Tag Archives: energy efficiency

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

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

Energy News for week ending April 28, 2017

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline opponents poised for peaceful protest Friday at Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network seeks rehearing by FERC, Berkshire Eagle

Lawmakers blast air quality plan for Weymouth compressor station, The Patriot Ledger

Gas pipeline foes file to halt start of construction, The Recorder

Tensions build before pipeline built in Massachusetts forest, Boston.com

Chamber of Commerce: Northeast pipeline constraints are a $7.6B drag on GDP, Utility Dive

Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas Moratorium, MassLive.com

Council Urged To Ban Fracking Waste, Hartford Courant

Renewable Energy

Offshore Wind Test Project “Dead in the Water” If Bill Passes, Freepress Online

RGGI will cut more carbon — but by how much?, E&E News

Questions for: ‘Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal’, New York Times

Renewable Energy Could be Cash Cow for RI Farms, ecoRI news

Environment Council of Rhode Island outlines legislative priorities, RI Future

Milford Schools Extend Solar Plans: Report, Patch.com

Solar & Single-Payer Bills Come to Augusta, Freepress Online

Massachusetts governor makes a push for solar and low-income access to renewables, PV-Tech

Not exactly a breeze: Offshore wind still faces challenges, SouthCoastToday.com

Ancient technology in Meriden’s Hanover Pond dam begins generating electricity, Meriden Record-Journal

Falmouth wins turbine nuisance case, Cape Cod Times

Energy Efficiency

How killing Energy Star could benefit Trump financially, Los Angeles Times

Energy industry turns to CT colleges for worker pipeline, Hartford Business

Proposed Massachusetts efficiency, clean energy programs shoot for low-income access, Utility Dive

Liberty Utilities Gives $6M to Customers for Energy Efficiency, Wins Award, Patch.com

Connecticut Green Bank promotes cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy, New Haven Register

Vt. ranked second in nation for clean energy momentum, progress, Mountaintimes

Nuclear

NRC grants safety upgrade exemption to Massachusetts’s Pilgrim nuclear plant, Daily Energy Insider

Lifeline for Nuclear Plants Is Threatening Wind and Solar Power, Bloomberg

On 3-1 vote, Georgetown selectmen back letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee cleanup partner stops work on nuclear dump, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Activists Raise Concerns Over Vermont Yankee Quick Fix, Valley Advocate

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Massachusetts carbon fee would save $2.9 billion in health costs over two decades, study finds, MassLive.com

Underwater power cable work may impact fishermen, Gloucester Daily Times

New diet for electricity, SouthCoastToday.com

ISO New England: Managing Power Grid Operations This Summer, (press release) POWER magazine

ISO-NE Study Projects Impact of $64/ton Carbon Price, RTO Insider

PUC will not reconsider Eversource deal for buying a portion of Northern Pass’s power, Union Leader

Protect Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource records, MetroWest Daily News

GMP ranked Number 10 for most energy storage installed in nation, Vermont Biz

Connecticut’s Latest Microgrid and Fuel Cell Project Goes Live in Hartford, Microgrid Knowledge

Islanders rally against Eversource proposed rate hikes, herbicide use, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Hundreds circle NH Statehouse to protest Northern Pass, NH1 News

Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050, Washington Post

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: FERC must be heard from on pipeline concerns, Berkshire Eagle

Liz Gamache: Earth Day Starts In Our Homes, Caledonian Record

FREEMAN: Against the Northern Pass line, Yale Daily News

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

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

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

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

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

Renewable Energy

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

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

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

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

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

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

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

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

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

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

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

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

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

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

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending February 24, 2017

TGIF. There are lots of stories and opinions this week. Let’s start with some intrigue. CommonWealth Magazine reports that some environmentalists are “alleging that the 1,200 megawatt clean energy solicitation developed by the Baker administration is biased in favor of large-scale hydro projects favored by some of the state’s utilities.” The intrigue comes in because “the state’s electric utilities are not only helping to write the RFP with the Department of Energy Resources but expect to benefit from it by building the transmission lines that deliver the power.”

Questions about the future Rehoboth Gas Compressor Station and the Access Northeast Pipeline are also rattling around in the Attleboro area according to the Sun Chronicle. Some suggest (hope?) that the cancellation of a public meeting means the project is dead. Others say, not so fast. One item that appears to be dead is the Brockton Power Plant proposal with the news from WickedLocal this week that the land where it was to be sited is up for sale.

In Connecticut, Bloomberg says environmental groups opposed to subsidies for nuclear power may be facing a do-or-die moment when it comes to legislation to help bail-out Millstone Nuclear.

And, lastly, I’m not sure how this fits with “competitive” as in competitive energy markets, but Energy Manager Today reports that in Maine, legislation has been filed that would prohibit a competitive electricity provider from charging a residential consumer a rate for generation service that is higher than the rate charged for standard-offer service. Not sure how that will fly with those who opt to pay more to support renewable generation.

Don’t forget to check out the events page. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Plants

Pipeline developers pursue multi-pronged approach, Hartford Business

Killingly postpones meeting on proposed power plant issues, Norwich Bulletin

6600 spills from fracking in just four states, Science Daily

Fracking Caused Pennsylvania Earthquakes, New Report Confirms, EcoWatch

Cancellation of meeting on Rehoboth gas compressor station raises questions about status of project, The Sun Chronicle

Pipeline advocates gird for battle, The Sun Chronicle

Weymouth mayor looks to state permitting process to halt Spectra station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Baker: State has ‘minor role’ in permitting for Weymouth compressor, The Patriot Ledger

Weymouth compressor station foes raise money for legal battle, The Patriot Ledger

Local pipeline opponents stand with Standing Rock, The Recorder

Trump Eyes Easing Obama Rules for Sprawling Pipeline Network, Bloomberg

Natural Gas Bulls Crushed As Prices Tank, OilPrice.com

How booming US natural gas exports could affect power utilities and consumers, Utility DIVE

Environmental group to EFSB: Pull the plug on Brockton Power over bait-and-switch tactics, WickedLocal

Eversource facing big Beacon Hill challenge, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

Clean energy intrigue alleged, CommonWealth Magazine

Could Massachusetts run on all renewable energy by 2050?, Wicked Local Medford

Study throws cold water on residential solar-plus-storage economics, Utility DIVE

Overheard at the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum, RTO Insider

Baker urged to lead on anti-carbon compact changes, wwlp.com

New farmland harvest – solar energy – creating political sparks, The CT Mirror

New Hampshire church hits zoning snag over solar panels, Press Herald

Why Wind Turbines Should Talk to Each Other, Greentech Media

New Campaign Celebrates Growing Renewable Energy Sector, Solar Industry

Connecticut DEEP rejects two utility storage pilots as too costly, Utility DIVE

Chemists improve batteries for renewable energy storage, Phys.Org

Wind Briefly Sets Record as Source for Electricity in US, Climate Central

Alabama company buys closed biomass power plant in northern Maine, Press Herald

Retiring worn-out wind turbines could cost billions that nobody has, Energy Central

Eversource gains approval for 23-acre solar farm on Montague Plains, MassLive.com

Merrimack officials debate solar panel tax exemptions, The Union Leader

Covanta Extends Partnership with Southeastern Connecticut Communities for Sustainable Waste Disposal, Energy Central

FuelCell officials hope proposed legislation will aid energy procurement in Connecticut, Register Citizen

Baker, officials tout solar incentive program, MetroWest Daily News

US grid can handle more offshore wind power, cutting pollution and power costs, Science Daily

Energy Efficiency

How Every State Benefits from Energy Efficiency Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council

Partnership gives cities such as Somerville millions in energy grants, Wicked Local Somerville

Internet of Things helped Connecticut district cut electricity bill by 84%, Education Dive

Energy groups urge Congress to advance efficiency bill, Daily Energy Insider

Greenfield energy department reduces carbon, costs, Going Green

Nuclear

Closure of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant boosted greenhouse gas emissions in New England, MassLive.com

Dominion’s Nuclear ‘Bailout’ a Do-or-Die Moment for Opponents, Bloomberg

Yankee sale may be in ’18, Rutland Herald

Connecticut girds for nuclear power debate as critics line up against Millstone support bill, Utility DIVE

Public input sought on Seabrook nuke plant degradation, Seacoastonline.com

Citizens panel wants help to deal with Vermont Yankee sale, Commons

Endless nuclear power can be found in the seas, EnGadget

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Maine Legislation Would Cap Retail Pricing, Energy Manager Today

Local officials, environmentalists raise concerns about EPA under Pruitt, MetroWest Daily News

Senate bill could open the door to ratepayer-funded energy projects, Concord Monitor

Land once targeted for Brockton Power project goes up for sale, WickedLocal

Utility raises concerns on emission targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource reports profit gain on eve of key state hearings, Thehour.com

This outspoken refrigeration technician is LePage’s go-to energy advisor, Press Herald

Eversource Investing $36 Million in Tree Trimming, CapeCod.com

Newton names Ann Berwick as co-director of sustainability, WickedLocal Newton

Mansfield, North Attleboro electric departments oppose new environmental regulations, Sun Chronicle

Editorial/Opinion

As I See It: Accelerating electric vehicle use, Worcester Telegram

How to fight climate change without Washington, Boston Globe

Don’t put customers on the hook for pipeline costs, by Susan Wessels, The Keene Sentinel

Pressure LePage to strengthen RGGI, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision cripples Maine solar industry, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PUC decision confirms ratepayers pay twice, The Maine Wire

Sorry, Coal. Solar Is Where the Jobs Are, Fortune

Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems, The Economist

Karl Meyer: Connecticut River power storage plant is an ecological, economic and energy disaster, Vtdigger.org

Maine needs the good-paying jobs nuclear energy provides, Bangor Daily News

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing, Wind Power