Tag Archives: nuclear

Energy News for week ending March 27, 2020

Momentum slows | All Electric Home Boom | Sleek Reactor Housing

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 ways coronavirus is changing energy and climate change, Axios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

Federal study surveys spawning Atlantic Cod, Cape Cod Times

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

Commission Dismisses Last Wind Project In Vermont, Caledonian Record

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

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

 

Solar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

 

EVs

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

Electric car emissions myth ‘busted,’ BBC

The Vast Potential of Managed Electric Vehicle Charging, Greentech Media

Coronavirus pumps the brakes on the electric vehicle revolution, Grist

 

Nuclear

This Sleek Building Is Actually a Nuclear Reactor, Architectural Digest

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

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

NRC Preparing Rule Changes Due to Coronavirus, POWER Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

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

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

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

How Electricity Use Changes During a Pandemic, Greentech Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending July 19, 2019

26 days a year | At Risk | Vows to fight

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

We start with a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists and a story from WBUR, “Feeling the heat this summer? Well, it’s just going to get worse. Massachusetts is going to see more hot and humid days in the coming decades, according to a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Days that feel like 100 degrees (or higher), which rarely happen in Massachusetts now, will occur 26 times each year by the end of the century if no action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the report finds. Ninety degree temperatures will likely occur in the state about one month a year by 2050 and more than two months a year by 2100. Currently, the average is seven to 10 days.” It’s not just Massachusetts that faces increased heat. From the Hartford Courant, “Hartford could see as many as 44 days a year of summer temperatures above 90 degrees by 2050 if the U.S…Currently, Hartford averages just 11 days during the year when temperatures hit the 90-degree Fahrenheit mark.”

In some other dispiriting news, CommonWealth Magazine reports that, “Vineyard Wind says its offshore wind farm could be in jeopardy if the federal government fails to approve its environmental impact statement over the next six weeks. In a carefully worded statement issued early Thursday morning, the company appeared to be prodding federal officials at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to move quickly to approve the environmental impact statement. The statement represents a shift for the company, which had earlier acknowledged delays were expected in the review of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

Last for this week, just after we sent out last week’s Energy News, the MA DEP approved the air permit for the Weymouth compressor station. But the fight may not yet be over. From WATD, Ron Mariano represents the 3rd Norfolk District, which includes the Fore River Bridge, the proposed site for a natural gas compressor station. He’s saying that he’s disappointed in the DEP for their decision to approve the air quality permits after mishandled hearings, as well as with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC. Mariano says the fight is frustrating, but doesn’t end here.”

That’s the recap for this week. Here are two words for you to remember this weekend – hydrate and shade.

Stay cool and have a wonderful weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Hopkinton wants answers on ‘thermal anomaly’ at LNG tank, MetroWest Daily News

Weymouth: State Representative Vows to Fight Compressor Station Project After Air Permits Get Approved, WATD-FM

Pipeline foes choke region’s economy, Press Enterprise

Tribal Org. Blew Chance To Fight Pipeline, DC Circ. Told, Law360

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: By 2100, Mass. Could Have 26 Days A Year That Feel Hotter Than 100 Degrees, WBUR

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants, E&E News

Pingree’s amendment would require Pentagon to prepare for climate change, Portland Press Herald

Maryland’s highest court rules state can trump counties in deciding where solar, wind projects can go, Baltimore Sun

Study predicts more ‘extreme heat’ days in Maine as climate warms, Portland Press Herald

Climate Change Will Strain Federal Finances, Scientific American

Climate change could mean as many as 44 days with temperatures above 90 in Hartford, according to report by Union of Concerned Scientists, Hartford Courant

New York takes lead in climate change fight, Politico

Mass Audubon and Eversource Collaborate to Address Climate Change, Utility Dive

Trump officials worry warming could hurt the grid, E&E News

Millbury awarded $1 million grant as part of climate change adaptation program, Boston Globe

Maine Enacts Beneficial Electrification Law; State to Issue RFP for Pilot Projects, Mircorgrid Knowledge

How GE invested in fossil fuels, and missed the opportunity to be a clean energy giant, Fast Company

N.S. approves new attempt to harness Bay of Fundy’s powerful tides, Vancouver Courier

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind says project at risk, CommonWealth Magazine

Baker, Vineyard Wind mum on Feds’ project guidance, Southcoasttoday.com

Vineyard Wind Dealing With Potential Setbacks, WGBH

New York Awards Offshore Wind Contracts in Bid to Reduce Emissions, New York Times

Ørsted/Deepwater: We’ll Be On Time, The Independent

In Amagansett, Pushback on Offshore Wind Farm, The Easthampton Star

Freedom approves Invenergy community host agreement worth $12 million, Olean Times Herald

Maine regulators approve 22-turbine wind power project, Portland Press Herald

 

Solar

NextEra Energy Hosts Public Information Session On Large Solar Project, New Hampshire Public Radio

Rhode Island Getting Pair Of Community Solar Projects, Solar Industry

National Grid Acquires Renewables Developer Geronimo Energy, Greentech Media

Sunrun Wins Another Capacity Contract for Aggregated Home Storage, Greentech Media

 

Efficiency/Storage

NPU encourages residents to be energy efficient as heat hits region, The Bulletin

Sen. Murkowski teases prospects for storage as committee advances 22 energy bills, Utility Dive

Why Long Island Could Become New York’s First Energy Storage Hot Spot, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee cooling towers coming down, marking the ‘end of an era,’ Vermont Digger

Bill Gates faces “daunting” nuclear energy future, Axios

Three Mile Island nuclear plant shutdown cost: $1.2 billion, The Morning Call

NRC eyes reducing inspections of nuclear reactors, The Hill

U.S. plans to extend nuclear plants’ lives to 80 years, senior energy official says, Washington Post

 

EVs

Experts: State’s goal to have 300,000 electric vehicles by 2025 will be a challenge, MetroWest Daily News

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

LaFleur’s exit will leave 3 commissioners — and anxiety, E&E News

Few people show for first hearing on CMP rates in Portland, but those who did criticized the utility heavily, Bangor Daily News

Municipal utilities support House bill giving them more control, MassLive

Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?, Outside

New Environmental Secretary Katie Theoharides touts climate initiatives, MassLive

Nation’s Mayors Applaud House Committee Action to Renew Energy Block Grant Program, YAHOO! News

New Law Requires National Grid, Utility Companies To Fix Roads, Patch

National Grid Faces Possible Penalty on Non-Compliance of New York Safety Rules, New York Times

ConEd: Failed relay systems, not transmission equipment, caused NYC blackout, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Turning the page from the gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

ARENA, Weymouth: Correcting compressor station misstatements, Patriot-Ledger

YOUR VIEW: Offshore wind should not go forward until there are answers, South Coast Today

As wind energy grows, need for gas plants shrinks, Republican-American

Why did the state OK a new natural gas power plant in Killingly when the move is to renewable energy?, Hartford Courant

Clean energy comes with a high price. Lowell Sun

Holyoke Mayor Goes Full Green with Climate Change Envy, Betrays Cause, Natural Gas Now

Leave a comment

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending March 22, 2019

Last Minute Deal | Nuclear Valued | Felled Fruit

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

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

Granite Bridge pipeline tests state infrastructure corridors, Seacoastonline.com

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

Newport Looking For Feedback Following Gas Outage, USA Patch

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

 

Merrimack Valley/Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

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

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

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

Bay State legislators question Columbia Gas claims process, Boston Herald

Uncertainty For NiSource Due To Merrimack Recovery, Seeking Alpha

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wind

NOAA questions Vineyard Wind environmental impact study, Gloucester Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suso Provides Falmouth Wind Turbine Update, Falmouth Enterprise

Public hearing starts on Revolution Wind project, Providence Business News

 

Solar

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

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar stormwater plan, News-Times

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

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

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

 

EVs

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

 

Nuclear

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

Startup promotes permanent nuclear waste storage, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear Power in the Age of Decommissioning, JD Supra

New England commits to value of nuclear, World Nuclear News

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending February 1, 2019

Personnel Changes | Storage Goes Mainstream | Sun-powered Super Bowl

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start this week’s news with two personnel changes. Yesterday, Massachusetts’-own and enthusiastic Patriot’s fan, Cheryl LaFleur announced on Twitter she wouldn’t be “seeking a third-term at FERC” and would be leaving the Commission later this year. You can read more details at Utility Dive.

The second personnel announcement comes from the MA DPU where the Patriot Ledger reports that the new Chairman, Matthew Nelson, who is replacing Angie O’Connor, hails from Hull and that he “has worked for the agency for eight years, most recently as director of electric power and regional and federal affairs.”

Big energy efficiency news came out of Massachusetts this week as reported by CommonWealth Magazine, “State regulators on Wednesday approved utility plans to spend nearly $2.8 billion of ratepayer money over the next three years on initiatives designed to curb energy consumption in the aggregate and particularly at peak periods, resulting in energy savings of $8.5 billion. While Mass Save will continue to offer efficient light bulbs, insulation, and other standard energy-saving devices that help curb electricity and natural gas consumption, the focus of the program is starting to shift a bit, with homeowners incentivized to swap oil and propane systems for electric heat pumps and to purchase energy storage devices. Energy storage devices appear to be going mainstream. Under the energy efficiency program approved by the Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, utilities would offer performance-based financial incentives to customers who purchase the devices. At peak demand periods, utilities would pay the customer to use the stored energy to reduce his/her personal power usage or to feed the electricity into the grid. The DPU decision did not detail the size of the incentives, although in testimony the utilities said they would be sizeable.”

 

Last story for this week, (because, you know,…Super Bowl) comes from Inc. How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of). “Fans arriving at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta…will be far too excited to think twice about the carports that they’ll be parking under. But those structures go a long way toward helping the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium earn its status as the greenest sports arena in the world. Completed in 2017, the $1.5 billion stadium is the first sports facility ever to receive Platinum certification from the global rating system LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). One decision that helped the stadium earn that honor: The carports in the parking lot are plastered with solar panels.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend. And, Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Struggles Due To Insufficient Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, Benzinga.com

National Grid: 95 percent of customers have gas service restored in Rhode Island, WHDH

Residents, businesses file class-action lawsuits following gas outage, WPRI

Attorney behind Newport gas outage lawsuit says ‘some people suffered real damages’, Newport Daily News

Drillers Are Easing Off the Gas, Wall St. Journal

Feds agree to visit Weymouth to hear gas compressor concerns, Boston Business Journal (paywall)

Braintree, Weymouth to appeal air permit for compressor, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

Utility Will Cover Gas Disaster Repair Costs Through May 2020, USA Patch

Danskammer officials outline plans for power plant revamp, Recordonline

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Traditional and renewable energy “at odds” in Connecticut, Connecticut Post

Democrats’ ‘carbon tax’ bill debated at State House hearing, New Hampshire Union Leader

New Jersey looks to rejoin RGGI to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, WHYY

Renewable energy brings questions in Rhode Island, Westerly Sun

US energy-related CO2 emissions rose in 2018 but are expected to fall in 2019, 2020, Daily Energy Insider

From Beer to Casinos, Businesses Turn to Solar, Wind Power, Wall St. Journal

Move To All-Renewable Energy A ‘Moral Obligation,’ Lawmaker Says, WGBH

In Vermont, a progressive haven, emissions spike forces officials to consider drastic action, Boston Globe

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost, AP News

Boston wants to go carbon neutral by 2050. Here’s how that could happen, Boston Globe

Science Says: Get used to polar vortex outbreaks, AP News

If the Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold Outside?, New York Times

7 Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass a Green New Deal, The Atlantic

Carbon Free Boston panel pushes $5 charge for cars on city streets, Boston Herald

GE restructures renewables business to include solar, storage, Utility Dive

 

Wind

A new way to predict sea breezes may benefit offshore wind farms, Phys.org

Backyard Wind Turbines Renew R.I.’s Energy Debate. EcoRI.org

Thiele Withdraws Support For Deepwater Wind Project, Says ‘Bait and Switch’ Has Eroded Trust, 27East.com

Court Rules State Has To Refund Fee For Swanton Wind Project That’s On Hold, VPR
Landmark project faces critical test in R.I.
 , National Wind Watch

Offshore wind set for ‘sixfold growth’, reNews

Momentum Continues to Build for NE Offshore Wind, RTO Insider

 

Solar

Bill proposes to roll back ‘gross metering’ rule impacting residential solar users, Mainebiz

Plymouth town meeting will consider 15-acre solar fields, The Enterprise

Vermont Solar-storage Projects Aim to Lower Costs During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

How This Year’s Super Bowl Will Be Powered by the Sun (Sort of), INC.

Vermont regulators advance first of 3 Green Mountain Power solar-plus-storage projects, Utility Dive

Conti Solar Reaches 650 Megawatts Of Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Second solar farm has powered up in Warwick, Providence Journal

Solar supporters urge Maine lawmakers to restore financial incentives, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State adjusts priorities in $2.8B energy program, Sentinel & Enterprise

Massachusetts approves 3-year efficiency plan with first fuel-switching incentives, Utility Dive

Electricity storage takes key role in energy efficiency plan, CommonWealth Magazine

Next Middleborough Science Cafe will look at energy efficient buildings, Southcoasttoday

What Does the Nuclear Power Phase-Out Mean for Energy Storage?, Renewable Energy World

 

EVs

With rise of electric vehicles, a new foreign energy dependence looms, Houston Chronicle

 

Nuclear

How do you dismantle a nuclear power plant? Very, very carefully. Washington Post

Can We Drill A Hole Deep Enough For Our Nuclear Waste?, Forbes.com

These dumpsters of old nuclear waste are costing taxpayers a fortune, Boston Globe

Bill Gates comes to Washington — selling the promise of nuclear energy, Washington Post

The Nuclear Kid — Memphis youth builds home nuclear fusion reactor, Commercial Appeal

United States : Markey, Warren, Moulton Commend Decision to Delay Seabrook Nuclear Plant License Amendment and Extension, MarketWatch

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

FERC’s LaFleur to step down after push from Senate Democrats, Utility Dive

Hydro Quebec to increase hydropower capacity to more than 37,000 MW in 2021, S&P Global

Blue state AGs press McNamee recusal in resilience docket, Utility Dive

As Maine debates 145-mile electric line, energy giant with billions at stake is absent, Bangor Daily News

Watertown’s hydro power not running at capacity, Watertown (NY) Daily News via Energy Central

Eversource Seeks Rate Hike to Cover Storm Damage Costs in Connecticut, Insurance Journal

State to take up power plant project, The Bulletin

Critics call for replacing CMP, Emera Maine with a ‘consumer-owned utility’, Portland Press Herald

Saviello requests PUC amend NECEC schedule to consider alternatives, Mainebiz

Lamont talks grid reliability, offshore wind with DEEP staff, The Day

Utility Grid Modernization Plans: The Latest Developments, Greentech Media

State’s new public utilities chairman is from Hull, Patriot Ledger

Still no deal between Eversource, wood-fired power plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

LETTER: Extending Seabrook plant’s license is right move, Daily News of Newburyport

Another View: Editorial offers incomplete picture of Maine PUC’s oversight efforts, Portland Press Herald

Editorial: Solar benefits, Wilton Bulletin

Guest Opinion: Time for a Green New Deal in R.I., Westerly Sun

‘Carbon Free Boston’ begins with cars and homes, Boston Globe

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending November 30, 2018

Trailers Removed | Bill to end moratorium? | RI goes big | Enough power

 

Happy Friday afternoon. This week we’re focused on good news.

From the Eagle Tribune, “The process of removing travel trailers placed on the South Common for local gas disaster victims started Thursday morning. Mayor Daniel Rivera said some of the trailers are now being sent to California, where 88 people have been killed and thousands have been left homeless, their homes destroyed by wildfires. The travel trailers were brought to the Merrimack Valley in mid-October after thousands of local residents were left without natural gas for heat and cooking a month earlier…Columbia Gas, the utility provider, is hoping to have gas restored to everyone affected by Dec. 16…Rivera described the removal of the trailers “as definitely a good sign.” “It means there are more people back at home with heat and hot water,” he said.

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a number of stories about how the moratorium on anything but emergency gas repairs has created havoc for some businesses and homeowners. The good news today comes from the Boston Business Journal that, “Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are set to review a bill sponsored by Gov. Charlie Baker that could spur the department of public utilities to lift its moratorium on non-emergency natural gas work throughout the commonwealth. Baker introduced the bill, titled “An Act to Ensure the Safety and Soundness of the Commonwealth’s Natural Gas Infrastructure,” on Nov. 20. Both the House and Senate have referred it to the committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy, which meets Tuesday.

From SolarIndustryMag.com we have this story, “The U.S.’ Smallest State Has Big Renewable Energy Ambitions. ‘Though she be but little, she is fierce.’ A line from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream or an appropriate description for the State of Rhode Island? Judging by its milestones in the renewable energy industry, the smallest state in the U.S. is living up to this mantra.”

Last for this week is story from MassLive that should warm all of our hearts, er homes, New England will have enough electricity to meet peak winter demands, ISO New England, which manages the power grid for the region, said Wednesday…Starting this winter, ISO New England will maintain a forecast of the region’s energy needs looking out 21 days. And it will use market incentives, so energy providers are paid more for sending gas to where ISO New England believes the gas will do the most good. ISO said it’s also working with utilities to reduce demand when the grid is under stress.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Berkshire Gas moratorium continues indefinitely, The Recorder

Invenergy: Loss of New England capacity contract won’t affect proposed gas plant, Utility Dive

Compressor opponent questions lack of outreach, Weymouth.wickedlocal.com

Fore River residents raise questions about compressor station study, Patriot Ledger

Hingham: Officials Approve Intervener Status for Gas Compressor Station (Audio Story), WATD-FM

Connecticut utility regulators tentatively approve settlement agreement in Yankee Gas rate case, New Haven Register

The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?, New York Times

New England gas plants sold to private equity firm, Boston Globe

Two U.S. pipelines rack up violations, threaten industry growth, Reuters

City of Northampton opposes natural gas pipeline project in Agawam, MassLive

Residents at forum decry Longmeadow Country Club deal with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., MassLive

 

Lockout

Baker bill could help lift gas moratorium as National Grid lockout drags on, Boston Business Journal

Developers push for relief from the natural gas moratorium, Boston Globe

Grid, locked-out workers appear far apart, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid rebuffs union’s counter-proposal as sides prepare to meet, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

 

Merrimack Valley

Trailers removed as need for shelter declines, Eagle Tribune

Lawmakers Follow Up on Lack of Inspectors in Merrimack Valley Prior to Explosions, NECN

Gas Company Offers Holiday Feast To Those Affected By Pipeline Disaster, NPR

Columbia Gas says Merrimack Valley residents should be back in homes by Christmas, MassLive

Ed Markey vows to change federal gas regulations in wake of Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

Family of man killed in gas explosion testifies at hearing; lawmakers aggressive in questioning company leaders, Eagle Tribune

Rivera: Columbia Gas should be disbanded, CommonWealth Magazine

Hearing Date Set For Lawsuits Against Columbia Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report warns of coastal impact for New England, Salem News

Emissions battle ensnares link to Canadian hydropower, E&E News

A Carbon Tax Wave? 7 States Considering Carbon Pricing to Fight Climate Change, Inside Climate News

Bipartisan group of lawmakers propose landmark carbon tax, The Hill

The U.S.’ Smallest State Has Big Renewable Energy Ambitions, Solar Industry

Let’s Re-Design Wholesale Market Rules To Reap The Benefits of Solar and Wind: Report, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind given more time to meet fishermen’s concerns, Cape Cod Times

Upwind wind farms can reduce the energy production of downwind neighbor turbines, NSF.gov

Ørsted Raises Offshore Wind Target To 15 Gigawatts By 2025, CleanTechnica

Rhode Island Wind-Power RFP Attracts Six Times the Requested Demand, Engineering News Record

 

 

Solar

Massachusetts accepts first applications for new solar SMART incentives, MassLive

BlueWave withdraws solar array proposal in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar Project Completed On Former East Providence Landfill, Solar Industry

Tiverton taps brakes on solar development, Newport Daily News

Easthampton gives final OK to large solar farm off Park Street, MassLive

Farmington planning board approves solar project, Kennebec Journal

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

New Jersey hits milestone for installation of solar energy projects, Daily Energy Insider

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Weymouth middle school project aims for efficiency, resiliency, Patriot Ledger

Energy efficiency rate to decrease for most home electric bills, VTDigger

US Energy Industry Urges Congress To Fix ITC Eligibility For Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Energy efficiency can save the world — if we can figure out how to pay for it, Utility Dive

New Hampshire settlement moves ‘cutting-edge’ utility BTM storage pilot forward, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Are regulators hindering EV acceleration?, Utility Dive

GM cuts jobs, ends models amid shift to electric and autonomous cars, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Connecticut Likely to OK Millstone for Zero-carbon RFP, RTO Insider

Fight brewing over prospect of nuclear power plant shutdowns, AP News

Plymouth seeks extended benefits as Pilgrim closes, Cape Cod Times

Ammonia Spill At Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Declared ‘Unusual Event’, CBS Boston / WBZ-TV

A Growing Number Of States Are Rushing To Save Their Nuclear Plants, The Daily Caller

Nuclear panel questions cask life span, Cape Cod Times

Holtec eyes acquisition of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Daily Energy Insider

A Bill Gates-backed energy company is developing what could be a game-changing nuclear reactor, Business Insider

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Region’s electricity market in trouble, CommonWealth Magazine

Smart meter deployments slow as questions emerge over cost effectiveness, saturation, Utility Dive

ISO-NE anticipates adequate winter resources, but sees 4 possible challenges, Utility Dive

New England power grid expected to meet winter demand, MassLive

Grid able to generate ample electricity this winter, but don’t expect bills to go down, Concord Monitor

Committee begins Seacoast Reliability Project debate, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Energy priorities shift as a new administration takes hold, Portland Press Herald

Shuttered Brayton Point assessed value drops more than 75 percent, Herald News

Newton Signs Historic Green Energy Contract: Mayor, USA Patch

Salisbury to roll out community choice electricity program, Newburyport Daily News

Connecticut-based Eversource Energy launches improved outage map, New Haven Register

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter to the editor: CMP power corridor project does too much damage, should be rejected, Portland Press Herald

Our region needs the Seacoast Reliability Project, Seacoastonline.com

Maine Compass: Carbon tax best way to slow down climate change, Kennebec Journal

Boston, too, needs to do more on climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

We need a Green New Deal in Massachusetts, CommonWealth Magazine

LETTER: Maintain conservative nuclear cleanup standards, Wicked Local Plymouth

Don’t curb gas utilities; clean them up, Boston Globe

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending June 22, 2018

No Scorecard Yet | Something for Everyone | Who Owns it

 

Happy Friday everyone. Hopefully you can get out to enjoy today’s weather because this weekend’s forecast isn’t spectacular.

Now for the news. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that the Massachusetts Senate did not include the residential energy efficiency scorecard in its Omnibus Energy Bill. Serreze writes, “Sen. Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow) introduced a scorecard amendment during floor debate, but said it was taken off the table before the Senate voted on the omnibus bill last Thursday night. An amendment from Sen. Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop) met a similar fate. Lesser said lawmakers decided to wait for another day, and would continue talks with trade groups that oppose the idea: the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and Greater Boston Real Estate Board. ‘We were not able to agree on the substance,’ said Lesser. ‘So we hope to be able to meet in the middle.’ The real estate organizations said they support a property owner’s ability to voluntarily obtain an energy inspection, and support a buyer’s ability to inspect a property, but oppose legislation that would mandate energy audits and scores.”

Regardless of which side of the natural gas fence you sit on, one of two items in the news this week was sure to support your position. For those in favor of gas, Bloomberg reports that “World energy ministers representing about two thirds of the global population tussled over how the world can achieve a cleaner energy future. The compromise answer: Natural gas, at least for now. A consensus statement from G20 energy ministers meeting in Argentina cited the potential of natural gas “to expand significantly over the coming decades.” Meanwhile, the group said nations that “opt to enhance their renewable energy strategies” should bolster investment and financing within that arena.”

For those who wish to keep natural gas in the ground, the Washington Post reports that “The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of methane from its operations each year — nearly 60 percent more than current estimates and enough to offset much of the climate benefits of burning natural gas instead of coal, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The higher volumes of natural gas leaking from across the industry’s supply chain would be enough to fuel 10 million homes and would be worth an estimated $2 billion…”

Last for this week is a story from Utility Dive related to policy issues around Massachusetts’ energy storage market. From the article, “A little-noticed debate in Massachusetts could have a big impact on the trajectory of the state’s energy storage market. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) convened a technical conference on solar and storage facilities participating in ISO-New England’s forward capacity market (FCM). The question of capacity payments and who is entitled to them is part of a larger debate about how distributed energy resources are going to be deployed in Massachusetts. The key issue in the capacity debate is not the technical issue of qualifying for ISO-NE’s FCM, but the policy question about who will retain ownership and control of a facility’s capacity. ‘The main issue is who owns the rights once a project is installed and who gets to bid into the FCM,’ Ted Ko, director of policy at Stem, told Utility Dive. It is an issue that is ‘extremely important for the storage industry in Massachusetts,’ he said.”

That’s the recap for this week. You can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Greener Future Starts With Natural Gas, World Energy Chiefs Say, Bloomberg

Methane leaks offset much of the climate change benefits of natural gas, study says, Washington Post

Massachusetts Gas Workers Vote to Authorize National Grid Strike, USA Patch

Trump’s steel tariffs threaten multibillion dollar expansion of US, Canadian pipelines, Washington Examiner

FirstEnergy Calls out FERC ‘Failure’ to Act on Resilience, RTO Insider

Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development, Science Daily

Fracking boom takes toll on Pennsylvania’s communities of color and lower-income areas, ThinkProgress

Utilities Commission Rejects $639 million SDG&E Natural Gas Pipeline, Times of San Diego

Most American homes are still heated with fossil fuels. It’s time to electrify., Vox

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass., CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill, MassLive

National Grid targets 80% carbon cut across buildings, transport, power, Utility Dive

How a Florida Utility Became the Global King of Green Power, Wall St. Journal

World on track for 50% renewables by 2050, says Bloomberg energy outlook, Utility Dive

Gov Malloy Signs Landmark Bills on Climate Change Resiliency and Renewable Energy (Press Release), Energy Central

NY Task Force Examines Carbon Pricing Market Impacts, RTO Insider

 

Wind

Gov. LePage set up wind-farm review panel to meet in private. Now, the names of its members are secret., Press Herald

New York state to lead new offshore wind research effort, Penn Energy

Avangrid pulls the plug on wind farm in Hopkinton, North Country Public Radio

State officials seek supplemental report Vineyard Wind project, Cape Cod Times

The Lifesaving Benefits of Offshore Wind Power, U.S. News & World Report

Connecticut Approves 250 Megawatts Of Clean Energy Including 200 Megawatt Revolution Offshore Wind Farm, CleanTechnica

Alliance watchful on cable-laying proposal, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Nexamp Completes Charlton’s Fourth Community Solar Project (Press Release), Energy Central

New York State to increase incentives for commercial, industrial solar projects, Daily Energy Insider

Middletown officials seek opt-out clause on solar project, Newport Daily News

Solar To Supply All Of CT Lumber Company’s Electricity, Solar Industry

Eversource’s new 5,000-panel solar facility unveiled in Ludlow, WWLP

CEA Releases 2018 Solar Energy Report; Finds Incentives Contributed Significantly to Solar Power Expansion, Electric Energy Online

Fidelity Investments wants 12-acre solar field to power part of 554-acre Merrimack campus, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

‘Home energy scorecard’ idea pulled from Senate energy bill, MassLive

EIA: US electric utilities spent $3.6 billion on energy efficiency customer incentives in 2016, Daily Energy Insider

National Grid Expands Energy-Efficiency Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

Cannabis businesses shut out of Maine’s energy-efficiency programs, Portland Press Herald

UN Aims to Eradicate Inefficient Incandescent Light Bulbs, Greentech Media

New Smart Meters, Energy Efficiency Help O&R Beat the Heat, Energy Central

Research Spotlights Energy Efficiency of Ride-Hailing Services, NREL.gov

Is New Hampshire on the verge of battery energy storage history?, Utility Dive

In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage, Utility Dive

How School Buses Could Help Run Air Conditioners During Peak Demand, Renewable Energy World

In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Nuclear power shutdowns could cut energy prices, increase air pollution: Penn State, TMI weigh in, PennLive

New project could relieve pressure on Vermont Yankee, VTDigger

Selectmen call for NRC hearing on nuke plant evacuation, Seacoastonline.com

Indian Point: Nuclear power plant gets positive safety grades, new decommission details, The Journal News

 

EVs

New law boosts electric vehicle charging infrastructure in NH, New Hampshire Business Review

New global leader of EV uptake emerges – in Massachusetts, RenewEconomy

Should All Utility Customers Pay for EV Infrastructure and Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Projected US renewables could accelerate power price volatility — what can grid operators do?, Utility Dive

UPDATE: Sununu vetoes energy bills; Republican senators seek an override, Concord Monitor

New York utilities improved electric reliability, gas safety, electric safety, customer service performance in 2017, Daily Energy Insider

NJBPU convenes inaugural 2019 Energy Master Plan Committee, Daily Energy Insider

Plan For New England Powerline From Canada Drawing Criticism, NPR

Electricity sellers allegedly posed as CMP auditors to sign up customers, Bangor Daily News

Sununu Vetoes Net Metering Bill; Advocates Still Energized, New Hampshire Public Radio

Study: Hartford Competitive In Office Costs, Though Businesses Hit By Pricey Energy, Hartford Courant

Six Senate candidates tackle energy issues at Northampton forum, MassLive

Connecticut company aims to make energy choice easier for NH consumers, New Hampshire Business Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Don’t waste state’s time with secret wind panel, Portland Press Herald

Climate Action column: Nuclear power plants carry benefits and costs, says Kahn, Ipswich Wicked Local

Leave a comment

Filed under Electric Grid, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Renewables

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We hope you’re staying warm, dry, and safe during today’s storm.

Well, if you’ve had enough news about Russian interference in US elections then you can switch your attention to their interference in US energy markets. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reviewed a new congressional staff report that states that the Internet Research Agency’s efforts were also focused on “encouraging protests against pipeline construction in the U.S., calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels and stoking American controversy around climate change…Between 2015 and 2017, the IRA posted more than 9,000 times about U.S. energy policy or an energy event, according to the report.”

Also out this week was a FERC announcement “that a report released by the Environmental Defense Fund accusing Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of artificially driving up electricity prices in New England “was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions.” According to the article in CommonWealth Magazine, “FERC said its staff conducted a review of the allegations contained in the report using both public and non-public data and found no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity.”

In new energy technology news this week we have an article from oilprice.com titled, MIT’s Miracle Energy Breakthrough. They write, “A black box has been sitting on the roof of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building for the last few months. Beside it sits a weather monitoring system and a bigger black box to monitor the performance of the first one. That first black box is the first device that can generate power from differences in the temperature of the air—the ultimate clean energy…The team of researchers from MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is calling this device a thermal resonator: a device that draws heat from the air around it and turns this heat into electricity. It does not need to be in the sun, it could actually be put in the perpetual shade below a solar panel, and it would still generate power thanks to the always present temperature fluctuations…it has the hypothetical potential to make batteries obsolete.” Pretty cool!

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend.
 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says, Wall Street Journal (paywall)

With Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. build done, Otis State Forest reopens, Berkshire Eagle

Federal agency rebuts environmentalists’ claims about gas pipeline usage, Worcester Telegram

US FERC ends probe of New England gas shippers, calls EDF study ‘flawed’, Platts

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

Rhode Island environmentalists and elected officials say ‘No’ to Trump’s offshore drilling proposal, Uprise RI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding, Vox.com

Optimism and Uncertainty for Rhode Island’s Climate Future, ecoRI news

Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy, Inhabitat

New Report Touts Success Of Regional Carbon Emissions Reduction Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Jersey Governor Requests to Rejoin Environmental Pact, U.S. News & World Report

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

Mark Jacobson Drops Lawsuit Against Critics of His 100% Renewables Plan, Greentech Media

Solar, Wind Cutting New England Power Demands, But Trouble Expected In Future, Hartford Courant

Report Claims Wood-Based Energy Doesn’t Add Up, EcoRI

 

Wind

Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry sues LePage over halting of new permits, Journal Tribune

GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, Penn Energy

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development, Bangor Daily News

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Achieves 65% Capacity Factor After 3 Months, Greentech Media

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

Plans for world’s ‘largest and most powerful’ offshore wind turbine unveiled, CNBC

One Small Step for BPU, One Small Step for Offshore Wind in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

Article on area warrants aims to gather support for studying offshore wind development, The Keene Sentinel

 

Solar

Clouds form over state’s solar future, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

M&T finances major solar project in Maine, Buffalo Business First

Massachusetts solar groups say policy changes needed to stem job loss, Energy News Network

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont utility, city to give away fossil-fuel free home, Caledonian Record

FERC’s Historic Energy Storage Ruling: A Doomsday Countdown for Natural Gas Peakers?, Greentech Media

Brattle: US storage market could reach 50 GW if costs keep declining, Utility Dive

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

New interactive map shows the economic impact that solar, wind, and energy efficiency have on US communities, Environmental Defense Fund

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

NY attorney general wins energy efficiency lawsuit, Long Island Business News

 

Nuclear

Connecticut nuclear plant guard falsified record, failed to test weapons Shoreline Times

After Months Of Negotiation, Settlement Days Away On Vermont Yankee Sale, New England Public Radio

Power restored to Indian Point reactor after shutdown caused by electrical failure, The Journal News | LoHud.com

 

Northern Pass/RFP

Eversource Asks NH To Reconsider Northern Pass Denial, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement?, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Electric Vehicles

Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles, Utility Dive

How To Prevent Electric Vehicles From Stressing The Grid, Forbes.com

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England grid operators, regulators combat vulnerabilities, theday.com

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements, RTO Insider

Maine may face brownouts, higher electric prices, Lewiston Sun Journal

Non-Payments to Eversource Nearly Double Over 2-Year Period, U.S. News & World Report

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid rate hike hearings underway, Ricentral.com

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model, CommonWealth Magazine

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

Just for the Record: Why New York’s Offshore Wind Plan Works, Renewable Energy World

Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades, The Boston Globe

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Viewpoint: Why is New England importing LNG from Russia?, Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin

 

Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from Phsy.org, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for  events. Have a great weekend.
 

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB, Ricentral.com

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process, MainePublic.org

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio

 

Wind

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines, Phys.org

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update, lexocology.com

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?, publicnow.com

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards, MassLive.com

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent

 

Nuclear

NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee, NJSpotlight.com

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs, MassLive.com

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike, theday.com

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes, wwlp.com

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine, NJ.com

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower, vtdigger.org

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending February 2, 2018

Complete Turnaround | Nyet | Super Bowl Efficiency

Diving right in today, of course the big news story is that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee unanimously denied an application for Northern Pass. That’s quite the turnaround from last week’s announcement that the Canadian hydro project was the sole winner of Massachusetts’ 83D RFP.

The reactions were all over the place. From Eversource’s “shocked and outraged” (Union Leader) to critics “reveling” in the project’s denial (Concord Monitor) to Massachusetts officials being “quiet” and “saying little”  (WRAL). This morning Hydro-Quebec’s CEO Éric Martel seemed to take it all in stride during a CBC News interview. “We knew there was a risk in New Hampshire,” Martel told CBC’s Daybreak. “But we still believe the [Northern Pass] project is going to happen.” He added that “even if [Northern Pass] it collapses, there are other routes the lines can take to get to Massachusetts. ‘Hydro-Québec has proposed also a line going through Vermont and a line going through Maine to get to the same place,’ he said. ‘The people of Massachusetts want that energy so, at some point, we’ll find a way.’”

Alrighty then. Just in case it doesn’t work out for Canadian hydro, check out the list of the other projects that Massachusetts rejected from this WBUR story Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal A Shift Away From Smaller Renewables.

Last week we mentioned the news that a tanker carrying Russian gas was waiting offshore to unload in Everett and another was expected. Well the gas arrived and the drama began. A Boston Globe editorial lays out all of the reasons why Russian LNG is happening, and why we should just say, “Nyet.” As they conclude, “Russia’s dirty fuels — and dirty oligarchs — are suddenly our problem.”

Of course we need to end this week’s news with a reference to the big game on Sunday. According to Popular Science, “We consume a lot of food and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, but not a lot of electricity.” Why? “Analyses of energy consumption show that while we do use up a bit more energy than average before the big game, we usually drop below the norm while the Super Bowl is on (save for spikes at commercial breaks). We’re not getting up to open the fridge much. We’re not cooking. We’re not working on our laptops and checking our phones while we watch. We’re just sitting and staring the same energy-efficient television as 10 other people.”

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

All Things Northern Pass

Critics of Northern Pass project revel in proposal’s denial, Concord Monitor

Hydro-Québec CEO optimistic that Northern Pass project isn’t dead in the water, CBC

Massachusetts officials quiet on Northern Pass rejection, WRAL

Eversource -5% as New Hampshire regulator denies Northern Pass project, Seeking Alpha

Northern Pass ‘shocked and outraged’ by application denial, Union Leader

Massachusetts attorney general to review hydropower contract, Boston Herald

The Controversy Behind Massachusetts’ $1.6B Hydro Power Transmission Line, Greentech Media

Full accounting needed on Northern Pass deal, Boston Globe

Our Opinion: Eversource a suspect hydropower choice, Berkshire Eagle

Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal A Shift Away From Smaller Renewables, WBUR

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Maine governor says offshore drilling would lower prices, Penn Energy

SJC agrees to put hold on appeal of Sandwich plant’s expansion, Cape Cod Times

Russian LNG is unloaded in Everett; the supplier (but not gas) faces US sanctions, The Boston Globe

Arrival of Russian gas stirs Ukrainian community, The Boston Globe

Despite protest, Yale-linked pipeline project progresses, Yale Daily News

NE Pipeline Foes Tell DC Circ. FERC Ignored Enviro Risks, Law360

Final Hearings Set for Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Lawyer says Invenergy committed to project, The Providence Journal

America’s Natural Gas Hurdles, New York Times

Enbridge working on natural gas pipelines to New England, Kallanish Energy

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

Reckoning with climate change will demand ugly tradeoffs from environmentalists — and everyone else, Vox.com

Politics, process playing in carbon pricing debate, Lowell Sun

Report: Trump budget seeks 72% cut to DOE clean energy research, Utility Dive

NE States Push Renewables, But Not All Jump Aboard, Engineering News Record

CMP moves forward with renewable energy plans, Bangor Daily News

Clean Energy Leadership: Next Steps for Massachusetts, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mass. Senate ‘Clean Energy Future’ report seeks smorgasbord of climate change solutions, MassLive.com

Murphy directs New Jersey to re-enter Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, NorthJersey.com

Utility CEO: new renewables will be cheaper than existing coal plants by the early 2020s, Vox.com

Mass. senators assembling clean energy bill, SouthCoastToday.com

Nova Scotia issues call for tidal energy projects demonstration, Energy Business Review

Braintree boasts efforts to go green, Wicked Local Braintree

 

Wind

Concerns Voiced Over Proposed Portland Wind Turbine Project, (NY) Post Journal

NY Releases Master Plan to Grow Offshore Wind Power, Natural Resources Defense Council

Governor of Maine Bans All New Wind Farms, Popular Mechanics

Maine AG: LePage’s order doesn’t change state law on wind power, Foster’s Daily Democrat

State sees 5k jobs from off-shore wind farm push, Times Union

Shielded Maine wind energy commission receives pushback, Press Herald

Yarmouth officials concerned about Vineyard Wind plan, Cape Cod Times

Environmental group sues LePage, says wind farm ban is unconstitutional, Press Herald

State’s highest court hears Antrim Wind appeal arguments, Monandock Ledger Transcript

Redfield shares worries about Mad River Wind Farm, Watertown (NY) Daily Times

 

Solar

New solar power fee draws heat on Beacon Hill, Boston Globe

Soveren Solar closes up shop, Brattleboro Reformer

Blackout at Beverly High, High school solar panels out of commission past two years, Salem News

Lawmakers slam new solar charges, CommonWealth Magazine

Solar Fees are Burning Southern New England, ecoRI news

President’s Decision on Solar Tariffs is a Loss for America | SEIA, Solar Energy Industries Association

Frustration grows over Eversource solar charge, The Daily News of Newburyport

Pro-solar protestors arrested in Maine, pv magazine USA

Officials: Now is the time to go solar in Cambridge, Wicked Local Cambridge

Massachusetts lands first community solar+storage project, pv magazine

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

We consume a lot of food and beer on Super Bowl Sunday, but not a lot of electricity, Popular Science

Baker plans energy audit for Swampscott home, Salem News

Americans Are Staying Home More. That’s Saving Energy., New York Times

US cities most menaced by climate change are least energy-efficient, Reuters

State Takes First, Tentative Steps Toward Energy Efficiency Standard, NJ Spotlight

Compound could transform energy storage for large grids, University of Rochester (press release)

 

Electric Vehicles

Uncoordinated trouble? Electric vehicles can be a grid asset, but only with planning and investment, Utility Dive

How Tesla’s first truck charging stations will be built, CNBC

 

Nuclear

DOE report touts small modular reactors, but hurdles remain, Utility Dive

Troubled Vermont Yankee disposal company sold, vtdigger.org

Progress made to resolve Vt. Yankee sale concerns, The Recorder

Tax Breaks Spur Dominion Deleveraging, RTO Insider

Nuclear Power in Crisis: We Are Entering the Era of Nuclear Decommissioning, Energy Collective

The future of nuclear power? Think small, LA Times

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

State chooses another proposal instead of Emera’s sub-sea cable to Plymouth, Wicked Local Dover

Digitalization Could Provide $38 Billion in Benefits to Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

New England Faces Power Shortages Without Infrastructure Fix, Engineering News-Record

Customers Pan Eversource Rate Request, CT News Junkie

Eversource Energy customers ‘shocked’ by electric bill, Meriden Record-Journal

Fossil fuel burners, clean energy sector, and Democrat Setti Warren pan Eversource hydro deal for Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Bethel residents rally against Eversource pole placement, Danbury News Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Column: Oil Kept the Power Grid Running in Recent Cold Snap, Valley News

When it comes to Russian gas, just say nyet, Boston Globe

Amid Climate Turbulence, Wind Power Looms as Boon for Island, Vineyard Gazette

Letter: Anti-pipeline forces drive up utility prices, Berkshire Eagle

In polarized times, clean energy is what unites us, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Adam Cote: Energy moves will crush thousands of jobs, hurt Maine people, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Wind energy or oil? The choice is easy, Cape Cod Times

Letter to the editor: Support law that protects solar power generators from unfair taxes, Press Herald

My Turn: Energy efficiency on two dollars a month, Concord Monitor

New York Should Demand More Efficiency from National Grid, NRDC Blog

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Filed under Climate Change, hydro, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News