Tag Archives: National Grid

Energy News for week ending March 27, 2020

Momentum slows | All Electric Home Boom | Sleek Reactor Housing

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. We hope you’re all feeling and doing well and that can you find some time to get out and enjoy today’s beautiful weather.

We start this week with a story from S&P Global, “Coronavirus slows gas ban momentum, creates obstacles for pipeline opponents. The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for climate activists, disrupting attempts to limit natural gas use in buildings and forcing pipeline opponents to retrench in the digital realm. Cities, towns and counties have spearheaded recent efforts to ban gas use or require electric heating in new buildings. But COVID-19 response is now consuming local lawmakers’ attention, while restrictions on public gatherings hamper meetings required to craft the policies. Meanwhile, environmentalists are scrambling to move meetings and public demonstrations to online venues as states order citizens to remain at home. The groups are simultaneously waging a new battle against oil and gas bailouts and positioning themselves to navigate the post-coronavirus landscape…The Bay State’s first gas ban passed in the 240-member Brookline Town Meeting in November 2019, but just four months later, such a gathering has become virtually unimaginable. Mothers Out Front, a climate activist group that fought for the ban, outlined a plan on March 11 to move meetings online, train members to organize in the digital realm, and offer tools for social media and call-in campaigns.”

One trend that the article above mentions is the move to requiring all-electric housing. An article from Greentech Media delves into the future market potential. “A Boom Is Coming for All-Electric Homes Despite Lagging Consumer Awareness. Global revenue for home electric heating, cooling and cooking equipment could increase by more than five times by the end of the decade. The surge in spending on all-electric homes is expected even though many consumers are unfamiliar with the natural-gas-displacing electric appliances on the market today. Around 70 million American homes burn natural gas, oil or propane for space and water heating, according to Navigant Research. But the fossil-fuel-burning furnaces, water heaters and stoves many Americans have long relied on now have competition in the form of electric air-source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and induction cooking equipment. ‘Electrification technologies are rapidly becoming more cost-effective and more reliable than fossil-fuel systems in a variety of planning scenarios and climatic conditions,’ Daniel Talero and Neil Strother, research analysts at Navigant Research, wrote in a new report on the global market for ‘fully electrified home’ technologies. Navigant expects global revenue for fully electrified home technologies to soar to $12.9 billion in 2029, up from $2.4 billion in 2020. The category includes insulation and energy management systems as well as heat pumps and induction cooking equipment.”

The last highlight for this week comes from a publication we don’t often cite – Architectural Digest. “This Sleek Building Is Actually a Nuclear Reactor. When you picture a nuclear power plant, you probably imagine giant concrete cooling towers set within fenced-off industrial complexes. But the future of nuclear power has a very different look. California-based company Oklo is developing new clean energy plants that use advanced fission to provide areas with emission-free energy. The company recently received a site permit from the U.S. Department of Energy to build its first plant, the Aurora, at the Idaho National Laboratory. When working on the design, which was done in collaboration with Gensler, the company first considered the needs of the rural communities they hoped to serve in areas such as northern Alaska. ‘Right now they rely on diesel or oil,’ says CEO Jacob DeWitte. ‘That’s obviously expensive. It’s also noisy, it’s polluting, and it’s susceptible to supply-chain disruptions.’ The Aurora, on the other hand, produces 1.5 megawatt—enough to power about 1,000 homes—and can run for 20 years without refueling. It also would save 1 million tons of carbon emissions over a diesel generator and can turn nuclear waste into clean energy. The small footprint of the technology gave the company the opportunity to devise an unexpected A-frame design for the structure, which looks more like a ski chalet than a power plant…While most power plants have tight security, the advanced reactor technology Oklo is using allows the Aurora to be open to the environment—and even the public. The Aurora will have a light-filled front atrium that the company imagines could be used for a tourist or event space. The A-frame’s exterior features solar panels using technology by Sistine Solar, a company that creates custom skins for panels. Each Aurora will showcase artwork by local artists. For the concept artwork, Oklo worked with artist Forest Stearns, who devised a piece based on an image of an aurora from space.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay well and have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New York State PSC embarks on plan to examine natural gas usage, investments, Daily Energy Insider

Competitive Power Ventures gas plant uses new GE combustion system to cut fuel costs with ethane blend, Utility Dive

With financial squeeze tightening, coal is collapsing faster than some predicted, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

A power-to-gas system integrating co-electrolysis and methanation, pv magazine International

Coronavirus slows gas ban momentum, creates obstacles for pipeline opponents, S&P Global

Tens of Thousands Are Getting Laid Off in U.S. Shale Patch, YAHOO!

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Massachusetts Set to Launch Clean Peak Standard, Opening New Chapter in Grid’s Evolution, Greentech Media

Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects to Deliver Clean Energy to New York, T&D World

Why we won’t avoid a climate catastrophe, National Geographic News

Green Plate Special: The fate of wild salmon may point to the fate of the planet, Portland Press Herald

Burning Wood Can Be a Clean Source of Power After All, Bloomberg

Maine’s lands and waters 200 years later? Very different, Portland Press Herald

Climate change set to make extreme heat more common – and costly, Reuters

Oswego County Legislature opposes Cuomo’s plan to site wind and solar plants regardless of local objections, NNY 360

Nearly $2T stimulus package omits direct renewable sector aid after Trump, McConnell opposition, Utility Dive

How to Give Certainty to US Renewables Regardless of a Stimulus Package, Greentech Media

10 ways coronavirus is changing energy and climate change, Axios

COVID-19 may sport the thinnest silver lining: a cleaner climate, Utility Dive

Radio Corona: so what about climate change?, MIT Technology Review

Could COVID-19 Give Rise to the Home Microgrid?, Microgrid Knowledge

Coronavirus shows how to fight disinformation about climate change, Fast Company

The Analogy Between Covid-19 and Climate Change Is Eerily Precise, Wired

Climate and the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package, New York Times

Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change, Yale Environment 360

The coronavirus stimulus will inject trillions into the economy. Here’s how it could also help the planet., Grist

 

Wind

Federal study surveys spawning Atlantic Cod, Cape Cod Times

Berne, Knox, and Rensselaerville prohibit commercial wind turbines, Altamont Enterprise (NY)

Commission Dismisses Last Wind Project In Vermont, Caledonian Record

University of Maine Assigned Patent for Floating Hybrid Composite Wind Turbine Platform, Energy Central

Inside Clean Energy: At a Critical Moment, the Coronavirus Threatens to Bring Offshore Wind to a Halt, Inside Climate News

 

Solar

SunPower Wins Bid to Supply Solar Solutions in New England, Zacks.com

NJR Clean Energy Ventures solar array powers township’s water treatment plant, NJbiz.com

Board OK’s solar PILOT agreement, Leader Herald (NY)

How New York awarded more capacity than 34 states have installed, PV Magazine

Are Solar Workers ‘Essential’? The Industry May Soon Find Out, Greentech Media

Westfield Slated As Location For Proposed Solar Facility, The Post Journal

New carbon dot-based method for increasing the efficiency of solar cells and LEDs, Phys.org

No solar tax credit changes included in the $2 trillion rescue package in response to the pandemic, pvbuzz.com

Solar developers launch lobbying effort to curb COVID-19 impacts, advance remote permitting, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A Boom Is Coming for All-Electric Homes Despite Lagging Consumer Awareness, Greentech Media

 

EVs

A New Battery Breakthrough That Could Save Electric Vehicles During a Recession, Medium Marker

Electric car emissions myth ‘busted,’ BBC

The Vast Potential of Managed Electric Vehicle Charging, Greentech Media

Coronavirus pumps the brakes on the electric vehicle revolution, Grist

 

Nuclear

This Sleek Building Is Actually a Nuclear Reactor, Architectural Digest

Nuclear waste disposal: Why the case for deep boreholes is … full of holes, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Nuclear plant operating with essential staff, limiting other access, Newburyport Daily News

NRC Preparing Rule Changes Due to Coronavirus, POWER Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Judge kicks anti-corridor referendum back to Dunlap after 2 allege signatures were forged, Bangor Daily News

BPU Takes Appeal Over Multistate $1.2B Transmission Upgrade to Federal Court, NJ Spotlight

Virginia rejects Dominion’s $752M smart meter plan, other grid mod proposals, Utility Dive

How Electricity Use Changes During a Pandemic, Greentech Media

Could COVID-19 Give Rise to the Home Microgrid?, Microgrid Knowledge

A Utility Vowed To Stop Shutoffs. Advocates Say Hundreds May Still Lack Electricity., Huffington Post

Coronavirus response: Massachusetts utility companies ordered to not shut off gas, electric or water for people who fail to pay bills, MassLive

Electricity demand dips as coronavirus alters work, school patterns, S&P Global

Anticipating the Economic Crisis: Why Everything Will Be Different, Greentech Media (Podcast)

North American Power Markets Will Look Different in the 2020s, Greentech Media

Grid Operators Turn Control Centers Into Campsites to Keep Coronavirus at Bay, New York Times

America’s Electricity is Safe From the Coronavirus—for Now, Wired

Coronavirus response: Massachusetts utility companies ordered to not shut off gas, electric or water for people who fail to pay bills, MassLive

What are the chances of a widespread power outage during the coronavirus crisis? Low, Boston Globe

CMP parent company pledges $2 million to pandemic relief, Portland Press Herald

National Grid holds off on April 1 rate increases amid coronavirus, Times Union

 

Editorial/Opinion

With oil prices falling amid the COVID-19 recession, it’s the beginning of the end for fracking, Salon

Our view: US must help NJ reduce electric grid waste at ratepayers’ expense, Press of Atlantic City

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

Energy News for week ending March 20, 2020

Protect marine life | The neighbors hate it | Initial approval

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus/Covid-19

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

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

Coronavirus response should promote clean energy — IEA, Axios

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

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

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

Pandemic Creating ‘Crisis’ for Solar Industry, Power Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Grid suspends disconnections, collections, Telegram

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawyers in Columbia Gas settlement seek early payout, Gloucester Times

Residents call for halt to compressor station construction, Patriot Ledger

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

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

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

Newfoundland offshore Bay du Nord project deferred indefinitely, Chronicle Herald

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

New York develops 21 new renewable energy projects, CSO Magazine

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

Why Scientists Should Shape Environmental Policy, Foreign Policy

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

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

Top 5 Emerging Solar Markets in the US, Greentech Media

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

No halt in Vermont Yankee decommissioning, Brattleboro Reformer

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

Billionaires Chasing Fusion Energy Face a Credibility Test, Bloomberg Green

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

Hydropower plan faces opposition, uncertain future, Salem News

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

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

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

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

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

State regulators approve sale of Emera Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

What Comes After Fossil Fuels?, The New Yorker

Column: Why we need offshore wind energy, Salem News

Should the public buy Columbia Gas?, CommonWealth Magazine

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

NJ RGGI proceeds, Politico

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending March 13, 2020

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth,  CBS Local

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

Healey calls for expanded carbon pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wayland residents to vote on greener electricity options, Wicked Local

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

Waterford Reconsiders 75-Acre Solar Farm, WSHU News

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

 

AFVs

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

Impact statement released for nuclear waste facility, Albuquerque Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opposition to new energy agency grows, Hudson Valley 360

Massive Senate Energy Bill Falters, Greentech Media

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

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

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

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

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

Lawmakers want to reassess fossil fuel breaks, Times Union

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

Eversource: Seacoast Reliability project nearing completion, Seacoastonline.com

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

New York power plant mines Bitcoin using excess energy, Engadget

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending March 6, 2020

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

 

Happy Friday folks. Let’s dig in.

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lawmakers ask DOJ to divert settlement money, Salem News

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

Gas disaster lawyers contest reduced fees, Eagle Tribune

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

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

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

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

South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth, CBS Local

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

Why Hydrogen Stocks Are Soaring, OilPrice.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vineyard Wind executive offers take on delayed start, Herald News

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Major growth predicted for energy storage market, Digital Journal

Sustainable microgrids are the future of clean energy, TechCrunch

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

State push to promote electric buses faces obstacles, Salem News

Beverly getting first electric school bus, Salem News

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

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

 

Nuclear

NorthStar granted more time for radioactive shipments, Brattleboro Reformer

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

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

Holtec underscores transparency at US plants, World Nuclear News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Infrastructure Outlook Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak, Seeking Alpha

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

Sandra Levine: Climate action for Vermonters, VTDigger

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

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

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

Turbines on lake are losing proposal, Observer

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

Renewable debates may get too quiet, Observer

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending February 7, 2020

Problem and Solution Edition

 

Happy Friday folks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC reorganizes to address landowner disputes, E&E News

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

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

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

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

Report raises gas utility safety issues, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

 

Weymouth Compressor

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

Compressor station foes to meet with regulators Friday, Patriot Ledger

BU Professor Is On Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

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

 

Climate Change/RGGI

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

Poll tested public opinion on climate change, Taunton Daily Gazette

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

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

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

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

7 takes on Senate climate change debate, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

Climate Change Is Ruining My Birthday Outside

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

Rhode Island towns moving to block TCI, Boston Herald

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

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

 

Renewables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

For offshore wind, expect more delays, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solar

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

Solar farm company promises savings for residents, Salem News

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

Polar Beverages of Worcester bottles energy savings, Telegram

 

EVs

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quincy moving ahead with municipal aggregation, Patriot Ledger

Eversource reminds customers: Energy assistance programs available, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Letter: Legislators need to address gas leaks, Salem News

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

Tom Evslin: Preparing for electric vehicles, VTDigger

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

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

Mainers’ health vulnerable to climate change, Kennebec Journal

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

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending December 20, 2019

TCI | Critical Source | Seawater | Small, Svelte and Safer

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

The news that got the most “ink” this week was the Transportation and Climate Initiative. We have several stories below, but found this one from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive to be a great place to start, Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

Other news that grabbed a lot of attention this week came out of New Hampshire. From the Portland Press Herald, “Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source. Leaders in states bordering the Gulf of Maine expressed strong support Thursday for offshore wind, setting the region up to become the next battleground over the resource as some members of the area’s influential fishing industry voice objections. Officials from Massachusetts and Maine, along with New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, said Thursday at the first meeting of the Agenda for the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the Gulf of Maine that they were optimistic offshore wind could help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing thousands of jobs across New England. Led by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the task force must weigh concerns from commercial fishermen, environmentalists, coastal communities and other stakeholders before deciding where leases on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine might be allocated and where they wouldn’t be allowed. There are also technical challenges, since the deep waters of the gulf may require floating platforms.”

We have two stories for our new technology feature. First from Reuters, “International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it has created a battery design that uses materials extracted from seawater and requires no cobalt, as the race to find alternative sources to the expensive mineral intensifies…The move comes as top battery makers scramble to reduce cobalt content in lithium-ion batteries, and as the expansion of the electric vehicle market is expected to result in shortages of the mineral mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. IBM said its technology has proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in cost, charging time and energy efficiency.”

The second new tech feature comes to us from Wired though the headline sounds something more like you’d read in Self. “The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer. For the last 20 years, the future of nuclear power has stood in a high bay laboratory tucked away on the Oregon State University campus in the western part of the state. Operated by NuScale Power, an Oregon-based energy startup, this prototype reactor represents a new chapter in the conflict-ridden, politically bedeviled saga of nuclear power plants. NuScale’s reactor won’t need massive cooling towers or sprawling emergency zones. It can be built in a factory and shipped to any location, no matter how remote. Extensive simulations suggest it can handle almost any emergency without a meltdown. One reason is that it barely uses any nuclear fuel, at least compared with existing reactors. It’s also a fraction of the size of its predecessors. This is good news for a planet in the grips of a climate crisis. Nuclear energy gets a bad rap in some environmentalist circles, but many energy experts and policymakers agree that splitting atoms is going to be an indispensable part of decarbonizing the world’s electricity.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a safe and happy holiday and a joyous and healthy New Year. We appreciate that you let us in your inboxes each week and look forward to sharing the energy news with you in 2020. See you next on January 10th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought, New York Times

Officials, residents concerned with compressor site cleanup, Patriot Ledger

Congressman Joseph Kennedy demands halt to Weymouth compressor station construction, Wicked Local

New England power and natgas prices spike during cold snap, CNBC

National Grid doesn’t want geothermal developer to have ‘party’ status in pipeline debate, Times Union

Newsmaker 2019: National Grid flames out in pipeline feud, Crain’s New York

N.H.-Bound Coal Train Kept Rolling, Despite Activists On The Tracks, WBUR

4 Things To Know About The N.H. Coal Plant Targeted By Climate Protesters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Uncertain role of natural gas in the transition to clean energy, Science Daily

 

TCI

Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?, MassLive

Legislators seek to stop Charlie Baker from passing Transportation Climate Initiative, Boston Herald

TCI could up gas prices 5 to 17 cents a gallon in 2022, CommonWealth Magazine

New England states mull regional gas fees after NH rejection, Boston Herald

Reducing emissions from transportation is a long, difficult road for Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Boston Could Become WICKED Hot. This is What They’re Doing About it., Discover Magazine

US Lawmakers Stiff Solar, Wind Gets Modest Victory in Tax Deal, Greentech Media

Clean energy advocates want New York to move quickly on 70% renewables goal, Utility Dive

How we know global warming is real, Washington Post

Mike Bloomberg has a plan to clean up electricity and it doesn’t need Congress, Vox

Holyoke lands $275K grant for net-zero planning, Energy Central

Migrating Birds Prefer to Eat Local New England Cuisine, Boston University

Forget the log cabin. Wood buildings are climbing skyward – with pluses for the planet., Hartford Courant

Berkshire Community College Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award, iBerkshires

Failure by Congress to Support Tax Credits for Clean Energy and EVs is Unacceptable, Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate activists, offshore wind industry groups slam House for holding off on tax credit extension, MassLive

U.S. Spending Bill Holds Win for Wind Energy, Setback for Solar, New York Times

 

Wind

Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source, Portland Press Herald

US has only one offshore wind energy farm, but a $70 billion market is on the way, CNBC

Berkshire Wind helps light North Shore homes, Salem News

Tax credit changes snub offshore wind power, Salem News

Bluestone gets green light for 125 MW wind farm in New York, Reve

Team Develops Floating Turbine To Harvest Deep-Ocean Wind Energy, Science Blog

US urged to lease more offshore wind, renews.biz

Federal talks leave mixed bag for wind energy, Herald News

Prototype of ‘world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine’ starts sending power to utility, CNBC

 

Solar

YMCA of Greater Providence Teams with Balanced Rock Energy on Breakthrough Solar Credit Agreement, (Press Release) Globe Newswire

New Saratoga County solar farm is among largest of its kind upstate, Times Union

Ground broken on solar energy farm in East Haven, New Haven Register

‘We traded green for green.’ Controversial solar array built on Simsbury farmland now producing power, Hartford Courant

City of Bangor to install its first big solar panel project, Newscentermaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State to build a large energy facility instead of a previously planned fossil fuel plant, Solar Builder Magazine

Large-scale energy storage by “liquid air” proposed for Vermont, Granite Geek

US investment in energy efficiency dropped estimated 18% in two years: Report, Utility Dive

IBM’s new battery design taps seawater as alternative mineral source, Reuters

Cuomo lays out $1.5 billion investment to improve energy efficiency at state and local government buildings, New York Daily News

Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers, Bloomberg

Rising Demand for Energy Efficiency Creates Growth Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Heat Exchangers, Business Insider

Tesla’s Musk says solar, energy storage will grow faster than electric cars, and there’s some truth to it, CNBC

What a Year! 10 Stories That Propelled Energy Storage in 2019, Greentech Media

 

EVs

New York transit authority to invest $1.1B for 500 electric buses, Utility Dive

Municipal parking lots across Boston to get electric-charging stations, Universal Hub

South Jersey Utility Seeks OK on Plan for More EV Charging Stations, NJ Spotlight

State offer would boost electric vehicles; Dollar incentives for middle, low-income Vermonters, Chester Telegraph

 

Nuclear

Board delays decision on nuclear plant’s license renewal, Newburyport Daily News

Mass. Lawmakers Criticize NRC Decision on Transfer of Pilgrim Nuke Ownership, Cape Cod Today

NRC gives permit for next-gen factory-built nuclear reactor, AP News

The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy, Popular Mechanics

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer, Wired Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator targeted in Healey’s clean-energy push, Wicked Local

State approves Eversource power line through Sudbury, Hudson, MetroWest Daily News

Healey seeks DPU crackdown on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market, Greentech Media

CMP CEO ‘absolutely’ fears losing company in consumer takeover, WGME

Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?, Scientific American

CMP aims to restore trust with ad campaign, Portland Press Herald

Eversource names new leader for NH, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills’ solar power policies already paying off, Eagle Times

My Turn: A Granite Bridge to nowhere?, Concord Monitor

If Lamont is serious about climate change he will block Killingly plant, The Day

Local legislators: Coming together for climate action, Portland Press Herald

Here’s some good news on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Maine Compass: Let’s stop CMP’s unpopular corridor project, Kennebec Journal

Reporting on climate change from Cape Cod, where sea levels could put everything at risk, USA Today

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending November 22, 2019

Fossil Ban | November 26 Deadline | Humble Chairlift

 

It’s Friday so let’s get to the news.

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Pressure mounts on National Grid for alternatives to moratorium, Politico

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

Gas projects galore at FERC, Politico

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

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

Columbia Gas hit on lack of information, Eagle Tribune

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

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

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

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy, Grist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Climate change challenging Massachusetts oyster fishery, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CT lawmakers earn high marks for environmental efforts, Connecticut Post

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

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

NYC pension leader targets three utilities over emissions plans, Reuters

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

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

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

 

Wind

Anbaric Files Application For Offshore Transmission Network, WBUR

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

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

Wind Speeds Are Increasing Worldwide in Boost for Renewables, Bloomberg

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

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

RI official applauds wind farm layout announcement, CommonWealth Magazine

Weighing the cost off offshore wind, WNYT

A Hush-Hush Wind Powwow, The East Hampton Star

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

Bangor proposes installing solar array near airport, WABI

Fast Times for the US Residential Solar Market, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

 

EVs/Alt Transportation

Ford Unveils Electric Mustang SUV to Challenge Tesla Dominance, Bloomberg

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

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

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

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two rural electric co-ops seek rate increases, VTDigger

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

Building a wind industry across Connecticut, The Day

Climate change and dark money, Boston Globe

Impact of offshore wind on fisheries unknown, Cape Cod Times

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

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

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

Energy News for week ending November 15, 2019

Climate Solutions | Bamboo

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week with three stories about climate change solutions. There are plenty of bad climate news articles below, so let’s focus on the positive:

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years, The Atlantic

Group offers cool ideas for a hotter Boston in coming decades, Boston Globe

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change, New York Times

Our new “tech” feature for this week comes from Phys.org, “Visualizing heat flow in bamboo could help design more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings. Modified natural materials will be an essential component of a sustainable future, but first a detailed understanding of their properties is needed. The way heat flows across bamboo cell walls has been mapped using advanced scanning thermal microscopy, providing a new understanding of how variations in thermal conductivity are linked to the bamboo’s elegant structure. The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, will guide the development of more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings, made from natural materials, in the future. The building sector currently accounts for 30-40% of all carbon emissions, due to both the energy-intensive production of the materials (predominantly steel and concrete), and the energy used in heating and cooling the finished buildings. As the global population grows and becomes increasingly based in towns and cities, traditional building approaches are becoming unsustainable. Renewable, plant-based materials such as bamboo have huge potential for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. Their use would dramatically reduce emissions compared to traditional materials, helping to mitigate the human impact on climate change. This approach would also help keep carbon out of the atmosphere by diverting timber away from being burnt as fuel.”

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Local lawmakers press for tougher gas safety rules, Salem News

Cuomo Threatens National Grid: Provide Gas or Lose Your License, New York Times

National Grid to truck natgas to meet winter demand in New England/New York, CNBC

National Grid Says It Will Meet Timeline, CBS Boston / WBZ

Newport gas outage report leads to amended lawsuits, NewportRI.com

Hedlund says compressor may not be needed, calls for review, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth Compressor Station Passes Final State Regulatory Hurdle, WBUR

Senator Markey Statement on Weymouth Compressor Station Final Approval: We Will Not Stop Fighting, US Senate

AP Exclusive: FBI eyes how Pennsylvania approved pipeline, AP News

Fearing for Its Future, a Big Utility Pushes ‘Renewable Gas,’ Urges Cities to Reject Electrification, Inside Climate News

High School Seniors Put Out 1st Documentary On Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, WBUR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Why some hydropower plants are worse for the climate than coal, Grist

5 Global Trends Shaping Our Climate Future, New York Times

Climate change could end mortgages as we know them, CBS News

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change, New York Times

Group offers cool ideas for a hotter Boston in coming decades, Boston Globe

Shell New Energies EVP: Hydrogen Subsidies Will Pay Off, Just Like They Did for Solar, Greentech Media

How to Cut U.S. Carbon Pollution by Nearly 40 Percent in 10 Years, The Atlantic

Climate change will fundamentally shape the lives of children born in 2019, Fast Company

Renewable ‘blueprint’ for city seen as statewide model, Cranston Herald

Federal Reserve Leaves Action on Climate Change to Politicians, Bloomberg

Why the Fed, Long Reticent, Has Started to Talk About Climate Change, New York Times

Maine’s Shrimp Crisis Reveals A Big Climate Change Problem We’re Not Talking About, HuffPost

Does climate change mean the end of wine?, Quartz

 

Wind

Associated Industries of Mass. joins the effort to save Vineyard Wind, Boston Globe

State board to hear application for wind farm at Lowville, Rome (NY) Sentinel

With wind turbine decision under appeal, developer turns to solar on Pacheco property, Valley Breeze (RI)

No Consensus on How to Bring Offshore Wind Power Ashore in NJ, NJSpotlight.com

Siting Board Approves Lewis County Wind Farm: 105.8 MW Clean Energy Facility Forecasted to Bring Over $44.2 Million to Local Economy, (NY) Electric Energy Online

Upgrading lakeshore wind turbines will cost $21.3 million, National Wind Watch

Falmouth town meeting approves $2.5M to dismantle wind turbines, Cape Cod Times

Wind turbines off Ocean City would be 200 feet taller than planned, prompting regulators to reopen debate, Baltimore Sun

Offshore wind port facility could be ‘major opportunity’ for Staten Island, SILive

 

Solar

Giant solar grid completed in New York, Engineer Live

U.S. Solar Companies Are Stockpiling a Massive Amount of Panels, Bloomberg

Solar coalition asks Long Island Power Authority to preserve community solar incentives, Solar Power World

Solar Developers Smell Trouble on Long Island as Offshore Wind Arrives, Greentech Media

Solar growth pushes Peck Company to large revenue increase, VTDigger

R.I. celebrates start of largest ‘community solar’ project, in North Smithfield, Providence Journal

Perovskite solar cells: Possible aspects of high efficiency uncovered, Phys.org

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How do efficiency programs serve low-income communities? New study takes a look., ACEEE

To meet renewable energy goals, Maine must take charge on big battery incentives, Portland Press Herald

Visualizing heat flow in bamboo could help design more energy-efficient and fire-safe buildings, Phys.org

Philanthropic Project Promotes Use Of Existing Energy Efficiency Programs, WAMC

Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient, Hartford Courant

Building a Lithium-Ion Battery That Won’t Explode, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Will Your EV Keep the Lights On When the Grid Goes Down?, Greentech Media

U.S. Electric Bus Demand Outpaces Production as Cities Add to Their Fleets, Inside Climate News

 

Nuclear

Lessons from the cyberattack on India’s largest nuclear power plant, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How Nuclear Power Will Impact NJ’s Clean Energy Future, NJ Spotlight

Nuclear a viable part of global energy transition says S&P report, Power Engineering

NRC explores streamlined environmental reviews to accelerate advanced reactor approvals, Utility Dive

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

NERC’s simulated grid attack leaves thousands of New York customers in hypothetical darkness, Utility Dive

Massachusetts energy commissioner Judith Judson stepping down, MassLive

Regulators approve dramatic rate cut for Emera Maine customers, Bangor Daily News

In net metering talks, state ideals clash with ratepayer realities, VTDigger

The world’s energy report card just came out. We failed 3 subjects., Grist

Eversource earns $319 million, The Telegraph

Electricity will get cheaper for most Mainers, but CMP rate hike could cut into savings, Portland Press Herald

So. Maine lawmakers look to tackle energy, climate change, Seacoastonline.com

National Grid pushed officials to write letters for pipeline, Times Union

Heating costs expected to rise, Eagle-Tribune

 

Editorial/Opinion

Next steps on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Rethinking Future Investments in Natural Gas Infrastructure, Greentech Media

How To Reach U.S. Net Zero Emissions By 2050: Decarbonizing Electricity, Forbes

Our view: Move swiftly to address natural gas network, Salem News

Our view: All of this for a clothesline?, Salem News

More steps needed to ensure gas system’s safety, Haverhill Gazette

Letter: Let’s take action against oil companies, Concord Monitor

New York’s reckless gamble on offshore wind power, Crain’s New York

Mindy Messmer: Governor, join other states’ climate-change lawsuit, Conway Daily Sun

Winds of change coming to Connecticut, Connecticut Mirror

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

Energy News for week ending November 8, 2019

Batteries vs. Blackouts | High Heat | Phototropism

 

Happy Friday afternoon. We hope you’re all staying warm on this cold and blustery day.

Speaking of windy conditions, we have a story out of Vermont from Greentech Media, “A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage. The battery backup service lasted nine hours on average, but the longest instance stretched to 82 hours…The program previously generated more headlines by saving hundreds of thousands of dollars during annual system peak events than for fulfilling the backup function. In 2018, GMP’s network of batteries reduced consumption during the ISO New England peak hour, saving about $600,000 on capacity fees. This year, a larger number of batteries, totaling 10 megawatts of capacity, responded to a late July peak, saving nearly $900,000 from a single hour of operation.”

For those of us who live in Massachusetts, the news about the cost to heat our homes this winter isn’t good. From the Salem News, “Consumers will dig deeper into their pockets to heat their homes and keep the lights turned on this winter, with electricity and natural gas rates set to increase. Beginning this month, National Grid’s residential electric rates increased by 15.2%, or about $21 a month on average, compared to rates last winter. National Grid’s gas customers, meanwhile, could get a break on their bills. Customers of Boston Gas Company, the company’s subsidiary in the region, will see their monthly bill reduced by about $14, or 7%, this winter compared to last year, depending on how much gas they use and whether it’s for heat, hot water or other uses, according to the utility.…Eversource, which serves about 1.4 million customers in the state, will be filing its proposed winter rates to state regulators on Dec. 1, according to the company. It’s not clear whether or not the utility will request an increase, but any changes to its winter rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, if approved by state regulators. The utility’s natural gas rates, which went into effect on Nov. 1, increased the average monthly bill by about $22 per month, or 14%, compared to last winter.”

For our technology story of the week we look to The Smithsonian, “In recent decades, solar cells have gotten better and cheaper, leading to a boom in the solar energy industry. But most solar panels have one major drawback—they don’t move. That means the sunlight reaching them often comes in at an angle, which hinders maximum power production. But a new light-loving, sunflower-inspired polymer may help boost the productivity of solar panels in the near future. The new polymer, described in a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, is capable of phototropism, or the ability to follow the sun in its daily journey across the sky. Inventor Xiaoshi Qian of the University of California, Los Angeles and the team call the new polymer SunBOT, which stands for sunflower-like biomimetic omnidirectional tracker. Each stem is roughly one millimeter in diameter and infused with a nanomaterial that turns light into heat with a little “flower” coated with solar energy-collecting material at the top. When light hits one side of the stem, the material heats up and shrinks, bending the stem points directly at the light source while it moves around and strikes from various angles…Seung-Wuk Lee, a bioengineer at the University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the study, tells Sofie Bates at Science News that the most promising use of the SunBOTs would be integrating the material with solar cells, which could give solar technology a huge boost. Currently, solar cells capture about 24 percent of the sunlight available. By allowing the cells to operate at a near-maximum absorption rate almost all day long, the SunBOTS could boost that 90 percent, reports Bates.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

National Grid, Eversource Say They Can Meet Natural Gas Demand Without Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

Shifting Demand Fuels Weymouth Compressor Debate, WBUR

Weymouth Compressor Station’s Permit Is Delayed Again, WBUR

State board details rejection of Burrillville natural gas plant, Providence Business News

Renewables growth, market changes tanked Invenergy’s Rhode Island gas plant, regulators say, Utility Dive

Raimondo: National Grid needs to be held accountable after January gas outage, WPRI 12

R.I. regulators OK temporary natural-gas facility in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Renewable Energy: What Happens When the Sun Isn’t Shining and the Wind Isn’t Blowing, WCAI

Can farmers sow their way out of climate change?, CBS News

Can Tidal Stream Energy Finally Turn the Corner?, Greentech Media

A Massachusetts company wants to build three hydroelectric plants to harness power from Lehigh Valley rivers, dams, The Morning Call

New reactor could halve carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production, Science Magazine

Tamil Nadu to ink pact on renewable energy with Massachusetts, The Hindu

GE makes ‘big play’ in clean energy, MetroWest Daily News

Worcester contracts with electricity supplier to boost amount of renewable energy, Telegram

 

Wind

Who’s in charge of Mass. offshore wind procurements?, CommonWealth Magazine

State approves power-purchase contract with UMaine wind project, Portland Press Herald

Maine utility regulators approve tests for floating wind turbine project off Maine coast, MainePublic.org

Developing Wind Farm in New York Is No Breeze, Wall Street Journal

Vineyard Wind Pushes IRS for Subsidy Extension on Delayed Offshore Project, Greentech Media

Wind Turbine Size Changes Could Jeopardize Approvals; Agency Seeks PSC Review, The Dispatch (Maryland)

Scituate: Noise Compliance Test Near Finalization for Wind Turbine, WATD

Turbines, Petition Articles Highlights At Falmouth Precinct Meeting, Falmouth Enterprise

Town board accepts study findings, Observer Today (New York)

GE’s Culp makes rare appearance in Charlestown to welcome wind turbine blade, Boston Business Journal

A Wind Turbine Blade Bigger Than Big Ben Will Be Battered In Boston, WBUR

Fengate Acquires Maine Wind Project from Longroad Energy Partners, on Behalf of Investors, NA Clean Energy

Ørsted offers $100 million to southeastern Connecticut in offshore wind bid, The Day

UMass Amherst Researchers Receive $1.175 Million Grant To Build New Software to Simulate Off-Shore Wind Turbines, UMass (press release)

 

Solar

Tetra Tech pushes solar power on closed landfills as a clear winner for operators and owners, Utility Dive

Sunlight-Tracking Polymer, Inspired by Sunflowers, Could Maximize Solar Power, Smithsonian

Shepard Steel Turns on New Solar Energy System; Early Production Exceeds Estimates, Business Insider

Prices are down and capacity is up as solar and wind take hold, Financial Times

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

An Energy Breakthrough Could Store Solar Power for Decades, Bloomberg

States, NGOs sue DOE for reversing lightbulb standards as global energy efficiency progress stalls, Utility Dive

Batteries vs. Blackouts: 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage, Greentech Media

Two National Grid Projects Selected as Energy Storage North America 2019 Innovation Award Winner, CSR Wire

Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient, Hartford Courant

New Flow Batteries Could Accelerate an Electrical Grid Powered by the Sun and Wind, SciTech Daily

State awards funds for energy efficient affordable housing, WWLP

 

EVs

Electric vehicles could help climate change – by RETURNING power to the grid, Chronicle Live

WoodMac: Workplace EV Charging Is on the Rise, Greentech Media

EV Charging Trends: Solar Absorption, Demand Response, Green Charging, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Feds Exempt Shuttered Pilgrim From Emergency Requirements, WBUR

Why the U.K. Is Pushing Nuclear Power as Others Waver, Bloomberg

An Indian nuclear power plant suffered a cyberattack. Here’s what you need to know., Washington Post

Clearwater Appeals Decision On Nuclear Subsidies, WAMC (NY)

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say, Utility Dive

National Grid’s president of US business exits suddenly, Syracuse.com

Heating costs expected to rise, Salem News

Northfield electricity aggregation awaiting DPU approval, Greenfield Recorder

Eversource’s 3Q profits rise as utility giant remains bullish on wind business, Hartford Business

Farms Can Harvest Energy Along with Food, Scientific American

Raimondo, McKee to push tougher utility regs after report blames National Grid, Enbridge for loss of heat on Aquidneck, Providence Journal

$13M Ipswich River substation has been completed, Daily Item

7 Questions For New England Grid Chief Gordon Van Welie, Law360

National Grid Announces Changes to U.S. Leadership, MarketWatch

More airports consider going off the grid as power outages ground flights, CNBC

New ‘energizing’ career for vets, WTNH

Woolwich votes to withdraw support for CMP corridor, Portland Press Herald

Opponents of CMP corridor ramp up petition efforts, push for statewide vote, Newscentermaine.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Marty Nathan: Abandonment of gas pipeline a win for climate, region, Daily Hampshire Gazette

The last gasp of natural gas, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending October 25, 2019

A Whole New Industry | Cash for Carbon | The Sounds of Climate Change

 

Good afternoon. It’s Friday, so let’s get to this week’s energy news.

We start with a story from New Hampshire Public Radio, “’A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine. New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts will work together on large-scale offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine…Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said at the meeting that he thinks Northern New England could add tens of thousands of jobs building these offshore turbine farms, and the transmission infrastructure to bring their power on-shore. ‘This is not just a project. This is not just an individual, “we’re going to find a site and put a couple of turbines up,”’ Caswell says. ‘This is the establishment of, really, a whole new industry.’ The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to hold the first meeting of a three-state task force on the issue in mid-December. The New England group is the third regionalized wind group BOEM has formed, after ones in the New York area and the Carolinas. The group’s first job would be to help choose specific areas for offshore wind leasing in the federal waters of the Gulf of Maine – likely at least 30 miles out to sea.”

Next up is a story from the New York Times, “Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, is preparing a $450 billion climate change initiative that aims to replace about a fifth of the nation’s traditional gasoline-powered vehicles with hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars and trucks in the next 10 years…Mr. Schumer’s new plan…is specific and is aimed at rapidly replacing 63 million of the 270 million cars on American roads with zero-emissions or near-zero-emissions vehicles. If enacted, it would take a significant slice out of carbon dioxide pollution from automobiles, America’s largest producer of planet-warming emissions…The bill would also include $45 billion to help cities and states install electric vehicle charging stations, and $17 billion to help automakers build or retool factories to manufacture hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

The last highlight story for this week comes from National Geographic, “Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors. Seismometers on the West Coast can hear the ocean bouncing off the seafloor as it is disturbed by a hurricane approaching the East Coast, with more intense tropical cyclones producing louder seismic roars. They can also hear the cracking of ice when temperatures fluctuate, the recoil of an ice sheet as part of it breaks free, and the explosive growth of icy crevasses. Tropical cyclones will likely get more intense, and the Earth’s ice will increasingly disintegrate as the planet warms. In recent decades, the potential for seismometers to track the consequences of climate change has become increasingly evident. Scientists are still trying to understand the crucial nuances of each seismic signal, sometimes turning to small-scale recreations of the natural world in the lab to try to pry out the causes of separate seismic sonatas. But as seismometers continue to increase in sensitivity and decrease in cost, says Bohon, the nascent field of environmental seismology will continue to bear fruit.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cuomo threatens to pull plug on National Grid as he rails against utility company’s power, NY Daily News

‘Weak Engineering Management’ Probable Cause Of Columbia Gas Explosions, NTSB Says, CBS Boston / WBZ

Weymouth compressor foes vow to continue fight, Wicked Local

Weymouth council candidates vow to fight compressor statoin, Wicked Local

More delays, cost increases for two East Coast natural gas pipelines, IEEFA

Williams CEO Says Its Gas Pipe Can Help Cuomo’s N.Y. Green Goals, Bloomberg

Planned natural gas release angers compressor station opponents, Patriot Ledger

Oil company looks to lure customers burned by National Grid, Crain’s New York

Report details how ExxonMobil and fossil fuel firms sowed seeds of doubt on climate change, Los Angeles Times

Oil Companies Rejected by Supreme Court on Climate Change Suits, Bloomberg

Smith College pulls out of fossil fuel investments; but activists say college moving too slow, MassLive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Healey sues ExxonMobil, alleges climate change deception, CommonWealth Magazine

NH Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Reform & Climate Action Package for 2020, NL Labor News

Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors, National Geographic

Melting sea ice is ‘Atlantifying’ the Arctic, E&E News

Manure, trash and wastewater: U.S. utilities get dirty in climate fight, Reuters

Mysterious Lobster Deaths In Cape Cod Raise Climate Change Concern, WGBH

Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying, Washington Post

Headcount surges at state’s clean energy companies, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Are Wildfires Caused by Utilities or Climate Change? Yes, New York Times

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says, VICE

The cost of climate change: Trial to decide whether ExxonMobil was honest with investors, CNN

Climate change proves to be hot topic in Franklin, MetroWest Daily News

 

Wind

‘A Whole New Industry’: N.H. To Work With Neighboring States On Offshore Wind in Gulf of Maine, NHPR

Small Adjustments to Wind Turbines Can Reduce Impacts on Birds, New Study Finds, Yale Environment 360

Global offshore wind prices drop 32%: BloombergNEF, Utility Dive

Two Months Later, Vineyard Wind’s Delay Still Clouds US Offshore Picture, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Maritime Academy launches nation’s first offshore wind crew training facility, MassLive

Energy Dept. Funds Variety Of Wind R&D Projects, NRG Wind Project

Rep Haddad: State may need offshore wind tax credit, Southcoasttoday.com

Straus proposes state office to study fisheries and offshore wind, Southcoasttoday.com

Lobstermen’s association director takes wind farm job, Martha’s Vineyard Times

 

Solar

Report: Solar, wind power to hike renewable energy capacity by 2024, UPI.com

Local legislators visit UMass solar energy farm, WWLP

Company files first application for Fitzwilliam solar project, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

UNH and Eversource partner up to save energy on flagship campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

Green networks: Incorporating energy efficiency into 5G, The Hill

Ormat Announces Commercial Operation of Hinesburg Battery Energy Storage System, Under an Agreement With Vermont Electric Cooperative, Business Insider

New York Approves 316MW Battery Plant for Peak Power, First of Its Kind in Region, Greentech Media

 

EVs

How close is Massachusetts to electric public buses? Mass. lawmakers pushing for zero-emission vehicles by 2038, MassLive

Connecticut issues draft roadmap for widespread electric vehicle adoption, S&P Global

Gov. Mills Announcing Grants For More Car-Charging Stations, Maine Public

Cash for Carbon: Schumer Climate Plan Would Help Consumers Buy Electric Cars, New York Times

Why quiet cars are getting louder, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Nuclear

NorthStar: Vermont Yankee demolition ahead of schedule, Brattleboro Reformer

State: Yankee site shows little contamination, Bennington Banner

Closing Old NJ Nuclear Power Plant Has Allowed Population of Tiny, Stinging Jellyfish to Thrive — And Multiply, NBC New York

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New EPA chief in New England barred from many decisions because of conflicts, Boston Globe

Report: CMP parent company in merger talks worth $67 billion, Portland Press Herald

National Grid’s Venture Capital Arm Closes 3 More Investments, Greentech Media

Imagine the US was just hit with a cyberattack. What happens next?, MIT Technology Review

Whoops! Computer glitch informs some Maine customers that power will be restored in 2068, Connecticut Post

CMP Forms PAC To Fight Potential Referendum On Western Maine Transmission Project, Maine Public

National Grid investment arm doubles-down on AI capabilities, but cultural change remains key, Utility Dive

Merger talks spell uncertain future for CMP customers, Times Record

 

Editorial/Opinion

Longmeadow resident concerned on placement of gas metering station (Letters), MassLive

Sports Are Feeling the Heat From Climate Change, Bloomberg

How NASA could help stop climate change with solar satellites, Washington Post

Climate Change Will Cost Us Even More Than We Think, New York Times

Decarbonizing economy requires lot more electricity, CommonWealth Magazine

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