Tag Archives: TCI

Energy News for week ending February 14, 2020

Record Low Price | More Delays | Clear Solar

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Let’s start off with some news to love. From Bloomberg Green, “Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and EDP Renovaveis SA agreed to sell power from a wind farm they’re building in the Atlantic Ocean for a record-low price. The 804-megawatt Mayflower wind farm, located south of Martha’s Vineyard, will supply electricity to utilities in Massachusetts for $58 a megawatt-hour over the life of the contract. That’s less than a previous deal for $65 agreed to with the similarly located 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, state energy officials said on a conference call Tuesday. ‘The Commonwealth has now solicited two cost-effective projects at prices far below what industry experts had projected a few years ago,’ Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of energy and environmental affairs for Massachusetts, said on the call. Wholesale electricity prices averaged $40.24 a megawatt-hour in day-ahead trading in the New England grid over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Offshore wind costs are higher, but the renewable technology is gaining in use in Europe and Asia, driving down the lifetime sales prices.”

Next up #Absencemakestheheartgrowfonder. From WBUR, “Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project. Vineyard Wind no longer expects its 800-megawatt project to become operational by 2022, the company said Tuesday after federal officials announced a new — and longer-than-anticipated — timeline for their review of the project and offshore wind sector generally. ‘We have received updated information from the Department of Interior that indicates the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Vineyard Wind I project will be published later than what was previously anticipated,’ Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a statement. ‘While we need to analyze what a longer permitting timeline will mean for beginning construction, commercial operation in 2022 is no longer expected. We look forward to the clarity that will come with a final EIS so that Vineyard Wind can deliver this project to Massachusetts and kick off the new US offshore energy industry.’ On Tuesday, BOEM published a new ‘one federal decision permitting timeline,’ which envisions the issuance of a record of decision by Dec. 18, 2020.”

While this new technology was modeled using tomatoes, perhaps it will work with roses too. From Futurity.org, “Clear Solar Panel Could Power Future Greenhouses. Greenhouses of the future could become energy neutral using see-through solar panels to harvest energy, according to a new study. The panels would harvest the energy primarily from the wavelengths of light that plants don’t use for photosynthesis, the researchers say. ‘Plants only use some wavelengths of light for photosynthesis, and the idea is to create greenhouses that make energy from that unused light while allowing most of the photosynthetic band of light to pass through,’ says corresponding author Brendan O’Connor, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University…The end result is that, for many greenhouse operators, the trade-off could be a small one—particularly for greenhouses in warm or temperate climates. For example, in Arizona, the greenhouses could become energy neutral—requiring no outside source of power—while blocking only 10% of the photosynthetic band of light. However, if growers are willing to block more photosynthetic light, they could generate twice as much energy as they required to operate the greenhouse…In Wisconsin, greenhouses couldn’t become energy neutral using the semitransparent solar cells—keeping the greenhouse warm in winter requires too much energy. However, the solar cells could meet up to 46% of the greenhouse’s energy demand.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the long weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Why fossil-fuel generators oppose the CMP hydropower corridor, Bangor Daily News

Area residents criticize Columbia Gas at hearing, Eagle Tribune

‘I Feel Victorious’: BU Professor Ends Hunger Strike Over Weymouth Compressor, WBUR

United in Opposition to the No. Weymouth Gas Compressor Station, Boston University

Iroquois Gas to build system in Milford to help increase New York’s natural gas supply, Stamford Advocate

Oil production on public lands exceeds 1 billion barrels, The Hill

Carbon capture wins fans among oil giants, Wall St. Journal

Pennsylvania shale permits plunge in January as gas prices collapse, S&P Global

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World’s Hottest Well, Wired

Geothermal heating district could rise in Mattapan, Boston Globe

The fastest way to cut carbon emissions is a ‘fee’ and a dividend, top leaders say, Washington Post

Energy Markets Need Winter, and Climate Change Is Taking It Away, Bloomberg Green

Antarctica Sets Record High Temperature: 64.9 Degrees, New York Times

Net-zero emissions measures advance despite cost concerns in Mass. Senate, Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro area senators say climate change legislation could empower cities, towns, Sun Chronicle

Gov. Charlie Baker: TCI proceeds will not be ‘pumped into Boston’ to pay off MBTA debt, MassLive

A Trillion Trees: How One Idea Triumphed Over Trump’s Climate Denialism, New York Times

Why university students are uniting for divestment this week, Boston Globe

Climate Change: 50 Ways We’re Taking Action Now, Vineyard Gazette

Researchers Propose New Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change, Clean Tech

For Sweetgreen, 2020 is the year kelp becomes cool, Washington Post

Hundreds of freshwater fish wash ashore on Easton’s Beach in Newport, ABC6

Why concrete has a huge carbon footprint, CNN (video)

The Climate Crisis Is Threatening Bees. Here’s What’s Helping To Save Them., HuffPost

Crossing the Line: A Scientist’s Road From Neutrality to Activism, Inside Climate News

The Cool Way Scientists Turned Falling Raindrops Into Electricity, Popular Mechanics

 

Wind

Good news, bad news on offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Vineyard Wind Announces New Delay In Offshore Wind Project, WBUR

Price of wind power continues to fall with Mayflower contract, Herald News

Shell, EDP Set Record-Low Price for U.S. Offshore Wind Power, Bloomberg

Mayflower Wind will stage in New Bedford: 2nd wind turbine company looking for lease agreement for South Terminal, South Coast Today

Wind farm cables to be lengthened for reburial, Block Island Times

Connecticut Port Authority approves plan to turn State Pier into wind hub, The Day

Gov. Ned Lamont touts approval of wind power deal that will rebuild State Pier in New London while Senate Republicans complain about a lack of oversight, Hartford Courant

Some Fans, Some Not, for Wind Farm Project, Ocean City New Jersey Daily

Red lights on Lowell Mountains won’t dim soon, National Wind Watch (via Hardwick, VT Gazette)

Court filing challenges Guilford wind farm approval, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

 

Solar

Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells, MIT News

Clear solar panels could power future greenhouses, Futurity.org

Fitch: Solar Projects Much More Reliable Performers Than Wind Farms, Greentech Media

Green Bank’s Solar MAP Eases Solar Transition, Solar Industry Magazine

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World, NPR

Report: Vermont lagging in solar capacity, Rutland Herald

Chemist develops technique to improve solar cells, Phys.org

Firm lays out plans for large solar farm, maybe sheep, Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth committee recommends purchase of ‘remote’ solar energy, Portland Press Herald

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

MIT’s solid-state battery breakthrough may see phones last for days, New Atlas

Live Efficient: Choose Energy Star appliances for efficiency, Seacoastonline.com

BPU Plan Would Reimburse Utilities for Sales Lost to Energy Efficiency Programs, NJ Spotlight

$58M project to make Portsmouth Naval Shipyard energy resilient, Seacoast Online

 

EVs

ChargePoint commits $1B to expand EV charging as Ocasio-Cortez, others unveil bills for a national network, Utility Dive

ConEd developing $13M curbside EV charging program with AddEnergie, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

NRC Extends Comment Period Regarding Indian Point, WAMC

The U.S. May Soon Have the World’s Oldest Nuclear Power Plants, Bloomberg

How the next generation of nuclear reactors could be smaller, greener and safer, PBS

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Advanced Attack Groups Increasingly Threaten North American Electric Utilities, Security Boulevard

Massachusetts has 3rd highest number of deaths from out-of-state air pollution, study finds, Boston Globe

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

The U.S. power grid desperately needs upgrades to handle climate change, Science News

Company that studied grid may have had conflict of interest, Associated Press

Midwinter drop in energy costs gives Mainers unexpected relief, Kennebec Journal

AARP opposes Eversource’s proposed rate hikes, New Hampshire Union Leader

Expanding or starting a business? National Grid may have a grant for that, Business Journals

 

Editorial/Opinion

Jennifer Benson: Senate’s climate change proposal a good start, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Erect solar panels in places that make sense, The Day

State council, residents ready to take action on climate change, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Some help in connecting the air quality dots, Westerly Sun

Maine Compass: It’s time to reconsider going solar, Kennebec Journal

Susan Raymond: Sununu’s energy initiatives are a grand election stunt, Conway Daily Sun

Maine Compass: Don’t expect Maine ‘public power’ plan to deliver on its big promises, Kennebec Journal

Falmouth Turns Into A 2.5 Million Wind Turbine Dump, Patch.com

Pier remake could cost state three times $93 million estimate, The Day via National Wind Watch

New Massachusetts Program A Threat To Local Solar Installers, AltEnergyMag.com

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

Energy News for week ending January 10, 2020

Future of Natural Gas | TCI Club Shrinking | North Country Hydrogen

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks. It’s nice to be back in your inboxes. Let’s get right to the first 2020 edition of the Northeast Energy News.

First up is a McKinsey report, The Future of Natural Gas in North America. “Industry discussions about the future of gas in North America are polarizing. On one hand, the shale revolution keeps delivering, displacing liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports since the late 2000s, as abundant gas resources and technological innovation drove costs down. In the past few years, shale has entered a new phase with the rise of LNG exports from North America. By 2023, North America is expected to head the list of the world’s top LNG exporting regions. On the other hand, as state-level decarbonization policies ramp up, the demand for natural gas in key segments such as power generation and local distribution companies (LDC) is expected to decline.” To the right is a map from the report that shows the decarbonization efforts across the US.

 

Before the holiday break the Transportation Climate Initiative was all the rage. But it seems there has been some cooling off since news of the costs have been shared. From CommonWealth Magazine, “In a protest-interrupted State of the State address Thursday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott cast a shadow on the prospects of him signing his state up for a multi-state compact to reduce vehicle emissions. Scott, who along with Gov. Charlie Baker is one of two Republican governors in New England, did not address the Transportation Climate Initiative by name, but discussed at length ways Vermont has been working to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. ‘It’s incentives, not penalties, which will help us transition more quickly,’ Scott said in his speech. Vermont was one of the 12 original states to begin negotiations on a regional cap-and-trade program that would seek to reduce carbon pollution from cars and trucks and use revenue from the sale of carbon allowances to fuel suppliers to invest in clean transportation options. New Hampshire has since withdrawn from those talks after the coalitions estimated that the proposals under consideration could add between 5 cents and 17 cents to the price of a gallon of gas…Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, also said this week that he has concerns with TCI. ‘Raising the gas tax, which frankly is what many Republican states have done to pay for transportation, is 100 percent paid for by Connecticut residents and probably not the way to go,’ Lamont said in a WNPR radio interview on Tuesday when asked about the initiative.”

 

For our new technology story this week we head to New Hampshire. From the Concord Monitor, “The company installing a factory in a former North Country paper mill hopes to create hydrogen, which some see as the ultimate clean fuel, through a process of compression that appears unlike any existing technology in that field. And while the company’s immediate plan is to burn the hydrogen to create electricity, the long-range plan is much bigger. ‘The real intent of coming out with a power plant is because it will unveil our capabilities in a big way,’ said Whitaker Irvin Jr., president and CEO of QuasarWave, the Utah firm behind the project in the closed Wausau Paper mill in the Groveton section of Northumberland. ‘When you’re talking about running a power plant on hydrogen … in a way to make it cost-effective … that’s not nebulous…’ The plan for QuasarWave is to take water from the Upper Ammonoosuc River, separate out the hydrogen and burn it in a reciprocating engine to produce electricity that will be sold to companies on site. Irvin says this electricity will be cheaper than can be bought on the grid…Details about the technology that will separate out the hydrogen, which is the whole point of the operation, are proprietary.”

 

That’s the recap for this week. There are a lot of news stories below. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Cities, towns weigh banning gas hookups, Salem

Shutdown of US coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives, study finds, The Guardian

Utilities Have Big Plans to Cut Emissions, But They’re Struggling to Shed Fossil Fuels, Inside Climate News

Compressor station opponents buoyed by Virginia ruling, Patriot Ledger

Why The Weymouth Compressor Was Such An Environmental Flash Point in 2019, WBUR

The future of natural gas in North America, McKinsey & Company

Divergent paths: Oil, natural gas going different directions, Reuters

Chinese company gets green light to explore offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador, Chronicle Herald

Local activists participate in coal blockade aimed at shutting down NH facility, Valley Advocate

4 Activists Arrested Trying To Block Coal-Carrying Train In Mass., WBUR

Thousands of gas leaks plagued Massachusetts in 2018, new DPU report says, Boston Herald

New Killingly power plant faces local opposition ahead of appeal, The Bulletin

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decreased in 2019, Per Rhodium Group, Greentech Media

Lawmakers want vote on climate pact, Salem News

Marine Labs on the Water’s Edge Are Threatened by Climate Change, New York Times

How a mid-20th-century hunting guide may fill the gaps on climate change in Maine, Washington Post

Connecticut governor knocks TCI gas fee compact in setback for Gov. Baker, Boston Herald

Vermont governor knocks TCI climate compact gas fee, Boston Herald

TCI club appears to be shrinking, CommonWealth Magazine

NY Plots a Course for Clean Energy, Jobs, Public News Service.org

Renewable advocates highlight ‘most effective’ path to net-zero emissions as House releases clean energy proposal, Utility Dive

‘Climate emergency’ is OED word of the year, Harvard Medical School

Avangrid betting big on renewable energy, Sun Journal

The Huge Australian Fires Could Change the Entire Earth’s Climate, Futurism

Declining Renewable Costs Drive Focus on Energy Storage, National Renewable Energy Lab

MA Clean Energy Industry Adds Over 1,000 Workers in 2019, GoLocalProv

Vermont legislator proposes ‘Green New Deal’ for state, WHDH

Workers say Amazon is threatening to fire them for pushing company to act on climate change, Hartford Courant

Day of reckoning looms for state’s clean-energy agency amid funding shortfall, Boston Globe

North Country plant says it can create hydrogen with a new technology, Concord Monitor

 

Wind

New York Confirms Plan for 1GW-Plus Offshore Wind Solicitation in 2020, Greentech Media

Fishermen call for 4-nautical-mile lanes between offshore wind turbines, South Coast Today

Are wind turbines safe? N.Y. accident stirs debate, National Wind Watch

Ex-state rep.: Wind turbines would hurt Hampton Beach views, tourism, Seacoastonline.com

Fishermen, wind farm developers at odds, CommonWealth Magazine

Cuomo: Create LI institute to train wind farm workers, Newsday

World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Begins Generating Power, Greentech Media

Dominion’s planned US offshore wind project could be world’s largest at 2.64 GW, Renewable Energy World

 

Solar

Growing off the grid: Marijuana businesses like Solar Therapeutics find ways to be eco-friendly, MassLive

Local Solar Installers Embrace Big New Opportunity: Home Battery Add-Ons, Greentech Media

A $1 Billion Solar Plant Was Obsolete Before It Ever Went Online, Bloomberg

Sununu’s Net Metering Plan Tees Up Another Renewable Energy Clash in Concord, NHPR

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Green Mountain Power partners with customers to exceed carbon reduction goals by 40% in 2019, Delivering Affordable Ways to Cut Carbon and Costs, Vermont Digger

ConEd will redesign NYC commercial building efficiency pilot after participation hurdles, Utility Dive

Smart meters gain popularity, but most utilities don’t optimize their potential to save energy, ACEEE

Study group proposes modest energy storage goals for Maine’s excess power, Portland Press Herald

N.A.A.C.P. Tells Local Chapters: Don’t Let Energy Industry Manipulate You, New York Times

Making computers and smartphones more energy efficient with novel tiny structures, Phys.org

 

EVs

Ashburnham installs electric vehicle charging station, Sentinel & Enterprise

Fisker debuts $37,500 electric SUV with a solar roof, The Verge

 

Nuclear

Water pump malfunction shuts down generating unit at Millstone, The Day

The oldest nuclear reactor? Nature’s 2 billion year old experiment, Hackaday.com

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

How to squirrel-proof the power grid, Vox.com

Proposed CMP transmission line in western Maine clears major regulatory hurdle, Press Herald

The Northeast’s Energy Problem Is an Opportunity for These 3 Utilities, Nasdaq

How National Grid is Trying to Reinvent Itself, Motley Fool

PURA directs firms to raise awareness of electric bill aid, Journal Inquirer

Following 12-month inquiry, decision time approaches in CMP billing probe, Portland Press Herald

ISO-NE releases RFP for Boston area transmission upgrades, Electric Energy Online

 

Editorial/Opinion

Parity for renewables is key to energy tax policy, CommonWealth Magazine

What to Do When Green Objectives Conflict?, Wall St. Journal

Maine Voices: Public power proposal offers opportunity to match, top MEMIC’s success, Portland Press Herald

Letter: Offshore wind could provide all New England’s electricity, Seacoastonline.com

My Turn: ‘Forced march’ to heat pumps is bad policy, Concord Monitor

Op-Ed: Youth activism, a remedy for climate despair, Wicked Local Concord

Should cities and towns be required to place solar panels on the roofs of new municipal buildings?, Boston Globe

Letter: National Grid, stop pushing the pipeline, Times Union

LETTER: NRC needs to address concerns about plant, Daily News of Newburyport

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