Tag Archives: MA

Energy News for week ending April 26, 2019

Waiving Jones| HouseZero| Blast Day

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Here are the highlights from this week’s energy news.

We know things can change in the administration minute to minute or tweet to tweet, however the northeast got some potentially encouraging news this week via Bloomberg: Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say. “President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico or the Northeast, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting on Monday, following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three people. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is now leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private deliberations. The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.”

While many might cheer the easing of the Jones Act, the builders of one home in Cambridge are likely saying, “No thanks. We’re all good.” WGBH brings us, Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet. “On a quiet residential street close to Harvard University, there’s a wood-shingled house that’s easy to miss. Save for some funky-looking angled awnings around the windows, it’s pretty nondescript. But its simplicity belies its ambition. Welcome to HouseZero, arguably the most energy-efficient building in the world. Ali Malkawi, a Harvard professor of architecture and technology and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, designed HouseZero. When asked why that name, he chuckled. ‘Because there are a lot of zeros,’ Malkawi said. ‘The house doesn’t use almost any energy for heat and cooling. It doesn’t have any electrical light during the day. The building does not have a carbon footprint, including the amount of energy throughout the building materials…’Malkawi is trying to change not just how much energy a building consumes, but how much it produces. The Cambridge house he designed has no lights, no heating or air-conditioning system, and barely a utility bill. While most homeowners or tenants would rejoice over the idea of never having to pay a heating bill, the goal of HouseZero is to produce more energy than it will ever consume. Using passive design, windows automatically open if it starts to get a little warm or stuffy (They can also be opened manually). When the temperature dips outside, a solar chimney keeps the inside temperate… Malkawi hopes that the information gleaned from HouseZero will prove that ultra-efficient buildings like this one are scalable in any climate.”

Well, it’s official. The implosion of the two 500-foot Brayton Point cooling towers will happen tomorrow Saturday, April 27th. According to WPRI News “Time is running short for the large cooling towers at the site of the former Brayton Point Power Station. On Friday, Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said the company performing the demolition has been given the green light for 8 a.m. Saturday.” And according to the Boston Globe, if you haven’t already made your reservations to watch from one of several vantage sites, you may be out of luck. “’Everybody in this area is excited to have the towers come down,’ said Nathan Setera, a manager at Barrett’s Waterfront, a restaurant and bar in Fall River across from the towers. The restaurant is hosting a sold-out “Bring Em Down Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for 250 patrons who will have front-row seats for the implosions. The menu includes a Bloody Mary with a pair of celery stalks in honor of the two towers and a cupcake tower. Castle Island Brewing Co. in Norwood will be there to serve Lil’ Dynomite, a red ale, Setera said. Cristoff Shay, executive vice president and director at Battleship Cove, said tickets for the implosion gathering aboard the USS Massachusetts sold out within 24 hours. ‘It’s a historic event,’ he said. ‘It seemed people were very eager and excited.’”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say, Bloomberg

North Andover woman’s lawsuit is 16th filed against Columbia Gas since disaster, Eagle Tribune

Utility is undecided about seeking a rate increase after Lawrence-area disaster, Boston Globe

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely, Wall St. Journal

Con Edison deal could end natural-gas crisis—in 2023, Crain’s New York

NTSB: 5 lessons learned from a Silver Spring gas explosion that killed 7, WUSA

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: Going 100 percent renewable power means a lot of dirty mining, Salon.com

A climate change solution slowly gains ground, Washington Post

Electrifying Your Home is Good for You, Sierra Club

Maine AFL-CIO Becomes First State Federation to Support a Green New Deal Bill, In These Times

New York targets 1.5 TWh of new renewables with latest solicitation, Utility Dive

Americans love clean energy. Do they care if it includes nuclear?, Vox.com

How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules, Politico

Is South Portland the ‘greenest’ city in Maine? It’s a leader, for sure, Portland Press Herald

Why Some Landfills are Exploring Virtual Pipelines to Capitalize on Gas, Waste360

New York City eyes Quebec hydropower in bid to go green, Sun Journal

Renewable energy takes bite out of Avangrid’s 1Q profits, Hartford Business Journal

How to stave off that climate anxiety with a renewable energy supplier, Grist

MASSPIRG Campaigning for 100% Renewable Energy, The Beacon – MCLA

Regional Conference Planned on Ocean Energy Innovation, Cape Cod

 

Wind

Offshore wind auction faces a new hitch, Boston Globe

Building Out the US Offshore Wind Supply Chain—a $68 Billion Opportunity, Greentech Media

Massachusetts approves state’s first offshore wind contracts for 800 MW, Utility Dive

Developer of R.I. wind farm announces education, workforce initiative, Providence Journal

NS Zoning Board to resume turbine hearing tonight, The Call (RI)

Massachusetts offshore wind project gets green light at roughly 8.9 cents/kWh, Ars Technica

Students develop acoustic device to detect whales near offshore wind farm, Phys.org

Turbine Blade Testing Underway Ahead of Massachusetts’ 1st Wind Farm, NECN

 

Solar

New Jersey’s Community Solar Market: Ready to Shine, Greentech Media

New York updates distributed solar tariff, clearing path for 1 GW of new generation, Utility Dive

Fate of northern Vermont solar projects uncertain, VTDigger

Encore Renewable Energy takes historic silk mill solar in Keene, N.H., helping city meet its goal of 100% renewables by 2030, Utility Dive

Cape Cod Solar Company Donates Solar Panels to Hingham High School, Cape Cod Today

Seekonk farm gets state grant for solar system, Sun Chronicle

Planning Board delays solar farm application approval, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A cleaner, cheaper approach to heating and cooling, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Study Says Lighting Controls Boost LED Efficiency by 47 Percent, Buildings

GE announces first solar+storage projects since renewable business restructuring, Utility Dive

Duke, Eversource commit to create energy storage safety standards, Utility Dive

Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet, WBGH

New York Releases RFI for Energy Storage. Kicks Off $280 Million Incentive Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

This Vermont Town Took A Big Hit When Its Nuclear Plant Closed, WBUR

NRC Eases Curbs on A-Plant Licenses, Los Angeles Times

New Jersey approves up to $300M in annual nuclear plant subsidies, despite profitability claims, Utility Dive

Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner blasts state’s nuclear bailout bill, Utility Dive

Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim, WBUR

As Pilgrim Powers Down, Some Worry It Will Leave Behind Too Much Radiation, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

R.I. climate activists to hold ‘watch party’ as Brayton Point towers fall, Providence Journal

Going down: All you need to know about the implosion of Somerset’s cooling towers, Providence Journal

Tower implosion day brunches selling out fast in Fall River, Herald News

State OKs $141 million in charges for storm recovery, The Hour

Eversource seeks Seacoast Reliability Project permit, Seacoastonline.com

Future of New Haven’s defunct English Station power plant unclear, New Haven Register

ISO New England is excluding Invenergy’s proposed power plant from its future power projections, Uprise RI

Burrillville power-plant proposal wins court battle over Johnston water deal, Providence Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

An Earth Day wish: Bring hydro cars to Mass., Boston Globe

Don’t repeal the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels deception, Daily Bulldog

We’ve got plenty of gas and don’t need the PennEast pipeline winding through N.J., group says, NJ.com

Maine Voices: State should put projects on hold, plan for clean-energy future, Portland Press Herald

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

Energy News for week ending November 9, 2018

Write off | LNG in Central MA | A gas leak every mile | About Face

Happy Friday afternoon. Be careful heading home or out this evening. We have a flash flood watch from 5:00 PM today until 3:00 PM Saturday for many parts of New England.

We start this week with three natural gas stories. First, from Jon Chesto at the Boston Globe, Eversource writes off its investment in Access Northeast because of Columbia Gas disaster, “When fires and explosions rocked Lawrence-area homes and businesses in September, the Columbia Gas incident was bound to hurt the already-tenuous political stature of the natural gas industry around here. Now, Eversource Energy is paying a price for the damage to the industry’s reputation: $32.9 million. That’s the pretax value of Eversource’s 40 percent stake in the proposed Access Northeast pipeline expansion project. Eversource just wrote off the full amount. The company hasn’t officially given up on Access Northeast. But the utility’s accountants have decided, at least for now, that its share in the project is worthless. The reason? Eversource blamed the Merrimack Valley gas disaster, in a document filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, even though the incident didn’t take place in Eversource’s gas service territory.”

While Eversource may have temporarily given up on Access Northeast, the Merrimack Valley disaster is not stopping Liberty Energy Trust of Pennsylvania from proposing a $100M LNG plant in Charlton, MA. From the Worcester Telegram, “On the fiercest of cold days this winter, thousands of Massachusetts residents will rely on the liquid form of natural gas for heat, and they likely won’t care where it comes from or how it gets to them, as long as it keeps their homes warm. Behind the scenes, though, utility companies take note every time a gigantic tanker ship carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) docks at the Distrigas terminal in Everett. The imported LNG, arriving from places like Trinidad and Russia, helps offset their natural gas supplies, but, with no power over the domestic and international markets, they worry about relying solely on overseas fuel. To assure reliability, the companies say, the state must find ways to create its own sources for LNG. Charlton could emerge as an option…Liberty Energy Trust has proposed construction of a more than $100-million LNG plant — operating under the name Northeast Energy Center LLC — on roughly 25 acres of a 220-acre wooded site at 249 Sturbridge Road (Route 20).”

USA Today brings us our third natural gas story, A gas leak every mile: Google Street View cars find problems that utilities don’t “In older American cities like New York and Boston, there can be as many gas leaks as there are miles of road. How do we know? Because Google drove those city streets – and mapped every leak. In some communities, those funny-looking Google Street View cars driving around taking pictures of houses and storefronts are also sniffing for natural gas – part of an effort to detect and fix leaks before they become bigger problems.”

Last for this week is a blog post from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which this week, basically did a 180 on their view of nuclear power. “Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a sobering report. Based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence, the report warns that we are rapidly losing any appreciable chance of meeting the Paris climate agreement goal of keeping temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The report also makes clear that if we fail to meet this goal, the consequences will not only be severe, but they will be experienced sooner than expected…These sobering realities dictate that we keep an open mind about all of the tools in the emissions reduction toolbox—even ones that are not our personal favorites. And that includes existing nuclear power plants in the United States, which currently supply about 20 percent of our total electricity needs and more than half of our low-carbon electricity supply…Factoring all of these considerations in, our new report calls for proactive policy to preserve nuclear power from existing plants that are operating safely but are at risk of premature closures for economic reasons or to ensure that lost nuclear capacity is replaced with carbon-free sources.”

That’s it for this week’s recap. Have a great weekend and please be sure to take a moment to give thanks to our veterans.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Eversource writes off its investment in Access Northeast because of Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

States raise Exelon market power concerns over Mystic cost recovery proposal at FERC, Utility Dive

Fossil fuel money crushed clean energy ballot initiatives across the country, Vox

Natural Gas is Undermining Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants—And That’s Bad News for the Climate, Union of Concerned Scientists

Power plant opponents celebrate another victory as case moves into final months, Valley Breeze

$100M LNG plant proposed on Route 20 in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

A gas leak every mile: Google Street View cars find problems that utilities don’t, USA Today

US and British steelworkers’ union call on National Grid to end the lockout in Massachusetts, Morning Star

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas Pledges To Promote Energy Efficiency In Affected Merrimack Valley Homes, WBUR

Baker, Rivera warn ‘frustration’ will continue, Eagle Tribune

20,000 Thanksgiving meals planned for gas-deprived residents, Eagle Tribune

Drinking with the Merrimack Valley recovery workers who live on an old cruise ship in Southie, DigBoston.com

Tenants Affected By Gas Explosions Can Withhold Rent: AG, USA Patch

Feds open criminal investigation into Merrimack Valley gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas filing hints at future rate hike, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Governors could drive the next wave of climate change action, Vox.com

The Elections, and What They Mean for Climate, Energy, and Science, Union of Concerned Scientists

N.H. Missing From State Coalition Opposing Clean Power Plan Rollback, New Hampshire Public Radio

On climate change, Trump disavows his own scientists, government, Axios.com

Carbon Pricing Winning Issue in Mass. Legislative Races, ClimateXChange

 

Wind

Fishermen ask for more time to study wind impact, South Coast Today

Disabled and disassembled: Blades removed from Applied Materials turbine, Gloucester Times

Market forces buffeting future of wind power in Maine, Portland Press Herald

New York offers 800MW offshore prize, reNews

Offshore wind giant with plans in A.C. closes $510M deal with competitor, Press of Atlantic City

Yarmouth, Barnstable react to status of wind farm cable review, Cape Cod Times

SCC reluctantly approves Dominion offshore wind test, The Virginian Pilot

Minorities need a place at table for wind employment, Andrade says, South Coast Today

 

Solar

Midterm Election Brings Victory And Defeat To Clean Energy Industry, Solar Industry

Town of Ashland and Ameresco Celebrate Completion of Three Municipal Solar Projects, Business Journals

Solar industry lights up over Republican governor’s win in Massachusetts, Washington Examiner

Salem State University Tripling On-Site Solar Through Massachusetts Grant, Solar Industry

Solar farm back on Ware Planning Board agenda after denial, MassLive

Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time, Science Daily

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New England moves to open the market for battery storage, pv-magazine-USA.com

Ahead of biggest energy storage rule change yet, US’ transmission network operators open up markets, Energy-storage.news

Cape Light Compact Files Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan, CapeCod.Com

Massachusetts grants help get energy storage projects off the ground, MA Clean Energy Center

EIA: Reduced electric demand has halved carbon emissions in power sector, ACEEE

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles Are Coming, And New England And California Better Watch Out, Forbes.com

Car Battery Pioneer Says New Breakthrough Will Lower Cobalt Use, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Millstone Unit 2 is shut down for repairs, The Day

Seabrook nuclear plant refueling boosts local businesses, Newburyport Daily News

Environmental group: Keep open nuclear power plants, Axios.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England unveils new initiatives to enhance winter reliability, Utility Dive

Canada, New England Talk Trade, Politics and Clean Energy, RTO Insider

PUC won’t decide CMP’s $950M transmission line project until March, Mainebiz

Eversource misses window for herbicide spraying on Cape, Cape Cod Times

ISO-NE frets over reliability as winter approaches, Vermont Biz

States raise Exelon market power concerns over Mystic cost recovery proposal at FERC, Utility Dive

State tells CMP its application to build 145-mile power line incomplete, Kennebec Journal

CMP power line opponents plead case to Somerset County commissioners, Kennebec Journal

National Grid electric bills going up, Boston Globe

Company thinks Eversource customers can lower energy costs with online auction, New Hampshire Union Leader

National Grid unveils $250M corporate venture capital arm, TechCrunch

 

Editorial/Opinion

Are Trojan horses full of windmill parts destined for New London?, The Day

Why We’re Taking a Hard Look at Nuclear Power Plant Closures, Union of Concerned Scientists

Pipeline peril: Natural gas explosions reveal silent danger lurking in old cast iron pipes, USA Today

Ansley Bloomer: Never a better time to heat with wood, VTDigger

LETTER: Seabrook plant should share more information, Daily News of Newburyport

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear

Energy News for week ending October 21, 2016

Natural Gas/Pipeline

White House Report Calls For Safer Natural Gas Storage, NPR

FERC Chairman Used Not-Yet-Published Guidelines to Deny Wrongdoing in Hiring of Contractor for Spectra Pipeline, DeSmog

Natural gas prices predicted to surge this winter, vtdigger.org

Maine extends deadline for bids on LNG plant, Argus Media

Group seeks to restrict the use of eminent domain, StateImpact Pennsylvania

Renewable Energy

That’s 4 straight debates without a single question on climate change. Good job everyone, Vox

Warren redistributes solar income, CommonWealth Magazine

Westport officials agree to solar PILOT, but wonder if the deal is too good to be true, Herald News

Turbine noise complaints dip during Scituate pilot program, Patriot Ledger

New Report Recognizes RGGI Is a Catalyst for Clean Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council

The US’s First Offshore Wind Farm is Scheduled to Open This Month, Scientific American

Researchers develop ‘self-installing’ offshore wind turbine, Business Green

DONG Energy Offshore Wind Study Outfits Birds With ‘Backpacks’, North American Windpower

Crucial battle over solar panel incentives goes to Maine PUC, Press Herald

PUC on the hot seat over proposed solar ‘net metering’ rules, Mainebiz

Target named top corporate solar installer in US, PV-Tech

GE Buys LM Wind Power For $1.6B For Bigger, Cheaper Wind Turbines, Breaking Energy

Ranger Solar receives approval for New England’s largest PV project, PV-Tech

Visitors Get Glimpse Of Block Island Wind Farm In Test Phase, Rhode Island Public Radio

MIT to neutralize 17 percent of carbon emissions through purchase of solar energy, MIT News

Energy Efficiency

Report: Connecticut is one of the most energy-efficient states, CT Post

West Hartford Residents Show Commitment to Energy Efficiency, Patch.com

State gov’ts energy-reduction efforts need more money, Hartford Business

USDA Offers Energy Grants for Small Rural Businesses and Farmers, MainePublic.org

The Future of Energy Efficiency: What’s Happening Around the Edges, Electric Light & Power

Nuclear

MIT breaks nuclear fusion record in bid to unlock new clean energy sources, Utility DIVE

Ever heard of a ZEC? Nuclear energy in New York banks on it, GreenBiz

Seabrook nuclear power plant to address concrete erosion, NH1 News

Report offers ‘lessons learned’ from Vermont Yankee, vtdigger.org

America’s Nuclear Problem, Bloomberg

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Warren, Tsongas, Clark oppose Hudson to Sudbury power line project, MetroWest Daily News

ISO-NE 2016-17 winter reliability program sets max costs at $32 mil, Platts

NYISO: New ISO-NE capacity rules could spike New York power prices, Utility DIVE

N.H. regulators authorize Northern Pass Transmission to begin operations as public utility, Electric Light & Power

Northern Pass protester fined $744 for Aug. 10 Easton sit-in, NH1 News

WATCH: Concerned Residents Want to Stop Eversource Project for Sudbury, Patch.com

Wallingford residents concerned about Eversource tree removal project, Meriden Record-Journal

Whitehouse not the climate champion Burrillville needs, RI Future

EFSB established as ‘one-stop shopping’ for power companies, RI Future

Editorial/Opinion

Missing from the debates: Climate change, The Boston Globe

Editorial: Pipelines’ health impact vital, The Recorder

Letter: Nuclear power is beneficial, cold fission a myth, Berkshire Eagle

LETTER: Against the Spectra pipeline, Wicked Local Walpole

Smith: Some hope for climate change, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

My Turn: Energy efficiency standard a boon for state, Concord Monitor

Column: The high cost of fossil fuel, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

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Filed under Climate Change, offshore wind, solar, Vermont Yankee Closing