Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Energy News for week ending June 23, 2017

Good Friday Afternoon.

This week’s energy news includes a story in the MIT Technology Review about a new paper from nearly two dozen “prominent researchers” that sharply critiqued an influential paper arguing that wind, solar, and hydroelectric power could affordably meet most of the nation’s energy needs by 2055. The researchers said the 2015 paper “contained modeling errors and implausible assumptions that could distort public policy and spending decisions.” That the 2015 paper was influential is right. Massachusetts, California and other states are now considering 100 percent renewable energy targets not only for electricity generation, but for transportation and heating as well. Greentech Media pulled together a podcast on the “bitter debate” that ensued after the critical paper was released. It also includes some links to Tweetstorms that erupted after the paper was released.

Also this week, the Consumer Energy Alliance released the results of a poll that showed “a large majority of voters in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York embrace affordable and reliable energy in New England, but a much smaller majority embrace natural gas pipelines to make that happen.” The article in Natural Gas Intelligence reported, “CEA noted that the polling shows only 6% of respondents thought that a lack of natural gas or oil infrastructure was the cause for the region’s high electric rates. This shows ‘an apparent disconnect or lack of understanding from respondents as to how pipelines and other related energy infrastructure impact fuel and electricity prices,’ the group said.”

The last highlight this week is a story from the Cape Cod Times about the ongoing battle to shut down Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility. According to the story, “a Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down [the] two town-owned wind turbines. Judge Cornelius Moriarty issued his decision at about 4:30 p.m. in the case which pitted the town against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and a neighbor of the turbines. The Board of Selectmen had appealed a decision by the zoning board that found the turbines are a nuisance.” More court cases over the turbines are in process so this order to shut them down isn’t necessarily ‘case closed.’

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

FERC says no environmental review for ‘heavy-duty’ vehicle use variance, says it will trust Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., Berkshire Eagle

New England Poll Finds ‘Disconnect’ Between Voter Support for Affordable Energy, Pipelines, Natural Gas Intelligence

18 Arrested At Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project Will Go To Court, WAMC

Despite trespassing arrests, Sugar Shack Alliance members vow to begin ‘summer days of resistance’ protest, Berkshire Eagle

Keene City Council backs natural gas proposal, delays climate change vote, Keene Sentinel

Weymouth residents continue air quality testing in the Fore River Basin, The Patriot Ledger

Court Issues Burrillville Power Plant a Setback, ecoRI news

Defending Burrillville from Invenergy may cost town millions, RI Future

API positions gas as all-purpose resource for grid reliability, Utility Dive

Renewable Energy

Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan, MIT Technology Review

Major Simsbury Solar Project Opposed By State Officials Moving Ahead Thanks to Mass., R.I., Hartford Courant

Grafton solar project helps preserve Knowlton Farm, Telegram.com

Your Guide to the Bitter Debate Over 100% Renewable Energy, Greentech Media

Maine legislators get set for net metering vote that could impact PUC ruling, Daily Energy Insider

Falmouth ordered to shut down turbines, Cape Cod Times

Murphy and Esty Want $5 Billion for ‘National Green Bank’, Hartford Courant

Supporters tout carbon pricing plan from Lexington state senator, Wicked Local Lexington

What’s Next For Climate Change Efforts in NH?, New Hampshire Public Radio

Can Offshore Wind Power Revive US Ports?, Scientific American

Battle for US offshore wind jobs hots up, Recharge

Offshore Wind Faces Stiff Test From Hurricanes, ecoRI news

House and Senate Approve Solar Bill, More Votes Ahead, WAGM

Massachusetts Businesses Taking Climate Change Seriously, CBS Boston / WBZ

Vivint Solar Continues Huge Month With Expansion Into Vermont, CleanTechnica

Wind noise should be overseen by state, not developer, Brattleboro Reformer

Video: P.E.I. wind farm brings in special scaffolding to repair turbine blade, CBC News

At Pittsfield stop on Clean Energy Future Tour, anti-turbine sentiment a frequent topic, Berkshire Eagle

Report: Renewable energy is no threat to power reliability, Utility Dive

Rhode Island Considering Legislation to Streamline Process of Developing Renewable Energy Projects, JD Supra

Energy Efficiency

Critics of RI budget take aim at one-time revenue transfers, The Providence Journal

National Grid named one of the most energy efficient utilities in US, Daily Energy Insider

Donovan joins suit against US Department of Energy, Vermont Biz

Green Massachusetts, green Harvard, Harvard Press

Hinds, Pacheco Host MA Clean Energy Future Tour In Pittsfield, WAMC

6 towns get Green Communities grants totaling $830211, The Recorder

Nuclear

New York Senate narrowly passes bill to reallocate funds for nuclear subsidies, Utility Dive

