Tag Archives: Avangrid

Energy News for week ending November 17, 2017

Class Action | Presidential Permit | 20M dollars for Western MA

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

There are a ton of stories this week, but here are three that stood out for us.

Vermont Business Magazine reports that on Thursday afternoon Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc were hit with a class-action lawsuit stating that the two energy companies caused electricity consumers in New England to incur overcharges of $3.6 billion in a years-long scheme that impacted six states and affected 14.7 million people. The lawsuit was filed November 14, 2017, in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The complaint alleges the scheme violates multiple federal and state competition laws and state consumer protection statutes.

Good news this week came for Northern Pass in the form of receiving its Presidential Permit from the US Dept. of Energy. The Telegram reported that the permit allows for the $1.6 billion project to take hydropower across an international border and connect to the United States grid. There is still a ways to go before it’s done though. The article reports that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC, is expected to announce its final written decision on the project by March 31, 2018. And, along with the state approval, the project also is awaiting a permit from the U.S. Forest Service allowing the project to pass through parts of the White Mountain National Forest and a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected by the end of the year.

Speaking of transmission projects, over at MassLive.com, Mary Serreze reports that TDI New England has pledged 20 years of funding, at $1 million annually, to Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions for deep energy retrofits to low-income homes, if its New England Clean Power Link wins a major utility contract in the Bay State. TDI plans 98 miles of underwater and 56 miles of underground cable to deliver 1,000 megawatts of hydro, or hydro and wind, from Canada. Christmas comes a month late for bidders. Serreze notes that the winners will be announced Jan. 25 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and electric utilities Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

That wraps it up for this week. As always, you can find more news and events at NEEnergyNews.com.

Oh, and we’re taking next Friday off so we’ll be back in your in boxes on December 1. In the meantime, you can find energy stories Tweeted at @McMComm

Have a wonderful, safe, warm and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Lawsuit accuses Eversource and Avangrid of causing $3.6 billion in excessive electricity costs in New England, Vermont Biz

Report raises doubts about gas ‘crisis, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas to power majority of New England by 2020, Argus

Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse, Think Progress

Environmentalists Stage Sit-In At Governor’s Office Over Natural Gas Infrastructure, WGBH

Conservationists: Fossil fuel search would target migratory path of right whales, Cape Cod Times

Sandisfield highway chief: ‘Road is shot from pipeline work,’ Berkshire Eagle

Lynch bill could halt Weymouth compressor construction, Wicked Local Braintree

Water protector Winona LaDuke speaks on ‘cannibal economics,’ courage and fighting pipelines, theberkshireedge.com

RI agency opens hearing on LNG plan for Providence waterfront, The Providence Journal

Google Adding Methane Detectors To Street View Cars, CleanTechnica

Pipeline opponents flood FERC with requests for new hearings, Southeast Energy News

Dakota Access Pipeline Company Paid Mercenaries to Build Conspiracy Lawsuit Against Environmentalists, The Intercept

DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted, OilPrice.com

Groups Sponsored By Fossil Fuel Industry Host Energy Forum, RIPR.org

Renewables Policy/RGGI/Climate change

Renewables Are on a Collision Course With Power Markets, Greentech Media

Virginia Moves to Join RGGI Carbon-trading Market, POWER magazine

Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?, The New Yorker

Seven States Take Big Next Step on Climate: Here’s the What, Why, and How, Union of Concerned Scientists

Summit touts renewable energy progress, Salem News

Fossil fuel emissions will reach an all-time high in 2017, scientists say — dashing hopes of progress, Washington Post

Your car is a big environmental nemesis, and Mass. is stepping in, Boston Globe

Wind

No One Satisfied With New Vermont Wind Power Sound Rules, New York Times

Deepwater may fund UMass offshore wind, fishing study, Cape Cod times

Maine proposes new wind development rules, Utility Dive

The Energy 202: House GOP wants to water down tax breaks for wind energy. The Senate is unlikely to let it., Washington Post

The Future Of Offshore Wind Farms In The Atlantic, WSHU

Bird poo on wind turbines is a problem solved by high tech scarecrows, VICE News

Solar

MIT Reveals a Battery That Stores Solar Energy to Make Heat for Later, Inverse.com

From brownfield to greenfield: Former mine site hosts Vermont’s biggest solar array, vtdigger.org

Northampton solar landfill a ‘dream come true,’ says Ward 6 city councilor at ribbon-cutting, MassLive.com

60-day clock starts for Trump to decide on solar panel tariffs, Utility Dive

Nova Scotia Buildings to Feed Solar Power to Grid under New Program, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

New Paper Says Emissions Cuts Should Start with Buildings, Not Transportation, Energy Manager Today

Americans for Prosperity: NH should dump energy-efficiency efforts, New Hampshire Business Review

Eversource Powers Up Energy Efficiency, The Keene Sentinel

Going Green Could Help Harwich Earn Some, Cape Cod Chronicle

America First? Trump Energy Cuts Would Eliminate Billions of Dollars in Direct Savings to Consumers, Greentech Media

Boston-based Current is now on GE’s chopping block, Boston Business Journal

Making More Sustainable LEDs With Reusable Materials, Greentech Media

City moving to purchase only above-ground streetlights, Eagle Tribune

Planned Community On Boston South Shore Will Be Laboratory For Sustainable Cities, CleanTechnica

Governor Cuomo Announces $12 Million to Increase Energy Efficiency for Industrial and Multifamily Buildings, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

Sea level rise factors into nuclear waste discussion, Cape Cod Times

Entergy Objects To Conditions On PUC Consultant For Vermont Yankee Hearings, VPR

US eyes safety rules for small modular reactors, as nuclear touted at UN climate meeting, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE backs hydropower project bringing energy from Canada to southern New England, Telegram.com

NARUC panel discusses how to prepare for the mother lode of electricity disruptions, Daily Energy Insider

Cooperation, DOE NOPR, State RFPs the Topics at NECBC Meeting, RTO Insider

RI Power Sector Transformation Study Represents ‘A Big Step Forward’, Solar Industry

NH’s high utility bills blamed on subsidies, The Union Leader

Eversource Planning To Hire Staff, Upgrade Communications In Wake Of October Storm Problems, Hartford Courant

Brayton Point bidder chosen, sale to be announced soon, SouthCoastToday.com

National Grid teams with national lab to study transmission modernization, storage, Utility Dive

Thousands still without power in Hampshire County, The Recorder

Blackout: Outage zaps power from 29000 in Hampshire County Wednesday morning, GazetteNET

FERC storage/DER integration proposal gets high marks, but other priorities loom, Utility Dive

Seacoast State Reps Raise Concerns About Eversource Plan to Buy Water Utility, New Hampshire Public Radio

What a US electric grid attack looks like, USA TODAY

The Trump administration went to the UN climate talks to promote coal, Vox

Natl. Grid finds novel way to lobby clean energy procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract, MassLive

Study Claims Quark Fusion May Be the Energy Source of the Future, Bigthink.com

As feds focus on baseload, grid modernization is sweeping the nation, Utility Dive

Chatterjee: FERC Will Move Ahead with Coal, Nuclear Subsidies, Power Engineering

Grid Modernization in Rhode Island: Small State, Big Vision, Microgrid Knowledge

Maine lawmakers to weigh in on reducing power outages, Penn Energy

State demands report on utility’s response to storm, Salem News

Exclusive: Chatterjee details interim plan to save coal, nuclear plants, Utility Dive

Do utilities need rate design for electric vehicle charging? Utility Dive

Subsidizing Coal, Nuclear Could Drive Customers Off-Grid, Renewable Energy World

Emera COO: Work progressing on Maritime transmission link, Electric Light & Power

CMP President and CEO Sara Burns to retire by year’s end, MaineBiz

Editorial/Opinion

We agree: It’s time to clean up transportation (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Our Opinion: Kinder Morgan must do right by Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

My Turn: Dave Ross: RI needs energy to power innovation, The Providence Journal

Justin Wheating: Championing the climate economy for Vermont, vtdigger.org

One watt at a time: Why electric rates are so high, The Union Leader

Another View — Greg Moore: Why turning on the lights costs more in New Hampshire, The Union Leader

Our view: National Grid should explain storm response, Salem News

Editorial: Encouraging that Columbia Gas sees end to moratorium, Hampshire Gazette

Derrick Z. Jackson: The competition is heating up for offshore wind, Boston Globe

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

Energy News for week ending October 13, 2017

Crying Foul | CPP Repeal | Trojan Horse

Happy Friday the 13th!

This week’s energy news had lots of drama. It began with the expected proposal by Scott Pruitt of the EPA to repeal the Obama Clean Power Plan. After that came lots of ire and action, especially by state Attorneys General, including MA (Power Engineering) and CT (WNPR) who filed suit against the administration.

Next was a report from a group of university researchers working with the Environmental Defense Fund which, according to a Utility Dive article, claimed that “gas utility subsidiaries of Avangrid and Eversource have artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity in New England for years, driving up natural gas and electricity prices and potentially violating federal laws.” They said, “The systematic withholding of pipeline capacity, particularly on the coldest days, has cost New England electricity consumers $3.6 billion in higher prices over the past three years.” Eversource called the report a “complete fabrication.” The Northeast Gas Association also issued a response calling the report a “profoundly misleading and inaccurate analysis.”

Over on the pages of CommonWealth Magazine, Bruce Mohl reported that National Grid cried foul on Hydro-Quebec. Mohl writes, that during a closed-door presentation National Grid officials asserted “the intent of the energy diversity law passed last year was to finance the development of clean energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Joseph Rossignoli, director of US business development for National Grid, said the hydroelectricity Hydro-Quebec wants to sell to Massachusetts would come from generating facilities that are already open or about to open, and therefore wouldn’t reduce emissions or need financing.” HQ was “taken aback” and “dismissed” Grid’s claim asserting that the building of the transmission line made it an eligible project.

Lastly, some folks in western Mass, according to an article on Going Green are calling a bill filed by Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, to establish the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Fund a “classic Trojan horse” to expand biomass energy production in western Massachusetts under the guise of sustainable forestry. Kulik responded, “I can say flatly and honestly that this is a very straightforward utilization of forest resources,” Kulik said. “These charges are completely false and misleading, and are, unfortunately, being spread by a small group who are deliberately mischaracterizing this bill.”

That’s it for this week. Lots of news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Eversource, Avangrid artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity for years, report argues, Utility Dive

Little-Known Gas Rules Pit a Green Group Against Power Companies, Bloomberg

Maura Healey reviewing study claiming utilities linked to $3.6B scheme, Boston Herald

American LNG developers wade into market awash with gas, Financial Times

Enbridge Unit Says Mass. Town Preempted In Pipeline Battle, Law360

Charges and Counter-Charges Boil Over at $700 Million Invenergy Hearing, GoLocalProv

Land Swap, Lousy Opinions Could Support Power Plant, ecoRI news

Invenergy Requests 35 City, Town Resolutions Against Power Plant Be Excluded From Evidence, RIPR

Clean Power Plan

EPA Takes Another Step To Advance President Trump’s America First Strategy, Proposes Repeal Of “Clean Power Plan,” (Press Release) EPA

Massachusetts Attorney General to Sue Over Clean Power Plan, Power Engineering

Connecticut Sues Over Clean Power Plan Reversal, WNPR News

Maine’s air and waters at stake in EPA rollback of Obama carbon plan, Bangor Daily News

Renewables (Policy, RGGI, Purchasing, etc.)

Google Will Hit 100% Renewable Energy This Year, Inverse

NH clean tech ‘confusion’ debated at Energy Summit, New Hampshire Business Review

Student activists push for renewable energy on campus, South Coast Today

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fall 2 percent in 2016, led by power industry: EPA, Bloomberg

Divestment bill pitched as way to speed decline of fossil fuels, Newburyport Daily News

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action, Yale Environment 360

Wind

Open Ocean Presents Considerable Opportunity For Offshore Wind Energy Generation, CleanTechnica

There’s Enough Wind Over the Ocean To Power All of Civilization, Popular Mechanics

Offshore wind farms have powerful advantage over land-based turbines, study finds, Science Magazine

Sea Change For Investing In US Offshore Wind Sector?, E&P

Restrictions on turbine noise face legislative hurdle, VT Digger

Storage

Storage is renewable energy’s greatest challenge—this low-cost sulfur battery may help, Phys.Org

WPI Researchers Receive NSF Awards to Develop Better Ways to Capture and Store Solar Energy, WPI News

Massachusetts starts inquiry into energy storage eligibility for net metering, Utility Dive

Storing renewable energy costs way too much. This battery could change that, Mic.com

Green Charge Moves Into Utility-Scale Storage With Massachusetts Project, Greentech Media

Solar

16-year PILOT agreement signed for Swansea solar farm, Herald News

Maine’s biggest solar farm now operational, Maine Biz

New solar panels shed some light on old Randolph landfill, Wicked Local Randolph

Biomass

Rep. Kulik’s woodlands bill called ‘classic Trojan horse,’ Going Green Blog

Backers of biomass project say they are paying bills, back taxes and ‘not going anywhere,’ Portland Press Herald

Forest group opposes Mohawk Trail partnership on biomass concerns, Going Green Blog

Energy Efficiency

This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero, Inhabitat

Wynn Boston Harbor to be on the Forefront of Energy Efficiency, Chelsea Record

EVs

New Amazon Drones Will Charge Your Car While You Drive, Greentech Media

Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine, Washington Post

Ikea, Exelon kick in for $22M round for Boston electric-driving startup, Boston Business Journal

Electric vehicles are about to flood the market, Business Insider

Electric cars win on energy efficiency vs hydrogen, gasoline, diesel: analysis, Green Car Reports

Nuclear

Nuclear power plant identifies and stops small hydrogen leak, Norwich Bulletin

Nuclear plant closures to test sufficiency of decommissioning funds, Utility Dive

Watchdog Group Allowed to Weigh In on Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Review, New Hampshire Public Radio

Welch bill would compensate nuclear fuel communities, VT Digger

With no plan for replacing Millstone, what are CT’s options?, Hartford Business Review

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Pro-Trump energy group blasts plan to help coal, nuclear, The Hill

DOE limits NOPR to RTOs with capacity markets as FERC denies extension request, Utility Dive

Utility-Branded Marketplaces Offer DER Services to 32 Million Metered Customers, Greentech Media

Utilities on both sides of bargaining table, CommonWealth Magazine

Brewster herbicide appeal dismissed, Cape Cod Times

Consultant questions whether Bay State will accept power project without approvals, The Union Leader

The 4 Main Pillars of Enhancing Utility Grid Resilience, Greentech Media

Could Cyberattacks Knock Out Power in the US? Not so Easily, Power Engineering

Natl. Grid calls foul on Hydro-Quebec proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Canada Wants to Solve U.S. Nuclear Woes With Faraway Dams, Bloomberg

Eversource seeks approval to sell power plants, Laconia Daily Sun

Editorial/Opinion

VY land deserves to be more than a used industrial site, Commons

Our View: Maine will suffer from Pruitt’s pro-coal stand, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Investing in energy efficiency makes good sense for hospital, Commons

My Turn: A renewable energy vision for Concord, Concord Monitor

Trump Is About to Stifle US Solar Power. Why?, Fortune

Pipeline gas report is misleading, inaccurate, CommonWealth Magazine

Truths and tales about electricity, NH Business Review

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Renewables