Tag Archives: solar

Energy News for week ending February 9, 2018

New push for pipelines | 2 GWs Solar | Pot Efficiency | Shark skin

 

Happy Friday folks.

I know today we’re all anticipating the decision from DOER and company on whether Massachusetts should continue to pursue a contract with Northern Pass given its permit denial by the NH siting board last week. While we wait, here is some other news.

This week saw the announcement about the formation of a new group aimed at supporting increased capacity of natural gas in Massachusetts. According to an article by Jon Chesto in the Boston Globe, “The group is getting funding from Eversource, National Grid, and Enbridge — the three companies behind the Access Northeast pipeline expansion project in New England.” Called the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy, the group, whose members include the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Mass. Business Roundtable, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, The Western Mass Economic Development Council and others, “sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Harriette Chandler, and Governor Charlie Baker, urging them to promote policies to expand the state’s natural gas supplies and buttress the electricity grid.”

There was good news and bad news for solar this week. Mary Serreze over at MassLive reports that “The Baker-Polito administration announced this week that Massachusetts now has more than 2 gigawatts of solar power installed in 78,646 projects across the state — enough to power around 1.4 million homes.” On the downside, Greentech Media reports that “a slowdown in established solar markets all contributed to an overarching 3.8 percent cutback in solar jobs over the past year, according to The Solar Foundation’s latest National Solar Jobs Census. Between 2016 and 2017, the industry lost 9,800 jobs, marking the first drop ever recorded in the National Solar Jobs Census since it started collecting data in 2010.” They further report that Massachusetts lost 24 percent of its solar jobs during that time frame.

It’s certainly interesting to watch new industries unfold in Massachusetts. Take this MassLive article about how the Baker Administration told Massachusetts marijuana regulators that they “should lay out specific energy efficiency and environmental standards as a condition of a pot license.” In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission, Tori Kim, wrote, “’Experience from other states has shown that the energy usage of marijuana establishments, especially large-scale, indoor facilities engaged in cultivation, is extraordinarily high.’ That means the new industry could come with a big carbon footprint, and ‘corresponding negative effects’ on the state’s goals to fight global warming.”

For the energy innovation news of the week, we offer this from Phsy.org, “A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, have shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drone and cars…These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators…You can imagine these vortex generators being used on wind turbines or drones to increase the efficiency of the blades.”

As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News for  events. Have a great weekend.
 

Northern Pass

Healey to Baker: Don’t leave N. Pass decision to utilities, CommonWealth Magazine

State’s 3 utilities will decide fate of N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Flop of Northern Pass project raises a question: Is our energy plan being short-circuited?, Boston Globe

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Plymouth Is Latest To Try Blocking Big Energy Projects With Local Ordinance, NHPR

After Northern Pass decision, Vermont company to help Massachusetts clean energy goals, Concord Monitor

Competing Power Projects Await Mass. Decision On Northern Pass Deal, NHPR

Mass. officials to review decision on Northern Pass bid, The Union Leader

AG Healey Calling For DOER To Be More Transparent About Northern Pass, WBUR

Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection, Utility Dive

Northern Pass opponents celebrate win, WCAX

Utility Markets, Business Leaders Reeling From Surprise Defeat For Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

 Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

$340M gas pipeline planned along Route 101, Seacoast Online

EIA: Low prices, rising production to boost gas generation through 2050, Utility Dive

Opponents, supporters react to Trump’s offshore drilling plan, Cape Cod Times

Massachusetts delegation raises concern over sanctions, Russian gas shipments, Boston Globe

Natural gas bills rising as temperatures drop, Western Mass News

Appeal of compressor station permit will likely go forward this summer, Patriot Ledger

South Windsor Town Council Unanimously Approves A Fracking Waste Ban, Hartford Courant

Invenergy show cause hearing nixed by EFSB, Ricentral.com

Pipeline advocates renew calls for expansion, Barnstable Patriot

FERC’s Powelson Sees No Shift in Natural Gas Pipeline Policy, Natural Gas Intelligence

New England’s lack of gas lines causes billion of gallons of oil to be burned, Kallanish Energy

Connecticut Natural Gas ordered to pay $1.5 million fine for pipeline safety violations, New Haven Register

Expanded access to natural gas goal of new coalition, The Salem News

Mass. business groups push natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

How Ready Is Boston For Future Floods?, WGBH

UMaine Defends Itself After Report Questions Integrity Of Bidding Process, MainePublic.org

Raimondo Says State Is Making Progress on Clean Energy Goal, US News and World Report

Harvard sets goal to go fossil fuel-free by 2050, Penn Energy

NECA Panelists Talk Carbon Pricing, Northern Pass, RTO Insider

Northeast Cap-And-Trade Turns 10: A RGGI Report Card, Law360

New RI Renewable-Energy Goal for This Summer, ecoRI news

Markets Offer Solutions to New England Energy Challenges, Environmental Defense Fund

Rhode Island to issue 400 MW renewable energy solicitation, pv magazine USA

Wastewater plant to turn sludge into renewable energy, The Brown Daily Herald

Some tips to help you navigate the renewable energy jungle, Press Herald

Can A Carbon Price Really Catch On?, New England Public Radio

 

Wind

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines, Phys.org

Falmouth to Hire Consultant for Help in Dismantling Wind Turbine, Cape Cod Today

Rhode Island Prepares for 400-MW Clean Energy Tender; Offshore Wind Welcome, Renewable Energy World

