Tag Archives: Merrimack Valley

Energy News for week ending November 16, 2019

Multiple Breakdowns | Panicky Trading | Key Errors | Floatovoltaics

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week’s energy news is loaded with stories. Here are a few highlights:

 

One of many stories coming out of the Merrimack Valley incident this week is an NTSB report urging new safety measures. From USA Today, “Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not use a professional engineer to draw up plans to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the Merrimack Valley in September — a factor, federal authorities say, that could have contributed to the explosions that killed one person and injured at least 21 others. That’s one conclusion from an urgent safety report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday. Massachusetts, like many states, exempts utility companies from state licensing laws for engineers. The NTSB now recommends that Massachusetts end the practice.”

 

Sticking with gas for a minute, in some not-so-good news for a region that relies heavily on natural gas for heating and electricity generation, from CNBC.com, “Natural gas prices surged to a more than four-year high in panicky and volatile trading Wednesday, after the latest cold weather forecasts raised fears that the U.S. is heading for a potentially colder-than-expected winter with too little gas supply…Prices also rose across futures contracts that that would cover the winter months through March, indicating that prices could be pressured all winter by dwindling supply, which is at a 15-year low for this time of year.”

 

In a bit of an Emily Litella moment (from SNL of years past) and perhaps some good news, the Washington Post reports, “Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are…As a result, the findings suffer from too much doubt to definitively support the paper’s conclusion about how much heat the oceans have absorbed over time.” Their earlier results, if you recall, suggested there is less time than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Last story for this week is an unusual request for an energy project in Central Mass. From Telegram.com, “A Millbury-based solar energy company has floated the idea of covering 24,000 surface acres of Quabbin Reservoir with a floating photovoltaic solar array capable of producing 1 megawatt of power. In his letter, Mr. Strzelecki said he is exploring any interest in developing a floating solar farm at Quabbin, describing floating solar arrays as ‘the future of renewable energy.’…The letter states that such an array, covering 24,000 of the reservoir’s 25,000 acres, would ‘put the Quabbin back in the energy-producing business since the Winsor Dam was put out of commission nearly 30 years ago.’ Mr. Strzelecki’s letter pointed out that “floatovoltaics” benefit from the cooling effect of water as well as being shade-free. Mr. Clark said he discussed the letter with John Scannell, director of the Division of Water Supply Protection, who was dismissive of the idea.”

 

Enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re taking next Friday off for the holiday.

 

Merrimack Valley

Multiple breakdowns led to natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, NTSB says, USA Today

As Merrimack Valley Appliances Are Replaced, Some Residents Want More Energy Efficiency, WGBH

Officials talk safety in anticipation of colder temps, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts lawmakers ask President Donald Trump to declare disaster in Merrimack Valley after gas explosions, MassLive

Lawmakers to hold oversight hearings on gas explosions, Eagle-Tribune

Lawsuits In Gas Disaster Could Face Hurdle In Obscure State Protections For Utilities, WGBH

For Returning Gas Explosion Victims, Home Isn’t Always Sweet, USA Patch

After AG’s Guidance, Confusion Lingers For Landlords, Tenants, Patch.com

 

Lockout

Political leaders under pressure to fix gas crisis as developers panic, Boston Business Journal (pay wall)

Worcester Rep. O’Day files bill to force National Grid to continue health insurance for locked out workers, Telegram

Gas hookup moratorium putting chill on housing, real estate, Lowell Sun

Plans for gas oversight hearings, lockout bill taking shape, Sentinel and Enterprise

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas jumps to 4-year high in panicky trading as snow, cold push across US, CNBC

Charlton residents hear details of proposed $100M LNG plant, Worcester Telegram

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

No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts, E&E News

Climate activists get involved in Agawam pipeline debate, MassLive

Hingham mulls applying for ‘intervenor status’ on Weymouth compressor station, Hingham.wickedlocal.com

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

Potential for wetlands disturbance draws ire from opponents of Williams Transco compressor station, Central Jersey

Environmentalists call on Murphy to halt fossil fuel projects, NJTV

Oxford power plant is commissioned, Connecticut Post

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

What Will Maine’s Clean Energy Future Look Like Under New Leadership?, Maine Public

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming, Washington Post

Environmental groups hope Democrat gains will spur climate action, VTDigger

Green jobs growing across Central Mass., Telegram

ReEnergy shuts down Fort Fairfield biomass plant, Mainebiz

Ratepayer group asks FERC to nullify state’s biomass subsidy law, New Hampshire Union Leader

Storm Surge brings professor to discuss climate change, Daily News of Newburyport

Confronting Climate Change, Fishermen Collect Data on Changing Oceans, Cape and Islands NPR

 

Wind

7 big turbines rise in Johnston — biggest onshore wind farm in R.I. | video, Providence Journal

Agencies earn right to challenge wind farm studies, National Wind Watch

Motion To Intervene On Turbine Appeal Denied, Falmouth Enterprise

Arkwright hears complaints about turbine sounds, The Observer Today

Former Massachusetts Coal Plant Transitioning To Offshore Wind Support Center, North American Windpower

National Offshore Wind Consortium Announces Roadmap to Accelerate Offshore Wind Industry, NYSERDA

New Jersey in Right Place to Reap Benefits of Emerging Offshore-Wind Sector, NJ Spotlight

Providence zoning board to consider 3 new 364-ft. turbines at waterfront, Providence Business News

BOEM releases potential lease plots for NY offshore wind, South Coast Today

 

Solar

State throws cold water on idea of floating solar array on Quabbin Reservoir, Telegram.com

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

Cabot Corporation and SunPower Announce Helix® Solar-Plus-Storage Agreement, MarketWatch

Three Solar Projects Completed For Town Of Ashland, Massachusetts, Solar Industry

Falmouth town meeting rejects moratorium on solar permits, Cape Cod Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Barrier to Energy Storage in New York?, Microgrid Knowledge

The Forecast on Energy-Efficient Cooling Just Got a Bit Sunnier, PBS

 

EVs

School Districts Rolling Out Electric Buses as Economics Improve: ‘It’s Time to Switch,’ Greentech Media

Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other EV interests press Congress to continue federal tax credit, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Holtec Files Request to Acquire Pilgrim Nuclear Plant by End of 2019, Cape Cod Today

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

Report: New England’s Nuclear Plants Will Be Key To Fighting Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Cost of US nuclear generation at ten-year low, World Nuclear News

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules Protecting N.H. Residents From Winter Utility Disconnection Kick In Today, Valley News

Maine DEP tells CMP its application for 145-mile power line is incomplete, Sun Journal

CT electric generation rates on the rise, Hartford Business Journal

National Grid brass declines invite to discuss gas concerns in Leominster, Sentinel & Enterprise

Visual impact of Seacoast power project to be presented, Seacoastonline.com

Governors push fed on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

Lessons From FERC Staff Reversal In Footprint Power, Law360

Can the Electricity Industry Seize Its Resilience Moment?, Greentech Media

New England Talks Energy Security, Public Policy, RTO Insider

Cannabis Growers Eye Microgrids to Cut Energy Bills, Greentech Media

FERC chair warns of retroactive ratemaking in ISO-NE order, S&P Global Platts

To scare crows in North Adams, National Grid is bringing in a propane cannon that shoots sound, MassLive

NE governors push feds on grid modernization, Lowell Sun

LIPA seeks 2.4% hike in customer delivery charge, Newsday

Utility smart meter installations worry Rockland and Westchester homeowners on privacy, LoHud.com

The Hail Mary plan to restart a hacked us electric grid, Wired

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: Baker, Walsh must step in on National Grid talks, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

To fight climate change, environmentalists say yes to nuclear power, Boston Globe

Nuclear waste dilemma, The Day

Maine Voices: Start listening, folks: All-out effort needed to prevent climate disaster, Portland Press Herald

For a safe, secure new U.S. energy grid, Lowell Sun

George Smith: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy, Kennebec Journal

GUEST OPINION: Energy Advisory Committee, past and future, Daily News of Newburyport

Ørsted, Deepwater Wind: Are Offshore Wind Mergers Good for us?, Union of Concerned Scientists

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