Tag Archives: energy storage

Energy News for week ending October 5, 2018

No Free Lunch | 8 Years in a Row | Hydrophobic

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

Here are some highlights from the news this week.

From the AP we have, No free lunch for renewables: More wind power would warm US. “Ramping up wind power in America would also dial up the nation’s temperatures, a new study out of Harvard found. While wind energy is widely celebrated as environmentally friendly, the researchers concluded that a dramatic, all-out expansion in the number of turbines could warm the country even more than climate change from burning coal and other fossil fuels, because of the way the spinning blades disturb the layers of warm and cold air in the atmosphere…Some parts of the central United States are already seeing nights that are up to 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) warmer because of nearby wind farms…The researchers and other scientists stressed that climate change from greenhouse gas emissions is clearly a far bigger threat globally and over the long term than turbine-caused warming, which is temporary and stops when the blades aren’t turning. Despite the potential drawbacks, wind energy still makes more sense for the environment than fossil fuels, Keith said.”

Would we expect anything different? MassLive reports that, For 8th year, Mass. named most energy-efficient state in the nation. “For the eighth year running, Massachusetts has been named the most energy-efficient state in the nation. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which issues the annual scorecard, noted utility-led programs such as Mass Save, “stretch building codes” for cities and towns, incentives for combined heat and power, and standards for state buildings…The scorecard measures six categories, including utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government policies, and appliance standards. Massachusetts in 2016 approved a three-year energy efficiency plan. In 2017, $740 million in investments yielded $2.6 billion in savings…”

From the new energy technology file we bring you a story from Popular Mechanics, A New Hydrophobic Surface Could Turn the Ocean’s Waves Into Electricity. “There’s waterproof and then there’s the surface developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego. They’ve developed a surface so hydrophobic that it can actually be used to generate electrical voltage, turning seawater into 50 millivolts (or around 0.05 volts)…The created surface holds a negative electrical charge, so when the positive ions in salt water move over the surface an electrical potential difference is created. That difference creates a voltage…Although it’s just a proof of concept, the idea becomes impressive when deployed on a much larger scale. There’s a lot of ocean water out there, and the team hopes that it could be used for energy harvesting methods through desalination plants. From ions to waves, there’s a lot of potential energy in the water that covers 70 percent of the planet, and these hydrophobic surfaces could help tap into that energy.”

More news is below. Have a great long weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

Disaster could be a turning point in energy debate, Eagle Tribune

State rep seeks Western Massachusetts public hearings on Columbia Gas after Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

After Baker tasked Eversource with Merrimack Valley response, executives cut checks to his campaign, Boston Globe

After Dozens of Gas Explosions, a Community Looks for Alternatives to Natural Gas, Inside Climate News

Longmeadow considering moratorium on Columbia Gas construction, citing recent explosions, MassLive

Columbia Gas pulling workers from other states amid tight labor market, Boston Globe

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

DPU presses Natl. Grid on alleged violations, CommonWealth Magazine

Northampton City Council resolves to oppose gas pipelines, Hampshire Gazette

Power plant hearings delayed as regulators consider request to cancel contract, Valley Breeze

New York Gas Plant Comes Online Despite Opposition, Power Magazine

City Council opposes Burrillville power plant, Cranston Online

Agency: Gas lines safe; State utility regulators questioned in wake of Massachusetts disaster, Journal Inquirer

Connecticut state lawmakers want review of gas pipelines, WHDH

Compressor foes warn of dangers with infomercial, Weymouthwickedlocal.com

Liberty Utilities to create natural gas from closed Bethlehem landfill, Concord Monitor

Manhole left open, failure to investigate gas leak: National Grid cited for 29 reported safety violations amid lockout, MassLive

National Grid lockout causing ‘collateral impact’, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Utilities have a problem: the public wants 100% renewable energy, and quick, Vox.com

A New Hydrophobic Surface Could Turn the Ocean’s Waves Into Electricity, Popular Mechanics

Carbon prices could save us … if we actually start using them, Grist

Portland hub monitors 425 solar projects, six wind farms, Portland Press Herald

Researchers to develop renewable fuel additives from sawdust, Biomass Magazine

Pellet project in Maine awarded $200,000 REAP grant, Biomass Magazine

The US Is Ready For 100% Clean Energy — 10 Cities Model How To Get There, CleanTechnica

 

Wind

No free lunch for renewables: More wind power would warm US, AP News

A new study on the side effects of wind energy is almost begging to be misused by climate change deniers, Business Insider

Baker, Gonzalez agree to offshore wind pledge, Gloucester Times

Yarmouth shellfishermen get say on wind cable hearings, Cape Cod Times

Trump’s Import Tariffs Will Make U.S. Wind Power More Expensive, Renewable Energy World

Barnstable, Vineyard Wind officials sign cable agreement, Cape Cod Times

State board to take up Vineyard Wind cable route, South Coast Today

Why this dairy farm may be the last stand for wind energy in Vermont, WindAction

Company plans to build wind turbines along Lake Ontario, Energy Central

Wind farm design calls for 47 turbines, National Wind Watch

 

