Tag Archives: energy efficiency

Energy News for week ending December 18, 2020

Start-up Delayed | Mass Loses EE Crown | Off the Table

Happy Friday folks.

Sorry, no time for a detailed recap today but we do draw your attention to these three articles:

Start-up of Weymouth compressor station delayed, Patriot Ledger (And if you missed it earlier this week, it check out the Boston Globe article below about the local activists’ efforts to try and stop the compressor. It’s a great read)

Mass. no longer most energy-efficient state, CommonWealth Magazine (The #2 spot isn’t so bad)

Vineyard Wind Project Officially Taken Off The Table for Now, State House News Service via WWLP

All of us at McMahon Communications wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a wonderful New Year. We’ll be back in your inboxes on January 8, 2021.

As always enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

Climate Change

Lofty Climate Goals Get Reality Check at Global Summit, Bloomberg Green

Covid-19 sparked a run on outdoor heaters and fire pits. Which is better for the planet?, Washington Post

To Cut Emissions to Zero, U.S. Needs to Make Big Changes in Next 10 Years, New York Times

Mass., other states near historic agreement to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

Meet Gina McCarthy, a Mass. native who is set to serve as White House climate coordinator, Boston Globe

The Big Thaw: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World, ProPublica

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

FERC ruling seen as setback for Northeast renewables, E&E news

No ‘green halo’ for renewables: First Solar, Veolia, others tackle wind and solar environmental impacts, Utility Dive

Why Offshore Wind and Energy Giants Are Chasing Off-Grid Green Hydrogen, Greentech Media

Wind

Offshore wind CEO denies claims he’s biding time for Biden, E&E News

Vineyard Wind Is Said to Face Lengthy Delay After Pulling Permit, Bloomberg Green

Vineyard Wind Withdraws From Federal Permitting Process, The Vineyard Gazette

Vineyard Wind Project Officially Taken Off The Table for Now, State House News Service via WWLP

US DOE Gives $21 Million for Innovative Offshore Wind Technologies, Offhorewind.biz

Solar

New weather station to help with wildfire prevention, AP

Efficiency/Storage

Craft Beverage Industry To Get Energy Efficiency Assistance, AP

The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ACEEE

California replaces Massachusetts as most energy efficient state, State House News Service via WWLP

Mass. no longer most energy-efficient state, CommonWealth Magazine

EVs

Electric vehicle models expected to triple in 4 years as declining battery costs boost adoption, Utility Dive

Jay Leno on How Driving Changed in 2020—and How It Will Change Even More, Wall St. Journal

Nuclear

East Coast nuke plants prepare to send waste to New Mexico via Holtec project, Carlsbad Argus

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Start-up of Weymouth compressor station delayed, Patriot Ledger

In Weymouth, a brute lesson in power politics, Boston Globe

Lawmakers Push For Gas Pipeline Safety In Climate Bill, GBH

Weymouth Compressor Could Get A Fresh Look From Feds, State House News Service (subscriber content)

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Want 100% clean power? Forget new technology, study says, E&E News

Eversource Named #1 Energy & Utility Company In Newsweek Magazine’s List Of Most Responsible Companies, Patch.com

Major hack hits energy companies, U.S. agencies, E&E News

Biden to name Granholm as energy secretary, Washington Post

Trio of New England decisions could help or hurt renewables as ISO-NE, NEPOOL face off at FERC, Utility Dive

Maine regulators will consider how to better measure utilities’ service quality, Bangor Daily News

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

Energy News for week ending December 4, 2020

Taking a pause | Ugly, but needed | Postpone Efficiency

Happy Friday folks.

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

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

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

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

Climate Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

The New Energy Giants are Renewable Companies, Bloomberg Green

Top officials see shift coming on energy front, WWLP

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wind

Feds Push Vineyard Wind Decision Into 2021, WBUR

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

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

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

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

Solar

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

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

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

Efficiency/Storage

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

Eversource Urges Customers To Utilize Assistance Programs, Patch.com

EVs

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

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

Solar company wants to power Port Jervis cars, Record Online

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

Nuclear

NRC formalizes Seabrook oversight, Eagle Tribune 

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Feds Give Weymouth Compressor Station Approval To Start Up, WBUR

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

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

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

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

Peak Oil is Suddenly Upon Us, Bloomberg Green

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

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

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinion

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

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

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

The PUC Gets a Really Bad Letter, InDepthNH

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

Energy News for week ending September 25, 2020

Left Behind | 2nd Highest | Is it a win?

 

Happy Friday folks.

Here are a few articles that piqued our interest this week:

Have a great weekend, enjoy the beautiful weather, and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Needham Small Businesses Get Energy Efficient Boost, Patch.com

New York offers $50m to boost energy efficiency of buildings, Energy Live News

With PSE&G’s new $1B efficiency program, New Jersey takes early moves toward new utility business model, Utility Dive

Some Mass. Communities Left Behind By Energy Efficiency Program, Study Finds, NBC Boston

New York sets minimum 3-year term for new load management programs to drive more energy storage, Utility Dive

New York Regulators Approve Demand Response Change to Spur Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

Trump administration moves closer to ensuring many furnaces, water heaters keep wasting gas, ACEEE Blog

House backs bill to boost ‘clean energy,’ enhance efficiency, Washington Post

‘Button Up NH’ home weatherization workshop goes virtual, Seacoastonline.com

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Is New England’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project Really a Win for the Climate?, The Revelator

Environmentalists split in their opposition to New England’s latest power transmission line, Hartford Courant

Panelists: Keep heat on emissions and energy bills, Taunton Gazette

Climate change since 2000 will cut U.S. growth over next 30 years – CBO, Reuters

Coastal study reveals Falmouth spots vulnerable to climate change, Cape Cod Times

Climate Disruption is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial., New York Times

Senate overrides veto of Global Warming Solutions Act, making it law, VT Digger

WoodMac: Energy Sector Faces ‘Darwinian Challenge’ to Tame Climate Change, Greentech Media

John Kerry takes the climate change fight to Wall Street, Boston Globe

Ginsburg death leaves ‘no environmental voice’ on bench, E&E News

Springfield Councilor Jesse Lederman submits petition opposing favorable biomass legislation, MassLive

 

Wind

Falmouth Conservation Commission Approves Testing For Undersea Cables, Falmouth Enterprise

UMass Dartmouth wind turbine comes down after stormy history, South Coast Today

FISHING REPORT: Wind farm studies yield food for thought, Providence Journal

New London argues State Pier project will need local approvals, The Day

 

Solar

Solar Dominates Maine’s Largest Renewables Procurement on Record, Greentech Media

Vermont solar industry concerned about net metering reduction, Times Argus

 

EVs

The Age of Electric Cars Is Dawning Ahead of Schedule, New York Times

Electric Car Sharing Program Receives MassCEC Award, (press release) Alt Energy Mag

BPU Moves to Increase Electric Vehicle Infrastructure in NJ, New Jersey Business Magazine

MAPC receives grant for electric school bus expansion, Wicked Local Cambridge

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Markey, Warren join call for compressor shutdown, Gloucester Times

Feds Give Weymouth Natural Gas Compressor Station Final Green Light To Begin Operations, WBUR

Columbia Gas donating $10M to area nonprofits, Eagle Tribune

 

Nuclear

Proposed nuclear decommissioning bill carries big bonus for Vernon, Brattleboro Reformer

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Gas pipeline rupture wouldn’t pose danger for Indian Point, Lowhud.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Massachusetts residents see 2nd highest utility bills in United States, new study shows, MassLive

Prep Your Tech for Power Outages and Other Emergencies, Wall St. Journal

Pollution Payday: Analysis of executive compensation and incentives of the largest U.S. investor-owned utilities, (Eversource) Energy and Policy Institute

New electricity agreement will save Plymouth residents millions of dollars, Wicked Local Plymouth

 

Opinion

Utilities aren’t rewarded for saving money. FERC now has a chance to fix this, Utility Dive

OPINION: Local and state initiatives are how to address climate change, Herald News

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

Energy News for week ending September 11, 2020

High Energy Burden | Big Oil Goes Green | Where are the yeses?

Happy Friday folks.

Busy day and week. So I need to keep this short.

I direct your attention to these two articles:

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

One more interesting article to share, which was a result of yesterday’s MIT CEEPR event that featured former Energy Secretary Moniz.

From Axios:

Amy: What is the state or region that you think will have the most difficult time transitioning to a clean-energy economy? Why?

Moniz:

New England. Moniz then went on to say that that region has in recent years opposed new and existing energy infrastructure, like natural-gas pipelines, hydropower and nuclear power plants that could help reduce emissions.

“There are a lot of nos. Where are the yeses? … If we are going to go to low carbon, where is it all going to come from? It’s not all going to come from offshore wind. That’s why we need pragmatic, realistic solutions.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

NYISO allows full participation for energy storage in wholesale power markets, Utility Dive

FERC Order May Undermine Renewables, Energy Storage in New York’s Capacity Markets, Greentech Media

How to Keep Firefighters Safe From Batteries, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Utilities Look to Green Hydrogen to Cut Carbon Emissions, Wall St. Journal

AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, Utility Dive

Amid a Pandemic, Green Electricity Charts a Course Forward, S&P Global Market Intelligence

United in Science report: Climate change has not stopped for COVID19, UN Environment Programme

Federal report warns of financial havoc from climate change, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

House to probe US lag on leveraging clean energy for COVID-19 recovery, consider bipartisan energy bill, Utility Dive

FERC rejection of NYISO renewables plan could prompt state-managed capacity market, advocates say, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Coalition, including UMass Dartmouth, backs expanded research of offshore wind, Herald News

Vineyard Wind partners with Nantucket for support, Cape Cod Times

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Blast Off, With Help From US Taxpayers, CleanTechnica

Study Finds Offshore Wind and Lobstering Can Coexist, EcoRI

Offshore Wind in NJ Gets Boost, But Lawmakers Demand a Halt to One Project, NJ Spotlight

Wind Farm Benefits Package Totals $29 Million for East Hampton Town, East Hampton Star

 

Solar

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media

Final approval given by the Town of Glocester for new solar project, WPRI

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor station starts testing, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas lobby charts course for fuel in carbon-constrained world, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas Is the Rich World’s New Coal, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Nuclear Energy Among the Least Popular Sources of Power in the U.S., Polling Shows, Morning Consult

So, What Exactly Are Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?, Greentech Media

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Maine Microgrid Project Lands USDA funding, Microgrid Knowledge

Obama energy secretary on blackouts, campaign scrutiny, Axios

PURA holds a final hearing for public comment on energy bill ratehikes, Fox 61

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

Energy News for week ending August 7, 2020

Path to Survival | One Billion Dollars | Clean Peak

Happy Friday folks.

We start this week’s recap with a story from Greentech Media, “Massachusetts Pilot Project Offers Gas Utilities a Possible Path to Survival. Utility Eversource is partnering on Boston-area district geothermal pilots as the state contemplates a gas-free future for buildings. In June, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey asked the state’s Department of Public Utilities to open an investigation into the future of natural-gas companies in the state…The attorney general’s office asked utility regulators to explore the potential for a range of alternatives to decarbonize heating, including building electrification, energy efficiency and ‘geothermal network applications.’ The last option is a nod to work by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) to advance a concept called the GeoMicroDistrict, which would see heat pumps in individual buildings transferring thermal energy between a shared district water loop and their own heating and cooling distribution systems. In such a system, gas companies could deliver thermal energy instead of gas — minus the carbon, says Audrey Schulman, HEET’s co-executive director.”

Next we shift to NY news with this story from Grist, “New York is spending $1 billion to help residents conserve energy — and lower their bills. As summer heat waves converge with a surging pandemic and an impending economic collapse, energy-efficient homes are becoming particularly critical to Americans’ well-being. Millions now face tough choices when it comes to energy usage: The longer they stay home to stay safe from both scorching heat and COVID-19, the higher their utility bills climb. New York’s state government, for its part, is eyeing a long-term solution to this conundrum. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is collaborating with the region’s investor-owned utilities to provide clean and energy-efficient solutions to more than 350,000 low-to-moderate income households throughout the state. The collaboration aims to more than double the number of lower-income households that have access to services like voluntary electric load reduction, as well as better insulation and air sealing for more efficient cooling and heating, according to an announcement from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office last week. The initiative will also provide education and community support programs to connect these upgrades to the households most in need.”

For the last highlight of this week we look to a State House News story brought to us by MassLive. “New program aims to sub in clean power during peak energy periods. The Baker administration rolled out the final regulations Tuesday for a first-in-the-nation financial incentive program that aims to promote clean energy generation to supply power when demand on the grid is at its highest, and officials said it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save ratepayers money. The clean peak energy standard would require every retail electric supplier with a contract signed or extended since the start of 2019 to provide a minimum percentage of its kilowatt-hour sales to end-use customers in Massachusetts from ‘clean peak’ resources — renewables, energy storage systems or ‘clean energy technologies that can supply electricity or reduce demand during seasonal peak demand periods.’ The idea is to address periods of the greatest demand on the electric grid — when power generators sometimes turn to dirtier fossil fuels.”

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York is spending $1 billion to help residents conserve energy — and lower their bills, Grist

Mandated energy efficiency scores would influence home buying: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Mass. launches financing program for business energy projects, Worcester Business Journal

As grant-funded lighting project nears end, town struggles to meet long-term energy goals, Harvard Press

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

CT’s long road to replace nuclear power with wind and solar, Middletown Press

Report suggests increasing pumped storage could cut electric costs and carbon emissions, Water Power Magazine

Who Will Own the Hydrogen Future: Oil Companies or Power Utilities?, Greentech Media

Report: Climate Change Raises Flood Risks For Superfund Sites In N.H., Elsewhere, NHPR

Report: ‘Total decarbonization’ would create 25M jobs, E&E News

The Worst-Case Scenario for Global Warming Tracks Closely With Actual Emissions, Inside Climate News

New program aims to sub in clean power during peak energy periods, State House News via Taunton Daily Gazette

Massachusetts lawmakers in climate policy bill conference committee snuff out carbon emissions, State House News Service via MassLive

Which states are making the most progress on emissions? Not the ones you think., Grist

Investors launch climate plan to get to net zero emissions by 2050, Reuters

Hurricane, Fire, Covid-19: Disasters Expose the Hard Reality of Climate Change, New York Times

Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study, The Guardian

How falling solar costs have renewed clean hydrogen hopes, MIT Technology Review

 

Wind

Massachusetts puts grid backbone on the back burner, 4C Offshore

CT’s largest ever renewable energy investment nears final approval, Hartford Business Journal

URI Researcher to Map Commercial Fishing Activity to Reduce Conflict Between Industry and Energy Projects, EcoRI

Floating Offshore Wind on Cusp of Unlocking Big Source of Finance, Experts Say, Greentech Media

U.S. Offshore Wind Needs to Clear a Key Hurdle: Connecting to the Grid, Scientific American

Offshore wind report forecasts $1.7B of revenue from new federal lease auctions by 2022, Utility dive

GE plans to give offshore wind energy a supercomputing boost, The Verge

Maine’s $100M Floating Offshore Wind Project Finds Major Backers: RWE and Mitsubishi, Greentech Media

 

Solar

Newark launches $10 million project to install solar panels, other energy efficiency upgrades, Newark Post

 

EVs

GM, EVgo to install 2,700 electric-vehicle charging stations, Detroit News

Global Electric Vehicle Cords Top 1 Million, Bloomberg

A new kind of command car at Kennebunk Fire Department, Press Herald

 

Nuclear

Smaller Nuclear Plants May Come With Less Stringent Safety Rules, NPR

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts Pilot Project Offers Gas Utilities a Possible Path to Survival, Greentech Media

Gas safety legislation stalls on Beacon Hill, Salem News

As natural gas bans go national, can cities fill the gap?, E&E News

How climate and business woes are sinking a natural-gas project, Axios

Oil and Gas Groups See ‘Some Common Ground’ in Biden Energy Plan, New York Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opponents debate merits of Maine hydro project, Codcast CommonWealth Magazine (audio)

Maine’s high court wrestles with lawsuit holding major implications for CMP corridor, Bangor Daily News

Eversource faces the wrath of Connecticut officials as more than 600,000 remain without electricity cut by Tropical Storm Isaias, Hartford Current

Storm recovery upsets Norwich Public Utilities cost-cutting efforts, The Day

Municipalities who own power plants not zapped by electricity price hikes, WTNH (CT)

After a week of complaints, utility regulators temporarily pull plug on Eversource rate hike, CT Mirror

New Jersey’s PSEG Seeks to Sell Merchant Fossil, Solar Fleet, Greentech Media

New York And Connecticut Call For Probes Into Utility Companies’ Response To Isaias, NPR

Con Edison seeks approval to offer access to green power, Queens Gazette

Eversource: Some rate relief approved for electric customers, MassLive

 

Opinion/Editorial

Getting rid of fossil fuels in buildings, CommonWealth Magazine

The Importance of Microgrids for Marginalized Communities, Microgrid Knowledge

House takes baby steps on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Columnist Marty Nathan: Legislature’s opaque process hurts climate fight, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Why the CMP corridor is a bad deal for Maine and the climate, Maine Beacon

Best climate change policy you’ve never heard of, CommonWealth Magazine

 

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

Energy News for week ending July 31, 2020

Roadmap | Healthier Kids

Happy Friday afternoon.

Running late today so just a quick recap.

From CommonWealth Magazine, “The House unveiled a climate change bill on Wednesday that directs the executive branch of government to create a roadmap for reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and includes sections dealing with solar power subsidies, grid modernization, clean energy jobs, and municipal light plants. The bill is expected to be taken up in the House on Thursday and then go to a conference committee that will be charged with sorting out differences with a Senate bill that is broader in scope and far more detailed in its instructions. The House bill requires the administration to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and sets interim goals for 2030 and 2040. It charges the administration with coming up with a roadmap of policies, regulations, legislative recommendations, and carbon pricing mechanisms to reach the targets.”

And some good news resulting from RGGI brought to us by Environmental Health News. “A climate change initiative in the Northeastern U.S. designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions has also greatly reduced harmful air pollution and related impacts to kids’ health, such as asthma, preterm births and low birth weights, according to a new study. Led by researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the study found the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has reduced fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and, due to this reduction, the region avoided an estimated 537 cases of child asthma, 112 preterm births, 98 cases of autism spectrum disorder, and 56 cases of low birthweight from 2009 to 2014. By avoiding such impacts to children’s health, the researchers estimate an economic savings of between $191 million to $350 million.”

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State Offers New Option for Energy Efficiency Project Financing, Banker & Tradesman

NY’s investor-owned utilities work to increase access to energy efficiency for low-income households, Daily Energy Insider

Gillette Stadium Turns to Energy Efficient Servers to Reduce Annual CO2 Output, Environment and Energy Leader

This prof is shedding light on energy injustice — and how to fix it, Grist

Electrification drives the need for energy efficiency, Smart Energy Intl.

GSA Picks 4 Building Mgmt Concepts for Energy Efficiency Pilot, ExecutiveGov

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

House climate change bill calls for roadmap, CommonWealth Magazine

Q&A With Rishi Reddi, The State’s Top Environmental Justice Leader, WBUR

Biden calls for 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. Here’s how far we have to go., Washington Post

Clean energy to assist over 350,00 low-to-moderate income households in NYS, InformNNY.com

Microsoft Eyes New Tool in Decarbonization Quest: Green Hydrogen, Greentech Media

Mayors to state: Environmental justice can’t wait, Lowell Sun

Believe It Or Not, Forests Migrate — But Not Fast Enough For Climate Change, NPR

Biden plots $2tn green revolution but faces wind and solar backlash, The Guardian

A Northeast US climate initiative has had a major side benefit—healthier children, Environmental Health News

 

Wind

The money case for offshore wind, Axios

Massachusetts Institutions Get Grants for Offshore Wind Workforce Training, Maritime Jobs News

Policy Shift Aims to Bring More Offshore Wind Sooner, State House News Service (subscriber content)

 

Solar

A blow to small solar, a win for states and utilities? Regulators, analysts assess FERC’s PURPA rule, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Utilities must prioritize customer experience to advance role of electric vehicles on the grid: experts, Utility Dive

Inside Clean Energy: How Soon Will An EV Cost the Same as a Gasoline Vehicle? Sooner Than You Think., Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

America Wants to Put a Nuclear Power Plant on the Moon, Popular Mechanics

 

Gas

Town group tracking gas leaks seeks scent of danger, yourArlington.com

Mass. gas ban backers press ahead after state strikes down 1st East Coast bylaw, S&P Global

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

‘Tidal Wave’ Of Power Shut-Offs Looms As Nation Grapples With Heat, NPR

Why peak electricity usage matters, CommonWealth Magazine

ISO-NE: Minor COVID Impacts on Summer Load, Forecasts, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Hackers Are Targeting the Remote Workers Who Keep Your Lights On, Bloomberg

US energy use hit 30-year low during pandemic shutdowns, AP News

No easy fix for upgrading power lines to deliver wind and solar power, energy regulator says, Washington Examiner

Maine’s most expensive ballot fight ever unites natural gas companies and environmentalists, Washington Examiner

Mass. in middle of Maine power fight, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Opinion

Op-ed: A cleaner economy must be a priority as we rebuild Mass., BBJ (Subscriber content)

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

Energy News for week ending July 17, 2020

Net Metering Petition Dismissed | Double Capacity | We’re Still on Top

Happy Friday.

This week’s big news came out on Thursday when FERC dismissed a petition to declare solar net metering policies illegal. From Greentech Media, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unanimously rejected a plea to declare all state solar net-metering policies illegal, a victory for solar industry groups and state policymakers. All four FERC commissioners voted to dismiss the April petition from the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), which argued that FERC, not states, should have jurisdiction over sales of electricity from customer-sited generators like rooftop solar. ‘We find that the petition does not identify a specific controversy or harm that the commission should address in a declaratory order,’ FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in Thursday’s FERC open meeting. NERA, a New Hampshire-based 501(c)(4) organization that hasn’t disclosed its backers, said FERC should take up the group’s legal argument to assert federal jurisdiction over net metering regulations in 41 states that ‘overcompensate distributed generators at the expense of all other electricity consumers.’”

Sticking with solar, in Massachusetts this week the State House News Service via WBUR reports, “New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity. Industry groups on Wednesday largely welcomed the updated regulations that the Baker administration filed for a solar energy development program, saying the new rules will help the state meet its climate goals and help the solar industry as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but some also said the update does not go far enough. The updated regulations for the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, which is designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, double the program’s capacity, expand eligibility criteria for low-income solar projects and encourage the adoption of energy storage technology.” The regulations took effect Wednesday.

Last story for this week is new “old news.” From Wallethub, “2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States. In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation. While commercial and industrial electricity use have declined in 2020 due to business closures during lockdowns, residential electricity use has actually increased, which means many people will be forking over larger checks to their power companies. To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our analysis uses a special formula that accounts for the following residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.” The results for the Northeast, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are the top 4 most expensive states. Maine comes in at six and Vermont is 11th.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

‘Enormous Step’ for Energy Storage as Court Upholds FERC Order 841, Opening Wholesale Markets, Greentech Media

US, Canadian gas utilities’ energy efficiency investments grow to $1.47B, S&P Global

Eversource puts in place new safety guidelines for energy efficiency services, Daily Energy Insider

Net Zero as the New Standard, Commercial Property Executive

Energy storage, tick disease and antique snowmobile bills signed into law, Concord Monitor

Become More Energy Efficient And Save Money, WWLP MassAppeal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Biden unveils ambitious plan to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035, pour trillions into green energy, ABC News

Never let a good crisis go to waste, CT Mirror

This Al Gore-supported project uses AI to track the world’s emissions in near real time, Fast Company

Global Methane Emissions Reach a Record High, New York Times

Trump to Weaken Environmental Rules to Speed Infrastructure Permits, New York Times

Boston has already experienced some of the nation’s worst tidal flooding — and it’s going to get much worse, study finds, Boston Globe

Siberian heat streak and Arctic temperature record virtually ‘impossible’ without global warming, study says, Washington Post

Key trends to disrupt the US renewables market in the next six months, Smart Energy International

How the ‘15-Minute City’ Could Help Post-Pandemic Recovery, Bloomberg City Lab

Six Places Doing It Right, Politico

Tidal energy may help remote communities integrate more renewable energy, techxplor.com

UMass Lowell receives grant to support clean energy, Lowell Sun

 

Wind

Wind Port project, where towering turbines could be made, looks like game-changer for Garden State, renewable energy companies, ROI NJ

‘We’re here for the people,’ Observer Today (NY)

New Road Map for Murphy Administration’s Offshore Wind Ambitions, NJ Spotlight

 

Solar

FERC Unanimously Dismisses Effort to Undermine Solar Net Metering, Greentech Media

New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity, State House News via WBUR

Massachusetts Finalizes Distributed Solar Rules With Fewer Restrictions on Land Use, Greentech Media

 

EVs

The Energy 202: More than a dozen states unite to boost electric trucks, Washington Post

Next Up for Electrification: Heavy-Duty Trucks and Construction Machinery, Greentech Media

Electric cars got crushed in 2020, but next year could be their best, Quartz.com (subscriber content)

Where do electric vehicles fit in energy grid management,? Automotive World Today

 

Nuclear

Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects, The Hill

 

Gas

Public resistance and high costs are canceling pipelines across the country, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Natural Gas Divide, grist.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Connecticut to Look at Resilience, Renewables & NWAs in Grid Modernization Proceeding, Microgrid Knowledge

Hydro-Québec sweetens 1,200-MW transmission line deal with Maine, S&P Global

Top 3 trends shaping the future power utility sector, Smart Energy International

2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States, Wallet Hub

Former MassCEC chief takes CEO role at Burlington power company, Boston Business Journal

Eversource Energy : Delivers Summer Electricity Savings to Customers in Eastern Massachusetts, Market Screener

 

Opinion

Activists Not Only Slow Oil Pipelines, But Also Power Lines Needed For Renewable Energy, Forbes.com

Our racist fossil fuel energy system, Boston Globe

Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Myth of “Renewable Natural Gas” for Building Decarbonization, earthjustice.org

Holding on to power, Why storage is a crucial part of the state’s new energy vision, NJBiz

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending June 19, 2020

6 months | Encouraged | Pyroelectric

Good afternoon.

We start this week’s recap with some grim news from The Guardian. “The world has only six months in which to change the course of the climate crisis and prevent a post-lockdown rebound in greenhouse gas emissions that would overwhelm efforts to stave off climate catastrophe, one of the world’s foremost energy experts has warned. ‘This year is the last time we have, if we are not to see a carbon rebound,’ said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. Governments are planning to spend $9tn (£7.2tn) globally in the next few months on rescuing their economies from the coronavirus crisis, the IEA has calculated. The stimulus packages created this year will determine the shape of the global economy for the next three years, according to Birol, and within that time emissions must start to fall sharply and permanently, or climate targets will be out of reach. ‘The next three years will determine the course of the next 30 years and beyond,’ Birol told the Guardian. ‘If we do not [take action] we will surely see a rebound in emissions. If emissions rebound, it is very difficult to see how they will be brought down in future. This is why we are urging governments to have sustainable recovery packages.’”

One of the ways to keep emissions down is to bring more renewable resources online. The State House News Service via the Cape Cod Times reported this week that Vineyard Wind got some encouraging news. “Vineyard Wind I, the project that has been eyed as the first utility-scale offshore wind development in the country, will be ready to move forward once a federal permit the developer hopes will be issued by December is in hand, the project’s chief executive said. Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said Thursday his company views the recent Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s supplement to the draft environmental impact statement for the 800-megawatt project as a positive step forward. ‘We read it in a way where we feel that BOEM is acknowledging that the impacts that we have, the changes that we have made, all in all makes it a project that should be moving forward, and that the mitigations we have put in place for various stakeholders are sufficient to counter the impacts that the project will have,’ he said. The bureau rocked the entire offshore wind industry in August with its plan to withhold the final environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind I while it studied the wider impacts of a sector that is hoping to ramp up in Northeast and mid-Atlantic waters also used by the fishing sector. Last week, the agency issued its update and began a 45-day public comment period. A federal decision on a final permit for Vineyard Wind I is expected by Dec. 18. Before federal officials launched the broad review of wind projects, a decision on permit approval had been expected by Aug. 16, 2019. The 800-megawatt project is a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables planned for waters 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.”

For our new energy technology feature this week we look to UConn. “UConn’s Associate Dean for Research and Industrial Partnerships, S. Pamir Alpay, and Yomery Espinal ’18 PhD (ENG) have published a paper on a novel portable pyroelectric technology in Cell Reports Physical Science with support from the Army Research Laboratory. Pyroelectric energy research is focused on how to generate energy from heat that would otherwise be wasted in a catalytic chemical reaction. When pyroelectric materials are heated, their polarization changes, leading to an electron flow that generates energy. These materials are commonly used in household devices like motion sensor lights, which detect body heat to determine when someone is near. Anytime there is a catalytic reaction, heat is generated. These devices harness that heat and use it as energy. For example, a combustion engine in a car produces heat that, with this kind of technology, could be used to power the electrical functions of the car that otherwise rely on battery power. The Army Research Lab (ARL) is particularly interested in this technology because it can provide more power with less weight, which is important for soldiers carrying heavy bags. While scientists have been experimenting with pyroelectric power for decades, the technology proposed in this paper is completely novel.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Eversource Providing Virtual Energy Efficiency Pre-Assessments To Customers, Patch.com

IEA calls for $3tn green recovery plan targeting energy efficiency and renewables, Engineering and Technology

Bill would pay home batteries for peak shaving and avoiding power-line buildout, Granite Geek

Homes Gain Momentum as ‘Grid Flexibility’ Resources, Microgrid Knowledge

Sunrun to Turn Home Batteries Into Grid Resources for 2 Major Utilities, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Climate Change Is Killing Americans. Health Departments Aren’t Equipped To Respond, PublicIntegrity.org

Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most, New York Times

World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert, The Guardian

A War Against Climate Science, Waged by Washington’s Rank and File, New York Times

Temperature spike: Earth ties record high heat May reading, Politico

Carbon Capture Will Require Large Public Subsidies to Support Coal and Gas Power, Desmog Blog

New York Proposes Regional Greenhouse Gas Changes, National Law Review

Trump’s EPA balks at a chance to save black lives, Vox.com

The deep sea could hold the key to a renewable future. Is it worth the costs?, Grist.org

Cleantech incubator Greentown Labs expands to Houston, Utility Dive

Turning manure into money, Washington Post

Emissions Are Surging Back as Countries and States Reopen, New York Times

Clean energy groups to propose FERC rules for national transmission system saving $47B a year, Utility Dive

Theoharides: Transpo emission pact still priority, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine gets more than $2.5M from cap-and-trade program, Caledonian Record

State Environmental Officials Announce Student and School Recipients of ‘Green Team’ Awards, Lynn Journal

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind encouraged by federal signals, State House News via Cape Cod Times

New Jersey to Build Nation’s Largest Offshore Wind Port, Greentech Media

As They Reach Retirement Age, Wind Farms Become Prime Investments, Bloomberg Green

FERC schedules technical conferences on carbon pricing, offshore wind integration challenges, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Solar net metering changes could harm US market, affect energy storage, S&P Global Platts

Boston organization stirs ire of solar advocates, CommonWealth Magazine

Utilities remain mute on FERC net metering petition, leave filing to face overwhelming opposition, Utility Dive

In a first, STAG launches solar projects in Mass., Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

NARUC, NASEO team up to tackle distributed solar cyber risks as vulnerabilities grow, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Electric vehicles to set new market share record in 2020, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Lyft Pledges Shift to 100% Electric Vehicles by 2030, Greentech Media

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

With Air Permit Vacated, Senators Call For Construction To Stop On Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

New York activists target National Grid gas project after Williams shelves pipeline, S&P Global Platts

Gas disaster settlement fees in question, Eagle Tribune

Natural Gas Heads for Record Drop in Global Demand, Bloomberg

Effort to keep state’s largest power plant open fuels concern about climate, public health, Boston Globe

The Gas Industry Is Paying Instagram Influencers to Gush Over Gas Stoves, Mother Jones

 

Nuclear

Holtec and state agree on safety and financial terms for decommissioning Pilgrim nuclear plant, Boston Globe

Settlement sets guardrails for Plymouth nuclear plant decommissioning, South Coast Today

Trump policy change could be game changer for small nuclear reactors, Washington Examiner

Bills for Jobs, Local Funding at Indian Point Approved, The Examiner

Global annual installed capacity of nuclear power to decline to 3GW due to Covid-19, Power Technology

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Before the U.S. Can Have Clean Power, It Needs More Power Lines, Bloomberg News via Financial Post

Rising energy loads from fewer COVID-19 limits, warming weather spark utility readiness concerns, Utility Dive

Smart Energy Grids Become More Compelling, IoT World Today

What the Coming Wave of Distributed Energy Resources Means for the US Grid, Greentech Media

Divided FERC approves New England ISO short-term fuel security plan despite cost concerns, Utility Dive

Novel Waste-to-Energy Microgrid Aims to Provide Resilience in Camden, New Jersey, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Opinion

Our view: Huge potential for offshore energy, Salem News

New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

It’s time for a green stimulus: Here’s how a small Vermont utility can show the way, Utility Dive

This is not the way to move beyond net metering, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending June 12, 2020

Focus on Mystic | The Oceans Have It | $11B in Savings

Happy Friday afternoon.

There were a cluster of letters and stories this week that focused on and/or mentioned the Mystic Generating Station in Everett, MA.

Another interesting trend this week was stories about ocean-related climate and renewable energy possibilities.

Lastly, here is some good news about what we all know about energy efficiency, DOE’s Better Buildings initiative notches $11B in savings across 10 years, Utility Dive

That’s this week’s quick recap. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New Jersey sets ‘top tier’ energy efficiency goal, targets more than 2% electricity savings, Utility Dive

So, What Exactly Is Building Electrification?, Greentech Media

New York Grid Operator Prepares for DERs & Storage as Part of Sweeping Change, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

90% Clean Grid by 2035 Is Not Just Feasible, But Cheaper, Study Says, Greentech Media

NYSERDA moves to launch program targeting brownfields and other less desirable sites for renewables, Utility Dive

Clues to the impact of climate change may seep from a volcano in Costa Rica, Washington Post

A Drop in Sulfate Emissions During the Coronavirus Lockdown Could Intensify Arctic Heatwaves, Inside Climate News

‘Surprisingly rapid’ rebound in carbon emissions post-lockdown, The Guardian

Renewables may lag through 2030: What it means for CO2, E&E News (subscriber content)

Renewable Energy Advocates Want Job Training Focus in COVID-19 Recovery, NHPR

 

Wind

Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment, CommonWealth Magazine

New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts, Greentech Media

Feds see 2,000 East Coast turbines over 10 years, State House News Service via Newburyport Daily News

 

Solar

Rules cast shadow over some solar power projects, State House News Service via WWLP

Foes of Rhode Island solar project lose legal battle, NewportRI.com

Coronavirus Won’t Stop US Solar Growth in 2020, But Rooftop Installers Take Serious Hit, Greentech Media

New York’s Energy Transition (and Challenges) in 5 Charts, Greentech Media

Utility-scale solar to soar in 2020, despite COVID, while coal decline accelerates, SEIA, EIA project, Utility Dive

 

EVs

EV supply chain could see years of shortages — report, E&E News (subscriber content)

Investors Bullish on EV Charging Despite Slowdown in Car Sales, Greentech Media

Tesla says air quality jumps from coronavirus lockdowns make case for electric vehicles, Axios.com

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sentencing of utility behind 2018 Mass. gas explosions delayed over probation issue, Reuters

Trump’s New Clean Water Act Rules Could Affect Embattled Natural Gas Projects on Both Coasts, Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

Officials Investigating Another Unplanned Shutdown ‘Scram’ At Seabrook Nuclear Plant, NHPR

Nuclear Fusion Technology Being Developed For Electric Vehicles, Autoversed.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

AARP contests Eversource’s proposed rate hike, citing pandemic, Keene Sentinel

NYISO market monitor recommends dynamic reserve procurement, S&P Global

State Of The New York City Grid, Urban Green Council

New York’s economy is slowly reopening, but electricity demand remains clipped due to COVID-19, Utility Dive

Public Policy Challenges Top NYISO Grid Plans, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Using Microbial Nanowires for Electricity Generation, AzoNano.com

 

Opinion

Putting land for solar off-limits could hurt farmers, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP corridor project will create new wildfire dangers in remote Maine, Bangor Daily News

Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues, New Yorker

Massachusetts’ Clean Peak Standard — A trailblazer in the nation’s clean energy transition, Utility Dive

Union issues strike authorization for New York Con Edison workers, Reuters

Letter: Paying too much for power doesn’t help environment, Union Leader

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

Energy News for week ending June 5, 2020

Natural Gas Be Gone | Compressor Ups and Downs | Efficiency: Cheaper Than Gas

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, it’s not been a very good week for natural gas, especially in Massachusetts.

We start with an article from CommonWealth Magazine, “Healey calls for orderly transition away from natural gas. Attorney General Maura Healey petitioned the Department of Public Utilities on Thursday to investigate how the state’s natural gas utilities should transition to a future where the fuel they are selling no longer fits in with the state’s carbon emission goals. Massachusetts has set a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, and Healey argues the state, natural gas utilities, and their customers need to start planning…Healey recommended the investigation be conducted in two phases – one phase focusing on utility forecasts about their role in a decarbonized economy and the second on the policies needed to reach the state’s emission mandates. Her petition raises a host of questions that need to be answered, including whether renewable natural gas (gas made from cow manure, for example) has potential. The attorney general’s petition comes at a time when environmental advocates are pressing for a reduction in natural gas usage even as industry officials say the fuel is cheap, plentiful, and gaining market share.”

Note – the State House News reported today that “The first step for the Department of Public Utilities, an official said, is to review Attorney General Maura Healey’s filing to determine whether the request is within the jurisdiction of the DPU. If the department determines that it is, then it will decide whether it would be appropriate to launch the investigation and what its scope would be.” (subscriber content)

We stay in Massachusetts for our next two stories, both about the natural gas compressor station in Weymouth. On Wednesday, the State House News Service via Wicked Local Weymouth wrote, “Air permit for Weymouth gas project overturned. A federal appeals court vacated an air permit Massachusetts regulators awarded to a controversial natural gas project, ruling Wednesday that the state did not sufficiently assess emissions-reducing technology set to be used. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit scrapped the air permit for Enbridge’s under-construction natural gas compressor station in Weymouth and ordered the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a new analysis of what would be the best available control technology to limit air pollution. In a lengthy decision Wednesday, Judge William Kayatta said the permit cannot stand because the DEP did not follow its own procedures when it approved a turbine rather than an electric motor to cut emissions.”

The next day however, the State House New Reported, via WGBH that, “Celebration May Be Premature For Gas Project Opponents. A celebratory car parade is planned for Saturday, but even the opponents of a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth say a new court ruling in their favor will not stop project construction. ‘Although Enbridge may continue constructing, they cannot operate this facility without the air quality permit,’ Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station wrote in an email to its supporters Thursday morning. ‘And, it gives us more room to fight to stop it from ever operating…’ Kayatta’s decision also includes components that are favorable to Enbridge and the Department of Environmental Protection.”

The last highlight for this week comes from Utility Dive, “Efficiency significantly cheaper than natural gas, DOE study concludes. Natural gas energy efficiency programs run by utilities saved energy at a cost of about $0.40/therm from 2012 to 2017 — less than half of the national average retail price of gas during that period, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Gas cost about $1/therm during those years, according to researchers, and U.S. households and businesses spent approximately $65 billion on utility-supplied natural gas in 2018. In that same year, utilities spent more than $1.4 billion on gas efficiency programs, according to the American Gas Association (AGA) which represents gas delivery companies. Efficiency advocates say there are even more savings to be had through the electrification of end-uses — something the study did not consider. They say the gas industry may be building unnecessary infrastructure. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, around 90% of proposed gas power plants and their pipelines are likely to be unnecessary by 2035.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Healey asks DPU to lead on clean energy transition, WWLP

Healey calls for orderly transition away from natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Celebration May Be Premature For Gas Project Opponents, WGBH

Air permit for Weymouth gas project overturned, Wicked Local Weymouth

E.P.A. Limits States’ Power to Oppose Pipelines and Other Energy Projects, New York Times

Investment in U.S. Shale Projects to Halve in 2020, IEA Says, Wall St. Journal

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

This is how the oceans can be used to help fight climate change, World Economic Forum

Earth’s carbon dioxide levels hit record high, despite coronavirus-related emissions drop, Washington Post

Responding to protests, green groups reckon with a racist past, Grist.org

Why we can’t count on carbon-sucking farms to slow climate change, MIT Review

Hydrogen as Fuel? An Italian Pasta Factory Shows How It Could Work, New York Times

IRS clarifies carbon capture tax credit, but more policies needed to drive deployment, analysts say, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy Overtakes Coal, Still Lags Far Behind Oil And Natural Gas, Forbes.com

Economic Giants Are Restarting. Here’s What It Means for Climate Change., New York Times

Massachusetts hopes ‘localized approach’ to GHG inventory can spread, Utility Dive

Solar, Wind, Storage Link Arms in Push for “Majority Renewables” by 2030, Greentech Media

Summers are growing longer due to climate change, while winters are dramatically shrinking, Washington Post

World’s First Integrated Hydrogen Power-to-Power Demonstration Launched, Power Magazine

 

Wind

Wind Power: Wakefield Company Vying to Replace Mystic Generation Station with Wind Power ‘Highway,’ Everett Independent

What Offshore Wind Can Bring to the Corporate PPA Party, Greentech media

The Future Of Wind Energy, Oilprice.com

MassCEC Contributes to Greentown Labs Offshore Wind Challenge, NA Windpower

State’s largest wind farm to date is approved, Times Union (NY)

 

Solar

National Grid Releases Latest Results on Massachusetts Distributed Solar ‘Cluster’ Study, Greentech Media

As utility solar costs drop 82%, US renewable leaders target majority generation share by 2030, Utility Dive

Edison Electric Institute Declines to Support Petition Seeking Federal Overturn of Net Metering, Greentech Media

Utilities stay silent on proposal to federalize net metering as states call it a ‘threat’ to solar policy, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Efficiency significantly cheaper than natural gas, DOE study concludes, Utility Dive

Energy-efficiency industry group presses for tax credits, RollCall.com

 

EVs

EV charging gets small slice in Democrats’ $494B transport infrastructure bill, Utility Dive

Utilities Need to Play Bigger Role in Electrifying Transportation Sector, Industry Officials Say, NJ Spotlight

 

Nuclear

Seabrook Nuclear Plant Gets Back Online Safely After Unexpected Shutdown, NHPR

Federal Inspections Set To Ramp Up At Seabrook Nuclear Plant As Economy Reopens, NHPR

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT electric, gas companies offer payment plan to relieve pandemic debt, New Haven Register

FERC, states see transmission projects fueling recovery, E&E News

Overcoming Forecast Uncertainties for Better DER Planning, Greentech Media

New York Revises Demand Response in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic, Microgrid Knowledge

State regulators reject CMP plan for $500,000 virus relief fund for customers, Press Herald

New York region has plenty of capacity to handle summer energy load, Daily Energy Insider

 

Opinion

Indian Point Closure Making Guinea Pigs Out of All New Yorkers, Natural Gas Now

Letter: Urge lawmakers to support net metering bill, Concord Monitor

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