Tag Archives: Connecticut

Energy News for week ending September 20, 2019

Added Costs | Gas Battle in NY | Menu Change

Happy glorious Friday afternoon. Here are the news highlights for this week.

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette, “A new elementary school that produces as much energy as it uses, mandated by the town’s net-zero energy bylaw, would add millions of dollars to the cost of the building, according to a summary of a 600-page report presented to the School Committee and Town Council this week. If the town proceeds with a new $64 million, 85,000-square-foot replacement for the aging Fort River School, solar panels alone would add $6.4 million to the project cost, while extensive energy improvements, in combination with the solar panels, would add $7.7 million, architect Ryszard Szczypek told the elected panels Tuesday…The consultants note that these costs are not out of line with the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s expectations for energy-efficient buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

We’ve included stories about this next topic in past issues of the Northeast Energy News but haven’t highlighted it. Given it’s an ongoing matter we’re calling it out this week. From Crain’s NY Business, “National Grid didn’t get the pipeline it wanted, so now the utility is giving its customers the shaft, Gov. Andrew Cuomo argued Wednesday. The governor told reporters at an unrelated press conference that something smelled funny about the natural gas supplier’s refusal to add new accounts, or to reconnect old ones, in the months after his administration denied a permit to the proposed Williams pipeline. Cuomo has already directed his Public Service Commission to investigate the validity of National Grid’s claims that it lacks the capacity to provide gas to either old or new customers…National Grid did not respond directly to the governor’s remarks, except to state that it was working to illustrate the pipeline’s necessity to his commission.”

We move to Maine for our next story from the Portland Press Herald, “As Maine’s climate warms, what’s on the menu likely will change. Chefs and scientists offer opinions on what we’ll be eating in 50 years. Ask Sam Hayward, co-owner and founding chef of Fore Street, what the famed Portland restaurant might be serving 50 years from now, and he obligingly jumps into an imaginary time capsule to visit 2069 and check out the menu. The question assumes that little has been done since 2019 to put the brakes on climate change. It’s likely, Hayward says, that diners at his restaurant would be feasting on black sea bass, a mid-Atlantic species that already has started moving north into Gulf of Maine waters, or local meat raised on abundant Maine pastureland. “As wild species become more threatened, fish farming will continue to grow, and shellfish farming will grow,” Hayward said. “So you’ll see even more bivalves on the menu, and possibly even some southern species, such as warm-water shrimp, being grown in different places. That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?” Farmers and fishermen are used to dealing with the vicissitudes of Mother Nature, but unchecked climate change may push her finicky personality into overdrive. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature and rainfall, increasingly acidic oceans, new plant and shellfish diseases and insect pests – all of these may challenge traditional notions of what farmers can grow in Maine and how they grow it, and what fishermen harvest from the sea. Even the smaller aspects of daily life – such as what you order off a menu – may look vastly different 50 years from now.”

That’s the news recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid refusing customers to build ‘political pressure’ for pipeline, Cuomo suggests, Crain’s New York

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

Weymouth: Public Involvement Plan Participants Request Meeting Postponement Regarding Fore River Oil Clean-up, WATD-FM

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

Merrimack Valley Marks 1 Year Since Disastrous Gas Explosions, ESPN

Art exhibit protests Weymouth compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Wind And Natural Gas Are Big Winners In US Power Generation, OilPrice.com

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Burlington, Vermont’s net zero energy roadmap showcases how utilities can lead on climate, Utility Dive

‘Like a sunburn on your lungs’: how does the climate crisis impact health?, The Guardian

EPA data pinpoint largest greenhouse gas emitters in region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

North America has lost 3 billion birds in 50 years, Washington Post

The climate movement to come: how can we build the majoritarian social force we need to slow global warming,? DigBoston

Half-dozen MetroWest, Milford communities awarded grants for clean energy projects, MetroWest Daily News

Carbon-Cutting Cities Plug In to ‘Electrify Everything’ Movement, Bloomberg

Massachusetts Catholic bishops call for action on climate change, environmental protection, MassLive

As Maine’s climate warms, what’s on the menu likely will change, Portland Press Herald

Climate Change Is Having Widespread Health Impacts, Scientific American

Hampshire County gets ‘F’ in air quality rating: Climate change a factor, Daily Hampshire Gazette

What would the Green New Deal look like in the Valley? We asked economists and activists, Daily Hampshire Gazette

‘Worse Than Anyone Expected’: Air Travel Emissions Vastly Outpace Predictions, New York Times

Waters off the coast of Maine vulnerable to changing climate, Portland Press Herald

Connecticut’s Small Solutions To Climate Change: New Tool Shows Effects Of Sea Level rise, WNPR

County opts out of solar, wind, farm waste energy tax exemptions, The Recorder (NY)

What To Know About Friday’s Youth Climate Strike In Boston, WBUR

Climate protest: Students converge on downtown Worcester, Telegram.com

Photos from climate strike events across the planet, Boston Globe

 

Wind

The Hamptons Love Green Energy. But That Wind Farm?, New York Times

Ørsted ok’d to bring offshore wind power ashore at Oyster Creek, NJ Spotlight

Antrim Wind project fined for delay, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

New York board approves 242 megawatt wind farm, WENY

Wind And Natural Gas Are Big Winners In US Power Generation, OilPrice.com

Time is now for major upgrade at State Pier, wind deal officials say, The Day

Fishing concerns color N.J. offshore wind hearing,  National Wind Watch

Fishermen demand a say in decisions on offshore wind energy, WHYY

GE Lands First Orders for 12MW Offshore Wind Turbine, and They’re Huge, Greentech Media

 

Solar

Proposed state law would put solar panels on new homes, commercial buildings, MetroWest Daily News

Utility-scale solar pipeline hits 37.9 GW, driven by falling costs and corporate buying: Report, Utility Dive

The State of Floating Solar: Bigger Projects, Climbing Capacity, New Markets, Greentech Media

Rhode Island’s First Community Solar Project Enters Operation, Solar Industry

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

CT’s small solutions to climate change: South Windsor goes solar, Connecticut Mirror

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Net-zero school could add $7.7M to cost, consultants tell Amherst boards, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Nothing standing in the way of energy storage’s ‘explosive growth’: Navigant, Utility Dive

Energy Efficiency Can Get U.S. Halfway To Climate Goals, Facility Executive

ACEEE: ‘Ambitious’ energy efficiency could halve US emissions by 2050, Utility Dive

Online Dashboard Shows Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunities, Patch

New York advances toward 3 GW storage goal with 316 MW project to replace gas peakers, Utility Dive

Eos Looks to Scale Up Battery Manufacturing in Pittsburgh, Greentech Media

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

Nuclear could be the clean energy source the world needs, CNN

Big Plans For Small Nuclear Plants, WBUR

To Combat Climate Change, Do We Need The Nuclear Option?, WBUR

Millstone, utilities finalize 10-year contract, The Day

For Green Energy, MIT Aims To Build ‘A Star On Earth’, WBUR

GE Details Radioactive Trucking Plan, New Haven Independent

NorthStar gets good decommissioning review, Brattleboro Reformer

Three Mile Island’s last day as a working reactor will be Friday, PennLive.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP submits last-minute change to its power line plan, Portland Press Herald

Sununu narrowly wins veto fights over energy bills, New Hampshire Union Leader

The True Value of Distributed Energy Resources? Connecticut Takes a Stab at it, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Kill the gas powered plant in Killingly, Hartford Courant

Energy Efficiency Jobs Soar: Now Make Them Available to All, nrdc.org

Maine PUC: Editorial mischaracterizes panel’s role in resolving CMP complaints, Portland Press Herald

The Injustice Of Climate Change, WBUR

Only one beneficiary from Trump attack on fuel standards: Big Oil, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending September 6, 2019

800 MW Expansion | Bid details released | Save the bogs

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with two renewables stories from the State House News Service that were picked up by local outlets.

From MassLive, “State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program. The Baker administration proposed an expansion of a solar energy development program Thursday, days after industry officials released a report outlining job losses in the sector that executives attributed to policy shortcomings and uncertainty. According to a senior administration official, the changes outlined in a new ‘straw proposal’ will help advance projects on utility territory waiting lists, help deliver solar energy benefits in low-income areas, and require larger solar projects to be paired with energy storage infrastructure. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, would receive an additional 800-megawatt authorization under the proposal, up from the initial 1,600 megawatts. Energy Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock said another change would define low-income communities in connection with environmental justice standards, a move that he said would enable solar energy developers to more confidently target low-income areas for new projects.”

From South Coast Today, “Latest round of offshore wind bid details released. The state and three utilities on Wednesday released the details of the three pitches they received from developers who want to build wind farms off the coast and deliver clean energy to Massachusetts homes and businesses, and will now use the next two months to select the project that most benefits Massachusetts…The state and Eversource, National Grid and Unitil are seeking to procure at least 400 megawatts of power but will consider proposals from 200 megawatts up to 800 megawatts. The procurement is expected to fulfill the second half of the Legislature’s 2016 authorization of 1,600 megawatts of wind power…The state and utilities expect to select a project by November 8 and execute a long-term contract by Dec. 13. The contract would be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for its approval by Jan. 10, 2020. The three projects vying to be selected are Mayflower Wind, Vineyard Wind 2 and Bay State Wind.”

For our last highlighted story of the week, we take another look at the SMART program with a story from WGBH, “Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs? A state solar energy incentive program launched last November has a handful of Massachusetts cranberry farmers hoping for a new way to farm their fruit — and stay in the farming business. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Energy Target (SMART) program awards farmers a stipend for the solar energy they produce from solar panels built over their active farmland. Some cranberry farmers are skeptical and say building solar panels over their bogs is too risky; it could destroy their crop. Others say solar panels are their only option to keep afloat in a struggling industry. Cranberries are the commonwealth’s largest agricultural food crop, but the industry has hit hard times. Last year, cranberry prices in Massachusetts cratered, falling to $22 for a barrel (or 100 pounds) of the fruit. It was a 29 percent tumble from prices the year before, and the lowest price per barrel in almost two decades. Under the SMART program, the state incentivizes farmers to build solar panels on their productive farmland. But there is a catch: the state requires farmers to continue producing food on the same land as the solar panels. The project’s goal is to preserve the state’s farmland while encouraging solar development. A handful of the state’s more than 300 cranberry growers are interested in installing the panels on their land. They say the state’s incentive plan would help them remain in the cranberry business.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State Delays Review Of Proposed Natural Gas Compressor Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Southern N.E.’s Fossil-Fuel Infrastructure Builds Up, EcoRI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Search Continues for Strong Current of Tidal Power, EcoRI

Connecticut governor calls for 100% carbon-free power by 2040, Utility Dive

Biomass could replace natural gas at Brattleboro paper board factory, VT Digger

Repowering Rural New England Communities with Renewables, Triple Pundit

 

Wind

Latest round of offshore wind bid details released, South Coast Today

Why collaboration is critical to offshore wind and port success, Windpower Engineering & Development

Mayflower Wind promises lowest US price yet, CommonWealth Magazine

Fall River waterfront luring wind energy businesses, South Coast Today

Proposed Wind Farm Off Atlantic City May Use Oyster Creek Substation to Access Electric Grid, The Sandpaper

Kissing the Sky: The Pros and Cons of Ultra-Tall Wind Turbine Towers, Greentech Media

Select Board votes for all-wind electricity for Harvard, Harvard Press

 

Solar

State floats 800 megawatt expansion of solar program, MassLive

New Haven company looks to crowdfund solar panels for nonprofit, New Haven Register

Can Solar Power Save Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs?, WGBH

Report: Mass. solar sector absorbing job drain, South Coast Today

Back to school: Four lessons on solar energy for the real estate industry – by Craig Huntley, New England Real Estate Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Department to prolong the lives of incandescent lightbulbs, Washington Post

Worcester scores in bottom third in national report on energy efficiency, Telegram

 

EVs

Senior center drivers get electric-powered ride, Worcester Telegram

 

Nuclear

AG seeks stay of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

C-10 to host lecture by former NRC chairman, Newburyport Daily News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents take first formal step to bring CMP’s transmission project to a statewide vote, Bangor Daily News

List of Maine towns opposing CMP transmission corridor grows, Portland Press Herald

Middlebury wastewater-to-energy proposal gains momentum, Addison Independent

Researchers Propose Floating Microgrids Made up of Electric Boats, Microgrid Knowledge

LaFleur Exit Fuels Concern Of Future FERC Slowdown, Law360

Proposed utility box irks some Amherst councilors, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CLF sues to halt Eversource’s Seacoast power line project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our view: Don’t let Vineyard Wind lose momentum, Salem News

Cuomo’s pricey wind-power gift to unions, NY Post

Mark Amato: Agriculture, solar power, are a great match for state, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. should accelerate solar development, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal Light Plants need to be part of greenhouse gas reduction efforts, The Landmark

Addressing our planet’s climate emergency, Greenfield Recorder

How net metering changes the electric utility landscape, Fosters.com

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

Energy News for week ending August 23, 2019

License Transfer Approved | Is there anybody out there | Charge up with soap and laxatives

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s Energy News with news out today that the NRC approved Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license transfer from Entergy to Holtec. Holtec promises to decommission the plant in 8-10 years vs. 60 years if Entergy were to remain the owner. From Power Engineering, “Federal regulators have approved Entergy Corp.’s application to transfer the licenses of the closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to a decommissioning specialist firm. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the Pilgrim transfer from Entergy to a subsidiary of Holtec International. This will pave the way for completing the plant sale to Holtec…Holtec International is a large player in the nuclear decommissioning and cleanup sector. Earlier this year, Entergy also decided on Holtec as the buyer for its Indian Point nuclear facility in New York, planned for closure by 2021. Pilgrim still employs close to 230 people after permanent shutdown on May 31.”

I’m guessing the answer is yes and we’ll find out soon enough as South Coast Today asks, “Will anyone bid? Bids are due Friday for Massachusetts’ second offshore wind farm, even as the first, Vineyard Wind, struggles to get federal approval. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 23 for confidential bids. By Aug. 30, companies must submit public versions of those bids that do not have to include pricing information. Vineyard Wind’s wholesale energy price last year was lower than expected, leading to concerns that bidders would shy away from trying to beat that price. The state’s 2016 energy law set a price cap by requiring each procurement to produce a lower energy price than the last. Within the last few weeks, Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature agreed to amend the fiscal year 2020 state budget to eliminate the price cap until 2021, when the cap will be reestablished, according to an official at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Vineyard Wind’s price was 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, in 2017 dollars, levelized over a 20-year term.”

The last highlight for this week, from our love of new technology stories, comes from the New York Times, “Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative. Living in a world with smartphones, laptops and cars powered by batteries means putting up with two things: waiting for a depleted battery to charge, and charging it more frequently when its once-long life inevitably shortens. That’s why the battery’s cousin, the supercapacitor, is still in the game, even though batteries dominate electricity storage…In a study this month in the journal Nature Materials, researchers reported a new phenomenon that could potentially bring a supercapacitor’s energy storage capacity on par with lithium-ion batteries: by using a new class of electrolytes composed of ionic liquids, or salts that remain liquid at room temperature. The materials are abundant: The molecular components in this novel class of liquid salts are found in soaps, detergents and even stool softeners.” Talk about cleantech.

That’s the recap for this week. We’re going to take next Friday off from the news so we’ll be back in your inboxes on September 6th.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the Labor Day holiday.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

After dumping coal in front of State House, protesters vow to shut Bow power plant, Concord Monitor

Utility company tries to ease fears as gas pipeline, storage tank push continues, New Hampshire Union Leader

Longmeadow votes to ban construction of gas facility in residential zone, WWLP

21 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules, AP

Federal judge nixes lawsuit seeking gas pipeline in Maryland, Washington Post

Somerville startup wins spot in energy-focused accelerator program, (paywall) Boston Business Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How grid operators forecast weather and output from renewables, Utility Dive

Vermont farm turns manure into renewable energy, powering Middlebury College, NBC 5

Climate change exacerbates hurricane flood hazards along US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in spatially varying patterns, Nature

Study: Air Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Death, U.S. News & World Report

Massachusetts’ law for clean energy could leave Maine woods a mess, Sun Journal

Wind And Solar Gaining Edge Over Natural Gas, Oilprice.com

Town to amend solar and wind energy laws, Ithaca.com

 

Wind

Second offshore wind bids due Friday, but will anyone bid?, South Coast Today

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay, CommonWealth Magazine

New Jersey to establish WIND Institute Council, Energy Live News

Sources: Vineyard Wind Decision Delayed Until December 2020, WNPR

Wind power company poised to move to R.I., Providence Journal

Hopkinton council hears pros, cons of proposed ban on wind turbines, Westerly Sun

Connecticut kicks off 2GW offshore bid round, Renews.biz

Despite Feds’ Raised Bar, $2.8B Massachusetts Offshore Wind Project Presses On, Engineering News Record

Troubling questions, concerns raised about off-shore wind farms, Providence Journal

Orsted, Eversource confident in offshore wind as competitor faces delay in Massachusetts, The Day

US offshore wind pipeline exceeds 25GW, reNEWS

National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium Names Leader, Welcomes GE To Board, NRG Wind Project

Vineyard Wind project gains bipartisan support from federal lawmakers, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Solar-powered charging bench in Easthampton begins one-month trial, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Portland school board approves solar energy project, Portland Press Herald

Hanover, Lebanon celebrate solar in push toward renewable energy, Valley News

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Long-duration energy storage: The future of grid stability, Utility Dive

Is Proposed Battery-Storage Project a Power Plant?, ECO RI

Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative, New York Times

New England’s Municipal Utilities Get a Taste for Battery Storage, Greentech Media

How Did Massachusetts Blossom Into an Environment Ripe for Energy Storage, Pushing Technology and Business Models to the Cutting Edge?, Global Energy World

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Pilgrim nuclear license transfer from Entergy to Holtec, Power Engineering

Keeping watch at Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoastonline.com

‘I tell the truth;’ Rep. Seth Moulton embraces nuclear energy in opposition to the majority of his peers, MassLive

Elizabeth Warren: ‘Coherent plan’ needed for nuclear waste storage, not Yucca Mountain, Aiken Standard

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Major milestone is reached as power line through Boston Harbor gets charged up, Boston Globe

Microgrid to Serve as Core of $110-$120M Connecticut Mixed-Use Project, Mircogrid Knowledge

CMP withdraws controversial customer letter, Portland Press Herald

Some East Boston Residents Are Wary Of Proposed Electrical Substation, WBUR

Homeowners unhappy with new ‘surprise bills’ from Eversource, WTNH

Report: Municipal light plants leading way on carbon-free power generation, Telegram

Connecticut tops continental U.S. in electricity prices: what gives?, The Day

New NRDC Tool Compares Electric Generation Cost by Resource, nrdc.org

New York Lawmaker Urging Long Island Residents To Fight Another Rate Hike Attempt From National Grid, CBS Boston / WBZ

Livermore Falls voters oppose proposed CMP transmission line, Sun Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

How to have an all-renewable electric grid, Boston Business Journal

Why I support New England Clean Energy Connect, Sun Journal

Letter: Renewables bill is a smart investment in our economy, Concord Monitor

No logic in delaying offshore wind projects, Cape Cod Times

2 views on Vineyard Wind delay, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Pursuing wind energy is much better than solar for Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing

Energy News for week ending April 12, 2019

Transparent Wood | Housing Upgrade | No. 1 Threat to the Grid

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

 

This week we start with something that’s seems fantastical but is possible – see-through wood. From the New Scientist, “Transparent wood could one day replace glass in windows. A process for turning it see-through also gives it heat-retaining powers, which could help regulate the temperature of buildings. Céline Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and colleagues built on previous work which created transparent wood by removing a structural component called lignin from wood, allowing light to filter through. For the next stage, the team soaked de-lignified birch wood in PEG (polyethylene glycol), a polymer that is also found in theatre smoke machines and toothpaste. When encapsulated in the wood panels, this makes it harder for heat to cross – whether you’re insulating a building against the cold outside, or trying to keep out summer heat…’When we build we try to use a lot of glass, but it has a drawback of being a bad insulator, so there are large amounts of heat loss,’ says Montanari. ‘Wood is really amazing, 10 times better at insulating, but it does not transmit light.’ The composite wood isn’t quite as good an insulator as natural wood, but is around four times better than high-end double glazing. The material can also bear heavy loads and is biodegradable, making it easier to dispose of than concrete or glass.”

Next we have a story that I don’t think anyone can complain about. From WCAI, Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade. “Harwich residents brought doughnuts out for Eversouce Energy workers on Tuesday morning as the crew put up a nest platform for a pair of ospreys on Route 28. The birds arrived in the area at the end of March for nesting season but when they went to settle into their old haunt on top of a telephone pole, the nest was gone. Eversource had dismantled the osprey’s nest and covered the site with a rounded plastic guard because the nest posed a safety hazard, says Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. ‘It is a matter of a risk to our electric system, to people and to ospreys themselves, in fact, as these nests do have the potential to cause a fire.’ Every time Eversouce takes down an osprey nest from one of their utility poles, they look for a nearby location to build an alternative nesting platform, Lamberty says. But they can’t always find a good spot…This time though, the birds got lucky. After bird watcher Sally Steinmann of South Harwich complained to Eversource, the company agreed to build a nest platform off a nearby utility pole. ‘The public outcry is what made this happen,’ Steinmann says. ‘But it’s the birds who made us want to help them.’”

Speaking of grid hazards, most people think cyber attacks are the greatest threat to the electric grid. It turns out that’s not the case. From Inside Sources, “Last week, President Donald Trump released an executive order intended to protect the U.S. from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks against the electric grid. But there is another threat to the grid, one that is far more low-tech and far more common, than a smuggled EMP device: Squirrels. ‘I’m all for increasing grid resilience, but here’s a threat priority list: 1. Squirrels 2. Tree branches 3. Heat waves/hurricanes/other climate-amplified threats,’ joked Costa Samaras, an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation in a tweet. He may have been joking, but his math is dead on.  For a small mammal, squirrels cause a surprising amount of damage to the grid. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by squirrels, cutting off power to more than 193,873 customers. These incidents are more common in the spring and fall but can happen throughout the year. To try to stop the furry menaces and to keep equipment safe, utility companies employ a variety of deterrents like wheels, cages, and guards. Despite these efforts, squirrels are a constant operating hazard.” And here I thought keeping them out of the bird feeder was hard enough.

That’s the news for this week. Enjoy the stories below. Have a great weekend. And if you’re running Boston on Monday, take care and have fun!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sen. Markey unveils federal pipeline safety legislation named after Leonel Rondon, killed in Valley gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Pennsylvania governor under scrutiny for role in approving pipeline, The Guardian

Trump Plans to Sign Executive Orders to Expedite Pipelines, Wall St. Journal

Study: Natural gas pipelines leaking in Danbury, other cities, Connecticut Post

Power Plant Hearings End, Decision This Summer, ECO RI

Compressor Station Opponents Urged to Oppose Gas, ECO RI

Trump’s order would make it harder for states to block pipelines, Kennebec Journal

Utility Blamed for Gas Explosions Resumes Efforts to Replace Damaged Heating Equipment, NECN

Ocean uproar: saving marine life from a barrage of noise, Nature

Dominion gas explosion kills one, injures 17 in North Carolina, Utility Dive

‘Bomb Trains.’ Trump’s Plan to Ship Natural Gas by Rail Raises Alarm, Fortune

MIT says we’re overlooking a near-term solution to diesel trucking emissions, Ars Technica

Inside the Gas Industry’s Plan to Sink Nuclear Power, Daily Beast

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Climate Change Is Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis, The New Yorker

Is Mass. Keeping Its Offshore Wind, Hydro Procurement Promises?, Climate X Change

Global CO2 levels ‘unprecedented’ in last 3M years, E&E News

Millennial legislators bond around push for renewables, Taunton Gazette

Investors Should Worry If Climate Goals Are Missed, Report Warns, Bloomberg

Maryland General Assembly approves 50 percent renewable energy target for 2030, The Baltimore Sun

Nahant earns Green Community designation, Daily Item

100% renewable energy ‘moonshot’ for millennials at Fitchburg State forum, Telegram

Among other millennials, Framingham state Rep. Maria Robinson pushes for renewables, MetroWest Daily News

Climate Change Throws Shade on Forest Wildflowers, Boston University

UNH research: 14 wild bee species native to New England on the decline, New Hampshire Union Leader

Biomass plants ask state Supreme Court to intervene over law, WMUR

 

Wind

State delays decision on Vineyard Wind cable, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind commits to fisheries monitoring, Cape Cod Times

New Jerseyans like the idea of expanding wind power, poll finds, NJ 101.5

New Jersey governor unveils portal to enhance state’s offshore wind supply chain, Utility Dive

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, reNews

Scaling the US East Coast offshore wind industry to 20 gigawatts and beyond, McKinsey & Company

Offshore wind output beats solar for the first time in Germany, Recharge

Bernie Sanders Video Mocks Trump for Being the ‘Only Person in the World’ Who Believes Wind Turbines Cause Cancer, Newsweek

Windsor and Sanford Residents voice their displeasure with a planned wind turbine project, WICZ

 

Solar

L.A. could replace traditional power plants with home solar, experts say, NBC News

New community solar project in Hartland, VT converts brownfield to brightfield, VTDigger

As key solar perk hits sunset, CT grapples with net metering, Connecticut Post

SW looks at solar panels on school roofs, Journal Inquirer

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Windows made of transparent wood could help keep buildings warm, New Scientist

States can grow battery resources with ‘one simple step,’ report finds, Utility Dive

Eversource advances Cape Cod battery project, defers 13-mile distribution line, Utility Dive

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, VTDigger

MASS SAVE earns 2019 Energy Star® partner of the year – sustained excellence award, Utility Dive

Researchers charge ahead on battery storage, Phys.org

Vattenfall to test salt-based power storage technology, Reuters

 

EVs

Bipartisan group of lawmakers proposes extending tax credits for electric, fuel cell vehicles, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Three Mile Island nuclear reactor dismantling could take six decades, more than $1 billion, Philadelphia Enquirer

NRC sets Sept. hearing date for C-10’s filing, Newburyport Daily News

Indian Point Unit 3 returns to service after final refueling, Mid-Hudson News

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewing Millstone decommissioning funds, The Day

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bailout Plan for the State’s Two Nuclear Power Plants, WKSU

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource fights to keep Northern Pass alive, Boston Globe

This Threat To America’s Energy Grid Is Driving Security Experts Nuts, Inside Sources

How the Energy Department Tackles Cyberthreats, Fedtech Magazine

Berkshire delegation says Baker’s cuts to LIHEAP ‘a shock,‘ Berkshire Eagle

ISO-NE considers new seasonal forward market to improve energy security, Utility Dive

CMP wins key certificate from regulators for transmission line, Portland Press Herald

Watertown hydro plant’s three turbines creating power, Watertown Daily Times

Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade, Cape and Islands NPR

Opponents of CMP transmission line project push bills to slow it down, Portland Press Herald

$30M in state funding available for electric grid projects, Syracuse.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Nuclear Power Can Save the World, New York Times

Gas hookup moratoriums are not good for any of us, CommonWealth Magazine

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

Power companies must prove need for extending natural gas pipelines in New England (Letters), MassLive

Steven Kahl: The Electric Economy is the future, Kennebec Journal

As I See It: Solar on all new homes would help protect Massachusetts’ air and water, Telegram

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending February 1, 2019

Personnel Changes | Storage Goes Mainstream | Sun-powered Super Bowl

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s news with two personnel changes. Yesterday, Massachusetts’-own and enthusiastic Patriot’s fan, Cheryl LaFleur announced on Twitter she wouldn’t be “seeking a third-term at FERC” and would be leaving the Commission later this year. You can read more details at Utility Dive.

The second personnel announcement comes from the MA DPU where the Patriot Ledger reports that the new Chairman, Matthew Nelson, who is replacing Angie O’Connor, hails from Hull and that he “has worked for the agency for eight years, most recently as director of electric power and regional and federal affairs.”

Big energy efficiency news came out of Massachusetts this week as reported by CommonWealth Magazine, “State regulators on Wednesday approved utility plans to spend nearly $2.8 billion of ratepayer money over the next three years on initiatives designed to curb energy consumption in the aggregate and particularly at peak periods, resulting in energy savings of $8.5 billion. While Mass Save will continue to offer efficient light bulbs, insulation, and other standard energy-saving devices that help curb electricity and natural gas consumption, the focus of the program is starting to shift a bit, with homeowners incentivized to swap oil and propane systems for electric heat pumps and to purchase energy storage devices. Energy storage devices appear to be going mainstream. Under the energy efficiency program approved by the Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, utilities would offer performance-based financial incentives to customers who purchase the devices. At peak demand periods, utilities would pay the customer to use the stored energy to reduce his/her personal power usage or to feed the electricity into the grid. The DPU decision did not detail the size of the incentives, although in testimony the utilities said they would be sizeable.”

 

Last story for this week, (because, you know,…Super Bowl) comes from Inc. How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of). “Fans arriving at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta…will be far too excited to think twice about the carports that they’ll be parking under. But those structures go a long way toward helping the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium earn its status as the greenest sports arena in the world. Completed in 2017, the $1.5 billion stadium is the first sports facility ever to receive Platinum certification from the global rating system LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One decision that helped the stadium earn that honor: The carports in the parking lot are plastered with solar panels.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Struggles Due To Insufficient Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, Benzinga.com

National Grid: 95 percent of customers have gas service restored in Rhode Island, WHDH

Residents, businesses file class-action lawsuits following gas outage, WPRI

Attorney behind Newport gas outage lawsuit says ‘some people suffered real damages’, Newport Daily News

Drillers Are Easing Off the Gas, Wall St. Journal

Feds agree to visit Weymouth to hear gas compressor concerns, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

Braintree, Weymouth to appeal air permit for compressor, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

Utility Will Cover Gas Disaster Repair Costs Through May 2020, USA Patch

Danskammer officials outline plans for power plant revamp, Recordonline

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Traditional and renewable energy “at odds” in Connecticut, Connecticut Post

Democrats’ ‘carbon tax’ bill debated at State House hearing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New Jersey looks to rejoin RGGI to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, WHYY

Renewable energy brings questions in Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

US energy-related CO2 emissions rose in 2018 but are expected to fall in 2019, 2020, Daily Energy Insider

From Beer to Casinos, Businesses Turn to Solar, Wind Power, Wall St. Journal

Move To All-Renewable Energy A ‘Moral Obligation,’ Lawmaker Says, WGBH

In Vermont, a progressive haven, emissions spike forces officials to consider drastic action, Boston Globe

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost, AP News

Boston wants to go carbon neutral by 2050. Here’s how that could happen, Boston Globe

Science Says: Get used to polar vortex outbreaks, AP News

If the Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold Outside?, New York Times

7 Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass a Green New Deal, The Atlantic

Carbon Free Boston panel pushes $5 charge for cars on city streets, Boston Herald

GE restructures renewables business to include solar, storage, Utility Dive

 

Wind

A new way to predict sea breezes may benefit offshore wind farms, Phys.org

Backyard Wind Turbines Renew R.I.’s Energy Debate. EcoRI.org

Thiele Withdraws Support For Deepwater Wind Project, Says ‘Bait and Switch’ Has Eroded Trust, 27East.com

Court Rules State Has To Refund Fee For Swanton Wind Project That’s On Hold, VPR
Landmark project faces critical test in R.I.
 , National Wind Watch

Offshore wind set for ‘sixfold growth’, reNews

Momentum Continues to Build for NE Offshore Wind, RTO Insider

 

Solar

Bill proposes to roll back ‘gross metering’ rule impacting residential solar users, Mainebiz

Plymouth town meeting will consider 15-acre solar fields, The Enterprise

Vermont Solar-storage Projects Aim to Lower Costs During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of), INC.

Vermont regulators advance first of 3 Green Mountain Power solar-plus-storage projects, Utility Dive

Conti Solar Reaches 650 Megawatts Of Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Second solar farm has powered up in Warwick, Providence Journal

Solar supporters urge Maine lawmakers to restore financial incentives, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State adjusts priorities in $2.8B energy program, Sentinel & Enterprise

Massachusetts approves 3-year efficiency plan with first fuel-switching incentives, Utility Dive

Electricity storage takes key role in energy efficiency plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Next Middleborough Science Cafe will look at energy efficient buildings, Southcoasttoday

What Does the Nuclear Power Phase-Out Mean for Energy Storage?, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

With rise of electric vehicles, a new foreign energy dependence looms, Houston Chronicle

 

Nuclear

How do you dismantle a nuclear power plant? Very, very carefully. Washington Post

Can We Drill A Hole Deep Enough For Our Nuclear Waste?, Forbes.com

These dumpsters of old nuclear waste are costing taxpayers a fortune, Boston Globe

Bill Gates comes to Washington — selling the promise of nuclear energy, Washington Post

The Nuclear Kid — Memphis youth builds home nuclear fusion reactor, Commercial Appeal

United States : Markey, Warren, Moulton Commend Decision to Delay Seabrook Nuclear Plant License Amendment and Extension, MarketWatch

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

FERC’s LaFleur to step down after push from Senate Democrats, Utility Dive

Hydro Quebec to increase hydropower capacity to more than 37,000 MW in 2021, S&P Global

Blue state AGs press McNamee recusal in resilience docket, Utility Dive

As Maine debates 145-mile electric line, energy giant with billions at stake is absent, Bangor Daily News

Watertown’s hydro power not running at capacity, Watertown (NY) Daily News via Energy Central

Eversource Seeks Rate Hike to Cover Storm Damage Costs in Connecticut, Insurance Journal

State to take up power plant project, The Bulletin

Critics call for replacing CMP, Emera Maine with a ‘consumer-owned utility’, Portland Press Herald

Saviello requests PUC amend NECEC schedule to consider alternatives, Mainebiz

Lamont talks grid reliability, offshore wind with DEEP staff, The Day

Utility Grid Modernization Plans: The Latest Developments, Greentech Media

State’s new public utilities chairman is from Hull, Patriot Ledger

Still no deal between Eversource, wood-fired power plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

LETTER: Extending Seabrook plant’s license is right move, Daily News of Newburyport

Another View: Editorial offers incomplete picture of Maine PUC’s oversight efforts, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Solar benefits, Wilton Bulletin

Guest Opinion: Time for a Green New Deal in R.I., Westerly Sun

‘Carbon Free Boston’ begins with cars and homes, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending November 16, 2019

Multiple Breakdowns | Panicky Trading | Key Errors | Floatovoltaics

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week’s energy news is loaded with stories. Here are a few highlights:

 

One of many stories coming out of the Merrimack Valley incident this week is an NTSB report urging new safety measures. From USA Today, “Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not use a professional engineer to draw up plans to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the Merrimack Valley in September — a factor, federal authorities say, that could have contributed to the explosions that killed one person and injured at least 21 others. That’s one conclusion from an urgent safety report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday. Massachusetts, like many states, exempts utility companies from state licensing laws for engineers. The NTSB now recommends that Massachusetts end the practice.”

 

Sticking with gas for a minute, in some not-so-good news for a region that relies heavily on natural gas for heating and electricity generation, from CNBC.com, “Natural gas prices surged to a more than four-year high in panicky and volatile trading Wednesday, after the latest cold weather forecasts raised fears that the U.S. is heading for a potentially colder-than-expected winter with too little gas supply…Prices also rose across futures contracts that that would cover the winter months through March, indicating that prices could be pressured all winter by dwindling supply, which is at a 15-year low for this time of year.”

 

In a bit of an Emily Litella moment (from SNL of years past) and perhaps some good news, the Washington Post reports, “Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are…As a result, the findings suffer from too much doubt to definitively support the paper’s conclusion about how much heat the oceans have absorbed over time.” Their earlier results, if you recall, suggested there is less time than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Last story for this week is an unusual request for an energy project in Central Mass. From Telegram.com, “A Millbury-based solar energy company has floated the idea of covering 24,000 surface acres of Quabbin Reservoir with a floating photovoltaic solar array capable of producing 1 megawatt of power. In his letter, Mr. Strzelecki said he is exploring any interest in developing a floating solar farm at Quabbin, describing floating solar arrays as ‘the future of renewable energy.’…The letter states that such an array, covering 24,000 of the reservoir’s 25,000 acres, would ‘put the Quabbin back in the energy-producing business since the Winsor Dam was put out of commission nearly 30 years ago.’ Mr. Strzelecki’s letter pointed out that “floatovoltaics” benefit from the cooling effect of water as well as being shade-free. Mr. Clark said he discussed the letter with John Scannell, director of the Division of Water Supply Protection, who was dismissive of the idea.”

 

Enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re taking next Friday off for the holiday.

 

Merrimack Valley

Multiple breakdowns led to natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, NTSB says, USA Today

As Merrimack Valley Appliances Are Replaced, Some Residents Want More Energy Efficiency, WGBH

Officials talk safety in anticipation of colder temps, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts lawmakers ask President Donald Trump to declare disaster in Merrimack Valley after gas explosions, MassLive

Lawmakers to hold oversight hearings on gas explosions, Eagle-Tribune

Lawsuits In Gas Disaster Could Face Hurdle In Obscure State Protections For Utilities, WGBH

For Returning Gas Explosion Victims, Home Isn’t Always Sweet, USA Patch

After AG’s Guidance, Confusion Lingers For Landlords, Tenants, Patch.com

 

Lockout

Political leaders under pressure to fix gas crisis as developers panic, Boston Business Journal (pay wall)

Worcester Rep. O’Day files bill to force National Grid to continue health insurance for locked out workers, Telegram

Gas hookup moratorium putting chill on housing, real estate, Lowell Sun

Plans for gas oversight hearings, lockout bill taking shape, Sentinel and Enterprise

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas jumps to 4-year high in panicky trading as snow, cold push across US, CNBC

Charlton residents hear details of proposed $100M LNG plant, Worcester Telegram

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, CBS News

No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts, E&E News

Climate activists get involved in Agawam pipeline debate, MassLive

Hingham mulls applying for ‘intervenor status’ on Weymouth compressor station, Hingham.wickedlocal.com

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, The Valley Breeze

Potential for wetlands disturbance draws ire from opponents of Williams Transco compressor station, Central Jersey

Environmentalists call on Murphy to halt fossil fuel projects, NJTV

Oxford power plant is commissioned, Connecticut Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

What Will Maine’s Clean Energy Future Look Like Under New Leadership?, Maine Public

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming, Washington Post

Environmental groups hope Democrat gains will spur climate action, VTDigger

Green jobs growing across Central Mass., Telegram

ReEnergy shuts down Fort Fairfield biomass plant, Mainebiz

Ratepayer group asks FERC to nullify state’s biomass subsidy law, New Hampshire Union Leader

Storm Surge brings professor to discuss climate change, Daily News of Newburyport

Confronting Climate Change, Fishermen Collect Data on Changing Oceans, Cape and Islands NPR

 

Wind

7 big turbines rise in Johnston — biggest onshore wind farm in R.I. | video, Providence Journal

Agencies earn right to challenge wind farm studies, National Wind Watch

Motion To Intervene On Turbine Appeal Denied, Falmouth Enterprise

Arkwright hears complaints about turbine sounds, The Observer Today

Former Massachusetts Coal Plant Transitioning To Offshore Wind Support Center, North American Windpower

National Offshore Wind Consortium Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind Industry, NYSERDA

New Jersey in Right Place to Reap Benefits of Emerging Offshore-Wind Sector, NJ Spotlight

Providence zoning board to consider 3 new 364-ft. turbines at waterfront, Providence Business News

BOEM releases potential lease plots for NY offshore wind, South Coast Today

 

Solar

State throws cold water on idea of floating solar array on Quabbin Reservoir, Telegram.com

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

Cabot Corporation and SunPower Announce Helix® Solar-Plus-Storage Agreement, MarketWatch

Three Solar Projects Completed For Town Of Ashland, Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Falmouth town meeting rejects moratorium on solar permits, Cape Cod Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Barrier to Energy Storage in New York?, Microgrid Knowledge

The Forecast on Energy-Efficient Cooling Just Got a Bit Sunnier, PBS

 

EVs

School Districts Rolling Out Electric Buses as Economics Improve: ‘It’s Time to Switch,’ Greentech Media

Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other EV interests press Congress to continue federal tax credit, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Holtec Files Request to Acquire Pilgrim Nuclear Plant by End of 2019, Cape Cod Today

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Report: New England’s Nuclear Plants Will Be Key To Fighting Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Cost of US nuclear generation at ten-year low, World Nuclear News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules Protecting N.H. Residents From Winter Utility Disconnection Kick In Today, Valley News

Maine DEP tells CMP its application for 145-mile power line is incomplete, Sun Journal

CT electric generation rates on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid brass declines invite to discuss gas concerns in Leominster, Sentinel & Enterprise

Visual impact of Seacoast power project to be presented, Seacoastonline.com

Governors push fed on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

Lessons From FERC Staff Reversal In Footprint Power, Law360

Can the Electricity Industry Seize Its Resilience Moment?, Greentech Media

New England Talks Energy Security, Public Policy, RTO Insider

Cannabis Growers Eye Microgrids to Cut Energy Bills, Greentech Media

FERC chair warns of retroactive ratemaking in ISO-NE order, S&P Global Platts

To scare crows in North Adams, National Grid is bringing in a propane cannon that shoots sound, MassLive

NE governors push feds on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

LIPA seeks 2.4% hike in customer delivery charge, Newsday

Utility smart meter installations worry Rockland and Westchester homeowners on privacy, LoHud.com

The Hail Mary plan to restart a hacked us electric grid, Wired

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Baker, Walsh must step in on National Grid talks, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

To fight climate change, environmentalists say yes to nuclear power, Boston Globe

Nuclear waste dilemma, The Day

Maine Voices: Start listening, folks: All-out effort needed to prevent climate disaster, Portland Press Herald

For a safe, secure new U.S. energy grid, Lowell Sun

George Smith: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy, Kennebec Journal

GUEST OPINION: Energy Advisory Committee, past and future, Daily News of Newburyport

Ørsted, Deepwater Wind: Are Offshore Wind Mergers Good for us?, Union of Concerned Scientists

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

Energy News for week ending October 26, 2018

It’s a nuisance | 47,000 Ticks | Precipitation Reducers

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news.

Given it’s a cross border issue it will be interesting to see how this one works out…From the Cape Cod Times, “After years of hearing complaints of noise, headaches and sleep deprivation, the Bourne Board of Health declared Wednesday that the four wind turbines across the town border in Plymouth are negatively affecting public health…The board will communicate to the Plymouth Board of Health its determination that the turbines are a nuisance to the residents of Bourne and interfering with the health and enjoyment of life and property, per the town’s nuisance law. A letter also will be sent to the Plymouth Planning Board, Board of Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals, which is responsible for licensing of the turbines.”

OK – so this next story is pretty gross. It’s been on local news as well. But it’s a story that must be shared. From the New York Times, “47,000 Ticks on a Moose, and That’s Just Average. Blame Climate ChangeBetween 2014 and 2016, Dr. Pekins counted ticks on moose calves at two locations in New Hampshire and Maine. He wanted to see how the moose were faring, given that climate change has been delaying snow’s arrival in New England’s winters. The longer-lasting warmth gives the ticks a leg up as they glom onto the moose, their preferred hosts, in the fall. They then feed through winter and hop off in the spring to lay eggs…three consecutive years of tick outbreaks ‘arguably reflects a host-parasite relationship strongly influenced by climate change at the southern fringe of moose habitat.’…While large numbers of ticks, literal bloodsucking parasites, aren’t great for adult moose, they’re especially bad for moose calves, which can die from the onslaught.”

Last for this week, from an unusual source for us, The Claims Journal, we learn, “With the United States being pummeled over the last couple of years with several high-category, high-damage hurricanes, the University of Delaware’s Cristina Archer recently published a paper that discovered an unexpected benefit of large-scale offshore wind farms: they lessen the precipitation caused by these devastating storms.”

Have a great weekend and Go Sox!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Grid spending stable, but hookups, leak repairs down, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. Natural Gas Explosions Highlight Tension Between Recovery and Long-Term Efficiency Goals, Greentech Media

National Grid, locked-out gas workers remain at odds, Boston Globe

Rehoboth selectmen approve natural gas pipeline moratorium, Sun Journal

Tennessee Gas seeks federal OK for Agawam pipeline, compressor, MassLive

Lawmakers revive bill, eye National Grid hearing, Lowell Sun

Grid, steelworkers busy away from negotiating table, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid, locked-out gas workers remain at odds, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas pushes back deadline to restore service to those affected by explosions, Boston Business Journal

After Mass. gas explosions, a race to replace nearly 45 miles of aging pipeline before winter sets in, Washington Post

Nearly 36 Miles Of Pipeline Replaced After Merrimack Valley Explosions, WBUR

AG blasts Columbia Gas for recovery failings, Eagle Tribune

Columbia Gas accused of relying on ‘comprised’ pipeline in new class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Merrimack Valley explosions victims, MassLive

With Temperatures Dropping, Mass. Residents Still Lack Heat Weeks After Gas Fires, NPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Minnesota, New York lead on shared renewables, California, Connecticut fall short, Utility Dive

47,000 Ticks on a Moose, and That’s Just Average. Blame Climate Change., New York Times

‘Leaf peeping’ is huge in New England. Will climate change alter tourism?, PRI

Climate Scientists Spar With Energy Subsidy Opponents At Portsmouth Conference, New Hampshire Public Radio

Sustainable Sours, Biomass Magazine

Military invests $133.5M in renewables, microgrid technology, energy efficiency at JBSA, The Business Journals

Climate Change Top of Mind at Vermont Conference, RTO Insider

Mass. clean energy firms grow headcount amid green tech boom, The Business Journals

Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and DC join Bloomberg climate challenge winners, Smart Cities Dive

Energy Transition to Reach ‘Point of No Return’ by 2035, Greentech Media

The state of clean energy innovation in Boston, Boston Business Journal

 

Wind

Bourne health board declares Plymouth turbines a nuisance, Cape Cod Times

Study: Offshore Wind Farms Can Reduce Hurricane Precipitation, Claims Journal

It’s all upbeat in New Jersey’s offshore-wind update despite cost, NJ Spotlight

Vineyard Wind signs $9m lease with New Bedford facility, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Vineyard Wind signs $9 million lease at New Bedford commerce pier, MassLive

Cape Cod landing for offshore wind cable approved by Barnstable, MassLive

Grupo Bimbo, Invenergy sign virtual PPA wind deal in US, Recharge

Offshore Wind in 2018: Four Takeaways, Union of Concerned Scientists

Federal regulators move forward with offshore wind leases off Massachusetts and California, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Advocates warn New Jersey solar market could collapse again, Utility Dive

MIT-Yale team spots revelation in Connecticut solar market, News-Times

DOE awards $53M for new solar research projects: chart, Utility Dive

UMass Amherst again a top ‘green college’, Daily Hampshire Gazette

GE Solar Completes Projects For CT’s Manchester Community College, Solar Industry

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

ISO-New England Offers Preview of Pending Energy Storage Market Changes, Renewable Energy World

New York energy storage: destination clear, road unsure, Utility Dive

How Are You Liking All The New LED Streetlights In Milford?, USA Patch

 

Nuclear

Trump signals opposition to nuclear waste site in Nevada despite his budget proposals to fund it, Washington Post

Pilgrim nuclear plant to move waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

Buyer, watchdog group at odds on timing of Vermont Yankee sale, VTDigger

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

CMP’s Proposed Transmission Line: An ‘Ugly Brown Monster’ Or A Clean Energy Boost?, Maine Public

UNH professor Tom Haines explores sources of fuel and how they can change, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE, generators spar over fuel security at FERC, Utility Dive

LePage made secret trip to Spain to meet with leaders of CMP’s parent company, Portland Press Herald

CMP nixes overhead crossing of scenic Kennebec Gorge in bid to win over critics, Mainebiz

Lights out: CMP to reimburse Fairfield $14,000 for missing streetlights, Kennebec Journal

Many testify against, some for CMP transmission line project, Kennebec Journal

New England power grid operators learned lessons from last year’s cold snap, Portland Press Herald

Issues in the governor’s race: Energy policy, Portland Press Herald

Iso New England Learns Lessons From Deep Freeze Last Winter, Valley News

National Grid forecasts lower winter energy bills for upstate customers, The Post-Star

Concern over proposal to divert million gallons a day from Norwalk River, The Hour

 

Editorial/Opinion

Regional grid operator too protective of industry, CommonWealth Magazine

Don’t believe all the RGGI hype, CommonWealth Magazine

Why support renewables?, The Republican Journal

Column: We should prepare now for the next utility emergency, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial: Gas pipeline limits create potential crisis, Boston Herald

Issues in the governor’s race: Energy Policy, Press Herald

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