Tag Archives: electric rates

Energy News for week ending October 19, 2018

More Wind off Mass. | Price Volatility this Winter | Say it isn’t so!

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news

From MassLive, “Nearly 400,000 acres of the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area will be up for grabs in December, as the Trump administration holds its next offshore wind auction, officials announced this week. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke revealed Wednesday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction off 388,569 acres located on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts on Dec. 13. A total of 19 companies — including Deepwater Wind New England, LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Northeast Wind Energy, LLC, among others — have qualified to take part in the auction, according to the agency’s final sale notice.”

According to S&P Global Platts, “Regional pipeline constraints in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles increase the risk of energy market price volatility this coming winter, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday… New England continued to be a potential trouble spot, amid growing gas dependence for home heating and generation and constrained pipeline capacity, FERC staff said. Two rule changes could help, however, said John Sillin of FERC’s enforcement office. ISO-NE is integrating price-response demand into the daily energy market and adding pay-for-performance capacity market incentives… Reflecting on the New England market, Commissioner Richard Glick suggested a need to look at more demand-side management to ‘squeeze more out of the market … if we’re not going to get more pipelines for one reason or another.’”

And last for this week, please say it isn’t so! From Nature, “Extreme weather caused by climate change can have devastating effects — and it turns out that not even beer is safe. More frequent droughts and heat waves in the twenty-first century will reduce global production of barley, finds a study published on 15 October in Nature Plants. In turn, it finds, this will decrease the supply of beer and drive up prices, even under best-case-scenario models of climate change… If people ‘want to drink beer when we watch football, then we have to do something’ …”

Have a great weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says it has paid out $20M for gas explosion claims, Boston Business Journal

Locked-out Grid workers cleared to help in Merrimack Valley, Newburyport Daily News

Columbia Gas reverses policy, will not reclaim temporary heat sources from homes, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts DPU halts statewide pipeline work by Columbia Gas, MassLive

NTSB: Columbia Gas ignored critical pressure sensor, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas launches plan to support businesses impacted by gas disaster, MassLive

After Merrimack Valley explosions, natural gas comes under sharp scrutiny, Boston Globe

Merrimack Valley explosions intensify calls to wean state off gas, Boston Globe

A Month Later, Crisis In Merrimack Valley Continues, WGBH

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey request info on homes damaged, residents displaced by Merrimack Valley gas explosions, MassLive

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Ceremony to commission controversial Oxford power plant, Middletown Press

Oxford power plant is commissioned, The Advocate

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, National Wind Watch

Generation: Despite headwinds, natural gas reliance set to grow in much of US, Utility Dive

Can Non-Pipeline Alternatives Curb New York’s Rising Natural Gas Demand?, Greentech Media

Quincy council summons National Grid president amid lockout, Patriot Ledger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Natick Awarded Grant for Municipal Clean Energy Projects, USA Patch

City Council seeks legal opinion on permits for controversial East Springfield biomass power plant, MassLive

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, The Telegraph

Democratic lawmakers push renewable energy strategy, New Hampshire Union Leader

RGGI regulating power imports could happen, experts say, carbon-pulse.com

NYISO Proposes Border Pricing Plan for Carbon, RTO Insider

UMass Amherst Again Ranked among Top 50 Green Colleges by Princeton Review, UMass Amherst

Officials push for ‘green’ power projects for Woonsocket, Woonsocket Call

EPA program will prioritize renewable energy projects in Mass., Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut, Reuters

Climate change is about to make your beer more expensive, Nature

Mass. clean energy firms grow headcount amid green tech boom, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Walsh Outlines Plan To Protect Boston Harbor From Flooding, WBUR

Campaign Countdown: Vermont’s energy future, WCAX

 

Wind

Trump administration to hold Massachusetts offshore wind auction in December, Masslive

What New England Can Learn From Kansas About Creating A Wind Energy Economy, WNPR

Offshore wind CEO bullish on American market, Axios

Report: Moving disputed Falmouth turbine would cost $3M, Cape Cod Times

What’s next for Falmouth turbines?, Cape Cod Times

Tug Hill alliance grows, secures funds for wind farm review, National Wind Watch

Denton pitches wind turbine on City Hall, Seacoastonline.com

Relocation of Falmouth turbine could net town $5.7M, Cape Cod Times

New Site Proposed For Wind 2 At Wastewater Treatment Plant, Falmouth Enterprise

 

Solar

Residents express few concerns at public hearing on Farmington solar project, Kennebec Journal

Norwich tinkerer takes on do-it-yourself solar energy system, The Day

Wind & Solar Account for At Least 20% Of Electricity In 10 States, CleanTechnica

Bill threatens growth of state solar farms, Republican American

New York State Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects, Energy Manager Today

Residential outcry causes Pittsfield ZBA to delay vote, continue hearing next month on 25-acre solar proposal, Berkshire Eagle

What a New Order Means for Community Solar and Storage in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Retains Top Spot on ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ACHR News

MA Ranked 5th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalWorcester

NH gets mixed reviews on energy efficiency, New Hampshire Business Review

RI is 4th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Bringing Energy Storage to Energy Markets, Union of Concerned Scientists

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles: The Swiss army knife of the grid, Utility Dive

A Microgrid for Every Electric Bus Stop in Martha’s Vineyard Town, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC allows spending $20M on Vt. Yankee spent fuel, The Recorder

After federal OK, one hurdle remains for Vermont Yankee transfer, Keene Sentinel

Entergy targets post-shutdown savings at Pilgrim after key NRC approval, Nuclear Energy Insider

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US FERC winter outlook flags risk of volatility in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, S&P Global Platts

Utility to run line under Kennebec Gorge, CommonWealth Magazine

Gloucester signs new electricity provider, Gloucester Times

On eve of hearing, business and labor groups say they back CMP power line through western Maine, Portland Press Herald

Report challenges environmental benefits of CMP project, Portland Press Herald

Great Bay Towns Turn Out Against Transmission Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Seacoast Reliability Project decision expected by early December, Seacoastonline.com

Norwalk Harbor Commission turns to consultant on Eversource cable route, The Hour

Quincy council subpoenas National Grid president, Patriot Ledger

Powerline from Canada through NH, eyed for Mass. clean energy, not dead yet, MassLive

Conn. company is accused of overcharging more than 100K Mass. residents for electricity, Boston Globe

NY regulators weigh proposals to enhance distributed generation, Utility Dive

US FERC`s LaFleur says some power grid security interventions `commercially motivated,’ Energy Central

 

Editorial/Opinion

Want Boston To Be A Carbon-Neutral City? Raise Energy Efficiency Standards For Buildings, WBUR

We need more, not less, competition for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Sununu has been a stumbling block to offshore wind, Eagle-Tribune

Letter to the editor: Renewable electricity worth some sacrifices, Portland Press Herald

Efficiency is the most affordable energy solution, by Nancy Gillard, Keene Sentinel

National Grid lockout puts profit first, workers and safety last, Boston Globe

Baker, DeLeo need to step up on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

In an era of climate urgency, we need a carbon tax, Boston Globe

Vehicle emissions rollback shouldn’t stop utilities from investing in electric vehicles, Utility Dive

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending August 17, 2018

Abnormally hot | There’s something in the water | Focus on affordability

Happy Friday afternoon.

If you think it’s been hot this summer and your electric bill is skyrocketing from running the A/C so much, you might want to skip this story from US News and World Report, 2018 to 2022 Expected to Be Abnormally Hot. “Around the world, the years 2018 to 2022 are expected to be abnormally hot. According to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers developed a new system that predicted the current record-setting heat wave will likely continue through 2022, according to a press release. Most recently, June 2018 was the third warmest June on record for the U.S., July was the 11th warmest and the period from May through July was the warmest ever on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The press release stated temperatures will likely be hotter than expected because of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cooling off often means a dip in the water. And while people swimming off the Cape have sharks to worry about, the folks on Block Island need not worry about the exposed electric cable. According to a story in the Block Island Times, brought to us via National Wind Watch, Grid seeking remedy to cable issue, “The sea2shore transmission cable, installed by National Grid as part of the Block Island Wind Farm project, can now be seen about 25 feet from Town Beach at low tide…Beachgoers were floating and swimming above the cable, which at low tide was about three feet below the water…There are 34,500 volts running through the cable. ‘While we share the concern about public safety, we are confident that the cable itself is, as it always has been, safe even if not fully covered by sediment,’ he [Ted Kresse, Director of Strategic Communications for National Grid] said.”

Last story for this week we bring an article from Vermont Biz New England governors urge ISO-NE to focus on affordability, “Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement related to ISO New England and affordable electricity… ‘Affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental precursor for a vibrant and competitive New England economy. New England states have to be competitive to attract and retain businesses and residents. Efforts must be made to keep electric rates as affordable as possible. Increasingly, cleaner sources of energy have also become important to our energy system, regional economy, and shared environment. It is vital that our pursuit of a reliable and lower-carbon grid leverage available technologies and competitive markets to foster affordable electric rates for all consumers, particularly the most vulnerable among us…’”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New Granite Bridge gas pipeline gains support, New Hampshire Union Leader

Tennessee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop, MassLive

FERC rules in favor of natural gas pipeline project, WKBW

The Latest Pipeline Battle Is Ramping Up in New York, The Nation

As National Grid lockout enters week 8, some say ‘hard feelings’ will linger beyond bargaining, Boston Business Journal

The US’ hidden methane problem, Climate Home News

Is the anti-pipeline playbook starting to work?, E and E News

Report: Cheap Natural Gas and Renewables Could Close Half of US Coal Fleet by 2030, Greentech Media

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Somerset has $10M in free cash certified; among first in the state, Herald News

Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands, Portland Press Herald

Run on renewables: Real estate trusts finally start going green, Boston Business Journal

Advocates say clean energy bill falls short, Gloucester Times

2018 to 2022 Expected to Be Abnormally Hot, US News and World Report

Global Warming? Tell it to the Judge, US News and World Report

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind has a big selling point for its power: cheaper prices, The Boston Globe

NJBPU unveils financing rules for offshore wind, NJBiz

Researchers studying seafloor at offshore wind site, Herald News

New York studies European offshore wind industry to inform development plans, Utility Dive

Atlantic Wind hearings continue before the Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board, Times News Online

Wind farm project on Quebec’s North Shore divides government, Hydro Quebec, CTV News Montreal

Grid seeking remedy to cable issue, Block Island Times via National Wind Watch

 

Solar

State approves rezoning 700 acres in Hancock County for use as a solar farm, MSN

Encore Renewable Energy to Develop 10 MW of Solar Capacity in Vermont, Acres

Massachusetts’ New Clean Energy Bill: Heavy On Storage, Light On Solar, Solar Industry

Town ordered to allow church solar panels, WickedLocal.com

Neighbors object to Webster solar energy project, Worcester Telegram

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big NYC Landlords Join Plan to Cut Energy Use 20% by 2030, Bloomberg L.P.

Green Mountain Power uses Tesla Power Walls to reduce electricity demand, VTDigger

Liquid battery could lead to flexible energy storage, Phys.org

Commercial buildings in Agawam now eligible for special clean energy financing, MassLive

Will energy efficiency stall climate disruption?, David Suzuki Foundation Blog

 

EVs

Governors and premiers promote electric vehicle revolution, VTDigger

Electric vehicle charging takes longer in cold weather, researchers say, The Day

 

Nuclear

New England Governors Highlight Value of Nuclear for Their Region, Electric Energy Online

VY completes another decommissioning milestone, The Commons Online

NRC finishes inspection of Seabrook nuclear plant, Newburyport Daily News

Prospective Pilgrim owner touts experience, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Maine environmental group opposes Mass. energy transmission project, Worcester Business Journal

New England governors urge ISO-NE to focus on affordability, Vermont Biz

New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council, MassLive

NEPOOL Files Press Ban with FERC, RTO Insider

Overheard at New York Energy Market Summit, RTO Insider

Suit alleging CMP fraud filed in Portland, Portland Press Herald

Eversource persists with Conn. Water buyout bid, Journal Inquirer

Eversource appeals Northern Pass case to NH Supreme Court, WMUR

Power: BEDC Laments Disruption, Instability from National Grid, This Day

Lawsuit alleges CMP workers were told to blame customers for their high bills, Press Herald

CMP says ‘We’re sorry’ for response to billing complaints, Maine Biz

Environmentalists: Power from massive Canadian dams isn’t renewable, Bennington Banner

 

Editorial/Opinion

The NIMBY State: Saying no to new energy, New Hampshire Union Leader

Letter: William J. Eccleston: Proposed natural gas plant would harm the ecology, Providence Journal

Columnists Ariel Moyal and Julie Johnson: Leadership needed on renewable energy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Enviro group: Hydro contract bad for Maine, Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Our View: Ignoring climate change puts Mainers in danger, Portland Press Herald

Op-Ed: Learn from Europe, Keep Wind Generation and Transmission Separate, NJ Spotlight

Maine Voices: Absent oversight, condo associations can stymie energy-efficiency goals, Portland Press Herald

Unions: National Grid’s lockout is threat to public safety, The Lowell Sun

Mass. puts wind power in gear, CommonWealth Magazine

Is wind power blowing holes in Hydro-Québec’s profits?, Globe and Mail

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending August 3, 2018

Pilgrim to be sold | “base hit” | Competitive Pricing | Don’t get complacent

Happy Friday afternoon. We start today with a housekeeping note. If you want to keep getting the Northeast Energy News each week, please remember to whitelist us in your email. Sometimes an email bounces and our system, which doesn’t like to spam anyone, puts the email on the inactive list and then you don’t get our email. Of course if you’d rather not get the Northeast Energy News, just scroll down to the bottom and unsubscribe. No hard feelings. Now let’s get to the news.

First up, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be Sold After 2019 Shutdown (CapeCod.com). “The company that owns the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth will sell the plant, spent fuel, land and decommissioning trust fund to an energy technology company after the upcoming shutdown next year. A statement from Entergy issued Wednesday said Pilgrim and another plant in Michigan will be sold to Holtec International for what’s described as an ‘accelerated decommissioning.’…The sale, pending regulatory approval, will include the transfer of licenses and spent fuel. Holtec said most of the decommissioning could be complete within 8 years. Holtec expects to move all of the spent nuclear fuel out of the spent fuel pools and into dry cask storage within approximately three years of the plant’s shutdown.”

Massachusetts legislature OKs ‘base hit’ clean energy bill at end of session (MassLive) “An energy bill that emerged from conference committee Monday night represents modest progress in Massachusetts’ transition to clean, renewable power, environmental groups said…‘Lawmakers could have knocked it out of the park. Instead, they only got a base hit,’ said Ben Hellerstein, director of Environment Massachusetts. While the compromise bill leaves most of the Senate provisions behind — including a piece that would put a price on carbon — it does include several provisions that won praise from clean energy advocates. Notably, it gets ride of a “demand charge” that the Department of Public Utilities had allowed for new solar adopters in Eversource territory…The bill modestly raises the renewable portfolio standard…The bill could double the state’s offshore wind capacity… the legislation establishes an energy storage target of 1,000 megawatt-hours by 2026.”

Bruce Mohl at Commonwealth Magazine writes, Offshore wind prices look competitive. “The developer of the nation’s first major offshore wind farm is promising to deliver wholesale power to Massachusetts at prices that are far below what Cape Wind was offering nearly a decade ago and not much more expensive than hydro-electricity just procured from Canada. According to contracts filed with the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, Vineyard Wind agreed to deliver electricity at an average price of 8.9 cents a kilowatt hour over the 20-year life of the contract, or a total levelized price of 6.5 cents. While those prices are above the average wholesale price of electricity in New England (3.4 cents a kilowatt hour during 2017), they include the value of environmental attributes that are not included with electricity generated using natural gas. Taking those into account, Baker administration officials said, the offshore wind contract is very competitive with other types of power generation and will slightly lower bills for ratepayers over the 20-year life of the contract.”

Last up for this week is an article from today’s Wall St. Journal, Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas. “The first week of August seems like an odd time to fret about a frigid winter, but perhaps not for people who buy, sell and store natural gas. Following Thursday morning’s weekly report from the Energy Information Administration, the amount of gas in U.S. underground storage will be at around 2.3 trillion cubic feet and should keep rising for the next three months. Yet that cushion now stands 24% below where it was this time last year and 20% below the five-year average…But what seems like ample supply could set the market up for panicky winter buying. The last time that happened was in the winter of 2013-2014.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas, Wall St. Journal

Soil Testing For Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Burrillville Angers Opponents, Rhode Island Public Radio

FERC Flooded with Comments on Pipeline Permitting, RTO Insider

FERC Clarifies New York TOs’ Cost Recovery, RTO Insider

Town resolution backs locked-out workers, blocks National Grid, Arlington

National Grid gas workers still locked out, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts legislature OKs ‘base hit’ clean energy bill at end of session, MassLive

Clean Energy Industry Group Commends Legislature for Moving Clean Energy Forward in Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

Compromise energy bill criticized as too weak, The Recorder

Clean tech praises Massachusetts energy bill as activist community vows continued engagement, MassLive

DC Circuit tosses challenge to ISO-NE renewable energy market rules, Utility Dive

7 States Urge Pipeline Regulators to Pay Attention to Climate Change, InsideClimate News

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change, New York Times Magazine

Green Upgrade: How California Is Pioneering ‘Energy Justice’, Yale Environment 360

New England Women Talk Climate Change, Resilience, RTO Insider

Despite subsidy, two wood-fired power plants offline for months, Portland Press Herald

 

Wind

First Big U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Offers $1.4 Billion to Customers, Bloomberg L.P.

Offshore wind prices look competitive, CommonWealth Magazine

How can the US reach the cutting edge of offshore wind R&D? DOE seeks input, Utility Dive

Massachusetts expected to double offshore wind commitment to 3200 MW, Windpower Engineering & Development

Vineyard Wind, R.I. fishermen still at odds over turbines, Providence Journal

NY Gov. Cuomo implores Zinke to support offshore wind project, Daily Energy Insider

Antrim Wind Energy to break ground on 9-turbine project as soon as next week, Ledger Transcript

 

Solar

Why Maine towns and cities are investing in solar projects, Bangor Daily News

Keene committee backs plan for solar array at city complex, Keene Sentinel

Pepperell Mill Campus solar array to span 3 buildings and cover 1.5 acres of rooftop, Portland Press Herald

Community solar can address renewables accessibility gap, report finds, Utility Dive

New York DPS reports call for community distributed solar enhancements, Daily Energy Insider

Judge reverses zoning board’s OK of solar farm in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mass. Lawmakers Set Storage Target, Raise RPS, Overturn Rooftop Solar Demand Charge, Greentech Media

Energy storage could take off in Massachusetts with proposed compromise on capacity ownership, Utility Dive

Network Of Tesla Powerwall Batteries Saves Green Mountain Power $500,000 During Heat Wave, CleanTechnica

Don’t miss out on this money for energy-efficient home improvements, Boston Globe

Green River Commons zero-energy condos preview the future, The Recorder

Efficiency advocates fear Trump administration may try to roll back light bulb standards, Utility Dive

 

EVs

U.S. Electric Vehicle Charging Market to Grow to $18.6 Billion, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be Sold After 2019 Shutdown, CapeCod.com

Vermont Yankee’s $143 million fuel move finished, VT Digger

DEEP paves way for Millstone’s power bid, Hartford Business Journal

Millstone Hopeful Regulators See Nuclear Power As “At Risk”, WNPR

Dominion expects edge for Millstone in DEEP zero carbon auction, The Day

Red Tape and Green Energy: Why Nuclear Power Is Struggling to Survive, Energy Central

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cape electricity demand, more osprey could mean more nest fires, Cape Cod Times

Project to import Canadian hydropower through Maine faces final review, Bangor Daily News

Mass. utilities file major contracts to buy Canadian hydro carried over Maine power line, MassLive

Eversource plans more power lines for Dartmouth, Southcoasttoday

Five Months After Energy Cyberattack, U.S. Pushes Collaboration, Bloomberg L.P.

DHS walks back utility cyber warnings as Southern CEO says no grid emergency, Utility Dive

Under scrutiny for storm response, CMP says it’s beefing up its smart-meter network Portland Press Herald

Higher rates help Eversource to post 5% increase in earnings, Journal Inquirer

New York to consider enhancing payments for distributed generation, Utility Dive

Generators say Mystic order mirrors their capacity price concerns, S and P Global, Platts

New York Power Authority on Track to Becoming Nation’s First All-Digital Electric Utility, Energy Manager Today

NJ: Utilities flopped in storm prep, must do better to avoid outages, Asbury Park Press

We’ve been talking about a national grid for years. It might be time to do it., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Lawmakers should embrace clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Lawmakers should override governor’s veto of solar energy, SB 446, Seacoastonline.com

Opinion: State Rep Candidate Supports National Grid Workers, USA Patch

Column: Marty Nathan: Our planet has a fever, Daily Hampshire Gazette

No benefits from a wind farm, Sun Journal

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 22, 2018

No Scorecard Yet | Something for Everyone | Who Owns it

 

Happy Friday everyone. Hopefully you can get out to enjoy today’s weather because this weekend’s forecast isn’t spectacular.

Now for the news. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that the Massachusetts Senate did not include the residential energy efficiency scorecard in its Omnibus Energy Bill. Serreze writes, “Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) introduced a scorecard amendment during floor debate, but said it was taken off the table before the Senate voted on the omnibus bill last Thursday night. An amendment from Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop) met a similar fate. Lesser said lawmakers decided to wait for another day, and would continue talks with trade groups that oppose the idea: the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and Greater Boston Real Estate Board. ‘We were not able to agree on the substance,’ said Lesser. ‘So we hope to be able to meet in the middle.’ The real estate organizations said they support a property owner’s ability to voluntarily obtain an energy inspection, and support a buyer’s ability to inspect a property, but oppose legislation that would mandate energy audits and scores.”

Regardless of which side of the natural gas fence you sit on, one of two items in the news this week was sure to support your position. For those in favor of gas, Bloomberg reports that “World energy ministers representing about two thirds of the global population tussled over how the world can achieve a cleaner energy future. The compromise answer: Natural gas, at least for now. A consensus statement from G20 energy ministers meeting in Argentina cited the potential of natural gas “to expand significantly over the coming decades.” Meanwhile, the group said nations that “opt to enhance their renewable energy strategies” should bolster investment and financing within that arena.”

For those who wish to keep natural gas in the ground, the Washington Post reports that “The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of methane from its operations each year — nearly 60 percent more than current estimates and enough to offset much of the climate benefits of burning natural gas instead of coal, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The higher volumes of natural gas leaking from across the industry’s supply chain would be enough to fuel 10 million homes and would be worth an estimated $2 billion…”

Last for this week is a story from Utility Dive related to policy issues around Massachusetts’ energy storage market. From the article, “A little-noticed debate in Massachusetts could have a big impact on the trajectory of the state’s energy storage market. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) convened a technical conference on solar and storage facilities participating in ISO-New England’s forward capacity market (FCM). The question of capacity payments and who is entitled to them is part of a larger debate about how distributed energy resources are going to be deployed in Massachusetts. The key issue in the capacity debate is not the technical issue of qualifying for ISO-NE’s FCM, but the policy question about who will retain ownership and control of a facility’s capacity. ‘The main issue is who owns the rights once a project is installed and who gets to bid into the FCM,’ Ted Ko, director of policy at Stem, told Utility Dive. It is an issue that is ‘extremely important for the storage industry in Massachusetts,’ he said.”

That’s the recap for this week. You can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Greener Future Starts With Natural Gas, World Energy Chiefs Say, Bloomberg

Methane leaks offset much of the climate change benefits of natural gas, study says, Washington Post

Massachusetts Gas Workers Vote to Authorize National Grid Strike, USA Patch

Trump’s steel tariffs threaten multibillion dollar expansion of US, Canadian pipelines, Washington Examiner

FirstEnergy Calls out FERC ‘Failure’ to Act on Resilience, RTO Insider

Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development, Science Daily

Fracking boom takes toll on Pennsylvania’s communities of color and lower-income areas, ThinkProgress

Utilities Commission Rejects $639 million SDG&E Natural Gas Pipeline, Times of San Diego

Most American homes are still heated with fossil fuels. It’s time to electrify., Vox

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill, MassLive

National Grid targets 80% carbon cut across buildings, transport, power, Utility Dive

How a Florida Utility Became the Global King of Green Power, Wall St. Journal

World on track for 50% renewables by 2050, says Bloomberg energy outlook, Utility Dive

Gov Malloy Signs Landmark Bills on Climate Change Resiliency and Renewable Energy (Press Release), Energy Central

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Market Impacts, RTO Insider

 

Wind

Gov. LePage set up wind-farm review panel to meet in private. Now, the names of its members are secret., Press Herald

New York state to lead new offshore wind research effort, Penn Energy

Avangrid pulls the plug on wind farm in Hopkinton, North Country Public Radio

State officials seek supplemental report Vineyard Wind project, Cape Cod Times

The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power, U.S. News & World Report

Connecticut Approves 250 Megawatts Of Clean Energy Including 200 Megawatt Revolution Offshore Wind Farm, CleanTechnica

Alliance watchful on cable-laying proposal, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Nexamp Completes Charlton’s Fourth Community Solar Project (Press Release), Energy Central

New York State to increase incentives for commercial, industrial solar projects, Daily Energy Insider

Middletown officials seek opt-out clause on solar project, Newport Daily News

Solar To Supply All Of CT Lumber Company’s Electricity, Solar Industry

Eversource’s new 5,000-panel solar facility unveiled in Ludlow, WWLP

CEA Releases 2018 Solar Energy Report; Finds Incentives Contributed Significantly to Solar Power Expansion, Electric Energy Online

Fidelity Investments wants 12-acre solar field to power part of 554-acre Merrimack campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

‘Home energy scorecard’ idea pulled from Senate energy bill, MassLive

EIA: US electric utilities spent $3.6 billion on energy efficiency customer incentives in 2016, Daily Energy Insider

National Grid Expands Energy-Efficiency Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

Cannabis businesses shut out of Maine’s energy-efficiency programs, Portland Press Herald

UN Aims to Eradicate Inefficient Incandescent Light Bulbs, Greentech Media

New Smart Meters, Energy Efficiency Help O&R Beat the Heat, Energy Central

Research Spotlights Energy Efficiency of Ride-Hailing Services, NREL.gov

Is New Hampshire on the verge of battery energy storage history?, Utility Dive

In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage, Utility Dive

How School Buses Could Help Run Air Conditioners During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear power shutdowns could cut energy prices, increase air pollution: Penn State, TMI weigh in, PennLive

New project could relieve pressure on Vermont Yankee, VTDigger

Selectmen call for NRC hearing on nuke plant evacuation, Seacoastonline.com

Indian Point: Nuclear power plant gets positive safety grades, new decommission details, The Journal News

 

EVs

New law boosts electric vehicle charging infrastructure in NH, New Hampshire Business Review

New global leader of EV uptake emerges – in Massachusetts, RenewEconomy

Should All Utility Customers Pay for EV Infrastructure and Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Projected US renewables could accelerate power price volatility — what can grid operators do?, Utility Dive

UPDATE: Sununu vetoes energy bills; Republican senators seek an override, Concord Monitor

New York utilities improved electric reliability, gas safety, electric safety, customer service performance in 2017, Daily Energy Insider

NJBPU convenes inaugural 2019 Energy Master Plan Committee, Daily Energy Insider

Plan For New England Powerline From Canada Drawing Criticism, NPR

Electricity sellers allegedly posed as CMP auditors to sign up customers, Bangor Daily News

Sununu Vetoes Net Metering Bill; Advocates Still Energized, New Hampshire Public Radio

Study: Hartford Competitive In Office Costs, Though Businesses Hit By Pricey Energy, Hartford Courant

Six Senate candidates tackle energy issues at Northampton forum, MassLive

Connecticut company aims to make energy choice easier for NH consumers, New Hampshire Business Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Don’t waste state’s time with secret wind panel, Portland Press Herald

Climate Action column: Nuclear power plants carry benefits and costs, says Kahn, Ipswich Wicked Local

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Filed under Electric Grid, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Renewables

Energy News for week ending May 25, 2018

Taking it in | No reconsideration | They don’t belong to you

 

Happy Friday!

Given it’s the start of a long weekend we’ll keep it short today.

The biggest news of course was the awarding of the MA 83C RFP for offshore wind to Vineyard Wind. According to an article on Southcoasttoday.com there were some who were surprised that the state didn’t award contracts to two bidders. And just after the announcement Erich Stephens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind, was quoted only as saying “I’m still at the point of … taking it in.” The New York Times also has a great story on what it means for the offshore wind industry in the US and in particular, New Bedford. And, how at the same time as Massachusetts’ announcement, “Rhode Island announced it would award a 400-megawatt offshore wind project to another bidder (Deepwater Wind) in the auction.”

The Union Leader reports “There will be no reconsideration of the Northern Pass by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee…An appeal to the state Supreme Court is now the most likely option for the project.”

And last for this week is a report in the Salem News that “State regulators earlier this year told a dozen electric, natural gas and water companies to show how they plan to pass along savings from a federal tax cut to their customers. Attorney General Maura Healey wasn’t happy with the response, it seems. Her office blasted the companies, calling their plans inadequate and accusing them of “holding onto tax revenues that legally do not belong to them,” in a letter to the state Department of Public Utilities…Healey’s office is hiring a private consultant to review the utilities’ plans and determine if they are fudging the numbers, Geary noted.

 

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Enjoy the long weekend!

 

Offshore Wind/83C RFP/RI

‘Taking it in’: Vineyard Wind wins offshore wind contract with Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Project Selected to Bring Offshore Wind Energy to the Commonwealth, Mass.gov (press release)

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Contract for 1,200MW of Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

In Landmark Day, East Coast States Secure 1.2 GW of Offshore Wind for US, Renewable Energy World

Massachusetts Gains Foothold in Offshore Wind Power, Long Ignored in U.S., New York Times

Two big wind farms to rise off coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Boston Globe

Baker makes bold bet on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce large offshore wind projects, Press Herald

CMP’s parent company to build nation’s largest offshore wind project, Bangor Daily News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Region Slated for Record Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity Buildout in 2018, The Energy Collective

Divided FERC restricts climate impacts in pipeline reviews, Utility Dive

N.H. Supreme Court on natural gas pipeline expansion could provide spark for Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

NH court OKs novel pipeline financing approach, CommonWealth Magazine

Court Overturns Pipeline Denial, Valley News

Fall River Regrets Water Sale to Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

The Great American Fracking Bubble, CleanTechnica

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Impacts, RTO Insider

NY Gov., Communities Question Environmental Justice of Proposed Waste-to-Energy Facility, Renewable Energy World

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up, The Conversation

1st Franklin candidates debate energy, climate policy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Report: Renewables, Energy Efficiency in New England Will Replace the Need for Gas Pipelines, Renewable Energy World

Activists rally against bill that would allow energy incentives for biomass, The Providence Journal

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind to deploy wind measurement buoy at Massachusetts offshore wind project, Compelo

Turbine will not spin again in Falmouth, Cape Cod Times

New London, state leaders push offshore wind development as Mass., R.I. projects move forward, The Day

 

Solar

New UMaine energy proposal calls for biomass, solar, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

‘Solar For All’ Brings Green Energy To Lower-Income Households, WSHU

GID and Black Bear announce Massachusetts solar projects, pv magazine USA

Rhinebeck and Vermont solar companies merge, plan to add employees, Poughkeepsie Journal

City Council to talk solar power, The Laconia Daily Sun

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Efficiency Leads in Job Growth as Energy Sector Adds Over 130,000 Jobs in 2017, Renewable Energy World

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Harder to Find, More Expensive in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Utility trade groups press EPA to embrace EVs in fuel standard rewrite, Utility Dive

EV charging could significantly reduce storage needs, DOE lab finds, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NorthStar makes new promises for Vermont Yankee purchase, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC releases summary of Seabrook nuclear plant visit, Gloucester Daily Times

Panel seeks to define state role in Pilgrim closure, Cape Cod Times

New Jersey Gov. Murphy signs bills creating zero emission credits for nuclear, Utility Dive

Proposed NRC rule changes raise safety concerns, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Site Evaluation Committee rejects Northern Pass appeal for new hearing, Union Leader

Bill Gives Municipalities More Say in Power-Plant Siting, ecoRI news

Eversource Under Fire For Gas Rate Hike Request, Hartford Courant

3 Questions: New England’s wholesale electricity markets, MIT News

Electricity company overcharged customers millions, but was still losing money, Bangor Daily News

New York Public Service Commission forecasts lower energy prices this summer, Daily Energy Insider

Cold snap tested reliability of region’s power grid and arguments against fossil fuels, Portland Press Herald

Maine eyes lower ratepayer costs from increased electric integration with Canada, Utility Dive

Utilities slow in reducing charges, Salem News

New York State Public Service Commission begins management, operations audit of National Grid, Daily Energy Insider

Generators slam ISO-NE cost recovery proposal for Exelon gas plant, Utility Dive

Some Mainers question hydro-electricity line for MA, CommonWealth Magazine

Farmington rethinks endorsement of Quebec to Massachusetts power line, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Is the Great Experiment of Wholesale Electricity Competition Ending?, Electric Light and Power

Governor LePage seeks input on a new era in Maine energy, PenBayPilot.com

Concerns raised over CMP transmission line proposal, Daily Bulldog

Rhode Island and New England May Get Hit with Rolling Blackouts in the future, GoLocalProv

Blumenthal Slams Eversource For Proposed Rate Hike, New England Public Radio

 

Editorial/Opinion

Eversource: Time to rein in competitive electricity suppliers, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind rush is irresponsible, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural gas is not a clean fuel, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to put a price on carbon, CommonWealth Magazine

How Massachusetts can blaze a trail for climate action, Boston Globe

“Green” energy, an environmental disaster, PowerLine Blog

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

Energy News for week ending April 20, 2018

RGGI Pays Off | Palm Trees | Sox Go Green

 

Happy Friday Afternoon.

First up in the news this week is from Inside Climate News where we learn that our friends at the Analysis Group released a report Tuesday about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that showed some unexpected benefits. They report, “The nine Eastern states gained $1.4 billion in economic benefits from RGGI over the past three years because of the way they invested proceeds from the cap-and-trade program…The biggest payoff came in investments in energy efficiency programs, which have led to more businesses and jobs in activities such as energy audits and installing energy-efficiency equipment. The analysts also found that the cap-and-trade system has not undermined the reliability of the electricity grid, and it has not led to a net increase in electricity bills.”

Who doesn’t love palm trees? Greentech Media reports “A team of researchers is working to complete the design for a novel 50-megawatt offshore wind turbine…The blades for the so-called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor (SUMR) wind turbine would…face downwind. The “go-with-the-flow” design was inspired by palm trees, which have evolved to withstand hurricane gales. Just as palm fronds bend and yield to the direction of the wind, the segmented blades for the SUMR turbine will fold together, aligned with the wind direction, in strong winds.”

The Red Sox are on quite a roll this season. For some activists though the chant of “Let’s Go Red Sox” should be “Sox Go Green.” From the Eagle Tribune, “Fenway Park already has its Green Monster — and now environmental activists want the whole ballpark to ‘go green’… activists from Environment Massachusetts and MASSPIRG Students have announced the launch of their “Sox Go Green” campaign. They’re asking the franchise to obtain 100 percent of the energy used for Fenway Park, team operations, and the team’s spring training facility in Florida from renewable resources like solar and wind power within five years.” Whatever the Red Sox decide, we certainly don’t want them to change whatever energy they have going in their bats right now.

As always you can find energy events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC issues NOI seeking comments on gas pipeline evaluations, Utility Dive

Zinke hints at Maine exemption for offshore gas drilling, Penn Energy

For public hearing on fracking, public shows up, but hearing is delayed, Thehour.com

Oil leaking into Mystic River in Boston believed to be coming from Eversource pipe, The Boston Globe

Footprint cuts ties with Iberdrola, The Salem News

Two years after pipeline shelved, opposition groups continue fighting fossil fuel development, The Keene Sentinel

Columbia Gas seeks rate hike, MassLive.com

As FERC Review of NatGas Pipeline Policy Nears, House Lawmakers Divided Over Priorities, Natural Gas Intelligence

FERC Whipsawed on Pipeline Policy in House Hearing, RTO Insider

Parents Didn’t Want Fracking Near Their School. So the Oil Company Chose a Poorer School, Instead., Mother Jones

The Secret of the Great American Fracking Bubble, DeSmog

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Greenhouse gas emissions from power plants plunge, EPA report shows, Washington Examiner

Going Green? Activists push Red Sox to use 100 percent renewable energy, Eagle Tribune

Bills setting 100 percent renewable energy goal for Pa. draws bi-partisan support, PennLive

Carbon Markets Pay Off for These States as New Businesses, Jobs Spring Up, InsideClimate News

Green Mountain Power’s Distributed Energy Business Isn’t Scaling Fast Enough, Greentech Media

Danbury-based company submits seven fuel cell proposals for energy procurement, New Haven Register

 

Wind

Fishermen air concerns about Vineyard Wind, MV Times

Connecticut Evaluates Bids for First Offshore Wind Farm, Engineering News Record

Concerns, support aired at offshore wind hearings in Hyannis, on Nantucket, Cape Cod Times

Fate of Fall River waterfront waits on offshore wind decision, Herald News

How fishermen could thwart Cuomo’s offshore wind master plan, City and State NY

US East Coast Offshore Wind Benefits Vary Significantly Depending On Location, Finds Berkeley Lab, CleanTechnica

Design for 50-MW Offshore Wind Turbine Inspired by Hurricane-Resilient Palm Trees, Greentech Media

Cape Cod Chamber Supporting Competitive Offshore Wind Development, CapeCod.com News

Construction unions back Bay State Wind project, SouthCoastToday.com

New Massachusetts offshore wind energy auction, and New Jersey project gets a boost, WorkBoat

 

Solar

WorkinCT: Greenskies bringing solar energy to Connecticut schools, FOX 61

Bifacial Plus Tracking Boosts Solar Energy Yield by 27 Percent, Greentech Media

Low-income housing represents huge solar opportunity, new study from NREL finds, Solar Power World

New Brunswick’s first solar farm located near Sussex, Global News

 

Energy Efficiency

From Lenox to Nantucket, 36 Massachusetts communities get state energy efficiency grants; see how much your city or town got, MassLive

Rigorous Energy Standards Should Put Massachusetts Growers on Alert for Best Practices, Compliance, Cannabis Business Times

Eversource agreement with Lindt could serve as energy saving template for state, Seacoastonline.com

New York state unveils energy efficient standards, CT Post
Over 100 Groups Call on Gov to Lead Nation on Energy Efficiency
, Artvoice

Shining new light on Smith Hill: RI shows off new State House lighting system, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Grafton sees cost savings from energy contract, Worcester Telegram

 

Energy Storage

Energy storage problem dates back to the ol mill pond, Energy Central

Graphene Could Be Next Battery Breakthrough, Renewable Energy World

New Jersey Gets 40 MWh of New Utility-Scale Energy Storage, Renewable Energy World

Report: Gravity-based energy storage could prove cheaper than batteries, Business Green

Tesla is teaming up with BP on an energy storage project, Business Insider

New Jersey could get 2GW of storage to help reach 50% renewables target, Energy Storage News

New York advances REV, moves to bring more energy storage online, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

States Are Breathing New Air Into Nuclear Energy To Preserve Jobs And Environment, Forbes

EPSA rails against FirstEnergy emergency request, New Jersey nuke subsidies, Utility Dive

Report: Losing FirstEnergy’s Nuclear Fleet Would Wipe Out Two Decades of Solar and Wind Progress, Greentech Media

C-10 allowed to challenge Seabrook nuclear plant relicensing, Seacoastonline.com

Debate over Millstone rages on, theday.com

Environmentalists and Nuclear Power? It’s Complicated, New York Times

Feds seek financial data on sale of Vermont nuke to private decommissioning firm, MassLive.com

Exelon, FE nuke closures would reverse PJM wind, solar benefits: Brattle report, Utility Dive

MIT Spin-off Faces Daunting Challenges on Path to Build a Fusion Power Plant in 15 Years, IEEE Spectrum

 

Electric Vehicles

Short term pain for long term gain: EPRI assesses expanding US electrification, Utility Dive

Wireless Charging Seen as a Game Changer for EV Infrastructure, Renewable Energy World

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Electricity Demand, Prices Heat Up After 2017 Slowdown, Commercial Property Executive

New State Energy Policy Aims to Lower Rates, Let Nuclear & Gas Compete With Renewables, NHPR

Connecticut utility regulators slash Eversource Energy’s distribution rate hike request, New Haven Register

New Hampshire governor’s energy plan leans on nuclear, gas, Utility Dive

Sen. Murphy calls for investigation into Eversource’s high shutoff rates, The Ridgefield Press

Central Maine Power responds to higher-than-average electricity bills, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Utility Could Set Standard for Reducing Energy Costs, U.S. News & World Report

Exelon, ISO Hopeful on Stopping Proposed Closure, Everett Independent

Northern Pass Back Before NH SEC Next Month, New Hampshire Public Radio

RI regulators ask PUC to slash National Grid’s requested rate hikes, The Providence Journal

Over 500 National Grid Employees to Volunteer on Earth Day, GoLocalProv

 

Editorial/Opinion

LETTER: Closure of Pilgrim Power Plant would result in additional CO2 emissions, Wicked Local Yarmouth

American energy dominance means Mass. Wind, Boston Globe

Costly infrastructure is driving up Maine’s electricity costs, Bangor Daily News

Getting to grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Editorial: Wishing away our energy challenges, The Providence Journal

My Turn: Matt Brown: Wind turbines off coast can provide energy RI needs, The Providence Journal

Letter: The high price of fracking, Concord Monitor

Op Ed: Offshore Wind Competition Benefits Massachusetts, Cape Cod Today

Letter to the editor: Maine PUC should back offshore wind development, Press Herald

Letter: State, utilities need to take energy strategy seriously, Concord Monitor

Shame on legislators who voted against solar, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Letter: Richard H. Lee: Governor’s criticism of National Grid ignored facts, The Providence Journal

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

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar