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Energy News for week ending January 17, 2020

The heat is on | To exit or not to exit | Single option

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

While today actually feels like winter, the trend over the past decade has been toward warmer temperatures. From the AP in the New York Times, “The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, two U.S. agencies reported Wednesday. And scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records. “If you think you’ve heard this story before, you haven’t seen anything yet,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said at the close of a decade plagued by raging wildfires, melting ice and extreme weather that researchers have repeatedly tied to human activity. Schmidt said Earth as a whole is probably the hottest it has been during the Holocene — the past 11,500 years or so — meaning this could be the warmest period since the dawn of civilization. But scientists’ estimates of ancient global temperatures, based on tree rings, ice cores and other telltale signs, are not precise enough to say that with certainty. The 2010s averaged 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7 degrees Celsius) worldwide, or 1.4 degrees (0.8 C) higher than the 20th century average and more than one-third of a degree (one-fifth of a degree C) warmer than the previous decade, which had been the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Climate change is giving Connecticut energy leaders second thoughts about staying with the regional electric grid. From WNPR, “The state’s commissioner of energy and environmental protection said Wednesday that Connecticut is being forced to invest in natural gas plants it doesn’t want or need. Katie Dykes’ comments on the future of Connecticut’s energy policy came up during a forum at Trinity College, and they come as the legislature prepares to convene next month. Speaking to a crowd at the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Dykes said a ‘lack of leadership’ at ISO New England, which oversees the regional power grid, is hindering the state’s fight against climate change. ‘We are at the mercy of a regional capacity market that is driving investment in more natural gas and fossil fuel power plants that we don’t want and we don’t need,’ Dykes said. ‘This is forcing us to take a serious look at the cost and benefits of participating in the ISO New England markets.’ The department has scheduled a meeting on the issue for Wednesday, Jan. 22.”

The last highlight for this week comes from the Cape Cod Times, “State officials are taking the first steps toward having a single underwater transmission line that could feed electricity generated by multiple offshore wind farms into the regional power grid. The Department of Energy Resources is asking for comments on the idea of it putting out to bid ‘offshore wind energy transmission sufficient to deliver energy generation procured under’ a 2018 clean energy law that signaled Massachusetts’ intent to pursue enough additional renewable energy to double its amount of possible offshore wind power. The department will accept all comments, but is particularly interested in thoughts on ‘the general cost and benefits of coordinated offshore wind transmission for the region and/or a potential independent transmission procurement in Massachusetts.’…One primary transmission system ‘has the potential benefit of minimizing impacts on fisheries, optimizing the transmission grid, and reducing costs,’ a department report concluded.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay warm, be careful in tomorrow’s snowstorm, and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas prices in 2019 were the lowest in the past three years

UPDATE: Technicians going door to door restoring gas after major leak in Salem (NH), Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts holding hearings on gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

2020 outlook: Natural gas faces regulatory, environmental scrutiny but still wants role in carbon-free grid, Utility Dive

Green hydrogen could price gas out of power markets by 2050, Energy Voice

Ashland Conservation Commission, citing impact on wetlands, denies Eversource pipe plan, MetroWest Daily News

15 states oppose Trump plan to allow LNG shipments by rail, AP

BlackRock to sell $500 million in coal investments in climate change push, CBS News

Communities weigh closing off gas hookups, Eagle-Tribune

Residents fume as Nat Grid builds north Brooklyn pipeline, Brooklyn Paper

Rep. Joe Kennedy Still Pushing For Answers On Controversial Weymouth Gas Compressor Project, WGBH

Weymouth: Protest Continue at Fore River Compressor Station Site, WATD-FM

Arsenic near Weymouth compressor site ‘not imminent hazard’, Wicked Local

Nine more arrested in compressor station protest, Patriot Ledger

 

TCI

Straus says TCI is getting in the way, CommonWealth Magazine

Mills becomes latest governor to express concern about regional fuel pact, Boston Globe

NH Gov. Sununu predicts TCI failure, as Mass Legislature floats Plan B, Boston Herald

DeLeo doesn’t see ‘a whole lot of support’ for a regional climate pact, Boston Globe

Transportation and Climate Initiative: Caution lights are flashing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New England governors keep signaling second thoughts about Charlie Baker’s climate plan, Boston.com

State’s top environmental official tries to keep climate accord alive, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Fever Chart: Earth Had Its Hottest Decade on Record in 2010s, New York Times

U.S. clean energy investment hits new record despite Trump administration views, Reuters

How A Climate Change Nonprofit Got Eversource Thinking About A Geothermal Future, WBUR

This is what energy resilience could look like, GreenBiz

Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates, The Guardian

What would a $10 per ton carbon price mean for the Northeast?, Utility Dive

Three-Quarters of New US Generating Capacity in 2020 Will Be Renewable, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Cambridge businesses back Carbon Pricing, Wicked Local

Give Kids the Money From Carbon Taxes, New Republic

What is ‘clean’ or ‘green’ energy? Definitions differ across regions., Kennebec Journal

Why Cutting Car and Truck Emissions Is So Hard, Pew Charitable Trusts

Transmission Emerging as Major Stumbling Block for State Renewable Targets, Greentech Media

New York says new renewables financing option to reduce developers’ financial risk, save $4.6B, Utility Dive

 

Wind

State seeks feedback on offshore transmission tie-in line, Cape Cod Times

New York’s next offshore wind tender to bring at least 1 GW, Renewables Now

Land deal could mean a wind farm coming to Claremont, Valley News

Lowest cost wind price remains under wraps, Herald News

Mayflower Wind, without contract, moving ahead, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind energy giants form global ‘action coalition,’ Energy Live News

Top wind company Ørsted to open innovation hub in Providence, Boston Globe

Solar is the world’s fastest-growing source of renewable energy. Here’s why one of Europe’s largest hedge funds is betting on wind instead., Business Insider

Town of Sanford wind farm meeting gets emotional. Here’s what was said., (NY) Press Connects

 

Solar

Stamford solar power company gets $10.2 million financing package, New Haven Register

Solar projects continue to pay off for towns and developers, southcoasttoday.com

City of Augusta, Greater Augusta Utility District look to go solar, Portland Press Herald

Net metering emerges as latest Statehouse battlefront, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Cuomo: Additional $2 billion in utility energy efficiency & building electrification initiatives to combat climate change, Niagara Frontier

What Would It Take for the US to Become an Energy Storage Manufacturing Powerhouse?, Greentech Media

Battery storage facility coming to New Windsor, Record Online

Trump Says Water Efficiency Standards Mean Showers, Toilets and Dishwashers Don’t Work Properly, Newsweek

What makes Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings Market Outperforming its Substitutes, MarketWatch

Eversource challenges students to showcase their energy smarts, Revere Journal

Energy Department Launches Challenge for Next-Gen Storage Technologies, NextGov

 

EVs

New Jersey sets high standard with passage of EV incentive bill, advocates say, Utility Dive

North Shore towns power up with Bolts, charging stations, Salem News

 

Nuclear

Decommissioning contract awarded, Machinery Market

Is Nuclear Power Worth the Risk?, The New Yorker

Holtec faces tough questions about Indian Point teardown at first public meeting in Buchanan, LoHud

Nuclear Decommissioning panel to NorthStar: Start paying, Brattleboro Reformer

Canada Sends Nuclear Power Plant Warning to Millions — Before Admitting It Was an ‘Error’, YAHOO!

Nuclear safety advocacy group C-10 moves to Amesbury, Wicked Local

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Conn. Energy Head Taking ‘A Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WNPR

Stop & Shop, Major Northeast Grocery Store Chain, to Install 40 Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Grassroots Push for Microgrid on Maine Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Electricity bill could drop $150 a year for Nashua residents under new plan, New Hampshire Union Leader

Timeline: Central Maine Power’s project permit woes, Kennebec Journal

Hydro-Quebec Could Face Fine For Late Disclosure Of Efforts To Sway Maine Voters On CMP Project, Maine Public

Group backing CMP power line wins support of former environmental leaders, Portland Press Herald

In Maine’s North Woods, unplugged back-to-landers foresee irreparable harm to trout from power corridor, Kennebec Journal

In an isolated Inuit community, concern is strong over water toxins from hydropower expansion, Sun Journal

Hydro-Québec and NB Power sign electricity purchase agreement, Electrical Business

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Lamont shamefully defies FOI laws, The Day

Douglas Rooks: Maine’s long quest for public power, Press Herald

U.S. Leadership Needed to Fight Climate Change, Bloomberg

Too much focus on gas tax, when corporations should do more, Boston Globe

Our View: We should heed warnings on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Here’s Something: CMP line poses a dilemma for environmentalists, Portland Press Herald

Letter: N.H. needs a governor strong on climate change, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial: A lackluster approach to green energy, Concord Monitor

Column: Australia shows us the road to climate hell, Hartford Courant

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

Energy News for week ending October 25, 2019

A Whole New Industry | Cash for Carbon | The Sounds of Climate Change

 

Good afternoon. It’s Friday, so let’s get to this week’s energy news.

We start with a story from New Hampshire Public Radio, “’A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine. New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts will work together on large-scale offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine…Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said at the meeting that he thinks Northern New England could add tens of thousands of jobs building these offshore turbine farms, and the transmission infrastructure to bring their power on-shore. ‘This is not just a project. This is not just an individual, “we’re going to find a site and put a couple of turbines up,”’ Caswell says. ‘This is the establishment of, really, a whole new industry.’ The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to hold the first meeting of a three-state task force on the issue in mid-December. The New England group is the third regionalized wind group BOEM has formed, after ones in the New York area and the Carolinas. The group’s first job would be to help choose specific areas for offshore wind leasing in the federal waters of the Gulf of Maine – likely at least 30 miles out to sea.”

Next up is a story from the New York Times, “Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, is preparing a $450 billion climate change initiative that aims to replace about a fifth of the nation’s traditional gasoline-powered vehicles with hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars and trucks in the next 10 years…Mr. Schumer’s new plan…is specific and is aimed at rapidly replacing 63 million of the 270 million cars on American roads with zero-emissions or near-zero-emissions vehicles. If enacted, it would take a significant slice out of carbon dioxide pollution from automobiles, America’s largest producer of planet-warming emissions…The bill would also include $45 billion to help cities and states install electric vehicle charging stations, and $17 billion to help automakers build or retool factories to manufacture hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

The last highlight story for this week comes from National Geographic, “Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors. Seismometers on the West Coast can hear the ocean bouncing off the seafloor as it is disturbed by a hurricane approaching the East Coast, with more intense tropical cyclones producing louder seismic roars. They can also hear the cracking of ice when temperatures fluctuate, the recoil of an ice sheet as part of it breaks free, and the explosive growth of icy crevasses. Tropical cyclones will likely get more intense, and the Earth’s ice will increasingly disintegrate as the planet warms. In recent decades, the potential for seismometers to track the consequences of climate change has become increasingly evident. Scientists are still trying to understand the crucial nuances of each seismic signal, sometimes turning to small-scale recreations of the natural world in the lab to try to pry out the causes of separate seismic sonatas. But as seismometers continue to increase in sensitivity and decrease in cost, says Bohon, the nascent field of environmental seismology will continue to bear fruit.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cuomo threatens to pull plug on National Grid as he rails against utility company’s power, NY Daily News

‘Weak Engineering Management’ Probable Cause Of Columbia Gas Explosions, NTSB Says, CBS Boston / WBZ

Weymouth compressor foes vow to continue fight, Wicked Local

Weymouth council candidates vow to fight compressor statoin, Wicked Local

More delays, cost increases for two East Coast natural gas pipelines, IEEFA

Williams CEO Says Its Gas Pipe Can Help Cuomo’s N.Y. Green Goals, Bloomberg

Planned natural gas release angers compressor station opponents, Patriot Ledger

Oil company looks to lure customers burned by National Grid, Crain’s New York

Report details how ExxonMobil and fossil fuel firms sowed seeds of doubt on climate change, Los Angeles Times

Oil Companies Rejected by Supreme Court on Climate Change Suits, Bloomberg

Smith College pulls out of fossil fuel investments; but activists say college moving too slow, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Healey sues ExxonMobil, alleges climate change deception, CommonWealth Magazine

NH Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Reform & Climate Action Package for 2020, NL Labor News

Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors, National Geographic

Melting sea ice is ‘Atlantifying’ the Arctic, E&E News

Manure, trash and wastewater: U.S. utilities get dirty in climate fight, Reuters

Mysterious Lobster Deaths In Cape Cod Raise Climate Change Concern, WGBH

Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying, Washington Post

Headcount surges at state’s clean energy companies, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Are Wildfires Caused by Utilities or Climate Change? Yes, New York Times

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says, VICE

The cost of climate change: Trial to decide whether ExxonMobil was honest with investors, CNN

Climate change proves to be hot topic in Franklin, MetroWest Daily News

 

Wind

‘A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine, NHPR

Small Adjustments to Wind Turbines Can Reduce Impacts on Birds, New Study Finds, Yale Environment 360

Global offshore wind prices drop 32%: BloombergNEF, Utility Dive

Two Months Later, Vineyard Wind’s Delay Still Clouds US Offshore Picture, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Maritime Academy launches nation’s first offshore wind crew training facility, MassLive

Energy Dept. Funds Variety Of Wind R&D Projects, NRG Wind Project

Rep Haddad: State may need offshore wind tax credit, Southcoasttoday.com

Straus proposes state office to study fisheries and offshore wind, Southcoasttoday.com

Lobstermen’s association director takes wind farm job, Martha’s Vineyard Times

 

Solar

Report: Solar, wind power to hike renewable energy capacity by 2024, UPI.com

Local legislators visit UMass solar energy farm, WWLP

Company files first application for Fitzwilliam solar project, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

UNH and Eversource partner up to save energy on flagship campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

Green networks: Incorporating energy efficiency into 5G, The Hill

Ormat Announces Commercial Operation of Hinesburg Battery Energy Storage System, Under an Agreement With Vermont Electric Cooperative, Business Insider

New York Approves 316MW Battery Plant for Peak Power, First of Its Kind in Region, Greentech Media

 

EVs

How close is Massachusetts to electric public buses? Mass. lawmakers pushing for zero-emission vehicles by 2038, MassLive

Connecticut issues draft roadmap for widespread electric vehicle adoption, S&P Global

Gov. Mills Announcing Grants For More Car-Charging Stations, Maine Public

Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars, New York Times

Why quiet cars are getting louder, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Nuclear

NorthStar: Vermont Yankee demolition ahead of schedule, Brattleboro Reformer

State: Yankee site shows little contamination, Bennington Banner

Closing Old NJ Nuclear Power Plant Has Allowed Population of Tiny, Stinging Jellyfish to Thrive — And Multiply, NBC New York

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New EPA chief in New England barred from many decisions because of conflicts, Boston Globe

Report: CMP parent company in merger talks worth $67 billion, Portland Press Herald

National Grid’s Venture Capital Arm Closes 3 More Investments, Greentech Media

Imagine the US was just hit with a cyberattack. What happens next?, MIT Technology Review

Whoops! Computer glitch informs some Maine customers that power will be restored in 2068, Connecticut Post

CMP Forms PAC To Fight Potential Referendum On Western Maine Transmission Project, Maine Public

National Grid investment arm doubles-down on AI capabilities, but cultural change remains key, Utility Dive

Merger talks spell uncertain future for CMP customers, Times Record

 

Editorial/Opinion

Longmeadow resident concerned on placement of gas metering station (Letters), MassLive

Sports Are Feeling the Heat From Climate Change, Bloomberg

How NASA could help stop climate change with solar satellites, Washington Post

Climate Change Will Cost Us Even More Than We Think, New York Times

Decarbonizing economy requires lot more electricity, CommonWealth Magazine

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