Tag Archives: FERC

Energy News for week ending August 16, 2019

Substantially completed | Warming hot spot | Vow to Move Forward | Cathartic Cleansing

Good afternoon folks.  We start this week’s recap with some good news.

From the Eagle Tribune, “Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed. Kempic said Columbia Gas workers have paved more than 150 driveways, sidewalks and private streets, as well as four state roads. There have been 870 projects involving poured concrete, according to the company’s tally. More than 3,500 properties have been aesthetically improved with seeding, in addition to landscaping and greenery. The company has also replaced heating and gas appliances for thousands of customers impacted by the disaster resulting from an over-pressurized gas line. ‘This fulfills Columbia Gas’ commitment to replace by Sept. 15, 2019, those affected appliances and equipment in customers’ homes which were only repaired in fall of 2018,’ according to a statement from Columbia Gas on Thursday. Kempic made clear while addressing the media that ‘while we’ve done a lot of work, we have a lot to do,’ he said. ‘We’re here for the long-term…’ The company is providing free insulation to homes in the three communities impacted through the end of 2019, to help curb heating bills. ‘We’re going to continue to work with the communities impacted; rebuilding trust in those communities,’ Kempic said.”

Some not so good climate news this week comes to us from the Washington Post, “A detailed analysis of 124 years of climate data across the United States shows that the Northeast is one of the fastest-warming regions in the country, with parts of the region exceeding the 2-degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) warming threshold defined by global policymakers as constituting ‘dangerous’ levels of climate change…In New England, warming is causing changes in the fishing industry, as warm water species move north. The Northeast’s average annual temperatures have increased the fastest during wintertime, in keeping with climate change projections that show cold seasons warming faster than warm seasons. New Jersey’s average temperature has climbed by close to 2 degrees Celsius since 1895, which is double average rate for the Lower 48 states. According to the new analysis, NOAA data shows that every Northeast state except for Pennsylvania has seen at least a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase since the late 19th century. This is resulting in earlier ice snow and ice melt across the region and fears of an endangered tourism industry reliant on winter sports.”

Of course everyone is looking to offshore wind to amp up our supply of carbon free generation. But the news of the delay in the fed’s review of Vineyard Wind sounded a lot of alarms. But fear not, according to a State House News Service story in the Taunton Gazette, “Vineyard Wind on Monday vowed that it will move forward with its $2.8 billion, 84-turbine wind farm project despite a new delay caused by the federal government, though the project will take shape on a new, yet-to-be-determined timeline. The U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday put a freeze on a crucial environmental impact statement for Vineyard Wind, once slated to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in America, so they can study the wider impacts of an offshore wind industry that is quickly ramping up. Vineyard Wind officials had said in July that the entire project would be at risk if the federal government did not issue the permit by the end of August and the latest delay is likely to upend the supply chain, financing and construction timeline for the project chosen by the Baker administration and state utility companies to fulfill part of a 2016 clean energy law. On Monday, Vineyard Wind — a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables — said its shareholders had ‘affirmed a commitment to deliver a proposed 800-megawatt (MW) wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, albeit with a delayed project schedule.’ Project officials have been working with contractors and financiers to rework the timeline — and Gov. Charlie Baker has spoken with Vice President Mike Pence about the project — but a new schedule has not yet been determined.”

Here’s an unusual energy story – sort of – from the NH Union Leader, “16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass. In a cathartic cleansing by fire, some of the earliest opponents of the Northern Pass Transmission project gathered at the Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum on Saturday to burn a model of a high-voltage tower…Before it was set on fire, the tower model, made of wood and built by Rick Johnsen and his son Zach, was filled with the detritus of the often contentious struggle between NPT and its opponents: inch-thick reports and studies, both pro and con; flyers; route maps; signs.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas president says second phase of repairs ‘substantially’ completed, Eagle Tribune

Charlton seeks more time to weigh in on LNG plant proposal, Telegram.com

Weymouth: Federal Stay on Permit Processes for proposed Compressor Station Ends Today, WATD-FM

Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, Quincy appeal compressor permit, Wicked Local

Columbia Gas completes replaces appliances affected by Merrimack Valley explosions, Boston Globe

EPA seeks to limit states leveraging Clean Water Act to block pipelines, Washington Times

Massachusetts Among 22 States Suing Trump Administration Over New Coal Rules, CBS Boston / WBZ

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts Close to Finalizing a Clean Peak Standard. Good News for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

The Northeast is a warming hot spot, Post analysis finds, Washington Post

Once-Unpopular Carbon Credits Emerge as One of the World’s Best Investments, Wall St. Journal

2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT, Extreme climate change has arrived in America, Washington Post

Analysis: Total US renewables generation down 1% year on year, S&P Global Platts

Self-tweeting tree is Harvard’s newest climate change educator, Boston Globe

Renewables’ variability sends wary utilities from traditional DR to DER and load flexibility, Utility Dive

RGGI Generates $38.58M in Carbon-Permit Sale, Greentech Media

16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg says no company on Earth right now has a climate change strategy that’s good enough, Business Insider

Converting to Geothermal Energy, New York Times

 

Vineyard Wind

Community leaders rally for action on federal permit for Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Times

Feds’ delay puts crucial tax credit in jeopardy for Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

Vineyard Wind backers commit to delayed project, Taunton Gazette

Vineyard’s Delay Exposes Challenges for Fast-Moving US Offshore Wind Market, Greentech Media

