Tag Archives: electric rates

Energy News for week ending August 4, 2017

5 percent chance | 53 percent increase | 100 percent renewable

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

Today’s focus is on the numbers.

According to an article in the Washington Post reasons for climate optimism seem to have all but disappeared. According to a number of studies, when looking at limiting the warming of the globe to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures, there’s only a 5 percent chance of success and a mere 1 percent chance that it can be limited below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). One idea to turn this around is that negative emissions, based on technologies that don’t exist yet at the relevant scale, would probably be required at some point in the future.

In Rhode Island, many politicians are lamenting National Grid’s proposed 53 percent increase in electric rates for residents in the Ocean State. However, the editorial board at the Providence Journal has a clear understanding of the root of the increase, “They are the consequences of public policy decisions and they cannot be wished away.” The editorial points to retiring generation units, lack of new generating capacity and limited natural gas pipeline capacity. They write, “This should concern us all. High energy prices are tough on households. Should the rate hike go through, the average home-owning family would see its monthly power bill jump from less than $90 a month to more than $106. And high power costs are (yet another) disincentive for businesses to grow jobs in our area.”

The last number for the week is 100 percent – as in the goal to get to 100 percent renewable energy. On this topic, we bring you a few stories. Utility Dive tells us what’s missing from the 100 percent renewable energy debate. Forbes has a piece on California’s bid to be 100 percent by 2045. And, because Massachusetts’ 100 percent renewable proposal includes transportation, we have an article from Penn Energy on whether bans on gas and diesel cars are realistic.

Be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

22 arrested by Massachusetts State Police at protest of Kinder Morgan pipeline in Sandisfield, MassLive.com

More arrests in anti-pipeline action: Standing Rock Sioux now part of resistance, Berkshire Eagle

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners, Salon

Pipeline Payday: How Builders Win Big, Whether More Gas Is Needed or Not, Inside Climate News

After damaging historic property and wetlands, pipeline CEO is ‘baffled’ by criticism, ThinkProgres

Proposed bill sets sights on compressor plans, Wicked Local Weymouth

Truck Exhaust Might Be Causing Health Problems Around Fracking Sites, WBUR

Groups Oppose Pipeline to New Power Plant, Public News Service

State review of proposed compressor station pushed back six months, Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

What’s missing from the 100% renewable energy debate, Utility Dive

Opponents continue fight against beleaguered Cape Wind, Cape Cod Times

Super-Colossal Wind Turbines May Be on the Horizon, ABC News

Charlemont to map renewable energy resources, Going Green

The two choices Maine lawmakers face on solar power, Energy Central

California Goes All In — 100% Renewable Energy By 2045, Forbes.com

Deepwater, Tesla to pair offshore wind farm with 40 MWh battery storage system, Utility Dive

Maine lawmakers pull plug on bill to maintain solar incentives, Portland Press Herald

Feds set to release Cape Wind impact statement, The Recorder

Invenergy, GE Renewable Energy to build largest wind farm in the US, Daily Energy Insider

Maine lawmakers fail to override governor’s veto of solar bill, Utility Dive

AWEA: Wind energy development rose 40% in Q2, Utility Dive

Tighter Pollution Cap Could Get RGGI States $3.2B Extra, Natural Resources Defense Council

Why small solar threatens the companies that deliver electricity in Maine, Bangor Daily News

Energy giant Con Ed proposes to deliver Maine wind energy to Boston, Press Herald

Vineyard Wind crews will begin survey for cable sites, Martha’s Vineyard Times

The Booming Wind Energy Industry Might Finally Break Its Massachusetts Hex, HuffPost

Maine-based Solar Company Ranked #1 in New England, #14 in US, Bangor Daily News

Cape Wind’s Gordon vows to ‘move it forward’ as BOEM weighs lease, Cape & Plymouth Business News

Wind power charging up, Boston Herald

Clean Energy RFP

5 companies propose transmission projects for Massachusetts clean energy RFP, Utility Dive

Deepwater Wind taking 2 shots at Massachusetts energy procurement, Cape Cod Times

Emera announces plans to construct 1GW Atlantic Link project, Energy Business Review

Bidders want to bring Canadian Hydro to Massachusetts, Wicked Local Waltham

Northern Pass competes for Mass. energy deal, Concord Monitor

State offers new momentum for offshore wind power, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind farm bids against hydro, onshore wind firms, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy Efficiency

UMass, Eversource partner on campus energy efficiency, WLNE-TV (ABC6

CLF helps support clean energy and energy efficiency, Ricentral.com

US House Would Take Hacksaw to Energy Efficiency Budget, Energy Manager Today

Storing clean energy in salt isn’t as crazy as it sounds, Grist

Nuclear

Energy Department Scientists Barred From Attending Nuclear Power Conference, EcoWatch

NRC reviews Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoastonline.com

NorthStar already working at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Proposed Vermont Yankee cleanup company changes hands, Commons

Pilgrim owner submits improvement plan, Cape Cod Times

Advanced Nuclear Is a Winning Issue in a Tri-Partisan Washington, Greentech Media

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England ISO targets 2018 for full DR integration into wholesale power market, Utility Dive

We only have a 5 percent chance of avoiding ‘dangerous’ global warming, a study finds, Washington Post

Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid, NY Times

Eversource rate request pilloried at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Lt. Governor McKee to Intervene in Case Against National Grid’s 53-percent Rate Increase, (Press Release) RI.gov

9 States Deciding Whether to Tighten Power Plant Emissions Rules in RGGI, Inside Climate News

Connecticut energy, climate change goals open to public comment, Greenwich Time

Senator Morgan Opposes National Grid’s 53% Rate Increase, GoLocalProv

Study: Energy plays large role in Connecticut’s economy, New Haven Register

Berkshires Stands Against Proposed Eversource Rate Hike, iBerkshires.com

EIA: US residential power sales in decline since 2010, Utility Dive

The Future of Microgrids & Cleaner Locally Managed Power, Freepress Online

Public counsel grills Northern Pass expert on property value impact, New Hampshire Business Review

Credibility of Northern Pass contractor questioned, The Union Leader

National Grid, Swampscott discuss ‘smart-grid’ programs, Wicked Local Swampscott

How realistic are plans to ban new gas and diesel cars?, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: National Grid’s 53-percent hike, The Providence Journal

Cities and states must take lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Ingredients for climate success, CommonWealth Magazine

McQuiston: Power And The Lake, Vermont Public Radio

John McClaughry: Climate Action 4.0., vtdigger.org

Opinion: Vermont’s drive to energy independence, Burlington Free Press

Gov. Phil Scott: Scott’s Climate Action Commission, Caledonian Record

Our view: Offshore wind energy’s future is major farms, not failed AC project, Press of Atlantic City

Commentary: Let solar energy empower ratepayers, not utility, Press Herald

Why we shouldn’t bail out big nuclear, Washington Examiner

STEPHEN DODGE: Weymouth compressor safe and necessary, Wicked Local Braintree

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending July 28, 2017

The bids are in | The saga continues | New wires and pipes

Happy Friday afternoon!

The news topic getting the most “ink” this week was the Clean Energy RFP and the bids that came in response. We’ve dedicated a whole section to it below. It seems the biggest surprise (AP via Energy Central) was the entrance of Central Maine Power into the mix.

Here’s one that makes us say, “Wut?” It seems members of the Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) have complained they were not given proper notification by the town of Spectra’s decision to withdraw plans for the station. According to a story in The Sun Chronicle, Rehoboth selectmen say they are baffled at the criticisms lodged against them by CARCS. (Um yeah, the story was all over the news and you’d think the CARCS would be celebrating…) Nonetheless, the board has invited them to air their grievances on August 7th. We’ll look for the follow-up story so we can share with you the reasons for CARCS’ unhappiness. A saga indeed.

Lastly, on projects that as far as we can tell didn’t have many detractors, the Telegram brings us details on a number of energy improvement projects in Central MA. The article notes, “The work coincides with a national effort by utilities to update aging infrastructure and make natural gas and electricity services more reliable for customers at a time when energy technology is advancing and consumers are demanding better options.”

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Compressor station saga continues in Rehoboth, The Sun Chronicle

Hingham may form compressor station task force, The Patriot Ledger

State Rep. Lynch calls for stronger pipeline safety provisions, Wicked Local Westwood

ETP’s $4 billion Rover line hits another snag, this time in West Virginia, Reuters

The conflicts of interest hiding behind pro-pipeline op-eds around the country, Media Matters for America

Dakota Access developer’s new pipeline rankling regulators, The Boston Globe

State Sen. Adam Hinds visits anti-pipeline activists in Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

Acushnet selectmen confirm pipeline plan is ‘dead’, SouthCoastToday.com

Clean Energy RFP

5 major transmission, hydro and wind partners bid into Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, Masslive

Hydro-Quebec partners up, CommonWealth Magazine

Central Maine Power joins green energy competition, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Maine utility a late surprise in green energy competition, Energy Central

CMP unveils plan that could quench LePage’s thirst for Quebec hydropower, Bangor Daily News

Governor Scott supports underwater Power Link from Canada, Vermont Biz

National Grid’s Plan To Run Power Line Through MA, NY Towns, WAMC

Eversource and Hydro-Québec Offer Two Proposals to Clean Energy Solicitation, (press release) Business Wire

Renewable Energy

State rule squeezes green energy producers, including Newburyport company, Newburyport Daily News

Impending eclipse underscores solar’s contribution to grid, Press Herald

Lights dim for cleantech funding under Trump’s budget, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

50% Rise in Renewable Energy Needed to Meet Ambitious State Standards, Inside Climate News

Renewables on the Rise, (report) Environment Maine

NE Environmentalists Want More Ambitious Carbon Emissions Cap For Power Plants, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Hampshire temporarily suspends solar rebate programs, Daily Energy Insider

The Top 5 Emerging Markets for Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Report: Renewables Capable Of Being ‘America’s Energy Choice’, North American Windpower

LIPA declines to back 210MW Deepwater Wind project: report, Recharge

Seize the Day: RGGI Leadership More Important Than Ever, Union of Concerned Scientists

State energy plan calls for more renewables, Hartford Business

Massachusetts Town Saves $101,000 in 12 Months with Solar, Energy Manager Today

Analysis: Ratepayers Foot the Bill for Utilities’ Push Against Rooftop Solar, Renewable Energy World

New York will rebuild 78 miles of transmission to meet 50% renewables standard, Utility Dive

Solar farm covering 57 acres in Pittsfield (ME) wins regulators’ OK, Energy Central

Scientist: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, Cape Cod Times

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency’s Existential Crisis Is Also an Opportunity, Greentech Media

Litchfield High School recognized for energy efficiency, Litchfield County Times

Ultra-Efficient, Economical Apartments Now In South Boston Are Part Of ‘Big Wave’, WBUR

Needham-Newton Businesses Net $2.7M Through Energy Savers Program, Patch.com

Nuclear

Connecticut Gov. Malloy orders financial review of Millstone nuke, Utility Dive

Can Millstone Survive Natural Gas? Malloy Orders State Review, Hartford Courant

Rowley activist: Public hearing needed on Seabrook evacuation plan, Wicked Local Ipswich

Vermont Yankee concerns ‘unfounded,’ companies say, Brattleboro Reformer

VT Yankee closing leads New England colleges to form a green hub training program, NH1 News

Connecticut’s latest energy roadmap likely to raise debate over Millstone, alternative sources, New Haven Register

Report: Advanced Nuclear Tech Could Be Lifeline for Industry, Power

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Virtual Power Plants & Transactive Energy: How Will They Change the Energy Business?, Microgrid Knowledge

Medway: State approves Exelon water plan, MetroWest Daily News

Monthly Wholesale Electricity Prices and Demand in New England, June 2017, Energy Central

Connecticut updates goals for energy, climate change, CT Mirror

Why We Need More Microgrids for Resilience, but Aren’t Getting Them, Microgrid Knowledge

Healey to DPU: Cut Eversource rates, CommonWealth Magazine

Providence Looks to Switch Sides in Power-Plant Case, ecoRI news

Vermont gov. creates climate commission to reach energy goal, Penn Energy

Utilities spend millions to replace old pipes, lay new wires and update infrastructure in Central Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram

Updated Energy Strategy Hampered By New England’s Congested Grid, WNPR News

National Grid seeking 53-percent rate hike, The Providence Journal

EIA: US residential power sales in decline since 2010, Utility Dive

National Grid talks energy, safety, and efficiency, Daily Item

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey takes aim at proposed Eversource rate hike, MassLive.com

Would Eversource’s power line reduce property values?, Wicked Local Hudson

Hudson selectmen, residents fear environmental impacts of proposed powerline, Community Advocate

Hiding in plain sight: Aggregated DERs in wholesale power markets, Utility Dive

Northern Pass site visits begin in the North Country, The Union Leader

Northern Pass to withdraw purchase power agreement, The Union Leader

Editorial/Opinion

10 Years After Launch of its Wind Turbine, Jiminy Peak Now Reducing Carbon Footprint, Renewable Energy World

3 takeaways on the offshore wind RFP, CommonWealth Magazine

Expanding energy efficiency, Rutland Herald

Karen Glitman: Efficiency Vermont — yesterday, today and tomorrow, vtdigger.org

Our View: Regional climate compact victim of its own success, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Let’s make New Bedford the US center for offshore wind, SouthCoastToday.com

Susan Schibanoff: Franconia Area Residents Take Northern Pass Concerns To Concord, Caledonian Record

Columnist Kathryn R. Eiseman: Berkshire Gas must update business model, Greenfield Recorder

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending June 2, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

The big news this week was President Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement. We’ve devoted a whole section to it below that contains stories and analysis from near and far. Close to home, Boston Magazine reports on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s tough-talk tweets going viral. And, in the home of the Paris accord, Vox.com reports on French President Macron responding to Trump with a twist on his favorite phrase, “Make our planet great again.”

Eversource found its way into a number of articles this week. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Eversource still wants a $96 million rate increase next year, but it expects to reduce the share that would be paid by customers in Western Massachusetts. That made those folks happy, but according to CommonWealth Magazine, the rate case has had an opposite effect in seven metro suburbs. Bruce Mohl writes the “massive $96 million rate request filed by Eversource in January, would cut the so-called net metering rate from 22 cents a kilowatt hour to 13 cents a kilowatt hour, a 41 percent decrease. The details were included in a letter sent by the seven communities to the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday. The letter said Lexington stands to lose $372,000 in annual revenue under the proposal. Newton would lose nearly $365,000, Natick $300,000, and Weston nearly $284,000. Wayland, Westwood, and Arlington would lose lesser amounts.”

On a more positive note for solar, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy blogs about the wonderful opportunity for solar to help pollinators – especially bees. They say, “Swapping out gravel and turf grass, often located underneath solar panels, for native flowers and grasses, is a great way to provide pollen and nectar (2 main food sources) for nearby bees and other pollinators.” They even provide a link to lists of the best plants for your growing region. To help you out, here’s a link to the northeast plant list.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Climate Change/Paris Climate Accord

The 5 biggest deceptions in Trump’s Paris climate speech, Vox.com

Marty Walsh’s Viral Climate Moment, Boston Magazine

The Paris Climate Deal: How to Understand Trump’s Decision, New York Times

Read Obama’s statement on the Paris climate agreement, The Boston Globe

RI is vulnerable if US pulls out of Paris Accord, says scientist, The Providence Journal

Analysts: Leaving climate deal likely wouldn’t add US jobs, CT Post

Mass. critics slam Trump ditching climate accord, Milford Daily News

Three Coal Plants Close the Same Day Trump Said to Exit the Paris Agreement, Greentech Media

Energy Companies Urge Trump To Remain In Paris Climate Agreement, New England Public Radio

Defiant US Mayors Vow To Uphold Paris Climate Accord, Fast Company

Blumenthal: A Trump decision to exit Paris climate accord would cost CT jobs, The CT Mirror

French President Emmanuel Macron responds to Trump: “Make our planet great again,” Vox.com

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Vermont Gas introduces mobile home plan to save homeowners money, Vermont Biz

Weymouth to appeal DEP approval of Algonquin waterways permit, Wicked Local Weymouth

Toxins detected in air near Fore River Basin, doctor says, The Patriot Ledger

Report: Military-style tactics used against Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors, Des Moines Register

Appeal Filed over 2nd Pipeline Expansion Project, Patch.com

Renewable Energy

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Prices Lowest Since 2014, Power Engineering Magazine

Borrego Solar Completes 5 MW Solar Array on Decommissioned Landfill in Palmer, Mass, PV Solar Report

Scottish Power Wins Right to Build Two U.S. Offshore Wind Projects, Power Engineering

SouthCoast suppliers vie for piece of the offshore wind pie, SouthCoastToday.com

Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Low carbon prices hang over RGGI as June auction approaches, Utility Dive

Six Things You Didn’t Know About the Offshore Wind Power Sector, POWER magazine

Wind projects a possible turning point for 18 ports, Boston Herald

Factcheck: Whale Strandings and Offshore Wind Farms, EcoWatch

What are the connections between solar power and honeybees?, Clean Energy News

Energy Efficiency

Report: Clean Energy Growing in States and Cities Nationwide, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency: The Foundation of Our Clean Energy Future, Natural Resources Defense Council

Predictions About Global Energy Efficiency Since the 1980s Have Been Wildly Conservative, Greentech Media

Residential Energy Efficiency: Taking It To The Next Level, CleanTechnica

Release—Finally—of Appliance Efficiency Standards Applauded, Bloomberg BNA

Nuclear

Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant To Shut Down In 2019, NPR

NRC holding public meeting on Seabrook nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Vermont Yankee fuel move into more-secure storage is delayed, vtdigger.org

Millstone nuclear power and police accountability, CT Post

Connecticut Seeks to Support Nuclear Energy, Energy Collective

New Law Could Declare Nuclear Reactors To Be ‘Green Energy’ To Save Them, The Daily Caller

Fragile future for US nuclear power, BBC News

Feds face questions about redevelopment at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Gas May Be Killing the Nuclear Option, Bloomberg

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Utility plans jolt Sudbury, Hopkinton, and Needham, The Boston Globe

Study: New Resources Could ‘Crowd Out’ Old in ISO-NE, RTO Insider

Vermont utility offers $1,200 electric vehicle rebate, Utility DIVE

Cambridge ditches standard electric service to embrace green power, WickedLocal Cambridge

Eversource to cut rate increase in Western Massachusetts. Berkshire Eagle

New sewer concept would make energy, fertilizer from wastewater, MetroWest Daily News

State backs herbicide plan for 13 towns, Cape Cod Times

Medway: Grid operator would not allow Exelon postponement, Milford Daily News

Brayton Point powers down, Fall River Herald News

Northern Pass trek leads to $124 fines for 2 in Millsfield, NewHampshire.com

Northern Pass predicts financial windfall for towns, The Union Leader

National Grid, GE, 3M make power grid greener with gas-insulated switchgear, Electric Light & Power

Former power plant manager sentenced for emissions fraud, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Pass SB 129, save 900 jobs in New Hampshire, Energy Central

Offshore wind moving too slowly, CommonWealth Magazine

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Tom Perry: Energy Efficient Building and Retrofitting, Shelburne News

Facts show Millstone bill would fleece ratepayers, theday.com

Stay the course on climate, for the planet, Boston Globe

MICAHEL LANG, Braintree: Despite governmental layers, we’re not protected from compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Maine’s solar industry can employ the next generation, Bangor Daily News

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. The weather forecast looks great for what is for many a holiday weekend, the start of school vacation week and of course Patriots Day/Marathon Monday. However, before we kick into “off mode” let’s take a brief look at this week’s energy news.

To western Mass first where there is good news. MassLive reports that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is nearing an agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric that would bypass a bottleneck in the region’s network of gas pipelines and end a two-year-old ban on new hookups in Easthampton and Northampton. It might take some time and some new infrastructure to get it done, but once Holyoke has a new way to get gas, Holyoke Gas & Electric would have less need of capacity on the Northampton lateral, freeing up capacity for Columbia to get more gas to Northampton and Easthampton. When and if this happens, it will make many people happy.

Heading north to New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports that more than 100 people, including dozens of [Northern Pass] project opponents, converged for the leadoff hearing for the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, which will decide in July whether to issue the certificate required for the $1.6 billion project. The story concludes with a vocal critic, Jack Savage saying, “The hearing ‘was really a clash of Northern Pass’ marketing and the reality of what the project is.’” Time will tell if Mr. Savage is right, or if the “marketing” does meet the sniff test.

On the energy efficiency front, we have two stories with alerts. One story from Bloomberg notes that lobbyists are working to amend a decades old conservation law that sets minimum efficiency standards for many household and commercial appliances and bars them from being weakened. However, efficiency proponents aren’t backing down, “An average American household spends about $500 less per year on utility bills because of the efficiency gains in our every day appliances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston-based organization that organizes energy efficiency proponents to advocate for standards. “Rolling back standards or weakening the law to make it harder to improve standards in the future would lead to more energy waste and hurt consumers.”

The other efficiency story from Seven Days Vermont shows a side-by-side comparison of two boxes of LEDs. Same brand. Same watts. One has the Energy Star label the other doesn’t. They wrote, “One of the packages held four highly energy-efficient, reliable bulbs that had been certified by a third-party lab. The other held four lower-quality, uncertified bulbs. An inferior product, they’d be quicker to fail and more likely to give off the wrong shade of light.” I love Energy Star and always look for the label, but it’s easy to see how a less aware consumer might grab a box and think they’re getting the best bang for their buck when in fact they’re not. Buyer beware! And, all the more reason to keep the Energy Star program around.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving Customers in Addison County, Press Release

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. given green light to begin tree cutting in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline, MassLive.com

Renewable Energy

Europeans Get Serious About America’s Offshore Wind Potential: ‘We are here for a market’, Greentech Media

Students urged to ‘take action now’ on climate change, Cape Cod Times

Proposed Bill Would Halt University of Maine Wind Research Project, Government Technology

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

California’s solar energy set power supply record in March, ABC News

Trump Once Railed Against Offshore Wind but Is Now Embracing It, MIT Technology Review

City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts switches on second solar power plant, Electric Light & Power

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

South Mountain Company advancing Martha’s Vineyard toward energy neutrality with SunPower, Penn Energy

Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency

State of the Energy Efficiency Industry: The Utility Story, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

Your Fridge May Be Washington’s Next Regulatory-Rollback Target, Bloomberg

Beware of Imposter LED Bulbs! Look for the ENERGY STAR®, Seven Days

Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community, vtdigger.org

Nuclear

Nuclear plant owners press lawmakers in Connecticut, other states for subsidies, New Haven Register

States moving to promote clean energy through pro-nuclear policies, Daily Energy Insider

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

Interest in 1,500 acre Entergy property heats up, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?, Microgrid Knowledge

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

Residents, businesses, officials decry Eversource rate hike at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Newport, Rhode Island’s Microgrid Ambitions: Small City, Small State, Big Plans, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource executive: Northern Pass ratepayer billing ‘unlikely,’ Union Leader

Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations, Utility DIVE

Higher gas prices add to ISO-NE power costs in February, Utility DIVE

Eversource grilled over why the plan isn’t to bury all of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Kane: National Grid due for $400000 tax break if town’s tangibles rate isn’t changed, Valley Breeze

Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start, Concord Monitor

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

Mass. AG Calls For DPU To Reject Eversource Request, WAMC

AG Maura Healey set to testify in Pittsfield against Eversource rate hike proposal, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

At NH House committee hearing, jobs become focus of key energy bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine’s Health at Risk from Dirty Air Days, Bangor Daily News

Eversource proposes rate hike after reported revenue shortage, wwlp.com

Editorial/Opinion

Not So Strong After All: Climate Change Is Trump’s National Security Weakness, WBUR

Our Opinion: Eversource rate increase would be bad for business, Berkshire Eagle

William J. Eccleston: Savings overestimated for proposed Burrillville plant, Providence Journal

Help more Mainers use solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Maximizing offshore wind’s benefits for Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers, Renewable Energy World

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending April 7, 2017

Welcome to this week’s edition of New England Energy News.

Let’s start with a State House News Service article on Wicked Local that reports that Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions are down 21 percent compared to 1990. State law requires emissions by 2020 that are 25 percent lower than 1990 levels, and emissions in 2014 were 21 percent below 1990 levels, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. In his article, Michael Norton notes that the greenhouse gas debate is clouded by many factors, including a switch in the policy posture towards energy from the Obama to Trump administrations, the cost and availability of reliable renewable energy resources, natural gas dependence and infrastructure, the pace of the energy storage market development, and plans to close Pilgrim Nuclear Station in 2019.

This week Vox.com gives us a beginner’s guide to the 100 percent renewable energy debate. They say, “it’s not about whether to go to zero carbon, but how to get there.” And, that’s where the dispute comes in. “On one side are those who say we should transition to an electricity system powered entirely by renewables. On the other side are those who say that the primary goal should be zero carbon, not 100 percent renewables…so that in addition to wind, solar, and the rest of the technologies…we’re also going to need a substantial amount of nuclear power and fossil fuel power with carbon capture and sequestration.” Interesting debate. Check it out.

In NH, the Union Leader looks at “Dueling plans to deliver more power.” The article gives a side-by-side comparison of Northern Pass and National Grid’s proposed transmission line dubbed the Granite State Power Link. From timing, to cost savings, to rights of way and delays – the article gives a concise look at the two projects and what comes next for each.

Have a great weekend and if you can, find some time to watch The Masters Golf Tournament. Even if you’re not into the sport, the beautiful course, flowers, trees and birds chirping in the background will give you a nice taste of the spring weather that’s on the way.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas price spike hikes New England power prices: report, Platts

Lifeline or Pipedream? EBA Panels Debate Need for More Gas in NE, RTO Insider

Lynch requests suspension of Weymouth compressor project, Wicked Local Weymouth

Rehoboth selectmen draft letter to state opposing compressor station, The Sun Chronicle

Rehoboth voters say ‘no’ to compressor station, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Eversource averts strike by gas workers, The Boston Globe

Eversource to Continue Expanding Natural Gas Infrastructure for Norwich Customers, Patch.com

Officials: Construction caused gas-line rupture in Providence, The Providence Journal

Natural-Gas Leak Puts Pressure on Fossil-Fuel Projects, ecoRI news

FERC OKs Atlantic Bridge Construction Despite Challengers, Natural Gas Intelligence

Conservation groups urge Baker to oppose new pipelines, Amherst Bulletin

Maine suspends plans for new LNG peakshaver, Argus Media

PUC Staff Recommends Against Subsidizing LNG Storage Projects—LePage Disagrees, FreePress Online

Renewable Energy

A beginner’s guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy, Vox.com

New England states take fresh look at carbon fee, E&E News

Turbine neighbors are fed up, Ricentral.com

Portland lags on solar nationally but sees opportunity for growth, Environment Maine

State approves Ludlow solar array, Vermont’s largest, Mountaintimes

It’s not so easy buying green power for your home, The Boston Globe

Going green in Seymour with solar energy program, New Haven Register

Comptroller: Offshore wind farm to cost ratepayers $1.62B, Newsday

Clean Energy Center identifies Bay State ports for wind industry, SouthCoastToday.com

Giant Vermont solar array may curtail other, cheaper renewable energy projects, Watchdog.org

Wind energy studies reveal congregations of right whales south of Islands, Wind Energy News

Ambri’s Battery Storage Technology is Heating Up, Breaking Energy

Energy Efficiency

US State Attorneys To Sue Trump Administration Over Energy Efficiency Standards, CleanTechnica

Charlestown receives ‘Energy Champion’ designation, The Westerly Sun

HVAC Systems Help Take a Connecticut House to Zero Energy, Builder Magazine

Leading States and Utilities Achieve Substantial Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Savings, Energy Collective

Energy-efficiency funding targeted in NH House budget measure, New Hampshire Business Review

Alliance to Save Energy urges Congress to advance energy efficiency bills, Daily Energy Insider

Local Climate Change Task Force gets a lesson in lobbying, Wicked Local Boxford

Suburban Edge Commission meets in Shrewsbury to discuss energy efficiency, Wicked Local Sudbury

Nuclear

The United States’ nuclear-power slump, Washington Post

Millstone No Dead Weight for Dominion, Says Opponents’ Study, RTO Insider

Report: Connecticut nuclear support legislation would cost $300M a year, Utility Dive

Group says Millstone bill would do nothing but enrich owners, New Haven Register

Stop The Millstone Payout advertisement focuses on Connecticut senior citizens, New Haven Register

Seabrook taxpayers still subsidizing water, sewer costs, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee water plan poses ‘minimal’ risks, feds say, vtdigger.org

State gives tribes role in sale of Vermont Yankee, Commons

Natalie Hildt Treat is new C-10 director, Newburyport Daily News

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions down 21 percent compared to 1990, Wicked Local

Advocates fighting electricity price hike, South Coast Today

No Delay – Trial-Like Hearings on Northern Pass Set To Begin Next Week, InDepthNH

Coastal commerce impacts tacked in new report, Fall River Herald News

Dueling plans to deliver more power, The Union Leader

National Grid proposes 1200 MW Canada-New England transmission line, Utility Dive

Selectmen sign non-disclosure agreement with Eversource, MetroWest Daily News

Harwich Selectmen Withhold Action On Utility Spraying, Cape Cod Chronicle

Power company scooping up land for new Chester-Pittsfield line, Bangor Daily News

How Connecticut’s nuclear bill could open a new front in the plant subsidy debate, Utility DIVE

The top 5 states for utility grid modernization and business model reform, Utility DIVE

Schneider Electric completes Massachusetts microgrid project with Duke Energy and REC Solar, PVTech

Editorial/Opinion

Kill the Access Northeast pipeline, CommonWealth magazine

Natural gas shouldn’t be the boogie man, CommonWealth Magazine

Nuclear Power Is Worth Saving, Bloomberg

Fight Eversource’s spraying on rights of way, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Sandra Levine: Cleaning up Vermont Yankee, vtdigger.org

Judd Gregg: Nuclear power presents opportunity for Trump, The Hill

Nuke plant’s champion downplays the dangers, Nantucket Island Inquirer

Dana Barlow: Steep energy prices batter R.I. companies, The Providence Journal

Forum: Let’s replace, not subsidize, Millstone Power Station, New Haven Register

My Turn: Tilting at windmills on energy prices, Concord Monitor

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewables

Energy News for week ending March 3, 2017

Happy FriYAY! An arctic storm front is expected to move through this evening so bundle up – winter is back, but the forecasters say it’s just for a couple of days.

In this week’s news, we have a story from Vox that explains RGGI. But, they note there is good and bad news. The good news is that it’s working. The bad news is that it’s not reducing carbon. To clarify that they wrote, “it (RGGI) has benefitted from emission reductions in the Northeast, but it hasn’t really caused any, or at least not many. Whether it can serve as an instrument of meaningful decarbonization — and retain its integrity and popularity — largely remains to be seen.”

Speaking of decarbonization, North American Windpower reports that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is seeking to grow renewable energy in the state by a “whopping” 1,000 percent. In the press release she said, “The goal will include energy from a broad portfolio of clean energy resources, including offshore and onshore wind and solar.” The article goes on to note that a Providence Business News article brings up a notable point: There is not yet any legislation to go along with the governor’s goal. Further, as of June 2016, approximately 95% of Rhode Island’s net electricity generation was derived from natural gas.

Last note for today – Wicked Local Woburn tells a story of how a monster slowly made its way through several Massachusetts towns. A high capacity autotransformer, weighing approximately 467,000 pounds, was moved from a dock in Everett to Eversource’s Woburn substation on Pond Street. The 35-foot long, 13-feet wide, 18-feet tall piece of equipment was moved with State Police escort on a 12-axel transport trailer through Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, Medford, Arlington and Winchester. The convoy traveled at about 5 miles per hour over several hours, Eversource officials said. Here’s to improved electric capacity and reliability!

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

3 million Americans at risk from human-induced earthquakes this year, USA TODAY

Residents quietly protest proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

Revealed: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Close Ties to Lobbyists for Spectra Energy, Whose Pipeline Projects He Backs, DeSmog

Rehoboth selectmen unhappy with Spectra Energy, The Sun Chronicle

Cities, Enviros Urge FERC To Pull Pipeline Project OK, Law360

Propane for schools removed from budget; Town to explore natural gas, New Canaan Advertiser

Earthquakes Have to Do with One Very Specific Part of Fracking, Big Think

Trump’s new pipelines are going to get a ‘dog fight’ in some parts of the United States, CNBC

Renewable Energy

Eversource solar array project stalled once again, Berkshire Record

Wind Turbines Loom on Off-Cape Waters, Wicked Local Wellfleet

NH’s wood heat efforts slow, NH Business Review

Making it happen: 2017 is the year for US offshore wind energy, Windpower Engineering

Rhode Island Governor Plots Whopping 1,000% Renewables Increase, North American Windpower

The Northeast’s carbon trading system works quite well. It just doesn’t reduce much carbon, Vox

Vermont among leaders in solar jobs per capita, Vermont Biz

Environmental groups to make hard push to reverse Maine’s new solar rules, Press Herald

Trump Can’t Stop This: Global Renewable Energy Booms, Natural Resources Defense Council

How to Support Renewable Energy (and Why You Really Should), Scientific American

N.Y. tries to balance solar power growth with land-use issues, USA Today

Energy Efficiency

Don’t Underestimate the Secondary Benefits of Energy Efficiency, Energy Manager Today

Heating (Or Cooling) Costs Too High? Heat Pump Technology Has The Answer, Hartford Courant

A Carbon Tax Gains Traction Among Some Conservatives, MainePublic.org

Nuclear

Entergy takes step toward Pilgrim shutdown, Cape Cod Times

State schedules Vermont Yankee sale hearing, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim Station decommissioning panel has four Plymouth members, Wicked Local Plymouth

Scientists Say They’re Finally Getting Close To Fusion Power, Daily Caller

2 Connecticut energy bills aim to help Millstone owner, spur fuel cell use, New Haven Register

NRC bans fired Seabrook Station nuclear plant guard, Seacoastonline.com

California Nuclear Closures Resulted in 250% Higher Emissions from Electricity, The Energy Collective

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Renewables and Microgrids and Nothing Else: Crazy or Maybe?, Microgrid Knowledge

Wholesale electric prices reach new low in New England, but retail prices remain high, Boston Globe

Suppliers see lower electric prices ahead, NH Union Leader

Exelon: Millis water not needed for Medway plant, MetroWest Daily News

State approves transmission line to run under Winchester roads, Wicked Local Winchester

ISO-NE Begins Discussing Order 1000 Public Policy Tx Projects, RTO Insider

2 Vermont utilities say customers targeted by phone scam, Penn Energy

Wholesale electricity prices drop to 13-year low, CommonWealth Magazine

Needham selectmen dig deeper into Eversource project, Wicked Local Needham

Public Hearings to Discuss Eversource’s Proposed Rate Hike, CapeCod.com

Public counsel fires back over businesses’ Northern Pass claims, New Hampshire Business Review

How Secure Is Our Smart Grid?, Government Technology

Woburn autotransformer to up energy output, Wicked Local Woburn

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Making ‘dirty energy’ a thing of the past, MetroWest Daily News

Should Massachusetts commit itself to 100 percent renewable energy?, Boston Globe

Support RGGI for cleaner, healthier air, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Columnist Marty Nathan: Massachusetts leads on renewable energy, GazetteNET

Your Turn, NH — David Worthen: RGGI is good for NH businesses, The Union Leader

Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health — Here’s Why, Forbes

Invenergy plant provides today’s power needs, Valley Breeze

OPINION: Energy efficiency saves money, adds jobs, Daily Record

You Can’t Have Offshore Wind Power Without Petroleum, Forbes

Guy Page: Earlier decommissioning of Vermont Yankee has multiple benefits, vtdigger.org

The trials and triumphs of offshore wind, GreenBiz

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

Energy News for week ending February 3, 2017

Good afternoon. It’s Super Bowl Weekend! With that in mind let’s start off with a fun infographic from Penn Energy that describes what it would take for certain types of renewable energy to power a 60 inch plasma for the duration of the game. Any guesses on the number of potato batteries required?

In other news, MassLive reports that Senators Markey and Warren have asked FERC to rescind the Atlantic Bridge pipeline, but they may be out of luck with their request. Why you ask? Well it seems that despite “loving pipelines” the Washington Post reports that Trump’s personnel moves at FERC left them without a quorum, pretty much stopping them from getting anything done any time soon.

There was a lot of solar news this week from all around the region. The Union Leader reports the largest solar array in New England is planned in Hinsdale, NH – 65 MW total. Eversource, according to CommonWealth Magazine, is seeking higher fees on customers with solar. Bob Rio, writing on the AIM Blog says Massachusetts’ new solar subsidy program “gets it right.” And in Maine, Greentech Media reports that solar customers are going to receive lower bill credits.

Lastly, the NRC tells the Boston Globe that Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth is safe. In fact, it can refuel this spring and remain in operation until their planned shutdown date in May 2019.

Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Trump loves pipelines. But he just accidentally froze a bunch of them, Washington Post

Sens. Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren call on FERC to rescind Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline authorization, MassLive

Burrillville seeks more time to analyze Invenergy proposal, Valley Breeze

Rhode Island GOP leader asks Trump to jumpstart pipeline, Greeneville Sun

Ruling on Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal may be delayed, Danville Advocate

Tax hike to be on Rehoboth ballot, The Sun Chronicle

New analysis suggests ways for landowners to limit fracking and mineral extraction without regulations, Stanford University News

Florida Fracking Ban Bill Draws Bipartisan Support, InsideClimate News

New data: Pipeline leaks caused by human error are increasing, Digital Journal

US energy official’s resignation not expected to change Spectra decision, The Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

Super Bowl and the Environment: A fun look at renewable energy, Penn Energy

Net Metering: Energy Providers Clash On Cap, Utility Rates, New Hampshire Public Radio

Future of clean energy investment fund uncertain, VTdigger.org

Mass. Town To See Savings With Large Rooftop Solar Project, Solar Industry Magazine

Eversource seeks higher fees on customers with solar, Commonwealth Magazine

Solar Groups Praise Massachusetts’ Continued Support Of Incentives, Solar Industry Magazine

New solar plan cuts subsidies in half, CommonWealth magazine

Wind costs heading in the right direction, Windpower Monthly

Wind Turbines Blow Past Energy Records in Denmark, Popular Mechanics

Wind lender backs away from coal, Windpower Monthly

Proposed solar project in Hinsdale could be largest in New England. Union Leader

Maine Solar Customers to Receive Lower Bill Credits Starting in 2018, Greentech Media

Renewable Energy & Energy Storage To Expand Hand-In-Hand In Emerging Markets, Concludes World Bank, CleanTechnica

US Clean Energy Jobs Surpass Fossil Fuel Employment, Natural Resources Defense Council

Maine PUC tries to strike balance in phased reduction of NEM credit, Utility DIVE

UNH research: Trump voters don’t believe humans affecting climate, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Solar Policy Actions Spiked in 2016, With a Focus on Net Metering, Greentech Media

Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Inks Community Solar Deal, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Program Expanded To Burlington Homeowners, WAMC

RI Environmental Activists Ponder Being Trumped, ecoRI news

Vermont Gas, BED launch residential energy efficiency program, Vermont Biz

A small efficiency experiment with big results, Rutland Herald

Energy savings and sustainable practices not out of reach midwinter, Bangor Daily News

Nuclear

Feds allow Pilgrim nuclear plant to remain open, BostonGlobe.com

Vermont Yankee decommissioning panel seeks more local reps, The Recorder

Vermont Yankee to move fuel in spring, vtdigger.org

Seabrook petition seeks to roll back impact fees, The Daily News of Newburyport

AARP wants disclosure, protections for ratepayers in Millstone bill, theday.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

‘Fuel security’ tops ISO New England’s challenges: CEO, Platts

National Grid Helps Drive Massachusetts Toward a Clean Energy Future, (press release) Justmeans.com

NH Supreme Court upholds Northern Pass access decision, The Union Leader

Regional Power Manager Warns of Future Grid Vulnerabilities In New England, WSHU

National Grid proposes added electricity rate reduction in R.I., beginning April 1, Fall River Herald News

An aging Maine power plant and nearby battery illuminate New England’s energy challenges, Bangor Daily News

NH’s high electricity costs threaten state economy, Seacoastonline.com

Vermonters spend less on electricity, despite high rates, BurlingtonFreePress.com

ICYMI: Electric Aggregation Coming To Sudbury Soon, Patch.com

Maine legislative committee questions electricity program staff, Bangor Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

New Solar Subsidy Program Gets it Right, AIM Blog

ViewPoint: Energy costs are costing New England companies, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

“Fitness for Purpose” Obligations for the Offshore Wind Sector, POWER magazine

Letter to the Editor: Regional emissions-cutting program saves money, lives, report shows, New Haven Register

‘Trump Can’t Stop Renewables Energy Growth At Home Or Abroad’, Forbes

Build the pipeline, not the wall, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Maine Compass: Biomass power benefits Maine, CentralMaine.com

Stalled federal policy hurts NH biomass, NHBR

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Pilgrim Closing, solar