Maine Wind Energy Update, lexocology.com

Maine’s governor wants to gut fast-tracked wind permits, Penn Energy

What Will The Neighbors Say About A Wind Turbine?, publicnow.com

New York’s $6 billion plan for offshore wind shows that oil drilling really is on the way out, Business Insider

Nine states form multi-state alliance to charge for carbon pollution, The Keene Sentinel

One Square Mile: New Bedford’s Gamble On Offshore Wind Energy, Rhode Island Public Radio

Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy, Scientific American

Wind project concerns will all be addressed, Cape Cod Times

 

Solar

Baker: Massachusetts now has 2 gigawatts of solar capacity, MassLive

Agawam City Council considers creating special permits for potential solar farm owners, The Reminder

National energy company to build arrays on old Somerset landfill, Herald News

Massachusetts lost more than 20% of its solar jobs last year, Boston Globe

The US Solar Industry Records First Year of Job Losses, Greentech Media

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels, Hartford Courant

Solar power increases 1000% in New York in six years because of pro-renewables government, Solar Power World

Solar charge angers Chelmsford legislative reps, Wicked Local Chelmsford

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Warning of high power costs of marijuana, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration recommends energy standards, MassLive.com

Hopes high for Nantucket Ice Bear, Cape Cod Times

Energy efficiency can clean the air we breathe (third part of video series), ACEEE

Compound Could Transform Energy Storage for Large Grids, Renewable Energy World

New York could be headed for the country’s most ambitious energy storage goal, Utility Dive

National Grid Announces 2018 Energy Efficiency Community Initiative Participants, GlobeNewswire (press release)

Weatherize Rockland program earns high praise from state’s Efficiency Maine, PenBayPilot.com

Report: More efficiency investment could save Dominion Virginia customers $1.7B, Utility Dive

Bristol-area residents share ideas about school energy efficiency, Addison County Independent

 

Nuclear

NextEra Sues NEI, Citing Efforts to ‘Distort Electric Energy Markets’, Greentech Media

Reprieved New York plant drives local investment, World Nuclear News

SMRs a ‘game-changer’ for troubled US nuke industry, DOE tells Congress, Utility Dive

Still a work in progress, nuclear subsidy bill held in committee, NJSpotlight.com

Nuclear future on a smaller scale, Stars and Stripes

Millstone critical for Connecticut, say regulators, World Nuclear News

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

DEEP approves Millstone electric bidding, CT Post

Sanders, Welch reintroduce Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act, Vermont Biz

Exelon Closing Oyster Creek Nuke Plant Ahead of Schedule, The SandPaper

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO New England secures plenty of power capacity for the region’s 2021-2022 electricity needs, MassLive.com

Energy tax credits in final budget deal, Utility Dive

Eversource cleanup on New Bedford waterfront to start next week, South Coast Today

MassDPU orders electric, gas, and water companies to cut rates to reflect federal tax windfall, MassLive

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Court orders EPA to act on Connecticut air pollution petition, The Hill

Residents urge regulators to reject Eversource fee hike, theday.com

Eversource rate hike limited by corporate tax changes, wwlp.com

ISO-NE players split over 2-part capacity auction proposal, Utility Dive

Utilities criticized for response to windstorm that caused about 500000 outages, Press Herald

As Utilities Move To Pass Tax Savings To Customers, Credit Concerns Arise, Wall Street Journal

 

Editorial/Opinion

Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar, New York Times

New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill | Mulshine, NJ.com

Our view: Beverly should rethink latest ‘investment’ in solar field, Salem News

Why is LNG coming 4500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer?, American Enterprise Institute

Eldridge, Aylward, Gough, and Bill Schineller: Eversource’s outdated energy plan, MetroWest Daily News

Jenny Tesar: Fracking wastes — Liquid or solid, you don’t want them, Danbury News Times

Howard Fairman: Vermont, New England and Canadian hydropower, vtdigger.org

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Filed under hydro, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar

Energy News for week ending January 12, 2018

5 years | Drill? Not here! | Solar ruling challenged | Record cold revives debate

Good Friday afternoon.

First, LinkedIn reminded us this week that we are celebrating 5 years of delivering the energy news from New England and the Northeast into your email boxes. We long-time “energy geeks” here at McMahon Communications do this as a labor of love to share the news with those of you who also care about energy and the environment. We thank you for reading and appreciate the opportunity to be with you each week.

Now to the news. President Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow offshore drilling isn’t meeting with much acceptance from regional officials. The Newburyport Daily News (via the State House News Service) reminds us that months ago MA Governor Baker expressed no interest in drilling happening in the North Atlantic. They report, “In a June 21 letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pertaining to the federal government’s review of protected marine monument areas, Baker wrote that as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management develops its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program ‘the Commonwealth does not support the inclusion of areas of the North Atlantic adjacent to or affecting Massachusetts. For more than three decades, the exploration or leasing for oil and gas in the North Atlantic has not been justified, and we believe this holds true today more than ever.’”

The Washington Examiner reports “Both of Maine’s senators are warning that the Trump administration’s plan to open offshore drilling along the coast of their state threatens the state’s huge lobster industry.” And NH1 reports NH Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is among those opposing the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

As the article notes, “Well that didn’t take long.” Today PV Magazine reports, “With the ink barely dry on the decision by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to allow utility Eversource to impose demand charges on its net metered solar customers, solar advocate organization Vote Solar said it will appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court as soon as early February, with the support of Earthjustice.”

