Category Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending April 6, 2018

Home rating | Drive electric | Hearing on Competitive Suppliers

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Cyberattack Shows Vulnerability of Gas Pipeline Network, New York Times

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

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

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

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

Residents curious, wary about natural gas expansion, Newcanaannewsonline

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

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

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

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

Climate change threatens ski industry, Stowe Reporter

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

Lawmaker tries to steer investments toward renewable energy, WJAR

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

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, New Yorker

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

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

Hancock County residents protest Brookfield’s dam operations, MaineBiz

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atlantic wind boost on US menu, reNews

Offshore wind projects make headway, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind blows new life into dormant partnership, NJ Spotlight

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

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

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

Delays likely in offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

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

 

Solar

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

Town council to reexamine solar ordinance, Ricentral.com

Portland Highlighted for Solar Progress in New Report, Environment Maine

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

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

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

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

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

Longmeadow to participate in solarize program, The Reminder

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

Pennsylvania Driving Toward an Electrifying Win, NRDC

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Legislature plans hearing into competitive electric supply market, Lowell Sun

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

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

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

Exelon plays power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Sandwich power plant sold, Cape Cod Times

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

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

Baker treads softly on Healey proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

Cyberattack Bleeds Into the Utility Industry, Bloomberg

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

Connecticut grid test planned for May, Thehour.com

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

National Grid names new New York president, Albany Times Union

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

My recipe for embracing renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

Push back against Central Maine Power, Press Herald

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

Tweak needed for clean peak standard, CommonWealth Magazine

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

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

Happy Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

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

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

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

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

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

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

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

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

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

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

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

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

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

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

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

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

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

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

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

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

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

 

Electric Vehicles

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

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

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

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

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

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

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

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

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

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

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

 

Wind

Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

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

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

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

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

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

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

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

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

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

 

Solar

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

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

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

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

 

Northern Pass/RFP

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

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

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

 

Electric Vehicles

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

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

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

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

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

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

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

National Grid rate hike hearings underway, Ricentral.com

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending February 16, 2018

Foreseeing Trouble | Ugly toll | Five new spots to fish

As the late great Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Ah yes, after delaying the decision for a week, we find ourselves waiting again for MA DOER and company to let us know if they are going to stick with Northern Pass or move on to another or other proposals. The delay is causing all sorts of speculation (InDepthNH) and consternation (NHPR).

Love may have been in the air for many on Wednesday, but according to Platts, all ISO New England saw was “trouble” without investment in fuel security. From the article, “The report noted the cold snap that gripped the region from December 26 through January 7 featured “constrained pipeline capacity, substantially higher natural gas and wholesale electricity prices,” which prompted the dispatch of oil- and coal-fired generation to meet demand, but “oil supplies at plants around the region began to rapidly deplete … signficiantly (sic) increasing the reliability risk to the system.” “In the coming years as more oil, coal, and nuclear leave the system, keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition,” the report states.

Speaking of fuel security, the Boston Globe editorial board laid into just about everyone with a full page editorial on Tuesday about the region bringing in Russian gas, the implications of the same, and the lack of movement on other alternatives (i.e. a new gas pipeline). Here’s a small sample, “But apart from its geopolitical impact, Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies. Public officials, including Attorney General Maura Healey and leading state senators, have leaned heavily on righteous-sounding stands against local fossil fuel projects, with scant consideration of the global impacts of their actions and a tacit expectation that some other country will build the infrastructure that we’re too good for.”

Last for this week is a story from Renewable Energy World with an accompanying video from the American Wind Energy Association about how the Block Island Wind Farm has been a boon for the local fishing industry. At first there were worries, the article notes, but “after 6 months, their worries were starting to be alleviated and after just one year, they were completely gone. According to Chris Hobe, who has been fishing on the island since 1979, ‘within six months you had seed mussels,’ he said in a webcast announcing the release of the footage. After one year those seed mussels had turned into a deep, thick coating of mature mussels, on which smaller fish feed, attracting the fish that feed on them and on and on up the food chain.” In the video one man notes that because of the artificial reef created by the turbines there are five new fishing spots that didn’t exist before.

Then there is this, “Another added bonus according to Hobe was the increased tourism that the turbines attracted. On a whim, his company offered to take the general public on tours around the turbines so they could see them up close. He never imagined the interest that would draw. By the end of the 2017 summer season, Hobe said his company had stopped offering fishing excursions and was just doing sightseeing tours.”

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

83D

Utilities find no common ground on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Decisive action needed on Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

As Mass. Debates Northern Pass Deal, Sununu Says Project Was ‘Railroaded’, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass rejection would have repercussions for Hydro-Québec’s future, The Globe and Mail

Massachusetts utilities to continue Northern Pass negotiations after rejection by NH regulators, Press Herald

Maine Gov. LePage Indicates Mass. May Have Already Moved On From Northern Pass, InDepthNH.org

VELCO and National Grid make key agreements for Granite State Power Link, Vermont Biz

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas pipeline opponents urge Baker to ‘break up’ with industry, Boston Metro

Energy CEO Says Fracking Build-out in New York Not Over, Wants Regulators to ‘Lay Down and Approve Every Pipeline’, DeSmog

Only Half of Proposed Burrillville Plant’s Power Sold, ecoRI news

Compressor Station Permit Appeal Could Be Heard In Summer, Patch.com

Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success, Science Daily

Ocean State Officials Pledge to Halt Offshore Drilling, ecoRI news

Ocean State’s Fossil-Fuel Hypocrisy Does Nothing to Address Climate Change, ecoRI news

Constitution Asks FERC to Rehear New York Permit Denial, RTO Insider

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

US Renewable Energy Generation Now ‘Within Striking Distance’ of Nuclear, Greentech Media

Healey unveils new renewable energy targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Citizens will demand omnibus clean energy bill, Sentinel and Enterprise
Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill, ‘matching the urgency of climate change,’ MassLive

Connecticut wants to boost renewables goal to 40% by 2030, Utility Dive

Is clean energy moving ahead fast enough in Western Massachusetts?, MassLive.com

EPA’s Scott Pruitt touts renewable energy in New England, Washington Examiner

Virginia House votes to prohibit cap-and-trade, RGGI linkage, Carbon Pulse

Think tank report pans Vermont carbon tax plan, Bennington Banner

 

Wind

AWEA Releases Underwater Footage of Block Island Wind Farm’s Artificial Reef, Renewable Energy World

Falmouth deal eases wind turbine debt, Cape Cod Times

Town of Yates passes more restrictions on wind energy projects, Buffalo News

The Launch of a US Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

FERC advances transmission line to serve Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, Utility Dive

What’s Happening With Maine Wind Power?, North American Windpower

Vineyard Wind wins state nod for undersea transmission cable, MassLive.com

Those Living Close To Wind Turbines Generally View Wind Power Positively, CleanTechnica

 

Solar

Vermont’s solar market fell 50% in 2017 (w/chart), pv magazine

A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas, Bloomberg

‘It’s so high it’s punitive’: Residents angered by local tax hike on home solar panels, Bangor Daily News

Solar Projects In Connecticut Face Local Pushback, New England Public Radio

Solar is again the flashpoint in CT’s new energy strategy, Hartford Business

Solect Energy Sees Acceleration in Solar Adoption by Massachusetts Municipalities, Schools and Nonprofits, pv magazine USA

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Alliance to Save Energy proposes changes in electricity pricing structures, Daily Energy Insider

Maryland is first state to launch energy storage tax credit, Utility Dive

Greensmith Energy Storage Technology Selected to Deliver Reliable Solar Power in Massachusetts, Power Magazine

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Most Important Energy Efficiency Program You’ve Never Heard Of, Energy Collective

Lawmakers Want To Restore Energy Efficiency Funds, But Don’t Know Where To Find The Money, Hartford Courant

Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things, The MIT Tech

Eversource News: Eversource and Lindt Chocolate Announce Landmark Energy Efficiency Partnership, North American Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

Keating pushes for nuclear plant decommissioning, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Quake rattles anti-nuclear activists in N.H., Boston Herald

Nuke critics can testify in Vermont Yankee case, Brattleboro Reformer

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Year’s Cold Snap Still Affecting People’s Pocketbooks in Western Mass, Valley Advocate

ISO New England foresees trouble without investment in fuel security, Platts

Trump Budget Backs Nuclear, Coal; Cuts Funding for Renewables, Power Magazine

Powelson: Input from PJM, ISO-NE states critical to FERC resilience docket, Utility Dive

Is the third pillar of electricity delivery preventing the building of the first two?, Utility Dive

Federal tax cut more than reverses Eversource rate increase in Massachusetts, Daily Energy Insider

Grid operations technologies protected customers from the bomb cyclone, Utility Dive

Lawmaker Accuses Eversource of Giving Consumers Misleading Billing Information, Hartford Courant

DC Circuit Remands FERC Decision Upholding ISO-NE FCM Rules Locking in Prices for New Entrants, Lexology

House coalition wants reversal of energy funds raid, Hartford Business

Local officials call National Grid’s response to October storm ‘inadequate’, Eagle-Tribune

National Grid seeks OK for New York power grid rebuild, Electric Light & Power

Selectmen pressure Eversource to undertake long-sought sidewalk work, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll, Boston Globe

Forget Quebec, look offshore for power, CommonWealth Magazine

Beware the Coalition for Sustainable Energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Proposed Burrillville power plant a step in the wrong direction, Herald News

Viewpoint: Need for Mass. clean transportation policy, Boston Business Journal

NJ needs clean energy now! Dump the carbon-trading scheme | Opinion, NJ.com

My Turn: David Spigelmyer: Rolling blackouts, skyrocketing costs, The Providence Journal

Indian Point power plant can withstand earthquakes: Letter, Poughkeepsie Journal

Just another routine day for NH ratepayers, NH Business Review

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

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin

 

Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from Phsy.org, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

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

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB, Ricentral.com

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process, MainePublic.org

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio

 

Wind

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines, Phys.org

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update, lexocology.com

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?, publicnow.com

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards, MassLive.com

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent

 

Nuclear

NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee, NJSpotlight.com

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs, MassLive.com

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike, theday.com

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes, wwlp.com

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine, NJ.com

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower, vtdigger.org

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

Energy News for week ending January 19, 2018

Fuel Security Risk | Climate solution | New EV infrastructure | KRUSTY

Happy Friday Afternoon.

Just when I think, “Gee it’s been a quiet week for energy news…” BOOM! ISO-New England drops its Operational Fuel-Security Analysis and the energy news board lights up. RTO Insider writes, “The report highlighted the concern that New England’s system reliability is heavily dependent on LNG and electricity imports. While dual-fuel capability for plants can provide a key contribution to reliability, permitting for construction and emissions is difficult. All but four scenarios resulted in fuel shortages requiring rolling blackouts, indicating the trends affecting the system may intensify the region’s fuel security risk.”

The report generated no shortage of opinions about what it all means and how it affects the future of New England’s energy grid. CommonWealth Magazine reported, “The two sides fighting over whether the region needs additional natural gas pipeline capacity both took comfort on Thursday from a fuel security study by the operator of the region’s power grid. The Baker administration, meanwhile, issued a statement that appeared to fall somewhere in the middle while supporting ‘additional natural gas capacity.’” According to the article, the pro- gas pipeline side says rolling black outs “would wreak havoc on the economy and New Englanders’ lives.” Those not in favor of pipeline development say, hold on, the scenarios outlined in the report “are perhaps possible but highly unlikely.” I’m sure we’ll have a lot more articles and opinion pieces on this topic in the week ahead.

Also out this week was an announcement reported by the AP in Time Magazine that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom’s meteorological office said that 2017 was the third hottest year on record. At the same time, NASA and researchers from a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, called it the second. So what’s a state or nation to do? Utility Dive takes a long look at cap and trade initiatives in New England and California to see if those programs are having a positive effect, but ultimately decides, the jury is still out.

One way to help ease climate change is to get more EVs on the road. The New Hampshire Business Review brings us a great read titled, “New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network.” The money to pay for this 734 mile network would largely come from Volkswagen settlement funds. Journalist Liisa Rajala writes, “In New England alone, approximately $214 million was paid by Volkswagen to fund programs that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, with up to $32 million available for investment in electric vehicle charging stations over the next 10 years, should states choose to do so.” They include some great infographics in the article as well. Check it out.

Last highlight for this week is a story from Reuters about KRUSTY and it’s out of this world! “Initial tests in Nevada on a compact nuclear power system (The Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology — KRUSTY) designed to sustain a long-duration NASA human mission on the inhospitable surface of Mars have been successful and a full-power run is scheduled for March…The technology could power habitats and life-support systems, enable astronauts to mine resources, recharge rovers and run processing equipment to transform resources such as ice on the planet into oxygen, water and fuel. It could also potentially augment electrically powered spacecraft propulsion systems on missions to the outer planets.” Wow! Now that’s cool.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Generators burned 2m barrels of oil over 15 days, CommonWealth Magazine

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion as grid operator warns of future blackouts, Wicked Local Scituate

Upset over Burrillville’s opposition to proposed power plant, Invenergy withholds fee payment, The Providence Journal

RI Attorney General Speaks Out Against Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Regunberg introduces resolution opposing Trump’s off-shore drilling plans, Uprise RI

FERC: Rhode Island tribe missed its chance to intervene in Massachusetts pipeline fight, MassLive.com

Fight is on to block Maine pipeline — ex-Texan says: Good luck with that, The Boston Globe

Rover Pipeline Spills Another 150000 Gallons of Drilling Fluid Into Ohio Wetlands, EcoWatch

Grid operator says new study shows need to expand access to natural gas in New England, New Haven Register

Compressor station foes encouraged by feds’ response to New York project, Patriot Ledger

Governor: Scrub NY from plan to expand offshore oil drilling, Penn Energy

Fixation on timing of peak oil is ‘misguided,’ Financial Times

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

2017 Was One of the Hottest Years Ever, Time Magazine

Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury’s still out, Utility Dive

Northampton officials show support for local goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy, MassLive

RGGI States Set a New Standard for Climate Action in 2017, Natural Resources Defense Council

Massachusetts agrees to slash power plant emissions under 9-state system, MassLive.com

Maryland, northeast states accelerate carbon pollution reduction, Baltimore Sun

Power generators contest state greenhouse gas rules, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy plays to NJ environmentalists from day one, NJ Spotlight

The Force Is With Clean Energy: 10 Predictions for 2018, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Competition Moderates Clean-Energy Costs for Ratepayers, AIM Blog

New York, Connecticut sue EPA for failing to act on smog pollution from upwind states, Utility Dive

US Utility-Scale Solar, Wind Capacity Could Double by 2020, Renewable Energy World

Global emissions ‘will plateau by 2030,’ Energy Live News

 

Wind

Turbines blow hot, cold on financial benefits for local towns, Worcester Telegram

Why Some Fishermen Are Wary Of Offshore Wind Farms, WBUR

US Working Hard to Boost Wind Energy, Adviser Says in Denmark, Bloomberg

Wind Industry Embraces Robots to Boost Safety, Cut Costs, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind to hold open house on proposed offshore project, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

On Haverhill landfill-solar proposal, council wants results, Eagle Tribune

CMP’s New CEO: If They Want, ‘Everyone Should Put Solar Panels On Their Roof’, Maine Public

Developer for proposed solar project in New Marlborough wants public’s input on project, Berkshire Eagle

Outer Cape Energize encourages use of solar panels, Cape Cod Times

New warehouse now biggest green energy provider in Peabody, The Salem News

 

Electric Vehicles

New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network, NH Business Review

North America’s largest transit system is the acid test for electric buses, Quartz

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State money helps Massachusetts towns improve energy efficiency, SouthCoastToday.com

There once was an energy storage system on Nantucket…, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Can Drive Future Tesla Growth, Not Just Autos, Seeking Alpha

 

Nuclear

U.S. tests nuclear power system to sustain astronauts on Mars, Reuters

PUC sticks with Yankee hearings postponement, Rutland Herald

Merrimac seeks NRC hearing on Seabrook plan, Gloucester Daily Times

Indian Point Utility Workers Will Strike If Contract Talks Break Down, WAMC

Offsetting Loss of Indian Pt Revenue Still Challenge One Year Later, The Examiner News

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, Litchfield County Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Energy study draws divergent reactions, CommonWealth Magazine

Report: Fuel Security Key Risk for New England Grid, RTO Insider

What Will Become of the Electric Utility in the Age of Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Oversubscribed northern Vermont power grid costing utilities millions, VT Digger

D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass, IndepthNH.org

National Grid’s Northern Pass Competitor To Talk Low-Income Benefits In Concord, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource Ranked Among Nation’s Greenest Companies, CapeCod.com News

Conn. Consumer Counsel, Eversource Energy strike deal to reduce size of distribution rate increase, Litchfield County Times

New Central Maine Power CEO Lays Out His Vision For The Company, Maine Public

National Grid asks for $26 million less in Rhode Island rate hikes, Electric Light & Power

Fuel banks seek $25M in state assistance, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

EDITORIAL: Enviro-zealots are wrong on natural gas, Lowell Sun

A bad deal for NH, (Northern Pass) The Union Leader

Letter: Wind, solar, biofuel should power Maine, The Forecaster

Offshore drilling catastrophic for Maine economy, Biddeford – Saco – OOB Courier

Lawmakers have one more chance to fix nonsensical solar rules, Bangor Daily News

Wind And Solar Energies Could Peter Out If Transmission Grid Is Not Expanded, Forbes

Our electricity grid gives us a wake-up call in New Hampshire, Manchester Ink Link

Letter: Industrial wind turbines threaten our way of life, Dansvilleonline.com

Guest Opinion: Broken energy market leaves Mass. consumers in the cold, Herald News

Mass. needs to think bigger on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar