Tag Archives: nuclear

Energy News for week ending July 21, 2017

TGIF to all!  A few news items of note…

The Patriot Ledger reports Gov. Charlie Baker has broken his long silence on the controversial natural-gas compressor station Monday, ordering state agencies to review the Fore River project’s potential impact. Spectra Energy wants to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor on the river bank.

Construction has started on what is expected to be Maine’s largest municipally owned solar array. The one-megawatt solar array will be composed of 2,944 solar panels. Officials expect the array to generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year according to U.S. News & World Report.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee recently voted to slash Energy Star funding in the fiscal year 2018 budget — an improvement over previous calls to cut the program entirely, but advocates say the impact could still be “crippling.”

Natural Gas

Baker’s review of Weymouth compressor station applauded, Patriot Ledger

Stepping up the pressure, Boston Globe

State to look into health, safety concerns around Weymouth compressor station, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Gov. Baker orders state to investigate compressor station issues, Greenfield Recorder

Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property, Washington Post

Unitil to expand natural gas line through downtown, Fosters.com

Pipeline Construction, And Protests, Continue In Sandisfield, NEPR

Finding leaks while they’re easy to fix, MIT News

Renewables

South Portland’s Major Solar Array Project Begins, U.S. News & World Report

New Hampshire law benefits biomass power production, Biomass Magazine

Record Demand Puts Popular N.H. Renewable Energy Rebate Program On Hold, NHPR

Federal SunShot program funds $5.5M in Mass. solar projects, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

California Leads Off: Now RGGI Must Grab the Climate Baton, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource rate case poses woes for solar projects, Patriot Ledger

Solar debate heats up again, Boston Globe

Falmouth ruling bolsters cause for neighbors of Plymouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth – Episode 41 of Local Energy Rules Podcast, Renewable Energy News

Brookline launches renewable energy program with opt-out system, Wicked Local Brookline

Bay State Wind Receives First Offshore Wind Site Assessment Plan Approval in the United States, (Press Release) Business Wire

Maine large-scale manufacturers eligible for energy rebates, Mainebiz

Energy Efficiency

House Appropriations Committee votes to cut Energy Star funding 40%, Utility Dive

Green Energy Committee: Lincoln residents complete 162 home energy assessments, Wicked Local Lincoln

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Illuminate Six Ion Bank Branches, Patch.com

Nuclear

EXCLUSIVE: Gov’t Red Tape Costs Every Nuclear Plant $63 Million Annually, Daily Caller

Washington, DC firm signed to dismantle Vermont Yankee reactor, Commons

US Finds ‘Apparent Violations’ of Security at Millstone, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Delays Push Burrillville Power Plant Toward Irrelevance, ecoRI news

More than 100 state legislators join opposition against Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

New Energy Alert Can Do More Than Save You Money, ecoRI news

Vermont regulators to examine grid modernization, Utility Dive

Options for Energy Storage that Aren’t Batteries, WCAI

Electric meter mistake costs Monson family big bucks, Western Mass News

Indigenous Community Airs Long-Standing Grievances at Northern Pass Hearing, NHPR

Footprint plant work extension to go forward, The Salem News

In Webster, Residents Weigh In On New Proposed Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Quakers go on 60-mile pilgrimage from Portsmouth to Bow in protest of coal-fired plants, The Union Leader

Grid threats require ‘imagining the unimaginable’ — report, E&E News

Editorial/Opinion

Pilgrim closure requires oversight, not panic, Cape Cod Times

A lousy electric bill: Concord not on ratepayers’ side, The Union Leader

CMP chief: Lawmakers should sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of solar bill, Press Herald

Editorial: Bridging the gap of energy eras, Concord Monitor

Letter: Let Pessamit Innu speak on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Letter: Fight the power, Concord Monitor

Events

2017 Fuels Conference, Northeast Energy and Commerce Association, Marlborough, MA, September 27, 2017

Microgrid 2017 Conference, IDEA, MRC and Microgrid Knowledge, Boston, MA, November 6-8, 2017

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 2, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

The big news this week was President Trump pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement. We’ve devoted a whole section to it below that contains stories and analysis from near and far. Close to home, Boston Magazine reports on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s tough-talk tweets going viral. And, in the home of the Paris accord, Vox.com reports on French President Macron responding to Trump with a twist on his favorite phrase, “Make our planet great again.”

Eversource found its way into a number of articles this week. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Eversource still wants a $96 million rate increase next year, but it expects to reduce the share that would be paid by customers in Western Massachusetts. That made those folks happy, but according to CommonWealth Magazine, the rate case has had an opposite effect in seven metro suburbs. Bruce Mohl writes the “massive $96 million rate request filed by Eversource in January, would cut the so-called net metering rate from 22 cents a kilowatt hour to 13 cents a kilowatt hour, a 41 percent decrease. The details were included in a letter sent by the seven communities to the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday. The letter said Lexington stands to lose $372,000 in annual revenue under the proposal. Newton would lose nearly $365,000, Natick $300,000, and Weston nearly $284,000. Wayland, Westwood, and Arlington would lose lesser amounts.”

On a more positive note for solar, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy blogs about the wonderful opportunity for solar to help pollinators – especially bees. They say, “Swapping out gravel and turf grass, often located underneath solar panels, for native flowers and grasses, is a great way to provide pollen and nectar (2 main food sources) for nearby bees and other pollinators.” They even provide a link to lists of the best plants for your growing region. To help you out, here’s a link to the northeast plant list.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Climate Change/Paris Climate Accord

The 5 biggest deceptions in Trump’s Paris climate speech, Vox.com

Marty Walsh’s Viral Climate Moment, Boston Magazine

The Paris Climate Deal: How to Understand Trump’s Decision, New York Times

Read Obama’s statement on the Paris climate agreement, The Boston Globe

RI is vulnerable if US pulls out of Paris Accord, says scientist, The Providence Journal

Analysts: Leaving climate deal likely wouldn’t add US jobs, CT Post

Mass. critics slam Trump ditching climate accord, Milford Daily News

Three Coal Plants Close the Same Day Trump Said to Exit the Paris Agreement, Greentech Media

Energy Companies Urge Trump To Remain In Paris Climate Agreement, New England Public Radio

Defiant US Mayors Vow To Uphold Paris Climate Accord, Fast Company

Blumenthal: A Trump decision to exit Paris climate accord would cost CT jobs, The CT Mirror

French President Emmanuel Macron responds to Trump: “Make our planet great again,” Vox.com

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Vermont Gas introduces mobile home plan to save homeowners money, Vermont Biz

Weymouth to appeal DEP approval of Algonquin waterways permit, Wicked Local Weymouth

Toxins detected in air near Fore River Basin, doctor says, The Patriot Ledger

Report: Military-style tactics used against Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors, Des Moines Register

Appeal Filed over 2nd Pipeline Expansion Project, Patch.com

Renewable Energy

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Prices Lowest Since 2014, Power Engineering Magazine

Borrego Solar Completes 5 MW Solar Array on Decommissioned Landfill in Palmer, Mass, PV Solar Report

Scottish Power Wins Right to Build Two U.S. Offshore Wind Projects, Power Engineering

SouthCoast suppliers vie for piece of the offshore wind pie, SouthCoastToday.com

Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal, CommonWealth Magazine

Low carbon prices hang over RGGI as June auction approaches, Utility Dive

Six Things You Didn’t Know About the Offshore Wind Power Sector, POWER magazine

Wind projects a possible turning point for 18 ports, Boston Herald

Factcheck: Whale Strandings and Offshore Wind Farms, EcoWatch

What are the connections between solar power and honeybees?, Clean Energy News

Energy Efficiency

Report: Clean Energy Growing in States and Cities Nationwide, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency: The Foundation of Our Clean Energy Future, Natural Resources Defense Council

Predictions About Global Energy Efficiency Since the 1980s Have Been Wildly Conservative, Greentech Media

Residential Energy Efficiency: Taking It To The Next Level, CleanTechnica

Release—Finally—of Appliance Efficiency Standards Applauded, Bloomberg BNA

Nuclear

Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant To Shut Down In 2019, NPR

NRC holding public meeting on Seabrook nuclear plant, Seacoastonline.com

Vermont Yankee fuel move into more-secure storage is delayed, vtdigger.org

Millstone nuclear power and police accountability, CT Post

Connecticut Seeks to Support Nuclear Energy, Energy Collective

New Law Could Declare Nuclear Reactors To Be ‘Green Energy’ To Save Them, The Daily Caller

Fragile future for US nuclear power, BBC News

Feds face questions about redevelopment at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Gas May Be Killing the Nuclear Option, Bloomberg

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Utility plans jolt Sudbury, Hopkinton, and Needham, The Boston Globe

Study: New Resources Could ‘Crowd Out’ Old in ISO-NE, RTO Insider

Vermont utility offers $1,200 electric vehicle rebate, Utility DIVE

Cambridge ditches standard electric service to embrace green power, WickedLocal Cambridge

Eversource to cut rate increase in Western Massachusetts. Berkshire Eagle

New sewer concept would make energy, fertilizer from wastewater, MetroWest Daily News

State backs herbicide plan for 13 towns, Cape Cod Times

Medway: Grid operator would not allow Exelon postponement, Milford Daily News

Brayton Point powers down, Fall River Herald News

Northern Pass trek leads to $124 fines for 2 in Millsfield, NewHampshire.com

Northern Pass predicts financial windfall for towns, The Union Leader

National Grid, GE, 3M make power grid greener with gas-insulated switchgear, Electric Light & Power

Former power plant manager sentenced for emissions fraud, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Pass SB 129, save 900 jobs in New Hampshire, Energy Central

Offshore wind moving too slowly, CommonWealth Magazine

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Tom Perry: Energy Efficient Building and Retrofitting, Shelburne News

Facts show Millstone bill would fleece ratepayers, theday.com

Stay the course on climate, for the planet, Boston Globe

MICAHEL LANG, Braintree: Despite governmental layers, we’re not protected from compressor station, Patriot Ledger

Maine’s solar industry can employ the next generation, Bangor Daily News

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending May 12, 2017

Sandisfield, Massachusetts, population 915, has found itself in the news no fewer than five times this week. Why? It’s home to part of the Otis State Forest that is the new home of a natural gas pipeline. Some folks are unhappy about the pipeline so they protested and were arrested (Recorder). Then they built a protest cabin (Berkshire Eagle). And now, they are fighting for their day in court, by asking to be charged with more serious offenses (Berkshire Eagle). After reviewing the situation, DigBoston offers its take on how others can get a pipeline built in four easy steps as they say was done at the Otis State Forest.

Speaking of pipelines, the ProJo offers us a glimpse at how National Grid hunts down gas pipeline leaks in Rhode Island.

There are many renewable stories this week. For the curious, the BBJ asks (and gets answers for) just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters? CommonWealth Magazine reports a big international energy player is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts. Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind contracts.

Power Engineering reports that total U.S. electrical generation is set to fall 1.2 percent in 2017 before rebounding by 1.9 percent the next year, according to the latest short-term energy forecast from the Energy Information Administration. Even with the decline, residential electricity prices are expected to increase 2.4 percent in 2017 and another 2.3 percent in 2018.

Lastly, the good news is that for this summer, Utility DIVE reports that the Northeast Power Coordinating Council says the region will have enough power. However, the retirement of one of the largest coal- and oil-fired power plants in New England could put a premium on imports for the region in order to maintain reliability during extreme weather events this summer.

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

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Sandisfield residents upset over backyard pipeline, wwlp.com

Pipeline protests lead to more arrests, The Recorder

Pipeline resistance builds as ‘Thoreau’ protest cabin goes up in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline opponents vow to fight effort to reduce charges in Otis protests, Berkshire Eagle

How to build a natural gas pipeline in Mass in four easy steps, DigBoston

Town Draws Suit for Blocking Energy Firm’s Expansion, Courthouse News Service

Emails Show Spectra Lobbyists Cozy With Top Massachusetts Environmental Officials, DeSmog

Pipeline spill by Dakota Access company could have a ‘deadly effect’, Washington Post

Ohio officials: it will take decades for wetlands to recover after major pipeline fluid spill, ThinkProgress

Rhode Island tribe opposing Massachusetts pipeline claims FERC dropped ball on ceremonial stone landscapes, MassLive.com

Grafton town meeting puts opposition to pipeline on record, Worcester Telegram

Dakota Access pipeline suffers oil leak even before becoming operational, RT

DAPL pipeline owner blocked in Ohio after 18 leaks, 2 million gallon spill, Bismarck Tribune

How National Grid in RI hunts down leaks, The Providence Journal

Senate Defends Climate, Health by Voting Down Methane Resolution, Common Dreams

Renewable Energy

State tour on climate change and clean energy starts on Cape Cod, Cape Cod Times

Committee Kills Anti-Offshore Wind Turbine Bill, Freepress Online

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player, CommonWealth magazine

Richmond approves 23-acre solar installation with nearly 18000 panels, Westerly Sun

Antrim Wind project gets go-ahead again, could be appeal to NH Supreme Court be forthcoming, Keene Sentinel

Avangrid subsidiary gets 50 percent stake in Atlantic wind farm project, New Haven Register

Tesla starts selling solar roof; says savings to cover costs, CT Post

Vermont Renewable Energy Company Bought by St. Louis Firm, U.S. News & World Report

Hanover Becomes First New Hampshire Town to Commit to 100 Percent Renewable Energy, Energy Central

Connecticut Utility Regulator Issues Decision on CT Solar Lease, Energy Central

Massachusetts towns ditch standard electric service to embrace green power, Wicked Local Cambridge

Lawmakers vote against moving UMaine wind project farther from Monhegan, Portland Press Herald

Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last), Greentech Media

Just what is that thing on top of GE’s headquarters?, Boston Business Journal

Committee Set to Vote on Bill to Preserve Solar Incentives, Freepress Online

How Mainers keep finding new sources of energy, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Cambridge, Eversource partner to launch energy pilot, Wicked Local Cambridge

US Air Force Makes A $243 Million Energy Efficiency Pitch, CleanTechnica

Kenyon International Makes Moves to Become More Energy Efficient, Patch.com

Efficiency Vermont proposes 5% rate decrease, Vermont Biz

Nuclear

NRC issues Pilgrim inspection report, Cape Cod Times

US Energy Chief Touts Nuclear Energy, Vows Cleanup Progress, U.S. News & World Report

Why Nuclear Energy Doesn’t Dominate the Globe, Popular Mechanics

Millstone bill clears a committee hurdle, theday.com

Coalition wants state to reject part of Vermont Yankee plan, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee suitor: Public shouldn’t see ‘highly confidential’ plans, vtdigger.org

How is Vermont Yankee being kept safe?, wwlp.com

DHHS: No common cause in pediatric cancer cluster, Seacoastonline.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

In Massachusetts, utilities take a collaborative approach to EV infrastructure, Utility DIVE

Trump FERC Nominees Bring Certainty for Pipeline Development, Less Certainty for Distributed Energy, Greentech Media

Massachusetts Kicks off New Microgrid Effort. Offers Grants for Microgrid Feasibility Studies, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource Earnings Up, Northern Pass Seen on Schedule, RTO Insider

Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer, MassLive.com

Eversource projecting 1.4% increase in electric bills, The Union Leader

Southbury Eversource Customers to Pay More for Power, Patch.com

NH House panel shelves long-term power deal legislation, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass land purchases questioned, The Union Leader

U.S. Electrical Generation to Decline in 2017, Power Engineering

National Grid Taps AutoGrid for Multi-State Demand Response and Distributed Energy Software, Greentech Media

Mary Powell Is Not Your Typical Utility Executive, Greentech Media

NPCC: Northeast has sufficient power supplies to meet demand this summer, Utility DIVE

Editorial/Opinion

An ill wind blows in Augusta, Bangor Daily News

Kathy Sullivan: Hearings reveal true costs of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Letter: On Northern Pass, a visitor’s perspective, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts should raise its net energy metering caps, pv magazine USA

Robert Thorson: Climate Change And The Nuclear Power Riddle, Hartford Courant

Granite State Debates — Hunter Carbee: Biomass is a foundation of rural NH’s economy, Union Leader

Juliet Cuming: Renewable energy proud, vtdigger.org

Economy can grow under solar industry, Foster’s Daily Democrat

The downside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy, WindWatch.org

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending May 5, 2017

Good Friday afternoon.

This week’s energy news brings us more of the ongoing debate about natural gas pipelines. According to the Berkshire Eagle, 18 of about 50 protesters were arrested in Sandisfield, MA at the Otis State Forest. They are opposed to the FERC-approved Connecticut Expansion Project that adds 4 miles of new underground pipeline in Massachusetts. The State Police noted they wanted to be arrested.

On the flip side, another regional utility has sounded the alarm that new gas resources are needed. According to Utility DIVE, Unitil’s CEO and President Robert Schoenberger said during an earning’s call that the region, “cannot afford to allow all the shale gas to be going someplace else as opposed to taking advantage of it.”

One last note on natural gas, MarketWatch reports that the Energy Information Administration showed that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 67 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 28 and that June natural gas fell 3.2 cents, or 1%, from Wednesday’s settlement.

On the renewables side, CommonWealth Magazine reports that this past Monday Massachusetts utilities set in motion a first-of-its-kind procurement for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power. They asked Massachusetts regulators to approve a bid process that gives companies some flexibility in setting the size of their projects while requiring them to price out two very different approaches to delivering the electricity to the mainland. Further, the RFP also raises the possibility that Massachusetts could invite a Rhode Island utility and the state of Connecticut to participate in the solicitation.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

18 pipeline protesters arrested after blocking access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Unitil latest to sound alarm over Northeast pipeline capacity, Utility DIVE

Committee Kills Fracking Bill, Freepress Online

Weymouth urges DEP to deny air permit for Algonguin, Wicked Local Weymouth

Group opposing gas pipeline in Shrewsbury seeking public support, Wicked Local Shrewsbury

One year after Pa. quakes, geologists claim fracking is to blame, WYTV

Study: Oil companies should reuse wastewater produced by fracking, HPPR

Tenn. Gas Pipeline responds to protester arrests, The Recorder

Natural-gas prices extend declines on bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. supplies, MarketWatch

FERC still silent as Otis State Forest tree cutting begins for pipeline, but questions remain, Berkshire Eagle

Renewable Energy

Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power, CommonWealth magazine

First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant, Climate Central

America’s First Offshore Wind Energy Makes Landfall in Rhode Island, Inside Climate News

Delaware weighs joining RGGI states in deeper emissions cuts, Delaware First Media

Corps of Engineers Proposes to Lease Government Land in Bourne to Construct Solar Energy Project: Public Meeting Set for May 23 in Sandwich, Energy Central

Deer Island’s odd-looking turbine is a testament to failure, Boston Globe

Sen. Lynch Prata’s statewide municipal solar permit bill passes Senate, Warwick Post

Solar power advocates take fight over credits to Maine’s top court, Bangor Daily News

Talks Continue On Offshore Wind Project, WABI

Danish offshore wind firm Dong Energy opens Boston headquarters at One International Place, MassLive.com

SouthCoast leaders begin UK wind energy visit, SouthCoastToday.com

GRID Alternatives, Connecticut Green Bank Kick Off Low-Income Solar Program, Solar Industry

The US is using so much solar power that it will have to prepare for the August eclipse, Quartz

The SEC is reportedly investigating Tesla’s solar business, Business Insider

Energy Efficiency

Coal is Big. Solar’s Bigger. But Energy Efficiency is the Biggest, Energy Collective

Mass Save rebates offer big savings for energy efficiency, wwlp.com

New lights, HVAC save Greenwich Boys, Girls Club $3400 a month, Greenwich Time

Vermont ranks No. 2 in US for renewable energy, BurlingtonFreePress.com

Maine AG Mills joins fight against Trump environmental proposals, Bangor Daily News

Efficiency Vermont earns award for Sustained Excellence in Energy Efficiency Program Delivery, Vermont Biz

Storage

Using sulfur to store solar energy, Phys.Org

Startup Voltus Unstealths With 400 Megawatts of Demand Response, Greentech Media

GMP ranked high for energy storage, Mountaintimes

Nuclear

Host town backs Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Refueling at New Hampshire’s Seabrook-1 reactor ends: NextEra, Platts

Millstone bill headed to Senate, but legislators divided, Journal Inquirer

Legacy of Seabrook nuclear protest debated, The Boston Globe

Plymouth: Pilgrim Decommissioning Panel Established, 95.9 WATD-FM

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

EPA Asks What Rules to Cut, Gets Earful About Dirty Water, New York Times

Is NH getting hoodwinked on health and safety by Northern Pass?, NH1 News

Eversource tentatively agrees to move cormorant-friendly lines, Cape Cod Times

Slight Rate Increase Coming for Eversource Customers, NBC Connecticut

Northern Pass officials describe Plymouth impacts, The Union Leader

Northern Pass exec: Project would tap NH construction businesses, The Union Leader

Gov. Raimondo Not Joining Opposition to Power Plant, ecoRI news

FERC seeks new directions at intersection of state policy, wholesale markets, Daily Energy Insider

FERC hears an earful about grid tensions in eastern RTOs, E&E News

Green Mountain Power seeks 5 percent rate increase, PennEnergy

US Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey push bill to ban offshore drilling in Atlantic Ocean, MassLive

Editorial/Opinion

Energy-saving programs that help Earth and economy need defending, Press Herald

To the editor: Pipelines under pressure in Massachusetts, Worcester Sun

Pols should back renewable energy, Lowell Sun

Mary Sullivan: Carbon pricing plan is needed, vtdigger.org

Want to protect the climate? Time for carbon pricing, Boston Globe

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending April 21, 2017

It’s Energy News Friday so let’s get started.

Energy storage is getting a lot of play in the media of late, especially with several states, including Massachusetts, offering incentives to develop storage projects. The community of Sterling, MA however is leading the charge (pun intended) and gaining worldwide recognition as one of the leaders in deploying storage technology with its $2.7 million unit with 2MW of lithium-ion batteries and 3MW solar array. According to Renewable Energy World, the units “can be islanded in case of a power outage and will support the town’s police station and emergency dispatch center for at least two weeks — more with solar recharging — meaning Sterling’s first responders will be able to help people in need if a natural disaster knocks out the regional grid.” Moreover, the municipal utility can use the new battery system to control rising power costs. Nice.

This week the Union of Concerned Scientists released its “Clean Energy Momentum: Ranking State Progress” report. In an article in on MassLive.com, journalist Shannon Young writes that Massachusetts ranked third overall in clean energy progress. She cited, “the UCS analysis ranked Massachusetts first for the strength of its energy efficiency standards, and second for electricity savings achieved through state programs and the number of clean energy jobs created. Massachusetts further earned top-10 rankings in six other metrics, including: fifth in the amount of residential solar per capita and the strength of its global warming emissions reduction targets, and sixth in reduction of power plant pollution and creation of an environment friendly to businesses looking to procure clean energy.” California and Vermont led the rankings earning the top two spots.

Last tidbit for today is a story about the Red Sox. According to an article in the Cape Cod Times, the Red Sox “bought renewable energy credits from solar installations at two Wellfleet buildings as part of an effort to reduce the baseball team’s carbon footprint. The team bought the credits to offset all carbon emissions from Monday’s [Patriot’s Day] game.” It was both a win for the Sox and a win for the environment.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Warren, Markey take on FERC over Otis forest pipeline permit, Berkshire Eagle

Visit from state sparks pipeline protest in Shelburne Falls, The Recorder

Hingham selectmen join compressor debate, Wicked Local Braintree

No Urgency to Fix Natural-Gas Leak in Burrillville, ecoRI news

Environmental impact of National Grid pipeline rupture in Providence unknown, RI Future

EIA: Natural gas will be top generation source this summer, Utility DIVE

Chafee Announces Opposition To Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Renewable Energy

Union of Concerned Scientists ranks Massachusetts 3rd in clean energy progress, MassLive.com

From Waste To Watts: How This Grocery Chain Turns Old Food Into New Energy, WBUR

Activists urge communities on renewable energy, Salem News

Despite lack of agreement, New Hampshire groups say solar struggle is ‘worth it’, Utility DIVE

A subsidy Maine electric customers pay to encourage renewable energy is up for review, Press Herald

Sterling, Massachusetts Changes the Business of Electricity in New England — Forever, Renewable Energy World

Offshore Wind Development Threatens Endangered Roseate Tern, Energy Central

Massachusetts Readies for First Offshore Wind Procurement in June, Renewable Energy World

Partners to use wind power to cut costs, emissions, The Boston Globe

RGGI states drop less ambitious scenarios from stakeholder talks, Carbon Pulse

Danes unite for US offshore, reNews

11 Reasons to Celebrate Wind Energy’s Record Year, EcoWatch

Town will collect tax on commercial wind, solar projects, Ricentral.com

The Town of Rockport to Host Solar Celebration, Bangor Daily News

State program to give city discounts on solar energy, The Daily News of Newburyport

Red Sox buy Cape Cod solar credits, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts looks to make renewable energy more affordable, WWLP

Energy Efficiency

Reach of energy efficiency upgrades extended under grant program, Berkshire Eagle

Light bulb moment: Vermont defends EPA standards, Vermont Biz

Cambridge, Eversource partner to help multi-family buildings go green, Wicked Local Cambridge

UConn and Eversource Tout Energy Efficiency on Campus, Hartford Courant

New Milford to add energy efficiencies to police department, Danbury News Times

Nuclear

Final refueling at Pilgrim, Energy Central

Regulators Sign Off on Seabrook Station Plan to Take Cooling Tower Offline for Maintenance, New Hampshire Public Radio

Proposed cleanup company for Vermont Yankee responds to local concerns, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station exempted from safety upgrades, Cape Cod Times

As the industry struggles, is it ‘time to recognize the nuclear show’s over, Los Angeles Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Brayton Point owners among those interested in local electricity aggregation bid, Herald News

In state filing, Eversource prefers underground Sudbury-Hudson power line, MetroWest Daily News

ISO-NE proposes two-part capacity auctions to handle subsidized generation, Utility Dive

Medway selectmen approve amendments to Exelon agreements, MetroWest Daily News

TransCanada closes $1B sale of hydro assets, Utility DIVE

The great capacity market debate: Which model can best handle the energy transition?, Utility Dive

Northern Pass on path to required federal permits by end of year, NH Union Leader

Northern Pass, by the numbers: $190m already spent, NewHampshire.com

NH businesses petition against Northern Pass, Conway Daily Sun

Northern Pass’ potential health concerns debated at hearing, New Hampshire Business Review

Northern Pass route’s hot spots for electromagnetic fields outlined, The Union Leader

Eversource: Revenues could fall short in projects first year, Seacoastonline.com

DPU to hold a hearing on Eversource rate hikes, Martha’s Vineyard Times

LePage says he wants to put a cap on energy costs for industrial users, Press Herald

Editorial/Opinion

A creative clean-energy solution, Worcester Telegram

Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing, CommonWealth Magazine

Dan Haar: Why Millstone’s Auction Request Is A Nuclear-Powered Irony, Hartford Courant

Greater Flexibility, Efficiency in Gas Markets Requires New Standards, Environmental Defense Fund

Letter: Eversource should help, not hurt, county, Berkshire Eagle

Oppose Millstone Bill, Hartford Courant

Letter: RGGI needs focus in era of Trump, SouthCoastToday.com

Our Opinion: Wind energy has a role in Berkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Why We Still Need America’s Nuclear Power Plants, At Least for Now, Energy Collective

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending April 14, 2017

Happy Friday everyone. The weather forecast looks great for what is for many a holiday weekend, the start of school vacation week and of course Patriots Day/Marathon Monday. However, before we kick into “off mode” let’s take a brief look at this week’s energy news.

To western Mass first where there is good news. MassLive reports that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is nearing an agreement with Holyoke Gas & Electric that would bypass a bottleneck in the region’s network of gas pipelines and end a two-year-old ban on new hookups in Easthampton and Northampton. It might take some time and some new infrastructure to get it done, but once Holyoke has a new way to get gas, Holyoke Gas & Electric would have less need of capacity on the Northampton lateral, freeing up capacity for Columbia to get more gas to Northampton and Easthampton. When and if this happens, it will make many people happy.

Heading north to New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports that more than 100 people, including dozens of [Northern Pass] project opponents, converged for the leadoff hearing for the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, which will decide in July whether to issue the certificate required for the $1.6 billion project. The story concludes with a vocal critic, Jack Savage saying, “The hearing ‘was really a clash of Northern Pass’ marketing and the reality of what the project is.’” Time will tell if Mr. Savage is right, or if the “marketing” does meet the sniff test.

On the energy efficiency front, we have two stories with alerts. One story from Bloomberg notes that lobbyists are working to amend a decades old conservation law that sets minimum efficiency standards for many household and commercial appliances and bars them from being weakened. However, efficiency proponents aren’t backing down, “An average American household spends about $500 less per year on utility bills because of the efficiency gains in our every day appliances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston-based organization that organizes energy efficiency proponents to advocate for standards. “Rolling back standards or weakening the law to make it harder to improve standards in the future would lead to more energy waste and hurt consumers.”

The other efficiency story from Seven Days Vermont shows a side-by-side comparison of two boxes of LEDs. Same brand. Same watts. One has the Energy Star label the other doesn’t. They wrote, “One of the packages held four highly energy-efficient, reliable bulbs that had been certified by a third-party lab. The other held four lower-quality, uncertified bulbs. An inferior product, they’d be quicker to fail and more likely to give off the wrong shade of light.” I love Energy Star and always look for the label, but it’s easy to see how a less aware consumer might grab a box and think they’re getting the best bang for their buck when in fact they’re not. Buyer beware! And, all the more reason to keep the Energy Star program around.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Natural gas moratorium in Easthampton, Northampton nears resolution, MassLive

Vermont Gas Completes 41-Mile Expansion, Begins Serving Customers in Addison County, Press Release

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. given green light to begin tree cutting in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

DEC denies permit for Northern Access Pipeline, Olean Times Herald

Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline, MassLive.com

Renewable Energy

Europeans Get Serious About America’s Offshore Wind Potential: ‘We are here for a market’, Greentech Media

Students urged to ‘take action now’ on climate change, Cape Cod Times

Proposed Bill Would Halt University of Maine Wind Research Project, Government Technology

Americans used more clean energy in 2016, Science Daily

California’s solar energy set power supply record in March, ABC News

Trump Once Railed Against Offshore Wind but Is Now Embracing It, MIT Technology Review

City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts switches on second solar power plant, Electric Light & Power

Portsmouth completes two solar energy projects, Seacoastonline.com

Biomass plant to close, The Laconia Daily Sun

South Mountain Company advancing Martha’s Vineyard toward energy neutrality with SunPower, Penn Energy

Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Northeast, Natural Resources Defense Council

Energy Efficiency

State of the Energy Efficiency Industry: The Utility Story, Natural Resources Defense Council

Greenwich, Eversource Announce Energy Efficiency Efforts, Patch.com

Your Fridge May Be Washington’s Next Regulatory-Rollback Target, Bloomberg

Beware of Imposter LED Bulbs! Look for the ENERGY STAR®, Seven Days

Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community, vtdigger.org

Nuclear

Nuclear plant owners press lawmakers in Connecticut, other states for subsidies, New Haven Register

States moving to promote clean energy through pro-nuclear policies, Daily Energy Insider

In nuke debate, dueling claims fly, Hartford Business

Questions dominate Vermont Yankee sale debate, Brattleboro Reformer

Pilgrim nuclear plant prepares to refuel, The Patriot Ledger

Interest in 1,500 acre Entergy property heats up, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will Massachusetts Emerge as the Hub of the Microgrid Industry?, Microgrid Knowledge

American energy use, in one diagram, Vox.com

Residents, businesses, officials decry Eversource rate hike at Department of Public Utilities hearing, Berkshire Eagle

Newport, Rhode Island’s Microgrid Ambitions: Small City, Small State, Big Plans, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource executive: Northern Pass ratepayer billing ‘unlikely,’ Union Leader

Vermont bill would direct PUC to draw up energy storage recommendations, Utility DIVE

Higher gas prices add to ISO-NE power costs in February, Utility DIVE

Eversource grilled over why the plan isn’t to bury all of Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Kane: National Grid due for $400000 tax break if town’s tangibles rate isn’t changed, Valley Breeze

Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start, Concord Monitor

Four carbon bills proposed, Vermont Biz

Mass. AG Calls For DPU To Reject Eversource Request, WAMC

AG Maura Healey set to testify in Pittsfield against Eversource rate hike proposal, Berkshire Eagle

Mass. request boosts northern energy projects, Concord Monitor

At NH House committee hearing, jobs become focus of key energy bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Maine’s Health at Risk from Dirty Air Days, Bangor Daily News

Eversource proposes rate hike after reported revenue shortage, wwlp.com

Editorial/Opinion

Not So Strong After All: Climate Change Is Trump’s National Security Weakness, WBUR

Our Opinion: Eversource rate increase would be bad for business, Berkshire Eagle

William J. Eccleston: Savings overestimated for proposed Burrillville plant, Providence Journal

Help more Mainers use solar power, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Your View: Maximizing offshore wind’s benefits for Massachusetts, South Coast Today

Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers, Renewable Energy World

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And in Massachusetts – it’s also Evacuation Day. So, instead of a long note today we’re going to get right to the stories so you can evacuate your work premises and enjoy some holiday celebration.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Maryland House overwhelmingly approves fracking ban, Washington Post

More than 100 gas leaks in Concord; Wicked Local Concord

Government Opposition to Power Plant Increasing, ecoRI news

Newton’s leaky problem: The city has 480 reported gas leaks, Wicked Local Newton

Spectra Access Northeast project presentation slated for March 26, Wicked Local Franklin

Natural gas moratorium continues to hurt Amherst business climate, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Webster selectmen oppose RI power plant, Worcester Telegram

Climate Change

Trump’s Defense secretary calls climate change a national security risk, The Hill

A Spark Of Hope For Climate Change Reality, NPR

New England’s Ski Industry Prepares For A Changing Climate, WBUR

Nearly Half A Million US Doctors Warn That Climate Change Is Making Us Sick, Huffington Post

February record warm for 16 states, 145M Americans, USA TODAY

Renewable Energy

Tuesday’s storm proved ideal for Block Island Wind Farm, Providence Journal

US planning more offshore wind leases off MA coast, CommonWealth magazine

New Hampshire utilities, solar companies file rate design settlement proposals, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Preps for US Offshore Wind Construction Boom, Renewable Energy World

7 rural Maine firms will get green energy grants, Penn Energy

Developers Seek Leases for Offshore Wind Projects in New York, Massachusetts Waters, Renewable Energy World

SMART start? Massachusetts utilities, solar at odds over proposed incentive program, Utility DIVE

Two more wind farms sought off Vineyard, Boston Herald

BOEM Announces Offshore Wind Action In The Northeast, North American Windpower

Large-scale floating offshore wind power is finally here, Treehugger

Solar Experiment Lets Neighbors Trade Energy Among Themselves, New York Times

Bioenergy park considered at closed landfill, Brattleboro Reformer

Local project buoys FuelCell Energy, Danbury News Times

Why solar panels bloom in Southwest’s land of hydropower, Christian Science Monitor

Trump’s Business Council Is a Who’s Who of Renewable Energy Investors and Climate Champions, Greentech Media

Scientists use solar power to produce hydrogen from biomass, CNBC

Should Energy Storage Share The Tax Credits For Renewable Energy?, CleanTechnica

Google: 4 out of 5 US homes have solar power potential, Engadget

With mills struggling, a Maine lumber firm is building a biomass plant, Bangor Daily News

Energy Efficiency

Rhode Island Building Takes Eco-Standards to a New Level, Environmental Leader

7 Rural Maine Firms Will Get Green Energy Grants, U.S. News & World Report

What Counts as Success in Energy Efficiency Programs?, Energy Collective

Nuclear

Legislation That Would Support Connecticut Nuclear Plant Released, Hartford Courant

Entergy Takes Next Steps for Pilgrim Closure, CapeCod.com

Connecticut bill would protect Millstone nuke by classifying it as a renewable resource, Utility DIVE

Bold Visions for the Future of Nuclear Power, WCAI

Vermont Yankee hearing postponed, The Recorder

Connecticut Moves Closer to Equating Nuclear with Renewables, RTO Insider

Nuke bill takes shape, Hartford Business Journal

Nuke agency OKs Entergy Nuclear’s use of trust fund, The Recorder

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Carbon Emissions Fell Again in the U.S. Northeast. So What’s the Next Step for RGGI?, Microgrid Knowledge

IMAPP Pondering 4 Options for Incorporating Clean Energy in NE, RTO Insider

New England power grid’s ample capacity proves dire predictions wrong, Press Herald

Questions Arise Over Who Would Ultimately Pay for Northern Pass, InsideSources

Can New England Keep the Power on? (video), NECN

Future of Cape’s energy compact riles county assembly, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut considers carbon tax on oil, gas, CT Post

Bracing for an Eversource rate hike, the attraction of Editas, and more, The Boston Globe

APCC voices concern over Eversource spray plan, Wicked Local Brewster

Former Eversource CEO gets big payday in final year, Thehour.com

Utilities reiterate backing for Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Despite making it a priority, LePage remains stymied on lowering energy costs, Press Herald

National Grid apologizes for Brockton manhole cover explosions, Enterprise News

ISO-NE Market Changes for Subhourly Settlements, Real-Time Fast-Start Pricing and DARD Pumps Take Effect, Energy Central

Is Hydro-Quebec Having ‘Second Thoughts’ On Northern Pass? Energy Central

EnerNOC Seeks Strategic ‘Alternatives’ Amid Software Slump, Greentech Media

Editorial/Opinion

Our opinion: More proof the world is changing due to greenhouse gases, Brattleboro Reformer

Their advice: Stockpile KI pills, The Daily News of Newburyport

OP-ED | Millstone Bill Really *Is* All About Rates, CT News Junkie

Letter to the editor: LePage needs to lead on locally made solar power, Press Herald

My Turn: We went solar and you can, too, Concord Monitor

Embrace Gas, Hartford Courant

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind