Tag Archives: biomass

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Electricity Costs, Renewables

Energy News for week ending August 11, 2017

New GHG regs | Biomass proposal takes knocks | Worcester is Smart

Happy Friday afternoon.

The two biggest stories this week came out of Massachusetts. First, was the proposal by the Baker administration to treat biomass as a renewable energy resource. If you based your impressions directly on the headlines below, you’d think the proposal was doomed. In an article not directly related to MA, but out this week, one environmental advocate goes on to call “biomass the new coal” (Southeast Energy News). We put lots of stories and opinions on biomass below in one handy category.

The other big news broke today about Massachusetts’ new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a story in the Boston Globe, “A little more than a year after the state’s highest court ruled Massachusetts had to do more to cut carbon emissions, state officials Friday will issue sweeping new regulations that set specific limits on sources of greenhouse gases, the emissions linked to climate change.” And, as usual, you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time as the story notes, “The new rules, [were] swiftly criticized as insufficient by environmental advocates and unfair by the power industry…”

In a Telegram story whose headline struck me as odd, “Worcester cited as example of power grid that isn’t stupid,” (Why not give it the “smart” creds it deserves?) we get an update on what’s happening with grid modernization in Massachusetts. And, at the moment, it’s a bit of a waiting game, “A DPU spokeswoman said there is no statutory deadline for the DPU to issue an order.” Regardless of that statement, National Grid is upbeat on the whole matter. “We’re hoping that DPU will rule on it in the next few months. Actually everything is pointing in the direction that they will,” Reed said.”

Lastly for this week I point you to what appears to be an article, but sounds more like an opinion piece from Pravda Report in Russia on what solar is doing to nuclear in the US. It’s titled, “In the US, solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology.” I think it’s safe to classify this as some of that “fake news” making its way around the globe. It is good for a few chuckles if nothing else.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Massachusetts State Police arrest 10 at gas pipeline site in Western Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Police now tracking the cost of protests in Northampton, MassLive.com

With FERC set to have a quorum again, Otis State Forest rehearing requests will be considered, Berkshire Eagle

Looking for gas leaks? Listen to the trees, The Salem News

Fracking is causing invasion of harmful non-native plants in Pennsylvania forests, PSU researchers say, LancasterOnline

In rare eclipse, gas sees its future as solar’s backstop, Standard Examiner

10 Tennessee Gas pipeline protesters released after arrests for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, Greenfield Recorder

Biomass

Massachusetts Considering Plan To Classify Wood Pellets As Renewable Energy, CleanTechnica

Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies, Boston Globe

Q&A: Advocate says biomass energy is the new coal, Southeast Energy News

Is wood burning as ‘clean’ as we think? State environmental policy questioned, Greenfield Recorder

Massachusetts may overlook climate impacts of biofuels, Salon.com

Despite The Bio-Mass Flareup, Baker Continues To Move Forward On Renewable Energy, WGBH

Our view: Clear the smoke from wood-burning proposal, Salem News

Editorial: Need for biomass balance, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cinda Jones: Argues biomass energy is a benefit to forests, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Renewable Energy

Solar eclipse on August 21 will affect photovoltaic generators across the country, Penn Energy

New York Launches REV Connect: The Start of Energy’s Amazon?, Microgrid Knowledge

US offshore pipeline ‘tops 24GW’, reNews

Energy Suppliers Find Fresh Lift From Offshore Wind, Wall Street Journal

Deepwater Project Combines Wind, Energy Storage — ecoRI News, ecoRI news

Falmouth gets $3M break on shuttered wind turbine, National Wind Watch

Maine hospital to demolish building, install solar arrays, Bangor Daily News

Rhode Island clean energy gets boost as governor signs bills, Utility Dive

Should Northern New England Host Massachusetts’ Renewable Energy Extension Cord?, New England Public Radio

State to weigh new plans for green power, The Salem News

Clean Energy Collective set to expand solar footprint in Fairhaven, SouthCoastToday.com

Dong Energy’s oil exit pays off as offshore turbines begin spinning, Telegraph.co.uk

New Jersey investors buy hydropower dams at defunct Maine paper mill, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

EIA: Most states now have energy efficiency goals in place, Utility Dive

Many States Have Adopted Policies to Encourage Energy Efficiency, Energy Collective

Nearly half of 2016 US electricity retail sales impacted by energy efficiency resource standards, Daily Energy Insider

Nuclear

Action is ‘slow, deliberate’ in Vermont Yankee fuel move, vtdigger.org

On CT’s budget, it turns out there may be a nuclear option, The CT Mirror

Millstone owners still pushing to save nuclear power plant, Electric Light & Power

New IAEA report presents estimates for nuclear power by 2050, Power Technology

NRC reviews Seabrook nuclear plant – Concrete degradation plan audited, Energy Central

Can We Make Nuclear Power Great Again?, Greentech Media

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

15 months after high court order, Massachusetts commits to slashing greenhouse gas emissions, MassLive

State approves major new rules to cut carbon emissions, Boston Globe

With higher rates looming, electric consumers face choices, Sun Chronicle

ISO-NE draft report: Market revenues not sufficient for new resource development, Utility Dive

Worcester cited as example of power grid that isn’t stupid, Worcester Telegram

Grid operators: Vermont electric grid reaching saturation point in the north, National Wind Watch

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change will hit New England hard, report says, Boston Globe

A Visit To A Place Where Water Power Once Ruled The Farmington River, Hartford Courant

State approves major new rules to cut carbon emissions, Boston Globe

Northern Pass clears federal hurdle, CommonWealth Magazine

Northern New England Residents Hesitant To Host Transmission Lines Supplying Renewable Power To Mass., WBUR

Exelon Set to Expand Massachusetts Peaking Plant, Power Magazine

Utilities Work To Keep Up With An Ever-Changing Grid, Solar Industry

Power supplier fails to process hundreds of National Grid customers’ opt-out forms from Millbury, Worcester Telegram

Smarter grid could be more specific about pricing power usage, The Salem News

Proposed National Grid rate hikes draw concern, Ricentral.com

MBTA waived some construction rules for Sudbury-Hudson Eversource railbed project, Worcester Telegram

Union, Eversource and other companies reach a Northern Pass labor deal, The Union Leader

Editorial/Opinion

Western Massachusetts and New England need natural gas – and the infrastructure that delivers it (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Is There Really A Western Mass Energy Crisis?, Valley Advocate

Pick up the pace on clean energy, Commonwealth Magazine

ROSELLA CICCHESE, Weymouth: Compressor wouldn’t benefit us, Wicked Local Rockland

SID McDONOUGH, Weymouth: Compressor stations safe, until they’re not, Wicked Local Rockland

Dan Weeks: Conservatives And Climate Change – Let Solar And Wind Compete, Caledonian Record

Letter: Eversource claims warrant skepticism, Concord Monitor

YOUR VIEW: Emera’s plan for Pilgrim site a bad idea, Wicked Local Plymouth

In the US, solar power ends the era of peaceful atom technology, Pravda Report

Leave a comment

Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Vermont Yankee Closing, Climate Change, solar

Energy News for week ending July 14, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon all.

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

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

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

Kudos to Anika.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

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

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

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

Massachusetts regulators approve NRG gas plant, Utility Dive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eversource Expands Natural Gas System in New Canaan, HamletHub

Renewable Energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rhode Island Looks to Sustain Clean Jobs Gains, RTO Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

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

The Latest In Nuclear Energy, New Hampshire Public Radio

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

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

Debunking Three Myths About “Baseload,” Energy Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 16, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline blasting plans raise fears, Berkshire Eagle

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

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

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

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

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

Senate Hears Bill to Derail Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

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

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

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

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

Renewable Energy

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

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

Competition for offshore wind ramps up in Massachusetts, ABC News

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

Cape Wind opposition continues, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind may help New Hampshire lower energy costs, Recharge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big business sees the promise of clean energy, The Economist

Wind Turbines: Behind the Spin, Machine Design

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

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

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

Nexamp Completes Community Solar Project In Massachusetts, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trespass charge dropped against Vermont Yankee activist, vtdigger.org

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

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survey: What Electricity Customers Really Want, Greentech Media

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending May 19, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. This week I call your attention to some positive news stories.

First, we start with two stories about Boston. Electric Power and Light reports that Boston repeated as the top city for energy efficiency in the U.S., according to the scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. On the cleantech side, the Boston Business Journal published a story that says Greater Boston is among the top metro areas nationwide for clean energy startups hoping to attract venture capital dollars, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Boston was beat out by San Francisco and San Jose.

Also on this warm sunny afternoon Penn Energy brings us a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, about a Northampton High School junior who is expanding his zero-pollution lawn care enterprise this summer. “This business isn’t a compromise; it’s the future of lawn care,” says Philip Hempstead, 17, who is entering his fourth year of operating ElectroCut Lawn Care. “It’s equal-cut quality, 60 percent quieter and zero emissions.” It’s a great story about a bright kid. Give it a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Reboboth selectmen back compressor station resolution, The Sun Chronicle

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Weymouth

Shrewsbury town meeting adopts resolution against pipeline; approves school budget with staff increases, Worcester Telegram

Fearing More Pipeline Spills, 114 Groups Demand Halt to Ohio Gas Project, InsideClimate News

US Bank Pulls Funds from All Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction, ColorLines magazine

Fracking is encroaching on US nuclear missile sites, general says, Washington Examiner

Renewable Energy

Tree-cutting turns sentiment against solar project in North Brookfield, Worcester Telegram

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Vermont wind power sound would be among quietest in country, Penn Energy

High school student goes all-solar with lawn care business, Penn Energy

Tesla and Green Mountain Power: Get Your Behind-the-Meter Battery for $15 a Month, Greentech Media

Boston’s clean tech cluster is third strongest in the country, says report, Boston Business Journal

Rhode Island Considers Plan to Streamline Solar Permitting, US News and World Report

Report: Trump DOE budget would cut renewables office 70%, fossil 54%, nuclear 31%, Utility Dive

Maine biomass bill postponed until 2018, Bioenergy Insight Magazine

An analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Windpower Engineering

Offshore Wind Planning Discussed at Falmouth Forum, CapeCod.com News

Offshore wind energy gears up to hook up, Cape Cod Times

Lloyd’s backs Dong in US, reNews

Swirling Controversy: Celebration, Concern Over Offshore Wind Power, NECN

The Big Green Bang: how renewable energy became unstoppable, Financial Times

Deepwater Wind Outlines Solar Farm Proposed In Simsbury, Hartford Courant

Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Winners Announced, Builder Magazine

Under Trump, US less attractive for renewable energy investment, FuelFix

Kennedy helps commission 4.8-MW solar project in Falmouth, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Republican Governors Of Vt. And Mass. Call On Feds To Honor Paris Agreement, Vermont Public Radio

Boston tops, LA rises in energy efficiency ranking, Electric Light & Power

Keep Your Cool This Summer With Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

Standing up for energy efficiency, Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald

Nuclear

Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help, Rhode Island Public Radio

CT’s delayed energy plan could mean trouble for Millstone bill, The CT Mirror

VY suitor: plans are ‘highly confidential’, Commons

Nuclear plant in New Brunswick up for relicensing, Bangor Daily News

Amazon’s Clean Energy Procurements Should Include Nuclear, Say Advocates, Greentech Media

Meeting to focus on Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sale, Keene Sentinel

NRC maps out needs for nuke plant license extension, Newburyport Daily News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Connecticut Siting Council Rejects 550-MW Gas Plant Construction, Power Engineering

CT sues EPA over transient Pennsylvania air pollutants, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program in Worcester, Mass. Achieves Strong Results in Customer Satisfaction, Retention and Savings, Press Release

Eversource Spraying Sparks Renewed Opposition on Vineyard, The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

Public divides over environmental regulation and energy policy, Phys.Org

Study Shows Why Trump’s Plan to Bring Back Coal Jobs Won’t Work, Greentech Media

Ex-coal CEO fresh from prison urges Trump to probe 2010 blast, Reuters

China Is Outpacing the US In Reducing Coal and Lowering Emissions, Futurism

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Region’s environmental activists stand their ground, The Recorder

Letter: Natural gas is not the savior the industry claims, SouthCoastToday.com

Curt McCormack: Bill protects energy efficiency standards, vtdigger.org

The RGGI program should work for everyone, New Hampshire Business Review

Protest Eversource’s usurious rate request, Cape Cod Times

Solar power worth saving in Maine, The Forecaster

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. The weather forecast looks great for what is for many a holiday weekend, the start of school vacation week and of course Patriots Day/Marathon Monday. However, before we kick into “off mode” let’s take a brief look at this week’s energy news.

To western Mass first where there is good news. MassLive reports that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is nearing an agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric that would bypass a bottleneck in the region’s network of gas pipelines and end a two-year-old ban on new hookups in Easthampton and Northampton. It might take some time and some new infrastructure to get it done, but once Holyoke has a new way to get gas, Holyoke Gas & Electric would have less need of capacity on the Northampton lateral, freeing up capacity for Columbia to get more gas to Northampton and Easthampton. When and if this happens, it will make many people happy.

Heading north to New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports that more than 100 people, including dozens of [Northern Pass] project opponents, converged for the leadoff hearing for the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, which will decide in July whether to issue the certificate required for the $1.6 billion project. The story concludes with a vocal critic, Jack Savage saying, “The hearing ‘was really a clash of Northern Pass’ marketing and the reality of what the project is.’” Time will tell if Mr. Savage is right, or if the “marketing” does meet the sniff test.

On the energy efficiency front, we have two stories with alerts. One story from Bloomberg notes that lobbyists are working to amend a decades old conservation law that sets minimum efficiency standards for many household and commercial appliances and bars them from being weakened. However, efficiency proponents aren’t backing down, “An average American household spends about $500 less per year on utility bills because of the efficiency gains in our every day appliances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston-based organization that organizes energy efficiency proponents to advocate for standards. “Rolling back standards or weakening the law to make it harder to improve standards in the future would lead to more energy waste and hurt consumers.”

The other efficiency story from Seven Days Vermont shows a side-by-side comparison of two boxes of LEDs. Same brand. Same watts. One has the Energy Star label the other doesn’t. They wrote, “One of the packages held four highly energy-efficient, reliable bulbs that had been certified by a third-party lab. The other held four lower-quality, uncertified bulbs. An inferior product, they’d be quicker to fail and more likely to give off the wrong shade of light.” I love Energy Star and always look for the label, but it’s easy to see how a less aware consumer might grab a box and think they’re getting the best bang for their buck when in fact they’re not. Buyer beware! And, all the more reason to keep the Energy Star program around.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving Customers in Addison County, Press Release

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. given green light to begin tree cutting in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline, MassLive.com

Renewable Energy

Europeans Get Serious About America’s Offshore Wind Potential: ‘We are here for a market’, Greentech Media

Students urged to ‘take action now’ on climate change, Cape Cod Times

Proposed Bill Would Halt University of Maine Wind Research Project, Government Technology

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

California’s solar energy set power supply record in March, ABC News

Trump Once Railed Against Offshore Wind but Is Now Embracing It, MIT Technology Review

City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts switches on second solar power plant, Electric Light & Power

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

South Mountain Company advancing Martha’s Vineyard toward energy neutrality with SunPower, Penn Energy

Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency

State of the Energy Efficiency Industry: The Utility Story, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

Your Fridge May Be Washington’s Next Regulatory-Rollback Target, Bloomberg

Beware of Imposter LED Bulbs! Look for the ENERGY STAR®, Seven Days

Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community, vtdigger.org

Nuclear

Nuclear plant owners press lawmakers in Connecticut, other states for subsidies, New Haven Register

States moving to promote clean energy through pro-nuclear policies, Daily Energy Insider

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

Interest in 1,500 acre Entergy property heats up, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?, Microgrid Knowledge

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

Residents, businesses, officials decry Eversource rate hike at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Newport, Rhode Island’s Microgrid Ambitions: Small City, Small State, Big Plans, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource executive: Northern Pass ratepayer billing ‘unlikely,’ Union Leader

Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations, Utility DIVE

Higher gas prices add to ISO-NE power costs in February, Utility DIVE

Eversource grilled over why the plan isn’t to bury all of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Kane: National Grid due for $400000 tax break if town’s tangibles rate isn’t changed, Valley Breeze

Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start, Concord Monitor

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

Mass. AG Calls For DPU To Reject Eversource Request, WAMC

AG Maura Healey set to testify in Pittsfield against Eversource rate hike proposal, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

At NH House committee hearing, jobs become focus of key energy bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine’s Health at Risk from Dirty Air Days, Bangor Daily News

Eversource proposes rate hike after reported revenue shortage, wwlp.com

Editorial/Opinion

Not So Strong After All: Climate Change Is Trump’s National Security Weakness, WBUR

Our Opinion: Eversource rate increase would be bad for business, Berkshire Eagle

William J. Eccleston: Savings overestimated for proposed Burrillville plant, Providence Journal

Help more Mainers use solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Maximizing offshore wind’s benefits for Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers, Renewable Energy World

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending March 31, 2017

Happy snowy Friday afternoon.

In this week’s energy news, Penn Energy citing an AP story reports that National Grid is proposing a transmission project that would bring up to 1,200 megawatts of clean energy from Canada to the New England power grid and run along existing lines in Vermont and New Hampshire. The project, Granite State Power Link, would primarily serve customers in Massachusetts, has two segments, and would create more than 2,000 construction jobs.

According to the Concord Monitor, opponents of the Northern Pass project, when hearing about the Granite State Power Link project said, “What took so long?” However, the story notes that it doesn’t mean Grid is going to get a warm welcome for their proposal. It will be interesting to watch this all play out.

Speaking of Northern Pass, in addition to the new competition, the Union Leader reports that Eversource learned on Monday that the NH PUC ruled against a petition the company filed last June seeking approval of a proposed 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Hydro Renewable Energy (Northern Pass), after determining the proposal is “inconsistent with New Hampshire law.”

Heading to southern New England, even though most people think the Cape Wind project is long dead (they don’t even respond for comment), the Cape Cod Times reports that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, following a court order, issued a supplemental environmental impact statement on Thursday for public comment. Journalist Mary Ann Bragg notes that despite the renewed effort to fix the environmental impact statement, the 16-year-old project’s fate remains in question if not outright decided, even among those who previously supported it. “It is not on our radar,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Offshore Wind Director William White. “We do not believe that Cape Wind is a project that is moving forward.”

And lastly, big kudos and congratulations to our good friends at Columbia Gas whose parent company, NiSource, Inc., was (for the sixth consecutive year) designated as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Wicked Local Westborough reports that Ethisphere honors those companies who recognize their role in society to influence and drive positive change, consider the impact of their actions on their employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholders and use their values and culture as an underpinning to the decisions they make every day.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Major Natural Gas Leak Contained In Downtown Providence, Rhode Island Public Radio

Rehoboth to Vote April 3 on Gas Compressor Station, ecoRI news

‘It looks like a tornado went through:’ Danvers residents upset over pipeline work, My Fox Boston

Maryland lawmakers vote to ban fracking, The Hill

Maryland Ban Shows Fracking is Not a Partisan Issue, Common Dreams

Report shows Pennsylvania fracking companies paying few fines for environmental infractions, PGH City Paper

Eversource Energy spending $50M this year on pipe replacement in Connecticut, New Haven Register

Renewable Energy

Cape Wind project review to be revised, Cape Cod Times

State approves solar array that will be Vermont’s largest, vtdigger.org

Solar Power Is White-Hot, Generating Energy, Jobs And Savings, Hartford Courant

Maine business equips sheds with solar panels for better energy returns, Press Herald

Massachusetts extends solar incentive program, Daily Energy Insider

Biomass Company Asks to Change Terms of State Subsidy, MainePublic.org

State Officials Brief NE Roundtable on Renewables Plans, RTO Insider

75 US mayors won’t enforce climate policy rollback, Curbed

Trump’s climate change rule order gets chilly reaction in RI, The Providence Journal

Solar Facility to Save Massachusetts City $2.6M Over 20 Years, Energy Manager Today

Two New Companies Vie for Remaining Wind Farm Leases, The Vineyard Gazette

National Grid unveils semi-transparent Worcester solar panels, Worcester Business Journal

Solar awning gives power boost to Worcester’s energy-saving strategy, Worcester Telegram

GE to develop 13 solar projects in northeast US, Energy Central

German offshore output soars, reNews

New solar awning project unveiled at Sustainability Hub, Clark University News Hub

Biomass company says it paid aggrieved loggers, wants to rework subsidy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Upgrades at Rhode Island College Are Expected to Save $5.1 Million, Energy Manager Today

Trump wants to cut programs that help buildings save energy. This new study says they work, Washington Post

Study: Efficiency programs return results — but not in all buildings, Utility Dive

Vermont House Passes Backup Bill on Energy Efficient Appliances, Energy Manager Today

Medford Tech partners with Mass Clean Energy Center, Wicked Local Medford

Nuclear

Senator supports moving spent nuclear fuel from Cape region, Cape Cod Times

State gives tribes role in Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

State wants more information on site contamination, Brattleboro Reformer

Nuke plant owner: Watchdog group’s claims ‘completely false’, The Daily News of Newburyport

Nuclear Power Suffers Major Blow With Westinghouse Bankruptcy, Common Dreams

Nuclear power is dying. Can radical innovation save it?, Vox

Japanese court rules for utility and lets nuclear reactors restart, The Boston Globe

Vt. Fears Covering Nuclear Cost, Valley News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

National Grid proposes 1,200-megawatt New England project, Penn Energy

Northern Pass opponents say they’ve hoped for something like the National Grid plan, Concord Monitor

National Grid dives into Quebec to New England energy fray, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Power Line Plan Includes Haverhill, Valley News

PUC short circuits Eversource deal to buy power tied to Northern Pass, The Union Leader

4 Cape towns lose appeal of Eversource herbicide plan, Cape Cod Times

National Grid launching first of its kind program in Clifton Park, WRGB

Eversource puts New Hampshire power fleet up for sale, Utility Dive

NiSource Inc. designated most ethical company, Wicked Local Westborough

At the grid-edge: Utilities look beyond traditional infrastructure to manage new technologies, Utility Dive

What Trump Misses About Energy Jobs In America, Rhode Island Public Radio

No big impact expected in Mass. after Trump energy order, Berkshire Eagle

As loggers get stiffed, Maine learns a lesson about propping up struggling industries, Bangor Daily News

Agawam power plant operators sentenced to pay more than $7M, Penn Energy

Maine man charged again with stealing electricity for home, Penn Energy

A Low-Tech Approach To Energy Storage: Molten Metals, WBUR

Editorial/Opinion

Michael Durand: Eversource is investing in an improved system, Berkshire Eagle

John Stoehr: State’s energy debate needs to evolve, CT Post

Expanding Wood Heat in New England, Biomass Magazine

Letter: Emulate spider in protecting environment, Berkshire Eagle

We all will benefit from more solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Let’s save solar, The Union Leader

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Filed under offshore wind, solar