Category Archives: Uncategorized

Energy News for week ending May 24, 2019

Confidence Eroded | Floating Solar | Non-wires Alternative

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

 

Weymouth Compressor Station

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Pilgrim closure could drive up carbon emissions, Eagle-Tribune

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

Municipal light communities part of rebate program, Telegram

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

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

 

Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

Speedy reactor cleanups may carry both risks and rewards, AP

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices, etc.

EIA Launches its New State Energy Portal, NA Clean Energy

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

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

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

ISO-NE on Track with GMD Standard, RTO Insider

FERC Sets Conference on New England Fuel Security, RTO Insider

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

Cuomo vs. New York, Wall St. Journal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending September 8, 2017

ISO-NE spoiled | Varying approaches to Grid Mod | Hacked

Good Friday Afternoon.

Harvey. Irma. Jose. Katia. It’s hard to fathom how much devastation has already occurred in Texas and the Caribbean as we continue to watch and pray for the folks in Florida, Mexico and again in the Leeward Islands as the massive hurricanes continue on their paths.

Closer to home we have a story from POWER magazine digging deep into ISO-New England’s 20-year history and asking if the success of the past can be replicated in the future – or is ISO-NE spoiled by its success? With winter approaching, here is an interesting quote from the article, “According to van Welie, the ISO has largely given up on the idea of bringing more gas to the region, in the face of the inability of pipeline developers to win support for their projects. The problem now, he said, ‘is how to get efficient electricity production during winter, assuming we see no further investment in gas infrastructure.’ He added, ‘Fuel has to come from somewhere when the existing pipelines are constrained.’”

This week Utility Dive dug into the Massachusetts utilities’ grid mod proposals. The question they say is that regulators must choose whether to embrace their original grid mod goals, opt for newly-proposed performance metrics, or go back to the drawing board. Further they add that Massachusetts regulators ordered the state’s utilities to develop a grid modernization plan (GMP) in 2014 but divergent approaches have so far prevented implementation.

If the Equifax hack wasn’t bad enough, we bring you a BuzzFeed story based on reports from Symantec that hackers infiltrated and gained access to operational controls of US electric companies.  Symantec, a California-based firm that provides cybersecurity services and worldwide research against online threats, says the group, which it’s nicknamed Dragonfly 2.0, may have compromised more than a dozen American companies in recent months.

Be sure to check out our events page. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Is Big Oil Prepared For The Natural Gas Era?, OilPrice.com

Sugar Shack Alliance protests fossil fuels on I-91, The Recorder

Burrillville asks EFSB to dismiss Invenergy application because it’s incomplete, RI Future

FERC Orders Tech Conference on Algonquin No-Notice Changes, RTO Insider

Citing climate impacts, New York state blocks yet another natural gas pipeline, MassLive.com

Mother Nature Whips Natural Gas Amid Harvey And Irma, Investing.com

Natural gas pipeline projects move closer to development, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

Public, private leaders call for renewable energy push, Worcester Business Journal

Connecticut pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions, CT Post

Portland Airport to Get $1.3 Million for Solar Array, U.S. News & World Report

Giant Batteries Help Renewable Energy Grow In New England, WBUR

Grid strained by new solar farms, Berkshire Eagle

RGGI prices to continue languishing below $10 through 2030 despite reforms, analysts warn, Carbon Pulse

20 megawatts: Solar developer targets southern Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer

Shrewsbury town meeting OK gas line extensions, solar deal, Worcester Telegram

Resident group opposes solar proposal for Candlewood Mountain, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

VIDEO: World’s First Offshore Wind Facility Completely Dismantled, Power Engineering Magazine

Ocean Turbines Could Turn the Tide for Energy Generation, Government Technology

Wind turbine manufacturers are dipping toes into energy storage projects, Ars Technica

CleanChoice Energy opens office in Massachusetts, Clean Technology Business Review

Lynn Working to Become A Green Community, Lynn Journal

Two Energy Powerhouses Broaden Community Solar Access in Massachusetts, Energy Central

Wastewater treatment authority on path to full renewability, Penn Energy

Maine island completes conversion to ’90 percent cleaner’ energy, Bangor Daily News

Potential Tariff On Solar Panels Has Some Developers Concerned, Vermont Public Radio

Energy Efficiency

UMass, Eversource sign energy efficiency partnership, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Were thermal images taken of your Springfield house? Look for a postcard in the mail outlining energy-savings plan, MassLive.com

Bash the incandescent bulb and save money, The Cabinet Press

Nuclear

Entergy Seeks Approval To Accelerate Prep Work At Vermont Yankee, Vermont Public Radio

State OKs reduction in Vermont Yankee security, vtdigger.org

Report claims there’s no new pollution at VY, Commons

In advertising blitz, nuclear industry seeks reset, Axios

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Could Success Spoil ISO-NE?, Power Magazine

Massachusetts utilities take divergent approaches to grid modernization, Utility Dive

Electricity Providers Targeted In Massive Hack, Buzzfeed

LePage can’t lower energy prices by himself, but that won’t stop him from trying, Bangor Daily News

How States Will Hit 100 Percent Clean Energy, Scientific American

CMP faces questions about power line plan for western Maine, Portland Press Herald

Environmental group appeals approval of Sandwich plant expansion, Cape Cod Times

Northern Pass transmission slated to bring Quebec electricity to Massachusetts gains OK from US Forest Service, MassLive.com

31 Northern Pass Hearings Added; Delay Prompts Lively Facebook Exchange, InDepthNH.org

Northern Pass route through White Mountains clears hurdle, WMUR Manchester

Northern Pass: Residents, Eversource Offer Differing Views On Another SEC Delay, Caledonian Record

Northern Pass project decision delayed by New Hampshire siting committee, Utility Dive

United States: DOE Report Offers Extensive Insight, But Limited Policy Suggestions, Mondaq News Alerts

Towns intervene in Eversource acquisition of Aquarion, Seacoastonline.com

Proposed State Energy Strategy Draws Critics, Hartford Courant

Major energy legislation of Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure, Bangor Daily News

The simple reason most power utilities suck, Vox.com

Editorial/Opinion

Wait ’til next year: More Northern Pass delays, The Union Leader

Carbon emissions problem has more than one solution, Press Herald

ALTERNATE ENERGY: The lure of nuclear energy no longer makes ‘cents’, Finger Lakes Times

Massachusetts’ leaders should go big on clean energy (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Harvey Exposed Oil Issues We Must Address, Natural Resources Defense Council

Leave a comment

Filed under Energy Efficiency, solar, Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending June 2, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

The big news this week was President Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement. We’ve devoted a whole section to it below that contains stories and analysis from near and far. Close to home, Boston Magazine reports on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s tough-talk tweets going viral. And, in the home of the Paris accord, Vox.com reports on French President Macron responding to Trump with a twist on his favorite phrase, “Make our planet great again.”

Eversource found its way into a number of articles this week. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Eversource still wants a $96 million rate increase next year, but it expects to reduce the share that would be paid by customers in Western Massachusetts. That made those folks happy, but according to CommonWealth Magazine, the rate case has had an opposite effect in seven metro suburbs. Bruce Mohl writes the “massive $96 million rate request filed by Eversource in January, would cut the so-called net metering rate from 22 cents a kilowatt hour to 13 cents a kilowatt hour, a 41 percent decrease. The details were included in a letter sent by the seven communities to the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday. The letter said Lexington stands to lose $372,000 in annual revenue under the proposal. Newton would lose nearly $365,000, Natick $300,000, and Weston nearly $284,000. Wayland, Westwood, and Arlington would lose lesser amounts.”

On a more positive note for solar, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy blogs about the wonderful opportunity for solar to help pollinators – especially bees. They say, “Swapping out gravel and turf grass, often located underneath solar panels, for native flowers and grasses, is a great way to provide pollen and nectar (2 main food sources) for nearby bees and other pollinators.” They even provide a link to lists of the best plants for your growing region. To help you out, here’s a link to the northeast plant list.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Climate Change/Paris Climate Accord

The 5 biggest deceptions in Trump’s Paris climate speech, Vox.com

Marty Walsh’s Viral Climate Moment, Boston Magazine

The Paris Climate Deal: How to Understand Trump’s Decision, New York Times

Read Obama’s statement on the Paris climate agreement, The Boston Globe

RI is vulnerable if US pulls out of Paris Accord, says scientist, The Providence Journal

Analysts: Leaving climate deal likely wouldn’t add US jobs, CT Post

Mass. critics slam Trump ditching climate accord, Milford Daily News

Three Coal Plants Close the Same Day Trump Said to Exit the Paris Agreement, Greentech Media

Energy Companies Urge Trump To Remain In Paris Climate Agreement, New England Public Radio

Defiant US Mayors Vow To Uphold Paris Climate Accord, Fast Company

Blumenthal: A Trump decision to exit Paris climate accord would cost CT jobs, The CT Mirror

French President Emmanuel Macron responds to Trump: “Make our planet great again,” Vox.com

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Vermont Gas introduces mobile home plan to save homeowners money, Vermont Biz

Weymouth to appeal DEP approval of Algonquin waterways permit, Wicked Local Weymouth

Toxins detected in air near Fore River Basin, doctor says, The Patriot Ledger

Report: Military-style tactics used against Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors, Des Moines Register

Appeal Filed over 2nd Pipeline Expansion Project, Patch.com

Renewable Energy

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Prices Lowest Since 2014, Power Engineering Magazine

Borrego Solar Completes 5 MW Solar Array on Decommissioned Landfill in Palmer, Mass, PV Solar Report

Scottish Power Wins Right to Build Two U.S. Offshore Wind Projects, Power Engineering

SouthCoast suppliers vie for piece of the offshore wind pie, SouthCoastToday.com

Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Low carbon prices hang over RGGI as June auction approaches, Utility Dive

Six Things You Didn’t Know About the Offshore Wind Power Sector, POWER magazine

Wind projects a possible turning point for 18 ports, Boston Herald

Factcheck: Whale Strandings and Offshore Wind Farms, EcoWatch

What are the connections between solar power and honeybees?, Clean Energy News

Energy Efficiency

Report: Clean Energy Growing in States and Cities Nationwide, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency: The Foundation of Our Clean Energy Future, Natural Resources Defense Council

Predictions About Global Energy Efficiency Since the 1980s Have Been Wildly Conservative, Greentech Media

Residential Energy Efficiency: Taking It To The Next Level, CleanTechnica

Release—Finally—of Appliance Efficiency Standards Applauded, Bloomberg BNA

Nuclear

Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant To Shut Down In 2019, NPR

NRC holding public meeting on Seabrook nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Vermont Yankee fuel move into more-secure storage is delayed, vtdigger.org

Millstone nuclear power and police accountability, CT Post

Connecticut Seeks to Support Nuclear Energy, Energy Collective

New Law Could Declare Nuclear Reactors To Be ‘Green Energy’ To Save Them, The Daily Caller

Fragile future for US nuclear power, BBC News

Feds face questions about redevelopment at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Gas May Be Killing the Nuclear Option, Bloomberg

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Utility plans jolt Sudbury, Hopkinton, and Needham, The Boston Globe

Study: New Resources Could ‘Crowd Out’ Old in ISO-NE, RTO Insider

Vermont utility offers $1,200 electric vehicle rebate, Utility DIVE

Cambridge ditches standard electric service to embrace green power, WickedLocal Cambridge

Eversource to cut rate increase in Western Massachusetts. Berkshire Eagle

New sewer concept would make energy, fertilizer from wastewater, MetroWest Daily News

State backs herbicide plan for 13 towns, Cape Cod Times

Medway: Grid operator would not allow Exelon postponement, Milford Daily News

Brayton Point powers down, Fall River Herald News

Northern Pass trek leads to $124 fines for 2 in Millsfield, NewHampshire.com

Northern Pass predicts financial windfall for towns, The Union Leader

National Grid, GE, 3M make power grid greener with gas-insulated switchgear, Electric Light & Power

Former power plant manager sentenced for emissions fraud, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Pass SB 129, save 900 jobs in New Hampshire, Energy Central

Offshore wind moving too slowly, CommonWealth Magazine

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Tom Perry: Energy Efficient Building and Retrofitting, Shelburne News

Facts show Millstone bill would fleece ratepayers, theday.com

Stay the course on climate, for the planet, Boston Globe

MICAHEL LANG, Braintree: Despite governmental layers, we’re not protected from compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Maine’s solar industry can employ the next generation, Bangor Daily News

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits, CommonWealth Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending March 11, 2016

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Will Kinder Morgan’s Plan To Export Natural Gas Give Pipeline Opponents Their Best Argument Against It?, WBUR

Baker pressured to block pipeline surveys in state parks, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Customers Experience Lowest Heating Costs in Years, (Press Release) Columbia Gas of MA

Weymouth mayor won’t rule out litigation in effort to stop gas compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Gill, Northfield send money to help Montague fight pipeline, The Recorder

DPU approves Montague request for pipeline info, The Recorder

Pelham voters approve funds to fight proposed pipeline project, The Union Leader

Residents have concerns, want more info on pipeline, The Salem News

Summit Natural Gas reduces rates by nearly 70 percent, Press Herald

Renewable Energy

Once a hope for the future, viability of solar firms in Attleboro area now in question, Sun Chronicle

UMass researchers working on improved wind turbine anchoring system, MassLive

National Grid to Launch a First-of-Its-Kind Solar Marketplace, Greentech Media

Large Hydropower Joins the Renewable Energy Club, RTO Insider

General Electric Poised To Benefit From Wind Energy Growth Potential, Seeking Alpha

Whole Foods to Generate Own Solar Power, Maine News Online

New England Stakeholders Debate Solar Subsidies, RTO Insider

LePage opposes compromise to rapidly expand solar power, Press Herald

What makes good solar?, vtdigger.org

DeLeo officially backs offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

DeLeo makes clear that hydro, wind will have place in energy plan, WWLP

The Block Island Offshore Wind Project is Just the Beginning, (blog) Huffington Post

Energy Efficiency

Connecticut to save nearly $1 billion through 2015 energy efficiency efforts, Stratford Star

Burlington Named Earth Hour City Challenge Finalist by World Wildlife Fund, VTdigger.org

Sustain Mid Maine Coalition building capacity for positive change, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Nuclear

Plant officials say plan to manage ASR is ‘effective’, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee to scale back emergency plan, affecting 7 Massachusetts towns, MassLive

Five years since Fukushima: How a nuclear disaster in Japan changed U.S. plant regulations, Timesonline.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

A new power line roils scenic New Hampshire, Marketplace.org

Coalition Expresses Concern About Baker Administration Energy Strategy Statement, (opinion), New England Coalition for Affordable Energy

Reforms spotlight CT’s evolving energy industry, Hartford Business

Environmentalists Call for Reinventing Brayton Point, ecoRI news

Quincy official says National Grid must fix trenches, The Patriot Ledger

Hudson residents energized against Eversource project, Worcester Telegram

NH Electric Cooperative tries some experiments as utilities face an uncertain future, Concord Monitor

Vermont crossing suggested at Northern Pass hearing, The Union Leader

Northern Pass Investing In The Balsams, New Hampshire Public Radio

Rising from the rubble: Footprint natural gas plant blasting through construction goals, Salem News

Leave a comment

Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Uncategorized

Energy News for week ending December 4, 2015

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Renewable Energy

Energy Efficiency

Nuclear

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing