Tag Archives: energy efficiency

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin

 

Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from Phsy.org, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for  events. Have a great weekend.
 

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB, Ricentral.com

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process, MainePublic.org

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio

 

Wind

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines, Phys.org

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update, lexocology.com

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?, publicnow.com

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards, MassLive.com

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent

 

Nuclear

NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee, NJSpotlight.com

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs, MassLive.com

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike, theday.com

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes, wwlp.com

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine, NJ.com

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower, vtdigger.org

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending February 2, 2018

Complete Turnaround | Nyet | Super Bowl Efficiency

Diving right in today, of course the big news story is that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee unanimously denied an application for Northern Pass. That’s quite the turnaround from last week’s announcement that the Canadian hydro project was the sole winner of Massachusetts’ 83D RFP.

The reactions were all over the place. From Eversource’s “shocked and outraged” (Union Leader) to critics “reveling” in the project’s denial (Concord Monitor) to Massachusetts officials being “quiet” and “saying little”  (WRAL). This morning Hydro-Quebec’s CEO Éric Martel seemed to take it all in stride during a CBC News interview. “We knew there was a risk in New Hampshire,” Martel told CBC’s Daybreak. “But we still believe the [Northern Pass] project is going to happen.” He added that “even if [Northern Pass] it collapses, there are other routes the lines can take to get to Massachusetts. ‘Hydro-Québec has proposed also a line going through Vermont and a line going through Maine to get to the same place,’ he said. ‘The people of Massachusetts want that energy so, at some point, we’ll find a way.’”

Alrighty then. Just in case it doesn’t work out for Canadian hydro, check out the list of the other projects that Massachusetts rejected from this WBUR story Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal A Shift Away From Smaller Renewables.

Last week we mentioned the news that a tanker carrying Russian gas was waiting offshore to unload in Everett and another was expected. Well the gas arrived and the drama began. A Boston Globe editorial lays out all of the reasons why Russian LNG is happening, and why we should just say, “Nyet.” As they conclude, “Russia’s dirty fuels — and dirty oligarchs — are suddenly our problem.”

Of course we need to end this week’s news with a reference to the big game on Sunday. According to Popular Science, “We consume a lot of food and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, but not a lot of electricity.” Why? “Analyses of energy consumption show that while we do use up a bit more energy than average before the big game, we usually drop below the norm while the Super Bowl is on (save for spikes at commercial breaks). We’re not getting up to open the fridge much. We’re not cooking. We’re not working on our laptops and checking our phones while we watch. We’re just sitting and staring the same energy-efficient television as 10 other people.”

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!

 

All Things Northern Pass

Critics of Northern Pass project revel in proposal’s denial, Concord Monitor

Hydro-Québec CEO optimistic that Northern Pass project isn’t dead in the water, CBC

Massachusetts officials quiet on Northern Pass rejection, WRAL

Eversource -5% as New Hampshire regulator denies Northern Pass project, Seeking Alpha

Northern Pass ‘shocked and outraged’ by application denial, Union Leader

Massachusetts attorney general to review hydropower contract, Boston Herald

The Controversy Behind Massachusetts’ $1.6B Hydro Power Transmission Line, Greentech Media

Full accounting needed on Northern Pass deal, Boston Globe

Our Opinion: Eversource a suspect hydropower choice, Berkshire Eagle

Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal A Shift Away From Smaller Renewables, WBUR

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Maine governor says offshore drilling would lower prices, Penn Energy

SJC agrees to put hold on appeal of Sandwich plant’s expansion, Cape Cod Times

Russian LNG is unloaded in Everett; the supplier (but not gas) faces US sanctions, The Boston Globe

Arrival of Russian gas stirs Ukrainian community, The Boston Globe

Despite protest, Yale-linked pipeline project progresses, Yale Daily News

NE Pipeline Foes Tell DC Circ. FERC Ignored Enviro Risks, Law360

Final Hearings Set for Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Lawyer says Invenergy committed to project, The Providence Journal

America’s Natural Gas Hurdles, New York Times

Enbridge working on natural gas pipelines to New England, Kallanish Energy

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

Reckoning with climate change will demand ugly tradeoffs from environmentalists — and everyone else, Vox.com

Politics, process playing in carbon pricing debate, Lowell Sun

Report: Trump budget seeks 72% cut to DOE clean energy research, Utility Dive

NE States Push Renewables, But Not All Jump Aboard, Engineering News Record

CMP moves forward with renewable energy plans, Bangor Daily News

Clean Energy Leadership: Next Steps for Massachusetts, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mass. Senate ‘Clean Energy Future’ report seeks smorgasbord of climate change solutions, MassLive.com

Murphy directs New Jersey to re-enter Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, NorthJersey.com

Utility CEO: new renewables will be cheaper than existing coal plants by the early 2020s, Vox.com

Mass. senators assembling clean energy bill, SouthCoastToday.com

Nova Scotia issues call for tidal energy projects demonstration, Energy Business Review

Braintree boasts efforts to go green, Wicked Local Braintree

 

Wind

Concerns Voiced Over Proposed Portland Wind Turbine Project, (NY) Post Journal

NY Releases Master Plan to Grow Offshore Wind Power, Natural Resources Defense Council

Governor of Maine Bans All New Wind Farms, Popular Mechanics

Maine AG: LePage’s order doesn’t change state law on wind power, Foster’s Daily Democrat

State sees 5k jobs from off-shore wind farm push, Times Union

Shielded Maine wind energy commission receives pushback, Press Herald

Yarmouth officials concerned about Vineyard Wind plan, Cape Cod Times

Environmental group sues LePage, says wind farm ban is unconstitutional, Press Herald

State’s highest court hears Antrim Wind appeal arguments, Monandock Ledger Transcript

Redfield shares worries about Mad River Wind Farm, Watertown (NY) Daily Times

 

Solar

New solar power fee draws heat on Beacon Hill, Boston Globe

Soveren Solar closes up shop, Brattleboro Reformer

Blackout at Beverly High, High school solar panels out of commission past two years, Salem News

Lawmakers slam new solar charges, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar Fees are Burning Southern New England, ecoRI news

President’s Decision on Solar Tariffs is a Loss for America | SEIA, Solar Energy Industries Association

Frustration grows over Eversource solar charge, The Daily News of Newburyport

Pro-solar protestors arrested in Maine, pv magazine USA

Officials: Now is the time to go solar in Cambridge, Wicked Local Cambridge

Massachusetts lands first community solar+storage project, pv magazine

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

We consume a lot of food and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, but not a lot of electricity, Popular Science

Baker plans energy audit for Swampscott home, Salem News

Americans Are Staying Home More. That’s Saving Energy., New York Times

US cities most menaced by climate change are least energy-efficient, Reuters

State Takes First, Tentative Steps Toward Energy Efficiency Standard, NJ Spotlight

Compound could transform energy storage for large grids, University of Rochester (press release)

 

Electric Vehicles

Uncoordinated trouble? Electric vehicles can be a grid asset, but only with planning and investment, Utility Dive

How Tesla’s first truck charging stations will be built, CNBC

 

Nuclear

DOE report touts small modular reactors, but hurdles remain, Utility Dive

Troubled Vermont Yankee disposal company sold, vtdigger.org

Progress made to resolve Vt. Yankee sale concerns, The Recorder

Tax Breaks Spur Dominion Deleveraging, RTO Insider

Nuclear Power in Crisis: We Are Entering the Era of Nuclear Decommissioning, Energy Collective

The future of nuclear power? Think small, LA Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

State chooses another proposal instead of Emera’s sub-sea cable to Plymouth, Wicked Local Dover

Digitalization Could Provide $38 Billion in Benefits to Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

New England Faces Power Shortages Without Infrastructure Fix, Engineering News-Record

Customers Pan Eversource Rate Request, CT News Junkie

Eversource Energy customers ‘shocked’ by electric bill, Meriden Record-Journal

Fossil fuel burners, clean energy sector, and Democrat Setti Warren pan Eversource hydro deal for Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Bethel residents rally against Eversource pole placement, Danbury News Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Column: Oil Kept the Power Grid Running in Recent Cold Snap, Valley News

When it comes to Russian gas, just say nyet, Boston Globe

Amid Climate Turbulence, Wind Power Looms as Boon for Island, Vineyard Gazette

Letter: Anti-pipeline forces drive up utility prices, Berkshire Eagle

In polarized times, clean energy is what unites us, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Adam Cote: Energy moves will crush thousands of jobs, hurt Maine people, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Wind energy or oil? The choice is easy, Cape Cod Times

Letter to the editor: Support law that protects solar power generators from unfair taxes, Press Herald

My Turn: Energy efficiency on two dollars a month, Concord Monitor

New York Should Demand More Efficiency from National Grid, NRDC Blog

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Filed under Climate Change, hydro, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News

Energy News for week ending December 8, 2017

Santa & Solar Panels | Energy Storage | Blockchain Investments

Holiday Alert: We’ve found a few stories with great gift ideas for the energy geeks in your life. Prices range from $30-50 for a thermal leak detector to $5,500 for a solar panel package and Tesla Powerwall that can handle the energy needs of an entire house, depending on where you live and your energy usage. The panels, combined with a 13.5 kilowatt-hour Powerwall might let you go off the grid, or sell power back to your utility company. Plus they offer protection against power outages by giving you days of backup.

And in more holiday season giving, 26 energy storage projects in Mass. are sharing $20M in grants to grow the energy storage market. WBUR reports these pilot projects represent a quarter of Massachusetts’ 200-megawatt-hour grid storage mandated target, set for 2020. The state currently has seven megawatt hours of advanced energy storage installed.

Finally, if you haven’t been paying attention to blockchain, a distributed, digital transaction technology, now might be the time. GreenBiz reports that as we transition to a decentralized, digitized and decarbonized energy world, blockchain technology may be the ‘missing link’ to spur on renewable energy investments.

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for more stories and events. Have a great weekend.

Green Gift Guide for Energy Geeks

Energy Adviser: Geeky energy gifts on a budget, The Columbian

HybridCars.com Green Holiday Gift Guide, Hybrid Cars News

Natural Gas/Pipeline

In Massachusetts, Protesters Balk At Pipeline Company’s Payments To Police, HuffPost

Kinder Morgan payments for state police details at nearly $1 million, Berkshire Eagle

Liberty Proposes Gas Pipeline To Run From NH Seacoast To Manchester, New Hampshire Public Radio

Narragansett Tribe plans to sue FERC over gas pipeline approval in Berkshire County, MassLive.com

As more elected officials call for resignation of CRMC chair, Governor Raimondo remains silent, Uprise RI

Community members protest gas plant, The Brown Daily Herald

Weymouth compressor review could take a year, state says, The Patriot Ledger

12 Anti-Pipeline Protestors Will Face Criminal Charges In Court, WAMC

PCBs, fracked gas pipelines endanger human and planetary health, warns author activist, theberkshireedge.com

Leaked PowerPoint Reveals The Gas Industry’s Playbook For Waging Pipeline Fights, HuffPost

Renewable Energy

Mass. Gives Out $20M In Grants To Grow Energy Storage Market, WBUR

The missing link for renewable energy investment? Blockchain, GreenBiz

Maine Utility: Our hydro project has lowest cost, Commonwealth Magazine

Surge of Carbon Pricing Proposals Coming in the New Year, MIT Technology Review

As Cape Wind dies, offshore wind picks up steam in Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Energy chairman Golden gets tour of Greenfield, The Recorder

CAS Scientists Develop ACES to Monitor Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, BU Today

Koch-funded network targets New Hampshire’s renewable energy policies, ThinkProgress

To-the-point: Avangrid touts best cost proposal in Massachusetts RfP, Renewables Now

Energy Efficiency

The Hidden Gem of Wholesale Energy Markets: Energy Efficiency, Energy Collective

A bipartisan message of clean energy progress, MIT News

Clean energy slashed in new budget, Yale Daily News

US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rejects Energy Efficiency Restrictions, CleanTechnica

Nuclear

Millstone shares data with DEEP, PURA, theday.com

On 75th anniversary of first nuclear fission reactor, MIT stages tribute to seminal experiment, MIT News

Saudis invite US firms to develop multi-billion-dollar nuclear power projects, CNBC

Christie Hints He Might Sign Bill to Subsidize PSEG’s Nuclear Plants, NJ Spotlight

Weighing 75 years of the nuclear age, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE Preparing for Energy Storage Growth, RTO Insider

Eversource, National Grid Complete Transmission Line From Mass. To NH, WBUR

Aquarion Water Co. sale to Eversource approved, Seacoastonline.com

Energy fights loom in conference talks, E&E News

As grid modernization accelerates, which states are in the lead, and why?, Utility Dive

Massachusetts approves Eversource rate increase to help boost EV, storage investment, Utility Dive

National Grid to install back-up battery system as electricity demand grows, Nantucket Island Inquirer

National Grid report defends storm response, Gloucester Daily Times

Decision on Eversource rate hike drawing criticism, The Recorder

Why Mergers and Acquisitions Will Define the Distributed Energy Boom,, Greentech Media

One Trump Buzzword to Seal Fate of $700 Billion Power Trade, Bloomberg

Efficiency Vermont rates rise for residents, down for businesses, vtdigger.org

CMP touts its bid to build transmission line through Maine, Press Herald

ExxonMobil opposes ALEC’s attempt to fight EPA climate policy, The Hill

Rethinking the utility company as solar power heats up, PBS NewsHour

Editorial/Opinion

Cape Wind: A blown opportunity, Cape Cod Times

Sandra Levine: An innovative climate policy for Vermont, vtdigger.org

Who Will Fund Clean Energy? Familiar Faces, Bloomberg

Letter: RI Energy Challenge helps town, residents, The Independent

 

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

Energy News for week ending September 22, 2017

FERC Priorities | Seaweed Biofuel | Green Hospitals

Happy Friday to All,

Commonwealth Magazine reports on a recent FERC ruling that signals the agency is “willing to take a more activist role in state pipeline battles.” In other news from our nation’s capital, the Department of Energy says US offshore resources could support enough seaweed production to supply up to 10% of the current demand for transportation fuel and they have awarded $22 million in grants to accelerate the development of seaweed as a next-generation biofuel. And for some good green news, the Boston Business Journal has a story on how Boston hospitals have made great progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions–a 9 percent reduction since 2011.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy your weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Could feds pave way for new Mass. gas project?, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas leaks delay tree planting, Salem News

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Gas pipeline protesters turn up heat on FERC, Utility Dive

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Senate Bill Would Streamline FERC NatGas Pipeline Permitting, Natural Gas Intelligence
Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
, OilPrice.com

Renewable Energy

Trump Admin. Pitches Seaweed For Biofuel-Powered Car Of The Future, CleanTechnica

California’s Plan for 100% Renewables Falls Flat in the 11th Hour, Greentech Media

Why Solar Advocates Are Crying Foul Over New York’s Latest REV Order, Greentech Media

After slide, prices tick up in latest RGGI auction, Hartford Business

Two RGGI offset protocols to bite the dust as states publish more details on proposed market changes, Carbon Pulse

Bill Would Commit Massachusetts To 100 Percent Renewable Energy, WGBH

Fishing industry takes more action against New York offshore wind lease, National Wind Watch

Deepwater Wind Installs Wildlife Tracking Station on Offshore Block Island Wind, Power Engineering

Boxford’s Municipal Solar Power Generation Facility, Valley Patriot

Oakham Farm Inspires Central Massachusetts’ 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal, GovTech.com

Connecticut unions, environmentalists want more wind power, New Haven Register

Activists urge legislators to support ‘Green Bank,’ Greenfield Recorder

Fall River solar farm near North Watuppa Pond moving forward, Herald News

Canada has too much clean electricity. Anybody want it?, E&E News

States pick up the clean energy torch, The Boston Globe

Energy Efficiency

Six climate change solutions we can all agree on, Phys.Org

Blockchain: Coming to a Smart Building Near You?, Greentech Media

Derby Residents Can Upgrade To New LED Bulbs, Patch.com

National Grid gives King Brothers Dairy $120000 for energy-efficient gear, The Daily Gazette

Nuclear

Seabrook nuclear plant watchdog’s request rejected, Portsmouth Herald

Vernon seeks ‘unrestricted’ future for Vermont Yankee site, VT Digger

Tribes seek voice in nuclear plant cleanup, land restoration, Penn Energy

Dominion’s lips remain sealed on Millstone financials, Hartford Business

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Why utilities don’t move power lines out of hurricanes’ way, Vox.com

As Brayton Point taxes wither, residents say they’d be willing to pay more for some services, Herald News

Medway: Work begins on Exelon expansion, MetroWest Daily News

Harvard University: A Valedictorian of Microgrids and Distributed Energy, Microgrid Knowledge

Boston area hospitals cut greenhouse gases by 9% since 2011, BBJ

Upton selectmen seek cheaper energy, Wicked Local Upton

Changing Massachusetts time zone could improve health, boost retail sales, save energy, commission finds, MassLive

A ‘Tax’ Or ‘The Cost Of Pollution’? Mass. Debates Surcharge On Fossil Fuels, WBUR

Heating Prices Rise in Maine as Fall Weather Nears, US News and World Report

State committee says Northern Pass plans have ‘potential inaccuracies’, The Union Leader

Budget Crisis Leads to Proposed Electric Bill Changes, NBC CT

Worcester crew part of National Grid aid efforts in Florida, Worcester Telegram

Siting Board Denies Latest Appeal to Halt Power Plant, ecoRI news

ISO-NE Forecast Sees Flat Loads, More Solar, No Congestion, RTO Insider

Raimondo establishes a Chief Resiliency Officer to combat climate change effects, RI Future

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

Editorial/Opinion

States pick up the clean energy torch, Boston Globe

Milton Eaton: Defending Vermont Yankee decommissioning, VT Digger

Hydrogen fueling stations central to CCAT-hosted events, Hartford Courant

Carbon fee is our climate ‘moon shot,’ and it’s well within reach, The Boston Globe

Our View: Global warming needs political climate change, Press Herald

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending September 1, 2017

Gas Pump Pain | Giant Batteries | Northern Pass Delay

Hopefully many of you are headed out of the door to start your long weekend so we’ll keep the news highlights short.  Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey–it has been hard to wrap our heads around the scale of devastation and destruction. Damage to energy supplies in Texas combined with the normal increase in Labor Day holiday travel is already leading to higher gas prices throughout New England.  In better news, giant batteries are starting to make a positive mark on the electric grid reports WNPR. And depending upon which side of the Northern Pass issue you are on, you may or may not be happy to learn NH State regulators announced they will delay their final decision on the Northern Pass by another six months to March 30, 2018.  We hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Hurricane Harvey: New England Impact

Hurricane fuels gas-price hike as reserves tapped, Lowell Sun

Energy Dept. taps into emergency oil reserves after Harvey, The Hill

Colonial Pipeline to shut US Northeast fuel lines due to Harvey, Reuters

Harvey’s impact in Southern New England might be at the pump, Turn to 10

EPA waives emission rules in 38 states amid fears of fuel shortages, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Discharge water from Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline testing worries environmentalists, Berkshire Eagle

State drops charges against 4 pipeline protesters arrested for blocking access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Putin-linked steel company supplies pipes for Kinder Morgan’s expansion project in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

FERC Denies Request To Halt Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion, Again, WAMC

Smell Natural Gas Outside? Report It, But Don’t Always Expect A Fix, Cape Cod Chronicle

Gas Co. Challenges NY Pipeline Permit Denial At 2nd Circ., Law360

Weymouth: Sen. Warren Reaffirms Opposition to Compressor Station, 95.9 WATD-FM

Natural Gas Upgrade: Eversource Begins $2.2M Project In East Norwalk, Norwalk Daily Voice

