Tag Archives: ISO New England

Energy News for week ending March 20, 2020

Protect marine life | The neighbors hate it | Initial approval

TGIF. We hope everyone is staying well and following all public health rules for keeping us all safe in these crazy times. Sticking together while staying apart may be an oxymoron but it’s a lifesaving one. That’s today’s public service announcement.

By the way, we have a whole section on the coronavirus and Covid-19 and its effects on the energy industry below. But for our part, we’ve selected three other stories to highlight to give you a break from that news.

From North American Wind Power, “Greentown Labs, a North American cleantech incubator, and Vineyard Wind, developer of the first utility-scale offshore wind energy generation facility in the U.S., are accepting applications for the Offshore Wind Challenge. Greentown Labs and Vineyard Wind are seeking submissions from startups that are innovating in marine mammal monitoring, either surrounding data collection and real-time transmission or data analysis…The Offshore Wind Challenge is for startups with a technology readiness level between three and six and a proof of concept that can be brought to a state of practice.”

They say good fences make good neighbors, but I don’t think a fence will help this guy. From the New York Times, “He Set Up a Big Solar Farm. His Neighbors Hated It. Neighbors used to wave to Timothy Masters whenever he stood outside his cherry-red barn, trading hellos across his corn and soybean fields in this small town about 10 miles north of Niagara Falls. That ended about a year ago, when a field of solar panels was deposited on 18 acres of Mr. Masters’s land. Mr. Masters, the building inspector in Lewiston, is among a growing number of landowners trying to cash in on New York State’s push toward renewable energy: The solar company now leasing his land, he said, pays him 20 times more than the soybean farmer who had previously rented it. But by replacing lush green soybean plants with rows of silicon and metal solar panels, Mr. Masters has found himself the target of a growing backlash against the spread of solar farms in rural areas.”

Last up for this week, from the Portland Press Herald, “CMP power line project wins initial approval from Maine DEP. Central Maine Power Co.’s plan to build a transmission line through western Maine’s mountains cleared a significant hurdle [last] Friday when the Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued a draft permit for the $1 billion project. The initial approval puts significant conditions on the project to limit its impacts, in one instance decreasing the width of the corridor to nearly one-third of what the company had requested. In announcing the order, the DEP said in a statement that its approval ‘requires an unprecedented level of environmental and natural resource protection in the permitting of Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect Project.’ But opponents of the project were quick to dismiss the permit order as doing little to protect Maine’s environment and resources, and some foes called out the DEP for announcing its decision while the state is focused on battling the coronavirus pandemic.”

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

Coronavirus/Covid-19

‘An immediate and dramatic business concern’: How COVID-19 is disrupting the energy sector, Utility Dive

What COVID-19 and Climate Change Have in Common, Greentech Media

Coronavirus response should promote clean energy — IEA, Axios

For Wind and Solar Sectors, Biggest Coronavirus Risk May Be a Damaged Economy, Greentech Media

Coronavirus fallout could be the ‘nail in the coffin’ for smaller oil companies, Grist

What climate change can teach us about fighting the coronavirus, Hartford Courant

Pandemic Creating ‘Crisis’ for Solar Industry, Power Magazine

Keeping the Lights On: US Utility Sector Braces for Coronavirus Impact, Greentech Media

U.S. Power Use Weakening After Plunging in Italy Amid Coronavirus, Wall St. Journal

U.S. power industry may ask key employees to live at work if coronavirus worsens, Reuters

Coronavirus Could Make It Harder to Keep Wind Farms Up and Running, Greentech Media

National Grid sets aside $500K in customer aid, WHEC

R.I. Utilities Commission Offers Relief from Shut-Offs, ECO RI

Unitil, Eversource, Liberty Utilities suspend power shutoffs amid coronavirus crisis, Foster’s Daily Democrat

National Grid suspends disconnections, collections, Telegram

Avangrid’s CT companies suspend penalty fees for payment problems during coronavirus pandemic, New Haven Register

Maine energy regulators issue emergency moratorium on utilities service disconnections, Bangor Daily News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawyers in Columbia Gas settlement seek early payout, Gloucester Times

Residents call for halt to compressor station construction, Patriot Ledger

Eliot to net $900K a year for gas line station expansion, Seacoastonline.com

U.S. Gulf oil lease sale is weakest since 2016, Reuters

A Tiny Country, an Oil Giant, and Their Shared Fortune, New York Times

Newfoundland offshore Bay du Nord project deferred indefinitely, Chronicle Herald

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Proposed New England power projects reflect ‘dramatic shift’ from gas to renewables, IEEFA

Curbing emissions could save Vermonters $800 million, report says, VTDigger

New York develops 21 new renewable energy projects, CSO Magazine

Solar Dominates Wind in New York’s Latest Renewable Procurement, Greentech Media

Why Scientists Should Shape Environmental Policy, Foreign Policy

Coalition calls for carbon cap-and-trade program across Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, WHYY

New York forestland could provide carbon credit to polluters, Northcountrypublicradio.org

State to Get Millions for Climate Change Strategies After Rejoining Regional Energy Initiative, NJ Spotlight

Study: global banks ‘failing miserably’ on climate crisis by funneling trillions into fossil fuels, Guardian

Lynn is designated a ‘green community’ and receives state funds, Boston Globe

 

Wind

Planned Offshore Wind Turbines Will Have Connection To Shore Substation, Falmouth Enterprise

Maine Will Soon Be Home to 15 MW Wind Power Project, Environmental Leader

Apex Clean Energy applies for 33 wind turbines in Orleans County, Buffalo News

Oil major Total buys 80% stake in Erebus floating offshore wind project, Reuters

Wind power firm picks Rhode Island over New York for industry hub, Newsday

Offshore Wind Farm Development to Include Underground Cables, U.S. News & World Report

Greentown Labs, Vineyard Wind Launch Offshore Challenge to Protect Marine Life, NRG Wind Project

 

Solar

New York taps developers for almost 1.3 GW of solar, wind and storage across upstate region, Utility Dive

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

He Set Up a Big Solar Farm. His Neighbors Hated It., New York Times

Top 5 Emerging Solar Markets in the US, Greentech Media

Solar Drives Down Price for ISO-NE Power, Power Magazine

Solar Industry Grows 23% in 2019, But Clouds Are on the Horizon, Motley Fool

Solar-powered Harvard ArtLab to meet net-zero energy targets, Inhabitat

Castile solar farm among 21 renewable energy projects unveiled by state officials, Daily News Online

NH developers plan to build solar array in Maine, Journal Record

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Virginia Just Created a Storage Market Out of Thin Air, Greentech Media

These new battery technologies could be the future of energy storage, CNBC

Lead batteries make innovation push to better compete for energy storage projects, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

No halt in Vermont Yankee decommissioning, Brattleboro Reformer

Pennsylvania Move to Join RGGI May Save Nuclear Plant, Power Magazine

Billionaires Chasing Fusion Energy Face a Credibility Test, Bloomberg Green

Politics Continues to Complicate the Nation’s Nuclear Waste Disposal Dilemma, Inside Sources

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Shows Dry Cask Storage Is Safe – Yet Again, Forbes.com

Addressing Safety of Smart Devices for Use in Nuclear Power Plants, iaea.org

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CMP power line project wins initial approval from Maine DEP, Portland Press Herald

Hydropower plan faces opposition, uncertain future, Salem News

New England’s wholesale energy market reaches historic low in 2019, (Press Release), ISO – NE

A New Era Is Beginning for the Grid Edge. Is the Utility Industry Ready,? Greentech Media

Retail buyers may be key to clean energy procurement in ISO-NE, PJM, NYISO: Report, Utility Dive

Smart Wires Looks to Ease Transmission Grid’s Mounting Challenges With Digital Controls, Greentech Media

ISO Outlook 2020: New England capacity additions about the same as 2019, S&P Global

State regulators approve sale of Emera Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

What Comes After Fossil Fuels?, The New Yorker

Column: Why we need offshore wind energy, Salem News

Should the public buy Columbia Gas?, CommonWealth Magazine

Op-ed: AG should focus on climate solutions, not lawsuits, Business Journals

NJ RGGI proceeds, Politico

This controversial energy stance splits top Democrats — and likely the country, MarketWatch

Anne Watson: Transportation & Climate Initiative would be a win for Vermont, VTDigger

What if we responded to the climate crisis with the same urgency as the coronavirus?, Boston Globe

LETTER: Why we need offshore wind energy, southcoasttoday.com

American Wind Energy Association Statement on Draft Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Routes Study, NA Clean Energy

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

Energy News for week ending March 13, 2020

Something else not to feel good about | Can we keep the jobs? | Ethics Investigation

 

Happy Friday the 13th folks. What.A.Week.

Let’s start with coronavirus-related news. From the Washington Post, “Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that. Humans have seemed unable to get a handle on climate change, with global emissions of greenhouse gases continuing to grow every year. But a microscopic pathogen, so structurally simple that it does not even have a single cell and is arguably not even alive, may be capable of accomplishing what our political leaders thus far cannot. Experts say that greenhouse gas emissions in China, the world’s largest current contributor to climate change, are down 25 percent in recent weeks as the country conducted a massive societal intervention to stop the spread of the virus. Air pollution is also down, due to decreased driving and less coal burning. Meanwhile, as the virus enters a second phase, spreading beyond China to other countries, it is dampening global demand for oil and air travel, and threatening overall global economic growth. All of these are strongly linked to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Next up, Greentech Media asks, “Can New England Hang On to Its Offshore Wind Jobs? Siemens Gamesa, the world’s leading supplier of offshore wind turbines, recently revealed that it’s considering building a $200 million blade factory in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region — a potential cornerstone investment for the domestic supply chain. That’s great news for the U.S. offshore wind industry, though New England officials could be forgiven for being less than thrilled with the choice of location. An offshore wind jobs boom looks set to wash up on American shores…But where those jobs end up is still an open question. And it’s one that officials in New England…may have reason to be nervous about. New England is the cradle of the American offshore wind market and in many ways its spiritual home. It hosts the country’s only operating project (Block Island, off Rhode Island) and its only tailor-made offshore wind port (New Bedford, Massachusetts). Many of the U.S. industry’s most important companies are currently based here. But the region’s future role in the industry — particularly in manufacturing — looks uncertain. Waterside space is tight in southern New England, where many projects are clustered. A number of states in the Mid-Atlantic region, where the population and electricity demand are far larger, now have much higher offshore wind targets.”

We try to be fair and balanced in what we feature, so the last story highlight for this week is out of Maine – a follow-up to the private eye story from last week. From the Portland Press Herald, “Maine Ethics Commission votes 2-1 to investigate power line opponent. The Maine Ethics Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to launch an investigation into one of several groups opposing Central Maine Power Co.’s proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line through the mountains of western Maine. Commission staff will investigate whether Stop the Corridor should have registered as a ballot question committee or a political action committee when it collected funds and made in-kind contributions to a campaign that was gathering signatures for a statewide ballot question to block the corridor. A complaint by Clean Energy Matters, a CMP-funded political action committee that’s working to support the $1 billion project, prompted the commission’s action Tuesday. The investigation is expected to take at least a month.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Have a fun, safe, and healthy weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas-Heavy ISO-New England Braces for Steep Influx of Wind, Solar, Storage, Power Magazine

Maine Natural Gas to be fined $50,000 for safety violations, Portland Press Herald

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth,  CBS Local

National Grid holds first public meeting on gas supply options, Newsday

Trump administration moving to allow railroads to haul liquefied natural gas. Opponents say it’s a risk. Washington Post

Judge issues final approval of $143M gas disaster settlement, Eagle Tribune

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Coronavirus could halt the world’s emissions growth. Not that we should feel good about that., Washington Post

Some of Boston’s Priciest Real Estate Is Sinking Into the Earth, WSJ

Healey calls for expanded carbon pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

Coronavirus ‘Really Not the Way You Want To Decrease Emissions,’ Inside Climate News

Massachusetts Pursues New Climate Goals With Help From Local Clean Tech Industry, WGBH

Climate Change Impacting New England’s Maple Syrup Industry, CBS Boston

Climate change front and center at League of Women Voters forum, Boston Globe

Fossil-Fuel-Free Mutual Funds Growing In Popularity, WGBH

Climate report warns “time is fast running out” to avoid worst, CBS News

Giant greenhouses plan given 10th extension in Berlin, New Hampshire Union Leader

New York Setting the Pace for Accelerated Growth in Renewable Energy, with New Battery Tech, MarketWatch

Wayland residents to vote on greener electricity options, Wicked Local

City Council continues to push for ‘100% Renewable Energy’, City of Boston

Virginia becomes the first state in the South to target 100% clean power, Vox

Fiberight’s Waste Conversion Plant in Maine Finally Moves Forward, Waste360

Trump Administration Presses Cities to Evict Homeowners from Flood Zones, New York Times

 

Wind

Can New England Hang On to Its Offshore Wind Jobs,? Greentech Media

A Recycling Plan to Clear Wind Turbine Blades From Graveyards, Bloomberg Green

Trump’s punt on offshore wind sparks lobbying blitz, E&E News

AWEA: U.S. Offshore Wind Positioned for Massive Growth, NRG Wind Project

Why Orsted Doesn’t Need Anything but Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

While delays have hampered offshore wind, land-based turbines loom large in R.I., Providence Business News

Wind-powered turbines could clean pollutants from our air, New Scientist

 

Solar

The Vermont Solar Carport – A collaboration between Vermont Cooperatives, VTDigger

New Hampshire Developers Plan to Build Solar Array in Maine, U.S. News & World Report

Waterford Reconsiders 75-Acre Solar Farm, WSHU News

St. Johnsbury School to lease land for solar panel project, VTDigger

New Jersey Finalizes Transitional Solar Incentives, Giving Industry Price Certainty, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In these super-sustainable new apartments, you may never pay a heating bill, Curbed

How a decades-old design concept is transforming the energy efficiency of buildings, CNBC

Storage Hybrid Plants Becoming More Attractive in Maturing Wind and Solar Markets, Greentech Media

 

AFVs

Massachusetts Pursues New Climate Goals With Help From Local Clean Tech Industry, WGBH

Hydrogen Mobility: Coming Soon to a Bus or Truck Near You?, Greentech Media

EVs just got a boost from climate scientists worried about ride-hailing, Quartz

The Main Challenges For Electric Cars This Decade, Yahoo! Finance

 

Nuclear

When it comes to nuclear power, could smaller be better?, Grist

Nuclear energy storage? Advanced reactor developers trying to expand nuclear power’s selling points, Utility Dive

Ballot May Be Too Big For Non-Binding Question On Pilgrim, Falmouth Enterprise

Impact statement released for nuclear waste facility, Albuquerque Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

National Grid’s plans are ‘onerously expensive and environmentally detrimental:’ NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York Daily News

Maine Ethics Commission votes 2-1 to investigate power line opponent, Portland Press Herald

Smart Meters Set for $30B Gusher of Investment Over Next 5 Years, Greentech Media

Eversource substation would add to E. Boston environmental problems, face flooding, critics say, Boston Globe

ISO-NE Study to Chart Transition to Future Grid, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Utilities on high alert as phishing attempts, cyber probing spike related to Coronavirus, Utility Dive

Wind, solar and storage take up 95% of ISO-New England interconnection queue, marking ‘dramatic shift,’ Utility Dive

Opposition to new energy agency grows, Hudson Valley 360

Massive Senate Energy Bill Falters, Greentech Media

Does this tiny island off the coast of Maine hold the answer to the future of electricity,? Ensia.com

Workers At Massachusetts’ Largest Power Plant Go On Strike, WBUR

New Hampshire Senate digs deep into renewable energy policy, NH Business Review

Carbon Pricing Is Missing From a Bipartisan Energy Bill Expected to Pass the Senate, Barron’s

Power-line developers line up for an opportunity to ensure Boston’s lights stay on, Boston Globe

Lawmakers want to reassess fossil fuel breaks, Times Union

Maine regulators seek input on who should pay for CMP audit, Portland Press Herald

Eversource: Seacoast Reliability project nearing completion, Seacoastonline.com

New Microgrid Serving Mall in Brooklyn, N.Y. Supports Grid and Helps ConEd During Blackout, Microgrid Knowledge

New York power plant mines Bitcoin using excess energy, Engadget

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Independent review makes sense on Berkshire Gas moratorium, Amherst Bulletin

Column: State must switch to clean energy, Eagle-Tribune

Angry US landowners are killing off renewable energy projects, New York Post

Letter: Yarmouth solar energy purchase story misleading, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Natural gas wrong for state’s power future, Connecticut Post

Why Don’t We Treat The Climate Crisis With The Same Urgency As Coronavirus,? WBUR

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

Energy News for week ending March 6, 2020

Mystic Alternatives | P.I.s | Magic’s Uncharted Power

 

Happy Friday folks. Let’s dig in.

We start this week with a story from Jon Chesto at the Boston Globe, “Power-line developers line up for an opportunity to ensure Boston’s lights stay on. The pending closure of the giant Mystic power plant is a headache for the people charged with keeping electricity flowing in Greater Boston. But for power line developers, it’s a business opportunity. ISO New England, which oversees the region’s power grid, on Thursday said that eight developers submitted a total of 36 transmission proposals in a contest unprecedented in New England history. It boils down to this: Who can offer the best way to pick up the slack once Mystic goes away?… They know another massive power plant isn’t going up in Greater Boston anytime soon. So ISO is betting on improving transmission in the region instead to keep the juice flowing. Thus, a contest. Let the market decide: The winning bidder gets ratepayer subsidies from across New England to pay for the project…the region’s main electric utilities, National Grid and Eversource, released information about their submissions to the ISO for low-cost alternatives to Mystic. Each submitted four transmission proposals, with price tags from $48 million to $120 million… Executives at the two utilities say their proposals can be completed without a major new power line or the political headaches that usually accompany such projects…Meanwhile, the power line developer Anbaric submitted two bids involving its plan for an underwater line between the Mystic site and the shuttered Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth…One benefit to using the site of the old nuke plant: It’s a good place to soak up the electricity from offshore wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard — if and when they finally get built — and channel that power directly to the Boston area.”

There was a lot of news out of Maine this week. County commissioners approve TIF agreement for wind project, The Quoddy Tides. From 0 to 60: Maine’s Solar Market Invigorated Under New Governor, Greentech Media. Opponents of CMP power line have enough signatures for referendum, secretary of state says, Portland Press Herald. Maine regulators reject Canadian company’s plan to buy Emera Maine, Bangor Daily News. And, Lawmakers continue talks on bill to make single consumer-owned utility, WABI.

However it was this story from Dennis Hoey at the Portland Press Herald that particularly caught our attention. “CMP private investigator tailed anti-corridor petitioners. A group that conducted a petition drive opposing a proposed 145-mile transmission line through rural Maine is criticizing Central Maine Power Co. for hiring a private investigator to track a female petitioner’s whereabouts and social media posts as she did her work. But Clean Energy Matters, a political action committee funded by CMP, said it hired the private investigator because it wanted to expose what it says was ‘illegal and unethical activity’ by the woman and eight other petition gatherers for No CMP Corridor – a group opposed to the transmission line. Clean Energy Matters contends its investigator did not specifically target the woman… Clean Energy Matters filed an affidavit with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office last month contending that ‘in addition to her work organizing, supervising and otherwise assisting in the petition gathering effort for the Opponents, documents in your possession will show that (the woman, whose name was redacted from the affidavit) also notarized hundreds, and possibly thousands, of petitions. Maine Election law is eminently clear that persons who notarize petitions for a citizen’s initiative cannot provide any other services… to get that initiative on the ballot,’ the affidavit said…The Secretary of State’s Office says Clean Energy Matters waited too long to bring the alleged signature-gathering violations to the state’s attention, according to a footnote attached to the press release Wednesday announcing that opponents had collected enough valid signatures. The office did not offer an opinion on the legality of the petitioners’ actions…Clean Energy Matters contends that hiring a private investigator to keep tabs on the activities of an opponent in such a campaign is a common practice. Campaign Director Jon Breed accused Howard of attempting to divert public attention from her group’s alleged law-breaking by using ‘CMP as the boogie man.’”

Last highlight for this week comes with a sports angle. From CNBC, “Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has joined tech company Uncharted Power’s board of directors, the company told CNBC. Uncharted Power, a renewable energy technology company, was founded in 2011 by Jessica O. Matthews, who at age 19, invented SOCCKET, a soccer ball that converts kinetic energy into three hours of power for lighting after an hour of play. Matthews also created PULSE, a jump rope that can generate an hour of light after 15 minutes of use. In his new role, Johnson, 60, will expand Uncharted Power’s energy programs to U.S. communities…Matthews, now 32,  launched her company under the name Uncharted Play, but rebranded in 2017 to Uncharted Power as the company expanded. Matthews said the motivation to enter the energy infrastructure sector came from visiting family in Nigeria, where she discovered Africa’s energy issues. According to the International Energy Agency, 600 million people remain without access to electricity in sub- Saharan Africa. And more energy tech companies are showing up in Africa hoping to take advantage of its off-grid power market that is worth roughly $24 billion, according to a report by consulting firm Kleos Advisory. Uncharted Power says it’s ‘building the internet for decentralized energy’ and aims to create new energy sources through transforming sideways and roadways ‘into a smart, sustainable and accessible power network.’”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to wash your hands – a lot!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask DOJ to divert settlement money, Salem News

Eversource purchase of Columbia Gas: Councilor Jesse Lederman calls for hearing in Springfield, MassLive

Gas disaster lawyers contest reduced fees, Eagle Tribune

Baker Cites ‘Real Benefits’ In Eversource-Columbia Gas Deal, WGBH

Trump says he’s ‘fighting’ New York to force gas pipeline, New York Post

Lawmakers Blast NRC for Faulty Analysis of Pipeline Near Plants, The Examiner News

Agency to check review of gas pipeline at NY nuclear plant after report, S&P Global

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth, CBS Local

Nathan Phillips, Who Went On Hunger Strike To Stop The Weymouth Compressor Station, Calls On Gov. Baker To Denounce The Project, WGBH

Protesters Temporarily Shut Down Work At National Grid Pipeline Construction Site In Brooklyn, CBS New York

The latest climate commitment from an oil company calls for more drilling, Quartz

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Cuomo wants more state control of solar, wind energy permits, The Buffalo News

Green hydrogen gets real as utility business models and delivery solutions emerge, Utility Dive

Why Hydrogen Stocks Are Soaring, OilPrice.com

Half of world’s sandy beaches at risk from climate change, AP News

‘Net zero’ emissions goal is attainable, advocates say, Telegram.com

E.P.A. Updates Plan to Limit Science Used in Environmental Rules, New York Times

The Congo rainforest is losing ability to absorb carbon dioxide. That’s bad for climate change., Washington Post

Here’s Why So Many People Are Mad at the Aquarium on Twitter, Boston Magazine

Virginia Moves Toward Joining Cap-and-Trade Program, NBC Washington

Brown University divests 90% of fossil fuel holdings, Pensions & Investments

Leading investor group tells companies to set out climate crisis plans, The Guardian

The Sea Is Getting Warmer. Will the Shrimp Get Louder?, Wired

A Renewable Energy Expert Tells Us How to Inspire Communities, Vice

CT offers its own version of Green New Deal, Connecticut Post

LA Lakers great Magic Johnson joins board of renewable energy start-up Uncharted Power, CNBC

 

Wind

New Jersey Sets 7.5GW Offshore Wind Solicitation Schedule, Offshorewind.biz

Wind-power developer opens 2nd R.I. office, Providence Journal

Deal for NB Power transmission of SJ wind farm energy is far from certain, CBC.ca

Offshore Wind to Attract More Than $200B Between 2020 and 2025, Greentech Media

County commissioners approve TIF agreement for wind project, The Quoddy Tides (Maine)

Hydro-Quebec Issues Call for Tenders For Wind Power Integration, North American Windpower

BCC gets $861,000 state grant to train students for wind energy jobs, Sun Chronicle

Vineyard Wind executive offers take on delayed start, Herald News

 

Solar

As Massachusetts solar installs plummet, stalled interconnections, land use questions are key hurdles, Utility Dive

From 0 to 60: Maine’s Solar Market Invigorated Under New Governor, Greentech Media

Solar surge: NY’s renewable energy push brings big project proposals to Cayuga County, Auburn Pub

Coronavirus Is Starting to Slow the Solar Energy Revolution, Bloomberg Green

Nashua leading the way for clean energy with three public solar projects now in operation, New Hampshire Union Leader

York landfill site scoped for solar power potential, Seacoastonline.com

Plans announced for $10M solar project in Strong, Sun Journal

Historic Tiverton barn likely headed for demolition as solar panel farm gets OK, Newport Daily News

Charlestown commission recommends denial of solar developer’s zoning request, Westerly Sun

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Major growth predicted for energy storage market, Digital Journal

Sustainable microgrids are the future of clean energy, TechCrunch

The Energy 202: How a powerful lobbying group got stricter energy efficiency codes out of a big Senate energy bill, Washington Post

NYC cracks down on building efficiency with new energy code, Utility Dive

Environmental Groups Sue U.S. Over Lightbulb Energy Standards, Wall St. Journal

NYC storage ‘most adversely impacted’ by FERC orders: NYISO CEO, Utility Dive

David Energy Raises $1.5M to Turn New York’s Buildings Into Energy Market Players, Greentech Media

Two Years In, New York’s Storage Market Has Grown ‘Faster Than We Expected,’ Utility Dive

 

EVs

State push to promote electric buses faces obstacles, Salem News

Beverly getting first electric school bus, Salem News

GM unveils 11 future EVs, new batteries and its plan to beat Tesla, Detroit Free Press

Electric refuse trucks on the road or on the way in rising number of states, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NorthStar granted more time for radioactive shipments, Brattleboro Reformer

Former Energy Secretary, Deputy Discuss Nuclear Energy and Climate at IOP, The Crimson

Award Submission: Pilgrim Nuclear Shuts Down, Leaving Radioactive Waste and Unanswered Questions, WCAI (Audio)

Holtec underscores transparency at US plants, World Nuclear News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Eversource, 7 others propose 36 ISO-NE transmission upgrades to offset loss of Exelon’s Mystic station, Utility Dive

Green Mountain Power’s pioneering steps in transactive energy raise big questions about DER’s value, Utility Dive

Comprehensive Senate energy bill draws industry, bipartisan support, but lags on tax credits, efficiency, Utility Dive

New Kind of Electrical Grid Could End Power Outages, Popular Mechanics

ISO-NE: States Must Lead on Carbon Pricing, RTO Insider (subscriber content)

Additional gas capacity, baseload generation ‘critical’ to maintaining reliability: DOE analysis, Utility Dive

ISO-NE presents final draft 2020 10-Year forecasts for heating electrification and light-duty electric vehicles, (Press Release) ISO-NE

Opponents of CMP power line have enough signatures for referendum, secretary of state says, Portland Press Herald

CMP private investigator tailed anti-corridor petitioners, Portland Press Herald

Energy Infrastructure Outlook Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak, Seeking Alpha

Fast-moving Senate energy bill draws dozens of amendments, Roll Call

Maine regulators reject Canadian company’s plan to buy Emera Maine, Bangor Daily News

Lawmakers continue talks on bill to make single consumer-owned utility, WABI

Consumer-owned utility bill meets Republican resistance, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Fine for gas disaster should stay local, Eagle Tribune

Closing the book on Columbia Gas’ sorry chapter, Lowell Sun

Letter to the editor: Wind is Maine’s ‘magic wand’ for cutting power costs, Portland Press Herald

Tom Hughes: Where TCI came from and where it can take us, VTDigger

Sandra Levine: Climate action for Vermonters, VTDigger

FAN: 2 Reasons Why Wind Power Is Expected To Dominate In 2020, Seeking Alpha

Op-Ed: RGGI Auction Proceeds Should Be Used to Fund Energy Efficiency Programs, NJ Spotlight

Andrew Cuomo’s latest power grab will let him ram through wind farms, New York Post

Turbines on lake are losing proposal, Observer

One advocate’s energy plan: Electrifying energy needs, Riverdale Press (NY)

Renewable debates may get too quiet, Observer

Guest opinion: P.E.I. wind farm not good for environment, Journal Pioneer

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

Energy News for week ending February 7, 2020

Problem and Solution Edition

 

Happy Friday folks.

Today we offer you a problem and solution edition. We don’t take any of the problems lightly by any means but thought that by combining our new energy technology features with some otherwise gloomy news, we might add a little hope to certain situations. Here goes.

Problem: From CommonWealth Magazine, “Report raises gas utility safety issues. A panel reviewing the physical integrity and safety of the state’s natural gas distribution system found a gap exists between the way gas utilities say their crews perform work on the gas system and the way that work actually happens in the field. It also found that National Grid, the utility serving eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, is struggling to contain leaks on its gas distribution system.”

Solution: From UPI, “Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines.  Using the unique ultrasound system deployed by bats as inspiration, engineers have developed a new way to locate corroding metal in oil and gas pipelines. To hunt prey and dodge objects while flying through the air, usually in the dark, bats use a combination of different ultrasound wavelengths. The new corrosion detection system uses two different kinds of radiation, fast neutrons and gamma rays. Ultrasonic or electromagnetic methods are typically used for finding corrosion in pipes, but the techniques don’t work for underground pipes or pipes with concrete or plastic insulation. The new system works on all kinds of metal and composite pipes.”

Problem: From the Washington Post Energy 202: “Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada. President Trump with one single tweet appeared to reverse his administration’s support of entombing dangerous radioactive material under the Yucca mountain…The administration had promised to finish building the Yucca repository, first proposed in the 1980s as the site to store the nation’s ever growing pile of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste.”

Solution: From Popular Mechanics, “You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation. Scientists have discovered that a longtime fungal resident of the Chernobyl complex could actually “eat” radiation. In an upcoming paper, scientists will share the results of growing the fungus on the International Space Station. Scientists have known about this fungus, and similar extremophile organisms that can thrive on radiation, since at least 2007. The variety found in Chernobyl “can decompose radioactive material such as the hot graphite in the remains of the Chernobyl reactor,” Nature said in 2007. The fungus grows toward the hottest and most radioactive places, like phototropism but for deadly toxins. How can this fungus process radiation in this way? Because it has tons of very dark melanin pigment that absorbs radiation and processes it in a harmless way to produce energy. Scientists believe this mechanism could be used to make biomimicking substances that both block radiation from penetrating and turn it into a renewable energy source.

Problem: Climate Change: Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green. The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post. Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times…

Solution: From Vice.com “This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water. What if your umbrella could charge your phone? That speculative tech just got a bit closer to reality now that scientists have designed a small, highly efficient electricity generator that can create enough charge with a single droplet of tap, rain, or seawater to power 100 LED light bulbs. The researchers hope that, alongside solar and wind power, the approach can help tackle the world’s energy crisis. Obviously, generating electricity with water is nothing new. But the study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, looked at how a unique connection between the water droplets and the generator interface increased the generator’s overall power. By coating their droplet generator in a material with a near-permanent electric charge, the team observed that their generator was able to slowly collect charge from continuously falling droplets and store it until reaching its capacity. This allowed the generator to more efficiently convert the droplet’s energy. From just a single droplet the generator was able to generate enough power to light up 100 small LED light bulbs, and with four droplets it could power nearly 1,500.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC reorganizes to address landowner disputes, E&E News

Jim Cramer, ‘Mad Money’ host, declares fossil fuels dead, Grist

Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants, Despite the Climate Risks, New York Times

Fight to stop gas-powered generation plant may be futile, Stamford Advocate

Coal-fired electricity declines in New York and New England, WTEN

Report raises gas utility safety issues, CommonWealth Magazine

Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines, UPI.com

Why Democratic presidential candidates, for once, are not fighting over ethanol, Vox

Democrats’ Fracking War Heats Up As 2020 Voting Begins, HuffPost

Climate change fears put US gas utilities on defensive, Financial Times

 

Weymouth Compressor

DEP to meet with Newton man, other gas project opponents, Wicked Local Newton

Compressor station foes to meet with regulators Friday, Patriot Ledger

BU Professor Is On Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

The Cohasset Democratic Town Committee votes to support the efforts of the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station in Weymouth, Wicked Local

 

Climate Change/RGGI

Lawmakers hear about enforcement and energy curtailment for Global Warming Solutions Act, True North Reports (VT)

Poll tested public opinion on climate change, Taunton Daily Gazette

Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green

Attleboro area state senators support climate-change legislation, Sun Chronicle

The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post

Clean Energy Center’s focus could shift from jobs to climate change, Boston Globe

7 takes on Senate climate change debate, CommonWealth Magazine

Power plant emissions down 47% under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Connecticut Mirror

Program to focus on ‘blue carbon’ habitats, climate change, Salem News

Climate Change Is Ruining My Birthday Outside

Maine must plug in to fight climate change, study concludes, Portland Press Herald

Rhode Island towns moving to block TCI, Boston Herald

Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times

Baker announces climate change grants in New Bedford, South Coast Today

 

Renewables

$64 Million Makes It Official: Renewable Hydrogen In, Natural Gas Out (Eventually), Clean Technica

This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water, Vice.com

Clash between Holyoke gas utility, advocacy group imperils $275,000 clean energy grant, MassLive

New York unveils $6m co-investment fund to support emerging clean energy firms, Energy Central

Wellesley-based Vanguard Renewables Ag part of a project to convert dairy farm manure to natural gas, Wicked Local

Martha’s Vineyard Running Entirely on Renewable Energy? Town Meeting Voters May Get to Decide, Cape and Islands NPR

How this Danish energy company is transitioning from oil and gas to all renewables, Fast Company

Attleboro wins Green Community designation and $244,000 grant, Sun Chronicle

 

Wind

GAO urged to probe energy project ‘double standard,’ Worcester Telegram

Mass. lawmakers, Trump administration spar over Vineyard Wind review, CommonWealth Magazine

How the end of a major tax incentive may impact wind energy, PBS Newshour

Suit filed over proposed wind project in Guilford, The Daily Star (NY)

For offshore wind, expect more delays, CommonWealth Magazine

New York aims to kick off solicitation for up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind in 2020, Utility Dive

The world’s biggest offshore wind developer wants a carbon-neutral supply chain, CNBC

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills, Bloomberg Green

State: Blittersdorf Should Pay $2,500 Penalty In Kidder Hill Case In Irasburg, Caledonian Record

Leading Marine Mammal Acoustic Expert Joins Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Today

Offshore wind transportation to receive boost from state grant, RICentral.com

NH moving ahead with planning & development of offshore wind energy, WMUR9

Grant to aid MMA study of offshore wind technology, Cape Cod Times

ConCom to draft conditions for Brayton Point project, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Chopping Down Trees For Solar Panels? The Choice Isn’t Clear-Cut For Stoughton Church, WBUR

Solar farm company promises savings for residents, Salem News

SEIA backs carbon pricing for New York wholesale power, PV Magazine

Anti-solar panels pointed at space could generate power at night, Techspot

Captona Adds 24 MW of New England Solar to Portfolio, Solar Industry

R.I. electric utilities agree to buy power from new Connecticut solar project, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How ConEd and National Grid are experimenting with energy storage in New York, Utility Dive

‘All-Electric’ Movement Picks Up Speed, Catching Some Off Guard, New York Times

Going electric has more perks than you might think (beyond saving the planet and gas money), Mashable

VCs poured $1.7 billion into batteries in 2019. Here are the 9 startups that scored the biggest deals., Business Insider

Polar Beverages of Worcester bottles energy savings, Telegram

 

EVs

Super Bowl Ads Hyped Electric Cars. But Will Anyone Buy Them?, New York Times

Cost of electric school bus service in Amherst districts may be too much, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sluggish sales throw the future of electric vehicles into uncertainty, Axios

There are Cars and Then There are Electric Cars, Boston Broadside.com

U.S. House Democrats propose electric vehicle charging network, Reuters

 

Nuclear

You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation, Popular Mechanics

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station warns of layoffs as decommissioning continues, MassLive

Duxbury: Safety Precaution Reduced After DPH Deems Pilgrim Power Nuclear Station Not a Threat, WATD

We need nuclear power to fight climate change, but is it doomed?, New Scientist

Plymouth: EPA Permit Issued to Monitor Wastewater at Pilgrim, WATD

The Energy 202: Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada, Washington Post

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

ISO-NE capacity prices fall to new low, but latest auction shut out some renewables and storage, Utility Dive

CMP corridor opponents say they have signatures to put western Maine project to a vote, Bangor Daily News

Opponents Of CMP Transmission Line Submit Signatures For Statewide Vote On Project, Maine Public

Power to the people: Bernie calls for federal takeover of electricity production, Politico

30,000 Connecticut residents still have banned electricity deals, Energy Central

Final New Jersey Energy Master Plan Makes Way for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Women in energy are far less represented than corporate average, Axios

EEI rallies Wall Street with sunny prospects for electric utilities, Daily Energy Insider

Quincy moving ahead with municipal aggregation, Patriot Ledger

Eversource reminds customers: Energy assistance programs available, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Is natural gas essential for the state to reach zero-carbon goals?, Hartford Courant

Letter: Legislators need to address gas leaks, Salem News

Columnist Marty Nathan: Locust swarms and the climate emergency, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Tom Evslin: Preparing for electric vehicles, VTDigger

How to maximize Vt’s electric status, St. Albans Messenger

Time for New York to lead on fossil fuel divestment, New York Daily News

Mainers’ health vulnerable to climate change, Kennebec Journal

To protect ecosystem, improve balance on critical regulatory panel, The Day

Picking apart Rep. Kearney’s fishy argument, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Report is a roadmap for gas system improvements, Salem News

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 31, 2020

Inevitability | Maine Potential | Called Out | Barn Inspired

 

TGIF!

It has been a busy week so let’s get this done and get to the news.

We start with a story from Greentech Media, “Where does the natural gas bridge end? Adnan Amin, former director-general of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and current senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, argued that the role of natural gas is being overstated in most forecasts. ‘We have been talking about, for the last few years, gas as the bridge,’ Amin said during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. ‘There is an inevitability about bridges, which is that sooner or later you get to the end of the bridge…’ Within the next decade, renewables are expected to be cheaper than even existing gas plants, prompting the question of stranded assets…Meg Gentle of Tellurian acknowledged that the industry needs to do more to reduce emissions over the lifecycle of the product, from the wellhead to the ship. Potential solutions include blocking methane leaks, investing in carbon capture and sequestration, and purchasing carbon offsets, she said. But even these steps still may not be enough.”

Next, we move from the possible end to the big potential. From the Bangor Daily News, “Maine has the potential to power itself through wind. Maine currently uses more fossil-fuel produced energy than any of the other New England States. The solution to reducing, and even eliminating, that dependency could lay in state’s potential to produce much of the energy it needs through wind generated power…According to the American Wind Energy Association, Maine has enough reliable wind blowing over land to produce 69,797 megawatts of power annually. With developing technology in offshore wind generated power, there is the potential for an additional 94,498 megawatts of power. Combined, it’s more than enough to power the state.”

Speaking of Maine, its Attorney General joined forces with its counterparts in Connecticut and Massachusetts to call out ISO New England for anti-competitive practices. From WSHU, “Officials from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine say the operator of New England’s regional power grid is unfairly blocking competition. Officials say ISO New England has labeled every project since 2011 as an emergency, which allowed them to limit bidding. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and other officials sent a letter to federal energy regulators. ‘I am calling on ISO New England to open up transmission work to competitive bidding. It doesn’t make any sense that we don’t encourage competition in that space to get the lowest bid possible.’ Tong says competition could save ratepayers millions of dollars. Connecticut’s electricity prices are among the highest in the nation…A spokesperson for ISO New England says the organization properly applied its federally approved tariff and has implemented a competitive solicitation in the Boston area.”

Energy efficiency stories seem to be in short supply lately. So when we find one that is combined with gorgeous photos, we tend to swoon. From Inhabitat, “Charming, energy-efficient cottages are inspired by barns in rural Massachusetts. Almost 10 years ago, a developer purchased a plot of land in Massachusetts that had three timber greenhouses dating back to the 1940s. Wanting to update the structures into livable, eco-friendly homes, the developer tasked architect Grigori Fateyev with breathing new life into the old structures. But the design process led to the replacement of the old buildings with a series of contemporary eco-homes that were built following passive design principles.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Blocking Trains and Removing Coal, Climate Activists Fight to Close One of New England’s Largest Power Plants, Common Dreams

Where Does the Natural Gas ‘Bridge’ End?, Greentech Media

ISO-NE: Natural Gas Remains King In New England Even As Wind & Solar Climb, New Hampshire Public Radio

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

Weymouth: Faith Leaders Voice Opposition to Proposed Compressor Station, WATD-FM

New Jersey Sets Goal to Cut Natural Gas Use 80% by 2050, Bloomberg

National Grid hasn’t needed short-term measures to handle gas crisis, Newsday

States Tells Justices $7B Pipeline Can’t Cross Trail, Law360

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Yahoo! News

New York creeps closer to coal divestment from pension funds, MarketWatch

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Senate agrees to sharp shift in state climate policies, Herald News

In Senate climate bills, lawmakers see new jobs, economic opportunity for Western Massachusetts, MassLive

Tarr: Costs missing from climate policy package, Salem News

Renewables Set to Overtake Natural Gas in US Power Mix, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Can the US power sector significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2040? Not according to EIA, Utility Dive

State faces calls to act more swiftly on climate change, AP

Northeast governors slow to embrace regional climate pact, CT Post

New Jersey outlines sweeping plans to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, Utility Dive

How Maine could emit zero carbon by 2050 without more energy spending, Bangor Daily News

Geothermal’s surprise: Cheap renewables could keep states from achieving climate goals, Utility Dive

State energy secretary seeks support for Baker’s climate plan, MassLive

High school, college students push for stronger climate change legislation at State House, WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Senate climate bills would push state to adopt carbon pricing, Boston Globe

Gov. Murphy announces a plan for 100% clean energy by 2050, Connecticut Post

The Energy 202: If the U.S. doesn’t change course, carbon emissions will rise again in the 2030s, Washington Post

GE’s Turnaround Slowed by Struggling Renewable Energy Division, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Senate to consider climate change amendments on electric car rebates, solar projects, MassLive

 

Wind

EDPR and Engie Join Forces With Aim to Rank Among Top 5 Offshore Wind Developers, Greentech Media

Ports and Harbors: How US Offshore Wind Developers Are Anchoring Their Claims, Greentech Media

Maine has the potential to power itself through wind, Bangor Daily News

Offshore Wind Energy is Key to New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, Alt Energy Mag

The Hot New US Wind Market: Crowded East Coast States, Greentech Media

First of two hearings highlights wind farm’s TIF terms with county, The Quoddy Tides

Fed review of offshore wind projects raises concerns over delays, Newsday

NJEDA seeks input to support state’s growing offshore wind industry, NJBIZ

 

Solar

Solar panel proposal in Hopkinton would affect large forest, MetroWest Daily News

The MBTA built solar panels in Hingham over a year ago. They’re still not generating electricity., Patriot Ledger

NYC’s roofs are getting a sustainable makeover, but is green or solar better?, Utility Dive

MIT and NREL researchers outline a pathway to slashing solar costs faster for industry expansion, PV Buzz

Bath sheds lights on solar power option, Press Herald

Q&A: Jeffrey Peck on solar’s growth and going public, VTDigger

IREC grades all community solar programs and only gives two A’s, leedpoints.com

For cheaper solar cells, thinner really is better, Science Daily

MIT researchers see solar modules reaching well below 20¢ per watt, pv magazine International

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Charming, energy-efficient cottages are inspired by barns in rural Massachusetts, Inhabitat

Everyone’s Favorite Climate Solution Has a Fire Problem, Bloomberg Green

 

Nuclear

Bill would force Seabrook Station, power plants to pay more taxes, Seacoastonline.com

Scientists develop a concept of a hybrid thorium reactor, Phys.org

Rolls-Royce plans mini nuclear reactors by 2029, BBC

LIPA’s tab for nuclear plant subsidy could be $820M over 10 years, Newsday

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England AGs Call Out Power Grid Operator Over Anti-Competitive Practices, WSHU

How to Safeguard Against Cyberattacks on Utilities, Harvard Business Review

Bid to make Avangrid subsidiary publicly owned could have financial impact, CT Insider (Subscriber content)

A top analyst breaks down the 3 little-known industries that are quietly shaping the future global energy economy, Business Insider

New utility cooperative CEO calls for focus on future planning, The Day

Maine PUC billing investigation ends; CMP charged with $10M penalty to shareholders, News Center Maine

9 things to know about the CMP billing probe, Bangor Daily News

CMP admits poor handling of winter disconnect notices, Portland Press Herald

CMP files response to Maine PUC, outlining corrective actions company plans to take, WCSH-TV

Report: Nuclear, wind power contracts put Connecticut ratepayers at risk, CT Insider (Subscriber content)

 

Editorial/Opinion

2 simple steps to address climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Her assignment from Baker: Save the environment, Boston Globe

Healey: Stop individual residential electricity sales, CommonWealth Magazine

New York’s First Offshore Wind Contracts Are Done – Now What?, Energy Central

Editorial: CT right to reconsider future power needs, Connecticut Post

Letter to the Editor: Clean energy an economic development opportunity for Maine, Portland Press Herald

Let the 2020s be a decade of climate action, Hartford Courant

Maine Voices: Amid corner-cutting on CMP corridor plan, citizens’ hands are tied, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: CMP project a bad deal for Maine, Kennebec Journal

Massachusetts is a leader on climate change — but it can do better, Boston Globe

Energy efficiency slows climate change, saves money. Why haven’t we embraced it more?, USA Today

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending November 22, 2019

Fossil Ban | November 26 Deadline | Humble Chairlift

 

It’s Friday so let’s get to the news.

There were several town meetings in Massachusetts this week during which residents could vote on energy-related measures. Perhaps the most interesting took place in Brookline. From the Boston Globe, “Seeking to reduce a major source of carbon emissions, Brookline residents have voted to ban the installation of oil and gas pipes in new buildings as well as in extensive renovations of existing buildings — the first such prohibition in Massachusetts. The controversial bylaw would require homeowners and developers to install heat, hot water, and appliances that use electricity. Only three of more than 200 Town Meeting members voted against the measure Wednesday…The new bylaw, which must still be approved by the state attorney general’s office, is part of a growing movement around the country to curb the use of fossil fuels in buildings. It was modeled after similar measures adopted in communities throughout California.” Speaking of California, Bloomberg reports, “Restaurateurs have a message for local governments banning the use of natural gas in new homes and businesses: Say goodbye to good food. The California Restaurant Association is warning that the flame-seared meat and charred vegetables that foodies have grown so accustomed to ordering will become a thing of the past in Berkeley, California, which in July became the first city in America to end new gas hook-ups in an effort to curb global-warming emissions. The group is suing the city in federal court.”

We’re going to stick with gas and turn our sights to New York, where a November 26th deadline is looming for National Grid. From Politico, “As winter sets in, state officials are turning up the heat on National Grid to find solutions to its moratorium on new natural gas service. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to start a legal process to revoke the utility’s license — a negotiating tactic he’s used before, with some results — and Attorney General Tish James is gathering customer complaints in an ongoing investigation. A standoff over a controversial pipeline that Grid says is needed to meet demand continues, but the utility is expected to propose alternatives next week and offer a public defense of its actions.”

For this week’s energy innovation we bring you a story from Grist, “How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy. What do you see when you imagine a zero-carbon future? Electric buses zipping by? Rolling hills covered with solar panels? Offshore wind farms towering over the sea? If batteries are part of your vision, good thinking. But there’s a promising, if whimsical, piece of the renewable energy puzzle that might be missing from your mental picture: the world of gravity energy storage…Generating electricity using gravity is hardly a new concept…A “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant draws excess energy from the grid and uses it to pump water back up into an elevated reservoir where it can fall again…But who needs water when there are all kinds of things we can slide down a mountain or drop off a cliff? Really, you can use almost any material for gravity energy storage, as long as it’s heavy, cheap, and you can figure out how to transport it up and down a steep slope…‘Mountain Gravity Energy Storage…involves a ski-lift-style cable that carries huge bins of sand up and down a mountain. The sand gets stored in an enormous vessel at the top, and when the grid needs extra energy, it’s sent down the mountain, pulled by the force of gravity, thereby powering an electric generator. Depending on the amount of sand, the height of the mountain, and the speed of the fall, the authors estimate that it can generate electricity for anywhere from five to 555 days.” Do check out this story. It has some very interesting videos and graphics.

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes in two weeks on December 6th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Pressure mounts on National Grid for alternatives to moratorium, Politico

America’s war over natural gas hits home in New York, Axios

Gas projects galore at FERC, Politico

U.S. senators call for 11th-hour review of compressor station proposal, Patriot Ledger

The Keystone Pipeline oil leak is almost 10 times worse than initially thought, CNN

Columbia Gas hit on lack of information, Eagle Tribune

New York’s last coal plant expected online through winter, says NYISO, despite shutdown plans, Utility Dive

Should Cities Phase Out Gas Appliances and Require New Buildings to Be All Electric?, Wall St. Journal

California Restaurants Warn Natural-Gas Ban Takes Seared Steak Off the Table, Bloomberg

In a first for Massachusetts, Brookline votes to ban oil and gas pipes in new buildings, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sanders, Warren join fellow senators in urging New England to speed clean energy transition, Utility Dive

More claims of greenwashing at major US electric utilities, PV Magazine

How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy, Grist

What it takes to be carbon neutral — for a family, a city, a country, Washington Post

Homes to Sell Renewable Energy to Businesses in Vermont’s First of a Kind Local Energy Marketplace, Microgrid Knowledge

Amherst Town Council all in on climate goals, Daily Hampshire Gazette

As Climate Risk Grows, Cities Test a Tough Strategy: Saying ‘No’ to Developers, New York Times

‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019, BBC

Warming waters spell more bad news for New England shrimp, Boston Herald

Worcester’s Petty, other mayors push state to go 100% renewable, Telegram

Scientists meeting in Portland say right whales on the way to extinction, Portland Press Herald

Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up, ProPublica

Portland councilors to consider student-led ‘climate emergency’ resolution, Portland Press Herald

Poll Finds Massachusetts Residents See Climate Change As A Real Worry, WAMC

Climate change challenging Massachusetts oyster fishery, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CT lawmakers earn high marks for environmental efforts, Connecticut Post

Scientists discuss climate change impacts on R.I. natural environment, Westerly Sun

Lawmakers, Criticizing Wolf’s Executive Order On Joining Cap-And-Trade Program, Say It’s Their Call, WESA (PA)

NYC pension leader targets three utilities over emissions plans, Reuters

NYC clean energy advocates push for competitive RFP for new renewable development, Solar Power World

Ashland Town Meeting commits to being net-zero by 2040 to combat climate change, MetroWest Daily News

Democrats move to take 100% clean energy push national with new bill, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Anbaric Files Application For Offshore Transmission Network, WBUR

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project, E&E News

Vineyard Wind CEO sees both New London and Bridgeport as viable wind hubs, The Day

Wind Speeds Are Increasing Worldwide in Boost for Renewables, Bloomberg

Wind farm developers revise spacing of turbines off R.I. coast, Southcoasttoday.com

Many fishermen aren’t on board with wind industry’s new plan, Boston Globe

RI official applauds wind farm layout announcement, CommonWealth Magazine

Weighing the cost off offshore wind, WNYT

A Hush-Hush Wind Powwow, The East Hampton Star

New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target to 7.5GW, Greentech Media

Can America’s First Floating Wind Farm Help Open Deeper Water to Clean Energy?, Inside Climate News

 

Solar

National Grid: 300MW of Halted Solar Can Move Forward With ‘No Cost,’ Greentech Media

Company backed by Bill Gates claims solar breakthrough, looks to replace fossil fuels in industrial plants, Geekwire

Aldermen allow solar project at Manchester landfill for 5% cut, New Hampshire Union Leader

Two years after turning it down, Merrimack to reconsider solar tax exemptions, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bangor proposes installing solar array near airport, WABI

Fast Times for the US Residential Solar Market, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Utility-scale storage critical to achieving Massachusetts carbon goals: UMass study, Utility Dive

How to Ensure Energy Storage Policies Are Equitable, Union of Concerned Scientists

New device can capture, store energy from the sun, UPI.com

Report by Brattle Economists Evaluates Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Administrator Models, (Press Release) PR Newswire

Efficiency to meet peak demand? New study considers potential beyond energy savings,Utility Dive

 

EVs/Alt Transportation

Ford Unveils Electric Mustang SUV to Challenge Tesla Dominance, Bloomberg

Future BMW electric cars will be powered by cow poop, CNET

Electric trucks may be the future, but waste and recycling market still charging up, Utility Dive

MIT Study: Energy-Efficient Cars, Public Transportation Are Best Options For Traffic And The Planet, WBUR

Rooftop solar panels charge your car while you’re driving, The Hill

 

Nuclear

Should the Government Subsidize Nuclear Power? Advocates Square Off, Wall Street Journal

How Well Do You Know Nuclear Power? Take Our Quiz., Wall Street Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

PJM, NYISO and ISO-NE pay $1.4B annually for excess capacity: Report, Utility Dive

National Grid’s push to clear-cut trees opposed, Salem News

Invenergy declines to appeal. Their proposed power plant is dead., Uprise RI

NSP working to dispel misinformation about smart meters as installation gets underway, Cape Breton Post (Nova Scotia)

New Report Shows Homes Will Be Utility “Grid,” Code Watcher

State fires National Grid auditor over alleged report irregularities, Newsday.com

Will New Jersey Lawmakers Step up for Microgrids before the Next Disaster?, Microgrid Knowledge

Leading environmental group denounces de Blasio’s Canadian power line, Crains NY

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Demand Changes at Grid Operator ISO New England, Greentech Media

Senate Committee Approves $250 Million to Fund the Electric Grid Security, Nextgov

1st Circ. Won’t Re-Hear $3B Utilities Price-Fixing Row, Law360

National Grid Looks to AI to Prevent Damage to Its Gas Pipelines, Wall Street Journal

National Grid fallout hits other utilities, Crain’s New York

Read complete coverage of our investigation into CMP billing problems, Portland Press Herald

Two rural electric co-ops seek rate increases, VTDigger

Community Choice Aggregators on the Rise as an Alternative Electricity Provider, National Law Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Lamont’s Executive Order 3 on climate change is too little, too late, Connecticut Mirror

Commentary: Gas pipeline embargo stifles growth, hurts New Yorkers, Times Union

Utilities — Like Eversource And National Grid — Are Weak Links In Climate Defense, WGBH

Building a wind industry across Connecticut, The Day

Climate change and dark money, Boston Globe

Impact of offshore wind on fisheries unknown, Cape Cod Times

Commentary: Offshore wind farm projects would destroy ocean views, Delaware State News

Cross Sound Ferry flips out over wind assembly plans, The Day via National Wind Watch

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending October 4, 2019

Mass Tops the Chart Again | Revised Route | Solar Potential

Good Friday afternoon.

The first story is getting kind of hackneyed, but we’ll take it. From the Scientific American, “Massachusetts remained the most energy-efficient state for the ninth year running, Maryland jumped in the efficiency rankings on the back of its new electricity savings programs, and Kentucky tumbled after regulators there slashed demand management programs for the power sector. Those are among the highlights in an annual scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy…Maine, New York and New Mexico were among the states to ramp up energy efficiency investments as part of wider efforts to curb emissions. Energy efficiency is the leading form of carbon abatement nationally. ‘The states that are doing the best are those that have a robust policy framework in place, especially for driving utility sector energy efficiency,’ said Weston Berg, a senior analyst at ACEEE and the report’s lead author. Some 26 states now boast targets for achieving efficiency gains in the power sector, he said, adding, ‘Those states on average are achieving three to four times as much energy efficiency in terms of electricity sales.’”

From the Lewiston Sun-Journal we learn, “Environmental and land use regulators have agreed to consider a proposed change to Central Maine Power’s plan for a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine that would bring Canadian hydropower into the regional grid. In a procedural order filed Thursday, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission agreed to reopen the case record to consider CMP’s plan to re-route about a mile of the transmission line to avoid a protected pond near the Canadian border. ‘We appreciate the decision of the DEP and the LUPC to consider a change in the NECEC route. This new route makes a good project that is critical to the future of Maine even better,’ the power company said in a statement. The power company proposed the transmission line nearly two years ago. The case record has been closed since May, while regulators decide whether the project meets land use and environmental standards. ‘The presiding officers grant the applicant’s petition to reopen the record, effective upon issuance of this order, for the purpose of allowing the applicant to amend the applications and gather additional evidence needed to evaluate the proposed alternative route,’ the order states. A process for allowing intervenors in the case and the public to review and comment on CMP’s proposed change will be addressed in a subsequent order, regulators said.”

If you’re a solar developer check this out. In southern New England, Alex Kuffner at the Providence Journal writes, “With debate swirling about the development of solar projects in woods, farm fields and other green spaces, the state is setting out to determine how much power can be generated by instead installing more photovoltaic panels on rooftops and in commercial and industrial areas. The Office of Energy Resources is paying Synapse Energy Economics $83,000 to conduct an analysis of the total solar potential for so-called “non-greenfield” sites and summarize what other states have done to balance solar development with other land uses…The report that is set to be completed next March will look at all rooftops (on residential, commercial, industrial and government buildings), closed landfills and gravel pits, disused industrial sites and parking lots (where solar canopies could be erected).”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas order to stop all ‘non-emergency’ work pending investigations, Boston 25 News

Columbia Gas claims center overrun by residents, businesses, Eagle Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Compressor protester arrested at state offices as Markey tours site, Patriot Ledger

Judge sets schedule for Ashland-Eversource pipeline legal clash, Metrowest Daily News

Dozens Arrested At Protest Outside New England’s Largest Coal Power Plant, In Bow, N.H., NHPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Gov. Mills wants Maine carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?, Portland Press Herald

States unveil plan to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

East Coast states outline carbon pricing plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change: Vermont will not meet its 2028 emissions goals. Now what?, VT Digger

Pennsylvania to move forward on power plant emission caps, AP News

Carbon price could allay ‘astounding’ cost to attain New York’s zero carbon target: Report, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Why It’s So Hard to Build Offshore Wind Power in the U.S., Bloomberg

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind reach cable-laying agreement, Cape Cod Times

7Investigates: MBTA Wind Turbines, 7 News Boston

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

US offshore majors submit Connecticut proposals, Windpower Monthly

President’s windmill hatred is a worry for booming industry, AP

Useful lifespan of wind farms increases to 30 years, Energy Live News

Concerns Grow Over Wind Turbines’ Proposed Height in Ocean City, WBOC

Three companies vying to bring wind power to CT, Stamford Advocate

Lawmakers question Albany meeting location for Long Island wind project, Times Union

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind Settle Undersea Cable Dispute, Vineyard Gazette

Massachusetts company competes to harness wind power for Connecticut, pitching Bridgeport as a hub, Hartford Courant

 

Solar

Helping lower-income households reap the benefits of solar energy, MIT News

UMass signs deal for campus solar energy project, Smart Cities World

State wants to gauge its solar potential, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Tops Energy Efficiency Rankings, but Other States Close In, Scientific American

50-State Scorecard Reveals States Are Ramping Up Clean Energy, ACEEE (press release)

AP-NORC poll: Energy-saving habits vary in popularity, AP News

Energy Efficiency Day Reaches Tens of Millions of People, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Plymouth officials praise AG lawsuit over Pilgrim decision, Wicked Local Plymouth

Path Shifts for Advanced Nuclear Legislation in the House, Morning Consult

Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Coming to Town?, Tapinto.net

Anti-nuclear groups plan Pilgrim protest at Plymouth library, Wicked Local Plymouth

Murphy panel ordered to ensure Oyster Creek decommissioning won’t be dangerous, Asbury Park Press

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators decide to consider revised route for CMP power line, Sun Journal

Shorthanded FERC allows New England capacity auction results to stand, Utility Dive

GMP CEO to step down at end of year, successor announced, Valley News

DPU approves National Grid rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

Sudbury power line fight could affect development deals statewide, Boston Globe

ISO-NE IDs $8.7M Tx Fix for Boston Area, RTO Insider

FERC Finds New Hampshire Biomass and Waste Statute Preempted by the Federal Power Act, Lexicology.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Al Gore: The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win, New York Times

Letter: Community solar benefits everyone, Albany times Union

Letter: Opt for green electricity, Metrowest Daily News

Editorial: Steady progress, Mt. Desert Islander

Community Power May Give Biz More Competitive Energy Prices in NH, Other States, Environment and Energy Leader

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