Tag Archives: Charlie Baker

Energy News for week ending August 11, 2017

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

Happy Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biomass

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts may overlook climate impacts of biofuels, Salon.com

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

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

Editorial: Need for biomass balance, Daily Hampshire Gazette

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

Renewable Energy

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

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

US offshore pipeline ‘tops 24GW’, reNews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

Can We Make Nuclear Power Great Again?, Greentech Media

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

Northern Pass clears federal hurdle, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Exelon Set to Expand Massachusetts Peaking Plant, Power Magazine

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

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

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

Proposed National Grid rate hikes draw concern, Ricentral.com

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

Pick up the pace on clean energy, Commonwealth Magazine

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

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

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

Letter: Eversource claims warrant skepticism, Concord Monitor

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending July 21, 2017

TGIF to all!  A few news items of note…

The Patriot Ledger reports Gov. Charlie Baker has broken his long silence on the controversial natural-gas compressor station Monday, ordering state agencies to review the Fore River project’s potential impact. Spectra Energy wants to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor on the river bank.

Construction has started on what is expected to be Maine’s largest municipally owned solar array. The one-megawatt solar array will be composed of 2,944 solar panels. Officials expect the array to generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year according to U.S. News & World Report.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee recently voted to slash Energy Star funding in the fiscal year 2018 budget — an improvement over previous calls to cut the program entirely, but advocates say the impact could still be “crippling.”

Natural Gas

Baker’s review of Weymouth compressor station applauded, Patriot Ledger

Stepping up the pressure, Boston Globe

State to look into health, safety concerns around Weymouth compressor station, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Gov. Baker orders state to investigate compressor station issues, Greenfield Recorder

Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property, Washington Post

Unitil to expand natural gas line through downtown, Fosters.com

Pipeline Construction, And Protests, Continue In Sandisfield, NEPR

Finding leaks while they’re easy to fix, MIT News

Renewables

South Portland’s Major Solar Array Project Begins, U.S. News & World Report

New Hampshire law benefits biomass power production, Biomass Magazine

Record Demand Puts Popular N.H. Renewable Energy Rebate Program On Hold, NHPR

Federal SunShot program funds $5.5M in Mass. solar projects, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

California Leads Off: Now RGGI Must Grab the Climate Baton, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource rate case poses woes for solar projects, Patriot Ledger

Solar debate heats up again, Boston Globe

Falmouth ruling bolsters cause for neighbors of Plymouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth – Episode 41 of Local Energy Rules Podcast, Renewable Energy News

Brookline launches renewable energy program with opt-out system, Wicked Local Brookline

Bay State Wind Receives First Offshore Wind Site Assessment Plan Approval in the United States, (Press Release) Business Wire

Maine large-scale manufacturers eligible for energy rebates, Mainebiz

Energy Efficiency

House Appropriations Committee votes to cut Energy Star funding 40%, Utility Dive

Green Energy Committee: Lincoln residents complete 162 home energy assessments, Wicked Local Lincoln

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Illuminate Six Ion Bank Branches, Patch.com

Nuclear

EXCLUSIVE: Gov’t Red Tape Costs Every Nuclear Plant $63 Million Annually, Daily Caller

Washington, DC firm signed to dismantle Vermont Yankee reactor, Commons

US Finds ‘Apparent Violations’ of Security at Millstone, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Delays Push Burrillville Power Plant Toward Irrelevance, ecoRI news

More than 100 state legislators join opposition against Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

New Energy Alert Can Do More Than Save You Money, ecoRI news

Vermont regulators to examine grid modernization, Utility Dive

Options for Energy Storage that Aren’t Batteries, WCAI

Electric meter mistake costs Monson family big bucks, Western Mass News

Indigenous Community Airs Long-Standing Grievances at Northern Pass Hearing, NHPR

Footprint plant work extension to go forward, The Salem News

In Webster, Residents Weigh In On New Proposed Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Quakers go on 60-mile pilgrimage from Portsmouth to Bow in protest of coal-fired plants, The Union Leader

Grid threats require ‘imagining the unimaginable’ — report, E&E News

Editorial/Opinion

Pilgrim closure requires oversight, not panic, Cape Cod Times

A lousy electric bill: Concord not on ratepayers’ side, The Union Leader

CMP chief: Lawmakers should sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of solar bill, Press Herald

Editorial: Bridging the gap of energy eras, Concord Monitor

Letter: Let Pessamit Innu speak on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Letter: Fight the power, Concord Monitor

Events

2017 Fuels Conference, Northeast Energy and Commerce Association, Marlborough, MA, September 27, 2017

Microgrid 2017 Conference, IDEA, MRC and Microgrid Knowledge, Boston, MA, November 6-8, 2017

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending July 14, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon all.

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

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

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

Kudos to Anika.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

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

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

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

Massachusetts regulators approve NRG gas plant, Utility Dive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eversource Expands Natural Gas System in New Canaan, HamletHub

Renewable Energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rhode Island Looks to Sustain Clean Jobs Gains, RTO Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

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

The Latest In Nuclear Energy, New Hampshire Public Radio

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

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

Debunking Three Myths About “Baseload,” Energy Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending July 7, 2017

Happy Energy News Friday.

Let’s start with a nod to Yogi Berra’s quote that “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” We have several stories this week where various people are questioning whether several energy projects are dead, or are just on a rain-delay of sorts.

We’ll start on the Cape where residents of Falmouth aren’t sure they should be celebrating about the shutdown of the turbines at the waste treatment facility (Cape Cod Times). Why? Because as the Falmouth Enterprise reports, there are still lawsuits up in the air (their pun, not mine). Moving to central Mass, opponents of the West Boylston Lateral, which was part of the Access Northeast project, tell the Telegram “they are thrilled that the proposal has been put on hold. But they fear the controversial project will be revived.”

After we sent last week’s Energy News, utilities in MA jointly issued their first solicitation for offshore wind power (MassLive). And this week, as is reported on BostonGlobe.com, several environmental groups are “imploring the Baker administration to accelerate the state’s nearly 10-year timeline to establish a pioneering clean energy industry in Massachusetts.” All kinds of allegations are bandied about in the article, including an “unholy alliance” between Governor Charlie Baker’s regulators and the utility companies.

When you have some time give a listen to Greentech Media’s Guide to Blockchain and Energy. They explain how blockchain is already being applied to utility operations and energy markets, and where the long-term potential lies. Another unrelated but interesting story comes from Vox.com, which reports that states and cities are forming a kind of parallel national government around climate change.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Rehoboth officials hail end to compressor station saga, The Sun Chronicle

Pipeline foes fear renewed effort to build West Boylston Lateral, Worcester Telegram

Access Denied: Mounting opposition buries pipeline plans, Worcester Sun

Weymouth compressor station opponents say battle is not over, Wicked Local Weymouth

EcoRI’s Carini on Raimondo’s “Regret” Over Putting “Thumb on the Scale” in Invenergy Debate, GoLocalProv

Some Pipeline Protestors In Otis State Forest Face Fines, WAMC

Native Americans Sue Frackers Over Manmade Earthquakes, National Geographic

UK gets first big shipment of US liquefied natural gas, Financial Times

Climate Change

Blue America reaches out to the world, ignoring Trump, Vox.com

Renewable Energy

Massachusetts utilities release first offshore wind RFP under new state energy law, MassLive.com

Environmental groups push to shorten offshore wind timeline, Boston Globe

New Haven commits to using only renewable energy for city operations, New Haven Register

Falmouth neighbors worried celebration premature in fight against wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Multiple Wind Turbine Lawsuits Remain Up In The Air, Falmouth Enterprise

Newport Harbor Home to Floating Microgrid Platform for Charging Electric Marine Vessels, ecoRI news

Connecticut Chooses New Sites For Statewide Solar Plan, WSHU

Second Circuit Upholds Conn. Renewable Procurement Law, RTO Insider

Fledgling Berkshire Communities Green Network seeks to rally ‘green communities,’ Berkshire Eagle

Connecticut DEEP picks Shelton for shared-solar project, New Haven Register

State approves Brattleboro landfill solar array, vtdigger.org

Massachusetts landfill gets solar panels, Waste Today Magazine

Marine Conservationist On New England’s Potential To Harness Energy From Ocean Tides, Rhode Island Public Radio

Mass Solar Connect Program Helps Massachusetts Consumers Shop Around, Solar Industry Magazine

The Energy Secretary Is Wrong: The Grid is Ready for Renewables, Yale Environment 360

Offshore needs the big players, Windpower Monthly

Expediting a Renewable Energy Future With High-Voltage DC Transmission, Greentech Media

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on SHF Systems, Energy Central

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

Energy Efficiency

Energy Department to reconsider Obama energy efficiency rule, The Hill

How Much Of A Stretch To Become A Green Community?, Cape Cod Chronicle

It’s Good to be Green: State Provides $250K in Energy Saving Grants, The Belmontonian

Buying into a low-energy subdivision may be too costly for some, Press Herald

Nuclear

NRC: Vermont Yankee can send tainted water to Idaho, Commons

14 environmental, energy, consumer groups oppose Millstone bill, theday.com

NRC to determine C-10 status as nuke plant interveners, Seacoastonline.com

Hackers Are Targeting Nuclear Facilities, Homeland Security Dept. and F.B.I. Say, New York Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Electricity market: Pricing change can mean free power, The Union Leader

A Guide to Blockchain and Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Energy Storage Target Comes with Less Clout but More Money, Microgrid Knowledge

Power Plant Project Wins Key Approval, Sandwich Enterprise

Look out, your town may switch you to a ‘greener’ energy plan, The Boston Globe

MBTA withholds portions of power line agreement with Eversource, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid, IBEW to build Granite State Power Link project, Union Leader

Group to protest Seacoast Reliability Project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Distributed energy resources pose biggest disruption to utility business model, Electric Light & Power

Public Power Skeptical of ISO-NE Two-Tier Capacity Auction, RTO Insider

AG finds no open meetings violations concerning special January meeting, Johnston Sun Rise

Rick Perry says he had nothing to do with Trump’s energy budget, Business Insider

Editorial/Opinion

Around New England: Ignoring boom in solar energy, The Westerly Sun

Columnist Marty Nathan: Citizens must stand against environmental assaults, GazetteNET

HINGHAM COMMENTARY: Any benefit from compressor station?, Wicked Local Hingham

Letter: Shannon Reynolds: Even on temporary basis, natural gas is not the answer, The Providence Journal

Nancy Martland: DOT Should Follow NH Law For Norther Pass Burial Route, Caledonian Record

Eversource ever untrustworthy, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Reviewing the Legislature’s energy accomplishments, New Hampshire Business Review

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending March 3, 2017

Happy FriYAY! An arctic storm front is expected to move through this evening so bundle up – winter is back, but the forecasters say it’s just for a couple of days.

In this week’s news, we have a story from Vox that explains RGGI. But, they note there is good and bad news. The good news is that it’s working. The bad news is that it’s not reducing carbon. To clarify that they wrote, “it (RGGI) has benefitted from emission reductions in the Northeast, but it hasn’t really caused any, or at least not many. Whether it can serve as an instrument of meaningful decarbonization — and retain its integrity and popularity — largely remains to be seen.”

Speaking of decarbonization, North American Windpower reports that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is seeking to grow renewable energy in the state by a “whopping” 1,000 percent. In the press release she said, “The goal will include energy from a broad portfolio of clean energy resources, including offshore and onshore wind and solar.” The article goes on to note that a Providence Business News article brings up a notable point: There is not yet any legislation to go along with the governor’s goal. Further, as of June 2016, approximately 95% of Rhode Island’s net electricity generation was derived from natural gas.

Last note for today – Wicked Local Woburn tells a story of how a monster slowly made its way through several Massachusetts towns. A high capacity autotransformer, weighing approximately 467,000 pounds, was moved from a dock in Everett to Eversource’s Woburn substation on Pond Street. The 35-foot long, 13-feet wide, 18-feet tall piece of equipment was moved with State Police escort on a 12-axel transport trailer through Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, Medford, Arlington and Winchester. The convoy traveled at about 5 miles per hour over several hours, Eversource officials said. Here’s to improved electric capacity and reliability!

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

3 million Americans at risk from human-induced earthquakes this year, USA TODAY

Residents quietly protest proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

Revealed: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Close Ties to Lobbyists for Spectra Energy, Whose Pipeline Projects He Backs, DeSmog

Rehoboth selectmen unhappy with Spectra Energy, The Sun Chronicle

Cities, Enviros Urge FERC To Pull Pipeline Project OK, Law360

Propane for schools removed from budget; Town to explore natural gas, New Canaan Advertiser

Earthquakes Have to Do with One Very Specific Part of Fracking, Big Think

Trump’s new pipelines are going to get a ‘dog fight’ in some parts of the United States, CNBC

Renewable Energy

Eversource solar array project stalled once again, Berkshire Record

Wind Turbines Loom on Off-Cape Waters, Wicked Local Wellfleet

NH’s wood heat efforts slow, NH Business Review

Making it happen: 2017 is the year for US offshore wind energy, Windpower Engineering

Rhode Island Governor Plots Whopping 1,000% Renewables Increase, North American Windpower

The Northeast’s carbon trading system works quite well. It just doesn’t reduce much carbon, Vox

Vermont among leaders in solar jobs per capita, Vermont Biz

Environmental groups to make hard push to reverse Maine’s new solar rules, Press Herald

Trump Can’t Stop This: Global Renewable Energy Booms, Natural Resources Defense Council

How to Support Renewable Energy (and Why You Really Should), Scientific American

N.Y. tries to balance solar power growth with land-use issues, USA Today

Energy Efficiency

Don’t Underestimate the Secondary Benefits of Energy Efficiency, Energy Manager Today

Heating (Or Cooling) Costs Too High? Heat Pump Technology Has The Answer, Hartford Courant

A Carbon Tax Gains Traction Among Some Conservatives, MainePublic.org

Nuclear

Entergy takes step toward Pilgrim shutdown, Cape Cod Times

State schedules Vermont Yankee sale hearing, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim Station decommissioning panel has four Plymouth members, Wicked Local Plymouth

Scientists Say They’re Finally Getting Close To Fusion Power, Daily Caller

2 Connecticut energy bills aim to help Millstone owner, spur fuel cell use, New Haven Register

NRC bans fired Seabrook Station nuclear plant guard, Seacoastonline.com

California Nuclear Closures Resulted in 250% Higher Emissions from Electricity, The Energy Collective

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Renewables and Microgrids and Nothing Else: Crazy or Maybe?, Microgrid Knowledge

Wholesale electric prices reach new low in New England, but retail prices remain high, Boston Globe

Suppliers see lower electric prices ahead, NH Union Leader

Exelon: Millis water not needed for Medway plant, MetroWest Daily News

State approves transmission line to run under Winchester roads, Wicked Local Winchester

ISO-NE Begins Discussing Order 1000 Public Policy Tx Projects, RTO Insider

2 Vermont utilities say customers targeted by phone scam, Penn Energy

Wholesale electricity prices drop to 13-year low, CommonWealth Magazine

Needham selectmen dig deeper into Eversource project, Wicked Local Needham

Public Hearings to Discuss Eversource’s Proposed Rate Hike, CapeCod.com

Public counsel fires back over businesses’ Northern Pass claims, New Hampshire Business Review

How Secure Is Our Smart Grid?, Government Technology

Woburn autotransformer to up energy output, Wicked Local Woburn

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Making ‘dirty energy’ a thing of the past, MetroWest Daily News

Should Massachusetts commit itself to 100 percent renewable energy?, Boston Globe

Support RGGI for cleaner, healthier air, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Columnist Marty Nathan: Massachusetts leads on renewable energy, GazetteNET

Your Turn, NH — David Worthen: RGGI is good for NH businesses, The Union Leader

Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health — Here’s Why, Forbes

Invenergy plant provides today’s power needs, Valley Breeze

OPINION: Energy efficiency saves money, adds jobs, Daily Record

You Can’t Have Offshore Wind Power Without Petroleum, Forbes

Guy Page: Earlier decommissioning of Vermont Yankee has multiple benefits, vtdigger.org

The trials and triumphs of offshore wind, GreenBiz

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending February 24, 2017

TGIF. There are lots of stories and opinions this week. Let’s start with some intrigue. CommonWealth Magazine reports that some environmentalists are “alleging that the 1,200 megawatt clean energy solicitation developed by the Baker administration is biased in favor of large-scale hydro projects favored by some of the state’s utilities.” The intrigue comes in because “the state’s electric utilities are not only helping to write the RFP with the Department of Energy Resources but expect to benefit from it by building the transmission lines that deliver the power.”

