Tag Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending July 26, 2019

RIP Northern Pass | Market Imperiled | Accosted, harassed and screamed at

 

Good Friday afternoon.

Here’s what’s happening in this week’s energy news.

We begin in New Hampshire where NHPR reports, “Eversource has officially pulled the plug on the Northern Pass transmission line. The utility filed a notice with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, a spokesman says, ‘reflecting our conclusion that Northern Pass has unfortunately been brought to an end.’ The filing notifies shareholders that the company sees no way forward for its signature project, which it spent nearly a decade promoting. The decision comes after the New Hampshire Supreme Court last week affirmed state regulators’ rejection of the project. Eversource says it spent $318 million trying to get the controversial power line built. Their SEC filing says they’re writing off about $200 million of that after taxes, equal to about 64 cents per share of the company’s stock. A company spokesman says the write-off will have no direct effect on customers or electric rates.”

Moving south to Massachusetts, Greentech Media tells us, “Massachusetts Storage Market Imperiled by Requirement to Buy New Utility Meters. Massachusetts rolled out a new incentive last year to spur solar and energy storage adoption, but installers are worried that a technical requirement could foil the goals of the program. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) pays residential and commercial customers for solar electricity production. The program is intended to add another 1,600 megawatts of distributed solar capacity, forming a core pillar of Governor Charlie Baker’s ambitious clean energy agenda…To qualify, though, customers have to pay for a new utility meter to measure their production, and that can cost hundreds of dollars. Some types of solar-plus-storage configurations drive the price up even further. The extra cost eats into the incentive dollars that are supposed to pay for clean, dispatchable electricity, a group of installers argued in a June 21 letter to DOER, which designed the program.”

For sure the Cape saw some highly unusual weather this week and there was some serious damage to the distribution infrastructure. Evidently that made some folks in Chatham ah, a little bit, shall we say, crazy. From Boston.com, “As thousands remained without power on Cape Cod Wednesday following Tuesday’s severe storm that spawned two tornadoes, some Chatham residents apparently lost their patience. Chatham police took to Facebook Wednesday afternoon to remind residents to leave the 30 utility crews working throughout town alone. ‘It has come to our attention that some utility work crews have been accosted, harassed and screamed at by citizens demanding that power to their home be turned on,’ police said. Police noted that the repair work, including untangling wires stuck in trees, ‘requires a safe and methodical process.’ ‘They are making good headway and working hard,’ police said. ‘Please let them do their work so they can get us powered back up as soon as possible.’” The good news is that, “Numerous residents in the comments thanked the utility workers and emergency personnel, and expressed dismay at the behavior mentioned in the post.” The better news reported by Cape Cod Today is that, “Eversource to Complete Cape Cod Restoration Ahead of Schedule.”

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Southbridge hires lawyer to address LNG plant proposed in Charlton, Telegram.com

Gas company misses deadline for testing soil at Weymouth site, Wicked Local Weymouth

Holyoke City Council committee mulls resolution to increase natural gas service capacity, MassLive

National Grid Isn’t Providing New Gas Hookups in New York, WSJ.com

Compressor TV ad urges governor to oppose facility, Wicked Local

U.S. Cities Might Release More Methane Than Previously Thought, Scientific American

New Poll: New Yorkers Reject the Williams Pipeline, nrdc.org

National Grid faces possible penalty on non-compliance of NY safety rules, Reuters

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Push on Beacon Hill for 100% renewable energy by 2045, Telegram.com

Energy chief says net-zero carbon goal under review, Taunton Gazette

US Cities Boost Clean Energy Efforts but Few on Track to Meet Climate Goals, ACEEE

Groton man seeking to ship boulders from New London’s State Pier to protect against the rising sea challenges Connecticut over wind energy deal, Hartford Courant

Clean energy report highlights Lexington’s renewable schools project, Wicked Local Lexington

As Temperatures Soar During Heat Wave, So Will CO, Scientific American

Weekend Energy Use Neared N.E. Megawatt Record, ECO RI

State government seeks community input on major transport and climate initiative, Worcester Mag

Push on Beacon Hill for 100% renewable energy by 2045, Telegram & Gazette

House Passes $1B Plan for Local Climate Change Projects, U.S. News & World Report

 

Wind

Mass. delegation pushing to advance vineyard wind, Herald News

Pacheco raises concerns on offshore wind pricing, CommonWealth Magazine

Ørsted to develop offshore wind manufacturing hub to service East Coast, Utility Dive

Hancock County reaches settlement over wind farm payments it said were too small, Bangor Daily News

Wind turbine company opens Rhode Island HQ, Materials Today

Wind victory comes at just the right time for Eversource, Boston Globe

Building Smart Offshore Wind Power, nrdc.org

New York passes its Green New Deal, announces massive offshore wind push, Ars Technica

U.S. Offshore Wind: From ‘Nice To Have’ To ‘Need To Have’, NRG Wind Project

Baker should tip hand on offshore wind price gap, group says, Taunton Daily Gazette

After Years Of Planning, Cuomo Green Lights Wind Farm Off Montauk, USA Patch

 

Solar

Key Committee Approves Bills That Require Solar Panels On New Massachusetts Buildings, ECO RI

National Grid increases partners for virtual power plant project, Smart Energy

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Massachusetts Storage Market Imperiled by Requirement to Buy New Utility Meters, Greentech Media

Northeastern States Primed to Be the Next Major Energy Storage Market, Greentech Media

In Support of a National Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, nrdc.org

High-performance flow batteries offer path to grid-level renewable energy storage, Science Daily

Private Equity Wants In on Energy Storage Revenues, Greentech Media

 

EVs

Clean energy report highlights Concord’s electric school bus program, Wicked Local

New York expands access to EV charging incentives, blocks Tesla from qualifying, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Ohio Law Bails Out Nuclear Power Plants By Eliminating Clean Energy Standards, U.S. News & World Report

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Eversource Pulls Plug On Northern Pass After N.H. Supreme Court Rebuke, NHPR

‘Accosted, harassed and screamed at’: Chatham police told residents to stop bothering utility crews attempting to restore power, Boston.com

Eversource to Complete Cape Cod Restoration Ahead of Schedule, Cape Cod Today

Maine regulators blast utility rate hike, customer service ‘deficiences’ in local op-ed, Utility Dive

Lexington rep’s utility assessment hike to fuel bigger DPU budget, Wicked Local Lexington

New York researchers collaborate to develop a cleaner, more reliable power grid, Windpower Engineering and Development

Study: Municipal electric utilities greener, have lower costs, WB Journal

Incentives to save energy, Eagle-Tribune

Harvesting hybrid solutions from performance-based rates: ‘Not all or nothing’, Utility Dive

Energy chief says net-zero carbon goal under review, Herald News

 

Editorial/Opinion

Feds shouldn’t stymie Mass. wind power, Boston Globe

The Case for Switching From Natural Gas Hookups to Heat Pumps, Greentech Media

Recognizing work of Columbia Gas employees, Eagle-Tribune

Time for true regional approach in building our electricity future, Foster’s
Daily Democrat

Letter: We don’t need more gas pipeline, Telegram

Letter: NH ready to be fossil-free, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Letter: We all have to breathe Killingly’s air, The Bulletin

Wind farm planners have done due diligence, Cape Cod Times

Opinion | Air conditioning is making the world a hotter place, Mint

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

Energy News for week ending July 12, 2019

Block the Compressor | Vineyard Wind Dealt 2 Blows | CMP Oppo Group Forms

 

Busy day here so no recap this week.

Enjoy the news below and have a great weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

29 senators urge DEP to block Weymouth gas facility, CommonWealth Magazine

At ‘wit’s end,’ Mariano pushes Weymouth air monitoring bill, Patriot Ledger

Weymouth: Legislation Aims at Heavy Oversight of Air Pollution at Compressor Station Sites, WATD-FM

National Grid to NYC customers: Support the Williams Pipeline or no new service, Grist

Officials outline plan to boost businesses still struggling after gas disaster, Eagle Tribune

The U.S. Is Overflowing With Natural Gas. Not Everyone Can Get It., Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Study: Carbon tax carries high cost, low benefit, Boston Herald

Climate change means roads should be built differently, UNH researchers say, Boston Globe

Experts Say U.S. Power Grid Needs To Change Before Shifting To All Renewable Energy, NPR

As Brayton Point transforms, Haddad legislation has brought nearly $18 million to Somerset, South Coast Today

$1B Renewable Energy Bill to be Subject of Public Hearing, NECN

Maine Hits Clean Energy Grand Slam, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lowell Council OKs green-energy boost, Lowell Sun

Which States Build the Greenest?, New York Times

Republicans Try to Buff Up Green Image With Environmental Caucus, Bloomberg

 

Wind

Vineyard Wind dealt blows on two fronts, MV Times

AIM to Baker: Modify the offshore wind price cap, CommonWealth Magazine

Connecticut issues draft RFP for 2 GW offshore wind, Utility Dive

 

Solar

How New York City Is Turning Its Thousands of Roofs Into Power Providers, New York Times

Polar ice chronicles a toxic metal’s surging production, Nature

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits, Wired

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer, Phys.org

 

Efficiency/Storage

Stem Steps Into Grid-Scale Storage With Partnership in Massachusetts, Greentech Media

New Jersey’s Draft Energy Plan Includes Support for Microgrids, Microgrid Knowledge

Home Energy Reports: Still the ‘biggest, baddest way’ to drive customer behavior, Utility Dive

‘Opportunities everywhere’: NREL study shows mass potential for storage to provide peaking capacity, Utility Dive

Why Long Island Could Become New York’s First Energy Storage Hot Spot, Greentech Media

US Green Building Council seeks proposals to strengthen new LEED standard, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Scientist ‘unsure’ of Seabrook nuclear plant’s safety; NextEra says claims ‘simply wrong’, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Opposition Group To Launch Petition Effort To Kill CMP’s Transmission Project, Maine Public Radio

RI Ranked 22nd Most Energy Expensive State in U.S., GoLocalProv

Conn. leads the nation in energy costs, Journal Inquirer

National Grid faces possible penalty on non-compliance of NY safety rules, CNBC

Aggressive U.S. energy policy tests ties with European allies. Reuters

Pennsylvania regulators outline criteria for alternative rate proposals to support new tech, Utility Dive

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants, E&E News

N.Y. Launches Grid Modernization Challenge, North American Wind Power

 

Editorial/Opinion

Viewpoint: Mass. must double down on clean energy efforts, Boston Business Journal

Benson carbon pricing bill is smart policy, CommonWealth magazine

Editorial: Independent review makes sense on Berkshire Gas moratorium, Amherst Bulletin

My Turn: Doug Gablinske: Invenergy’s failure will cost all of us, Providence Journal

George Smith: Maine takes on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Dan Weeks: To Sununu: Go solar, Conway Daily Sun

Maine re-asserts its leadership in environmental priorities, Sun Journal

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

Energy News for week ending May 3, 2019

Energy Efficiency: MBTA & Goodwill | Too Warm for Winter Sports  

We are closing out the week with some good news on the energy efficiency front and some not so good news for outdoor skating rinks and other winter sports.

A new $40 million project in partnership with Eversource and National Grid will make the MBTA more energy efficient. MassLive reports that ‘the projects are expected to save the MBTA $2.7 million a year on energy costs, while reducing the MBTA’s electricity use by 7 percent — or an amount equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 4,000 Massachusetts homes.

The projects will include installing high-efficiency LED lighting and lighting controls, upgrading HVAC equipment and building automation controls.’

And Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut is partnering with Eversource to make 17 of its facilities more energy efficient. It is estimated that Goodwill will save more than $148k in annual energy costs.  Check out the story in NA Energy for more info.

Sports Illustrated has an important piece on how climate change is impacting outdoor skating rinks, ice fisherman and the snows sports industry.  ‘Data collected by RinkWatch, a citizen science project, indicates that the number of high-quality skateable days in Toronto has dropped precipitously in the last few decades. From the late 1950s to the early ’80s, Toronto averaged between 35 and 42 of those days; recently, that number has fallen by 25%.’

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

The Next Frontier for Demand Response: Natural Gas, Greentech Media

Columbia Gas’ New President Talks About His Vision For Leading The Company After Disaster, WBUR

900 MW Invenergy natural gas plant faces uncertain future in ISO NE, Utility Dive

Columbia Gas settles lawsuit with Lawrence family who lost home, suffered injuries in 2018 gas disaster, MassLive

Cost for Merrimack Valley gas disaster could hit $1B, New Hamsphire Union Leader

National Grid seeking to raise natural gas rates nearly 7 percent, Newsday

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Winter Is Going: How Climate Change Is Imperiling Outdoor Sporting Heritage, Sports Illustrated

Can Humans Help Trees Outrun Climate Change?, New York Times

Baker admin taking the lead on carbon pricing effort, CommonWealth Magazine

Janet Mills proposes 27-member climate change council, Bangor Daily News

Lawsuit accusing ExxonMobil of ignoring risks from climate change moves forward, PRI

Bill aims to fight climate change, save forests, The Recorder

Wind

Cape Cod Commission review of Vineyard Wind underway, Cape Cod Times

Otis residents favor ban on commercial wind turbines, Ellsworth American

Wind developer offers to conserve land to lessen turbines’ threat to birds, Bangor Daily News

The Northeast leads the country in net-metered wind electricity generation capacity, EIA

Solar

Some Massachusetts Forestland Is Being Clear-cut To Put Up Solar Farms, WGBH

Tiverton Farm Receives $20k Grant For Solar Panels, Patch

Peck Electric Announces Seven Vermont Solar Projects, Solar Industry

City approves solar deal worth $900,000 annually, Valley Breeze

Titan Energy, The Town Of Scotland And Greenskies Renewable Energy Complete Solar Array At Scotland, Patch

Efficiency/Storage

$40 million project will make MBTA more energy efficient, MassLive

Eversource Partners with Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut to Help Them Save Money and Energy at 17 Locations, NA Clean Energy

Environmental Groups Add To Pressure For Energy Storage Tax Boost, Forbes

Buying an energy-efficient home is a financially bright idea, USA Today

Nuclear

NRC says Vermont Yankee cask maker violated safety regulations, VTDigger

Closing Pilgrim, WBUR

Global Nuclear Power Market is likely to generate a demand of USD 205.2 billion by 2024, while actuating at a CAGR of 8.9%, Marketwatch

Georgia Power’s parent: After Vogtle, no new nuclear until maybe 2040, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Gov. Mills proposes climate council to pursue emissions, energy goals, Portland Press Herald

In Madbury: Eversource updates selectmen on Seacoast Reliability Project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource Energy : Seeks Approval for System Reliability and Clean Energy Investments, Marketscreener

Massachusetts Energy Secretary Matt Beaton will be replaced by WMass native Kathleen Theoharides, MassLive

Ongoing debate over 147-mile CMP line in Maine, The Free Press

Editorial/Opinion

MBTA’s electrification priorities stuck in traffic, CommonWealth Magazine

Maine Voices: CMP plan will allow us to cut emissions while maintaining robust economy, Press Herald

Get the most out of offshore wind revolution, The Day

Delbert Reed: CMP’s proposal really is a good deal for Mainers, Sun Journal

Column: Columbia Gas works to rebuild trust, infrastructure in Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, solar

Energy News for week ending January 11, 2019

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

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

Take these six stories for example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gas investigation on hold amid shutdown, Eagle Tribune

Government shutdown delays Vineyard Wind meetings, South Coast Today

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

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

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Special Report: Gas leaks plague Bay State, Boston Herald

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

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

Lawmaker looks to ban offshore drilling, Gloucester Times

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

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

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

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

Lockout finally over at National Grid, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

 

Merrimack Valley

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

Lawmakers push for safer gas practices, Salem News

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

Gas investigation on hold amid shutdown, Eagle Tribune

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

Lawrence mayor wants Columbia Gas license revoked, Lowell Sun

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mass. Inaugurates Clean Peak Standard, RTO Insider

 

Wind

Wind turbine company picks Boston for US HQ, Boston Globe

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

Government shutdown delays Vineyard Wind meetings, South Coast Today

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

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

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

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

Court: Refund Swanton Wind developers, St. Albans Messenger

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

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

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

 

 

Solar

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

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

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

 

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

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

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

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

Three Big Energy Ideas to Watch in 2019, Microgrid Knowledge

 

EVs

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

Boston transit authority adds to electric bus fleet, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Closed Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Sale Complete, NHPR

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

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

Pilgrim Nuke Plant Back at Full Power, CapeCod.com

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

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

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

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

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invenergy analyst says Burrillville plant would supplement renewables, Providence Journal

Braintree Light hopes to retire generator, Patriot Ledger

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

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

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

 

Editorial/Opinion

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

Electricity aggregation success extends beyond Newton, CommonWealth Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

NE Energy News for week ending January 4, 2019

Monitoring | Sun shines in Holyoke | What if…

Happy Friday everyone. We hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Now let’s get back to it.

This week we start with a gas story. From the Eagle Tribune, “Natural gas companies would be required to have experienced technicians on job sites to monitor gas pressure in the lines during work, under a proposal filed Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, filed the proposal in response to the gas fires and explosions that ripped through the Merrimack Valley four months ago. ‘We need to make sure that monitoring is taking place on every site where it’s warranted,’ Tarr said. ‘It’s a matter of protecting public safety and the reliability of the gas system.’ He said the proposal, if approved, would require the state Department of Public Utilities to come up with regulations to require monitors on job sites.”

Holyoke finds itself at the center of an “activists do good” story in Fast Company. “For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Later this year, as the coal plant’s smokestacks come down, the rest of the site will be developed for new industry. It’s a transition that was driven by the economic collapse of coal and accelerated by local activists who were concerned about the area’s high asthma rates, twice as high as the rest of the state.”

The last story we’re highlighting for this week comes from CommonWealth Magazine and features a “What if” scenario relative to offshore wind. “Last year at this time, New England was gripped by a blast of unusually cold weather that went on for 16 days. The prolonged low temperatures increased demand for natural gas for both heating and electricity, which with the region’s pipeline constraints led to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices and forced power generators to burn more oil in the brief period than they had in the previous two years combined. Now the operator of the region’s power grid, at the request of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, has engaged in a bit of “what if” analysis. What if a wind farm had been operating off the coast last winter? The analysis indicates a working wind farm last winter would have reduced the region’s carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity prices, but not enough to eliminate the impact of the region’s pipeline constraints.”

See below for a lot more articles and opinion pieces. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gov. Charlie Baker signs law requiring greater engineering oversight of natural gas work, MassLive

Tarr proposal would require monitors on gas projects, Eagle Tribune

New England Pipeline Upgrade Opponents Fail At DC Circ., Law360

Fracking’s Secret Problem—Oil Wells Aren’t Producing as Much as Forecast, Wall St. Journal (paywall)

Pipeline Incident Statistics Reveal Significant Dangers, NRDC.org

With Hogan ‘no’ vote, Maryland board rejects Columbia Gas pipeline expansion, Utility Dive

 

Lockout

National Grid workers say holding firm on contract demands ‘the right thing,’ Boston Globe

As National Grid Reaches Tentative Deal, Real Estate Group Warns Backlog Could Be 2 Years, WBUR

Developers cheer eased gas moratorium, impending National Grid lockout end, BBJ (paywall)

National Grid, union reach tentative agreement to end lockout, Boston Globe

 

Merrimack Valley

Lawrence fire chief wants Columbia Gas to pay for extra firefighters in new year, Eagle Tribune

Andover Fire Chief: Call 911 For Gas Leaks, USA Patch

Columbia Gas customers have sticker shock at first bills since explosions in Massachusetts, WGME

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Emissions from New England power plants fall again, MassLive

Clean energy industry increases in Massachusetts, The Reminder

Bill seeks $50 million to address sea level change in Maine, Portland Press Herald

Conn. joins multi-state pact to tax auto emissions, Connecticut Post

Massachusetts activists and legislators call for action in environmental policy, Daily Hampshire Gazette

State starts from zero with clean peak energy standard, WBJournal

Westborough and Northborough Named Green Communities, USA Patch

Conn. Zero-Carbon Awards Include Nuclear, Offshore Wind, Solar, RTO Insider

 

Wind

What if an offshore wind farm was up and running last winter?, CommonWealth Magazine

PPA for 200-MW Offshore Wind Farm Approved by Connecticut Regulators, Renewable Energy World

With Vineyard Wind, the U.S. Finally Goes Big on Offshore Wind Power, IEEE Spectrum

3 firms eye building wind energy turbines off New Jersey, Houston Chronicle

 

Solar

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities releases straw proposal for transition to new solar program, Daily Energy Insider

US on cusp of unprecedented solar boom, pv magazine international

Solar farms and bridgework lead news in 2018, Breeze Publications

Solar farm on town warrant, Cabinet

Brunswick families ask state’s top court to overturn solar panel tax, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vassalboro to convert streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs, Kennebec Journal

New York energy storage sector expected to create 27,400 jobs by 2030, Business Journals

 

EVs

Massachusetts Extends Electric Vehicle Rebate Program, Electriccarsreport.com

 

Nuclear

Connecticut taps nuclear plants to generate clean energy, AP

Trump’s Tech Battle With China Roils Bill Gates Nuclear Venture, Wall St. Journal

Nuke on a truck: How Westinghouse is shrinking the nuclear power plant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nuclear Industry Still A Power Player, But Solar And Offshore Wind Energy Grow, WNPR

Regulators file complaint against maker of nuclear fuel cask at Vermont Yankee, The Post-Star

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Town anticipates $3.5 million power plant payment, Wicked Local Sandwich

NY State Public Service Commission launches pilot program to reduce energy costs, Daily Energy Insider
US energy expenditures lowest in nearly 50 years in 2016, Daily Energy Insider

A power company mishap turns New York’s skyline blue, CNN

Electricity Use Was Up Last Year, But Why?, Bloomberg

Three Big Energy Ideas to Watch in 2019, Microgrid Knowledge

Eversource continues to oppose sale of Connecticut Water to Calif. company, Journal Inquirer

ISO-NE Pulls off Fuel Security, CASPR Measures, RTO Insider

New York Looks to Expand Energy Programs in 2019, RTO Insider

CMP says Jackman outages are higher, but not as bad as residents are saying, Portland Press Herald

 

 

Editorial/Opinion

To combat climate change, Massachusetts needs to break these habits — and soon, Boston Globe

Developing Widett Circle is short-sighted, CommonWealth Magazine

Municipal electricity aggregation really works, CommonWealth Magazine

Unexpected fall of Northern Pass, Concord Monitor via Energy Central

Viewpoint: New energy infrastructure must be a priority, Boston Business Journal

Whitcomb: They’re Leaving but It’s Still Crowded; NEPOOL; End of Zoning? Crowded Block, GoLocalProv

How gas demand from Boston changed a faraway island, Boston Globe

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

Columnist Marty Nathan: ‘Pollute or convert.’ It’s time for green energy., Daily Hampshire Gazette

Editorial: Nuclear regulatory diligence is appreciated, Daily Hampshire Gazette

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Filed under Electric Grid, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, 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

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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

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