Tag Archives: Eversource

Energy News for week ending August 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

FERC Flooded with Comments on Pipeline Permitting, RTO Insider

FERC Clarifies New York TOs’ Cost Recovery, RTO Insider

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

National Grid gas workers still locked out, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

Compromise energy bill criticized as too weak, The Recorder

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

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

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

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

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

New England Women Talk Climate Change, Resilience, RTO Insider

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

 

Wind

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

Offshore wind prices look competitive, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

Eversource plans more power lines for Dartmouth, Southcoasttoday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Lawmakers should embrace clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

No benefits from a wind farm, Sun Journal

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending July 27, 2018

Powerwalls pay off | Russians Hack Utilities | 50 Million dollars

Happy Friday afternoon.

Below are a few articles from this week that we found interesting.

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave (Concord Monitor) “An innovative program in Vermont that uses batteries in customers’ homes as a “virtual power plant” paid off to the tune of almost half a million dollars during the recent heat wave, according to the utility running the project…At times during the heat wave that covered much of the first week of July, the utility – often known as GMP – drew electricity out of about 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in the home of about 400 customers and fed it into the grid. This meant GMP had to buy less electricity from power plants when the wholesale price of power in New England, which changes every five minutes depending on demand and supply, was particularly high. This had a double price benefit. It saves on the momentary energy charge, but more importantly it can reduce the utility’s payment to the bulk transmission system in New England…”

In some disquieting national news we have some local assurance, After Russians hack into US electrical utilities, ISO New England says it constantly upgrades security (MassLive)After federal officials announced hackers working for Russia gained access to the control rooms of US electric utilities, ISO New England said the company has a myriad of ways to safeguard the region’s power grid against security threats. The company has redundant facilities and continues to change and upgrade security measures as cyber threats evolve, said Marcia Blomberg, senior media relations specialist for ISO New England.”

Here is some good news out of Maine, CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts (Press Herald) “Central Maine Power has agreed to give $50 million to energy-assistance programs that will benefit low-income electric customers – in Massachusetts. CMP will provide $50 million over 40 years to several programs and initiatives in Massachusetts, as a condition of winning the bid to build a high-voltage transmission line from Quebec through Maine that will carry hydroelectricity to the Commonwealth. The disclosure comes as CMP is under multiple investigations and lawsuits over allegations it overcharged Maine ratepayers. None of the money for the program will come from ratepayers in Maine or Massachusetts, according to Avangrid, CMP’s parent company. It will be taken out of profits.”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Debate over proposed power plant in Burrillville centers on power needs, The Providence Journal

Maine oil dealers begin delivering new, cleaner blend of heating oil, MaineBiz

Trump Says Europe Will Buy More American Gas. Is That Possible?, New York Times

DEP’s overdue Marcellus Shale air study finds few health risks, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

National Grid lockout causing headaches for customers, Boston Globe

Lowell Council won’t act on National Grid gas work during lockout, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Use of renewable energy increasing in NH, WMUR

Group Says N.H. Renewable Energy Mandates Use Too Much ‘Dirty’ Fuel, New Hampshire Public Radio

Audubon Says Carbon Pricing Bill is a “refreshingly bold move”, National Audubon Society

State organization calls for 100 percent renewable energy in Massachusetts by 2035, Valley Advocate

Connecticut Green Bank and PosiGen “Solar for All” Partnership – Bringing the Benefits of Clean Energy to LMI Communities, Renewable Energy World

The 5 most important questions about carbon taxes, answered, Vox.com

Vermont PUC seeks alternative ratemaking proposals to boost renewables, Utility Dive

Massachusetts energy bills stall as deadline approaches, PV Magazine

Solar and wind are coming. And the power sector isn’t ready., Vox.com

 

Wind

Kingston Wind Independence promises payment of back taxes, Wicked Local Kingston

Judge scraps lawsuit against Maine wind moratorium, Utility Dive

Vineyard Wind to cover Yarmouth costs for review, Cape Cod Times

Between lines on Savoy wind energy project denial, National Wind Watch

Offshore wind hits early turbulence: who will bring the power ashore?, NJ Spotlight

Wind turbines could be on Guilford’s horizon, National Wind Watch

NYS Exposed: NY towns fight controversial wind turbine project, WHEC

Judge tosses challenge of order halting wind turbines, Bangor Daily News

State urged to move fast on offshore wind, but get it right, The Press of Atlantic City

Electric rates will rise due to wind power, The Day

 

Solar

Massachusetts Legislature Could Overturn Eversource’s New Demand Charge for Resi Solar, Greentech Media

City Hall solar sparks ire from council, Salem News

Fall River trying again to create solar farm off Blossom Road, Herald News

Goldman Sachs Puts a Grim Number on Solar Slump for This Year, Bloomberg

NH Co-ops solar facility adds green energy to the power grid, Energy Central

Molly Kelly Tours North Hampton Brewery That’s Saving Money Thanks to Solar Energy, NHlabornews

Solar delivers during New England heatwave, PV Magazine USA

State seeking towns’ input to help develop solar guidelines, Westerly Sun

Residents air concerns over big solar array project, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Rural Westhampton could see 20-acre solar plant, MassLive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Beyond weatherization: Are utilities doing enough to engage low-income customers?, Utility Dive

Using customer batteries as a power source saved Vt. utility $500K, Granite Geek

Massachusetts power players scramble for deal in critical storage, DER docket, Utility Dive

Efficiency Vermont and Sense Conduct Pilot Study of Advanced Home Energy Monitoring, Energy Central

Vermont utility says program saved $500K during heat wave, Concord Monitor

Rocky Mountain Institute study shows that with heat pumps and smart thermostats, we can live better electrically, Treehugger

Liquid metal battery could lower cost of storing renewable energy, Engadet

 

EVs

Electric buses are cleaner in all parts of U.S., study finds, Metro Magazine

 

Nuclear

Study: US Unlikely To See New Nuclear Power Anytime Soon, WABE

Yucca Mountain revival efforts appear dead – for now, Review Journal

WPI receives $600K for nuclear program, Worcester Business Journal

Next-Gen Nuclear Is Coming—If Society Wants It, Wired

Mapped: The US nuclear power plants ‘at risk’ of shutting down, Carbon Brief

Nuclear power looks to shrink its way to success, Financial Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Russian Hackers Reach U.S. Utility Control Rooms, Homeland Security Officials Say, Wall St. Journal

After Russians hack into US electrical utilities, ISO New England says it constantly upgrades security, MassLive

How vulnerable is the grid to cyberattacks, really?, Utility Dive

3 utilities seek $426m for negotiating hydro contracts, CommonWealth Magazine

CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts, Press Herald

Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits, CommonWealth Magazine

What Will Maine Get Out Of It? Groups Skeptical Over CMP’s Hydropower Plan, Maine Public

Group nixes plan for hydro project at Keene dam, Keene Sentinel

State Argues Budget Sweep of Energy Funds No Big Deal, Hartford Courant

More than 600 customers sue CMP, claiming the company overcharged them, then gave them ‘the cold shoulder’, Portland Press Herald

Class-action lawsuit filed against CMP over alleged overbillings, MaineBiz

Kelly questions Sununu’s energy bill vetoes, Seacoastonline.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s Time to Stop Investing in New Oil and Gas Pipelines, Scientific American

Renewables, not gas, key to our clean energy future | Opinion, NJ.com

Power prices — and long-term costs, Boston Globe

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

LETTER: Mention of Chernobyl serves as a reminder, Daily News of Newburyport

Go Nuclear For Power Policy Winners Among Utilities, Forbes

Viewpoint: For energy fix in Mass., natural gas capacity must be increased, Boston Business Journal

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

A sharp slap of reality, Watertown Daily Times

Opinion: Cape leads the way on renewable energy; state must do more, Taunton Gazette

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Electricity Costs, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 29, 2018

That was quick | Substantial benefits | Cooperation. Not so much

 

Happy sunny Friday.

According to Platts, it’s reportedly the shortest tenure for any member of FERC. Last night, in a surprise announcement FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson announced his resignation. From Mary Serreze at MassLive, “Powelson said he is leaving FERC with ‘mixed emotions’ to become president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies, and that ‘It has been an honor to serve this great country.’ The Republican and former Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner is stepping down in mid-August, and leaving as the bipartisan independent commission faces political pressure. An advocate for competitive power markets, Powelson opposed the coal and nuclear bailouts pushed by Trump energy secretary Rick Perry.”

Michelle Froese at Windpower Engineering and Development writes that “A recent report released by the Applied Economics Clinic (AEC) in conjunction with Sustainable Energy Advantage found substantial economic and environmental benefits for Massachusetts, and no new costs for ratepayers, if the legislature approves policies included in a bill passed by the State Senate. If adopted together, the four key policies, including an accelerated increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), increased targets for off-shore wind generation and battery storage, and a removal of the solar net metering cap, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 600,000 metric tons and have the following impacts in Massachusetts: Create an average of 1800 new jobs; Generate $3.4 billion in economic opportunity over the next twelve years; Lead to 9,800 MW of total wind, solar, and hydro generation; yet Result in no increase to Massachusetts electric bills.”

Cooperation seems to have gone by the wayside in New England energy markets according to an article by Tux Turkel at the Portland Press Herald. He writes, “Today’s battles over big energy projects in New England obscure the region’s past history of successfully bringing key visions to reality. But they also call into question whether the wholesale electricity market that has evolved over the past two decades can survive.”

One last note, we couldn’t bring you the Northeast Energy News each week without the hard work of all the journalists out there. Our hearts break for those who lost their lives or were injured in Maryland yesterday. We send our genuine thanks and appreciation to each and every member of the news community for the work they do.

That it for this week. Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes on July 13th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Methane leaks offset much of the benefits of natural gas, new study says, Keene Sentinel

Scrutinize Pipeline Past Nuclear Plant: Long-Awaited State Report, USA Patch

NYS Report: Significant Risks to AIM Pipeline, NRDC.org

Making Utilities Make Gas Leak Info Public: New Law, USA Patch

Federal Trial Concludes in South Portland Pipeline Lawsuit, U.S. News & World Report

Natural gas execs see ‘century of supply’ in U.S. shale, Reuters

Is the Coming Natural Gas Boom Good for the Climate? Depends Who You Ask, Time

Are Fugitive Methane Emissions Offsetting the CO2 Benefit of Natural Gas?, (podcast) Greentech Media

BNEF: Gas Still ‘Necessary’ in a 50 Percent Wind and Solar Scenario, Greentech Media

National Grid locks out gas workers, Boston Globe

Gas worker protest lockout in Braintree, Wicked Local Braintree

Exxon, Chevron head new methane emissions consortium, Seeking Alpha

NY agencies urge FERC to cut pipeline risks near Indian Point nuclear plant, Reuters

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

New report analyzes Massachusetts Senate clean-energy bill, Windpower Engineering and Development

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement promises huge battle for greens, others, Utility Dive

New Vt. Incentives Make Wood Heating Systems More Attainable, NECN

How do we get to a low-carbon energy system?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Connecticut DEEP selects AD project through recent RFP, Biomass Magazine

Senate Passes $145B Spending Bill, With Boost to Energy Innovation Programs, Greentech Media

Coastal Communities at Significant Risk of Chronic Flooding, US News and World Report

JP Observer: City action on approved clean energy program at a standstill; Councilor O’Malley objects, Jamaica Plain Gazette

Anti-fossil fuel candidates come out winners in party primaries, Think Progress

 

Wind

Cape Wind lease officially comes to end, Cape Cod Times

Niagara County aids Somerset with legal fees in wind power fight, Buffalo News

Wind power to grow nationally, but its future in Maine is uncertain, experts say, Portland Press Herald

Vineyard Wind visits Brayton Point, Southcoasttoday.com

LI to be site of offshore wind research/development consortium, Newsday

The public health benefits of adding offshore wind to the grid, Salon

Can Wind Turbines Make You Sick?, PBS.org

 

Solar

Solar to Cap Municipal Solid Waste Site in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, Solarnovus.com

Isle au Haut to build solar-powered smart energy microgrid, Mainebiz

Solar Installed At Shake-N-Go Fashion In Long Island, Solar Industry

Unclear Future For Solar Energy Customers In New York, WAMC

New Jersey to end solar credit program, develop alternative support, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York Plans Trip to Energy Storage Future. Takes Along Swiss Army Knife, Microgrid Knowledge

Alphabet is in talks to spin out its molten-salt storage play, MIT Technology Review

We still have no idea how to eliminate more than a quarter of energy emissions, MIT Technology Review

Mystic couple wins statewide award for energy-efficient home, The Day

Siemens Tests Ammonia as a Form of Energy Storage for Renewables, Greentech Media

10th in energy efficiency, US is falling in rank because of Trump’s policies, ACEEE says, Utility Dive

 

EVs

California and Eight Other States Push Plan to Boost Zero-Emission Vehicles, Wall St. Journal

Electric vehicles are gaining momentum, despite Trump, Vox

 

Nuclear

Delays won’t scuttle Vermont Yankee sale, companies say, VTDigger

Flooding at Nine Mile Point, All Things Nuclear

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DSP Isn’t Just Any Old Energy Acronym. National Grid Shows Why in Buffalo, Microgrid Knowledge

GOP federal energy commissioner who opposed coal and nuclear bailouts resigns, Mass Live

What comes next for FERC?, Politico Morning Energy

Emerging energy model in New England shies away from cooperation, Portland Press Herald

Residents see savings with WinPower, Daily Times Chronicle

Perry says economics are “secondary” when it comes to power grid, Houston Chronicle

Eversource customers to see rate increase, Concord Monitor via Energy Central

The ‘New’ New General Electric: Renewables Are In, Distributed Gas Generators Are Out, Greentech Media

Dynamic Grid Systems will rebuild a small Maine utility from the ground up, Utility Dive

Council defers National Grid projects amid lockout, Lowell Sun

Lewiston council supports CMP hydroelectric project, new converter station, Portland Press Herald

Waterbury to buy Eversource’s street lamps to save money, Republican-American

AVANGRID’s $2.5B plan to boost storm ‘resiliency’ in Maine, Northeast, MaineBiz

New England power prices rise in 2017, demand drops, fuel security concerns remain, Platts

State’s removal of Sandwich cedar canopy draws ire, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why federal regulators shouldn’t save the Mystic power plant, Boston Globe

My Turn: David Ismay: No need for more gas infrastructure, Providence Journal

Hey fossil-fuel industry, where’s your proof?, New Hampshire Business Review

Opinion: NJ’s clean energy future depends on strong RGGI cap, NorthJersey.com

It’s not solar that gets the subsidy, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine needs a governor who will prioritize clean energy, Bangor Daily News

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

This week we begin with a story from Greentech Media that follows-up to last week’s grid mod announcement in Massachusetts. Digging a little deeper into the smart meter portion of the order they write, “Massachusetts regulators see a future in which customers are leaving investor-owned utilities for municipal aggregators and competitive third-party suppliers, and they aren’t sure how to fit mass-market smart meter deployments into that future. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that ‘declined to preauthorize any customer-facing investments’ — that is, smart meter deployments.” The reasons according to the article, “it found several weaknesses in each utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) business case, based on a combination of two unusual factors prevailing in the state. First, all these utilities have already deployed simpler automated meter reading systems, which have already allowed each utility to achieve the significant meter-reading savings that account for a big chunk of the AMI business case.” And second, is the inability to tap into a constant stream of data to enable real time rates, “The problem is that each utility customer that switches to a non-utility energy provider is no longer part of each utility’s list of prospective time-varying rate (TVR) adopters, even though the utility paid for the smart meter that made them available.”

In NH, three “contentious” renewable energy bills are on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk. From the NH Business Review, “New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446… (increases) fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering…SB 446 would extend the upper limit from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, allowing large businesses, municipalities and even small hydro generators to take advantage of it, paving the way for much larger renewable energy projects…SB 365…would require Eversource to pay 80 percent of the default rate to six wood-burning plants for three years…and SB 577, which would continue the current subsidized rate for the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.” When it comes to Bill 446, “Critics, including utilities and some business groups, claim that generators are paid too much for the power, and this amounts to a subsidy paid for by other ratepayers. Advocates say that renewable energy saves money on distribution and generation costs.” Other concerns include in increase in rates that could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in the state.

If you’re in need of an excuse for why you’re late; or bummed out that you showed up early for work one day – blame the power grid. From the AP, “Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time…Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that’s 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

Pipeline protesters shut down City Council subcommittee meeting (VIDEO), Lowell Sun
Fall River City Council condemns water deal with Invenergy, opposes plant construction
, Uprise RI

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections, EcoWatch

Gas leaks near schools: Wellesley School Committee contacts National Grid, Wicked Local

500 Greenpoint Locals Wait Days For National Grid To Restore Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

CT Slapped With Lawsuit Over Raid Of Clean Energy Funds, Solar Industry

3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk, NH Business Review

On Cape Cod, Tides Could Become A Renewable Energy Source, wgbh.org

IBM joins forces with a start-up to combine crypto with environmental credit trading, CNBC

Why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy, Quartz

Americans want more clean energy. Here’s what they’re actually willing to do to get it, CNBC

Portland’s Casco Bay High School hopes to become ‘greenest’ in Maine, The Forecaster

U.S. Department of Energy announces funding opportunity for marine energy R&D, Renewable Energy World

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More, Greentech Media

New York proposes strict carbon emission limits for existing power plants, Utility Dive

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available to Launch New Cleantech Accelerator, NA Clean Energy

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge, NA Clean Energy

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more, Utility Dive

World’s largest offshore wildlife aerial survey off NY’s coast halfway complete, Windpower Engineering (press release)

Offshore wind developer eyeing potential of South Brooklyn shipping hub, Offshore Wind Journal

Winning the battle to reduce the cost of offshore wind, Maritime Journal

State’s high court shoots down appeal against Antrim Wind; project can go forward, Keene Sentinel

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

Solar Power: ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to RI’s Forests, ecoRI news

Sunrun Boosts Revenue 37%, Expands Partnership With National Grid, Greentech Media

RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers, Rhode Island Public Radio

CESA honors six states for clean energy excellence, Solar Power World

68-acre solar installation proposed in Tiverton, The Providence Journal

Cumberland council OKs solar farm, mulls garage move, The Forecaster

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

Groups sue Connecticut state officials for raiding clean energy and efficiency funds, New Haven Register

US House Committee Cuts Federal Energy Research, Boosts Energy Storage, Union of Concerned Scientists

Storage Might Solve Some Big Grid Problems, but Not the Ones You Think, Greentech Media

National Grid grants $1 million in energy efficiency rebates to world’s largest housing cooperative, Daily Energy Insider

Energy savings ideas topic of Energy and Environmental Conference, Eagle Tribune

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

1st Quarter Inspection at Pilgrim Finds No Violations, CapeCod.com News

Advocacy to Keep US Nuclear Reactors Open Picks Up Steam, Energy Collective

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, Greentech Media

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

Nuclear-Waste Tax Case Battled at 11th Circuit, Courthouse News

 

EVs

Another NH utility tiptoes into a little bit of support for electric vehicles, Granite Geek

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

RMLD Celebrates New Bolt, New Charging Station, Patch.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clocks may go a little cuckoo with power grid change, AP

Massachusetts rejects smart meter rollout for ‘weaknesses in the business case’, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Rejects Smart Meter Rollouts, as Competitive Energy Undermines the Business Case, Greentech Media

Exelon sets its price for keeping Everett plants open, CommonWealth Magazine

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council Reports: Annual Assessment Forecasts Adequate Electricity Supplies for this Summer, Energy Central

US Northeast, Canada to have adequate summer power supply, Platts

Eversource plans 5% summer electricity rate cut, MassLive.com

National Grid’s full-year profits rise helped by US business, Reuters

New York ISO Zone A real-time power spikes to $1400/MWh on strong demand, Platts

Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Aims To Restore Power By Sunday After Four Tornadoes Strike, Hartford Courant

New York in bid to shut down all coal plants by 2020, Energy Voice

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Natural-Gas Constraints Bad for Business, Bad for Environment, AIM blog

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Why the offshore wind industry is about to take off, The Conversation

Meredith Angwin: Rolling Blackouts For New England?, Caledonian Record

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers, Press Herald

One Well-Placed Hurricane Will UTTERLY DESTROY Costly Offshore Wind Systems On The East Coast, Daily Caller

Rhode Island Should Lead by Example to Prevent Loss of Forestland, EcoRI

Climate disruption has real impact on health in Massachusetts and we should be doing more (Viewpoint), MassLive

Out-of-towner explains Granite Bridge opposition, Seacoastonline.com

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

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 6, 2018

Home rating | Drive electric | Hearing on Competitive Suppliers

Good Friday afternoon – albeit a temporarily snowy one. Let’s dive into what we’re reading this week.

What grade will your house get? From the Worcester Business Journal, “A home energy efficiency score would eventually become part of the valuation of all homes on the market in Massachusetts under legislation Gov. Charlie Baker filed on Tuesday to elevate awareness of home energy efficiency and target the residential sector for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Under the bill, [by 2021] home energy auditors would be required to provide homeowners with an easy to understand scorecard that would grade a home’s energy efficiency and provide recommendations for how the home’s energy performance could be improved. While the proposal was cheered by the environmental community, realtors expressed reservations…‘If someone doesn’t have the resources to improve their home it will just be like a scarlet letter on their home,’ said Michael McDonagh, of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.”

Be on the lookout for a new EV ad campaign. According to an article in Green Car Reports, “16 major automakers are joining forces with seven states to promote sales of electric vehicles to consumers. The Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers announced it would launch two separate marketing campaigns – ‘Drive Change, Drive Electric’ and ‘Buyers Wanted’ in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Jersey…EV advocates have long noted that consumers need more education about the benefits of electrics, and these ads will provide it, focusing on performance, affordability, choice, and convenience.”

Last for this week is a follow-up story to last week’s news that Mass AG Maura Healey would like to roll back competitive supply in the residential market. From the Lowell Sun, “House and Senate lawmakers are gearing up to hold an oversight hearing to question companies cited by Healey about what she described as deceptive business practices. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy…is planning the hearing, according to the committee, to ‘consider immediate protective measures and the implications of those actions,’ learn about best practices in other states and explore issues related to the market that Healey said were beyond the scope of her review…The date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Utility Regulators Want Review Of Vermont Gas Pipeline Construction, Vermont Public Radio

Cyberattack Shows Vulnerability of Gas Pipeline Network, New York Times

Four Gas Pipeline Data Systems Shut Down as Cyberattack Hits, Bloomberg

Algonquin natural gas pipeline in US Northeast delays significant Apr 4 maintenance, Platts

Kinder Morgan still has NGL pipeline plan on pause, Danville Advocate

TransCanada completes Northwest Mainline Loop-Boundary Lake pipeline expansion, Daily Energy Insider

Residents curious, wary about natural gas expansion, Newcanaannewsonline

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

Carbon taxes can be both fair and effective, study shows, Science Daily

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, The New Yorker

Local N.H. Conservation, Climate Groups Launch Renewable Energy Campaign, NHPR

Climate change threatens ski industry, Stowe Reporter

Virginia Supreme Court upholds 100% renewable energy option, PV Magazine

Lawmaker tries to steer investments toward renewable energy, WJAR

Beaton: Natural gas not part of Massachusetts ‘clean peak’ standard, Worcester Telegram

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, New Yorker

Attorney General Maura Healey, other states sue EPA for not enforcing pollution controls, MassLive

ITM Power secures MassCEC’s grant for power-to-gas feasibility study, Power Distribution Utilities Network

Hancock County residents protest Brookfield’s dam operations, MaineBiz

Carbon Tax Bill Moves Slowly Despite Need for Urgency, ecoRI news

Green energy gets cool response at hearing in Exeter, The Providence Journal

Maine regulators approve partial subsidy to keep biomass power plants alive, Press Herald

Biomass owners say director of logging trade group is bad-mouthing business, Press Herald

 

Wind

Ørsted & Eversource Announce 200 Megawatt Connecticut Offshore Wind Farm, CleanTechnica

Three wind power projects submitted to Connecticut DEEP, New Haven Register

Effort to build offshore wind industry in Maine may hinge on 73 cents, Press Herald

Sara Lee Cake Maker Buys Wind Credits to Offset Your Dessert, Bloomberg

BOEM seeks mariners’ input on East Coast wind energy sites, WorkBoat

AEG plans to build US offshore wind vessel fleet, port facilities, Renewables Now

Atlantic wind boost on US menu, reNews

Offshore wind projects make headway, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind blows new life into dormant partnership, NJ Spotlight

Federal Agency To Study Effects Of Electric Pulses From Proposed Wind Farm On Fish, 27East.com

Moody’s likes the look of NJ, other northeastern states, for offshore wind, NJSpotlight.com

Turbine parts to be made in MA, Bay State Wind says, South Coast Today

Delays likely in offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Murphy: Danish off-shore wind firm coming to Atlantic City, Penn Energy

 

Solar

Green Lantern receives CPG for solar array at former Newfane dump, Commons

Town council to reexamine solar ordinance, Ricentral.com

Portland Highlighted for Solar Progress in New Report, Environment Maine

Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America, Environment Maine

Maine solar advocates powerless again as House upholds LePage’s veto by 3 votes, Press Herald

LIPA trustees won’t delay new solar energy compensation plan, Newsday

German Developer of Solar + Storage “Smart Flower” Quietly Goes Insolvent, Renewable Energy World

Home Solar Dims as Tesla, Others Curb Aggressive Sales, Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

Longmeadow to participate in solarize program, The Reminder

Solar farms now allowed outside of industrial-zoned areas, The Reminder

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Baker proposal would rate homes on energy efficiency, Worcester Business Journal

Energy efficiency, rooftop solar to trim New England power usage, draft report says, Utility Dive

As DC retreats, NY goes all-in on energy efficiency, Crain’s New York Business

Efficiency Vermont recognized as Energy Star partner by EPA, Vermont Biz

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee’s fuel move is still on hold, Rutland Herald

Amid arguments and warnings, nuclear subsidy bill clears committee, NJ Spotlight

Auction pushes forward for zero-carbon resources, including Millstone, The Day

FirstEnergy Seeks Bankruptcy Protection for Ailing Coal and Nuclear Subsidiaries, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Buyers in seven Northeast states urged to consider electric cars, Green Car Reports

Gas stations pivot to address the threat from electric vehicles, Teslarati

Pennsylvania Driving Toward an Electrifying Win, NRDC

Eversource to Invest $45 Million in Electric Vehicle Charging Ports, CapeCod.com News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Legislature plans hearing into competitive electric supply market, Lowell Sun

Electric supply exec blasts Healey’s ‘one-sided report,‘ Lowell Sun

How to Build a Foundation for New Utility Business Models, Greentech Media

The Microgrid Way: Going Green with Solar & Supercapacitor-based Energy Storage, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon plays power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Sandwich power plant sold, Cape Cod Times

New York is changing the face of energy innovation, Utility Dive

Spring forward: European grid fixes lag that slowed clocks, Penn Energy

Baker treads softly on Healey proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown, CommonWealth Magazine

Updated: ISO-NE seeks to keep 1,600 MW of gas generation from retirement, Utility Dive

Somerset power plant closure will raise water and sewer fees, Southcoastonline.com

CMP customers disputing high bills must pay a portion of them, Press Herald

State lawmakers say customers shouldn’t have to pay for CMP investigation, WGME

I-Team: PUC changes disconnect rules during CMP investigation, WGME

Cyberattack Bleeds Into the Utility Industry, Bloomberg

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

Connecticut grid test planned for May, Thehour.com

Hydro-Québec partner plans appeal in New Hampshire for Northern Pass project, Montreal Gazette

National Grid names new New York president, Albany Times Union

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Renewable energy’s challenges and challengers, Worcester Telegram

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Path to Zero-Subsidy Offshore-Wind Bids, NJ Spotlight

All Americans want cleaner, safer sources of energy to be encouraged, The Laconia Daily Sun

Lawmakers have third chance to avert higher electricity costs for all Mainers, Bangor Daily News

Hildt’s view: Remembering TMI, thankful for C-10, The Daily News of Newburyport

Op-Ed: Why Private Investors Must Fund ‘New Nuclear’ Power Right Now, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

My recipe for embracing renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Tony Giunta: The ripple effect of high electricity prices, Concord Monitor

The simple argument for keeping nuclear power plants open, Vox.com

Letter to the Editor: Pushing for a clean energy future, Daily Free Press

Lawmakers have third chance to avert higher electricity costs for all Mainers, Bangor Daily News

Push back against Central Maine Power, Press Herald

Letter: Stephen J. Nelson: Raise National Grid’s costs when customers lose power, Providence Journal

Tweak needed for clean peak standard, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

We’re on to Maine | Shut it down | A look inside

Happy Friday afternoon.

The big news this week, as Bill Belichick might say, is “We’re on to Maine.” In a succinctly worded announcement on the Massachusetts Clean Energy website, the new direction for the clean energy procurement went from Eversource’s Northern Pass project to Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project. The announcement read in part, “The Electric Distributions Companies are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (“NECEC Hydro”) and intend to execute agreements with NECEC Hydro for submittal to the Department of Public Utilities, assuming negotiations are concluded successfully.” For your reading enjoyment, we have included a whole section of stories related to this news.

But even before the Clean Energy Connect news broke, the Press Herald reported that new opposition is “ramping up” to CMP’s project. Tux Turkel writes, “A trio of companies, (Calpine Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Bucksport Generation LLC) which together own one-third of Maine’s generating capacity, say subsidized power from Canada could upend New England’s competitive, wholesale electric market and make some existing power plants in Maine too costly to run when they’re needed. They also say a big slug of power from Hydro-Quebec over a high-voltage, direct current line will make it technically difficult for new Maine-based wind and solar to connect to the region’s electric grid.

Normally when you hear, “shut it down” in the energy industry, it usually comes from anti-nuclear or anti-gas protesters. But this week it was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who is aiming to shut down the residential competitive supply market. According to a story on WGBH News by Colin Young of the State House News Service, “Electric customers in Massachusetts who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $176.8 million more than they would have had they stayed with their utility company from July 2015 to June 2017, the two-year period during which Healey’s office was investigating the industry, her office announced…Healey said she plans to work with the Legislature, the Department of Public Utilities and the energy industry “to close down the market for individual residential competitive electric supply in Massachusetts.”

I have to say, as someone who has hung up on countless suppliers, had debates at my front door with electric supply salespersons, and counseled volunteers working with the elderly who have switched suppliers multiple times and faced huge penalties – at a minimum something needs to be done to reign in deceptive practices and to get the bad actors out of the game. The good news is that AG Healey already did that with Viridian, as was reported in the Boston Globe “An electricity supplier will pay $5 million to settle claims of deceptive marketing and sales tactics that resulted in consumers being overcharged, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. In addition to the settlement payout announced Wednesday, Viridian Energy LLC of Norwalk, Conn., agreed it would not market its electricity supply door-to-door in Massachusetts for the next two years and that it would change some of its marketing methods.” Hear, Hear!

Last for this week is a recently released video from ISO New England that “takes you inside the ISO, showcasing how the grid operator keeps the lights on across New England – today and in the future. Shot at the ISO offices and throughout New England, the video looks at the transformation occurring in New England, as the region transitions from a grid powered by oil and coal plants to one more reliant on renewable energy.”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds, New York Times

State Lawmaker Secretly Sends Constituent’s Emails to Gas Pipeline Lobbyist, (MA) Huffington Post

National Grid proposes gas line along bike path, Glens Falls Post-Star

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

Judge rules civil disobedience a ‘necessity’ to prevent climate change, ThinkProgress

West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline in Boston Criminal Trial Downgraded, Patch.com

Natural Gas Act preempts local efforts to preclude construction of compressor station, Lexology

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Bill Adds Wood to RI’s Renewable-Energy Portfolio, ecoRI news

New Jersey foresees RGGI re-entry in 2019, Carbon Pulse

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much?, EandE News

Walsh: Despite cost, city must stem climate change tide, Boston Herald

Renewables or Nuclear? A New Front in the Academic War Over Decarbonization, Greentech Media

 

Wind

800 Megawatt Bay State Wind US Offshore Project Partners To Combine Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Is Offshore Wind a Better Deal With Batteries?, Greentech Media

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

Hopkinton residents receive letter from wind company offering payments on electric bills, Watertown (NY) Daily News

Deepwater’s Offshore Wind Plans Could Revolutionize Mass. Workforce and Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

Deepwater Wind narrows locations to New Bedford, Fall River or Somerset, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind to do 3rd round of marine surveys, South Coast Today

BOEM seeks public comment on proposed offshore Massachusetts wind farm, Windpower Engineering and Development

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

New Energy Plan Clears Legislative Committee, But More Changes Expected, Hartford Courant

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Environmental groups call on Senate to support energy-efficiency bill, WMUR Manchester

Annual Update on Energy Efficiency from America’s Utilities, Natural Resources Defense Council

Good News: Congress Stands Up for Energy Efficiency with Omnibus Bill, ACEEE Press Release

Mass Save beginning in Brockton through Revise Energy, Cape Verdean Association, Enterprise

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Begins Final Refueling, The Examiner News

ITER nuclear fusion project avoids delays as U.S. doubles budget, Reuters

Del. Group Seeks to Block Artificial Island Project, RTO Insider

As Nuclear Plant Closes, Fears Shift From Contamination to Financial Pain, Wall Street Journal

FirstEnergy Solutions will close its nuclear power plants, but is silent on bankruptcy restructuring (photos), Plain Dealer

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

Unexpected foes emerge to CMP’s plan to build transmission line to Canada, Press Herald

Three companies seek to block CMP’s Hydro Quebec transmission project, Mainebiz

$950M power grid project could tunnel under Kennebec River Gorge, Bangor Daily News

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

In reversal, Massachusetts puts CMP in lead position for $950 million power line project, Press Herald

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

Massachusetts Sinks Eversource Power Project, Picks Avangrid (1), Bloomberg BNA

Mass. And Utilities Ditch NH-Routed Northern Pass For Hydro Project Through Maine, WBUR

Maine In, NH Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts, New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Site Evaluation Committee should stand firm on Northern Pass decision, New Hampshire Business Review

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

Massachusetts hydro power will come through Maine, not White Mountains, Wicked Local

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts ditches Northern Pass, looks to CMP for clean energy goals, Utility Dive

 

Electric Vehicles

Prospects of Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles Boosted with Chinese Backing, Energy Collective

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Staying a Step Ahead: A look inside ISO-NE and the region’s changing power system, (video) ISONewswire.com

Grid security falls to industry to self-regulate, Salem News

Raimondo: Report critical of National Grid’s response to October storm, ProJo

Peeved about power? Eversource defends its efforts, Wicked Local Brewster

Electricity supplier to pay $5 million to settle claims it misled Massachusetts customers, Boston Globe

Vermont Public Utility Commission approves release of request for proposals for Standard Offer program, Daily Energy Insider

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, (Press Release)

Call For ‘Stiff Penalties’ Vs. Utility Companies Made By County Legislators, White Plains Daily Voice

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

Microgrid Projects and Virtual Power Plants from Maine to Australia, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, Business Wire (press release)

RI Officials: National Grid’s October Storm Response Was Inadequate, Rhode Island Public Radio

What is up with your electric bill? Eversource explains, Wicked Local

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: A pipeline lesson for Virginia, courtesy of Massachusetts, Richmond.com

The best chance for offshore wind in Mass., The Boston Globe

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Boston’s ad hoc planning doesn’t work with climate change, Boston Globe

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

The era of conventional nuclear power may be ending, Washington Examiner

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

EDITORIAL: Mass. hydropower pact takes a detour, Lowell Sun

Oppose Eversource’s use of herbicides — now, Cape Cod Times

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