Tag Archives: Pilgrim

Energy News for week ending September 27, 2019

Returning Home | Brookline Ban | Solar and Farms

 

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

After this morning’s scare, there is good news out of Lawrence. From the Eagle Tribune, “At a press conference just before 2 p.m. Friday, Mayor Daniel Rivera said most residents evacuated due to a natural gas leak in a South Lawrence neighborhood earlier in the day will be able to return to their homes starting at 3 p.m… They were taken to the shelter by buses earlier in the day. Rivera, other city officials and Gov. Charlie Baker said the source of the gas leak has been discovered and is in the process of being repaired. Officials stressed it is safe for residents to return to their homes, except for those who live on South Broadway between Merrimack and Andover streets and on Carver Street. Gas and power to homes not in those specific areas have been turned back on, but will remain shut off in those areas, which are close to the source. Officials said gas and power to those remaining homes will be turned on as soon as it is determined to be safe. More announcements on that situation will be coming today. Rivera said the leak is not related to the larger gas pipe system in the area that was replaced after last year’s disaster. ‘There is no public safety concern,” the mayor said. “This is an isolated incident.’”

Speaking of gas, WBUR reports “Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town. Like a growing number of communities across the state and nation, Brookline has set an aggressive goal to eliminate its climate-changing emissions by 2050.Town Meeting member Jesse Gray has proposed a simple but far-reaching bylaw to help Brookline meet that goal: Ban new gas pipelines and infrastructure in future major construction. ‘The most practical and cost effective way to achieve that goal is not to install new fossil fuel system when we’re building new buildings and when we are gut-renovating them,’ Gray said. Brookline will vote on Gray’s proposal during November’s Town Meeting. Gray estimates a ban would cut the town’s climate change emissions 15% over the next 30 years, but it wouldn’t prevent anyone in an existing home from swapping an old gas stove or appliance with a new one.”

On the solar front, we have two stories this week about the opportunity to use farmland for solar. The Wall St. Journal reports that, “U.S. farmers are embracing an alternative means of turning sunlight into revenue during a sharp downturn in crop prices: solar power.” And Scott Merzbach at the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes, “As the state’s Department of Environmental Resources makes a push to expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program and encourage more solar projects to increase the supply of renewable energy, there are questions about whether wooded land, and the carbon sequestration benefits trees offer, will be compromised….Sean Garren of Vote Solar Action Fund, which has advocated for greater use of solar, said cutting down trees, or taking over prime agricultural land, is a valid worry, and should be addressed in any comprehensive plan for addressing climate change…One solution is to continue putting as much solar as possible on marginal lands, he said, as well as on roofs and over parking lots. Already-cleared land should be encouraged for use, he said, as there are opportunities for farmland to share crops and solar installations. ‘Instead of merely penalizing solar on open lands, we should be encouraging the use of solar projects as pasture land, the planting of pollinator-friendly plants under and around solar projects, and the conservation of other lands simultaneously with solar growth,’ Garren said.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the spectacular weather!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

UPDATE: Most South Lawrence evacuees can return home starting Friday at 3 p.m., Eagle Tribune

Brookline Proposal Would Ban New Natural Gas Connections In Town, WBUR

UPDATE: Columbia Gas ‘unprepared,’ with ‘catastrophic’ results, NTSB reports, Eagle Tribune

Lawyers ask for $24M in fees for Columbia Gas settlement, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

National Grid Gas Nightmare: Brooklyn Pretzel Business The Latest Victim Of Utility’s Political Standoff, CBS Boston / WBZ

Columbia Gas to inspect 700 abandoned gas lines in Valley, Andover Townsman

Activist voices shock over proposed Weymouth compressor site, Wicked Local

Weymouth compressor foes unload on soil removal plan, Wicked Local

Doctors’ group says compressor station would be unsafe, Patriot Ledger

NJ’s Decision Deadline on Gas Pipeline Pushed Back a Month, NBC New York

Top energy regulator warns of mass blackouts if a gas pipeline were attacked, CNN

Appeals court backs dismissal of class-action suit against Eversource, Avangrid over natural gas bookings, West Hartford News

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The World’s Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns, New York Times

At the edge of a warming world, Boston Globe

Climate Change Not A Top Priority, New Poll Finds, insidesources.com

Changing weather could put insurance firms out of business, The Economist (subscriber content)

Renewable energy trade scheme comes under scrutiny, VT Digger

Gov. Lamont’s promise to generate all of Connecticut’s power from renewable sources of energy by 2040 faces substantial barriers, Hartford Courant

Climate and transportation activists are carrying a 9-foot-tall Charlie Baker puppet around Massachusetts. Here’s why., Boston.com

Climate Strike: Granite Staters Call for Action on Climate Change, New Hampshire Public Radio

Thousands gather on City Hall Plaza as part of youth-led worldwide climate strike event, Boston Globe

In the renewable energy credit market, some are greener than others, VTDigger

Global warming climate strike takes UMass by storm, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Climate changes: Towns grapple with rising groundwater, dying trees, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hearing exposes tension over climate policy pace, Southcoasttoday.com

 

 

Wind

7 Projects That Could Put the US Ahead in Floating Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

UMaine lands $1.4m to hatch ‘rocket-fuelled’ floating wind design, Recharge News

Jacobs pushes for moratorium on Great Lakes turbines, Niagara Frontier Publications

Orsted taps GE for 50% more efficient turbines in New Jersey, Maryland offshore wind projects, Utility Dive

During Climate Week, Cuomo announces partnerships with Ireland & Denmark to improve power grids, enable more renewable energy sources, Niagara Frontier Publications

The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Will Be as Cheap as Coal, Bloomberg

Farmersville board OKs $700,000 host fee pact with Alle Catt Wind Farm, Olean Times Herald

 

Solar

New York Nixes Microgrid in Favor of Solar Power Project, Microgrid Knowledge

When the cost of solar is forestland and farms, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Struggling Farmers See Bright Spot in Solar, Wall St. Journal

Solar tax credit extension would add 82 GW by 2030, SEIA forecasts, Utility Dive

Solar Industry Unsatisfied With Proposed SMART Reforms in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

CT town uses virtual solar as new alternative to power up, Connecticut Post

York to pursue solar farm on former landfill, Seacoastonline.com

Fisherman’s Co-op switches to 100% solar energy, WABI

Oakland to install solar array atop former landfill, cutting town’s electric bill, Portland Press Herald

Dover High School has state’s largest rooftop solar array, Connecticut Post

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Big batteries are starting to cause real change in electricity markets, Concord Monitor

Want to make your home more energy efficient? Try local program HeatSmart, Winchester Wicked Local

Behavior is key to energy savings, Rutland Herald

Efficiency makes clean energy cost-competitive with new gas power plants, ACEEE Blog

 

EVs

Eversource and Greenspot Bring EV Charging Stations and e-Mobility Hubs to Massachusetts Communities, NA Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

AG seeks overturn of Pilgrim license transfer, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear energy too slow, too expensive to save climate: report, Reuters

As Federal Hearing Begins, Seabrook Nuclear Plant’s Neighbors Raise Alarm About Concrete Degradation, NHPR

No safety issues so far in Vermont nuclear plant demolition, AP

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Northeastern utilities aim to ‘crush and flatten’ system peaks as DERs boost grid efficiency, Utility Dive

Independent auditors weigh in on CMP metering, billing investigation, WMTW Portland

Watchdog: Energy Department not doing enough to protect grid against cyber attacks, The Hill

Protesters demonstrate against Stamford firm’s NH power plant, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Vineyard Wind limbo is chance for reset, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind-power scam not blowing over, National Wind Watch

The Infamous Wind Turbines – Letter, CapeNews.net

State should halt gas plant, focus on renewables, Republican-American

Keep the Killingly Energy Center on track, Hartford Courant

Revival of Waterford solar plan reason for concern, The Day

Clean energy is the city’s future, by Thomas Webler, Keene Sentinel

My Turn: There’s no power like the power of the people, Concord Monitor

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

Energy News for week ending September 13, 2019

Still recovering | Energy constrained | Sputtering Solar | Night light

 

Good Friday (The 13!) afternoon. You can tell summer is “over” because the dearth of energy news has ended. Let’s get at it.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Merrimack Valley explosions. We have several articles related to the topic below, but highlight this one from the Boston Globe, “A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster. The devastating gas explosions that tore through the Merrimack Valley a year ago Friday remain fresh for thousands of the evacuated and displaced, for the owners of recovering businesses, and for the family of a Lawrence teenager who was killed in the disaster. Its memories return with the whirring sound of a helicopter’s blades, with a glimpse of out-of-place pavement where new gas lines have been laid, and with shrunken balance sheets at once-shuttered stores that are trying to woo back customers. On Thursday, the lingering sense of unease was compounded with news that Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will need to reinspect 700 of 4,900 service lines that the company abandoned and replaced after the explosions in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover. Columbia Gas discovered in July that two abandoned service lines might not have been capped properly or identified in compliance with government regulations, according to Scott Ferson, a company spokesman. As a result, hundreds of residents and business owners are being contacted to schedule yet another utility inspection around the grim anniversary. Columbia Gas officials insisted that the public is not at risk. But for many residents, the timing made it hard not to worry.”

The headline makes it sound grim, but the story tells a more positive tale. From Utility Dive, “New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints. New England officials expect the region’s electric grid will remain reliable and economic, largely due to approximately $1.3 billion in planned transmission upgrades over the next 10 years. In the near-term, the region will look to efficiency, renewables and imports…The grid operator says it has identified long-term system needs for the Boston area, and its Regional System Plan indicates it will solicit competitive solutions. Transmission improvements are already underway in those areas, as is the addition of fast-start generation…Overall, grid officials say the system is becoming cleaner, with lower emissions from the widespread development of renewables. Other strategies, including more Canadian hydroelectricity imports, grid modernization efforts and the addition of energy storage will likely continue that trend…The operator’s plan concludes it has sufficient resources through 2028 to meet resource adequacy planning criterion, though that is dependent on there being no major retirements and projects coming online as planned.”

A few weeks ago we noticed that solar stories were in short order. That’s not the case this week. Here’s an interesting one from Microgrid Knowledge, “What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market? With solar installations down dramatically in Massachusetts, a national advocacy group is calling for the state to triple its solar energy target to 4,800 MW. In a new report, Vote Solar says that the policy change is crucial if the state expects to meet its clean energy goals and generate solar jobs. The new target would apply to Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), a program launched last year to incentivize 1,600 MW of solar — 3,200 MW shy of what Vote Solar says is needed. Vote Solar called for the new target following a 50% reduction in new solar installations, primarily in Massachusetts’ residential sector. The advocacy organization calculates that its more aggressive solar energy target would put the state on track to achieve its 35% renewable energy requirement by 2030, create between 8,000 and 9,000 jobs and drive more than $5 billion in investments to the state.

Last highlight for this week comes from the New York Times, “Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy in Darkness. It doesn’t generate much power, but it works during the one time of day that solar cells can’t: night…In new research published on Thursday in the journal Joule, Dr. Raman demonstrated a way to harness a dark night sky to power a light bulb. His prototype device employs radiative cooling, the phenomenon that makes buildings and parks feel cooler than the surrounding air after sunset. As Dr. Raman’s device releases heat, it does so unevenly, the top side cooling more than the bottom. It then converts the difference in heat into electricity. In the paper, Dr. Raman described how the device, when connected to a voltage converter, was able to power a white LED.

Those are the highlights for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A year later, Merrimack Valley is still recovering from the Columbia Gas disaster, Boston Globe

One Year After Disaster, How Are Merrimack Valley Businesses Faring?, WGBH

Columbia Gas facing up to $1 million fines for abandoned gas service lines following Merrimack Valley explosions, MassLive

Board demands safety report from Columbia Gas, Eagle Tribune

Monitors on gas projects still not mandated, Eagle Tribune

Most states don’t require engineers to review gas projects, Eagle Tribune

Report: Natural gas system’s flaws put public at risk, Newburyport Daily News

After State Rejects Gas Pipeline Permit, Utility Pushes Back. One Result: New Buildings Go Electric., Inside Climate News

NY Attorney General launching inquiry into National Grid gas service moratorium, New York Daily News

National Grid and NY governor tussle over energy supplies, Financial Times

Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says, Bloomberg

Charlton’s lawyer for LNG plant resigns, Telegram.com

A Giant Bet Against Natural Gas Is Blowing Up, Wall St. Journal

Sununu signs bill prohibiting oil and gas development in state waters, New Hampshire Union Leader

Environmentalists clash with Lamont as natural gas plant set for Killingly tests Connecticut’s promise to address climate change, Hartford Courant

Wayland resident: Gov. Baker, Merkel, and the Weymouth Compressor Station, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

MASSACHUSETTS: One of America’s leading carbon cutters hits a wall, E&E News (paywall)

Solar ITC Extension Would Be ‘Devastating’ for US Wind Market: WoodMac, Greentech Media

As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 power plants, USA Today

How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes, National Grid

Connecticut 100% carbon-free plan is chance to move beyond ISO-NE gas focus: DEEP chief, Utility Dive

Transformative? New Device Harvests Energy from Darkness, New York Times

Trade group raises monopoly concerns over GMP’s Tesla program, VTDigger

Study: Emissions in Rhode Island are higher than calculated, New Haven Register

New Plan Charts Burlington’s Course Toward Becoming ‘Net Zero’ City, NECN

Climate Town Hall: Several Democratic Candidates Embrace a Carbon Tax, New York Times

Banks Are Finally Starting to Account for Climate Change Risk, Bloomberg

State environmental groups urge override of clean energy bill vetoes, Concord Monitor

How to Get Rid of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them, Wall St. Journal

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world, Washington Post

 

Wind

Unfurling The Waste Problem Caused By Wind Energy, NPR

Offshore Wind-Power Prices Are Plunging, Bloomberg

Fishermen frustrated at turbine distance in wind farm plans, Providence Journal

NJEDA’s offshore wind registry tops 400 businesses, NJBIZ

Ortt Hosts Forum on the Health Effects of Wind Turbines, WBEN

Enel turns Gillette Stadium green with wind energy, EVWind

 

Solar

What to do about Massachusetts’ Sputtering Solar Market?, Microgrid Knowledge

Solar backlash may make it tough to build larger projects in Mass., Boston Globe

A company suggested installing solar panels near Virginia Civil War battlefields. Locals raged — and what happened next will happen again, experts say., Washington Post

Proctor eyes possible solar sites, Rutland Herald

Court sends solar project back to regulators, Bennington Banner

Lebanon city properties to get solar panels, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bipartisan Senate bill allocates $100M to ease residential solar, storage permitting, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

DOE has decided many lightbulbs don’t have to meet efficiency standards, Ars Technica

Report finds zero energy buildings within reach for many in Mass, Patch

Biggest Battery System Inches N.Y. Toward 100% Green Energy Goal, Bloomberg

 

EVs

Massachusetts Electric Car Rebates Are About to End. What Does This Mean For Their Future?, WGBH

 

Nuclear

AG Maura Healey seeks extension after missing NRC deadline, Cape Cod Times

Federal grant to help Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station employees laid off after shutdown, Cape Cod Times

C-10: Seabrook plant’s concrete degradation poses threat, Seacoastonline.com

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station advisory panel laments lack of clout, Cape Cod Times

Small modular reactors, nearing operation, touted as solution to some of nuclear industry’s ills, S&P Global

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

New England grid operator sees potential for year-round power constraints, Utility Dive

Cyber-security incident at US power grid entity linked to unpatched firewalls, ZDNet

Proposed bill would require local referendum on large-scale energy projects, Lockport Journal

5 States Blazing the Trail for Integrating Distributed Energy Resources, Greentech Media

Eversource abandons plans for new utility box on Amherst Town Common, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Stalemate over remote pond holds up state panel’s decision on CMP power line, Portland Press Herald

 

Editorial/Opinion

Column: Safety standards, accountability must enforced after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

Andrew Cuomo’s energy policies are counterproductive for the climate: Today, natural gas is a cleaner fuel than alternatives, NY Daily News

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

No more subsidies for bio-mass, Foster’s Daily Democrat

N.H. Plant Protest Shows Conflicting Ideals Of Some Environmentalists, Post-Journal

The Climate Crisis Deserves Everything We’ve Got. Nuclear Power, Too, WBUR

LETTER: Sun far from set on Massachusetts’ solar ambitions, Southcoasttoday.com

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

Energy News for week ending May 31, 2019

End of an Era | Upended | Freedom Gas

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Well, we all knew it was coming. Today is the day that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth shuts down for good. I’m a bit biased since I worked closely with Pilgrim employees and Entergy over the past 10+ years, but I think it’s safe to say that while the divide about Pilgrim and nuclear power in general remains, we can probably all agree that it must be a tough day for the folks who work at the plant. The crew of nearly 600 employees worked tirelessly the past few years to bring the plant’s NRC safety rating back to green or “normal oversight” and they did it because they have pride in their work and value the benefits that Pilgrim’s near carbon-free power brought to the grid and the environment. So, we offer our thanks to the men and women who worked there over the past 46+ years for keeping us safe and providing us with an abundance of clean power and wish them well on what life’s adventure brings them next. Here’s a story from the Cape Cod Times on Pilgrim’s shutdown.

We move to another controversial subject in Massachusetts which is that of the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station. From the Patriot Ledger, “The Department of Environmental Protection’s three-day delay in notifying parties of new data relevant to an air quality permit appeal case “upended the proceedings” and, as a result, the hearing will be extended to allow full consideration of the latest information, the adjudicator overseeing the case ruled Thursday. After receiving arguments from all parties on whether the latest batch of data concerning a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth warrants continuation of the appeal, hearing officer Jane Rothchild ruled that, by waiting to release the data until the hearing was nearly complete, the DEP “prevented (petitioners) from having a fair and complete opportunity” to cross-examine witnesses. In another article from the same outlet, they quoted Attorney General Maura Healey with saying that, “State environmental regulators ‘really bungled’ air-quality testing in connection with the review of a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.’

Last story for this week comes from the, “What were they thinking?” bin and was analyzed by Axios, “Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports ‘freedom gas.’ The Department of Energy uncorked a memorable phrase yesterday when it approved expanded shipments from the Freeport LNG site in Texas. Here’s Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes yesterday in DOE’s greatest press release ever: ‘Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.’ Another DOE official touted ‘molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world.’ The fallout: The phrasing got a ton of coverage and produced some fun writing, like this from Slate’s Jordan Weissmann: ‘As one of my colleagues put it, spreading freedom gas sounds like what happens when you’re newly single and suddenly have the apartment to yourself.’” Be sure to check out the article for why the statement matters.

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Charlton residents voice concern over proposed liquid natural gas plant on Route 169, Worcester Telegram

Fire chief discusses gas leaks on ‘Wayland Weekly Buzz’, Wicked Local Wayland

‘Freedom Gas,’ the Next American Export, New York Times

Energy Department faces blowback for calling LNG exports “freedom gas,” Axios

Leaks Threaten Safety – and Success – of America’s Top Natural Gas Exporter, Center for Public Integrity

 

Weymouth

2 more days of hearings scheduled in compressor case, Patriot Ledger

Proposed gas compressor station in Massachusetts poses air pollution risks, Harvard Medical School

Energy Company Behind Weymouth Compressor Says New Air Quality Data Shouldn’t Affect Permits, WBUR

Healey says DEP ‘really bungled’ compressor data, Patriot Ledger

Lawmakers urge DEP to revoke Weymouth compressor permit, Wicked Local

Hearing on compressor station safety set for June 17, Wicked Local

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

The ticket to 100% renewable power is underneath our feet, Grist

DeLeo touts $1.3b GreenWorks program, Boston Globe

Cities Are Making Big Climate Promises. Keeping Them Can Be Tough, NPR

NH Senate approves more subsides for biomass plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

Businesses lobby for renewable energy bills at State House, New Hampshire Union Leader

Climate driving new right whale movement, Phys.org

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the U.S. East Coast from hurricanes, Phys.org

Climate Change May Have Caused Mass Puffin Die-Off, Discover

The White House Plan to Change Climate Science, New York Times

Once again, it’s not easy being green, The Day

Maine natural gas company has big plans to turn cow manure into renewable energy, WGME

 

Wind

Orsted: US Offshore Wind Supply Chain Decisions Coming Soon, Greentech Media

$1B Rhode Island Wind Farm To Power 270,000 Homes, Patch

PSEG looks to benefit from — but not build — offshore wind developments, WHYY

Defense bill raises fear of delayed projects, or worse, E&E News

US Energy Department Wants to See Lighter Offshore Wind Turbines, Greentech Media

State approves 22-turbine wind project for Hancock County, Bangor Daily News

 

Solar

New York state winters could pose solar farm ‘ramping’ snag for power grid, Science Daily

Connecticut House saves net metering, for now, but green groups want more, Utility Dive

Massachusetts Program Increases Solar Access For Municipal Light Plant Customers, Solar Industry

The Energy 202: California utilities’ planned blackouts this wildfire season prompt residents to adopt solar power, Washington Post

 

Efficiency/Storage

World’s Largest Renewable Energy Storage Project Announced in Utah, Associated Press

New York utilities increasingly embrace non-wires alternatives as ConEd forges the path, Utility Dive

 

Pilgrim Closing

After 46 years, Pilgrim nuclear plant shutting down, Cape Cod Times

Nuclear power plant workers prep for shutdown after 47 years, AP

You Asked, We Answered: Questions About The Pilgrim Shutdown, WBUR

Pilgrim Is Closing. So Then What Happens To The Radioactive Waste?, WBUR

 

Nuclear

Nuclear plant’s new owners receive high marks, Daily Hampshire Gazette

IEA rings alarm bell on phasing out nuclear energy, Reuters

Three Mile Island’s closure haunts Pennsylvania’s nuclear debate, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New Map Shows Expanse Of U.S. Nuclear Waste Sites, Forbes.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

FERC Rejects New England Tx Rate Settlement, RTO Insider

To lawmakers: tread carefully on energy legislation, Seacoastonline.com

‘Grid Transformation Day’ Highlights ISO-NE Challenges, RTO Insider

APPA: Deregulation has not achieved intended results, Utility Dive

National Grid agrees to pass savings from federal tax cuts to R.I. ratepayers, Providence Journal

Judge reconsidering stay in CMP complaint lawsuit, Portland Press Herald

Who Pays on a Decentralized Grid? New York Tackles the Equity Problem with New Rates, Microgrid Knowledge

US Northeast power markets try to balance changes to capacity markets, valuation mechanisms, S&P Global Platts

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our View: Changing energy sources should be top priority, Eagle-Tribune

Letter: Brydon Ross: R.I. energy costs among the worst in nation, Providence Journal

Climate crisis requires urgent action: Op-Ed, The Advocate

Kicking the tires on battery-electric buses, Commonwealth Magazine

Why Advanced Nuclear Reactors May Be Here Sooner Than Many Imagine, Greentech Media

How to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs, Boston Globe

Maine Voices: Proposal to revive offshore wind project does not pass the smell test, Portland Press Herald

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

Energy News for week ending April 26, 2019

Waiving Jones| HouseZero| Blast Day

 

Happy Friday afternoon. Here are the highlights from this week’s energy news.

We know things can change in the administration minute to minute or tweet to tweet, however the northeast got some potentially encouraging news this week via Bloomberg: Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say. “President Donald Trump is seriously considering waiving the requirement that only U.S.-flagged vessels can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico or the Northeast, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The issue was debated during an Oval Office meeting on Monday, following requests from Puerto Rico and pressure from oil industry leaders to ease the nearly 100-year-old Jones Act requirements, according to three people. Although top administration officials are divided on the issue, Trump is now leaning in favor of some kind of waiver, said two of the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private deliberations. The move — which would be fought by U.S shipbuilding interests and their allies on Capitol Hill — has been promoted as essential to lower the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and ease the flow of American natural gas to the U.S. Northeast, where there aren’t enough pipelines to deliver the product from Pennsylvania.”

While many might cheer the easing of the Jones Act, the builders of one home in Cambridge are likely saying, “No thanks. We’re all good.” WGBH brings us, Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet. “On a quiet residential street close to Harvard University, there’s a wood-shingled house that’s easy to miss. Save for some funky-looking angled awnings around the windows, it’s pretty nondescript. But its simplicity belies its ambition. Welcome to HouseZero, arguably the most energy-efficient building in the world. Ali Malkawi, a Harvard professor of architecture and technology and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, designed HouseZero. When asked why that name, he chuckled. ‘Because there are a lot of zeros,’ Malkawi said. ‘The house doesn’t use almost any energy for heat and cooling. It doesn’t have any electrical light during the day. The building does not have a carbon footprint, including the amount of energy throughout the building materials…’Malkawi is trying to change not just how much energy a building consumes, but how much it produces. The Cambridge house he designed has no lights, no heating or air-conditioning system, and barely a utility bill. While most homeowners or tenants would rejoice over the idea of never having to pay a heating bill, the goal of HouseZero is to produce more energy than it will ever consume. Using passive design, windows automatically open if it starts to get a little warm or stuffy (They can also be opened manually). When the temperature dips outside, a solar chimney keeps the inside temperate… Malkawi hopes that the information gleaned from HouseZero will prove that ultra-efficient buildings like this one are scalable in any climate.”

Well, it’s official. The implosion of the two 500-foot Brayton Point cooling towers will happen tomorrow Saturday, April 27th. According to WPRI News “Time is running short for the large cooling towers at the site of the former Brayton Point Power Station. On Friday, Somerset Police Chief George McNeil said the company performing the demolition has been given the green light for 8 a.m. Saturday.” And according to the Boston Globe, if you haven’t already made your reservations to watch from one of several vantage sites, you may be out of luck. “’Everybody in this area is excited to have the towers come down,’ said Nathan Setera, a manager at Barrett’s Waterfront, a restaurant and bar in Fall River across from the towers. The restaurant is hosting a sold-out “Bring Em Down Breakfast” at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for 250 patrons who will have front-row seats for the implosions. The menu includes a Bloody Mary with a pair of celery stalks in honor of the two towers and a cupcake tower. Castle Island Brewing Co. in Norwood will be there to serve Lil’ Dynomite, a red ale, Setera said. Cristoff Shay, executive vice president and director at Battleship Cove, said tickets for the implosion gathering aboard the USS Massachusetts sold out within 24 hours. ‘It’s a historic event,’ he said. ‘It seemed people were very eager and excited.’”

 

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Trump Considering Waiving Jones Act Mandate for Natural Gas, Sources Say, Bloomberg

North Andover woman’s lawsuit is 16th filed against Columbia Gas since disaster, Eagle Tribune

Utility is undecided about seeking a rate increase after Lawrence-area disaster, Boston Globe

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely, Wall St. Journal

Con Edison deal could end natural-gas crisis—in 2023, Crain’s New York

NTSB: 5 lessons learned from a Silver Spring gas explosion that killed 7, WUSA

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report: Going 100 percent renewable power means a lot of dirty mining, Salon.com

A climate change solution slowly gains ground, Washington Post

Electrifying Your Home is Good for You, Sierra Club

Maine AFL-CIO Becomes First State Federation to Support a Green New Deal Bill, In These Times

New York targets 1.5 TWh of new renewables with latest solicitation, Utility Dive

Americans love clean energy. Do they care if it includes nuclear?, Vox.com

How nuclear plants are gaming climate-change rules, Politico

Is South Portland the ‘greenest’ city in Maine? It’s a leader, for sure, Portland Press Herald

Why Some Landfills are Exploring Virtual Pipelines to Capitalize on Gas, Waste360

New York City eyes Quebec hydropower in bid to go green, Sun Journal

Renewable energy takes bite out of Avangrid’s 1Q profits, Hartford Business Journal

How to stave off that climate anxiety with a renewable energy supplier, Grist

MASSPIRG Campaigning for 100% Renewable Energy, The Beacon – MCLA

Regional Conference Planned on Ocean Energy Innovation, Cape Cod

 

Wind

Offshore wind auction faces a new hitch, Boston Globe

Building Out the US Offshore Wind Supply Chain—a $68 Billion Opportunity, Greentech Media

Massachusetts approves state’s first offshore wind contracts for 800 MW, Utility Dive

Developer of R.I. wind farm announces education, workforce initiative, Providence Journal

NS Zoning Board to resume turbine hearing tonight, The Call (RI)

Massachusetts offshore wind project gets green light at roughly 8.9 cents/kWh, Ars Technica

Students develop acoustic device to detect whales near offshore wind farm, Phys.org

Turbine Blade Testing Underway Ahead of Massachusetts’ 1st Wind Farm, NECN

 

Solar

New Jersey’s Community Solar Market: Ready to Shine, Greentech Media

New York updates distributed solar tariff, clearing path for 1 GW of new generation, Utility Dive

Fate of northern Vermont solar projects uncertain, VTDigger

Encore Renewable Energy takes historic silk mill solar in Keene, N.H., helping city meet its goal of 100% renewables by 2030, Utility Dive

Cape Cod Solar Company Donates Solar Panels to Hingham High School, Cape Cod Today

Seekonk farm gets state grant for solar system, Sun Chronicle

Planning Board delays solar farm application approval, Sun Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A cleaner, cheaper approach to heating and cooling, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Study Says Lighting Controls Boost LED Efficiency by 47 Percent, Buildings

GE announces first solar+storage projects since renewable business restructuring, Utility Dive

Duke, Eversource commit to create energy storage safety standards, Utility Dive

Meet The Cambridge House That Wants To Save The Planet, WBGH

New York Releases RFI for Energy Storage. Kicks Off $280 Million Incentive Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

This Vermont Town Took A Big Hit When Its Nuclear Plant Closed, WBUR

NRC Eases Curbs on A-Plant Licenses, Los Angeles Times

New Jersey approves up to $300M in annual nuclear plant subsidies, despite profitability claims, Utility Dive

Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner blasts state’s nuclear bailout bill, Utility Dive

Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim, WBUR

As Pilgrim Powers Down, Some Worry It Will Leave Behind Too Much Radiation, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

R.I. climate activists to hold ‘watch party’ as Brayton Point towers fall, Providence Journal

Going down: All you need to know about the implosion of Somerset’s cooling towers, Providence Journal

Tower implosion day brunches selling out fast in Fall River, Herald News

State OKs $141 million in charges for storm recovery, The Hour

Eversource seeks Seacoast Reliability Project permit, Seacoastonline.com

Future of New Haven’s defunct English Station power plant unclear, New Haven Register

ISO New England is excluding Invenergy’s proposed power plant from its future power projections, Uprise RI

Burrillville power-plant proposal wins court battle over Johnston water deal, Providence Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

An Earth Day wish: Bring hydro cars to Mass., Boston Globe

Don’t repeal the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels deception, Daily Bulldog

We’ve got plenty of gas and don’t need the PennEast pipeline winding through N.J., group says, NJ.com

Maine Voices: State should put projects on hold, plan for clean-energy future, Portland Press Herald

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Energy News for week ending March 9, 2019

NRC Upgrades Pilgrim | Electrification to cost $600B | Where’s the refund

Happy weekend. Today we’re bringing you a rare Saturday edition of the Northeast Weekly Energy News.

The New England nuclear fleet all made headlines this week. In the good news category, The Cape Cod Times reported that the NRC moved Pilgrim back to normal oversight. We know the plant employees have been working diligently for 18 months or more to prove to the NRC that they have what it takes to run the plant safely and securely. After a long series of inspections, the NRC moved the plant back into Category 1, which is “normal” in the reactor oversight program. Kudos to the Pilgrim team who will finish strong when the plant closes on June 1.

In other nuclear news, Seabrook Station received its license renewal (Boston Globe) and Millstone is coming up on a deadline to get utility contracts or face shutdown (Hartford Courant).

In other news, Utility Dive reports, “The electrification of transportation, space heating and other sectors will lead to a large jump in electricity generation, ultimately requiring billions of dollars in transmission investments over the next several decades, according to analysis from Brattle Group. The transmission investment required to accommodate new renewable resources could reach $90 billion by 2030, according to the report released by WIRES Group, a trade association advocating for transmission investment. By 2050, the investment could grow to more than $600 billion. Electrification could increase U.S. annual energy demand by 5% to 15% by 2030, according to the analysis, and by up to 85% by 2050.”

The last tidbit for this week, Mass AG Maura Healey wants to know where the utility refunds are. From the Boston Globe, “The Department of Public Utilities had ordered all utility companies in June to reduce their rates going forward in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that cut the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent starting January 2018. But it stopped short of requiring them to refund customers for any savings they realized for the first half of the year, when the companies’ utility rates were based on the former — higher — tax rate. By lowering the rates starting in July, DPU decided, ratepayers would still receive “prompt and significant” savings amounting to tens of millions of dollars. To order refunds would be “inappropriate,” DPU officials said. In a 26-page motion filed Thursday, Healey’s office criticized the department for not providing “substantial evidence” to back up its February decision. It estimated that the savings could amount to $40 million for ratepayers over those six months, and urged the DPU to reconsider, writing that it runs counter to decisions made in nearly a dozen other states.

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Massachusetts AG Maura Healey moves to block seismic testing for offshore oil and gas, MassLive

Merrimack Valley shop owners frustrated with natural gas disaster response, Boston.com

Regulators visit proposed compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Amherst facing pipeline threat, Cabinet

Gas plant boosts Bridgeport’s grand list, Connecticut Post

Smith College to honor activist Frances Crowe at 100, MassLive

After Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, Shake Up at State Regulatory Agency, NECN

Columbia Gas Executives Schedule Merrimack Valley Meetings, USA Patch

NiSource says it’s under investigation by SEC, Boston Herald

National Grid: Lack of pipeline could affect projects, Newsday

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

ISO-NE forecasts transition to distributed, renewable generation, Utility Dive

Connecticut Tops National Environmental Scorecard, WSHU News

Rep. Lori Ehrlich announces two bills to combat climate change, Daily Item

Europe’s renewable energy policy is built on burning American trees, Vox

National Grid To Acquire Clean Energy Developer Geronimo Energy, North American Windpower

24 towns to vote on climate change resolutions, VTDigger

 

Wind

Gov. Charlie Baker enthuses about power possibilities at Elm/SHNS Wind Forum, Wicked Local Braintree

Atlantic Wind appeals zoning denial, TNOnline.com

Offshore wind, nuclear subsidies draw lobbying dollars, Press of Atlantic City

Lawmakers may drop price cap as wind farm’s low prices cause a stir, Boston Globe

In $225 million partnership, Eversource takes deep dive into offshore wind projects in Atlantic, MSN

Offshore wind getting its sea legs in New Hampshire, New Hampshire Business Review

MassDEP Financed Torturous 110 Decibel Falmouth Wind Turbine, USA Patch

National Grid To Acquire Clean Energy Developer Geronimo Energy, North American Windpower

Governor Baker touts promise of wind power, new technology, Boston Globe

 

Solar

New Milford files another petition against Candlewood Solar project, Greenwich Time

Hopkinton hopes to convert former landfill to solar array, Westerley Sun

Energy standards lead to partnership, Rutland Herald

Rotating Solar Panels Can Increase Efficiency by 32 Percent, Study Shows, Inverse

Just Ask Washington: Yes, Coal-Killing Solar Panels Work In Rainy Weather, CleanTechnica

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Welch legislation on energy efficiency in schools passes, WCAX

New and Improved Energy Efficiency Programs, NRDC.org

Efficiency leads 2019 energy job growth prospects, Utility Dive

Deploying more renewables now through an energy storage-centric Clean Peak Standard, Utility Dive

US energy storage market nearly doubled in 2018, report says, Utility Dive

Vermont utility and non-profit advance bring your own device energy storage program, Renewable Energy World

DOE plans to complete 13 of 16 delayed efficiency standards in ‘coming months,’ Utility Dive

 

EVs

Blink Charging: A Diversified Approach To Investing In The EV Market, Seeking Alpha

Pennsylvania removes barrier to third-party EV charging station ownership, Utility Dive

A look into Big Oil’s fight against electric cars, E&E News

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station moved out of worst performance category, Cape Cod Times

Dominion faces March 15 deadline to secure utility contracts for Millstone nuke, Utility Dive

Nuclear regulators extend Seabrook plant’s license to 2050, Boston Globe

Rescuing nuclear power plants could come with conditions, AP News

Rebuilding access to former nuke site could cost Rowe $800,000, Greenfield Recorder

The Millstone nuclear plant faces a tight deadline to survive, Boston Globe

Threat of shutdown hovers over negotiations between Millstone and utilities over power prices, Hartford Courant

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

How did Maine officials reach deal to accept CMP transmission line? This document sheds light., Portland Press Herald

Public advocate backs power line; environment group opposed, Ledger-Enquirer

NEPOOL Debates Winter Energy Security Moves, RTO Insider

Lawsuit claims Bow power plant is violating Clean Water Act, New Hampshire Union Leader

Partners HealthCare Turns to Fuel Cells to Improve Electric Reliability at its Massachusetts Hospitals, Microgrid Knowledge

Developers set date for closed power plant towers’ implosion, Boston Herald

Why Europe Pays Less Than U.S. to Put Power Lines Underground, Bloomberg

Grid exec sees risks in gas, renewables reliance, NHBR

Brattle: Electrification could drive $600B in transmission spending by 2050, Utility Dive

Attorney general urges state regulators to order utilities to issue refunds to ratepayers, Boston Globe

 

Editorial/Opinion

Another View: Editorials endorsing CMP plan overlook its many risks, Portland Press Herald

Columnist Marty Nathan: The many plays in climate fight game, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Fossil fuels are bad for you in many ways besides climate change, Gloucester Daily Times

Commentary: Support for Central Maine Power transmission line is misguided, Portland Press Herald

NH Voices: Lou Antonellis, Denis Beaudoin, Sr. and Steve Soule — Seabrook plant workers support license extension, New Hampshire Union Leader

Massachusetts to Maine Governor Janet Mills: Thank you, Boston Globe

Care About Climate Change? Keep an Eye On the State Budget., Climate X Change

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

Energy News for week ending January 18, 2019

No choice | 6.2 million | 20 year extension

Happy Friday folks. It’s been a busy week here so we’re keeping this short.

Here are three stories we found interesting this week:

Gov. Baker says he had “no choice” on compressor station permit, Herald News. “Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday he ‘basically had no choice’ but to approve air quality permits for a natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth given federal rules governing the project and results of a state-authorized review. The Baker administration on Friday approved the permits for the Enbridge Energy project, a move that was quickly and fiercely condemned by South Shore lawmakers who, with local municipal officials, had urged Baker to deny the permits because of potential health and safety risks.”

Vineyard Wind offers $6.2M to compensate R.I. fishermen, Providence Journal. “Vineyard Wind is offering to pay Rhode Island fishermen $6.2 million in compensation for lost access to fishing grounds as part of a mitigation plan for its proposed offshore wind farm that also includes the creation of a $23-million fund to research new gear and technology to support safe fishing in and around wind turbines. As expected, the offer to the state’s fishermen who catch squid, lobster and Jonah crab in the project waters south of Martha’s Vineyard falls short of what they wanted.”

Seabrook nuclear plant set to receive 20-year extension, Seacoastonline.com. “The NextEra Energy Seabrook Station nuclear power plant is expected to receive its long-sought 20-year license extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by month’s end. NRC notification comes after important recommendations and positive reviews over the past four weeks on both the plant’s application to extend its operating license to 2050, as well as its request to amend that license to accommodate how it will address its unique concrete problem of alkali-silica reaction as the plant ages. The notice comes 8½ years after NextEra began its bid for a license extension.”

Have a great weekend and stay safe and warm during the upcoming storm. And oh yeah, “Go Pats!”

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Climate action relied on natural gas. Then CO2 spiked, E&E News

Vermont Gas Must Show Why It Should Continue Operating New Pipeline, VPR

Power plant would need 16k gallons of water a day, Johnston Sun Rise

Energy Developer Defends Proposal for $1 Billion Power Plant, U.S. News & World Report

Protesters arrested in New Milford for blocking power plant transport, News-Times

Legislators, groups concerned about pipeline project planned for Agawam, The Recorder

 

Weymouth

Protesting the pipeline: In Weymouth, the fight continues, Wicked Local

Baker Oks permits for natural gas project, MetroWest Daily News

Federal review sought for Weymouth compressor air permit, Wicked Local Braintree

Gov. Baker says he had “no choice” on compressor station permit, Herald News

Baker: My hands were tied on compressor station, CommonWealth Magazine

Fore River residents rally against proposed compression station, Patriot Ledger

 

Merrimack Valley

Merrimack Valley residents are receiving ‘large backdated bills’ from Columbia Gas, Boston Globe

Judge Consolidates Lawsuits Against Columbia Gas, USA Patch

Lawmakers demand suspension of Columbia Gas rate hike, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Permafrost Is Warming Around the Globe, Study Shows. That’s a Problem for Climate Change. Inside Climate News

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds, Washington Post

Legislature Could Give N.H.’s Coastal Towns More Funding, Tools To Address Rising Seas, New Hampshire Public Radio

New Biomass Plant Will Increase Dartmouth’s Sustainability, news.dartmouth.edu

New York Latest State to Set 100% Renewables Goal, POWER Magazine

The best kept secret about clean energy, New Hampshire Business Review

A Regional Push to Clean Up Cars, Trucks and Mass Transit, Pew Charitable Trusts

Wolf’s greenhouse gas reduction vow is part of a bigger regional push to cut carbon emissions | Wednesday Morning Coffee, Patriot-News

New York Gov. Launches ‘Green New Deal’ With Accelerated Clean Energy Targets, Greentech Media

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind offers $6.2M to compensate R.I. fishermen, Providence Journal

2 turbines will not spin again in Falmouth, Cape Cod Times

Report shows how badly LePage’s wind energy panel fizzled, Bangor Daily News

URI Survey of Fishermen Finds Varied Perceptions of Impacts of Block Island Wind Farm, Energy Central

Vineyard Wind undeterred by government shutdown, Cape Cod Times

Only one wind project proposed in waters off LI, filings show, Newsday

Roxbury wind turbine project draws opposition, Sun Journal

Mass. Looks to Double Down on OSW, Clean Goals, RTO Insider

A Study in Emissionality: Why Boston University Looked Beyond New England for Its First Wind Power Purchase, Renewable Energy World

Impact on ratepayers a factor in evaluating New Jersey offshore wind bids, Daily Energy Insider

 

Solar

Vermont’s largest solar parking lot has officially started generating electricity, WCAX

Minnesota-Vermont project offers solar power to low-income families, Electric Light & Power

Most Enfield residents spoke in favor of solar project before siting council, Journal Inquirer

Litchfield Community Center is ‘going solar’, Register Citizen

Legislators aim to restore reason to Maine’s rooftop solar policy, PV Magazine

Solar plus batteries aim to retire natural gas plants in 2019, Quartz.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Eversource Recognized for Two Energy-efficiency Programs in Massachusetts, BusinessWest

‘Unlayering’ peak demand could accelerate energy storage adoption, Utility Dive

New Hampshire regulators approve utility-owned residential Tesla battery pilot, Utility Dive

 

EVs

Maryland scales back EV charger program nearly 80%, Utility Dive

How Should EV Owners Pay for Use of the Roads?, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Seabrook nuclear plant set to receive 20-year extension, Seacoastonline.com

Vermont Yankee sale to decommissioning firm complete, VTDigger

Entergy completes sale of Vermont Yankee to decommissioning firm, Keene Sentinel

Pilgrim Nuclear Plant’s Decommissioning Plans Presented to the Public, CapeCod.com

As the US nuclear fleet ages, one lab group hopes to give it a second wind, Ars Technica

MIT Is Pouring Resources Into Commercializing Fusion Power, Futurism.com

Trump’s nuclear revival? It’s a ‘black box’, E&E News

Appeal targets permit change for US nuclear repository, AP News

Some US nuclear industry officials question if new repository strategy needed, S&P Platts

Lawmakers push to save nuclear power, Citizen’s Voice (PA)

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Boston Harbor Blasting Project Stalled After Eversource Balks, Law360

New Hampshire Regulators Approve Seacoast Reliability Project, Construction

National Grid awards $428,000 in economic development grants, Buffalo News

Bipartisan Duo Emerges as Senate Panel Sets Course on Energy, Bloomberg Environment

 

Editorial/Opinion

ISO should call for offshore wind transmission discussion, CommonWealth Magazine

Another year, another chance for RGGI proposal, by Sarah Weck, Keene Sentinel

Eliminating net metering was a huge step backward, Connecticut Mirror

Maine Voices: CMP power line won’t help the environment, and certainly not Mainers, Portland Press Herald

Our View: Maine finishes last in race to keep the lights on, Portland Press Herald

Guest Opinion: Maine wind should be part of Rhode Island’s clean-energy future, Westerly Sun

In the face of climate change, Bostonians need to call a retreat, CommonWealth Magazine

Guest Opinion: Maine wind should be part of Rhode Island’s clean-energy future, Westerly Sun

 

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Energy News for week ending January 11, 2019

Russians Hacking, Emissions Spiking, Oceans Warming, Oh My!

It’s Friday afternoon so that’s a good thing, but some of the energy news headlines this week were darn depressing.

Take these six stories for example:

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time, Washington Post

Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds, New York Times

America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It, Wall Street Journal

US power sector carbon emissions jump as gas boom outpaces coal decline, Utility Dive

2018 was Earth’s fourth-warmest year, EU scientists find, Axios

Mass. Families face home heating emergency, $30 million sought, WickedLocal.com

Ugh! And if that’s not enough to make you want to crawl under the covers, the government shutdown is causing headaches everywhere (and horrible times for government workers), but here in New England it’s also slowing things down:

Gas investigation on hold amid shutdown, Eagle Tribune

Government shutdown delays Vineyard Wind meetings, South Coast Today

Jon Chesto at the Globe brings us a positive story so we’ll end our recap here Wind turbine company picks Boston for US HQ, Boston Globe.

Enjoy the weekend and stay warm – very cold temperatures are expected.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Special Report: Gas leaks plague Bay State, Boston Herald

After setbacks, Weymouth compressor foes turn focus to Baker, Patriot Ledger

South Shore lawmakers urge Baker to reject natural gas station air permits, Boston Globe

Lawmaker looks to ban offshore drilling, Gloucester Times

Weymouth gas project advances, but fight’s not over yet, Boston Globe

Fossil generators ask Supreme Court to review state nuclear subsidies, Utility Dive

Ensuring fuel security for the electricity system: New England and the role of LNG, Utility Dive

Wind vs. Gas: Winter Wind Beats New Pipelines, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lockout finally over at National Grid, CommonWealth Magazine

Challenges Remain For National Grid, Union Workers Even With Contract, WBUR

National Grid union workers OK contract, ending lockout, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas Offers Payment Plans For Merrimack Valley Gas Bills, USA Patch

Lawmakers push for safer gas practices, Salem News

Warren, Markey call for Columbia Gas to repair damaged roads, Boston Globe

Gas investigation on hold amid shutdown, Eagle Tribune

Charlie Baker tours Merrimack Valley to promote businesses affected by gas explosions, Boston Globe

Lawrence mayor wants Columbia Gas license revoked, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time, Washington Post

Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds, New York Times

Warning Of Flooded Cities, Spilka Puts Climate Change Atop To-Do List, WGBH.org

US power sector carbon emissions jump as gas boom outpaces coal decline, Utility Dive

2018 was Earth’s fourth-warmest year, EU scientists find, Axios

The National Weather Service is ‘open,’ but your forecast is worse because of the shutdown, Washington Post

Ramping up renewable energy remains lawmakers’ focus in 2019, The Day

Pennsylvania commits to 26% GHG reductions amid federal inaction, US emissions increase, Utility Dive

Vagaries Of the Energy Market: A Boom In Renewables Leads To Higher Rates For Co-op, VPR Digital

Mass. Inaugurates Clean Peak Standard, RTO Insider

 

Wind

Wind turbine company picks Boston for US HQ, Boston Globe

Sununu Will Ask for Federal Offshore Wind Study, A First Step To Development, NHPR

Government shutdown delays Vineyard Wind meetings, South Coast Today

Public hearings set on Roxbury Wind Project, National Wind Watch (Maine)

Busy month ahead for Alle-Catt Wind Farm issues, Olean Times Herald

A key approval for the $2-billion off-shore project is set for Jan. 22, NewportRI.com

R.I. fishermen still without compensation deal from wind farm developer, ProJo

Court: Refund Swanton Wind developers, St. Albans Messenger

Rhode Island harvesters, wind farm developer still talking compensation, Undercurrent News

New Jersey receives three bids in largest state wind energy solicitation to date, Daily Energy Insider

Under New Management, New London Pier Looks To Capitalize On Offshore Wind, WNPR

 

 

Solar

Maine Mall 2,340-panel solar array poised to go online, Mainebiz

How Can You Take a Stand on Energy at the Local Level? Lebanon Has an Idea, New Hampshire Public Radio

Tax exemption could cut towns statewide from solar-farm revenue, Telegram.com

 

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Energy efficiency info may be coming to Mass. residential home listings, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Energy Storage Developers See Promise in Second Phase of Innovative New Hampshire Pilot, Microgrid Knowledge

California set a goal of 100% clean energy, and now other states may follow its lead, Los Angeles Times

Three Big Energy Ideas to Watch in 2019, Microgrid Knowledge

 

EVs

Before the Electric Car Takes Over, Someone Needs to Reinvent the Battery, Bloomberg

Boston transit authority adds to electric bus fleet, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Closed Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Sale Complete, NHPR

U.S. to Bill Gates: Build your scrapped China nuclear reactor in America, Axios

Energy Department Initiative Aims to Keep U.S. Competitive on Nuclear-Plant Fuel, Wall Street Journal

Pilgrim Nuke Plant Back at Full Power, CapeCod.com

NRC public meeting Jan. 15 for comments on Pilgrim decommissioning, Wicked Local Plymouth

New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution to join Vermont Yankee nuclear storage conference, VTDigger

Full scholarships offered for nuclear program at Three Rivers, The Day

Experts: Nuclear power production in country just 3%, The Tribune

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It, Wall Street Journal

New England Power Grid Operators Train For Severe Nor’Easters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Wholesale power prices were generally higher in 2018, with both winter and summer spikes, eia.gov

Regulators decide to open full investigation into CMP billing issues, Portland Press Herald

Regulators consider plan to get rebates for some electric customers, Record-Journal

Confidence Grows that Proposed Burrillville Power Plant will be Denied, ECO RI

Invenergy analyst says Burrillville plant would supplement renewables, Providence Journal

Braintree Light hopes to retire generator, Patriot Ledger

Mass. Families face home heating emergency, $30 million sought, WickedLocal.com

Activists, lawmakers rally for heating help for low-income families, WBSM.com

Data: Maine Had Longer, More Frequent Power Outages Per Customer Than Any Other State In 2017, Maine Public

 

Editorial/Opinion

Ensuring fuel security for the electricity system: New England and the role of LNG, Utility Dive

Electricity aggregation success extends beyond Newton, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Solar power, storage poised to protect Mass. businesses this winter, Boston Business Journal

Letter to the editor: Efficiency Maine Trust a burden to needy electricity customers, Portland Press Herald

Thinking globally, but acting warily, on new gas pipelines, Boston Globe

Letter to the editor: Good to hear real story on gas companies, New Haven Register

Editorial: Industry must be part of transit carbon cap policy, Boston Business Journal

 

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