Tag Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending December 7, 2018

We are in Trouble | Transfer Approved | Plenty of Capacity

TGIF! Let’s get to it.

From the Washington Post, “Global emissions of carbon dioxide are reaching the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are doing. Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes appear to have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent…’We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change,’ United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference, where countries will wrestle with the ambitious goals they need to meet to sharply reduce carbon emissions in the coming years.”

Some good news in what’s expected to be a trend with nuclear plants across the country, VPR reports, “State utility regulators have approved the transfer of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to NorthStar, a demolition company that has has (sic) committed to decommissioning the plant decades earlier than previously planned. The Vermont Public Utility Commission said a main benefit of NorthStar’s plan was that decommissioning will begin no later than 2021. The current owner of the Vernon plant, the Entergy Corporation, had planned to delay cleanup of the site until at least 2053.”

Last news highlight for this week comes from the north of the border. The Portland Press Herald reports, “Hydro-Quebec officials say opponents of a transmission line through western Maine are wrong when they say the company’s plan to send hydropower to Massachusetts won’t provide abundant clean energy to New England…The utility’s officials said Thursday that the company has enough capacity to ensure that the electricity sent south is clean and produced with none of the carbon emissions blamed for global warming. “We have excess (hydropower) energy in Quebec that we can’t get out,” Serge Abergel, director of public affairs for Hydro-Quebec, told the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald…But Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, disputed Abergel’s claims. He’s concerned that Hydro-Quebec could engage in a practice called greenwashing, in which a utility buys power from highly polluting generators such as coal plants when that electricity is cheap, then uses it to fulfill their own contracts rather than using their own clean hydropower. That would negate the environmental advantages of transmitting hydropower to Massachusetts.”

That’s it for this afternoon. Have a great weekend and we’ll be back in your inboxes next Friday.

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Berkshire Gas agrees to half its proposed rate hike, Berkshire Gas

Changing fuel prices impact household heating market, Connecticut Post

Portland Xpress pipeline project gets FERC environmental OK, Seeking Alpha

Berkshire Gas moratoriums in Franklin and Hampshire counties to continue indefinitely, MassLive

Algonquin Power to buy Enbridge Gas New Brunswick for C$331M, Seeking Alpha

Environmentalists slam Murphy for inaction on pipelines, NJtoday.com

Coal Is On The Way Out — Natural Gas Is Next, CleanTechnica

 

Lock Out

House, in informal session, passes Grid legislation, CommonWealth Magazine

Emotions high at National Grid lockout hearing, Lowell Sun

National Grid takes pounding on Beacon Hill, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas targeting last few hundred customers in Lawrence area still without service, Boston Globe

Politicians call for gas execs to resign after disaster, Western Mass News

Columbia Gas-Repaired Furnace Sends Family To Emergency Room, USA Patch

‘I Don’t Feel Safe’: Lawrence Woman Injured by Stove Issued After Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions, NECN

With more plumbers, could Lawrence have seen faster gas service?, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018., Washington Post

Environment: Hot, dry summers have killed trees covering nearly 50,000 forest acres, Providence Journal

On Senate Floor: Shaheen Underscores Impact of Climate Change on Granite State Environment, Wildlife & Economy, NHLaborNews.com

The Energy 202: Carbon emissions were flat only two years ago. Not anymore., Washington Post

Connecticut Preps for Weather Extremes, Flooding Highlighted in Climate Report, Government Technology

How Climate Change Is Already Affecting Infrastructure In N.H., New Hampshire Pubic Radio

Climate change already reshaping South Shore coastline, Patriot Ledger

 

Wind

Biologist’s goal: wind turbines that kill fewer bats and birds, Boston Globe

NJ Begins Strategic Planning for Murphy’s Offshore-Wind Goals, NJ Spotlight

Feds Gathering Public Input on Vineyard Wind Environmental Impact Report, CapeCod.com

Aroostook wind power backers see opportunity if western Maine transmission line fails, The County

State reviewing application for wind farm in Hancock County, National Wind Watch

Vineyard Wind draft report released, Energy Central

Wind Farm Near Martha’s Vineyard In Jeopardy, The Independent

 

Solar

Governor pushes for solar in low-income areas, New Hampshire Union Leader

Consortium turning former brownfields into solar farms, Westerly Sun

Brushy Brook solar hearing concludes; decision in January, Westerly Sun

Watertown passes new solar requirement, Wicked Local Watertown

Salem Receives Award For Solar Efforts, USA Patch

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Harvard Reveals Its Ultra-Energy-Efficient Center for Green Buildings and Cities, Architectural Record

Westwood’s Thomas Philbin Among “Leading By Example” Recipients, USA Patch

Eversource and Wesleyan University Announce New Energy Efficiency Partnership, NA Clean Energy

U.S. energy storage storm grows in strength, pv magazine international

What Long Duration Energy Storage Is & Why It Kills Coal, CleanTechnica

‘Sun in a box’ would store renewable energy for the grid, TechXplore.com

 

EVs

1M EVs in the US ‘a step in our journey’ to combat climate change, Utility Dive

Trump administration says it will end electric car tax credit in the strangest way, Electrek

America’s Power Grid Isn’t Ready for Electric Cars, CityLab.com

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee Transfer Approved, NorthStar Will Decommission Plant, VPR

PURA maintains “at risk” status for Millstone, Hartford Business Journal

Pennsylvania State Lawmakers Call to End the ‘Epidemic’ of Nuclear Power Plant Closures, Greentech Media

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt., Vox.com

Canadian hydropower supplier says it has plenty of capacity for N.E., Portland Press Herald

CMP Says It Won’t Pass Costs to Customers for Billing Snafu, U.S. News & World Report

Cape Light Compact Announces Winter Electric Pricing, Cape Cod

Policymaker of the Year: Kevin McIntyre, FERC, Utility Dive

Seacoast Reliability Project continues to clear hurdles, Seacoastonline.com

CMP power line supporters make their case to Somerset County commissioners, Kennebec Journal

Connecticut standard electric rates to jump $12 to $16, Westport News

Eversource Energy reaches new contract with two Connecticut unions, New Haven Register

Reinventing the power grid in coastal Maine – well, sort of, Concord Monitor

FERC vacancy allows Democrats to win rare battle over ISO-NE market rules, Utility Dive

Non-Wires Alternatives: How Much, How Soon for Connecticut?, Microgrid Knowledge

My Car, Your Home, a Microgrid and the Future, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hassan bears down: Good points on gas explosion, New Hampshire Union Leader

Columnist Marty Nathan: Climate change demands straight talk, Daily Hampshire Gazette

OP-ED: Nautilus would put NJ at forefront of offshore wind industry, NJBIZ

Eversource project endangers children, the environment, Seacoastonline.com

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending November 30, 2018

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Berkshire Gas moratorium continues indefinitely, The Recorder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lockout

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

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

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

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

 

Merrimack Valley

Trailers removed as need for shelter declines, Eagle Tribune

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

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

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

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

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

Rivera: Columbia Gas should be disbanded, CommonWealth Magazine

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

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Report warns of coastal impact for New England, Salem News

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

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

Bipartisan group of lawmakers propose landmark carbon tax, The Hill

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

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

 

Wind

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

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

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

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

 

 

Solar

Massachusetts accepts first applications for new solar SMART incentives, MassLive

BlueWave withdraws solar array proposal in Webster, Telegram.com

Solar Project Completed On Former East Providence Landfill, Solar Industry

Tiverton taps brakes on solar development, Newport Daily News

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

Farmington planning board approves solar project, Kennebec Journal

Local solar nonprofit seeks to innovate energy assistance, Brainerd Dispatch

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

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

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

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

 

EVs

Are regulators hindering EV acceleration?, Utility Dive

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

 

Nuclear

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

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

Plymouth seeks extended benefits as Pilgrim closes, Cape Cod Times

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

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

Nuclear panel questions cask life span, Cape Cod Times

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

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Region’s electricity market in trouble, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

New England power grid expected to meet winter demand, MassLive

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

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

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

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

Newton Signs Historic Green Energy Contract: Mayor, USA Patch

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Our region needs the Seacoast Reliability Project, Seacoastonline.com

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

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

We need a Green New Deal in Massachusetts, CommonWealth Magazine

LETTER: Maintain conservative nuclear cleanup standards, Wicked Local Plymouth

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

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending November 2, 2018

Offshore Wind Impacts | Delay Granted | New Flow

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been reading this week.

 

From WorkBoat.com, “A four-year study of planned wind energy areas off the East Coast found that building and operating offshore wind energy arrays could affect some of the region’s most commercially valuable fish species. The report by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was written to help the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management to evaluate development plans for eight offshore wind energy leases issued by the agency…High on the list of potential impacts are habitat for black sea bass and Atlantic cod, which use patches of gravel and rougher bottoms on the largely sandy outer continental shelf. Sea scallops, the highest dollar value species on the East Coast, are found in all the WEAs with the most significant overlaps in New England, according to the report. Surf clams and ocean quahogs – harvested for canned chowder, frozen clam products and other processed seafood – are found in most of the WEAs. Advocates for the sea clamming fleet have insisted BOEM needs to set minimum distances of two nautical miles between wind turbine towers or their boats will effectively be shut out of fishing those areas.”

 

The Worcester Telegram via the State House New Service reports that “Environmental activists in Maine are celebrating a decision by regulators in that state to delay consideration of the transmission line project that Massachusetts officials are counting on to deliver hydropower from Canada. Intervenors in the Central Maine Power Company transmission line case before the Maine Public Utilities Commission asked the panel this week to suspend hearings, citing documents recently submitted by the company that ‘are highly relevant to critical issues in the proceeding and contradict statements in the record that have been made by CMP.’…Sue Ely, a Natural Resources Council of Maine attorney, said the delay was ‘a welcome acknowledgment that this process has been moving too fast for a thorough analysis of this massive, incredibly complex and flawed project.’”

 

You know we love to bring you news of new energy technologies so the last tidbit for this week comes from Science. “Batteries already power electronics, tools, and cars; soon, they could help sustain the entire electric grid. With the rise of wind and solar power, energy companies are looking for ways to keep electrons flowing when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind ebbs. Giant devices called flow batteries, using tanks of electrolytes capable of storing enough electricity to power thousands of homes for many hours, could be the answer. But most flow batteries rely on vanadium, a somewhat rare and expensive metal, and alternatives are short-lived and toxic. Last week, researchers reported overcoming many of these drawbacks with a potentially cheap, long-lived, and safe flow battery. The work is part of a wave of advances generating optimism that a new generation of flow batteries will soon serve as a backstop for the deployment of wind and solar power on a grand scale.”

 

Have a great weekend! Oh, and don’t forget to “fall back” and replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Burrillville power plant project dealt another blow, Providence Journal

The Energy 202: Why New York’s new climate lawsuit against ExxonMobil is different, Washington Post

Gas pipes damaged in Mass. with alarming frequency, Boston Globe

Pro-offshore oil group chaired by LePage is run by energy lobbyists, Portland Press Herald

Regulators order work stopped on pipeline that exploded near Monaca last month, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NJ Senate approves bill to ban fracking waste, NJBiz

Gas Explosions Take Center Stage In Congressional Debate, USA Patch

Council slams gas-safety hearing no-shows, Boston Herald

Coal’s Next Big Thing Could Be the Mini Power Plant, Bloomberg Environment and Energy

 

Lockout

National Grid lockout’s big financial impact, Sentinel & Enterprise

Lawmakers revive bill to pressure National Grid, CommonWealth Magazine

Quincy council says National Grid lockout costing city, Patriot Ledger

 

Merrimack Valley

Columbia Gas says pipeline work completed ahead of schedule, Business Journals

Attorney General Calls 1-Month Gas Restoration Delay ‘Unacceptable’, NECN

‘There’s no end in sight,’ Eagle Tribune

Hundreds of Lawrence residents beg Columbia Gas for service, answers, Boston Herald

Columbia Gas parent company faces criminal investigation over gas explosions, fires, Eagle Tribune

Lawrence disaster estimated at $800 million and counting, Boston Globe

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Exxon Mobil Is Hit With Its Most Important Climate Lawsuit Yet, Seeking Alpha

As price of climate change climbs, consider how much we could save, Portland Press Herald

To document climate change, Kate Olson went to Maine’s expert witnesses, Portland Press Herald

Warming waters worry Maine’s lobstermen, Reuters

Lamont, Bysiewicz and Murphy promote support for renewable energy in Cheshire, The Hour

 

Wind

Report maps potential environmental impacts of offshore wind energy, Workboat

New London, labor and environmental leaders tout offshore wind’s potential, The Day

7 turbines will be state’s largest shore wind farm, Johnston Sun Rise

Day-long dialogue between fishing, wind industries nets some progress, Southcoasttoday.com

The Country’s Most Valuable Fishing Port Gears Up For Wind Energy, WGBH

 

Solar

Want to nudge others to install solar? Actions speak louder than words, Phys.org

Eliot begins installation of new solar array, Seacoastonline.com

Brownfields Grant To Help Build Solar Farm On Gravelly Road In SK, USA Patch

Growing Exponentially, Floating Solar Opens Up New Horizons for Renewable Energy: Report, (press release) World Bank

 

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New generation of ‘flow batteries’ could eventually sustain a grid powered by the sun and wind, Science

Judge rejects claims state official illegally raided energy efficiency funds to balance budget, New Haven Register

1.8 Million Clean Energy Workers Employed In Top 50 American Metro Areas, CleanTechnica

ISO New England Lays Out Its Energy Storage Market Integration Plans, Greentech Media

ISO-NE looks to incorporate storage into real-time energy markets, Utility Dive

Connecticut can use efficiency funds to cover budget shortfall, federal court rules, Utility Dive

ISO New England: Customer Readiness Webpage Now Available on Energy Storage Device Project, Energy Central

 

Nuclear

Entergy reduces workforce to 24, VTDigger

No decision from state yet about Vermont Yankee, The Recorder

Pilgrim’s nuclear waste to be moved to higher ground, southcoasttoday.com

Billionaires Chase ‘SpaceX Moment’ for the Holy Grail of Energy, Bloomberg

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Regulators grant delay on transmission line sought to bring hydropower to Massachusetts, Telegram

Electricity Reseller Fights To Keep Antitrust Suit Alive, Law360

Maine PUC Move Poses Hurdle for NECEC, RTO Insider

PUC cancels next week’s hearings over CMP’s transmission project, Mainebiz

Connecticut Explores its Energy Future at CPES Event, RTO Insider

Eversource seeks $3.5M tax rebate from Portsmouth, Seacoastonline.com

Lawmaker says utilities should fix billing issues sooner, Bristol Press

 

Editorial/Opinion

How workers, local unions can take the lead on climate change | Opinion, NJ.com

Renewable energy inspires awe and hope, Johnston Sun Rise

Maine doesn’t need CMP transmission line, Kennebec Journal

Merrimack Valley tragedy offers climate change opportunity, CommonWealth Magazine

National Grid workers sit idle while out-of-state workers struggle to restore power in the Merrimack Valley, Boston Globe

Leave a comment

Filed under New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending September 28, 2018

Solar SMART | Solar Music | Solar Storage

Good afternoon,

Several good news stories about solar in New England.

After two years of planning, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program is ready and will add 1,600 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity to Massachusetts’ energy portfolio. MassLive reports that SMART “features a flat tariff paid by investor-owned utilities to owners of solar arrays smaller than 5 megawatts, with added incentives for projects that meet certain policy goals.”

Tupelo Music Hall in Derry is about to become the only solar-powered music venue in New Hampshire as a new roof installation on the 20,000 square foot facility will supply the facility’s energy needs year-round, according to NewHampshire.com

Holyoke Gas & Electric, a municipal power utility, is storing solar-generated electricity at the former Mount Tom Power Station coal-and-oil fired electricity plant. A solar array generates the power and the storage system is comprised of lithium ion batteries housed in shipping containers.

More news follows below. Have a great weekend.
Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Final Hearings For Proposed Burrillville Power Plant Temporarily Postponed, Rhode Island Public Radio

Battle Over $700M Invenergy Plant Is Far From Over, GoLocalProv

Two dozen Merrimack Valley residents file explosion lawsuit against Columbia Gas, Boston Globe

City Councilor Gomes calls for inspection of city gas lines, Southcoasttoday.com

Columbia Gas explosions prompt Massachusetts to hire gas system evaluator, Utility Dive

Columbia Gas sets restoration timeline, Northandover.wickedlocal.com

Columbia Gas to Cover Losses Related to Gas Disaster, U.S. News & World Report

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Survey: Majority of voters support investment in clean energy, Journal Inquirer

Coalition unveils blueprint for Maine’s energy future, MaineBiz

Virginia slashes proposed RGGI emissions cap by over 15%, carbon-pulse.com

Vt. Environmental Leader Reports Back From 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, VPR Digital

Iberdrola plans to boost U.S. renewable power by about 50 percent: CEO, Reuters

Wind

LePage’s secretive wind energy commission appears near collapse, Portland Press Herald

A Stunningly Low Price for Offshore Wind: Massachusetts Moves Forward, Union of Concerned Scientists

Deepwater probes Revolution, South Fork waters, reNews

Solar

State finally launches new solar incentive known as SMART, MassLive

Massachusetts Clean Energy Advocates Welcome SMART Program Order, seia.org

Industry pushes Baker on stalled Massachusetts solar incentives, MassLive

Tupelo Music Hall going 100 percent solar, NewHampshire.com

Energy Efficiency/Storage

From coal plant to solar farm: Power storage site sees grand opening in Holyoke, MassLive

Jobs in energy efficiency now employ 2.25 million Americans, World Economic Forum

More Than $1 Billion Provided By Connecticut Green Bank For Clean Energy Projects, CleanTechnica

Cheaper Battery Is Unveiled as a Step to a Carbon-Free Grid, New York Times

Nuclear

Activists oppose nuclear waste transport from closed Rowe power plant, MassLive

How to Jumpstart a Micro Nuclear Reactor Industry in the US | Greentech Media, GTM

NRC To Meet On Proposed Sale Of Plymouth Nuclear Plant After Closing, WBUR

Shutdown of N.J. power plant continues with removal of nuclear fuel, NJ.com

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Four maps show how electricity generation has changed in the US, ArsTechnica

New Jersey utility PSE&G proposes $4 billion plan to advance state’s clean energy goals, CNBC

Generators, greens pan ISO-NE price taker proposal for fuel secure plants, Utility Dive

Electric customers are paying extra for competition says Eversource and the Massachusetts AG agrees, New Hampshire Union Leader

Ripple Effect As National Grid Lockout Enters Third Month, WGBH

Editorial/Opinion

Kelly Ayotte: Push for clean energy begins in New Hampshire, Concord Monitor

Consumers overlooked amid ISO power politics, CommonWealth Magazine

Rep. Berry: CMP power line project a bad deal for Maine, would hurt clean-energy efforts, Portland Press Herald

Maine Compass: Climate risk, not powerline, is the real enemy, Kennebec Journal

Our View: Solar suit aims to put Maine back on track, Kennebec Journal

Strapped to the status quo express, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Electric Grid, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending September 21, 2018

Compressor Station Safety Study | 100+ Submissions to Zero Carbon Program

Good morning:

After last week’s gas explosions on the North Shore, local legislators in Weymouth and Hull are calling for a moratorium on construction of the Spectra Energy-Enbridge natural gas compressor station until a public transportation safety study is done. The Patriot Ledger is reporting that, “the compressor station in Weymouth would reverse the flow of methane in the existing gas pipeline and increase the gas pressure from 750 pounds per square inch to 1,440 pounds per square inch.”

Connecticut’s “Zero Carbon” program received over 100 submissions for solar, wind hydro and nuclear facilities. The Hartford Courant reports that “The participation of Dominion Energy, owner of the Millstone plant, has been a major point of controversy. The plant’s owners hinted that they might be forced to close the nuclear facility unless they were given the opportunity to compete in the new program, which could pay them higher rates for the power they produce.”  But a preliminary state report estimates that Dominion and Millstone are expected to remain “highly profitable” through 2035.

More news follows below. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Mass DPU rejects AG Healey request for National Grid pipeline safety investigation, MassLive

Burrillville power plant proposal hits possible deal-breaking snag, Providence Journal

After Merrimack Valley explosions, lawmakers call for halt to Weymouth compressor station work, WickedLocalSwampscott

Massachusetts governor puts rival utility in charge of Columbia Gas disaster response, Utility Dive

Columbia Gas withdraws $33 million rate increase, Eagle-Tribune

Massachusetts gas explosions shine spotlight on century-old pipelines, Reuters

Lawsuit targets Massachusetts utility over deadly gas explosions, Reuters

The government just made it easier for oil companies to leak methane on public land, Popular Science

Natural Gas Utility Gets Go-Ahead for $135M Energy-Efficiency Measures, NJ Spotlight

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts wastewater plants to test innovative treatment technologies with MassCEC grants, MassLive

Devil in the details of Rhode Island’s 400 MW renewable energy RFP, pv-magazine-USA.com

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

Maine businesses to get help to use more renewable energy, Journal Record

Carbon Prices Are Too Low to Reduce Emissions, Scientific American

Newburyport mayor reflects on global climate conference, Daily News of Newburyport

Nuclear, Wind Companies Competing To Sell Connecticut ‘Zero Carbon’ Energy, Hartford Courant

Wind

BU enters agreement to purchase renewable wind energy, Daily Free Press

N.J. begins nation’s largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind projects, Business Journals

Wind energy project may bring jobs to Bridgeport, Connecticut Post

Orsted sells half of vast offshore wind farm for $5.88 billion, CNBC

Solar

Gold Meadow Farms To Be Rhode Island’s Biggest Solar Project, Solar Industry

Solar company promises Ware $112K annually if town approves 8-megawatt project, MassLive

Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain, InsideClimate News

Tracking The Sun: U.S. Solar Installation Prices Continued To Drop In 2017, Solar Industry

Energy Efficiency/Storage

UTC to receive $3M for energy storage program, Hartford Business Journal

Analyst: We’ve Misunderstood Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy World

A tiny, beleaguered government agency seeks an energy holy grail: long-term energy storage, Vox

Nuclear

Millstone casts bid for state contract, Hartford Business Journal

NRC OKs License Extensions For Indian Point, WAMC

Anti-Nuke Groups Concerned About Plans For Vermont Yankee’s Radioactive Waste, VPR Digital

Exelon Retires Oyster Creek After 49-Year Run, Nuclear Street

NRC to Hold Meeting to Discuss Transfer of Pilgrim License, Cape Cod

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Hampton dam part of Eversource’s $83 million sale of hydro plants, New Hampshire Union Leader

Green Mountain Power announces energy costs agreement, VTDigger

More than 30 people testify against CMP power line proposal at PUC hearing, Portland Press Herald

Second small Maine town votes against CMP’s hydropower project, MSN

National Grid offering support in wake of explosions, WPRI12

NEPOOL Alone in Support for Press, Public Ban, RTO Insider

As Boston City Councilors call for meeting on gas safety, locked out National Grid workers protest outside, MassLive

Regulators affirm ‘reasonable’ response by CMP and Emera in October storm, Portland Press Herald

Editorial/Opinion

Sierra Club fires back on Quebec hydro, CommonWealth Magazine

EDITORIAL: Breath of fresh air on offshore wind, Daily Record

Unfortunate override: Biomass wins, solar loses, New Hampshire Union Leader

Seabrook nuke plant evacuation plan is not OK, Seacoastonline.com

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables

Energy News for week ending August 10, 2018

Catching Up and Closing In | Nuclear Triathlon: A Wasp Hitting a Wall

Good Friday afternoon. At the moment I’m writing this, the current fuel mix in New England, according to the ISO to Go app, is 64 percent natural gas, 22 percent nuclear and 7 percent renewables. The balance is mostly hydro (5 percent). While the current disparity here between natural gas fueled electricity and renewables is, ah let’s say huge, and the difference between nuclear production and renewables is also large, we have two stories this week that tell us that overall, the trend is moving toward renewables.

From Vox.com, Clean energy is catching up to natural gas, “In its role as a bridge, natural gas seems to have a comfortable future. First, it will replace coal and nuclear “baseload” plants, and then, as renewables grow to supply the bulk of power, it will provide flexibility, filling in the gaps where variable renewables (wind and solar) fall short. By playing these multiple roles, natural gas will long outlive coal and prove useful well into the latter half of the 21st century. It will enjoy a long, slow exit. Or so the story goes. Around 2015, though, just five years into gas’s rise to power, complications for this narrative began to appear. First, wind and solar costs fell so far, so fast that they are now undercutting the cost of new gas in a growing number of regions. And then batteries — which can “firm up” variable renewables, diminishing the need for natural gas’s flexibility — also started getting cheap faster than anyone expected. It happened so fast that, in certain limited circumstances, solar+storage or wind+storage is already cheaper than new natural gas plants and able to play all the same roles (and more).”

And from Greentech Media, US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation. “Nuclear power’s tenure as the leading source of zero-carbon electricity may be coming to an end. After decades of stalled nuclear plant development and the recent surge of increasingly cheap wind and solar deployments, the newcomers are pulling ahead. In the first five months of 2018, renewables produced 20.17 percent of U.S. electricity and nuclear produced 20.14 percent, according to Energy Information Administration data compiled by Ken Bossong of the Sun Day Campaign. A similar record was hit in the first three months of 2017. In the two most recent months included in the data set, April and May, renewables outproduced nuclear by more than 10 percent.”

Speaking of nuclear, no one wants a national nuclear spent fuel repository more than nuclear generators and their host communities. But often concerns are raised about how safely the spent fuel can be transported. With that in mind, we bring you a story from The Verge, Scientists put a nuclear waste container through a demanding trip to see if the fuel would break, “Researchers sent a nuclear waste container on a 14,500-mile odyssey by truck, barge, cargo ship, and train in an effort to understand how well radioactive fuel would stand up to travel.” The results according to one of the scientists involved in the experiment, “‘…though we’re still analyzing the data, is that we have a huge margin of safety…they said the largest shock they saw was the equivalent of a wasp hitting a wall. It is very, very, very small. These rods are all contained in an assembly that holds them all together, and they are just not moving. And so even though the truck or the train jiggles quite a bit, the basket and the cask and the canister really hold it all together very well and actually absorb a lot of those little vibrations and bumps and shocks that the rail car experiences. Those energies don’t make it all the way up through the whole system to the fuel. So the fuel has a very smooth ride.””

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

New deed finalizes sale of land on which gas company wants to build compressor, Patriot Ledger

BIA endorses Granite Bridge pipeline project, Seacoastonline.com

US fossil fuels target global energy poverty, climate change in new PR push, S and P Global

Clean energy is catching up to natural gas, Vox.com

NY regulators leave 680 MW gas plant without an air permit, Utility Dive

FERC denies rehearing on Northern Pass pipeline, overruling New York decision, Utility Dive

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

N.Y. grid operator moves toward landmark carbon price, National Wind Watch

Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill 2018: Continuing the Journey, Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)

Advocates share renewable energy agenda at CTEi, Leominster Champion

Cape leads the way on renewable energy, Cape Cod Times

Legislators compromise on clean energy legislation; net metering cap for solar left unchanged, theberkshireedge.com

US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation, Greentech Media

At ‘America First Energy Conference’, solar power is dumb, climate change is fake, Reuters

 

Wind

Yarmouth officials balk at initial offer from Vineyard Wind, Cape Cod Times

Third try for offshore-wind project near Atlantic City, NJ Spotlight

Eversource offered to drop out of offshore wind procurement team, CommonWealth Magazine

Deepwater Wind Set for Seafloor Survey Off New England, Subsea World News

Offshore wind: NJ, Phil Murphy bet on clean energy, but who will pay?, Asbury Park Press

Greenwood residents OK commercial wind farm amendments, Lewiston Sun Journal

Four of NYS Thruway’s costly wind turbines stand idle. Why?, Buffalo News

Dominion Energy, Ørsted to partner for offshore wind project, Daily Energy Insider

Gov. Raimondo looks to further offshore wind, to fishermen’s dismay, ABC 6

Massachusetts Wind Electricity Rates Will Be A Fraction Of The South, 27east.com

Bay State Wind alters proposal to allow more distance between turbines, South Coast Today

 

Solar

An offer utilities can’t refuse: The low cost of utility-scale solar, Utility Dive

Solar growth continues in US, though EIA trims its 2019 forecast 45%, Utility Dive

Can solar energy save the bees?, Phys.org

New solar array hits legal ‘wormhole’ in Windsor, Berkshire Eagle

Waterville solar project on landfill gets lease extension, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Voters approve solar array, Mount Desert Islander

NH apartment building says it can be net-zero energy with just solar panels, Concord Monitor

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New energy efficiency financing approach vies for grand prize in New York competition, Utility Dive

Partnership announces storage project in Hinesburg, Vermont, Daily Energy Insider

State advised to reject PSE&G clawback of revenues from customers, NJ Spotlight

LED lamps to light up Weymouth schools, Wicked Local Weymouth

 

Nuclear

Scientists put a nuclear waste container through a demanding trip to see if the fuel would break, The Verge

Entergy selling Pilgrim plant for ‘accelerated decommissioning,’ Southcoasttoday.com

Experts: Pilgrim safe from hurricane’s impact, Cape Cod Times

Mars 2020 rover goes nuclear with delivery of new electrical generator, New Atlas

4 Reasons Why U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Are Safe from Drones, NEI Blog

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

NY Energy Market Summit Tackles DERs, RTO Insider

U.S. Officials Push New Penalties for Hackers of Electrical Grid, Wall St. Journal

New York generators urge FERC to block certain capacity sales, SPGlobal.com

Massachusetts Lawmakers Pass Bill that Opens New Prospects for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Report: Trump to nominate DOE policy head McNamee to FERC, Utility Dive

Utilities ask customers to save power during high heat, (VT) Washington Times

High energy costs a deterrent as NH looks to attract and keep companies, The Union Leader

Rhode Island residents concerned about high-voltage line at beach, WHDH 7News

Gov. Sununu touts need to lower NH’s energy costs, Seacoastonline.com

Construction Begins on 7.4-MW Fuel Cell Park at Naval Submarine Base New London, Microgrid Knowledge

Report: FERC working with White House, NSC on coal and nuclear bailout, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Letter to the editor: Tech can solve gas pipeline concerns, Boston Business Journal

OUR OPINION: Keep a watchful eye on decommissioning of Plymouth nuclear plant, Patriot Ledger

Op-ed: NJ should favor single developers for offshore-wind projects, NJ Spotlight

To the Editor: More evidence, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Editorial: Surging prices for electricity, The Providence Journal

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

Energy News for week ending August 3, 2018

Pilgrim to be sold | “base hit” | Competitive Pricing | Don’t get complacent

Happy Friday afternoon. We start today with a housekeeping note. If you want to keep getting the Northeast Energy News each week, please remember to whitelist us in your email. Sometimes an email bounces and our system, which doesn’t like to spam anyone, puts the email on the inactive list and then you don’t get our email. Of course if you’d rather not get the Northeast Energy News, just scroll down to the bottom and unsubscribe. No hard feelings. Now let’s get to the news.

First up, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be Sold After 2019 Shutdown (CapeCod.com). “The company that owns the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth will sell the plant, spent fuel, land and decommissioning trust fund to an energy technology company after the upcoming shutdown next year. A statement from Entergy issued Wednesday said Pilgrim and another plant in Michigan will be sold to Holtec International for what’s described as an ‘accelerated decommissioning.’…The sale, pending regulatory approval, will include the transfer of licenses and spent fuel. Holtec said most of the decommissioning could be complete within 8 years. Holtec expects to move all of the spent nuclear fuel out of the spent fuel pools and into dry cask storage within approximately three years of the plant’s shutdown.”

Massachusetts legislature OKs ‘base hit’ clean energy bill at end of session (MassLive) “An energy bill that emerged from conference committee Monday night represents modest progress in Massachusetts’ transition to clean, renewable power, environmental groups said…‘Lawmakers could have knocked it out of the park. Instead, they only got a base hit,’ said Ben Hellerstein, director of Environment Massachusetts. While the compromise bill leaves most of the Senate provisions behind — including a piece that would put a price on carbon — it does include several provisions that won praise from clean energy advocates. Notably, it gets ride of a “demand charge” that the Department of Public Utilities had allowed for new solar adopters in Eversource territory…The bill modestly raises the renewable portfolio standard…The bill could double the state’s offshore wind capacity… the legislation establishes an energy storage target of 1,000 megawatt-hours by 2026.”

Bruce Mohl at Commonwealth Magazine writes, Offshore wind prices look competitive. “The developer of the nation’s first major offshore wind farm is promising to deliver wholesale power to Massachusetts at prices that are far below what Cape Wind was offering nearly a decade ago and not much more expensive than hydro-electricity just procured from Canada. According to contracts filed with the state Department of Public Utilities on Wednesday, Vineyard Wind agreed to deliver electricity at an average price of 8.9 cents a kilowatt hour over the 20-year life of the contract, or a total levelized price of 6.5 cents. While those prices are above the average wholesale price of electricity in New England (3.4 cents a kilowatt hour during 2017), they include the value of environmental attributes that are not included with electricity generated using natural gas. Taking those into account, Baker administration officials said, the offshore wind contract is very competitive with other types of power generation and will slightly lower bills for ratepayers over the 20-year life of the contract.”

Last up for this week is an article from today’s Wall St. Journal, Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas. “The first week of August seems like an odd time to fret about a frigid winter, but perhaps not for people who buy, sell and store natural gas. Following Thursday morning’s weekly report from the Energy Information Administration, the amount of gas in U.S. underground storage will be at around 2.3 trillion cubic feet and should keep rising for the next three months. Yet that cushion now stands 24% below where it was this time last year and 20% below the five-year average…But what seems like ample supply could set the market up for panicky winter buying. The last time that happened was in the winter of 2013-2014.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas, Wall St. Journal

Soil Testing For Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Burrillville Angers Opponents, Rhode Island Public Radio

FERC Flooded with Comments on Pipeline Permitting, RTO Insider

FERC Clarifies New York TOs’ Cost Recovery, RTO Insider

Town resolution backs locked-out workers, blocks National Grid, Arlington

National Grid gas workers still locked out, Eagle-Tribune

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Massachusetts legislature OKs ‘base hit’ clean energy bill at end of session, MassLive

Clean Energy Industry Group Commends Legislature for Moving Clean Energy Forward in Massachusetts, NA Clean Energy

Compromise energy bill criticized as too weak, The Recorder

Clean tech praises Massachusetts energy bill as activist community vows continued engagement, MassLive

DC Circuit tosses challenge to ISO-NE renewable energy market rules, Utility Dive

7 States Urge Pipeline Regulators to Pay Attention to Climate Change, InsideClimate News

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change, New York Times Magazine

Green Upgrade: How California Is Pioneering ‘Energy Justice’, Yale Environment 360

New England Women Talk Climate Change, Resilience, RTO Insider

Despite subsidy, two wood-fired power plants offline for months, Portland Press Herald

 

Wind

First Big U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Offers $1.4 Billion to Customers, Bloomberg L.P.

Offshore wind prices look competitive, CommonWealth Magazine

How can the US reach the cutting edge of offshore wind R&D? DOE seeks input, Utility Dive

Massachusetts expected to double offshore wind commitment to 3200 MW, Windpower Engineering & Development

Vineyard Wind, R.I. fishermen still at odds over turbines, Providence Journal

NY Gov. Cuomo implores Zinke to support offshore wind project, Daily Energy Insider

Antrim Wind Energy to break ground on 9-turbine project as soon as next week, Ledger Transcript

 

Solar

Why Maine towns and cities are investing in solar projects, Bangor Daily News

Keene committee backs plan for solar array at city complex, Keene Sentinel

Pepperell Mill Campus solar array to span 3 buildings and cover 1.5 acres of rooftop, Portland Press Herald

Community solar can address renewables accessibility gap, report finds, Utility Dive

New York DPS reports call for community distributed solar enhancements, Daily Energy Insider

Judge reverses zoning board’s OK of solar farm in Portsmouth, Providence Journal

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Mass. Lawmakers Set Storage Target, Raise RPS, Overturn Rooftop Solar Demand Charge, Greentech Media

Energy storage could take off in Massachusetts with proposed compromise on capacity ownership, Utility Dive

Network Of Tesla Powerwall Batteries Saves Green Mountain Power $500,000 During Heat Wave, CleanTechnica

Don’t miss out on this money for energy-efficient home improvements, Boston Globe

Green River Commons zero-energy condos preview the future, The Recorder

Efficiency advocates fear Trump administration may try to roll back light bulb standards, Utility Dive

 

EVs

U.S. Electric Vehicle Charging Market to Grow to $18.6 Billion, Bloomberg

 

Nuclear

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be Sold After 2019 Shutdown, CapeCod.com

Vermont Yankee’s $143 million fuel move finished, VT Digger

DEEP paves way for Millstone’s power bid, Hartford Business Journal

Millstone Hopeful Regulators See Nuclear Power As “At Risk”, WNPR

Dominion expects edge for Millstone in DEEP zero carbon auction, The Day

Red Tape and Green Energy: Why Nuclear Power Is Struggling to Survive, Energy Central

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cape electricity demand, more osprey could mean more nest fires, Cape Cod Times

Project to import Canadian hydropower through Maine faces final review, Bangor Daily News

Mass. utilities file major contracts to buy Canadian hydro carried over Maine power line, MassLive

Eversource plans more power lines for Dartmouth, Southcoasttoday

Five Months After Energy Cyberattack, U.S. Pushes Collaboration, Bloomberg L.P.

DHS walks back utility cyber warnings as Southern CEO says no grid emergency, Utility Dive

Under scrutiny for storm response, CMP says it’s beefing up its smart-meter network Portland Press Herald

Higher rates help Eversource to post 5% increase in earnings, Journal Inquirer

New York to consider enhancing payments for distributed generation, Utility Dive

Generators say Mystic order mirrors their capacity price concerns, S and P Global, Platts

New York Power Authority on Track to Becoming Nation’s First All-Digital Electric Utility, Energy Manager Today

NJ: Utilities flopped in storm prep, must do better to avoid outages, Asbury Park Press

We’ve been talking about a national grid for years. It might be time to do it., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint), MassLive

Lawmakers should embrace clean energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Lawmakers should override governor’s veto of solar energy, SB 446, Seacoastonline.com

Opinion: State Rep Candidate Supports National Grid Workers, USA Patch

Column: Marty Nathan: Our planet has a fever, Daily Hampshire Gazette

No benefits from a wind farm, Sun Journal

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