Tag Archives: Clean Energy Connect

Energy News for week ending August 9, 2019

Cooking with gas – or not? | Turn to Stone | Chernobyl “Atomik”

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We start this week’s news recap with a question posed in a WBUR headline – Give up your gas stove to save the planet? “As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, some are taking aim at a new target: natural gas inside homes. Buildings, through heating and cooking, use almost a third of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. In July, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the country to ban natural gas in new buildings, starting next year. City officials say new efficient electric appliances have lower carbon footprints than gas-powered furnaces and water heaters…Cities like San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles are developing their own policies to make buildings zero carbon, and a number of cities around the world have pledged to do the same. But opponents say the push to get rid of gas goes against what consumers are asking for, especially in their kitchens. ‘People love their gas stoves,’ says Bob Raymer, technical director with the California Building Industry Association. ‘We don’t want to force something onto the consumer that makes the consumer feel uncomfortable, or that they just don’t like. After all, it’s their home.’ But California has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2045, and about a quarter of the state’s emissions come from energy used by buildings. To reach its ambitious climate change goals, the state will eventually have to force — or entice — homeowners to electrify everything.”

If you’re not yet ready to give up your gas appliances, there’s another option to help reduce your climate footprint. In the words of an ELO song you can “turn to stone.” From Quartz – “…One option, if you care about the environment…is to offset your personal carbon use—by turning it into stone. Starting in June, a company called Climeworks began offering customers the option to buy a personal carbon offset subscription. You can choose one of three tiers: €7 a month (~$8) will pay for trapping 85 kg of carbon dioxide in a year (about the same as driving 700 km or 435 miles in a gasoline car); €21 a month will get you 255 kg in a year; and €49 a month will convert 600 kg of carbon dioxide into stone. You can also customize your payments up to as much as €2,000 per month to offset 25,000 kg…Climeworks is one of just three companies in the world that have the technology to draw carbon dioxide from the air, called direct air capture (DAC). And it already has a few small commercial plants running…[one] in Iceland captures carbon dioxide and pumps it underground, where it is converted into stone in less than two years.”

Because it’s Friday afternoon and I have the weekend on my mind, here’s an interesting story about a new vodka. From Breaking News Ireland, “A radioactivity-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl’s abandoned zone has been brewed by a team of British scientists. Professor Jim Smith, from the University of Portsmouth, described the artisan vodka – branded Atomik – as ‘possibly the most important bottle of spirits in the world’ as he believed it would help the region recover economically. He said tests on the vodka showed that, following the distillation process, only ‘natural Carbon-14’ radioactivity was found in line with any normal spirit drink. Prof Smith now wants to produce the traditionally-brewed vodka for sale through a social enterprise called The Chernobyl Spirit Company, with 75% of the profits going back to the affected community in Ukraine.” OK — I’m not sure the land has been cleaned to US standards of “unrestricted use” and they mention “the team found some radioactivity in the grain: Strontium-90 is slightly above the cautious Ukrainian limit of 20 Bq/kg.” But that after distilling it went away. I don’t know about you, but I’m still not convinced. However, the Atomik vodka appears to have a wild boar on the label, so if you’ve been enjoying the social media trend this week on wild boars, there’s that.

That’s the recap. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Uniform reporting of gas leaks sought, Salem News

State delays key review for Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local

Give Up Your Gas Stove To Save The Planet? Banning Gas Is The Next Climate Push, WBUR

The Leaks That Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas, Wall St. Journal

Environmental advocates denounce planned natural gas plant in Killingly, Hartford Courant

Protests will seek to ‘shut down’ Merrimack Station power plant in Bow, Concord Monitor

Too Soon To Know If Gas Disaster Settlement Is Adequate: Rep, Patch

A primer on methane (and cow flatulence), Boston Globe

National Grid takes campaign for gas pipeline to radio, Newsday

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The UN’s New Climate Warning: “The Land Is Out of Balance”, Atlantic

Power struggle hindering U.S. growth of renewable energy, experts say, UPI

A clean energy breakthrough could be buried deep beneath rural Utah, LA Times

The Renewable Energy Industry: What’s Ahead, Wall Street Journal

Report Highlights Local Leadership on Renewable Energy, WGBH

You can now pay to turn your carbon emissions to stone, Quartz

Climate Change Could Lead to Food Shortages, UN Report Says, YAHOO! News

New Haven-based water utility going ‘green’ to meet power needs, New Haven Register

FuelCell Energy Celebrates 9 Million MWH of Clean Power Generation, YAHOO! News

Double Tax Hits Slows Renewable-Energy Development, ECO RI

GOP senator wants to override Sununu’s biomass bill veto, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Environmental groups accuse state of ‘deeply flawed’ review of biomass changes; call for more input, MassLive

Progressive Idea: Municipal Renewable Energy Utilities, EcoRI

 

Wind

Massachusetts Officials Frustrated By Wind Turbine Court Havoc They Created, Patch

Federal agencies, Vineyard Wind at odds over wind farm setup, Southcoasttoday.com

Dominion invests $1.1B in offshore wind, watches Northeast developments, Utility Dive

R.I. fishermen critical of wind farm plan, Providence Journal

Recreational fishermen want more studies on New York wind farm, South Coast Today

US Wind Farm Development Reaches Record High in Q2, Greentech Media

New York looks to Europe for offshore wind coordination, interconnection models to develop 9 GW, Utility Dive

Governor signs Vineyard Wind easement bill, South Coast Today

 

Solar

New solar canopy saves MWRTA more than $20K in electrical costs, MetroWest Daily News

Floating Solar Gets Ready for the High Seas, Greentech Media

Shared solar program heading towards approval, complaints in tow, Connecticut Mirror

Huge Sanford airport solar project moves forward, Portland Press Herald

UMass Amherst Researchers Develop New Method To Estimate Solar Rooftop Potential, Solar Industry

Joe Kennedy II unveils solar energy program in Revere, Boston Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Using electricity at different times of day could save us billions of dollars, Vox.com

UMass attaches largest label to Dartmouth battery storage system, Herald News

Trump Administration Moves to Finalize Weakening of Car Efficiency Standards, Greentech Media

California opens $1B in efficiency funding to electrification, Utility Dive

 

EVs

It’s Electri-Flying: Cape Air Pioneers Flights Without Fossil Fuels, WBUR

As T plugs into e-buses, new questions about garages, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Nuclear

NRC denies bid to postpone license for nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Chernobyl ‘Sarcophagus’ That Holds in Radiation From the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster Is About to Cave in Under Its Own Weight, Newsweek

Pilgrim principals oppose delay in license review, Cape Cod Times

A commercial path to fusion, Physics World

Chernobyl vodka: British scientists produce alcohol from nuclear exclusion zone, Breaking News Ireland

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators likely to consider CMP compensation fund by year’s end, Portland Press Herald

Power plant retirements offset nearly 90% of U.S. capacity additions in June, IEEFA

New York Launches Investigation into Electric Resource Adequacy, Microgrid Knowledge

Portsmouth gets win in tax dispute with Eversource, Seacoastonline.com

CMP power line approval ‘replete with errors,’ energy supplier says in appeal, CentralMaine.com

Coal, nuclear could see boost in New England this winter as new tariff goes into effect, Utility Dive

Melrose power buyers beware as officials aim to curb scam suppliers, Wicked Local Melrose

Massachusetts Examines the Feasibility of Microgrid Projects, Microgrid Knowledge

Connecticut Supercharges Plan for World’s Largest Fuel Cell Microgrid at $1 Billion Data Center, Microgrid Knowledge

Timber! Mount Tom Power Plant smokestack demolished, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Editorial/Opinion

  1. Maurice Kreis: After the Northern Pass failure, is it time for ‘Rayno Regionalism’?, Conway Daily Sun

Editorial: Paying Homage to the Nuclear Resistance, Valley Advocate

‘Climate Stripes’ show reality of dangerous situation: Op-Ed, New Haven Register

Ohio nuclear and coal bailout is a loss for nuclear power and the climate, Utility Dive

Ehrlich: State needs to transition off natural gas, Daily Item

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

Energy News for week ending September 14, 2018

Explosions, Fires | Dark Money | NH to use VW Cash for EV Infrastructure

Good Friday afternoon.

First, our hearts go out to the folks in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover, for yesterday’s tragedy. Our thanks and appreciation go to all of the first responders, some of whom lost their own homes, and who have come from all parts of New England to help out with the situation. Last, here’s to the gas and electric utility workers who are working diligently to create a safe environment and get people back in their homes. There are many places to offer help, The Essex County Community Foundation and MSPCA at Nevins Farm are two local ones.

Instead of sharing a lot of stories on this subject, we direct you to the local media outlet – the Lawrence Eagle Tribune – for coverage. Also here is today’s 11:10AM statement from Columbia Gas.

Heading north to Maine, we have a story from the Press Herald, Dark money and blurred alliances drum up resistance to CMP power line project, “An unusual mix of opponents, one of them quite secretive, is working at a grass-roots level to block a proposed 145-mile power line through Maine, even though it’s not on any ballot.”

And Utility Dive, reports New Hampshire to use $4.6M of VW settlement to build EV infrastructure, “New Hampshire will use $4.6 million, or about 15% of its share of the Volkswagen emissions settlement, to develop electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around the state, according to a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan released last week. Funds will be used to acquire, install, operate and maintain vehicle supply equipment, and the state will begin accepting applications next month, The Concord Monitor reports…In total, New Hampshire will receive almost $31 million from the $15 billion VW settlement…

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend.

PS – Due to a scheduling problem we were unable to share last week’s energy news. We have included a few key stories from last week in the mix below in case you missed them.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions and Fires Coverage, Eagle Tribune

Unions taking an old-school stand against National Grid, Boston Globe

Could Oil Demand Peak in Just Five Years?, Wall St. Journal

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air, New York Times

Amid Lockout, Mass. AG Calls For Probe Into National Grid Over Safety Concerns, WBUR

Firm prohibited from imposing new rate increases, Berkshire Eagle

Activists protest controversial Algonquin pipeline, Hudson Valley News

Power plant divides gubernatorial candidates, Brown Daily Herald

Agawam ConsCom to consider gas pipeline expansion, MassLive

Natural gas pipeline blast in Beaver County prompts evacuation, State Impact

Locked Out National Grid Workers Struggling To Pay Medical Bills, CBS Boston/WBZ

Waltham Asks City To Support Unions, Moratorium On National Grid, USA Patch

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

California Sets Goal Of 100 Percent Clean Electric Power By 2045, WBUR

US activists launch climate change initiatives in absence of federal leadership, Guardian

Q3 RGGI auction clears at premium, pushing secondary market to 2.5-year high, carbon-pulse.com

Otis Microgrid: Cape Cod Military Base To Run Fully On Renewable Energy, CleanTechnica

Keene, Portsmouth Climate Rallies Foresee Flooded Future Without Renewable Energy Transition, New Hampshire Public Radio

National Park Officials Were Told Climate Change Was ‘Sensitive.’ So They Removed It From A Key Planning Report, HuffPost

Maine businesses get more than $430,000 for renewable energy, Portland Press Herald

Supreme Judicial Court upholds MassDEP’s right to cap carbon emissions from power plants to fight climate change, MassLive

 

Wind

Yarmouth again balks at Vineyard Wind pact, Cape Cod Times

State Finds Flaws In Turbine Noise Study, The Bourne Enterprise

Energy ratepayers bankrolling offshore wind farm opposed by Long Island fishing community, LoHud.com

NYSERDA accepting bids for energy credits from several local wind projects still under consideration, Watertown Daily News

Wind turbine project proposed in ocean off Atlantic County WHYY

New York’s offshore wind plan faces commercial fishing opposition, Poughkeepsie Journal

Offshore Wind Industry ‘Really Moving;’ Coordination Key, RTO Insider

 

Solar

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey Reacts to Complaints of Solar Companies Preying on Elderly, NECN

Report: Mass. solar growth slows as SMART incentives remain shelved, MassLive

New Community Solar Opportunities In Western Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Cranberry farmers looking for sunnier pastures via solar panels, South Coast Today

Report: Solar industry rebounds from tariff uncertainty, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New report says Connecticut has more than 30,000 energy efficiency jobs, New Haven Register

Coal-Killing Energy Storage Grows By 200% In US (#CleanTechnica Interview), CleanTechnica

Mass. ranks sixth in energy efficiency jobs, per report, WBJournal

Led by Surging Residential Sector, Q2 US Energy Storage Deployments Grow 200% Year-Over-Year, Greentech Media

 

EVs

A Big Week For Reshaping the Electric Grid with EVs, Microgrid Knowledge

Electric future? Global push to move away from gas-powered cars, Guardian

Early VC money likes electric vehicles, Axios

Someday Soon Your Utility Will Help You Select Your Next Car, Renewable Energy World

New Hampshire to use $4.6M of VW settlement to build EV infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC seeks details on Pilgrim sale, Cape Cod Times

Citizens Awareness Network to lead environmental justice tour, VTDigger

Nuclear plant closings bring pain to cities and towns, SaukValley.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

PUC delays next week’s hearings on CMP’s proposed transmission line project, Portland Press Herald

EEI White Paper Calls for End to `Pancaked’ Rate Cases, RTO Insider

Opposition builds to CMP’s transmission line project, Kennebec Journal

Fall River Wonders: I asked the electric company to cut some branches, why didn’t they take them?, Herald News

Maine regulators to hold hearings in towns eyed for CMP hydropower project, Bangor Daily News

Microgrid Project at Submarine Base Receives $5M Connecticut Grant, Microgrid Knowledge

Sudbury: Eversource environmental report “deficient,” MetroWest Daily News

It’s a mad, mad, mad IoT world – protecting America’s power grid from common household appliances, diginomica.com

Dark money and blurred alliances drum up resistance to CMP power line project, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE proposes market bridge to valuing fuel security, Utility Dive

Unexpected outages, intense heat behind ISO-NE Labor Day price spike, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hydro-Québec, Central Maine Power respond to critics, CommonWealth Magazine

Every State Will Win in the Race to Build Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Viewpoint: Massachusetts needs to shift its energy efficiency strategy, Boston Business JournalViewpoint: Massachusetts needs to shift its energy efficiency strategy, Business Journals

Rep. Herb Richardson and Sen. Dan Feltes: Let’s focus on local energy and jobs, lower rates, Concord Monitor

Another View — Catherine Corkery and James McCaffrey: Biomass bill sells out NH residents, New Hampshire Union Leader

Unions’ ‘unwinnable’ fight vs. National Grid is one they can’t afford to lose, Boston Globe

Vermont Yankee issues have all been answered, by Bob Leach, Keene Sentinel

Maine Compass: CMP transmission line would harm Maine’s heritage, and future, Kennebec Journal

A dangerous tipping point for New England’s wholesale electricity market, Utility Dive

 

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

Energy News for week ending June 29, 2018

That was quick | Substantial benefits | Cooperation. Not so much

 

Happy sunny Friday.

According to Platts, it’s reportedly the shortest tenure for any member of FERC. Last night, in a surprise announcement FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson announced his resignation. From Mary Serreze at MassLive, “Powelson said he is leaving FERC with ‘mixed emotions’ to become president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies, and that ‘It has been an honor to serve this great country.’ The Republican and former Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner is stepping down in mid-August, and leaving as the bipartisan independent commission faces political pressure. An advocate for competitive power markets, Powelson opposed the coal and nuclear bailouts pushed by Trump energy secretary Rick Perry.”

Michelle Froese at Windpower Engineering and Development writes that “A recent report released by the Applied Economics Clinic (AEC) in conjunction with Sustainable Energy Advantage found substantial economic and environmental benefits for Massachusetts, and no new costs for ratepayers, if the legislature approves policies included in a bill passed by the State Senate. If adopted together, the four key policies, including an accelerated increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), increased targets for off-shore wind generation and battery storage, and a removal of the solar net metering cap, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 600,000 metric tons and have the following impacts in Massachusetts: Create an average of 1800 new jobs; Generate $3.4 billion in economic opportunity over the next twelve years; Lead to 9,800 MW of total wind, solar, and hydro generation; yet Result in no increase to Massachusetts electric bills.”

Cooperation seems to have gone by the wayside in New England energy markets according to an article by Tux Turkel at the Portland Press Herald. He writes, “Today’s battles over big energy projects in New England obscure the region’s past history of successfully bringing key visions to reality. But they also call into question whether the wholesale electricity market that has evolved over the past two decades can survive.”

One last note, we couldn’t bring you the Northeast Energy News each week without the hard work of all the journalists out there. Our hearts break for those who lost their lives or were injured in Maryland yesterday. We send our genuine thanks and appreciation to each and every member of the news community for the work they do.

That it for this week. Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes on July 13th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Methane leaks offset much of the benefits of natural gas, new study says, Keene Sentinel

Scrutinize Pipeline Past Nuclear Plant: Long-Awaited State Report, USA Patch

NYS Report: Significant Risks to AIM Pipeline, NRDC.org

Making Utilities Make Gas Leak Info Public: New Law, USA Patch

Federal Trial Concludes in South Portland Pipeline Lawsuit, U.S. News & World Report

Natural gas execs see ‘century of supply’ in U.S. shale, Reuters

Is the Coming Natural Gas Boom Good for the Climate? Depends Who You Ask, Time

Are Fugitive Methane Emissions Offsetting the CO2 Benefit of Natural Gas?, (podcast) Greentech Media

BNEF: Gas Still ‘Necessary’ in a 50 Percent Wind and Solar Scenario, Greentech Media

National Grid locks out gas workers, Boston Globe

Gas worker protest lockout in Braintree, Wicked Local Braintree

Exxon, Chevron head new methane emissions consortium, Seeking Alpha

NY agencies urge FERC to cut pipeline risks near Indian Point nuclear plant, Reuters

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New report analyzes Massachusetts Senate clean-energy bill, Windpower Engineering and Development

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement promises huge battle for greens, others, Utility Dive

New Vt. Incentives Make Wood Heating Systems More Attainable, NECN

How do we get to a low-carbon energy system?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Connecticut DEEP selects AD project through recent RFP, Biomass Magazine

Senate Passes $145B Spending Bill, With Boost to Energy Innovation Programs, Greentech Media

Coastal Communities at Significant Risk of Chronic Flooding, US News and World Report

JP Observer: City action on approved clean energy program at a standstill; Councilor O’Malley objects, Jamaica Plain Gazette

Anti-fossil fuel candidates come out winners in party primaries, Think Progress

 

Wind

Cape Wind lease officially comes to end, Cape Cod Times

Niagara County aids Somerset with legal fees in wind power fight, Buffalo News

Wind power to grow nationally, but its future in Maine is uncertain, experts say, Portland Press Herald

Vineyard Wind visits Brayton Point, Southcoasttoday.com

LI to be site of offshore wind research/development consortium, Newsday

The public health benefits of adding offshore wind to the grid, Salon

Can Wind Turbines Make You Sick?, PBS.org

 

Solar

Solar to Cap Municipal Solid Waste Site in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, Solarnovus.com

Isle au Haut to build solar-powered smart energy microgrid, Mainebiz

Solar Installed At Shake-N-Go Fashion In Long Island, Solar Industry

Unclear Future For Solar Energy Customers In New York, WAMC

New Jersey to end solar credit program, develop alternative support, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York Plans Trip to Energy Storage Future. Takes Along Swiss Army Knife, Microgrid Knowledge

Alphabet is in talks to spin out its molten-salt storage play, MIT Technology Review

We still have no idea how to eliminate more than a quarter of energy emissions, MIT Technology Review

Mystic couple wins statewide award for energy-efficient home, The Day

Siemens Tests Ammonia as a Form of Energy Storage for Renewables, Greentech Media

10th in energy efficiency, US is falling in rank because of Trump’s policies, ACEEE says, Utility Dive

 

EVs

California and Eight Other States Push Plan to Boost Zero-Emission Vehicles, Wall St. Journal

Electric vehicles are gaining momentum, despite Trump, Vox

 

Nuclear

Delays won’t scuttle Vermont Yankee sale, companies say, VTDigger

Flooding at Nine Mile Point, All Things Nuclear

Indian Point: Nuclear power plant gets positive safety grades, new decommission details, The Journal News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DSP Isn’t Just Any Old Energy Acronym. National Grid Shows Why in Buffalo, Microgrid Knowledge

GOP federal energy commissioner who opposed coal and nuclear bailouts resigns, Mass Live

What comes next for FERC?, Politico Morning Energy

Emerging energy model in New England shies away from cooperation, Portland Press Herald

Residents see savings with WinPower, Daily Times Chronicle

Perry says economics are “secondary” when it comes to power grid, Houston Chronicle

Eversource customers to see rate increase, Concord Monitor via Energy Central

The ‘New’ New General Electric: Renewables Are In, Distributed Gas Generators Are Out, Greentech Media

Dynamic Grid Systems will rebuild a small Maine utility from the ground up, Utility Dive

Council defers National Grid projects amid lockout, Lowell Sun

Lewiston council supports CMP hydroelectric project, new converter station, Portland Press Herald

Waterbury to buy Eversource’s street lamps to save money, Republican-American

AVANGRID’s $2.5B plan to boost storm ‘resiliency’ in Maine, Northeast, MaineBiz

New England power prices rise in 2017, demand drops, fuel security concerns remain, Platts

State’s removal of Sandwich cedar canopy draws ire, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why federal regulators shouldn’t save the Mystic power plant, Boston Globe

My Turn: David Ismay: No need for more gas infrastructure, Providence Journal

Hey fossil-fuel industry, where’s your proof?, New Hampshire Business Review

Opinion: NJ’s clean energy future depends on strong RGGI cap, NorthJersey.com

It’s not solar that gets the subsidy, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine needs a governor who will prioritize clean energy, Bangor Daily News

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

Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

We’re on to Maine | Shut it down | A look inside

Happy Friday afternoon.

The big news this week, as Bill Belichick might say, is “We’re on to Maine.” In a succinctly worded announcement on the Massachusetts Clean Energy website, the new direction for the clean energy procurement went from Eversource’s Northern Pass project to Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project. The announcement read in part, “The Electric Distributions Companies are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (“NECEC Hydro”) and intend to execute agreements with NECEC Hydro for submittal to the Department of Public Utilities, assuming negotiations are concluded successfully.” For your reading enjoyment, we have included a whole section of stories related to this news.

But even before the Clean Energy Connect news broke, the Press Herald reported that new opposition is “ramping up” to CMP’s project. Tux Turkel writes, “A trio of companies, (Calpine Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Bucksport Generation LLC) which together own one-third of Maine’s generating capacity, say subsidized power from Canada could upend New England’s competitive, wholesale electric market and make some existing power plants in Maine too costly to run when they’re needed. They also say a big slug of power from Hydro-Quebec over a high-voltage, direct current line will make it technically difficult for new Maine-based wind and solar to connect to the region’s electric grid.

Normally when you hear, “shut it down” in the energy industry, it usually comes from anti-nuclear or anti-gas protesters. But this week it was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who is aiming to shut down the residential competitive supply market. According to a story on WGBH News by Colin Young of the State House News Service, “Electric customers in Massachusetts who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $176.8 million more than they would have had they stayed with their utility company from July 2015 to June 2017, the two-year period during which Healey’s office was investigating the industry, her office announced…Healey said she plans to work with the Legislature, the Department of Public Utilities and the energy industry “to close down the market for individual residential competitive electric supply in Massachusetts.”

I have to say, as someone who has hung up on countless suppliers, had debates at my front door with electric supply salespersons, and counseled volunteers working with the elderly who have switched suppliers multiple times and faced huge penalties – at a minimum something needs to be done to reign in deceptive practices and to get the bad actors out of the game. The good news is that AG Healey already did that with Viridian, as was reported in the Boston Globe “An electricity supplier will pay $5 million to settle claims of deceptive marketing and sales tactics that resulted in consumers being overcharged, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. In addition to the settlement payout announced Wednesday, Viridian Energy LLC of Norwalk, Conn., agreed it would not market its electricity supply door-to-door in Massachusetts for the next two years and that it would change some of its marketing methods.” Hear, Hear!

Last for this week is a recently released video from ISO New England that “takes you inside the ISO, showcasing how the grid operator keeps the lights on across New England – today and in the future. Shot at the ISO offices and throughout New England, the video looks at the transformation occurring in New England, as the region transitions from a grid powered by oil and coal plants to one more reliant on renewable energy.”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds, New York Times

State Lawmaker Secretly Sends Constituent’s Emails to Gas Pipeline Lobbyist, (MA) Huffington Post

National Grid proposes gas line along bike path, Glens Falls Post-Star

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

Judge rules civil disobedience a ‘necessity’ to prevent climate change, ThinkProgress

West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline in Boston Criminal Trial Downgraded, Patch.com

Natural Gas Act preempts local efforts to preclude construction of compressor station, Lexology

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Bill Adds Wood to RI’s Renewable-Energy Portfolio, ecoRI news

New Jersey foresees RGGI re-entry in 2019, Carbon Pulse

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much?, EandE News

Walsh: Despite cost, city must stem climate change tide, Boston Herald

Renewables or Nuclear? A New Front in the Academic War Over Decarbonization, Greentech Media

 

Wind

800 Megawatt Bay State Wind US Offshore Project Partners To Combine Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Is Offshore Wind a Better Deal With Batteries?, Greentech Media

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

Hopkinton residents receive letter from wind company offering payments on electric bills, Watertown (NY) Daily News

Deepwater’s Offshore Wind Plans Could Revolutionize Mass. Workforce and Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

Deepwater Wind narrows locations to New Bedford, Fall River or Somerset, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind to do 3rd round of marine surveys, South Coast Today

BOEM seeks public comment on proposed offshore Massachusetts wind farm, Windpower Engineering and Development

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

New Energy Plan Clears Legislative Committee, But More Changes Expected, Hartford Courant

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Environmental groups call on Senate to support energy-efficiency bill, WMUR Manchester

Annual Update on Energy Efficiency from America’s Utilities, Natural Resources Defense Council

Good News: Congress Stands Up for Energy Efficiency with Omnibus Bill, ACEEE Press Release

Mass Save beginning in Brockton through Revise Energy, Cape Verdean Association, Enterprise

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Begins Final Refueling, The Examiner News

ITER nuclear fusion project avoids delays as U.S. doubles budget, Reuters

Del. Group Seeks to Block Artificial Island Project, RTO Insider

As Nuclear Plant Closes, Fears Shift From Contamination to Financial Pain, Wall Street Journal

FirstEnergy Solutions will close its nuclear power plants, but is silent on bankruptcy restructuring (photos), Plain Dealer

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

Unexpected foes emerge to CMP’s plan to build transmission line to Canada, Press Herald

Three companies seek to block CMP’s Hydro Quebec transmission project, Mainebiz

$950M power grid project could tunnel under Kennebec River Gorge, Bangor Daily News

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

In reversal, Massachusetts puts CMP in lead position for $950 million power line project, Press Herald

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

Massachusetts Sinks Eversource Power Project, Picks Avangrid (1), Bloomberg BNA

Mass. And Utilities Ditch NH-Routed Northern Pass For Hydro Project Through Maine, WBUR

Maine In, NH Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts, New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Site Evaluation Committee should stand firm on Northern Pass decision, New Hampshire Business Review

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

Massachusetts hydro power will come through Maine, not White Mountains, Wicked Local

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts ditches Northern Pass, looks to CMP for clean energy goals, Utility Dive

 

Electric Vehicles

Prospects of Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles Boosted with Chinese Backing, Energy Collective

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Staying a Step Ahead: A look inside ISO-NE and the region’s changing power system, (video) ISONewswire.com

Grid security falls to industry to self-regulate, Salem News

Raimondo: Report critical of National Grid’s response to October storm, ProJo

Peeved about power? Eversource defends its efforts, Wicked Local Brewster

Electricity supplier to pay $5 million to settle claims it misled Massachusetts customers, Boston Globe

Vermont Public Utility Commission approves release of request for proposals for Standard Offer program, Daily Energy Insider

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, (Press Release)

Call For ‘Stiff Penalties’ Vs. Utility Companies Made By County Legislators, White Plains Daily Voice

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

Microgrid Projects and Virtual Power Plants from Maine to Australia, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, Business Wire (press release)

RI Officials: National Grid’s October Storm Response Was Inadequate, Rhode Island Public Radio

What is up with your electric bill? Eversource explains, Wicked Local

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: A pipeline lesson for Virginia, courtesy of Massachusetts, Richmond.com

The best chance for offshore wind in Mass., The Boston Globe

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Boston’s ad hoc planning doesn’t work with climate change, Boston Globe

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

The era of conventional nuclear power may be ending, Washington Examiner

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

EDITORIAL: Mass. hydropower pact takes a detour, Lowell Sun

Oppose Eversource’s use of herbicides — now, Cape Cod Times

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