Tag Archives: New England Clean Energy Connect

Energy News for week ending March 22, 2019

Last Minute Deal | Nuclear Valued | Felled Fruit

Happy Friday and welcome to this week’s energy news recap.

We start in Connecticut with a story that came out just after we published last Friday’s edition. From the New Haven Register, “Last minute deal reached to keep Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear plant open. Gov. Ned Lamont and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said Friday Dominion Energy and Connecticut’s two major electric utility companies, Eversource and United Illuminating, struck a deal Friday that will keep the company’s Millstone nuclear facility in Waterford operating. Word of the deal came hours before a deadline that Virginia-based Dominion had to notify New England’s regional electric grid operator, ISO-New England, whether or not the nuclear plant would be shut down. Under the terms of the agreement, Dominion will supply Eversource and UI with electric power generated at Millstone for a 10-year period. The deal must still be approved by Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which has 180 days to act on it. Ken Holt, a Dominion spokesman, said the date when Millstone begins supplying the power to the utilities and other details of the contract won’t be released until PURA has ruled on the deal.”

Speaking of nuclear, and also occurring last Friday, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors released a statement that reads in part, “…A particular challenge is the retirement of nuclear generation resources, which serve approximately 25% of the region’s annual electricity demand. For example, closure of the 2,100 MW Millstone nuclear facility, which Connecticut state agencies have determined to be at risk of retirement as early as 2023, could expose New England ratepayers to increased winter energy security risks. Its retirement could also increase the New England power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. Recognizing that the entire New England region has a stake in ensuring a reliable energy system that also produces affordable outcomes for consumers, the New England Governors commit to work together, in coordination with ISO New England and through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), to evaluate market-based mechanisms that value the contribution that existing nuclear generation resources make to regional energy security and winter reliability.” Ah, it’s too bad this is all too late for Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee.

For our last feature this week we go back to Connecticut for a story that made us think of the George Bernard Shaw quote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” From WFSB, Eyewitness News 3, “Fruit trees on a Southington homeowner’s property are now gone after she says Eversource workers cut them all down. Eversource has been working in the area, trimming trees that are near power lines…She says at least 7 of her fruit trees were taken down…some fruit trees have been there for almost 10 years…While there were power lines above her property, she said the trees they cut down were not much taller than a swing set…Eversource said their trimming cycle is every five years and they sent letters before doing the work. ‘This area has many landscaped yards underneath the transmission lines, so in February we sent all the property owners a letter explaining the work that will be done and urged them to call us if there were any concerns,’ said Frank Poirot, Eversource spokesperson. Raudis says she received a letter but it wasn’t specific about her fruit trees, just about cutting down brush…Channel 3 has learned from Eversource that they plan on replacing the trees in Raudis’s yard.” Here’s looking forward to seeing other fruit trees in blossom this spring.

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

State sets Longmeadow public hearing on Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion in Hampden County, MassLive

Granite Bridge pipeline tests state infrastructure corridors, Seacoastonline.com

Liberty Utilities update of natural gas pipeline proposal finds 30% spike in cost to accommodate environmental concerns, New Hampshire Union Leader

Newport Looking For Feedback Following Gas Outage, USA Patch

No new natural gas hookups in New York’s Westchester County, Con Ed says, Reuters

 

Merrimack Valley/Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Columbia Gas Has Paid Out $94.8 Million In Disaster Claims, USA Patch

Utility safety becomes Ray LaHood’s top priority, Boston Globe

Exclusive: Columbia Gas boss talks safety, trust and being a fix-it guy, Business Journals

Bay State legislators question Columbia Gas claims process, Boston Herald

Uncertainty For NiSource Due To Merrimack Recovery, Seeking Alpha

Six months after gas disaster, problems remain in Lawrence, MSN

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sierra Club’s Massachusetts climate leadership summit focuses on push for change, Telegram

Future of the gas tax? Running on empty., Hartford Business Journal

9 Northeastern states share $115M from carbon sale, Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The new, safer nuclear reactors that might help stop climate change, MIT Tech Review

Electrifying news: Solar and wind power has quintupled in a decade, Grist

Environmental groups oppose state’s biomass incentives, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Wind

NOAA questions Vineyard Wind environmental impact study, Gloucester Times

As first US utility-scale offshore wind project nears approval, supply chain, permitting come into focus, Utility Dive

What’s Hot in Offshore Wind: 5 Dispatches from the Front Lines, Union of Concerned Scientists

The U.S. is on the cusp of an offshore wind energy boom. Why aren’t energy companies capitalizing on it?, Phys.org

SE Mass. officials seek “tweak’ in wind policy, CommonWealth Magazine

Developer: Dairy Air Wind dilemma caused by state regulators, National Wind Watch (via The Caledonian Record, VT)

Mayor wants to take Weaver’s Cove land for wind energy venture, Herald News

Apex Energy Plans to Bring 33 Turbines to Orleans County, Spectrum Local News (NY)

Suso Provides Falmouth Wind Turbine Update, Falmouth Enterprise

Public hearing starts on Revolution Wind project, Providence Business News

 

Solar

New England transmission operator projects sharp rise in solar generation through 2028, IEEFA

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar stormwater plan, News-Times

New community solar project in Hartland, VT converts brownfield to brightfield, Utility Dive

In Connecticut, The Costs And Benefits Of Shared Solar Are Tough To Calculate, WNPR

Maine renews net metering as lawmakers prep new clean energy, utility reform bills, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How residential energy storage could help support the power grid, McKinsey & Company

Ratepayer-funded energy efficiency is ‘not’ a carbon tax, Foster’s Daily Democrat

New York utility installing battery to reduce peaks in non-wires alternative plan, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

How Much Oil Is Displaced by Electric Vehicles? Not Much, So Far, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Last minute deal reached to keep Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear plant open, New Haven Register

Startup promotes permanent nuclear waste storage, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear Power in the Age of Decommissioning, JD Supra

New England commits to value of nuclear, World Nuclear News

Can Pennsylvania’s energy market, environment survive without Three Mile Island?, PennLive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

APCC Calls on Eversource, State Regulators to Discontinue Vegetation Control with Herbicides, Cape Cod

PUC revises deadlines in CMP’s $950M hydropower transmission case, Mainebiz

Franklin County commissioners pull support for CMP transmission line, Portland Press Heralds

Dozens gather in Augusta to protest CMP transmission line proposal, WGME

Eversource’s underwater cable plan for Norwalk Harbor stirs resistance, The Hour

Woman upset after Eversource cut down fruit trees in her yard, WFSB

NECEC debate comes to Farmington with hearings, town meeting vote scheduled, The Daily Bulldog

Boston makes its move into electricity purchasing for its residents and businesses, Boston Globe

Anbaric Files for 1.2 GW Massachusetts Wind Interconnection, Subsea World News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Rep. Tina Riley: The bigger picture: The discussion we should be having around the CMP corridor, Sun Journal

Nothing’s perfect: The hidden costs of the Green New Deal, Hartford Courant

Editorial: Pipelines not a part of state’s future, New Haven Register

State of the states: 4 reasons that red plus blue makes green economics, Utility Dive

We need action on clean-energy efforts, by Rob Germeroth, Keene Sentinel

Conn. made the right call keeping Millstone nuclear power plant open, Boston Globe

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

Energy News for week ending February 22, 2019

MA picks up the tab| Plant reuse | Lantern

 

Happy Friday afternoon energy friends.

According to CommonWealth Magazine, “The road has been cleared of significant hurdles for the New England Clean Energy Connect project to bring clean hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts, and Maine will get a bevy of economic and environmental benefits for hosting the lines that will deliver the energy. New Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that she is now behind the project that Massachusetts is relying on and has agreed to allow the project to advance in the federal and state approval process with conditions intended for the benefit of Mainers…The governor’s office also touted the environmental benefits of the settlement, saying it will substantially reduce the state’s carbon footprint, control energy costs, and create jobs for Mainers. ‘And it will cost Maine ratepayers nothing,’ Mills said Thursday. ‘Massachusetts will foot the bill.’”

I’ve always believed that if we want to be good stewards of energy generation, we need to look at the full lifecycle of a plant and its environs – regardless of its fuel source. With coal and nuclear power plants retiring in large numbers, the sites are offering multiple opportunities for redevelopment. Some come with controversy – as in the old Edison plant in South Boston (Boston Globe). Others could remain part of the industry – such as New Jersey where, “Orsted alerted mariners last month that its 170-foot surveying vessel will study waters off Atlantic County, and the path runs near both B.L. England in Upper Township and the Oyster Creek Generating Station in Forked River. Orsted spokeswoman Lauren Burm confirmed the company is eyeing the two plants as a way to connect its turbines to the energy grid.” (Press of Atlantic City). And in Vermont, according to a story in Seven Days, the plan for an old coal plant in Burlington includes, “…filling in the basement of the old structure and removing the brick exterior. It would leave in place a steel skeleton. The open-air space would include public restrooms and space for vendors and concerts. Additional walkways, public art, a performance venue, a viewing deck or outdoor areas could also be added to the project in the future, pending additional funding.” Considering the mess that is there now and is blocking the view of the lake, this is some seriously good news.

For our last feature this week, we leave the Northeast and head to Europe. Since, we just mentioned art where there once was energy, we now bring you energy as art. From Wired UK, “From the outside, the newly upgraded Länsisalmi power substation, in southern Finland, looks like an art installation; behind its glass walls, two 400kV transformers constantly work to distribute electricity to 800,000 residents in the cities of Helsinki and Vantaa. Architect Bratislav Toskovic, from Helsinki-based Parviainen, was in charge of the redesign. ‘The main inspiration was electricity, and the visual element of light,’ he says. ‘I wanted to convert concrete structures into lanterns.’ To achieve that, he clad the substation’s three buildings with glazed glass panels – detached from the building’s walls by 60cm – and lined them with LED lights, which at night transform the complex into a glowing beacon. As the plant is visible from a major highway, Toskovic had the idea that it could be a landmark.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas companies could face hefty fines for service loss, Eagle Tribune

Natural gas hookups off limits in more Mass. Towns, Boston Business Journal

Toll from natural gas disaster in Merrimack Valley passes $1 billion, Boston Globe

New England electric grid vulnerable to natural gas shortages, ISO-NE head says, The News-Times

In bitter cold, gas barge off Massachusetts helped keep down New England energy prices, Hartford Courant

Killingly power plant plans push forward, The Bulletin

Weymouth Compressor Station Opponents To Meet With State Officials, WBUR

April ballot in Rehoboth includes nonbinding question on natural gas lines, Sun Chronicle

National Grid searches for source of natural gas leak in Providence, WJAR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

MIT study: Climate change could mean more stagnant air in summers, thunderstorms, Boston Globe

Natural Gas Guru Who Corrected the CIA Says Russia and U.S. Pick the Wrong Fight, Bloomberg

Grid operator laments lack of action on carbon pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

Independent power company seeks first 200 customers for renewable energy, Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Renewable Energy Projects Power New England Away From Fossil Fuel Dependence, CleanTechnica

State Rep. Peake Calls for Climate Change Fight at JFK Presidents’ Day Brunch, Cape Cod

Report recommends action to transition to clean-energy New England economy, Portland Press Herald

How Willing NH Is To Change Lifestyles To Battle Climate Change, USA Patch

The Nature Conservancy identifies strategies to achieve clean energy future, VTDigger

Report: $100 Billion Would Put Northern New England On 80 % Clean Energy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Smaller, safer, cheaper: One company aims to reinvent the nuclear reactor and save a warming planet, Science

 

Wind

Mills signs executive order reversing LePage moratorium on wind energy permits, Press Herald

Feds hear SouthCoast voices at Vineyard Wind hearing, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind Proposes 1,200 Megawatt “Liberty Wind” Offshore Project For New York, Clean Technica

3,500 acres on Glebe Mountain to be conserved, Brattleboro Reformer

Four Bidders Vie for NY Offshore Wind Project, RTO Insider

Wind energy companies love NY, Cape Cod Times

Don’t say goodbye to South Jersey power plants yet, offshore wind firm says, Press of Atlantic City

National Grid Awaits Approval of Revolution Wind Agreement, Commercial Property Executive

 

Solar

Eversource’s leap into solar power hits milestone; more planned, Berkshire Eagle

Standard Solar Acquiring 27 MW Portfolio In N.Y., R.I., Solar Industry

Turning Point Energy wins approval on solar farm, Breeze Publications

Solar carport at Massachusetts Comcast call center enough to offset 95 percent of consumption, Leedpoints.com

Eversource Powers Up 19 ‘Universal’ Solar Sites, Cape Cod

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

DOE proposal to change how it sets efficiency standards creates new hurdles, advocates say, Utility Dive

100% Renewable Energy Needs Lots of Storage. This Polar Vortex Test Showed How Much., Inside Climate News

Greater Boston Food Bank and Eversource Partner to Cut Energy Consumption at Yawkey Distribution Center, NA Clean Energy

New England efficiency advocates raise alarm over potential capacity market changes, Utility Dive

Groups Seek to Head off ISO-NE EE Changes, RTO Insider

NYSERDA Launches $1 Million Multi-Year Home Energy Ratings Pilot to Improve Energy Performance to Combat Climate Change, NA Clean Energy

Webster urges residents to get National Grid energy checkups, Telegram

 

EVs

Panel explores wide-ranging electric vehicle policy options, Daily Energy Insider

 

Nuclear

AG Healey, Secretary Beaton Seek to Intervene in Sale of Pilgrim Nuke, Eagle-Tribune

Citizens’ Group Files Petition over Concrete Degradation at Seabrook Nuclear Station, Engineering News-Record

Uncertainty shadows Pennsylvania’s debate over nuclear power, AP

Crowd debates 20-year extension of nuke plant’s operating license, Gloucester Times

PSEG’s LaRossa insists utility will close nuclear plants without subsidy, ROI NJ

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Mass. hydro project showers benefits on Maine, CommonWealth Magazine

New England’s wholesale power markets are becoming complicated, regional grid operator says, MassLive

Average ISO New England, Inc Salary, PayScale

ISO-NE capacity auction redo still needed: Vineyard Wind, S&P Global Platts

This massive lantern is actually a power plant in Finland, Wired.co.UK

Burlington to Move Forward With Moran Plant Redesign, Seven Days

 

Editorial/Opinion

Frigid Temperatures? Not a Problem in New England, CLF Blog

Our Opinion: Green New Deal needs a tighter focus, Berkshire Eagle

A rural take on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

The Green New Deal’s Impossible Electric Grid, Wall St. Journal

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canton climate study a good start, but change is needed, Canton.wickedlocal.com

Will Lamont lead or stay out of the way on offshore wind?, Connecticut Mirror

Maine Voices: None of us can afford to sit back as climate change poses threat to all life on Earth, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: We applaud work toward clean energy, Seacoastonline.com

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

Energy News for week ending November 2, 2018

Offshore Wind Impacts | Delay Granted | New Flow

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been reading this week.

 

From WorkBoat.com, “A four-year study of planned wind energy areas off the East Coast found that building and operating offshore wind energy arrays could affect some of the region’s most commercially valuable fish species. The report by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was written to help the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management to evaluate development plans for eight offshore wind energy leases issued by the agency…High on the list of potential impacts are habitat for black sea bass and Atlantic cod, which use patches of gravel and rougher bottoms on the largely sandy outer continental shelf. Sea scallops, the highest dollar value species on the East Coast, are found in all the WEAs with the most significant overlaps in New England, according to the report. Surf clams and ocean quahogs – harvested for canned chowder, frozen clam products and other processed seafood – are found in most of the WEAs. Advocates for the sea clamming fleet have insisted BOEM needs to set minimum distances of two nautical miles between wind turbine towers or their boats will effectively be shut out of fishing those areas.”

 

The Worcester Telegram via the State House New Service reports that “Environmental activists in Maine are celebrating a decision by regulators in that state to delay consideration of the transmission line project that Massachusetts officials are counting on to deliver hydropower from Canada. Intervenors in the Central Maine Power Company transmission line case before the Maine Public Utilities Commission asked the panel this week to suspend hearings, citing documents recently submitted by the company that ‘are highly relevant to critical issues in the proceeding and contradict statements in the record that have been made by CMP.’…Sue Ely, a Natural Resources Council of Maine attorney, said the delay was ‘a welcome acknowledgment that this process has been moving too fast for a thorough analysis of this massive, incredibly complex and flawed project.’”

 

You know we love to bring you news of new energy technologies so the last tidbit for this week comes from Science. “Batteries already power electronics, tools, and cars; soon, they could help sustain the entire electric grid. With the rise of wind and solar power, energy companies are looking for ways to keep electrons flowing when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind ebbs. Giant devices called flow batteries, using tanks of electrolytes capable of storing enough electricity to power thousands of homes for many hours, could be the answer. But most flow batteries rely on vanadium, a somewhat rare and expensive metal, and alternatives are short-lived and toxic. Last week, researchers reported overcoming many of these drawbacks with a potentially cheap, long-lived, and safe flow battery. The work is part of a wave of advances generating optimism that a new generation of flow batteries will soon serve as a backstop for the deployment of wind and solar power on a grand scale.”

 

Have a great weekend! Oh, and don’t forget to “fall back” and replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Burrillville power plant project dealt another blow, Providence Journal

The Energy 202: Why New York’s new climate lawsuit against ExxonMobil is different, Washington Post

Gas pipes damaged in Mass. with alarming frequency, Boston Globe

Pro-offshore oil group chaired by LePage is run by energy lobbyists, Portland Press Herald

Regulators order work stopped on pipeline that exploded near Monaca last month, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NJ Senate approves bill to ban fracking waste, NJBiz

Gas Explosions Take Center Stage In Congressional Debate, USA Patch

Council slams gas-safety hearing no-shows, Boston Herald

Coal’s Next Big Thing Could Be the Mini Power Plant, Bloomberg Environment and Energy

 

Lockout

National Grid lockout’s big financial impact, Sentinel & Enterprise

Lawmakers revive bill to pressure National Grid, CommonWealth Magazine

Quincy council says National Grid lockout costing city, Patriot Ledger

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says pipeline work completed ahead of schedule, Business Journals

Attorney General Calls 1-Month Gas Restoration Delay ‘Unacceptable’, NECN

‘There’s no end in sight,’ Eagle Tribune

Hundreds of Lawrence residents beg Columbia Gas for service, answers, Boston Herald

Columbia Gas parent company faces criminal investigation over gas explosions, fires, Eagle Tribune

Lawrence disaster estimated at $800 million and counting, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Exxon Mobil Is Hit With Its Most Important Climate Lawsuit Yet, Seeking Alpha

As price of climate change climbs, consider how much we could save, Portland Press Herald

To document climate change, Kate Olson went to Maine’s expert witnesses, Portland Press Herald

Warming waters worry Maine’s lobstermen, Reuters

Lamont, Bysiewicz and Murphy promote support for renewable energy in Cheshire, The Hour

 

Wind

Report maps potential environmental impacts of offshore wind energy, Workboat

New London, labor and environmental leaders tout offshore wind’s potential, The Day

7 turbines will be state’s largest shore wind farm, Johnston Sun Rise

Day-long dialogue between fishing, wind industries nets some progress, Southcoasttoday.com

The Country’s Most Valuable Fishing Port Gears Up For Wind Energy, WGBH

 

Solar

Want to nudge others to install solar? Actions speak louder than words, Phys.org

Eliot begins installation of new solar array, Seacoastonline.com

Brownfields Grant To Help Build Solar Farm On Gravelly Road In SK, USA Patch

Growing Exponentially, Floating Solar Opens Up New Horizons for Renewable Energy: Report, (press release) World Bank

 

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New generation of ‘flow batteries’ could eventually sustain a grid powered by the sun and wind, Science

Judge rejects claims state official illegally raided energy efficiency funds to balance budget, New Haven Register

1.8 Million Clean Energy Workers Employed In Top 50 American Metro Areas, CleanTechnica

ISO New England Lays Out Its Energy Storage Market Integration Plans, Greentech Media

ISO-NE looks to incorporate storage into real-time energy markets, Utility Dive

Connecticut can use efficiency funds to cover budget shortfall, federal court rules, Utility Dive

ISO New England: Customer Readiness Webpage Now Available on Energy Storage Device Project, Energy Central

 

Nuclear

Entergy reduces workforce to 24, VTDigger

No decision from state yet about Vermont Yankee, The Recorder

Pilgrim’s nuclear waste to be moved to higher ground, southcoasttoday.com

Billionaires Chase ‘SpaceX Moment’ for the Holy Grail of Energy, Bloomberg

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Regulators grant delay on transmission line sought to bring hydropower to Massachusetts, Telegram

Electricity Reseller Fights To Keep Antitrust Suit Alive, Law360

Maine PUC Move Poses Hurdle for NECEC, RTO Insider

PUC cancels next week’s hearings over CMP’s transmission project, Mainebiz

Connecticut Explores its Energy Future at CPES Event, RTO Insider

Eversource seeks $3.5M tax rebate from Portsmouth, Seacoastonline.com

Lawmaker says utilities should fix billing issues sooner, Bristol Press

 

Editorial/Opinion

How workers, local unions can take the lead on climate change | Opinion, NJ.com

Renewable energy inspires awe and hope, Johnston Sun Rise

Maine doesn’t need CMP transmission line, Kennebec Journal

Merrimack Valley tragedy offers climate change opportunity, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid workers sit idle while out-of-state workers struggle to restore power in the Merrimack Valley, Boston Globe

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