Questions about the future Rehoboth Gas Compressor Station and the Access Northeast Pipeline are also rattling around in the Attleboro area according to the Sun Chronicle. Some suggest (hope?) that the cancellation of a public meeting means the project is dead. Others say, not so fast. One item that appears to be dead is the Brockton Power Plant proposal with the news from WickedLocal this week that the land where it was to be sited is up for sale.

In Connecticut, Bloomberg says environmental groups opposed to subsidies for nuclear power may be facing a do-or-die moment when it comes to legislation to help bail-out Millstone Nuclear.

And, lastly, I’m not sure how this fits with “competitive” as in competitive energy markets, but Energy Manager Today reports that in Maine, legislation has been filed that would prohibit a competitive electricity provider from charging a residential consumer a rate for generation service that is higher than the rate charged for standard-offer service. Not sure how that will fly with those who opt to pay more to support renewable generation.

Don’t forget to check out the events page. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Plants

Pipeline developers pursue multi-pronged approach, Hartford Business

Killingly postpones meeting on proposed power plant issues, Norwich Bulletin

6600 spills from fracking in just four states, Science Daily

Fracking Caused Pennsylvania Earthquakes, New Report Confirms, EcoWatch

Cancellation of meeting on Rehoboth gas compressor station raises questions about status of project, The Sun Chronicle

Pipeline advocates gird for battle, The Sun Chronicle

Weymouth mayor looks to state permitting process to halt Spectra station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Baker: State has ‘minor role’ in permitting for Weymouth compressor, The Patriot Ledger

Weymouth compressor station foes raise money for legal battle, The Patriot Ledger

Local pipeline opponents stand with Standing Rock, The Recorder

Trump Eyes Easing Obama Rules for Sprawling Pipeline Network, Bloomberg

Natural Gas Bulls Crushed As Prices Tank, OilPrice.com

How booming US natural gas exports could affect power utilities and consumers, Utility DIVE

Environmental group to EFSB: Pull the plug on Brockton Power over bait-and-switch tactics, WickedLocal

Eversource facing big Beacon Hill challenge, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

Clean energy intrigue alleged, CommonWealth Magazine

Could Massachusetts run on all renewable energy by 2050?, Wicked Local Medford

Study throws cold water on residential solar-plus-storage economics, Utility DIVE

Overheard at the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum, RTO Insider

Baker urged to lead on anti-carbon compact changes, wwlp.com

New farmland harvest – solar energy – creating political sparks, The CT Mirror

New Hampshire church hits zoning snag over solar panels, Press Herald

Why Wind Turbines Should Talk to Each Other, Greentech Media

New Campaign Celebrates Growing Renewable Energy Sector, Solar Industry

Connecticut DEEP rejects two utility storage pilots as too costly, Utility DIVE

Chemists improve batteries for renewable energy storage, Phys.Org

Wind Briefly Sets Record as Source for Electricity in US, Climate Central

Alabama company buys closed biomass power plant in northern Maine, Press Herald

Retiring worn-out wind turbines could cost billions that nobody has, Energy Central

Eversource gains approval for 23-acre solar farm on Montague Plains, MassLive.com

Merrimack officials debate solar panel tax exemptions, The Union Leader

Covanta Extends Partnership with Southeastern Connecticut Communities for Sustainable Waste Disposal, Energy Central

FuelCell officials hope proposed legislation will aid energy procurement in Connecticut, Register Citizen

Baker, officials tout solar incentive program, MetroWest Daily News

US grid can handle more offshore wind power, cutting pollution and power costs, Science Daily

Energy Efficiency

How Every State Benefits from Energy Efficiency Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council

Partnership gives cities such as Somerville millions in energy grants, Wicked Local Somerville

Internet of Things helped Connecticut district cut electricity bill by 84%, Education Dive

Energy groups urge Congress to advance efficiency bill, Daily Energy Insider

Greenfield energy department reduces carbon, costs, Going Green

Nuclear

Closure of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant boosted greenhouse gas emissions in New England, MassLive.com

Dominion’s Nuclear ‘Bailout’ a Do-or-Die Moment for Opponents, Bloomberg

Yankee sale may be in ’18, Rutland Herald

Connecticut girds for nuclear power debate as critics line up against Millstone support bill, Utility DIVE

Public input sought on Seabrook nuke plant degradation, Seacoastonline.com

Citizens panel wants help to deal with Vermont Yankee sale, Commons

Endless nuclear power can be found in the seas, EnGadget

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Maine Legislation Would Cap Retail Pricing, Energy Manager Today

Local officials, environmentalists raise concerns about EPA under Pruitt, MetroWest Daily News

Senate bill could open the door to ratepayer-funded energy projects, Concord Monitor

Land once targeted for Brockton Power project goes up for sale, WickedLocal

Utility raises concerns on emission targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource reports profit gain on eve of key state hearings, Thehour.com

This outspoken refrigeration technician is LePage’s go-to energy advisor, Press Herald

Eversource Investing $36 Million in Tree Trimming, CapeCod.com

Newton names Ann Berwick as co-director of sustainability, WickedLocal Newton

Mansfield, North Attleboro electric departments oppose new environmental regulations, Sun Chronicle

Editorial/Opinion

As I See It: Accelerating electric vehicle use, Worcester Telegram

How to fight climate change without Washington, Boston Globe

Don’t put customers on the hook for pipeline costs, by Susan Wessels, The Keene Sentinel

Pressure LePage to strengthen RGGI, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision cripples Maine solar industry, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision confirms ratepayers pay twice, The Maine Wire

Sorry, Coal. Solar Is Where the Jobs Are, Fortune

Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems, The Economist

Karl Meyer: Connecticut River power storage plant is an ecological, economic and energy disaster, Vtdigger.org

Maine needs the good-paying jobs nuclear energy provides, Bangor Daily News

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

Energy News for week ending February 17, 2017

Happy Friday. This week’s energy news brings us more response to a pipeline study released last week that claims the Access Northeast pipeline will cost twice what proponents claim. According to MassLive, Eversource Energy called the report “a disservice to communities.”

During last week’s ISO-NE energy auction Invenergy’s proposed Burrillville, RI gas plant only managed to sell half its expected capacity. EcoRI reports that Jerry Elmer of the Conservation Law Foundation, said, “the lack of demand for the electricity shows there is more than enough power generation to meet future energy needs and, thus, the proposed Clear River Energy Center is unnecessary and shouldn’t be built.”

But natural gas advocates, should not dismay! The American Gas Association released its 2017 playbook touting all of the benefits that natural gas brings to the US. Specifically, the playbook offers a concise, fact-based narrative detailing how the industry and utilities are helping increase our energy security, improving our environment and boosting our economy.

Lastly, on the gas front, WGBH talks with Governor Baker about how much he can or can’t influence the Weymouth gas compressor station. His response, “In the end, these decisions get made by the federal government.”

In other news, Maine is starting to look like Washington; or is it that Washington is starting to look like Maine? Regardless, the Sun Journal tells us that Gov. LePage is telling utility commissioners to resign over “their absolutely horrendous decision” that rolled back net metering but didn’t eliminate it. And the Bangor Daily News reports he seeks to replace at least one of them with a solar energy critic.

New Hampshire also has its fair share of renewable critics. Utility DIVE reports on legislation that would remove the state from RGGI and repeal the renewables mandate.

Speaking of renewables mandates, MassLive reports that more than 50 Massachusetts lawmakers have signed on to a bill that would require Massachusetts to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. All of its heating, transportation and other sectors would have to be powered by renewable energy by 2050. No word yet on the cost, but we can look to Vermont where the Energy Collective said a study released this week found its 90 percent renewables mandate would cost $33 billion by 2050. They did the math and found if the US were to adopt Vermont’s 90% RE goal, the capital cost would be $17,316 billion, which is in the same ballpark as the US national debt. Ouch.

There is much more news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Can Gov. Baker Actually Block A Controversial Gas Compressor?, WGBH.org

Is NED pipeline back on the table?, Nashua Telegraph (pay wall)

AGA Releases 2017 Playbook, True Blue Natural Gas

Eversource and activists at odds over latest New England pipeline study, MassLive.com

New report questions need, cost of Access Northeast gas pipeline project, Utility Dive

Reports Conflict on Need for New Gas Power Plant, ecoRI news

Air battle looms over proposed Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Pope appears to back native tribes in Dakota Pipeline conflict, Reuters

Company Behind DAPL Reported 69 Accidents, Polluting Rivers in 4 States in Last Two Years, EcoWatch

Fracking Rule Text Disappears From Interior Department Website, EcoWatch

Vt. Gas Takes Financial Hit, Pipeline Protests Continue, Middlebury Campus

Germany largely bans fracking with new laws, Deutsche Welle

Refugio pipeline explosion shakes homes 60 miles away, KHOU.com

Renewable Energy

New Hampshire bills would withdraw state from RGGI, repeal renewables mandate, Utility Dive

Vermont’s 90% Renewable Energy Goal to Cost $33 Billion by 2050, Energy Collective

Wind Power Now Generates More Than 10 Percent of Electricity for 13 States, Power Engineering

State incentives in the offing as more companies, communities adopt solar power, MassLive.com

LePage eyes replacing utilities commissioner with solar energy critic, Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage urges Maine utility regulators to resign over solar decision, Lewiston Sun Journal

Here’s an early look at how Maine’s biomass bailout money is being spent, Bangor Daily News

Fight over renewable energy comes to New Hampshire, Penn Energy

Trump urged to back offshore, reNews

Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm, Cape Cod Times

Deepwater Wind opens Massachusetts office in New Bedford, SouthCoastToday.com

Solar and wind energy propel growth in US renewables, Nature.com

Victory: These Two Cities Just Committed to 100% Renewable Energy, EcoWatch

Environmentalists push for 100% renewable energy use in Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Wind turbines inspired by insect wings are 35% more efficient, Science Magazine

US Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy, Bloomberg

UPS Announces $18 Million Investment In Onsite Solar Energy, 5x Onsite Solar Growth, CleanTechnica

Governor’s letter to Trump — Support solar and wind energy, Digital Journal

Companies Collaborates with Beaumont Solar on New 680,305 sq ft LEED Certified Headquarters, Incorporating a 2.2 Megawatt Solar System, Energy Central

The crisis at Oroville Dam, explained, Vox.com

Energy Efficiency

Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced in Senate, Lexology

Report: HI, CT, MA, RI, and AK Households Save Most On Overall Utility Bills Due To Appliance Standards, (Press Release), Appliance Standards Awareness Project

Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, (Report) Environment Maine

Massachusetts Green Communities Program Continues to Grow, Energy Manager Today

An Energy Storage Target for Massachusetts: Go Bigger, Bellwether?, Microgrid Knowledge

Vermont Churches Awarded Grants for Energy Audits, vtdigger.org

National Grid launches its first commercial & industrial demand response program, Utility DIVE

Nuclear

Entergy Addresses Critical Report (video), ‘The Take’ NECN

Connecticut lawmakers again asked to consider nuclear energy, New Haven Register

Federal application filed for Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim nuclear power plant back online after shutdown, The Boston Globe

Public hearings planned on proposed Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

NRC starts comment clock on Seabrook amendment to rent extension, The Daily News of Newburyport

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules to cut carbon emissions in Mass. may increase them in New England, critics say, Boston Globe

New review is critical of Northern Pass project, The Union Leader

Massachusetts Plans to Identify Microgrid Opportunities Statewide, Microgrid Knowledge

Prices plummet in ISO-NE capacity auction, raising questions about new generation plans, Utility Dive

Expanded Use Of EVs in CT, MA, MD, NY & PA Could Yield “Multi-Billions” in Savings and Benefits, CleanTechnica

Plymouth triangle lot could produce new revenue (underwater cables), Wicked Local Plymouth

Utilidata, National Grid announce Volt/VAR optimization project, Electric Light & Power

Energy executives, secretive nonprofit raise money to back Pruitt, Politico

Citing ownership change, Brockton Power asks for six-month permit extension, Enterprise

Brady to state board: Deny Brockton Power 4th extension after it sat out auction, Enterprise

Editorial/Opinion

Power Precursor, New Hampshire Magazine

Reviving the Keystone Pipeline is one of Trump’s foolish acts, Ricentral.com

Eversource solar hikes unwarranted, CommonWealth Magazine

Commentary: PUC’s mishandling of solar rules will hurt industry, utilities and ratepayers, Press Herald

Letter to the editor: SMCC is all talk, no action on renewable energy future, Press Herald

Markey, Kennedy Statement on Results of New England Electricity Capacity Auction #11, Energy Central

Ronald C. DeCurzio: Massachusetts municipal utilities doing their part to reach clean energy milestones, MassLive

Letter to the Editor: Unnecessary pipeline project would do damage, New Haven Register

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing