Category Archives: Wind Power

Energy News for week ending August 18, 2017

Eclipse Effect | Worcester Flips Switch | Mass policy bad for Moosehead

Happy Friday folks.

We’re ending this week by talking about next week – Monday to be specific – and the total lunar eclipse. Here in Massachusetts the sun is going to be about 60 percent covered by the moon. The eclipse is making great fodder for energy sector news and opinions. So much so that we’ve dedicated a special section to it below. Folks from the natural gas industry say, “Natural gas will shine as it always does,” (Energy Tomorrow) and Microgrid Knowledge asks, “Can a national demand response event fill in the solar gap?” Regardless, the folks at Think Progress tell us that even though the sun will disappear Monday, your electricity won’t.

Speaking of the sun, this week the Telegram tells us how Worcester, MA flipped the switch on New England’s largest municipally-owned solar farm. Encompassing 25 acres (about 19 football fields) and 28,600 solar panels, the solar farm is expected to save Worcester $60 million over its 30-year lifespan. Cool.

Up Maine, some folks aren’t so happy with Massachusetts’ energy policy. According to the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel, people in the Moosehead Lake regional are worried about proposals to build up to 204 new wind turbines generating 703 megawatts of power to meet the needs of clean energy RFPs for their neighbors in southern New England. At stake, they say, is the potential for damage to the rich aquifer that feeds Moosehead Lake and the long, deep Shirley Bog.

Have a great weekend.

Eclipse

An Eclipse Is Just What the US Power Sector’s Been Waiting For, Bloomberg

Can a National Demand Response Event Fill in the Solar Gap for Monday’s Eclipse?, Microgrid Knowledge

Eclipse Mania: Natural Gas Will Shine – As It Always Does, Energy Tomorrow

What Happens to Solar Power in an Eclipse? We’ll Find Out Monday, New York Times

The solar eclipse may knock 9000 Megawatts of solar power offline, TreeHugger

When the sun disappears Monday, your electricity won’t, Think Progress

Amidst Solar Eclipse’s Test On Clean Power, One Smart Grid Solution Offers A Cautionary Tale, Energy Collective

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Kinder Morgan paid Massachusetts State Police $115 thousand to defend controversial pipeline, MuckRock

Compressor foes tell Braintree council about worrisome air-test results, Wicked Local West Roxbury

Energy Industry on Losing End of Methane Ruling in Appeals Court, Natural Gas Intelligence

Is LNG Moving From A Buyers’ To A Sellers’ Market?, OilPrice.com

Eversource investing over $3 million to ensure reliable natural gas service in Cheshire, Meriden Record-Journal

Renewable Energy

Take a look at the 28600 solar panels that are going to save Worcester $60 million, MassLive.com

Worcester flips switch on solar field at old landfill, Telegram

Solar developers and panel makers clash over tariff request, Boston Globe

Think Wind-Generated Power Is Saving People Money? Check Out America’s First Offshore Wind Farm, NewBostonPost

Huge Climate Opportunity If RGGI Governors Step Up, Natural Resources Defense Council

Connecticut Green Bank is national leader, Danbury News Times

Maine Compass: State’s balking at new greenhouse gas cap threatens seafood industry, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Crews break ground on massive Grand Isle solar project, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Massachusetts presents proposed final version of 1600 MW solar policy, pv magazine USA

Solar Groups Welcome Improvements To Mass. SMART Program, Solar Industry

On the climb to renewable energy, solar and wind prices tumble, GreenBiz

Last turbine for first full-scale floating offshore wind farm installed, BBC News

Renewable-Energy Investing Can Shine Despite Trump, Barron’s

GE and Tesla to Outfit 50 Home Depot Stores With Solar Panels, Bloomberg

CLF Ramps Up Fight to Support Maine Solar Power, Energy Central

GE’s Boston-based energy ‘startup’ to outfit 30 Home Depots with solar panels, Boston Business Journal

Innovation is the key to unlocking clean energy, GreenBiz

Energy Efficiency

State Lawmakers Support Strong Federal Efficiency Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council

New Somerville program to offer heating, cooling alternative, Wicked Local Somerville

How Can We Increase Energy Efficiency Investments? Here Are 10 Suggestions, Energy Collective

Nuclear

New Spent Fuel Pad At Vermont Yankee Passes Federal Inspection, Vermont Public Radio

Waterford Ponders How To Financially Survive Possible Millstone Shutdown, Hartford Courant

Malloy Raps Millstone Owner Over Refusal To Open Books, Hartford Courant

US power companies have a history of walking away from nuclear projects, Platts

No subsidies for Pilgrim in emission rules, Cape Cod Times

Holtec completes main work at Vermont Yankee, World Nuclear News

NRC signs off on Vermont Yankee fuel move, VT Digger

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Massachusetts rules provide boost toward state climate goals, Utility Dive

Most Mass. businesses avoid full force of emissions rules — for now, anyway, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

TOU rates could spur energy and bill savings, but customer advocates urge caution, Utility Dive

Analysis Shows Millions in Potential Electricity Savings Available to Connecticut Consumers, Energy Central

More than 100 people ask if Massachusetts energy policy will destroy Moosehead Lake region, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Massachusetts takes on leadership role with new greenhouse gas-cutting regulations, ThinkProgress

Utilities Face More Emissions Cuts in Massachusetts, Bloomberg BNA

Interim FERC Chairman: Coal and Nuclear ‘Need to Be Properly Compensated’, Greentech Media

New FERC quorum faces hefty backlog as market issues loom, Utility Dive

More Canadian hydroelectric power imports could be coming to US following DOE report on Northern Pass, HydroWorld

Northern Pass Achieves Major Federal Permitting Milestone, Londonderry News

Nearby Upgrades Will Strengthen Energy System: Eversource, Patch.com

MIT Set to Upgrade its Cogeneration Plant for Campus Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Rhode Island takes comment on initial grid modernization proposals, Utility Dive

Editorial/Opinion

Another View — David Worthen and Jim O’Brien: New Hampshire’s energy future is now, Union Leader

LAURA ADAMS Weymouth: Don’t believe gas industry on compressor, The Patriot Ledger

My Turn: Aaron Regunberg: Let’s fight back against rate increase, The Providence Journal

Dolly McPhaul: Governor Sununu Wrong About Northern Pass, Caledonian Record

Our Opinion: Seeking right balance in curbing emissions, Berkshire Eagle

Commentary: In the end, Mainers will reject regulators’ anti-clean-energy rule, Press Herald

Editorial: All in favor of wood-burning that’s gentler on environment, The Recorder

My Turn: Let’s stick to facts on Quebec hydropower, Concord Monitor

Gasoline to EV path is uncharted, complex and unfathomably large – that’s not hating, it’s reality, BOE Report

Price shouldn’t be sole focus of clean energy buys, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Wind Power, solar

Energy News for week ending July 21, 2017

TGIF to all!  A few news items of note…

The Patriot Ledger reports Gov. Charlie Baker has broken his long silence on the controversial natural-gas compressor station Monday, ordering state agencies to review the Fore River project’s potential impact. Spectra Energy wants to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor on the river bank.

Construction has started on what is expected to be Maine’s largest municipally owned solar array. The one-megawatt solar array will be composed of 2,944 solar panels. Officials expect the array to generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year according to U.S. News & World Report.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee recently voted to slash Energy Star funding in the fiscal year 2018 budget — an improvement over previous calls to cut the program entirely, but advocates say the impact could still be “crippling.”

Natural Gas

Baker’s review of Weymouth compressor station applauded, Patriot Ledger

Stepping up the pressure, Boston Globe

State to look into health, safety concerns around Weymouth compressor station, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Gov. Baker orders state to investigate compressor station issues, Greenfield Recorder

Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property, Washington Post

Unitil to expand natural gas line through downtown, Fosters.com

Pipeline Construction, And Protests, Continue In Sandisfield, NEPR

Finding leaks while they’re easy to fix, MIT News

Renewables

South Portland’s Major Solar Array Project Begins, U.S. News & World Report

New Hampshire law benefits biomass power production, Biomass Magazine

Record Demand Puts Popular N.H. Renewable Energy Rebate Program On Hold, NHPR

Federal SunShot program funds $5.5M in Mass. solar projects, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

California Leads Off: Now RGGI Must Grab the Climate Baton, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource rate case poses woes for solar projects, Patriot Ledger

Solar debate heats up again, Boston Globe

Falmouth ruling bolsters cause for neighbors of Plymouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth – Episode 41 of Local Energy Rules Podcast, Renewable Energy News

Brookline launches renewable energy program with opt-out system, Wicked Local Brookline

Bay State Wind Receives First Offshore Wind Site Assessment Plan Approval in the United States, (Press Release) Business Wire

Maine large-scale manufacturers eligible for energy rebates, Mainebiz

Energy Efficiency

House Appropriations Committee votes to cut Energy Star funding 40%, Utility Dive

Green Energy Committee: Lincoln residents complete 162 home energy assessments, Wicked Local Lincoln

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Illuminate Six Ion Bank Branches, Patch.com

Nuclear

EXCLUSIVE: Gov’t Red Tape Costs Every Nuclear Plant $63 Million Annually, Daily Caller

Washington, DC firm signed to dismantle Vermont Yankee reactor, Commons

US Finds ‘Apparent Violations’ of Security at Millstone, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Delays Push Burrillville Power Plant Toward Irrelevance, ecoRI news

More than 100 state legislators join opposition against Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

New Energy Alert Can Do More Than Save You Money, ecoRI news

Vermont regulators to examine grid modernization, Utility Dive

Options for Energy Storage that Aren’t Batteries, WCAI

Electric meter mistake costs Monson family big bucks, Western Mass News

Indigenous Community Airs Long-Standing Grievances at Northern Pass Hearing, NHPR

Footprint plant work extension to go forward, The Salem News

In Webster, Residents Weigh In On New Proposed Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Quakers go on 60-mile pilgrimage from Portsmouth to Bow in protest of coal-fired plants, The Union Leader

Grid threats require ‘imagining the unimaginable’ — report, E&E News

Editorial/Opinion

Pilgrim closure requires oversight, not panic, Cape Cod Times

A lousy electric bill: Concord not on ratepayers’ side, The Union Leader

CMP chief: Lawmakers should sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of solar bill, Press Herald

Editorial: Bridging the gap of energy eras, Concord Monitor

Letter: Let Pessamit Innu speak on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Letter: Fight the power, Concord Monitor

Events

2017 Fuels Conference, Northeast Energy and Commerce Association, Marlborough, MA, September 27, 2017

Microgrid 2017 Conference, IDEA, MRC and Microgrid Knowledge, Boston, MA, November 6-8, 2017

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending July 14, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon all.

This week there is something in the news for everyone – regardless of what side of the energy fence you sit on.

One thing I think we can all get behind is 14-year-old aspiring environmental scientist, Anika Bhagavatula from Wilton, Connecticut. According to a story on EcoWatch.com, Anika found “that a mix of pomegranate husks and orange peels could absorb motor oil two to three times its own weight.”

“Bhagavatula’s project was inspired by the ongoing fears that the Dakota Access Pipeline could spill and pollute the Missouri River. “I wanted to find a natural sorbent which could clean up these oil spills and would replace harmful remediation solutions, which, while effective, can damage the environment,” she added. The eighth grader presented her research at her middle school and state science fairs. She not only took home first place awards for her project, she also earned a spot as a finalist in the 2017 Young Scientist Challenge where she could win $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.””

Kudos to Anika.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

With Access Northeast Suspension, No Relief In Sight For Gas-Starved Region, Oil and Gas Investor

Massachusetts regulators approve Berkshire Gas 5-year plan, while insisting company must work to lift moratorium, MassLive.com

New studies reinforce importance of natural gas for clean energy future, PennEnergy

Massachusetts regulators approve NRG gas plant, Utility Dive

US ‘will become one of the world’s top gas exporters by 2020’, The Guardian

Rehoboth officials receive word natural gas project may resurface, The Sun Chronicle

Baker may visit site of proposed compressor station, wwlp.com

Baker facing mounting pressure on Weymouth gas facility, The Boston Globe

Opening of proposed Burrillville power plant delayed until 2020, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Inspired By DAPL, 14 Year Old Finds Novel Solution to Pipeline Spills, EcoWatch

Eversource Expands Natural Gas System in New Canaan, HamletHub

Renewable Energy

Controversial clean energy bill becomes law without governor’s signature, New Hampshire Business Review

Falmouth won’t appeal order to shut down wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Falmouth officials: Turbine losses could total $12M, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth — Episode 41 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast, CleanTechnica

Gov. LePage vetoes solar ‘net metering’ bill, again, Portland Press Herald

Can the world thrive on 100% renewable energy?, The Economist

US Offshore Wind Stays Small As Dominion Energy Moves Forward With DONG Energy On Virginia Project, CleanTechnica

National Grid sees subsidy-free offshore wind by 2040, Windpower Monthly

Rhode Island Looks to Sustain Clean Jobs Gains, RTO Insider

Four local towns look to harness power of the sun; others already have, The Keene Sentinel

As Virginia explores options for carbon trading, joining RGGI a possibility, Southeast Energy News

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists, New York Times

Project may double MDI’s solar output, Mount Desert Islander

Maine biomass plant offline for third straight month, forfeiting taxpayer cash, Bangor Daily News

Mass. Leaders Featured in Project Highlighting ‘Voices for 100 Percent Renewable Energy,’ Energy Central

Wind turbines damage human health says Portuguese scientist, National Wind Watch

Energy Efficiency

Administration rebuffed on call to cut energy efficiency funds, vtdigger.org

Boston Tops List Of Energy-Efficient Cities, Banker & Tradesman

Energy efficiency is a ‘win-win’ for investors, GreenBiz

Massachusetts aims for 200 MWh energy storage target, Electric Light & Power

Eversource, National Grid atop ACEEE’s Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Electric Light & Power

National Grid revises proposed electric and gas price changes for smaller bill hikes, WatertownDailyTimes.com

Nuclear

Why Nuclear Power, Once Cash Cow, Now Has Tin Cup, Bloomberg

Company Signs Deal To Handle Radioactive Reactor Components At Vermont Yankee, Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Yankee: Anti-nuclear group doubts cleanup plan, Brattleboro Reformer

The Latest In Nuclear Energy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Battle over Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear plant rages on, New Haven Register

Dominion pushes inclusion of Millstone nuke provisions in Connecticut budget bill, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Law and Effect: The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, WGBH

Debunking Three Myths About “Baseload,” Energy Central

Maine and New England consider stronger CO2 caps, Bangor Daily News

After sector outcry, Massachusetts energy chief defends 200 MWh storage target, Utility Dive

Analysis shows market forces, not policy, driving shifts in power sector, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

Unitil seeks to raise average gas bill 9 percent for households, Bangor Daily News

New England Residents Pay Most in Contiguous US for Electricity, GoLocal Worcester

Connecticut residents pay highest energy costs in nation, analysis finds, New Haven Register

Energy CEOs say investor money and jobs at risk because FERC isn’t functional, CNBC

Concord adamant on burial of Northern Pass power lines, Concord Monitor

Public meetings start for Granite State Power Link, a Northern Pass-like proposal, Concord Monitor

How wholesale power markets and state environmental policies can work together, Utility Dive

Eversource makes case for Sudbury-Hudson power line, MetroWest Daily News

MBTA hides parts of Hudson-to-Sudbury power-line deal, Worcester Telegram

Eversource on hook for Harbor project under deal with feds, Boston Business Journal

3 Ways the Trump Administration Is Changing How It Talks About Energy, Greentech Media

Medway: Massive truck set to deliver Exelon generator, MetroWest Daily News

Towns gear up to fight Eversource herbicide plan, Wicked Local Brewster

Editorial/Opinion

Between the Lines: Frances Crowe Has The Right Idea, Valley Advocate

Commentary: Maine lawmakers siding with passing responsible energy policy, Press Herald

No reason to open new marine monument to oil drilling when industry doesn’t want it, Bangor Daily News

The problems with Trump’s push on natural-gas exports, Axios

Another View: Cheap hydro power from Canada is not so cheap, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Letter: William J. Eccleston: It’s time for RI to fight excessive transmission costs, The Providence Journal

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 30, 2017

Happy Friday everyone!

Gas stories abound this week. First, CommonWealth Magazine brings us the news that the companies involved in the Access Northeast Pipeline are putting the project on hold. According to the story, company officials said the project was being withdrawn from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s pre-filing review process and would not be revived until “gaps in legal authority” are addressed. Its backers said the region needed more access to gas, particularly in the winter months, when prices rise and backup coal and oil-fired plants are rushed into service to meet the region’s power needs.

Earlier in the week, The Recorder’s Going Green blog wrote about Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas subsidiary “open season” filing seeking bids from gas distribution companies and other customers for a new pipeline in the region. The past couple of weeks have also brought us two reports on the benefits of natural gas. The API’s report looks at all 50 states, while the Northeast Gas Association directs its attention specifically on Massachusetts.

Last tidbit for this week comes from Microgrid Knowledge in an article that demonstrates bigger is not necessary better, at least when it comes to grid reliability according to two reports from the Brattle Group and the Analysis Group.  The studies find renewables are not jeopardizing reliability and the very idea of ‘baseload’ — power plants that run almost all the time — may be antiquated, given today’s mix of flexible, software-driven power resources.

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Access Northeast pipeline put on indefinite hold, CommonWealth Magazine

Gubernatorial candidates join compressor station opposition, Berkshire Eagle

Native Americans to fight FERC over pipeline work, Berkshire Eagle

98-year-old Northampton peace activist Frances Crowe faces trespassing charge after Berkshire pipeline protest, MassLive.com

8 protesters arrested at Massachusetts gas pipeline project, Boston.com

Kinder Morgan pitches future natural gas pipeline capacity in New York, New England, MassLive.com

Risk assessment requested for Weymouth compressor station site, Wicked Local Weymouth

Eversource invests $3.5M in Danbury’s natural gas system, CT Post

‘Victory’: Irish Lawmakers Ban Fracking | Common Dreams, Common Dreams

Study of oil and gas drilling finds pollution and connections to earthquakes, Houston Chronicle

Judge’s DAPL Ruling, Reckless Spill Record Pushes Pipeline Company’s Shares Below $20 for First Time, EcoWatch

‘Open season’ filed to gauge natural gas market, Going Green

Climate Change

WBUR Poll Finds A Sharp Increase In Concern About Climate Change Among Mass. Voters, WBUR

These experts say we have three years to get climate change under control. And they’re the optimists., Washington Post

Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Climate Leadership Starts with RGGI, Natural Resources Defense Council

Renewable Energy

RGGI mulling ‘cocktail’ of price-boosting measures as review’s end draws closer, Carbon Pulse

Ashland: Citizens Energy takes a shine to Nyanza site, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Energy Compromise Heads to LePage With Enough Support to Withstand Veto, Maine Public

Onshore wind development slow but steady as offshore plan advances, Mainebiz

New Bedford hoping to catch renewable energy wave, South Coast Today

DONG Energy Inaugurates 582 Megawatt Gode Wind I & 2 Offshore Wind Farms, CleanTechnica

Green Farmland Or Green Energy? Deepwater Wind Brings Debate To Connecticut, Rhode Island Public Radio

Was America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Unfairly Blamed For A Whale’s Death?, HuffPost

Wind Energy Has Officially Become Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels, Futurism

Is Offshore Wind Power Riding a Rising Tide?, The National Law Review

Simsbury Debates Trade Off Between Green Farmland And Green Energy, WNPR News

Citing ‘Hughes v. Talen,’ court rejects challenge to Connecticut’s renewable RFP, Utility Dive

Rooftop solar power gets a boost, mostly, from new PUC ruling, Concord Monitor

Marine Conservationist On New England’s Potential To Harness Energy From Ocean Tides, Rhode Island Public Radio

A Fight Over the Electric Grid Could Reshape America’s Green Power Boom, TIME

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $960,000 for Clean Energy Education Program, Energy Central

Yarmouth pours energy into going green, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts Regulators Direct Utilities to Shorten Offshore Wind Bid Evaluation Timeline, Renewable Energy World

New Rules for Wind Turbines Delayed in Vermont, Energy Central

New Hampshire regulators approve new net metering tariffs, Utility Dive

Falmouth selectmen weigh financial impact of turbine shutdown, Cape Cod Times

New Hampshire Shines In Solar Compromise, Solar Industry

Energy Efficiency

A second attack on the energy efficiency program at the General Assembly poised to pass, RI Future

South Burlington residents save six percent on electric, vtdigger.org

Energy Efficiency Deserves Center Stage During President’s Energy Week, Energy Collective

Greenfield receives state funding for energy efficiency, wwlp.com

Nuclear

Nuclear Can Be Friends With Renewables—If It’s Modular, Greentech Media

Millstone Owner To Assess Shutting Down Nuclear Plant, Hartford Courant

NRC: Entergy served notice of violation ‘with willful intent’, The Recorder

Millstone owners not giving up on lucrative legislation, CT Post

ISO-NE lays out retirement options for Dominion’s Millstone nuke, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Hudson, Sudbury, Stow OK’d to intervene in Eversource power line case, MetroWest Daily News

Regional energy plan approved by state DPS, Bennington Banner

AMS in partnership with Southern Company subsidiary, gets Massachusetts peak load reduction grant, Energy Storage News

Massachusetts Energy Reliability Awareness Campaign, Northeast Gas Association

Northern Pass Clears Another Regulatory Hurdle, New Hampshire Public Radio

President Trump’s budget would put communities living near oil and gas at risk, Environmental Defense Fund

Bigger is Not Better: Grid Modernization and the Antiquated Concept of ‘Baseload,’ Microgrid Knowledge

Melrose Community Electricity Aggregation program update, Wicked Local Melrose

Eversource details impact of proposed rate shift, Berkshire Eagle

CT Siting Council to Return to Greenwich for Public Hearing on Eversource Proposed Substation, Greenwich Free Press

Hudson ConCom Commission says preferred Eversource power line route would hurt environment, MetroWest Daily News

New Brattle study touts flexible grid, dismisses ‘baseload’ hype, Utility Dive

New York expected to set high bar for energy storage after target bill passage, Utility Dive

Editorial/Opinion

Opinion: It’s nonsense to say fracking can be made safe, whatever guidelines we come up with, Phys.Org

Legislature Should Revive Millstone Bill, Hartford Courant

Commentary: Ideology shouldn’t trump practical solutions, LePage energy adviser says, Press Herald

Don’t Sweep Utility Funds Into General Budget, Hartford Courant

Opinion: Renew push for pricing carbon, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Round three on renewable energy, CommonWealth Magazine

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 23, 2017

Good Friday Afternoon.

This week’s energy news includes a story in the MIT Technology Review about a new paper from nearly two dozen “prominent researchers” that sharply critiqued an influential paper arguing that wind, solar, and hydroelectric power could affordably meet most of the nation’s energy needs by 2055. The researchers said the 2015 paper “contained modeling errors and implausible assumptions that could distort public policy and spending decisions.” That the 2015 paper was influential is right. Massachusetts, California and other states are now considering 100 percent renewable energy targets not only for electricity generation, but for transportation and heating as well. Greentech Media pulled together a podcast on the “bitter debate” that ensued after the critical paper was released. It also includes some links to Tweetstorms that erupted after the paper was released.

Also this week, the Consumer Energy Alliance released the results of a poll that showed “a large majority of voters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York embrace affordable and reliable energy in New England, but a much smaller majority embrace natural gas pipelines to make that happen.” The article in Natural Gas Intelligence reported, “CEA noted that the polling shows only 6% of respondents thought that a lack of natural gas or oil infrastructure was the cause for the region’s high electric rates. This shows ‘an apparent disconnect or lack of understanding from respondents as to how pipelines and other related energy infrastructure impact fuel and electricity prices,’ the group said.”

The last highlight this week is a story from the Cape Cod Times about the ongoing battle to shut down Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility. According to the story, “a Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down [the] two town-owned wind turbines. Judge Cornelius Moriarty issued his decision at about 4:30 p.m. in the case which pitted the town against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and a neighbor of the turbines. The Board of Selectmen had appealed a decision by the zoning board that found the turbines are a nuisance.” More court cases over the turbines are in process so this order to shut them down isn’t necessarily ‘case closed.’

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC says no environmental review for ‘heavy-duty’ vehicle use variance, says it will trust Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., Berkshire Eagle

New England Poll Finds ‘Disconnect’ Between Voter Support for Affordable Energy, Pipelines, Natural Gas Intelligence

18 Arrested At Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project Will Go To Court, WAMC

Despite trespassing arrests, Sugar Shack Alliance members vow to begin ‘summer days of resistance’ protest, Berkshire Eagle

Keene City Council backs natural gas proposal, delays climate change vote, Keene Sentinel

Weymouth residents continue air quality testing in the Fore River Basin, The Patriot Ledger

Court Issues Burrillville Power Plant a Setback, ecoRI news

Defending Burrillville from Invenergy may cost town millions, RI Future

API positions gas as all-purpose resource for grid reliability, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan, MIT Technology Review

Major Simsbury Solar Project Opposed By State Officials Moving Ahead Thanks to Mass., R.I., Hartford Courant

Grafton solar project helps preserve Knowlton Farm, Telegram.com

Your Guide to the Bitter Debate Over 100% Renewable Energy, Greentech Media

Maine legislators get set for net metering vote that could impact PUC ruling, Daily Energy Insider

Falmouth ordered to shut down turbines, Cape Cod Times

Murphy and Esty Want $5 Billion for ‘National Green Bank’, Hartford Courant

Supporters tout carbon pricing plan from Lexington state senator, Wicked Local Lexington

What’s Next For Climate Change Efforts in NH?, New Hampshire Public Radio

Can Offshore Wind Power Revive US Ports?, Scientific American

Battle for US offshore wind jobs hots up, Recharge

Offshore Wind Faces Stiff Test From Hurricanes, ecoRI news

House and Senate Approve Solar Bill, More Votes Ahead, WAGM

Massachusetts Businesses Taking Climate Change Seriously, CBS Boston / WBZ

Vivint Solar Continues Huge Month With Expansion Into Vermont, CleanTechnica

Wind noise should be overseen by state, not developer, Brattleboro Reformer

Video: P.E.I. wind farm brings in special scaffolding to repair turbine blade, CBC News

At Pittsfield stop on Clean Energy Future Tour, anti-turbine sentiment a frequent topic, Berkshire Eagle

Report: Renewable energy is no threat to power reliability, Utility Dive

Rhode Island Considering Legislation to Streamline Process of Developing Renewable Energy Projects, JD Supra

Energy Efficiency

Critics of RI budget take aim at one-time revenue transfers, The Providence Journal

National Grid named one of the most energy efficient utilities in US, Daily Energy Insider

Donovan joins suit against US Department of Energy, Vermont Biz

Green Massachusetts, green Harvard, Harvard Press

Hinds, Pacheco Host MA Clean Energy Future Tour In Pittsfield, WAMC

6 towns get Green Communities grants totaling $830211, The Recorder

Nuclear

New York Senate narrowly passes bill to reallocate funds for nuclear subsidies, Utility Dive

Pilgrim advisory panel ‘ready to get to work’, Cape Cod Times

Judge blocks sale of Vermont Yankee disposal company, Brattleboro Reformer

Activists And Climate Scientists Push For Support Of Millstone Nuclear Power, WSHU

Entergy prepares to leave Plymouth; Emera hopes to enter, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England, California could see tight spots with reliability this summer, says FERC, Utility Dive

DOE grid study deadline delayed as Perry defends budget proposal, Utility Dive

MassDEP reaffirms Exelon plant in Medway is safe, despite project criticism, MetroWest Daily News

Medway: Exelon, law group spar over contractor suspension, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass foes show up in force, The Union Leader

From Yale to the North Country, Northern Pass elicits strong opinions, The Keene Sentinel

University statement on the Northern Pass hydropower transmission line, Yale News

Weymouth school gets energy assist from Celtics, National Grid, Wicked Local Weymouth

Senate Chair on Global Warming Takes Input on Energy Policy, iBerkshires.com

New York lawmakers clear bill creating an energy storage mandate, Utility Dive

A Massachusetts Co-op Makes A Powerful Vintage, Renewable Energy World

Enel to Buy EnerNOC for $250M, in Bid for Demand Response and Energy Software Market Share, Greentech Media

Editorial/Opinion

Finally – A Market-Based, Investable Approach to Energy Efficiency, Electric Light & Power

Another View — Richard Sampson: Yale could stop Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Our View: Solar bill would let Maine grow clean energy jobs, Press Herald

Exports explain interest in gas pipeline, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Footprint’s deal is a good one for neighbors and the city, Salem News

The upside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 16, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline blasting plans raise fears, Berkshire Eagle

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

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

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

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

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

Senate Hears Bill to Derail Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

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

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

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

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

Renewable Energy

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

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

Competition for offshore wind ramps up in Massachusetts, ABC News

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

Cape Wind opposition continues, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind may help New Hampshire lower energy costs, Recharge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big business sees the promise of clean energy, The Economist

Wind Turbines: Behind the Spin, Machine Design

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

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

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

Nexamp Completes Community Solar Project In Massachusetts, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trespass charge dropped against Vermont Yankee activist, vtdigger.org

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

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survey: What Electricity Customers Really Want, Greentech Media

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending March 10, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get right to it.

Elisa Wood at Microgrid Knowledge reports that in one day two states made history-making moves on distributed energy resources. She writes that New York ordered actions that begin placing a value on distributed energy resources, a key move in creating the kind of decentralized grid the state is pursuing under its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) policy. And that meanwhile, Massachusetts issued an awaited solicitation that makes significant funding available for energy storage, a technology that promises to disrupt the way the electric power industry has managed energy for more than a century – and in doing so elevate microgrids, solar and other distributed energy resources. Wood notes, both states are often on the vanguard of energy policy innovations.

The news coming out of Washington, DC isn’t looking so good for the Energy Star Program. The Washington Post reports that even though the Energy Star program is good for the climate and economy, Trump wants to kill it anyway. According to the story, since its inception, the Energy Star program says it has saved consumers an estimated $430 billion on utility bills and avoided 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Journalist Chelsea Harvey writes, “Why the administration sees fit to remove it, then, remains unclear. But some say the budget proposal may not get much further, anyway. Some lawmakers have suggested that the plan is likely to face resistance in Congress, even among Republicans. And the treatment of the Energy Star program may spur criticism from the private sector as well.” Let’s hope she’s right.

The plans for the budget slashing at the EPA led its Chief Environmental Justice Official, Mustafa Ali, to step down. According to the story in Inside Climate News, Ali penned a long letter, “devoid of rancor” to Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency’s programs.

Speaking of environmental downsizing, the Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts is enforcing its environmental rules less due to years of reductions in staff. The good news is that the administration’s latest budget proposal calls for a 4 percent increase for the DEP, some of which is earmarked to hire 15 new compliance officers.

Lastly, on the South Shore and Buzzards Bay, some Plymouth-based wind turbines are raising the hackles of neighbors. The Cape Cod Times reports that the four turbines on the Keith Mann Cranberry Bog, just over the border from Bourne are resulting in stories of deafening noise, unexplained headaches, and restless nights – by residents of Bourne. Bourne Selectman Michael Blanton said, “It was put right on the town line, right on the county line; just outside of our reach to be able to exercise any jurisdiction, exercise any regulatory authority and really … approve, disapprove or mitigate much of the project to any degree.” Bourne officials have pleaded with the Plymouth Board of Health and the MA DEP for relief, but at the moment, still feel “kind of helpless.”

There are a lot more news stories below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Environmental Study: Leaking Gas Pipelines Costing State Consumers Millions, Adding Air Pollution, Hartford Courant

Amended plan for power plant might spur new opinions from R.I. agencies, Providence Journal

Quincy throws its weight and dollars behind compressor-station appeal, The Patriot Ledger

CLF Sues Over Johnston Reselling Water For Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Local Environmental Groups Unite Against Power Plant, ecoRI news

Delays Could Derail Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Fast Growth Coming for Northeast Shale Gas Pipelines, Bloomberg BNA

EIA’s Changing Oil, Natural Gas Projections For 2017, 2018, Forbes

What do people call Baker about? The Weymouth natural gas compressor station, for starters, Boston Globe

Renewable Energy

Plan could increase Rhode Island renewables to 1 GW by 2020, HydroWorld

Competing strategies emerge on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines raise hackles in Plymouth and Bourne, Cape Cod Times

Wind Power Blows Through Nuclear, Coal as Costs Drop at Sea, Bloomberg

1 MW Community Solar Farm Goes Online In Southeastern Mass., Solar Industry

Rhode Island Officials Embrace Fossil-Fuel Power Plant, But Say They Want More Renewable Energy, ecoRI news

Solar energy had record year in 2016, FuelFix

Tesla built a huge solar energy plant on the island of Kauai, The Verge

Solar explosion: The changing landscape of residential solar, GazetteNET

Greenhouse at Lebanon farm producing power along with plants, theday.com

Seven Maine businesses land renewable energy grants, Mainebiz

Big Wind critics: New sound rules for Vermont wind turbines fall short, Watchdog.org

Swanton wind will go ahead despite PSB setback, vtdigger.org

RENEW Northeast Welcomes Offshore Wind Developers, National Wildlife Federation, North American Windpower

‘Let me show you how to go 100% renewable energy’, EcoGeneration

Massachusetts Schools, Town Cut Costs With New Brownfield Solar Project, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Quincy, National Grid help make homes more energy efficient, The Patriot Ledger

Evergreen Home Performance wins award from Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

White House plans to ‘close out’ Energy Star, other programs, E&E News

The Energy Star program is good for the climate and the economy. Trump wants to kill it anyway., Washington Post

Nuclear

Vermont AG files for intervenor status in Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

Feds commit to Vermont public meeting on Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Tribe wants say in Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Nuke plant, town reach deal over pier damage, Seacoastonline.com

Battle resumes over opening utility markets to Millstone, The CT Mirror

No status change for Pilgrim nuclear plant, The Patriot Ledger

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

One Day, Two States, History Making Moves on Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrid Knowledge

Sparks fly on electric vehicle provision, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. is enforcing its environmental rules less, The Boston Globe

New York PSC directs utilities to deploy 2 or more grid-scale storage projects, Utility DIVE

Dunkin’ Donuts, Eversource, National Grid Develop Energy Program, Energy Manager Today

Hinds opposes Eversource rate hike request, Berkshire Eagle

Durham ‘lacks confidence’ in Eversource data, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Report: White House planning deep cuts to DOE efficiency, renewables office, Utility DIVE

Report: New Energy Projects Not Needed for NH’s Economic Growth, New Hampshire Public Radio

After losing money on hydropower venture, Camden to decommission Seabright Dam, PenBayPilot.com

Hanover Pond restored in Meriden; testing of hydroelectric technology underway, Meriden Record Journal

Purchase of 13 dams on the Connecticut River nearing finish line, vtdigger.org

New Hampshire Climate Denier’s Work Has Powerful New Audience: His Brother, The Governor, DeSmog

Could biofuel save Maine’s timber industry?, Bangor Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: Eversource rates and the east-west divide, Berkshire Eagle

Battle resumes over opening utility markets to Millstone, The CT Mirror

Replacing the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant with Energy Efficiency, Huffington Post

Jon Copans: Modelling a local and vibrant climate economy, vtdigger.org

Trump’s puzzling clean energy stance, CommonWealth Magazine

A Guide to the Debate Over Closing Nuclear Plants, Greentech Media

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Wind Power