Solar

CT Manufacturer Impact Plastics Goes Solar, Solar Industry

75 Attend Community Meeting on New Solar Initiative in Exeter, GoLocalProv

Eversource to hold solar open house, Wicked Local Medfield

Massachusetts Regulators Approve New ‘SMART’ Solar, Storage Program, Renewable Energy World

Con Edison proposes installing solar panels on New York City Housing Authority developments, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

For 8th year, Mass. named most energy-efficient state in the nation, MassLive

Make your home greener—and more resilient, Popular Science

Vermont’s energy efficiency utilities under inspection in new investigation, VTDigger

Stormy weather ahead: Federal agencies begin to roll back efficiency policy, ACEEE Blog

A tiny, beleaguered government agency seeks an energy holy grail: long-term energy storage, Vox.com

New Jersey’s Planned $4.1B Clean Energy Investment includes $180M for Storage, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

Electric vehicle advocates urge Connecticut regulators not to forget sector in grid planning, New Haven Register

 

Nuclear

NRC issues draft safety evaluation for nuclear plant, Daily News of Newburyport

Nuclear panel elects new leaders, but future still unclear, VTDigger

Decision on Vt. Yankee sale expected soon, The Recorder

Trump Signs Legislation to Promote Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology, Greentech Media

Connecticut agencies say Millstone ‘at risk’ as Dominion seeks boost in clean energy RFP, Utility Dive

Entergy’s last layoffs by month’s end, Brattleboro Reformer

Utilities submit proposals for nuclear subsidies, NJ Spotlight

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE to focus on market solutions for winter energy security in 2019, Utility Dive

Demo permits obtained for Brayton Point cooling towers, Herald News

US Will Have 88 Gigawatts of Residential Demand Flexibility by 2023, Greentech Media

Foes of CMP power line gear up for protest in Skowhegan, Kennebec Journal

Connecticut residents want monitoring of new New York power plant, The Register Citizen

A device to track your energy use, right down to the toaster, Boston Globe

Eversource penalized $117,911 for environmental violations in Franklin County, The Recorder

Limited CMP customer data exposed during file transfer, Portland Press Herald

Massachusetts Microgrid Market Gets Even More Interesting with Siemens Plan to Acquire Russelectric, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Loss of plant would hurt, Providence Journal

Gas pipeline review process is good idea, Lowell Sun

Letter: Safety is top priority of natural gas industry, Concord Monitor

EDITORIAL: Gas leaks, dying trees? It’s a theory worth exploring, Sentinel & Enterprise

Eliminate Carbon-Based Energy, Hartford Courant

Our view: Solar power is a key ingredient, Salem News

Leave a comment

Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Vermont Yankee Closing, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending April 27, 2018

Power Struggle | Offshore Wind = 1000s of jobs | Nuclear can be flexible

 

It’s Friday afternoon so it’s time for the weekly Northeast Energy News.

We begin with an article from the Boston Globe about Central Maine Power’s proposed project to bring Canadian hydro to Massachusetts. As the article notes, “Until recently, Central Maine Power’s proposal was considered an also-ran to a similar plan in New Hampshire, called Northern Pass, the initial choice of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to import clean energy.” But like the Northern Pass project, the CMP project also goes through sensitive and important environmental areas and it has some people very unhappy. Others however, are seeing it differently due to incentives. David Abel writes, “In exchange for their support, the company has promised to lavish The Forks and neighbors — small towns that have struggled economically for years — with tens of millions of dollars…Many residents consider those payments bribes, and worry that the pledged money is pitting neighbors against each other. At the same time, they recognize the need for economic aid to offset declining tourism.”

Yesterday, Wind Power Engineering reported that “The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years — defined as one person working full-time for one year — during construction over the next 10 years and generate between $675 million and $800 million in direct economic output in Massachusetts. The Offshore Wind Workforce Report, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and authored by Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, also provides analysis and recommendations to guide the training and development needs for the offshore wind industry workforce in Massachusetts.”

The last article highlight for this week was posted by one of my favorite people on Twitter – Jesse Jenkins of the MIT Energy Initiative. From the article on Energy.MIT.edu, “Nuclear power plants generally operate at full capacity, but they are also technically capable of more flexible operation. This capability lets them respond dynamically to seasonal changes in demand or hourly changes in market prices. Reactors could also provide the standby backup regulation and reserve services needed to balance supply and demand. According to Jenkins, all reactor designs now being licensed or built in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are capable of flexible operation, as are many older reactors now in service. ‘We primarily rely on gas and coal plants to meet all those flexibility needs today, while we operate our nuclear plants fixed, or ‘must-run,’ 24/7,’ says Jenkins. ‘The question here is, what would the benefits be if we stopped operating them so inflexibly, if we started using more of their technical capabilities to ‘ramp’ output up and down on different time scales from seconds to hours to seasons?’ The answer, he says, is less reliance on the gas and coal plants—and more renewable energy integration.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Greenfield residents suing city over plans to cut down trees for pipeline, wwlp.com