Vineyard Wind layout tough issue for regulators, CommonWealth Magazine

Industry group knocks feds’ ‘regrettable’ move on Vineyard Wind, Boston Business Journal

Sens. Warren And Markey Speak Out Against Vineyard Wind Decision, NA Windpower

Vineyard Wind dealt severe blow by feds, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Fed study of offshore wind could run into 2020, southcoasttoday.com

 

Wind

6 Offshore Wind Farms the Size of Nuclear Power Plants, Greentech Media

Falmouth Wind Turbine II MassDEP Loan Update -It’s A Loan, Patch

Commissioners divided on Hancock Wind settlement, Ellsworth America

 

Solar

Outshining fossil fuel: Your guide to the revolution in solar energy, New Scientist

Former Maine landfills finding new life with solar development, MaineBiz

A hotter planet will make solar power less efficient, MIT Technology Review

Everyone loves a guaranteed discount: New financing approach drives community solar growth, Utility Dive

Hyundai Creates a Car With a Roof-Based Solar Charging System, Entrepreneur

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Fall River businesses could benefit from state’s energy efficiency loans, Herald News

New York regulators call on FERC to exempt energy storage from NYISO’s mitigation measures, Utility Dive

EPA details renewables, efficiency health benefits as DOE slows energy savings progress, Utility Dive

Giant Batteries Supercharge Wind and Solar Plans, Wall St. Journal

 

EVs

Electric vehicles may not be able to avoid road maintenance taxes for much longer, Pacific Standard

US needs to invest $2.2 billion to meet EV charging demand through 2025: ICCT, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC staff approves sale of Pilgrim nuclear power plant, AP

Inside the lab where Bill Gates’ TerraPower is inventing the future of nuclear energy, GeekWire

New resident inspector named at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

Role of decommissioning citizen panels questioned, Brattleboro Reformer

Battle Emerges Over Nuclear Waste in America’s Oil Patch, Wall St. Journal

Meltdown averted: How VR headsets are making nuclear power plants safer, ZDNet

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant in the Arctic causes anxiety in Alaska, KTUU.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Coal, nuclear could see boost in New England this winter as new tariff goes into effect, Utility Dive

US Northeast power grid operators begin preparations for massive offshore wind additions, S&P Global

FERC Commissioner Chatterjee Issues Statement on ISO New England, Energy Central

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Businesses complain GMP rate bumps could total 16%, VT Digger

New Jersey Prepares for Second Round of Microgrid Funding, Microgrid Knowledge

State agrees to additional public hearing on rate changes, SILive

New York initiative aims to eliminate conflicts between resource adequacy, clean energy goals, Utility Dive

Controversial New England Power Fix Shows U.S. Agency Split, Bloomberg

PSEG, union start talks after workers reject contract extension, Newsday

Wilton calls special town meeting for utility moratorium, Sun Journal

Study on Massachusetts utilities released, Wicked Local

Lawyers for aggrieved customers pan CMP compensation fund, Portland Press Herald

16-foot effigy of transmission tower burned to celebrate demise of Northern Pass, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

To save our climate, start with our buildings, Boston Globe

Mayors of Salem, Holyoke call for carbon fee, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Time for uniform reporting of gas leaks, Salem News

Daniel Blackerby: Mills on front line of climate change, Sun Journal

Now is the time for offshore wind, The Hill

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

Energy News for week ending June 21, 2019

LaFleur Leaving FERC Late August | No on Burrillville | $18 Billion

 

Good afternoon. Here are few quick hits from this week’s energy news.

From S&P Global Platts, “US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Cheryl LaFleur will step down at the end of August, she announced on Twitter Thursday. The departure of LaFleur, a Democrat, likely will restore a Republican majority at the commission responsible for critical decisions affecting the US electric power and natural gas sectors. FERC has had an even 2-2 split of Republicans and Democrats since former Commissioner Kevin McIntyre died in early January. The White House has yet to nominate his replacement, although FERC General Counsel James Danly is considered the likely nominee. Whether the White House would put forward a Democrat to replace LaFleur in the near future is more uncertain. ‘After 9 amazing years, I will be leaving @FERC at the end of August,’ LaFleur wrote, noting that FERC’s July 18 open meeting would be her last.”

From the Providence Journal we learn, “In a long-awaited decision with far-reaching implications for the state’s energy regime and environment, Rhode Island regulators on Thursday rejected approval of a proposal to build a $1-billion fossil-fuel burning power plant in Burrillville that would be among New England’s largest. The Energy Facility Siting Board is the lead permitting agency for major energy projects in Rhode Island, and its decision to deny a license to the Clear River Energy Center would appear to seal the fate of the divisive proposal put forward by the Chicago-based developer Invenergy four years ago. The company has the right to appeal the ruling to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, but it is unclear if it will.”

The last tidbit for this week comes from the Salem News, “Massachusetts will have to spend more than $18 billion to fortify its coastline against rising seas and monster storms fueled by a changing climate, according to a new report. The report, compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Climate Integrity — a nonprofit that supports states and communities that sue polluters — estimates the state would have to spend that much over the next 20 years to fortify seawalls and other barriers to defend against erosion, flooding and other impacts of a warming planet. Nationwide, 22 coastal states and Washington, D.C. will have to spend $400 billion collectively in that period to fend off the impacts of climate change, the report stated.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

U.S. Oil, Gas Hit Record Production Levels in 2018, Wall St. Journal

New York emissions-reduction bill would push natural gas out of power sector by 2040, Platts

No on Burrillville power plant: State agency rules it’s not needed, Providence Journal

NiSource Plans Sale of Unit Tied to Gas Explosions, Bloomberg L.P.

President promises to avoid disasters, Eagle-Tribune

Eversource pledges to fix gas leaks near 5 Worcester schools, Telegram.com

 

Weymouth

Compressor foes state their case at hearing, Patriot Ledger

Confused About The Weymouth Compressor? Here’s What You Need To Know, WBUR

Federal Pipeline Regulators Hear Safety Concerns About Weymouth Compressor From Officials and Residents, WGBH

Lynch urges reset on compressor project, MetroWest Daily News

Residents come out strong against proposed Weymouth compressor, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Best Carbon Capture Facility In World Emits 25 Times More CO2 Than Sequestered, Clean Technica

New Jersey adopts rules to rejoin RGGI, heading to 100% clean energy by 2050, Utility Dive

US air quality is slipping after years of improvement, AP

The global transition to clean energy, explained in 12 charts, Vox.com

With More Storms and Rising Seas, Which U.S. Cities Should Be Saved First?, New York Times

Climate change prep will cost $18B, Salem News

New York State passes sweeping renewable energy measure that could provide a model for Connecticut, Hartford Courant

Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor, Portland Press Herald

Congress pushes for renewables to have same private investment incentives as fossil fuels, Utility Dive

Proposed changes to state’s renewable energy regs stir controversy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Climate change threatens commercial fishers from Maine to North Carolina, Phys.org

Powerful business group adds climate change to its priorities, Boston Globe

 

Wind

Maine’s Floating Offshore Wind Project Anticipates New Investor This Year, Greentech Media

Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy, Portland Press Herald

‘Open to everyone’: Brayton Point company says it’s prepared for busy port, Providence Journal

Feds delay Vineyard Wind assessment one month, southcoasttoday.com

US looking to harness the ocean winds with British help, BBC

Two Erie County legislators oppose wind turbines on lake, Observer Today

 

Solar

Big solar bill gets near-unanimous approval in Maine Senate, WABI-TV

12-acre solar farm operational on Fidelity campus in Merrimack, WMUR

Two companies petitioned for Trump’s solar tariffs—now they’re both out of business, Quartz

US sees record solar installations at 2.7 GW in Q1, but challenges remain: report, Utility Dive

Rooftop solar panels get boost from tool that previews a year on grid in minutes, Phys.org

 

Efficiency/Storage

Power Companies Want to Tap the Tesla Batteries in Your Home, Bloomberg L.P.

These 100 year old homes are on the cutting edge of energy efficiency, djournal.com

Southern New Hampshire Health Partners with Eversource to Advance Energy Efficiency, NA Clean Energy

New Jersey’s 2021 storage goals could require $650M in subsidies, report for legislature finds, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Americans are paying more than ever to store deadly nuclear waste, Los Angeles Times

C-10 plans public meeting on Seabrook nuclear safety, Wicked Local

Semi-autonomous robots to make decommissioning nuclear reactors faster and safer, New Atlas

Fusion-Powered Spacecraft Could Be Just a Decade Away, Space

Decades later, Maine Yankee plant stuck with spent nuclear fuel as feds pick up $10M tab, LoHud.com

Dismantling nuclear plants is a gold mine for some, but at what risk to you?, LoHud.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

FERC commissioner LaFleur to leave late August, restoring Republican majority, S&P Global Platts

Anbaric Eyes New York-New Jersey Ocean Grid, Subsea News

Mills’ vetoes of CMP bills survive override votes in House, Portland Press Herald

Trump Administration Relaxes Emissions Limits on Power Plants, Scientific American Magazine

Colorado firm continues to consolidate energy tech business with Mass. Company, Boston Business Journal

Women Are Missing Out on the Biggest Job Boom in America, Bloomberg

Research on electricity system data gets $3.8M grant from Rockefeller Foundation, Boston Business Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Turn: Dave Chenevert and Doug Gablinske: We must address R.I. energy crisis, Providence Journal

Biomass regulatory changes no big deal, CommonWealth Magazine

New Jersey should support multiple offshore wind developers, says Gregory Lalevee, The Press of Atlantic City

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

Energy News for week ending February 8, 2019

Compressor Station Opposition | FERC Twitter Spat | Waste for Good

 

Hi all. Happy Friday afternoon.

Given that so much has been written about the Green New Deal, we’re going to focus on a few other stories today.

The compressor station controversy in Weymouth continues to grow since it received approval on its air quality permit. From sit-ins at the Governor’s office to protests at the State House, this is a story that keeps on going. The Patriot Ledger reports that, “A group of physicians is challenging the findings of a state-ordered report on Weymouth’s proposed 7,700- horsepower natural-gas compressor station, arguing that the facility would pose “an unacceptable health risk to the surrounding community.” Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility released a report Thursday rejecting the findings of a health-impact assessment that the Metropolitan Area Planning Council conducted on the compressor station proposed by Algonquin, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy-Enbridge. The report, released last month, concluded that the facility would be unlikely to affect health and noise in the area…” To add further to the controversy, WBUR reports that “Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) Executive Director Marc Draisen told WBUR that his agency does not support construction of the compressor station in North Weymouth, citing concerns about climate resilience and public safety. The surprising comments come about a month after the MAPC released its Health Impact Assessment (HIA) concluding that emissions from the compressor station are ‘not likely to cause health effects’ to the surrounding community.”

Considering this guy was nominated by Donald Trump, it’s hard to believe he finds anything on Twitter surprising. From Bloomberg, “The top U.S. energy regulator is chastising his colleagues in a very public Twitter dispute that shines a light on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s inner workings. ‘I do not discuss the commission’s internal deliberations with the public,’ FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said Tuesday on Twitter. ‘Doing so would be highly inappropriate.’ Chatterjee was responding to an earlier tweet from the agency’s two Democratic commissioners. Richard Glick and Cheryl LaFleur said they were ‘disappointed that the commission failed to act’ on an offshore wind project’s request for an important waiver.” Considering what else comes out of Washington, their tweets seemed pretty tame to me.

Speaking of garbage, Utility Dive brings us a story of a local company doing something positive with food waste. “Up a steep dirt road in Haverhill, Massachusetts, past a set of old farm buildings, sits one of the newest anaerobic digesters in the country. It’s the fourth facility of its kind from Vanguard Renewables, with many more on the way…Vanguard’s ‘farm-powered’ model is designed to come with automatic community benefits. While Hanselman said the six-year-old company’s original plan was to focus on energy production, their scope has since expanded to include much more. A small adjacent building contains a 1 MW engine capable of generating up to 7,700 MWh of electricity per year from the resulting methane. In addition to a 20-year power purchase agreement with the city of Haverhill, Vanguard is providing free heat to the multigenerational family business — Crescent Farms — that hosts it on their land. The AD facility also handles all of their manure, creates enough liquid fertilizer for them to swear off synthetic material entirely and makes an animal bedding byproduct that has reportedly led to higher quality milk yields among the cows.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Doctors’ group challenges report on Weymouth compressor station, Patriot Ledger

The Fight Against A Gas Line Project In Weymouth Is Fought Every Day In Charlie Baker’s Lobby, WGBH

Proposed Weymouth Compressor Station Draws More Opposition, WBUR

Columbia Gas Fined $75,000 For Spikes In Pipeline Pressure Years Before Merrimack Valley Explosions, WBUR

Senate panel gets look at bill that would ban new oil and gas pipelines, VT Digger

Proposed $700M Killingly power plant clears key hurdle, Hartford Business Journal

Nearly 200 National Grid customers in Cranston affected by gas main break, WJAR

Aquidneck Island gas emergency causes 300 to seek unemployment benefits, Providence Business News

5 Newport restaurants sue National Grid, Enbridge over gas outage, Providence Journal

United States : Raimondo Discusses Relief Efforts for Newport County Gas Customers, MarketWatch

State Division of Public Utilities launches investigation into Newport gas outage, Providence Journal

Nearly 200 National Grid customers in Cranston affected by gas main break, WJAR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Green New Deal resolution calls for 100% zero-carbon power within 10 years, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker urges Congress to address climate change, MassLive

Inside Vanguard Renewables, the Northeast’s biggest food waste recycler, Utility Dive

Green New Deal won’t call for end to fossil fuels, Politico

A Small New York Town Plans a Profitable, 100% Renewable Energy Future, Greentech Media

Climate change may result in loss of lake ice in coming years, WGME

Climate Change Could Mean Increased ‘Weather Whiplash’, WAMC

 

Wind

Price heads new study commission on impact of offshore wind turbines, Westerly Sun

FERC passes on Vineyard Wind emergency request for ISO-NE auction delay, Utility Dive

Twitter Spat Erupts as FERC Chair Scolds Colleagues for Post, Bloomberg

DOE to provide $28M for floating wind turbine technologies, Daily Energy Insider

State: Vineyard Wind can seek local permits for cable, Cape Cod Times

Ørsted divests 50% of South Fork, Revolution Wind and two New England offshore wind lease areas, Windpower Engineering

National Grid contract with Orsted would save customers $90 million over 20 years, Providence Journal

Vineyard Wind, backed by Baker, plays power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Charlie Baker defended wind power after a Republican congressman questioned him on Capitol Hill, Boton.com

National Grid Seeks Approval For Revolution Wind Project, USA Patch

Offshore Wind Firm Seeks to Disrupt New England Power Auction, Bloomberg L.P.

Falmouth Wind Turbines : “A Green New Deal in Profile” WSJ, USA Patch

 

Solar

Ameresco develops 110-kW rooftop solar project at Rhode Island College, Solar Power World Online

Watertown Requires Solar Panels On New Buildings, And Massachusetts Considers Following Suit Statewide, WGBH

Neighbors sue to block Lewiston solar project, Buffalo News

Massachusetts opens revenue stream to advance solar-plus-storage, Utility Dive

Standard Solar Building 4.2 MW System For R.I. Town, Solar Industry

Battery-Backed Solar Breaks Into Grid Long Seen as Off Limits, Bloomberg L.P.

Boatyard, solar farm among Norwalk options for Manresa Island, The Hour

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Rollback of light bulb standards would cost consumers billions — $100 per household each year, aceee.org

New Massachusetts energy efficiency plan to push storage, heat pumps and ‘demand response’, MassLive

New Milford looks to make buildings energy efficient, New Milford Spectrum

 

Nuclear

Nukes can have small role in Green New Deal, backers say, Utility Dive

Cory Booker — and his full-throated support of nuclear energy — enters the presidential race, Grist

State reassures skeptics on decommissioning, Brattleboro Reformer

Legislators pitch a bill to rescue Pennsylvania’s nuclear plants, Pittsburgh Gazette

Trump Uranium Quota Could Shutter Nuclear Plants, Trade Group Warns, US News and World Report

Nuclear waste burial fund grows to $43 billion, but DOE has not buried an ounce of spent fuel, Orange County Register

NRC sets meeting on nuclear plant license extension, Seacoast Online

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Sunrun Wins Big in New England Capacity Auction With Home Solar and Batteries, Greentech Media

New England’s electric auction closes with adequate resources for 2022-2023, Vermont Biz

Power Authority board approves economic development incentives to create jobs in Western New York, WNYPapers.com

CMP sweetens the pot for new transmission corridor, Press Herald

Transmission constraints impede incremental Quebec-to-US power deliveries, S&P Global Platts

Utilities may outperform again in 2019, despite high valuations, Bloomberg L.P.

Eversource seeks another rate hike, WTNH

Seacoast Reliability Project gets final approval, Seacoastonline.com

Consumer advocates, saying regulations have failed, seek to shut residential electric supply market, Hartford Courant

 

Editorial/Opinion

Viewpoint: Mass. needs comprehensive climate action now, Boston Business Journal

When they talk of wind turbine ills, Falmouth residents are not just making it up, Boston Globe

An Energy Wish List for Congress, New York Times

Carbon tax folly for NH: Will the enviros now embrace nuclear?, New Hampshire Union Leader

Dan Haar: Electricity sellers pick wrong guy for a fight, Connecticut Post

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending October 19, 2018

More Wind off Mass. | Price Volatility this Winter | Say it isn’t so!

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news

From MassLive, “Nearly 400,000 acres of the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area will be up for grabs in December, as the Trump administration holds its next offshore wind auction, officials announced this week. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke revealed Wednesday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction off 388,569 acres located on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts on Dec. 13. A total of 19 companies — including Deepwater Wind New England, LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Northeast Wind Energy, LLC, among others — have qualified to take part in the auction, according to the agency’s final sale notice.”

According to S&P Global Platts, “Regional pipeline constraints in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles increase the risk of energy market price volatility this coming winter, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday… New England continued to be a potential trouble spot, amid growing gas dependence for home heating and generation and constrained pipeline capacity, FERC staff said. Two rule changes could help, however, said John Sillin of FERC’s enforcement office. ISO-NE is integrating price-response demand into the daily energy market and adding pay-for-performance capacity market incentives… Reflecting on the New England market, Commissioner Richard Glick suggested a need to look at more demand-side management to ‘squeeze more out of the market … if we’re not going to get more pipelines for one reason or another.’”

And last for this week, please say it isn’t so! From Nature, “Extreme weather caused by climate change can have devastating effects — and it turns out that not even beer is safe. More frequent droughts and heat waves in the twenty-first century will reduce global production of barley, finds a study published on 15 October in Nature Plants. In turn, it finds, this will decrease the supply of beer and drive up prices, even under best-case-scenario models of climate change… If people ‘want to drink beer when we watch football, then we have to do something’ …”

Have a great weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says it has paid out $20M for gas explosion claims, Boston Business Journal

Locked-out Grid workers cleared to help in Merrimack Valley, Newburyport Daily News

Columbia Gas reverses policy, will not reclaim temporary heat sources from homes, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts DPU halts statewide pipeline work by Columbia Gas, MassLive

NTSB: Columbia Gas ignored critical pressure sensor, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas launches plan to support businesses impacted by gas disaster, MassLive

After Merrimack Valley explosions, natural gas comes under sharp scrutiny, Boston Globe

Merrimack Valley explosions intensify calls to wean state off gas, Boston Globe

A Month Later, Crisis In Merrimack Valley Continues, WGBH

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey request info on homes damaged, residents displaced by Merrimack Valley gas explosions, MassLive

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Ceremony to commission controversial Oxford power plant, Middletown Press

Oxford power plant is commissioned, The Advocate

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, National Wind Watch

Generation: Despite headwinds, natural gas reliance set to grow in much of US, Utility Dive

Can Non-Pipeline Alternatives Curb New York’s Rising Natural Gas Demand?, Greentech Media

Quincy council summons National Grid president amid lockout, Patriot Ledger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Natick Awarded Grant for Municipal Clean Energy Projects, USA Patch

City Council seeks legal opinion on permits for controversial East Springfield biomass power plant, MassLive

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, The Telegraph

Democratic lawmakers push renewable energy strategy, New Hampshire Union Leader

RGGI regulating power imports could happen, experts say, carbon-pulse.com

NYISO Proposes Border Pricing Plan for Carbon, RTO Insider

UMass Amherst Again Ranked among Top 50 Green Colleges by Princeton Review, UMass Amherst

Officials push for ‘green’ power projects for Woonsocket, Woonsocket Call

EPA program will prioritize renewable energy projects in Mass., Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut, Reuters

Climate change is about to make your beer more expensive, Nature

Mass. clean energy firms grow headcount amid green tech boom, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Walsh Outlines Plan To Protect Boston Harbor From Flooding, WBUR

Campaign Countdown: Vermont’s energy future, WCAX

 

Wind

Trump administration to hold Massachusetts offshore wind auction in December, Masslive

What New England Can Learn From Kansas About Creating A Wind Energy Economy, WNPR

Offshore wind CEO bullish on American market, Axios

Report: Moving disputed Falmouth turbine would cost $3M, Cape Cod Times

What’s next for Falmouth turbines?, Cape Cod Times

Tug Hill alliance grows, secures funds for wind farm review, National Wind Watch

Denton pitches wind turbine on City Hall, Seacoastonline.com

Relocation of Falmouth turbine could net town $5.7M, Cape Cod Times

New Site Proposed For Wind 2 At Wastewater Treatment Plant, Falmouth Enterprise

 

Solar

Residents express few concerns at public hearing on Farmington solar project, Kennebec Journal

Norwich tinkerer takes on do-it-yourself solar energy system, The Day

Wind & Solar Account for At Least 20% Of Electricity In 10 States, CleanTechnica

Bill threatens growth of state solar farms, Republican American

New York State Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects, Energy Manager Today

Residential outcry causes Pittsfield ZBA to delay vote, continue hearing next month on 25-acre solar proposal, Berkshire Eagle

What a New Order Means for Community Solar and Storage in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Retains Top Spot on ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ACHR News

MA Ranked 5th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalWorcester

NH gets mixed reviews on energy efficiency, New Hampshire Business Review

RI is 4th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Bringing Energy Storage to Energy Markets, Union of Concerned Scientists

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles: The Swiss army knife of the grid, Utility Dive

A Microgrid for Every Electric Bus Stop in Martha’s Vineyard Town, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC allows spending $20M on Vt. Yankee spent fuel, The Recorder

After federal OK, one hurdle remains for Vermont Yankee transfer, Keene Sentinel

Entergy targets post-shutdown savings at Pilgrim after key NRC approval, Nuclear Energy Insider

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US FERC winter outlook flags risk of volatility in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, S&P Global Platts

Utility to run line under Kennebec Gorge, CommonWealth Magazine

Gloucester signs new electricity provider, Gloucester Times

On eve of hearing, business and labor groups say they back CMP power line through western Maine, Portland Press Herald

Report challenges environmental benefits of CMP project, Portland Press Herald

Great Bay Towns Turn Out Against Transmission Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Seacoast Reliability Project decision expected by early December, Seacoastonline.com

Norwalk Harbor Commission turns to consultant on Eversource cable route, The Hour

Quincy council subpoenas National Grid president, Patriot Ledger

Powerline from Canada through NH, eyed for Mass. clean energy, not dead yet, MassLive

Conn. company is accused of overcharging more than 100K Mass. residents for electricity, Boston Globe

NY regulators weigh proposals to enhance distributed generation, Utility Dive

US FERC`s LaFleur says some power grid security interventions `commercially motivated,’ Energy Central

 

Editorial/Opinion

Want Boston To Be A Carbon-Neutral City? Raise Energy Efficiency Standards For Buildings, WBUR

We need more, not less, competition for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Sununu has been a stumbling block to offshore wind, Eagle-Tribune

Letter to the editor: Renewable electricity worth some sacrifices, Portland Press Herald

Efficiency is the most affordable energy solution, by Nancy Gillard, Keene Sentinel

National Grid lockout puts profit first, workers and safety last, Boston Globe

Baker, DeLeo need to step up on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

In an era of climate urgency, we need a carbon tax, Boston Globe

Vehicle emissions rollback shouldn’t stop utilities from investing in electric vehicles, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We hope you’re staying warm, dry, and safe during today’s storm.

Well, if you’ve had enough news about Russian interference in US elections then you can switch your attention to their interference in US energy markets. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reviewed a new congressional staff report that states that the Internet Research Agency’s efforts were also focused on “encouraging protests against pipeline construction in the U.S., calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels and stoking American controversy around climate change…Between 2015 and 2017, the IRA posted more than 9,000 times about U.S. energy policy or an energy event, according to the report.”

Also out this week was a FERC announcement “that a report released by the Environmental Defense Fund accusing Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of artificially driving up electricity prices in New England “was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions.” According to the article in CommonWealth Magazine, “FERC said its staff conducted a review of the allegations contained in the report using both public and non-public data and found no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity.”

In new energy technology news this week we have an article from oilprice.com titled, MIT’s Miracle Energy Breakthrough. They write, “A black box has been sitting on the roof of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building for the last few months. Beside it sits a weather monitoring system and a bigger black box to monitor the performance of the first one. That first black box is the first device that can generate power from differences in the temperature of the air—the ultimate clean energy…The team of researchers from MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is calling this device a thermal resonator: a device that draws heat from the air around it and turns this heat into electricity. It does not need to be in the sun, it could actually be put in the perpetual shade below a solar panel, and it would still generate power thanks to the always present temperature fluctuations…it has the hypothetical potential to make batteries obsolete.” Pretty cool!

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says, Wall Street Journal (paywall)

With Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. build done, Otis State Forest reopens, Berkshire Eagle

Federal agency rebuts environmentalists’ claims about gas pipeline usage, Worcester Telegram

US FERC ends probe of New England gas shippers, calls EDF study ‘flawed’, Platts

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

Rhode Island environmentalists and elected officials say ‘No’ to Trump’s offshore drilling proposal, Uprise RI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding, Vox.com

Optimism and Uncertainty for Rhode Island’s Climate Future, ecoRI news

Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy, Inhabitat

New Report Touts Success Of Regional Carbon Emissions Reduction Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Jersey Governor Requests to Rejoin Environmental Pact, U.S. News & World Report

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

Mark Jacobson Drops Lawsuit Against Critics of His 100% Renewables Plan, Greentech Media

Solar, Wind Cutting New England Power Demands, But Trouble Expected In Future, Hartford Courant

Report Claims Wood-Based Energy Doesn’t Add Up, EcoRI

 

Wind

Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry sues LePage over halting of new permits, Journal Tribune

GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, Penn Energy

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development, Bangor Daily News

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Achieves 65% Capacity Factor After 3 Months, Greentech Media

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

Plans for world’s ‘largest and most powerful’ offshore wind turbine unveiled, CNBC

One Small Step for BPU, One Small Step for Offshore Wind in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

Article on area warrants aims to gather support for studying offshore wind development, The Keene Sentinel

 

Solar

Clouds form over state’s solar future, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

M&T finances major solar project in Maine, Buffalo Business First

Massachusetts solar groups say policy changes needed to stem job loss, Energy News Network

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont utility, city to give away fossil-fuel free home, Caledonian Record

FERC’s Historic Energy Storage Ruling: A Doomsday Countdown for Natural Gas Peakers?, Greentech Media

Brattle: US storage market could reach 50 GW if costs keep declining, Utility Dive

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

New interactive map shows the economic impact that solar, wind, and energy efficiency have on US communities, Environmental Defense Fund

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

NY attorney general wins energy efficiency lawsuit, Long Island Business News

 

Nuclear

Connecticut nuclear plant guard falsified record, failed to test weapons Shoreline Times

After Months Of Negotiation, Settlement Days Away On Vermont Yankee Sale, New England Public Radio

Power restored to Indian Point reactor after shutdown caused by electrical failure, The Journal News | LoHud.com

 

Northern Pass/RFP

Eversource Asks NH To Reconsider Northern Pass Denial, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement?, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Electric Vehicles

Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles, Utility Dive

How To Prevent Electric Vehicles From Stressing The Grid, Forbes.com

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England grid operators, regulators combat vulnerabilities, theday.com

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements, RTO Insider

Maine may face brownouts, higher electric prices, Lewiston Sun Journal

Non-Payments to Eversource Nearly Double Over 2-Year Period, U.S. News & World Report

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid rate hike hearings underway, Ricentral.com

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model, CommonWealth Magazine

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

Just for the Record: Why New York’s Offshore Wind Plan Works, Renewable Energy World

Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades, The Boston Globe

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Viewpoint: Why is New England importing LNG from Russia?, Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending September 29, 2017

Cost Recovery for baseload | Brain Research for Storage |Power from Evaporation

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

The big news this week actually broke today with the announcement, carried by Utility Dive, that the “DOE filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the Federal Power Act to enhance grid resilience, directing FERC to ‘accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency.’ The rule would provide for ‘recovery of costs of fuel-secure generation units frequently relied upon to make our grid reliable and resilient.’” If passed, it could be good news for coal and nuclear plants that keep fuel on site. As an aside, I got it from a very good source today that FERC is interested in receiving comments – so send them in.

Sticking with national news, we have an interesting story from Microgrid Knowledge about how some “Duke University brain science researchers are hoping to use electronics they developed for non-invasive brain stimulation to revolutionize energy storage technology, making batteries safer, more efficient and less expensive.”

Last tidbit for this week comes from Science Daily which reports that “In the first evaluation of evaporation as a renewable energy source, researchers at Columbia University find that U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate 325 gigawatts of power, nearly 70 percent of what the United States currently produces.” They add, “Though still limited to experiments in the lab, evaporation-harvested power could in principle be made on demand, day or night, overcoming the intermittency problems plaguing solar and wind energy.” Cool stuff.

Be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

As Perry slams state pipeline decisions, lawyers say DOE has little authority to intervene, Utility Dive

EIA Says US Electric Rates Up This Year on Higher NatGas Prices, Natural Gas Intelligence

US lawmakers ask Facebook, Twitter for information on anti-fracking ads, Reuters

118 Groups Urge Trump to Ban Fracking on Public Lands, Center for Biological Diversity

Otis State Forest pipeline protesters make a plea for the planet during court hearings, Berkshire Eagle

Rick Perry links pipelines, natural security, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

This Bipartisan Senate Bill Could Enable US Offshore Wind to Take Off, Greentech Media

Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear – the energy revolution is happening, The Guardian

Wind Energy Could Power 30% Of Europe’s Needs By 2030, Reports WindEurope, CleanTechnica

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, Danbury News Times

US Climate Change Policy: Made in California, New York Times

New Jersey to examine solar incentives, cost differentials, Utility Dive

The most effective clean energy policy gets the least love, Vox.com

Savoy voters reject bylaw allowing taller wind turbines, Berkshire Eagle

Solar to power Middle East oil, natural gas exports, Platts

Stronger RGGI Cuts Projected to Be Achieved at Low Cost, Natural Resources Defense Council

RGGI issues first ever offsets as states narrow opportunities, Carbon Pulse

State environmental groups rip GOP cuts as short-sighted, New Haven Register

NextEra: Four former Ranger solar projects will be operating by end of 2019, Mainebiz

Let the Sun Shine In: Solar Prices Decreasing, ecoRI news

Ruling Finds Solar Panels From China Hurt US Makers, Maine Public

Scituate Wind turbine noise still a problem for some, Wicked Local Scituate

Renewable developers respond in droves to New York solicitation, Utility Dive

Large solar array in works for old gravel pit in Williamsburg, Going Green

Wind and water: Powering our past, and future, Seacoast Online

Energy Efficiency

Massachusetts stays atop NGO’s state energy efficiency rankings, Utility Dive

State money to help Central Mass. communities switch to energy-saving LED streetlights, Worcester Telegram

Meriden councilors favor program with Eversource to upgrade lights in city buildings, Meriden Record-Journal

How your air conditioner plays catch-up to regulations, Axios.com

Weymouth to convert 3,800 street lights to LED, Patriot Ledger

Nuclear

Entire US Nuclear Power Fleet Could Disappear in 38 Years: S&P, Bloomberg

Energy Company Finances At Center Of Battle Over Millstone, Hartford Courant

Plans to clean up Vt. Yankee met with criticism from environmental groups, The Recorder

Port council votes to send letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

NorthStar leader, engineering consultant talk future of Vt. Yankee, Going Green

Energy Storage

New York City Aims To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Using Energy Storage, Forbes.com

Years In, NY REV Lacks Major Storage Action. That May Have to Change Soon, Greentech Media

Brain Research Tools Could Help Revolutionize Energy Storage Technology, Microgrid Knowledge

Climate Change

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year, National Geographic

States Can Lead the Way on Climate Change, Scientific American

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE proposes cost recovery for baseload generators in new FERC rule, Utility Dive

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

SEC Member: Northern Pass Could Cost Taxpayers More For Public Construction Projects, indepthnh.org

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Tisbury looks to join Brewster in Eversource spraying battle, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Texas firm sells Milford power plant in $119M sale, Worcester Business Journal

Sudbury property values (partially) fair play in Eversource case, MetroWest Daily News

Cushing bill looks to block utility monopolies, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

National Grid in settlement talks with NY over rates, Albany Times Union

Great Barrington pursues ‘low cost and green’ collective power purchase plan, Berkshire Eagle

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Energy harvested from evaporation could power much of US, Science Daily

NiSource Again Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Business West

Can Distributed Energy Resources Get Paid to Serve as ‘Virtual Transmission Lines’?, Greentech Media

Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource lease, MetroWest Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Not clean, not green, Concord Monitor

Approve bill to help Millstone secure its future, theday.com

Nuclear Power Is ‘On Its Back,’ Former CIA Director Says, Forbes

Lisa Ostrove: Why Candlewood Solar is a bad deal for our town, Danbury News Times

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending December 11, 2015

COP21 Paris

What the World Can Learn from New England About Living in a Changing Climate, Huffington Post

At Paris Climate Summit, Cities Seen As Key In Fight Against Global Climate Issues, WBUR

In the COP21 Battle of Ideas, One Common Thread (Blog), Huffington Post

NRG, National Grid, and others commit to science-based carbon targets at Paris Climate Talks, UtilityDive

Mayor Walsh announces Boston receives international award at climate talks, WickedLocal West Roxbury

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline foes: Kinder Morgan financial woes a bad sign for Northeast Energy Direct, MassLive

Natural Gas Pipeline Opponents Speak Up in Vt. And Europe,  NECN

Caution: Future Market Need for Natural Gas Pipelines is Smaller than You Think, (Blog) Environmental Defense Fund

FERC rejects Bettencourt plea, The Salem News

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte opposes Kinder Morgan pipeline, MassLive.com

Dracut pipeline opponents, frustrated with town, vow to continue fight , Lowell Sun

Hundreds expected to march against pipeline in Concord Friday, The Keene Sentinel

Pipeline scrutiny heats up, New Hampshire Business Review

Pipeline opponents puzzled by leaders’ words, actions about proposed project, The Keene Sentinel

Questions raised over tests of Gonzales Field, Wicked Local Westwood

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency

Report Touts Wind Energy’s Potential To Curb Carbon Emissions , Rhode Island Public Radio

Report: Mass. utilities target over $20B in efficiency savings in a decade, UtilityDive

Block Island Wind Turbine Construction Complete For The SeasonRhode Island Public Radio

Wind benefits Maine’s environment, Today’s Energy Solutions

Owner of former coal plant in Holyoke will raze smoke stack, go solar, MassLive

Solar advocates rally as Maine PUC contemplates policy changes, Lewiston Sun Journal

Portland weighs several solar energy projects, Press Herald

Google’s Project Sunroof expanding across the US, ZDNet

NH CleanTech, Granite State Hydro Form Alliance, Patch.com

Nuclear

Nuclear industry targets 30% cost reduction by 2018 to remain competitive, UtilityDive

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Raimondo order sets plan to reduce RI’s carbon footprint, The Providence Journal

N.H. siting panel: Northern Pass application complete,Foster’s Daily Democrat

TDI likely to transmit hydro, wind power to southern New England, VTDigger.org

Cape Light Compact announces reduced electricity rates, Barnstable Patriot

How capacity payments work, Concord Monitor

Medway: Exelon hearings begin with the basics, Milford Daily News

Large energy projects in NH move forward, The Union Leader

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Natural Gas Pipelines