Category Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending September 11, 2020

High Energy Burden | Big Oil Goes Green | Where are the yeses?

Happy Friday folks.

Busy day and week. So I need to keep this short.

I direct your attention to these two articles:

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

One more interesting article to share, which was a result of yesterday’s MIT CEEPR event that featured former Energy Secretary Moniz.

From Axios:

Amy: What is the state or region that you think will have the most difficult time transitioning to a clean-energy economy? Why?

Moniz:

New England. Moniz then went on to say that that region has in recent years opposed new and existing energy infrastructure, like natural-gas pipelines, hydropower and nuclear power plants that could help reduce emissions.

“There are a lot of nos. Where are the yeses? … If we are going to go to low carbon, where is it all going to come from? It’s not all going to come from offshore wind. That’s why we need pragmatic, realistic solutions.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

NYISO allows full participation for energy storage in wholesale power markets, Utility Dive

FERC Order May Undermine Renewables, Energy Storage in New York’s Capacity Markets, Greentech Media

How to Keep Firefighters Safe From Batteries, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Utilities Look to Green Hydrogen to Cut Carbon Emissions, Wall St. Journal

AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, Utility Dive

Amid a Pandemic, Green Electricity Charts a Course Forward, S&P Global Market Intelligence

United in Science report: Climate change has not stopped for COVID19, UN Environment Programme

Federal report warns of financial havoc from climate change, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

House to probe US lag on leveraging clean energy for COVID-19 recovery, consider bipartisan energy bill, Utility Dive

FERC rejection of NYISO renewables plan could prompt state-managed capacity market, advocates say, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Coalition, including UMass Dartmouth, backs expanded research of offshore wind, Herald News

Vineyard Wind partners with Nantucket for support, Cape Cod Times

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Blast Off, With Help From US Taxpayers, CleanTechnica

Study Finds Offshore Wind and Lobstering Can Coexist, EcoRI

Offshore Wind in NJ Gets Boost, But Lawmakers Demand a Halt to One Project, NJ Spotlight

Wind Farm Benefits Package Totals $29 Million for East Hampton Town, East Hampton Star

 

Solar

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media

Final approval given by the Town of Glocester for new solar project, WPRI

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor station starts testing, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas lobby charts course for fuel in carbon-constrained world, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas Is the Rich World’s New Coal, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Nuclear Energy Among the Least Popular Sources of Power in the U.S., Polling Shows, Morning Consult

So, What Exactly Are Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?, Greentech Media

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Maine Microgrid Project Lands USDA funding, Microgrid Knowledge

Obama energy secretary on blackouts, campaign scrutiny, Axios

PURA holds a final hearing for public comment on energy bill ratehikes, Fox 61

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

Energy News for week ending September 4, 2020

Ambitious Goals | Kill the Zombie | 99 Turbines

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with a story from NHPR, “N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals. New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities are proposing an increase to their energy efficiency savings goals for the next three years, in a plan that aims to cut costs and carbon emissions but could slightly increase customers’ bills in the short-term. The proposal centers on the utility-run NHSaves rebate program, which gives ratepayers incentives to use less energy by upgrading things like appliances, insulation or machinery. The utilities’ new goal for that program would have them sell 5% less electricity and 3% less gas between 2021 and 2023. The current goal, spanning 2018 to 2020, was to sell 3% less electricity and 2% less gas. Eversource, Unitil, Liberty Utilities and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative filed their proposal with the Public Utilities Commission Tuesday. They say it would save customers $1.3 billion overall – more than a third of the total amount they’ve saved with this program since 2002. And they say reducing New Hampshire’s gas and electricity use, particularly in the summer, will lower carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly a million cars off the road for a year.”

Next stop is Western MA with a story from MassLive, “Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle. More than 75 people gathered on the steps of City Hall on Thursday calling for an end to a long-proposed biomass project in East Springfield, saying it is a threat to public health and an environmental hazard. Some of those speaking used the phrase “we can’t breathe” in expressing their strong opposition to the wood-to-energy plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy LLC at 1000 Page Blvd. Verne McArthur, of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, led the activists and residents in chants against the biomass project, including, ‘We will, we will, block you, block you.’  ‘This event is about the zombie project — this biomass plant that Palmer Renewable wants to build and keeps pulling political strings to get loopholes to go do it,’ McArthur said. ‘We’ve been fighting it for 10 years and they’re now trying to come back.’ There is a climate bill before the state Legislature, in conference committee, that includes one proposed clause that would list biomass energy plants as “non-emitting sources” — a designation that would help the developers receive subsidies, opponents said. Ten city councilors have urged legislators to reject the clause, and there is also a signature petition.”

Next up is a visual story – but you’ll need a VR headset for the full effect. From NBC Philadelphia, “Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore. The company building New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm is providing a glimpse into the future — what beachgoers and residents will see when turbines are erected. Massive turbines, with blades as long as football fields, will one day spin in the Atlantic Ocean off the Jersey Shore. The first wind farm off New Jersey is expected to begin generating clean energy by 2024, according to Ørsted, the Danish company that received New Jersey’s initial permit for an 1,100-megawatt project last year. It will generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes. The company has released a first look at what the farm’s 99 turbines will look like from the beaches of Atlantic City and Stone Harbor once they are up and running. The ‘virtual reality tour’ also provides a view from one of the turbines, which will be roughly 15 miles out to sea and in an area off southern New Jersey between Cape May and Atlantic City.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great Labor Day weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

N.H. Electric, Gas Utilities Propose ‘Ambitious’ New Energy Efficiency Goals, NHPR

Why Aren’t Home Efficiency Scores Standard in Online Real Estate Listings?, Greentech Media

City of Framingham Hosting Home Energy Efficiency Workshop, Framingham Source

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The US and climate: New York’s bold green plans hit opposition, Pop Times UK

Biggest U.S. Utility Says Going Green May Cost You $58 a Month, Bloomberg Green

The quest for renewable energy could wreak havoc on wildlife, report warns, mic.com

Kill the ‘zombie’: Springfield demonstration calls for end to biomass proposal after decade-long battle, MassLive

$320,703 in grants awarded to transition rural businesses to renewable energy, Press Herald

Dartmouth Study Models Bioenergy Scenarios With Major Climate Benefits, NHPR

Renewable power grid would require $338B of improvements: Industry study, Washington Examiner

 

Wind

Groups say Boston electric grid upgrades should anticipate offshore wind, Energy Central

An inside look at NYSERDA’s award-winning offshore wind program, Windpower Engineering and Development

Seven Policies To Tap U.S. Offshore Wind’s $166 Billion Economic Growth And Emissions Reduction Potential, Forbes.com

Here’s What 99 Wind Turbines Will Look Like Off the Jersey Shore, NBC Philadelphia

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Opens Educational and Community Outreach Center in Atlantic City, Yahoo! Finance

 

Solar

Orsted, the World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar, Greentech Media

Solar investment group buys former Tee Bird South golf course in Saratoga County, Albany Business Review (subscriber content)

Advocates say over 200 shovel-ready community solar projects await legislative action in Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

 

EVs

Rhode Island initiates vehicle charging station project, Transportation Today

Electric vehicle charging stations increase in a county that barely uses them, Bangor Daily News

CMP starts up incentive program for high-power electric vehicle chargers, Press Herald

Electric trucks are gaining ground over natural gas in the waste industry, Utility Dive

The great battery race, Axios

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Ends State Of Emergency For Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, Patch.com

Clean Energy Fuels’ RNG to fuel New York transit buses, Bioenergy Insight

Algonquin Gas Gets Massachusetts Plant OK’d Despite Permit Suit, Bloomberg Law (subscriber content)

New Jersey Natural Gas Strengthens Sustainability Commitment, New Jersey Business

 

Nuclear

Bill Gates’ Nuclear Startup Unveils Mini-Reactor Design Including Molten Salt Energy Storage, Forbes.com

NuScale Becomes First Modular Nuclear Reactor to Receive NRC Design Approval, Engineering News Record

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Engineering Group Sees Increase in Power Outages, Costs, Microgrid Knowledge

Springfield councilors, Eversource slate meeting to discuss rising electric bills amid coronavirus pandemic, MassLive

Facing scrutiny over rate increases, power outages, Eversource quietly files $500M smart-meter plan, Hartford Business Journal

State’s Electric Utilities Make Plans to Roll Out Smart Meters, NJ Spotlight

Massachusetts top court denies NextEra bid to block state’s PPAs with Hydro-Québec, Utility Dive

Tesla ramps up interest in electricity utility business, CNET

Local Legislators Looking For Answers From Eversource, Cheshire Herald

Connecticut customers who lose power for three days or more would receive $500 in compensation for spoiled food or medicine under draft legislation, Hartford Courant

PURA to hold another public hearing on Eversource rate hikes, WFSB

 

Opinion/Editorial

Anna Gyorgy and Patricia Hynes: State Senate should remove biomass from climate bill, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Outage outrage was phony; legislators should get back to work, Journal Inquirer

School buses should go electric – here’s how, CommonWealth Magazine

Jon Lender: After storm, now comes test of whether lawmakers can enact an effective utilities reform bill, Hartford Courant

Climate action key theme of primary races, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar energy makes more sense all the time. Why build another gas plant?, Hartford Courant

Tackling the biggest obstacle to new transmission — power providers’ commitment phobia, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending August 28, 2020

Doesn’t Have to Happen | OSW Coalition | Paint it Black

Happy Friday folks.

Coming at you early this week.

Let’s start with news from the CT Mirror, which is perhaps one of the best explainer articles we have read in a while. It’s certainly worth sharing. Kudos to Jan Ellen Spiegel for her great reporting. “CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen. As the power outages from Tropical Storm Isaias piled up in every single community in Connecticut on Aug. 4, the finger pointing began. The utilities were seen as unprepared, leading critics to suggest they should pay for everything from snapped poles to spoiled food. But even if Eversource and United Illuminating had stationed armies of repair crews ready to roll as soon as it was safe, the high likelihood is that all that power would still have gone out. Arguably the questions Isaias begs are not who to blame and how to punish them, energy experts say, but ‘How do we keep the lights on?’ The answers may require a good bit of soul searching, not just by the utility villains of the moment, but by state officials, lawmakers, advocates, and residents themselves, who for years have focused on short-term costs and electric rates instead of long-term solutions that could eventually lower those rates and provide more storm resilience.”

When it comes to getting things done, the saying goes there is strength in numbers. Hence a new coalition has been formed to support offshore wind, From the Cape Cod Times, “Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives. Sena Wazer addressed the online press conference announcing a new coalition supporting offshore wind through the eyes of a 16-year-old peering into a potentially bleak future. ‘I’m fearful for my future,’ the co-founder of the Sunrise Movement in Connecticut said. ‘In 10 years, when I’m only 26, I don’t know if I’ll have a safe planet to live on.’ Experts describe actions taken in the next decade as critical to staving off the worst-case global warming scenarios. This summer gave us an inkling of how bad it could get, with unbearably long heat waves and drought in the Northeast and California wildfires in the West… ‘This crisis will only go away if we commit to do everything in our power to make sure we have a livable home going forward,’ Wazer said. It was that sense of urgency that impelled environmentalists, businesses, researchers and labor unions to form New England for Offshore Wind, a coalition focused on pushing state legislatures and governors in the region to make commitments by 2022 to offshore wind farms that could provide for one third of the region’s power needs.”

Our “new technology” of the week is less about tech but is effective none the less. From E&E News, “Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%. Painting one of a wind turbine’s three blades black led to a dramatic decline in bird mortality along the Norwegian coast, new research shows. Bird death from turbine collisions dropped by 71.9% where a turbine blade was black, compared with unpainted turbines at the same wind farm, according to findings published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution. Researchers observed a nearly 50% reduction in mortality from collisions involving towers with a single black blade. Bård Stokke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, one of the study’s lead authors, said the findings could address the evolving wind industry’s Achilles’ heel, its impact on birds.”

That’s the recap for the week.

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

$13M in funds for clean energy projects across Massachusetts, WWLP

Connecticut’s first ‘net-zero’ schools, tapping solar and geothermal energy, to be built in Manchester and Mansfield, Hartford Courant

Over 20 percent energy use reduction in New York State buildings since 2010, informnny.com

Bloomfield bearing pioneer sets sights on wasted energy market, Hartford Business Journal

Cambridge partners with All In Energy to assist residents, Wicked Local Cambridge

Time for a diet: Today’s US homes have super-sized into “energy gluttons,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Learn How You Can Take Advantage of Horticulture Energy Efficiency Programs, Greenhouse Grower

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Energy experts warn over green hydrogen ‘shortfall,’ Renews.biz

Preserving Trees Becomes Big Business, Driven by Emissions Rules, Wall St. Journal

WoodMac: 2020s Will Be the ‘Decade Of Hydrogen,’ Greentech Media

Utilities warn New York’s $72M ‘build-ready’ renewables program could cost consumers, Utility Dive

Adirondacks seeing a push for green energy, Times Union

 

Wind

New York, New Jersey hesitant on offshore grid planning amid federal uncertainty, Politico

New York’s Hudson Valley: Future Offshore Wind Hub?, Greentech Media

Mitchell: Delays to wind projects have hurt New Bedford’s ‘first mover’ status, South Coast Today

So Much For Saving Coal Jobs: More Offshore Wind Jobs Waiting In The Wings, Cleantechnica

Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%, E&E News

Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

New Report Finds Rhode Island has Plenty of Room to Expand Solar Responsibly, EcoRI

Solar Grids Built on NJ Farmland Get Senate Backing, NJ Spotlight

Agilitas Energy’s SMART Solar Project in Auburn MA Commences Construction, Alt Energy Mag

Bakers Island Light Station Celebrates New Solar Array, North Shore Magazine

CT Green Bank sells 6 solar energy systems to Greenwich investment firm, New Haven Register

Investment firm proposes $100 million trio of solar projects for Maine, Press Herald

 

EVs

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive

Electric Vehicle Makers Find a Back Door to Wall Street, New York Times

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Not everyone happy about Columbia Gas deal, Eagle Tribune

The United States set record for daily natural gas power burn in late July, EIA.gov

 

Nuclear

NRC board extends Seabrook plant’s license with conditions relating to concrete testing, Gloucester Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen., CT Mirror

New York City’s hottest new energy fight, Grist

At Connecticut hearing on Eversource rate increases, critics demand more accountability; Blumenthal calls for break-up of utility, Hartford Courant

Breakup Eversource? Or just closely regulate? Blumenthal’s suggestion jolts PURA hearing, CT Mirror

Energy sector divided over transmission incentives for voluntary cybersecurity investments, Utility Dive

Following botched utility response to Hurricane Isaias, New York governor proposes stricter penalties, Utility Dive

Exelon: Massachusetts’ gas and oil-fired Mystic power units to close in 2021 and 2024, Power Engineering

A new voice at PURA at a pivotal time in energy oversight, CT Mirror

Opponents will still try to kill CMP corridor after court nixes referendum, Bangor Daily News

 

Opinion/Editorial

New England needs to go all in on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Resources Council CEO: State agencies failed Maine on CMP corridor, Press Herald

My Turn: Is solar net metering a net good for New Hampshire?, Concord Monitor

Opinion: CT leading the way in wind energy development, CT Post

Grow crops, not solar panels, on NJ’s best farmland, The Link News

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

Energy News for week ending August 14, 2020

Hot enough for ya? | Unconstitutional | Water Woes

Happy Friday folks.

Well, it isn’t your imagination. It’s been wicked hot. From the Washington Post, “Seven East Coast states saw their hottest July on record. July 2020 was record hot for much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Sizzling temperatures and sultry humidity baked the Acela corridor for most of the month, with heat indices rising into the triple digits and making conditions all the more unbearable. The entire Lower 48 experienced temperatures near or above normal during July, the toasty temperatures becoming routine as human-induced climate change continues to take is toll. The month ranked as the 11th warmest on record overall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Seven states — Virginia (tie), Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania (tie), New Jersey, Connecticut (tie) and New Hampshire — all clinched the top spot for their sweltering July heat. Records date back to 1895. The heat was ubiquitous along the East Coast, with states east of the Appalachians recording a top five warmest July except Georgia and South Carolina.”

The battle in Maine over the New England Clean Energy Connect line just took a dramatic turn. From the Portland Press Herald, “Supreme court rules CMP corridor referendum unconstitutional. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court finds that the initiative to reverse a decision by the Public Utilities Commission ‘exceeds the scope of the people’s legislative power.’ The state’s top court has blocked a referendum to stop a planned hydroelectric power corridor through western Maine. In a ruling issued Thursday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court decided the state’s Constitution does not give voters the power to reverse a decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, as the referendum is designed to do, so the question cannot be included on the November ballot as planned. The referendum “exceeds the scope of the people’s legislative powers conferred by … the Maine Constitution,” the ruling says. The decision is a significant blow to environmentalists and others who oppose the $1 billion project being developed by Central Maine Power parent company Avangrid, which is owned by Iberdrola, a multinational electric utility conglomerate based in Spain. The 145-mile transmission line would carry hydroelectric power from Quebec to Lewiston to supply regional power.

Here’s an interesting efficiency story. From the Washington Examiner, “Trump says EPA looking ‘very strongly’ into ‘situation’ with toilets and bathrooms. President Trump said he had directed the Environmental Protection Agency to consider loosening water efficiency standards for toilets and other bathroom appliances…‘We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms,’ Trump said Friday. ‘People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once,’ Trump said. ‘They end up using more water.’ He complained that strict conservation standards had damaged the performance of bathroom appliances…The EPA regulates water quality and water pollution, and it has a voluntary partnership program called WaterSense through which it labels water-efficient products — but the Department of Energy issues the bulk of energy efficiency and water conservation standards for appliances. The Energy Department has proposed to weaken or has slowed a number of efficiency standards during the Trump administration, including efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs. That move was met with legal opposition from environmental and efficiency groups.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Businesses Charge Up Batteries to Corral Power Costs, Wall St. Journal

Trump says EPA looking ‘very strongly’ into ‘situation’ with toilets and bathrooms, Washington Examiner

Assessing the value of battery energy storage in future power grids, MIT News

Energy efficiency enhances other DERs’ value, but few utilities incentivize combinations of them, Energy Central

Catamount Solar and Northern Reliability to install solar array and battery storage system, Vermont Biz

Maine schools take advantage of empty halls to make efficiency upgrades, Energy Central

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Climate Activists Will Launch Utility Bill Strike In New England Sept. 1, NHPR

Seven East Coast states saw their hottest July on record, Washington Post

Earth is overheating. Millions are already feeling the pain., New York Times

U.S. Gas, Power Utilities Join $100 Million Clean-Tech Effort, Bloomberg Green

Covid-19 Curbing Corporate Deals for U.S. Clean-Energy Projects, Bloomberg

NY – New York’s Hydropower Plan Stirs Concerns Over Impact on Waterways, Coastal News Today

U.S. Oil Refiners Accelerate Shift to Renewables in Downturn, Wall St. Journal

Global Warming Could Unlock Carbon From Tropical Soil, New York Times

Springfield city councilors raise concerns that House climate bill helps biomass plant, MassLive

 

Wind

The Economic Impact of Offshore Wind Energy, NYLCV

Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind Select Offshore Wind Challenge Startups, NA Windpower

New offshore wind hub jobs could be coming to Westchester, adjacent to Indian Point, Hudson Valley News

 

Solar

A different kind of flower power, Boston Globe

Solar energy farm subscribers in Maine can get a break on electric bills, CentralMaine.com

Two R.I. parking lot solar arrays approved in National Grid’s first-round renewable energy program, Providence Business News

Newark launches $10 million project to install solar panels, other energy efficiency upgrades, Newark Post

 

EVs

Effort for car-charging station shorts out in Lebanon, Valley News

NJ Planned to Help People Buy Electric Cars With a $5,000 Rebate. Now, Not So Much, NJ Spotlight

WoodMac: 54,000 Electric Trucks on US Roads by 2025, Greentech Media

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New York City’s Hottest New Energy Fight, Huffington Post

How New York Can Shut Down Far More Fossil Peakers, Greentech Media

Trump administration scraps limits on methane leaks at oil and gas sites, Washington Post

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Maine Supreme Court rules CMP corridor referendum unconstitutional, Portland Press Herald

FERC staff to Congress: HV transmission essential to reducing carbon, deploying renewables, Utility Dive

Amid power outages, CEO of generator maker anticipates ‘massive change’ coming to the grid, CNBC

Isaias Shows Our ‘Dinosaur Energy System’ Isn’t Ready for Climate Change, Gizmodo

As Connecticut municipal leaders mull legal action over Eversource’s handling of Tropical Storm Isaias utility says final customers will get power back by midnight Thursday, Hartford Current

At Least 160,000 in New York Region Have No Power Six Days After Isaias, Bloomberg

What Isaias Laid Bare about the East Coast’s Progress — or Lack of — on Energy Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

State officials considering new performance-based regulation system for energy companies, WTNH (CT)

Lingering Outages After Isaias May Prompt BPU to Speed Rollouts of Smart Meters, NJ Spotlight

Sen. Heinrich, 12 Senate Democrats Request That FERC Provide Smart-Grid Technology Deployment Incentives to Reduce Consumer Costs, Improve Transmission, Energy Central

Maine regulators approve double-digit rate cut for Versant customers starting next month, Bangor Daily News

Majority of Guilderland council approves buried NYC power cable to run along rail line, Altamont Enterprise

 

Opinion/Editorial

Are New Transmission Projects Contributing to Clean Energy?, Energy Central

Why floating turbines are so important to Maine’s offshore wind prospects, Energy Central

Dan Haar: Where’s Jim Judge, the invisible Eversource boss?, Middletown Press

RGGI will not benefit Pennsylvania | Opinion, PennLive

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending July 17, 2020

Net Metering Petition Dismissed | Double Capacity | We’re Still on Top

Happy Friday.

This week’s big news came out on Thursday when FERC dismissed a petition to declare solar net metering policies illegal. From Greentech Media, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unanimously rejected a plea to declare all state solar net-metering policies illegal, a victory for solar industry groups and state policymakers. All four FERC commissioners voted to dismiss the April petition from the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), which argued that FERC, not states, should have jurisdiction over sales of electricity from customer-sited generators like rooftop solar. ‘We find that the petition does not identify a specific controversy or harm that the commission should address in a declaratory order,’ FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in Thursday’s FERC open meeting. NERA, a New Hampshire-based 501(c)(4) organization that hasn’t disclosed its backers, said FERC should take up the group’s legal argument to assert federal jurisdiction over net metering regulations in 41 states that ‘overcompensate distributed generators at the expense of all other electricity consumers.’”

Sticking with solar, in Massachusetts this week the State House News Service via WBUR reports, “New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity. Industry groups on Wednesday largely welcomed the updated regulations that the Baker administration filed for a solar energy development program, saying the new rules will help the state meet its climate goals and help the solar industry as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but some also said the update does not go far enough. The updated regulations for the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, which is designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, double the program’s capacity, expand eligibility criteria for low-income solar projects and encourage the adoption of energy storage technology.” The regulations took effect Wednesday.

Last story for this week is new “old news.” From Wallethub, “2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States. In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation. While commercial and industrial electricity use have declined in 2020 due to business closures during lockdowns, residential electricity use has actually increased, which means many people will be forking over larger checks to their power companies. To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our analysis uses a special formula that accounts for the following residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.” The results for the Northeast, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are the top 4 most expensive states. Maine comes in at six and Vermont is 11th.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

‘Enormous Step’ for Energy Storage as Court Upholds FERC Order 841, Opening Wholesale Markets, Greentech Media

US, Canadian gas utilities’ energy efficiency investments grow to $1.47B, S&P Global

Eversource puts in place new safety guidelines for energy efficiency services, Daily Energy Insider

Net Zero as the New Standard, Commercial Property Executive

Energy storage, tick disease and antique snowmobile bills signed into law, Concord Monitor

Become More Energy Efficient And Save Money, WWLP MassAppeal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Biden unveils ambitious plan to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035, pour trillions into green energy, ABC News

Never let a good crisis go to waste, CT Mirror

This Al Gore-supported project uses AI to track the world’s emissions in near real time, Fast Company

Global Methane Emissions Reach a Record High, New York Times

Trump to Weaken Environmental Rules to Speed Infrastructure Permits, New York Times

Boston has already experienced some of the nation’s worst tidal flooding — and it’s going to get much worse, study finds, Boston Globe

Siberian heat streak and Arctic temperature record virtually ‘impossible’ without global warming, study says, Washington Post

Key trends to disrupt the US renewables market in the next six months, Smart Energy International

How the ‘15-Minute City’ Could Help Post-Pandemic Recovery, Bloomberg City Lab

Six Places Doing It Right, Politico

Tidal energy may help remote communities integrate more renewable energy, techxplor.com

UMass Lowell receives grant to support clean energy, Lowell Sun

 

Wind

Wind Port project, where towering turbines could be made, looks like game-changer for Garden State, renewable energy companies, ROI NJ

‘We’re here for the people,’ Observer Today (NY)

New Road Map for Murphy Administration’s Offshore Wind Ambitions, NJ Spotlight

 

Solar

FERC Unanimously Dismisses Effort to Undermine Solar Net Metering, Greentech Media

New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity, State House News via WBUR

Massachusetts Finalizes Distributed Solar Rules With Fewer Restrictions on Land Use, Greentech Media

 

EVs

The Energy 202: More than a dozen states unite to boost electric trucks, Washington Post

Next Up for Electrification: Heavy-Duty Trucks and Construction Machinery, Greentech Media

Electric cars got crushed in 2020, but next year could be their best, Quartz.com (subscriber content)

Where do electric vehicles fit in energy grid management,? Automotive World Today

 

Nuclear

Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects, The Hill

 

Gas

Public resistance and high costs are canceling pipelines across the country, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Natural Gas Divide, grist.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Connecticut to Look at Resilience, Renewables & NWAs in Grid Modernization Proceeding, Microgrid Knowledge

Hydro-Québec sweetens 1,200-MW transmission line deal with Maine, S&P Global

Top 3 trends shaping the future power utility sector, Smart Energy International

2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States, Wallet Hub

Former MassCEC chief takes CEO role at Burlington power company, Boston Business Journal

Eversource Energy : Delivers Summer Electricity Savings to Customers in Eastern Massachusetts, Market Screener

 

Opinion

Activists Not Only Slow Oil Pipelines, But Also Power Lines Needed For Renewable Energy, Forbes.com

Our racist fossil fuel energy system, Boston Globe

Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Myth of “Renewable Natural Gas” for Building Decarbonization, earthjustice.org

Holding on to power, Why storage is a crucial part of the state’s new energy vision, NJBiz

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Energy News for week ending June 26, 2020

Carbon Tax | Solar Limbo | StEnSea

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start we a story from the Concord Monitor, “New England Power Generators pushing for a carbon tax. A utility group representing most of the power plants in New England is supporting the idea of a tax on the carbon content of emissions, an idea supported by many economists as the simplest and most market-based way to reduce greenhouse gas production. The report by Cavicchi and Paul Hibbard of the Analysis Group for New England Power Generators Association says a price of between $25 and $70 per ton of CO2 in emissions would drive changes in electricity production, transportation and heating that could meet the region’s emissions targets. A carbon tax would raise the price of gasoline and heating oil, spurring a switch to electric vehicles and electric heat pumps. As the power grid comes cleaner with more renewable energy, that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy, often placed under the slogan ‘electrify everything,’ is a major plank in many proposals to fight the climate emergency. The report argues that total spending would also decline by switching to electrified transportation and heating, saving customers money.”

Next up is a story from PineTreeWatch.org, “6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition. The fate of net metering in New England — and across the United States — remains unknown, but resistance to its erasure is mounting. More than 450 organizations, 57,000 individuals and 37 states submitted comments opposing a petition that could set a national precedent and end a billing practice that credits users for investing in solar. Twenty-two organizations and individuals filed support for the proposal. The public comment window ended on June 15. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has not yet set a date to rule on the petition, which was filed by the New England Ratepayers Association in April…Maine Gov. Janet Mills was among those who spoke out against the petition, asking commissioners to ‘outright dismiss this petition.’ More than 6,000 ongoing projects in Maine rely on the benefits of net metering and the petition ‘would put at risk Maine’s existing renewable energy programs and the economic benefits enjoyed by thousands of citizens,’ Mills wrote in a letter to FERC. The Maine Public Utilities Commission and Maine Office of the Public Advocate also issued statements opposing the petition. ‘We’re not going away,’ said Barry Hobbins, Maine’s Public Advocate, whose job is to look out for the interests of public utility customers in Maine. ‘This could really undercut the solar industry.’”

For our new technology feature we look to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, “Energy storage at sea could enable full transition to renewable power. A new form of pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology in Germany. The project, entitled Storing Energy at Sea (StEnSea), uses concrete spheres anchored on the seafloor. To store energy, water is pumped out of the spheres, against the pressure of the surrounding seawater. When the energy is required, water is allowed to flow back into the spheres, driving turbines. No upper reservoir or transmission pipe is required since the surrounding seawater provides the necessary water pressure. When compared to conventional PSH, the need for land is eliminated and structures are minimised. It eliminates the danger of dam collapse and improves storage efficiency since evaporation from the upper reservoir does not reduce the energy stored. It is proposed that spheres with a diameter of 30m would be located at a depth of 700m, giving a nominal storage capacity of 27MWh. When the actual internal volume and operating efficiency of the system are taken into account, this configuration is expected to yield 18.3MWh storage capacity with a peak power output of 5MW.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

ACEEE highlights 10 building energy performance standards to help meet climate goals, Utility Dive

New York Power Authority, Signify upgrade 500K streetlights statewide, Utility Dive

FEATURE: Energy storage at sea could enable full transition to renewable power, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Bring-Your-Own-Batteries and EV Chargers: The Future of Distributed Energy Integration?, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

New England Power Generators pushing for a carbon tax, Concord Monitor

Corporate carbon reduction targets get boost with new EEI, WRI utility emission rate tool, Utility Dive

Much of New York City’s generation needs to be displaced to reach state renewables target, agencies say, Utility Dive

US public opinion supports action on climate change — and has for years, Vox.com

Emissions reduction bill clears Senate committee, VT Digger

The Energy 202: House Democrats push aid for wind and solar in new infrastructure bill, Washington Post

Why Tackle Climate Change? To Save Craft Beer and Outdoor Sports, Greentech Media

 

Wind

Health board hopes to hold hearing ‘when feasible’ on wind turbines, Wicked Local Plymouth

Wind farm-related relocation of Connecticut fishermen stirs funding debate, Undercurrent News

New London and Connecticut Port Authority again at odds on funding, the Day

In New York, The Town Of Freedom Isn’t Free From Big Wind, Forbes.com

Trump administration wind and solar approvals lag Obama record: study, Reuters

Deep in the Heart of Texas, a Chinese Wind Farm Raises Eyebrows, Foreign Policy

 

Solar

6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition, Pine Tree Watch

Trapping the sun: New thin-film technology uses sustainable components for solar panels, Phys.org

GMP has app to let customers support small biz and nonprofits, Rutland Herald

BlackRock Leads $50M Investment Into Off-Grid Solar Technology That Generates Water, Greentech Media

Environmental Group Pursues Residential Solar Mandate in 10 States, Greentech Media

 

EVs

State Expanding Clean Car Rebates to Commercial Fleets, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Apple Maps gets electric vehicle routing to find EV chargers, Techcrunch

Ford aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, The Verge

 

Nuclear

Citizens’ Panel Reviews Pilgrim Nuclear Settlement, WCAI

Local leaders like Pilgrim deal but want more for Plymouth, Wicked Local Plymouth

Report: Company Decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Under Criminal Investigation, WBUR

Truck hauling empty Vermont Yankee waste containers tips over, WCAX

Judge Orders Decommissioning Temporarily Halted at Former Nuclear Plant, (NJ) The Sandpaper

 

Gas

Report cites slow progress fixing gas leaks, Salem News

Columbia Gas Ordered To Pay $53M Fine For Merrimack Valley Explosions, WBUR

UPDATE: Federal judge formally sentences Columbia Gas for Merrimack Valley disaster, Eagle Tribune

LNG shipments by rail OK’d in US amid pipeline battles, Gloucester Times

PG&E First Major Utility to Support State Bans on Natural Gas, Bloomberg Law

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Feds OK $140 million fuel subsidy for New England power plants in winter, Concord Monitor

Black households pay more for energy than white households: analysis, The Hill

Norwich Public Utilities continues to see impacts of COVID-19 on customers, The Day

What is Transactive Energy and Why is it Important to Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

CMP Transmission Line Faces New Legal Challenges, Including One Over Public Lands, Maine Public

Trump’s Grid Order Baffles Utilities Over What They Can Buy, Yahoo! Finance

 

Opinion

Op-Ed: Off-shore wind can still power Massachusetts, Boston Business Journal

Our view: South Jersey to get another piece of state’s offshore wind industry, Press of Atlantic City

MY VIEW: Storage of spent nuclear fuel a matter of public safety, Cape Cod Times

The truth about the future of gas: We don’t need to build anymore, Utility Dive

Hard truths about net metering and the perils of regulatory nihilism, Utility Dive

Rural New York pays price as NYC benefits, Times Union

Will New Jersey’s New Wind Port Be A Game Changer Or A Financial Boondoggle?, Forbes.com

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Energy News for week ending June 12, 2020

Focus on Mystic | The Oceans Have It | $11B in Savings

Happy Friday afternoon.

There were a cluster of letters and stories this week that focused on and/or mentioned the Mystic Generating Station in Everett, MA.

Another interesting trend this week was stories about ocean-related climate and renewable energy possibilities.

Lastly, here is some good news about what we all know about energy efficiency, DOE’s Better Buildings initiative notches $11B in savings across 10 years, Utility Dive

That’s this week’s quick recap. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New Jersey sets ‘top tier’ energy efficiency goal, targets more than 2% electricity savings, Utility Dive

So, What Exactly Is Building Electrification?, Greentech Media

New York Grid Operator Prepares for DERs & Storage as Part of Sweeping Change, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

90% Clean Grid by 2035 Is Not Just Feasible, But Cheaper, Study Says, Greentech Media

NYSERDA moves to launch program targeting brownfields and other less desirable sites for renewables, Utility Dive

Clues to the impact of climate change may seep from a volcano in Costa Rica, Washington Post

A Drop in Sulfate Emissions During the Coronavirus Lockdown Could Intensify Arctic Heatwaves, Inside Climate News

‘Surprisingly rapid’ rebound in carbon emissions post-lockdown, The Guardian

Renewables may lag through 2030: What it means for CO2, E&E News (subscriber content)

Renewable Energy Advocates Want Job Training Focus in COVID-19 Recovery, NHPR

 

Wind

Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment, CommonWealth Magazine

New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts, Greentech Media

Feds see 2,000 East Coast turbines over 10 years, State House News Service via Newburyport Daily News

 

Solar

Rules cast shadow over some solar power projects, State House News Service via WWLP

Foes of Rhode Island solar project lose legal battle, NewportRI.com

Coronavirus Won’t Stop US Solar Growth in 2020, But Rooftop Installers Take Serious Hit, Greentech Media

New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts, Greentech Media

Utility-scale solar to soar in 2020, despite COVID, while coal decline accelerates, SEIA, EIA project, Utility Dive

 

EVs

EV supply chain could see years of shortages — report, E&E News (subscriber content)

Investors Bullish on EV Charging Despite Slowdown in Car Sales, Greentech Media

Tesla says air quality jumps from coronavirus lockdowns make case for electric vehicles, Axios.com

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sentencing of utility behind 2018 Mass. gas explosions delayed over probation issue, Reuters

Trump’s New Clean Water Act Rules Could Affect Embattled Natural Gas Projects on Both Coasts, Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

Officials Investigating Another Unplanned Shutdown ‘Scram’ At Seabrook Nuclear Plant, NHPR

Nuclear Fusion Technology Being Developed For Electric Vehicles, Autoversed.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

AARP contests Eversource’s proposed rate hike, citing pandemic, Keene Sentinel

NYISO market monitor recommends dynamic reserve procurement, S&P Global

State Of The New York City Grid, Urban Green Council

New York’s economy is slowly reopening, but electricity demand remains clipped due to COVID-19, Utility Dive

Public Policy Challenges Top NYISO Grid Plans, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Using Microbial Nanowires for Electricity Generation, AzoNano.com

 

Opinion

Putting land for solar off-limits could hurt farmers, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP corridor project will create new wildfire dangers in remote Maine, Bangor Daily News

Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues, New Yorker

Massachusetts’ Clean Peak Standard — A trailblazer in the nation’s clean energy transition, Utility Dive

Union issues strike authorization for New York Con Edison workers, Reuters

Letter: Paying too much for power doesn’t help environment, Union Leader

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Energy News for week ending June 5, 2020

Natural Gas Be Gone | Compressor Ups and Downs | Efficiency: Cheaper Than Gas

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, it’s not been a very good week for natural gas, especially in Massachusetts.

We start with an article from CommonWealth Magazine, “Healey calls for orderly transition away from natural gas. Attorney General Maura Healey petitioned the Department of Public Utilities on Thursday to investigate how the state’s natural gas utilities should transition to a future where the fuel they are selling no longer fits in with the state’s carbon emission goals. Massachusetts has set a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, and Healey argues the state, natural gas utilities, and their customers need to start planning…Healey recommended the investigation be conducted in two phases – one phase focusing on utility forecasts about their role in a decarbonized economy and the second on the policies needed to reach the state’s emission mandates. Her petition raises a host of questions that need to be answered, including whether renewable natural gas (gas made from cow manure, for example) has potential. The attorney general’s petition comes at a time when environmental advocates are pressing for a reduction in natural gas usage even as industry officials say the fuel is cheap, plentiful, and gaining market share.”

Note – the State House News reported today that “The first step for the Department of Public Utilities, an official said, is to review Attorney General Maura Healey’s filing to determine whether the request is within the jurisdiction of the DPU. If the department determines that it is, then it will decide whether it would be appropriate to launch the investigation and what its scope would be.” (subscriber content)

We stay in Massachusetts for our next two stories, both about the natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. On Wednesday, the State House News Service via Wicked Local Weymouth wrote, “Air permit for Weymouth gas project overturned. A federal appeals court vacated an air permit Massachusetts regulators awarded to a controversial natural gas project, ruling Wednesday that the state did not sufficiently assess emissions-reducing technology set to be used. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit scrapped the air permit for Enbridge’s under-construction natural gas compressor station in Weymouth and ordered the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a new analysis of what would be the best available control technology to limit air pollution. In a lengthy decision Wednesday, Judge William Kayatta said the permit cannot stand because the DEP did not follow its own procedures when it approved a turbine rather than an electric motor to cut emissions.”

The next day however, the State House New Reported, via WGBH that, “Celebration May Be Premature For Gas Project Opponents. A celebratory car parade is planned for Saturday, but even the opponents of a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth say a new court ruling in their favor will not stop project construction. ‘Although Enbridge may continue constructing, they cannot operate this facility without the air quality permit,’ Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station wrote in an email to its supporters Thursday morning. ‘And, it gives us more room to fight to stop it from ever operating…’ Kayatta’s decision also includes components that are favorable to Enbridge and the Department of Environmental Protection.”

The last highlight for this week comes from Utility Dive, “Efficiency significantly cheaper than natural gas, DOE study concludes. Natural gas energy efficiency programs run by utilities saved energy at a cost of about $0.40/therm from 2012 to 2017 — less than half of the national average retail price of gas during that period, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Gas cost about $1/therm during those years, according to researchers, and U.S. households and businesses spent approximately $65 billion on utility-supplied natural gas in 2018. In that same year, utilities spent more than $1.4 billion on gas efficiency programs, according to the American Gas Association (AGA) which represents gas delivery companies. Efficiency advocates say there are even more savings to be had through the electrification of end-uses — something the study did not consider. They say the gas industry may be building unnecessary infrastructure. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, around 90% of proposed gas power plants and their pipelines are likely to be unnecessary by 2035.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Healey asks DPU to lead on clean energy transition, WWLP

Healey calls for orderly transition away from natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Celebration May Be Premature For Gas Project Opponents, WGBH

Air permit for Weymouth gas project overturned, Wicked Local Weymouth

E.P.A. Limits States’ Power to Oppose Pipelines and Other Energy Projects, New York Times

Investment in U.S. Shale Projects to Halve in 2020, IEA Says, Wall St. Journal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

This is how the oceans can be used to help fight climate change, World Economic Forum

Earth’s carbon dioxide levels hit record high, despite coronavirus-related emissions drop, Washington Post

Responding to protests, green groups reckon with a racist past, Grist.org

Why we can’t count on carbon-sucking farms to slow climate change, MIT Review

Hydrogen as Fuel? An Italian Pasta Factory Shows How It Could Work, New York Times

IRS clarifies carbon capture tax credit, but more policies needed to drive deployment, analysts say, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy Overtakes Coal, Still Lags Far Behind Oil And Natural Gas, Forbes.com

Economic Giants Are Restarting. Here’s What It Means for Climate Change., New York Times

Massachusetts hopes ‘localized approach’ to GHG inventory can spread, Utility Dive

Solar, Wind, Storage Link Arms in Push for “Majority Renewables” by 2030, Greentech Media

Summers are growing longer due to climate change, while winters are dramatically shrinking, Washington Post

World’s First Integrated Hydrogen Power-to-Power Demonstration Launched, Power Magazine

 

Wind

Wind Power: Wakefield Company Vying to Replace Mystic Generation Station with Wind Power ‘Highway,’ Everett Independent

What Offshore Wind Can Bring to the Corporate PPA Party, Greentech media

The Future Of Wind Energy, Oilprice.com

MassCEC Contributes to Greentown Labs Offshore Wind Challenge, NA Windpower

State’s largest wind farm to date is approved, Times Union (NY)

 

Solar

National Grid Releases Latest Results on Massachusetts Distributed Solar ‘Cluster’ Study, Greentech Media

As utility solar costs drop 82%, US renewable leaders target majority generation share by 2030, Utility Dive

Edison Electric Institute Declines to Support Petition Seeking Federal Overturn of Net Metering, Greentech Media

Utilities stay silent on proposal to federalize net metering as states call it a ‘threat’ to solar policy, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Efficiency significantly cheaper than natural gas, DOE study concludes, Utility Dive

Energy-efficiency industry group presses for tax credits, RollCall.com

 

EVs

EV charging gets small slice in Democrats’ $494B transport infrastructure bill, Utility Dive

Utilities Need to Play Bigger Role in Electrifying Transportation Sector, Industry Officials Say, NJ Spotlight

 

Nuclear

Seabrook Nuclear Plant Gets Back Online Safely After Unexpected Shutdown, NHPR

Federal Inspections Set To Ramp Up At Seabrook Nuclear Plant As Economy Reopens, NHPR

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT electric, gas companies offer payment plan to relieve pandemic debt, New Haven Register

FERC, states see transmission projects fueling recovery, E&E News

Overcoming Forecast Uncertainties for Better DER Planning, Greentech Media

New York Revises Demand Response in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic, Microgrid Knowledge

State regulators reject CMP plan for $500,000 virus relief fund for customers, Press Herald

New York region has plenty of capacity to handle summer energy load, Daily Energy Insider

 

Opinion

Indian Point Closure Making Guinea Pigs Out of All New Yorkers, Natural Gas Now

Letter: Urge lawmakers to support net metering bill, Concord Monitor

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

Energy News for week ending May 29, 2020

Chafing | Higher bills | Empire State Building

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

It’s been a very busy week so my apologies, but I don’t have time for a full recap.

Here are a few stories though that caught our attention:

 

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Global Glut Keeps a Lid on Natural-Gas Prices, Wall St. Journal

EPA backtracks on fish-protecting requirements in long-delayed Merrimack coal plant permit, Utility Dive

Coal’s Decline Continues with 13 Plant Closures Announced in 2020, E&E News via Scientific American

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

U.S. Consumed More Renewables Than Coal for First Time in 134 Years, Wall St. Journal

Cuomo calls for Canada-to-New York City power line to deliver clean energy, Financial Post

Green group proposes nearly $6T infrastructure and clean energy stimulus plan, The Hill

 

Wind

Coast Guard favors turbine corridors sought by energy developers, Herald News

US May Host First Factory for Siemens Gamesa’s 14MW Offshore Turbine, Greentech Media

Treasury Department offers wind industry coronavirus lifeline with safe harbor extension, Utility Dive

Ohio OKs North America’s first freshwater offshore wind farm — with a huge caveat, Electrek

 

Solar

Massachusetts’ Solar Industry Chafes at New Land-Use Restrictions, Greentech Media

FERC Might Rewrite Solar Net Metering. Here’s What That Could Mean, Greentech media

24 Congressional Democrats urge FERC to reject net metering overhaul, Utility Dive

As Commercial Solar Takes a Hit From COVID-19, Virtual PPAs Continue Their Rise, Greentech Media

US solar developers get reprieve on bifacial panel prices as judge rejects USTR move on tariffs, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency helped the Empire State Building save money and cut carbon. It can help you, too., Washington Post

Green Mountain Power expands BYOD and Tesla battery programs as it targets fossil peakers, Utility Dive

Landfills emerge as promising battery storage sites to back up renewable energy, Utility Dive

After Bold Promise, New Jersey’s Energy Storage Plan Remains a Mystery, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Powering EVs is cheaper than diesel, gas in the largest US cities — Atlanta and Boston are exceptions, Utility Dive

Retail co-location may prove key to sustainable funding for EV charging, panel finds, Utility Dive

Largest all-electric aircraft to make maiden flight, CNN.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Pandemic pulls NY power prices down further from already-low 2019 levels, S&P Global

Lockdowns are pushing up home electric bills, and air conditioning season is hardly here yet, Boston Globe

Data Tool Shows Pandemic’s Impact on Power Prices, Power Magazine

Energy sector confident about pandemic operations, WWLP

No Resiliency Strategy? You’re Taking a Big Risk, Report Warns Utilities, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Opinion

Don’t knock natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy won’t be the same when this is over, Washington Post

COVID-19’s lessons for climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending May 22, 2020

Big deal | Curtailed | Zinc-air

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start with a piece from the Granite Geek. “Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England. One sunny afternoon earlier this month, reports ISO-New England, the six-state region had roughly 3,200 MW of “behind the meter” solar – the rooftop stuff, as compared to stand-alone solar farms that feed straight to the grid. This was a record, says the folks who run our power system, although it’s a record that will be falling frequently in coming years, since they expect many thousands more megawatts of solar to be added. How much is 3,200 megawatts? It’s almost three times the output of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, so we’re talking serious output…”

For this next story we move from solar to wind. From S&P Global Platts, “Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO. ISO New England analysis made public Wednesday estimated about 10% of the total 2030 offshore wind power portfolio connected into southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island would be “spilled,” or curtailed, under certain assumptions due to transmission constraints and a glut of supply. Transmission developer Anbaric requested ISO-NE perform a study reviewing the impact on energy market prices, air emissions and regional fuel security of three offshore wind power scenarios for target year 2030: 8,000 MW, 10,000 MW and 12,000 MW. An ISO-NE presentation during an earlier Planning Committee meeting discussed the Anbaric economic study for scenarios with 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind additions in southern New England. The addition of 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind plus assumed resource retirements of nearly 4,500 MW result in southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island (SEMA/RI) export interface transmission congestion, according to the presentation. Other key points include a finding that connecting more offshore wind close to load centers outside of southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island, especially the Mystic and Millstone substations, would reduce the congestion hours of the southeast Massachusetts/Rhode Island export interface.”

Our new tech feature this week comes from Recharge. “New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion.’ A new type of battery is coming onto the market that can store multiple days’ worth of energy, that doesn’t degrade, can’t possibly explode and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion, claimed its developer as it prepares to pilot the technology in New York state. The zinc-air hybrid flow battery developed by Canadian company Zinc8 has the potential to disrupt the entire energy-storage market — making wind and solar farms baseload and even replacing the need for transmission grid upgrades in many places…Zinc-air can beat lithium-ion batteries on price because the latter can generally only hold about four hours’ worth of energy at any one time, so an eight-hour storage system would require two batteries. By contrast, the storage capacity of the Zinc8 system can just be made bigger by increasing the size of the storage tank and the volume of the electrolyte it contains. The capital cost of an eight-hour Zinc8 storage is about $250/kWh, falling to $100/kWh for a 32-hour system and $60/kWh for 100 hours. By contrast, lithium-ion projects cost about $300/kWh for any duration over eight hours.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and don’t forget to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in service to our country.

And as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets, Inside Climate News

Cuomo administration cites new climate law in denying controversial New York, New Jersey pipeline, Politico NY

Devastated By Coronavirus, New York’s Pipeline Politics Ensure A Tougher Second Round, Forbes.com

First gas disaster settlement checks going out Friday, Eagle Tribune

Answers Sought Regarding Explosion and Pipeline Construction in Burrillville, EcoRI

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

‘Devil is in the details.’ The fight for grid carbon pricing, E&E News

Majority of Mainers support bold energy, transportation policies to address climate change, MaineBeacon.com

Wind and Solar Profits: The Race Between Falling Costs and Declining Revenue, Greentech Media

Traffic Is Way Down, Due To Lockdowns, But Air Pollution? Not So Much, WGBH

Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills, Reuters

Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal, AP News

The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change, study shows, Washington Post

Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis, New York Times

Global emissions plunged an unprecedented 17 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, Washington Post

Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years: IEA, Reuters

Why some spots on the planet are heating up faster than others, Washington Post

Group Says It Will Launch World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project, Power Magazine

With CT’s trash future in flux, food-waste recycler hopes for bigger role, Hartford Business Journal

More US Power Generated This Year Expected To Come From Renewables Than From Coal, WGBH

 

Wind

Connecticut Utilities Move Forward with Park City Wind PPAs, Offshorewind.biz

Brattle Study Highlights Benefits of Offshore Grid, RTO Insider

Siemens Gamesa Launches 14MW Offshore Wind Turbine, World’s Largest

Four New Studies to Examine Fisheries, Offshore Wind, South Coast Today

Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO, S&P Global

 

Solar

Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England, Granite Geek

5 Wind Energy Giants Embracing Solar Power, Greentech Media

Utility regulator denies controversial Bennington solar project, VT Digger

Why is cloudy Syracuse suddenly a solar farm magnet?, Syracuse.com

Coronavirus Wipes Out 5 Years of US Solar Job Growth, Greentech Media

COVID-19 Impacts on the U.S. Solar Industry, SEIA

Why (and How) the Solar Finance Market Is Changing in This Crisis, Greentech Media

National Solar Tour Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You, NA Clean Energy

Proposed solar farm in Gorham up for review June 1, Press Herald

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar permit in New Milford, News Times

Melrose church installs community solar project, Wicked Local Melrose

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Can Free Smart Thermostats Get Homeowners to Enroll in Summertime Demand Response,? Greentech Media

New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion,’ Recharge

Con Edison commits $1.5 billion to energy efficiency, Utility Dive

 

EVs

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die, Bloomberg

HEVO to Launch US Manufacturing for Wireless Electric Vehicle Charger, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Tonopah quake bolsters Nevada’s case against Yucca dumpsite, LasVegas Sun

Brick by brick: Finding families of loved ones who worked at Pilgrim Station, Patriot Ledger

America Just Made a Huge Investment in Next-Gen Nuclear Power, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

The Drive to Replace Summer-Only ‘Peaker’ Power Plants, Wired

Mainers get more time to pay bills, utilities get pinched as virus reduces demand, WGME

ISO-New England: 2019 transmission-outage coordination stats and goals, Electric Energy Online

‘Terrified’ energy workers press feds for safety standard, E&E News

New York grants flexibility, works to limit ‘bad actors’ in demand response programs hit by COVID-19, Utility Dive

Unpaid utility bills, lower usage threaten to push rates higher in Maine, Press Herald

LIPA officials planning to retire at least 1 power generating unit, Newsday

Mass. Hydropower Project Stymied By Maine Ballot Question Dispute, WBUR

 

Opinion

Eastie needs straight answers from Eversource, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to start using less natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Gov. Phil Murphy needs to unplug NJ Transit’s power plant | Opinion, northjersey.com

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce: NECEC offers some hope for Maine’s economy, Central Maine.com

Rhode Island Can’t Delay Efforts to Decarbonize Its Economy, EcoRI

INSIGHT: Will AI Increase or Decrease Power Grid Efficiency,? Bloomberg Law

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