Energy News for week ending October 18, 2019

Moratorium Extended | Compressor Approvals | Wind to Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We hope you’re all doing well after the big windstorm.

We’re highlighting a couple of Massachusetts-related gas stories this week, though we have a lot of stories below about the ongoing battle between National Grid and New York.

First from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A moratorium on adding new natural gas customers in Northampton and Easthampton will continue indefinitely following a decision by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to abandon a project aimed at increasing the pipeline capacity for both cities.  The company last week announced that the moratorium for Northampton and Easthampton, which began in 2015 and has since meant new connections to its supply line are not allowed, will be extended due to changes in the planned ‘Greater Springfield Service Territory Reliability Project’ first unveiled in November 2017. Two years ago, the company pledged that five interrelated projects throughout the region would increase the natural gas supply and put an end to the moratorium in 2020 or 2021. Instead, Columbia Gas has eliminated the ‘alternate backfeed’ project, a 6-mile-long, 12-inch pipe that would have run between Agawam and Holyoke…Columbia Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Kempic said in a statement that the decision to abandon the ‘alternate backfeed’ was made based on review and analysis over the past few months of the cost impact and benefits to customers, and is unrelated to the work moratorium imposed by the state’s Department of Public Utilities on the Columbia Gas system. ‘Our determination is that we can accomplish the goals of removing leak-prone pipe in Agawam and West Springfield, as well as enhance operational flexibility, with the four remaining projects,’ Kempic said.”

We move from Western Mass to the South Shore where the Patriot Ledger reports, “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for the Fore River Basin were dealt two major blows Wednesday when a state adjudicator recommended the approval of a waterways license and a wetlands permit for the project, triggering the start of the final state review in the approval process. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold the license and permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth and a citizens group, which together had argued that the proposed station would worsen air and noise pollution in the Fore River Basin and is not an appropriate use based on state waterways regulations. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg has the final say on the approval of the permit and license…‘In sum, the petitioners have failed to offer persuasive evidence demonstrating that the proposed project does not conform to the requirements of the applicable waterways regulations,’ Rothchild wrote in her decision on the waterways license. Mayor Robert Hedlund said the rulings Wednesday were ‘further salt in the wound’ and a continuation of the town’s disappointment with state officials.”

For our new technology feature we bring you this news from Phys.org, “Alternative energy conserves natural resources and is environmentally friendly. However, the challenge is to develop reliable plants that continuously generate energy. Scientists of South Ural State University have found a way to achieve this using wind turbines and hydrogen…‘We have combined a power plant with equipment for producing hydrogen, as well as electrical energy from hydrogen. In other words, this installation converts electricity into hydrogen, which we can store or even transport. From the same hydrogen, we conduct electricity back,’ Andrei Martyanov says, associate professor at the Department of Power Stations, Networks and Power Supply Systems of the Polytechnic Institute of SUSU. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen occurs through electrolysis, then the hydrogen is placed in special containers, which are stored until the moment when the consumer will require electricity. The reverse process of getting energy from hydrogen occurs due to an electrochemical reaction in which hydrogen interacts with oxygen, electricity and thermal energy are generated. By the end of 2019, scientists plan to complete work on the creation of a digital twin of a wind turbine.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot of interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas vows to meet Friday deadline, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas extends moratorium for Northampton, Easthampton customers, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columbia Gas hires retired utility exec to oversee safety in Massachusetts, Wicked Local North Andover

Despite ‘political tug-of-war,’ the US ‘still needs fossil fuels’: DOE General Counsel, Utility Dive

Williams pipeline pending, Politico

New Jersey Denies Permits For Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline, CBS Philly

Weymouth compressor foes sift through soil removal plan, Wicked Local

State official backs two key approvals for compressor station, Patriot Ledger

National Grid gas shortage warning questioned by pipeline critics, Newsday

National Grid says it will reconnect natgas customers after NY order, CNBC

‘Margins Are Very Tight’: National Grid President Defends Decision To Not Provide Thousands With Heat, Gas, CBS New York

State regulators admit there’s a gas shortage amid utility fight, New York Post

NY regulators blast National Grid over gas service denials, SNL

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Kingston renewable energy loan program on hold, Wicked Local Kingston

Clean Energy Ventures raises $110M for its first fund, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Hogan administration releases delayed plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions, Baltimore Sun

How Will Climate Change Alter Agriculture? Winemakers Are Finding Out, New York Times

Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?, Environmental Defense Fund

New tool enables Nova Scotia lobster fishery to address impacts of climate change, Phys.org

Documents Show Massachusetts AG Ready to File Climate Case Against Exxon, Bloomberg Environment

 

Wind

GE: ‘Inevitable’ That Offshore Wind Manufacturing Comes to the US, Greentech Media

Homeowner group objects to wind-farm proposal, Coastal Point (MD)

Regulators grant first federal permits for offshore wind to Dominion, Ørsted pilot, Utility Dive

Boston energy firm sues GE over damaged turbine, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Moratorium on Portland wind turbines may get extended, Observer (NY)

From the wind to hydrogen and vice versa: a new generation wind power plant is developed, Phys.org

3 Companies Banking on U.S. Offshore Wind, Motley Fool

Researchers develop ‘fully autonomous’ drones that can inspect and fix wind turbines, CNBC

Fishermen Demand a Say in Decisions on Offshore Wind Energy, NECN

In a Reversal, Wind Power Industry Wants More U.S. Tax Credits, YAHOO!

Vineyard Wind Submits Proposal to Deliver up to 1200 MW of Offshore Wind and Create Offshore Wind Hub in Connecticut, Renewable Energy Magazine

Vineyard Wind starts seabed probe, renews.biz

 

Solar

Woburn Continues to be Leader in Green Energy Production–New Solar System on Joyce Middle School to Save the City $29,000 a Year, Business Insider

Portland schools look to large-scale solar providers for energy, Portland Press Herald

West Greenwich residents air concerns over proposed solar project, Providence Journal

Falmouth revives interest in municipal solar project, Portland Press Herald

Saugerties solar farm delayed, HV1

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont residents get special pricing for innovative home energy monitor powered by AI through Efficiency Vermont program, VTDigger

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 2.5 GWh project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

 

Alternative Fuel Vehicles/Transportation

Hydrogen is still a mystery to drivers, but Toyota plans 10 times more cars, Los Angeles Times

The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly, Ars Technica

E-vehicle rebate program gets lifeline, Gloucester Times

Electric revolution: As EV demand increases, can utilities and cities keep up?, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear waste? These microbes might help with the cleanup, Nature

Nuclear Fusion Could Rescue the Planet From Climate Catastrophe, YAHOO!

Stand Up For Nuclear / Supporters To Gather This Weekend In 30 Cities, NucNet

Anti-nuke pills being readied for parts of C-K, Windsor Star

DOE, NRC team up to accelerate deployment of advanced reactors, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts Regulators Audit National Grid Over Concerns With Management, Greentech Media

Sudbury rail corridor dispute reaches state Supreme Judicial Court, Wicked Local Sudbury

Green Mountain Power turnaround driven by customer obsession, cultural shift: CEO, Utility Dive

PPL in merger talks with Connecticut utility to form $67 billion company, The Morning Call

Italian energy giant launches clean tech VC arm in Boston, Business Journals

Rep. Golden requests hearing on CMP power line, Hartford Courant

Energy Secretary Perry says he is resigning by year’s end, AP

New York adopts utility-ESCO cybersecurity requirements, rejects insurance requirements, Utility Dive

Brooklyn Microgrid Launches Campaign to Create Regulatory Sandbox, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

State attorneys general prepare to fight for clean energy rights, The Hill

Letter: Pros and cons of new gas pipeline, Newsday

State should speed up approvals on solar projects, Haverhill Gazette

Opinion: For the sake of our oceans, we need to get serious about climate change, Connecticut Post

Riding The Green Energy Wave In Plug Power, Seeking Alpha

Editorial: Wind plan makes sense for Bridgeport, Connecticut Post

Why is Lamont’s wind deal not done yet?, The Day

5 key takeaways from the National Grid rate case, Utility Dive

Turbine gone with the wind? Ocean Gate residents certainly hope so | Mulshine, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

No Longer Gluttons | Under Investigation | Plans Won’t Meet Goals

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. I hope you’re staying warm and dry in this miserable weather. Let’s get to the news.

Unlike a certain person who lives in the White House, it seems most people don’t think LEDs make you look orange. In fact according to a story in the Wall St. Journal, “Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb. For more than five years, Americans have been doing something decidedly un-American: We’ve been using less electricity…The downward trend began soon after the 2008 financial crisis took hold… But in a historical departure, after the economy rebounded, the decline in electricity use persisted…By 2017, electricity use was as low as it had been since the turn of the millennium with an average residence consuming 10.4 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, down from a peak of 11.5 megawatt-hours in 2010…None of this means that Americans are turning off their lights…But today’s appliances and electronics are more efficient. New homes are tighter and better insulated. And most important, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have replaced traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “No other change is so dramatic,” Dr. Davis said. “When you take an incandescent bulb out and screw in an LED, consumption goes down 80%. Imagine you could get a car that uses 80% less gasoline. That would be amazing.” With the transition to LEDs, the amount of electricity used for lighting dropped 26% from 2015 to 2017. In raw numbers, that meant consumption slipped from 129.7 million megawatt-hours a year nationwide to 95.5 million megawatt-hours. By 2021, if incandescent and halogen bulbs continue to be eliminated, the energy used for lighting is expected to decline by more than half, dropping to 61.3 million megawatt-hours annually.”

Next up, the State House News Service via WBUR brings us news of an investigation, “DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management. State utility regulators have ordered a broad investigation into the management of National Grid in a rare move born of concerns that one of the state’s largest electricity providers failed to communicate about the potential for severe delays in solar power installations. The Department of Public Utilities is also questioning National Grid’s management of its electric vehicles program and whether the company’s cybersecurity plan adequately takes into account benefits for customers who are paying for the technology upgrades. The independent management audit was ordered as part of a 586-page decision issued late last month in which DPU approved a $90.4 million increase in National Grid’s base distribution rates. In blunt terms, regulators said the rare, but not unprecedented audit was necessary to examine ‘potential management problems through to the highest levels of the organization.’”

Last up for this week is a story from E&E News via the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. “Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals. New England’s six states are falling short of the low-carbon energy deployment needed to reach their shared 2050 climate goals, according to a new analysis from the Brattle Group. By midcentury, every state in New England aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% over 1990 levels. At the behest of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a solar trade association, Brattle looked late last month at how much clean energy would be needed to meet those goals, if the region engaged in a mass switch from fossil fuel sources to electricity. Demand for electricity would roughly double by 2050, despite efficiency measures — about the same amount as for the nation at large, if it were to follow a similar path, the consultancy said. To supply that power, about four to eight times more renewables would need to come online annually, across the 2020s, than what is currently planned for the region…‘Achieving the GHG reduction goals set by New England states will require significantly accelerating clean energy resource deployment,’ said Jürgen Weiss, principal at Brattle and co-author of the study. That’s not an impossible feat, Weiss said.”

That’s the recap for this week. There are many more interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask gas company CEO to pull compressor station plans, Patriot Ledger

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

‘Major’ gas leak in New London causes evacuations, power outage to entire city, WFSB

Oil Companies Ponder Climate Change, but Profits Still Rule, New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case of gas pipeline seeking to cross Appalachian Trail in Va., Washington Post

Dog returns to owner year after running away after explosion, New York Daily News

Lawmakers weigh ‘nuclear option’ for Columbia Gas, Eagle-Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions, The Guardian

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New England winters are on the decline due to climate change, study says, Boston Globe

How State and Local Governments Are Leading the Way on Climate Policy, National Audubon Society

National Grid Files First-of-its-Kind Clean Energy Proposal, MarketWatch

New city-owned buildings will be carbon-neutral under updated climate plan, Boston Globe

An Overheating Gulf of Maine Is Forcing Wildlife to Adapt—or Move, National Audubon Society

In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market, Seven Days

Somerville shows climate change is hot election issue at candidate forum, WickedLocal

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox.com

Could squeezing more oil out of the ground help fight climate change?, Vox.com

Can We Really Reach These Big Green Goals?, Microgrid Knowledge

Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

The amount of voluntary renewable energy purchases keeps rising, Axios.com

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

Rep. Tonko on Extending Wind and Solar Tax Credits: ‘Odds Are Good,’ Greentech Media

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America, New York Times

 

Wind

Hopkinton council OKs ban on industrial wind turbines, but some say farmers’ viability could suffer, Westerly Sun

SouthCoast leaders urge state to make bigger wind investment, Southcoasttoday.com

State kicks off wind project; effort begins with 3 proposals, Republican-American

After Early Windfall, Offshore Developer Settles In for Long Game in Maryland, Greentech Media

 

Solar

BlueWave parent company appeals permit denial for solar farm in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

Baker’s latest solar goal called too small, CommonWealth Magazine

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar, New York Times

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

Survey: Residents favor renewable energy, but don’t want large scale solar arrays in their neighborhood, Athol Daily News

New law and Gov. Mills’ energy goals set off solar-farm land rush, Portland Press Herald

Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states, CNBC

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb, Wall St. Journal

How a new class of startups are working to solve the grid storage puzzle, MIT Technology Review

Report: MA, VT, NY Lead In Energy Efficiency, WAMC

Lamont talks energy efficiency as he tours Farmington aerospace manufacturer, Hartford Courant

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

Massachusetts rejects National Grid EV plan, advocates say oil interests sowed disinformation, Utility Dive

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Five states have implemented programs to assist nuclear power plants, US Energy Information

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

Red Flags Raised Over Radioactive Waste at Indian Point Plants, The Examiner

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

EPA tells churches to cut mercury but says restrictions on power plants unnecessary, Catholic News Network

Brayton Point gears up to welcome more tenants, South Coast Today

Federal judge soon to decide fate of Seacoast power project, New Hampshire Union Leader

CMP says new substation will help all of New England, newscentermaine.com

Electricity supplier enters Ch. 11 bankruptcy, owes state $8.2M, Hartford  Business

Two years on, CMP billing saga still confounds, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Terms of gas settlement should be renegotiated, Eagle-Tribune

YOUR VIEW: SouthCoast has short window to become the center of wind industry, Southcoasttoday.com

These trends are defining the future of energy efficiency: Here’s how utilities can prepare, Utility Dive

Our view: State should accelerate approvals on solar projects, Salem News

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending October 4, 2019

Mass Tops the Chart Again | Revised Route | Solar Potential

Good Friday afternoon.

The first story is getting kind of hackneyed, but we’ll take it. From the Scientific American, “Massachusetts remained the most energy-efficient state for the ninth year running, Maryland jumped in the efficiency rankings on the back of its new electricity savings programs, and Kentucky tumbled after regulators there slashed demand management programs for the power sector. Those are among the highlights in an annual scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy…Maine, New York and New Mexico were among the states to ramp up energy efficiency investments as part of wider efforts to curb emissions. Energy efficiency is the leading form of carbon abatement nationally. ‘The states that are doing the best are those that have a robust policy framework in place, especially for driving utility sector energy efficiency,’ said Weston Berg, a senior analyst at ACEEE and the report’s lead author. Some 26 states now boast targets for achieving efficiency gains in the power sector, he said, adding, ‘Those states on average are achieving three to four times as much energy efficiency in terms of electricity sales.’”

From the Lewiston Sun-Journal we learn, “Environmental and land use regulators have agreed to consider a proposed change to Central Maine Power’s plan for a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine that would bring Canadian hydropower into the regional grid. In a procedural order filed Thursday, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission agreed to reopen the case record to consider CMP’s plan to re-route about a mile of the transmission line to avoid a protected pond near the Canadian border. ‘We appreciate the decision of the DEP and the LUPC to consider a change in the NECEC route. This new route makes a good project that is critical to the future of Maine even better,’ the power company said in a statement. The power company proposed the transmission line nearly two years ago. The case record has been closed since May, while regulators decide whether the project meets land use and environmental standards. ‘The presiding officers grant the applicant’s petition to reopen the record, effective upon issuance of this order, for the purpose of allowing the applicant to amend the applications and gather additional evidence needed to evaluate the proposed alternative route,’ the order states. A process for allowing intervenors in the case and the public to review and comment on CMP’s proposed change will be addressed in a subsequent order, regulators said.”

If you’re a solar developer check this out. In southern New England, Alex Kuffner at the Providence Journal writes, “With debate swirling about the development of solar projects in woods, farm fields and other green spaces, the state is setting out to determine how much power can be generated by instead installing more photovoltaic panels on rooftops and in commercial and industrial areas. The Office of Energy Resources is paying Synapse Energy Economics $83,000 to conduct an analysis of the total solar potential for so-called “non-greenfield” sites and summarize what other states have done to balance solar development with other land uses…The report that is set to be completed next March will look at all rooftops (on residential, commercial, industrial and government buildings), closed landfills and gravel pits, disused industrial sites and parking lots (where solar canopies could be erected).”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas order to stop all ‘non-emergency’ work pending investigations, Boston 25 News

Columbia Gas claims center overrun by residents, businesses, Eagle Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Compressor protester arrested at state offices as Markey tours site, Patriot Ledger

Judge sets schedule for Ashland-Eversource pipeline legal clash, Metrowest Daily News

Dozens Arrested At Protest Outside New England’s Largest Coal Power Plant, In Bow, N.H., NHPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Gov. Mills wants Maine carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?, Portland Press Herald

States unveil plan to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

East Coast states outline carbon pricing plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change: Vermont will not meet its 2028 emissions goals. Now what?, VT Digger

Pennsylvania to move forward on power plant emission caps, AP News

Carbon price could allay ‘astounding’ cost to attain New York’s zero carbon target: Report, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Why It’s So Hard to Build Offshore Wind Power in the U.S., Bloomberg

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind reach cable-laying agreement, Cape Cod Times

7Investigates: MBTA Wind Turbines, 7 News Boston

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

US offshore majors submit Connecticut proposals, Windpower Monthly

President’s windmill hatred is a worry for booming industry, AP

Useful lifespan of wind farms increases to 30 years, Energy Live News

Concerns Grow Over Wind Turbines’ Proposed Height in Ocean City, WBOC

Three companies vying to bring wind power to CT, Stamford Advocate

Lawmakers question Albany meeting location for Long Island wind project, Times Union

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind Settle Undersea Cable Dispute, Vineyard Gazette

Massachusetts company competes to harness wind power for Connecticut, pitching Bridgeport as a hub, Hartford Courant

 

Solar

Helping lower-income households reap the benefits of solar energy, MIT News

UMass signs deal for campus solar energy project, Smart Cities World

State wants to gauge its solar potential, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Tops Energy Efficiency Rankings, but Other States Close In, Scientific American

50-State Scorecard Reveals States Are Ramping Up Clean Energy, ACEEE (press release)

AP-NORC poll: Energy-saving habits vary in popularity, AP News

Energy Efficiency Day Reaches Tens of Millions of People, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Plymouth officials praise AG lawsuit over Pilgrim decision, Wicked Local Plymouth

Path Shifts for Advanced Nuclear Legislation in the House, Morning Consult

Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Coming to Town?, Tapinto.net

Anti-nuclear groups plan Pilgrim protest at Plymouth library, Wicked Local Plymouth

Murphy panel ordered to ensure Oyster Creek decommissioning won’t be dangerous, Asbury Park Press

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators decide to consider revised route for CMP power line, Sun Journal

Shorthanded FERC allows New England capacity auction results to stand, Utility Dive

GMP CEO to step down at end of year, successor announced, Valley News

DPU approves National Grid rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

Sudbury power line fight could affect development deals statewide, Boston Globe

ISO-NE IDs $8.7M Tx Fix for Boston Area, RTO Insider

FERC Finds New Hampshire Biomass and Waste Statute Preempted by the Federal Power Act, Lexicology.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Al Gore: The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win, New York Times

Letter: Community solar benefits everyone, Albany times Union

Letter: Opt for green electricity, Metrowest Daily News

Editorial: Steady progress, Mt. Desert Islander

Community Power May Give Biz More Competitive Energy Prices in NH, Other States, Environment and Energy Leader

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

Energy News for week ending September 27, 2019

Returning Home | Brookline Ban | Solar and Farms

 

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

After this morning’s scare, there is good news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, “At a press conference just before 2 p.m. Friday, Mayor Daniel Rivera said most residents evacuated due to a natural gas leak in a South Lawrence neighborhood earlier in the day will be able to return to their homes starting at 3 p.m… They were taken to the shelter by buses earlier in the day. Rivera, other city officials and Gov. Charlie Baker said the source of the gas leak has been discovered and is in the process of being repaired. Officials stressed it is safe for residents to return to their homes, except for those who live on South Broadway between Merrimack and Andover streets and on Carver Street. Gas and power to homes not in those specific areas have been turned back on, but will remain shut off in those areas, which are close to the source. Officials said gas and power to those remaining homes will be turned on as soon as it is determined to be safe. More announcements on that situation will be coming today. Rivera said the leak is not related to the larger gas pipe system in the area that was replaced after last year’s disaster. ‘There is no public safety concern,” the mayor said. “This is an isolated incident.’”

Speaking of gas, WBUR reports “Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town. Like a growing number of communities across the state and nation, Brookline has set an aggressive goal to eliminate its climate-changing emissions by 2050.Town Meeting member Jesse Gray has proposed a simple but far-reaching bylaw to help Brookline meet that goal: Ban new gas pipelines and infrastructure in future major construction. ‘The most practical and cost effective way to achieve that goal is not to install new fossil fuel system when we’re building new buildings and when we are gut-renovating them,’ Gray said. Brookline will vote on Gray’s proposal during November’s Town Meeting. Gray estimates a ban would cut the town’s climate change emissions 15% over the next 30 years, but it wouldn’t prevent anyone in an existing home from swapping an old gas stove or appliance with a new one.”

On the solar front, we have two stories this week about the opportunity to use farmland for solar. The Wall St. Journal reports that, “U.S. farmers are embracing an alternative means of turning sunlight into revenue during a sharp downturn in crop prices: solar power.” And Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes, “As the state’s Department of Environmental Resources makes a push to expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program and encourage more solar projects to increase the supply of renewable energy, there are questions about whether wooded land, and the carbon sequestration benefits trees offer, will be compromised….Sean Garren of Vote Solar Action Fund, which has advocated for greater use of solar, said cutting down trees, or taking over prime agricultural land, is a valid worry, and should be addressed in any comprehensive plan for addressing climate change…One solution is to continue putting as much solar as possible on marginal lands, he said, as well as on roofs and over parking lots. Already-cleared land should be encouraged for use, he said, as there are opportunities for farmland to share crops and solar installations. ‘Instead of merely penalizing solar on open lands, we should be encouraging the use of solar projects as pasture land, the planting of pollinator-friendly plants under and around solar projects, and the conservation of other lands simultaneously with solar growth,’ Garren said.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the spectacular weather!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

UPDATE: Most South Lawrence evacuees can return home starting Friday at 3 p.m., Eagle Tribune

Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town, WBUR

UPDATE: Columbia Gas ‘unprepared,’ with ‘catastrophic’ results, NTSB reports, Eagle Tribune

Lawyers ask for $24M in fees for Columbia Gas settlement, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

National Grid Gas Nightmare: Brooklyn Pretzel Business The Latest Victim Of Utility’s Political Standoff, CBS Boston / WBZ

Columbia Gas to inspect 700 abandoned gas lines in Valley, Andover Townsman

Activist voices shock over proposed Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Weymouth compressor foes unload on soil removal plan, Wicked Local

Doctors’ group says compressor station would be unsafe, Patriot Ledger

NJ’s Decision Deadline on Gas Pipeline Pushed Back a Month, NBC New York

Top energy regulator warns of mass blackouts if a gas pipeline were attacked, CNN

Appeals court backs dismissal of class-action suit against Eversource, Avangrid over natural gas bookings, West Hartford News

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The World’s Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns, New York Times

At the edge of a warming world, Boston Globe

Climate Change Not A Top Priority, New Poll Finds, insidesources.com

Changing weather could put insurance firms out of business, The Economist (subscriber content)

Renewable energy trade scheme comes under scrutiny, VT Digger

Gov. Lamont’s promise to generate all of Connecticut’s power from renewable sources of energy by 2040 faces substantial barriers, Hartford Courant

Climate and transportation activists are carrying a 9-foot-tall Charlie Baker puppet around Massachusetts. Here’s why., Boston.com

Climate Strike: Granite Staters Call for Action on Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Thousands gather on City Hall Plaza as part of youth-led worldwide climate strike event, Boston Globe

In the renewable energy credit market, some are greener than others, VTDigger

Global warming climate strike takes UMass by storm, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Climate changes: Towns grapple with rising groundwater, dying trees, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hearing exposes tension over climate policy pace, Southcoasttoday.com

 

 

Wind

7 Projects That Could Put the US Ahead in Floating Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

UMaine lands $1.4m to hatch ‘rocket-fuelled’ floating wind design, Recharge News

Jacobs pushes for moratorium on Great Lakes turbines, Niagara Frontier Publications

Orsted taps GE for 50% more efficient turbines in New Jersey, Maryland offshore wind projects, Utility Dive

During Climate Week, Cuomo announces partnerships with Ireland & Denmark to improve power grids, enable more renewable energy sources, Niagara Frontier Publications

The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Will Be as Cheap as Coal, Bloomberg

Farmersville board OKs $700,000 host fee pact with Alle Catt Wind Farm, Olean Times Herald

 

Solar

New York Nixes Microgrid in Favor of Solar Power Project, Microgrid Knowledge

When the cost of solar is forestland and farms, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Struggling Farmers See Bright Spot in Solar, Wall St. Journal

Solar tax credit extension would add 82 GW by 2030, SEIA forecasts, Utility Dive

Solar Industry Unsatisfied With Proposed SMART Reforms in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

CT town uses virtual solar as new alternative to power up, Connecticut Post

York to pursue solar farm on former landfill, Seacoastonline.com

Fisherman’s Co-op switches to 100% solar energy, WABI

Oakland to install solar array atop former landfill, cutting town’s electric bill, Portland Press Herald

Dover High School has state’s largest rooftop solar array, Connecticut Post

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big batteries are starting to cause real change in electricity markets, Concord Monitor

Want to make your home more energy efficient? Try local program HeatSmart, Winchester Wicked Local

Behavior is key to energy savings, Rutland Herald

Efficiency makes clean energy cost-competitive with new gas power plants, ACEEE Blog

 

EVs

Eversource and Greenspot Bring EV Charging Stations and e-Mobility Hubs to Massachusetts Communities, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

AG seeks overturn of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear energy too slow, too expensive to save climate: report, Reuters

As Federal Hearing Begins, Seabrook Nuclear Plant’s Neighbors Raise Alarm About Concrete Degradation, NHPR

No safety issues so far in Vermont nuclear plant demolition, AP

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Northeastern utilities aim to ‘crush and flatten’ system peaks as DERs boost grid efficiency, Utility Dive

Independent auditors weigh in on CMP metering, billing investigation, WMTW Portland

Watchdog: Energy Department not doing enough to protect grid against cyber attacks, The Hill

Protesters demonstrate against Stamford firm’s NH power plant, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Vineyard Wind limbo is chance for reset, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind-power scam not blowing over, National Wind Watch

The Infamous Wind Turbines – Letter, CapeNews.net

State should halt gas plant, focus on renewables, Republican-American

Keep the Killingly Energy Center on track, Hartford Courant

Revival of Waterford solar plan reason for concern, The Day

Clean energy is the city’s future, by Thomas Webler, Keene Sentinel

My Turn: There’s no power like the power of the people, Concord Monitor

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

Energy News for week ending September 20, 2019

Added Costs | Gas Battle in NY | Menu Change

Happy glorious Friday afternoon. Here are the news highlights for this week.

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A new elementary school that produces as much energy as it uses, mandated by the town’s net-zero energy bylaw, would add millions of dollars to the cost of the building, according to a summary of a 600-page report presented to the School Committee and Town Council this week. If the town proceeds with a new $64 million, 85,000-square-foot replacement for the aging Fort River School, solar panels alone would add $6.4 million to the project cost, while extensive energy improvements, in combination with the solar panels, would add $7.7 million, architect Ryszard Szczypek told the elected panels Tuesday…The consultants note that these costs are not out of line with the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s expectations for energy-efficient buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

We’ve included stories about this next topic in past issues of the Northeast Energy News but haven’t highlighted it. Given it’s an ongoing matter we’re calling it out this week. From Crain’s NY Business, “National Grid didn’t get the pipeline it wanted, so now the utility is giving its customers the shaft, Gov. Andrew Cuomo argued Wednesday. The governor told reporters at an unrelated press conference that something smelled funny about the natural gas supplier’s refusal to add new accounts, or to reconnect old ones, in the months after his administration denied a permit to the proposed Williams pipeline. Cuomo has already directed his Public Service Commission to investigate the validity of National Grid’s claims that it lacks the capacity to provide gas to either old or new customers…National Grid did not respond directly to the governor’s remarks, except to state that it was working to illustrate the pipeline’s necessity to his commission.”

We move to Maine for our next story from the Portland Press Herald, “As Maine’s climate warms, what’s on the menu likely will change. Chefs and scientists offer opinions on what we’ll be eating in 50 years. Ask Sam Hayward, co-owner and founding chef of Fore Street, what the famed Portland restaurant might be serving 50 years from now, and he obligingly jumps into an imaginary time capsule to visit 2069 and check out the menu. The question assumes that little has been done since 2019 to put the brakes on climate change. It’s likely, Hayward says, that diners at his restaurant would be feasting on black sea bass, a mid-Atlantic species that already has started moving north into Gulf of Maine waters, or local meat raised on abundant Maine pastureland. “As wild species become more threatened, fish farming will continue to grow, and shellfish farming will grow,” Hayward said. “So you’ll see even more bivalves on the menu, and possibly even some southern species, such as warm-water shrimp, being grown in different places. That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?” Farmers and fishermen are used to dealing with the vicissitudes of Mother Nature, but unchecked climate change may push her finicky personality into overdrive. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature and rainfall, increasingly acidic oceans, new plant and shellfish diseases and insect pests – all of these may challenge traditional notions of what farmers can grow in Maine and how they grow it, and what fishermen harvest from the sea. Even the smaller aspects of daily life – such as what you order off a menu – may look vastly different 50 years from now.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid refusing customers to build ‘political pressure’ for pipeline, Cuomo suggests, Crain’s New York

Columbia Gas to inspect 700 abandoned gas lines in Valley, Andover Townsman

Weymouth: Public Involvement Plan Participants Request Meeting Postponement Regarding Fore River Oil Clean-up, WATD-FM

Most states don’t require engineers to review gas projects, Eagle-Tribune

Merrimack Valley Marks 1 Year Since Disastrous Gas Explosions, ESPN

Art exhibit protests Weymouth compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Wind And Natural Gas Are Big Winners In US Power Generation, OilPrice.com

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Burlington, Vermont’s net zero energy roadmap showcases how utilities can lead on climate, Utility Dive

‘Like a sunburn on your lungs’: how does the climate crisis impact health?, The Guardian

EPA data pinpoint largest greenhouse gas emitters in region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

North America has lost 3 billion birds in 50 years, Washington Post

The climate movement to come: how can we build the majoritarian social force we need to slow global warming,? DigBoston

Half-dozen MetroWest, Milford communities awarded grants for clean energy projects, MetroWest Daily News

Carbon-Cutting Cities Plug In to ‘Electrify Everything’ Movement, Bloomberg

Massachusetts Catholic bishops call for action on climate change, environmental protection, MassLive

As Maine’s climate warms, what’s on the menu likely will change, Portland Press Herald

Climate Change Is Having Widespread Health Impacts, Scientific American

Hampshire County gets ‘F’ in air quality rating: Climate change a factor, Daily Hampshire Gazette

What would the Green New Deal look like in the Valley? We asked economists and activists, Daily Hampshire Gazette

‘Worse Than Anyone Expected’: Air Travel Emissions Vastly Outpace Predictions, New York Times

Waters off the coast of Maine vulnerable to changing climate, Portland Press Herald

Connecticut’s Small Solutions To Climate Change: New Tool Shows Effects Of Sea Level rise, WNPR

County opts out of solar, wind, farm waste energy tax exemptions, The Recorder (NY)

What To Know About Friday’s Youth Climate Strike In Boston, WBUR

Climate protest: Students converge on downtown Worcester, Telegram.com

Photos from climate strike events across the planet, Boston Globe

 

Wind

The Hamptons Love Green Energy. But That Wind Farm?, New York Times

Ørsted ok’d to bring offshore wind power ashore at Oyster Creek, NJ Spotlight

Antrim Wind project fined for delay, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

New York board approves 242 megawatt wind farm, WENY

Wind And Natural Gas Are Big Winners In US Power Generation, OilPrice.com

Time is now for major upgrade at State Pier, wind deal officials say, The Day

Fishing concerns color N.J. offshore wind hearing,  National Wind Watch

Fishermen demand a say in decisions on offshore wind energy, WHYY

GE Lands First Orders for 12MW Offshore Wind Turbine, and They’re Huge, Greentech Media

 

Solar

Proposed state law would put solar panels on new homes, commercial buildings, MetroWest Daily News

Utility-scale solar pipeline hits 37.9 GW, driven by falling costs and corporate buying: Report, Utility Dive

The State of Floating Solar: Bigger Projects, Climbing Capacity, New Markets, Greentech Media

Rhode Island’s First Community Solar Project Enters Operation, Solar Industry

Solar Industry Unsatisfied With Proposed SMART Reforms in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

CT’s small solutions to climate change: South Windsor goes solar, Connecticut Mirror

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Net-zero school could add $7.7M to cost, consultants tell Amherst boards, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Nothing standing in the way of energy storage’s ‘explosive growth’: Navigant, Utility Dive

Energy Efficiency Can Get U.S. Halfway To Climate Goals, Facility Executive

ACEEE: ‘Ambitious’ energy efficiency could halve US emissions by 2050, Utility Dive

Online Dashboard Shows Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunities, Patch

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 316 MW project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

Eos Looks to Scale Up Battery Manufacturing in Pittsburgh, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Eversource and Greenspot Bring EV Charging Stations and e-Mobility Hubs to Massachusetts Communities, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Nuclear could be the clean energy source the world needs, CNN

Big Plans For Small Nuclear Plants, WBUR

To Combat Climate Change, Do We Need The Nuclear Option?, WBUR

Millstone, utilities finalize 10-year contract, The Day

For Green Energy, MIT Aims To Build ‘A Star On Earth’, WBUR

GE Details Radioactive Trucking Plan, New Haven Independent

NorthStar gets good decommissioning review, Brattleboro Reformer

Three Mile Island’s last day as a working reactor will be Friday, PennLive.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP submits last-minute change to its power line plan, Portland Press Herald

Sununu narrowly wins veto fights over energy bills, New Hampshire Union Leader

The True Value of Distributed Energy Resources? Connecticut Takes a Stab at it, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Kill the gas powered plant in Killingly, Hartford Courant

Energy Efficiency Jobs Soar: Now Make Them Available to All, nrdc.org

Maine PUC: Editorial mischaracterizes panel’s role in resolving CMP complaints, Portland Press Herald

The Injustice Of Climate Change, WBUR

Only one beneficiary from Trump attack on fuel standards: Big Oil, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending September 13, 2019

Still recovering | Energy constrained | Sputtering Solar | Night light

 

Good Friday (The 13!) afternoon. You can tell summer is “over” because the dearth of energy news has ended. Let’s get at it.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Merrimack Valley explosions. We have several articles related to the topic below, but highlight this one from the Boston Globe, “A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster. The devastating gas explosions that tore through the Merrimack Valley a year ago Friday remain fresh for thousands of the evacuated and displaced, for the owners of recovering businesses, and for the family of a Lawrence teenager who was killed in the disaster. Its memories return with the whirring sound of a helicopter’s blades, with a glimpse of out-of-place pavement where new gas lines have been laid, and with shrunken balance sheets at once-shuttered stores that are trying to woo back customers. On Thursday, the lingering sense of unease was compounded with news that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will need to reinspect 700 of 4,900 service lines that the company abandoned and replaced after the explosions in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover. Columbia Gas discovered in July that two abandoned service lines might not have been capped properly or identified in compliance with government regulations, according to Scott Ferson, a company spokesman. As a result, hundreds of residents and business owners are being contacted to schedule yet another utility inspection around the grim anniversary. Columbia Gas officials insisted that the public is not at risk. But for many residents, the timing made it hard not to worry.”

The headline makes it sound grim, but the story tells a more positive tale. From Utility Dive, “New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints. New England officials expect the region’s electric grid will remain reliable and economic, largely due to approximately $1.3 billion in planned transmission upgrades over the next 10 years. In the near-term, the region will look to efficiency, renewables and imports…The grid operator says it has identified long-term system needs for the Boston area, and its Regional System Plan indicates it will solicit competitive solutions. Transmission improvements are already underway in those areas, as is the addition of fast-start generation…Overall, grid officials say the system is becoming cleaner, with lower emissions from the widespread development of renewables. Other strategies, including more Canadian hydroelectricity imports, grid modernization efforts and the addition of energy storage will likely continue that trend…The operator’s plan concludes it has sufficient resources through 2028 to meet resource adequacy planning criterion, though that is dependent on there being no major retirements and projects coming online as planned.”

A few weeks ago we noticed that solar stories were in short order. That’s not the case this week. Here’s an interesting one from Microgrid Knowledge, “What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market? With solar installations down dramatically in Massachusetts, a national advocacy group is calling for the state to triple its solar energy target to 4,800 MW. In a new report, Vote Solar says that the policy change is crucial if the state expects to meet its clean energy goals and generate solar jobs. The new target would apply to Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), a program launched last year to incentivize 1,600 MW of solar — 3,200 MW shy of what Vote Solar says is needed. Vote Solar called for the new target following a 50% reduction in new solar installations, primarily in Massachusetts’ residential sector. The advocacy organization calculates that its more aggressive solar energy target would put the state on track to achieve its 35% renewable energy requirement by 2030, create between 8,000 and 9,000 jobs and drive more than $5 billion in investments to the state.

Last highlight for this week comes from the New York Times, “Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy in Darkness. It doesn’t generate much power, but it works during the one time of day that solar cells can’t: night…In new research published on Thursday in the journal Joule, Dr. Raman demonstrated a way to harness a dark night sky to power a light bulb. His prototype device employs radiative cooling, the phenomenon that makes buildings and parks feel cooler than the surrounding air after sunset. As Dr. Raman’s device releases heat, it does so unevenly, the top side cooling more than the bottom. It then converts the difference in heat into electricity. In the paper, Dr. Raman described how the device, when connected to a voltage converter, was able to power a white LED.

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

One Year After Disaster, How Are Merrimack Valley Businesses Faring?, WGBH

Columbia Gas facing up to $1 million fines for abandoned gas service lines following Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

Board demands safety report from Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Monitors on gas projects still not mandated, Eagle Tribune

Most states don’t require engineers to review gas projects, Eagle Tribune

Report: Natural gas system’s flaws put public at risk, Newburyport Daily News

After State Rejects Gas Pipeline Permit, Utility Pushes Back. One Result: New Buildings Go Electric., Inside Climate News

NY Attorney General launching inquiry into National Grid gas service moratorium, New York Daily News

National Grid and NY governor tussle over energy supplies, Financial Times

Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says, Bloomberg

Charlton’s lawyer for LNG plant resigns, Telegram.com

A Giant Bet Against Natural Gas Is Blowing Up, Wall St. Journal

Sununu signs bill prohibiting oil and gas development in state waters, New Hampshire Union Leader

Environmentalists clash with Lamont as natural gas plant set for Killingly tests Connecticut’s promise to address climate change, Hartford Courant

Wayland resident: Gov. Baker, Merkel, and the Weymouth Compressor Station, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

MASSACHUSETTS: One of America’s leading carbon cutters hits a wall, E&E News (paywall)

Solar ITC Extension Would Be ‘Devastating’ for US Wind Market: WoodMac, Greentech Media

As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 power plants, USA Today

How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes, National Grid

Connecticut 100% carbon-free plan is chance to move beyond ISO-NE gas focus: DEEP chief, Utility Dive

Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy from Darkness, New York Times

Trade group raises monopoly concerns over GMP’s Tesla program, VTDigger

Study: Emissions in Rhode Island are higher than calculated, New Haven Register

New Plan Charts Burlington’s Course Toward Becoming ‘Net Zero’ City, NECN

Climate Town Hall: Several Democratic Candidates Embrace a Carbon Tax, New York Times

Banks Are Finally Starting to Account for Climate Change Risk, Bloomberg

State environmental groups urge override of clean energy bill vetoes, Concord Monitor

How to Get Rid of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them, Wall St. Journal

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world, Washington Post

 

Wind

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy, NPR

Offshore Wind-Power Prices Are Plunging, Bloomberg

Fishermen frustrated at turbine distance in wind farm plans, Providence Journal

NJEDA’s offshore wind registry tops 400 businesses, NJBIZ

Ortt Hosts Forum on the Health Effects of Wind Turbines, WBEN

Enel turns Gillette Stadium green with wind energy, EVWind

 

Solar

What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market?, Microgrid Knowledge

Solar backlash may make it tough to build larger projects in Mass., Boston Globe

A company suggested installing solar panels near Virginia Civil War battlefields. Locals raged — and what happened next will happen again, experts say., Washington Post

Proctor eyes possible solar sites, Rutland Herald

Court sends solar project back to regulators, Bennington Banner

Lebanon city properties to get solar panels, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bipartisan Senate bill allocates $100M to ease residential solar, storage permitting, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

DOE has decided many lightbulbs don’t have to meet efficiency standards, Ars Technica

Report finds zero energy buildings within reach for many in Mass, Patch

Biggest Battery System Inches N.Y. Toward 100% Green Energy Goal, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Massachusetts Electric Car Rebates Are About to End. What Does This Mean For Their Future?, WGBH

 

Nuclear

AG Maura Healey seeks extension after missing NRC deadline, Cape Cod Times

Federal grant to help Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station employees laid off after shutdown, Cape Cod Times

C-10: Seabrook plant’s concrete degradation poses threat, Seacoastonline.com

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station advisory panel laments lack of clout, Cape Cod Times

Small modular reactors, nearing operation, touted as solution to some of nuclear industry’s ills, S&P Global

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints, Utility Dive

Cyber-security incident at US power grid entity linked to unpatched firewalls, ZDNet

Proposed bill would require local referendum on large-scale energy projects, Lockport Journal

5 States Blazing the Trail for Integrating Distributed Energy Resources, Greentech Media

Eversource abandons plans for new utility box on Amherst Town Common, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Stalemate over remote pond holds up state panel’s decision on CMP power line, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Column: Safety standards, accountability must enforced after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Andrew Cuomo’s energy policies are counterproductive for the climate: Today, natural gas is a cleaner fuel than alternatives, NY Daily News

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

No more subsidies for bio-mass, Foster’s Daily Democrat

N.H. Plant Protest Shows Conflicting Ideals Of Some Environmentalists, Post-Journal

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

LETTER: Sun far from set on Massachusetts’ solar ambitions, Southcoasttoday.com

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

Energy News for week ending September 6, 2019

800 MW Expansion | Bid details released | Save the bogs

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with two renewables stories from the State House News Service that were picked up by local outlets.

From MassLive, “State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program. The Baker administration proposed an expansion of a solar energy development program Thursday, days after industry officials released a report outlining job losses in the sector that executives attributed to policy shortcomings and uncertainty. According to a senior administration official, the changes outlined in a new ‘straw proposal’ will help advance projects on utility territory waiting lists, help deliver solar energy benefits in low-income areas, and require larger solar projects to be paired with energy storage infrastructure. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, would receive an additional 800-megawatt authorization under the proposal, up from the initial 1,600 megawatts. Energy Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock said another change would define low-income communities in connection with environmental justice standards, a move that he said would enable solar energy developers to more confidently target low-income areas for new projects.”

From South Coast Today, “Latest round of offshore wind bid details released. The state and three utilities on Wednesday released the details of the three pitches they received from developers who want to build wind farms off the coast and deliver clean energy to Massachusetts homes and businesses, and will now use the next two months to select the project that most benefits Massachusetts…The state and Eversource, National Grid and Unitil are seeking to procure at least 400 megawatts of power but will consider proposals from 200 megawatts up to 800 megawatts. The procurement is expected to fulfill the second half of the Legislature’s 2016 authorization of 1,600 megawatts of wind power…The state and utilities expect to select a project by November 8 and execute a long-term contract by Dec. 13. The contract would be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for its approval by Jan. 10, 2020. The three projects vying to be selected are Mayflower Wind, Vineyard Wind 2 and Bay State Wind.”

For our last highlighted story of the week, we take another look at the SMART program with a story from WGBH, “Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs? A state solar energy incentive program launched last November has a handful of Massachusetts cranberry farmers hoping for a new way to farm their fruit — and stay in the farming business. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Energy Target (SMART) program awards farmers a stipend for the solar energy they produce from solar panels built over their active farmland. Some cranberry farmers are skeptical and say building solar panels over their bogs is too risky; it could destroy their crop. Others say solar panels are their only option to keep afloat in a struggling industry. Cranberries are the commonwealth’s largest agricultural food crop, but the industry has hit hard times. Last year, cranberry prices in Massachusetts cratered, falling to $22 for a barrel (or 100 pounds) of the fruit. It was a 29 percent tumble from prices the year before, and the lowest price per barrel in almost two decades. Under the SMART program, the state incentivizes farmers to build solar panels on their productive farmland. But there is a catch: the state requires farmers to continue producing food on the same land as the solar panels. The project’s goal is to preserve the state’s farmland while encouraging solar development. A handful of the state’s more than 300 cranberry growers are interested in installing the panels on their land. They say the state’s incentive plan would help them remain in the cranberry business.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Delays Review Of Proposed Natural Gas Compressor Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Southern N.E.’s Fossil-Fuel Infrastructure Builds Up, EcoRI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Search Continues for Strong Current of Tidal Power, EcoRI

Connecticut governor calls for 100% carbon-free power by 2040, Utility Dive

Biomass could replace natural gas at Brattleboro paper board factory, VT Digger

Repowering Rural New England Communities with Renewables, Triple Pundit

 

Wind

Latest round of offshore wind bid details released, South Coast Today

Why collaboration is critical to offshore wind and port success, Windpower Engineering & Development

Mayflower Wind promises lowest US price yet, CommonWealth Magazine

Fall River waterfront luring wind energy businesses, South Coast Today

Proposed Wind Farm Off Atlantic City May Use Oyster Creek Substation to Access Electric Grid, The Sandpaper

Kissing the Sky: The Pros and Cons of Ultra-Tall Wind Turbine Towers, Greentech Media

Select Board votes for all-wind electricity for Harvard, Harvard Press

 

Solar

State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program, MassLive

New Haven company looks to crowdfund solar panels for nonprofit, New Haven Register

Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs?, WGBH

Report: Mass. solar sector absorbing job drain, South Coast Today

Back to school: Four lessons on solar energy for the real estate industry – by Craig Huntley, New England Real Estate Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Department to prolong the lives of incandescent lightbulbs, Washington Post

Worcester scores in bottom third in national report on energy efficiency, Telegram

 

EVs

Senior center drivers get electric-powered ride, Worcester Telegram

 

Nuclear

AG seeks stay of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

C-10 to host lecture by former NRC chairman, Newburyport Daily News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents take first formal step to bring CMP’s transmission project to a statewide vote, Bangor Daily News

List of Maine towns opposing CMP transmission corridor grows, Portland Press Herald

Middlebury wastewater-to-energy proposal gains momentum, Addison Independent

Researchers Propose Floating Microgrids Made up of Electric Boats, Microgrid Knowledge

LaFleur Exit Fuels Concern Of Future FERC Slowdown, Law360

Proposed utility box irks some Amherst councilors, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CLF sues to halt Eversource’s Seacoast power line project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our view: Don’t let Vineyard Wind lose momentum, Salem News

Cuomo’s pricey wind-power gift to unions, NY Post

Mark Amato: Agriculture, solar power, are a great match for state, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. should accelerate solar development, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal Light Plants need to be part of greenhouse gas reduction efforts, The Landmark

Addressing our planet’s climate emergency, Greenfield Recorder

How net metering changes the electric utility landscape, Fosters.com

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar