Tag Archives: Charlie Baker

Energy News for week ending February 14, 2020

Record Low Price | More Delays | Clear Solar

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Let’s start off with some news to love. From Bloomberg Green, “Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and EDP Renovaveis SA agreed to sell power from a wind farm they’re building in the Atlantic Ocean for a record-low price. The 804-megawatt Mayflower wind farm, located south of Martha’s Vineyard, will supply electricity to utilities in Massachusetts for $58 a megawatt-hour over the life of the contract. That’s less than a previous deal for $65 agreed to with the similarly located 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, state energy officials said on a conference call Tuesday. ‘The Commonwealth has now solicited two cost-effective projects at prices far below what industry experts had projected a few years ago,’ Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for Massachusetts, said on the call. Wholesale electricity prices averaged $40.24 a megawatt-hour in day-ahead trading in the New England grid over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Offshore wind costs are higher, but the renewable technology is gaining in use in Europe and Asia, driving down the lifetime sales prices.”

Next up #Absencemakestheheartgrowfonder. From WBUR, “Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project. Vineyard Wind no longer expects its 800-megawatt project to become operational by 2022, the company said Tuesday after federal officials announced a new — and longer-than-anticipated — timeline for their review of the project and offshore wind sector generally. ‘We have received updated information from the Department of Interior that indicates the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Vineyard Wind I project will be published later than what was previously anticipated,’ Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a statement. ‘While we need to analyze what a longer permitting timeline will mean for beginning construction, commercial operation in 2022 is no longer expected. We look forward to the clarity that will come with a final EIS so that Vineyard Wind can deliver this project to Massachusetts and kick off the new US offshore energy industry.’ On Tuesday, BOEM published a new ‘one federal decision permitting timeline,’ which envisions the issuance of a record of decision by Dec. 18, 2020.”

While this new technology was modeled using tomatoes, perhaps it will work with roses too. From Futurity.org, “Clear Solar Panel Could Power Future Greenhouses. Greenhouses of the future could become energy neutral using see-through solar panels to harvest energy, according to a new study. The panels would harvest the energy primarily from the wavelengths of light that plants don’t use for photosynthesis, the researchers say. ‘Plants only use some wavelengths of light for photosynthesis, and the idea is to create greenhouses that make energy from that unused light while allowing most of the photosynthetic band of light to pass through,’ says corresponding author Brendan O’Connor, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University…The end result is that, for many greenhouse operators, the trade-off could be a small one—particularly for greenhouses in warm or temperate climates. For example, in Arizona, the greenhouses could become energy neutral—requiring no outside source of power—while blocking only 10% of the photosynthetic band of light. However, if growers are willing to block more photosynthetic light, they could generate twice as much energy as they required to operate the greenhouse…In Wisconsin, greenhouses couldn’t become energy neutral using the semitransparent solar cells—keeping the greenhouse warm in winter requires too much energy. However, the solar cells could meet up to 46% of the greenhouse’s energy demand.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the long weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Why fossil-fuel generators oppose the CMP hydropower corridor, Bangor Daily News

Area residents criticize Columbia Gas at hearing, Eagle Tribune

‘I Feel Victorious’: BU Professor Ends Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

United in Opposition to the No. Weymouth Gas Compressor Station, Boston University

Iroquois Gas to build system in Milford to help increase New York’s natural gas supply, Stamford Advocate

Oil production on public lands exceeds 1 billion barrels, The Hill

Carbon capture wins fans among oil giants, Wall St. Journal

Pennsylvania shale permits plunge in January as gas prices collapse, S&P Global

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World’s Hottest Well, Wired

Geothermal heating district could rise in Mattapan, Boston Globe

The fastest way to cut carbon emissions is a ‘fee’ and a dividend, top leaders say, Washington Post

Energy Markets Need Winter, and Climate Change Is Taking It Away, Bloomberg Green

Antarctica Sets Record High Temperature: 64.9 Degrees, New York Times

Net-zero emissions measures advance despite cost concerns in Mass. Senate, Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro area senators say climate change legislation could empower cities, towns, Sun Chronicle

Gov. Charlie Baker: TCI proceeds will not be ‘pumped into Boston’ to pay off MBTA debt, MassLive

A Trillion Trees: How One Idea Triumphed Over Trump’s Climate Denialism, New York Times

Why university students are uniting for divestment this week, Boston Globe

Climate Change: 50 Ways We’re Taking Action Now, Vineyard Gazette

Researchers Propose New Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change, Clean Tech

For Sweetgreen, 2020 is the year kelp becomes cool, Washington Post

Hundreds of freshwater fish wash ashore on Easton’s Beach in Newport, ABC6

Why concrete has a huge carbon footprint, CNN (video)

The Climate Crisis Is Threatening Bees. Here’s What’s Helping To Save Them., HuffPost

Crossing the Line: A Scientist’s Road From Neutrality to Activism, Inside Climate News

The Cool Way Scientists Turned Falling Raindrops Into Electricity, Popular Mechanics

 

Wind

Good news, bad news on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project, WBUR

Price of wind power continues to fall with Mayflower contract, Herald News

Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power, Bloomberg

Mayflower Wind will stage in New Bedford: 2nd wind turbine company looking for lease agreement for South Terminal, South Coast Today

Wind farm cables to be lengthened for reburial, Block Island Times

Connecticut Port Authority approves plan to turn State Pier into wind hub, The Day

Gov. Ned Lamont touts approval of wind power deal that will rebuild State Pier in New London while Senate Republicans complain about a lack of oversight, Hartford Courant

Some Fans, Some Not, for Wind Farm Project, Ocean City New Jersey Daily

Red lights on Lowell Mountains won’t dim soon, National Wind Watch (via Hardwick, VT Gazette)

Court filing challenges Guilford wind farm approval, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

 

Solar

Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells, MIT News

Clear solar panels could power future greenhouses, Futurity.org

Fitch: Solar Projects Much More Reliable Performers Than Wind Farms, Greentech Media

Green Bank’s Solar MAP Eases Solar Transition, Solar Industry Magazine

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World, NPR

Report: Vermont lagging in solar capacity, Rutland Herald

Chemist develops technique to improve solar cells, Phys.org

Firm lays out plans for large solar farm, maybe sheep, Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth committee recommends purchase of ‘remote’ solar energy, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

MIT’s solid-state battery breakthrough may see phones last for days, New Atlas

Live Efficient: Choose Energy Star appliances for efficiency, Seacoastonline.com

BPU Plan Would Reimburse Utilities for Sales Lost to Energy Efficiency Programs, NJ Spotlight

$58M project to make Portsmouth Naval Shipyard energy resilient, Seacoast Online

 

EVs

ChargePoint commits $1B to expand EV charging as Ocasio-Cortez, others unveil bills for a national network, Utility Dive

ConEd developing $13M curbside EV charging program with AddEnergie, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Extends Comment Period Regarding Indian Point, WAMC

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants, Bloomberg

How the next generation of nuclear reactors could be smaller, greener and safer, PBS

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Advanced Attack Groups Increasingly Threaten North American Electric Utilities, Security Boulevard

Massachusetts has 3rd highest number of deaths from out-of-state air pollution, study finds, Boston Globe

GAO urged to probe energy project ‘double standard’, Telegram & Gazette

The U.S. power grid desperately needs upgrades to handle climate change, Science News

Company that studied grid may have had conflict of interest, Associated Press

Midwinter drop in energy costs gives Mainers unexpected relief, Kennebec Journal

AARP opposes Eversource’s proposed rate hikes, New Hampshire Union Leader

Expanding or starting a business? National Grid may have a grant for that, Business Journals

 

Editorial/Opinion

Jennifer Benson: Senate’s climate change proposal a good start, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Erect solar panels in places that make sense, The Day

State council, residents ready to take action on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Some help in connecting the air quality dots, Westerly Sun

Maine Compass: It’s time to reconsider going solar, Kennebec Journal

Susan Raymond: Sununu’s energy initiatives are a grand election stunt, Conway Daily Sun

Maine Compass: Don’t expect Maine ‘public power’ plan to deliver on its big promises, Kennebec Journal

Falmouth Turns Into A 2.5 Million Wind Turbine Dump, Patch.com

Pier remake could cost state three times $93 million estimate, The Day via National Wind Watch

New Massachusetts Program A Threat To Local Solar Installers, AltEnergyMag.com

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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 January 31, 2020

Inevitability | Maine Potential | Called Out | Barn Inspired

 

TGIF!

It has been a busy week so let’s get this done and get to the news.

We start with a story from Greentech Media, “Where does the natural gas bridge end? Adnan Amin, former director-general of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and current senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, argued that the role of natural gas is being overstated in most forecasts. ‘We have been talking about, for the last few years, gas as the bridge,’ Amin said during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. ‘There is an inevitability about bridges, which is that sooner or later you get to the end of the bridge…’ Within the next decade, renewables are expected to be cheaper than even existing gas plants, prompting the question of stranded assets…Meg Gentle of Tellurian acknowledged that the industry needs to do more to reduce emissions over the lifecycle of the product, from the wellhead to the ship. Potential solutions include blocking methane leaks, investing in carbon capture and sequestration, and purchasing carbon offsets, she said. But even these steps still may not be enough.”

Next, we move from the possible end to the big potential. From the Bangor Daily News, “Maine has the potential to power itself through wind. Maine currently uses more fossil-fuel produced energy than any of the other New England States. The solution to reducing, and even eliminating, that dependency could lay in state’s potential to produce much of the energy it needs through wind generated power…According to the American Wind Energy Association, Maine has enough reliable wind blowing over land to produce 69,797 megawatts of power annually. With developing technology in offshore wind generated power, there is the potential for an additional 94,498 megawatts of power. Combined, it’s more than enough to power the state.”

Speaking of Maine, its Attorney General joined forces with its counterparts in Connecticut and Massachusetts to call out ISO New England for anti-competitive practices. From WSHU, “Officials from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine say the operator of New England’s regional power grid is unfairly blocking competition. Officials say ISO New England has labeled every project since 2011 as an emergency, which allowed them to limit bidding. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and other officials sent a letter to federal energy regulators. ‘I am calling on ISO New England to open up transmission work to competitive bidding. It doesn’t make any sense that we don’t encourage competition in that space to get the lowest bid possible.’ Tong says competition could save ratepayers millions of dollars. Connecticut’s electricity prices are among the highest in the nation…A spokesperson for ISO New England says the organization properly applied its federally approved tariff and has implemented a competitive solicitation in the Boston area.”

Energy efficiency stories seem to be in short supply lately. So when we find one that is combined with gorgeous photos, we tend to swoon. From Inhabitat, “Charming, energy-efficient cottages are inspired by barns in rural Massachusetts. Almost 10 years ago, a developer purchased a plot of land in Massachusetts that had three timber greenhouses dating back to the 1940s. Wanting to update the structures into livable, eco-friendly homes, the developer tasked architect Grigori Fateyev with breathing new life into the old structures. But the design process led to the replacement of the old buildings with a series of contemporary eco-homes that were built following passive design principles.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Blocking Trains and Removing Coal, Climate Activists Fight to Close One of New England’s Largest Power Plants, Common Dreams

Where Does the Natural Gas ‘Bridge’ End?, Greentech Media

ISO-NE: Natural Gas Remains King In New England Even As Wind & Solar Climb, New Hampshire Public Radio

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Weymouth: Faith Leaders Voice Opposition to Proposed Compressor Station, WATD-FM

New Jersey Sets Goal to Cut Natural Gas Use 80% by 2050, Bloomberg

National Grid hasn’t needed short-term measures to handle gas crisis, Newsday

States Tells Justices $7B Pipeline Can’t Cross Trail, Law360

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Yahoo! News

New York creeps closer to coal divestment from pension funds, MarketWatch

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Senate agrees to sharp shift in state climate policies, Herald News

In Senate climate bills, lawmakers see new jobs, economic opportunity for Western Massachusetts, MassLive

Tarr: Costs missing from climate policy package, Salem News

Renewables Set to Overtake Natural Gas in US Power Mix, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Can the US power sector significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2040? Not according to EIA, Utility Dive

State faces calls to act more swiftly on climate change, AP

Northeast governors slow to embrace regional climate pact, CT Post

New Jersey outlines sweeping plans to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, Utility Dive

How Maine could emit zero carbon by 2050 without more energy spending, Bangor Daily News

Geothermal’s surprise: Cheap renewables could keep states from achieving climate goals, Utility Dive

State energy secretary seeks support for Baker’s climate plan, MassLive

High school, college students push for stronger climate change legislation at State House, WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Senate climate bills would push state to adopt carbon pricing, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy announces a plan for 100% clean energy by 2050, Connecticut Post

The Energy 202: If the U.S. doesn’t change course, carbon emissions will rise again in the 2030s, Washington Post

GE’s Turnaround Slowed by Struggling Renewable Energy Division, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Senate to consider climate change amendments on electric car rebates, solar projects, MassLive

 

Wind

EDPR and Engie Join Forces With Aim to Rank Among Top 5 Offshore Wind Developers, Greentech Media

Ports and Harbors: How US Offshore Wind Developers Are Anchoring Their Claims, Greentech Media

Maine has the potential to power itself through wind, Bangor Daily News

Offshore Wind Energy is Key to New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, Alt Energy Mag

The Hot New US Wind Market: Crowded East Coast States, Greentech Media

First of two hearings highlights wind farm’s TIF terms with county, The Quoddy Tides

Fed review of offshore wind projects raises concerns over delays, Newsday

NJEDA seeks input to support state’s growing offshore wind industry, NJBIZ

 

Solar

Solar panel proposal in Hopkinton would affect large forest, MetroWest Daily News

The MBTA built solar panels in Hingham over a year ago. They’re still not generating electricity., Patriot Ledger

NYC’s roofs are getting a sustainable makeover, but is green or solar better?, Utility Dive

MIT and NREL researchers outline a pathway to slashing solar costs faster for industry expansion, PV Buzz

Bath sheds lights on solar power option, Press Herald

Q&A: Jeffrey Peck on solar’s growth and going public, VTDigger

IREC grades all community solar programs and only gives two A’s, leedpoints.com

For cheaper solar cells, thinner really is better, Science Daily

MIT researchers see solar modules reaching well below 20¢ per watt, pv magazine International

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Charming, energy-efficient cottages are inspired by barns in rural Massachusetts, Inhabitat

Everyone’s Favorite Climate Solution Has a Fire Problem, Bloomberg Green

 

Nuclear

Bill would force Seabrook Station, power plants to pay more taxes, Seacoastonline.com

Scientists develop a concept of a hybrid thorium reactor, Phys.org

Rolls-Royce plans mini nuclear reactors by 2029, BBC

LIPA’s tab for nuclear plant subsidy could be $820M over 10 years, Newsday

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England AGs Call Out Power Grid Operator Over Anti-Competitive Practices, WSHU

How to Safeguard Against Cyberattacks on Utilities, Harvard Business Review

Bid to make Avangrid subsidiary publicly owned could have financial impact, CT Insider (Subscriber content)

A top analyst breaks down the 3 little-known industries that are quietly shaping the future global energy economy, Business Insider

New utility cooperative CEO calls for focus on future planning, The Day

Maine PUC billing investigation ends; CMP charged with $10M penalty to shareholders, News Center Maine

9 things to know about the CMP billing probe, Bangor Daily News

CMP admits poor handling of winter disconnect notices, Portland Press Herald

CMP files response to Maine PUC, outlining corrective actions company plans to take, WCSH-TV

Report: Nuclear, wind power contracts put Connecticut ratepayers at risk, CT Insider (Subscriber content)

 

Editorial/Opinion

2 simple steps to address climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Her assignment from Baker: Save the environment, Boston Globe

Healey: Stop individual residential electricity sales, CommonWealth Magazine

New York’s First Offshore Wind Contracts Are Done – Now What?, Energy Central

Editorial: CT right to reconsider future power needs, Connecticut Post

Letter to the Editor: Clean energy an economic development opportunity for Maine, Portland Press Herald

Let the 2020s be a decade of climate action, Hartford Courant

Maine Voices: Amid corner-cutting on CMP corridor plan, citizens’ hands are tied, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: CMP project a bad deal for Maine, Kennebec Journal

Massachusetts is a leader on climate change — but it can do better, Boston Globe

Energy efficiency slows climate change, saves money. Why haven’t we embraced it more?, USA Today

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

Energy News for week ending January 24, 2020

Ambitious Goals | New oil | Nuclear diamonds

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Let’s get to this week’s news highlights.

Over the past week or so the leaders of two New England states set dates for reaching some ambitious renewable energy and emissions goals. From the Providence Journal, “Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Friday that sets Rhode Island on the path to getting all of the state’s electric supply from renewable sources by the end of the decade. While Rhode Island is not the first state to adopt a 100% renewables target, the timeline put forth by Raimondo is the most aggressive in the nation. In a speech before the signing, the governor said that transforming the state’s energy system is needed to fight climate change…‘The bad news is climate change is real, urgent, closing in on us,’ she said. ‘The good news is Rhode Island is a leader in the fight against climate change. Today is about maintaining our leadership position and pushing ourselves to do more, go faster.’”

In Massachusetts, Governor Baker set a target of 2050 for taking the state to net-zero emissions. From CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie Baker’s top energy aide said his proposal for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 puts Massachusetts among a very small group of states and countries attempting to limit the impact of climate change. Kathleen Theoharides, the governor’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said Massachusetts is joining Hawaii, New York, and California in pursuing net-zero emissions by 2050…Net-zero is an imprecise term. It doesn’t mean the state will cease all greenhouse gas emissions. It means, according to Theoharides, that the state will attempt to reduce emissions as much as possible through the development of renewable, low-emission forms of energy; aggressive energy efficiency programs; and sequestration efforts, including the development of new forests and wetlands. Theoharides said policies could also be developed that would allow polluters to offset their emissions by buying some form of credit, with the proceeds being used to produce more renewable energy generating fewer emissions. The secretary acknowledged that the state’s economy is likely to change dramatically over the next few decades to meet the emission target.”

The Massachusetts senate is also getting in on the action. From WBUR, “The Massachusetts Senate next week plans to take up a far-reaching package of climate bills whose major components include an electric MBTA bus fleet by 2040, carbon-pricing mechanisms for transportation, homes and commercial buildings, and a series of five-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements that ramp up to net-zero emissions in 2050. The three bills, teed up for debate on Thursday, Jan. 30, with amendments due by Monday, amount to what Senate President Karen Spilka called a ‘comprehensive plan for the state’ to respond to an international issue: global climate change.”

Greentech Media’s Interchange podcast this week looked at the reemergence of renewable hydrogen. “Less than 1 percent of all hydrogen produced today comes from renewables. Is that about to change? The vice president of Siemens Middle East just predicted that green hydrogen will assume the mantle of the ‘new oil’ in the coming decades. A lot of big industrial companies and oil majors are taking another serious look at hydrogen. Why? In an era of extremely cheap renewables that are increasingly being curtailed, hydrogen production could finally become an attractive use case, due in part to the emerging regulatory pressures on existing hydrogen production.”

For our new energy technology focus we turn to Popular Mechanics. “Scientists in England are trying to recycle decommissioned nuclear plant materials into cutting-edge diamond batteries. The pressing of this kind of carbon into manufactured diamonds is called chemical vapor deposition…By ‘encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds,’ lead researcher Tom Scott of the University of Bristol says the graphite can be turned into durable, extremes-tolerant electricity via diamond batteries. The secret is in harvesting the radioactive carbon-14 isotope from the plant’s supply of spent graphite. Scott says the factory to turn graphite carbon into diamonds for batteries could be built on the same spot as the decommissioned plant. The carbon has a half life of over 5,000 years, giving a diamond battery an overall life span, well, thousands of times more than the hearing aid battery or the pair of AAAs that powers your remote control. And because the radioactivity is encased within a diamond, there’s no chance it will break down before it runs out of juice.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor opponents occupy Mass DEP office, Wicked Local

Weymouth councilors raise concerns over trucks at compressor site, Wicked Local

Residents still pushing for asbestos testing at compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Five states raise alarms about EPA coal-fired power plant waste disposal proposal, The Hill

Film explores region’s gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Environmental officials want to reverse course on natural gas, Journal Inquirer

Natural-Gas Prices Fall Below $2, Wall St. Journal

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Bloomberg Green

Renewable energy is growing fast in the U.S., but fossil fuels still dominate, Pew Research Center

The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning With Climate Change, Time

 

TCI

While Gov. Charlie Baker opposes gas tax, opponents say Transportation and Climate Initiative a ‘hidden tax,’ MassLive

Poll shows Massachusetts majority oppose cost of TCI, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Could Green Hydrogen Become the ‘New Oil’?, Greentech Media

How to Get to 100% Renewables? Use Microgrids Says Plan for Cranston, Rhode Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Raimondo orders 100% clean electricity in R.I. by 2030, Providence Journal

Cuomo plots course to accelerate renewable energy development, Politico

Don’t celebrate yet: Clean energy jobs have slipped in Mass., Boston Globe

Bill For A N.H. State Climate Action Plan Gets First Hearing, NHPR

Package Of State House Climate Bills Would Apply Carbon Pricing To All Emissions, WBUR

Net-zero target called most aggressive in world, CommonWealth Magazine

Carbon finds itself in Beacon Hill’s crosshairs, Lowell Sun

Energy chief: Deregulation, Trump slowing carbon-free progress, Connecticut Post

Dorset residents pay less energy bills with renewable scheme, Dorset Echo

Energy office set to begin work on new renewable energy goal, WRAL

Environment Council of R.I. disappointed in Mattiello’s climate change comments, Boston Globe

What Would an Accelerated Global Energy Transition Look Like?, Greentech Media

FERC Faces Heat Over State Clean Energy Subsidies Order, Law360

 

Wind

Proposed Vermont wind project halts development, citing hostile political environment, Wind Power Engineering

NYS invests $20M into offshore wind training institute at SBU, SBStatesman.com

Murphy signs bill expanding definition of qualified offshore wind project, NJ Biz

Inside New York’s Push to Be ‘Center of Gravity’ for US Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Vestas to Produce Zero-Waste Wind Turbines by 2040, NA Clean Energy

After Years Of Slow Action On Climate Change, What Sets Offshore Wind Apart For N.H.?, NHPR

Looking for a windfall from offshore wind farms, Newsday

Redevelopment plan for State Pier expected to be more costly than projected, The Day

Offshore wind key as Rhode Island sets 100% clean-energy goal for 2030, Recharge

Orsted US team targets whale protection, reNEWS

The US is set to experience yet a new energy revolution: Offshore Wind, Energy Voice

Huge crowd packs OC hearing, Energy Central

Blade breaks off wind turbine in Cohocton, Evening Tribune

Heritage Wind to file application for up to 33 wind turbines in Barre, (NY) The Daily News

Public hearing set on financial contributions from proposed wind farm, Ellsworth American

 

Solar

She’s Taking on Elon Musk on Solar. And Winning., New York Times

Kearsarge, NEC Energy Complete Amesbury Solar+ Storage Project, Solar Industry

Commercial solar project eyed for Woodstock, Sun Journal

33 RIPTA buses get solar system developed by Warwick company, Cranston Herald

America’s Concentrated Solar Power Companies Have All but Disappeared, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

2020 Outlook: From light bulbs to dishwashers, court battles to continue on DOE’s efficiency moves, Utility Dive

Energy Storage As A Transmission Asset In Regional Markets, Law360

State approves $2B energy efficiency incentive plan, Times Union

City Comptroller Scott Stringer calls on de Blasio to commit $1 billion per year to energy efficiency, New York Daily News

Home energy efficiency could be improved significantly through simple tweaks like roof colour, ABC News

Eversource and Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa Partner on Eco-Friendly, Cost-Saving Upgrades, NA Clean Energy

 

EVs

Electric school buses latest stop on Maine’s climate-change journey, Portland Press Herald

Automakers: New tech, battery advances will curb EV range anxiety, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Asks: Do You Want A Hearing On Sale Of Indian Point, Patch.com

Lawmakers seek safeguards on nuclear plant decommissioning, Taunton Gazette

State AG: ‘Grave concerns’ over Indian Point nuclear plant decommissioning, Ithaca Journal

How to Turn Nuclear Waste Into Diamond Batteries, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Augusta puzzled over Janet Mills’ call to reconsider utility regulations, Bangor Daily News

Maine regulators vote to investigate CMP’s winter disconnect notices, Press Herald

NY to pay another $6M to firm that took millions in disgraced Empire Zone breaks, Syracuse.com

The Limits of Environmental Activism From BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Wall St. Journal

New York ISO carbon pricing proposal ‘in a holding pattern,’ says grid chief, Utility Dive

As Mass. Considers Carbon Pricing, Conn. Takes ‘Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WBUR

 

Editorial/Opinion

A path forward for New England to a low-carbon future: Why a capacity market still matters, Utility Dive

Baker’s net-zero goal is business-as-usual, CommonWealth Magazine

Column: Setting climate solutions into action, Salem News

Letter: Balentine needs to get his facts straight on CMP line, Portland Press Herald

The Universal Notebook: CMP project supported by old guard ‘environmentalists’, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: Climate change, not CMP project, is the real enemy, Kennebec Journal

Editorial: Keeping heat on in Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Guest Opinion: Rhode Island needs real environmental action in 2020, Westerly Sun

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

Energy News for week ending December 20, 2019

TCI | Critical Source | Seawater | Small, Svelte and Safer

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

The news that got the most “ink” this week was the Transportation and Climate Initiative. We have several stories below, but found this one from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive to be a great place to start, Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

Other news that grabbed a lot of attention this week came out of New Hampshire. From the Portland Press Herald, “Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source. Leaders in states bordering the Gulf of Maine expressed strong support Thursday for offshore wind, setting the region up to become the next battleground over the resource as some members of the area’s influential fishing industry voice objections. Officials from Massachusetts and Maine, along with New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, said Thursday at the first meeting of the Agenda for the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the Gulf of Maine that they were optimistic offshore wind could help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing thousands of jobs across New England. Led by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the task force must weigh concerns from commercial fishermen, environmentalists, coastal communities and other stakeholders before deciding where leases on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine might be allocated and where they wouldn’t be allowed. There are also technical challenges, since the deep waters of the gulf may require floating platforms.”

We have two stories for our new technology feature. First from Reuters, “International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it has created a battery design that uses materials extracted from seawater and requires no cobalt, as the race to find alternative sources to the expensive mineral intensifies…The move comes as top battery makers scramble to reduce cobalt content in lithium-ion batteries, and as the expansion of the electric vehicle market is expected to result in shortages of the mineral mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. IBM said its technology has proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in cost, charging time and energy efficiency.”

The second new tech feature comes to us from Wired though the headline sounds something more like you’d read in Self. “The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer. For the last 20 years, the future of nuclear power has stood in a high bay laboratory tucked away on the Oregon State University campus in the western part of the state. Operated by NuScale Power, an Oregon-based energy startup, this prototype reactor represents a new chapter in the conflict-ridden, politically bedeviled saga of nuclear power plants. NuScale’s reactor won’t need massive cooling towers or sprawling emergency zones. It can be built in a factory and shipped to any location, no matter how remote. Extensive simulations suggest it can handle almost any emergency without a meltdown. One reason is that it barely uses any nuclear fuel, at least compared with existing reactors. It’s also a fraction of the size of its predecessors. This is good news for a planet in the grips of a climate crisis. Nuclear energy gets a bad rap in some environmentalist circles, but many energy experts and policymakers agree that splitting atoms is going to be an indispensable part of decarbonizing the world’s electricity.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a safe and happy holiday and a joyous and healthy New Year. We appreciate that you let us in your inboxes each week and look forward to sharing the energy news with you in 2020. See you next on January 10th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought, New York Times

Officials, residents concerned with compressor site cleanup, Patriot Ledger

Congressman Joseph Kennedy demands halt to Weymouth compressor station construction, Wicked Local

New England power and natgas prices spike during cold snap, CNBC

National Grid doesn’t want geothermal developer to have ‘party’ status in pipeline debate, Times Union

Newsmaker 2019: National Grid flames out in pipeline feud, Crain’s New York

N.H.-Bound Coal Train Kept Rolling, Despite Activists On The Tracks, WBUR

4 Things To Know About The N.H. Coal Plant Targeted By Climate Protesters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Uncertain role of natural gas in the transition to clean energy, Science Daily

 

TCI

Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?, MassLive

Legislators seek to stop Charlie Baker from passing Transportation Climate Initiative, Boston Herald

TCI could up gas prices 5 to 17 cents a gallon in 2022, CommonWealth Magazine

New England states mull regional gas fees after NH rejection, Boston Herald

Reducing emissions from transportation is a long, difficult road for Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Boston Could Become WICKED Hot. This is What They’re Doing About it., Discover Magazine

US Lawmakers Stiff Solar, Wind Gets Modest Victory in Tax Deal, Greentech Media

Clean energy advocates want New York to move quickly on 70% renewables goal, Utility Dive

How we know global warming is real, Washington Post

Mike Bloomberg has a plan to clean up electricity and it doesn’t need Congress, Vox

Holyoke lands $275K grant for net-zero planning, Energy Central

Migrating Birds Prefer to Eat Local New England Cuisine, Boston University

Forget the log cabin. Wood buildings are climbing skyward – with pluses for the planet., Hartford Courant

Berkshire Community College Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award, iBerkshires

Failure by Congress to Support Tax Credits for Clean Energy and EVs is Unacceptable, Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate activists, offshore wind industry groups slam House for holding off on tax credit extension, MassLive

U.S. Spending Bill Holds Win for Wind Energy, Setback for Solar, New York Times

 

Wind

Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source, Portland Press Herald

US has only one offshore wind energy farm, but a $70 billion market is on the way, CNBC

Berkshire Wind helps light North Shore homes, Salem News

Tax credit changes snub offshore wind power, Salem News

Bluestone gets green light for 125 MW wind farm in New York, Reve

Team Develops Floating Turbine To Harvest Deep-Ocean Wind Energy, Science Blog

US urged to lease more offshore wind, renews.biz

Federal talks leave mixed bag for wind energy, Herald News

Prototype of ‘world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine’ starts sending power to utility, CNBC

 

Solar

YMCA of Greater Providence Teams with Balanced Rock Energy on Breakthrough Solar Credit Agreement, (Press Release) Globe Newswire

New Saratoga County solar farm is among largest of its kind upstate, Times Union

Ground broken on solar energy farm in East Haven, New Haven Register

‘We traded green for green.’ Controversial solar array built on Simsbury farmland now producing power, Hartford Courant

City of Bangor to install its first big solar panel project, Newscentermaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State to build a large energy facility instead of a previously planned fossil fuel plant, Solar Builder Magazine

Large-scale energy storage by “liquid air” proposed for Vermont, Granite Geek

US investment in energy efficiency dropped estimated 18% in two years: Report, Utility Dive

IBM’s new battery design taps seawater as alternative mineral source, Reuters

Cuomo lays out $1.5 billion investment to improve energy efficiency at state and local government buildings, New York Daily News

Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers, Bloomberg

Rising Demand for Energy Efficiency Creates Growth Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Heat Exchangers, Business Insider

Tesla’s Musk says solar, energy storage will grow faster than electric cars, and there’s some truth to it, CNBC

What a Year! 10 Stories That Propelled Energy Storage in 2019, Greentech Media

 

EVs

New York transit authority to invest $1.1B for 500 electric buses, Utility Dive

Municipal parking lots across Boston to get electric-charging stations, Universal Hub

South Jersey Utility Seeks OK on Plan for More EV Charging Stations, NJ Spotlight

State offer would boost electric vehicles; Dollar incentives for middle, low-income Vermonters, Chester Telegraph

 

Nuclear

Board delays decision on nuclear plant’s license renewal, Newburyport Daily News

Mass. Lawmakers Criticize NRC Decision on Transfer of Pilgrim Nuke Ownership, Cape Cod Today

NRC gives permit for next-gen factory-built nuclear reactor, AP News

The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy, Popular Mechanics

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer, Wired Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator targeted in Healey’s clean-energy push, Wicked Local

State approves Eversource power line through Sudbury, Hudson, MetroWest Daily News

Healey seeks DPU crackdown on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market, Greentech Media

CMP CEO ‘absolutely’ fears losing company in consumer takeover, WGME

Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?, Scientific American

CMP aims to restore trust with ad campaign, Portland Press Herald

Eversource names new leader for NH, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills’ solar power policies already paying off, Eagle Times

My Turn: A Granite Bridge to nowhere?, Concord Monitor

If Lamont is serious about climate change he will block Killingly plant, The Day

Local legislators: Coming together for climate action, Portland Press Herald

Here’s some good news on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Maine Compass: Let’s stop CMP’s unpopular corridor project, Kennebec Journal

Reporting on climate change from Cape Cod, where sea levels could put everything at risk, USA Today

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, 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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending August 2, 2019

Whack-a-Mole | Protection Eliminated | RI Raises Concerns

Happy Thursday! We’re coming at you a day early this week, because tomorrow is a busy day.

So let’s get at it.

We don’t normally feature an Op Ed, but this one from MA Attorney General Maura Healey caught our attention. As CommonWealth Magazine explains it, “Attorney General Maura Healey’s office issued a new report on Thursday indicating that consumers who signed on with competitive electricity suppliers between July 2017 and June 2018 paid $76.2 million more than if they remained with their existing service carrier. An earlier report reached similar conclusions. Healey has filed legislation that would bar competitive suppliers from contracting with new residential customers after January 1.”

In another item from CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie baker and the Legislature on Wednesday rushed through a measure that eliminates the state requirement that the next offshore wind contract come in at a price lower than the last one. The so-called declining price cap was approved in 2016 because of fears the price of offshore wind power would be high, with electricity ratepayers needing some protection against excessive prices. But the initial contract price with Vineyard Wind was much lower than expected, so low that many are concerned no companies will even bid on the next contract. Bids are due on the next contract August 9.”

Speaking of wind, it seems our neighbors to the south are making it tough for Vineyard Wind to move forward. From the Boston Globe, “If the nation’s first major offshore wind farm doesn’t get off the ground, there will be plenty of finger-pointing to go around. Some may be pointed at Rhode Island’s congressional delegation. The state’s two senators and two representatives sent a letter on July 12 to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, expressing concerns about how the federal agency has handled the review of offshore wind development. In particular, they want BOEM to be more sensitive to potential conflicts with fishermen and marine life. (They also want the agency to open a regional office in Rhode Island.) The letter doesn’t mention the Vineyard Wind project by name. But the timing indicates Vineyard Wind was on their minds: The letter went out the same week the developer learned that a crucial permit from BOEM would be delayed. Vineyard Wind, a venture owned by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, said it would need the permit within the next several weeks. If not, its 800-megawatt wind farm proposal for waters south of Martha’s Vineyard couldn’t proceed in its current form.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Have a great Friday and weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts House of Representatives approves air monitoring station near Weymouth compressor, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas settles class action lawsuits related to gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Oil and gas groups under pressure to plug leaks, Financial Times

Controversial Williams Pipeline Could Still be Built Despite Rejection, Spectrum News NY1

PSEG on track to reduce emissions 80%, will divest all remaining coal interests, Utility Dive

Rally calls for National Grid to repair gas leaks, Boston Globe

Hempstead Town may drop National Grid to save millions on gas bills for homes, businesses, Newsday

State filings detail lawmakers’ financial interests, possible conflicts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Scientists say they debunked claims of natural warming, E&E News

At Cape planning summit, future is climate change, Cape Cod Times

R.I. says clean energy plan falls short, Providence Journal

These states are producing the most renewable energy. Where does yours rank?, USA Today

New Bedford cited as a leader among clean energy communities, southcoasttoday.com

Pittsfield’s Renewable Energy Work Highlighted, IBerkshires

Few US cities on track to meet climate goals: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Wellesley receives $25,000 grant to help combat climate change, Boston Globe

Three Dartmouth alumni oppose $200 million biomass plant, New Hampshire Union Leader

House passes $1.3 billion for community climate resiliency projects, Wicked Local

Somerset plant awarded low-cost electricity, Niagara Gazette

 

Wind

Offshore wind price protection eliminated, CommonWealth Magazine

Exclusive: First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns, Reuters

Baker developing ‘cure plan’ for Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

R.I. delegation raises concerns with speed of offshore wind review, Boston Globe

Island taking steps to seek mitigation money from Vineyard Wind, The Inquirer and Mirror

Scientists say Vineyard Wind project poses little risk to endangered whales, Energy Central

NY contracts with Eversource project, Journal Inquirer

Renewable groups pressure governor on wind price caps, southcoasttoday.com

Bourne homeowners file suit over turbines, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Brunswick’s tax on solar panels is legal, court rules, Portland Press Herald

Natick High School Could Save $20K with New Solar Panels, Patch

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

“Net zero” schools opening soon in Lexington, receive statewide recognition, Wicked LocaL

Engie Will Pay Storage Developers for Wholesale Market Dispatch Rights, Greentech Media

Study: New York State regulators are ignoring battery-storage trends, IEEFA

NY-BEST: New York peaker study underestimates storage potential, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Senate committee unanimously approves $1 billion for EV, natural gas and hydrogen fuel infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC denies group’s emergency petition, Daily News of Newburyport

Lockheed Martin Doubles Down on Cold Fusion, Motley Fool

CDI joint venture wins contract to decommission Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, S&P Global Platts

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

LaFleur cautions on administrative interference as she exits FERC, Utility Dive

Raimondo’s pick to lead Public Utilities Commission withdraws, Providence Journal

Dozens of Portland streetlights stay dark amid contract dispute with CMP, Portland Press Herald

First in the Nation Municipal Microgrid Program Advances Toward Final Goal Line, Microgrid Knowledge

Small Businesses in New York City Install Microgrids with RISE Funds, Microgrid Knowledge

Lawmakers hike assessment on utilities 50%, CommonWealth Magazine

Power line requiem or the Northern Pass megawatt blues, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Regulator: Decision on CMP rate request likely to be delayed, Portland Press Herald

S&P revises Eversource outlook to negative on offshore wind investment, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Time to put an end to whack-a-mole electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Burning more fossil fuels has no place in addressing climate crisis, Telegram

Jump on solar project while we can, by Stephanie Scherr, Keene Sentinel

Terry M. Jarrett | State power grids feel the strain of summer heat, Tribune-Democrat

The false promise of nuclear power, Boston Globe

Leave a comment

Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending July 12, 2019

Block the Compressor | Vineyard Wind Dealt 2 Blows | CMP Oppo Group Forms

 

Busy day here so no recap this week.

Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

29 senators urge DEP to block Weymouth gas facility, CommonWealth Magazine

At ‘wit’s end,’ Mariano pushes Weymouth air monitoring bill, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth: Legislation Aims at Heavy Oversight of Air Pollution at Compressor Station Sites, WATD-FM

National Grid to NYC customers: Support the Williams Pipeline or no new service, Grist

Officials outline plan to boost businesses still struggling after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

The U.S. Is Overflowing With Natural Gas. Not Everyone Can Get It., Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Study: Carbon tax carries high cost, low benefit, Boston Herald

Climate change means roads should be built differently, UNH researchers say, Boston Globe

Experts Say U.S. Power Grid Needs To Change Before Shifting To All Renewable Energy, NPR

As Brayton Point transforms, Haddad legislation has brought nearly $18 million to Somerset, South Coast Today

$1B Renewable Energy Bill to be Subject of Public Hearing, NECN

Maine Hits Clean Energy Grand Slam, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lowell Council OKs green-energy boost, Lowell Sun

Which States Build the Greenest?, New York Times

Republicans Try to Buff Up Green Image With Environmental Caucus, Bloomberg

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind dealt blows on two fronts, MV Times

AIM to Baker: Modify the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Connecticut issues draft RFP for 2 GW offshore wind, Utility Dive

 

Solar

How New York City Is Turning Its Thousands of Roofs Into Power Providers, New York Times

Polar ice chronicles a toxic metal’s surging production, Nature

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits, Wired

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer, Phys.org

 

Efficiency/Storage

Stem Steps Into Grid-Scale Storage With Partnership in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

New Jersey’s Draft Energy Plan Includes Support for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Home Energy Reports: Still the ‘biggest, baddest way’ to drive customer behavior, Utility Dive

‘Opportunities everywhere’: NREL study shows mass potential for storage to provide peaking capacity, Utility Dive

Why Long Island Could Become New York’s First Energy Storage Hot Spot, Greentech Media

US Green Building Council seeks proposals to strengthen new LEED standard, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Scientist ‘unsure’ of Seabrook nuclear plant’s safety; NextEra says claims ‘simply wrong’, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opposition Group To Launch Petition Effort To Kill CMP’s Transmission Project, Maine Public Radio

RI Ranked 22nd Most Energy Expensive State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Conn. leads the nation in energy costs, Journal Inquirer

National Grid faces possible penalty on non-compliance of NY safety rules, CNBC

Aggressive U.S. energy policy tests ties with European allies. Reuters

Pennsylvania regulators outline criteria for alternative rate proposals to support new tech, Utility Dive

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants, E&E News

N.Y. Launches Grid Modernization Challenge, North American Wind Power

 

Editorial/Opinion

Viewpoint: Mass. must double down on clean energy efforts, Boston Business Journal

Benson carbon pricing bill is smart policy, CommonWealth magazine

Editorial: Independent review makes sense on Berkshire Gas moratorium, Amherst Bulletin

My Turn: Doug Gablinske: Invenergy’s failure will cost all of us, Providence Journal

George Smith: Maine takes on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Dan Weeks: To Sununu: Go solar, Conway Daily Sun

Maine re-asserts its leadership in environmental priorities, Sun Journal

Leave a comment

Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending June 14, 2019

Bury it | Major Risks | Sandwich Solar

 

Happy Flag Day! Here is this week’s energy news.

From the Washington Post, “The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it. It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it. Last month, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpassed 415 parts per million, the highest in human history. Environmental experts say the world is increasingly on a path toward a climate crisis. The most prominent efforts to prevent that crisis involve reducing carbon emissions. But another idea is also starting to gain traction — sucking all that carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it underground. It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it, breathing carbon dioxide and then depositing it via roots and decay into the soil. That’s why consumers and companies often “offset” their carbon emissions by planting carbon-sucking trees elsewhere in the world. But an upstart company, ­Boston-based Indigo AG, now wants to transform farming practices so that agriculture becomes quite the opposite of what it is today — a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.”

If we don’t do something about carbon emissions, the New York Times reports, “Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns. A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration has sought to suppress climate science. Rostin Behnam, who sits on the federal government’s five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a powerful agency overseeing major financial markets including grain futures, oil trading and complex derivatives, said in an interview on Monday that the financial risks from climate change were comparable to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.”

To help get us out of this mess, one company is proposing a solar farm for the Cape. From the Cape Cod Times, “Large-scale solar project proposed for Sandwich. A Denver-based renewable energy company is seeking a special permit to install a large-scale solar panel in a forested area in Sandwich. ASD Cotuit MA Solar is proposing a roughly 5.6 megawatt “ground-mounted solar energy system” for an 18.8-acre site off Cotuit Road. The project will generate clean and renewable energy for homes and businesses and help the state meet its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards goals, proponents say.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot more stories below.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump’s Plan for Finding Oil in Alaska May Put Polar Bears at Risk, Reuters

Kempic “confident” disasters won’t happen again, Andover Townsman

Killingly energy plant plans clear Siting Council hurdle, The Bulletin

DEM to Hold Public Hearing on Invenergy’s Draft Air Permit, GoLocalProv

Gas Pipelines Take a Huge Toll on Delaware River Basin, New Report Finds, Yahoo!

New and better way to assess the climate impact of new pipelines, Environmental Defense Fund

 

Weymouth

Rep. Lynch urges state to hit reset on compressor project, Patriot Ledger

Charlie Baker pressed to halt Weymouth compressor station, Boston Herald

State: New toxins data don’t change stance on Weymouth gas facility, CommonWealth Magazine

State handling of Weymouth air-quality data called ‘unfortunate process,’ Wicked Local Weymouth

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Powerful business group adds climate change to its priorities, Boston Globe

The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it., Washington Post

Wheelabrator Millbury is cited as a top polluter, example of ‘environmental apartheid,’ Telegram.com

Utilities must address widening business-residential knowledge gap on clean energy: Deloitte, Utility Dive

Baker calls for $2.43B in borrowing, Salem News

Extreme weather sends energy demand growth to 9-year high, Financial Times

The Think Tank Struggling to Write the Green New Deal, The Atlantic

Some Republican Lawmakers Break With Party on Climate Change, Wall St. Journal

Planet is entering ‘new climate regime’ with ‘extraordinary’ heat waves intensified by global warming, study says, Washington Post

Maine Passes State-Level Green New Deal for Workforce Development, Greentech Media

Nova Scotia Power says it now generates 30% of its power from renewables, CBC.ca

Climate Change Poses Major Risks to Financial Markets, Regulator Warns, New York Times

Older forests resist change—climate change, that is, Phys.org

Sen. Shaheen hears dire concerns about climate change, Seacoastonline.com

Warming Climate May Reduce Sea Life by 17%, Study Finds, NBC New York

Green Development Says Renewable Energy Proposal Could Save Coventry $19M Over 25 Years, GoLocalProv

 

Wind

Baker addresses pace of offshore wind energy development, Taunton Gazette

Vineyard Wind makes late pitch to residents, South Coast Today

Perfect port an elusive goal for East Coast offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Thanning Pedersen Looks at the Future of OW, New Energy Update

After pause, Maine may have missed the boat on offshore wind, Press Herald

Questions raised over how to bring wind energy to shore, Taunton Gazette

Giant wind farm planned for Allegany, Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties gets mixed reaction, WIVB (NY)

For Fishermen, Wind Farm Debate Contains A Dose Of Inevitability, 27East.com

Estimate the Energy of an Utterly Massive Wind Turbine, Wired

Massachusetts looks to beef up commitment to offshore wind, AP

What’s The Significance Of Connecticut’s New Commitment To Offshore Wind?, WNPR

A clean slate: Bill White brings new energy to wind power firm EnBW, Boston Business Journal

 

Solar

Large-scale solar project proposed for Sandwich, Cape Cod Times

Solar Has New Way to Duck Trump’s Tariffs: Two-Sided Panels, Bloomberg

Maine steps up clean energy turnaround, tees up 80% RPS, pro-solar bills, Utility Dive

Hudson Light joins state solar rebate program, Wicked Local

In Worcester, Access to Solar Energy is Not Equal, Worcester Mag

MA One of States Targeted in Bank of America Solar Initiative, Banker & Tradesman

 

Efficiency/Storage

Green groups ‘stunned’ by fed decision not to hold hearing on energy efficiency rule, The Hill on MSN.com

Viking Cold Solutions Installs 1.3 MW of Thermal Energy Storage in Industrial Cold Storage Facilities as Part of a Massachusetts Utility Demand Management Program, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Board defers decision on nuclear plant owner’s legal motion, Gloucester Daily Times

As Ohio Senate nears vote on nuke subsidy bill, PJM finds closing plants could save $1.6B, Utility Dive

Murphy’s clean energy goals include nuclear in long-awaited master plan, NorthJersey.com

Plan to Reclassify Radioactive Nuclear Waste Spurs Anger, US News & World Report

Part 3: Decommissioning and development – the future of Pilgrim Station, Wicked Local Plymouth

NRC Taking Comments on Petition to Revise Rules on Decommissioning Trusts, Exchange Monitor

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

The money at stake in the battle over CMP’s 145-mile electric line, Bangor Daily News

Judge dismisses antitrust lawsuit against energy providers Eversource, Avangrid, Reuters

More States Explore Performance-based Ratemaking, But Few Incentives in Place, Greentech Media

Governor vetoes bills that target CMP transmission project, Portland Press Herald

National Grid invests in 4 startups, 2 VC funds to boost energy tech, VentureBeat

PUC puts proposed Eversource rate hike on hold, New Hampshire Union Leader

The highly dangerous ‘Triton’ hackers have probed the us grid, Wired

NY utilities to face revenue hit for missed reliability, customer service targets, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hydro power is good, but safeguards needed, CommonWealth Magazine

My Turn: Biomass is an important piece of state’s energy picture, Concord Monitor

Michael Meeropol: How To Pay For The Green New Deal, WAMC

Energy innovation of the future cannot rely on retail choice as its delivery vehicle, Utility Dive

Column: Green energy plan should protect, support our communities, Eagle-Tribune

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Filed under Climate Change, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, Renewables

Energy News for week ending April 12, 2019

Transparent Wood | Housing Upgrade | No. 1 Threat to the Grid

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

 

This week we start with something that’s seems fantastical but is possible – see-through wood. From the New Scientist, “Transparent wood could one day replace glass in windows. A process for turning it see-through also gives it heat-retaining powers, which could help regulate the temperature of buildings. Céline Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and colleagues built on previous work which created transparent wood by removing a structural component called lignin from wood, allowing light to filter through. For the next stage, the team soaked de-lignified birch wood in PEG (polyethylene glycol), a polymer that is also found in theatre smoke machines and toothpaste. When encapsulated in the wood panels, this makes it harder for heat to cross – whether you’re insulating a building against the cold outside, or trying to keep out summer heat…’When we build we try to use a lot of glass, but it has a drawback of being a bad insulator, so there are large amounts of heat loss,’ says Montanari. ‘Wood is really amazing, 10 times better at insulating, but it does not transmit light.’ The composite wood isn’t quite as good an insulator as natural wood, but is around four times better than high-end double glazing. The material can also bear heavy loads and is biodegradable, making it easier to dispose of than concrete or glass.”

Next we have a story that I don’t think anyone can complain about. From WCAI, Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade. “Harwich residents brought doughnuts out for Eversouce Energy workers on Tuesday morning as the crew put up a nest platform for a pair of ospreys on Route 28. The birds arrived in the area at the end of March for nesting season but when they went to settle into their old haunt on top of a telephone pole, the nest was gone. Eversource had dismantled the osprey’s nest and covered the site with a rounded plastic guard because the nest posed a safety hazard, says Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. ‘It is a matter of a risk to our electric system, to people and to ospreys themselves, in fact, as these nests do have the potential to cause a fire.’ Every time Eversouce takes down an osprey nest from one of their utility poles, they look for a nearby location to build an alternative nesting platform, Lamberty says. But they can’t always find a good spot…This time though, the birds got lucky. After bird watcher Sally Steinmann of South Harwich complained to Eversource, the company agreed to build a nest platform off a nearby utility pole. ‘The public outcry is what made this happen,’ Steinmann says. ‘But it’s the birds who made us want to help them.’”

Speaking of grid hazards, most people think cyber attacks are the greatest threat to the electric grid. It turns out that’s not the case. From Inside Sources, “Last week, President Donald Trump released an executive order intended to protect the U.S. from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks against the electric grid. But there is another threat to the grid, one that is far more low-tech and far more common, than a smuggled EMP device: Squirrels. ‘I’m all for increasing grid resilience, but here’s a threat priority list: 1. Squirrels 2. Tree branches 3. Heat waves/hurricanes/other climate-amplified threats,’ joked Costa Samaras, an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation in a tweet. He may have been joking, but his math is dead on.  For a small mammal, squirrels cause a surprising amount of damage to the grid. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by squirrels, cutting off power to more than 193,873 customers. These incidents are more common in the spring and fall but can happen throughout the year. To try to stop the furry menaces and to keep equipment safe, utility companies employ a variety of deterrents like wheels, cages, and guards. Despite these efforts, squirrels are a constant operating hazard.” And here I thought keeping them out of the bird feeder was hard enough.

That’s the news for this week. Enjoy the stories below. Have a great weekend. And if you’re running Boston on Monday, take care and have fun!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sen. Markey unveils federal pipeline safety legislation named after Leonel Rondon, killed in Valley gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Pennsylvania governor under scrutiny for role in approving pipeline, The Guardian

Trump Plans to Sign Executive Orders to Expedite Pipelines, Wall St. Journal

Study: Natural gas pipelines leaking in Danbury, other cities, Connecticut Post

Power Plant Hearings End, Decision This Summer, ECO RI

Compressor Station Opponents Urged to Oppose Gas, ECO RI

Trump’s order would make it harder for states to block pipelines, Kennebec Journal

Utility Blamed for Gas Explosions Resumes Efforts to Replace Damaged Heating Equipment, NECN

Ocean uproar: saving marine life from a barrage of noise, Nature

Dominion gas explosion kills one, injures 17 in North Carolina, Utility Dive

‘Bomb Trains.’ Trump’s Plan to Ship Natural Gas by Rail Raises Alarm, Fortune

MIT says we’re overlooking a near-term solution to diesel trucking emissions, Ars Technica

Inside the Gas Industry’s Plan to Sink Nuclear Power, Daily Beast

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Climate Change Is Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis, The New Yorker

Is Mass. Keeping Its Offshore Wind, Hydro Procurement Promises?, Climate X Change

Global CO2 levels ‘unprecedented’ in last 3M years, E&E News

Millennial legislators bond around push for renewables, Taunton Gazette

Investors Should Worry If Climate Goals Are Missed, Report Warns, Bloomberg

Maryland General Assembly approves 50 percent renewable energy target for 2030, The Baltimore Sun

Nahant earns Green Community designation, Daily Item

100% renewable energy ‘moonshot’ for millennials at Fitchburg State forum, Telegram

Among other millennials, Framingham state Rep. Maria Robinson pushes for renewables, MetroWest Daily News

Climate Change Throws Shade on Forest Wildflowers, Boston University

UNH research: 14 wild bee species native to New England on the decline, New Hampshire Union Leader

Biomass plants ask state Supreme Court to intervene over law, WMUR

 

Wind

State delays decision on Vineyard Wind cable, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind commits to fisheries monitoring, Cape Cod Times

New Jerseyans like the idea of expanding wind power, poll finds, NJ 101.5

New Jersey governor unveils portal to enhance state’s offshore wind supply chain, Utility Dive

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, reNews

Scaling the US East Coast offshore wind industry to 20 gigawatts and beyond, McKinsey & Company

Offshore wind output beats solar for the first time in Germany, Recharge

Bernie Sanders Video Mocks Trump for Being the ‘Only Person in the World’ Who Believes Wind Turbines Cause Cancer, Newsweek

Windsor and Sanford Residents voice their displeasure with a planned wind turbine project, WICZ

 

Solar

L.A. could replace traditional power plants with home solar, experts say, NBC News

New community solar project in Hartland, VT converts brownfield to brightfield, VTDigger

As key solar perk hits sunset, CT grapples with net metering, Connecticut Post

SW looks at solar panels on school roofs, Journal Inquirer

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Windows made of transparent wood could help keep buildings warm, New Scientist

States can grow battery resources with ‘one simple step,’ report finds, Utility Dive

Eversource advances Cape Cod battery project, defers 13-mile distribution line, Utility Dive

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, VTDigger

MASS SAVE earns 2019 Energy Star® partner of the year – sustained excellence award, Utility Dive

Researchers charge ahead on battery storage, Phys.org

Vattenfall to test salt-based power storage technology, Reuters

 

EVs

Bipartisan group of lawmakers proposes extending tax credits for electric, fuel cell vehicles, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Three Mile Island nuclear reactor dismantling could take six decades, more than $1 billion, Philadelphia Enquirer

NRC sets Sept. hearing date for C-10’s filing, Newburyport Daily News

Indian Point Unit 3 returns to service after final refueling, Mid-Hudson News

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewing Millstone decommissioning funds, The Day

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bailout Plan for the State’s Two Nuclear Power Plants, WKSU

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource fights to keep Northern Pass alive, Boston Globe

This Threat To America’s Energy Grid Is Driving Security Experts Nuts, Inside Sources

How the Energy Department Tackles Cyberthreats, Fedtech Magazine

Berkshire delegation says Baker’s cuts to LIHEAP ‘a shock,‘ Berkshire Eagle

ISO-NE considers new seasonal forward market to improve energy security, Utility Dive

CMP wins key certificate from regulators for transmission line, Portland Press Herald

Watertown hydro plant’s three turbines creating power, Watertown Daily Times

Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade, Cape and Islands NPR

Opponents of CMP transmission line project push bills to slow it down, Portland Press Herald

$30M in state funding available for electric grid projects, Syracuse.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Nuclear Power Can Save the World, New York Times

Gas hookup moratoriums are not good for any of us, CommonWealth Magazine

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

Power companies must prove need for extending natural gas pipelines in New England (Letters), MassLive

Steven Kahl: The Electric Economy is the future, Kennebec Journal

As I See It: Solar on all new homes would help protect Massachusetts’ air and water, Telegram

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending April 5, 2019

IMBY| Maine Boost| Duck Hunting

 

Welcome to the April 5th edition of the Northeast Energy News.

This week we start in New Hampshire where the Monadnock Ledger Transcript reports, “A well-known New Hampshire entrepreneur wants to create an home-sized power plant that can provide electricity, heat and hot water using a type of engine that has been around for a century but never really commercialized…Steve Walker, founder of New England Wood Pellet and innovator in the biomass industry, who has founded a tiny company in Peterborough that just got $3 million in federal research money to develop a mini power plant that can fit in your home using a Brayton cycle engine…Walker has assembled a small team and formed a company called IMBY, which stands for “In My Back Yard.” Their goal is to put a Brayton engine combined with a heat pump in a single unit that creates both electricity and heat – known as “combined heat and power,” the most efficient way to generate energy for buildings – and to make it available for about $15,000 installed in a single-family home. If such a unit could provide a home’s electricity, heat, air conditioning and even hot water, as well as act as a backup generator during power outages and possibly make a little money by selling power back into the grid, then there’s definitely a market.”

Now we move east to Maine, where according to the State House News Service via the Worcester Business Journal, “The staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission has recommended a key certificate for a major hydropower project that could bring major economic and environmental benefits to New England, though staffers acknowledged “adverse and significant” effects on scenic and recreational values in areas near the project. Maine’s Public Utilities Commission staff on Friday night recommended a certificate of public convenience and necessity for New England Clean Energy Connect, a 1,200 megawatt transmission line project running 145 miles from the Canadian border to Lewiston, Maine that is designed to move Hydro Québec power into the region.”

With respect to that bit about “’adverse and significant’ effects on scenic and recreational values,” be sure to check out the Editorial/Opinions section for several items related to that topic.

Our last stop this week is Massachusetts, where PV Magazine reports that we have really lousy weather, especially in the winter, at least when it comes to solar. “Massachusetts goes duck hunting. The state has unveiled a straw proposal of its new Clean Peak Standard, which appears to focus on mitigating future “duck curve” effects, as well as meeting winter peak energy demand. And this is good news for solar + battery storage…the administration of Governor Charlie Baker (R) has compelling reasons for designing the policy whose first draft which was unveiled today in Boston: the Clean Peak Standard. This policy is designed to incentivize energy sources that not only supply zero-carbon electricity, but supply it when it is needed.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Statewide review of natural gas systems part of budget bill, Boston Herald

Moulton, Trahan: Act now on gas-pipeline safety, Eagle Tribune

New State Regulation Could Cut Emissions From Natural Gas Leaks In Half, Report Says, WBUR

Citizens speak out during Tennessee Gas Pipeline hearing, Reminder Publications

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Get Ready For 1.5¢ Renewable Electricity, Steven Chu Says, Which Could Unleash Hydrogen Economy, Forbes.com

Goodbye to Arguments Against Renewables. New Studies Find them as Reliable and Cheap as Fossils, Microgrid Knowledge

Siting of Renewables Divides Rhode Island’s Land and People, ecoRI news

 

Wind

We Checked President Trump’s Dubious Claims on the Perils of Wind Power, New York Times

Sen. Collins stresses importance of funding wind energy program, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

As Maine re-ups net metering, fight over solar tariffs brews in Connecticut, Utility Dive

Solar Power’s Benefits Don’t Shine Equally on Everyone, Scientific American

NJ Board of Public Utilities launches solar energy pilot program, Daily Energy Insider

Massachusetts goes duck hunting, pv magazine USA

Rhode Island Sweetens Brownfield Solar Incentives, Solar Industry

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How Massachusetts Compensates Battery Storage Owners for Energy Efficiency: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

Maryland passes energy storage pilot program to determine future regulatory framework, Utility Dive

Clean Energy Group: Massachusetts creates nationwide precedent to reduce storage, Vermont Biz

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, vtdigger.org

 

Nuclear

Senate re-introduces bill to help advanced nuclear technology, Ars Technica

Commission, state to ask feds for Vt. Hearing, Brattleboro Reformer

Pa. Senate bill aims to aid state nuclear plants, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Massachusetts Says it Has Right to Intervene in Pilgrim Plant License transfer, Exchange Monitor

How the nuclear “dread” zone handicaps public support, Axios.com

Why some environmental groups oppose a bill to help out low-carbon nuclear plants, Pennsylvania Capital-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, renews.biz

Hydro project sought by Massachusetts gets boost in Maine, Worcester Business Journal

Controversial $1B Canada-US transmission line gets nod from Maine PUC staff, Utility Dive

ISO-NE releases discussion paper on energy security challenges, solutions, ISO Newswire

Ward councilor, assistant AG fight National Grid rate increase at Brockton hearing, Enterprise News

Safety first, Eagle-Tribune

Major energy project in the works in Peterborough, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Divided Mainers weigh in on CMP’s $1B transmission project, Bangor Daily News

 

Editorial/Opinion

The Climate Needs Nuclear Power, Wall St. Journal

FLOATING WIND TURBINES – A No-Brainer for Newfoundland Offshore, The OGM

Maine Voices: CMP corridor’s climate claims don’t hold up to scrutiny, Press Herald

Letter to the Editor: Dismayed about CMP power line, Daily Bulldog

Do not bury solar energy in Connecticut, The CT Mirror

New England Grid Operator Ignores Value of Offshore Wind, Natural Resources Defense Council

Our View: Maine’s new solar law is just a first step, Press Herald

Viewpoint: Corridor would compromise forests, Mount Desert Islander

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, Pilgrim Closing, solar