Tag Archives: Rhode Island

Energy News for week ending January 15, 2021

Vetoed! | Imminent Start | Bug Robot

Happy Friday folks.

Well, we got the answer to last week’s question about whether Governor Baker was going to sign the climate bill or not. Thursday evening he opted for the veto. The good news is that Senate President Spilka and House Speaker Mariano are prepared to refile the bill, but it’s likely to face some significant changes. We have several stories related to this for you below.

According to the Portland Press Herald there are signs of preparation in Maine for the NECEC. “Obscured by a swirling snow squall, an amphibious off-road transporter with 5-foot-high tires maneuvered Friday along the Maine ITS 89 snowmobile trail at the base of Coburn Mountain. At a junction, two workers from Northern Clearing, a Wisconsin-based right-of-way contractor, stepped into the wind and 11-degree cold and secured a sign and pink flagging tape to a small tree. The sign was one of hundreds being erected in remote stretches of northwestern Maine between the Canadian border and The Forks. They will guide crews – likely starting next week – to where they will begin clearing sections of a 53-mile-long corridor through the forest for Central Maine Power’s $1 billion hydroelectric power corridor project, called New England Clean Energy Connect.”

For the new tech feature we have a giant bug for you. From Electrek, “Robots aren’t going to take over the world, but they can definitely make life a lot easier for humans. And that was the aim of BladeBUG, a UK startup that has developed insect-like robots to inspect, maintain, and repair offshore wind turbine blades without the need for rope access…How will the offshore wind industry maintain and repair the giant turbine blades once they’re swooshing through the air, high above the water, without requiring wind turbine workers to dangle precariously above the sea? (Who’s going to want to hang off the giant 14 MW Haliade-X Dogger Bank turbine blades? Yikes.) Not only does the robot make it safer for rope access technicians; it also saves money for the wind turbine companies, as it’s expensive to have humans climb out onto turbine blades.”

That’s the recap for this week. As always enjoy the weekend and stay safe.

Massachusetts Climate Bill

Massachusetts lawmakers prepare to refile climate bill if Gov. Charlie Baker lets clock run out, MassLive

In veto letter, Baker objects to a lot in climate change bill, CommonWealth Magazine

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes climate bill that sets carbon emissions targets ahead of 2050, MassLive

Reluctantly, governor vetoes Mass. climate change bill, but it may soon be back on his desk, Boston Globe

Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes sweeping climate change bill, AP

Massachusetts Gov. Vetoes Bill Calling for Net-Zero Emissions by Midcentury, Greentech Media

Climate Change

Climate coalition wants brighter light on Beacon Hill voting, Herald News

Covid-19 Took a Bite From U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2020, New York Times

Details, timing could lead to climate bill veto, WWLP

The carbon skyscraper: A new way of picturing rapid, human-caused climate change, Washington Post

Renewables/RGGI/TCI

Almost All New US Power Plants Built in 2021 Will Be Carbon-Free, Greentech Media

Clean Energy & COVID-19 Crisis | December 2020 Unemployment Analysis, E2

Wind, solar to make up 70% of new US generation in 2021 while batteries gain momentum: EIA, Utility Dive

The New Climate Bill Won’t Make Or Break A Proposed Biomass Plant In Springfield. But Another State Plan Will, WBUR

Gov. Cuomo pushes wind, solar expansion amid COVID-19 economic downturn, NY Post

Report: Raimondo’s 2030 renewables goal achievable, Providence Journal

2021 Outlook: Will hydrogen experience a breakthrough?, Utility Dive

Wind

To bolster green economy, New York will build nation’s largest offshore wind program, Utility Dive

Power from Mayflower Wind could be cheaper thanks to stimulus bill, Boston Herald

Wind Developers Tout Safety Of Transmission Cables Being Constructed In East Hampton, WSHU (NY)

This ‘bug’ robot will inspect and repair offshore wind turbine blades, Electrek

New York’s Latest Clean Energy Push Includes 2.5GW of Offshore Wind Contracts for Equinor and BP, Greentech Media

Efficiency/Storage

Halt to progress of utility efficiency programs could rob New Hampshire of economic boost, ACEEE Blog

Eversource extends energy incentives to COVID-19 vaccine freezers, Hartford Business Journal

Trump’s DOE Saddles Households with High-Cost, High-Emission Furnaces and Water Heaters, ACEEE

EVS

GM ushers in electric era with ambitious brand refresh, inclusive marketing campaign, Utility Dive

2021 Outlook: The future of electric vehicle charging is bidirectional — but the future isn’t here yet, Utility Dive

Proterra Set To Take Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Business Public via SPAC Transaction, Greentech Media

Nuclear

Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation Review Could Signal Federal Repository Approval, The Sand Paper

The social costs of nuclear power plant closure, NEI Magazine

Natural Gas

2021 Outlook: Greening natural gas while planning for service reliability, Utility Dive

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Data centers are energy hogs. Could they help power the grid?, Grist

MIT Study: Transmission Is Key to a Low-Cost, Decarbonized US Grid, Greentech Media

New transmission approaches can cut billions in decarbonization costs: MIT, clean energy coalition, Utility Dive

Pearl Street Technologies: A New Way to Optimize the Transmission Grid, Greentech Media

Climate-Proofing Your Home: Improving Your Backup Power Supply, Bloomberg Green

Green economy plans fuel new metals and energy ‘supercycle,’ The Guardian

Report: Renewables Are Suffering From Broken US Transmission Policy, Greentech Media

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

Energy News for week ending October 30, 2020

Rethink the future| Optimistic | It was in Niagara Falls…

Happy snowy Friday folks. I hear next week at this time we may hit 70 degrees. Ah, life in New England.

Maybe it was unintentional but given the nature of the story maybe not. Regardless, I love the photo of the upside down burner that accompanies this piece from CommonWealth Magazine, “DPU orders gas utilities to rethink their future. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on Thursday ordered the state’s natural gas utilities to jointly hire consultants and come up with a way to dramatically phase down or eliminate their businesses over the next 30 years. The order is a response to Gov. Charlie Baker’s call for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It asks for strategies to achieve that goal ‘while simultaneously safeguarding ratepayer interests; ensuring safe, reliable, and cost-effective natural gas service; and potentially recasting the role of LDCs [local distribution companies] in the Commonwealth.’”

If the gas utilities aren’t feeling positive, according to the Boston Business Journal the cleantech folks are seeing the glass half full. “Mass. clean energy leaders are optimistic about future growth. How disruptive an influence has the coronavirus been on the clean energy industry this year? A recent report from BW Research Partnership showed that the U.S. clean energy sector added 12,500 jobs in September, ‘leaving just under half a million (477,900) clean energy workers out of work since February this year – an almost 14 percent decline over pre-Covid-19 employment levels.’ The report further suggests the sector has been slower to rebound than others on a national level. Of the 17 firms that have appeared on the two most recent versions of the BBJ’s Largest Clean Energy Companies list, seven companies reported year-over-year increases in local headcount, four stayed flat, and six reported decreases (although, in at least a couple of cases, the drops were minor, relatively speaking). ‘While Massachusetts continues to be a leader in clean energy employment, there is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the industry,’ said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Steve Pike. ’However, Massachusetts’ commitment to combatting climate change and to growing its clean energy economy sets the stage for not just recovering those lost jobs, but also dramatic growth in the years to come.’” 

Our last feature story comes from Niagara Falls which when hearing of that place I confess it always makes me think of this Three Stooges episode. That aside, it’s a cool story about water-based transit. From the Washington Post, “A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats. Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls has launched North America’s first all-electric, zero-emissions tour boats. With the sun streaming into the Niagara Gorge, visitors lined up in socially distanced groups waiting to shuffle onto the Maid of the Mist, the boats that have ferried tourists to the base of Niagara Falls for the past 174 years. Whether they knew it or not, these passengers were experiencing a new era of maritime transportation: boats powered by electricity. Earlier this month, the Maid of the Mist launched two electric catamarans into the gorge, the first of their kind in North America. The hulking double-deckers run on dual banks of lithium-ion batteries. All the power used to charge the batteries is supplied by the nearby Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, one of the most productive hydroelectric facilities in the United States, making the boats a zero-emission operation. Maid of the Mist is at the forefront of what observers say is an emerging trend in maritime operations.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a safe and fun Halloween and don’t forget to fall back Saturday night.

Efficiency/Storage

Eversource creates online hub for energy efficient services with City of Boston, Daily Energy Insider

NH Guard strives for net-zero energy use at training site, Army.mil

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

RI climate suit to stay in state court, ProJo

Mass. clean energy leaders are optimistic about future growth, Boston Business Journal

Exclusive: GM, Ford knew about climate change 50 years ago, E&E News

A woman warned GM about warming. Men didn’t listen, E&E News

As Climate Disasters Pile Up, a Radical Proposal Gains Traction, New York Times

‘It just goes into a black hole,’ Grist.org

‘Sleeping giant’ Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find, The Guardian

At the intersection of clean energy and bluetech, BlueGreen Innovation Challenge emerges, RhodeIslandInno

Trump’s pullback of pollution controls is even more hazardous than you think, Vox.com

Unlimited, on-demand renewable energy anywhere in the world — is Eavor-Loop climate change’s holy grail?, Recharge

Poll: NJ voters strongly support investing in clean energy as part of pandemic recovery, NJ Insider

DEP warns environmentalists not to prejudge climate regulation review, NJ Spotlight

UMass Boston report shows that climate change views vary by race, Dorchester Reporter

Cuomo adviser: New York is “putting equity at the center” of climate work, Axios

NJ Transit Switches to Renewables for Microgrid, Plans Nov. 25 Solicitation, Microgrid Knowledge

Kennebunkport selectmen explore goals for tackling climate change, Seacoastonline.com

Wind

Vineyard Wind Secures Transmission Agreement With ISO-NE, Power Magazine

RI set to double down on offshore wind power, ProJo

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Set to Make Inroads in U.S., Scientific America (E&E News)

FERC Pushed to Change Tx Rules for OSW, RTO Insider (Subscriber content)

How the Virus Slowed the Booming Wind Energy Business, New York Times

Falmouth no closer to dismantling wind turbines Town officials frustrated by state actions, Cape Cod Times

Ørsted Looks to Soften Impact of US Permitting Delays With Bigger Turbines, Greentech media

Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia partnering on offshore wind energy development, The Hill

Solar

Wind remains cheaper, but solar’s costs are falling faster, Lazard finds, Utility Dive

New Solar Projects Save Energy Costs Across Cape, Capecod.com

This spooky Halloween display in Western Massachusetts is completely solar powered, MassLive

42-acre solar farm proposed on Bucksport Road, Ellsworth American

Gray solar array on track for December completion, Press Herald

Seneca Nation calls on solar developer to ‘cease and desist’ following bone discovery, Livingston County News

EVs

A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats, Washington Post

Auto Makers Shift Their Hydrogen Focus to Big Rigs, Wall St. Journal

Trump administration funds projects to more efficiently charge and deploy electric buses, Utility Dive

Electric vehicles see state-level gains, The Hill

Nuclear

NRC names new inspector at Seabrook nuclear power plant, Seacoast Online

NuScale Faces Questions on Nuclear Reactor Safety and Financing Its First Project, Greentech Media

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

DPU Opens Look Into Natural Gas Industry, State House News Service via WBUR

RI regulators approve natural gas rate increases but defer bill impacts, ProJo

Beacon Hill’s Iconic Gas Lamps Are Going Green, WBUR

Healey wades into debate over Weymouth gas compressor station, WHDH

Town’s public safety officials offer plan for compressor station emergency, Patriot Ledger

Activist group urges Eversource CEO to scrap plans for regional natural gas pipeline, MassLive

National Grid looks to move LNG facility off Old Mill Lane in Portsmouth; Middletown wants say, Newport Daily News

Company plans biorefinery for zero-emission heating oil in Maine, Press Herald

In Battleground Pennsylvania, Fracking and Renewables Compete to Be the Future of Energy, Wall St. Journal

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Gov. Cuomo proposes bill to ‘dramatically increase penalties’ for NY utility storm response failures, Utility Dive

CMP goes back to the future in bid to calm customers, short-circuit revolt, Press Herald

Lawsuit seeks environmental review of Maine energy project, AP News

Mainers encouraged to apply for jobs on controversial power line, Sun Journal

Advocates press state regulators to extend moratoriums on power utility shut-offs, CT Post

NYS Public Service Commission to identify transmission projects to meet clean energy goals, Daily Energy Insider

How Does Your State Make Electricity?, New York Times

Tesla microgrids spread as U.S. grid ‘gets worse and worse,’ E&E News

Opinion

Another Voice: Hydrogen, natural gas make a dynamic energy duo, Buffalo News

Op-Ed: Here’s how NJ can protect consumers and state clean-energy policy from feds’ fossil fuel favors, NJ Spotlight

The US power sector has prevented millions of cyberattacks in 2020 — that takes 24/7 commitment, Utility Dive

Op-Ed: ‘Blue holes’ offer New Jersey unique opportunity for solar development, NJ Spotlight

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Filed under Climate Change, Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind

Energy News for week ending October 2, 2020

Compressor Shut Down Again | The Blob | Driven Out

Happy Friday folks.

Here are a few articles that piqued our interest this week:

Feds warn of ‘serious harm’ without compressor fixes, Herald News

‘The Blob’: Low-oxygen water killing lobsters, fish in Cape Cod Bay, Cape Cod Times

Coalition of solar advocates say Massachusetts pro-utility legislation would drive out independent solar installers, Solar Power World

Have a great weekend, and as always, stay safe.

Efficiency/Storage

Governor Phil Scott signs S.337 which directs funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in thermal energy and transportation sectors, VT Digger

Want lower utility bills? Companies to push customers to use less gas, electricity, NJ Spotlight

GMP program cuts costs, reduces carbon, Rutland Herald

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

It’s Time to Stop Confusing Key Climate Terms, Bloomberg Green

Wolf vetoes bill that would keep Pennsylvania out of RGGI, State Impact PA (NPR)

‘The Blob’: Low-oxygen water killing lobsters, fish in Cape Cod Bay, Cape Cod Times

Wind

US funds Maine offshore wind roadmap, ReNews

Trump’s Offshore Oil Ban to Halt Coastal Wind Farms Too, Bloomberg via GCaptain.com

Solar

Coalition of solar advocates say Massachusetts pro-utility legislation would drive out independent solar installers, Solar Power World

Study: Solar projects driving down home values in R.I. suburbs, Providence Journal

Supporters and foes of Greene County solar farm speak out, Times Union

U.S. solar generation grows 22.2% even through coronavirus pandemic, Solar Power World

Power company throws shade on solar plans for new school, Harvard Press

EVs

Ninety Percent of U.S. Cars Must Be Electric by 2050 to Meet Climate Goals, Online EV

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Lynch: FBI Asked to Explore Possible Cyberintrusion at Compressor, State House News Service

Second ‘Unplanned’ Gas Release At Weymouth Compressor This Month, WBUR

Feds warn of ‘serious harm’ without compressor fixes, Herald News

Enbridge Agrees To Pause Weymouth Compressor Station Startup, WBUR

Weymouth gas compressor on pause as feds order investigation, Patriot Ledger

Daily on Energy: Unions look to keep natural gas and nuclear in Biden energy plan, Washington Examiner

Officials: Columbia Gas caused recent gas leak, Eagle Tribune

Eversource Energy expects state OK for Columbia Gas acquisition next week, MassLive

Nuclear

New radiation monitor installed near Seabrook nuke plant, Seacoast Online

Plymouth: Update on the Decommissioning of Pilgrim with Duxbury’s Nuclear Advisory Committee, WATD

PSEG applies to keep $300M annual subsidies for South Jersey nuclear plants, NJ Spotlight

Lowey secures $3.2 million for Town of Cortlandt as Indian Point shuts down, Mid-Hudson News

Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest, New York Times

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Southern Maine Group Seeks To Launch Petition Drive Aimed At Creating A Consumer-Owned Utility, Maine Public

Backers of consumer-owned power utility move to put question on Maine ballot, Press Herald

Coronavirus Has Propelled Us Into the Future of Energy Spending, Bloomberg Green

Despite Dead DOE Rule, Grid Resiliency Persists as a Major Concern, Power Magazine

CT House of Representatives passes Energy bill targeting utility companies’ response to Tropical Storm Isaias, Fox 61

Millions of Americans risk losing power and water as massive, unpaid utility bills pile up, Washington Post

Opinion

U.S. Energy Secretary: New England needs natural gas for energy choice, cost reduction, MassLive

Outside of a Small Circle of Friends . . . at ISO New England, In Depth NH

Building out our energy infrastructure can help speed economic recovery, The Hill

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

Energy News for week ending September 11, 2020

High Energy Burden | Big Oil Goes Green | Where are the yeses?

Happy Friday folks.

Busy day and week. So I need to keep this short.

I direct your attention to these two articles:

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

One more interesting article to share, which was a result of yesterday’s MIT CEEPR event that featured former Energy Secretary Moniz.

From Axios:

Amy: What is the state or region that you think will have the most difficult time transitioning to a clean-energy economy? Why?

Moniz:

New England. Moniz then went on to say that that region has in recent years opposed new and existing energy infrastructure, like natural-gas pipelines, hydropower and nuclear power plants that could help reduce emissions.

“There are a lot of nos. Where are the yeses? … If we are going to go to low carbon, where is it all going to come from? It’s not all going to come from offshore wind. That’s why we need pragmatic, realistic solutions.”

That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

67% of low-income households face high energy burden: ACEEE, Utility Dive

NYISO allows full participation for energy storage in wholesale power markets, Utility Dive

FERC Order May Undermine Renewables, Energy Storage in New York’s Capacity Markets, Greentech Media

How to Keep Firefighters Safe From Batteries, Greentech Media

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Utilities Look to Green Hydrogen to Cut Carbon Emissions, Wall St. Journal

AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, Utility Dive

Amid a Pandemic, Green Electricity Charts a Course Forward, S&P Global Market Intelligence

United in Science report: Climate change has not stopped for COVID19, UN Environment Programme

Federal report warns of financial havoc from climate change, Boston Business Journal (subscriber content)

Oil Major BP Gives a Taste of How It Will Go Green, WSJ

House to probe US lag on leveraging clean energy for COVID-19 recovery, consider bipartisan energy bill, Utility Dive

FERC rejection of NYISO renewables plan could prompt state-managed capacity market, advocates say, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Coalition, including UMass Dartmouth, backs expanded research of offshore wind, Herald News

Vineyard Wind partners with Nantucket for support, Cape Cod Times

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Blast Off, With Help From US Taxpayers, CleanTechnica

Study Finds Offshore Wind and Lobstering Can Coexist, EcoRI

Offshore Wind in NJ Gets Boost, But Lawmakers Demand a Halt to One Project, NJ Spotlight

Wind Farm Benefits Package Totals $29 Million for East Hampton Town, East Hampton Star

 

Solar

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media

Final approval given by the Town of Glocester for new solar project, WPRI

U.S. Solar Market Insight, SEIA

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor station starts testing, Patriot Ledger

Natural gas lobby charts course for fuel in carbon-constrained world, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas Is the Rich World’s New Coal, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Nuclear Energy Among the Least Popular Sources of Power in the U.S., Polling Shows, Morning Consult

So, What Exactly Are Small Modular Nuclear Reactors?, Greentech Media

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Maine Microgrid Project Lands USDA funding, Microgrid Knowledge

Obama energy secretary on blackouts, campaign scrutiny, Axios

PURA holds a final hearing for public comment on energy bill ratehikes, Fox 61

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

Energy News for week ending August 28, 2020

Doesn’t Have to Happen | OSW Coalition | Paint it Black

Happy Friday folks.

Coming at you early this week.

Let’s start with news from the CT Mirror, which is perhaps one of the best explainer articles we have read in a while. It’s certainly worth sharing. Kudos to Jan Ellen Spiegel for her great reporting. “CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen. As the power outages from Tropical Storm Isaias piled up in every single community in Connecticut on Aug. 4, the finger pointing began. The utilities were seen as unprepared, leading critics to suggest they should pay for everything from snapped poles to spoiled food. But even if Eversource and United Illuminating had stationed armies of repair crews ready to roll as soon as it was safe, the high likelihood is that all that power would still have gone out. Arguably the questions Isaias begs are not who to blame and how to punish them, energy experts say, but ‘How do we keep the lights on?’ The answers may require a good bit of soul searching, not just by the utility villains of the moment, but by state officials, lawmakers, advocates, and residents themselves, who for years have focused on short-term costs and electric rates instead of long-term solutions that could eventually lower those rates and provide more storm resilience.”

When it comes to getting things done, the saying goes there is strength in numbers. Hence a new coalition has been formed to support offshore wind, From the Cape Cod Times, “Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives. Sena Wazer addressed the online press conference announcing a new coalition supporting offshore wind through the eyes of a 16-year-old peering into a potentially bleak future. ‘I’m fearful for my future,’ the co-founder of the Sunrise Movement in Connecticut said. ‘In 10 years, when I’m only 26, I don’t know if I’ll have a safe planet to live on.’ Experts describe actions taken in the next decade as critical to staving off the worst-case global warming scenarios. This summer gave us an inkling of how bad it could get, with unbearably long heat waves and drought in the Northeast and California wildfires in the West… ‘This crisis will only go away if we commit to do everything in our power to make sure we have a livable home going forward,’ Wazer said. It was that sense of urgency that impelled environmentalists, businesses, researchers and labor unions to form New England for Offshore Wind, a coalition focused on pushing state legislatures and governors in the region to make commitments by 2022 to offshore wind farms that could provide for one third of the region’s power needs.”

Our “new technology” of the week is less about tech but is effective none the less. From E&E News, “Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%. Painting one of a wind turbine’s three blades black led to a dramatic decline in bird mortality along the Norwegian coast, new research shows. Bird death from turbine collisions dropped by 71.9% where a turbine blade was black, compared with unpainted turbines at the same wind farm, according to findings published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution. Researchers observed a nearly 50% reduction in mortality from collisions involving towers with a single black blade. Bård Stokke of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, one of the study’s lead authors, said the findings could address the evolving wind industry’s Achilles’ heel, its impact on birds.”

That’s the recap for the week.

Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

$13M in funds for clean energy projects across Massachusetts, WWLP

Connecticut’s first ‘net-zero’ schools, tapping solar and geothermal energy, to be built in Manchester and Mansfield, Hartford Courant

Over 20 percent energy use reduction in New York State buildings since 2010, informnny.com

Bloomfield bearing pioneer sets sights on wasted energy market, Hartford Business Journal

Cambridge partners with All In Energy to assist residents, Wicked Local Cambridge

Time for a diet: Today’s US homes have super-sized into “energy gluttons,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Learn How You Can Take Advantage of Horticulture Energy Efficiency Programs, Greenhouse Grower

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

Energy experts warn over green hydrogen ‘shortfall,’ Renews.biz

Preserving Trees Becomes Big Business, Driven by Emissions Rules, Wall St. Journal

WoodMac: 2020s Will Be the ‘Decade Of Hydrogen,’ Greentech Media

Utilities warn New York’s $72M ‘build-ready’ renewables program could cost consumers, Utility Dive

Adirondacks seeing a push for green energy, Times Union

 

Wind

New York, New Jersey hesitant on offshore grid planning amid federal uncertainty, Politico

New York’s Hudson Valley: Future Offshore Wind Hub?, Greentech Media

Mitchell: Delays to wind projects have hurt New Bedford’s ‘first mover’ status, South Coast Today

So Much For Saving Coal Jobs: More Offshore Wind Jobs Waiting In The Wings, Cleantechnica

Study: Black turbine blades reduced bird mortality by 72%, E&E News

Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

New Report Finds Rhode Island has Plenty of Room to Expand Solar Responsibly, EcoRI

Solar Grids Built on NJ Farmland Get Senate Backing, NJ Spotlight

Agilitas Energy’s SMART Solar Project in Auburn MA Commences Construction, Alt Energy Mag

Bakers Island Light Station Celebrates New Solar Array, North Shore Magazine

CT Green Bank sells 6 solar energy systems to Greenwich investment firm, New Haven Register

Investment firm proposes $100 million trio of solar projects for Maine, Press Herald

 

EVs

Energy storage for EV charging can lower demand charges, Guidehouse reports, Utility Dive

Electric Vehicle Makers Find a Back Door to Wall Street, New York Times

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Not everyone happy about Columbia Gas deal, Eagle Tribune

The United States set record for daily natural gas power burn in late July, EIA.gov

 

Nuclear

NRC board extends Seabrook plant’s license with conditions relating to concrete testing, Gloucester Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

CT keeps losing power when storms strike. But that doesn’t have to happen., CT Mirror

New York City’s hottest new energy fight, Grist

At Connecticut hearing on Eversource rate increases, critics demand more accountability; Blumenthal calls for break-up of utility, Hartford Courant

Breakup Eversource? Or just closely regulate? Blumenthal’s suggestion jolts PURA hearing, CT Mirror

Energy sector divided over transmission incentives for voluntary cybersecurity investments, Utility Dive

Following botched utility response to Hurricane Isaias, New York governor proposes stricter penalties, Utility Dive

Exelon: Massachusetts’ gas and oil-fired Mystic power units to close in 2021 and 2024, Power Engineering

A new voice at PURA at a pivotal time in energy oversight, CT Mirror

Opponents will still try to kill CMP corridor after court nixes referendum, Bangor Daily News

 

Opinion/Editorial

New England needs to go all in on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Natural Resources Council CEO: State agencies failed Maine on CMP corridor, Press Herald

My Turn: Is solar net metering a net good for New Hampshire?, Concord Monitor

Opinion: CT leading the way in wind energy development, CT Post

Grow crops, not solar panels, on NJ’s best farmland, The Link News

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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 22, 2020

Big deal | Curtailed | Zinc-air

Happy Friday afternoon.