Last for this week is a bevy of news reports and opinion pieces about whether New England needs more gas pipelines. Here’s a bit for the in favor crowd from a Boston Globe editorial, “For a region that prides itself as a leader against climate change, the numbers were sobering: As recently as Monday, 19 percent of New England’s energy supply came from oil, and 7 percent from coal, according to the grid operator. Rates had climbed even higher on the worst days of the recent cold spell, when power plants in New England burned tons of the dirtiest fuels available. On some days, oil accounted for more than 30 percent of the region’s energy mix.

It’s 2018. Coal and oil shouldn’t play any role generating New England’s electricity, something that almost all policy makers in liberal-minded Massachusetts claim to believe.” The editorial board says two things created the problem, first, “efforts by some environmental activists to block natural gas infrastructure, mainly pipelines” and “foot-dragging on the development of new renewable energy sources.” See the Opinion section below for many other thoughtful pieces, both pro and con.

That’s it for this week. As always, be sure to check out Northeast Energy News  for events. Have a great weekend and Go Pats!

 

Natural Gas/Pipeline/Oil/Drilling

Does (sic) We Need More Natural Gas Pipelines?, WBUR

The Agency That Approves Pipelines Is About To Get A Trump-Era Overhaul, HuffPost

A look at Liberty Utilities proposed underground gas pipeline, Manchester Ink Link

FERC will not overrule New York’s denial for Constitution Pipeline permit, Utility Dive

US may get first LNG import from Russia despite sanctions: report, Reuters

Record cold result in record gas usage for NY utility, Penn Energy

Maine senators: Trump’s drilling plan threatens lobsters, Washington Examiner

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies, The Guardian

Collins, King on Drilling Off Maine’s Coast, Freepress Online

Markey: Draft plan will spur ‘huge fight’ over offshore energy drilling, Berkshire Eagle

Baker reiterates opposition to drilling off Mass. Coast, Newburyport Daily News

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI, etc.

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets, Utility Dive

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations, CommonWealth Magazine

Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps, Renewable Energy World

House rejects bill to rebate all RGGI funds to ratepayers, Concord Monitor

With proposal to join RGGI, Virginia would be first Southern state to cap carbon, Utility Dive

NH House votes to boost RGGI fund for residential programs, New Hampshire Business Review

What the new tax law means for renewables, GreenBiz

Engineers unveil improved algae-powered fuel cell, UPI.com

NYC Sues Five Oil Majors For Contributing To Climate Change, OilPrice.com

State of Energy: Going green to fill the Indian Point energy gap, lohud.com

 

Wind

Falmouth wind turbine could become cell tower, Cape Cod Times

Concerns surface with plan to connect offshore wind farm to Cape electric grid, Cape Cod Times

Regulators delay power contract essential to UMaine floating wind farm, Press Herald

After an Uncertain Start, US Offshore Wind Is Powering Up, Yale Environment 360

Bids submitted in Massachusetts as Cuomo outlines plan for 800 MW in New York, Offshore Wind Journal

Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too., InsideClimate News

Study looks at jobs and supply chain growth from floating offshore wind, Offshore Wind Journal

 

Solar

Vote Solar to challenge Massachusetts’ demand charge ruling in court, PV Magazine

Solar industry riled by Mass. DPU approval of new infrastructure fee, Worcester Telegram

Non-Residential Solar Is Booming in Massachusetts. How Will New Incentives Impact Growth?, Greentech Media

Massachusetts becomes first state commission to approve mandatory demand charges for residential customers, Solar Power World

Mass DPU OKs new ‘demand charge’ on residential solar customers in Eversource territory, MassLive.com

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the US, Greentech Media

Solar energy to help provide power to business park (Maine), Penn Energy

Solar developer questions town energy plan, Bennington Banner

Greater Lawrence Technical School contributes to global sustainable solar project, Andover Townsman

Eversource bid to cut net metering rates is denied, Wicked Local Chatham

New Jersey Legislature advances bill to increase state’s solar target, Daily Energy Insider

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer Trump White House Away From Solar Tariffs, Greentech Media

 

Storage/Energy Efficiency/Microgrid

The Best News Yet for Energy Storage in New York, Greentech Media

2017 Milestones and 2018 Predictions for the Energy Storage Market, Energy Manager Today

State money helps Massachusetts communities save the environment, Patriot Ledger

The Energy 202: This popular program helps keep homes warm in winter. Trump proposed eliminating it, Washington Post

Water-Based Air Conditioning Slashes Energy Usage & Uses No Refrigerants, CleanTechnica

Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency, Treehugger

Eight Projects Proposed in Round 4 of the Connecticut Microgrid Grant Program, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Nuclear

MIT: Cheap gas, not renewables, caused nuclear woes, Utility Dive

Small nukes pass key step as regulators approve NuScale safety system, Utility Dive

Pilgrim nuclear plant back online after storm shutdown, The Patriot Ledger

War of words over Millstone escalates as final regulatory decision nears, New Haven Register

New Funding Proposal Prompts Settlement Talks In Vermont Yankee Sale Case, Vermont Public Radio

Opponents To New State Rules Say Frigid Weather, Lower Taxes Make Millstone Profitable, Hartford Courant

How tidal energy could help Japan with its nuclear power problem, Phys.Org

 

Tax Bill

Connecticut utility passes entirety of tax break to customers, CT Post

Connecticut weighs shaving utility rates after federal tax cuts, Thehour.com

Customers Get A Break As Utilities’ Tax Bill Drops, Hartford Courant

Corporate Tax Cuts Could Mean ‘Quite Substantial’ Savings In New Englanders’ Electricity Bills, Vermont Public Radio

National Grid Reduces Rate Hike Request, Cites Tax Law, WBUR

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Procurement not following regular playbook, CommonWealth Magazine

What’s happening with the Northern Pass project? WMUR (video)

FERC rejects ‘multi-billion-dollar bailout’ of coal and nuclear plants, MassLive

12 Charts That Shook the Earth in 2017, Greentech Media

Experts view Trump’s intervention as ‘worrisome’ even after coal, nuclear subsidy plan fails, ThinkProgress

West Springfield’s A&D hydropower facility receives state funding, MassLive.com

Healey-led coalition asks for federal utility rate review, The Recorder

Eversource Power Plant Sale Completed, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass receives OK to bury power lines in White Mountain National Forest HydroWorld

Supreme Court sides with Eversource in Merrimack Station valuation case, Concord Monitor

Bomb Cyclone Ravages US Coast: 3 Utilities in Focus, Nasdaq

Clients burn through fuel assistance in bitter cold, Gloucester Daily Times

Raimondo: PUC reviewing National Grid rates, Turn to 10

 

Editorial/Opinion

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change, Grist

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines, CommonWealth Magazine

More pipelines aren’t the answer, CommonWealth Magazine

More natural gas not answer to climate change, CommonWealth Magazine

Viewpoint: Competitive electricity markets have transformed New England’s power grid, Boston Business Journal

Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong, Boston Globe

Surprise: Nuclear Power Maximizes Environmental Benefits Of Electric Vehicles, Forbes.com

Letters: Why we have the nation’s highest natural gas prices, Worcester Telegram

Our View: Maine should stay the course on ocean wind power, Press Herald

Letter: Preserving ridgelines while supporting wind power?, Brattleboro Reformer

To the Editor: Make a new energy vision your 2018 resolution, Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar

Energy News for week ending September 29, 2017

Cost Recovery for baseload | Brain Research for Storage |Power from Evaporation

Happy Friday afternoon everyone.

The big news this week actually broke today with the announcement, carried by Utility Dive, that the “DOE filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the Federal Power Act to enhance grid resilience, directing FERC to ‘accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency.’ The rule would provide for ‘recovery of costs of fuel-secure generation units frequently relied upon to make our grid reliable and resilient.’” If passed, it could be good news for coal and nuclear plants that keep fuel on site. As an aside, I got it from a very good source today that FERC is interested in receiving comments – so send them in.

Sticking with national news, we have an interesting story from Microgrid Knowledge about how some “Duke University brain science researchers are hoping to use electronics they developed for non-invasive brain stimulation to revolutionize energy storage technology, making batteries safer, more efficient and less expensive.”

Last tidbit for this week comes from Science Daily which reports that “In the first evaluation of evaporation as a renewable energy source, researchers at Columbia University find that U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate 325 gigawatts of power, nearly 70 percent of what the United States currently produces.” They add, “Though still limited to experiments in the lab, evaporation-harvested power could in principle be made on demand, day or night, overcoming the intermittency problems plaguing solar and wind energy.” Cool stuff.

Be sure to check out the events page at New England Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

As Perry slams state pipeline decisions, lawyers say DOE has little authority to intervene, Utility Dive

EIA Says US Electric Rates Up This Year on Higher NatGas Prices, Natural Gas Intelligence

US lawmakers ask Facebook, Twitter for information on anti-fracking ads, Reuters

118 Groups Urge Trump to Ban Fracking on Public Lands, Center for Biological Diversity

Otis State Forest pipeline protesters make a plea for the planet during court hearings, Berkshire Eagle

Rick Perry links pipelines, natural security, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy

This Bipartisan Senate Bill Could Enable US Offshore Wind to Take Off, Greentech Media

Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear – the energy revolution is happening, The Guardian

Wind Energy Could Power 30% Of Europe’s Needs By 2030, Reports WindEurope, CleanTechnica

New Milford residents oppose solar project for Candlewood Mountain, Danbury News Times

US Climate Change Policy: Made in California, New York Times

New Jersey to examine solar incentives, cost differentials, Utility Dive

The most effective clean energy policy gets the least love, Vox.com

Savoy voters reject bylaw allowing taller wind turbines, Berkshire Eagle

Solar to power Middle East oil, natural gas exports, Platts

Stronger RGGI Cuts Projected to Be Achieved at Low Cost, Natural Resources Defense Council

RGGI issues first ever offsets as states narrow opportunities, Carbon Pulse

State environmental groups rip GOP cuts as short-sighted, New Haven Register

NextEra: Four former Ranger solar projects will be operating by end of 2019, Mainebiz

Let the Sun Shine In: Solar Prices Decreasing, ecoRI news

Ruling Finds Solar Panels From China Hurt US Makers, Maine Public

Scituate Wind turbine noise still a problem for some, Wicked Local Scituate

Renewable developers respond in droves to New York solicitation, Utility Dive

Large solar array in works for old gravel pit in Williamsburg, Going Green

Wind and water: Powering our past, and future, Seacoast Online

Energy Efficiency

Massachusetts stays atop NGO’s state energy efficiency rankings, Utility Dive

State money to help Central Mass. communities switch to energy-saving LED streetlights, Worcester Telegram

Meriden councilors favor program with Eversource to upgrade lights in city buildings, Meriden Record-Journal

How your air conditioner plays catch-up to regulations, Axios.com

Weymouth to convert 3,800 street lights to LED, Patriot Ledger

Nuclear

Entire US Nuclear Power Fleet Could Disappear in 38 Years: S&P, Bloomberg

Energy Company Finances At Center Of Battle Over Millstone, Hartford Courant

Plans to clean up Vt. Yankee met with criticism from environmental groups, The Recorder

Port council votes to send letter to NRC, The Daily News of Newburyport

NorthStar leader, engineering consultant talk future of Vt. Yankee, Going Green

Energy Storage

New York City Aims To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Using Energy Storage, Forbes.com

Years In, NY REV Lacks Major Storage Action. That May Have to Change Soon, Greentech Media

Brain Research Tools Could Help Revolutionize Energy Storage Technology, Microgrid Knowledge

Climate Change

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year, National Geographic

States Can Lead the Way on Climate Change, Scientific American

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

DOE proposes cost recovery for baseload generators in new FERC rule, Utility Dive

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation, Utility Dive

SEC Member: Northern Pass Could Cost Taxpayers More For Public Construction Projects, indepthnh.org

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Tisbury looks to join Brewster in Eversource spraying battle, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Texas firm sells Milford power plant in $119M sale, Worcester Business Journal

Sudbury property values (partially) fair play in Eversource case, MetroWest Daily News

Cushing bill looks to block utility monopolies, Foster’s Daily Democrat

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

National Grid in settlement talks with NY over rates, Albany Times Union

Great Barrington pursues ‘low cost and green’ collective power purchase plan, Berkshire Eagle

Central Maine Power seeks permit to transmit cheap hydro from Canada, Utility Dive

Energy harvested from evaporation could power much of US, Science Daily

NiSource Again Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Business West

Can Distributed Energy Resources Get Paid to Serve as ‘Virtual Transmission Lines’?, Greentech Media

Sudbury sues MBTA over Eversource lease, MetroWest Daily News

Editorial/Opinion

Letter: Not clean, not green, Concord Monitor

Approve bill to help Millstone secure its future, theday.com

Nuclear Power Is ‘On Its Back,’ Former CIA Director Says, Forbes

Lisa Ostrove: Why Candlewood Solar is a bad deal for our town, Danbury News Times

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending September 22, 2017

FERC Priorities | Seaweed Biofuel | Green Hospitals

Happy Friday to All,

Commonwealth Magazine reports on a recent FERC ruling that signals the agency is “willing to take a more activist role in state pipeline battles.” In other news from our nation’s capital, the Department of Energy says US offshore resources could support enough seaweed production to supply up to 10% of the current demand for transportation fuel and they have awarded $22 million in grants to accelerate the development of seaweed as a next-generation biofuel. And for some good green news, the Boston Business Journal has a story on how Boston hospitals have made great progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions–a 9 percent reduction since 2011.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy your weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Could feds pave way for new Mass. gas project?, CommonWealth Magazine

Gas leaks delay tree planting, Salem News

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Gas pipeline protesters turn up heat on FERC, Utility Dive

‘Lost gas’: Pipelines known to leak methane, Berkshire Eagle

Senate Bill Would Streamline FERC NatGas Pipeline Permitting, Natural Gas Intelligence
Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
, OilPrice.com

Renewable Energy

Trump Admin. Pitches Seaweed For Biofuel-Powered Car Of The Future, CleanTechnica

California’s Plan for 100% Renewables Falls Flat in the 11th Hour, Greentech Media

Why Solar Advocates Are Crying Foul Over New York’s Latest REV Order, Greentech Media

After slide, prices tick up in latest RGGI auction, Hartford Business

Two RGGI offset protocols to bite the dust as states publish more details on proposed market changes, Carbon Pulse

Bill Would Commit Massachusetts To 100 Percent Renewable Energy, WGBH

Fishing industry takes more action against New York offshore wind lease, National Wind Watch

Deepwater Wind Installs Wildlife Tracking Station on Offshore Block Island Wind, Power Engineering

Boxford’s Municipal Solar Power Generation Facility, Valley Patriot

Oakham Farm Inspires Central Massachusetts’ 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal, GovTech.com

Connecticut unions, environmentalists want more wind power, New Haven Register

Activists urge legislators to support ‘Green Bank,’ Greenfield Recorder

Fall River solar farm near North Watuppa Pond moving forward, Herald News

Canada has too much clean electricity. Anybody want it?, E&E News

States pick up the clean energy torch, The Boston Globe

Energy Efficiency

Six climate change solutions we can all agree on, Phys.Org

Blockchain: Coming to a Smart Building Near You?, Greentech Media

Derby Residents Can Upgrade To New LED Bulbs, Patch.com

National Grid gives King Brothers Dairy $120000 for energy-efficient gear, The Daily Gazette

Nuclear

Seabrook nuclear plant watchdog’s request rejected, Portsmouth Herald

Vernon seeks ‘unrestricted’ future for Vermont Yankee site, VT Digger

Tribes seek voice in nuclear plant cleanup, land restoration, Penn Energy

Dominion’s lips remain sealed on Millstone financials, Hartford Business

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Why utilities don’t move power lines out of hurricanes’ way, Vox.com

As Brayton Point taxes wither, residents say they’d be willing to pay more for some services, Herald News

Medway: Work begins on Exelon expansion, MetroWest Daily News

Harvard University: A Valedictorian of Microgrids and Distributed Energy, Microgrid Knowledge

Boston area hospitals cut greenhouse gases by 9% since 2011, BBJ

Upton selectmen seek cheaper energy, Wicked Local Upton

Changing Massachusetts time zone could improve health, boost retail sales, save energy, commission finds, MassLive

A ‘Tax’ Or ‘The Cost Of Pollution’? Mass. Debates Surcharge On Fossil Fuels, WBUR

Heating Prices Rise in Maine as Fall Weather Nears, US News and World Report

State committee says Northern Pass plans have ‘potential inaccuracies’, The Union Leader

Budget Crisis Leads to Proposed Electric Bill Changes, NBC CT

Worcester crew part of National Grid aid efforts in Florida, Worcester Telegram

Siting Board Denies Latest Appeal to Halt Power Plant, ecoRI news

ISO-NE Forecast Sees Flat Loads, More Solar, No Congestion, RTO Insider

Raimondo establishes a Chief Resiliency Officer to combat climate change effects, RI Future

Eversource says fewer people have lost power this year, cites system improvements, Concord Monitor

Editorial/Opinion

States pick up the clean energy torch, Boston Globe

Milton Eaton: Defending Vermont Yankee decommissioning, VT Digger

Hydrogen fueling stations central to CCAT-hosted events, Hartford Courant

Carbon fee is our climate ‘moon shot,’ and it’s well within reach, The Boston Globe

Our View: Global warming needs political climate change, Press Herald

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending September 15, 2017

What’s old is new | Millstone deal struck | It’s electric!

Happy Friday afternoon.

Some cool news this week from the folks at MIT who looked back in time – over 3 millennia – to find a potential solution to energy storage challenges. According to the article on Curbed.com, MIT researchers have reinvented firebricks, a Bronze-Age technology created by the Hittites in the 17th century BC. Firebricks were designed to retain heat for long periods of time. The MIT team’s Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage (FIRES) system stores thermal energy (heat) in firebricks and later converts the energy back into electricity at about 1/40th the price of putting it into batteries. As the article notes, it could be a game changer for renewables.

According to the CT Mirror, the Connecticut General Assembly and the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have agreed in principle on bipartisan legislation authorizing state energy officials to take measures to stabilize the profitability of New England’s largest power plant, the Millstone nuclear station in Waterford. The Hartford Courant reported Friday afternoon that the Senate approved the measure which now awaits House action. The new proposal does not include a fee paid by Millstone’s parent company Dominion Energy.

In honor of the upcoming AltWheels event we have section on EV news. According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, electric vehicle ownership is rising in Massachusetts. They cite data from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection that shows the number of electric vehicles in the state has grown from 782 as of July 31, 2013, to 3,770 as of March 31, 2017. The number of plug-in hybrids, which can also utilize gasoline, has increased from 1,034 to 5,701 during that time frame. There is still a long way to go, but it’s a huge leap in numbers from the days yours truly spent promoting DOER’s EV program in the mid-late 90s.

On the same topic, The Huffington Post asks, Should Utilities Build Charging Stations For Electric Cars? Some arguments for and against are that, “Building more charging stations could help alleviate ‘range anxiety,’ the fear of running out of charge with no station in sight, and therefore stimulate sales of the clean-air-friendly cars. But in some states, officials say that letting the utility industry build more stations would force all electricity consumers to pay for a service that only a few, relatively affluent, people will use.” Hmmm. The article does contain a lot more detail on the pros and cons. It’s worth a read.

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Feds overrule New York’s natural gas pipeline permit denial, Fox Business

10 arrested in pipeline protest at Tennessee Gas Co. headquarters in Sandisfield, Berkshire Eagle

Local officials seeking to stop gas leaks, MetroWest Daily News

Reliance on natural gas expected to grow, CommonWealth Magazine

Tennessee Gas Pipeline opponents plan flotilla on Lower Spectacle Pond, Berkshire Eagle

Pipeline maintenance cuts path through quiet neighborhood in Lynnfield, ItemLive

Climate Change

Climate change did not “cause” Harvey or Irma, but it’s a huge part of the story, Vox.com

Renewables

MIT turns to millennia-old tech for renewable energy storage, Curbed.com

Agency: Turbines could spin during bird migrations, Cape Cod Times

Family donates solar power systems to 8 nonprofits, Going Green

Cost of U.S. Solar Drops 75 percent in Six Years, Ahead of Federal Goal, YaleEnvironment360

CT greenlights major renewable projects, Hartford Business Journal

Massachusetts business coalition seeks steeper renewable energy standard, Electric Light and Power

The New 1,600 Megawatt Solar Program For Massachusetts Really Is SMART, Clean Technica

Eversource Building Solar Power Sites In Western Mass., WAMC

Solar project planned for Fitchburg site with history of energy production, Worcester Telegram

Cohasset’s new solar array officially open, Patriot Ledger

Farms that grow crops and solar power together, Greenfield Recorder

Maine cities, towns hope to pump up demand for air-sourced heat, The Forecaster

Stars Aligning for Clean Energy in the State…and NH Sustainable Energy Association is Helping Make it Happen, Keene Sentinel

Energy Efficiency

Mortgage Loans Still a Missing Link to Energy Efficiency Growth, Energy Collective

The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here, New York Times

Nuclear

Senate Approves Millstone Aid, Bill Awaits House Action, Hartford Courant

Deal struck on stabilizing profits of Millstone nuclear station, CT Mirror

Pilgrim addresses deteriorating protective panels, Energy Central

Activist posts billboard warning about Seabrook nuclear plant, Ipswich Chronicle

Planners look to future of VY site, Brattleboro Reformer

EVs

Electric vehicle ownership rising in the state, MetroWest Daily News

Should Utilities Build Charging Stations For Electric Cars?, Huffington Post

R.I., 6 other states face decision on plug-in cars, Providence Journal

Electric car dream collides with reality on profits, Boston Business Journal (subscriber article)

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

ISO-NE Visits Vermont to Discuss Tx Planning, RTO Insider

Power Plant Lawsuit Worries Town Of Sandwich, The Sandwich Enterprise

CMP, Gas Companies & Solar Proponents Battle Over Energy Policy, The Free Press

Utilities see benefits in energy storage, even without mandates, Utility Dive

No Fish Story. Tiny Island Lands Big Catch with Microgrid, Microgrid Knowledge

Northern Pass Spokesman Says ‘End in Sight,’ As SEC Pushes Back Decision, NHPR

U.S. Court Allows Suit Alleging ExxonMobil’s Everett Tank Farm Is A Hazard To Proceed, WGBH

CMP & Others Bidding for New Transmission Lines Across Maine, The Free Press

As Brayton Point hits the market, golf course, industrial park among pitches, Herald News

Pass rep questioned on whether project will affect scenic resources, Union Leader

Wellesley no longer at odds over Clean Energy Standard regulations, Wicked Local Wellesley

Baker Stepping Up Emissions Strategy With Focus On Transportation, Banker & Tradesman (subscriber article)

Opinion

New England’s power grid operator is biased, CommonWealth Magazine

Energy efficiency benefits NH businesses, NHBR

Kathy Sullivan: Northern Pass is not ready for prime time, Union Leader

Eversource’s solar proposal needs to go, CommonWealth Magazine

A Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Moment for Natural Gas in NH, IndepthNH

Karen Glitman: Efficiency Vermont’s listening tour, VT Digger

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Filed under Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, Vermont Yankee Closing

Energy News for week ending September 1, 2017

Gas Pump Pain | Giant Batteries | Northern Pass Delay

Hopefully many of you are headed out of the door to start your long weekend so we’ll keep the news highlights short.  Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey–it has been hard to wrap our heads around the scale of devastation and destruction. Damage to energy supplies in Texas combined with the normal increase in Labor Day holiday travel is already leading to higher gas prices throughout New England.  In better news, giant batteries are starting to make a positive mark on the electric grid reports WNPR. And depending upon which side of the Northern Pass issue you are on, you may or may not be happy to learn NH State regulators announced they will delay their final decision on the Northern Pass by another six months to March 30, 2018.  We hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Hurricane Harvey: New England Impact

Hurricane fuels gas-price hike as reserves tapped, Lowell Sun

Energy Dept. taps into emergency oil reserves after Harvey, The Hill

Colonial Pipeline to shut US Northeast fuel lines due to Harvey, Reuters

Harvey’s impact in Southern New England might be at the pump, Turn to 10

EPA waives emission rules in 38 states amid fears of fuel shortages, Washington Examiner

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Discharge water from Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline testing worries environmentalists, Berkshire Eagle

State drops charges against 4 pipeline protesters arrested for blocking access to Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

Putin-linked steel company supplies pipes for Kinder Morgan’s expansion project in Otis State Forest, Berkshire Eagle

FERC Denies Request To Halt Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion, Again, WAMC

Smell Natural Gas Outside? Report It, But Don’t Always Expect A Fix, Cape Cod Chronicle

Gas Co. Challenges NY Pipeline Permit Denial At 2nd Circ., Law360

Weymouth: Sen. Warren Reaffirms Opposition to Compressor Station, 95.9 WATD-FM

Natural Gas Upgrade: Eversource Begins $2.2M Project In East Norwalk, Norwalk Daily Voice

Renewable Energy

Gigantic Batteries Help Grow Renewable Energy In Maine, New England, WNPR News

RI Wastewater Treatment Authority To Reach 100% Renewable Energy By 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio

Solar power microgrid goes online in Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, Electric Light & Power

History-rich Maine island goes green, WLBZ-TV

Chemetal taps into solar with 560-panel roof array, GazetteNET

Possible tariff puts NH solar firms on edge, New Hampshire Business Review

From Fenway Park to Wembley, these stadiums are going big on renewable energy, CNBC

No anti-competitive behavior in RGGI secondary market, report finds, Utility Dive

Sununu Satisfied With Latest RGGI Proposal, New Hampshire Public Radio

Policymaker support key to offshore wind prospects in US, Utility Dive

World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Maker Waves Goodbye to Oil Industry, Bloomberg

Narragansett Bay Commission Adding Solar, Will Be Nearly 100% Renewable, GoLocalProv

Energy Efficiency

How Does the United States Rate in Energy Efficiency?, Energy Collective

Making data centers more energy efficient, MIT News

Heating Camden’s new middle school from town’s sewer plant: What’s the cost and can it be done?, PenBayPilot.com

500 cities have committed to going big on clean energy this year – now what?, Into the Wind

Nuclear

If nuclear is not in the future US energy mix, what will replace it?, Utility Dive

Newburyport City Council to review letter to NRC calling for hearing, The Daily News of Newburyport

Opponents launch petition against Millstone “deal”; Dominion says group “misleads” consumers, theday.com

Environmental Group Seeks Added Financial Protections In Vermont Yankee Sale, Vermont Public Radio

Vermont Yankee companies expand request to seal documents, vtdigger.org

No new pollution at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource dealt 6-month setback for Northern Pass transmission line, MassLive.com

State committee delays Northern Pass decision until 2018, The Union Leader

Northern Pass dealt regulatory blow, Commonwealth Magazine

Eversource Asks PUC To Conceal Fiscal Info On Berlin Biomass Plant, Caledonian Record

Utilities Grapple with Rooftop Solar and the New Energy Landscape, Yale Environment 360

Executive Councilor: Sununu Needs To Do More Outreach On Northern Pass, New Hampshire Public Radio

National Grid, Hydro-Quebec snipe over hydro power, Commonwealth Magazine

RI approves rate hike for National Grid, The Sun Chronicle

Could Success Spoil ISO-NE?, POWER magazine

Editorial/Opinion

States Dare to Think Big on Climate Change, New York Times

Misinformation being spread about Northern Pass project, Foster’s Daily Democrat

My Turn: Michael F. Sabitoni: Natural gas plant vital for RI, The Providence Journal

Foss: Proposed energy rate increase is too much, The Daily Gazette

My Turn: Hydro-Quebec cannot rewrite history, Concord Monitor

Letter: Colin Nagle: National Grid ought to modernize energy infrastructure, The Providence Journal

Renewing RGGI: Do nothing, but more of it, The Union Leader

 

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, Renewables, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending July 21, 2017

TGIF to all!  A few news items of note…

The Patriot Ledger reports Gov. Charlie Baker has broken his long silence on the controversial natural-gas compressor station Monday, ordering state agencies to review the Fore River project’s potential impact. Spectra Energy wants to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor on the river bank.

Construction has started on what is expected to be Maine’s largest municipally owned solar array. The one-megawatt solar array will be composed of 2,944 solar panels. Officials expect the array to generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year according to U.S. News & World Report.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee recently voted to slash Energy Star funding in the fiscal year 2018 budget — an improvement over previous calls to cut the program entirely, but advocates say the impact could still be “crippling.”

Natural Gas

Baker’s review of Weymouth compressor station applauded, Patriot Ledger

Stepping up the pressure, Boston Globe

State to look into health, safety concerns around Weymouth compressor station, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

Gov. Baker orders state to investigate compressor station issues, Greenfield Recorder

Catholic nuns in Pa. build a chapel to block the path of a gas pipeline planned for their property, Washington Post

Unitil to expand natural gas line through downtown, Fosters.com

Pipeline Construction, And Protests, Continue In Sandisfield, NEPR

Finding leaks while they’re easy to fix, MIT News

Renewables

South Portland’s Major Solar Array Project Begins, U.S. News & World Report

New Hampshire law benefits biomass power production, Biomass Magazine

Record Demand Puts Popular N.H. Renewable Energy Rebate Program On Hold, NHPR

Federal SunShot program funds $5.5M in Mass. solar projects, (subscriber content) Boston Business Journal

California Leads Off: Now RGGI Must Grab the Climate Baton, Natural Resources Defense Council

Eversource rate case poses woes for solar projects, Patriot Ledger

Solar debate heats up again, Boston Globe

Falmouth ruling bolsters cause for neighbors of Plymouth turbines, Cape Cod Times

In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth – Episode 41 of Local Energy Rules Podcast, Renewable Energy News

Brookline launches renewable energy program with opt-out system, Wicked Local Brookline

Bay State Wind Receives First Offshore Wind Site Assessment Plan Approval in the United States, (Press Release) Business Wire

Maine large-scale manufacturers eligible for energy rebates, Mainebiz

Energy Efficiency

House Appropriations Committee votes to cut Energy Star funding 40%, Utility Dive

Green Energy Committee: Lincoln residents complete 162 home energy assessments, Wicked Local Lincoln

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Illuminate Six Ion Bank Branches, Patch.com

Nuclear

EXCLUSIVE: Gov’t Red Tape Costs Every Nuclear Plant $63 Million Annually, Daily Caller

Washington, DC firm signed to dismantle Vermont Yankee reactor, Commons

US Finds ‘Apparent Violations’ of Security at Millstone, Hartford Courant

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Delays Push Burrillville Power Plant Toward Irrelevance, ecoRI news

More than 100 state legislators join opposition against Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

New Energy Alert Can Do More Than Save You Money, ecoRI news

Vermont regulators to examine grid modernization, Utility Dive

Options for Energy Storage that Aren’t Batteries, WCAI

Electric meter mistake costs Monson family big bucks, Western Mass News

Indigenous Community Airs Long-Standing Grievances at Northern Pass Hearing, NHPR

Footprint plant work extension to go forward, The Salem News

In Webster, Residents Weigh In On New Proposed Power Line, New Hampshire Public Radio

Quakers go on 60-mile pilgrimage from Portsmouth to Bow in protest of coal-fired plants, The Union Leader

Grid threats require ‘imagining the unimaginable’ — report, E&E News

Editorial/Opinion

Pilgrim closure requires oversight, not panic, Cape Cod Times

A lousy electric bill: Concord not on ratepayers’ side, The Union Leader

CMP chief: Lawmakers should sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of solar bill, Press Herald

Editorial: Bridging the gap of energy eras, Concord Monitor

Letter: Let Pessamit Innu speak on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Letter: Fight the power, Concord Monitor

Events

2017 Fuels Conference, Northeast Energy and Commerce Association, Marlborough, MA, September 27, 2017

Microgrid 2017 Conference, IDEA, MRC and Microgrid Knowledge, Boston, MA, November 6-8, 2017

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Filed under Electric Grid, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, nuclear, Renewables, solar, Wind Power