Pilgrim advisory panel ‘ready to get to work’, Cape Cod Times

Judge blocks sale of Vermont Yankee disposal company, Brattleboro Reformer

Activists And Climate Scientists Push For Support Of Millstone Nuclear Power, WSHU

Entergy prepares to leave Plymouth; Emera hopes to enter, Wicked Local Plymouth

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England, California could see tight spots with reliability this summer, says FERC, Utility Dive

DOE grid study deadline delayed as Perry defends budget proposal, Utility Dive

MassDEP reaffirms Exelon plant in Medway is safe, despite project criticism, MetroWest Daily News

Medway: Exelon, law group spar over contractor suspension, MetroWest Daily News

Northern Pass foes show up in force, The Union Leader

From Yale to the North Country, Northern Pass elicits strong opinions, The Keene Sentinel

University statement on the Northern Pass hydropower transmission line, Yale News

Weymouth school gets energy assist from Celtics, National Grid, Wicked Local Weymouth

Senate Chair on Global Warming Takes Input on Energy Policy, iBerkshires.com

New York lawmakers clear bill creating an energy storage mandate, Utility Dive

A Massachusetts Co-op Makes A Powerful Vintage, Renewable Energy World

Enel to Buy EnerNOC for $250M, in Bid for Demand Response and Energy Software Market Share, Greentech Media

Editorial/Opinion

Finally – A Market-Based, Investable Approach to Energy Efficiency, Electric Light & Power

Another View — Richard Sampson: Yale could stop Northern Pass, The Union Leader

Our View: Solar bill would let Maine grow clean energy jobs, Press Herald

Exports explain interest in gas pipeline, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Footprint’s deal is a good one for neighbors and the city, Salem News

The upside of renewables, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending June 16, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon.

There are a lot of stories this week! Let’s start with one from ISO-NE’s Newswire. They are reporting that “New England will be under the shadow of the moon for much of the afternoon on August 21 during a partial solar eclipse. According to NASA, the eclipse will occur between approximately 1:20 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with the peak expected at around 2:45 p.m., when about 65% of the sun will be blocked (called obscuration). If it is a sunny day, the ISO expects that output from the region’s 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will drop during these 2 hours and 40 minutes, but anticipates having sufficient resources available to meet the resulting rise in electricity demand.” Be sure to check out the page to see the eclipse map and an easy to understand detailed explanation.

The US EIA announced this week that for the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10% of total electricity generation in the United States, based on March data. They expect similar results for April.

We all know Massachusetts is tops when it comes to energy efficiency. This week, the ACEEE announced The 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard that looks at the performance of the 51 largest electric utilities in the United States and highlights cutting-edge efforts. Topping the list are Eversource Massachusetts and National Grid Massachusetts, which both earned the same score (91%). As is noted in the blog post, “both achieved more than 3% savings as a percentage of their retail sales in 2015 — a notable achievement.” Notable indeed.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Pipeline blasting plans raise fears, Berkshire Eagle

Activists question if Keene’s part of effort to create demand for natural gas infrastructure, Keene Sentinel

Gas bills going up for 12000 National Grid customers, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

National Grid combating uptick of gas leaks in RI, Turn to 10

Eversource begins first phase of gas line project in Wallingford, New Haven Register

New Coalition Supports Burrillville Power Plant, Wants Affordable Energy Prices, Rhode Island Public Radio

Senate Hears Bill to Derail Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Departments run drill on how to respond to a leak in Spectra line, Wicked Local West Roxbury

Judge Delivers Blow To Trump Administration In Dakota Access Fight, NPR

Chicago Developer Helps Fund Pro-Power Plant Group, ecoRI news

Natural Gas Industry Brings A Fake Grassroots Group To Eastern Pipeline Fights, HuffPost

Renewable Energy

Wind and solar in March accounted for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time, US EIA

Report: Solar could power state’s flagging economy, CT Post

Competition for offshore wind ramps up in Massachusetts, ABC News

Labor, environmentalists tout first US offshore wind farm, SouthCoastToday.com

Cape Wind opposition continues, Cape Cod Times

Offshore wind may help New Hampshire lower energy costs, Recharge

Where offshore wind researchers see the most opportunity, Bangor Daily News

Wind power group’s new ad campaign aims to win over Trump, The Hill

Goldman Sachs invests in wind power and will help other big brands meet their green goals, Marketplace.org

Poll: Maine Voters Support Solar Energy, But Deeply Concerned About Affordable Energy and See Lowering Costs as Top Priority, Energy Central

Saco looking to get rid of wind turbine, National Wind Watch

2017 Clean Energy Jobs Report: RI Clean Energy Jobs See 66 Percent Growth Since 2014, Energy Central

Pick My Solar Partners with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Local Non-Profits to Create An Online Solar Marketplace, Energy Central

Big business sees the promise of clean energy, The Economist

Wind Turbines: Behind the Spin, Machine Design

August eclipse will miss New England, but still could cut solar power output, Concord Monitor

RGGI CO2 auction price drops to $2.53/st, lowest price since 2012, Platts

Company gets rights to put solar panels on old Wallingford landfill, Meriden Record-Journal

Nexamp Completes Community Solar Project In Massachusetts, Solar Industry Magazine

Energy Efficiency

The results are in: here are the most energy-efficient utilities in the US, ACEEE Blog

Number Of Clean Energy Jobs Increasing In RI, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump’s Delay on Energy Efficiency Is Illegal, Natural Resources Defense Council

11 states sue Trump’s DOE over stalled energy-use limits, ABC News

Energy Efficiency Bill Would Help Schools, U.S. News & World Report

Genbright and Ice Energy partner to reduce peak electricity demand on Nantucket, Penn Energy

Green Mountain Power’s Latest Distributed Energy Play: Smart Water Heaters for 99 Cents a Month, GreenTech Media

Nuclear

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News, Forbes.com

DOE shells out $67M for advanced nuclear technology research, Utility Dive

Plymouth: Proposal to Build Converter Station on Pilgrim Site Goes Before Selectmen, 95.9 WATD-FM

NRC reports on Seabrook Station nuke plant, The Daily News of Newburyport

Oral arguments set for nuke plant license amendment, The Daily News of Newburyport

Vermont Yankee offers safety assurances as fuel move starts, Brattleboro Reformer

Trespass charge dropped against Vermont Yankee activist, vtdigger.org

Ferland: Commend citizens’ panel for an extraordinary Vermont Yankee Meeting, VermontBiz

How Retiring Nuclear Power Plants May Undercut U.S. Climate Goals, New York Times

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Carbon Pricing Bill Attracts Support and Opposition, Rhode Island Public Radio

Massachusetts Bills Create New Opportunities for Microgrids, Non-Wires Alternatives, MicroGrid Knowledge

Powered Down, Massachusetts’ Last Coal-Burning Plant Leaves A Void, WGBH

ISO-NE prepared to operate grid through partial solar eclipse in August, ISO-NE Newswire

Utility CEOs to DOE: Hands off state energy policies, grid planning, Utility Dive

Heat waves: Demand response’s time to shine, Utility Dive

Southern California power supply at risk this summer -FERC, Reuters

Proponents, opponents speak out at Northern Pass hearing, The Union Leader

Analyst: Northern Pass could save customers about $18 a year, The Union Leader

Cape Light Compact Concerned with Changes in New Eversource Filing, CapeCod.com

Eversource rate tweak missed review deadline; new hearings ordered, Berkshire Eagle

“Do you believe?” is the wrong question to ask public officials about climate change, Vox.com

Survey: What Electricity Customers Really Want, Greentech Media

Morse, Bradley Support Repeal of Electric Consumption Tax, Biomass Study, Energy Central

Editorial/Opinion

Natural Gas Industry Blasts Nuclear Power With Fake News, Forbes.com

Chris McKay: Sound regulations restricting wind power, vtdigger.org

Letter: No to Northern Pass, industrial wind, Concord Monitor

Editorial: New England’s energy challenges, The Providence Journal

Millstone nuclear plant not in ‘limbo’. Needs no special financial treatment, MassLive.com

If the feds won’t face climate change, the region can, The Boston Globe

Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar, CommonWealth Magazine

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, nuclear, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending March 17, 2017

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

Have a wonderful weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Maryland House overwhelmingly approves fracking ban, Washington Post

More than 100 gas leaks in Concord; Wicked Local Concord

Government Opposition to Power Plant Increasing, ecoRI news

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

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

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

Webster selectmen oppose RI power plant, Worcester Telegram

Climate Change

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

A Spark Of Hope For Climate Change Reality, NPR

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

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

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

Renewable Energy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two more wind farms sought off Vineyard, Boston Herald

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

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

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

Bioenergy park considered at closed landfill, Brattleboro Reformer

Local project buoys FuelCell Energy, Danbury News Times

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

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

Scientists use solar power to produce hydrogen from biomass, CNBC

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

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

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

Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

Nuclear

Legislation That Would Support Connecticut Nuclear Plant Released, Hartford Courant

Entergy Takes Next Steps for Pilgrim Closure, CapeCod.com

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

Bold Visions for the Future of Nuclear Power, WCAI

Vermont Yankee hearing postponed, The Recorder

Connecticut Moves Closer to Equating Nuclear with Renewables, RTO Insider

Nuke bill takes shape, Hartford Business Journal

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

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connecticut considers carbon tax on oil, gas, CT Post

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

APCC voices concern over Eversource spray plan, Wicked Local Brewster

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

Utilities reiterate backing for Northern Pass, The Union Leader

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

National Grid apologizes for Brockton manhole cover explosions, Enterprise News

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

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

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

Editorial/Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

Embrace Gas, Hartford Courant

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending March 10, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. Let’s get right to it.

Elisa Wood at Microgrid Knowledge reports that in one day two states made history-making moves on distributed energy resources. She writes that New York ordered actions that begin placing a value on distributed energy resources, a key move in creating the kind of decentralized grid the state is pursuing under its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) policy. And that meanwhile, Massachusetts issued an awaited solicitation that makes significant funding available for energy storage, a technology that promises to disrupt the way the electric power industry has managed energy for more than a century – and in doing so elevate microgrids, solar and other distributed energy resources. Wood notes, both states are often on the vanguard of energy policy innovations.

The news coming out of Washington, DC isn’t looking so good for the Energy Star Program. The Washington Post reports that even though the Energy Star program is good for the climate and economy, Trump wants to kill it anyway. According to the story, since its inception, the Energy Star program says it has saved consumers an estimated $430 billion on utility bills and avoided 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Journalist Chelsea Harvey writes, “Why the administration sees fit to remove it, then, remains unclear. But some say the budget proposal may not get much further, anyway. Some lawmakers have suggested that the plan is likely to face resistance in Congress, even among Republicans. And the treatment of the Energy Star program may spur criticism from the private sector as well.” Let’s hope she’s right.

The plans for the budget slashing at the EPA led its Chief Environmental Justice Official, Mustafa Ali, to step down. According to the story in Inside Climate News, Ali penned a long letter, “devoid of rancor” to Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency’s programs.

Speaking of environmental downsizing, the Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts is enforcing its environmental rules less due to years of reductions in staff. The good news is that the administration’s latest budget proposal calls for a 4 percent increase for the DEP, some of which is earmarked to hire 15 new compliance officers.

Lastly, on the South Shore and Buzzards Bay, some Plymouth-based wind turbines are raising the hackles of neighbors. The Cape Cod Times reports that the four turbines on the Keith Mann Cranberry Bog, just over the border from Bourne are resulting in stories of deafening noise, unexplained headaches, and restless nights – by residents of Bourne. Bourne Selectman Michael Blanton said, “It was put right on the town line, right on the county line; just outside of our reach to be able to exercise any jurisdiction, exercise any regulatory authority and really … approve, disapprove or mitigate much of the project to any degree.” Bourne officials have pleaded with the Plymouth Board of Health and the MA DEP for relief, but at the moment, still feel “kind of helpless.”

There are a lot more news stories below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Environmental Study: Leaking Gas Pipelines Costing State Consumers Millions, Adding Air Pollution, Hartford Courant

Amended plan for power plant might spur new opinions from R.I. agencies, Providence Journal

Quincy throws its weight and dollars behind compressor-station appeal, The Patriot Ledger

CLF Sues Over Johnston Reselling Water For Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Local Environmental Groups Unite Against Power Plant, ecoRI news

Delays Could Derail Proposed Burrillville Power Plant, ecoRI news

Fast Growth Coming for Northeast Shale Gas Pipelines, Bloomberg BNA

EIA’s Changing Oil, Natural Gas Projections For 2017, 2018, Forbes

What do people call Baker about? The Weymouth natural gas compressor station, for starters, Boston Globe

Renewable Energy

Plan could increase Rhode Island renewables to 1 GW by 2020, HydroWorld

Competing strategies emerge on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Wind turbines raise hackles in Plymouth and Bourne, Cape Cod Times

Wind Power Blows Through Nuclear, Coal as Costs Drop at Sea, Bloomberg

1 MW Community Solar Farm Goes Online In Southeastern Mass., Solar Industry

Rhode Island Officials Embrace Fossil-Fuel Power Plant, But Say They Want More Renewable Energy, ecoRI news

Solar energy had record year in 2016, FuelFix

Tesla built a huge solar energy plant on the island of Kauai, The Verge

Solar explosion: The changing landscape of residential solar, GazetteNET

Greenhouse at Lebanon farm producing power along with plants, theday.com

Seven Maine businesses land renewable energy grants, Mainebiz

Big Wind critics: New sound rules for Vermont wind turbines fall short, Watchdog.org

Swanton wind will go ahead despite PSB setback, vtdigger.org

RENEW Northeast Welcomes Offshore Wind Developers, National Wildlife Federation, North American Windpower

‘Let me show you how to go 100% renewable energy’, EcoGeneration

Massachusetts Schools, Town Cut Costs With New Brownfield Solar Project, Energy Central

Energy Efficiency

Quincy, National Grid help make homes more energy efficient, The Patriot Ledger

Evergreen Home Performance wins award from Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

White House plans to ‘close out’ Energy Star, other programs, E&E News

The Energy Star program is good for the climate and the economy. Trump wants to kill it anyway., Washington Post

Nuclear

Vermont AG files for intervenor status in Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

Feds commit to Vermont public meeting on Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Tribe wants say in Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Nuke plant, town reach deal over pier damage, Seacoastonline.com

Battle resumes over opening utility markets to Millstone, The CT Mirror

No status change for Pilgrim nuclear plant, The Patriot Ledger

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

One Day, Two States, History Making Moves on Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrid Knowledge

Sparks fly on electric vehicle provision, CommonWealth Magazine

Mass. is enforcing its environmental rules less, The Boston Globe

New York PSC directs utilities to deploy 2 or more grid-scale storage projects, Utility DIVE

Dunkin’ Donuts, Eversource, National Grid Develop Energy Program, Energy Manager Today

Hinds opposes Eversource rate hike request, Berkshire Eagle

Durham ‘lacks confidence’ in Eversource data, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Report: White House planning deep cuts to DOE efficiency, renewables office, Utility DIVE

Report: New Energy Projects Not Needed for NH’s Economic Growth, New Hampshire Public Radio

After losing money on hydropower venture, Camden to decommission Seabright Dam, PenBayPilot.com

Hanover Pond restored in Meriden; testing of hydroelectric technology underway, Meriden Record Journal

Purchase of 13 dams on the Connecticut River nearing finish line, vtdigger.org

New Hampshire Climate Denier’s Work Has Powerful New Audience: His Brother, The Governor, DeSmog

Could biofuel save Maine’s timber industry?, Bangor Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Our Opinion: Eversource rates and the east-west divide, Berkshire Eagle

Battle resumes over opening utility markets to Millstone, The CT Mirror

Replacing the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant with Energy Efficiency, Huffington Post

Jon Copans: Modelling a local and vibrant climate economy, vtdigger.org

Trump’s puzzling clean energy stance, CommonWealth Magazine

A Guide to the Debate Over Closing Nuclear Plants, Greentech Media

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, offshore wind, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending February 17, 2017

Happy Friday. This week’s energy news brings us more response to a pipeline study released last week that claims the Access Northeast pipeline will cost twice what proponents claim. According to MassLive, Eversource Energy called the report “a disservice to communities.”

During last week’s ISO-NE energy auction Invenergy’s proposed Burrillville, RI gas plant only managed to sell half its expected capacity. EcoRI reports that Jerry Elmer of the Conservation Law Foundation, said, “the lack of demand for the electricity shows there is more than enough power generation to meet future energy needs and, thus, the proposed Clear River Energy Center is unnecessary and shouldn’t be built.”

But natural gas advocates, should not dismay! The American Gas Association released its 2017 playbook touting all of the benefits that natural gas brings to the US. Specifically, the playbook offers a concise, fact-based narrative detailing how the industry and utilities are helping increase our energy security, improving our environment and boosting our economy.

Lastly, on the gas front, WGBH talks with Governor Baker about how much he can or can’t influence the Weymouth gas compressor station. His response, “In the end, these decisions get made by the federal government.”

In other news, Maine is starting to look like Washington; or is it that Washington is starting to look like Maine? Regardless, the Sun Journal tells us that Gov. LePage is telling utility commissioners to resign over “their absolutely horrendous decision” that rolled back net metering but didn’t eliminate it. And the Bangor Daily News reports he seeks to replace at least one of them with a solar energy critic.

New Hampshire also has its fair share of renewable critics. Utility DIVE reports on legislation that would remove the state from RGGI and repeal the renewables mandate.

Speaking of renewables mandates, MassLive reports that more than 50 Massachusetts lawmakers have signed on to a bill that would require Massachusetts to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. All of its heating, transportation and other sectors would have to be powered by renewable energy by 2050. No word yet on the cost, but we can look to Vermont where the Energy Collective said a study released this week found its 90 percent renewables mandate would cost $33 billion by 2050. They did the math and found if the US were to adopt Vermont’s 90% RE goal, the capital cost would be $17,316 billion, which is in the same ballpark as the US national debt. Ouch.

There is much more news below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Can Gov. Baker Actually Block A Controversial Gas Compressor?, WGBH.org

Is NED pipeline back on the table?, Nashua Telegraph (pay wall)

AGA Releases 2017 Playbook, True Blue Natural Gas

Eversource and activists at odds over latest New England pipeline study, MassLive.com

New report questions need, cost of Access Northeast gas pipeline project, Utility Dive

Reports Conflict on Need for New Gas Power Plant, ecoRI news

Air battle looms over proposed Weymouth compressor station, Wicked Local Weymouth

Pope appears to back native tribes in Dakota Pipeline conflict, Reuters

Company Behind DAPL Reported 69 Accidents, Polluting Rivers in 4 States in Last Two Years, EcoWatch

Fracking Rule Text Disappears From Interior Department Website, EcoWatch

Vt. Gas Takes Financial Hit, Pipeline Protests Continue, Middlebury Campus

Germany largely bans fracking with new laws, Deutsche Welle

Refugio pipeline explosion shakes homes 60 miles away, KHOU.com

Renewable Energy

New Hampshire bills would withdraw state from RGGI, repeal renewables mandate, Utility Dive

Vermont’s 90% Renewable Energy Goal to Cost $33 Billion by 2050, Energy Collective

Wind Power Now Generates More Than 10 Percent of Electricity for 13 States, Power Engineering

State incentives in the offing as more companies, communities adopt solar power, MassLive.com

LePage eyes replacing utilities commissioner with solar energy critic, Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage urges Maine utility regulators to resign over solar decision, Lewiston Sun Journal

Here’s an early look at how Maine’s biomass bailout money is being spent, Bangor Daily News

Fight over renewable energy comes to New Hampshire, Penn Energy

Trump urged to back offshore, reNews

Vineyard Power vying for offshore wind farm, Cape Cod Times

Deepwater Wind opens Massachusetts office in New Bedford, SouthCoastToday.com

Solar and wind energy propel growth in US renewables, Nature.com

Victory: These Two Cities Just Committed to 100% Renewable Energy, EcoWatch

Environmentalists push for 100% renewable energy use in Massachusetts, MassLive.com

Wind turbines inspired by insect wings are 35% more efficient, Science Magazine

US Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy, Bloomberg

UPS Announces $18 Million Investment In Onsite Solar Energy, 5x Onsite Solar Growth, CleanTechnica

Governor’s letter to Trump — Support solar and wind energy, Digital Journal

Companies Collaborates with Beaumont Solar on New 680,305 sq ft LEED Certified Headquarters, Incorporating a 2.2 Megawatt Solar System, Energy Central

The crisis at Oroville Dam, explained, Vox.com

Energy Efficiency

Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced in Senate, Lexology

Report: HI, CT, MA, RI, and AK Households Save Most On Overall Utility Bills Due To Appliance Standards, (Press Release), Appliance Standards Awareness Project

Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, (Report) Environment Maine

Massachusetts Green Communities Program Continues to Grow, Energy Manager Today

An Energy Storage Target for Massachusetts: Go Bigger, Bellwether?, Microgrid Knowledge

Vermont Churches Awarded Grants for Energy Audits, vtdigger.org

National Grid launches its first commercial & industrial demand response program, Utility DIVE

Nuclear

Entergy Addresses Critical Report (video), ‘The Take’ NECN

Connecticut lawmakers again asked to consider nuclear energy, New Haven Register

Federal application filed for Vermont Yankee sale, vtdigger.org

Pilgrim nuclear power plant back online after shutdown, The Boston Globe

Public hearings planned on proposed Vermont Yankee sale, The Keene Sentinel

NRC starts comment clock on Seabrook amendment to rent extension, The Daily News of Newburyport

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Rules to cut carbon emissions in Mass. may increase them in New England, critics say, Boston Globe

New review is critical of Northern Pass project, The Union Leader

Massachusetts Plans to Identify Microgrid Opportunities Statewide, Microgrid Knowledge

Prices plummet in ISO-NE capacity auction, raising questions about new generation plans, Utility Dive

Expanded Use Of EVs in CT, MA, MD, NY & PA Could Yield “Multi-Billions” in Savings and Benefits, CleanTechnica

Plymouth triangle lot could produce new revenue (underwater cables), Wicked Local Plymouth

Utilidata, National Grid announce Volt/VAR optimization project, Electric Light & Power

Energy executives, secretive nonprofit raise money to back Pruitt, Politico

Citing ownership change, Brockton Power asks for six-month permit extension, Enterprise

Brady to state board: Deny Brockton Power 4th extension after it sat out auction, Enterprise

Editorial/Opinion

Power Precursor, New Hampshire Magazine

Reviving the Keystone Pipeline is one of Trump’s foolish acts, Ricentral.com

Eversource solar hikes unwarranted, CommonWealth Magazine

Commentary: PUC’s mishandling of solar rules will hurt industry, utilities and ratepayers, Press Herald

Letter to the editor: SMCC is all talk, no action on renewable energy future, Press Herald

Markey, Kennedy Statement on Results of New England Electricity Capacity Auction #11, Energy Central

Ronald C. DeCurzio: Massachusetts municipal utilities doing their part to reach clean energy milestones, MassLive

Letter to the Editor: Unnecessary pipeline project would do damage, New Haven Register

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

Energy News for week ending January 20, 2017

It’s Friday so it’s time for the weekly energy news. Eversource filed a rate case this week calling for price hikes that the Berkshire Eagle says could “shock” Western MA customers. Shortly after the filing, MA Attorney General Healey issued a press release and told the Boston Globe that profits should go to “customers as savings, not raising rates.”

In other news, a CT lawmaker is trying to save Millstone from the same fate of other nuclear plants – that is shutting down due to low wholesale energy prices (New Haven Register). Lastly, the EIA released data that power sector emissions dropped below the transportation sector for first time in 4 decades (Utility DIVE).

Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Rep. Lynch Calls on Full Report on Leak at Spectra Station, Patch.com

Opponents of Weymouth gas compressor rue lost opportunity to stop project, The Patriot Ledger

Spectra says it’s willing to meet with Weymouth council about gas leak, Wicked Local

National Grid Rhode Island Pulls Access Northeast Regulatory Filing, Natural Gas Intelligence

Grafton selectmen rescind approval for gas pipeline drilling, Worcester Telegram

Renewable Energy

Sunrun partners with National Grid to expand rooftop solar, storage, Utility Dive

Corporate Buyers Which states make buying wind power easy for big brands?, The AWEA (blog)

Council OKs delay on solar power plants, Ricentral.com

Largest solar facility in Massachusetts goes live, The Salem News

Renewable Energy Is “Gaining Ground According To Nearly Every Measure,” says IRENA, Clean Technica

Energy Efficiency

Sustainable energy group offers expert tips for homeowners, Commons

Connecticut Honda Dealer Achieves Grid Neutral Status, Justmeans

Did you know marijuana is America’s most energy-intensive crop?, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Energy-Efficient Improvements to Waltham Ice Rink Will Save Approximately $15k, Patch.com

Nuclear

Connecticut nuclear plant seeks to bid on state contracts, The Daily Progress

Connecticut lawmaker aims to ensure Millstone stays open, New Haven Register

Key player in Vermont Yankee closure leaving Entergy, Brattleboro Reformer

Vermont Yankee could be sold to New York company, Brattleboro coalition yet to determine next steps, The Recorder

Miniaturized Nuclear Power Plant? US Reviewing Proposed Design, NPR

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

EIA: Power sector emissions drop below transportation sector for first time in 4 decades, Utility DIVE

Eversource seeks big distribution rate hike, CommonWealth Magazine

Eversource requests electric rate hike that could shock Western Mass. Customers, Berkshire Eagle

Healey wants to pull plug on Eversource’s proposed rate hike, The Boston Globe

There’s a revolution happening in electricity. Utilities need to keep up, Vox.com

Report Describes $5.9B in Health Benefits from RGGI’s Carbon Reductions, MicroGrid Knowledge

NK knocked back by National Grid, Ricentral.com

Forest Society seeks details of fiscal relationship between Balsams, Northern Pass, Conway Daily Sun

Mercer wants city to be backup water source for power plant, Valley Breeze

Massachusetts eyes lofty electric car goal, Wicked Local Billerica

Medway power plant critics place hopes on environmental appeal, MetroWest Daily News

Officials probing after several manholes explode in Brockton, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Listen to the real energy concerns, New Hampshire Business Review

Fracking Blamed For Early Closure Of NY Nuclear Plant, Forbes

Paul Burns: Clean energy works for Vermont, vtdigger.org

How Bangor and Portland are taking meaningful action against climate change, Bangor Daily News

Rooftop Solar: Too Expensive to Meter, Energy Collective

Getting real about natural gas in Massachusetts, Lowell Sun

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, solar

Energy News for week ending January 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th! So what do you think your energy use is equivalent to in toasters? According to an article in GeekWire, Nathan Myhrvold explains, “Each American draws an average of 11 kilowatts of electrical power, which translates to having 11 toasters working all day, every day…In comparison, the global average is 2.5 kilowatts (or 2.5 toasters)…Africa is at 800 watts, which isn’t quite a toaster’s worth, but equivalent to a coffeemaker.” He adds that, “In the decades ahead, the whole world wants to have 11 toasters’ worth of electricity.” Myhrvold uses this interesting illustration to make the case that in order to meet this growing demand we need to invest in “next-generation technologies aimed at making fission-generated power safer and easier to manage” such as TerraPower, which has developed a “new type of nuclear reactor that makes use of depleted uranium and can sustain the fission process indefinitely.”

In other news, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reminds us that renewables aren’t cheap by comparing the cost of renewables-based residential electricity supply options with utilities’ basic-service offerings. And, while you’re on the CommonWealth Magazine site, be sure to read Gordon van Welie’s piece titled, “Grid in the balance.” There’s no sugar coating here – just plain facts about “suboptimal solutions” that may be required without infrastructure development. Speaking of which, we included an article from Utility DIVE in which Dominion has said blackouts will be the norm for a Virginia peninsula later this year because of coal plant closings and opposition to bring electricity to the area via a transmission line from a nearby nuclear plant. Hmmm. Perhaps they could use the TerraPower solution?

One last note for this week, Massachusetts comes in first again in another positive analysis – it’s the most friendly state for rooftop solar (Greentech Media).

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

National Grid: West Roxbury gas metering and regulating station is operational, Wicked Local West Roxbury

Eversource appeals state’s pipeline ruing to NH Supreme Court, Concord Monitor

Tough Road Seen For Access Northeast, LNG Storage, Too, Natural Gas Intelligence

Gas leak stopped at Spectra Energy Weymouth station, The Boston Globe

Gas leak heightens concerns over proposed Weymouth project, The Patriot Ledger

Spectra says pipeline unaffected by frozen valve in Weymouth, The Patriot Ledger

Weymouth mayor calls for changes at metering station after release, Patriot Ledger

Invenergy Identifies Johnston As Water Supplier For Burrillville Power Plant, Rhode Island Public Radio

Invenergy’s John Niland delivers false information at Woonsocket City Council meeting, RI Future

Local Pipeline Leaks Source of Climate Emissions, ecoRI news

Renewable Energy

Solar farms proposed for two central Maine towns, Press Herald

Vermont’s newly-elected GOP governor backs 90% RPS, Utility DIVE

Renewables not cheap, CommonWealth Magazine

New York sets bar high for offshore wind, UPI.com

Offshore investment ‘up’ 40%, reNews

Deepwater Wind pitches 120 MW Maryland offshore wind project, Electric Light & Power

John Kerry Says Clean Energy Will Yield Job Growth, Survival, Fortune

Eversource gets approval to build more solar plants in Massachusetts, wwlp.com

Cuomo Pledges to Lead on Climate, Cut RGGI Cap 30% by 2030, Natural Resources Defense Council

RGGI Report: Less pollution drives billions in health gains, Natural Resources Defense Council

Planners approve $45M solar farm, Cranston Herald

Connecticut’s Commercial Solar Pipeline Is Huge. But Will It Get Built?, (paywall) Greentech Media

New Milford Town Council approves payment deal for solar project, Danbury News Times

Report: Solar installations eating up Connecticut farmland, New Haven Register

Westerly considering solar partnership to reduce energy costs, The Westerly Sun

Maine regulators approve biomass subsidies split across 4 plants, Biomass Magazine

Solar company gets Athol’s blessing, with contingency, Going Green

Montpelier capital city to vote on ‘net zero’ options, Penn Energy

The States Most Friendly to Rooftop Solar, Ranked, Greentech Media

Sunrun forms strategic partnership with National Grid, PV-Tech

Eversource’s proposed 3.3-megawatt solar array in Lee up for public review, Berkshire Eagle

RGGI to offer 14.4 mln allowances in Mar. 8 auction, Carbon Pulse

Energy Efficiency

Weatherization Efforts Set in 14 Vermont Towns, Valley News

Investigation Indicates Lax Oversite of Quasi-State Energy Program, MainePublic.org

Obama Makes the Case for His Clean Energy Legacy, Scientific American

Nuclear

Millstone’s annual economic impact in state put at $1.3 billion, The Day

NRC starts review process for proposed Vt. Yankee sale, The Recorder

Former state regulator now an Entergy ally, Commons

Nathan Myhrvold explains why the nuclear power option is needed…with toasters, GeekWire

Climate change is fueling a second chance for nuclear power, PRI

Indian Point closing will end Entergy era in Northeast, Rutland Herald

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource plan concerns history advocates, Seacoastonline.com

Busy year for Footprint as project wraps up, Salem News

What’s Next for Energy Storage Policy? Watch Massachusetts, Microgrid Knowledge

Maine Power Company Deploying Drones to Respond to Power Outages, (video) NECN

What electric utilities can learn from the Vermont hacking scare, Utility DIVE

Energy giants, businesses among top Sununu inaugural donors, Eagle-Tribune

Bill requiring municipal approval of transmission lines proposed, The Union Leader

Sununu Sets Sights on Lowering NH’s Electric Bills — But Getting There Won’t Be Easy, New Hampshire Public Radio

Electric costs increasing in Wallingford for next six months, Meriden Record-Journal

Emera Initiates Energy Solicitation for Atlantic Link Transmission Project, Yahoo Finance

Dominion: Lack of transmission, coal shutdowns bring blackouts to Virginia peninsula, Utility DIVE

Death of Brayton Point leaves uncertain tax picture in Somerset, Herald News

Editorial/Opinion

Grid in the balance, CommonWealth magazine

As I See It: Making a case for natural gas, Worcester Telegram

Cummington: Contradance to benefit Pipe Line Awareness Network, Berkshire Eagle

Three Signs Of Hope In The U.S. For Energy Efficiency And Renewables in 2017, Forbes

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