Tag Archives: Columbia Gas of MA

Energy News for week ending June 26, 2020

Carbon Tax | Solar Limbo | StEnSea

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start we a story from the Concord Monitor, “New England Power Generators pushing for a carbon tax. A utility group representing most of the power plants in New England is supporting the idea of a tax on the carbon content of emissions, an idea supported by many economists as the simplest and most market-based way to reduce greenhouse gas production. The report by Cavicchi and Paul Hibbard of the Analysis Group for New England Power Generators Association says a price of between $25 and $70 per ton of CO2 in emissions would drive changes in electricity production, transportation and heating that could meet the region’s emissions targets. A carbon tax would raise the price of gasoline and heating oil, spurring a switch to electric vehicles and electric heat pumps. As the power grid comes cleaner with more renewable energy, that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy, often placed under the slogan ‘electrify everything,’ is a major plank in many proposals to fight the climate emergency. The report argues that total spending would also decline by switching to electrified transportation and heating, saving customers money.”

Next up is a story from PineTreeWatch.org, “6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition. The fate of net metering in New England — and across the United States — remains unknown, but resistance to its erasure is mounting. More than 450 organizations, 57,000 individuals and 37 states submitted comments opposing a petition that could set a national precedent and end a billing practice that credits users for investing in solar. Twenty-two organizations and individuals filed support for the proposal. The public comment window ended on June 15. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has not yet set a date to rule on the petition, which was filed by the New England Ratepayers Association in April…Maine Gov. Janet Mills was among those who spoke out against the petition, asking commissioners to ‘outright dismiss this petition.’ More than 6,000 ongoing projects in Maine rely on the benefits of net metering and the petition ‘would put at risk Maine’s existing renewable energy programs and the economic benefits enjoyed by thousands of citizens,’ Mills wrote in a letter to FERC. The Maine Public Utilities Commission and Maine Office of the Public Advocate also issued statements opposing the petition. ‘We’re not going away,’ said Barry Hobbins, Maine’s Public Advocate, whose job is to look out for the interests of public utility customers in Maine. ‘This could really undercut the solar industry.’”

For our new technology feature we look to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, “Energy storage at sea could enable full transition to renewable power. A new form of pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) has been developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology in Germany. The project, entitled Storing Energy at Sea (StEnSea), uses concrete spheres anchored on the seafloor. To store energy, water is pumped out of the spheres, against the pressure of the surrounding seawater. When the energy is required, water is allowed to flow back into the spheres, driving turbines. No upper reservoir or transmission pipe is required since the surrounding seawater provides the necessary water pressure. When compared to conventional PSH, the need for land is eliminated and structures are minimised. It eliminates the danger of dam collapse and improves storage efficiency since evaporation from the upper reservoir does not reduce the energy stored. It is proposed that spheres with a diameter of 30m would be located at a depth of 700m, giving a nominal storage capacity of 27MWh. When the actual internal volume and operating efficiency of the system are taken into account, this configuration is expected to yield 18.3MWh storage capacity with a peak power output of 5MW.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

ACEEE highlights 10 building energy performance standards to help meet climate goals, Utility Dive

New York Power Authority, Signify upgrade 500K streetlights statewide, Utility Dive

FEATURE: Energy storage at sea could enable full transition to renewable power, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Bring-Your-Own-Batteries and EV Chargers: The Future of Distributed Energy Integration?, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

New England Power Generators pushing for a carbon tax, Concord Monitor

Corporate carbon reduction targets get boost with new EEI, WRI utility emission rate tool, Utility Dive

Much of New York City’s generation needs to be displaced to reach state renewables target, agencies say, Utility Dive

US public opinion supports action on climate change — and has for years, Vox.com

Emissions reduction bill clears Senate committee, VT Digger

The Energy 202: House Democrats push aid for wind and solar in new infrastructure bill, Washington Post

Why Tackle Climate Change? To Save Craft Beer and Outdoor Sports, Greentech Media

 

Wind

Health board hopes to hold hearing ‘when feasible’ on wind turbines, Wicked Local Plymouth

Wind farm-related relocation of Connecticut fishermen stirs funding debate, Undercurrent News

New London and Connecticut Port Authority again at odds on funding, the Day

In New York, The Town Of Freedom Isn’t Free From Big Wind, Forbes.com

Trump administration wind and solar approvals lag Obama record: study, Reuters

Deep in the Heart of Texas, a Chinese Wind Farm Raises Eyebrows, Foreign Policy

 

Solar

6,000 Maine solar projects remain in limbo due to uncertainty over federal decision on net metering petition, Pine Tree Watch

Trapping the sun: New thin-film technology uses sustainable components for solar panels, Phys.org

GMP has app to let customers support small biz and nonprofits, Rutland Herald

BlackRock Leads $50M Investment Into Off-Grid Solar Technology That Generates Water, Greentech Media

Environmental Group Pursues Residential Solar Mandate in 10 States, Greentech Media

 

EVs

State Expanding Clean Car Rebates to Commercial Fleets, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Apple Maps gets electric vehicle routing to find EV chargers, Techcrunch

Ford aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, The Verge

 

Nuclear

Citizens’ Panel Reviews Pilgrim Nuclear Settlement, WCAI

Local leaders like Pilgrim deal but want more for Plymouth, Wicked Local Plymouth

Report: Company Decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Under Criminal Investigation, WBUR

Truck hauling empty Vermont Yankee waste containers tips over, WCAX

Judge Orders Decommissioning Temporarily Halted at Former Nuclear Plant, (NJ) The Sandpaper

 

Gas

Report cites slow progress fixing gas leaks, Salem News

Columbia Gas Ordered To Pay $53M Fine For Merrimack Valley Explosions, WBUR

UPDATE: Federal judge formally sentences Columbia Gas for Merrimack Valley disaster, Eagle Tribune

LNG shipments by rail OK’d in US amid pipeline battles, Gloucester Times

PG&E First Major Utility to Support State Bans on Natural Gas, Bloomberg Law

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Feds OK $140 million fuel subsidy for New England power plants in winter, Concord Monitor

Black households pay more for energy than white households: analysis, The Hill

Norwich Public Utilities continues to see impacts of COVID-19 on customers, The Day

What is Transactive Energy and Why is it Important to Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

CMP Transmission Line Faces New Legal Challenges, Including One Over Public Lands, Maine Public

Trump’s Grid Order Baffles Utilities Over What They Can Buy, Yahoo! Finance

 

Opinion

Op-Ed: Off-shore wind can still power Massachusetts, Boston Business Journal

Our view: South Jersey to get another piece of state’s offshore wind industry, Press of Atlantic City

MY VIEW: Storage of spent nuclear fuel a matter of public safety, Cape Cod Times

The truth about the future of gas: We don’t need to build anymore, Utility Dive

Hard truths about net metering and the perils of regulatory nihilism, Utility Dive

Rural New York pays price as NYC benefits, Times Union

Will New Jersey’s New Wind Port Be A Game Changer Or A Financial Boondoggle?, Forbes.com

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, hydro, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, solar

Energy News for week ending May 22, 2020

Big deal | Curtailed | Zinc-air

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start with a piece from the Granite Geek. “Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England. One sunny afternoon earlier this month, reports ISO-New England, the six-state region had roughly 3,200 MW of “behind the meter” solar – the rooftop stuff, as compared to stand-alone solar farms that feed straight to the grid. This was a record, says the folks who run our power system, although it’s a record that will be falling frequently in coming years, since they expect many thousands more megawatts of solar to be added. How much is 3,200 megawatts? It’s almost three times the output of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, so we’re talking serious output…”

For this next story we move from solar to wind. From S&P Global Platts, “Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO. ISO New England analysis made public Wednesday estimated about 10% of the total 2030 offshore wind power portfolio connected into southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island would be “spilled,” or curtailed, under certain assumptions due to transmission constraints and a glut of supply. Transmission developer Anbaric requested ISO-NE perform a study reviewing the impact on energy market prices, air emissions and regional fuel security of three offshore wind power scenarios for target year 2030: 8,000 MW, 10,000 MW and 12,000 MW. An ISO-NE presentation during an earlier Planning Committee meeting discussed the Anbaric economic study for scenarios with 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind additions in southern New England. The addition of 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind plus assumed resource retirements of nearly 4,500 MW result in southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island (SEMA/RI) export interface transmission congestion, according to the presentation. Other key points include a finding that connecting more offshore wind close to load centers outside of southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island, especially the Mystic and Millstone substations, would reduce the congestion hours of the southeast Massachusetts/Rhode Island export interface.”

Our new tech feature this week comes from Recharge. “New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion.’ A new type of battery is coming onto the market that can store multiple days’ worth of energy, that doesn’t degrade, can’t possibly explode and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion, claimed its developer as it prepares to pilot the technology in New York state. The zinc-air hybrid flow battery developed by Canadian company Zinc8 has the potential to disrupt the entire energy-storage market — making wind and solar farms baseload and even replacing the need for transmission grid upgrades in many places…Zinc-air can beat lithium-ion batteries on price because the latter can generally only hold about four hours’ worth of energy at any one time, so an eight-hour storage system would require two batteries. By contrast, the storage capacity of the Zinc8 system can just be made bigger by increasing the size of the storage tank and the volume of the electrolyte it contains. The capital cost of an eight-hour Zinc8 storage is about $250/kWh, falling to $100/kWh for a 32-hour system and $60/kWh for 100 hours. By contrast, lithium-ion projects cost about $300/kWh for any duration over eight hours.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and don’t forget to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in service to our country.

And as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets, Inside Climate News

Cuomo administration cites new climate law in denying controversial New York, New Jersey pipeline, Politico NY

Devastated By Coronavirus, New York’s Pipeline Politics Ensure A Tougher Second Round, Forbes.com

First gas disaster settlement checks going out Friday, Eagle Tribune

Answers Sought Regarding Explosion and Pipeline Construction in Burrillville, EcoRI

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

‘Devil is in the details.’ The fight for grid carbon pricing, E&E News

Majority of Mainers support bold energy, transportation policies to address climate change, MaineBeacon.com

Wind and Solar Profits: The Race Between Falling Costs and Declining Revenue, Greentech Media

Traffic Is Way Down, Due To Lockdowns, But Air Pollution? Not So Much, WGBH

Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills, Reuters

Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal, AP News

The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change, study shows, Washington Post

Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis, New York Times

Global emissions plunged an unprecedented 17 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, Washington Post

Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years: IEA, Reuters

Why some spots on the planet are heating up faster than others, Washington Post

Group Says It Will Launch World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project, Power Magazine

With CT’s trash future in flux, food-waste recycler hopes for bigger role, Hartford Business Journal

More US Power Generated This Year Expected To Come From Renewables Than From Coal, WGBH

 

Wind

Connecticut Utilities Move Forward with Park City Wind PPAs, Offshorewind.biz

Brattle Study Highlights Benefits of Offshore Grid, RTO Insider

Siemens Gamesa Launches 14MW Offshore Wind Turbine, World’s Largest

Four New Studies to Examine Fisheries, Offshore Wind, South Coast Today

Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO, S&P Global

 

Solar

Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England, Granite Geek

5 Wind Energy Giants Embracing Solar Power, Greentech Media

Utility regulator denies controversial Bennington solar project, VT Digger

Why is cloudy Syracuse suddenly a solar farm magnet?, Syracuse.com

Coronavirus Wipes Out 5 Years of US Solar Job Growth, Greentech Media

COVID-19 Impacts on the U.S. Solar Industry, SEIA

Why (and How) the Solar Finance Market Is Changing in This Crisis, Greentech Media

National Solar Tour Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You, NA Clean Energy

Proposed solar farm in Gorham up for review June 1, Press Herald

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar permit in New Milford, News Times

Melrose church installs community solar project, Wicked Local Melrose

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Can Free Smart Thermostats Get Homeowners to Enroll in Summertime Demand Response,? Greentech Media

New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion,’ Recharge

Con Edison commits $1.5 billion to energy efficiency, Utility Dive

 

EVs

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die, Bloomberg

HEVO to Launch US Manufacturing for Wireless Electric Vehicle Charger, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Tonopah quake bolsters Nevada’s case against Yucca dumpsite, LasVegas Sun

Brick by brick: Finding families of loved ones who worked at Pilgrim Station, Patriot Ledger

America Just Made a Huge Investment in Next-Gen Nuclear Power, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

The Drive to Replace Summer-Only ‘Peaker’ Power Plants, Wired

Mainers get more time to pay bills, utilities get pinched as virus reduces demand, WGME

ISO-New England: 2019 transmission-outage coordination stats and goals, Electric Energy Online

‘Terrified’ energy workers press feds for safety standard, E&E News

New York grants flexibility, works to limit ‘bad actors’ in demand response programs hit by COVID-19, Utility Dive

Unpaid utility bills, lower usage threaten to push rates higher in Maine, Press Herald

LIPA officials planning to retire at least 1 power generating unit, Newsday

Mass. Hydropower Project Stymied By Maine Ballot Question Dispute, WBUR

 

Opinion

Eastie needs straight answers from Eversource, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to start using less natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Gov. Phil Murphy needs to unplug NJ Transit’s power plant | Opinion, northjersey.com

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce: NECEC offers some hope for Maine’s economy, Central Maine.com

Rhode Island Can’t Delay Efforts to Decarbonize Its Economy, EcoRI

INSIGHT: Will AI Increase or Decrease Power Grid Efficiency,? Bloomberg Law

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

Energy News for week ending March 20, 2020

Protect marine life | The neighbors hate it | Initial approval

TGIF. We hope everyone is staying well and following all public health rules for keeping us all safe in these crazy times. Sticking together while staying apart may be an oxymoron but it’s a lifesaving one. That’s today’s public service announcement.

By the way, we have a whole section on the coronavirus and Covid-19 and its effects on the energy industry below. But for our part, we’ve selected three other stories to highlight to give you a break from that news.

From North American Wind Power, “Greentown Labs, a North American cleantech incubator, and Vineyard Wind, developer of the first utility-scale offshore wind energy generation facility in the U.S., are accepting applications for the Offshore Wind Challenge. Greentown Labs and Vineyard Wind are seeking submissions from startups that are innovating in marine mammal monitoring, either surrounding data collection and real-time transmission or data analysis…The Offshore Wind Challenge is for startups with a technology readiness level between three and six and a proof of concept that can be brought to a state of practice.”

They say good fences make good neighbors, but I don’t think a fence will help this guy. From the New York Times, “He Set Up a Big Solar Farm. His Neighbors Hated It. Neighbors used to wave to Timothy Masters whenever he stood outside his cherry-red barn, trading hellos across his corn and soybean fields in this small town about 10 miles north of Niagara Falls. That ended about a year ago, when a field of solar panels was deposited on 18 acres of Mr. Masters’s land. Mr. Masters, the building inspector in Lewiston, is among a growing number of landowners trying to cash in on New York State’s push toward renewable energy: The solar company now leasing his land, he said, pays him 20 times more than the soybean farmer who had previously rented it. But by replacing lush green soybean plants with rows of silicon and metal solar panels, Mr. Masters has found himself the target of a growing backlash against the spread of solar farms in rural areas.”

Last up for this week, from the Portland Press Herald, “CMP power line project wins initial approval from Maine DEP. Central Maine Power Co.’s plan to build a transmission line through western Maine’s mountains cleared a significant hurdle [last] Friday when the Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued a draft permit for the $1 billion project. The initial approval puts significant conditions on the project to limit its impacts, in one instance decreasing the width of the corridor to nearly one-third of what the company had requested. In announcing the order, the DEP said in a statement that its approval ‘requires an unprecedented level of environmental and natural resource protection in the permitting of Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect Project.’ But opponents of the project were quick to dismiss the permit order as doing little to protect Maine’s environment and resources, and some foes called out the DEP for announcing its decision while the state is focused on battling the coronavirus pandemic.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and stay healthy.

Coronavirus/Covid-19

‘An immediate and dramatic business concern’: How COVID-19 is disrupting the energy sector, Utility Dive

What COVID-19 and Climate Change Have in Common, Greentech Media

Coronavirus response should promote clean energy — IEA, Axios

For Wind and Solar Sectors, Biggest Coronavirus Risk May Be a Damaged Economy, Greentech Media

Coronavirus fallout could be the ‘nail in the coffin’ for smaller oil companies, Grist

What climate change can teach us about fighting the coronavirus, Hartford Courant

Pandemic Creating ‘Crisis’ for Solar Industry, Power Magazine

Keeping the Lights On: US Utility Sector Braces for Coronavirus Impact, Greentech Media

U.S. Power Use Weakening After Plunging in Italy Amid Coronavirus, Wall St. Journal

U.S. power industry may ask key employees to live at work if coronavirus worsens, Reuters

Coronavirus Could Make It Harder to Keep Wind Farms Up and Running, Greentech Media

National Grid sets aside $500K in customer aid, WHEC

R.I. Utilities Commission Offers Relief from Shut-Offs, ECO RI

Unitil, Eversource, Liberty Utilities suspend power shutoffs amid coronavirus crisis, Foster’s Daily Democrat

National Grid suspends disconnections, collections, Telegram

Avangrid’s CT companies suspend penalty fees for payment problems during coronavirus pandemic, New Haven Register

Maine energy regulators issue emergency moratorium on utilities service disconnections, Bangor Daily News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawyers in Columbia Gas settlement seek early payout, Gloucester Times

Residents call for halt to compressor station construction, Patriot Ledger

Eliot to net $900K a year for gas line station expansion, Seacoastonline.com

U.S. Gulf oil lease sale is weakest since 2016, Reuters

A Tiny Country, an Oil Giant, and Their Shared Fortune, New York Times

Newfoundland offshore Bay du Nord project deferred indefinitely, Chronicle Herald

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Proposed New England power projects reflect ‘dramatic shift’ from gas to renewables, IEEFA

Curbing emissions could save Vermonters $800 million, report says, VTDigger

New York develops 21 new renewable energy projects, CSO Magazine

Solar Dominates Wind in New York’s Latest Renewable Procurement, Greentech Media

Why Scientists Should Shape Environmental Policy, Foreign Policy

Coalition calls for carbon cap-and-trade program across Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, WHYY

New York forestland could provide carbon credit to polluters, Northcountrypublicradio.org

State to Get Millions for Climate Change Strategies After Rejoining Regional Energy Initiative, NJ Spotlight

Study: global banks ‘failing miserably’ on climate crisis by funneling trillions into fossil fuels, Guardian

Lynn is designated a ‘green community’ and receives state funds, Boston Globe

 

Wind

Planned Offshore Wind Turbines Will Have Connection To Shore Substation, Falmouth Enterprise

Maine Will Soon Be Home to 15 MW Wind Power Project, Environmental Leader

Apex Clean Energy applies for 33 wind turbines in Orleans County, Buffalo News

Oil major Total buys 80% stake in Erebus floating offshore wind project, Reuters

Wind power firm picks Rhode Island over New York for industry hub, Newsday

Offshore Wind Farm Development to Include Underground Cables, U.S. News & World Report

Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind Launch Offshore Challenge to Protect Marine Life, NRG Wind Project

 

Solar

New York taps developers for almost 1.3 GW of solar, wind and storage across upstate region, Utility Dive

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

He Set Up a Big Solar Farm. His Neighbors Hated It., New York Times

Top 5 Emerging Solar Markets in the US, Greentech Media

Solar Drives Down Price for ISO-NE Power, Power Magazine

Solar Industry Grows 23% in 2019, But Clouds Are on the Horizon, Motley Fool

Solar-powered Harvard ArtLab to meet net-zero energy targets, Inhabitat

Castile solar farm among 21 renewable energy projects unveiled by state officials, Daily News Online

NH developers plan to build solar array in Maine, Journal Record

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Virginia Just Created a Storage Market Out of Thin Air, Greentech Media

These new battery technologies could be the future of energy storage, CNBC

Lead batteries make innovation push to better compete for energy storage projects, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

No halt in Vermont Yankee decommissioning, Brattleboro Reformer

Pennsylvania Move to Join RGGI May Save Nuclear Plant, Power Magazine

Billionaires Chasing Fusion Energy Face a Credibility Test, Bloomberg Green

Politics Continues to Complicate the Nation’s Nuclear Waste Disposal Dilemma, Inside Sources

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Shows Dry Cask Storage Is Safe – Yet Again, Forbes.com

Addressing Safety of Smart Devices for Use in Nuclear Power Plants, iaea.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP power line project wins initial approval from Maine DEP, Portland Press Herald

Hydropower plan faces opposition, uncertain future, Salem News

New England’s wholesale energy market reaches historic low in 2019, (Press Release), ISO – NE

A New Era Is Beginning for the Grid Edge. Is the Utility Industry Ready,? Greentech Media

Retail buyers may be key to clean energy procurement in ISO-NE, PJM, NYISO: Report, Utility Dive

Smart Wires Looks to Ease Transmission Grid’s Mounting Challenges With Digital Controls, Greentech Media

ISO Outlook 2020: New England capacity additions about the same as 2019, S&P Global

State regulators approve sale of Emera Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

What Comes After Fossil Fuels?, The New Yorker

Column: Why we need offshore wind energy, Salem News

Should the public buy Columbia Gas?, CommonWealth Magazine

Op-ed: AG should focus on climate solutions, not lawsuits, Business Journals

NJ RGGI proceeds, Politico

This controversial energy stance splits top Democrats — and likely the country, MarketWatch

Anne Watson: Transportation & Climate Initiative would be a win for Vermont, VTDigger

What if we responded to the climate crisis with the same urgency as the coronavirus?, Boston Globe

LETTER: Why we need offshore wind energy, southcoasttoday.com

American Wind Energy Association Statement on Draft Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Routes Study, NA Clean Energy

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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 March 13, 2020

Something else not to feel good about | Can we keep the jobs? | Ethics Investigation

 

Happy Friday the 13th folks. What.A.Week.

Let’s start with coronavirus-related news. From the Washington Post, “Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that. Humans have seemed unable to get a handle on climate change, with global emissions of greenhouse gases continuing to grow every year. But a microscopic pathogen, so structurally simple that it does not even have a single cell and is arguably not even alive, may be capable of accomplishing what our political leaders thus far cannot. Experts say that greenhouse gas emissions in China, the world’s largest current contributor to climate change, are down 25 percent in recent weeks as the country conducted a massive societal intervention to stop the spread of the virus. Air pollution is also down, due to decreased driving and less coal burning. Meanwhile, as the virus enters a second phase, spreading beyond China to other countries, it is dampening global demand for oil and air travel, and threatening overall global economic growth. All of these are strongly linked to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Next up, Greentech Media asks, “Can New England Hang On to Its Offshore Wind Jobs? Siemens Gamesa, the world’s leading supplier of offshore wind turbines, recently revealed that it’s considering building a $200 million blade factory in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region — a potential cornerstone investment for the domestic supply chain. That’s great news for the U.S. offshore wind industry, though New England officials could be forgiven for being less than thrilled with the choice of location. An offshore wind jobs boom looks set to wash up on American shores…But where those jobs end up is still an open question. And it’s one that officials in New England…may have reason to be nervous about. New England is the cradle of the American offshore wind market and in many ways its spiritual home. It hosts the country’s only operating project (Block Island, off Rhode Island) and its only tailor-made offshore wind port (New Bedford, Massachusetts). Many of the U.S. industry’s most important companies are currently based here. But the region’s future role in the industry — particularly in manufacturing — looks uncertain. Waterside space is tight in southern New England, where many projects are clustered. A number of states in the Mid-Atlantic region, where the population and electricity demand are far larger, now have much higher offshore wind targets.”

We try to be fair and balanced in what we feature, so the last story highlight for this week is out of Maine – a follow-up to the private eye story from last week. From the Portland Press Herald, “Maine Ethics Commission votes 2-1 to investigate power line opponent. The Maine Ethics Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to launch an investigation into one of several groups opposing Central Maine Power Co.’s proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line through the mountains of western Maine. Commission staff will investigate whether Stop the Corridor should have registered as a ballot question committee or a political action committee when it collected funds and made in-kind contributions to a campaign that was gathering signatures for a statewide ballot question to block the corridor. A complaint by Clean Energy Matters, a CMP-funded political action committee that’s working to support the $1 billion project, prompted the commission’s action Tuesday. The investigation is expected to take at least a month.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Have a fun, safe, and healthy weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas-Heavy ISO-New England Braces for Steep Influx of Wind, Solar, Storage, Power Magazine

Maine Natural Gas to be fined $50,000 for safety violations, Portland Press Herald

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth,  CBS Local

National Grid holds first public meeting on gas supply options, Newsday

Trump administration moving to allow railroads to haul liquefied natural gas. Opponents say it’s a risk. Washington Post

Judge issues final approval of $143M gas disaster settlement, Eagle Tribune

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that., Washington Post

Some of Boston’s Priciest Real Estate Is Sinking Into the Earth, WSJ

Healey calls for expanded carbon pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

Coronavirus ‘Really Not the Way You Want To Decrease Emissions,’ Inside Climate News

Massachusetts Pursues New Climate Goals With Help From Local Clean Tech Industry, WGBH

Climate Change Impacting New England’s Maple Syrup Industry, CBS Boston

Climate change front and center at League of Women Voters forum, Boston Globe

Fossil-Fuel-Free Mutual Funds Growing In Popularity, WGBH

Climate report warns “time is fast running out” to avoid worst, CBS News

Giant greenhouses plan given 10th extension in Berlin, New Hampshire Union Leader

New York Setting the Pace for Accelerated Growth in Renewable Energy, with New Battery Tech, MarketWatch

Wayland residents to vote on greener electricity options, Wicked Local

City Council continues to push for ‘100% Renewable Energy’, City of Boston

Virginia becomes the first state in the South to target 100% clean power, Vox

Fiberight’s Waste Conversion Plant in Maine Finally Moves Forward, Waste360

Trump Administration Presses Cities to Evict Homeowners from Flood Zones, New York Times

 

Wind

Can New England Hang On to Its Offshore Wind Jobs,? Greentech Media

A Recycling Plan to Clear Wind Turbine Blades From Graveyards, Bloomberg Green

Trump’s punt on offshore wind sparks lobbying blitz, E&E News

AWEA: U.S. Offshore Wind Positioned for Massive Growth, NRG Wind Project

Why Orsted Doesn’t Need Anything but Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

While delays have hampered offshore wind, land-based turbines loom large in R.I., Providence Business News

Wind-powered turbines could clean pollutants from our air, New Scientist

 

Solar

The Vermont Solar Carport – A collaboration between Vermont Cooperatives, VTDigger

New Hampshire Developers Plan to Build Solar Array in Maine, U.S. News & World Report

Waterford Reconsiders 75-Acre Solar Farm, WSHU News

St. Johnsbury School to lease land for solar panel project, VTDigger

New Jersey Finalizes Transitional Solar Incentives, Giving Industry Price Certainty, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In these super-sustainable new apartments, you may never pay a heating bill, Curbed

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings, CNBC

Storage Hybrid Plants Becoming More Attractive in Maturing Wind and Solar Markets, Greentech Media

 

AFVs

Massachusetts Pursues New Climate Goals With Help From Local Clean Tech Industry, WGBH

Hydrogen Mobility: Coming Soon to a Bus or Truck Near You?, Greentech Media

EVs just got a boost from climate scientists worried about ride-hailing, Quartz

The Main Challenges For Electric Cars This Decade, Yahoo! Finance

 

Nuclear

When it comes to nuclear power, could smaller be better?, Grist

Nuclear energy storage? Advanced reactor developers trying to expand nuclear power’s selling points, Utility Dive

Ballot May Be Too Big For Non-Binding Question On Pilgrim, Falmouth Enterprise

Impact statement released for nuclear waste facility, Albuquerque Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

National Grid’s plans are ‘onerously expensive and environmentally detrimental:’ NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York Daily News

Maine Ethics Commission votes 2-1 to investigate power line opponent, Portland Press Herald

Smart Meters Set for $30B Gusher of Investment Over Next 5 Years, Greentech Media

Eversource substation would add to E. Boston environmental problems, face flooding, critics say, Boston Globe

ISO-NE Study to Chart Transition to Future Grid, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Utilities on high alert as phishing attempts, cyber probing spike related to Coronavirus, Utility Dive

Wind, solar and storage take up 95% of ISO-New England interconnection queue, marking ‘dramatic shift,’ Utility Dive

Opposition to new energy agency grows, Hudson Valley 360

Massive Senate Energy Bill Falters, Greentech Media

Does this tiny island off the coast of Maine hold the answer to the future of electricity,? Ensia.com

Workers At Massachusetts’ Largest Power Plant Go On Strike, WBUR

New Hampshire Senate digs deep into renewable energy policy, NH Business Review

Carbon Pricing Is Missing From a Bipartisan Energy Bill Expected to Pass the Senate, Barron’s

Power-line developers line up for an opportunity to ensure Boston’s lights stay on, Boston Globe

Lawmakers want to reassess fossil fuel breaks, Times Union

Maine regulators seek input on who should pay for CMP audit, Portland Press Herald

Eversource: Seacoast Reliability project nearing completion, Seacoastonline.com

New Microgrid Serving Mall in Brooklyn, N.Y. Supports Grid and Helps ConEd During Blackout, Microgrid Knowledge

New York power plant mines Bitcoin using excess energy, Engadget

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Column: State must switch to clean energy, Eagle-Tribune

Angry US landowners are killing off renewable energy projects, New York Post

Letter: Yarmouth solar energy purchase story misleading, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Natural gas wrong for state’s power future, Connecticut Post

Why Don’t We Treat The Climate Crisis With The Same Urgency As Coronavirus,? WBUR

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

Energy News for week ending March 6, 2020

Mystic Alternatives | P.I.s | Magic’s Uncharted Power

 

Happy Friday folks. Let’s dig in.

We start this week with a story from Jon Chesto at the Boston Globe, “Power-line developers line up for an opportunity to ensure Boston’s lights stay on. The pending closure of the giant Mystic power plant is a headache for the people charged with keeping electricity flowing in Greater Boston. But for power line developers, it’s a business opportunity. ISO New England, which oversees the region’s power grid, on Thursday said that eight developers submitted a total of 36 transmission proposals in a contest unprecedented in New England history. It boils down to this: Who can offer the best way to pick up the slack once Mystic goes away?… They know another massive power plant isn’t going up in Greater Boston anytime soon. So ISO is betting on improving transmission in the region instead to keep the juice flowing. Thus, a contest. Let the market decide: The winning bidder gets ratepayer subsidies from across New England to pay for the project…the region’s main electric utilities, National Grid and Eversource, released information about their submissions to the ISO for low-cost alternatives to Mystic. Each submitted four transmission proposals, with price tags from $48 million to $120 million… Executives at the two utilities say their proposals can be completed without a major new power line or the political headaches that usually accompany such projects…Meanwhile, the power line developer Anbaric submitted two bids involving its plan for an underwater line between the Mystic site and the shuttered Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth…One benefit to using the site of the old nuke plant: It’s a good place to soak up the electricity from offshore wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard — if and when they finally get built — and channel that power directly to the Boston area.”

There was a lot of news out of Maine this week. County commissioners approve TIF agreement for wind project, The Quoddy Tides. From 0 to 60: Maine’s Solar Market Invigorated Under New Governor, Greentech Media. Opponents of CMP power line have enough signatures for referendum, secretary of state says, Portland Press Herald. Maine regulators reject Canadian company’s plan to buy Emera Maine, Bangor Daily News. And, Lawmakers continue talks on bill to make single consumer-owned utility, WABI.

However it was this story from Dennis Hoey at the Portland Press Herald that particularly caught our attention. “CMP private investigator tailed anti-corridor petitioners. A group that conducted a petition drive opposing a proposed 145-mile transmission line through rural Maine is criticizing Central Maine Power Co. for hiring a private investigator to track a female petitioner’s whereabouts and social media posts as she did her work. But Clean Energy Matters, a political action committee funded by CMP, said it hired the private investigator because it wanted to expose what it says was ‘illegal and unethical activity’ by the woman and eight other petition gatherers for No CMP Corridor – a group opposed to the transmission line. Clean Energy Matters contends its investigator did not specifically target the woman… Clean Energy Matters filed an affidavit with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office last month contending that ‘in addition to her work organizing, supervising and otherwise assisting in the petition gathering effort for the Opponents, documents in your possession will show that (the woman, whose name was redacted from the affidavit) also notarized hundreds, and possibly thousands, of petitions. Maine Election law is eminently clear that persons who notarize petitions for a citizen’s initiative cannot provide any other services… to get that initiative on the ballot,’ the affidavit said…The Secretary of State’s Office says Clean Energy Matters waited too long to bring the alleged signature-gathering violations to the state’s attention, according to a footnote attached to the press release Wednesday announcing that opponents had collected enough valid signatures. The office did not offer an opinion on the legality of the petitioners’ actions…Clean Energy Matters contends that hiring a private investigator to keep tabs on the activities of an opponent in such a campaign is a common practice. Campaign Director Jon Breed accused Howard of attempting to divert public attention from her group’s alleged law-breaking by using ‘CMP as the boogie man.’”

Last highlight for this week comes with a sports angle. From CNBC, “Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has joined tech company Uncharted Power’s board of directors, the company told CNBC. Uncharted Power, a renewable energy technology company, was founded in 2011 by Jessica O. Matthews, who at age 19, invented SOCCKET, a soccer ball that converts kinetic energy into three hours of power for lighting after an hour of play. Matthews also created PULSE, a jump rope that can generate an hour of light after 15 minutes of use. In his new role, Johnson, 60, will expand Uncharted Power’s energy programs to U.S. communities…Matthews, now 32,  launched her company under the name Uncharted Play, but rebranded in 2017 to Uncharted Power as the company expanded. Matthews said the motivation to enter the energy infrastructure sector came from visiting family in Nigeria, where she discovered Africa’s energy issues. According to the International Energy Agency, 600 million people remain without access to electricity in sub- Saharan Africa. And more energy tech companies are showing up in Africa hoping to take advantage of its off-grid power market that is worth roughly $24 billion, according to a report by consulting firm Kleos Advisory. Uncharted Power says it’s ‘building the internet for decentralized energy’ and aims to create new energy sources through transforming sideways and roadways ‘into a smart, sustainable and accessible power network.’”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to wash your hands – a lot!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask DOJ to divert settlement money, Salem News

Eversource purchase of Columbia Gas: Councilor Jesse Lederman calls for hearing in Springfield, MassLive

Gas disaster lawyers contest reduced fees, Eagle Tribune

Baker Cites ‘Real Benefits’ In Eversource-Columbia Gas Deal, WGBH

Trump says he’s ‘fighting’ New York to force gas pipeline, New York Post

Lawmakers Blast NRC for Faulty Analysis of Pipeline Near Plants, The Examiner News

Agency to check review of gas pipeline at NY nuclear plant after report, S&P Global

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth, CBS Local

Nathan Phillips, Who Went On Hunger Strike To Stop The Weymouth Compressor Station, Calls On Gov. Baker To Denounce The Project, WGBH

Protesters Temporarily Shut Down Work At National Grid Pipeline Construction Site In Brooklyn, CBS New York

The latest climate commitment from an oil company calls for more drilling, Quartz

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Cuomo wants more state control of solar, wind energy permits, The Buffalo News

Green hydrogen gets real as utility business models and delivery solutions emerge, Utility Dive

Why Hydrogen Stocks Are Soaring, OilPrice.com

Half of world’s sandy beaches at risk from climate change, AP News

‘Net zero’ emissions goal is attainable, advocates say, Telegram.com

E.P.A. Updates Plan to Limit Science Used in Environmental Rules, New York Times

The Congo rainforest is losing ability to absorb carbon dioxide. That’s bad for climate change., Washington Post

Here’s Why So Many People Are Mad at the Aquarium on Twitter, Boston Magazine

Virginia Moves Toward Joining Cap-and-Trade Program, NBC Washington

Brown University divests 90% of fossil fuel holdings, Pensions & Investments

Leading investor group tells companies to set out climate crisis plans, The Guardian

The Sea Is Getting Warmer. Will the Shrimp Get Louder?, Wired

A Renewable Energy Expert Tells Us How to Inspire Communities, Vice

CT offers its own version of Green New Deal, Connecticut Post

LA Lakers great Magic Johnson joins board of renewable energy start-up Uncharted Power, CNBC

 

Wind

New Jersey Sets 7.5GW Offshore Wind Solicitation Schedule, Offshorewind.biz

Wind-power developer opens 2nd R.I. office, Providence Journal

Deal for NB Power transmission of SJ wind farm energy is far from certain, CBC.ca

Offshore Wind to Attract More Than $200B Between 2020 and 2025, Greentech Media

County commissioners approve TIF agreement for wind project, The Quoddy Tides (Maine)

Hydro-Quebec Issues Call for Tenders For Wind Power Integration, North American Windpower

BCC gets $861,000 state grant to train students for wind energy jobs, Sun Chronicle

Vineyard Wind executive offers take on delayed start, Herald News

 

Solar

As Massachusetts solar installs plummet, stalled interconnections, land use questions are key hurdles, Utility Dive

From 0 to 60: Maine’s Solar Market Invigorated Under New Governor, Greentech Media

Solar surge: NY’s renewable energy push brings big project proposals to Cayuga County, Auburn Pub

Coronavirus Is Starting to Slow the Solar Energy Revolution, Bloomberg Green

Nashua leading the way for clean energy with three public solar projects now in operation, New Hampshire Union Leader

York landfill site scoped for solar power potential, Seacoastonline.com

Plans announced for $10M solar project in Strong, Sun Journal

Historic Tiverton barn likely headed for demolition as solar panel farm gets OK, Newport Daily News

Charlestown commission recommends denial of solar developer’s zoning request, Westerly Sun

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Major growth predicted for energy storage market, Digital Journal

Sustainable microgrids are the future of clean energy, TechCrunch

The Energy 202: How a powerful lobbying group got stricter energy efficiency codes out of a big Senate energy bill, Washington Post

NYC cracks down on building efficiency with new energy code, Utility Dive

Environmental Groups Sue U.S. Over Lightbulb Energy Standards, Wall St. Journal

NYC storage ‘most adversely impacted’ by FERC orders: NYISO CEO, Utility Dive

David Energy Raises $1.5M to Turn New York’s Buildings Into Energy Market Players, Greentech Media

Two Years In, New York’s Storage Market Has Grown ‘Faster Than We Expected,’ Utility Dive

 

EVs

State push to promote electric buses faces obstacles, Salem News

Beverly getting first electric school bus, Salem News

GM unveils 11 future EVs, new batteries and its plan to beat Tesla, Detroit Free Press

Electric refuse trucks on the road or on the way in rising number of states, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NorthStar granted more time for radioactive shipments, Brattleboro Reformer

Former Energy Secretary, Deputy Discuss Nuclear Energy and Climate at IOP, The Crimson

Award Submission: Pilgrim Nuclear Shuts Down, Leaving Radioactive Waste and Unanswered Questions, WCAI (Audio)

Holtec underscores transparency at US plants, World Nuclear News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Eversource, 7 others propose 36 ISO-NE transmission upgrades to offset loss of Exelon’s Mystic station, Utility Dive

Green Mountain Power’s pioneering steps in transactive energy raise big questions about DER’s value, Utility Dive

Comprehensive Senate energy bill draws industry, bipartisan support, but lags on tax credits, efficiency, Utility Dive

New Kind of Electrical Grid Could End Power Outages, Popular Mechanics

ISO-NE: States Must Lead on Carbon Pricing, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Additional gas capacity, baseload generation ‘critical’ to maintaining reliability: DOE analysis, Utility Dive

ISO-NE presents final draft 2020 10-Year forecasts for heating electrification and light-duty electric vehicles, (Press Release) ISO-NE

Opponents of CMP power line have enough signatures for referendum, secretary of state says, Portland Press Herald

CMP private investigator tailed anti-corridor petitioners, Portland Press Herald

Energy Infrastructure Outlook Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak, Seeking Alpha

Fast-moving Senate energy bill draws dozens of amendments, Roll Call

Maine regulators reject Canadian company’s plan to buy Emera Maine, Bangor Daily News

Lawmakers continue talks on bill to make single consumer-owned utility, WABI

Consumer-owned utility bill meets Republican resistance, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Fine for gas disaster should stay local, Eagle Tribune

Closing the book on Columbia Gas’ sorry chapter, Lowell Sun

Letter to the editor: Wind is Maine’s ‘magic wand’ for cutting power costs, Portland Press Herald

Tom Hughes: Where TCI came from and where it can take us, VTDigger

Sandra Levine: Climate action for Vermonters, VTDigger

FAN: 2 Reasons Why Wind Power Is Expected To Dominate In 2020, Seeking Alpha

Op-Ed: RGGI Auction Proceeds Should Be Used to Fund Energy Efficiency Programs, NJ Spotlight

Andrew Cuomo’s latest power grab will let him ram through wind farms, New York Post

Turbines on lake are losing proposal, Observer

One advocate’s energy plan: Electrifying energy needs, Riverdale Press (NY)

Renewable debates may get too quiet, Observer

Guest opinion: P.E.I. wind farm not good for environment, Journal Pioneer

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

Energy News for week ending February 28, 2020

Market Turmoil | $53M Fine | $1.1B Acquisition

TGIF

The spread of the coronavirus is impacting energy markets worldwide. We have gathered up several important stories as unease over the rapid spread of COVID-19 is continuing to drive markets.

After dominating the energy news for well over a year, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has agreed pay a $53 million fine as part of a guilty plea to a felony violation of the Pipeline Safety Act. On Wednesday the company took “full responsibility for the tragic events of September 13, 2018, that so impacted our customers throughout the Merrimack Valley.”

On Wednesday evening, Eversource Energy, announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Columbia Gas of Massachusetts’ natural gas assets from its parent company, NiSource, for $1.1 billion. NiSource will cease doing business in the Commonwealth and profits from the sale will be turned over to the federal government under the agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Have a great weekend!

Coronavirus and Energy

Coronavirus cuts Chinese carbon emissions by up to 25 percent, Ars Technica

Blue skies return to China as coronavirus cuts coal consumption, NIKKEI

Coronavirus Is Starting to Slow the Solar Energy Revolution, Bloomberg

Climate and Coronavirus Dominate Oil Industry’s Biggest Summit, Bloomberg

Oil falls for fifth day on demand concerns as coronavirus spreads, CNBC

Trump Insists on Paying for Coronavirus Prep by Cutting Heating Aid for the Poor, New York Magazine

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Final Approval Expected In $143 Million Columbia Gas Explosions Settlement, CBS Boston / WBZ

Columbia Gas plea puts spotlight on the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, MassLive

Columbia Gas agrees to plead guilty in deadly 2018 Massachusetts explosions and leave the state, feds say, CNN

Rivera: Fine should go to gas disaster victims, Eagle-Tribune

National Grid offers options to meet projected gas supply constraints, Newsday

Natural gas ransomware attack offers critical lessons for electric utilities, analysts say, Utility Dive

Legislators ask federal regulators to inspect compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

The Key to New York’s Green Dreams May Be Turning Quebec Into a Mega-Battery, Bloomberg Green

Voters Really Care About Climate Change, The Atlantic

On Rising Great Lakes, Backyards Are Disappearing Overnight, Wall St. Journal

Cape coalition asks towns to declare ‘climate change emergency,’  Cape Cod Times

Climate change could be a ‘catastrophic’ national security threat, report warns, USA Today

New York Governor Takes Aim at State’s Onerous Renewables Permitting Regime, Greentech Media

Niagara County forming group to confront large-scale energy projects, Niagara Gazette

Wind

US offshore wind is ‘currently uneconomical,’ ReNews.biz

New wind turbine project in Washington County approved by Commissioners, WABI (Maine)

Permitting for big wind farms could get a lot faster under new Cuomo proposals, North Country Public Radio

Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind Expand Offshore Wind Innovation, North America Windpower

How Goes It? Report from Block Island About Their Offshore Wind Farm, Dan’s Papers

Solar

R.I. encourages solar panels as canopies on parking lots. Will that really steer solar farms away from forests and other open spaces?, Providence Journal

House Bill Would Require Homeowners Associations To Allow Solar Installations, New Hampshire Public Radio

The Solar Industry’s New Power Player: Oil Majors, Greentech Media

Energy Efficiency/Storage

NJ’s Two Biggest Utilities Finish Near Bottom on New Energy-Efficiency Scorecard, NJ Spotlight

Massachusetts policies help Eversource, National Grid lead on energy efficiency while Southeast lags: ACEEE, Utility Dive

The Key to New York’s Green Dreams May Be Turning Quebec Into a Mega-Battery, Bloomberg

EVs

Transportation is ‘climate enemy #1’ — EVs and behavioral changes are the answers: report, Utility Dive

 How to maximize the life of your electric car’s battery, according to science, Mashable

A Cobalt Crisis Could Put the Brakes on Electric Car Sales, Wired

Nuclear

NDCAP not reassured by NRC claims about Pilgrim Station decommissioning, Wicked Local Plymouth

The US government insurance scheme for nuclear power plant accidents no longer makes sense, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Eversource to buy Columbia Gas for $1.1B; expects to work with regulators and consumer groups over 30 days, MassLive

Eversource exec says restoring trust top priority following Columbia Gas purchase, Boston Herald

Firm did ‘independent study’ of electric line while working for energy giant that could make billions from it, Bangor Daily News

Solar and wind power are pushing down electricity prices in New England, but carbon fuels still dominate, Hartford Courant

LePage says he was paid to advocate for hydropower corridor, Portland Press Herald

Power Opposed, The Telegraph

Editorial/Opinion

Would You Pay Higher Gas Prices to Slow the Climate Crisis?, New York Times

Coronavirus Sickens an Ailing Energy Bond Market, Bloomberg

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Uncategorized

Energy News for week ending November 1, 2019

Mayflower Wind Sails Forth | Share the Benefits | Cranberries, Seaweed, Fusion, and Poltergeist

 

Happy Friday! We hope you all were the beneficiaries of treats last night and avoided the tricks.

Mayflower Wind received a special treat this week – the opportunity to enter contract negotiations with the utilities. From South Coast Today, “Mayflower Wind Energy has won the bidding war for Massachusetts’ second offshore wind contract. The state’s electric companies selected the lowest-cost of Mayflower’s four bids, rather than ones designed to invest in port infrastructure or build a new manufacturing facility. ‘When it was balanced on whole, this was the one that was most competitive on price and economic development,’ state energy commissioner Judith Judson told reporters on a press call Wednesday. ‘Mayflower’s package for all their bids included significant economic development.’ Mayflower beat Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind, both of which also submitted multiple bids with different selling points…Mayflower’s winning bid calls for 804 megawatts of generation capacity. Together with last year’s winning bid by Vineyard Wind for 800 megawatts, the state has fulfilled its procurement obligation under the 2016 law. The companies have not yet signed contracts with Mayflower. Wednesday’s announcement begins the negotiation phase. The bid schedule calls for contracts to be executed by Dec. 13 and sent to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for approval.”

In other news this week, nearly 30 communities are asking for a more equitable share of solar benefits. From the State House News Service via MassLive, “Saying that ‘significant portions’ of their communities have not shared the benefits of solar and other clean energy programs, municipal officials from 27 communities are asking Gov. Charlie Baker and lawmakers to help meet the needs of their constituents. The 40 officials wrote a letter on Wednesday to Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka, flagging actions the Beacon Hill leaders can take to address their concerns. The letter said that less than 3% of projects under the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program qualify as low-income, while the statewide poverty rate exceeds 10 percent…They asked lawmakers to hold a hearing this session ‘on why solar programs are failing’ low- and moderate-income populations, and to ‘actively support and work to pass’ three bills, including a House and Senate measure relative to solar power in environmental justice and urban communities, a House bill to remove barriers to solar for low-income communities and a Senate bill ensuring access to solar energy for all communities.”

Here are four other articles we found interesting this week – one of which is scary and reminds of us of a scene from Poltergeist.

Enjoy the rest of the news below and have a fabulous weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Residents’ group to challenge compressor station permits, Patriot Ledger

NY governor moves closer to stripping National Grid of license with new demand, S&P Global

Regulators: Utilities, not customers, should pay for gas outage on Aquidneck Island, Providence Journal

Climate change v. Killingly gas power plant. And the winner is …, Connecticut Mirror

US State Department oil pipeline review doesn’t ease worries, Connecticut Post

Rhode Island releases report on winter natural gas outage, Connecticut Post

National Grid Gas Nightmare: $92 Million Redevelopment Held Up In Nassau County, CBS Local

MAPC hires firm to review Weymouth compressor project’s impacts, Wicked Local

DPU launches two investigations into Columbia Gas, Salem News

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Younger Americans are willing to pay twice as much as their parents for clean energy, Quartz

Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows, New York Times

Could a Seaweed Diet for Cows Combat Climate Change, Maine Researchers Want to Know, NECN

Rex Tillerson says Exxon had no incentive to downplay costs, testifying in climate change fraud trial, CNBC

Vanguard Renewables and Vermont Gas win American Biogas Council 2019 up-and-coming biogas project for Salisbury, Vermont Anaerobic Digester project, VTDigger

Even the Dead Cannot Escape Climate Change, Scientific American

Philadelphia Tackles Climate Change through Partnerships, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Wind

Mass. picks lowest-price offshore wind option, CommonWealth Magazine

Shell and EDPR Win Massachusetts’ Second Offshore Wind Tender, Greentech Media

New Developer Enters Race for Offshore Wind, Vineyard Gazette

Mayflower Wind wins Massachusetts’ second offshore wind contract, South Coast Today

Funding sought to dismantle, store Falmouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

Chances fade for next US wind lease sale off New York in 2020, Recharge News via NASDAQ

New York’s Offshore Wind Bid Winners Sign OREC Deals, Offshorewind.biz

Troubles lurk for America’s emerging offshore wind boom, Axios

PSEG in talks to acquire 25% of Ørsted’s 1,100 MW New Jersey offshore wind project, Utility Dive

Offshore wind farm raises economic, environmental issues, Cape Gazette (Delaware)

US wind energy capacity is now more than 100 gigawatts, according to new report, CNBC

Competition makes UMaine think bigger about its offshore wind project, Portland Press Herald

Offshore Wind Energy Could Generate Enough Electricity to Power the World. Will the U.S. Get on Board?, Rolling Stone

Pascrell in Bipartisan Move to Keep Lucrative Tax Credits for Offshore Wind Industry, NJ Spotlight

 

Solar

Massachusetts Cranberry Farmers Want To Build Solar Panels Over Their Bogs, CBS Boston / WBZ

Massachusetts communities press Gov. Baker to make bigger share of solar, clean energy programs available to low income and working class families, MassLive

ReVision Energy wins clean energy honor, Portland Press Herald

West Hartford mayor flips switch on solar array on top of town hall, Hartford Courant

This New York town partnered with CleanChoice Energy to provide community solar to its residents, Solar Builder

U.S. Light Energy breaks ground on another New York community solar project, Solar Power World

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Time running out for energy efficiency, other tax credit extensions as next spending deadline nears, Utility Dive

Top 5 Energy Storage Trends of the Year, Power Magazine

VEC, partners, celebrate success of the co-op’s first utility-scale battery system, VTDigger

 

EVs

It Wouldn’t Take a Lot of Electric Vehicles to Shift Residential Peak Demand: Study, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Real-time monitors sought for Seabrook power plant, Seacoastonline.com

Decommissioning Test: NorthStar Uses Vermont Yankee As Launch Pad For Other Power Plant Jobs, VPR

Nuclear Fusion: Still Frustratingly Far Off Despite Recent Signs of Momentum, Greentech Media

Chasing Unlimited Energy With the World’s Largest Fusion Reactor, Bloomberg

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

11 attorneys general urge FERC to respect state energy rights, Utility Dive

NYISO to study climate change impact on 100% renewable energy system, S&P Global

Details emerge about DOE ‘super‑grid’ renewable study, E&E News

Google: Coming Soon to an RTO Near You?, Greentech Media

Community Power law could provide potential savings to NH residents, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

New PURA leader Gillett reckons with CT’s energy prices | Hartford Business Journal, Hartford Business

Woolwich voters to decide whether to withdraw town’s support for CMP corridor, Portland Press Herald

Utility shut-offs in Connecticut have more than doubled. Advocates say low-income families are being kept in the dark about how to prevent them, Hartford Courant

Officials call for investigation of Eversource, PURA to hold hearing on energy affordability, WTNH

National Grid: Gas customers to see lower bills this winter, WPRI 12

 

Editorial/Opinion

Maine Voices: Western Maine power line needed to fight climate change, Portland Press Herald

The climate change shakedown, Boston Globe

Why isn’t Connecticut prioritizing renewable energy solutions?, Hartford Courant

Spending on efficiency cheaper than making energy, Press of Atlantic City

Making Martha’s Vineyard 100 percent renewable, MV Times

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

Energy News for week ending October 25, 2019

A Whole New Industry | Cash for Carbon | The Sounds of Climate Change

 

Good afternoon. It’s Friday, so let’s get to this week’s energy news.

We start with a story from New Hampshire Public Radio, “’A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine. New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts will work together on large-scale offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine…Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said at the meeting that he thinks Northern New England could add tens of thousands of jobs building these offshore turbine farms, and the transmission infrastructure to bring their power on-shore. ‘This is not just a project. This is not just an individual, “we’re going to find a site and put a couple of turbines up,”’ Caswell says. ‘This is the establishment of, really, a whole new industry.’ The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to hold the first meeting of a three-state task force on the issue in mid-December. The New England group is the third regionalized wind group BOEM has formed, after ones in the New York area and the Carolinas. The group’s first job would be to help choose specific areas for offshore wind leasing in the federal waters of the Gulf of Maine – likely at least 30 miles out to sea.”

Next up is a story from the New York Times, “Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, is preparing a $450 billion climate change initiative that aims to replace about a fifth of the nation’s traditional gasoline-powered vehicles with hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars and trucks in the next 10 years…Mr. Schumer’s new plan…is specific and is aimed at rapidly replacing 63 million of the 270 million cars on American roads with zero-emissions or near-zero-emissions vehicles. If enacted, it would take a significant slice out of carbon dioxide pollution from automobiles, America’s largest producer of planet-warming emissions…The bill would also include $45 billion to help cities and states install electric vehicle charging stations, and $17 billion to help automakers build or retool factories to manufacture hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

The last highlight story for this week comes from National Geographic, “Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors. Seismometers on the West Coast can hear the ocean bouncing off the seafloor as it is disturbed by a hurricane approaching the East Coast, with more intense tropical cyclones producing louder seismic roars. They can also hear the cracking of ice when temperatures fluctuate, the recoil of an ice sheet as part of it breaks free, and the explosive growth of icy crevasses. Tropical cyclones will likely get more intense, and the Earth’s ice will increasingly disintegrate as the planet warms. In recent decades, the potential for seismometers to track the consequences of climate change has become increasingly evident. Scientists are still trying to understand the crucial nuances of each seismic signal, sometimes turning to small-scale recreations of the natural world in the lab to try to pry out the causes of separate seismic sonatas. But as seismometers continue to increase in sensitivity and decrease in cost, says Bohon, the nascent field of environmental seismology will continue to bear fruit.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cuomo threatens to pull plug on National Grid as he rails against utility company’s power, NY Daily News

‘Weak Engineering Management’ Probable Cause Of Columbia Gas Explosions, NTSB Says, CBS Boston / WBZ

Weymouth compressor foes vow to continue fight, Wicked Local

Weymouth council candidates vow to fight compressor statoin, Wicked Local

More delays, cost increases for two East Coast natural gas pipelines, IEEFA

Williams CEO Says Its Gas Pipe Can Help Cuomo’s N.Y. Green Goals, Bloomberg

Planned natural gas release angers compressor station opponents, Patriot Ledger

Oil company looks to lure customers burned by National Grid, Crain’s New York

Report details how ExxonMobil and fossil fuel firms sowed seeds of doubt on climate change, Los Angeles Times

Oil Companies Rejected by Supreme Court on Climate Change Suits, Bloomberg

Smith College pulls out of fossil fuel investments; but activists say college moving too slow, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Healey sues ExxonMobil, alleges climate change deception, CommonWealth Magazine

NH Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Reform & Climate Action Package for 2020, NL Labor News

Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors, National Geographic

Melting sea ice is ‘Atlantifying’ the Arctic, E&E News

Manure, trash and wastewater: U.S. utilities get dirty in climate fight, Reuters

Mysterious Lobster Deaths In Cape Cod Raise Climate Change Concern, WGBH

Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying, Washington Post

Headcount surges at state’s clean energy companies, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Are Wildfires Caused by Utilities or Climate Change? Yes, New York Times

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says, VICE

The cost of climate change: Trial to decide whether ExxonMobil was honest with investors, CNN

Climate change proves to be hot topic in Franklin, MetroWest Daily News

 

Wind

‘A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine, NHPR

Small Adjustments to Wind Turbines Can Reduce Impacts on Birds, New Study Finds, Yale Environment 360

Global offshore wind prices drop 32%: BloombergNEF, Utility Dive

Two Months Later, Vineyard Wind’s Delay Still Clouds US Offshore Picture, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Maritime Academy launches nation’s first offshore wind crew training facility, MassLive

Energy Dept. Funds Variety Of Wind R&D Projects, NRG Wind Project

Rep Haddad: State may need offshore wind tax credit, Southcoasttoday.com

Straus proposes state office to study fisheries and offshore wind, Southcoasttoday.com

Lobstermen’s association director takes wind farm job, Martha’s Vineyard Times

 

Solar

Report: Solar, wind power to hike renewable energy capacity by 2024, UPI.com

Local legislators visit UMass solar energy farm, WWLP

Company files first application for Fitzwilliam solar project, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

UNH and Eversource partner up to save energy on flagship campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

Green networks: Incorporating energy efficiency into 5G, The Hill

Ormat Announces Commercial Operation of Hinesburg Battery Energy Storage System, Under an Agreement With Vermont Electric Cooperative, Business Insider

New York Approves 316MW Battery Plant for Peak Power, First of Its Kind in Region, Greentech Media

 

EVs

How close is Massachusetts to electric public buses? Mass. lawmakers pushing for zero-emission vehicles by 2038, MassLive

Connecticut issues draft roadmap for widespread electric vehicle adoption, S&P Global

Gov. Mills Announcing Grants For More Car-Charging Stations, Maine Public

Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars, New York Times

Why quiet cars are getting louder, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Nuclear

NorthStar: Vermont Yankee demolition ahead of schedule, Brattleboro Reformer

State: Yankee site shows little contamination, Bennington Banner

Closing Old NJ Nuclear Power Plant Has Allowed Population of Tiny, Stinging Jellyfish to Thrive — And Multiply, NBC New York

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New EPA chief in New England barred from many decisions because of conflicts, Boston Globe

Report: CMP parent company in merger talks worth $67 billion, Portland Press Herald

National Grid’s Venture Capital Arm Closes 3 More Investments, Greentech Media

Imagine the US was just hit with a cyberattack. What happens next?, MIT Technology Review

Whoops! Computer glitch informs some Maine customers that power will be restored in 2068, Connecticut Post

CMP Forms PAC To Fight Potential Referendum On Western Maine Transmission Project, Maine Public

National Grid investment arm doubles-down on AI capabilities, but cultural change remains key, Utility Dive

Merger talks spell uncertain future for CMP customers, Times Record

 

Editorial/Opinion

Longmeadow resident concerned on placement of gas metering station (Letters), MassLive

Sports Are Feeling the Heat From Climate Change, Bloomberg

How NASA could help stop climate change with solar satellites, Washington Post

Climate Change Will Cost Us Even More Than We Think, New York Times

Decarbonizing economy requires lot more electricity, CommonWealth Magazine

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Energy News for week ending October 18, 2019

Moratorium Extended | Compressor Approvals | Wind to Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We hope you’re all doing well after the big windstorm.

We’re highlighting a couple of Massachusetts-related gas stories this week, though we have a lot of stories below about the ongoing battle between National Grid and New York.

First from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A moratorium on adding new natural gas customers in Northampton and Easthampton will continue indefinitely following a decision by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to abandon a project aimed at increasing the pipeline capacity for both cities.  The company last week announced that the moratorium for Northampton and Easthampton, which began in 2015 and has since meant new connections to its supply line are not allowed, will be extended due to changes in the planned ‘Greater Springfield Service Territory Reliability Project’ first unveiled in November 2017. Two years ago, the company pledged that five interrelated projects throughout the region would increase the natural gas supply and put an end to the moratorium in 2020 or 2021. Instead, Columbia Gas has eliminated the ‘alternate backfeed’ project, a 6-mile-long, 12-inch pipe that would have run between Agawam and Holyoke…Columbia Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Kempic said in a statement that the decision to abandon the ‘alternate backfeed’ was made based on review and analysis over the past few months of the cost impact and benefits to customers, and is unrelated to the work moratorium imposed by the state’s Department of Public Utilities on the Columbia Gas system. ‘Our determination is that we can accomplish the goals of removing leak-prone pipe in Agawam and West Springfield, as well as enhance operational flexibility, with the four remaining projects,’ Kempic said.”

We move from Western Mass to the South Shore where the Patriot Ledger reports, “Opponents of a natural gas compressor station proposed for the Fore River Basin were dealt two major blows Wednesday when a state adjudicator recommended the approval of a waterways license and a wetlands permit for the project, triggering the start of the final state review in the approval process. Hearing officer Jane Rothchild of the state Department of Environmental Protection said the department should uphold the license and permit issued to gas company Spectra Energy-Enbridge and reject an appeal filed by Weymouth and a citizens group, which together had argued that the proposed station would worsen air and noise pollution in the Fore River Basin and is not an appropriate use based on state waterways regulations. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg has the final say on the approval of the permit and license…‘In sum, the petitioners have failed to offer persuasive evidence demonstrating that the proposed project does not conform to the requirements of the applicable waterways regulations,’ Rothchild wrote in her decision on the waterways license. Mayor Robert Hedlund said the rulings Wednesday were ‘further salt in the wound’ and a continuation of the town’s disappointment with state officials.”

For our new technology feature we bring you this news from Phys.org, “Alternative energy conserves natural resources and is environmentally friendly. However, the challenge is to develop reliable plants that continuously generate energy. Scientists of South Ural State University have found a way to achieve this using wind turbines and hydrogen…‘We have combined a power plant with equipment for producing hydrogen, as well as electrical energy from hydrogen. In other words, this installation converts electricity into hydrogen, which we can store or even transport. From the same hydrogen, we conduct electricity back,’ Andrei Martyanov says, associate professor at the Department of Power Stations, Networks and Power Supply Systems of the Polytechnic Institute of SUSU. The conversion of electricity to hydrogen occurs through electrolysis, then the hydrogen is placed in special containers, which are stored until the moment when the consumer will require electricity. The reverse process of getting energy from hydrogen occurs due to an electrochemical reaction in which hydrogen interacts with oxygen, electricity and thermal energy are generated. By the end of 2019, scientists plan to complete work on the creation of a digital twin of a wind turbine.”

Those are the highlights for this week. There are a lot of interesting stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas vows to meet Friday deadline, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas extends moratorium for Northampton, Easthampton customers, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Columbia Gas hires retired utility exec to oversee safety in Massachusetts, Wicked Local North Andover

Despite ‘political tug-of-war,’ the US ‘still needs fossil fuels’: DOE General Counsel, Utility Dive

Williams pipeline pending, Politico

New Jersey Denies Permits For Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline, CBS Philly

Weymouth compressor foes sift through soil removal plan, Wicked Local

State official backs two key approvals for compressor station, Patriot Ledger

National Grid gas shortage warning questioned by pipeline critics, Newsday

National Grid says it will reconnect natgas customers after NY order, CNBC

‘Margins Are Very Tight’: National Grid President Defends Decision To Not Provide Thousands With Heat, Gas, CBS New York

State regulators admit there’s a gas shortage amid utility fight, New York Post

NY regulators blast National Grid over gas service denials, SNL

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Kingston renewable energy loan program on hold, Wicked Local Kingston

Clean Energy Ventures raises $110M for its first fund, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Hogan administration releases delayed plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions, Baltimore Sun

How Will Climate Change Alter Agriculture? Winemakers Are Finding Out, New York Times

Can looking to the future help preserve a historical fishery against climate change?, Environmental Defense Fund

New tool enables Nova Scotia lobster fishery to address impacts of climate change, Phys.org

Documents Show Massachusetts AG Ready to File Climate Case Against Exxon, Bloomberg Environment

 

Wind

GE: ‘Inevitable’ That Offshore Wind Manufacturing Comes to the US, Greentech Media

Homeowner group objects to wind-farm proposal, Coastal Point (MD)

Regulators grant first federal permits for offshore wind to Dominion, Ørsted pilot, Utility Dive

Boston energy firm sues GE over damaged turbine, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Moratorium on Portland wind turbines may get extended, Observer (NY)

From the wind to hydrogen and vice versa: a new generation wind power plant is developed, Phys.org

3 Companies Banking on U.S. Offshore Wind, Motley Fool

Researchers develop ‘fully autonomous’ drones that can inspect and fix wind turbines, CNBC

Fishermen Demand a Say in Decisions on Offshore Wind Energy, NECN

In a Reversal, Wind Power Industry Wants More U.S. Tax Credits, YAHOO!

Vineyard Wind Submits Proposal to Deliver up to 1200 MW of Offshore Wind and Create Offshore Wind Hub in Connecticut, Renewable Energy Magazine

Vineyard Wind starts seabed probe, renews.biz

 

Solar

Woburn Continues to be Leader in Green Energy Production–New Solar System on Joyce Middle School to Save the City $29,000 a Year, Business Insider

Portland schools look to large-scale solar providers for energy, Portland Press Herald

West Greenwich residents air concerns over proposed solar project, Providence Journal

Falmouth revives interest in municipal solar project, Portland Press Herald

Saugerties solar farm delayed, HV1

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont residents get special pricing for innovative home energy monitor powered by AI through Efficiency Vermont program, VTDigger

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 2.5 GWh project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

 

Alternative Fuel Vehicles/Transportation

Hydrogen is still a mystery to drivers, but Toyota plans 10 times more cars, Los Angeles Times

The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly, Ars Technica

E-vehicle rebate program gets lifeline, Gloucester Times

Electric revolution: As EV demand increases, can utilities and cities keep up?, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear waste? These microbes might help with the cleanup, Nature

Nuclear Fusion Could Rescue the Planet From Climate Catastrophe, YAHOO!

Stand Up For Nuclear / Supporters To Gather This Weekend In 30 Cities, NucNet

Anti-nuke pills being readied for parts of C-K, Windsor Star

DOE, NRC team up to accelerate deployment of advanced reactors, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts Regulators Audit National Grid Over Concerns With Management, Greentech Media

Sudbury rail corridor dispute reaches state Supreme Judicial Court, Wicked Local Sudbury

Green Mountain Power turnaround driven by customer obsession, cultural shift: CEO, Utility Dive

PPL in merger talks with Connecticut utility to form $67 billion company, The Morning Call

Italian energy giant launches clean tech VC arm in Boston, Business Journals

Rep. Golden requests hearing on CMP power line, Hartford Courant

Energy Secretary Perry says he is resigning by year’s end, AP

New York adopts utility-ESCO cybersecurity requirements, rejects insurance requirements, Utility Dive

Brooklyn Microgrid Launches Campaign to Create Regulatory Sandbox, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

State attorneys general prepare to fight for clean energy rights, The Hill

Letter: Pros and cons of new gas pipeline, Newsday

State should speed up approvals on solar projects, Haverhill Gazette

Opinion: For the sake of our oceans, we need to get serious about climate change, Connecticut Post

Riding The Green Energy Wave In Plug Power, Seeking Alpha

Editorial: Wind plan makes sense for Bridgeport, Connecticut Post

Why is Lamont’s wind deal not done yet?, The Day

5 key takeaways from the National Grid rate case, Utility Dive

Turbine gone with the wind? Ocean Gate residents certainly hope so | Mulshine, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending October 11, 2019

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Compressor opponents say website issues impeding research, Patriot Ledger

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

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

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

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

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

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Andover Townsman

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Airports embrace renewable energy to cut air travel emissions, Axios

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

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

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

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

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

The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops, New York Times

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

Solar panels get OK for Tiverton historic districts, Herald News

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

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

Community solar farm: A primer, Portland Press Herald

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

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

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

New York Power Authority Unveils Largest Solar Array, WIBX

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

Sungrow supplies storage in Massachusetts, reNEWS

Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket, WBUR

 

EVs

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

3 Trends Making the Case for Bus Electrification, Greentech Media

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

 

Nuclear

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

Vermont now able to regulate certain radioactive materials, Associated Press

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

DPU Investigating National Grid’s Management, WBUR

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

Bringing nature back into our environment, CommonWealth Magazine

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