Tag Archives: New England Clean Energy Connect

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 February 14, 2020

Record Low Price | More Delays | Clear Solar

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Let’s start off with some news to love. From Bloomberg Green, “Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and EDP Renovaveis SA agreed to sell power from a wind farm they’re building in the Atlantic Ocean for a record-low price. The 804-megawatt Mayflower wind farm, located south of Martha’s Vineyard, will supply electricity to utilities in Massachusetts for $58 a megawatt-hour over the life of the contract. That’s less than a previous deal for $65 agreed to with the similarly located 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, state energy officials said on a conference call Tuesday. ‘The Commonwealth has now solicited two cost-effective projects at prices far below what industry experts had projected a few years ago,’ Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for Massachusetts, said on the call. Wholesale electricity prices averaged $40.24 a megawatt-hour in day-ahead trading in the New England grid over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Offshore wind costs are higher, but the renewable technology is gaining in use in Europe and Asia, driving down the lifetime sales prices.”

Next up #Absencemakestheheartgrowfonder. From WBUR, “Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project. Vineyard Wind no longer expects its 800-megawatt project to become operational by 2022, the company said Tuesday after federal officials announced a new — and longer-than-anticipated — timeline for their review of the project and offshore wind sector generally. ‘We have received updated information from the Department of Interior that indicates the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Vineyard Wind I project will be published later than what was previously anticipated,’ Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a statement. ‘While we need to analyze what a longer permitting timeline will mean for beginning construction, commercial operation in 2022 is no longer expected. We look forward to the clarity that will come with a final EIS so that Vineyard Wind can deliver this project to Massachusetts and kick off the new US offshore energy industry.’ On Tuesday, BOEM published a new ‘one federal decision permitting timeline,’ which envisions the issuance of a record of decision by Dec. 18, 2020.”

While this new technology was modeled using tomatoes, perhaps it will work with roses too. From Futurity.org, “Clear Solar Panel Could Power Future Greenhouses. Greenhouses of the future could become energy neutral using see-through solar panels to harvest energy, according to a new study. The panels would harvest the energy primarily from the wavelengths of light that plants don’t use for photosynthesis, the researchers say. ‘Plants only use some wavelengths of light for photosynthesis, and the idea is to create greenhouses that make energy from that unused light while allowing most of the photosynthetic band of light to pass through,’ says corresponding author Brendan O’Connor, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University…The end result is that, for many greenhouse operators, the trade-off could be a small one—particularly for greenhouses in warm or temperate climates. For example, in Arizona, the greenhouses could become energy neutral—requiring no outside source of power—while blocking only 10% of the photosynthetic band of light. However, if growers are willing to block more photosynthetic light, they could generate twice as much energy as they required to operate the greenhouse…In Wisconsin, greenhouses couldn’t become energy neutral using the semitransparent solar cells—keeping the greenhouse warm in winter requires too much energy. However, the solar cells could meet up to 46% of the greenhouse’s energy demand.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the long weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Why fossil-fuel generators oppose the CMP hydropower corridor, Bangor Daily News

Area residents criticize Columbia Gas at hearing, Eagle Tribune

‘I Feel Victorious’: BU Professor Ends Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

United in Opposition to the No. Weymouth Gas Compressor Station, Boston University

Iroquois Gas to build system in Milford to help increase New York’s natural gas supply, Stamford Advocate

Oil production on public lands exceeds 1 billion barrels, The Hill

Carbon capture wins fans among oil giants, Wall St. Journal

Pennsylvania shale permits plunge in January as gas prices collapse, S&P Global

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World’s Hottest Well, Wired

Geothermal heating district could rise in Mattapan, Boston Globe

The fastest way to cut carbon emissions is a ‘fee’ and a dividend, top leaders say, Washington Post

Energy Markets Need Winter, and Climate Change Is Taking It Away, Bloomberg Green

Antarctica Sets Record High Temperature: 64.9 Degrees, New York Times

Net-zero emissions measures advance despite cost concerns in Mass. Senate, Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro area senators say climate change legislation could empower cities, towns, Sun Chronicle

Gov. Charlie Baker: TCI proceeds will not be ‘pumped into Boston’ to pay off MBTA debt, MassLive

A Trillion Trees: How One Idea Triumphed Over Trump’s Climate Denialism, New York Times

Why university students are uniting for divestment this week, Boston Globe

Climate Change: 50 Ways We’re Taking Action Now, Vineyard Gazette

Researchers Propose New Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change, Clean Tech

For Sweetgreen, 2020 is the year kelp becomes cool, Washington Post

Hundreds of freshwater fish wash ashore on Easton’s Beach in Newport, ABC6

Why concrete has a huge carbon footprint, CNN (video)

The Climate Crisis Is Threatening Bees. Here’s What’s Helping To Save Them., HuffPost

Crossing the Line: A Scientist’s Road From Neutrality to Activism, Inside Climate News

The Cool Way Scientists Turned Falling Raindrops Into Electricity, Popular Mechanics

 

Wind

Good news, bad news on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project, WBUR

Price of wind power continues to fall with Mayflower contract, Herald News

Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power, Bloomberg

Mayflower Wind will stage in New Bedford: 2nd wind turbine company looking for lease agreement for South Terminal, South Coast Today

Wind farm cables to be lengthened for reburial, Block Island Times

Connecticut Port Authority approves plan to turn State Pier into wind hub, The Day

Gov. Ned Lamont touts approval of wind power deal that will rebuild State Pier in New London while Senate Republicans complain about a lack of oversight, Hartford Courant

Some Fans, Some Not, for Wind Farm Project, Ocean City New Jersey Daily

Red lights on Lowell Mountains won’t dim soon, National Wind Watch (via Hardwick, VT Gazette)

Court filing challenges Guilford wind farm approval, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

 

Solar

Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells, MIT News

Clear solar panels could power future greenhouses, Futurity.org

Fitch: Solar Projects Much More Reliable Performers Than Wind Farms, Greentech Media

Green Bank’s Solar MAP Eases Solar Transition, Solar Industry Magazine

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World, NPR

Report: Vermont lagging in solar capacity, Rutland Herald

Chemist develops technique to improve solar cells, Phys.org

Firm lays out plans for large solar farm, maybe sheep, Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth committee recommends purchase of ‘remote’ solar energy, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

MIT’s solid-state battery breakthrough may see phones last for days, New Atlas

Live Efficient: Choose Energy Star appliances for efficiency, Seacoastonline.com

BPU Plan Would Reimburse Utilities for Sales Lost to Energy Efficiency Programs, NJ Spotlight

$58M project to make Portsmouth Naval Shipyard energy resilient, Seacoast Online

 

EVs

ChargePoint commits $1B to expand EV charging as Ocasio-Cortez, others unveil bills for a national network, Utility Dive

ConEd developing $13M curbside EV charging program with AddEnergie, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Extends Comment Period Regarding Indian Point, WAMC

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants, Bloomberg

How the next generation of nuclear reactors could be smaller, greener and safer, PBS

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Advanced Attack Groups Increasingly Threaten North American Electric Utilities, Security Boulevard

Massachusetts has 3rd highest number of deaths from out-of-state air pollution, study finds, Boston Globe

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

The U.S. power grid desperately needs upgrades to handle climate change, Science News

Company that studied grid may have had conflict of interest, Associated Press

Midwinter drop in energy costs gives Mainers unexpected relief, Kennebec Journal

AARP opposes Eversource’s proposed rate hikes, New Hampshire Union Leader

Expanding or starting a business? National Grid may have a grant for that, Business Journals

 

Editorial/Opinion

Jennifer Benson: Senate’s climate change proposal a good start, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Erect solar panels in places that make sense, The Day

State council, residents ready to take action on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Some help in connecting the air quality dots, Westerly Sun

Maine Compass: It’s time to reconsider going solar, Kennebec Journal

Susan Raymond: Sununu’s energy initiatives are a grand election stunt, Conway Daily Sun

Maine Compass: Don’t expect Maine ‘public power’ plan to deliver on its big promises, Kennebec Journal

Falmouth Turns Into A 2.5 Million Wind Turbine Dump, Patch.com

Pier remake could cost state three times $93 million estimate, The Day via National Wind Watch

New Massachusetts Program A Threat To Local Solar Installers, AltEnergyMag.com

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electricity Costs, 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

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

Energy News for week ending January 17, 2020

The heat is on | To exit or not to exit | Single option

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

While today actually feels like winter, the trend over the past decade has been toward warmer temperatures. From the AP in the New York Times, “The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, two U.S. agencies reported Wednesday. And scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records. “If you think you’ve heard this story before, you haven’t seen anything yet,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said at the close of a decade plagued by raging wildfires, melting ice and extreme weather that researchers have repeatedly tied to human activity. Schmidt said Earth as a whole is probably the hottest it has been during the Holocene — the past 11,500 years or so — meaning this could be the warmest period since the dawn of civilization. But scientists’ estimates of ancient global temperatures, based on tree rings, ice cores and other telltale signs, are not precise enough to say that with certainty. The 2010s averaged 58.4 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7 degrees Celsius) worldwide, or 1.4 degrees (0.8 C) higher than the 20th century average and more than one-third of a degree (one-fifth of a degree C) warmer than the previous decade, which had been the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Climate change is giving Connecticut energy leaders second thoughts about staying with the regional electric grid. From WNPR, “The state’s commissioner of energy and environmental protection said Wednesday that Connecticut is being forced to invest in natural gas plants it doesn’t want or need. Katie Dykes’ comments on the future of Connecticut’s energy policy came up during a forum at Trinity College, and they come as the legislature prepares to convene next month. Speaking to a crowd at the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Dykes said a ‘lack of leadership’ at ISO New England, which oversees the regional power grid, is hindering the state’s fight against climate change. ‘We are at the mercy of a regional capacity market that is driving investment in more natural gas and fossil fuel power plants that we don’t want and we don’t need,’ Dykes said. ‘This is forcing us to take a serious look at the cost and benefits of participating in the ISO New England markets.’ The department has scheduled a meeting on the issue for Wednesday, Jan. 22.”

The last highlight for this week comes from the Cape Cod Times, “State officials are taking the first steps toward having a single underwater transmission line that could feed electricity generated by multiple offshore wind farms into the regional power grid. The Department of Energy Resources is asking for comments on the idea of it putting out to bid ‘offshore wind energy transmission sufficient to deliver energy generation procured under’ a 2018 clean energy law that signaled Massachusetts’ intent to pursue enough additional renewable energy to double its amount of possible offshore wind power. The department will accept all comments, but is particularly interested in thoughts on ‘the general cost and benefits of coordinated offshore wind transmission for the region and/or a potential independent transmission procurement in Massachusetts.’…One primary transmission system ‘has the potential benefit of minimizing impacts on fisheries, optimizing the transmission grid, and reducing costs,’ a department report concluded.”

That’s the recap for this week. Stay warm, be careful in tomorrow’s snowstorm, and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Natural gas prices in 2019 were the lowest in the past three years

UPDATE: Technicians going door to door restoring gas after major leak in Salem (NH), Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts holding hearings on gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

2020 outlook: Natural gas faces regulatory, environmental scrutiny but still wants role in carbon-free grid, Utility Dive

Green hydrogen could price gas out of power markets by 2050, Energy Voice

Ashland Conservation Commission, citing impact on wetlands, denies Eversource pipe plan, MetroWest Daily News

15 states oppose Trump plan to allow LNG shipments by rail, AP

BlackRock to sell $500 million in coal investments in climate change push, CBS News

Communities weigh closing off gas hookups, Eagle-Tribune

Residents fume as Nat Grid builds north Brooklyn pipeline, Brooklyn Paper

Rep. Joe Kennedy Still Pushing For Answers On Controversial Weymouth Gas Compressor Project, WGBH

Weymouth: Protest Continue at Fore River Compressor Station Site, WATD-FM

Arsenic near Weymouth compressor site ‘not imminent hazard’, Wicked Local

Nine more arrested in compressor station protest, Patriot Ledger

 

TCI

Straus says TCI is getting in the way, CommonWealth Magazine

Mills becomes latest governor to express concern about regional fuel pact, Boston Globe

NH Gov. Sununu predicts TCI failure, as Mass Legislature floats Plan B, Boston Herald

DeLeo doesn’t see ‘a whole lot of support’ for a regional climate pact, Boston Globe

Transportation and Climate Initiative: Caution lights are flashing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New England governors keep signaling second thoughts about Charlie Baker’s climate plan, Boston.com

State’s top environmental official tries to keep climate accord alive, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Fever Chart: Earth Had Its Hottest Decade on Record in 2010s, New York Times

U.S. clean energy investment hits new record despite Trump administration views, Reuters

How A Climate Change Nonprofit Got Eversource Thinking About A Geothermal Future, WBUR

This is what energy resilience could look like, GreenBiz

Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates, The Guardian

What would a $10 per ton carbon price mean for the Northeast?, Utility Dive

Three-Quarters of New US Generating Capacity in 2020 Will Be Renewable, EIA Says, Greentech Media

Cambridge businesses back Carbon Pricing, Wicked Local

Give Kids the Money From Carbon Taxes, New Republic

What is ‘clean’ or ‘green’ energy? Definitions differ across regions., Kennebec Journal

Why Cutting Car and Truck Emissions Is So Hard, Pew Charitable Trusts

Transmission Emerging as Major Stumbling Block for State Renewable Targets, Greentech Media

New York says new renewables financing option to reduce developers’ financial risk, save $4.6B, Utility Dive

 

Wind

State seeks feedback on offshore transmission tie-in line, Cape Cod Times

New York’s next offshore wind tender to bring at least 1 GW, Renewables Now

Land deal could mean a wind farm coming to Claremont, Valley News

Lowest cost wind price remains under wraps, Herald News

Mayflower Wind, without contract, moving ahead, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind energy giants form global ‘action coalition,’ Energy Live News

Top wind company Ørsted to open innovation hub in Providence, Boston Globe

Solar is the world’s fastest-growing source of renewable energy. Here’s why one of Europe’s largest hedge funds is betting on wind instead., Business Insider

Town of Sanford wind farm meeting gets emotional. Here’s what was said., (NY) Press Connects

 

Solar

Stamford solar power company gets $10.2 million financing package, New Haven Register

Solar projects continue to pay off for towns and developers, southcoasttoday.com

City of Augusta, Greater Augusta Utility District look to go solar, Portland Press Herald

Net metering emerges as latest Statehouse battlefront, Keene Sentinel

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Cuomo: Additional $2 billion in utility energy efficiency & building electrification initiatives to combat climate change, Niagara Frontier

What Would It Take for the US to Become an Energy Storage Manufacturing Powerhouse?, Greentech Media

Battery storage facility coming to New Windsor, Record Online

Trump Says Water Efficiency Standards Mean Showers, Toilets and Dishwashers Don’t Work Properly, Newsweek

What makes Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings Market Outperforming its Substitutes, MarketWatch

Eversource challenges students to showcase their energy smarts, Revere Journal

Energy Department Launches Challenge for Next-Gen Storage Technologies, NextGov

 

EVs

New Jersey sets high standard with passage of EV incentive bill, advocates say, Utility Dive

North Shore towns power up with Bolts, charging stations, Salem News

 

Nuclear

Decommissioning contract awarded, Machinery Market

Is Nuclear Power Worth the Risk?, The New Yorker

Holtec faces tough questions about Indian Point teardown at first public meeting in Buchanan, LoHud

Nuclear Decommissioning panel to NorthStar: Start paying, Brattleboro Reformer

Canada Sends Nuclear Power Plant Warning to Millions — Before Admitting It Was an ‘Error’, YAHOO!

Nuclear safety advocacy group C-10 moves to Amesbury, Wicked Local

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Conn. Energy Head Taking ‘A Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WNPR

Stop & Shop, Major Northeast Grocery Store Chain, to Install 40 Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Grassroots Push for Microgrid on Maine Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Electricity bill could drop $150 a year for Nashua residents under new plan, New Hampshire Union Leader

Timeline: Central Maine Power’s project permit woes, Kennebec Journal

Hydro-Quebec Could Face Fine For Late Disclosure Of Efforts To Sway Maine Voters On CMP Project, Maine Public

Group backing CMP power line wins support of former environmental leaders, Portland Press Herald

In Maine’s North Woods, unplugged back-to-landers foresee irreparable harm to trout from power corridor, Kennebec Journal

In an isolated Inuit community, concern is strong over water toxins from hydropower expansion, Sun Journal

Hydro-Québec and NB Power sign electricity purchase agreement, Electrical Business

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Lamont shamefully defies FOI laws, The Day

Douglas Rooks: Maine’s long quest for public power, Press Herald

U.S. Leadership Needed to Fight Climate Change, Bloomberg

Too much focus on gas tax, when corporations should do more, Boston Globe

Our View: We should heed warnings on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Here’s Something: CMP line poses a dilemma for environmentalists, Portland Press Herald

Letter: N.H. needs a governor strong on climate change, Eagle-Tribune

Editorial: A lackluster approach to green energy, Concord Monitor

Column: Australia shows us the road to climate hell, Hartford Courant

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

Energy News for week ending January 10, 2020

Future of Natural Gas | TCI Club Shrinking | North Country Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. It’s nice to be back in your inboxes. Let’s get right to the first 2020 edition of the Northeast Energy News.

First up is a McKinsey report, The Future of Natural Gas in North America. “Industry discussions about the future of gas in North America are polarizing. On one hand, the shale revolution keeps delivering, displacing liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports since the late 2000s, as abundant gas resources and technological innovation drove costs down. In the past few years, shale has entered a new phase with the rise of LNG exports from North America. By 2023, North America is expected to head the list of the world’s top LNG exporting regions. On the other hand, as state-level decarbonization policies ramp up, the demand for natural gas in key segments such as power generation and local distribution companies (LDC) is expected to decline.” To the right is a map from the report that shows the decarbonization efforts across the US.

 

Before the holiday break the Transportation Climate Initiative was all the rage. But it seems there has been some cooling off since news of the costs have been shared. From CommonWealth Magazine, “In a protest-interrupted State of the State address Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott cast a shadow on the prospects of him signing his state up for a multi-state compact to reduce vehicle emissions. Scott, who along with Gov. Charlie Baker is one of two Republican governors in New England, did not address the Transportation Climate Initiative by name, but discussed at length ways Vermont has been working to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. ‘It’s incentives, not penalties, which will help us transition more quickly,’ Scott said in his speech. Vermont was one of the 12 original states to begin negotiations on a regional cap-and-trade program that would seek to reduce carbon pollution from cars and trucks and use revenue from the sale of carbon allowances to fuel suppliers to invest in clean transportation options. New Hampshire has since withdrawn from those talks after the coalitions estimated that the proposals under consideration could add between 5 cents and 17 cents to the price of a gallon of gas…Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, also said this week that he has concerns with TCI. ‘Raising the gas tax, which frankly is what many Republican states have done to pay for transportation, is 100 percent paid for by Connecticut residents and probably not the way to go,’ Lamont said in a WNPR radio interview on Tuesday when asked about the initiative.”

 

For our new technology story this week we head to New Hampshire. From the Concord Monitor, “The company installing a factory in a former North Country paper mill hopes to create hydrogen, which some see as the ultimate clean fuel, through a process of compression that appears unlike any existing technology in that field. And while the company’s immediate plan is to burn the hydrogen to create electricity, the long-range plan is much bigger. ‘The real intent of coming out with a power plant is because it will unveil our capabilities in a big way,’ said Whitaker Irvin Jr., president and CEO of QuasarWave, the Utah firm behind the project in the closed Wausau Paper mill in the Groveton section of Northumberland. ‘When you’re talking about running a power plant on hydrogen … in a way to make it cost-effective … that’s not nebulous…’ The plan for QuasarWave is to take water from the Upper Ammonoosuc River, separate out the hydrogen and burn it in a reciprocating engine to produce electricity that will be sold to companies on site. Irvin says this electricity will be cheaper than can be bought on the grid…Details about the technology that will separate out the hydrogen, which is the whole point of the operation, are proprietary.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. There are a lot of news stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cities, towns weigh banning gas hookups, Salem

Shutdown of US coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives, study finds, The Guardian

Utilities Have Big Plans to Cut Emissions, But They’re Struggling to Shed Fossil Fuels, Inside Climate News

Compressor station opponents buoyed by Virginia ruling, Patriot Ledger

Why The Weymouth Compressor Was Such An Environmental Flash Point in 2019, WBUR

The future of natural gas in North America, McKinsey & Company

Divergent paths: Oil, natural gas going different directions, Reuters

Chinese company gets green light to explore offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador, Chronicle Herald

Local activists participate in coal blockade aimed at shutting down NH facility, Valley Advocate

4 Activists Arrested Trying To Block Coal-Carrying Train In Mass., WBUR

Thousands of gas leaks plagued Massachusetts in 2018, new DPU report says, Boston Herald

New Killingly power plant faces local opposition ahead of appeal, The Bulletin

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decreased in 2019, Per Rhodium Group, Greentech Media

Lawmakers want vote on climate pact, Salem News

Marine Labs on the Water’s Edge Are Threatened by Climate Change, New York Times

How a mid-20th-century hunting guide may fill the gaps on climate change in Maine, Washington Post

Connecticut governor knocks TCI gas fee compact in setback for Gov. Baker, Boston Herald

Vermont governor knocks TCI climate compact gas fee, Boston Herald

TCI club appears to be shrinking, CommonWealth Magazine

NY Plots a Course for Clean Energy, Jobs, Public News Service.org

Renewable advocates highlight ‘most effective’ path to net-zero emissions as House releases clean energy proposal, Utility Dive

‘Climate emergency’ is OED word of the year, Harvard Medical School

Avangrid betting big on renewable energy, Sun Journal

The Huge Australian Fires Could Change the Entire Earth’s Climate, Futurism

Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage, National Renewable Energy Lab

MA Clean Energy Industry Adds Over 1,000 Workers in 2019, GoLocalProv

Vermont legislator proposes ‘Green New Deal’ for state, WHDH

Workers say Amazon is threatening to fire them for pushing company to act on climate change, Hartford Courant

Day of reckoning looms for state’s clean-energy agency amid funding shortfall, Boston Globe

North Country plant says it can create hydrogen with a new technology, Concord Monitor

 

Wind

New York Confirms Plan for 1GW-Plus Offshore Wind Solicitation in 2020, Greentech Media

Fishermen call for 4-nautical-mile lanes between offshore wind turbines, South Coast Today

Are wind turbines safe? N.Y. accident stirs debate, National Wind Watch

Ex-state rep.: Wind turbines would hurt Hampton Beach views, tourism, Seacoastonline.com

Fishermen, wind farm developers at odds, CommonWealth Magazine

Cuomo: Create LI institute to train wind farm workers, Newsday

World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Begins Generating Power, Greentech Media

Dominion’s planned US offshore wind project could be world’s largest at 2.64 GW, Renewable Energy World

 

Solar

Growing off the grid: Marijuana businesses like Solar Therapeutics find ways to be eco-friendly, MassLive

Local Solar Installers Embrace Big New Opportunity: Home Battery Add-Ons, Greentech Media

A $1 Billion Solar Plant Was Obsolete Before It Ever Went Online, Bloomberg

Sununu’s Net Metering Plan Tees Up Another Renewable Energy Clash in Concord, NHPR

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Green Mountain Power partners with customers to exceed carbon reduction goals by 40% in 2019, Delivering Affordable Ways to Cut Carbon and Costs, Vermont Digger

ConEd will redesign NYC commercial building efficiency pilot after participation hurdles, Utility Dive

Smart meters gain popularity, but most utilities don’t optimize their potential to save energy, ACEEE

Study group proposes modest energy storage goals for Maine’s excess power, Portland Press Herald

N.A.A.C.P. Tells Local Chapters: Don’t Let Energy Industry Manipulate You, New York Times

Making computers and smartphones more energy efficient with novel tiny structures, Phys.org

 

EVs

Ashburnham installs electric vehicle charging station, Sentinel & Enterprise

Fisker debuts $37,500 electric SUV with a solar roof, The Verge

 

Nuclear

Water pump malfunction shuts down generating unit at Millstone, The Day

The oldest nuclear reactor? Nature’s 2 billion year old experiment, Hackaday.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

How to squirrel-proof the power grid, Vox.com

Proposed CMP transmission line in western Maine clears major regulatory hurdle, Press Herald

The Northeast’s Energy Problem Is an Opportunity for These 3 Utilities, Nasdaq

How National Grid is Trying to Reinvent Itself, Motley Fool

PURA directs firms to raise awareness of electric bill aid, Journal Inquirer

Following 12-month inquiry, decision time approaches in CMP billing probe, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE releases RFP for Boston area transmission upgrades, Electric Energy Online

 

Editorial/Opinion

Parity for renewables is key to energy tax policy, CommonWealth Magazine

What to Do When Green Objectives Conflict?, Wall St. Journal

Maine Voices: Public power proposal offers opportunity to match, top MEMIC’s success, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Offshore wind could provide all New England’s electricity, Seacoastonline.com

My Turn: ‘Forced march’ to heat pumps is bad policy, Concord Monitor

Op-Ed: Youth activism, a remedy for climate despair, Wicked Local Concord

Should cities and towns be required to place solar panels on the roofs of new municipal buildings?, Boston Globe

Letter: National Grid, stop pushing the pipeline, Times Union

LETTER: NRC needs to address concerns about plant, Daily News of Newburyport

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

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 4, 2019

Mass Tops the Chart Again | Revised Route | Solar Potential

Good Friday afternoon.

The first story is getting kind of hackneyed, but we’ll take it. From the Scientific American, “Massachusetts remained the most energy-efficient state for the ninth year running, Maryland jumped in the efficiency rankings on the back of its new electricity savings programs, and Kentucky tumbled after regulators there slashed demand management programs for the power sector. Those are among the highlights in an annual scorecard released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy…Maine, New York and New Mexico were among the states to ramp up energy efficiency investments as part of wider efforts to curb emissions. Energy efficiency is the leading form of carbon abatement nationally. ‘The states that are doing the best are those that have a robust policy framework in place, especially for driving utility sector energy efficiency,’ said Weston Berg, a senior analyst at ACEEE and the report’s lead author. Some 26 states now boast targets for achieving efficiency gains in the power sector, he said, adding, ‘Those states on average are achieving three to four times as much energy efficiency in terms of electricity sales.’”

From the Lewiston Sun-Journal we learn, “Environmental and land use regulators have agreed to consider a proposed change to Central Maine Power’s plan for a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine that would bring Canadian hydropower into the regional grid. In a procedural order filed Thursday, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission agreed to reopen the case record to consider CMP’s plan to re-route about a mile of the transmission line to avoid a protected pond near the Canadian border. ‘We appreciate the decision of the DEP and the LUPC to consider a change in the NECEC route. This new route makes a good project that is critical to the future of Maine even better,’ the power company said in a statement. The power company proposed the transmission line nearly two years ago. The case record has been closed since May, while regulators decide whether the project meets land use and environmental standards. ‘The presiding officers grant the applicant’s petition to reopen the record, effective upon issuance of this order, for the purpose of allowing the applicant to amend the applications and gather additional evidence needed to evaluate the proposed alternative route,’ the order states. A process for allowing intervenors in the case and the public to review and comment on CMP’s proposed change will be addressed in a subsequent order, regulators said.”

If you’re a solar developer check this out. In southern New England, Alex Kuffner at the Providence Journal writes, “With debate swirling about the development of solar projects in woods, farm fields and other green spaces, the state is setting out to determine how much power can be generated by instead installing more photovoltaic panels on rooftops and in commercial and industrial areas. The Office of Energy Resources is paying Synapse Energy Economics $83,000 to conduct an analysis of the total solar potential for so-called “non-greenfield” sites and summarize what other states have done to balance solar development with other land uses…The report that is set to be completed next March will look at all rooftops (on residential, commercial, industrial and government buildings), closed landfills and gravel pits, disused industrial sites and parking lots (where solar canopies could be erected).”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Columbia Gas order to stop all ‘non-emergency’ work pending investigations, Boston 25 News

Columbia Gas claims center overrun by residents, businesses, Eagle Tribune

State utility regulator slams Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Compressor protester arrested at state offices as Markey tours site, Patriot Ledger

Judge sets schedule for Ashland-Eversource pipeline legal clash, Metrowest Daily News

Dozens Arrested At Protest Outside New England’s Largest Coal Power Plant, In Bow, N.H., NHPR

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Gov. Mills wants Maine carbon-neutral by 2045. What will that take?, Portland Press Herald

States unveil plan to curb transportation emissions, Boston Globe

East Coast states outline carbon pricing plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Climate change: Vermont will not meet its 2028 emissions goals. Now what?, VT Digger

Pennsylvania to move forward on power plant emission caps, AP News

Carbon price could allay ‘astounding’ cost to attain New York’s zero carbon target: Report, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Why It’s So Hard to Build Offshore Wind Power in the U.S., Bloomberg

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind reach cable-laying agreement, Cape Cod Times

7Investigates: MBTA Wind Turbines, 7 News Boston

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

US offshore majors submit Connecticut proposals, Windpower Monthly

President’s windmill hatred is a worry for booming industry, AP

Useful lifespan of wind farms increases to 30 years, Energy Live News

Concerns Grow Over Wind Turbines’ Proposed Height in Ocean City, WBOC

Three companies vying to bring wind power to CT, Stamford Advocate

Lawmakers question Albany meeting location for Long Island wind project, Times Union

Edgartown, Vineyard Wind Settle Undersea Cable Dispute, Vineyard Gazette

Massachusetts company competes to harness wind power for Connecticut, pitching Bridgeport as a hub, Hartford Courant

 

Solar

Helping lower-income households reap the benefits of solar energy, MIT News

UMass signs deal for campus solar energy project, Smart Cities World

State wants to gauge its solar potential, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Tops Energy Efficiency Rankings, but Other States Close In, Scientific American

50-State Scorecard Reveals States Are Ramping Up Clean Energy, ACEEE (press release)

AP-NORC poll: Energy-saving habits vary in popularity, AP News

Energy Efficiency Day Reaches Tens of Millions of People, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

Plymouth officials praise AG lawsuit over Pilgrim decision, Wicked Local Plymouth

Path Shifts for Advanced Nuclear Legislation in the House, Morning Consult

Why is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Coming to Town?, Tapinto.net

Anti-nuclear groups plan Pilgrim protest at Plymouth library, Wicked Local Plymouth

Murphy panel ordered to ensure Oyster Creek decommissioning won’t be dangerous, Asbury Park Press

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Regulators decide to consider revised route for CMP power line, Sun Journal

Shorthanded FERC allows New England capacity auction results to stand, Utility Dive

GMP CEO to step down at end of year, successor announced, Valley News

DPU approves National Grid rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

Sudbury power line fight could affect development deals statewide, Boston Globe

ISO-NE IDs $8.7M Tx Fix for Boston Area, RTO Insider

FERC Finds New Hampshire Biomass and Waste Statute Preempted by the Federal Power Act, Lexicology.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Al Gore: The Climate Crisis Is the Battle of Our Time, and We Can Win, New York Times

Letter: Community solar benefits everyone, Albany times Union

Letter: Opt for green electricity, Metrowest Daily News

Editorial: Steady progress, Mt. Desert Islander

Community Power May Give Biz More Competitive Energy Prices in NH, Other States, Environment and Energy Leader

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