We start with a piece from the Granite Geek. “Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England. One sunny afternoon earlier this month, reports ISO-New England, the six-state region had roughly 3,200 MW of “behind the meter” solar – the rooftop stuff, as compared to stand-alone solar farms that feed straight to the grid. This was a record, says the folks who run our power system, although it’s a record that will be falling frequently in coming years, since they expect many thousands more megawatts of solar to be added. How much is 3,200 megawatts? It’s almost three times the output of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, so we’re talking serious output…”

For this next story we move from solar to wind. From S&P Global Platts, “Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO. ISO New England analysis made public Wednesday estimated about 10% of the total 2030 offshore wind power portfolio connected into southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island would be “spilled,” or curtailed, under certain assumptions due to transmission constraints and a glut of supply. Transmission developer Anbaric requested ISO-NE perform a study reviewing the impact on energy market prices, air emissions and regional fuel security of three offshore wind power scenarios for target year 2030: 8,000 MW, 10,000 MW and 12,000 MW. An ISO-NE presentation during an earlier Planning Committee meeting discussed the Anbaric economic study for scenarios with 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind additions in southern New England. The addition of 8,000 MW to 12,000 MW of offshore wind plus assumed resource retirements of nearly 4,500 MW result in southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island (SEMA/RI) export interface transmission congestion, according to the presentation. Other key points include a finding that connecting more offshore wind close to load centers outside of southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island, especially the Mystic and Millstone substations, would reduce the congestion hours of the southeast Massachusetts/Rhode Island export interface.”

Our new tech feature this week comes from Recharge. “New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion.’ A new type of battery is coming onto the market that can store multiple days’ worth of energy, that doesn’t degrade, can’t possibly explode and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion, claimed its developer as it prepares to pilot the technology in New York state. The zinc-air hybrid flow battery developed by Canadian company Zinc8 has the potential to disrupt the entire energy-storage market — making wind and solar farms baseload and even replacing the need for transmission grid upgrades in many places…Zinc-air can beat lithium-ion batteries on price because the latter can generally only hold about four hours’ worth of energy at any one time, so an eight-hour storage system would require two batteries. By contrast, the storage capacity of the Zinc8 system can just be made bigger by increasing the size of the storage tank and the volume of the electrolyte it contains. The capital cost of an eight-hour Zinc8 storage is about $250/kWh, falling to $100/kWh for a 32-hour system and $60/kWh for 100 hours. By contrast, lithium-ion projects cost about $300/kWh for any duration over eight hours.

That’s the recap for this week. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and don’t forget to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives in service to our country.

And as always, stay safe.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets, Inside Climate News

Cuomo administration cites new climate law in denying controversial New York, New Jersey pipeline, Politico NY

Devastated By Coronavirus, New York’s Pipeline Politics Ensure A Tougher Second Round, Forbes.com

First gas disaster settlement checks going out Friday, Eagle Tribune

Answers Sought Regarding Explosion and Pipeline Construction in Burrillville, EcoRI

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

‘Devil is in the details.’ The fight for grid carbon pricing, E&E News

Majority of Mainers support bold energy, transportation policies to address climate change, MaineBeacon.com

Wind and Solar Profits: The Race Between Falling Costs and Declining Revenue, Greentech Media

Traffic Is Way Down, Due To Lockdowns, But Air Pollution? Not So Much, WGBH

Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills, Reuters

Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal, AP News

The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change, study shows, Washington Post

Americans See Climate as a Concern, Even Amid Coronavirus Crisis, New York Times

Global emissions plunged an unprecedented 17 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, Washington Post

Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years: IEA, Reuters

Why some spots on the planet are heating up faster than others, Washington Post

Group Says It Will Launch World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project, Power Magazine

With CT’s trash future in flux, food-waste recycler hopes for bigger role, Hartford Business Journal

More US Power Generated This Year Expected To Come From Renewables Than From Coal, WGBH

 

Wind

Connecticut Utilities Move Forward with Park City Wind PPAs, Offshorewind.biz

Brattle Study Highlights Benefits of Offshore Grid, RTO Insider

Siemens Gamesa Launches 14MW Offshore Wind Turbine, World’s Largest

Four New Studies to Examine Fisheries, Offshore Wind, South Coast Today

Portion of New England offshore wind could be curtailed by 2030: ISO, S&P Global

 

Solar

Rooftop solar is becoming a big deal in New England, Granite Geek

5 Wind Energy Giants Embracing Solar Power, Greentech Media

Utility regulator denies controversial Bennington solar project, VT Digger

Why is cloudy Syracuse suddenly a solar farm magnet?, Syracuse.com

Coronavirus Wipes Out 5 Years of US Solar Job Growth, Greentech Media

COVID-19 Impacts on the U.S. Solar Industry, SEIA

Why (and How) the Solar Finance Market Is Changing in This Crisis, Greentech Media

National Solar Tour Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You, NA Clean Energy

Proposed solar farm in Gorham up for review June 1, Press Herald

DEEP rejects Candlewood Solar permit in New Milford, News Times

Melrose church installs community solar project, Wicked Local Melrose

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Can Free Smart Thermostats Get Homeowners to Enroll in Summertime Demand Response,? Greentech Media

New zinc-air battery is ‘cheaper, safer and far longer-lasting than lithium-ion,’ Recharge

Con Edison commits $1.5 billion to energy efficiency, Utility Dive

 

EVs

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die, Bloomberg

HEVO to Launch US Manufacturing for Wireless Electric Vehicle Charger, Greentech Media

 

Nuclear

Tonopah quake bolsters Nevada’s case against Yucca dumpsite, LasVegas Sun

Brick by brick: Finding families of loved ones who worked at Pilgrim Station, Patriot Ledger

America Just Made a Huge Investment in Next-Gen Nuclear Power, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

The Drive to Replace Summer-Only ‘Peaker’ Power Plants, Wired

Mainers get more time to pay bills, utilities get pinched as virus reduces demand, WGME

ISO-New England: 2019 transmission-outage coordination stats and goals, Electric Energy Online

‘Terrified’ energy workers press feds for safety standard, E&E News

New York grants flexibility, works to limit ‘bad actors’ in demand response programs hit by COVID-19, Utility Dive

Unpaid utility bills, lower usage threaten to push rates higher in Maine, Press Herald

LIPA officials planning to retire at least 1 power generating unit, Newsday

Mass. Hydropower Project Stymied By Maine Ballot Question Dispute, WBUR

 

Opinion

Eastie needs straight answers from Eversource, CommonWealth Magazine

We need to start using less natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Gov. Phil Murphy needs to unplug NJ Transit’s power plant | Opinion, northjersey.com

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce: NECEC offers some hope for Maine’s economy, Central Maine.com

Rhode Island Can’t Delay Efforts to Decarbonize Its Economy, EcoRI

INSIGHT: Will AI Increase or Decrease Power Grid Efficiency,? Bloomberg Law

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending April 24, 2020

Secretive Group | Rejected | Increased Performance | Complex Power

Happy Friday afternoon.

It has been a very busy day here so we’re cutting out the full recap for this week. Sorry about that.

Instead here are the links to some stories that piqued our curiosity and have the potential for big impacts.

Have a wonderful weekend and stay well.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New report says R.I. will transition away from natural gas and oil heat, Providence Journal

Markey, Warren seek Weymouth compressor station’s coronavirus plan, Patriot Ledger

Report: Natural gas is a loser for long-term utility shareholder value, Utility Dive

Oil Plunges to Lowest Since 1986 Ahead of Contract Expiration, Bloomberg

The Fight To Stop Fossil Fuel Financing Is Poised To Get Some Powerful New Allies, Huffington Post

The coronavirus crisis means we may have already reached peak carbon, CNBC

Oil price goes negative as demand collapses; stocks dip, Taunton Gazette

Pandemic Shutdown Is Speeding Up The Collapse Of Coal, NPR

 

Climate Change/Renewables/RGGI

This year is on track to be Earth’s warmest on record, beating 2016, NOAA says, Washington Post

Senators’ letter urge Gov. Wolf to rescind RGGI, Indiana Gazette

After Pandemic, New York’s Buildings Face Daunting Decarbonization Mandate, Greentech Media

‘Dead in the water’: New York’s clean energy sector looks for a jump-start, Politico.com

Clean energy can be a ‘huge job creator’ as economy recovers, Tom Steyer says, LA Times

Harvard pledges net-zero investment in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Boston Globe

Pandemic to drive carbon emissions down 6% this year: WMO, Reuters

Analysis: Coronavirus set to cause largest ever annual fall in CO2 emissions, Carbon Brief

Drop in emissions due to pandemic won’t fix climate, WMO says, Reuters

Arctic will see ice-free summers by 2050 as globe warms, study says, USA Today

Net-zero target gets mixed reviews, CommonWealth Magazine

New Renewable Energy Agreements To Reduce Boston Scientific Carbon Footprint By Half, Global Energy World

 

Wind

New York hits the brakes on 2.5 GW solicitation of offshore wind due to COVID-19, Utility Dive

Can Offshore Wind Prop Up Oil’s Supply Chain Through the Price Crunch,? Greentech Media

Brayton Point owners say wind industry showing interest in site, The Herald News

Wind is Now America’s Largest Renewable Energy Provider and the Top Choice for New Utility-Scale Power, NA Clean Energy

Vineyard Wind’s Permitting On Track Despite Coronavirus, BOEM Says, Greentech Media

Rooftop Wind Power Might Take Off by Using Key Principle of Flight, Scientific American

Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration, EurakAlert!.org

BOEM considers virtual public comment on Vineyard Wind study, National Fisherman

Skipjack offshore wind announces 1 year delay due to federal permitting holdups, Utility Dive

 

Solar

Grant will bring solar planning to 3 Western Massachusetts towns, MassLive

A New Response to Coronavirus: Giving Solar Away for Free, Greentech Media

Trump Administration Removes Tariff Exemption for Bifacial Solar Panels — Again, Greentech Media

Secretive group’s petition to FERC could ‘end net metering as we know it,’ lawyers say, Utility Dive

Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy, Phys.org

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Renewable industry urges New Jersey to address the peak with storage, PV Magazine

Storage, smart grid, energy efficiency sectors see $337M in Q1 corporate funding: Report, Utility Dive

 

EVs

New Jersey to Devote Cap-and-Trade Revenue to Electrifying Transportation, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

Fate of Beaver Valley plant could hinge on federal fight over nuclear payments in power markets, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Nuclear Industry Pushes Back Against Coronavirus, Forbes

1st Shutdown Imminent At Indian Point, Patch.com

Indian Point closure during pandemic is wrong, says climate group, World Nuclear News

NextEra, NRC pressed for pandemic plan at Seabrook Station, Newburyport Daily News

NRC Delivers Briefing On Indian Point Decommissioning, WAMC

Trump officials pitch nuclear plan that would bolster struggling uranium industry, The Hill

Petition calls for Indian Point nuclear plant to continue operating, NEI Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Shedding light on complex power systems, MIT News

Utility Stocks Aren’t Immune to COVID-19’s Impact, NASDAQ.com

New England grid operator, market participants divided over how to improve region’s energy security, Utility Dive

New York demand response providers press regulators for flexibility as COVID-19 challenges mount, Utility Dive

See how covid-19 is reshaping the electric rhythms of New York City, New York Times

How utilities are using AI to adapt to electricity demands, VentureBeat.com

Judge rejects lawsuit aimed at derailing vote on CMP Power line project, Press Herald

NARUC Publishes New Smart Grid Interoperability Report, NARUC.org (press release)

 

Editorial/Opinion

Dear efficiency advocates: Don’t fear electrification, Utility Dive

Reflections on the First Earth Day and What’s Ahead for New York, NRDC.org

Envisioning a vibrant, healthy state powered by 100% renewable energy, Greenfield Recorder

Letter to the Editor: CMP headlines, Daily BullDog

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending February 7, 2020

Problem and Solution Edition

 

Happy Friday folks.

Today we offer you a problem and solution edition. We don’t take any of the problems lightly by any means but thought that by combining our new energy technology features with some otherwise gloomy news, we might add a little hope to certain situations. Here goes.

Problem: From CommonWealth Magazine, “Report raises gas utility safety issues. A panel reviewing the physical integrity and safety of the state’s natural gas distribution system found a gap exists between the way gas utilities say their crews perform work on the gas system and the way that work actually happens in the field. It also found that National Grid, the utility serving eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, is struggling to contain leaks on its gas distribution system.”

Solution: From UPI, “Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines.  Using the unique ultrasound system deployed by bats as inspiration, engineers have developed a new way to locate corroding metal in oil and gas pipelines. To hunt prey and dodge objects while flying through the air, usually in the dark, bats use a combination of different ultrasound wavelengths. The new corrosion detection system uses two different kinds of radiation, fast neutrons and gamma rays. Ultrasonic or electromagnetic methods are typically used for finding corrosion in pipes, but the techniques don’t work for underground pipes or pipes with concrete or plastic insulation. The new system works on all kinds of metal and composite pipes.”

Problem: From the Washington Post Energy 202: “Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada. President Trump with one single tweet appeared to reverse his administration’s support of entombing dangerous radioactive material under the Yucca mountain…The administration had promised to finish building the Yucca repository, first proposed in the 1980s as the site to store the nation’s ever growing pile of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste.”

Solution: From Popular Mechanics, “You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation. Scientists have discovered that a longtime fungal resident of the Chernobyl complex could actually “eat” radiation. In an upcoming paper, scientists will share the results of growing the fungus on the International Space Station. Scientists have known about this fungus, and similar extremophile organisms that can thrive on radiation, since at least 2007. The variety found in Chernobyl “can decompose radioactive material such as the hot graphite in the remains of the Chernobyl reactor,” Nature said in 2007. The fungus grows toward the hottest and most radioactive places, like phototropism but for deadly toxins. How can this fungus process radiation in this way? Because it has tons of very dark melanin pigment that absorbs radiation and processes it in a harmless way to produce energy. Scientists believe this mechanism could be used to make biomimicking substances that both block radiation from penetrating and turn it into a renewable energy source.

Problem: Climate Change: Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green. The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post. Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times…

Solution: From Vice.com “This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water. What if your umbrella could charge your phone? That speculative tech just got a bit closer to reality now that scientists have designed a small, highly efficient electricity generator that can create enough charge with a single droplet of tap, rain, or seawater to power 100 LED light bulbs. The researchers hope that, alongside solar and wind power, the approach can help tackle the world’s energy crisis. Obviously, generating electricity with water is nothing new. But the study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, looked at how a unique connection between the water droplets and the generator interface increased the generator’s overall power. By coating their droplet generator in a material with a near-permanent electric charge, the team observed that their generator was able to slowly collect charge from continuously falling droplets and store it until reaching its capacity. This allowed the generator to more efficiently convert the droplet’s energy. From just a single droplet the generator was able to generate enough power to light up 100 small LED light bulbs, and with four droplets it could power nearly 1,500.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a wonderful weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC reorganizes to address landowner disputes, E&E News

Jim Cramer, ‘Mad Money’ host, declares fossil fuels dead, Grist

Japan Races to Build New Coal-Burning Power Plants, Despite the Climate Risks, New York Times

Fight to stop gas-powered generation plant may be futile, Stamford Advocate

Coal-fired electricity declines in New York and New England, WTEN

Report raises gas utility safety issues, CommonWealth Magazine

Bats inspire new technique to find corroding metal in oil, gas pipelines, UPI.com

Why Democratic presidential candidates, for once, are not fighting over ethanol, Vox

Democrats’ Fracking War Heats Up As 2020 Voting Begins, HuffPost

Climate change fears put US gas utilities on defensive, Financial Times

 

Weymouth Compressor

DEP to meet with Newton man, other gas project opponents, Wicked Local Newton

Compressor station foes to meet with regulators Friday, Patriot Ledger

BU Professor Is On Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

State To Install Permanent Air Monitoring Station In Weymouth, WBUR

The Cohasset Democratic Town Committee votes to support the efforts of the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station in Weymouth, Wicked Local

 

Climate Change/RGGI

Lawmakers hear about enforcement and energy curtailment for Global Warming Solutions Act, True North Reports (VT)

Poll tested public opinion on climate change, Taunton Daily Gazette

Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why, Bloomberg Green

Attleboro area state senators support climate-change legislation, Sun Chronicle

The world’s oceans are speeding up — another mega-scale consequence of climate change, Washington Post

Clean Energy Center’s focus could shift from jobs to climate change, Boston Globe

7 takes on Senate climate change debate, CommonWealth Magazine

Power plant emissions down 47% under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Connecticut Mirror

Program to focus on ‘blue carbon’ habitats, climate change, Salem News

Climate Change Is Ruining My Birthday Outside

Maine must plug in to fight climate change, study concludes, Portland Press Herald

Rhode Island towns moving to block TCI, Boston Herald

Climate Change: It’s a Buzzkill for Bumblebees, Study Finds, New York Times

Baker announces climate change grants in New Bedford, South Coast Today

 

Renewables

$64 Million Makes It Official: Renewable Hydrogen In, Natural Gas Out (Eventually), Clean Technica

This Renewable Energy Device Powers 100 LEDs with a Single Drop of Water, Vice.com

Clash between Holyoke gas utility, advocacy group imperils $275,000 clean energy grant, MassLive

New York unveils $6m co-investment fund to support emerging clean energy firms, Energy Central

Wellesley-based Vanguard Renewables Ag part of a project to convert dairy farm manure to natural gas, Wicked Local

Martha’s Vineyard Running Entirely on Renewable Energy? Town Meeting Voters May Get to Decide, Cape and Islands NPR

How this Danish energy company is transitioning from oil and gas to all renewables, Fast Company

Attleboro wins Green Community designation and $244,000 grant, Sun Chronicle

 

Wind

GAO urged to probe energy project ‘double standard,’ Worcester Telegram

Mass. lawmakers, Trump administration spar over Vineyard Wind review, CommonWealth Magazine

How the end of a major tax incentive may impact wind energy, PBS Newshour

Suit filed over proposed wind project in Guilford, The Daily Star (NY)

For offshore wind, expect more delays, CommonWealth Magazine

New York aims to kick off solicitation for up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind in 2020, Utility Dive

The world’s biggest offshore wind developer wants a carbon-neutral supply chain, CNBC

Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills, Bloomberg Green

State: Blittersdorf Should Pay $2,500 Penalty In Kidder Hill Case In Irasburg, Caledonian Record

Leading Marine Mammal Acoustic Expert Joins Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Today

Offshore wind transportation to receive boost from state grant, RICentral.com

NH moving ahead with planning & development of offshore wind energy, WMUR9

Grant to aid MMA study of offshore wind technology, Cape Cod Times

ConCom to draft conditions for Brayton Point project, southcoasttoday.com

 

Solar

Chopping Down Trees For Solar Panels? The Choice Isn’t Clear-Cut For Stoughton Church, WBUR

Solar farm company promises savings for residents, Salem News

SEIA backs carbon pricing for New York wholesale power, PV Magazine

Anti-solar panels pointed at space could generate power at night, Techspot

Captona Adds 24 MW of New England Solar to Portfolio, Solar Industry

R.I. electric utilities agree to buy power from new Connecticut solar project, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

How ConEd and National Grid are experimenting with energy storage in New York, Utility Dive

‘All-Electric’ Movement Picks Up Speed, Catching Some Off Guard, New York Times

Going electric has more perks than you might think (beyond saving the planet and gas money), Mashable

VCs poured $1.7 billion into batteries in 2019. Here are the 9 startups that scored the biggest deals., Business Insider

Polar Beverages of Worcester bottles energy savings, Telegram

 

EVs

Super Bowl Ads Hyped Electric Cars. But Will Anyone Buy Them?, New York Times

Cost of electric school bus service in Amherst districts may be too much, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sluggish sales throw the future of electric vehicles into uncertainty, Axios

There are Cars and Then There are Electric Cars, Boston Broadside.com

U.S. House Democrats propose electric vehicle charging network, Reuters

 

Nuclear

You Should Know About This Chernobyl Fungus That Eats Radiation, Popular Mechanics

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station warns of layoffs as decommissioning continues, MassLive

Duxbury: Safety Precaution Reduced After DPH Deems Pilgrim Power Nuclear Station Not a Threat, WATD

We need nuclear power to fight climate change, but is it doomed?, New Scientist

Plymouth: EPA Permit Issued to Monitor Wastewater at Pilgrim, WATD

The Energy 202: Trump backs down from building nuclear waste site in Nevada, Washington Post

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

ISO-NE capacity prices fall to new low, but latest auction shut out some renewables and storage, Utility Dive

CMP corridor opponents say they have signatures to put western Maine project to a vote, Bangor Daily News

Opponents Of CMP Transmission Line Submit Signatures For Statewide Vote On Project, Maine Public

Power to the people: Bernie calls for federal takeover of electricity production, Politico

30,000 Connecticut residents still have banned electricity deals, Energy Central

Final New Jersey Energy Master Plan Makes Way for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Women in energy are far less represented than corporate average, Axios

EEI rallies Wall Street with sunny prospects for electric utilities, Daily Energy Insider

Quincy moving ahead with municipal aggregation, Patriot Ledger

Eversource reminds customers: Energy assistance programs available, Stamford Advocate

 

Editorial/Opinion

Is natural gas essential for the state to reach zero-carbon goals?, Hartford Courant

Letter: Legislators need to address gas leaks, Salem News

Columnist Marty Nathan: Locust swarms and the climate emergency, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Tom Evslin: Preparing for electric vehicles, VTDigger

How to maximize Vt’s electric status, St. Albans Messenger

Time for New York to lead on fossil fuel divestment, New York Daily News

Mainers’ health vulnerable to climate change, Kennebec Journal

To protect ecosystem, improve balance on critical regulatory panel, The Day

Picking apart Rep. Kearney’s fishy argument, CommonWealth Magazine

Our view: Report is a roadmap for gas system improvements, Salem News

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending January 24, 2020

Ambitious Goals | New oil | Nuclear diamonds

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Let’s get to this week’s news highlights.

Over the past week or so the leaders of two New England states set dates for reaching some ambitious renewable energy and emissions goals. From the Providence Journal, “Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Friday that sets Rhode Island on the path to getting all of the state’s electric supply from renewable sources by the end of the decade. While Rhode Island is not the first state to adopt a 100% renewables target, the timeline put forth by Raimondo is the most aggressive in the nation. In a speech before the signing, the governor said that transforming the state’s energy system is needed to fight climate change…‘The bad news is climate change is real, urgent, closing in on us,’ she said. ‘The good news is Rhode Island is a leader in the fight against climate change. Today is about maintaining our leadership position and pushing ourselves to do more, go faster.’”

In Massachusetts, Governor Baker set a target of 2050 for taking the state to net-zero emissions. From CommonWealth Magazine, “Gov. Charlie Baker’s top energy aide said his proposal for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 puts Massachusetts among a very small group of states and countries attempting to limit the impact of climate change. Kathleen Theoharides, the governor’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said Massachusetts is joining Hawaii, New York, and California in pursuing net-zero emissions by 2050…Net-zero is an imprecise term. It doesn’t mean the state will cease all greenhouse gas emissions. It means, according to Theoharides, that the state will attempt to reduce emissions as much as possible through the development of renewable, low-emission forms of energy; aggressive energy efficiency programs; and sequestration efforts, including the development of new forests and wetlands. Theoharides said policies could also be developed that would allow polluters to offset their emissions by buying some form of credit, with the proceeds being used to produce more renewable energy generating fewer emissions. The secretary acknowledged that the state’s economy is likely to change dramatically over the next few decades to meet the emission target.”

The Massachusetts senate is also getting in on the action. From WBUR, “The Massachusetts Senate next week plans to take up a far-reaching package of climate bills whose major components include an electric MBTA bus fleet by 2040, carbon-pricing mechanisms for transportation, homes and commercial buildings, and a series of five-year greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements that ramp up to net-zero emissions in 2050. The three bills, teed up for debate on Thursday, Jan. 30, with amendments due by Monday, amount to what Senate President Karen Spilka called a ‘comprehensive plan for the state’ to respond to an international issue: global climate change.”

Greentech Media’s Interchange podcast this week looked at the reemergence of renewable hydrogen. “Less than 1 percent of all hydrogen produced today comes from renewables. Is that about to change? The vice president of Siemens Middle East just predicted that green hydrogen will assume the mantle of the ‘new oil’ in the coming decades. A lot of big industrial companies and oil majors are taking another serious look at hydrogen. Why? In an era of extremely cheap renewables that are increasingly being curtailed, hydrogen production could finally become an attractive use case, due in part to the emerging regulatory pressures on existing hydrogen production.”

For our new energy technology focus we turn to Popular Mechanics. “Scientists in England are trying to recycle decommissioned nuclear plant materials into cutting-edge diamond batteries. The pressing of this kind of carbon into manufactured diamonds is called chemical vapor deposition…By ‘encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds,’ lead researcher Tom Scott of the University of Bristol says the graphite can be turned into durable, extremes-tolerant electricity via diamond batteries. The secret is in harvesting the radioactive carbon-14 isotope from the plant’s supply of spent graphite. Scott says the factory to turn graphite carbon into diamonds for batteries could be built on the same spot as the decommissioned plant. The carbon has a half life of over 5,000 years, giving a diamond battery an overall life span, well, thousands of times more than the hearing aid battery or the pair of AAAs that powers your remote control. And because the radioactivity is encased within a diamond, there’s no chance it will break down before it runs out of juice.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Weymouth compressor opponents occupy Mass DEP office, Wicked Local

Weymouth councilors raise concerns over trucks at compressor site, Wicked Local

Residents still pushing for asbestos testing at compressor site, Patriot Ledger

Five states raise alarms about EPA coal-fired power plant waste disposal proposal, The Hill

Film explores region’s gas disaster, Eagle-Tribune

Environmental officials want to reverse course on natural gas, Journal Inquirer

Natural-Gas Prices Fall Below $2, Wall St. Journal

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s, Bloomberg Green

Renewable energy is growing fast in the U.S., but fossil fuels still dominate, Pew Research Center

The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning With Climate Change, Time

 

TCI

While Gov. Charlie Baker opposes gas tax, opponents say Transportation and Climate Initiative a ‘hidden tax,’ MassLive

Poll shows Massachusetts majority oppose cost of TCI, Boston Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Could Green Hydrogen Become the ‘New Oil’?, Greentech Media

How to Get to 100% Renewables? Use Microgrids Says Plan for Cranston, Rhode Island, Microgrid Knowledge

Raimondo orders 100% clean electricity in R.I. by 2030, Providence Journal

Cuomo plots course to accelerate renewable energy development, Politico

Don’t celebrate yet: Clean energy jobs have slipped in Mass., Boston Globe

Bill For A N.H. State Climate Action Plan Gets First Hearing, NHPR

Package Of State House Climate Bills Would Apply Carbon Pricing To All Emissions, WBUR

Net-zero target called most aggressive in world, CommonWealth Magazine

Carbon finds itself in Beacon Hill’s crosshairs, Lowell Sun

Energy chief: Deregulation, Trump slowing carbon-free progress, Connecticut Post

Dorset residents pay less energy bills with renewable scheme, Dorset Echo

Energy office set to begin work on new renewable energy goal, WRAL

Environment Council of R.I. disappointed in Mattiello’s climate change comments, Boston Globe

What Would an Accelerated Global Energy Transition Look Like?, Greentech Media

FERC Faces Heat Over State Clean Energy Subsidies Order, Law360

 

Wind

Proposed Vermont wind project halts development, citing hostile political environment, Wind Power Engineering

NYS invests $20M into offshore wind training institute at SBU, SBStatesman.com

Murphy signs bill expanding definition of qualified offshore wind project, NJ Biz

Inside New York’s Push to Be ‘Center of Gravity’ for US Offshore Wind, Greentech Media

Vestas to Produce Zero-Waste Wind Turbines by 2040, NA Clean Energy

After Years Of Slow Action On Climate Change, What Sets Offshore Wind Apart For N.H.?, NHPR

Looking for a windfall from offshore wind farms, Newsday

Redevelopment plan for State Pier expected to be more costly than projected, The Day

Offshore wind key as Rhode Island sets 100% clean-energy goal for 2030, Recharge

Orsted US team targets whale protection, reNEWS

The US is set to experience yet a new energy revolution: Offshore Wind, Energy Voice

Huge crowd packs OC hearing, Energy Central

Blade breaks off wind turbine in Cohocton, Evening Tribune

Heritage Wind to file application for up to 33 wind turbines in Barre, (NY) The Daily News

Public hearing set on financial contributions from proposed wind farm, Ellsworth American

 

Solar

She’s Taking on Elon Musk on Solar. And Winning., New York Times

Kearsarge, NEC Energy Complete Amesbury Solar+ Storage Project, Solar Industry

Commercial solar project eyed for Woodstock, Sun Journal

33 RIPTA buses get solar system developed by Warwick company, Cranston Herald

America’s Concentrated Solar Power Companies Have All but Disappeared, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

2020 Outlook: From light bulbs to dishwashers, court battles to continue on DOE’s efficiency moves, Utility Dive

Energy Storage As A Transmission Asset In Regional Markets, Law360

State approves $2B energy efficiency incentive plan, Times Union

City Comptroller Scott Stringer calls on de Blasio to commit $1 billion per year to energy efficiency, New York Daily News

Home energy efficiency could be improved significantly through simple tweaks like roof colour, ABC News

Eversource and Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa Partner on Eco-Friendly, Cost-Saving Upgrades, NA Clean Energy

 

EVs

Electric school buses latest stop on Maine’s climate-change journey, Portland Press Herald

Automakers: New tech, battery advances will curb EV range anxiety, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Asks: Do You Want A Hearing On Sale Of Indian Point, Patch.com

Lawmakers seek safeguards on nuclear plant decommissioning, Taunton Gazette

State AG: ‘Grave concerns’ over Indian Point nuclear plant decommissioning, Ithaca Journal

How to Turn Nuclear Waste Into Diamond Batteries, Popular Mechanics

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Augusta puzzled over Janet Mills’ call to reconsider utility regulations, Bangor Daily News

Maine regulators vote to investigate CMP’s winter disconnect notices, Press Herald

NY to pay another $6M to firm that took millions in disgraced Empire Zone breaks, Syracuse.com

The Limits of Environmental Activism From BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Wall St. Journal

New York ISO carbon pricing proposal ‘in a holding pattern,’ says grid chief, Utility Dive

As Mass. Considers Carbon Pricing, Conn. Takes ‘Serious Look’ At Exiting Regional Power Market, WBUR

 

Editorial/Opinion

A path forward for New England to a low-carbon future: Why a capacity market still matters, Utility Dive

Baker’s net-zero goal is business-as-usual, CommonWealth Magazine

Column: Setting climate solutions into action, Salem News

Letter: Balentine needs to get his facts straight on CMP line, Portland Press Herald

The Universal Notebook: CMP project supported by old guard ‘environmentalists’, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: Climate change, not CMP project, is the real enemy, Kennebec Journal

Editorial: Keeping heat on in Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Guest Opinion: Rhode Island needs real environmental action in 2020, Westerly Sun

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending November 22, 2019

Fossil Ban | November 26 Deadline | Humble Chairlift

 

It’s Friday so let’s get to the news.

There were several town meetings in Massachusetts this week during which residents could vote on energy-related measures. Perhaps the most interesting took place in Brookline. From the Boston Globe, “Seeking to reduce a major source of carbon emissions, Brookline residents have voted to ban the installation of oil and gas pipes in new buildings as well as in extensive renovations of existing buildings — the first such prohibition in Massachusetts. The controversial bylaw would require homeowners and developers to install heat, hot water, and appliances that use electricity. Only three of more than 200 Town Meeting members voted against the measure Wednesday…The new bylaw, which must still be approved by the state attorney general’s office, is part of a growing movement around the country to curb the use of fossil fuels in buildings. It was modeled after similar measures adopted in communities throughout California.” Speaking of California, Bloomberg reports, “Restaurateurs have a message for local governments banning the use of natural gas in new homes and businesses: Say goodbye to good food. The California Restaurant Association is warning that the flame-seared meat and charred vegetables that foodies have grown so accustomed to ordering will become a thing of the past in Berkeley, California, which in July became the first city in America to end new gas hook-ups in an effort to curb global-warming emissions. The group is suing the city in federal court.”

We’re going to stick with gas and turn our sights to New York, where a November 26th deadline is looming for National Grid. From Politico, “As winter sets in, state officials are turning up the heat on National Grid to find solutions to its moratorium on new natural gas service. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to start a legal process to revoke the utility’s license — a negotiating tactic he’s used before, with some results — and Attorney General Tish James is gathering customer complaints in an ongoing investigation. A standoff over a controversial pipeline that Grid says is needed to meet demand continues, but the utility is expected to propose alternatives next week and offer a public defense of its actions.”

For this week’s energy innovation we bring you a story from Grist, “How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy. What do you see when you imagine a zero-carbon future? Electric buses zipping by? Rolling hills covered with solar panels? Offshore wind farms towering over the sea? If batteries are part of your vision, good thinking. But there’s a promising, if whimsical, piece of the renewable energy puzzle that might be missing from your mental picture: the world of gravity energy storage…Generating electricity using gravity is hardly a new concept…A “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant draws excess energy from the grid and uses it to pump water back up into an elevated reservoir where it can fall again…But who needs water when there are all kinds of things we can slide down a mountain or drop off a cliff? Really, you can use almost any material for gravity energy storage, as long as it’s heavy, cheap, and you can figure out how to transport it up and down a steep slope…‘Mountain Gravity Energy Storage…involves a ski-lift-style cable that carries huge bins of sand up and down a mountain. The sand gets stored in an enormous vessel at the top, and when the grid needs extra energy, it’s sent down the mountain, pulled by the force of gravity, thereby powering an electric generator. Depending on the amount of sand, the height of the mountain, and the speed of the fall, the authors estimate that it can generate electricity for anywhere from five to 555 days.” Do check out this story. It has some very interesting videos and graphics.

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes in two weeks on December 6th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Pressure mounts on National Grid for alternatives to moratorium, Politico

America’s war over natural gas hits home in New York, Axios

Gas projects galore at FERC, Politico

U.S. senators call for 11th-hour review of compressor station proposal, Patriot Ledger

The Keystone Pipeline oil leak is almost 10 times worse than initially thought, CNN

Columbia Gas hit on lack of information, Eagle Tribune

New York’s last coal plant expected online through winter, says NYISO, despite shutdown plans, Utility Dive

Should Cities Phase Out Gas Appliances and Require New Buildings to Be All Electric?, Wall St. Journal

California Restaurants Warn Natural-Gas Ban Takes Seared Steak Off the Table, Bloomberg

In a first for Massachusetts, Brookline votes to ban oil and gas pipes in new buildings, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Sanders, Warren join fellow senators in urging New England to speed clean energy transition, Utility Dive

More claims of greenwashing at major US electric utilities, PV Magazine

How the humble chairlift could revolutionize renewable energy, Grist

What it takes to be carbon neutral — for a family, a city, a country, Washington Post

Homes to Sell Renewable Energy to Businesses in Vermont’s First of a Kind Local Energy Marketplace, Microgrid Knowledge

Amherst Town Council all in on climate goals, Daily Hampshire Gazette

As Climate Risk Grows, Cities Test a Tough Strategy: Saying ‘No’ to Developers, New York Times

‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019, BBC

Warming waters spell more bad news for New England shrimp, Boston Herald

Worcester’s Petty, other mayors push state to go 100% renewable, Telegram

Scientists meeting in Portland say right whales on the way to extinction, Portland Press Herald

Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up, ProPublica

Portland councilors to consider student-led ‘climate emergency’ resolution, Portland Press Herald

Poll Finds Massachusetts Residents See Climate Change As A Real Worry, WAMC

Climate change challenging Massachusetts oyster fishery, Daily Hampshire Gazette

CT lawmakers earn high marks for environmental efforts, Connecticut Post

Scientists discuss climate change impacts on R.I. natural environment, Westerly Sun

Lawmakers, Criticizing Wolf’s Executive Order On Joining Cap-And-Trade Program, Say It’s Their Call, WESA (PA)

NYC pension leader targets three utilities over emissions plans, Reuters

NYC clean energy advocates push for competitive RFP for new renewable development, Solar Power World

Ashland Town Meeting commits to being net-zero by 2040 to combat climate change, MetroWest Daily News

Democrats move to take 100% clean energy push national with new bill, Utility Dive

 

Wind

Anbaric Files Application For Offshore Transmission Network, WBUR

Top climate hawk bashes first big offshore wind project, E&E News

Vineyard Wind CEO sees both New London and Bridgeport as viable wind hubs, The Day

Wind Speeds Are Increasing Worldwide in Boost for Renewables, Bloomberg

Wind farm developers revise spacing of turbines off R.I. coast, Southcoasttoday.com

Many fishermen aren’t on board with wind industry’s new plan, Boston Globe

RI official applauds wind farm layout announcement, CommonWealth Magazine

Weighing the cost off offshore wind, WNYT

A Hush-Hush Wind Powwow, The East Hampton Star

New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target to 7.5GW, Greentech Media

Can America’s First Floating Wind Farm Help Open Deeper Water to Clean Energy?, Inside Climate News

 

Solar

National Grid: 300MW of Halted Solar Can Move Forward With ‘No Cost,’ Greentech Media

Company backed by Bill Gates claims solar breakthrough, looks to replace fossil fuels in industrial plants, Geekwire

Aldermen allow solar project at Manchester landfill for 5% cut, New Hampshire Union Leader

Two years after turning it down, Merrimack to reconsider solar tax exemptions, New Hampshire Union Leader

Bangor proposes installing solar array near airport, WABI

Fast Times for the US Residential Solar Market, Greentech Media

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Utility-scale storage critical to achieving Massachusetts carbon goals: UMass study, Utility Dive

How to Ensure Energy Storage Policies Are Equitable, Union of Concerned Scientists

New device can capture, store energy from the sun, UPI.com

Report by Brattle Economists Evaluates Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Administrator Models, (Press Release) PR Newswire

Efficiency to meet peak demand? New study considers potential beyond energy savings,Utility Dive

 

EVs/Alt Transportation

Ford Unveils Electric Mustang SUV to Challenge Tesla Dominance, Bloomberg

Future BMW electric cars will be powered by cow poop, CNET

Electric trucks may be the future, but waste and recycling market still charging up, Utility Dive

MIT Study: Energy-Efficient Cars, Public Transportation Are Best Options For Traffic And The Planet, WBUR

Rooftop solar panels charge your car while you’re driving, The Hill

 

Nuclear

Should the Government Subsidize Nuclear Power? Advocates Square Off, Wall Street Journal

How Well Do You Know Nuclear Power? Take Our Quiz., Wall Street Journal

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

PJM, NYISO and ISO-NE pay $1.4B annually for excess capacity: Report, Utility Dive

National Grid’s push to clear-cut trees opposed, Salem News

Invenergy declines to appeal. Their proposed power plant is dead., Uprise RI

NSP working to dispel misinformation about smart meters as installation gets underway, Cape Breton Post (Nova Scotia)

New Report Shows Homes Will Be Utility “Grid,” Code Watcher

State fires National Grid auditor over alleged report irregularities, Newsday.com

Will New Jersey Lawmakers Step up for Microgrids before the Next Disaster?, Microgrid Knowledge

Leading environmental group denounces de Blasio’s Canadian power line, Crains NY

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Demand Changes at Grid Operator ISO New England, Greentech Media

Senate Committee Approves $250 Million to Fund the Electric Grid Security, Nextgov

1st Circ. Won’t Re-Hear $3B Utilities Price-Fixing Row, Law360

National Grid Looks to AI to Prevent Damage to Its Gas Pipelines, Wall Street Journal

National Grid fallout hits other utilities, Crain’s New York

Read complete coverage of our investigation into CMP billing problems, Portland Press Herald

Two rural electric co-ops seek rate increases, VTDigger

Community Choice Aggregators on the Rise as an Alternative Electricity Provider, National Law Review

 

Editorial/Opinion

Lamont’s Executive Order 3 on climate change is too little, too late, Connecticut Mirror

Commentary: Gas pipeline embargo stifles growth, hurts New Yorkers, Times Union

Utilities — Like Eversource And National Grid — Are Weak Links In Climate Defense, WGBH

Building a wind industry across Connecticut, The Day

Climate change and dark money, Boston Globe

Impact of offshore wind on fisheries unknown, Cape Cod Times

Commentary: Offshore wind farm projects would destroy ocean views, Delaware State News

Cross Sound Ferry flips out over wind assembly plans, The Day via National Wind Watch

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