Does Region Need More Natural Gas? Invenergy’s Final Burrillville Push Begins April 26, ecoRI news

Invenergy has nine or ten contingent water suppliers in Rhode Island and Connecticut says their Attorney, Uprise RI (blog)

Following Spills, PA Stops Pipeline Work At Delaware County Site, WSKG.org

Court: Youngstown anti-fracking amendment must go on ballot, Youngstown Vindicator

Energy Transfer and Sunoco Pipelines Have Leaked Every 11 Days on Average, For 16 Years, Care2.com

Activists head to court after shutting down pipelines. Their defense? Climate change., Grist

NY nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit, Penn Energy

Nearby communities stepping in to track CPV power plant emissions, Times Herald Record

PSEG urges New Jersey to approve $1.9B gas line replacement program, Utility Dive

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI/etc.

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Clean Energy Prize rewards student innovation, MIT News

Scott Pruitt wades into a fraught science debate, declaring biomass burning ‘carbon neutral,’ Washington Post

New York launches next large-scale renewables procurement round, Recharge

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox

The Carbon Tax Could Come Soon To A State Near You, Law360

The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change, Bloomberg

2 Clark University Expert Authors On Report On Climate Change, Patch.com

U.S. Department of Energy announces $2.4 million in funding for fish passage technologies research programs, Hydro-World

 

Wind

New Massachusetts report finds 1600 MW of offshore wind would create thousands of jobs, Windpower Engineering

Opponents seek suspension of Antrim Wind Energy’s construction certificate, National Wind Watch

Savoy rejects wind turbine building permit; developer plans appeal, National Wind Watch

Convoys of huge wind turbine parts move through western NY, Penn Energy

Selection of offshore wind providers delayed one month, South Coast Today

Advocates Seek More Momentum for Massachusetts Offshore Wind, Renewable Energy World

Trump likes coal, but that doesn’t mean he’s hostile to wind, Washington Post

Winds of change calmed: PGC declares moratorium on wind turbines, National Wind Watch

How Windmills as Wide as Jumbo Jets Are Making Clean Energy Mainstream, New York Times

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power 16000 Homes, EcoWatch

Offshore wind farms concern fisherpeople, The Brown Daily Herald

NextEra CEO Robo slams US offshore wind as ‘bad business’, Recharge

 

Solar

Solect expands to Illinois, Worcester Business Journal

New Bipartisan Legislation Would Repeal Trump’s Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

Regional planners balk at part of solar project, Rutland Herald

Amherst among 5 New England colleges partnering on solar facility in Maine, wwlp.com

Londonderry Superfund site eyed for big solar array, New Hampshire Business Review

NH House panel passes a new fix to net metering bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Solar Generation, Energy Storage System Completed at SUNY New Paltz, Hudson Valley News Network

City Weighs New Regulations After ‘Solar Monster’ Complaints, CBS Boston / WBZ

Darien company installs a 129 kilowatt solar array on the roof, wins award, The Darien News

Freeport is considering a municipal solar energy project, CentralMaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In Massachusetts, Energy Storage Has Allies in High Places, Greentech Media

FERC Order 845 opens door a little wider for energy storage, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help, Greentech Media

Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create “Watershed Moment”, CleanTechnica

New York Boosts Efficiency Target, Makes Way for More Solar and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

2 buildings in Orange targeted for energy efficiency upgrades, The Recorder

Lockheed says ‘flow’ battery will boost use of renewable power, Reuters

 

EVs

The electric vehicle boom is coming. What can we learn from early adopters?, ensia.com

New York agencies propose shifting EV fast chargers to non-demand charges, Utility Dive

Utilities boost electric car incentives, (VT) Energy Central

ABB launches what it says is world’s fastest EV charger, PV Magazine

New York regulators to mull advancing EV market with new proceeding, Utility Dive

Convenience at Heart of New US Ultra-Fast EV Charging Network, Renewable Energy World

 

Nuclear

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

NY nuclear plant resumes service after scheduled outage, Penn Energy

Update on the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, vtdigger.org

NRC hosts meeting on safety of Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?, Boston Globe

US regulator considers value of resiliency, World Nuclear News

New York to launch utility energy registry this summer in data-gathering effort, Utility Dive

FERC Commissioners Testify on Energy Infrastructure, Resiliency, State-Federal Tensions, Lexology

National Grid customers won’t see relief for months, The Daily News of Newburyport

Eversource devotes $80M to tree trimming, hazardous tree removal, CT Post

Eversource, UI hit hard in new customer value survey, New Haven Register

Eversource Continues Natural Gas Expansion In Darien, Patch.com

New England line would have to take the scenic route, E&E News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why you’ll pay for Beacon Hill’s pipeline folly, Boston Globe

We need a RGGI for transportation, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine needs zones free of windmills, power lines, Press Herald

Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Energy Central/Concord Monitor

Fears about blackouts increasing, CommonWealth Magazine

Infrastructure Necessary for Energy Independence, Everett Independent

Nancy Stiles: Energy-efficiency funds important for schools, towns, state’s 10-year strategy, Concord Monitor

Bold Ideas to Address Society’s Energy Issues Deserve Consideration, not Dismissal, ecoRI news

Quebec hydro line is not without environmental costs, Bangor Daily News

Confessions of a former carbon tax skeptic, Washington Examiner

Dick Henry: Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Excuse from CMP wanted as electric bills defy logic, Press Herald

Natural gas essential to New York’s energy mix, Albany Times Union

Robert Thorson: US Backs Big Oil Against Tiny Arctic Tribe, Hartford Courant

Letter: Conservative Law Foundation is right about Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Offshore wind energy right for Connecticut, The Day

 

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Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending April 20, 2018

RGGI Pays Off | Palm Trees | Sox Go Green

 

Happy Friday Afternoon.

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

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

Footprint cuts ties with Iberdrola, The Salem News

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

Columbia Gas seeks rate hike, MassLive.com

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

FERC Whipsawed on Pipeline Policy in House Hearing, RTO Insider

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

The Secret of the Great American Fracking Bubble, DeSmog

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

Fishermen air concerns about Vineyard Wind, MV Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Construction unions back Bay State Wind project, SouthCoastToday.com

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

Grafton sees cost savings from energy contract, Worcester Telegram

 

Energy Storage

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

Graphene Could Be Next Battery Breakthrough, Renewable Energy World

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

Debate over Millstone rages on, theday.com

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

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

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

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

 

Electric Vehicles

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

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exelon, ISO Hopeful on Stopping Proposed Closure, Everett Independent

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

American energy dominance means Mass. Wind, Boston Globe

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

Getting to grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Editorial: Wishing away our energy challenges, The Providence Journal

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

Letter: The high price of fracking, Concord Monitor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending February 23, 2018

Extension Cord | Charge it up | Backbone granted

Good Friday afternoon.

As most of you are aware, after last week’s Northeast Energy News was published, MA DOER announced that officials would enter into negotiations with another project while giving Northern Pass until March 27 to overturn the decision of the NH siting board. From CommonWealth Magazine, “While contract talks with Northern Pass continue, the state’s three electric utilities will also begin negotiating power supply contracts with New England Clean Energy Connect, a partnership of Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec that the update referred to as “the next best project.” However, some folks in Maine aren’t happy with that idea and want to protect their scenery. One Maine letter writer to the Ellsworth American, says, “Put your wind turbines in the Berkshires and build power dams on the Connecticut River. Leave us alone!

Today, the Wall Street Journal followed up with a story titled, “New England Has a Power Problem.” It offers a synopsis of all of the challenges and differing opinions that demonstrate how difficult it is to site energy projects in New England. With respect to Northern Pass they write, “But in woodsy New Hampshire, the idea of turning part of the state into an extension cord for Massachusetts has long been controversial. New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee voted the project down this month, citing concerns including a negative impact on tourism and property values.”

This week MassPIRG released its report, “Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles.” From the Gloucester Times, “Electric vehicles will become more mainstream and as that happens drivers will need the infrastructure — mainly charging stations — to support them, according to a MassPIRG report publicized Wednesday that estimated there will be 24,000 electric vehicles in Boston by 2030. The state has a goal of reaching 300,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025…Cities should make chargers available for people who don’t have driveways or garages, government should encourage sharing of electric cars and bikes, and data about charging stations should be shared to enable drivers to find an open plug-in, MassPIRG recommended.”

North American Wind Power writes that getting ready for offshore wind took a step forward this week with FERC’s decision to give Anbaric Development Partners (ADP), “the right to develop a shared transmission system in support of Massachusetts offshore wind. The FERC decision grants ADP the authority to solicit customers and sell transmission rights to a 2 GW-2.4 GW offshore wind transmission system in southern New England called the Massachusetts Ocean Grid. FERC’s approval of the application allows ADP to offer its backbone transmission system to offshore wind developers that currently hold federal leases, as well as future lease holders, says ADP.”

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

Northern Pass/83D RFP

BIA endorses Northern Pass, says project’s rejection turning businesses from NH, The Union Leader

National Grid Applauds Mass. Review Of Northern Pass, Citizentribune

New England Has a Power Problem, Wall Street Journal (subscriber content)

Maine project picked as backup for Mass. renewable energy contract, SouthCoastToday.com

Mass. Taps Maine Transmission Line As Clean Energy Supplier If Northern Pass Falls Through, New England Public Radio

Baker selects backup for Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. Picks Avangrid Project as Northern Pass Backup, RTO Insider

Eversource to seek Northern Pass reconsideration, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, Litchfield County Times

Blackouts, Higher Costs a Proven Risk Without New Natural-Gas Pipelines, NJ Spotlight

Sen. Rosenberg calls for Western Mass hearing on $24 million Columbia Gas pipeline plan, MassLive.com

Can Updated Tax Credits Bring Carbon Capture Into the Mainstream?, Greentech Media

Mass. Is Stalling Pipeline Permit, Enbridge Unit Tells DC Circ., Law360

How General Electric gambled on fossil fuel power, and lost, Reuters

A New Massachusetts ‘Sustainable Energy’ Coalition Is Really A Front For Gas Interests, Huffington Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Lobbyists’ valentines ask Baker to ‘break up’ with non-renewable energy, Daily Free Press

Sidney residents voice concerns over installation of gas pipeline, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Renewing Berlin through renewable energy: Obstacles remain as city expands its power portfolio, The Union Leader

Connecticut proposes “40% by 2030” renewable energy mandate, replacing net metering, pv magazine USA

Scientists: Rhode Island is sinking and sea levels continue to rise, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

NH House backs bill to limit renewable energy incentives, New Hampshire Business Review

 

Wind

ISO-NE Study Finds Wind ‘Spillage,’ Price Separation, RTO Insider

Feds OK Next Step In Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission System, North American Windpower

Wind industry sues LePage administration over order halting permits, Press Herald

It generates power and cuts emissions, but is Lynn’s wind turbine making any money?, Item Live

 

Solar

City Council moves closer toward solving solar farm ordinance, The Reminder — Agawam

A solar panel on every roof in the US? Here are the numbers, Ars Technica

Solar import tariff: pain without benefit, New Hampshire Business Review

US solar industry lost nearly 10000 jobs in 2017, The Union Leader

Massachusetts’ SMART Program Awards Sunpin 20-Year Feed-In-Tariff Contract in Western Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

Advocates for home solar projects slam decision by ‘out-of-control’ PUC, Press Herald

South Shore MBTA lots to get solar canopies, Patriot Ledger

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

For Salem, it pays to be green, Wicked Local

Driving the Market for Heat Pumps in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Framingham Co. Completes $3.7M Scotland Energy Savings Project, Patch.com

Trump Administration Energy Efficiency Delay Ruled Illegal, Natural Resources Defense Council

Tonight, Science Cafe will tell you about energy efficiency, and maybe save you some money, Concord Monitor

Energy efficiency is leaving low-income Americans behind, Grist

Federal judge rules against Trump administration, forcing Dept. of Energy to enact energy efficiency standards set under Barack Obama, MassLive

House committee chooses energy efficiency over rebates, NH Business Review

FERC order opens ‘floodgates’ for energy storage in wholesale markets, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Gets Biggest Boost in Years. Thank you FERC, Microgrid Knowledge

Details on the 14 Massachusetts Community Microgrid Projects that Won Funding, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Latest Pilgrim inspection finds no violations, Cape Cod Times

Seabrook nuke plant’s seismic monitor not triggered by earthquake, Seacoastonline.com

Indian Point reactor automatically shuts down again, feds investigating, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Nuclear Reactors Could Run as Long as 80 Years Under Trump Plan, Bloomberg

Controversial nuclear bill advances, now with green subsidies adding to cost increases, NorthJersey.com

 

Electric Vehicles

Homeowners Get New Tesla Batteries in Utility Trial, Renewable Energy News

Electric car growth influenced by state of charging infrastructure, Gloucester Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Electricity Customers Didn’t Save Money With Retail Sellers, WABI 5

LIPA, National Grid claims to ‘governmental immunity’ for Sandy damage rejected by state Court of Appeals, amNY

LaFleur warns against PJM plan altering ‘fundamental’ energy market mechanics, Utility Dive

‘Boarded-up’ National Grid windows come under fire from Niagara Street neighbors, Buffalo News

Trump again will try to cut energy assistance to the poor, Patriot Ledger

Blockchain Could Change Everything for Energy, Renewable Energy World

New use for old mine shafts — power generators using gravity, Digital Journal

Heating assistance programs struggling to keep up with demand on South Shore, Patriot Ledger

EPA moves to reject CT complaint over Brunner Island plant emissions, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Don’t let New England region run out of gas, The Day

Maine whiffed on big chance to study electricity ripoff, Bangor Daily News

Kate Epsen: For alternatives to Northern Pass, just look around, Union Leader

Utility consumers need to be heard in Western Massachusetts (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Letter: Steven E. Miller: New England has no gas pipeline crisis, The Providence Journal

Eversource, ever unclear, Cape Cod Times

High energy costs put northeastern US economy at risk, The Hill

Letter: Christian Roselund: Wind can meet region’s energy needs in time, The Providence Journal

Your Turn: Central Mass. can lead 100-percent renewable transition, Worcester Mag

Our view: States could work together to optimize offshore wind energy, Press of Atlantic City

Storage, not new pipelines, is the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

Winter costs make region cold for business, CommonWealth Magazine

With more control, communities choose clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Senate Energy Bill: Christmas for Special Interests, AIM blog

Charging Past Failure: A Plan For More Effective Electric Vehicle Powering, The Energy Collective

To slow climate change, the US needs to address nuclear power’s dismal economics, The Conversation

Viewpoint: Mass. offshore wind process can be improved, Boston Business Journal

Don’t give up the fight to protect Maine’s scenery, The Ellsworth American

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

Energy News for week ending January 19, 2018

Fuel Security Risk | Climate solution | New EV infrastructure | KRUSTY

Happy Friday Afternoon.

Just when I think, “Gee it’s been a quiet week for energy news…” BOOM! ISO-New England drops its Operational Fuel-Security Analysis and the energy news board lights up. RTO Insider writes, “The report highlighted the concern that New England’s system reliability is heavily dependent on LNG and electricity imports. While dual-fuel capability for plants can provide a key contribution to reliability, permitting for construction and emissions is difficult. All but four scenarios resulted in fuel shortages requiring rolling blackouts, indicating the trends affecting the system may intensify the region’s fuel security risk.”

The report generated no shortage of opinions about what it all means and how it affects the future of New England’s energy grid. CommonWealth Magazine reported, “The two sides fighting over whether the region needs additional natural gas pipeline capacity both took comfort on Thursday from a fuel security study by the operator of the region’s power grid. The Baker administration, meanwhile, issued a statement that appeared to fall somewhere in the middle while supporting ‘additional natural gas capacity.’” According to the article, the pro- gas pipeline side says rolling black outs “would wreak havoc on the economy and New Englanders’ lives.” Those not in favor of pipeline development say, hold on, the scenarios outlined in the report “are perhaps possible but highly unlikely.” I’m sure we’ll have a lot more articles and opinion pieces on this topic in the week ahead.

Also out this week was an announcement reported by the AP in Time Magazine that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom’s meteorological office said that 2017 was the third hottest year on record. At the same time, NASA and researchers from a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, called it the second. So what’s a state or nation to do? Utility Dive takes a long look at cap and trade initiatives in New England and California to see if those programs are having a positive effect, but ultimately decides, the jury is still out.

One way to help ease climate change is to get more EVs on the road. The New Hampshire Business Review brings us a great read titled, “New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network.” The money to pay for this 734 mile network would largely come from Volkswagen settlement funds. Journalist Liisa Rajala writes, “In New England alone, approximately $214 million was paid by Volkswagen to fund programs that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, with up to $32 million available for investment in electric vehicle charging stations over the next 10 years, should states choose to do so.” They include some great infographics in the article as well. Check it out.

Last highlight for this week is a story from Reuters about KRUSTY and it’s out of this world! “Initial tests in Nevada on a compact nuclear power system (The Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology — KRUSTY) designed to sustain a long-duration NASA human mission on the inhospitable surface of Mars have been successful and a full-power run is scheduled for March…The technology could power habitats and life-support systems, enable astronauts to mine resources, recharge rovers and run processing equipment to transform resources such as ice on the planet into oxygen, water and fuel. It could also potentially augment electrically powered spacecraft propulsion systems on missions to the outer planets.” Wow! Now that’s cool.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Generators burned 2m barrels of oil over 15 days, CommonWealth Magazine

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion as grid operator warns of future blackouts, Wicked Local Scituate

Upset over Burrillville’s opposition to proposed power plant, Invenergy withholds fee payment, The Providence Journal

RI Attorney General Speaks Out Against Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Regunberg introduces resolution opposing Trump’s off-shore drilling plans, Uprise RI

FERC: Rhode Island tribe missed its chance to intervene in Massachusetts pipeline fight, MassLive.com

Fight is on to block Maine pipeline — ex-Texan says: Good luck with that, The Boston Globe

Rover Pipeline Spills Another 150000 Gallons of Drilling Fluid Into Ohio Wetlands, EcoWatch

Grid operator says new study shows need to expand access to natural gas in New England, New Haven Register

Compressor station foes encouraged by feds’ response to New York project, Patriot Ledger

Governor: Scrub NY from plan to expand offshore oil drilling, Penn Energy

Fixation on timing of peak oil is ‘misguided,’ Financial Times

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

2017 Was One of the Hottest Years Ever, Time Magazine

Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury’s still out, Utility Dive

Northampton officials show support for local goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy, MassLive

RGGI States Set a New Standard for Climate Action in 2017, Natural Resources Defense Council

Massachusetts agrees to slash power plant emissions under 9-state system, MassLive.com

Maryland, northeast states accelerate carbon pollution reduction, Baltimore Sun

Power generators contest state greenhouse gas rules, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy plays to NJ environmentalists from day one, NJ Spotlight

The Force Is With Clean Energy: 10 Predictions for 2018, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Competition Moderates Clean-Energy Costs for Ratepayers, AIM Blog

New York, Connecticut sue EPA for failing to act on smog pollution from upwind states, Utility Dive

US Utility-Scale Solar, Wind Capacity Could Double by 2020, Renewable Energy World

Global emissions ‘will plateau by 2030,’ Energy Live News

 

Wind

Turbines blow hot, cold on financial benefits for local towns, Worcester Telegram

Why Some Fishermen Are Wary Of Offshore Wind Farms, WBUR

US Working Hard to Boost Wind Energy, Adviser Says in Denmark, Bloomberg

Wind Industry Embraces Robots to Boost Safety, Cut Costs, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind to hold open house on proposed offshore project, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

On Haverhill landfill-solar proposal, council wants results, Eagle Tribune

CMP’s New CEO: If They Want, ‘Everyone Should Put Solar Panels On Their Roof’, Maine Public

Developer for proposed solar project in New Marlborough wants public’s input on project, Berkshire Eagle

Outer Cape Energize encourages use of solar panels, Cape Cod Times

New warehouse now biggest green energy provider in Peabody, The Salem News

 

Electric Vehicles

New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network, NH Business Review

North America’s largest transit system is the acid test for electric buses, Quartz

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State money helps Massachusetts towns improve energy efficiency, SouthCoastToday.com

There once was an energy storage system on Nantucket…, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Can Drive Future Tesla Growth, Not Just Autos, Seeking Alpha

 

Nuclear

U.S. tests nuclear power system to sustain astronauts on Mars, Reuters

PUC sticks with Yankee hearings postponement, Rutland Herald

Merrimac seeks NRC hearing on Seabrook plan, Gloucester Daily Times

Indian Point Utility Workers Will Strike If Contract Talks Break Down, WAMC

Offsetting Loss of Indian Pt Revenue Still Challenge One Year Later, The Examiner News

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, Litchfield County Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Energy study draws divergent reactions, CommonWealth Magazine

Report: Fuel Security Key Risk for New England Grid, RTO Insider

What Will Become of the Electric Utility in the Age of Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Oversubscribed northern Vermont power grid costing utilities millions, VT Digger

D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass, IndepthNH.org

National Grid’s Northern Pass Competitor To Talk Low-Income Benefits In Concord, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource Ranked Among Nation’s Greenest Companies, CapeCod.com News

Conn. Consumer Counsel, Eversource Energy strike deal to reduce size of distribution rate increase, Litchfield County Times

New Central Maine Power CEO Lays Out His Vision For The Company, Maine Public

National Grid asks for $26 million less in Rhode Island rate hikes, Electric Light & Power

Fuel banks seek $25M in state assistance, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

EDITORIAL: Enviro-zealots are wrong on natural gas, Lowell Sun

A bad deal for NH, (Northern Pass) The Union Leader

Letter: Wind, solar, biofuel should power Maine, The Forecaster

Offshore drilling catastrophic for Maine economy, Biddeford – Saco – OOB Courier

Lawmakers have one more chance to fix nonsensical solar rules, Bangor Daily News

Wind And Solar Energies Could Peter Out If Transmission Grid Is Not Expanded, Forbes

Our electricity grid gives us a wake-up call in New Hampshire, Manchester Ink Link

Letter: Industrial wind turbines threaten our way of life, Dansvilleonline.com

Guest Opinion: Broken energy market leaves Mass. consumers in the cold, Herald News

Mass. needs to think bigger on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, Renewables, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

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

Good Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

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

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

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

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

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

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

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

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

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

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

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

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tax Bill

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

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

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

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

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

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

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

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

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

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

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

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

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

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending January 5, 2018

Happy Freezing Friday and welcome to the first edition of the Northeast Energy News for 2018.

The big news this week is the combination of the prolonged colder than normal weather and yesterday’s blizzard. We have a whole section below dedicated to this topic. From Bloomberg’s, “The US just burned the most natural gas ever,” to the Boston Globe’s, “Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market,” to MassLive’sMassachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds” there is no shortage of stories and serious topics to dig into.

News about the new federal tax plan also made its way into the energy news this week. In two stories from MassLive we have Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, and AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike. Greentech media also reports that the New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations and Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers.

Last highlight for this week comes from Inside Climate News, which reports that “President Trump rolled out the antiquated arguments about why clean energy was too expensive and a threat to the grid. But markets and policies mostly ignored him.” The result? Clean Energy Soared in the U.S. in 2017.

Stay warm and have a great weekend.

Cold/Storm

Prolonged cold snap upends region’s energy market, Boston Globe

Blizzard Triggers a 60-Fold Surge in Prices for U.S. Natural Gas, Bloomberg

Massachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds, MassLive

Why it’s hard for Mass. power plants to stop using oil, Boston Globe

Electric utilities turn to oil in deep freeze, The Providence Journal

America’s Power Grid Still Hangs Tough in Face of Winter Wallop, Bloomberg

The U.S. Just Burned the Most Natural Gas Ever, Bloomberg

U.S. winter storms spark record natural gas demand, BBJ (subscriber content)

Arctic Blast Costly To New England Consumers And Environment, Hartford Courant

Cold snap drives gas prices, rekindles pipeline debate, The Daily News of Newburyport

Coal, oil get a boost from Northern cold snap, Utility Dive

Cold snap putting squeeze on oil-fired power plants, CommonWealth Magazine

Arctic Blast Heating Up Battle Between Energy Lobbying Groups, Bloomberg

Deep Freeze in U.S. Creates Heating Squeeze for Homeowners and Utilities, New York Times

Winter storm to test Northeast grid as FERC tees up decision on DOE grid rule, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant goes offline, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Markey and Warren want firm action from EPA and FERC for pipeline’s discharge of ‘hazardous wastewater’ in Agawam, Berkshire Eagle

Sens. Warren, Markey query feds about Tennessee Gas pipeline wastewater spill in Agawam, MassLive

Town warns residents of carbon monoxide dangers, Andover Townsman

Pennsylvania shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal judge rules again Weymouth in compressor station case, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: Oil and gas companies get a New Year’s Day gift, Washington Post

Renewable Energy Policy/RGGI/Climate Change/etc.

Lawmakers Delay Vote on RGGI, as Clean Energy Advocates Tout Benefits, New Hampshire Public Radio

Program to promote renewable energy gets new scrutiny, Bennington Banner

Bill to divert RGGI funds to ratepayers draws concern from environmentalists, Concord Monitor

Why mandates still matter in the age of cheap renewables, Utility Dive

Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy Over Christmas It Had to Pay People to Use It, ScienceAlert

Why 2018 will be a make or break year for renewables, GreenBiz

Clean Energy Soared in the US in 2017 Due to Economics, Policy and Technology, InsideClimate News

Companies tout renewable energy projects for Massachusetts, Penn Energy

The sunny optimism of clean energy shines through tech’s gloom, Wired

Energy storage safety set to move forward in 2018 with new fire standards, Utility Dive

New York clean energy proposal seeks 1.5 GW of storage, coal phaseout, Utility Dive

The Year Climate Change Began to Spin Out of Control, MIT Tech Review

EPA issues clean air designations, Northeast states sue over cross-border pollution, Utility Dive

Transition to renewable power sources too slow, Massie says, Berkshire Eagle

Wood-Burning Power Plant Shutting Down for Lack of Subsidies, Power Engineering

Solar

Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works, MassLive

Derry council reconsiders solar project, approves on second, The Union Leader

RI Launches New Statewide Solar Permitting Process, Rhode Island Public Radio

10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 2018, Greentech Media

New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations, Greentech Media

Wind

Foe takes aim at second Falmouth turbine, Cape Cod Times

Andrew Cuomo Throws Political Weight Behind Offshore Wind and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

Wind Energy: The Good News in Offshore, Marine Technology News

The top five wind stories of 2017, Windpower Engineering (press release)

The Dutch plan to build the world’s biggest wind farm, complete with a large floating island, Business Insider

15 Deerfield Wind Turbines Go Online, NA Clean Energy

Energy Efficiency

How to save money and energy in buildings? There’s an app for that, The Guardian

Trump Administration Reverses Course on PACE Financing, Greentech Media

One Year Later, AC Hotel Cambridge Reaps the Benefit of Green Building Design, NA Clean Energy

Nuclear

NYISO Seeks FERC Denial on Indian Point Review Deadline, RTO Insider

Nuclear pushes its role ‘softening the blow to consumers’ as cold snap enters week two, Washington Examiner

The committee to save nuclear towns is not in session, EandE News

New Jersey nuke subsidy measure unlikely to see vote in lame-duck session, Utility Dive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law, MassLive.com

AG Maura Healey ‘glad Eversource has done the right thing’ in reducing Massachusetts electricity rate hike, MassLive

Somerset County commissioners say they back 145-mile transmission line project, Press Herald

Dam management raises questions among locals, The Dartmouth

Energy industry a major contributor to Sununu’s campaign coffers, The Union Leader

Northern Pass to Host Second Job Fair for NH Workers, Londonderry News

Electric Car Drivers Are Too Smart to Own Electric Cars, Bloomberg

FERC: Demand response fell 10% in power markets in 2016, Utility Dive

Tax Reform Could Mean Lower Bills for Utility Customers, Greentech Media

US on the cusp of enjoying ‘energy superpower’ status, analyst says, CNBC

Editorial/Opinion

Amid Deep Freeze, New Englanders Can ‘Thank’ NY Gov. Cuomo For Their High Energy Bills, Forbes

My Turn: Why should we believe energy giants?, Concord Monitor

Margaret Harrington: Vermont’s plans to dump on Nevada, vtdigger.org

Thanks to panel for renewable-energy effort, by Kathryn Conover, The Keene Sentinel

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates, CommonWealth Magazine

Columnist Marty Nathan: Build stature as clean-energy community, Daily Hampshire Gazette

US Grid Needs to Go on a Diet to Get Leaner and Greener, Renewable Energy World

Biomass’s Opportunity in Future Power Trend, Biomass Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables