Tag Archives: Charlie Baker

Energy News for week ending June 1, 2018

Carried Away | Footprint online | Investing in offshore wind

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth Magazine thinks Massachusetts’ Governor Charlie Baker “may have gotten a little carried away on Wednesday talking about the “terrific pricing” the state is going to get for offshore wind power…The governor’s comments seemed to imply that the price of electricity from the Vineyard Wind project selected last week under a state procurement would be competitive with existing forms of power generation. But that’s highly unlikely, unless analyst estimates are way off base. Prices for the electricity produced by Vineyard Wind are likely to be higher than electricity produced using natural gas and other fuels – just not as high as Baker and many other analysts had expected.”

After delays, the Salem News reported on Thursday that “Salem Harbor Footprint has officially flipped the switch. The $1 billion natural gas-burning power plant on Derby Street and Fort Avenue went online overnight. ‘Beginning at midnight, we’ll be in operation and providing power to Salem, the North Shore and the region,’ said Scott Silverstein, chief operating officer of Footprint Power, which runs the plant. The plant has been providing power to the grid off and on through a series of tests over the last several months. And while there’s still some work to be done at the site, Silverstein said the plant is ready to be fully operational. ISO-New England, the independent organization that oversees the region’s electric grid, was notified of the change on Wednesday.”

Investments in the offshore wind industry in New England continue. Hartford Business reports that $15 million in funding to repair and improve State Pier in New London was approved today. “Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office said Tuesday that the funding would allow the pier to compete with other ports to be used as a staging area by companies that have proposed seven offshore wind farms on the Northeast’s Atlantic coast. That includes an 800-megawatt proposal that’s moving forward in Massachusetts.” And in Rhode Island, the Providence Journal reports that “Deepwater Wind will invest $250 million in Rhode Island and use a local workforce of more than 800 to build a utility-scale offshore wind farm that would be able to meet the electric needs of 200,000 households in the state, CEO Jeffrey Grybowski and Governor Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday morning. The investment by the Providence-based company will include $40 million in improvements to the Port of Providence, the port facilities in the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown and potentially one or more other ports in Rhode Island, where Deepwater would stage construction of the 400-megawatt project that is being called Revolution Wind.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New Jersey is leading the resistance to offshore drilling, Stamford Advocate

Judge Shuts Down Work on Sunoco Pipelines, Cites Danger, US News & World Report

Canada to Buy Kinder Morgan Pipeline for $3.5 Billion, The Wall Street Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Vermont coffee roaster produces ‘green’ beans, WPTZ Burlington

Dan Haar: Fuel cell makers hoping state ends drought, Stamford Advocate

Statewide climate funds tilted toward Long Island, power plant owners, study claims, Albany Times Union

Ben & Jerry’s Bets On Blockchain To Cancel Out The Carbon In Every Scoop, Forbes

Environmentalists: Biomass bill bad for RI, The Pendulum

Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley leading effort to go green, Aleteia EN

 

Wind

Is Baker getting carried away with offshore wind?, CommonWealth Magazine

Baker: Offshore wind energy to feature ‘terrific pricing,’ South Coast Today

Deepwater Wind to invest $250 million in Rhode Island to build utility-scale offshore wind farm, Providence Journal

After a decade of dithering, the US east coast went all in on offshore wind power this week, Quartz

Malloy: $15M would position New London pier for offshore wind activity, Hartford Business Journal

America, your offshore wind is coming: 1.2GW in contracts awarded, Ars Technica

Falmouth insurer pays $255K to settle turbine lawsuits, Cape Cod Times

Fishermen’s lands NJ ‘lifeline,’ renews

New offshore wind farm project will dwarf nation’s 1st one, AP News

 

Solar

Massive solar project planned near wind farm in coastal Maine, Bangor Daily News

Sungrow Wins Deal to Supply Over 50MWh of ESS Solutions to North America, Market Watch

Sun surge in Hudson Valley as solar energy projects make gains, Poughkeepsie Journal

Natick could save nearly $1M with solar panels, MetroWest Daily News

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big savings boost, The News-Times

Vermont law ‘ups the ante’ on energy efficiency, Utility Dive

N.J. sets ‘aggressive’ 2 GW storage target by 2030, Utility Dive

Zero Energy Modular home comes to town, The Valley Reporter

 

Nuclear

Nuke Advisory Panel Leader to Depart, Valley News

Millstone siren malfunctions in Lyme, going off despite no emergency, The Day

Competition drives nuclear industry to look for millions in subsidies, Washington Post

The 60-Year Downfall of Nuclear Power in the U.S. Has Left a Huge Mess, The Atlantic

Oyster Creek nuclear plant submits 60-year, $1.4 billion closing plan, Press of Atlantic City

Vermont Yankee Buyer Says Success Here Could Mean Big Business Elsewhere, Vermont Public Radio

N.J.’s oldest nuclear plant is closing, begins booting workers, NJ.com

 

EVs

California, New York, New Jersey see nearly $1.3B in new EV funding, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Salem power plant online, Salem News

Ratepayers’ group planning class-action lawsuit against CMP, Portland Press Herald

National Grid begins turning Somerset into power hub, Fall River Herald News

Bloomberg Baystate Business: Power, Betting, Beer, Bloomberg

Virtual power plants are now powering electrical grids without fuel, Quartz

Officials: Bird flew into substation, knocked out power, Stamford Advocate

‘Smart’ electric meters come to NJ, bringing fears of Big Brother, The Record

Trump Prepares Lifeline for Money-Losing Coal Power Plants, Bloomberg

Quebec’s electricity deal with cryptocurrency miners makes sense, The Next Web

Hydro Power Not Green Enough for New Hampshire As Regulators Reject Northern Pass Proposal, Inside Sources

 

Editorial/Opinion

LETTER: State doesn’t need the PennEast pipeline, MyCentralJersey.com

Letter to the editor: CMP customer demands answers on big increase in bills, Portland Press Herald

Letter to the editor: Officials abet plundering by Central Maine Power, Portland Press Herald

It’s Time To Take Climate Change Personally, WBUR Boston

My Turn: Scott Wolf: R.I.’s ‘Wild West’ of renewable energy, The Providence Journal

New York is a bad neighbor to New England, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy and DERs Are a Better Deal than New Gas Generation Almost Every Time, Renewable Energy World

The clock is ticking to save TMI and keep our air clean | Opinion, The Patriot-News

Our view: Time for utilities to share in tax cut windfall, Salem News

My Turn: Meredith Angwin: We’ll lose power in future winters, The Providence Journal

Leave a comment

Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending April 13, 2018

Billions needed | Sometime in May | Horror Story

Happy Friday afternoon.

Let’s start off with a climate change story from today’s Boston Globe that shows the region is in for some serious costs when it comes to climate change mitigation. Globe reporter Milton Valencia writes, “A report to be released Friday by the University of Massachusetts points to the challenges the city and the region face in funding solutions to combat climate change, with local neighborhood projects expected to amount to $2.4 billion…A separate UMass team is looking at the feasibility and usefulness of a 4-mile barrier wall that would be constructed in the Boston Harbor that could protect the city’s coastal areas from storm surges. Estimates for that project range from $7 billion to $15 billion.”

One of Massachusetts’ efforts to increase the amount of renewable energy to combat climate change will be a bit delayed. From South Coast Today, “A decision on the state’s first offshore wind contract could come in May, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. ‘That decision will probably happen, I’m guessing, sometime in May,’ Baker said during a stop at The Standard-Times while he was visiting the South Coast. ‘If the date slips, it will slip a little; it won’t slip a lot.’”

What do you think – is it a horror story here or is this just a bunch of hyperbole? A story from the Washington Examiner states, “New England is struggling to keep the lights on as it pursues aggressive clean energy goals, a dilemma that is so troublesome that the region’s power grid operator warns of blackouts if something doesn’t change. ‘I am getting nervous in New England,’ said Robert Powelson, a Republican commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees wholesale power markets, during a recent event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. ‘It is almost like a horror story.’”

OK – that’s the recap for this week. You can find more news and events at Northeast Energy News.

Enjoy the long weekend (if you’re fortunate to have the day off). And here’s wishing good luck to all those running Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Whitehouse preps bill directing study, pilot program for natural gas demand response, Utility Dive

Final Hearings Begin For Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Burrillville, Rhode Island Public Radio

Burrillville, Invenergy settle dispute over alleged misrepresentations about power plant proposal, The Providence Journal

Witness: Burrillville plant could cost ratepayers $14M more, The Providence Journal

What Will It Take to Keep Up With Shale Gas Boom? $170 Billion, Bloomberg

Prometheus Energy And National Grid Complete A Successful Winter Peaking Project In Rhode Island, Oil and Gas Online

Natural Gas Expansion Project Underway In Darien, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

UMass report cautions billions needed for local climate change preparations, Boston Globe

RGGI states call for tighter cap, consistent language in Virginia cap-and-trade programme, Carbon Pulse

Carbon taxes could make significant dent in climate change, study finds, MIT News

Federal Power Rules Threaten New England Renewable Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council

How The New England Aquarium Seeks To Urge Visitors To Act On Climate Change, WNPR News

Advocates ask Red Sox to go green, Metro US

Apple’s Entire Business Is Now Being Powered With Clean Energy, Bloomberg

Exeter town council tables hearings on renewable energy, RICentral.com

 

Wind

Baker: Offshore wind decision likely in May, South Coast Today

24-MW New Jersey Offshore Wind Farm May Be Online By 2020, Renewable Energy World

Fishing industry wants limits, delay on offshore wind rollout, Worcester Business Journal

Vineyard Wind plans operations facility on island, Cape Cod Times

The Biggest Problem for Offshore Wind in the United States Might Be the Ports, gcaptain.com

Hoping for a state contract, Bay State Wind offers more than $2 million in environmental research grants, SouthCoastToday.com

President Trump Expands Wind Leases Off Martha’s Vineyard, The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

UMass Dartmouth to study economic impact of offshore wind on Bay State, Boston Business Journal

The US Wind Sector Toasts Trump’s New Love of Offshore, Greentech Media

To See Offshore Wind Energy’s Future, Look on Shore – in Massachusetts, InsideClimate News

Fishing Industry Wants New Bedford Port Authority to Facilitate Offshore Wind, wbsm.com

 

Solar

Westport Announces New Partnership With Windham Solar, LLC, Patch.com

Rain won’t go through solar panels, so Concord plan gets nixed, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts Nonprofit Makes The Switch To Solar, Solar Industry

Solar Incentives to be Phased Out in Maine, Power Engineering

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A Plug for Plug Load: NY Needs Appliance Efficiency Standard, Natural Resources Defense Council

Town Meeting says ‘no’ to stretch code, Wicked Local Falmouth

Building Energy Codes Can REV Up NYS Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

America Leads Global Energy Storage Development, But China’s Catching Up, Greentech Media

Estimating the Value of Energy Efficiency to Reduce Wholesale Energy Price Volatility, (Report) ACEEE

 

Nuclear

NRC Wants More Financial Details Before Approving Vermont Yankee Sale, VPR

New Jersey Takes a Big Step Toward Renewable Energy (and Nuclear Gets Help, for Now), New York Times

Nuclear Regulatory Commission OKs repairs to Indian Point reactor after leak, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Riverkeeper pledges legal action against efforts to replace Indian Point energy with gas, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Budget Plan Allocates $24 Million for Closing Power Plants ,Westchester Magazine

Feds OK emergency planning changes at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

As Fossil Fuels Melt the Planet, Could Climate Change Cause a Nuclear Meltdown?, Climate Science Watch

Environmentalists split on letting carbon-free nuclear power die, Washington Examiner

First Small-Scale Nuclear Reactor May Be Just Eight Years Away, Bloomberg

Lawmakers, advisory panel plot Pilgrim’s future, Cape Cod Times

 

EVs

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate Settlement Billions Are Funding Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors. Can They Help Overcome Range Anxiety?, The Energy Collective

Why PG&E, National Grid and Enel are charging up to power EVs, GreenBiz

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Report: Worcester, Springfield top Massachusetts cities for inflated ‘competitive supply’ electricity rates, MassLive

CMP’s Kennebec River Gorge deal never came to fruition, Maine Public

Rick Perry: Emergency Action May Not Be the Way to Save Coal and Nuclear, Greentech Media

NYPA proposes rebuilding North-South transmission lines to bolster renewable energy, Utility Dive

New Hampshire utility proposes virtual power plant with Tesla Powerwalls, Utility Dive

Independent audit of soaring CMP bills may not yield answers until end of this year, Press Herald

Tesla delivered massive batch of 2,000 Powerwalls to Vermont electric utility, only ~10% installed, Electrek

Document: 97000 accounts part of Central Maine Power investigation, WABI

New England faces ‘horror story’ of expensive power, Washington Examiner

MISO states push for authority over DER in electricity markets at FERC meeting, Utility Dive

Franklin County: National Grid gouged broadband fund, Glens Falls Post-Star

Eversource: Connecticut customers’ data not compromised in cyberattack, New Haven Register

New Transformer Will Enhance Reliability for Eversource Customers, Londonderry News

Independents and Utilities at Odds Over Who Builds Microgrids in Maryland, Microgrid Knowledge

NYPA continues digital transformation as New York funds grid upgrades, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hats off to North Attleboro, Mansfield electric departments, Sun Chronicle

Go bigger with offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Turbines Not By-Right Use – Letter, Capenews.net

Tom Sullivan: Environmental activists ignore energy security realities, Concord Monitor

Letter: New England needs solar and hydro, Concord Monitor

Opposition to power plant is widespread, Valley Breeze

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending April 6, 2018

Home rating | Drive electric | Hearing on Competitive Suppliers

Good Friday afternoon – albeit a temporarily snowy one. Let’s dive into what we’re reading this week.

What grade will your house get? From the Worcester Business Journal, “A home energy efficiency score would eventually become part of the valuation of all homes on the market in Massachusetts under legislation Gov. Charlie Baker filed on Tuesday to elevate awareness of home energy efficiency and target the residential sector for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Under the bill, [by 2021] home energy auditors would be required to provide homeowners with an easy to understand scorecard that would grade a home’s energy efficiency and provide recommendations for how the home’s energy performance could be improved. While the proposal was cheered by the environmental community, realtors expressed reservations…‘If someone doesn’t have the resources to improve their home it will just be like a scarlet letter on their home,’ said Michael McDonagh, of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.”

Be on the lookout for a new EV ad campaign. According to an article in Green Car Reports, “16 major automakers are joining forces with seven states to promote sales of electric vehicles to consumers. The Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers announced it would launch two separate marketing campaigns – ‘Drive Change, Drive Electric’ and ‘Buyers Wanted’ in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Jersey…EV advocates have long noted that consumers need more education about the benefits of electrics, and these ads will provide it, focusing on performance, affordability, choice, and convenience.”

Last for this week is a follow-up story to last week’s news that Mass AG Maura Healey would like to roll back competitive supply in the residential market. From the Lowell Sun, “House and Senate lawmakers are gearing up to hold an oversight hearing to question companies cited by Healey about what she described as deceptive business practices. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy…is planning the hearing, according to the committee, to ‘consider immediate protective measures and the implications of those actions,’ learn about best practices in other states and explore issues related to the market that Healey said were beyond the scope of her review…The date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled.”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Utility Regulators Want Review Of Vermont Gas Pipeline Construction, Vermont Public Radio

Cyberattack Shows Vulnerability of Gas Pipeline Network, New York Times

Four Gas Pipeline Data Systems Shut Down as Cyberattack Hits, Bloomberg

Algonquin natural gas pipeline in US Northeast delays significant Apr 4 maintenance, Platts

Kinder Morgan still has NGL pipeline plan on pause, Danville Advocate

TransCanada completes Northwest Mainline Loop-Boundary Lake pipeline expansion, Daily Energy Insider

Residents curious, wary about natural gas expansion, Newcanaannewsonline

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

Carbon taxes can be both fair and effective, study shows, Science Daily

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, The New Yorker

Local N.H. Conservation, Climate Groups Launch Renewable Energy Campaign, NHPR

Climate change threatens ski industry, Stowe Reporter

Virginia Supreme Court upholds 100% renewable energy option, PV Magazine

Lawmaker tries to steer investments toward renewable energy, WJAR

Beaton: Natural gas not part of Massachusetts ‘clean peak’ standard, Worcester Telegram

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, New Yorker

Attorney General Maura Healey, other states sue EPA for not enforcing pollution controls, MassLive

ITM Power secures MassCEC’s grant for power-to-gas feasibility study, Power Distribution Utilities Network

Hancock County residents protest Brookfield’s dam operations, MaineBiz

Carbon Tax Bill Moves Slowly Despite Need for Urgency, ecoRI news

Green energy gets cool response at hearing in Exeter, The Providence Journal

Maine regulators approve partial subsidy to keep biomass power plants alive, Press Herald

Biomass owners say director of logging trade group is bad-mouthing business, Press Herald

 

Wind

Ørsted & Eversource Announce 200 Megawatt Connecticut Offshore Wind Farm, CleanTechnica

Three wind power projects submitted to Connecticut DEEP, New Haven Register

Effort to build offshore wind industry in Maine may hinge on 73 cents, Press Herald

Sara Lee Cake Maker Buys Wind Credits to Offset Your Dessert, Bloomberg

BOEM seeks mariners’ input on East Coast wind energy sites, WorkBoat

AEG plans to build US offshore wind vessel fleet, port facilities, Renewables Now

Atlantic wind boost on US menu, reNews

Offshore wind projects make headway, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind blows new life into dormant partnership, NJ Spotlight

Federal Agency To Study Effects Of Electric Pulses From Proposed Wind Farm On Fish, 27East.com

Moody’s likes the look of NJ, other northeastern states, for offshore wind, NJSpotlight.com

Turbine parts to be made in MA, Bay State Wind says, South Coast Today

Delays likely in offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Murphy: Danish off-shore wind firm coming to Atlantic City, Penn Energy

 

Solar

Green Lantern receives CPG for solar array at former Newfane dump, Commons

Town council to reexamine solar ordinance, Ricentral.com

Portland Highlighted for Solar Progress in New Report, Environment Maine

Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, Environment Maine

Maine solar advocates powerless again as House upholds LePage’s veto by 3 votes, Press Herald

LIPA trustees won’t delay new solar energy compensation plan, Newsday

German Developer of Solar + Storage “Smart Flower” Quietly Goes Insolvent, Renewable Energy World

Home Solar Dims as Tesla, Others Curb Aggressive Sales, Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

Longmeadow to participate in solarize program, The Reminder

Solar farms now allowed outside of industrial-zoned areas, The Reminder

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Baker proposal would rate homes on energy efficiency, Worcester Business Journal

Energy efficiency, rooftop solar to trim New England power usage, draft report says, Utility Dive

As DC retreats, NY goes all-in on energy efficiency, Crain’s New York Business

Efficiency Vermont recognized as Energy Star partner by EPA, Vermont Biz

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee’s fuel move is still on hold, Rutland Herald

Amid arguments and warnings, nuclear subsidy bill clears committee, NJ Spotlight

Auction pushes forward for zero-carbon resources, including Millstone, The Day

FirstEnergy Seeks Bankruptcy Protection for Ailing Coal and Nuclear Subsidiaries, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Buyers in seven Northeast states urged to consider electric cars, Green Car Reports

Gas stations pivot to address the threat from electric vehicles, Teslarati

Pennsylvania Driving Toward an Electrifying Win, NRDC

Eversource to Invest $45 Million in Electric Vehicle Charging Ports, CapeCod.com News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Legislature plans hearing into competitive electric supply market, Lowell Sun

Electric supply exec blasts Healey’s ‘one-sided report,‘ Lowell Sun

How to Build a Foundation for New Utility Business Models, Greentech Media

The Microgrid Way: Going Green with Solar & Supercapacitor-based Energy Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon plays power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Sandwich power plant sold, Cape Cod Times

New York is changing the face of energy innovation, Utility Dive

Spring forward: European grid fixes lag that slowed clocks, Penn Energy

Baker treads softly on Healey proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown, CommonWealth Magazine

Updated: ISO-NE seeks to keep 1,600 MW of gas generation from retirement, Utility Dive

Somerset power plant closure will raise water and sewer fees, Southcoastonline.com

CMP customers disputing high bills must pay a portion of them, Press Herald

State lawmakers say customers shouldn’t have to pay for CMP investigation, WGME

I-Team: PUC changes disconnect rules during CMP investigation, WGME

Cyberattack Bleeds Into the Utility Industry, Bloomberg

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

Connecticut grid test planned for May, Thehour.com

Hydro-Québec partner plans appeal in New Hampshire for Northern Pass project, Montreal Gazette

National Grid names new New York president, Albany Times Union

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Renewable energy’s challenges and challengers, Worcester Telegram

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Path to Zero-Subsidy Offshore-Wind Bids, NJ Spotlight

All Americans want cleaner, safer sources of energy to be encouraged, The Laconia Daily Sun

Lawmakers have third chance to avert higher electricity costs for all Mainers, Bangor Daily News

Hildt’s view: Remembering TMI, thankful for C-10, The Daily News of Newburyport

Op-Ed: Why Private Investors Must Fund ‘New Nuclear’ Power Right Now, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

My recipe for embracing renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Tony Giunta: The ripple effect of high electricity prices, Concord Monitor

The simple argument for keeping nuclear power plants open, Vox.com

Letter to the Editor: Pushing for a clean energy future, Daily Free Press

Lawmakers have third chance to avert higher electricity costs for all Mainers, Bangor Daily News

Push back against Central Maine Power, Press Herald

Letter: Stephen J. Nelson: Raise National Grid’s costs when customers lose power, Providence Journal

Tweak needed for clean peak standard, CommonWealth Magazine

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending March 16, 2018

Russians at the switch | Mortally wounded |Clean Peak Standard | What’s in a name

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week brings disconcerting energy news of Russian cyberattacks where hackers had their fingers on the switches at US power plants. According to the story in the New York Times, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will…‘We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,’ said Eric Chien, a security technology director at Symantec, a digital security firm. ‘From what we can see, they were there. They have the ability to shut the power off. All that’s missing is some political motivation,’ Mr. Chien said.”

Earlier in the week, Portland Press Herald wrote about the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s decision to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass Project, “The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor…The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from Beattie Township, on the Canadian border north of Route 27 and Coburn Gore, through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail. The project cost would be borne by Massachusetts electricity customers.”

Speaking of Massachusetts, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection…The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”

Utility Dive noted that one provision of the bill is the creation of a “new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive…The proposed legislation language would direct the Department of Energy Resource to create a new clean peak standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers. The standard will require all retail electricity suppliers to provide ‘a minimum percentage of kilowatt-hour sales’ from clean peak energy resources, ultimately determined by regulations. The legislation specifies that, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ the Clean Peak Standard cannot raise individual customer rates more than $0.005/kWh in the aggregate of any year.”

Last for this week, and to end on a lighter note, is a story from Newhampshire.com which reports that some folks in New Hampshire, Seabrook to be specific, are having a hard time believing that Disney writers weren’t making ties to their community in a movie called “Zombies.” The movie is, “set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem? The fictional town is named Seabrook.” Seabrook Selectman Aboul Khan said that he’s not “worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant. ‘We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,’ he said. ‘We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.’”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Gas Pipeline Buildout Hits Bottleneck in Massachusetts, Natural Gas Intelligence

Scituate is withdrawing their opposition to Invenergy and their support for Burrillville, Uprise RI

Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?, Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers hear dueling pipeline positions, Hartford Business

From Asthma to Cancer, ‘Blistering’ New Report Details Human Cost of Fracking, EcoWatch

New York Loses Bid to Block Millennium Gas Line Project, Bloomberg Quint

Pipeline Opponents Pleased With Caveats, Valley News

Federal Regulators End Key Tax Benefit for Certain Pipeline Companies, Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Storms focus attention on climate change, as Gov. Charlie Baker releases $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, MassLive

Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive

Push is on for carbon tax in New York, Lockport Journal

Clean energy projects in Albany to get share of $1.4 billion in state money, Albany Business Review

Regional plan could provide local say on renewables, Stowe Reporter

3rd District candidate unveils green-jobs plan, Lowell Sun

State of renewables not what you might think, Rutland Herald

Could FERC Order Put State Clean Energy Policies in Danger?, Greentech Media

Report: Severe weather in Northeast tied to warming Arctic, Cape Cod Times

Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security, Natural Resources Defense Council

Towns tell state leaders to act on climate change. Are they listening?, vtdigger.org

Connecticut renewable energy supporters to push for legislative gains, Litchfield County Times

Climate Change Resolution Adopted In 35 Communities, Vermont Public Radio

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse featured among ‘Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy’, MassLive.com

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, CleanTechnica

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

NA Markets: Compliance demand re-emerges in California as RGGI awaits next week’s auction, Carbon Pulse

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

 

Wind

Bay State Wind Teams With Massachusetts Energy Storage Company, NA Windpower

Ocean City loses bid to push back offshore wind developments, Delmarvanow.com

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind backers push New London area as potential hub, theday.com

Report Quantifies Economic Impact Of Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Proposal, North American Windpower

Offshore wind company partners with Red Sox, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind plans workforce development, Barnstable Patriot

Bay State joins permit fast lane, reNews

 

Solar

Worry over solar sprawl spreads across Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Solar-powered brewery donates extra power to senior center, Caledonian Record

US solar forecast ratcheted down as tariffs weigh, The Week

Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well, Washington Post

Vermont lodge and bierhall goes solar, Solar Power World

A Push To Expand A Struggling Sector Of Solar Energy In Connecticut, WSHU

Wilton among state leaders in solar technology, Thehour.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A global game changer for energy efficiency investments, Environmental Defense Fund

How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery, Treehugger

Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings, Bloomberg

Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy, Popular Science

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy, Hartford Courant

For utilities trying to drive conservation, mixed messages may be best, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

Vermont Yankee sale case will extend into summer, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Community Engagement Experience Takes Place On Saturday in Barnstable, CapeCod.com News

Disney: ‘ZOMBIES’ movie set in power plant town called ‘Seabrook’ a coincidence, NewHampshire.com

Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power, Futurism

The quiet fight to finally send nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Washington Examiner

Nuclear subsidy bill re-engineered as three separate measures, NJSpotlight.com

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable, Greentech Media

 

Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are becoming increasingly greener in the US thanks to a cleaner electric grid, Energy Central

Pennsylvania proposal could bolster EV charging infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says, New York Times

Split FERC approves ISO-NE 2-part capacity market plan, Utility Dive

Powelson ‘very nervous’ about long-term reliability in ISO-NE, Utility Dive

ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation, Platts

Report Examines Comparatively High Expenses For New England’s Power Grid Operator, New England Public Radio

Lawyer: Site Evaluation Committee won’t decide whether to reconsider Northern Pass rejection until May, Union Leader

Time running short for N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Prospects improve for CMP’s $950 million power line plan, Press Herald

Northern Pass Hydropower Project Again Delayed, ecoRI news

Utility workers travel to restore Cape’s power, Cape Cod Times

State launches probe into utilities’ response to 2 storms, Albany Times Union

7News Investigates: Seeking Power Outage Solutions Underground, WHDH TV

Cryptocurrency Companies to See Electric Rates Rise in NY. Opening for Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Schneider Electric and REC Solar collaborate on Massachusetts microgrid, Solar Power World

Pennsylvania Microgrid Bill Wins Committee Vote. Heads to House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Stanley Rosenberg: Building our green, clean energy future, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Securing a clean energy future, Gloucester Times

Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs, Bangor Daily News

Letter: Thanks to supporters of renewable energy, Bennington Banner

New York Is Moving Aggressively To Harvest Its Offshore Wind, Forbes

Letter: A proposal on the Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee candor: A deal to decommission Vermont Yankee is promising, but only if it involves transparency, The Keene Sentinel

Stop pouring money into fusion energy research, Eagle Tribune

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

Energy News for week ending March 9, 2018

Getting Testy | Climate Bill Expected | Fusion Power

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We’re hoping you’re all safe, warm, and have electricity. And if not, that you get it back soon. Here’s to the men and women who are out there working hard to restore power and get people back into their homes.

Now for the news.

When it comes to the pipeline debate, according to CommonWealth Magazine, things are getting testy – at least on Twitter. From the article, “It started on Tuesday when [Tim] Murray, president of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, retweeted a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette raising concerns about New England’s shortage of gas in late December and early January, which forced the region to generate electricity by burning 2 million barrels of oil. ‘Underscores why we need natural gas as bridge fuel while we aggressively pursue renewable energy future…,’ Murray tweeted. The comment prompted a lot of pushback from individuals and groups who oppose the construction of new natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Some called natural gas a ‘bridge to nowhere.’”

Among those opposed to Murray’s Tweet was the Blue Mass Group that had a tweet-storm about it this morning. The Sunday Boston Globe editorial about the prospects of transporting LNG which included statements, such as “faddish anti-pipeline politics,” and “The counterproductive results of the state’s experiment with moral purity…” also resulted in pushback with blog posts by Charley on the MTA at Blue Mass Group and Craig S. Altemose of 350 Massachusetts at CommonWealth Magazine.

The recent back to back Nor’easters with their coastal flooding, high winds, and heavy precipitation have some asking for climate change mitigation measures to happen sooner rather than later. In an article from Katie Lannan of the State House News Service in the Greenfield Recorder, we have word that “Gov. Charlie Baker said he plans to file legislation next week addressing climate change…‘A lot of these places got hit pretty hard in the January 4 storm as well, and I think we’re going to have to come up with a different kind of strategy around resilience,’ Baker said during his monthly appearance on WGBH Radio.”

In our new energy technology feature for the week we have news from MIT that “Progress toward the long-sought dream of fusion power — potentially an inexhaustible and zero-carbon source of energy — could be about to take a dramatic leap forward. Development of this carbon-free, combustion-free source of energy is now on a faster track toward realization, thanks to a collaboration between MIT and a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems. CFS will join with MIT to carry out rapid, staged research leading to a new generation of fusion experiments and power plants based on advances in high-temperature superconductors — work made possible by decades of federal government funding for basic research.” What’s interesting about the federal research aspect is that according to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is considering cutting the funding for the international fusion energy project.

As always you can find upcoming events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cheap fuel, stagnant demand drive down New England wholesale prices, Utility Dive

National Grid gas operations center coming to Peabody, The Salem News

The Next Standing Rock? A Pipeline Battle Looms in Oregon, New York Times

Hearings close on Woodridge Lake pipeline proposal, Torrington Register Citizen

Federal agency refutes EDF claims about gas pipeline usage, Wicked Local Dedham

Regulators OK Lebanon Gas Project, Valley News

National Grid pays $7 million for overcharging Massachusetts customers, Boston Business Journal

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, Gloucester Times

PUC orders emergency shutdown of key natural gas pipeline, Pittsburg Business Journal

Pipeline debate gets testy on Twitter, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

As Storms Batter Electric Grid, More Mainers Consider Cutting The Cable, MainePublic.org

As Storms Intensify, A Climate-Change Standoff Continues On Beacon Hill, WBUR

Climate change bill expected from Baker next week, Greenfield Recorder

Getting to green: At BCC summit, plotting the path to 100% renewable energy, Berkshire Eagle

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

Climate Action Makes Business Sense – See These Recent Commitments, Energy Manager Today

Young female scientist hopes to create energy efficient biofuel from bacteria, ABC Online

Questions raised over Stored Solar’s biomass subsidy, Mainebiz

Maine island’s plan to build its own energy grid could change the game for remote communities, Bangor Daily News

 

Wind

New York Readies Environmental Impact Statement for Offshore Wind Plan, Renewable Energy World

Savoy wind project chases May deadline to begin construction, National Wind Watch

These huge new wind turbines are a marvel. They’re also the future., Vox.com

BCC, Bay State Wind will partner on new Mass. energy industry, SouthCoastToday.com

Massachusetts Could Win Big In Offshore Wind Energy, WBUR

 

Solar

Why High-Efficiency Solar is Perfect for New England, Renewable Energy World

Maine House passes solar policy fix, pv magazine USA

Northeast Automatic Sprinkler Co. Installs Rooftop Solar To Power Massachusetts Facilities, Energy Manager Today

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy-efficiency gets Wilmington push, Lowell Sun

When The Heat Escapes Chilly New England Homes, So Does Money, WNPR News

Everything you need to know about making your home energy-efficient, Washington Post

The U.S. just hit a major milestone for energy storage — which is also great news for solar, Washington Post

ANALYSIS: Energy storage grows as renewables penetrate the grid, Platts

For backup power, batteries join the mix as prices come down, The Boston Globe

IRS Letter on Home Batteries Could ‘Open Floodgates for Residential Storage Retrofits,’ Greentech Media

 

Nuclear/Fusion

State strikes deal with Entergy and NorthStar on Yankee sale, Rutland Herald

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

The Energy 202: Trump administration must decide whether to back the biggest nuclear fusion project ever, Washington Post

MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power, MIT News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Canada approves disputed Northern Pass transmission line, Utility Dive

‘This Is On Them 100%’: Fire Chief Blasts National Grid For Storm Response, CBS Boston / WBZ

Eversource has concern about Trump tariffs, even as it cuts NH electric rates, Concord Monitor

5 things to know about your record-high CMP bill, Bangor Daily News

ISO New England issues abnormal conditions alert, Platts

New England Power Grid Operator Budgets Soaring, Hartford Courant

New England’s wholesale electricity prices in 2017 were second-lowest since 2003, Vermont Biz

Overheard at ISO-NE’s Consumer Liaison Group Meeting, RTO Insider

Officials To Discuss Multi-Municipality Energy Aggregation, WAMC

Haverhill Finalizes National Grid Streetlight Purchase, Cheaper Electricity Bills on the Way, WHAV News

DES Proposes Conditions For Burying Eversource’s Seacoast Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northampton eyes energy aggregation with Amherst, Pelham, Daily Hampshire Gazette

4 Predictions for Blockchain in Energy in 2018, Greentech Media

9% of region’s power bill incurred in one week, CommonWealth Magazine

Democrats Release Infrastructure Plan With $80 Billion for Grid Upgrades, Greentech Media

Hydro-Quebec Pursues New Strategy with Lac-Mégantic Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Winter cold snap a case study for energy grid limitations, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Northeast tries to dig out, power up after latest storm, Penn Energy

At your service: How well do New York’s utilities respond to customer complaints?, Energy Central

 

Editorial/Opinion

After the Storm: Building our green and clean energy future (Guest viewpoint), MassLive.com

Our Opinion: Continuing to lead on renewable energy, Berkshire Eagle

Our View: Quebec hydro line could leverage new pipe for gas, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Gas-by-train? Beacon Hill opens the door, The Boston Globe

David Brooks: An oil refinery (yes, an oil refinery) was almost built on the NH Seacoast, Concord Monitor

Christopher Kilfoyle: Solar under siege from Cape Cod to Berkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Viewpoint: Energy and the economy — let’s move forward, Boston Business Journal

We’re not absolutists, we’re realists, CommonWealth Magazine

Globe, put down the pipe, BlueMassGroup.org

Climate readiness: think big, act fast, Boston Globe

Can carbon prices fire up gas demand in electricity generation? – The effects of a carbon price on natural gas and carbon emissions, Penn Energy

A new approach to fusion energy starts today, Boston Globe

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin

 

Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from Phsy.org, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for  events. Have a great weekend.
 

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB, Ricentral.com

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process, MainePublic.org

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio

 

Wind

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines, Phys.org

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update, lexocology.com

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?, publicnow.com

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards, MassLive.com

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent

 

Nuclear

NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee, NJSpotlight.com

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs, MassLive.com

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike, theday.com

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes, wwlp.com

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine, NJ.com

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower, vtdigger.org

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar