Tag Archives: Electric Grid

Energy News for week ending December 11, 2020

New Climate Bill | Greener Cement | House of Tomorrow

Happy Friday folks.

We begin with a story from the State House News Service via the Berkshire Eagle, “Massachusetts state senator prods climate bill negotiators with new bill. Hoping to deliver ‘a wake-up call’ and highlight the urgency of the issue, state Sen. Marc Pacheco this week filed a new bill combining what he viewed as the best parts of the climate policy bills that six other lawmakers have been trying to reconcile since August. The Senate dean who chairs its Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change filed essentially his own vision for a conference committee report Wednesday and said he wanted to make sure Beacon Hill is ‘not losing sight of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…’ The late-session bill, which was not referred to a committee when the Senate met Thursday, would establish a requirement to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 with interim limits every five years, increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard that governs the amount of clean energy that utilities must purchase, codify environmental justice policy terms, increase the state’s offshore wind authorization to 6 gigawatts by 2035, and establish a goal that 100 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2035.

This next story from Utility Dive is pretty cool. “GE announces first US wind turbine blade recycling program with Veolia. GE Renewable Energy announced Tuesday a multi-year agreement with Veolia North America for the first U.S. wind turbine blade recycling program of its kind. The majority of blades from onshore turbines that GE changes out during repowering efforts will be shredded and used to replace raw materials for cement manufacturing, creating a ‘circular economy for composite materials,’ Anne McEntee, CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Digital Services, said in a statement. In Europe, such recycling processes have grown to commercial scale, and GE plans to deploy the program at scale quickly. The process will make wind turbines fully recyclable, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cement production by a net 27%, according to environmental impact analysis by Quantis U.S. The reprocessed blade has a net-positive environmental impact by replacing coal or other raw materials in the cement production process, according to GE.”

This next article is also cool and is more interactive than wordy. You can scroll the “House of Tomorrow” and see all the features including refrigerators that order ahead, a green roof, solar on the outside walls, interchangeable rooms, and cones of silence! (OK they didn’t call them that, but basically that’s what they are) all available at The House Of Tomorrow, Wall St. Journal.

That’s the recap for this week. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

Climate Change

Massachusetts state senator prods climate bill negotiators with new bill, State House News Service via The Berkshire Eagle

As Climate Envoy, Kerry To Seek ‘Ambition’ With ‘Humility,’ WGBH

Earth just notched its warmest November, as 2020 closes in on record for hottest year, Washington Post

‘Very small silver lining’ of COVID-19? An extra 2.5 years to reduce power sector emissions: report, Utility Dive

Are utilities legally required to plan for climate change? ‘The devil is in the details.,’ Utility Dive

Most states are below their greenhouse gas reduction goals: report, The Hill

Global warming has profoundly transformed Arctic in just 15 years, report warns, Washington Post

The world’s rich need to cut their carbon footprint by a factor of 30 to slow climate change, U.N. warns, Washington Post

The Paris agreement survived the Trump administration. What happens now?, Washington Post

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Poll: Majority of Mass. Voters Support Regional Greenhouse Gas Pact, WBUR

R.I. Works On Creating Right Mix of Renewable Energy, EcoRI

Peterborough voters to consider transition to clean energy, Sentinel Source

Vanguard Renewables announces opening of Organics Recycling Facility, Waste Today Magazine

Ellsworth hydro project and future of Graham Lake are inextricably linked, Bangor Daily News

New York Power Authority’s plan for 70% renewable energy by 2030 approved, PV-Tech

The Bumpy Road to a Hydrogen Economy, Greentech Media

The New Green Energy Giants Challenging Exxon and BP, Wall St. Journal

Does low-cost renewable energy, storage mean hydrogen is here to stay,? Utility Dive

Wind

N.J.’s first offshore wind farm gets boost, E&E News

PSEG says it will take 25% stake in Ørsted Ocean Wind project, NJ Spotlight

GE announces first US wind turbine blade recycling program with Veolia, Utility Dive

Mayflower Wind Awards Contract to Burns & McDonnell for Feed Design of Onshore Substation and Cable System, Press Release, Utility Dive

Offshore wind CEO on Biden and why Trump critics are wrong, E&E News

Maine signs wind-focused clean energy accord with United Kingdom, Press Herald

Atlantic Shores, Ørsted apply in new round of offshore wind contracts, Press Of Atlantic City

Solar

Solar vs. wind: Federal study finds a winner, E&E News

Confusion over tax status stymies solar projects, CommonWealth Magazine

AUI Partners building Rhode Island’s largest single-rooftop solar project, Solar Power World

Bath Iron Works set to buy energy from 6 Maine solar projects, Press Herald

Solar developer, investor, unite on pollinator-friendly projects, Rutland Herald

First R.I. community solar project at affordable-housing complex marks completion, Providence Business News

Solar power, which can save money even for people who don’t have it, is the future, Concord Monitor

Decision on Southington solar panel project delayed, My Record Journal

Efficiency/Storage

The House Of Tomorrow, Wall St. Journal

Green buildings ‘unheralded hero’ in emissions fight, experts say, Utility Dive

A Danbury battery startup business faces its first big test, CT Post

EVs

The T’s next set of battery-powered buses wouldn’t reduce much pollution, Boston Globe

Is This The Electric Vehicle Filling Station of the Future?, Greentech Media

The electric bike that could change delivery as we know it, E&E News

Feds eye nuclear-powered EVs: Breakthrough or bad idea?, E&E News

About 150 U.S. Cadillac Dealers to Exit Brand, Rather Than Sell Electric Cars, Wall St. Journal

This breakthrough electric vehicle never needs to be plugged in, Fast Company

QuantumScape is building a better electric car battery that it says charges to 80% in 15 minutes, CNBC

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power deploys vehicle-to-grid charger, publicpower.org

Con Edison testing V2G service from 5 electric school buses, Green Car Congress

Nuclear

MIT Study Lays Bare Why Nuclear Costs Keep Rising, Greentech Media

This Is the Company That Will Decommission Indian Point in Buchanan, Westchester Magazine

Does nuclear power deserve to be in the Green New Deal?, Medium.com

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Why Gas Stoves Are More Hazardous Than We’ve Been Led to Believe, Slate

Battle reignites over first East Coast gas bans, E&E News

NOAA greenlights seismic harassment of dolphins and whales, E&E News

N.Y. pledges to purge fossil fuel risks from pension fund, E&E News

Entire Aquidneck Island delegation opposes planned expansion of fracked gas, Uprise RI

Inside Clean Energy: The Era of Fossil Fuel Power Plants Is Rapidly Receding. Here Is Their Life Expectancy, Inside Climate News

Dartmouth College drops plans for wood chip heating, pivots toward cleaner oil, Valley News

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator projects sufficient energy for winter demand, Eagle Times (NH)

Residents call for Burrillville’s Ocean State Power Plant to be phased out using “just transition” framework, Uprise RI

Residents: How will Keene’s power plan affect my electric bill?, Sentinel Source

Transmission, local resources, market improvements key to decarbonization: CAISO and NYISO chiefs, Utility Dive

Long-running dispute over regional energy market settled, Bangor Daily News

Dynamic Line Rating: Expanding Transmission Grid Capacity for Clean Energy, Greentech Media

16 Mass. Elected Officials Challenge State Agency On East Boston Substation, WBUR

How an Energy Startup’s Plan to Disrupt the Power Grid Got Disrupted, Wall St. Journal

Need for heating assistance growing in Mass. during pandemic, South Coast Today

As residents grapple with COVID and harsh winter, Sen. Ed Markey, advocates call for $10B boost to low-income home energy assistance, MassLive

Nova Scotia Power Picks Sunverge for Virtual Power Plant, Microgrid Knowledge

With closing date set for MIRA trash plant, Connecticut looks for a long-term solution, Hartford Courant

Opinion

Solar revolution is stalled, needs to shift into gear, CommonWealth Magazine

Why energy-efficiency programs are good for New Hampshire businesses, consumers, NHBR

Out with the old, in with the new: Why regionalized grid coordination is inevitable, Utility Dive

Utility regulators wake up to the long-term risks of gas, Opinion

Op-Ed: Repower NJ’s ‘sacrifice zones,’ NJ Spotlight

Opinion/Getting ready: Maine won’t wait to take action on climate, Seacoastonline.com

DEEP should make solving the puzzle of siting large scale solar a priority, CT Mirror

My Turn: State’s triennial energy efficiency plan is under attack, Concord Monitor

Don’t squander State Pier opportunity, The Day

Op-Ed: How fishing and offshore wind can — and should — coexist, NJ Spotlight

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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 December 4, 2020

Taking a pause | Ugly, but needed | Postpone Efficiency

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with Vineyard Wind news from the State House News Service via Saving Seafood. “On the heels of another federal permitting delay, Vineyard Wind announced Tuesday that it is temporarily withdrawing its construction and operations plan from further review by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management but the company says its pause won’t delay the planned start of clean power generation. The announcement came in conjunction with news that the 800-megawatt offshore wind project plans to use GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X wind turbine generators when it begins construction, which it called ‘industry leading’ and ‘the most powerful in operation to date.’ Project developers told BOEM on Tuesday that they plan to launch their own ‘final technical review associated with the inclusion of the Haliade-X into the final project design’ and have asked for a pause in the federal review, which had been expected to be completed this month before recently being pushed to January.”

Next up is a story from Bloomberg Business Week which, considering the topic was mentioned by Present-Elect Biden, I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more about this in the coming years, “High-Voltage Power Lines Are Ugly, and the U.S. Needs More. Places where the sun shines bright and the wind blows hard aren’t always places where a lot of people live. High-voltage transmission lines are needed to bring electricity from renewable energy installations to the towns and cities where it’s consumed. The U.S. is way behind other countries in building these lines… Investors and utilities in the U.S. do want to build high-voltage transmission lines. There are dozens of projects at various stages of consideration, with colorful names such as Power From the Prairie, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, and Zephyr Power Transmission. The problem is getting approval. Ownership of the U.S. power grid is balkanized, Nimby-ism is common, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been reluctant to override local authorities to get lines sited.”

This next story from NH is a bit of head scratcher since this is a great way to save money and help the environment. From the Concord Monitor, “Citing economic fears, House Republicans call on PUC to postpone 2021 energy efficiency plan. Citing pandemic-driven economic concerns, top Republican state lawmakers are asking the Public Utilities Commission to put off the adoption of more aggressive energy efficiency goals, currently set to take effect at the start of next year. The letter, sent Monday from incoming House Majority Leader Dick Hinch and incumbent Republicans on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, calls on the PUC to ‘indefinitely postpone implementation’ of the next three-year statewide energy efficiency plan… The proposal is more aggressive than past versions, aiming to reduce electricity sales by 5% and gas sales by 3% at a three-year cost of about $367 million. The utilities say these cuts will create jobs and enable all kinds of customers to buy less energy, ultimately saving them $1.3 billion or more than three times what the plan costs. They say it will create jobs and business opportunities in weatherization and efficiency upgrades, free up business and municipal revenues to cover other services and improvements, and save residents money to reinvest in their local economies. The utilities also expect the plan to improve public health and fight climate change by preventing the equivalent carbon emissions of more than half a million average homes’ annual energy use, according to an Environmental Protection Agency calculator. The House Republicans, in their letter, argue these long-term savings goals are not worth the short-term costs the plan will carry for manufacturers, small businesses such as restaurants and municipalities hard-hit by the economic downturn of COVID-19.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

Climate Change

‘Climate change continued its relentless march’: 2020 on track to be 2nd warmest year in recorded history, MassLive

Mills unveils 4-year climate action plan, makes plea for urgent action, Press Herald

Cuomo Strengthens RGGI to Cap, Reduce New York GHG Emissions, North American Wind Power

New York to include small combustion turbines in annual carbon emission limits, Utility Dive

Special Report: U.S. air monitors routinely miss pollution – even refinery explosions, Reuters.com

NYC Climate Progress on Ambitious Emissions Goals Backslides As Strategic Plan Sprawls, The City

Grant aims to help coastal communities cope with rising sea levels, more, Press Herald

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

The New Energy Giants are Renewable Companies, Bloomberg Green

Top officials see shift coming on energy front, WWLP

Maine company working on tidal power with help from feds, Bangor Daily News

How New York is trying to build lots of renewables, fast, Grist.com

A ‘world first’ project to heat homes using renewable hydrogen gets the green light, CNBC

Top Baker aide says full steam ahead with TCI, CommonWealth Magazine

AG vows to defend clean energy law as governor seeks tweaks, Wilton Bulletin

Court denies group’s request to see statewide energy plan, NCPR (New York)

Wind

Feds Push Vineyard Wind Decision Into 2021, WBUR

Vineyard Wind plans to use GE wind turbines for clean power project, Boston Business Journal

Vineyard Wind Pause May Kick Project Decision To Biden Admin, Saving Seafood

Offshore wind threatened by ‘key bottleneck’ — report, E&E News

Offshore Wind Looks at Crowded Future in New England, RTO Insider

Solar

How Maine’s Solar Power Boom Could Unintentionally Stunt Adoption Of Climate-Friendly Technologies, Maine Public

Report finds small-scale solar has saved New Englanders more than $1.1 billion over six years, Solar Power World

‘A huge setback’: Candlewood Mountain solar project dealt blow, News Times

Efficiency/Storage

Citing economic fears, House Republicans call on PUC to postpone 2021 energy efficiency plan, Concord Monitor

Eversource Urges Customers To Utilize Assistance Programs, Patch.com

EVs

Boston roadmap details 10-minute EV access for all, Utility Dive

Bipartisan bill aims to boost charging infrastructure, E&E News

Solar company wants to power Port Jervis cars, Record Online

New Hampshire remains a laggard in building EV charging station network, NHBR

Nuclear

NRC formalizes Seabrook oversight, Eagle Tribune 

Much work remains as Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station moves toward decommissioning, Old Colony Memorial

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Feds Give Weymouth Compressor Station Approval To Start Up, WBUR

Weymouth Compressor May Vent Gas As Part Of Its Startup Week, WBUR

Green Hydrogen in Natural Gas Pipelines: Decarbonization Solution or Pipe Dream?, Greentech Media

‘National Grid has failed… to demonstrate that this pipeline is needed’: Mayor de Blasio blasts fossil fuel expansion project in Brooklyn, NY Daily News

Tackling The Natural Gas Industry’s Biggest Problem, oilprice.com

Peak Oil is Suddenly Upon Us, Bloomberg Green

Should it be called “natural gas” or “methane”?, Climate Communication

PA’s Natural Gas Is Stranded from ‘High Risk’ Energy Regions Like New England, Delaware Journal

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

High-Voltage Power Lines Are Ugly, and the U.S. Needs More, Bloomberg

Construction of $1B power corridor to be delayed by a several weeks, WMTW

Whether NJ bolts regional power grid could depend on offshore wind — and Biden rules, NJ Spotlight

Marblehead among 19 Mass. utilities to sign hydroelectric power deal, Salem News

Is New York’s energy industry prepared for both winter and the Covid pandemic?, Buffalo News

Peco plans hourly rates to encourage customers to shift energy use to off-peak periods, Philadelphia Inquirer

‘The Landscape Has Shifted’: Neil Chatterjee on FERC’s Role in the Energy Transition, Greentech Media

PURA overhauls electric rate process, restricts costs utilities can recoup, CT Mirror

Hudson River towns worry about planned power line in the river, Times Union

Opinion

Op-ed: Hydrogen is the missing piece of Mass. clean energy economy, BBJ

‘No net loss!’ Don’t cut down forests to build solar sites, CT Mirror

Scott Campell: Gov. Scott, please get on with it, VT Digger

The PUC Gets a Really Bad Letter, InDepthNH

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