real” Green New Deal, Washington Post

Perry defends plan for Nevada nuclear-waste storage site, AP News

CEOs Say Preserving the Nuclear Power Fleet Is Imperative, Power Magazine

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Chamber: National Grid delays affecting manufacturers, development, Worcester Business Journal

New England Grid Operator Puzzles in Microgrids and Energy Storage: Regional Outlook, Microgrid Knowledge

Emera to sell Maine utility for $1.3B, completing 3-year fundraising plan, Utility Dive

Andover-based energy giant gobbles up Kansas renewable-development partner, Boston Business Journal

Former Mass. DPU Chair Reflects on Service, RTO Insider

Maine Lawmakers Revive Microgrid Bill as New Governor Creates a Pro-Green Climate, Microgrid Knowledge

Medford, Massachusetts Moves Forward with Microgrid to Reduce Demand Charges, Improve Resiliency, Microgrid Knowledge

Norwich Public Utilities proposes $93.7 million budget, no rate increases, The Day

Overheard at the NE Electricity Restructuring Roundtable, RTO Insider

Food waste-to-energy company in talks with United Metro Energy to locate at EPCAL, RiverheadLOCAL

Unitil rebates will help school recoup project costs, Sentinel & Enterprise

Eversource wants rate hike to cover infrastructure upgrades, WCAX

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter to the editor: Pipeline editorial ‘shortsighted’, Connecticut Post

Column: Addressing the impact of climate change, Gloucester Daily Times

Joey Bergstein: Carbon pricing will reduce climate change for future generations, VTDigger

Commentary: Three new technologies could reshape Maine’s economy, climate in a good way, Portland Press Herald

Another View: Maine can reduce emissions without CMP project, Portland Press Herald

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

Energy News for week ending March 1, 2019

Map It Out | Feeling Pressure | Would you be a good neighbor

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

It’s getting late so we’ll just call your attention to a few bits of news.

First – this is a post from Visual Capitalist from late January, but we just caught wind of it today. It’s map of all the power plants in the US. You can scroll between 2007 and 2016 to see how things have changed. It’s kind of cool.

Second, there is news of more moratoriums on natural gas hookups in Massachusetts. From Jon Chesto at the Globe, “The municipal utilities that serve Holyoke and Middleborough just imposed separate moratoriums on new natural gas hookups, citing supply constraints. Is your community close behind? Probably not. The two biggest gas providers in Massachusetts, National Grid and Eversource, say their supplies are adequate for now.

To close, have you ever seen those green envelopes in your utility bills? They are for the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, which helps keep those less fortunate stay warm during the winter. The Gardner News is reporting that “The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is appealing to Massachusetts’ residents and businesses to make a donation to the Fund’s 2019 “Give the Gift of Warmth” campaign due to a heightened urgency of need brought on by bitter cold temperatures and the resulting increase in home energy consumption throughout the state…’The falling temperatures are generating an increase in the number of inquiries by individuals and families in need of energy assistance,’ said Mary Ellen Molloy, chairwoman of the 2018-2019 Good Neighbor Energy Fund campaign and regulatory relations specialist for Eversource Energy. ‘To meet their need, we appeal to the giving spirit of all our neighbors in the state and ask that you consider enclosing a donation of any amount in the green envelopes found in your utility bills or online at http://magoodneighbor.org/.’” FYI – you don’t need to live in MA to make a donation.

That’s it for this week. More snow is on the way so stay safe out there and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts gas explosions cost Columbia Gas more than $1 billion, Boston.com

Communities feeling pipeline pressure, Boston Globe

SEC Investigating Columbia Gas Parent For Pre-Disaster Filings, USA Patch

Columbia Gas parent won’t rule out rate hikes, Andover Townsman

The First Battle of the ‘Green New Deal’ Is the New York Pipeline Fight, Daily Beast

Coal power still gets NH through coldest days of the year, Union Leader

Anti-pipeline group questions HG&E moratorium decision, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts house speaker introduces plan to allocate $1B for green infrastructure, Utility Dive

America’s strongest climate governor might be a Republican, E&E News

Amesbury awaits state approval of green initiative, Newburyport Daily News

Neal backs ‘bold action’ on climate change, falls short of endorsing ‘Green New Deal,’ MassLive

US keeps air pollution standard established under Obama, AP

When environmentalists busted up dams, coal moved in, Grist.com

Paul Mercer Appointed To Head New England EPA Office, WGBH

New York moves to phase out older peaking plants as it targets 100% clean energy, Utility Dive

Baker proposes controversial change in how Mass. spends money on global warming, Boston Globe

6 Clean Energy Milestones to Watch For, Union of Concerned Scientists

Community forum to provide update on Brayton Point, Herald News

Climate change is depleting our essential fisheries, National Geographic

Vermont Farmers Learn to Adapt to a Changing Climate, Seven Days

Will Massachusetts and Other Northeastern States Move to Aggressively Price Carbon Emissions?, National Law Review

Mills sets renewable energy goals in climate change speech, Portland Press Herald

Very high carbon dioxide could suppress cooling clouds, climate change model warns, New York Times

 

Wind

Cranston won’t sue Johnston over wind farm, Turn to 10

Rhode Island fishermen accept Vineyard Wind mitigation, South Coast Today

$2B offshore wind farm gets R.I. approval, Providence Journal

Nantucket fishermen raise concerns about wind farm, Cape cod Times

Offshore wind flexes 69GW potential to 2027, reNews

 

Solar

27 MW of distributed solar to be installed in New York and Rhode Island, Renewable Energy World

Burlington solar company nets $1 million investment, VTDigger

Solar energy incentives bill moves forward, Portland Press Herald

Tremont solar project latest in CEI, Nature Conservancy funding collaboration, Mainebiz

Solar farms growing along the countryside, WTNH

Solar facility expanding into Franklin, The Bulletin

Homeowners rush to install solar, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

17-acre solar farm in Northampton seeks Planning Board approval, MassLive

Clean energy groups support solar policy reforms in New York State, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Eversource wants to remotely lower users air conditioners, Valley News

PPL Expanding Energy Efficiency Programs with EFI’s Award Winning Utility Marketplace and Instant Rebate, Business Journals

Massachusetts speaker proposes $1B for energy efficiency grants, Journal-Record

The Energy Burden: How Bad is it and How to Make it Less Bad., Union of Concerned Scientists

How the US Became the Most Varied and Groundbreaking Energy Storage Market, Greentech Media

Investors in the energy-storage company Tesla is trying to buy for $218 million are suing to block the sale, Business Insider

New York utilities, NYISO to collaborate on allowing storage in state’s wholesale and retail markets, Utility Dive

FERC allows storage to access New England real-time energy markets, Utility Dive

Designing Liberty Utilities’ New Hampshire residential storage program, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

CT taxpayers on hook for another round of nuke payouts, New Haven Register

Entergy Works On Selling Indian Point After It Shuts Down, WAMC

The Energy 202: Should nuclear plants get a bailout in the name of climate change? Pennsylvania debates, Washington Post

Read a draft of Pennsylvania’s nuclear bailout bill, State Impact PA

U.S. still has no place for spent nuclear fuel, so Maine Yankee’s owner gets millions, Portland Press Herald

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Regulators fine energy business $1.5 million as state lawmakers debate industry regulations, Hartford Courant

NEPPA CALLS FOR SPECIAL COMMISSION TO ADDRESS FUTURE ELECTRICITY NEEDS, Utility Dive

Who paid for ad critical of Mills’ support for CMP power line? No one’s saying., Portland Press Herald

Central Maine Power, opponent address proposed transmission line, Portland Press Heralds

Maine PUC wants to cut CMP’s allowable profit, WGME

Brayton Point towers to be imploded April 27, Herald News

The state’s ban on food waste lacks teeth, critics say, Boston Globe

Mapped: Every Power Plant in the United States, Visual Capitalist

National Grid expands customer engagement platform to 2 million customers, Electric Light and Power

 

Editorial/Opinion

Three takes on natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

EDITORIAL: There’s plentiful gas on our doorstep. Let’s use it, Lowell Sun

Letter: Weather vs Green New Deal, New Hampshire Union Leader

Editorial: Hopes for hydro from Canada, Providence Journal

Put RGGI funds into energy efficiency, by Chris Balch, Keene Sentinel

EDITORIAL: Bay State takes rising seas seriously, Daily News of Newburyport

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

Energy News for week ending February 22, 2019

MA picks up the tab| Plant reuse | Lantern

 

Happy Friday afternoon energy friends.

According to CommonWealth Magazine, “The road has been cleared of significant hurdles for the New England Clean Energy Connect project to bring clean hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts, and Maine will get a bevy of economic and environmental benefits for hosting the lines that will deliver the energy. New Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that she is now behind the project that Massachusetts is relying on and has agreed to allow the project to advance in the federal and state approval process with conditions intended for the benefit of Mainers…The governor’s office also touted the environmental benefits of the settlement, saying it will substantially reduce the state’s carbon footprint, control energy costs, and create jobs for Mainers. ‘And it will cost Maine ratepayers nothing,’ Mills said Thursday. ‘Massachusetts will foot the bill.’”

I’ve always believed that if we want to be good stewards of energy generation, we need to look at the full lifecycle of a plant and its environs – regardless of its fuel source. With coal and nuclear power plants retiring in large numbers, the sites are offering multiple opportunities for redevelopment. Some come with controversy – as in the old Edison plant in South Boston (Boston Globe). Others could remain part of the industry – such as New Jersey where, “Orsted alerted mariners last month that its 170-foot surveying vessel will study waters off Atlantic County, and the path runs near both B.L. England in Upper Township and the Oyster Creek Generating Station in Forked River. Orsted spokeswoman Lauren Burm confirmed the company is eyeing the two plants as a way to connect its turbines to the energy grid.” (Press of Atlantic City). And in Vermont, according to a story in Seven Days, the plan for an old coal plant in Burlington includes, “…filling in the basement of the old structure and removing the brick exterior. It would leave in place a steel skeleton. The open-air space would include public restrooms and space for vendors and concerts. Additional walkways, public art, a performance venue, a viewing deck or outdoor areas could also be added to the project in the future, pending additional funding.” Considering the mess that is there now and is blocking the view of the lake, this is some seriously good news.

For our last feature this week, we leave the Northeast and head to Europe. Since, we just mentioned art where there once was energy, we now bring you energy as art. From Wired UK, “From the outside, the newly upgraded Länsisalmi power substation, in southern Finland, looks like an art installation; behind its glass walls, two 400kV transformers constantly work to distribute electricity to 800,000 residents in the cities of Helsinki and Vantaa. Architect Bratislav Toskovic, from Helsinki-based Parviainen, was in charge of the redesign. ‘The main inspiration was electricity, and the visual element of light,’ he says. ‘I wanted to convert concrete structures into lanterns.’ To achieve that, he clad the substation’s three buildings with glazed glass panels – detached from the building’s walls by 60cm – and lined them with LED lights, which at night transform the complex into a glowing beacon. As the plant is visible from a major highway, Toskovic had the idea that it could be a landmark.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas companies could face hefty fines for service loss, Eagle Tribune

Natural gas hookups off limits in more Mass. Towns, Boston Business Journal

Toll from natural gas disaster in Merrimack Valley passes $1 billion, Boston Globe

New England electric grid vulnerable to natural gas shortages, ISO-NE head says, The News-Times

In bitter cold, gas barge off Massachusetts helped keep down New England energy prices, Hartford Courant

Killingly power plant plans push forward, The Bulletin

Weymouth Compressor Station Opponents To Meet With State Officials, WBUR

April ballot in Rehoboth includes nonbinding question on natural gas lines, Sun Chronicle

National Grid searches for source of natural gas leak in Providence, WJAR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

MIT study: Climate change could mean more stagnant air in summers, thunderstorms, Boston Globe

Natural Gas Guru Who Corrected the CIA Says Russia and U.S. Pick the Wrong Fight, Bloomberg

Grid operator laments lack of action on carbon pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