Renewable Energy

Gigantic Batteries Help Grow Renewable Energy In Maine, New England, WNPR News

RI Wastewater Treatment Authority To Reach 100% Renewable Energy By 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio

Solar power microgrid goes online in Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, Electric Light & Power

History-rich Maine island goes green, WLBZ-TV

Chemetal taps into solar with 560-panel roof array, GazetteNET

Possible tariff puts NH solar firms on edge, New Hampshire Business Review

From Fenway Park to Wembley, these stadiums are going big on renewable energy, CNBC

No anti-competitive behavior in RGGI secondary market, report finds, Utility Dive

Sununu Satisfied With Latest RGGI Proposal, New Hampshire Public Radio

Policymaker support key to offshore wind prospects in US, Utility Dive

World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Maker Waves Goodbye to Oil Industry, Bloomberg

Narragansett Bay Commission Adding Solar, Will Be Nearly 100% Renewable, GoLocalProv

Energy Efficiency

How Does the United States Rate in Energy Efficiency?, Energy Collective

Making data centers more energy efficient, MIT News

Heating Camden’s new middle school from town’s sewer plant: What’s the cost and can it be done?, PenBayPilot.com

500 cities have committed to going big on clean energy this year – now what?, Into the Wind

Nuclear

If nuclear is not in the future US energy mix, what will replace it?, Utility Dive

Newburyport City Council to review letter to NRC calling for hearing, The Daily News of Newburyport

Opponents launch petition against Millstone “deal”; Dominion says group “misleads” consumers, theday.com

Environmental Group Seeks Added Financial Protections In Vermont Yankee Sale, Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Yankee companies expand request to seal documents, vtdigger.org

No new pollution at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource dealt 6-month setback for Northern Pass transmission line, MassLive.com

State committee delays Northern Pass decision until 2018, The Union Leader

Northern Pass dealt regulatory blow, Commonwealth Magazine

Eversource Asks PUC To Conceal Fiscal Info On Berlin Biomass Plant, Caledonian Record

Utilities Grapple with Rooftop Solar and the New Energy Landscape, Yale Environment 360

Executive Councilor: Sununu Needs To Do More Outreach On Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

National Grid, Hydro-Quebec snipe over hydro power, Commonwealth Magazine

RI approves rate hike for National Grid, The Sun Chronicle

Could Success Spoil ISO-NE?, POWER magazine

Editorial/Opinion

States Dare to Think Big on Climate Change, New York Times

Misinformation being spread about Northern Pass project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

My Turn: Michael F. Sabitoni: Natural gas plant vital for RI, The Providence Journal

Foss: Proposed energy rate increase is too much, The Daily Gazette

My Turn: Hydro-Quebec cannot rewrite history, Concord Monitor

Letter: Colin Nagle: National Grid ought to modernize energy infrastructure, The Providence Journal

Renewing RGGI: Do nothing, but more of it, The Union Leader

 

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Energy News for week ending July 21, 2017

TGIF to all!  A few news items of note…

The Patriot Ledger reports Gov. Charlie Baker has broken his long silence on the controversial natural-gas compressor station Monday, ordering state agencies to review the Fore River project’s potential impact. Spectra Energy wants to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor on the river bank.

Construction has started on what is expected to be Maine’s largest municipally owned solar array. The one-megawatt solar array will be composed of 2,944 solar panels. Officials expect the array to generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year according to U.S. News & World Report.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee recently voted to slash Energy Star funding in the fiscal year 2018 budget — an improvement over previous calls to cut the program entirely, but advocates say the impact could still be “crippling.”

Natural Gas

Baker’s review of Weymouth compressor station applauded, Patriot Ledger

Stepping up the pressure, Boston Globe

State to look into health, safety concerns around Weymouth compressor station, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Gov. Baker orders state to investigate compressor station issues, Greenfield Recorder

Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property, Washington Post

Unitil to expand natural gas line through downtown, Fosters.com

Pipeline Construction, And Protests, Continue In Sandisfield, NEPR

Finding leaks while they’re easy to fix, MIT News

Renewables

South Portland’s Major Solar Array Project Begins, U.S. News & World Report

New Hampshire law benefits biomass power production, Biomass Magazine

Record Demand Puts Popular N.H. Renewable Energy Rebate Program On Hold, NHPR

Federal SunShot program funds $5.5M in Mass. solar projects, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

California Leads Off: Now RGGI Must Grab the Climate Baton, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource rate case poses woes for solar projects, Patriot Ledger

Solar debate heats up again, Boston Globe

Falmouth ruling bolsters cause for neighbors of Plymouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth – Episode 41 of Local Energy Rules Podcast, Renewable Energy News

Brookline launches renewable energy program with opt-out system, Wicked Local Brookline

Bay State Wind Receives First Offshore Wind Site Assessment Plan Approval in the United States, (Press Release) Business Wire

Maine large-scale manufacturers eligible for energy rebates, Mainebiz

Energy Efficiency

House Appropriations Committee votes to cut Energy Star funding 40%, Utility Dive

Green Energy Committee: Lincoln residents complete 162 home energy assessments, Wicked Local Lincoln

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Illuminate Six Ion Bank Branches, Patch.com

Nuclear

EXCLUSIVE: Gov’t Red Tape Costs Every Nuclear Plant $63 Million Annually, Daily Caller

Washington, DC firm signed to dismantle Vermont Yankee reactor, Commons

US Finds ‘Apparent Violations’ of Security at Millstone, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Delays Push Burrillville Power Plant Toward Irrelevance, ecoRI news

More than 100 state legislators join opposition against Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

New Energy Alert Can Do More Than Save You Money, ecoRI news

Vermont regulators to examine grid modernization, Utility Dive

Options for Energy Storage that Aren’t Batteries, WCAI

Electric meter mistake costs Monson family big bucks, Western Mass News

Indigenous Community Airs Long-Standing Grievances at Northern Pass Hearing, NHPR

Footprint plant work extension to go forward, The Salem News

In Webster, Residents Weigh In On New Proposed Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Quakers go on 60-mile pilgrimage from Portsmouth to Bow in protest of coal-fired plants, The Union Leader

Grid threats require ‘imagining the unimaginable’ — report, E&E News

Editorial/Opinion

Pilgrim closure requires oversight, not panic, Cape Cod Times

A lousy electric bill: Concord not on ratepayers’ side, The Union Leader

CMP chief: Lawmakers should sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of solar bill, Press Herald

Editorial: Bridging the gap of energy eras, Concord Monitor

Letter: Let Pessamit Innu speak on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Letter: Fight the power, Concord Monitor

Events

2017 Fuels Conference, Northeast Energy and Commerce Association, Marlborough, MA, September 27, 2017

Microgrid 2017 Conference, IDEA, MRC and Microgrid Knowledge, Boston, MA, November 6-8, 2017

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending May 26, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. A few quick bits this week before heading out for the holiday weekend.

Two power plants in southern Massachusetts mark milestones here at the end of May. For Pilgrim in Plymouth, the Worcester Business Journal reports the plant came back online Monday after its final refueling outage. And, in Somerset, MassLive reports that next Thursday, June 1 is the day that the coal-fired Brayton Point plant is set to retire.

Environmentalists are cheering the loss of Massachusetts’ last coal-fired generating station, but they are crying foul about Spectra’s proposed natural gas compression station. According to the Patriot Ledger, residents against a proposed natural gas compressor station want an independent consultant to conduct a new air quality analysis for the project after what they see as a biased review by state environmental regulators.

Last bit for this week is an article in the MetroWest Daily News where the battle over a new transmission line that goes through Sudbury, MA among other communities, came to a head at a meeting with the Energy Facilities Siting Board. From the article, “Spilling out of a 750-seat auditorium where applause followed nearly every speaker, dozens of residents and elected officials spoke seemingly with one voice Thursday night. Their message: An inactive, wooded railroad corridor abutting residential neighborhoods, wildlife habitats, and conservation lands is no place for a power line.” It appears the best line of the night was this, “First, a poem,” resident Bill Schineller said. “I went into the woods because I wanted to pick a site for a transmission line, wrote Henry David Thoreau never.”

As always, you can find event listings at New England Energy News. Enjoy the long weekend and please take a moment to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC denies efforts to stop pipeline work, The Recorder

FERC denies ‘stop work’ requests for pipeline project in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Norfolk TM speaks out against proposed pipeline, Wicked Local Norfolk

Massachusetts Admits to ‘Regularly’ Allowing Companies to Edit Draft Pollution Permits, DeSmog

DEP approves waterways permit for compressor station, Wicked Local Hingham

Fracking ban, compressor stations debated before environmental panel, Wicked Local Braintree

Dakota Access pipeline springs 2 more oil leaks, RT

Another Regional Natural-Gas Pipeline Project Moves Forward Despite Widespread Community Opposition, ecoRI news

US should act against proposed Russian gas pipeline, Democratic senator says, MarketWatch

Natural gas boom, cyberthreats drive FERC’s need for budget boost, Washington Examiner

Opponents of proposed compressor station want independent air quality review, Patriot Ledger

Fore River residents say independent air testing shows hazardous pollutants, Patriot Ledger

Renewable Energy

Meriden power plant uses Archimedes Screw Turbine, Register Citizen

Obama’s Clean Power Plan Might Be Dead In DC, But States Are Rebuilding It Themselves, Fast Company

As solar matures, rate design and incentive debates grow ever more complex, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Community Solar Project Goes Online, Solar Industry

Towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Winchester

Groups Say Billions Needed To Jumpstart Stalled Wind Energy in Maine, Maine Public

America’s first offshore wind farm launched with GE turbines twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, Business Insider

What’s Up With Wind Power in Vermont?, CleanTechnica

What’s With Burlington’s Solar-Powered Trash Cans?, Seven Days

Proposed Army Corps solar project on Cape Cod Canal first of its kind, Cape Cod Times

Framingham inks 20-year net metering agreement, MetroWest Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Connecticut Green Bank named finalist in national awards, Danbury News Times

Harvard’s building a model for energy efficiency by renovating a decades-old home, Curbed

Energy Efficiency: A Big Loser in Trump’s Proposed Budget, Natural Resources Defense Council

Ellington Home Wins Energy Efficiency Contest, Hartford Courant

Why Don’t Green Buildings Live Up to Hype on Energy Efficiency?, Yale Environment 360

Create Jobs: Revive Energy Efficient Building Tax Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council

Nuclear

Millstone bill heads to full Connecticut legislature, New Haven Register

Nuclear brinksmanship: Does Millstone need help to stay open?, The CT Mirror

Pilgrim fueled for last two years, Worcester Business Journal

Decommissioning in Focus: Pilgrim Panel Holds First Meeting, CapeCod.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Sudbury: Residents decry ‘catastrophe’ of Eversource power line, MetroWest Daily News

Why There’s No Such Thing As a Free Market for Electricity, Greentech Media

Last coal plant in Massachusetts to close for good June 1, MassLive.com

NECEC Institute and Mass Energy: An Analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, Electric Light & Power

New Network Launches for Vermont Climate Economy Businesses, vtdigger.org

Eversource pulls Agawam solar farm plans, wwlp.com

Eversource presents proposed route for 115-kilovolt transmission lines, Thehour.com

Town of Avon, Connecticut, Issues RFP for Microgrid Project Design, Microgrid Knowledge

‘Leading edge’ restrictions on electricity sellers become Maine law, Bangor Daily News

New electricity aggregation plan offers slightly lower price and more renewable energy, Arlington Advocate

Rhode Island Leapfrogs toward a Grid of the Future and Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

A Fuel Cell Microgrid Keeps the Lights on for a Connecticut High School, Microgrid Knowledge

For the first time in years, NOAA predicts an above-average hurricane season, Washington Post

Editorial/Opinion

AWEA 2017: Building on the momentum in the US offshore wind industry, Windpower Monthly

Guest commentary: RI Infrastructure Bank supports economy, clean environment, Westerly Sun

Stop the Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Making best use of Yankee site, Rutland Herald

Why Nuclear Power Subsidies Must End, The Beacon

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Pilgrim Closing