Tag Archives: climate change

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

No Longer Gluttons | Under Investigation | Plans Won’t Meet Goals

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. I hope you’re staying warm and dry in this miserable weather. Let’s get to the news.

Unlike a certain person who lives in the White House, it seems most people don’t think LEDs make you look orange. In fact according to a story in the Wall St. Journal, “Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb. For more than five years, Americans have been doing something decidedly un-American: We’ve been using less electricity…The downward trend began soon after the 2008 financial crisis took hold… But in a historical departure, after the economy rebounded, the decline in electricity use persisted…By 2017, electricity use was as low as it had been since the turn of the millennium with an average residence consuming 10.4 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, down from a peak of 11.5 megawatt-hours in 2010…None of this means that Americans are turning off their lights…But today’s appliances and electronics are more efficient. New homes are tighter and better insulated. And most important, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have replaced traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “No other change is so dramatic,” Dr. Davis said. “When you take an incandescent bulb out and screw in an LED, consumption goes down 80%. Imagine you could get a car that uses 80% less gasoline. That would be amazing.” With the transition to LEDs, the amount of electricity used for lighting dropped 26% from 2015 to 2017. In raw numbers, that meant consumption slipped from 129.7 million megawatt-hours a year nationwide to 95.5 million megawatt-hours. By 2021, if incandescent and halogen bulbs continue to be eliminated, the energy used for lighting is expected to decline by more than half, dropping to 61.3 million megawatt-hours annually.”

Next up, the State House News Service via WBUR brings us news of an investigation, “DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management. State utility regulators have ordered a broad investigation into the management of National Grid in a rare move born of concerns that one of the state’s largest electricity providers failed to communicate about the potential for severe delays in solar power installations. The Department of Public Utilities is also questioning National Grid’s management of its electric vehicles program and whether the company’s cybersecurity plan adequately takes into account benefits for customers who are paying for the technology upgrades. The independent management audit was ordered as part of a 586-page decision issued late last month in which DPU approved a $90.4 million increase in National Grid’s base distribution rates. In blunt terms, regulators said the rare, but not unprecedented audit was necessary to examine ‘potential management problems through to the highest levels of the organization.’”

Last up for this week is a story from E&E News via the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. “Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals. New England’s six states are falling short of the low-carbon energy deployment needed to reach their shared 2050 climate goals, according to a new analysis from the Brattle Group. By midcentury, every state in New England aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% over 1990 levels. At the behest of the Coalition for Community Solar Access, a solar trade association, Brattle looked late last month at how much clean energy would be needed to meet those goals, if the region engaged in a mass switch from fossil fuel sources to electricity. Demand for electricity would roughly double by 2050, despite efficiency measures — about the same amount as for the nation at large, if it were to follow a similar path, the consultancy said. To supply that power, about four to eight times more renewables would need to come online annually, across the 2020s, than what is currently planned for the region…‘Achieving the GHG reduction goals set by New England states will require significantly accelerating clean energy resource deployment,’ said Jürgen Weiss, principal at Brattle and co-author of the study. That’s not an impossible feat, Weiss said.”

That’s the recap for this week. There are many more interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask gas company CEO to pull compressor station plans, Patriot Ledger

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

‘Major’ gas leak in New London causes evacuations, power outage to entire city, WFSB

Oil Companies Ponder Climate Change, but Profits Still Rule, New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case of gas pipeline seeking to cross Appalachian Trail in Va., Washington Post

Dog returns to owner year after running away after explosion, New York Daily News

Lawmakers weigh ‘nuclear option’ for Columbia Gas, Eagle-Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions, The Guardian

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New England winters are on the decline due to climate change, study says, Boston Globe

How State and Local Governments Are Leading the Way on Climate Policy, National Audubon Society

National Grid Files First-of-its-Kind Clean Energy Proposal, MarketWatch

New city-owned buildings will be carbon-neutral under updated climate plan, Boston Globe

An Overheating Gulf of Maine Is Forcing Wildlife to Adapt—or Move, National Audubon Society

In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market, Seven Days

Somerville shows climate change is hot election issue at candidate forum, WickedLocal

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox.com

Could squeezing more oil out of the ground help fight climate change?, Vox.com

Can We Really Reach These Big Green Goals?, Microgrid Knowledge

Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals, Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition

The amount of voluntary renewable energy purchases keeps rising, Axios.com

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

Rep. Tonko on Extending Wind and Solar Tax Credits: ‘Odds Are Good,’ Greentech Media

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America, New York Times

 

Wind

Hopkinton council OKs ban on industrial wind turbines, but some say farmers’ viability could suffer, Westerly Sun

SouthCoast leaders urge state to make bigger wind investment, Southcoasttoday.com

State kicks off wind project; effort begins with 3 proposals, Republican-American

After Early Windfall, Offshore Developer Settles In for Long Game in Maryland, Greentech Media

 

Solar

BlueWave parent company appeals permit denial for solar farm in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

Baker’s latest solar goal called too small, CommonWealth Magazine

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar, New York Times

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

Survey: Residents favor renewable energy, but don’t want large scale solar arrays in their neighborhood, Athol Daily News

New law and Gov. Mills’ energy goals set off solar-farm land rush, Portland Press Herald

Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states, CNBC

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb, Wall St. Journal

How a new class of startups are working to solve the grid storage puzzle, MIT Technology Review

Report: MA, VT, NY Lead In Energy Efficiency, WAMC

Lamont talks energy efficiency as he tours Farmington aerospace manufacturer, Hartford Courant

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

Massachusetts rejects National Grid EV plan, advocates say oil interests sowed disinformation, Utility Dive

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

6 US regions leading the way on electric buses, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Five states have implemented programs to assist nuclear power plants, US Energy Information

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

Red Flags Raised Over Radioactive Waste at Indian Point Plants, The Examiner

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

EPA tells churches to cut mercury but says restrictions on power plants unnecessary, Catholic News Network

Brayton Point gears up to welcome more tenants, South Coast Today

Federal judge soon to decide fate of Seacoast power project, New Hampshire Union Leader

CMP says new substation will help all of New England, newscentermaine.com

Electricity supplier enters Ch. 11 bankruptcy, owes state $8.2M, Hartford  Business

Two years on, CMP billing saga still confounds, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Terms of gas settlement should be renegotiated, Eagle-Tribune

YOUR VIEW: SouthCoast has short window to become the center of wind industry, Southcoasttoday.com

These trends are defining the future of energy efficiency: Here’s how utilities can prepare, Utility Dive

Our view: State should accelerate approvals on solar projects, Salem News

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending September 27, 2019

Returning Home | Brookline Ban | Solar and Farms

 

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

After this morning’s scare, there is good news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, “At a press conference just before 2 p.m. Friday, Mayor Daniel Rivera said most residents evacuated due to a natural gas leak in a South Lawrence neighborhood earlier in the day will be able to return to their homes starting at 3 p.m… They were taken to the shelter by buses earlier in the day. Rivera, other city officials and Gov. Charlie Baker said the source of the gas leak has been discovered and is in the process of being repaired. Officials stressed it is safe for residents to return to their homes, except for those who live on South Broadway between Merrimack and Andover streets and on Carver Street. Gas and power to homes not in those specific areas have been turned back on, but will remain shut off in those areas, which are close to the source. Officials said gas and power to those remaining homes will be turned on as soon as it is determined to be safe. More announcements on that situation will be coming today. Rivera said the leak is not related to the larger gas pipe system in the area that was replaced after last year’s disaster. ‘There is no public safety concern,” the mayor said. “This is an isolated incident.’”

Speaking of gas, WBUR reports “Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town. Like a growing number of communities across the state and nation, Brookline has set an aggressive goal to eliminate its climate-changing emissions by 2050.Town Meeting member Jesse Gray has proposed a simple but far-reaching bylaw to help Brookline meet that goal: Ban new gas pipelines and infrastructure in future major construction. ‘The most practical and cost effective way to achieve that goal is not to install new fossil fuel system when we’re building new buildings and when we are gut-renovating them,’ Gray said. Brookline will vote on Gray’s proposal during November’s Town Meeting. Gray estimates a ban would cut the town’s climate change emissions 15% over the next 30 years, but it wouldn’t prevent anyone in an existing home from swapping an old gas stove or appliance with a new one.”

On the solar front, we have two stories this week about the opportunity to use farmland for solar. The Wall St. Journal reports that, “U.S. farmers are embracing an alternative means of turning sunlight into revenue during a sharp downturn in crop prices: solar power.” And Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes, “As the state’s Department of Environmental Resources makes a push to expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program and encourage more solar projects to increase the supply of renewable energy, there are questions about whether wooded land, and the carbon sequestration benefits trees offer, will be compromised….Sean Garren of Vote Solar Action Fund, which has advocated for greater use of solar, said cutting down trees, or taking over prime agricultural land, is a valid worry, and should be addressed in any comprehensive plan for addressing climate change…One solution is to continue putting as much solar as possible on marginal lands, he said, as well as on roofs and over parking lots. Already-cleared land should be encouraged for use, he said, as there are opportunities for farmland to share crops and solar installations. ‘Instead of merely penalizing solar on open lands, we should be encouraging the use of solar projects as pasture land, the planting of pollinator-friendly plants under and around solar projects, and the conservation of other lands simultaneously with solar growth,’ Garren said.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the spectacular weather!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

UPDATE: Most South Lawrence evacuees can return home starting Friday at 3 p.m., Eagle Tribune

Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town, WBUR

UPDATE: Columbia Gas ‘unprepared,’ with ‘catastrophic’ results, NTSB reports, Eagle Tribune

Lawyers ask for $24M in fees for Columbia Gas settlement, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

National Grid Gas Nightmare: Brooklyn Pretzel Business The Latest Victim Of Utility’s Political Standoff, CBS Boston / WBZ

Columbia Gas to inspect 700 abandoned gas lines in Valley, Andover Townsman

Activist voices shock over proposed Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Weymouth compressor foes unload on soil removal plan, Wicked Local

Doctors’ group says compressor station would be unsafe, Patriot Ledger

NJ’s Decision Deadline on Gas Pipeline Pushed Back a Month, NBC New York

Top energy regulator warns of mass blackouts if a gas pipeline were attacked, CNN

Appeals court backs dismissal of class-action suit against Eversource, Avangrid over natural gas bookings, West Hartford News

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The World’s Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns, New York Times

At the edge of a warming world, Boston Globe

Climate Change Not A Top Priority, New Poll Finds, insidesources.com

Changing weather could put insurance firms out of business, The Economist (subscriber content)

Renewable energy trade scheme comes under scrutiny, VT Digger

Gov. Lamont’s promise to generate all of Connecticut’s power from renewable sources of energy by 2040 faces substantial barriers, Hartford Courant

Climate and transportation activists are carrying a 9-foot-tall Charlie Baker puppet around Massachusetts. Here’s why., Boston.com

Climate Strike: Granite Staters Call for Action on Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Thousands gather on City Hall Plaza as part of youth-led worldwide climate strike event, Boston Globe

In the renewable energy credit market, some are greener than others, VTDigger

Global warming climate strike takes UMass by storm, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Climate changes: Towns grapple with rising groundwater, dying trees, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hearing exposes tension over climate policy pace, Southcoasttoday.com

 

 

Wind

7 Projects That Could Put the US Ahead in Floating Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

UMaine lands $1.4m to hatch ‘rocket-fuelled’ floating wind design, Recharge News

Jacobs pushes for moratorium on Great Lakes turbines, Niagara Frontier Publications

Orsted taps GE for 50% more efficient turbines in New Jersey, Maryland offshore wind projects, Utility Dive

During Climate Week, Cuomo announces partnerships with Ireland & Denmark to improve power grids, enable more renewable energy sources, Niagara Frontier Publications

The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Will Be as Cheap as Coal, Bloomberg

Farmersville board OKs $700,000 host fee pact with Alle Catt Wind Farm, Olean Times Herald

 

Solar

New York Nixes Microgrid in Favor of Solar Power Project, Microgrid Knowledge

When the cost of solar is forestland and farms, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Struggling Farmers See Bright Spot in Solar, Wall St. Journal

Solar tax credit extension would add 82 GW by 2030, SEIA forecasts, Utility Dive

Solar Industry Unsatisfied With Proposed SMART Reforms in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

CT town uses virtual solar as new alternative to power up, Connecticut Post

York to pursue solar farm on former landfill, Seacoastonline.com

Fisherman’s Co-op switches to 100% solar energy, WABI

Oakland to install solar array atop former landfill, cutting town’s electric bill, Portland Press Herald

Dover High School has state’s largest rooftop solar array, Connecticut Post

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big batteries are starting to cause real change in electricity markets, Concord Monitor

Want to make your home more energy efficient? Try local program HeatSmart, Winchester Wicked Local

Behavior is key to energy savings, Rutland Herald

Efficiency makes clean energy cost-competitive with new gas power plants, ACEEE Blog

 

EVs

Eversource and Greenspot Bring EV Charging Stations and e-Mobility Hubs to Massachusetts Communities, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

AG seeks overturn of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear energy too slow, too expensive to save climate: report, Reuters

As Federal Hearing Begins, Seabrook Nuclear Plant’s Neighbors Raise Alarm About Concrete Degradation, NHPR

No safety issues so far in Vermont nuclear plant demolition, AP

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Northeastern utilities aim to ‘crush and flatten’ system peaks as DERs boost grid efficiency, Utility Dive

Independent auditors weigh in on CMP metering, billing investigation, WMTW Portland

Watchdog: Energy Department not doing enough to protect grid against cyber attacks, The Hill

Protesters demonstrate against Stamford firm’s NH power plant, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Vineyard Wind limbo is chance for reset, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind-power scam not blowing over, National Wind Watch

The Infamous Wind Turbines – Letter, CapeNews.net

State should halt gas plant, focus on renewables, Republican-American

Keep the Killingly Energy Center on track, Hartford Courant

Revival of Waterford solar plan reason for concern, The Day

Clean energy is the city’s future, by Thomas Webler, Keene Sentinel

My Turn: There’s no power like the power of the people, Concord Monitor

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

Energy News for week ending September 13, 2019

Still recovering | Energy constrained | Sputtering Solar | Night light

 

Good Friday (The 13!) afternoon. You can tell summer is “over” because the dearth of energy news has ended. Let’s get at it.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Merrimack Valley explosions. We have several articles related to the topic below, but highlight this one from the Boston Globe, “A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster. The devastating gas explosions that tore through the Merrimack Valley a year ago Friday remain fresh for thousands of the evacuated and displaced, for the owners of recovering businesses, and for the family of a Lawrence teenager who was killed in the disaster. Its memories return with the whirring sound of a helicopter’s blades, with a glimpse of out-of-place pavement where new gas lines have been laid, and with shrunken balance sheets at once-shuttered stores that are trying to woo back customers. On Thursday, the lingering sense of unease was compounded with news that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will need to reinspect 700 of 4,900 service lines that the company abandoned and replaced after the explosions in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover. Columbia Gas discovered in July that two abandoned service lines might not have been capped properly or identified in compliance with government regulations, according to Scott Ferson, a company spokesman. As a result, hundreds of residents and business owners are being contacted to schedule yet another utility inspection around the grim anniversary. Columbia Gas officials insisted that the public is not at risk. But for many residents, the timing made it hard not to worry.”

The headline makes it sound grim, but the story tells a more positive tale. From Utility Dive, “New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints. New England officials expect the region’s electric grid will remain reliable and economic, largely due to approximately $1.3 billion in planned transmission upgrades over the next 10 years. In the near-term, the region will look to efficiency, renewables and imports…The grid operator says it has identified long-term system needs for the Boston area, and its Regional System Plan indicates it will solicit competitive solutions. Transmission improvements are already underway in those areas, as is the addition of fast-start generation…Overall, grid officials say the system is becoming cleaner, with lower emissions from the widespread development of renewables. Other strategies, including more Canadian hydroelectricity imports, grid modernization efforts and the addition of energy storage will likely continue that trend…The operator’s plan concludes it has sufficient resources through 2028 to meet resource adequacy planning criterion, though that is dependent on there being no major retirements and projects coming online as planned.”

A few weeks ago we noticed that solar stories were in short order. That’s not the case this week. Here’s an interesting one from Microgrid Knowledge, “What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market? With solar installations down dramatically in Massachusetts, a national advocacy group is calling for the state to triple its solar energy target to 4,800 MW. In a new report, Vote Solar says that the policy change is crucial if the state expects to meet its clean energy goals and generate solar jobs. The new target would apply to Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), a program launched last year to incentivize 1,600 MW of solar — 3,200 MW shy of what Vote Solar says is needed. Vote Solar called for the new target following a 50% reduction in new solar installations, primarily in Massachusetts’ residential sector. The advocacy organization calculates that its more aggressive solar energy target would put the state on track to achieve its 35% renewable energy requirement by 2030, create between 8,000 and 9,000 jobs and drive more than $5 billion in investments to the state.

Last highlight for this week comes from the New York Times, “Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy in Darkness. It doesn’t generate much power, but it works during the one time of day that solar cells can’t: night…In new research published on Thursday in the journal Joule, Dr. Raman demonstrated a way to harness a dark night sky to power a light bulb. His prototype device employs radiative cooling, the phenomenon that makes buildings and parks feel cooler than the surrounding air after sunset. As Dr. Raman’s device releases heat, it does so unevenly, the top side cooling more than the bottom. It then converts the difference in heat into electricity. In the paper, Dr. Raman described how the device, when connected to a voltage converter, was able to power a white LED.

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

One Year After Disaster, How Are Merrimack Valley Businesses Faring?, WGBH

Columbia Gas facing up to $1 million fines for abandoned gas service lines following Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

Board demands safety report from Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Monitors on gas projects still not mandated, Eagle Tribune

Most states don’t require engineers to review gas projects, Eagle Tribune

Report: Natural gas system’s flaws put public at risk, Newburyport Daily News

After State Rejects Gas Pipeline Permit, Utility Pushes Back. One Result: New Buildings Go Electric., Inside Climate News

NY Attorney General launching inquiry into National Grid gas service moratorium, New York Daily News

National Grid and NY governor tussle over energy supplies, Financial Times

Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says, Bloomberg

Charlton’s lawyer for LNG plant resigns, Telegram.com

A Giant Bet Against Natural Gas Is Blowing Up, Wall St. Journal

Sununu signs bill prohibiting oil and gas development in state waters, New Hampshire Union Leader

Environmentalists clash with Lamont as natural gas plant set for Killingly tests Connecticut’s promise to address climate change, Hartford Courant

Wayland resident: Gov. Baker, Merkel, and the Weymouth Compressor Station, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

MASSACHUSETTS: One of America’s leading carbon cutters hits a wall, E&E News (paywall)

Solar ITC Extension Would Be ‘Devastating’ for US Wind Market: WoodMac, Greentech Media

As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 power plants, USA Today

How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes, National Grid

Connecticut 100% carbon-free plan is chance to move beyond ISO-NE gas focus: DEEP chief, Utility Dive

Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy from Darkness, New York Times

Trade group raises monopoly concerns over GMP’s Tesla program, VTDigger

Study: Emissions in Rhode Island are higher than calculated, New Haven Register

New Plan Charts Burlington’s Course Toward Becoming ‘Net Zero’ City, NECN

Climate Town Hall: Several Democratic Candidates Embrace a Carbon Tax, New York Times

Banks Are Finally Starting to Account for Climate Change Risk, Bloomberg

State environmental groups urge override of clean energy bill vetoes, Concord Monitor

How to Get Rid of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them, Wall St. Journal

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world, Washington Post

 

Wind

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy, NPR

Offshore Wind-Power Prices Are Plunging, Bloomberg

Fishermen frustrated at turbine distance in wind farm plans, Providence Journal

NJEDA’s offshore wind registry tops 400 businesses, NJBIZ

Ortt Hosts Forum on the Health Effects of Wind Turbines, WBEN

Enel turns Gillette Stadium green with wind energy, EVWind

 

Solar

What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market?, Microgrid Knowledge

Solar backlash may make it tough to build larger projects in Mass., Boston Globe

A company suggested installing solar panels near Virginia Civil War battlefields. Locals raged — and what happened next will happen again, experts say., Washington Post

Proctor eyes possible solar sites, Rutland Herald

Court sends solar project back to regulators, Bennington Banner

Lebanon city properties to get solar panels, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bipartisan Senate bill allocates $100M to ease residential solar, storage permitting, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

DOE has decided many lightbulbs don’t have to meet efficiency standards, Ars Technica

Report finds zero energy buildings within reach for many in Mass, Patch

Biggest Battery System Inches N.Y. Toward 100% Green Energy Goal, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Massachusetts Electric Car Rebates Are About to End. What Does This Mean For Their Future?, WGBH

 

Nuclear

AG Maura Healey seeks extension after missing NRC deadline, Cape Cod Times

Federal grant to help Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station employees laid off after shutdown, Cape Cod Times

C-10: Seabrook plant’s concrete degradation poses threat, Seacoastonline.com

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station advisory panel laments lack of clout, Cape Cod Times

Small modular reactors, nearing operation, touted as solution to some of nuclear industry’s ills, S&P Global

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints, Utility Dive

Cyber-security incident at US power grid entity linked to unpatched firewalls, ZDNet

Proposed bill would require local referendum on large-scale energy projects, Lockport Journal

5 States Blazing the Trail for Integrating Distributed Energy Resources, Greentech Media

Eversource abandons plans for new utility box on Amherst Town Common, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Stalemate over remote pond holds up state panel’s decision on CMP power line, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Column: Safety standards, accountability must enforced after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Andrew Cuomo’s energy policies are counterproductive for the climate: Today, natural gas is a cleaner fuel than alternatives, NY Daily News

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

No more subsidies for bio-mass, Foster’s Daily Democrat

N.H. Plant Protest Shows Conflicting Ideals Of Some Environmentalists, Post-Journal

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

LETTER: Sun far from set on Massachusetts’ solar ambitions, Southcoasttoday.com

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

Energy News for week ending August 16, 2019

Substantially completed | Warming hot spot | Vow to Move Forward | Cathartic Cleansing

Good afternoon folks.  We start this week’s recap with some good news.

From the Eagle Tribune, “Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed. Kempic said Columbia Gas workers have paved more than 150 driveways, sidewalks and private streets, as well as four state roads. There have been 870 projects involving poured concrete, according to the company’s tally. More than 3,500 properties have been aesthetically improved with seeding, in addition to landscaping and greenery. The company has also replaced heating and gas appliances for thousands of customers impacted by the disaster resulting from an over-pressurized gas line. ‘This fulfills Columbia Gas’ commitment to replace by Sept. 15, 2019, those affected appliances and equipment in customers’ homes which were only repaired in fall of 2018,’ according to a statement from Columbia Gas on Thursday. Kempic made clear while addressing the media that ‘while we’ve done a lot of work, we have a lot to do,’ he said. ‘We’re here for the long-term…’ The company is providing free insulation to homes in the three communities impacted through the end of 2019, to help curb heating bills. ‘We’re going to continue to work with the communities impacted; rebuilding trust in those communities,’ Kempic said.”

Some not so good climate news this week comes to us from the Washington Post, “A detailed analysis of 124 years of climate data across the United States shows that the Northeast is one of the fastest-warming regions in the country, with parts of the region exceeding the 2-degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) warming threshold defined by global policymakers as constituting ‘dangerous’ levels of climate change…In New England, warming is causing changes in the fishing industry, as warm water species move north. The Northeast’s average annual temperatures have increased the fastest during wintertime, in keeping with climate change projections that show cold seasons warming faster than warm seasons. New Jersey’s average temperature has climbed by close to 2 degrees Celsius since 1895, which is double average rate for the Lower 48 states. According to the new analysis, NOAA data shows that every Northeast state except for Pennsylvania has seen at least a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase since the late 19th century. This is resulting in earlier ice snow and ice melt across the region and fears of an endangered tourism industry reliant on winter sports.”

Of course everyone is looking to offshore wind to amp up our supply of carbon free generation. But the news of the delay in the fed’s review of Vineyard Wind sounded a lot of alarms. But fear not, according to a State House News Service story in the Taunton Gazette, “Vineyard Wind on Monday vowed that it will move forward with its $2.8 billion, 84-turbine wind farm project despite a new delay caused by the federal government, though the project will take shape on a new, yet-to-be-determined timeline. The U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday put a freeze on a crucial environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind, once slated to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in America, so they can study the wider impacts of an offshore wind industry that is quickly ramping up. Vineyard Wind officials had said in July that the entire project would be at risk if the federal government did not issue the permit by the end of August and the latest delay is likely to upend the supply chain, financing and construction timeline for the project chosen by the Baker administration and state utility companies to fulfill part of a 2016 clean energy law. On Monday, Vineyard Wind — a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables — said its shareholders had ‘affirmed a commitment to deliver a proposed 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, albeit with a delayed project schedule.’ Project officials have been working with contractors and financiers to rework the timeline — and Gov. Charlie Baker has spoken with Vice President Mike Pence about the project — but a new schedule has not yet been determined.”

Here’s an unusual energy story – sort of – from the NH Union Leader, “16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass. In a cathartic cleansing by fire, some of the earliest opponents of the Northern Pass Transmission project gathered at the Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum on Saturday to burn a model of a high-voltage tower…Before it was set on fire, the tower model, made of wood and built by Rick Johnsen and his son Zach, was filled with the detritus of the often contentious struggle between NPT and its opponents: inch-thick reports and studies, both pro and con; flyers; route maps; signs.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed, Eagle Tribune

Charlton seeks more time to weigh in on LNG plant proposal, Telegram.com

Weymouth: Federal Stay on Permit Processes for proposed Compressor Station Ends Today, WATD-FM

Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, Quincy appeal compressor permit, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas completes replaces appliances affected by Merrimack Valley explosions, Boston Globe

EPA seeks to limit states leveraging Clean Water Act to block pipelines, Washington Times

Massachusetts Among 22 States Suing Trump Administration Over New Coal Rules, CBS Boston / WBZ

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts Close to Finalizing a Clean Peak Standard. Good News for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

The Northeast is a warming hot spot, Post analysis finds, Washington Post

Once-Unpopular Carbon Credits Emerge as One of the World’s Best Investments, Wall St. Journal

2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT, Extreme climate change has arrived in America, Washington Post

Analysis: Total US renewables generation down 1% year on year, S&P Global Platts

Self-tweeting tree is Harvard’s newest climate change educator, Boston Globe

Renewables’ variability sends wary utilities from traditional DR to DER and load flexibility, Utility Dive

RGGI Generates $38.58M in Carbon-Permit Sale, Greentech Media

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says no company on Earth right now has a climate change strategy that’s good enough, Business Insider

Converting to Geothermal Energy, New York Times

 

Vineyard Wind

Community leaders rally for action on federal permit for Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Times

Feds’ delay puts crucial tax credit in jeopardy for Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

Vineyard Wind backers commit to delayed project, Taunton Gazette

Vineyard’s Delay Exposes Challenges for Fast-Moving US Offshore Wind Market, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind layout tough issue for regulators, CommonWealth Magazine

Industry group knocks feds’ ‘regrettable’ move on Vineyard Wind, Boston Business Journal

Sens. Warren And Markey Speak Out Against Vineyard Wind Decision, NA Windpower

Vineyard Wind dealt severe blow by feds, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Fed study of offshore wind could run into 2020, southcoasttoday.com

 

Wind

6 Offshore Wind Farms the Size of Nuclear Power Plants, Greentech Media

Falmouth Wind Turbine II MassDEP Loan Update -It’s A Loan, Patch

Commissioners divided on Hancock Wind settlement, Ellsworth America

 

Solar

Outshining fossil fuel: Your guide to the revolution in solar energy, New Scientist

Former Maine landfills finding new life with solar development, MaineBiz

A hotter planet will make solar power less efficient, MIT Technology Review

Everyone loves a guaranteed discount: New financing approach drives community solar growth, Utility Dive

Hyundai Creates a Car With a Roof-Based Solar Charging System, Entrepreneur

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Fall River businesses could benefit from state’s energy efficiency loans, Herald News

New York regulators call on FERC to exempt energy storage from NYISO’s mitigation measures, Utility Dive

EPA details renewables, efficiency health benefits as DOE slows energy savings progress, Utility Dive

Giant Batteries Supercharge Wind and Solar Plans, Wall St. Journal

 

EVs

Electric vehicles may not be able to avoid road maintenance taxes for much longer, Pacific Standard

US needs to invest $2.2 billion to meet EV charging demand through 2025: ICCT, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC staff approves sale of Pilgrim nuclear power plant, AP

Inside the lab where Bill Gates’ TerraPower is inventing the future of nuclear energy, GeekWire

New resident inspector named at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

Role of decommissioning citizen panels questioned, Brattleboro Reformer

Battle Emerges Over Nuclear Waste in America’s Oil Patch, Wall St. Journal

Meltdown averted: How VR headsets are making nuclear power plants safer, ZDNet

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant in the Arctic causes anxiety in Alaska, KTUU.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

US Northeast power grid operators begin preparations for massive offshore wind additions, S&P Global

FERC Commissioner Chatterjee Issues Statement on ISO New England, Energy Central

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Businesses complain GMP rate bumps could total 16%, VT Digger

New Jersey Prepares for Second Round of Microgrid Funding, Microgrid Knowledge

State agrees to additional public hearing on rate changes, SILive

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Controversial New England Power Fix Shows U.S. Agency Split, Bloomberg

PSEG, union start talks after workers reject contract extension, Newsday

Wilton calls special town meeting for utility moratorium, Sun Journal

Study on Massachusetts utilities released, Wicked Local

Lawyers for aggrieved customers pan CMP compensation fund, Portland Press Herald

16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

To save our climate, start with our buildings, Boston Globe

Mayors of Salem, Holyoke call for carbon fee, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Time for uniform reporting of gas leaks, Salem News

Daniel Blackerby: Mills on front line of climate change, Sun Journal

Now is the time for offshore wind, The Hill

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

Energy News for week ending August 2, 2019

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

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

So let’s get at it.

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

Pittsfield’s Renewable Energy Work Highlighted, IBerkshires

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

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

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

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

Somerset plant awarded low-cost electricity, Niagara Gazette

 

Wind

Offshore wind price protection eliminated, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

NY contracts with Eversource project, Journal Inquirer

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

Bourne homeowners file suit over turbines, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

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

Lockheed Martin Doubles Down on Cold Fusion, Motley Fool

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

Lawmakers hike assessment on utilities 50%, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

The false promise of nuclear power, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending June 7, 2019

Crowd-sourcing | Permit denied | Transformation

 

Happy beautiful Friday afternoon folks.

Let’s get to the news.

From CommonWealth Magazine, “Crowd-sourcing energy efficiency. Eversource Energy on Wednesday began offering businesses and homeowners incentive payments ranging from $20 to $1,000 a year if they allow the company to tap into devices that would allow the utility to remotely retrieve electricity stored by customers or lower their energy usage at peak demand periods. Developed as part of the state’s $2.8 billion, three-year energy efficiency program, Eversource said the incentive payment program would target customers with electric vehicle chargers, battery storage devices, or wireless thermostats. Customers with vehicle chargers or battery storage systems would allow Eversource to remotely link to the devices ‘a few hours a month,’ drawing electricity that would be shifted on to the regional power grid at peak demand periods. For homeowners with wireless thermostats, Eversource would remotely turn down the temperature on very hot days and help reduce demand on the power grid. By aggregating the devices of several thousand customers, Eversource estimated it could reduce the need for new power plants and transmission facilities. The company described the energy impact of the program as the equivalent of taking 20,000 homes off the power grid at peak demand times.”

Another pipeline permit is denied according to a story from Crain’s NY Business, “NJ joins NY in denying permits for hotly contested natural-gas pipeline. New Jersey regulators followed New York’s in denying key permits for the Williams Transco pipeline Wednesday, prompting its developer to promise to reapply in the Garden State. The proposed $1 billion pipeline, from Tulsa-based William Cos., would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania through New Jersey, under a bay and the ocean to New York. The company says the pipeline is necessary to ensure adequate heating fuel for the New York region. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection rejected the permits—including one for waterfront development and wetlands works—without prejudice, meaning the company can try again. The company was similarly rebuffed by New York regulators for a water-quality permit last month. The developer has reapplied there as well. In the meantime, National Grid has stopped processing new applications for natural-gas hookups in its Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island service territories until the project is approved.”

The last highlight for this week is a story you can read or listen to and comes from WBUR, “New England’s Electric Power Grid Is Undergoing A Transformation. Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, says the region has a problem: ‘It’s really hard to be half pregnant, but we’re trying.’ The problem: We’re creating a hybrid power grid, an electric-generating network that runs on a changing combination of fuels and technologies. He says the system is more complex and less predictable than the grid we had just a few years ago.”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Offshore drilling ban gets airing, Salem News

Healey intervenes in suit over oil transport, Cape Cod Times

Latest Federal Pipeline Safety Proposal Looks To Fix Problems Revealed In Merrimack Valley Gas Fires, WGBH

DEP Shows New Air Quality Data in Compressor Case, Associated Press

Weymouth compressor foes have more time to vet new air quality data, Wicked Local

Williams expects to overcome environmental concerns on Northeast Supply natgas pipe, Reuters

New Jersey joins New York in denying permits for hotly contested natural gas pipeline, Crain’s New York

Latest Federal Pipeline Safety Proposal Looks To Fix Problems Revealed In Merrimack Valley Gas Fires, WGBH

Water a big concern for utilities, but coal ash risk in billions, Bloomberg L.P.

Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million to Help End Coal, New York Times

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Teen Climate Activist Greta Thunberg: ‘This Is Not Over Yet, Not Even Close,’ Greentech Media

In future Mass bids, offshore wind could be forced to compete with other green energy, South Coast Today

Bill to require greenhouse gas study of CMP project falters in House, Press Herald

Environmentalists tout offshore wind, plastic bag, solar measures, The Day

Springfield organizers, residents voice opposition to biomass burning, WWLP

New England Is Losing Its Native Plants. Researchers Say It’s Time To Stop And Smell The Wildflowers, WBUR

 

Wind

Connecticut takes a major step into offshore wind, CT Mirror

The rush is on: to double offshore wind power, that is, Boston Globe

Wind farm critics step up efforts, National Wind Watch

Jones Act? Not a Problem for US Offshore Wind Market, Avangrid Says, Greentech Media

Revolution Wind will use State Pier, The Day

Rhode Island’s Planned New Offshore Wind Farm Reflects Growing Trend. Here’s Why Some Are Concerned, WNPR

 

Solar

New York braces for solar fight as utility regulators mull fixed charge increase, Renewable Energy World

Proposed Bridgewater solar farm re-emerges after court battle, Enterprise News

Sununu Vetoes Net Metering Bill Again, Setting Up Repeat Override Battle, New Hampshire Public Radio

Proposed solar fee raises questions about who pays for grid upgrades, VTDigger

 

Efficiency/Storage

Crowd-sourcing energy efficiency, CommonWealth Magazine

US energy storage market sees 232% year-on-year growth, Utility Dive

 

EVs

New Jersey governor announces state interagency electric vehicle partnership; 330K ZEVs by 2025, Green Car Congress

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim’s shutdown ends nuke era in Mass., Sentinel & Enterprise

Group looks to monitor Seabrook power plant radiation, Seacoast Online

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England’s Electric Power Grid Is Undergoing A Transformation, WBUR

Governor’s choice to lead Public Utilities Commission pledges to move to R.I., Providence Journal

Getting Offshore Wind Power on the Grid, T&D World

Lt. Governor Mckee announces $7.9 million in utility rate relief for Rhode Islanders, Newport Buzz

ISO-NE will require wind, intermittent hydro to bid into day-ahead energy markets, Utility Dive

New England Regulators Talk Wholesale Market Evolution, RTO Insider

The Multiple Problems With National Grid, Seeking Alpha

Growing number of towns revolt against CMP transmission line, Portland Press Herald

CMP defends competing job claims; critics cry foul, Associated Press

 

Editorial/Opinion

When companies say they’re using “100% renewable energy,” take it with a grain of salt, Fast Company

Energy forecast: Good today, future uncertain, CommonWealth Magazine

Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale, CommonWealth Magazine

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale, Commonwealth Magazine

Callous disregard for neighbors of proposed Weymouth compressor, Boston Globe

Lilly Lombard: Climate crisis solution needs help from Columbia Gas, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Energy forecast: Good today, future uncertain, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending May 31, 2019

End of an Era | Upended | Freedom Gas

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, we all knew it was coming. Today is the day that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth shuts down for good. I’m a bit biased since I worked closely with Pilgrim employees and Entergy over the past 10+ years, but I think it’s safe to say that while the divide about Pilgrim and nuclear power in general remains, we can probably all agree that it must be a tough day for the folks who work at the plant. The crew of nearly 600 employees worked tirelessly the past few years to bring the plant’s NRC safety rating back to green or “normal oversight” and they did it because they have pride in their work and value the benefits that Pilgrim’s near carbon-free power brought to the grid and the environment. So, we offer our thanks to the men and women who worked there over the past 46+ years for keeping us safe and providing us with an abundance of clean power and wish them well on what life’s adventure brings them next. Here’s a story from the Cape Cod Times on Pilgrim’s shutdown.

We move to another controversial subject in Massachusetts which is that of the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station. From the Patriot Ledger, “The Department of Environmental Protection’s three-day delay in notifying parties of new data relevant to an air quality permit appeal case “upended the proceedings” and, as a result, the hearing will be extended to allow full consideration of the latest information, the adjudicator overseeing the case ruled Thursday. After receiving arguments from all parties on whether the latest batch of data concerning a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth warrants continuation of the appeal, hearing officer Jane Rothchild ruled that, by waiting to release the data until the hearing was nearly complete, the DEP “prevented (petitioners) from having a fair and complete opportunity” to cross-examine witnesses. In another article from the same outlet, they quoted Attorney General Maura Healey with saying that, “State environmental regulators ‘really bungled’ air-quality testing in connection with the review of a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.’

Last story for this week comes from the, “What were they thinking?” bin and was analyzed by Axios, “Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports ‘freedom gas.’ The Department of Energy uncorked a memorable phrase yesterday when it approved expanded shipments from the Freeport LNG site in Texas. Here’s Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes yesterday in DOE’s greatest press release ever: ‘Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.’ Another DOE official touted ‘molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world.’ The fallout: The phrasing got a ton of coverage and produced some fun writing, like this from Slate’s Jordan Weissmann: ‘As one of my colleagues put it, spreading freedom gas sounds like what happens when you’re newly single and suddenly have the apartment to yourself.’” Be sure to check out the article for why the statement matters.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Charlton residents voice concern over proposed liquid natural gas plant on Route 169, Worcester Telegram

Fire chief discusses gas leaks on ‘Wayland Weekly Buzz’, Wicked Local Wayland

‘Freedom Gas,’ the Next American Export, New York Times

Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports “freedom gas,” Axios

Leaks Threaten Safety – and Success – of America’s Top Natural Gas Exporter, Center for Public Integrity

 

Weymouth

2 more days of hearings scheduled in compressor case, Patriot Ledger

Proposed gas compressor station in Massachusetts poses air pollution risks, Harvard Medical School

Energy Company Behind Weymouth Compressor Says New Air Quality Data Shouldn’t Affect Permits, WBUR

Healey says DEP ‘really bungled’ compressor data, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers urge DEP to revoke Weymouth compressor permit, Wicked Local

Hearing on compressor station safety set for June 17, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The ticket to 100% renewable power is underneath our feet, Grist

DeLeo touts $1.3b GreenWorks program, Boston Globe

Cities Are Making Big Climate Promises. Keeping Them Can Be Tough, NPR

NH Senate approves more subsides for biomass plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

Businesses lobby for renewable energy bills at State House, New Hampshire Union Leader

Climate driving new right whale movement, Phys.org

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the U.S. East Coast from hurricanes, Phys.org

Climate Change May Have Caused Mass Puffin Die-Off, Discover

The White House Plan to Change Climate Science, New York Times

Once again, it’s not easy being green, The Day

Maine natural gas company has big plans to turn cow manure into renewable energy, WGME

 

Wind

Orsted: US Offshore Wind Supply Chain Decisions Coming Soon, Greentech Media

$1B Rhode Island Wind Farm To Power 270,000 Homes, Patch

PSEG looks to benefit from — but not build — offshore wind developments, WHYY

Defense bill raises fear of delayed projects, or worse, E&E News

US Energy Department Wants to See Lighter Offshore Wind Turbines, Greentech Media

State approves 22-turbine wind project for Hancock County, Bangor Daily News

 

Solar

New York state winters could pose solar farm ‘ramping’ snag for power grid, Science Daily

Connecticut House saves net metering, for now, but green groups want more, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Program Increases Solar Access For Municipal Light Plant Customers, Solar Industry

The Energy 202: California utilities’ planned blackouts this wildfire season prompt residents to adopt solar power, Washington Post

 

Efficiency/Storage

World’s Largest Renewable Energy Storage Project Announced in Utah, Associated Press

New York utilities increasingly embrace non-wires alternatives as ConEd forges the path, Utility Dive

 

Pilgrim Closing

After 46 years, Pilgrim nuclear plant shutting down, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear power plant workers prep for shutdown after 47 years, AP

You Asked, We Answered: Questions About The Pilgrim Shutdown, WBUR

Pilgrim Is Closing. So Then What Happens To The Radioactive Waste?, WBUR

 

Nuclear

Nuclear plant’s new owners receive high marks, Daily Hampshire Gazette

IEA rings alarm bell on phasing out nuclear energy, Reuters

Three Mile Island’s closure haunts Pennsylvania’s nuclear debate, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New Map Shows Expanse Of U.S. Nuclear Waste Sites, Forbes.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

FERC Rejects New England Tx Rate Settlement, RTO Insider

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Seacoastonline.com

‘Grid Transformation Day’ Highlights ISO-NE Challenges, RTO Insider

APPA: Deregulation has not achieved intended results, Utility Dive

National Grid agrees to pass savings from federal tax cuts to R.I. ratepayers, Providence Journal

Judge reconsidering stay in CMP complaint lawsuit, Portland Press Herald

Who Pays on a Decentralized Grid? New York Tackles the Equity Problem with New Rates, Microgrid Knowledge

US Northeast power markets try to balance changes to capacity markets, valuation mechanisms, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Changing energy sources should be top priority, Eagle-Tribune

Letter: Brydon Ross: R.I. energy costs among the worst in nation, Providence Journal

Climate crisis requires urgent action: Op-Ed, The Advocate

Kicking the tires on battery-electric buses, Commonwealth Magazine

Why Advanced Nuclear Reactors May Be Here Sooner Than Many Imagine, Greentech Media

How to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs, Boston Globe

Maine Voices: Proposal to revive offshore wind project does not pass the smell test, Portland Press Herald

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Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing