Tag Archives: Pilgrim

Energy News for week ending June 8, 2018

Save the nukes | Fundamental Change

Happy Friday. Just a couple of quick hits for today.

Both the region’s biggest newspaper and the President want to save nuclear power plants. As the Wall St. Journal reports, “The Energy Department is proposing a new plan to bail out failing nuclear and coal-fired power plants by forcing grid operators to take the electricity they produce, a move that could upend competitive power markets and raise prices for consumers.” And in an editorial, the Boston Globe suggests, “To keep the region’s climate goals achievable, policy makers should ensure that Pilgrim is the last nuclear power plant that New England loses.”

An article in Vox this week is about a new technology from a company called 3DFS that “could effectively double the energy efficiency of the electricity system, getting twice the energy services out of the same amount of generation. That would radically hasten both electrification and decarbonization, proving a weapon against climate change at least as potent as renewable energy itself.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Chester County commissioners slam Sunoco for ‘appalling’ lack of pipeline information, State Impact

Quebec to ban shale fracking, limit oil-and-gas exploration, Global News

Analysis: Rover Pipeline coming online results in higher flows into East Canada, Platts

Oil industry ‘deeply discouraged’ by Trump’s new tariffs, Washington Examiner

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Walsh Announcing New Energy Plan as Mayors Meet, NECN

Power brokers: Boston to join other cities to collectively buy energy from renewable sources, Boston Globe

Pope summons oil execs to Vatican to talk climate change, Penn Energy

Will FERC uphold state support for clean energy?, Utility Dive

Green groups push for 12-13 Mt RGGI cap for New Jersey upon re-entry, Carbon-Pulse

Connecticut Port of Stonington Participates in Fishing for Energy Partnership, Waste360

Controversial RI Biomass Bill Not Moving Forward In General Assembly This Year, Rhode Island Public Radio

 

Wind

Regional Cooperation Stressed at Meeting on New York Bight Offshore Wind Areas, Renewable Energy World

GE Renewable Energy To Provide Cyber Security For Invenergy Wind Turbine Fleet, CleanTechnica

New England Bets Big on Offshore Wind Power, Engineering News-Record

Report finds offshore wind could add 2,100 jobs, as regulators mull fate of UMaine project, MSN

Region’s leaders pitch New London to offshore wind suppliers, The Day

Massachusetts hoping to be nation’s offshore wind power hub, Washington Post

 

Solar

This new doc shows how renewable energy recharges communities, Fast Company

Hancock County will consider zoning change to accommodate solar farm, MaineBiz

New solar plants equipped with electricity-storage capacity are proliferating across the U.S., IEEFA

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

This technology could fundamentally change our relationship to electricity, Vox.com

PSEG plans $3 billion in energy efficiency projects and 50,000 vehicle charging stations, NorthJersey.com

Tesla has installed a truly huge amount of energy storage, Fast Company

N.J. sets ‘aggressive’ 2 GW storage target by 2030, Utility Dive

Northampton’s door-to-door effort yields progress on home energy conservation, Daily Hampshire Gazette

 

Nuclear

Energy Department Prepares New Plan to Prop Up Nuclear, Coal-Fired Power Plants, Wall St. Journal

NRC Chair: Nuclear safety regulatory process not to blame for plant retirements, Utility Dive

Dominion Energy : makes push to prove Millstone ‘at risk’ of closure, 4-Traders

Trump memo on struggling power plants raises concerns, Cape Cod Times

Vermont Yankee Buyer Says Success Here Could Mean Big Business Elsewhere, Rhode Island Public Radio

Welch backs controversial nuclear waste bill, VTDigger

Oyster Creek nuclear plant submits 60-year, $1.4 billion closing plan, Press of Atlantic City

 

EVs

The Correlation Between Smart Meters and Electric Vehicle Adoption Rates, Energy Manager Today

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

CMP Strikes $22M Deal On Transmission Project That Could Cross Kennebec River Gorge, Maine Public

Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future?, Bloomberg

Patagonia joins fight against CMP transmission line through Maine, Portland Press Herald

New England fully integrates demand response into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

Cape Codders to Save on Electric Bills as Supply Rates Fall, Cape Cod

National Grid breaks ground in Somerset, South Coast Today

Trump memo on struggling power plants raises concerns, Cape Cod Times

National Grid would boost revenues by $19.6M in settlement with R.I. regulators, Providence Journal

Eversource rejects CT Water’s bidding-war invitation, Hartford Business Journal

Eversource Receives Industry Award for Winter Power Restoration Efforts, Cape Cod

Exelon CEO: ‘We Need Federal Intervention’ on Grid Resilience, Greentech Media

In Millbury, National Grid linemen test skills, eye Kansas rodeo, Telegram

 

Editorial/Opinion

Retiring more nuclear plants could hurt Mass. climate goals, Boston Globe

Region’s power grid is changing dramatically, Commonwealth Magazine

Letter: William F. Horan: R.I. cannot count on renewable energy alone, Providence Journal

NJ Keep It Rollin’: Adopt a Strong RGGI Cap, Gov. Murphy, NRDC

Jerry Elmer: An historic energy day, VTDigger

Music and climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

No true way to evacuate from nuke plant emergency, Seacoastonline.com

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear

Energy News for week ending May 18, 2018

Smart Meters Rejected | Contentious Bills | Going Haywire

 

TGIF

This week we begin with a story from Greentech Media that follows-up to last week’s grid mod announcement in Massachusetts. Digging a little deeper into the smart meter portion of the order they write, “Massachusetts regulators see a future in which customers are leaving investor-owned utilities for municipal aggregators and competitive third-party suppliers, and they aren’t sure how to fit mass-market smart meter deployments into that future. Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that ‘declined to preauthorize any customer-facing investments’ — that is, smart meter deployments.” The reasons according to the article, “it found several weaknesses in each utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) business case, based on a combination of two unusual factors prevailing in the state. First, all these utilities have already deployed simpler automated meter reading systems, which have already allowed each utility to achieve the significant meter-reading savings that account for a big chunk of the AMI business case.” And second, is the inability to tap into a constant stream of data to enable real time rates, “The problem is that each utility customer that switches to a non-utility energy provider is no longer part of each utility’s list of prospective time-varying rate (TVR) adopters, even though the utility paid for the smart meter that made them available.”

In NH, three “contentious” renewable energy bills are on their way to Governor Sununu’s desk. From the NH Business Review, “New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446… (increases) fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering…SB 446 would extend the upper limit from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, allowing large businesses, municipalities and even small hydro generators to take advantage of it, paving the way for much larger renewable energy projects…SB 365…would require Eversource to pay 80 percent of the default rate to six wood-burning plants for three years…and SB 577, which would continue the current subsidized rate for the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin.” When it comes to Bill 446, “Critics, including utilities and some business groups, claim that generators are paid too much for the power, and this amounts to a subsidy paid for by other ratepayers. Advocates say that renewable energy saves money on distribution and generation costs.” Other concerns include in increase in rates that could jeopardize manufacturing jobs in the state.

If you’re in need of an excuse for why you’re late; or bummed out that you showed up early for work one day – blame the power grid. From the AP, “Your electric clock might be running a bit cuckoo. Because of a change in federal energy regulations, some scientists say your trusty, older plug-in clock may be losing or gaining a few ticks over time…Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that’s 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Kulik: Pipeline resistance strong in House, CommonWealth magazine

Pipeline protesters shut down City Council subcommittee meeting (VIDEO), Lowell Sun
Fall River City Council condemns water deal with Invenergy, opposes plant construction
, Uprise RI

Another skirmish in the pipeline wars, CommonWealth magazine

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections, EcoWatch

Gas leaks near schools: Wellesley School Committee contacts National Grid, Wicked Local

500 Greenpoint Locals Wait Days For National Grid To Restore Gas, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

CT Slapped With Lawsuit Over Raid Of Clean Energy Funds, Solar Industry

3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk, NH Business Review

On Cape Cod, Tides Could Become A Renewable Energy Source, wgbh.org

IBM joins forces with a start-up to combine crypto with environmental credit trading, CNBC

Why a 100-year-old Indian company is investing billions into renewable energy, Quartz

Americans want more clean energy. Here’s what they’re actually willing to do to get it, CNBC

Portland’s Casco Bay High School hopes to become ‘greenest’ in Maine, The Forecaster

U.S. Department of Energy announces funding opportunity for marine energy R&D, Renewable Energy World

Clean energy future the focus of Worcester environmental forum, Telegram

If Solar and Wind Hit 50% of Generation, US Wholesale Energy Prices Could Fall 25% or More, Greentech Media

New York proposes strict carbon emission limits for existing power plants, Utility Dive

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available to Launch New Cleantech Accelerator, NA Clean Energy

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge, NA Clean Energy

 

Wind

Brayton Point chosen for wind turbine foundation factory, Herald News

High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more, Utility Dive

World’s largest offshore wildlife aerial survey off NY’s coast halfway complete, Windpower Engineering (press release)

Offshore wind developer eyeing potential of South Brooklyn shipping hub, Offshore Wind Journal

Winning the battle to reduce the cost of offshore wind, Maritime Journal

State’s high court shoots down appeal against Antrim Wind; project can go forward, Keene Sentinel

Union official backs Bay State Wind, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Solar

Solar activists lobby for legislative attention, Sentinel and Enterprise

Solar Power: ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to RI’s Forests, ecoRI news

Sunrun Boosts Revenue 37%, Expands Partnership With National Grid, Greentech Media

RI Company Develops Solar-Powered Refrigeration System For Tractor-Trailers, Rhode Island Public Radio

CESA honors six states for clean energy excellence, Solar Power World

68-acre solar installation proposed in Tiverton, The Providence Journal

Cumberland council OKs solar farm, mulls garage move, The Forecaster

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mobile Lab Will Test Energy-Saving Water Technology, WAMC

Efficiencies help lighten summer power demand, Sentinel & Enterprise

Groups sue Connecticut state officials for raiding clean energy and efficiency funds, New Haven Register

US House Committee Cuts Federal Energy Research, Boosts Energy Storage, Union of Concerned Scientists

Storage Might Solve Some Big Grid Problems, but Not the Ones You Think, Greentech Media

National Grid grants $1 million in energy efficiency rebates to world’s largest housing cooperative, Daily Energy Insider

Energy savings ideas topic of Energy and Environmental Conference, Eagle Tribune

Big Battery Boom Hits Another Roadblock: Fire-Fearing Cities, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

1st Quarter Inspection at Pilgrim Finds No Violations, CapeCod.com News

Advocacy to Keep US Nuclear Reactors Open Picks Up Steam, Energy Collective

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Will Soon Face a Moment of Reckoning, Greentech Media

Report Says More Nuclear Plants in Financial Trouble, Power Magazine

Nuclear-Waste Tax Case Battled at 11th Circuit, Courthouse News

 

EVs

Another NH utility tiptoes into a little bit of support for electric vehicles, Granite Geek

Are electric cars worse for the environment?, Politico

RMLD Celebrates New Bolt, New Charging Station, Patch.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clocks may go a little cuckoo with power grid change, AP

Massachusetts rejects smart meter rollout for ‘weaknesses in the business case’, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Rejects Smart Meter Rollouts, as Competitive Energy Undermines the Business Case, Greentech Media

Exelon sets its price for keeping Everett plants open, CommonWealth Magazine

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council Reports: Annual Assessment Forecasts Adequate Electricity Supplies for this Summer, Energy Central

US Northeast, Canada to have adequate summer power supply, Platts

Eversource plans 5% summer electricity rate cut, MassLive.com

National Grid’s full-year profits rise helped by US business, Reuters

New York ISO Zone A real-time power spikes to $1400/MWh on strong demand, Platts

Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Aims To Restore Power By Sunday After Four Tornadoes Strike, Hartford Courant

New York in bid to shut down all coal plants by 2020, Energy Voice

Message to FERC: Think Beyond Bulk Power to Achieve Grid Resilience, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Natural-Gas Constraints Bad for Business, Bad for Environment, AIM blog

Time to update state’s appliance standards, CommonWealth Magazine

Obama saw a key role for natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Why the offshore wind industry is about to take off, The Conversation

Meredith Angwin: Rolling Blackouts For New England?, Caledonian Record

New York’s Green Energy Roulette, Wall Street Journal

Letter: Epping must stand up to pipeline, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers, Press Herald

One Well-Placed Hurricane Will UTTERLY DESTROY Costly Offshore Wind Systems On The East Coast, Daily Caller

Rhode Island Should Lead by Example to Prevent Loss of Forestland, EcoRI

Climate disruption has real impact on health in Massachusetts and we should be doing more (Viewpoint), MassLive

Out-of-towner explains Granite Bridge opposition, Seacoastonline.com

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

Energy News for week ending May 11, 2018

Grid Mod in MA | Duck Curve Arrives | All Turbines Mapped

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week we begin with grid mod as the topic and a State House News Service story in the Sentinel and Enterprise that Massachusetts “State officials on Thursday issued an order authorizing utilities to spend $220 million statewide on upgrades to the electrical grid over the next three years, and set up a process that could result in some smart meter investments ushering in more dynamic ways of pricing power. The grid upgrades would be targeted at preventing future outages, allowing areas to more quickly bounce back from a power outage, and better accommodating renewable energy generation…Installing smart meters for every residential ratepayer would cost $1.5 billion, according to the Baker administration, which has opted instead to set up a process that could result in using smart meters in situations where they would render the highest benefits for the least cost, according to an official.”

All of those solar installations out there have brought something bird-like to New England that, from a US perspective, is mostly seen in California. From PV Magazine, “As solar comes to more regions of the United States, it is beginning to alter the dynamics of electricity supply and demand. These are most noticeable on weekend days in the spring, when solar output is high but electricity demand is lower than during the week and not inflated by air conditioning use, as it is in the summer.

The result of this is the “duck curve”, as documented in California. There the output of solar is suppressing mid-day demand, with a steep ramp-up in demand that must be met by other resources as the sun goes down. When coupled with a lack of sufficient flexibility in the rest of the electricity fleet and operation of the grid, this can result in negative prices and curtailment of resources…New England’s grid operator has reported that on April 21 behind-the-meter solar met sufficient demand that for the first time net daytime demand fell to a lower level than overnight demand…the increase in solar led to a fall in the region’s wholesale electricity price to -$2.65 per megawatt-hour around 3 PM.”

We end this week with an article from the Washington Post titled, “Every one of America’s 57,636 wind turbines, mapped.” From the article, “To create the database, the USGS partnered with the Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association. The organizations merged their individual data sets to create a new database that was more accurate and comprehensive than previous efforts. Once they compiled the new database, researchers attempted to visually verify the precise location of each turbine using satellite imagery. They intend to update it periodically in the coming years as the wind industry grows.” The piece not only gets into geographical reasons for why wind is more popular in some parts of the country than others, but also speaks to political climates that create certain disparities.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Energy giant sues Weymouth over pipeline station, saying federal law overrides zoning, Boston Globe

Burner Tips: Collaboration between utilities and environmental groups might not be the norm, but in Massachusetts, the two sides have come together to find mutual solutions, American Gas Magazine

Reducing Methane Emissions Amidst a ‘National Leadership Void,’ BrinkNews.com

CT regulators ignore health and climate destroying methane leaks, Stratford Star

Connecticut Senate votes to gut net metering, extend renewable energy mandate, pv magazine USA

Rick Perry suggests using ‘national security’ to override opposition to pipelines, ThinkProgress

Weymouth compressor station opponents seek stories of illness, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

State Clean Energy Laws Make New England Grid More Resilient, Natural Resources Defense Council

Commission reduces fees for popular renewable energy program, vtdigger.org

Under the Sea: A Roadmap for Renewable Energy, MarineLink

Scientists Say Ocean Circulation Is Slowing. Here’s Why You Should Care., InsideClimate News

NYSERDA Announces $10 Million Available for Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge Initiative, North America Clean Energy

Earth’s atmosphere just crossed another troubling climate change threshold, Boston Globe

 

Wind

What’s the best bet on wind?, CommonWealth Magazine

Every one of America’s 57,636 wind turbines, mapped, Washington Post

Offshore wind developer, unions partner on workforce training initiative, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Wind-energy meetings scheduled amid concerns about East End, Newsday

US Offshore Wind Can Realize 25 GW through Synergies with Oil & Gas Sector, Renewable Energy World

Council passes bill to encourage wind energy, Queens Ledger

Offshore-wind developers want more details on state straw proposal, NJ Spotlight

Lawyers for wind developer want Hopkinton to increase turbine height to 600 feet, National Wind Watch

Offshore Wind’s Value Exceeds Its Construction Costs In New York And New England, Energy Collective

Bay State Wind signs agreements to build training center in New Bedford, SouthCoastToday.com

AWEA 2018: Offshore hubs to spring up on Atlantic coast, Windpower Monthly

Offshore Wind’s Value Exceeds Its Construction Costs In New York And New England, Energy Collective

East Hampton Town Trustees Move Forward With Plans For Joint Hearing On Deepwater Project, 27east.com

 

Solar

Sun And Solar Power Cut Electricity Demand From New England Grid To Lowest Ever, Hartford Courant

It’s Official. All New California Homes Must Incorporate Solar, Greentech Media

The duck curve comes to New England, pv magazine USA

Solar power helps New England hit historic milestone, Concord Monitor

US Navy leases photovoltaic solar panels near Rhode Island station, Electric Light & Power

Five New England Colleges To Buy Solar From Maine Project, Solar Industry

Vermont reduces incentives for renewable energy program, Penn Energy

Solar-Panel Makers Ramp Up U.S. Manufacturing Plans, Wall Street Journal (Pay wall)

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

State Strategic Plan Looks to Boost Energy Efficiency, Cut Customer Costs, NJ Spotlight

Rutland family receives $5K to make their home energy efficient, Mountaintimes

Why The Energy Storage Problem Won’t Be A Problem For Long, CleanTechnica

As energy storage costs decline, market changes needed to increase deployment, Platts

New York City moves to streamline energy storage permitting, Utility Dive

Energy storage, wind, and solar companies are recruiting coal miners for their work ethics and high-tech skills, Environmental Defense Fund

 

Nuclear

Bill seeks to prioritize nuclear waste removal at Pilgrim, Patriot Ledger

Vermont Yankee resumes fuel move, Brattleboro Reformer

Seabrook officials analyze financial issues, The Daily News of Newburyport

Indian Point task force study urges Entergy to turn over property, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Nuclear Energy Institute Recommends Rejection of PJM Capacity Proposals, Daily Energy Insider

One Thing Trump, Some Environmentalists Both Love: Nuclear Power, Bloomberg

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Hampshire rethinks distributed generation-only pilots for non-wires alternatives, Utility Dive

How CMP plans to pipe clean energy to Massachusetts through Maine, Bangor Daily News

Baker, Healey split on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

Do Healey, Baker have a truce?, CommonWealth Magazine

Connecticut lawmakers pass sweeping energy bill, Utility Dive

Solar, efficiency drive declining peak load in ISO New England, Utility Dive

DPU issues electric grid modernization order, Sentinel & Enterprise

Under Pressure: Steam Pipe System Draws Scrutiny, NBC Boston

Eversource customers can get $3000 rebate on Nissan Leaf electric car, Concord Monitor

Eversource Looks to Offshore Wind, New Rates for Growth, RTO Insider

Eversource pushes ahead with pursuit of Connecticut Water, Journal Inquirer

PUC refuses to intensify inquiry into CMP billing problems, Press Herald

Utilities commission won’t ramp up CMP billing investigation, Bangor Daily News

Maine Lawmakers Signal Opposition to NECEC, RTO Insider

Worried About Grid Resilience? Don’t—You Can Sleep Well, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource generation rate to fall July 1, Hartford Business

New Hampshire’s Coming Energy Crunch Is A Job Killer, InsideSources

Colleges To Train Next-Gen Utility Workers, New Haven Independent

 

Editorial/Opinion

What’s up with the Globe and natural gas?, CommonWealth magazine

SUZANNE TORRES, Weymouth: An issue of credibility in Spectra debate, The Patriot Ledger

Climate Change Shouldn’t Need a Salesman, Wall Street Journal

Maurice Kreis: Rolling blackouts in New Hampshire? Not a chance, Concord Monitor

LETTER: Expanding natural gas pipelines is not the right energy solution, SouthCoastToday.com

Viewpoint: Climate change is here. Boston has no time to waste., Boston Business Journal

Time to hit the off switch on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

NextEra’s Robo Is Wrong About Offshore Wind, Energy Collective

Connecticut Energy Legislation a Mixed Bag for Clean Energy, North American Clean Energy

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending April 27, 2018

Power Struggle | Offshore Wind = 1000s of jobs | Nuclear can be flexible

 

It’s Friday afternoon so it’s time for the weekly Northeast Energy News.

We begin with an article from the Boston Globe about Central Maine Power’s proposed project to bring Canadian hydro to Massachusetts. As the article notes, “Until recently, Central Maine Power’s proposal was considered an also-ran to a similar plan in New Hampshire, called Northern Pass, the initial choice of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration to import clean energy.” But like the Northern Pass project, the CMP project also goes through sensitive and important environmental areas and it has some people very unhappy. Others however, are seeing it differently due to incentives. David Abel writes, “In exchange for their support, the company has promised to lavish The Forks and neighbors — small towns that have struggled economically for years — with tens of millions of dollars…Many residents consider those payments bribes, and worry that the pledged money is pitting neighbors against each other. At the same time, they recognize the need for economic aid to offset declining tourism.”

Yesterday, Wind Power Engineering reported that “The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has released a report on the workforce needs and economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry, finding that the deployment of 1,600 MW of offshore wind is estimated to create between 2,270 and 3,170 job years — defined as one person working full-time for one year — during construction over the next 10 years and generate between $675 million and $800 million in direct economic output in Massachusetts. The Offshore Wind Workforce Report, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and authored by Bristol Community College, UMass Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, also provides analysis and recommendations to guide the training and development needs for the offshore wind industry workforce in Massachusetts.”

The last article highlight for this week was posted by one of my favorite people on Twitter – Jesse Jenkins of the MIT Energy Initiative. From the article on Energy.MIT.edu, “Nuclear power plants generally operate at full capacity, but they are also technically capable of more flexible operation. This capability lets them respond dynamically to seasonal changes in demand or hourly changes in market prices. Reactors could also provide the standby backup regulation and reserve services needed to balance supply and demand. According to Jenkins, all reactor designs now being licensed or built in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are capable of flexible operation, as are many older reactors now in service. ‘We primarily rely on gas and coal plants to meet all those flexibility needs today, while we operate our nuclear plants fixed, or ‘must-run,’ 24/7,’ says Jenkins. ‘The question here is, what would the benefits be if we stopped operating them so inflexibly, if we started using more of their technical capabilities to ‘ramp’ output up and down on different time scales from seconds to hours to seasons?’ The answer, he says, is less reliance on the gas and coal plants—and more renewable energy integration.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Greenfield residents suing city over plans to cut down trees for pipeline, wwlp.com

Does Region Need More Natural Gas? Invenergy’s Final Burrillville Push Begins April 26, ecoRI news

Invenergy has nine or ten contingent water suppliers in Rhode Island and Connecticut says their Attorney, Uprise RI (blog)

Following Spills, PA Stops Pipeline Work At Delaware County Site, WSKG.org

Court: Youngstown anti-fracking amendment must go on ballot, Youngstown Vindicator

Energy Transfer and Sunoco Pipelines Have Leaked Every 11 Days on Average, For 16 Years, Care2.com

Activists head to court after shutting down pipelines. Their defense? Climate change., Grist

NY nixes natural gas pipeline expansion permit, Penn Energy

Nearby communities stepping in to track CPV power plant emissions, Times Herald Record

PSEG urges New Jersey to approve $1.9B gas line replacement program, Utility Dive

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI/etc.

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Clean Energy Prize rewards student innovation, MIT News

Scott Pruitt wades into a fraught science debate, declaring biomass burning ‘carbon neutral,’ Washington Post

New York launches next large-scale renewables procurement round, Recharge

The Northeast US has a carbon-trading system. It is boosting, not hurting, state economies., Vox

The Carbon Tax Could Come Soon To A State Near You, Law360

The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change, Bloomberg

2 Clark University Expert Authors On Report On Climate Change, Patch.com

U.S. Department of Energy announces $2.4 million in funding for fish passage technologies research programs, Hydro-World

 

Wind

New Massachusetts report finds 1600 MW of offshore wind would create thousands of jobs, Windpower Engineering

Opponents seek suspension of Antrim Wind Energy’s construction certificate, National Wind Watch

Savoy rejects wind turbine building permit; developer plans appeal, National Wind Watch

Convoys of huge wind turbine parts move through western NY, Penn Energy

Selection of offshore wind providers delayed one month, South Coast Today

Advocates Seek More Momentum for Massachusetts Offshore Wind, Renewable Energy World

Trump likes coal, but that doesn’t mean he’s hostile to wind, Washington Post

Winds of change calmed: PGC declares moratorium on wind turbines, National Wind Watch

How Windmills as Wide as Jumbo Jets Are Making Clean Energy Mainstream, New York Times

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power 16000 Homes, EcoWatch

Offshore wind farms concern fisherpeople, The Brown Daily Herald

NextEra CEO Robo slams US offshore wind as ‘bad business’, Recharge

 

Solar

Solect expands to Illinois, Worcester Business Journal

New Bipartisan Legislation Would Repeal Trump’s Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

Regional planners balk at part of solar project, Rutland Herald

Amherst among 5 New England colleges partnering on solar facility in Maine, wwlp.com

Londonderry Superfund site eyed for big solar array, New Hampshire Business Review

NH House panel passes a new fix to net metering bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Solar Generation, Energy Storage System Completed at SUNY New Paltz, Hudson Valley News Network

City Weighs New Regulations After ‘Solar Monster’ Complaints, CBS Boston / WBZ

Darien company installs a 129 kilowatt solar array on the roof, wins award, The Darien News

Freeport is considering a municipal solar energy project, CentralMaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

In Massachusetts, Energy Storage Has Allies in High Places, Greentech Media

FERC Order 845 opens door a little wider for energy storage, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help, Greentech Media

Falling Grid-Scale Storage Prices Create “Watershed Moment”, CleanTechnica

New York Boosts Efficiency Target, Makes Way for More Solar and Energy Storage, Greentech Media

2 buildings in Orange targeted for energy efficiency upgrades, The Recorder

Lockheed says ‘flow’ battery will boost use of renewable power, Reuters

 

EVs

The electric vehicle boom is coming. What can we learn from early adopters?, ensia.com

New York agencies propose shifting EV fast chargers to non-demand charges, Utility Dive

Utilities boost electric car incentives, (VT) Energy Central

ABB launches what it says is world’s fastest EV charger, PV Magazine

New York regulators to mull advancing EV market with new proceeding, Utility Dive

Convenience at Heart of New US Ultra-Fast EV Charging Network, Renewable Energy World

 

Nuclear

Keeping the balance: How flexible nuclear operation can help add more wind and solar to the grid, MIT Energy Initiative

Pilgrim officials consider moving nuclear waste to higher ground, Boston Globe

NY nuclear plant resumes service after scheduled outage, Penn Energy

Update on the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, vtdigger.org

NRC hosts meeting on safety of Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoastonline.com

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?, Boston Globe

US regulator considers value of resiliency, World Nuclear News

New York to launch utility energy registry this summer in data-gathering effort, Utility Dive

FERC Commissioners Testify on Energy Infrastructure, Resiliency, State-Federal Tensions, Lexology

National Grid customers won’t see relief for months, The Daily News of Newburyport

Eversource devotes $80M to tree trimming, hazardous tree removal, CT Post

Eversource, UI hit hard in new customer value survey, New Haven Register

Eversource Continues Natural Gas Expansion In Darien, Patch.com

New England line would have to take the scenic route, E&E News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why you’ll pay for Beacon Hill’s pipeline folly, Boston Globe

We need a RGGI for transportation, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine needs zones free of windmills, power lines, Press Herald

Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Energy Central/Concord Monitor

Fears about blackouts increasing, CommonWealth Magazine

Infrastructure Necessary for Energy Independence, Everett Independent

Nancy Stiles: Energy-efficiency funds important for schools, towns, state’s 10-year strategy, Concord Monitor

Bold Ideas to Address Society’s Energy Issues Deserve Consideration, not Dismissal, ecoRI news

Quebec hydro line is not without environmental costs, Bangor Daily News

Confessions of a former carbon tax skeptic, Washington Examiner

Dick Henry: Legislation will help lower electric bills for all ratepayers, Concord Monitor

Letter to the editor: Excuse from CMP wanted as electric bills defy logic, Press Herald

Natural gas essential to New York’s energy mix, Albany Times Union

Robert Thorson: US Backs Big Oil Against Tiny Arctic Tribe, Hartford Courant

Letter: Conservative Law Foundation is right about Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Offshore wind energy right for Connecticut, The Day

 

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

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

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!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending October 6, 2017

Try a little voodoo | Methane Moooystery Solved | Troubling Conclusion

Happy Friday afternoon. The Energy News list today is UGE! In order to make it easier for folks to find what they want we created more categories. This may not be the case every week, but when have nearly 80 stories, like today, a little more sorting seems to help.

We’ve also been expanding our range to include more Northeast (i.e. beyond New England) stories, and of course have national news stories with potential local and regional implications. We hope you’re enjoying the change. Now, let’s get to a few of the news items.

I love the lede in this Berkshire Eagle article, “When all else fails, keep bugging the pipeline company, and try a little voodoo.” While it sounds like a lot of shenanigans were going on, the story also touches on some kind human interactions between the members of the police detail and the protestors. With all that’s been going on in the world, examples of peaceful protests are welcome news.

The Washington Post brings us the results of a study on upticks in methane over recent years. It seems the cause may be burping bovines. “Just from livestock methane emissions, our revisions resulted in 11 percent more methane in a recent year than what we were previously estimating,” said Julie Wolf, lead author of the study who completed the work while a postdoc at the institute and now works at the Department of Agriculture. “It’s not the biggest contributor to the annual methane budget in the atmosphere, but it may be the biggest contributor to increases in the atmospheric budget over recent years.” And, if you thought the emissions came from the other end of the cow, check out the embedded 2015 story about how that’s not the case.

Lastly this week, also from the Washington Post comes the results of 26-year climate change study that has been taking place in the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. From the article, “The research, tracking the emissions of carbon from artificially heated plots of a forest in Massachusetts, reinforces fears about the possibility of a climate change “feedback” involving the planet’s soils, one that could pile on top of and substantially worsen the ongoing warming trend triggered by the burning of fossil fuels.” Check it out, it’s pretty interesting stuff.

As always, be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great Columbus Day weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Methane

Activists relentless as Tennessee Gas tries to wrap up pipeline work, gas to flow in November, Berkshire Eagle

Scientists may have found a solution to the atmosphere’s methane mystery, Washington Post

New York power plant raises concerns, Greater New Milford Spectrum

TransCanada says it’s cancelling Energy East pipeline, CT Post

LISTEN: The science behind gas leaks under our cities and towns, The Patriot Ledger

Massive Pennsylvania gas leak proves industry requires more oversight, Environmental Defense Fund

Looking beyond pipelines to address New England’s electricity needs, Environmental Defense Fund

Renewables (Policy/RGGI/Purchasing, etc.)

Murphy or Guadagno: There’s Likely RGGI in New Jersey’s Future, NJ Spotlight

Vermont a Leader in Renewables, PUC Chair Says, RTO Insider

Renewable energy fans flex lobbying muscles in Massachusetts, Penn Energy

Council president, mayor differ on green electricity plan for city, Boston Globe

Wind

Energy Companies’ Proposal Could Help Expand Maine’s Wind Power Capacity, Maine Public

New York To BOEM: Here’s Where We Can Build Offshore Wind, North American Windpower

NY State clears way for more offshore wind, Long Island Business News

Senvion’s 3.7M144 Wind Turbine Arrives In North America, North American Windpower

If Wind Power Is Going to Replace Fossil Fuels, We Need Bigger Turbines, Futurism

From Black to Green: DONG Energy is Now Ørsted, Renewable Energy World

So Long, DONG: Danish Energy Giant Changes Name While Dropping Fossil Fuels, Greentech Media

Scituate selectmen consider shutting down wind turbine, Patriot Ledger

Solar

Net Metering Cap Stalls $78 Million Worth Of Massachusetts Solar Projects, CleanTechnica

Massachusetts Solar Industry Testifies in Support of Raising Net Metering Caps, Energy Collective

Claremont solar array project moves forward, The Union Leader

Rebuilding After the Hurricanes: These Solar Homes Use Almost No Energy, InsideClimate News

Regulations Force Boston Churches to Cut Back Solar Plan, WGBH

Solar industry turns up heat on Mass. Legislature, Boston Globe

New tariff proposals put solar in ‘a land of complete uncertainty’ ahead of ITC hearing, Utility Dive

Fairfield enters partnership to explore solar array on closed landfill, Energy Central/Morning Central

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, News Times

Low-income families left in dark by solar law, Wicked Local Littleton

Tidal

N.S. opens door to new energy ventures among world’s highest tides in Fundy, Times Colonist

Tidal turbine test site at Cape Cod Canal gets green light, Cape Cod Times

Climate Change

One of the oldest climate change experiments has led to a troubling conclusion, Washington Post

Storage

Massachusetts’ largest ESS will help ‘stabilise’ utility customers’ rates for 20 years, Energy Storage News

National Grid, battery company unveil power system at Holy Name, Worcester Business Journal

ENGIE and Massachusetts utility team up for 6 MWh energy storage project, Utility Dive

Energy Efficiency

Pot power drain on the minds of Bay State utilities, Gloucester Times

Happy Energy Efficiency Day: Buy an LED Bulb to Celebrate, Natural Resources Defense Council

Efficiencies helped households save up to 30 percent on energy bills in 2016: IEA, Reuters

States Lead the Way on Energy Efficiency as Feds Falter, Natural Resources Defense Council

Portsmouth joins national Energy Efficiency Day, Seacoastonline.com

Start saving money, reducing pollution on Energy Efficiency Day, wwlp.com

Despite Trump, states keep getting more energy-efficient., Grist

Connecticut slips slightly in state-by-state ranking of energy efficiency, The Greater New Milford Spectrum

Want To Build An Energy Efficient House? Try Concrete, WNPR News

LED streetlight conversion leads to $115K grant, Daily Times Chronicle

Nuclear

Nuclear Regulatory Commission responds to Seabrook safety activist’s concerns, Wicked Local Ipswich

At Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant, A Rumble Over Rubble, New England Public Radio

Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund grows by $13M, Brattleboro Reformer

Entergy, NorthStar want critical comments nixed, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim owner backs off another nuclear plant closure, Cape Cod Times

Proposed federal bill would give millions to cities storing nuclear waste, Chicago Tribune

Courtney targets nuclear waste, Hartford Business

DOE NOPR FERC

US DOE proposal for FERC market reforms draws heavy fire at GCPA, Platts

An Obscure Statute Is Helping Trump Save U.S. Coal, Nuclear, Bloomberg

How DOE’s baseload power rule ‘would blow the market up,’ Utility Dive

Behind the Backlash to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Demand for Coal-Nuclear Market Intervention, Greentech Media

The Energy Department is Making up Reasons Why You Need to Pay More For Dirty Energy, Fast Company

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

State budget woes jeopardize environmental funding, New Haven Register

Eversource predicts dip in monthly bills by 5.5 percent, The Union Leader

Site Evaluation Committee views potential impact of Northern Pass on Concord, Concord Monitor

World’s First Technology To Measure Electricity Grid Stability Announced, CleanTechnica

Land Conservationists Worry Power Plant Will Fragment Forest, Harm Species, WNPR News

Invenergy announces water deal with Narragansett Tribe, RI Future

Rep. Cushing to PUC: Don’t Let ‘Polluter’ Eversource Buy Aquarion Water, InDepthNH.org

Worcester balks at National Grid repair bills for DCU Center, Worcester Telegram

EPA chief wants more of Northern Pass underground, The Union Leader

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

FERC eschews social cost of carbon measurement in new downstream analysis, Utility Dive

Winter energy prices to rise at least seven percent in Mass, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass hits another obstacle, CommonWealth Magazine

Imagining the Utility of the Future, Utility Dive

Gardner deal to trim electricity bills, Telegram

Editorial/Opinion

Stopping Climate Change Starts at Home, Commonwealth Magazine

Editorial: Energy project shows promise, once connected to the grid, The Recorder

Northern Pass is committed to working with businesses, The Laconia Daily Sun

Forum: Protect Millstone’s workers and communities, not its shareholders, New Haven Register

Amelia Shea: A long-term view of Vermont Yankee site, vtdigger.org

Could electricity become too cheap to meter?, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending September 15, 2017

What’s old is new | Millstone deal struck | It’s electric!

Happy Friday afternoon.

Some cool news this week from the folks at MIT who looked back in time – over 3 millennia – to find a potential solution to energy storage challenges. According to the article on Curbed.com, MIT researchers have reinvented firebricks, a Bronze-Age technology created by the Hittites in the 17th century BC. Firebricks were designed to retain heat for long periods of time. The MIT team’s Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage (FIRES) system stores thermal energy (heat) in firebricks and later converts the energy back into electricity at about 1/40th the price of putting it into batteries. As the article notes, it could be a game changer for renewables.

According to the CT Mirror, the Connecticut General Assembly and the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have agreed in principle on bipartisan legislation authorizing state energy officials to take measures to stabilize the profitability of New England’s largest power plant, the Millstone nuclear station in Waterford. The Hartford Courant reported Friday afternoon that the Senate approved the measure which now awaits House action. The new proposal does not include a fee paid by Millstone’s parent company Dominion Energy.

In honor of the upcoming AltWheels event we have section on EV news. According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, electric vehicle ownership is rising in Massachusetts. They cite data from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection that shows the number of electric vehicles in the state has grown from 782 as of July 31, 2013, to 3,770 as of March 31, 2017. The number of plug-in hybrids, which can also utilize gasoline, has increased from 1,034 to 5,701 during that time frame. There is still a long way to go, but it’s a huge leap in numbers from the days yours truly spent promoting DOER’s EV program in the mid-late 90s.

On the same topic, The Huffington Post asks, Should Utilities Build Charging Stations For Electric Cars? Some arguments for and against are that, “Building more charging stations could help alleviate ‘range anxiety,’ the fear of running out of charge with no station in sight, and therefore stimulate sales of the clean-air-friendly cars. But in some states, officials say that letting the utility industry build more stations would force all electricity consumers to pay for a service that only a few, relatively affluent, people will use.” Hmmm. The article does contain a lot more detail on the pros and cons. It’s worth a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Feds overrule New York’s natural gas pipeline permit denial, Fox Business

10 arrested in pipeline protest at Tennessee Gas Co. headquarters in Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

Local officials seeking to stop gas leaks, MetroWest Daily News

Reliance on natural gas expected to grow, CommonWealth Magazine

Tennessee Gas Pipeline opponents plan flotilla on Lower Spectacle Pond, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline maintenance cuts path through quiet neighborhood in Lynnfield, ItemLive

Climate Change

Climate change did not “cause” Harvey or Irma, but it’s a huge part of the story, Vox.com

Renewables

MIT turns to millennia-old tech for renewable energy storage, Curbed.com

Agency: Turbines could spin during bird migrations, Cape Cod Times

Family donates solar power systems to 8 nonprofits, Going Green

Cost of U.S. Solar Drops 75 percent in Six Years, Ahead of Federal Goal, YaleEnvironment360

CT greenlights major renewable projects, Hartford Business Journal

Massachusetts business coalition seeks steeper renewable energy standard, Electric Light and Power

The New 1,600 Megawatt Solar Program For Massachusetts Really Is SMART, Clean Technica

Eversource Building Solar Power Sites In Western Mass., WAMC

Solar project planned for Fitchburg site with history of energy production, Worcester Telegram

Cohasset’s new solar array officially open, Patriot Ledger

Farms that grow crops and solar power together, Greenfield Recorder

Maine cities, towns hope to pump up demand for air-sourced heat, The Forecaster

Stars Aligning for Clean Energy in the State…and NH Sustainable Energy Association is Helping Make it Happen, Keene Sentinel

Energy Efficiency

Mortgage Loans Still a Missing Link to Energy Efficiency Growth, Energy Collective

The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here, New York Times

Nuclear

Senate Approves Millstone Aid, Bill Awaits House Action, Hartford Courant

Deal struck on stabilizing profits of Millstone nuclear station, CT Mirror

Pilgrim addresses deteriorating protective panels, Energy Central

Activist posts billboard warning about Seabrook nuclear plant, Ipswich Chronicle

Planners look to future of VY site, Brattleboro Reformer

EVs

Electric vehicle ownership rising in the state, MetroWest Daily News

Should Utilities Build Charging Stations For Electric Cars?, Huffington Post

R.I., 6 other states face decision on plug-in cars, Providence Journal

Electric car dream collides with reality on profits, Boston Business Journal (subscriber article)

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE Visits Vermont to Discuss Tx Planning, RTO Insider

Power Plant Lawsuit Worries Town Of Sandwich, The Sandwich Enterprise

CMP, Gas Companies & Solar Proponents Battle Over Energy Policy, The Free Press

Utilities see benefits in energy storage, even without mandates, Utility Dive

No Fish Story. Tiny Island Lands Big Catch with Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Northern Pass Spokesman Says ‘End in Sight,’ As SEC Pushes Back Decision, NHPR

U.S. Court Allows Suit Alleging ExxonMobil’s Everett Tank Farm Is A Hazard To Proceed, WGBH

CMP & Others Bidding for New Transmission Lines Across Maine, The Free Press

As Brayton Point hits the market, golf course, industrial park among pitches, Herald News

Pass rep questioned on whether project will affect scenic resources, Union Leader

Wellesley no longer at odds over Clean Energy Standard regulations, Wicked Local Wellesley

Baker Stepping Up Emissions Strategy With Focus On Transportation, Banker & Tradesman (subscriber article)

Opinion

New England’s power grid operator is biased, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy efficiency benefits NH businesses, NHBR

Kathy Sullivan: Northern Pass is not ready for prime time, Union Leader

Eversource’s solar proposal needs to go, CommonWealth Magazine

A Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Moment for Natural Gas in NH, IndepthNH

Karen Glitman: Efficiency Vermont’s listening tour, VT Digger

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing