Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Energy News for week ending February 1, 2019

Personnel Changes | Storage Goes Mainstream | Sun-powered Super Bowl

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s news with two personnel changes. Yesterday, Massachusetts’-own and enthusiastic Patriot’s fan, Cheryl LaFleur announced on Twitter she wouldn’t be “seeking a third-term at FERC” and would be leaving the Commission later this year. You can read more details at Utility Dive.

The second personnel announcement comes from the MA DPU where the Patriot Ledger reports that the new Chairman, Matthew Nelson, who is replacing Angie O’Connor, hails from Hull and that he “has worked for the agency for eight years, most recently as director of electric power and regional and federal affairs.”

Big energy efficiency news came out of Massachusetts this week as reported by CommonWealth Magazine, “State regulators on Wednesday approved utility plans to spend nearly $2.8 billion of ratepayer money over the next three years on initiatives designed to curb energy consumption in the aggregate and particularly at peak periods, resulting in energy savings of $8.5 billion. While Mass Save will continue to offer efficient light bulbs, insulation, and other standard energy-saving devices that help curb electricity and natural gas consumption, the focus of the program is starting to shift a bit, with homeowners incentivized to swap oil and propane systems for electric heat pumps and to purchase energy storage devices. Energy storage devices appear to be going mainstream. Under the energy efficiency program approved by the Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, utilities would offer performance-based financial incentives to customers who purchase the devices. At peak demand periods, utilities would pay the customer to use the stored energy to reduce his/her personal power usage or to feed the electricity into the grid. The DPU decision did not detail the size of the incentives, although in testimony the utilities said they would be sizeable.”

 

Last story for this week, (because, you know,…Super Bowl) comes from Inc. How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of). “Fans arriving at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta…will be far too excited to think twice about the carports that they’ll be parking under. But those structures go a long way toward helping the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium earn its status as the greenest sports arena in the world. Completed in 2017, the $1.5 billion stadium is the first sports facility ever to receive Platinum certification from the global rating system LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One decision that helped the stadium earn that honor: The carports in the parking lot are plastered with solar panels.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Struggles Due To Insufficient Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, Benzinga.com

National Grid: 95 percent of customers have gas service restored in Rhode Island, WHDH

Residents, businesses file class-action lawsuits following gas outage, WPRI

Attorney behind Newport gas outage lawsuit says ‘some people suffered real damages’, Newport Daily News

Drillers Are Easing Off the Gas, Wall St. Journal

Feds agree to visit Weymouth to hear gas compressor concerns, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

Braintree, Weymouth to appeal air permit for compressor, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

Utility Will Cover Gas Disaster Repair Costs Through May 2020, USA Patch

Danskammer officials outline plans for power plant revamp, Recordonline

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Traditional and renewable energy “at odds” in Connecticut, Connecticut Post

Democrats’ ‘carbon tax’ bill debated at State House hearing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New Jersey looks to rejoin RGGI to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, WHYY

Renewable energy brings questions in Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

US energy-related CO2 emissions rose in 2018 but are expected to fall in 2019, 2020, Daily Energy Insider

From Beer to Casinos, Businesses Turn to Solar, Wind Power, Wall St. Journal

Move To All-Renewable Energy A ‘Moral Obligation,’ Lawmaker Says, WGBH

In Vermont, a progressive haven, emissions spike forces officials to consider drastic action, Boston Globe

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost, AP News

Boston wants to go carbon neutral by 2050. Here’s how that could happen, Boston Globe

Science Says: Get used to polar vortex outbreaks, AP News

If the Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold Outside?, New York Times

7 Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass a Green New Deal, The Atlantic

Carbon Free Boston panel pushes $5 charge for cars on city streets, Boston Herald

GE restructures renewables business to include solar, storage, Utility Dive

 

Wind

A new way to predict sea breezes may benefit offshore wind farms, Phys.org

Backyard Wind Turbines Renew R.I.’s Energy Debate. EcoRI.org

Thiele Withdraws Support For Deepwater Wind Project, Says ‘Bait and Switch’ Has Eroded Trust, 27East.com

Court Rules State Has To Refund Fee For Swanton Wind Project That’s On Hold, VPR
Landmark project faces critical test in R.I.
 , National Wind Watch

Offshore wind set for ‘sixfold growth’, reNews

Momentum Continues to Build for NE Offshore Wind, RTO Insider

 

Solar

Bill proposes to roll back ‘gross metering’ rule impacting residential solar users, Mainebiz

Plymouth town meeting will consider 15-acre solar fields, The Enterprise

Vermont Solar-storage Projects Aim to Lower Costs During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of), INC.

Vermont regulators advance first of 3 Green Mountain Power solar-plus-storage projects, Utility Dive

Conti Solar Reaches 650 Megawatts Of Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Second solar farm has powered up in Warwick, Providence Journal

Solar supporters urge Maine lawmakers to restore financial incentives, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State adjusts priorities in $2.8B energy program, Sentinel & Enterprise

Massachusetts approves 3-year efficiency plan with first fuel-switching incentives, Utility Dive

Electricity storage takes key role in energy efficiency plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Next Middleborough Science Cafe will look at energy efficient buildings, Southcoasttoday

What Does the Nuclear Power Phase-Out Mean for Energy Storage?, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

With rise of electric vehicles, a new foreign energy dependence looms, Houston Chronicle

 

Nuclear

How do you dismantle a nuclear power plant? Very, very carefully. Washington Post

Can We Drill A Hole Deep Enough For Our Nuclear Waste?, Forbes.com

These dumpsters of old nuclear waste are costing taxpayers a fortune, Boston Globe

Bill Gates comes to Washington — selling the promise of nuclear energy, Washington Post

The Nuclear Kid — Memphis youth builds home nuclear fusion reactor, Commercial Appeal

United States : Markey, Warren, Moulton Commend Decision to Delay Seabrook Nuclear Plant License Amendment and Extension, MarketWatch

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

FERC’s LaFleur to step down after push from Senate Democrats, Utility Dive

Hydro Quebec to increase hydropower capacity to more than 37,000 MW in 2021, S&P Global

Blue state AGs press McNamee recusal in resilience docket, Utility Dive

As Maine debates 145-mile electric line, energy giant with billions at stake is absent, Bangor Daily News

Watertown’s hydro power not running at capacity, Watertown (NY) Daily News via Energy Central

Eversource Seeks Rate Hike to Cover Storm Damage Costs in Connecticut, Insurance Journal

State to take up power plant project, The Bulletin

Critics call for replacing CMP, Emera Maine with a ‘consumer-owned utility’, Portland Press Herald

Saviello requests PUC amend NECEC schedule to consider alternatives, Mainebiz

Lamont talks grid reliability, offshore wind with DEEP staff, The Day

Utility Grid Modernization Plans: The Latest Developments, Greentech Media

State’s new public utilities chairman is from Hull, Patriot Ledger

Still no deal between Eversource, wood-fired power plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

LETTER: Extending Seabrook plant’s license is right move, Daily News of Newburyport

Another View: Editorial offers incomplete picture of Maine PUC’s oversight efforts, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Solar benefits, Wilton Bulletin

Guest Opinion: Time for a Green New Deal in R.I., Westerly Sun

‘Carbon Free Boston’ begins with cars and homes, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending July 20, 2018

You bought Russian gas | Vineyard Wind Lights Fuse | Millstone Debate Heats Up

Happy Friday afternoon. Based on the amount of stories we found, there doesn’t appear to be a usual summertime shortage of energy news.

Here are a few of interest:

Trump Was Asked About a Russian Gas Shipment To Boston. Here’s What That Tells Us About Energy in New England, WGBH — At Monday’s press conference in Helsinki, President Trump faced a question about a shipment of Russian liquefied natural gas that was sent to Boston in January. The question came from a Russian journalist who pointed out, through an interpreter, that Trump has been critical of a pipeline project that allows Germany to buy gas from Russia. Trump has said it makes Europe a hostage of Russia. “You suggested that you could free Europe from this by supplying American LNG,” the Russian journalist said. He went on to question whether the United States could provide LNG or liquefied natural gas as an alternative. “As far as I know U.S. had to buy … Russian gas for Boston.”

Power line plan lights fuse under Yarmouth residents, Cape Cod Times — A plan by offshore power company Vineyard Wind to bring a high-wattage cable through Lewis Bay and onshore in West Yarmouth is energizing residents, who say that no amount of compensation is worth the damage the project could potentially inflict. “This is not about money,” West Yarmouth resident David Bernstein said at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, which was devoted primarily to public comment on the project. “I don’t care if Vineyard Wind gives $10 million a year to the town of Yarmouth. If the bay is killed, it is killed.”

Millstone Power Station debate heats up, The Day — Whether you fear Millstone Power Station could shutter within a few years and create an economic and energy grid crisis, or believe plant owner Dominion Energy is making empty threats about closing before its licenses expire, state regulators want to hear from you…Millstone’s participation in the zero-carbon auction follows years of pushing from Dominion and lawmakers, who are concerned that cheaper, abundantly available natural gas could threaten the plant’s survival in the wholesale energy market.

That’s the quick recap for this week. There are a lot more news items and opinions below. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump Was Asked About a Russian Gas Shipment To Boston. Here’s What That Tells Us About Energy in New England, WGBH

LaFleur: FERC unlikely to act on pipeline review before Powelson exit, Utility Dive

Final round of hearings for Burrillville power plant will resume this week, Breeze Publications

Declining Battery Storage Costs Raise Questions About the Role of Natural Gas, Renewable Energy World

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Climate activist groups blast Mass. House energy bill for ‘paltry’ renewable standard, MassLive

On a Mission to Cut Electricity Rates, Ontario’s Ford Says He Will Cancel Wind, Solar Contracts, Renewable Energy World

Environmental advocates push SouthCoast as renewable energy hub, South Coast Today

Report: Bay State can do more in green energy, The Reminder

FuelCell Energy Will Add 100 Jobs In Torrington, Double Annual Energy Production, Hartford Courant

NY Sets Carbon Pricing Timeline, Reviews Progress, RTO Insider

 

Wind

2 more turbines slated for Berkshire Wind Power project on Brodie Mountain, Berkshire Eagle

Offshore wind farms are producing hundreds of jobs in R.I., Providence Business Journal

Lidar lights up Ocean Wind, renews

Scientists, offshore wind developer look to minimize marine life impacts, The Day via National Wind Watch

LePage’s lawyers seek dismissal of challenge to order halting wind permits, Press Herald

Power line plan lights fuse under Yarmouth residents, Cape Cod Times

Decade in, Savoy wind project reaches pivotal point, Berkshire Eagle

More Energy Storage Looming For Wind Power, CleanTechnica

Wind Turbines to See ‘Unprecedented’ Growth in Size and Capacity, Greentech Media

Offshore wind developer ramps up work on 3 more wind farms, AP News

Offshore Wind Projects’ Impact On Fishing Grounds Discussed, The Dispatch

 

Solar

French power company plans 20-acre solar farm in Westhampton, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Massachusetts Plugs Into the Sun for More Power, EcoRI

Tribe Seeks Energy Sovereignty With Solar Microgrid, Eco-Village & Utility, Microgrid Knowledge

It was once a superfund site, now it’s a solar farm, NJ Spotlight

Success of North Adams solar array ‘a good problem to have,‘ Berkshire Eagle

Brunswick residents appeal town’s assessment on solar panels, Portland Press Herald

Report: CT solar has grown 53% per year, Hartford Business Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Rise of net zero energy homes could boost utility-led community solar, Utility Dive

Steps New York Must Take to Meet its Energy Efficiency Goals, nrdc.org

Grid resiliency and energy storage bill passes Massachusetts House, MassLive

Home Energy Storage System Installations Hit Record High In US, CleanTechnica

Massachusetts House approves study of mobile storage as grid resilience tool, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Con Edison and National Grid Want to Help You Buy an Electric Car, Greentech Media

Another Study Argues Electric Cars Are Bad for the Environment. It’s Demonstrably False, Greentech Media

Martha’s Vineyard Gets Charged Up By BYD Electric Buses, Inside EVs

Electric Cars Seen Imperiling U.S. Jobs by a Rare Trump Backer, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Second company investing in nuclear technology in N.B., Global News

FEMA report: Seabrook nuclear plant’s evacuation plans OK, Newburyport Daily News

Making nuclear energy safer and more affordable, MIT News

House Committee advances two nuclear energy bills, Daily Energy Insider

Next-gen Nukes, Grist.com

Millstone Power Station debate heats up, The Day

Public airs concerns over Oyster Creek closing, storage, Press of Atlantic City

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

FERC OKs help for Mystic plants, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. lawmakers wrap up work on energy legislation, Boston Globe

Eversource asks regulators to reconsider Northern Pass transmission project, gas pipeline, Utility Dive

Dominion Energy Plans $1.5 Billion Power Plant Sale, Bloomberg

Three law firms team up for class-action suit against CMP for high bills, Bangor Daily News

Meeting on transmission line project draws a crowd, Daily Bulldog

National Grid requesting 19-percent rate increase in R.I., Providence Journal

As technology upends grid fundamentals, is load forecasting a crapshoot?, Utility Dive

Enemies line up to fight power-line project through Maine, Boston Globe

South Portland residents balk at CMP plan to expand substation, Portland Press Herald

MMWEC Retires Bonds; Reduces Outstanding Project Debt to Just $7 Million, Electric Energy Online

New York Utilities: We Believe Blockchain Is ‘Transformative,’ Greentech Media

The Cost of Preventing Baseload Retirements, Report by the Brattle Group on the DOE Memorandum

 

Editorial/Opinion

A fracking ban is hypocritical, CommonWealth Magazine

Planned transmission key to offshore wind race, CommonWealth Magazine

A crucial next step for Mass. clean energy, Boston Globe

Electricity trick or treat?, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid explains its lockout, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts needs to look at better energy sources, Worcester Telegram

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard, CommonWealth Magazine

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II, CommonWealth Magazine

‘Yes’ on windmill ordinance, Sun Journal

Massachusetts residents pay the highest average retail price for power in the continental US, Boston Globe

NorthStar is the best hope for VY decommissioning, by Dan Jeffries, Keene Sentinel

Opposing the Granite Bridge Pipeline, New Hampshire Union Leader

Those who live near Seabrook nuke plant better know evacuation plan, Seacoastonline.com

Jamie Sayen: The truth about mega-biomass, Concord Monitor

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

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

 

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 22, 2018

No Scorecard Yet | Something for Everyone | Who Owns it

 

Happy Friday everyone. Hopefully you can get out to enjoy today’s weather because this weekend’s forecast isn’t spectacular.

Now for the news. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that the Massachusetts Senate did not include the residential energy efficiency scorecard in its Omnibus Energy Bill. Serreze writes, “Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) introduced a scorecard amendment during floor debate, but said it was taken off the table before the Senate voted on the omnibus bill last Thursday night. An amendment from Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop) met a similar fate. Lesser said lawmakers decided to wait for another day, and would continue talks with trade groups that oppose the idea: the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and Greater Boston Real Estate Board. ‘We were not able to agree on the substance,’ said Lesser. ‘So we hope to be able to meet in the middle.’ The real estate organizations said they support a property owner’s ability to voluntarily obtain an energy inspection, and support a buyer’s ability to inspect a property, but oppose legislation that would mandate energy audits and scores.”

Regardless of which side of the natural gas fence you sit on, one of two items in the news this week was sure to support your position. For those in favor of gas, Bloomberg reports that “World energy ministers representing about two thirds of the global population tussled over how the world can achieve a cleaner energy future. The compromise answer: Natural gas, at least for now. A consensus statement from G20 energy ministers meeting in Argentina cited the potential of natural gas “to expand significantly over the coming decades.” Meanwhile, the group said nations that “opt to enhance their renewable energy strategies” should bolster investment and financing within that arena.”

For those who wish to keep natural gas in the ground, the Washington Post reports that “The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of methane from its operations each year — nearly 60 percent more than current estimates and enough to offset much of the climate benefits of burning natural gas instead of coal, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The higher volumes of natural gas leaking from across the industry’s supply chain would be enough to fuel 10 million homes and would be worth an estimated $2 billion…”

Last for this week is a story from Utility Dive related to policy issues around Massachusetts’ energy storage market. From the article, “A little-noticed debate in Massachusetts could have a big impact on the trajectory of the state’s energy storage market. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) convened a technical conference on solar and storage facilities participating in ISO-New England’s forward capacity market (FCM). The question of capacity payments and who is entitled to them is part of a larger debate about how distributed energy resources are going to be deployed in Massachusetts. The key issue in the capacity debate is not the technical issue of qualifying for ISO-NE’s FCM, but the policy question about who will retain ownership and control of a facility’s capacity. ‘The main issue is who owns the rights once a project is installed and who gets to bid into the FCM,’ Ted Ko, director of policy at Stem, told Utility Dive. It is an issue that is ‘extremely important for the storage industry in Massachusetts,’ he said.”

That’s the recap for this week. You can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Greener Future Starts With Natural Gas, World Energy Chiefs Say, Bloomberg

Methane leaks offset much of the climate change benefits of natural gas, study says, Washington Post

Massachusetts Gas Workers Vote to Authorize National Grid Strike, USA Patch

Trump’s steel tariffs threaten multibillion dollar expansion of US, Canadian pipelines, Washington Examiner

FirstEnergy Calls out FERC ‘Failure’ to Act on Resilience, RTO Insider

Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development, Science Daily

Fracking boom takes toll on Pennsylvania’s communities of color and lower-income areas, ThinkProgress

Utilities Commission Rejects $639 million SDG&E Natural Gas Pipeline, Times of San Diego

Most American homes are still heated with fossil fuels. It’s time to electrify., Vox

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill, MassLive

National Grid targets 80% carbon cut across buildings, transport, power, Utility Dive

How a Florida Utility Became the Global King of Green Power, Wall St. Journal

World on track for 50% renewables by 2050, says Bloomberg energy outlook, Utility Dive

Gov Malloy Signs Landmark Bills on Climate Change Resiliency and Renewable Energy (Press Release), Energy Central

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Market Impacts, RTO Insider

 

Wind

Gov. LePage set up wind-farm review panel to meet in private. Now, the names of its members are secret., Press Herald

New York state to lead new offshore wind research effort, Penn Energy

Avangrid pulls the plug on wind farm in Hopkinton, North Country Public Radio

State officials seek supplemental report Vineyard Wind project, Cape Cod Times

The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power, U.S. News & World Report

Connecticut Approves 250 Megawatts Of Clean Energy Including 200 Megawatt Revolution Offshore Wind Farm, CleanTechnica

Alliance watchful on cable-laying proposal, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Nexamp Completes Charlton’s Fourth Community Solar Project (Press Release), Energy Central

New York State to increase incentives for commercial, industrial solar projects, Daily Energy Insider

Middletown officials seek opt-out clause on solar project, Newport Daily News

Solar To Supply All Of CT Lumber Company’s Electricity, Solar Industry

Eversource’s new 5,000-panel solar facility unveiled in Ludlow, WWLP

CEA Releases 2018 Solar Energy Report; Finds Incentives Contributed Significantly to Solar Power Expansion, Electric Energy Online

Fidelity Investments wants 12-acre solar field to power part of 554-acre Merrimack campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

‘Home energy scorecard’ idea pulled from Senate energy bill, MassLive

EIA: US electric utilities spent $3.6 billion on energy efficiency customer incentives in 2016, Daily Energy Insider

National Grid Expands Energy-Efficiency Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

Cannabis businesses shut out of Maine’s energy-efficiency programs, Portland Press Herald

UN Aims to Eradicate Inefficient Incandescent Light Bulbs, Greentech Media

New Smart Meters, Energy Efficiency Help O&R Beat the Heat, Energy Central

Research Spotlights Energy Efficiency of Ride-Hailing Services, NREL.gov

Is New Hampshire on the verge of battery energy storage history?, Utility Dive

In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage, Utility Dive

How School Buses Could Help Run Air Conditioners During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear power shutdowns could cut energy prices, increase air pollution: Penn State, TMI weigh in, PennLive

New project could relieve pressure on Vermont Yankee, VTDigger

Selectmen call for NRC hearing on nuke plant evacuation, Seacoastonline.com

Indian Point: Nuclear power plant gets positive safety grades, new decommission details, The Journal News

 

EVs

New law boosts electric vehicle charging infrastructure in NH, New Hampshire Business Review

New global leader of EV uptake emerges – in Massachusetts, RenewEconomy

Should All Utility Customers Pay for EV Infrastructure and Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Projected US renewables could accelerate power price volatility — what can grid operators do?, Utility Dive

UPDATE: Sununu vetoes energy bills; Republican senators seek an override, Concord Monitor

New York utilities improved electric reliability, gas safety, electric safety, customer service performance in 2017, Daily Energy Insider

NJBPU convenes inaugural 2019 Energy Master Plan Committee, Daily Energy Insider

Plan For New England Powerline From Canada Drawing Criticism, NPR

Electricity sellers allegedly posed as CMP auditors to sign up customers, Bangor Daily News

Sununu Vetoes Net Metering Bill; Advocates Still Energized, New Hampshire Public Radio

Study: Hartford Competitive In Office Costs, Though Businesses Hit By Pricey Energy, Hartford Courant

Six Senate candidates tackle energy issues at Northampton forum, MassLive

Connecticut company aims to make energy choice easier for NH consumers, New Hampshire Business Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Don’t waste state’s time with secret wind panel, Portland Press Herald

Climate Action column: Nuclear power plants carry benefits and costs, says Kahn, Ipswich Wicked Local

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Energy News for week ending May 25, 2018

Taking it in | No reconsideration | They don’t belong to you

 

Happy Friday!

Given it’s the start of a long weekend we’ll keep it short today.

The biggest news of course was the awarding of the MA 83C RFP for offshore wind to Vineyard Wind. According to an article on Southcoasttoday.com there were some who were surprised that the state didn’t award contracts to two bidders. And just after the announcement Erich Stephens, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind, was quoted only as saying “I’m still at the point of … taking it in.” The New York Times also has a great story on what it means for the offshore wind industry in the US and in particular, New Bedford. And, how at the same time as Massachusetts’ announcement, “Rhode Island announced it would award a 400-megawatt offshore wind project to another bidder (Deepwater Wind) in the auction.”

The Union Leader reports “There will be no reconsideration of the Northern Pass by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee…An appeal to the state Supreme Court is now the most likely option for the project.”

And last for this week is a report in the Salem News that “State regulators earlier this year told a dozen electric, natural gas and water companies to show how they plan to pass along savings from a federal tax cut to their customers. Attorney General Maura Healey wasn’t happy with the response, it seems. Her office blasted the companies, calling their plans inadequate and accusing them of “holding onto tax revenues that legally do not belong to them,” in a letter to the state Department of Public Utilities…Healey’s office is hiring a private consultant to review the utilities’ plans and determine if they are fudging the numbers, Geary noted.

 

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Enjoy the long weekend!

 

Offshore Wind/83C RFP/RI

‘Taking it in’: Vineyard Wind wins offshore wind contract with Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Project Selected to Bring Offshore Wind Energy to the Commonwealth, Mass.gov (press release)

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Contract for 1,200MW of Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

In Landmark Day, East Coast States Secure 1.2 GW of Offshore Wind for US, Renewable Energy World

Massachusetts Gains Foothold in Offshore Wind Power, Long Ignored in U.S., New York Times

Two big wind farms to rise off coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Boston Globe

Baker makes bold bet on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce large offshore wind projects, Press Herald

CMP’s parent company to build nation’s largest offshore wind project, Bangor Daily News

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Region Slated for Record Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity Buildout in 2018, The Energy Collective

Divided FERC restricts climate impacts in pipeline reviews, Utility Dive

N.H. Supreme Court on natural gas pipeline expansion could provide spark for Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

NH court OKs novel pipeline financing approach, CommonWealth Magazine

Court Overturns Pipeline Denial, Valley News

Fall River Regrets Water Sale to Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

The Great American Fracking Bubble, CleanTechnica

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Impacts, RTO Insider

NY Gov., Communities Question Environmental Justice of Proposed Waste-to-Energy Facility, Renewable Energy World

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up, The Conversation

1st Franklin candidates debate energy, climate policy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Report: Renewables, Energy Efficiency in New England Will Replace the Need for Gas Pipelines, Renewable Energy World

Activists rally against bill that would allow energy incentives for biomass, The Providence Journal

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind to deploy wind measurement buoy at Massachusetts offshore wind project, Compelo

Turbine will not spin again in Falmouth, Cape Cod Times

New London, state leaders push offshore wind development as Mass., R.I. projects move forward, The Day

 

Solar

New UMaine energy proposal calls for biomass, solar, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

‘Solar For All’ Brings Green Energy To Lower-Income Households, WSHU

GID and Black Bear announce Massachusetts solar projects, pv magazine USA

Rhinebeck and Vermont solar companies merge, plan to add employees, Poughkeepsie Journal

City Council to talk solar power, The Laconia Daily Sun

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy Efficiency Leads in Job Growth as Energy Sector Adds Over 130,000 Jobs in 2017, Renewable Energy World

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Harder to Find, More Expensive in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Utility trade groups press EPA to embrace EVs in fuel standard rewrite, Utility Dive

EV charging could significantly reduce storage needs, DOE lab finds, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NorthStar makes new promises for Vermont Yankee purchase, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC releases summary of Seabrook nuclear plant visit, Gloucester Daily Times

Panel seeks to define state role in Pilgrim closure, Cape Cod Times

New Jersey Gov. Murphy signs bills creating zero emission credits for nuclear, Utility Dive

Proposed NRC rule changes raise safety concerns, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Site Evaluation Committee rejects Northern Pass appeal for new hearing, Union Leader

Bill Gives Municipalities More Say in Power-Plant Siting, ecoRI news

Eversource Under Fire For Gas Rate Hike Request, Hartford Courant

3 Questions: New England’s wholesale electricity markets, MIT News

Electricity company overcharged customers millions, but was still losing money, Bangor Daily News

New York Public Service Commission forecasts lower energy prices this summer, Daily Energy Insider

Cold snap tested reliability of region’s power grid and arguments against fossil fuels, Portland Press Herald

Maine eyes lower ratepayer costs from increased electric integration with Canada, Utility Dive

Utilities slow in reducing charges, Salem News

New York State Public Service Commission begins management, operations audit of National Grid, Daily Energy Insider

Generators slam ISO-NE cost recovery proposal for Exelon gas plant, Utility Dive

Some Mainers question hydro-electricity line for MA, CommonWealth Magazine

Farmington rethinks endorsement of Quebec to Massachusetts power line, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Is the Great Experiment of Wholesale Electricity Competition Ending?, Electric Light and Power

Governor LePage seeks input on a new era in Maine energy, PenBayPilot.com

Concerns raised over CMP transmission line proposal, Daily Bulldog

Rhode Island and New England May Get Hit with Rolling Blackouts in the future, GoLocalProv

Blumenthal Slams Eversource For Proposed Rate Hike, New England Public Radio

 

Editorial/Opinion

Eversource: Time to rein in competitive electricity suppliers, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind rush is irresponsible, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural gas is not a clean fuel, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to put a price on carbon, CommonWealth Magazine

How Massachusetts can blaze a trail for climate action, Boston Globe

“Green” energy, an environmental disaster, PowerLine Blog

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

Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

This week we begin with a story from Greentech Media that follows-up to last week’s grid mod announcement in Massachusetts. Digging a little deeper into the smart meter portion of the order they write, “Massachusetts regulators see a future in which customers are leaving investor-owned utilities for municipal aggregators and competitive third-party suppliers, and they aren’t sure how to fit mass-market smart meter deployments into that future. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that ‘declined to preauthorize any customer-facing investments’ — that is, smart meter deployments.” The reasons according to the article, “it found several weaknesses in each utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) business case, based on a combination of two unusual factors prevailing in the state. First, all these utilities have already deployed simpler automated meter reading systems, which have already allowed each utility to achieve the significant meter-reading savings that account for a big chunk of the AMI business case.” And second, is the inability to tap into a constant stream of data to enable real time rates, “The problem is that each utility customer that switches to a non-utility energy provider is no longer part of each utility’s list of prospective time-varying rate (TVR) adopters, even though the utility paid for the smart meter that made them available.”

In NH, three “contentious” renewable energy bills are on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk. From the NH Business Review, “New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446… (increases) fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering…SB 446 would extend the upper limit from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, allowing large businesses, municipalities and even small hydro generators to take advantage of it, paving the way for much larger renewable energy projects…SB 365…would require Eversource to pay 80 percent of the default rate to six wood-burning plants for three years…and SB 577, which would continue the current subsidized rate for the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.” When it comes to Bill 446, “Critics, including utilities and some business groups, claim that generators are paid too much for the power, and this amounts to a subsidy paid for by other ratepayers. Advocates say that renewable energy saves money on distribution and generation costs.” Other concerns include in increase in rates that could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in the state.

If you’re in need of an excuse for why you’re late; or bummed out that you showed up early for work one day – blame the power grid. From the AP, “Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time…Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that’s 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

Pipeline protesters shut down City Council subcommittee meeting (VIDEO), Lowell Sun
Fall River City Council condemns water deal with Invenergy, opposes plant construction
, Uprise RI

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections, EcoWatch

Gas leaks near schools: Wellesley School Committee contacts National Grid, Wicked Local

500 Greenpoint Locals Wait Days For National Grid To Restore Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

CT Slapped With Lawsuit Over Raid Of Clean Energy Funds, Solar Industry

3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk, NH Business Review

On Cape Cod, Tides Could Become A Renewable Energy Source, wgbh.org

IBM joins forces with a start-up to combine crypto with environmental credit trading, CNBC

Why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy, Quartz

Americans want more clean energy. Here’s what they’re actually willing to do to get it, CNBC

Portland’s Casco Bay High School hopes to become ‘greenest’ in Maine, The Forecaster

U.S. Department of Energy announces funding opportunity for marine energy R&D, Renewable Energy World

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More, Greentech Media

New York proposes strict carbon emission limits for existing power plants, Utility Dive

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available to Launch New Cleantech Accelerator, NA Clean Energy

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge, NA Clean Energy

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more, Utility Dive

World’s largest offshore wildlife aerial survey off NY’s coast halfway complete, Windpower Engineering (press release)

Offshore wind developer eyeing potential of South Brooklyn shipping hub, Offshore Wind Journal

Winning the battle to reduce the cost of offshore wind, Maritime Journal

State’s high court shoots down appeal against Antrim Wind; project can go forward, Keene Sentinel

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

Solar Power: ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to RI’s Forests, ecoRI news

Sunrun Boosts Revenue 37%, Expands Partnership With National Grid, Greentech Media

RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers, Rhode Island Public Radio

CESA honors six states for clean energy excellence, Solar Power World

68-acre solar installation proposed in Tiverton, The Providence Journal

Cumberland council OKs solar farm, mulls garage move, The Forecaster

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

Groups sue Connecticut state officials for raiding clean energy and efficiency funds, New Haven Register

US House Committee Cuts Federal Energy Research, Boosts Energy Storage, Union of Concerned Scientists

Storage Might Solve Some Big Grid Problems, but Not the Ones You Think, Greentech Media

National Grid grants $1 million in energy efficiency rebates to world’s largest housing cooperative, Daily Energy Insider

Energy savings ideas topic of Energy and Environmental Conference, Eagle Tribune

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

1st Quarter Inspection at Pilgrim Finds No Violations, CapeCod.com News

Advocacy to Keep US Nuclear Reactors Open Picks Up Steam, Energy Collective

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, Greentech Media

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

Nuclear-Waste Tax Case Battled at 11th Circuit, Courthouse News

 

EVs

Another NH utility tiptoes into a little bit of support for electric vehicles, Granite Geek

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

RMLD Celebrates New Bolt, New Charging Station, Patch.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clocks may go a little cuckoo with power grid change, AP

Massachusetts rejects smart meter rollout for ‘weaknesses in the business case’, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Rejects Smart Meter Rollouts, as Competitive Energy Undermines the Business Case, Greentech Media

Exelon sets its price for keeping Everett plants open, CommonWealth Magazine

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council Reports: Annual Assessment Forecasts Adequate Electricity Supplies for this Summer, Energy Central

US Northeast, Canada to have adequate summer power supply, Platts

Eversource plans 5% summer electricity rate cut, MassLive.com

National Grid’s full-year profits rise helped by US business, Reuters

New York ISO Zone A real-time power spikes to $1400/MWh on strong demand, Platts

Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Aims To Restore Power By Sunday After Four Tornadoes Strike, Hartford Courant

New York in bid to shut down all coal plants by 2020, Energy Voice

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Natural-Gas Constraints Bad for Business, Bad for Environment, AIM blog

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Why the offshore wind industry is about to take off, The Conversation

Meredith Angwin: Rolling Blackouts For New England?, Caledonian Record

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers, Press Herald

One Well-Placed Hurricane Will UTTERLY DESTROY Costly Offshore Wind Systems On The East Coast, Daily Caller

Rhode Island Should Lead by Example to Prevent Loss of Forestland, EcoRI

Climate disruption has real impact on health in Massachusetts and we should be doing more (Viewpoint), MassLive

Out-of-towner explains Granite Bridge opposition, Seacoastonline.com

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

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