Independent power company seeks first 200 customers for renewable energy, Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Renewable Energy Projects Power New England Away From Fossil Fuel Dependence, CleanTechnica

State Rep. Peake Calls for Climate Change Fight at JFK Presidents’ Day Brunch, Cape Cod

Report recommends action to transition to clean-energy New England economy, Portland Press Herald

How Willing NH Is To Change Lifestyles To Battle Climate Change, USA Patch

The Nature Conservancy identifies strategies to achieve clean energy future, VTDigger

Report: $100 Billion Would Put Northern New England On 80 % Clean Energy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Smaller, safer, cheaper: One company aims to reinvent the nuclear reactor and save a warming planet, Science

 

Wind

Mills signs executive order reversing LePage moratorium on wind energy permits, Press Herald

Feds hear SouthCoast voices at Vineyard Wind hearing, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind Proposes 1,200 Megawatt “Liberty Wind” Offshore Project For New York, Clean Technica

3,500 acres on Glebe Mountain to be conserved, Brattleboro Reformer

Four Bidders Vie for NY Offshore Wind Project, RTO Insider

Wind energy companies love NY, Cape Cod Times

Don’t say goodbye to South Jersey power plants yet, offshore wind firm says, Press of Atlantic City

National Grid Awaits Approval of Revolution Wind Agreement, Commercial Property Executive

 

Solar

Eversource’s leap into solar power hits milestone; more planned, Berkshire Eagle

Standard Solar Acquiring 27 MW Portfolio In N.Y., R.I., Solar Industry

Turning Point Energy wins approval on solar farm, Breeze Publications

Solar carport at Massachusetts Comcast call center enough to offset 95 percent of consumption, Leedpoints.com

Eversource Powers Up 19 ‘Universal’ Solar Sites, Cape Cod

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

DOE proposal to change how it sets efficiency standards creates new hurdles, advocates say, Utility Dive

100% Renewable Energy Needs Lots of Storage. This Polar Vortex Test Showed How Much., Inside Climate News

Greater Boston Food Bank and Eversource Partner to Cut Energy Consumption at Yawkey Distribution Center, NA Clean Energy

New England efficiency advocates raise alarm over potential capacity market changes, Utility Dive

Groups Seek to Head off ISO-NE EE Changes, RTO Insider

NYSERDA Launches $1 Million Multi-Year Home Energy Ratings Pilot to Improve Energy Performance to Combat Climate Change, NA Clean Energy

Webster urges residents to get National Grid energy checkups, Telegram

 

EVs

Panel explores wide-ranging electric vehicle policy options, Daily Energy Insider

 

Nuclear

AG Healey, Secretary Beaton Seek to Intervene in Sale of Pilgrim Nuke, Eagle-Tribune

Citizens’ Group Files Petition over Concrete Degradation at Seabrook Nuclear Station, Engineering News-Record

Uncertainty shadows Pennsylvania’s debate over nuclear power, AP

Crowd debates 20-year extension of nuke plant’s operating license, Gloucester Times

PSEG’s LaRossa insists utility will close nuclear plants without subsidy, ROI NJ

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Mass. hydro project showers benefits on Maine, CommonWealth Magazine

New England’s wholesale power markets are becoming complicated, regional grid operator says, MassLive

Average ISO New England, Inc Salary, PayScale

ISO-NE capacity auction redo still needed: Vineyard Wind, S&P Global Platts

This massive lantern is actually a power plant in Finland, Wired.co.UK

Burlington to Move Forward With Moran Plant Redesign, Seven Days

 

Editorial/Opinion

Frigid Temperatures? Not a Problem in New England, CLF Blog

Our Opinion: Green New Deal needs a tighter focus, Berkshire Eagle

A rural take on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

The Green New Deal’s Impossible Electric Grid, Wall St. Journal

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canton climate study a good start, but change is needed, Canton.wickedlocal.com

Will Lamont lead or stay out of the way on offshore wind?, Connecticut Mirror

Maine Voices: None of us can afford to sit back as climate change poses threat to all life on Earth, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: We applaud work toward clean energy, Seacoastonline.com

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