Tag Archives: Northern Pass

Energy News for week ending May 17, 2019

We’re gonna need a bigger boat | Could not win | Sound advice

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s round-up with a story about a new demand created by the offshore wind industry. From Bloomberg, “Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats. How do you install a wind turbine almost the size of the Chrysler building in the open ocean? Just get a boat with deck space larger than a football field and a crane that can lift the weight of 1,100 Chevy Suburban SUVs. Those specialist ships are scarce, numbering about a dozen in the world. And at a cost of more than $300 million, they each need to be capable of hoisting generators the size of shipping containers atop steel towers hundreds of feet tall. While wind turbine manufacturers led by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S and General Electric Co. are expanding the size of their machines quickly, the small cadre of mainly closely-held specialist shipowners that does the installations is hesitant to build more ships before they know how big the vessels need to be. That indicates a looming ship shortage in the next decade, threatening the outlook for a seven-fold jump in offshore wind capacity by 2030.”

From the Monty Python, “Not dead yet” category we have a story from NHPR about Northern Pass. “At N.H. Supreme Court, Eversource Argues It ‘Could Not Win’ On Northern Pass. The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Eversource’s bid to revive its Northern Pass transmission line. The justices are considering whether the proposal – a nearly 200-mile high-voltage power line to bring Canadian hydropower through the White Mountains to New England – should get a new hearing with the state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC. The court’s ruling in the case, which isn’t due out for several months to a year, could also provide new insight on how the SEC functions and whether the legislature should reform it…At Wednesday’s oral arguments, Eversource attorney Bill Glahn contended the utility did pass that test – the SEC just didn’t look properly at all the evidence made available to them. “What they did was put us in a position where we could not win,” Glahn said.”

We wrap up this week with another wind story – this one from EurekAlert! “Can sound protect eagles from wind turbine collisions? Every year, bald and golden eagles are killed when they inadvertently fly into wind turbine blades. One possible way to prevent these deaths is to chase the birds away with acoustic signals — sound. To determine what types of sounds are most effective in deterring the birds, researchers at the University of Minnesota and their colleagues tested the behavioral responses of bald eagles to a battery of both natural and synthetic acoustic stimuli…Perhaps not surprisingly, the eagles were more interested in, and paid closer attention to, natural calls rather than synthetic signals…The study also showed that bald and golden eagles’ ‘working auditory space’ falls within a fairly well-defined frequency band, with an upper cutoff frequency of approximately 6 kilohertz and a lower cut-off frequency below 0.35 kHz. The researchers recommend that signal designers use the data as a developmental guideline in efforts to design effective and efficient acoustic deterrent systems. The results from the project take one critical step forward in the effort to develop acoustic alerting or deterrence technologies that might discourage eagles from flying into wind farm airspaces and reduce instances of injury and death associated with turbine collision, McGee explained.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Mass. should step up gas-disaster plans, consultant says, Boston Globe

Longmeadow Town Meeting voters approve restrictions on natural gas facilities, MassLive

Con ed: no new natural gas for Westchester until 2023?, Yonkers Times

A Keystone-Like Pipeline Opens Fierce Battle Over New York’s ‘Energy Future,’ New York Times

National Grid’s 7-month lockout cost utility $362 million, Boston Herald

N.Y. Deals Critical Blow to $1 Billion Shale Gas Pipeline, Bloomberg

Mixed reviews for $80 million gas deal, Andover Townsman

 

Weymouth Compressor Station

Protesters Bolster Case Against Weymouth Compressor Station, WGBH

New Report Finds More Safety Concerns About Proposed Weymouth Compressor Station, WBUR

Opposition ramps up in compressor station fight, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas facility opponents gain support, Boston Globe

Professor accuses DEP of accepting Enbridge, “coaching” on air quality, Wicked Local

Two Days Into Weymouth Gas Compressor Hearings, Safety Of Emissions Disputed, WGBH

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

‘Net Zero’ proponents say science supports new emissions goals, Wicked Local Cohasset

Proposed state rule changes rekindle biomass debate, Berkshire Eagle

Snowing in New England, Soaking in the South — You Call This Spring?, New York Times

Extremes Are the New Norm: Why This Cold Spell is Lingering, NECN

Bates College achieves carbon neutral status to help stave off climate change, Sun Journal

Old, misleading info among perils of teaching climate change, Portland Press Herald

How climate change will affect the rural northeast: Expect three weeks of heat, Phys.org

 

Wind

Floating Offshore Wind Holds Promise for Vertical-Axis Turbines, Greentech Media

Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats, Bloomberg

Anbaric to flip Massachusetts coal plant site into offshore wind facility with 400 MW storage, Utility Dive

Connecticut House Green-Lights Offshore Wind Legislation, North American Wind Power

House approves bipartisan plan for wind power off New London, Hartford Courant

Wind power would bring new energy source to CT, Connecticut Post

Bose volunteers bond with Framingham students on wind projects, Milford Daily News

Vineyard Wind Receives Key Permit for Construction of Wind Farm Interconnection to Grid, Renewable Energy Magazine

Citizen group calls on Cuomo to squelch Lake Ontario wind power project, The Buffalo News

New London gets shorted in the wind deal, The Day

Prysmian reels in major US cable deal for Vineyard Wind, Recharge News

Can sound protect eagles from wind turbine collisions?, EurekAlert!

No vote on controversial wind turbine, Valley Breeze

Barnstable residents object to Vineyard Wind plans, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Scorching revenue growth at solar developer BlueWave, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

WoodMac: Solar Plants Cheaper Than Natural Gas ‘Just About Everywhere’ by 2023, Greentech Media

NY school district opens 3-MW solar farm, Renewables Now

New York provides $1 million for Anheuser-Busch solar array, AP

World’s First Drone-Based Shading Tool Approved in New York, Massachusetts, North American Clean Energy

Simsbury solar power project moves forward as developer buys land, Hartford Courant

State launches solar rebate program for customers of municipal light plants like Shrewsbury’s, Telegram

Sometimes solar panels are not a good fit for your home. Here’s why., Boston Globe

 

Efficiency/Storage

DOE proposal to roll back lightbulb efficiency puts billions in energy savings on the line, Utility Dive

Energy Storage Market size in US worth $4000 million by 2024, MarketWatch

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency, Science Daily

At Eversource, Energy Conservation Is the ‘First Fuel’, BusinessWest

Two Wayland homes get ‘Gold’ rating for efficiency, WickedLocal

 

EVs

Self-driving buses come to Providence, Boston Globe

 

Nuclear

Most Profitable Job in Nuclear Today Is Tearing Down Reactors, Bloomberg

Green New Deal activists dismiss nuclear power, Axios

NJ utility board going to court over $300M nuclear bailout, Press of Atlantic City

The Fusion Reactor Next Door, New York Times

Seabrook selectmen OK $36M tax agreement with nuke plant, Seacoast Online

Regulators ramp up oversight as Vermont Yankee dismantling begins, VTDigger

Disney could still build nuclear power plant after bill fizzles in Legislature, Orlando Sentinel

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

At N.H. Supreme Court, Eversource Argues It ‘Could Not Win’ On Northern Pass, NHPR

CMP: Bill to create consumer-owned utility amounts to ‘hostile takeover,’ Maine Biz

Northeastern University Aims to Set New Standard for Higher Ed with Advanced Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

I-Team: Metering, billing problems at CMP prompt two new state laws, WGME

National Grid says state ownership would delay UK’s move to green energy, Reuters

Massachusetts will have enough power to beat summer heat, ISO New England says, MassLive

With Construction Underway, Opponents Appeal Seacoast Power Line To N.H. Supreme Court, New Hampshire Public Radio

Is there a non-micro role on the New Hampshire power grid for microgrids?, Concord Monitor

Ethics of Beaton’s move to Lowell energy firm questioned, Sentinel & Enterprise

Chairman’s departure leaves Maine PUC with vacancy at critical time, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Accelerated gas leak repair campaign shows power of community advocacy, need for continued accountability (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

BIA Business Perspective: To lawmakers — Tread carefully on energy legislation, New Hampshire Union Leader

Letter to the editor: Oil pipeline can’t be swapped for CMP proposal, Portland Press Herald

Benefits of Killingly Energy Center begin with jobs, Connecticut Mirror

Irony of relying on natural gas, pursuit of pipeline should strike cord, The Telegraph

Letter to the editor: NECEC will benefit Maine’s energy supply, environment, Portland Press Herald

Losing nuclear comes at a cost, Daily Item

Get ready for another biomass battle, CommonWealth Magazine

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

Energy News for week ending April 12, 2019

Transparent Wood | Housing Upgrade | No. 1 Threat to the Grid

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

 

This week we start with something that’s seems fantastical but is possible – see-through wood. From the New Scientist, “Transparent wood could one day replace glass in windows. A process for turning it see-through also gives it heat-retaining powers, which could help regulate the temperature of buildings. Céline Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and colleagues built on previous work which created transparent wood by removing a structural component called lignin from wood, allowing light to filter through. For the next stage, the team soaked de-lignified birch wood in PEG (polyethylene glycol), a polymer that is also found in theatre smoke machines and toothpaste. When encapsulated in the wood panels, this makes it harder for heat to cross – whether you’re insulating a building against the cold outside, or trying to keep out summer heat…’When we build we try to use a lot of glass, but it has a drawback of being a bad insulator, so there are large amounts of heat loss,’ says Montanari. ‘Wood is really amazing, 10 times better at insulating, but it does not transmit light.’ The composite wood isn’t quite as good an insulator as natural wood, but is around four times better than high-end double glazing. The material can also bear heavy loads and is biodegradable, making it easier to dispose of than concrete or glass.”

Next we have a story that I don’t think anyone can complain about. From WCAI, Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade. “Harwich residents brought doughnuts out for Eversouce Energy workers on Tuesday morning as the crew put up a nest platform for a pair of ospreys on Route 28. The birds arrived in the area at the end of March for nesting season but when they went to settle into their old haunt on top of a telephone pole, the nest was gone. Eversource had dismantled the osprey’s nest and covered the site with a rounded plastic guard because the nest posed a safety hazard, says Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. ‘It is a matter of a risk to our electric system, to people and to ospreys themselves, in fact, as these nests do have the potential to cause a fire.’ Every time Eversouce takes down an osprey nest from one of their utility poles, they look for a nearby location to build an alternative nesting platform, Lamberty says. But they can’t always find a good spot…This time though, the birds got lucky. After bird watcher Sally Steinmann of South Harwich complained to Eversource, the company agreed to build a nest platform off a nearby utility pole. ‘The public outcry is what made this happen,’ Steinmann says. ‘But it’s the birds who made us want to help them.’”

Speaking of grid hazards, most people think cyber attacks are the greatest threat to the electric grid. It turns out that’s not the case. From Inside Sources, “Last week, President Donald Trump released an executive order intended to protect the U.S. from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks against the electric grid. But there is another threat to the grid, one that is far more low-tech and far more common, than a smuggled EMP device: Squirrels. ‘I’m all for increasing grid resilience, but here’s a threat priority list: 1. Squirrels 2. Tree branches 3. Heat waves/hurricanes/other climate-amplified threats,’ joked Costa Samaras, an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation in a tweet. He may have been joking, but his math is dead on.  For a small mammal, squirrels cause a surprising amount of damage to the grid. In 2016 alone, utilities reported 3,456 outages caused by squirrels, cutting off power to more than 193,873 customers. These incidents are more common in the spring and fall but can happen throughout the year. To try to stop the furry menaces and to keep equipment safe, utility companies employ a variety of deterrents like wheels, cages, and guards. Despite these efforts, squirrels are a constant operating hazard.” And here I thought keeping them out of the bird feeder was hard enough.

That’s the news for this week. Enjoy the stories below. Have a great weekend. And if you’re running Boston on Monday, take care and have fun!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Sen. Markey unveils federal pipeline safety legislation named after Leonel Rondon, killed in Valley gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Pennsylvania governor under scrutiny for role in approving pipeline, The Guardian

Trump Plans to Sign Executive Orders to Expedite Pipelines, Wall St. Journal

Study: Natural gas pipelines leaking in Danbury, other cities, Connecticut Post

Power Plant Hearings End, Decision This Summer, ECO RI

Compressor Station Opponents Urged to Oppose Gas, ECO RI

Trump’s order would make it harder for states to block pipelines, Kennebec Journal

Utility Blamed for Gas Explosions Resumes Efforts to Replace Damaged Heating Equipment, NECN

Ocean uproar: saving marine life from a barrage of noise, Nature

Dominion gas explosion kills one, injures 17 in North Carolina, Utility Dive

‘Bomb Trains.’ Trump’s Plan to Ship Natural Gas by Rail Raises Alarm, Fortune

MIT says we’re overlooking a near-term solution to diesel trucking emissions, Ars Technica

Inside the Gas Industry’s Plan to Sink Nuclear Power, Daily Beast

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Climate Change Is Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis, The New Yorker

Is Mass. Keeping Its Offshore Wind, Hydro Procurement Promises?, Climate X Change

Global CO2 levels ‘unprecedented’ in last 3M years, E&E News

Millennial legislators bond around push for renewables, Taunton Gazette

Investors Should Worry If Climate Goals Are Missed, Report Warns, Bloomberg

Maryland General Assembly approves 50 percent renewable energy target for 2030, The Baltimore Sun

Nahant earns Green Community designation, Daily Item

100% renewable energy ‘moonshot’ for millennials at Fitchburg State forum, Telegram

Among other millennials, Framingham state Rep. Maria Robinson pushes for renewables, MetroWest Daily News

Climate Change Throws Shade on Forest Wildflowers, Boston University

UNH research: 14 wild bee species native to New England on the decline, New Hampshire Union Leader

Biomass plants ask state Supreme Court to intervene over law, WMUR

 

Wind

State delays decision on Vineyard Wind cable, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind commits to fisheries monitoring, Cape Cod Times

New Jerseyans like the idea of expanding wind power, poll finds, NJ 101.5

New Jersey governor unveils portal to enhance state’s offshore wind supply chain, Utility Dive

US grid developer seeks offshore insights, reNews

Scaling the US East Coast offshore wind industry to 20 gigawatts and beyond, McKinsey & Company

Offshore wind output beats solar for the first time in Germany, Recharge

Bernie Sanders Video Mocks Trump for Being the ‘Only Person in the World’ Who Believes Wind Turbines Cause Cancer, Newsweek

Windsor and Sanford Residents voice their displeasure with a planned wind turbine project, WICZ

 

Solar

L.A. could replace traditional power plants with home solar, experts say, NBC News

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

As key solar perk hits sunset, CT grapples with net metering, Connecticut Post

SW looks at solar panels on school roofs, Journal Inquirer

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Windows made of transparent wood could help keep buildings warm, New Scientist

States can grow battery resources with ‘one simple step,’ report finds, Utility Dive

Eversource advances Cape Cod battery project, defers 13-mile distribution line, Utility Dive

Energy efficiency utilities offer $500 incentive for weatherization, VTDigger

MASS SAVE earns 2019 Energy Star® partner of the year – sustained excellence award, Utility Dive

Researchers charge ahead on battery storage, Phys.org

Vattenfall to test salt-based power storage technology, Reuters

 

EVs

Bipartisan group of lawmakers proposes extending tax credits for electric, fuel cell vehicles, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Three Mile Island nuclear reactor dismantling could take six decades, more than $1 billion, Philadelphia Enquirer

NRC sets Sept. hearing date for C-10’s filing, Newburyport Daily News

Indian Point Unit 3 returns to service after final refueling, Mid-Hudson News

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewing Millstone decommissioning funds, The Day

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bailout Plan for the State’s Two Nuclear Power Plants, WKSU

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource fights to keep Northern Pass alive, Boston Globe

This Threat To America’s Energy Grid Is Driving Security Experts Nuts, Inside Sources

How the Energy Department Tackles Cyberthreats, Fedtech Magazine

Berkshire delegation says Baker’s cuts to LIHEAP ‘a shock,‘ Berkshire Eagle

ISO-NE considers new seasonal forward market to improve energy security, Utility Dive

CMP wins key certificate from regulators for transmission line, Portland Press Herald

Watertown hydro plant’s three turbines creating power, Watertown Daily Times

Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade, Cape and Islands NPR

Opponents of CMP transmission line project push bills to slow it down, Portland Press Herald

$30M in state funding available for electric grid projects, Syracuse.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Nuclear Power Can Save the World, New York Times

Gas hookup moratoriums are not good for any of us, CommonWealth Magazine

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

Power companies must prove need for extending natural gas pipelines in New England (Letters), MassLive

Steven Kahl: The Electric Economy is the future, Kennebec Journal

As I See It: Solar on all new homes would help protect Massachusetts’ air and water, Telegram

Retiring our nuclear plants would be a costly mistake, former federal energy official says, NJ.com

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

Energy News for week ending October 19, 2018

More Wind off Mass. | Price Volatility this Winter | Say it isn’t so!

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get to the news

From MassLive, “Nearly 400,000 acres of the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area will be up for grabs in December, as the Trump administration holds its next offshore wind auction, officials announced this week. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke revealed Wednesday that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction off 388,569 acres located on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts on Dec. 13. A total of 19 companies — including Deepwater Wind New England, LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Northeast Wind Energy, LLC, among others — have qualified to take part in the auction, according to the agency’s final sale notice.”

According to S&P Global Platts, “Regional pipeline constraints in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles increase the risk of energy market price volatility this coming winter, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Thursday… New England continued to be a potential trouble spot, amid growing gas dependence for home heating and generation and constrained pipeline capacity, FERC staff said. Two rule changes could help, however, said John Sillin of FERC’s enforcement office. ISO-NE is integrating price-response demand into the daily energy market and adding pay-for-performance capacity market incentives… Reflecting on the New England market, Commissioner Richard Glick suggested a need to look at more demand-side management to ‘squeeze more out of the market … if we’re not going to get more pipelines for one reason or another.’”

And last for this week, please say it isn’t so! From Nature, “Extreme weather caused by climate change can have devastating effects — and it turns out that not even beer is safe. More frequent droughts and heat waves in the twenty-first century will reduce global production of barley, finds a study published on 15 October in Nature Plants. In turn, it finds, this will decrease the supply of beer and drive up prices, even under best-case-scenario models of climate change… If people ‘want to drink beer when we watch football, then we have to do something’ …”

Have a great weekend.

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says it has paid out $20M for gas explosion claims, Boston Business Journal

Locked-out Grid workers cleared to help in Merrimack Valley, Newburyport Daily News

Columbia Gas reverses policy, will not reclaim temporary heat sources from homes, Eagle Tribune

Massachusetts DPU halts statewide pipeline work by Columbia Gas, MassLive

NTSB: Columbia Gas ignored critical pressure sensor, Eagle-Tribune

Columbia Gas launches plan to support businesses impacted by gas disaster, MassLive

After Merrimack Valley explosions, natural gas comes under sharp scrutiny, Boston Globe

Merrimack Valley explosions intensify calls to wean state off gas, Boston Globe

A Month Later, Crisis In Merrimack Valley Continues, WGBH

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey request info on homes damaged, residents displaced by Merrimack Valley gas explosions, MassLive

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Ceremony to commission controversial Oxford power plant, Middletown Press

Oxford power plant is commissioned, The Advocate

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, National Wind Watch

Generation: Despite headwinds, natural gas reliance set to grow in much of US, Utility Dive

Can Non-Pipeline Alternatives Curb New York’s Rising Natural Gas Demand?, Greentech Media

Quincy council summons National Grid president amid lockout, Patriot Ledger

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Natick Awarded Grant for Municipal Clean Energy Projects, USA Patch

City Council seeks legal opinion on permits for controversial East Springfield biomass power plant, MassLive

Environmentalists look to cut fossil fuel usage, The Telegraph

Democratic lawmakers push renewable energy strategy, New Hampshire Union Leader

RGGI regulating power imports could happen, experts say, carbon-pulse.com

NYISO Proposes Border Pricing Plan for Carbon, RTO Insider

UMass Amherst Again Ranked among Top 50 Green Colleges by Princeton Review, UMass Amherst

Officials push for ‘green’ power projects for Woonsocket, Woonsocket Call

EPA program will prioritize renewable energy projects in Mass., Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut, Reuters

Climate change is about to make your beer more expensive, Nature

Mass. clean energy firms grow headcount amid green tech boom, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Walsh Outlines Plan To Protect Boston Harbor From Flooding, WBUR

Campaign Countdown: Vermont’s energy future, WCAX

 

Wind

Trump administration to hold Massachusetts offshore wind auction in December, Masslive

What New England Can Learn From Kansas About Creating A Wind Energy Economy, WNPR

Offshore wind CEO bullish on American market, Axios

Report: Moving disputed Falmouth turbine would cost $3M, Cape Cod Times

What’s next for Falmouth turbines?, Cape Cod Times

Tug Hill alliance grows, secures funds for wind farm review, National Wind Watch

Denton pitches wind turbine on City Hall, Seacoastonline.com

Relocation of Falmouth turbine could net town $5.7M, Cape Cod Times

New Site Proposed For Wind 2 At Wastewater Treatment Plant, Falmouth Enterprise

 

Solar

Residents express few concerns at public hearing on Farmington solar project, Kennebec Journal

Norwich tinkerer takes on do-it-yourself solar energy system, The Day

Wind & Solar Account for At Least 20% Of Electricity In 10 States, CleanTechnica

Bill threatens growth of state solar farms, Republican American

New York State Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects, Energy Manager Today

Residential outcry causes Pittsfield ZBA to delay vote, continue hearing next month on 25-acre solar proposal, Berkshire Eagle

What a New Order Means for Community Solar and Storage in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Retains Top Spot on ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ACHR News

MA Ranked 5th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalWorcester

NH gets mixed reviews on energy efficiency, New Hampshire Business Review

RI is 4th Most Energy Efficient State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Bringing Energy Storage to Energy Markets, Union of Concerned Scientists

 

EVs

Electric Vehicles: The Swiss army knife of the grid, Utility Dive

A Microgrid for Every Electric Bus Stop in Martha’s Vineyard Town, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

NRC approves Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

NRC allows spending $20M on Vt. Yankee spent fuel, The Recorder

After federal OK, one hurdle remains for Vermont Yankee transfer, Keene Sentinel

Entergy targets post-shutdown savings at Pilgrim after key NRC approval, Nuclear Energy Insider

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

US FERC winter outlook flags risk of volatility in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, S&P Global Platts

Utility to run line under Kennebec Gorge, CommonWealth Magazine

Gloucester signs new electricity provider, Gloucester Times

On eve of hearing, business and labor groups say they back CMP power line through western Maine, Portland Press Herald

Report challenges environmental benefits of CMP project, Portland Press Herald

Great Bay Towns Turn Out Against Transmission Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Seacoast Reliability Project decision expected by early December, Seacoastonline.com

Norwalk Harbor Commission turns to consultant on Eversource cable route, The Hour

Quincy council subpoenas National Grid president, Patriot Ledger

Powerline from Canada through NH, eyed for Mass. clean energy, not dead yet, MassLive

Conn. company is accused of overcharging more than 100K Mass. residents for electricity, Boston Globe

NY regulators weigh proposals to enhance distributed generation, Utility Dive

US FERC`s LaFleur says some power grid security interventions `commercially motivated,’ Energy Central

 

Editorial/Opinion

Want Boston To Be A Carbon-Neutral City? Raise Energy Efficiency Standards For Buildings, WBUR

We need more, not less, competition for offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter: Sununu has been a stumbling block to offshore wind, Eagle-Tribune

Letter to the editor: Renewable electricity worth some sacrifices, Portland Press Herald

Efficiency is the most affordable energy solution, by Nancy Gillard, Keene Sentinel

National Grid lockout puts profit first, workers and safety last, Boston Globe

Baker, DeLeo need to step up on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

In an era of climate urgency, we need a carbon tax, Boston Globe

Vehicle emissions rollback shouldn’t stop utilities from investing in electric vehicles, Utility Dive

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

Energy News for week ending August 17, 2018

Abnormally hot | There’s something in the water | Focus on affordability

Happy Friday afternoon.

If you think it’s been hot this summer and your electric bill is skyrocketing from running the A/C so much, you might want to skip this story from US News and World Report, 2018 to 2022 Expected to Be Abnormally Hot. “Around the world, the years 2018 to 2022 are expected to be abnormally hot. According to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers developed a new system that predicted the current record-setting heat wave will likely continue through 2022, according to a press release. Most recently, June 2018 was the third warmest June on record for the U.S., July was the 11th warmest and the period from May through July was the warmest ever on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The press release stated temperatures will likely be hotter than expected because of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cooling off often means a dip in the water. And while people swimming off the Cape have sharks to worry about, the folks on Block Island need not worry about the exposed electric cable. According to a story in the Block Island Times, brought to us via National Wind Watch, Grid seeking remedy to cable issue, “The sea2shore transmission cable, installed by National Grid as part of the Block Island Wind Farm project, can now be seen about 25 feet from Town Beach at low tide…Beachgoers were floating and swimming above the cable, which at low tide was about three feet below the water…There are 34,500 volts running through the cable. ‘While we share the concern about public safety, we are confident that the cable itself is, as it always has been, safe even if not fully covered by sediment,’ he [Ted Kresse, Director of Strategic Communications for National Grid] said.”

Last story for this week we bring an article from Vermont Biz New England governors urge ISO-NE to focus on affordability, “Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement related to ISO New England and affordable electricity… ‘Affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental precursor for a vibrant and competitive New England economy. New England states have to be competitive to attract and retain businesses and residents. Efforts must be made to keep electric rates as affordable as possible. Increasingly, cleaner sources of energy have also become important to our energy system, regional economy, and shared environment. It is vital that our pursuit of a reliable and lower-carbon grid leverage available technologies and competitive markets to foster affordable electric rates for all consumers, particularly the most vulnerable among us…’”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New Granite Bridge gas pipeline gains support, New Hampshire Union Leader

Tennessee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop, MassLive

FERC rules in favor of natural gas pipeline project, WKBW

The Latest Pipeline Battle Is Ramping Up in New York, The Nation

As National Grid lockout enters week 8, some say ‘hard feelings’ will linger beyond bargaining, Boston Business Journal

The US’ hidden methane problem, Climate Home News

Is the anti-pipeline playbook starting to work?, E and E News

Report: Cheap Natural Gas and Renewables Could Close Half of US Coal Fleet by 2030, Greentech Media

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Somerset has $10M in free cash certified; among first in the state, Herald News

Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands, Portland Press Herald

Run on renewables: Real estate trusts finally start going green, Boston Business Journal

Advocates say clean energy bill falls short, Gloucester Times

2018 to 2022 Expected to Be Abnormally Hot, US News and World Report

Global Warming? Tell it to the Judge, US News and World Report

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind has a big selling point for its power: cheaper prices, The Boston Globe

NJBPU unveils financing rules for offshore wind, NJBiz

Researchers studying seafloor at offshore wind site, Herald News

New York studies European offshore wind industry to inform development plans, Utility Dive

Atlantic Wind hearings continue before the Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board, Times News Online

Wind farm project on Quebec’s North Shore divides government, Hydro Quebec, CTV News Montreal

Grid seeking remedy to cable issue, Block Island Times via National Wind Watch

 

Solar

State approves rezoning 700 acres in Hancock County for use as a solar farm, MSN

Encore Renewable Energy to Develop 10 MW of Solar Capacity in Vermont, Acres

Massachusetts’ New Clean Energy Bill: Heavy On Storage, Light On Solar, Solar Industry

Town ordered to allow church solar panels, WickedLocal.com

Neighbors object to Webster solar energy project, Worcester Telegram

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big NYC Landlords Join Plan to Cut Energy Use 20% by 2030, Bloomberg L.P.

Green Mountain Power uses Tesla Power Walls to reduce electricity demand, VTDigger

Liquid battery could lead to flexible energy storage, Phys.org

Commercial buildings in Agawam now eligible for special clean energy financing, MassLive

Will energy efficiency stall climate disruption?, David Suzuki Foundation Blog

 

EVs

Governors and premiers promote electric vehicle revolution, VTDigger

Electric vehicle charging takes longer in cold weather, researchers say, The Day

 

Nuclear

New England Governors Highlight Value of Nuclear for Their Region, Electric Energy Online

VY completes another decommissioning milestone, The Commons Online

NRC finishes inspection of Seabrook nuclear plant, Newburyport Daily News

Prospective Pilgrim owner touts experience, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Maine environmental group opposes Mass. energy transmission project, Worcester Business Journal

New England governors urge ISO-NE to focus on affordability, Vermont Biz

New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council, MassLive

NEPOOL Files Press Ban with FERC, RTO Insider

Overheard at New York Energy Market Summit, RTO Insider

Suit alleging CMP fraud filed in Portland, Portland Press Herald

Eversource persists with Conn. Water buyout bid, Journal Inquirer

Eversource appeals Northern Pass case to NH Supreme Court, WMUR

Power: BEDC Laments Disruption, Instability from National Grid, This Day

Lawsuit alleges CMP workers were told to blame customers for their high bills, Press Herald

CMP says ‘We’re sorry’ for response to billing complaints, Maine Biz

Environmentalists: Power from massive Canadian dams isn’t renewable, Bennington Banner

 

Editorial/Opinion

The NIMBY State: Saying no to new energy, New Hampshire Union Leader

Letter: William J. Eccleston: Proposed natural gas plant would harm the ecology, Providence Journal

Columnists Ariel Moyal and Julie Johnson: Leadership needed on renewable energy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Enviro group: Hydro contract bad for Maine, Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Our View: Ignoring climate change puts Mainers in danger, Portland Press Herald

Op-Ed: Learn from Europe, Keep Wind Generation and Transmission Separate, NJ Spotlight

Maine Voices: Absent oversight, condo associations can stymie energy-efficiency goals, Portland Press Herald

Unions: National Grid’s lockout is threat to public safety, The Lowell Sun

Mass. puts wind power in gear, CommonWealth Magazine

Is wind power blowing holes in Hydro-Québec’s profits?, Globe and Mail

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

Energy News for week ending May 25, 2018

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

 

Happy Friday!

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Offshore Wind/83C RFP/RI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baker makes bold bet on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Divided FERC restricts climate impacts in pipeline reviews, Utility Dive

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

NH court OKs novel pipeline financing approach, CommonWealth Magazine

Court Overturns Pipeline Denial, Valley News

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

The Great American Fracking Bubble, CleanTechnica

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Impacts, RTO Insider

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

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

Turbine will not spin again in Falmouth, Cape Cod Times

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

City Council to talk solar power, The Laconia Daily Sun

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

 

EVs

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

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

 

Nuclear

NorthStar makes new promises for Vermont Yankee purchase, Brattleboro Reformer

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

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

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

Proposed NRC rule changes raise safety concerns, Cape Cod Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

Eversource Under Fire For Gas Rate Hike Request, Hartford Courant

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

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

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

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

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

Utilities slow in reducing charges, Salem News

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concerns raised over CMP transmission line proposal, Daily Bulldog

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Offshore wind rush is irresponsible, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural gas is not a clean fuel, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to put a price on carbon, CommonWealth Magazine

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

“Green” energy, an environmental disaster, PowerLine Blog

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

Energy News for week ending March 30, 2018

We’re on to Maine | Shut it down | A look inside

Happy Friday afternoon.

The big news this week, as Bill Belichick might say, is “We’re on to Maine.” In a succinctly worded announcement on the Massachusetts Clean Energy website, the new direction for the clean energy procurement went from Eversource’s Northern Pass project to Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project. The announcement read in part, “The Electric Distributions Companies are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (“NECEC Hydro”) and intend to execute agreements with NECEC Hydro for submittal to the Department of Public Utilities, assuming negotiations are concluded successfully.” For your reading enjoyment, we have included a whole section of stories related to this news.

But even before the Clean Energy Connect news broke, the Press Herald reported that new opposition is “ramping up” to CMP’s project. Tux Turkel writes, “A trio of companies, (Calpine Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Bucksport Generation LLC) which together own one-third of Maine’s generating capacity, say subsidized power from Canada could upend New England’s competitive, wholesale electric market and make some existing power plants in Maine too costly to run when they’re needed. They also say a big slug of power from Hydro-Quebec over a high-voltage, direct current line will make it technically difficult for new Maine-based wind and solar to connect to the region’s electric grid.

Normally when you hear, “shut it down” in the energy industry, it usually comes from anti-nuclear or anti-gas protesters. But this week it was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey who is aiming to shut down the residential competitive supply market. According to a story on WGBH News by Colin Young of the State House News Service, “Electric customers in Massachusetts who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $176.8 million more than they would have had they stayed with their utility company from July 2015 to June 2017, the two-year period during which Healey’s office was investigating the industry, her office announced…Healey said she plans to work with the Legislature, the Department of Public Utilities and the energy industry “to close down the market for individual residential competitive electric supply in Massachusetts.”

I have to say, as someone who has hung up on countless suppliers, had debates at my front door with electric supply salespersons, and counseled volunteers working with the elderly who have switched suppliers multiple times and faced huge penalties – at a minimum something needs to be done to reign in deceptive practices and to get the bad actors out of the game. The good news is that AG Healey already did that with Viridian, as was reported in the Boston Globe “An electricity supplier will pay $5 million to settle claims of deceptive marketing and sales tactics that resulted in consumers being overcharged, according to state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office. In addition to the settlement payout announced Wednesday, Viridian Energy LLC of Norwalk, Conn., agreed it would not market its electricity supply door-to-door in Massachusetts for the next two years and that it would change some of its marketing methods.” Hear, Hear!

Last for this week is a recently released video from ISO New England that “takes you inside the ISO, showcasing how the grid operator keeps the lights on across New England – today and in the future. Shot at the ISO offices and throughout New England, the video looks at the transformation occurring in New England, as the region transitions from a grid powered by oil and coal plants to one more reliant on renewable energy.”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds, New York Times

State Lawmaker Secretly Sends Constituent’s Emails to Gas Pipeline Lobbyist, (MA) Huffington Post

National Grid proposes gas line along bike path, Glens Falls Post-Star

Natural gas expansion project starts in April, New Canaan Advertiser

Judge rules civil disobedience a ‘necessity’ to prevent climate change, ThinkProgress

West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline in Boston Criminal Trial Downgraded, Patch.com

Natural Gas Act preempts local efforts to preclude construction of compressor station, Lexology

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Bill Adds Wood to RI’s Renewable-Energy Portfolio, ecoRI news

New Jersey foresees RGGI re-entry in 2019, Carbon Pulse

Massachusetts announces funding for woodstove rebate program, Biomass Magazine

Trump to allow more car pollution. But by how much?, EandE News

Walsh: Despite cost, city must stem climate change tide, Boston Herald

Renewables or Nuclear? A New Front in the Academic War Over Decarbonization, Greentech Media

 

Wind

800 Megawatt Bay State Wind US Offshore Project Partners To Combine Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Is Offshore Wind a Better Deal With Batteries?, Greentech Media

Deepwater commits to making foundations in Massachusetts, Recharge

Hopkinton residents receive letter from wind company offering payments on electric bills, Watertown (NY) Daily News

Deepwater’s Offshore Wind Plans Could Revolutionize Mass. Workforce and Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

Deepwater Wind narrows locations to New Bedford, Fall River or Somerset, South Coast Today

Vineyard Wind to do 3rd round of marine surveys, South Coast Today

BOEM seeks public comment on proposed offshore Massachusetts wind farm, Windpower Engineering and Development

Governor looking to kill wind power, Sun Journal

 

Solar

Solar facility proposed for former landfill, The Laconia Daily Sun

Solar developer in a vortex of court filings, Bennington Banner

MWRTA installing solar canopy in Framingham, MetroWest Daily News

Solar Power Energy Payback Time Is Now Super Short, CleanTechnica

Moratorium on solar farms sought in Charlton, Worcester Telegram

New Energy Plan Clears Legislative Committee, But More Changes Expected, Hartford Courant

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Environmental groups call on Senate to support energy-efficiency bill, WMUR Manchester

Annual Update on Energy Efficiency from America’s Utilities, Natural Resources Defense Council

Good News: Congress Stands Up for Energy Efficiency with Omnibus Bill, ACEEE Press Release

Mass Save beginning in Brockton through Revise Energy, Cape Verdean Association, Enterprise

 

Nuclear

Companies propose solution for Vermont Yankee spent fuel, Brattleboro Reformer

Tainted water shipments continue at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Vt. Yankee citizens panel reviews decommissioning memo, The Recorder

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Begins Final Refueling, The Examiner News

ITER nuclear fusion project avoids delays as U.S. doubles budget, Reuters

Del. Group Seeks to Block Artificial Island Project, RTO Insider

As Nuclear Plant Closes, Fears Shift From Contamination to Financial Pain, Wall Street Journal

FirstEnergy Solutions will close its nuclear power plants, but is silent on bankruptcy restructuring (photos), Plain Dealer

Pilgrim review draws support, criticism, Cape Cod Times

 

83D Mass RFP

Unexpected foes emerge to CMP’s plan to build transmission line to Canada, Press Herald

Three companies seek to block CMP’s Hydro Quebec transmission project, Mainebiz

$950M power grid project could tunnel under Kennebec River Gorge, Bangor Daily News

Baker pulls the plug on Eversource, The Boston Globe

In reversal, Massachusetts puts CMP in lead position for $950 million power line project, Press Herald

Massachusetts pulls out of Northern Pass energy deal, WMUR Manchester

Avangrid Wins Mega Transmission Project In New England, Forbes

Massachusetts Sinks Eversource Power Project, Picks Avangrid (1), Bloomberg BNA

Mass. And Utilities Ditch NH-Routed Northern Pass For Hydro Project Through Maine, WBUR

Maine In, NH Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts, New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Site Evaluation Committee should stand firm on Northern Pass decision, New Hampshire Business Review

Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass, The Valley Patriot

Massachusetts hydro power will come through Maine, not White Mountains, Wicked Local

Next up, Central Maine Power, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts ditches Northern Pass, looks to CMP for clean energy goals, Utility Dive

 

Electric Vehicles

Prospects of Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles Boosted with Chinese Backing, Energy Collective

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Staying a Step Ahead: A look inside ISO-NE and the region’s changing power system, (video) ISONewswire.com

Grid security falls to industry to self-regulate, Salem News

Raimondo: Report critical of National Grid’s response to October storm, ProJo

Peeved about power? Eversource defends its efforts, Wicked Local Brewster

Electricity supplier to pay $5 million to settle claims it misled Massachusetts customers, Boston Globe

Vermont Public Utility Commission approves release of request for proposals for Standard Offer program, Daily Energy Insider

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, (Press Release)

Call For ‘Stiff Penalties’ Vs. Utility Companies Made By County Legislators, White Plains Daily Voice

Healey: Shut Down Competitive Electric Residential Supply Market, WGBH

Lawmakers grill CMP on handling of October storm, WGME

Microgrid Projects and Virtual Power Plants from Maine to Australia, Microgrid Knowledge

Exelon Generation Files to Retire Mystic Generating Station in 2022, Absent Any Regulatory Solution, Business Wire (press release)

RI Officials: National Grid’s October Storm Response Was Inadequate, Rhode Island Public Radio

What is up with your electric bill? Eversource explains, Wicked Local

 

Editorial/Opinion

Editorial: A pipeline lesson for Virginia, courtesy of Massachusetts, Richmond.com

The best chance for offshore wind in Mass., The Boston Globe

Expanding access for harvesting the sun, Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Boston’s ad hoc planning doesn’t work with climate change, Boston Globe

New England’s largest battery, CommonWealth Magazine

The era of conventional nuclear power may be ending, Washington Examiner

Northern Pass or another path?, NH Business Review

EDITORIAL: Mass. hydropower pact takes a detour, Lowell Sun

Oppose Eversource’s use of herbicides — now, Cape Cod Times

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

Energy News for week ending March 16, 2018

Russians at the switch | Mortally wounded |Clean Peak Standard | What’s in a name

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week brings disconcerting energy news of Russian cyberattacks where hackers had their fingers on the switches at US power plants. According to the story in the New York Times, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will…‘We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,’ said Eric Chien, a security technology director at Symantec, a digital security firm. ‘From what we can see, they were there. They have the ability to shut the power off. All that’s missing is some political motivation,’ Mr. Chien said.”

Earlier in the week, Portland Press Herald wrote about the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s decision to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass Project, “The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor…The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from Beattie Township, on the Canadian border north of Route 27 and Coburn Gore, through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail. The project cost would be borne by Massachusetts electricity customers.”

Speaking of Massachusetts, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection…The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”

Utility Dive noted that one provision of the bill is the creation of a “new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive…The proposed legislation language would direct the Department of Energy Resource to create a new clean peak standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers. The standard will require all retail electricity suppliers to provide ‘a minimum percentage of kilowatt-hour sales’ from clean peak energy resources, ultimately determined by regulations. The legislation specifies that, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ the Clean Peak Standard cannot raise individual customer rates more than $0.005/kWh in the aggregate of any year.”

Last for this week, and to end on a lighter note, is a story from Newhampshire.com which reports that some folks in New Hampshire, Seabrook to be specific, are having a hard time believing that Disney writers weren’t making ties to their community in a movie called “Zombies.” The movie is, “set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem? The fictional town is named Seabrook.” Seabrook Selectman Aboul Khan said that he’s not “worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant. ‘We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,’ he said. ‘We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.’”

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Gas Pipeline Buildout Hits Bottleneck in Massachusetts, Natural Gas Intelligence

Scituate is withdrawing their opposition to Invenergy and their support for Burrillville, Uprise RI

Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?, Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers hear dueling pipeline positions, Hartford Business

From Asthma to Cancer, ‘Blistering’ New Report Details Human Cost of Fracking, EcoWatch

New York Loses Bid to Block Millennium Gas Line Project, Bloomberg Quint

Pipeline Opponents Pleased With Caveats, Valley News

Federal Regulators End Key Tax Benefit for Certain Pipeline Companies, Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Storms focus attention on climate change, as Gov. Charlie Baker releases $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, MassLive

Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive

Push is on for carbon tax in New York, Lockport Journal

Clean energy projects in Albany to get share of $1.4 billion in state money, Albany Business Review

Regional plan could provide local say on renewables, Stowe Reporter

3rd District candidate unveils green-jobs plan, Lowell Sun

State of renewables not what you might think, Rutland Herald

Could FERC Order Put State Clean Energy Policies in Danger?, Greentech Media

Report: Severe weather in Northeast tied to warming Arctic, Cape Cod Times

Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security, Natural Resources Defense Council

Towns tell state leaders to act on climate change. Are they listening?, vtdigger.org

Connecticut renewable energy supporters to push for legislative gains, Litchfield County Times

Climate Change Resolution Adopted In 35 Communities, Vermont Public Radio

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse featured among ‘Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy’, MassLive.com

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, CleanTechnica

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

NA Markets: Compliance demand re-emerges in California as RGGI awaits next week’s auction, Carbon Pulse

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

 

Wind

Bay State Wind Teams With Massachusetts Energy Storage Company, NA Windpower

Ocean City loses bid to push back offshore wind developments, Delmarvanow.com

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind backers push New London area as potential hub, theday.com

Report Quantifies Economic Impact Of Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Proposal, North American Windpower

Offshore wind company partners with Red Sox, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind plans workforce development, Barnstable Patriot

Bay State joins permit fast lane, reNews

 

Solar

Worry over solar sprawl spreads across Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Solar-powered brewery donates extra power to senior center, Caledonian Record

US solar forecast ratcheted down as tariffs weigh, The Week

Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well, Washington Post

Vermont lodge and bierhall goes solar, Solar Power World

A Push To Expand A Struggling Sector Of Solar Energy In Connecticut, WSHU

Wilton among state leaders in solar technology, Thehour.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A global game changer for energy efficiency investments, Environmental Defense Fund

How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery, Treehugger

Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings, Bloomberg

Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy, Popular Science

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy, Hartford Courant

For utilities trying to drive conservation, mixed messages may be best, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

Vermont Yankee sale case will extend into summer, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Community Engagement Experience Takes Place On Saturday in Barnstable, CapeCod.com News

Disney: ‘ZOMBIES’ movie set in power plant town called ‘Seabrook’ a coincidence, NewHampshire.com

Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power, Futurism

The quiet fight to finally send nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Washington Examiner

Nuclear subsidy bill re-engineered as three separate measures, NJSpotlight.com

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable, Greentech Media

 

Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are becoming increasingly greener in the US thanks to a cleaner electric grid, Energy Central

Pennsylvania proposal could bolster EV charging infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says, New York Times

Split FERC approves ISO-NE 2-part capacity market plan, Utility Dive

Powelson ‘very nervous’ about long-term reliability in ISO-NE, Utility Dive

ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation, Platts

Report Examines Comparatively High Expenses For New England’s Power Grid Operator, New England Public Radio

Lawyer: Site Evaluation Committee won’t decide whether to reconsider Northern Pass rejection until May, Union Leader

Time running short for N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Prospects improve for CMP’s $950 million power line plan, Press Herald

Northern Pass Hydropower Project Again Delayed, ecoRI news

Utility workers travel to restore Cape’s power, Cape Cod Times

State launches probe into utilities’ response to 2 storms, Albany Times Union

7News Investigates: Seeking Power Outage Solutions Underground, WHDH TV

Cryptocurrency Companies to See Electric Rates Rise in NY. Opening for Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Schneider Electric and REC Solar collaborate on Massachusetts microgrid, Solar Power World

Pennsylvania Microgrid Bill Wins Committee Vote. Heads to House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Stanley Rosenberg: Building our green, clean energy future, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Securing a clean energy future, Gloucester Times

Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs, Bangor Daily News

Letter: Thanks to supporters of renewable energy, Bennington Banner

New York Is Moving Aggressively To Harvest Its Offshore Wind, Forbes

Letter: A proposal on the Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee candor: A deal to decommission Vermont Yankee is promising, but only if it involves transparency, The Keene Sentinel

Stop pouring money into fusion energy research, Eagle Tribune

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