Tag Archives: Maine

Energy News for week ending September 14, 2018

Explosions, Fires | Dark Money | NH to use VW Cash for EV Infrastructure

Good Friday afternoon.

First, our hearts go out to the folks in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover, for yesterday’s tragedy. Our thanks and appreciation go to all of the first responders, some of whom lost their own homes, and who have come from all parts of New England to help out with the situation. Last, here’s to the gas and electric utility workers who are working diligently to create a safe environment and get people back in their homes. There are many places to offer help, The Essex County Community Foundation and MSPCA at Nevins Farm are two local ones.

Instead of sharing a lot of stories on this subject, we direct you to the local media outlet – the Lawrence Eagle Tribune – for coverage. Also here is today’s 11:10AM statement from Columbia Gas.

Heading north to Maine, we have a story from the Press Herald, Dark money and blurred alliances drum up resistance to CMP power line project, “An unusual mix of opponents, one of them quite secretive, is working at a grass-roots level to block a proposed 145-mile power line through Maine, even though it’s not on any ballot.”

And Utility Dive, reports New Hampshire to use $4.6M of VW settlement to build EV infrastructure, “New Hampshire will use $4.6 million, or about 15% of its share of the Volkswagen emissions settlement, to develop electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around the state, according to a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan released last week. Funds will be used to acquire, install, operate and maintain vehicle supply equipment, and the state will begin accepting applications next month, The Concord Monitor reports…In total, New Hampshire will receive almost $31 million from the $15 billion VW settlement…

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

PS – Due to a scheduling problem we were unable to share last week’s energy news. We have included a few key stories from last week in the mix below in case you missed them.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions and Fires Coverage, Eagle Tribune

Unions taking an old-school stand against National Grid, Boston Globe

Could Oil Demand Peak in Just Five Years?, Wall St. Journal

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air, New York Times

Amid Lockout, Mass. AG Calls For Probe Into National Grid Over Safety Concerns, WBUR

Firm prohibited from imposing new rate increases, Berkshire Eagle

Activists protest controversial Algonquin pipeline, Hudson Valley News

Power plant divides gubernatorial candidates, Brown Daily Herald

Agawam ConsCom to consider gas pipeline expansion, MassLive

Natural gas pipeline blast in Beaver County prompts evacuation, State Impact

Locked Out National Grid Workers Struggling To Pay Medical Bills, CBS Boston/WBZ

Waltham Asks City To Support Unions, Moratorium On National Grid, USA Patch

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

California Sets Goal Of 100 Percent Clean Electric Power By 2045, WBUR

US activists launch climate change initiatives in absence of federal leadership, Guardian

Q3 RGGI auction clears at premium, pushing secondary market to 2.5-year high, carbon-pulse.com

Otis Microgrid: Cape Cod Military Base To Run Fully On Renewable Energy, CleanTechnica

Keene, Portsmouth Climate Rallies Foresee Flooded Future Without Renewable Energy Transition, New Hampshire Public Radio

National Park Officials Were Told Climate Change Was ‘Sensitive.’ So They Removed It From A Key Planning Report, HuffPost

Maine businesses get more than $430,000 for renewable energy, Portland Press Herald

Supreme Judicial Court upholds MassDEP’s right to cap carbon emissions from power plants to fight climate change, MassLive

 

Wind

Yarmouth again balks at Vineyard Wind pact, Cape Cod Times

State Finds Flaws In Turbine Noise Study, The Bourne Enterprise

Energy ratepayers bankrolling offshore wind farm opposed by Long Island fishing community, LoHud.com

NYSERDA accepting bids for energy credits from several local wind projects still under consideration, Watertown Daily News

Wind turbine project proposed in ocean off Atlantic County WHYY

New York’s offshore wind plan faces commercial fishing opposition, Poughkeepsie Journal

Offshore Wind Industry ‘Really Moving;’ Coordination Key, RTO Insider

 

Solar

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey Reacts to Complaints of Solar Companies Preying on Elderly, NECN

Report: Mass. solar growth slows as SMART incentives remain shelved, MassLive

New Community Solar Opportunities In Western Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Cranberry farmers looking for sunnier pastures via solar panels, South Coast Today

Report: Solar industry rebounds from tariff uncertainty, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New report says Connecticut has more than 30,000 energy efficiency jobs, New Haven Register

Coal-Killing Energy Storage Grows By 200% In US (#CleanTechnica Interview), CleanTechnica

Mass. ranks sixth in energy efficiency jobs, per report, WBJournal

Led by Surging Residential Sector, Q2 US Energy Storage Deployments Grow 200% Year-Over-Year, Greentech Media

 

EVs

A Big Week For Reshaping the Electric Grid with EVs, Microgrid Knowledge

Electric future? Global push to move away from gas-powered cars, Guardian

Early VC money likes electric vehicles, Axios

Someday Soon Your Utility Will Help You Select Your Next Car, Renewable Energy World

New Hampshire to use $4.6M of VW settlement to build EV infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC seeks details on Pilgrim sale, Cape Cod Times

Citizens Awareness Network to lead environmental justice tour, VTDigger

Nuclear plant closings bring pain to cities and towns, SaukValley.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

PUC delays next week’s hearings on CMP’s proposed transmission line project, Portland Press Herald

EEI White Paper Calls for End to `Pancaked’ Rate Cases, RTO Insider

Opposition builds to CMP’s transmission line project, Kennebec Journal

Fall River Wonders: I asked the electric company to cut some branches, why didn’t they take them?, Herald News

Maine regulators to hold hearings in towns eyed for CMP hydropower project, Bangor Daily News

Microgrid Project at Submarine Base Receives $5M Connecticut Grant, Microgrid Knowledge

Sudbury: Eversource environmental report “deficient,” MetroWest Daily News

It’s a mad, mad, mad IoT world – protecting America’s power grid from common household appliances, diginomica.com

Dark money and blurred alliances drum up resistance to CMP power line project, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE proposes market bridge to valuing fuel security, Utility Dive

Unexpected outages, intense heat behind ISO-NE Labor Day price spike, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hydro-Québec, Central Maine Power respond to critics, CommonWealth Magazine

Every State Will Win in the Race to Build Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Viewpoint: Massachusetts needs to shift its energy efficiency strategy, Boston Business JournalViewpoint: Massachusetts needs to shift its energy efficiency strategy, Business Journals

Rep. Herb Richardson and Sen. Dan Feltes: Let’s focus on local energy and jobs, lower rates, Concord Monitor

Another View — Catherine Corkery and James McCaffrey: Biomass bill sells out NH residents, New Hampshire Union Leader

Unions’ ‘unwinnable’ fight vs. National Grid is one they can’t afford to lose, Boston Globe

Vermont Yankee issues have all been answered, by Bob Leach, Keene Sentinel

Maine Compass: CMP transmission line would harm Maine’s heritage, and future, Kennebec Journal

A dangerous tipping point for New England’s wholesale electricity market, Utility Dive

 

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

Energy News for week ending July 27, 2018

Powerwalls pay off | Russians Hack Utilities | 50 Million dollars

Happy Friday afternoon.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

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

National Grid lockout causing headaches for customers, Boston Globe

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Use of renewable energy increasing in NH, WMUR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts energy bills stall as deadline approaches, PV Magazine

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

 

Wind

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

Judge scraps lawsuit against Maine wind moratorium, Utility Dive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electric rates will rise due to wind power, The Day

 

Solar

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

City Hall solar sparks ire from council, Salem News

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

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

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

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

Solar delivers during New England heatwave, PV Magazine USA

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

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

Rural Westhampton could see 20-acre solar plant, MassLive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

Power prices — and long-term costs, Boston Globe

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Go Nuclear For Power Policy Winners Among Utilities, Forbes

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

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. must lead on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

A sharp slap of reality, Watertown Daily Times

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending July 13, 2018

Happy Friday the 13th!

We hope everyone’s day is going well.  We’ve got lots of stories below.

Here are a few we found interesting:

Clean energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought, “For around 10 years, the conventional wisdom in the energy sector has been that natural gas is ascendant. Coal is dirty, and it’s getting expensive, but it’s too early to jump all the way to renewable energy. To get from the fossil fuel present to the renewable future, we will need … a bridge. Natural gas is meant to be that bridge, a way to reduce our emissions relative to coal while we work on scaling up renewables…” Vox.com

FERC Thwarts ISO-NE’s Attempt to Keep Mystic Gas Units Online, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on July 2 denied ISO-New England’s (ISO-NE’s) request for a tariff waiver to keep two gas-fired units—a total capacity of 1,700 MW—at Exelon’s Mystic Generating Plant in Boston, Massachusetts, running to address “fuel security risks.” The commission instead gave the grid operator a year to submit permanent tariff revisions that will improve its market design and better address regional fuel security concerns.” Power Magazine

NEPOOL Votes for Press Ban, Discusses Fuel Security, “Fuel security was at the top of the agenda during the annual summer meeting of the New England Power Pool Participants Committee, which also featured presentations by ISO-NE’s external and internal Market Monitors. Members attending the June 26-28 committee meeting at the Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook, Conn., also voted to change NEPOOL rules to formalize the policy of banning the press from their meetings. NEPOOL is the only RTO/ISO stakeholder body in the country that bars the public and press from meetings. The vote, which approved changes to committee bylaws and the Second Restated NEPOOL Agreement, passed with 79% in favor in a sector-weighted vote, according to a notice of action taken at the three-day meeting. The changes add a definition of “press” and bar anyone working for the news media from becoming a NEPOOL member or alternate for a participant.” RTO Insider

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Former FERC Chair Kelliher questions need for more New England pipelines, Utility Dive

Despite renewables gains, gas leads new US generation, Utility Dive

FERC allows Valley Lateral Pipeline to commence service, Utility Dive

Summer demand could push US gas generation to record levels: EIA, Utility Dive

Columbia Gas rate plan faces challenges, Salem News

Another shot in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth Magazine

NEPOOL Votes for Press Ban, Discusses Fuel Security, RTO Insider

Diamond Generating wins key permits for $1.5B gas plant to power NYC, Utility Dive

Easthampton Board of Health puts off signing anti-pipeline letter to Gov. Baker, MassLive

Duke Energy Is Betting on Pig Power to Curb Fossil Fuels, Bloomberg

Activist groups, officials host hike to illustrate opposition to Burrillville power plant, Providence Journal

Heat wave sparks switch to ultra-low sulfur heating oil, VTDigger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Clean energy is catching up to natural gas much faster than anyone thought, Vox.com

Mass. Senate passes $2 billion environmental bond bill for climate resiliency work, MassLive

Biomass plants shut down after Gov. Sununu’s veto of subsidy, New Hampshire Union Leader

Somerset gains $3.6M in RGGI funds to help next year’s tax picture, Herald News

Concord City Council Expected To Pass Renewable Energy Goal, New Hampshire Public Radio

Overheard at New York Renewable Energy Conference, RTO Insider

New York power users fear paying twice for clean energy attributes, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Cuomo kick-starts New York offshore wind with 800 MW procurement, Offshore Wind Journal

New wind industry investments in Maine hinge on election of governor, Portland Press Herald

State Takes Another Small Step Toward Cranking Up Offshore Wind Industry, NJ Spotlight

Wind developers wait for November to see market signals in Maine, Utility Dive

New Bucket Technology Could Slash Offshore Wind Costs, Maritime Executive

New R&D Consortium Aims to Slash Offshore Wind Costs in the US, Greentech Media

Wind developers wait for November to see market signals in Maine, Utility Dive

Developer gives up on planned North Ridge wind energy project, Central NY Business Journal via National Wind Watch

Offshore wind development in Maryland seen higher cost option, IER says, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

Deerfield Select Board gives informal OK to solar farm, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The Future of Exeter—Solar or More Housing—Farmers Seek Support, GoLocalProv

Solar-Powered Food Car Brings Sustainably Sourced Food, U.S. News & World Report

Solar Investment Down Nearly 20% From the First Half of 2017, Greentech Media

Pennsylvania draft plan calls for 11 GW in-state solar, Utility Dive

DSUN, Emergya have 75 MW of NY community solar shovel-ready, Renewables Now

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont Increases Energy Efficiency Standards, Ecopreneurist

Massachusetts Faces Make-or-Break Decision on Landmark Storage Incentive, Greentech Media

New York’s energy storage target could end up at 3 GW by 2030, Utility Dive

Grid resiliency and energy storage bill passes Massachusetts House, MassLive

 

EVs

EVs could drive 38% rise in US electricity demand, DOE lab finds, Utility Dive

When Will Electric Vehicles Act as a Grid Resource Under the V2G Paradigm?, Renewable Energy World

 

Nuclear

Dominion to state: Millstone ‘at risk now’, The Day

Communities around NH nuke plant want info on evacuation, Southcoasttoday

Criticism of Seabrook nuclear power plant finds new momentum, Wicked Local

Millstone nuclear plant threatens shutdown, Connecticut Post

Vermont Yankee water cost: $6M and counting, VTDigger

Panel learns: Nothing happens fast when it comes to fate of nuke waste, The Recorder

State Will Postpone Decision On Vermont Yankee Sale Until Federal Ruling, VPR

New Brunswick should have second nuclear reactor: energy minister, The Chronicle Herald

Fearing climate change, experts in San Diego warn U.S. nuclear industry faces collapse, Energy Central

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

FERC Thwarts ISO-NE’s Attempt to Keep Mystic Gas Units Online, Power Magazine

Utility Non-Wires Alternative RFPs Coming to Massachusetts?…Enel X Expands Canadian Footprint, Microgrid Knowledge

Transforming the Massachusetts Grid to Accommodate DERs, North American Clean Energy

NYPA applies predictive monitoring strategy to transmission assets, Utility Dive

Legislature Overrides Veto of Bill Holding Utility Shareholders – Not Customers – Responsible for Investigation Costs, Energy Central

Somerset ConCom addresses former Brayton Point power plant property demo work near river, South Coast Today

Locked out, National Grid workers grapple with loss of income, health insurance, Boston Globe

Haverhill passes moratorium on National Grid projects during lockout, Eagle-Tribune

U.S. Northeast grids monitoring heat wave, say power is sufficient, Business Insider

Wallingford electric rates decreasing for the remainder of 2018, New Haven Register

City Strikes Deal On Energy Prices, Valley News

Pacheco: ‘No excuse’ for House not to act on energy bill, Taunton Daily Gazette

Eversource substation to stay, solar farm under consideration for Manresa Island, The News-Times

How FERC’s ‘unprecedented’ PJM order could unravel capacity markets, Utility Dive

Connecticut electric utilities finish near the bottom in customer service study, New Haven Register

Maine regulators broaden audit of CMP to include the company’s customer service, Portland Press Herald

In Need of Electricity, Massachusetts Looks to the North—Again, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Massachusetts residents pay the highest power bills in the continental US, Boston Globe

Gas lockout endangers everyone, CommonWealth Magazine

Our best interests on the Connecticut River?, National Wind Watch

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

LETTER: Offshore wind will help stop use of fossil fuels, southcoasttoday

Column: Significant savings through solar, Gloucester Daily Times

 

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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 April 27, 2018

Power Struggle | Offshore Wind = 1000s of jobs | Nuclear can be flexible

 

It’s Friday afternoon so it’s time for the weekly Northeast Energy News.

We begin with an article from the Boston Globe about Central Maine Power’s proposed project to bring Canadian hydro to Massachusetts. As the article notes, “Until recently, Central Maine Power’s proposal was considered an also-ran to a similar plan in New Hampshire, called Northern Pass, the initial choice of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to import clean energy.” But like the Northern Pass project, the CMP project also goes through sensitive and important environmental areas and it has some people very unhappy. Others however, are seeing it differently due to incentives. David Abel writes, “In exchange for their support, the company has promised to lavish The Forks and neighbors — small towns that have struggled economically for years — with tens of millions of dollars…Many residents consider those payments bribes, and worry that the pledged money is pitting neighbors against each other. At the same time, they recognize the need for economic aid to offset declining tourism.”

Yesterday, Wind Power Engineering reported that “The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years — defined as one person working full-time for one year — during construction over the next 10 years and generate between $675 million and $800 million in direct economic output in Massachusetts. The Offshore Wind Workforce Report, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and authored by Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, also provides analysis and recommendations to guide the training and development needs for the offshore wind industry workforce in Massachusetts.”

The last article highlight for this week was posted by one of my favorite people on Twitter – Jesse Jenkins of the MIT Energy Initiative. From the article on Energy.MIT.edu, “Nuclear power plants generally operate at full capacity, but they are also technically capable of more flexible operation. This capability lets them respond dynamically to seasonal changes in demand or hourly changes in market prices. Reactors could also provide the standby backup regulation and reserve services needed to balance supply and demand. According to Jenkins, all reactor designs now being licensed or built in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are capable of flexible operation, as are many older reactors now in service. ‘We primarily rely on gas and coal plants to meet all those flexibility needs today, while we operate our nuclear plants fixed, or ‘must-run,’ 24/7,’ says Jenkins. ‘The question here is, what would the benefits be if we stopped operating them so inflexibly, if we started using more of their technical capabilities to ‘ramp’ output up and down on different time scales from seconds to hours to seasons?’ The answer, he says, is less reliance on the gas and coal plants—and more renewable energy integration.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Greenfield residents suing city over plans to cut down trees for pipeline, wwlp.com

Does Region Need More Natural Gas? Invenergy’s Final Burrillville Push Begins April 26, ecoRI news

Invenergy has nine or ten contingent water suppliers in Rhode Island and Connecticut says their Attorney, Uprise RI (blog)

Following Spills, PA Stops Pipeline Work At Delaware County Site, WSKG.org

Court: Youngstown anti-fracking amendment must go on ballot, Youngstown Vindicator

Energy Transfer and Sunoco Pipelines Have Leaked Every 11 Days on Average, For 16 Years, Care2.com

Activists head to court after shutting down pipelines. Their defense? Climate change., Grist

NY nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit, Penn Energy

Nearby communities stepping in to track CPV power plant emissions, Times Herald Record

PSEG urges New Jersey to approve $1.9B gas line replacement program, Utility Dive

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI/etc.

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Clean Energy Prize rewards student innovation, MIT News

Scott Pruitt wades into a fraught science debate, declaring biomass burning ‘carbon neutral,’ Washington Post

New York launches next large-scale renewables procurement round, Recharge

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox

The Carbon Tax Could Come Soon To A State Near You, Law360

The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change, Bloomberg

2 Clark University Expert Authors On Report On Climate Change, Patch.com

U.S. Department of Energy announces $2.4 million in funding for fish passage technologies research programs, Hydro-World

 

Wind

New Massachusetts report finds 1600 MW of offshore wind would create thousands of jobs, Windpower Engineering

Opponents seek suspension of Antrim Wind Energy’s construction certificate, National Wind Watch

Savoy rejects wind turbine building permit; developer plans appeal, National Wind Watch

Convoys of huge wind turbine parts move through western NY, Penn Energy

Selection of offshore wind providers delayed one month, South Coast Today

Advocates Seek More Momentum for Massachusetts Offshore Wind, Renewable Energy World

Trump likes coal, but that doesn’t mean he’s hostile to wind, Washington Post

Winds of change calmed: PGC declares moratorium on wind turbines, National Wind Watch

How Windmills as Wide as Jumbo Jets Are Making Clean Energy Mainstream, New York Times

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power 16000 Homes, EcoWatch

Offshore wind farms concern fisherpeople, The Brown Daily Herald

NextEra CEO Robo slams US offshore wind as ‘bad business’, Recharge

 

Solar

Solect expands to Illinois, Worcester Business Journal

New Bipartisan Legislation Would Repeal Trump’s Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

Regional planners balk at part of solar project, Rutland Herald

Amherst among 5 New England colleges partnering on solar facility in Maine, wwlp.com

Londonderry Superfund site eyed for big solar array, New Hampshire Business Review

NH House panel passes a new fix to net metering bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Solar Generation, Energy Storage System Completed at SUNY New Paltz, Hudson Valley News Network

City Weighs New Regulations After ‘Solar Monster’ Complaints, CBS Boston / WBZ

Darien company installs a 129 kilowatt solar array on the roof, wins award, The Darien News

Freeport is considering a municipal solar energy project, CentralMaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In Massachusetts, Energy Storage Has Allies in High Places, Greentech Media

FERC Order 845 opens door a little wider for energy storage, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help, Greentech Media

Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create “Watershed Moment”, CleanTechnica

New York Boosts Efficiency Target, Makes Way for More Solar and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

2 buildings in Orange targeted for energy efficiency upgrades, The Recorder

Lockheed says ‘flow’ battery will boost use of renewable power, Reuters

 

EVs

The electric vehicle boom is coming. What can we learn from early adopters?, ensia.com

New York agencies propose shifting EV fast chargers to non-demand charges, Utility Dive

Utilities boost electric car incentives, (VT) Energy Central

ABB launches what it says is world’s fastest EV charger, PV Magazine

New York regulators to mull advancing EV market with new proceeding, Utility Dive

Convenience at Heart of New US Ultra-Fast EV Charging Network, Renewable Energy World

 

Nuclear

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

NY nuclear plant resumes service after scheduled outage, Penn Energy

Update on the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, vtdigger.org

NRC hosts meeting on safety of Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?, Boston Globe

US regulator considers value of resiliency, World Nuclear News

New York to launch utility energy registry this summer in data-gathering effort, Utility Dive

FERC Commissioners Testify on Energy Infrastructure, Resiliency, State-Federal Tensions, Lexology

National Grid customers won’t see relief for months, The Daily News of Newburyport

Eversource devotes $80M to tree trimming, hazardous tree removal, CT Post

Eversource, UI hit hard in new customer value survey, New Haven Register

Eversource Continues Natural Gas Expansion In Darien, Patch.com

New England line would have to take the scenic route, E&E News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why you’ll pay for Beacon Hill’s pipeline folly, Boston Globe

We need a RGGI for transportation, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine needs zones free of windmills, power lines, Press Herald

Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Energy Central/Concord Monitor

Fears about blackouts increasing, CommonWealth Magazine

Infrastructure Necessary for Energy Independence, Everett Independent

Nancy Stiles: Energy-efficiency funds important for schools, towns, state’s 10-year strategy, Concord Monitor

Bold Ideas to Address Society’s Energy Issues Deserve Consideration, not Dismissal, ecoRI news

Quebec hydro line is not without environmental costs, Bangor Daily News

Confessions of a former carbon tax skeptic, Washington Examiner

Dick Henry: Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Excuse from CMP wanted as electric bills defy logic, Press Herald

Natural gas essential to New York’s energy mix, Albany Times Union

Robert Thorson: US Backs Big Oil Against Tiny Arctic Tribe, Hartford Courant

Letter: Conservative Law Foundation is right about Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Offshore wind energy right for Connecticut, The Day

 

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

Energy News for week ending April 6, 2018

Home rating | Drive electric | Hearing on Competitive Suppliers

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Cyberattack Shows Vulnerability of Gas Pipeline Network, New York Times

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

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

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

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

Residents curious, wary about natural gas expansion, Newcanaannewsonline

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

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

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

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

Climate change threatens ski industry, Stowe Reporter

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

Lawmaker tries to steer investments toward renewable energy, WJAR

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

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law, New Yorker

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

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

Hancock County residents protest Brookfield’s dam operations, MaineBiz

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atlantic wind boost on US menu, reNews

Offshore wind projects make headway, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind blows new life into dormant partnership, NJ Spotlight

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

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

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

Delays likely in offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

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

 

Solar

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

Town council to reexamine solar ordinance, Ricentral.com

Portland Highlighted for Solar Progress in New Report, Environment Maine

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

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

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

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

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

Longmeadow to participate in solarize program, The Reminder

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

Pennsylvania Driving Toward an Electrifying Win, NRDC

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Legislature plans hearing into competitive electric supply market, Lowell Sun

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

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

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

Exelon plays power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Sandwich power plant sold, Cape Cod Times

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

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

Baker treads softly on Healey proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

Cyberattack Bleeds Into the Utility Industry, Bloomberg

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

Connecticut grid test planned for May, Thehour.com

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

National Grid names new New York president, Albany Times Union

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

My recipe for embracing renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

Push back against Central Maine Power, Press Herald

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

Tweak needed for clean peak standard, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending February 23, 2018

Extension Cord | Charge it up | Backbone granted

Good Friday afternoon.

As most of you are aware, after last week’s Northeast Energy News was published, MA DOER announced that officials would enter into negotiations with another project while giving Northern Pass until March 27 to overturn the decision of the NH siting board. From CommonWealth Magazine, “While contract talks with Northern Pass continue, the state’s three electric utilities will also begin negotiating power supply contracts with New England Clean Energy Connect, a partnership of Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec that the update referred to as “the next best project.” However, some folks in Maine aren’t happy with that idea and want to protect their scenery. One Maine letter writer to the Ellsworth American, says, “Put your wind turbines in the Berkshires and build power dams on the Connecticut River. Leave us alone!

Today, the Wall Street Journal followed up with a story titled, “New England Has a Power Problem.” It offers a synopsis of all of the challenges and differing opinions that demonstrate how difficult it is to site energy projects in New England. With respect to Northern Pass they write, “But in woodsy New Hampshire, the idea of turning part of the state into an extension cord for Massachusetts has long been controversial. New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee voted the project down this month, citing concerns including a negative impact on tourism and property values.”

This week MassPIRG released its report, “Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles.” From the Gloucester Times, “Electric vehicles will become more mainstream and as that happens drivers will need the infrastructure — mainly charging stations — to support them, according to a MassPIRG report publicized Wednesday that estimated there will be 24,000 electric vehicles in Boston by 2030. The state has a goal of reaching 300,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025…Cities should make chargers available for people who don’t have driveways or garages, government should encourage sharing of electric cars and bikes, and data about charging stations should be shared to enable drivers to find an open plug-in, MassPIRG recommended.”

North American Wind Power writes that getting ready for offshore wind took a step forward this week with FERC’s decision to give Anbaric Development Partners (ADP), “the right to develop a shared transmission system in support of Massachusetts offshore wind. The FERC decision grants ADP the authority to solicit customers and sell transmission rights to a 2 GW-2.4 GW offshore wind transmission system in southern New England called the Massachusetts Ocean Grid. FERC’s approval of the application allows ADP to offer its backbone transmission system to offshore wind developers that currently hold federal leases, as well as future lease holders, says ADP.”

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

Northern Pass/83D RFP

BIA endorses Northern Pass, says project’s rejection turning businesses from NH, The Union Leader

National Grid Applauds Mass. Review Of Northern Pass, Citizentribune

New England Has a Power Problem, Wall Street Journal (subscriber content)

Maine project picked as backup for Mass. renewable energy contract, SouthCoastToday.com

Mass. Taps Maine Transmission Line As Clean Energy Supplier If Northern Pass Falls Through, New England Public Radio

Baker selects backup for Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. Picks Avangrid Project as Northern Pass Backup, RTO Insider

Eversource to seek Northern Pass reconsideration, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, Litchfield County Times

Blackouts, Higher Costs a Proven Risk Without New Natural-Gas Pipelines, NJ Spotlight

Sen. Rosenberg calls for Western Mass hearing on $24 million Columbia Gas pipeline plan, MassLive.com

Can Updated Tax Credits Bring Carbon Capture Into the Mainstream?, Greentech Media

Mass. Is Stalling Pipeline Permit, Enbridge Unit Tells DC Circ., Law360

How General Electric gambled on fossil fuel power, and lost, Reuters

A New Massachusetts ‘Sustainable Energy’ Coalition Is Really A Front For Gas Interests, Huffington Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Lobbyists’ valentines ask Baker to ‘break up’ with non-renewable energy, Daily Free Press

Sidney residents voice concerns over installation of gas pipeline, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Renewing Berlin through renewable energy: Obstacles remain as city expands its power portfolio, The Union Leader

Connecticut proposes “40% by 2030” renewable energy mandate, replacing net metering, pv magazine USA

Scientists: Rhode Island is sinking and sea levels continue to rise, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

NH House backs bill to limit renewable energy incentives, New Hampshire Business Review

 

Wind

ISO-NE Study Finds Wind ‘Spillage,’ Price Separation, RTO Insider

Feds OK Next Step In Massachusetts Offshore Wind Transmission System, North American Windpower

Wind industry sues LePage administration over order halting permits, Press Herald

It generates power and cuts emissions, but is Lynn’s wind turbine making any money?, Item Live

 

Solar

City Council moves closer toward solving solar farm ordinance, The Reminder — Agawam

A solar panel on every roof in the US? Here are the numbers, Ars Technica

Solar import tariff: pain without benefit, New Hampshire Business Review

US solar industry lost nearly 10000 jobs in 2017, The Union Leader

Massachusetts’ SMART Program Awards Sunpin 20-Year Feed-In-Tariff Contract in Western Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

Advocates for home solar projects slam decision by ‘out-of-control’ PUC, Press Herald

South Shore MBTA lots to get solar canopies, Patriot Ledger

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

For Salem, it pays to be green, Wicked Local

Driving the Market for Heat Pumps in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Framingham Co. Completes $3.7M Scotland Energy Savings Project, Patch.com

Trump Administration Energy Efficiency Delay Ruled Illegal, Natural Resources Defense Council

Tonight, Science Cafe will tell you about energy efficiency, and maybe save you some money, Concord Monitor

Energy efficiency is leaving low-income Americans behind, Grist

Federal judge rules against Trump administration, forcing Dept. of Energy to enact energy efficiency standards set under Barack Obama, MassLive

House committee chooses energy efficiency over rebates, NH Business Review

FERC order opens ‘floodgates’ for energy storage in wholesale markets, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Gets Biggest Boost in Years. Thank you FERC, Microgrid Knowledge

Details on the 14 Massachusetts Community Microgrid Projects that Won Funding, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Latest Pilgrim inspection finds no violations, Cape Cod Times

Seabrook nuke plant’s seismic monitor not triggered by earthquake, Seacoastonline.com

Indian Point reactor automatically shuts down again, feds investigating, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Nuclear Reactors Could Run as Long as 80 Years Under Trump Plan, Bloomberg

Controversial nuclear bill advances, now with green subsidies adding to cost increases, NorthJersey.com

 

Electric Vehicles

Homeowners Get New Tesla Batteries in Utility Trial, Renewable Energy News

Electric car growth influenced by state of charging infrastructure, Gloucester Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Electricity Customers Didn’t Save Money With Retail Sellers, WABI 5

LIPA, National Grid claims to ‘governmental immunity’ for Sandy damage rejected by state Court of Appeals, amNY

LaFleur warns against PJM plan altering ‘fundamental’ energy market mechanics, Utility Dive

‘Boarded-up’ National Grid windows come under fire from Niagara Street neighbors, Buffalo News

Trump again will try to cut energy assistance to the poor, Patriot Ledger

Blockchain Could Change Everything for Energy, Renewable Energy World

New use for old mine shafts — power generators using gravity, Digital Journal

Heating assistance programs struggling to keep up with demand on South Shore, Patriot Ledger

EPA moves to reject CT complaint over Brunner Island plant emissions, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Don’t let New England region run out of gas, The Day

Maine whiffed on big chance to study electricity ripoff, Bangor Daily News

Kate Epsen: For alternatives to Northern Pass, just look around, Union Leader

Utility consumers need to be heard in Western Massachusetts (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Letter: Steven E. Miller: New England has no gas pipeline crisis, The Providence Journal

Eversource, ever unclear, Cape Cod Times

High energy costs put northeastern US economy at risk, The Hill

Letter: Christian Roselund: Wind can meet region’s energy needs in time, The Providence Journal

Your Turn: Central Mass. can lead 100-percent renewable transition, Worcester Mag

Our view: States could work together to optimize offshore wind energy, Press of Atlantic City

Storage, not new pipelines, is the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

Winter costs make region cold for business, CommonWealth Magazine

With more control, communities choose clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Senate Energy Bill: Christmas for Special Interests, AIM blog

Charging Past Failure: A Plan For More Effective Electric Vehicle Powering, The Energy Collective

To slow climate change, the US needs to address nuclear power’s dismal economics, The Conversation

Viewpoint: Mass. offshore wind process can be improved, Boston Business Journal

Don’t give up the fight to protect Maine’s scenery, The Ellsworth American

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar