Tag Archives: Vermont Yankee

Energy News for week ending April 13, 2018

Billions needed | Sometime in May | Horror Story

Happy Friday afternoon.

Let’s start off with a climate change story from today’s Boston Globe that shows the region is in for some serious costs when it comes to climate change mitigation. Globe reporter Milton Valencia writes, “A report to be released Friday by the University of Massachusetts points to the challenges the city and the region face in funding solutions to combat climate change, with local neighborhood projects expected to amount to $2.4 billion…A separate UMass team is looking at the feasibility and usefulness of a 4-mile barrier wall that would be constructed in the Boston Harbor that could protect the city’s coastal areas from storm surges. Estimates for that project range from $7 billion to $15 billion.”

One of Massachusetts’ efforts to increase the amount of renewable energy to combat climate change will be a bit delayed. From South Coast Today, “A decision on the state’s first offshore wind contract could come in May, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. ‘That decision will probably happen, I’m guessing, sometime in May,’ Baker said during a stop at The Standard-Times while he was visiting the South Coast. ‘If the date slips, it will slip a little; it won’t slip a lot.’”

What do you think – is it a horror story here or is this just a bunch of hyperbole? A story from the Washington Examiner states, “New England is struggling to keep the lights on as it pursues aggressive clean energy goals, a dilemma that is so troublesome that the region’s power grid operator warns of blackouts if something doesn’t change. ‘I am getting nervous in New England,’ said Robert Powelson, a Republican commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees wholesale power markets, during a recent event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. ‘It is almost like a horror story.’”

OK – that’s the recap for this week. You can find more news and events at Northeast Energy News.

Enjoy the long weekend (if you’re fortunate to have the day off). And here’s wishing good luck to all those running Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Whitehouse preps bill directing study, pilot program for natural gas demand response, Utility Dive

Final Hearings Begin For Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Burrillville, Rhode Island Public Radio

Burrillville, Invenergy settle dispute over alleged misrepresentations about power plant proposal, The Providence Journal

Witness: Burrillville plant could cost ratepayers $14M more, The Providence Journal

What Will It Take to Keep Up With Shale Gas Boom? $170 Billion, Bloomberg

Prometheus Energy And National Grid Complete A Successful Winter Peaking Project In Rhode Island, Oil and Gas Online

Natural Gas Expansion Project Underway In Darien, Patch.com

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

UMass report cautions billions needed for local climate change preparations, Boston Globe

RGGI states call for tighter cap, consistent language in Virginia cap-and-trade programme, Carbon Pulse

Carbon taxes could make significant dent in climate change, study finds, MIT News

Federal Power Rules Threaten New England Renewable Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council

How The New England Aquarium Seeks To Urge Visitors To Act On Climate Change, WNPR News

Advocates ask Red Sox to go green, Metro US

Apple’s Entire Business Is Now Being Powered With Clean Energy, Bloomberg

Exeter town council tables hearings on renewable energy, RICentral.com

 

Wind

Baker: Offshore wind decision likely in May, South Coast Today

24-MW New Jersey Offshore Wind Farm May Be Online By 2020, Renewable Energy World

Fishing industry wants limits, delay on offshore wind rollout, Worcester Business Journal

Vineyard Wind plans operations facility on island, Cape Cod Times

The Biggest Problem for Offshore Wind in the United States Might Be the Ports, gcaptain.com

Hoping for a state contract, Bay State Wind offers more than $2 million in environmental research grants, SouthCoastToday.com

President Trump Expands Wind Leases Off Martha’s Vineyard, The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

UMass Dartmouth to study economic impact of offshore wind on Bay State, Boston Business Journal

The US Wind Sector Toasts Trump’s New Love of Offshore, Greentech Media

To See Offshore Wind Energy’s Future, Look on Shore – in Massachusetts, InsideClimate News

Fishing Industry Wants New Bedford Port Authority to Facilitate Offshore Wind, wbsm.com

 

Solar

Westport Announces New Partnership With Windham Solar, LLC, Patch.com

Rain won’t go through solar panels, so Concord plan gets nixed, Concord Monitor

Massachusetts Nonprofit Makes The Switch To Solar, Solar Industry

Solar Incentives to be Phased Out in Maine, Power Engineering

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A Plug for Plug Load: NY Needs Appliance Efficiency Standard, Natural Resources Defense Council

Town Meeting says ‘no’ to stretch code, Wicked Local Falmouth

Building Energy Codes Can REV Up NYS Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

America Leads Global Energy Storage Development, But China’s Catching Up, Greentech Media

Estimating the Value of Energy Efficiency to Reduce Wholesale Energy Price Volatility, (Report) ACEEE

 

Nuclear

NRC Wants More Financial Details Before Approving Vermont Yankee Sale, VPR

New Jersey Takes a Big Step Toward Renewable Energy (and Nuclear Gets Help, for Now), New York Times

Nuclear Regulatory Commission OKs repairs to Indian Point reactor after leak, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Riverkeeper pledges legal action against efforts to replace Indian Point energy with gas, The Journal News | LoHud.com

Budget Plan Allocates $24 Million for Closing Power Plants ,Westchester Magazine

Feds OK emergency planning changes at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

As Fossil Fuels Melt the Planet, Could Climate Change Cause a Nuclear Meltdown?, Climate Science Watch

Environmentalists split on letting carbon-free nuclear power die, Washington Examiner

First Small-Scale Nuclear Reactor May Be Just Eight Years Away, Bloomberg

Lawmakers, advisory panel plot Pilgrim’s future, Cape Cod Times

 

EVs

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate Settlement Billions Are Funding Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors. Can They Help Overcome Range Anxiety?, The Energy Collective

Why PG&E, National Grid and Enel are charging up to power EVs, GreenBiz

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Report: Worcester, Springfield top Massachusetts cities for inflated ‘competitive supply’ electricity rates, MassLive

CMP’s Kennebec River Gorge deal never came to fruition, Maine Public

Rick Perry: Emergency Action May Not Be the Way to Save Coal and Nuclear, Greentech Media

NYPA proposes rebuilding North-South transmission lines to bolster renewable energy, Utility Dive

New Hampshire utility proposes virtual power plant with Tesla Powerwalls, Utility Dive

Independent audit of soaring CMP bills may not yield answers until end of this year, Press Herald

Tesla delivered massive batch of 2,000 Powerwalls to Vermont electric utility, only ~10% installed, Electrek

Document: 97000 accounts part of Central Maine Power investigation, WABI

New England faces ‘horror story’ of expensive power, Washington Examiner

MISO states push for authority over DER in electricity markets at FERC meeting, Utility Dive

Franklin County: National Grid gouged broadband fund, Glens Falls Post-Star

Eversource: Connecticut customers’ data not compromised in cyberattack, New Haven Register

New Transformer Will Enhance Reliability for Eversource Customers, Londonderry News

Independents and Utilities at Odds Over Who Builds Microgrids in Maryland, Microgrid Knowledge

NYPA continues digital transformation as New York funds grid upgrades, Utility Dive

 

Editorial/Opinion

Hats off to North Attleboro, Mansfield electric departments, Sun Chronicle

Go bigger with offshore wind procurement, CommonWealth Magazine

Turbines Not By-Right Use – Letter, Capenews.net

Tom Sullivan: Environmental activists ignore energy security realities, Concord Monitor

Letter: New England needs solar and hydro, Concord Monitor

Opposition to power plant is widespread, Valley Breeze

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending March 23, 2018

19 times over | Carbon Bomb | US location doesn’t matter – it’s cleaner

 

Happy Friday afternoon.

Here are a few quick hits for you before we all break for the weekend.

From SouthCoastToday.com we have news that “Winds off the Massachusetts coast have the potential to generate more energy than in any other state — enough to power the state’s electricity needs 19 times over, according to a new report from the advocacy group Environment Massachusetts. But that’s no assurance the state will dominate the industry over the long haul. The report details major efforts in other states, especially New Jersey and New York, where state governments have committed to larger offshore wind projects than Massachusetts.”

Chris Mooney writing for The Washington Post reports that “For some time, scientists fearing the mass release of greenhouse gases from the carbon-rich, frozen soils of the Arctic have had at least one morsel of good news in their forecasts: They predicted most of the gas released would be carbon dioxide, which, though a greenhouse gas, drives warming more slowly than some other gases. Scientists obviously weren’t excited about more carbon dioxide emissions, but it was better than the alternative: methane, a shorter-lived but far harder-hitting gas that could cause faster bursts of warming. Now even that silver lining is in doubt. Research released Monday suggests that methane releases could be considerably more prevalent as Arctic permafrost thaws. The research finds that in waterlogged wetland soils, where oxygen is not prevalent, tiny microorganisms will produce a considerable volume of methane, a gas that doesn’t last in the air much more than a decade but has a warming effect many times that of carbon dioxide over a period of 100 years.”

On the positive news side, The Energy Collective tells us that “New data shows that in every corner of the United States, driving an EV produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than cars powered only by gasoline, regardless of the local power mix. Today, an average EV on the road in the U.S. has the same greenhouse-gas emissions as a car getting 80 miles per gallon (MPG). That’s up from 73 MPG in 2017, and far greater than the average gas-powered car available for sale in the U.S., which hit a record 24.7 MPG in 2016.”

As always you can find energy events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

AG: Offshore drilling a ‘grave’ risk to Bay State, Boston Herald

Pipeline protester refuses state deal — won’t admit he shoved trooper, Berkshire Eagle

State’s top executives push for more natural gas, CommonWealth Magazine

Backers of stalled pipeline keep pilot light lit, Boston Globe

Council tables resolution to rescind opposition to Burrillville power plant, Valley Breeze

Region’s Power Grid Manager Gets OK For Renewable-Fossil Fuel Exchange Auction, New Hampshire Public Radio

Proposed Norwalk fracking ban moves to public hearing, Thehour.com

United States: Natural Gas Act Preempts Local Efforts To Preclude Construction Of Compressor Station, Mondaq News Alerts

Nearly 1/3 of planned gas peakers at risk from energy storage, GTM finds, Utility Dive

Biz group: Increase natural gas supply, Lowell Sun

Powelson Tells New England to Learn from Pennsylvania, RTO Insider

Eversource holding info session on gas pipeline in Jewett City, Norwich Bulletin

Dennis Kucinich Finds Fracking Facts in Southeast Ohio: A Horror Story, Cleveland Scene

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

MA Governor Embraces ‘Clean Peak’ Policy to Encourage Renewables Paired With Storage, Greentech Media

Report: Boston Sea Level Projected To Rise 1.5 Feet By 2050, WBUR

Clean Energy Issues Highlight “New Hampshire Energy Week,” Renewable Energy World

The Arctic’s carbon bomb might be even more potent than we thought, Washington Post

A Contentious Debate: Green Energy vs. Green Space, ecoRI news

FERC ruling could undermine state renewable energy mandates, pv magazine USA

FERC decision a boost to renewable energy in New England, The Union Leader

100 percent renewables by 2050 in Massachusetts? Pittsfield activists think it’s possible, Valley Advocate

Virginia governor will veto legislation aimed at blocking carbon caps, Utility Dive

Mansfield may seek state’s Green Communities designation, Wicked Local Mansfield

Bill Gives Rhode Island Teeth to Cut Carbon Emissions, ecoRI news

 

Wind

Bay State Wind and NEC partner to develop energy storage system, Power Technology

Offshore Wind: Is the Long Wait over for New Jersey?, NJ Spotlight

Vineyard Wind collaborates with UMass Dartmouth on offshore wind assessments, Windpower Engineering

The Netherlands is building the world’s first subsidy-free offshore wind farms, MIT Technology Review

Hyper-efficient gas engines, next-gen wind turbines, and more early-stage wonders, Ars Technica

Report: Offshore wind could power Massachusetts 19 times over, South Coast Today

Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind, (Report) Environment Massachusetts

Opponents say Block Island wind farms are causing problems across prime fishing grounds, Boston Globe

Most wind jobs would be in construction, UMD study says, South Coast Today

Turbine owner responds to noise, shadow criticism, Newport Daily News

 

Solar

Report: Massachusetts solar capacity increased 30 percent in 2017, but challenges loom, MassLive.com

Public meetings to be held on community solar power, Lewiston Sun Journal

USDA awards $1.5 million loan for solar project, Press Herald

New Hampshire Senate votes to expand net metering eligibility, Utility Dive

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Teach-In Thursday on Why NY Needs More Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council

Transcript: FERC Is Taking Energy Storage to the Next Level in the US, Greentech Media

Medford moves step by step toward renewables, energy efficiency, Wicked Local

The Uneven Gains of Energy Efficiency, WIRED

 

Nuclear

Cask concern halts fuel move at Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Reformer

FEMA to hold briefing on Millstone exercise, theday.com

NRC to Host Annual Pilgrim Performance Meeting Next Week, CapeCod.com News

US Says Russian Hack Did Not Compromise Nuclear Plants, Power Engineering

 

EVs

Why Is Vehicle-to-Grid Taking So Long to Happen?, Greentech Media

Southern Maine bus services consider cleaning up their act with electric vehicles, Press Herald

Driving An Electric Vehicle Is Far Cleaner Than Driving On Gasoline Across The US, Regardless Of Local Power Mix, Energy Collective

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Federal energy regulators back Massachusetts attorney general on rate cuts tied to Trump tax bill, MassLive.com

State business group warns of energy ‘shortage’, The Salem News

Mapping Out Requirements for Tomorrow’s Energy Infrastructure, NJ Spotlight

Maine Compass: Central Maine Power transmission line project raises red flags, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

PSC Dramatically Lowers National Grid’s Rate Request, URBAN CNY

Updated Generator Rules Lower Costs, Improve Safety, AIM blog

Regulators to decide on possible audit of power company, Penn Energy

Central Maine Power Under Investigation for Rising Bills, NECN

The Energy 202: Rick Perry has a plan for Russia’s grid attacks. Some lawmakers worry it’s not enough, Washington Post

Poll Finds Americans Wary of Grid Safety in Wake of Russian Hacking, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

This energy storage is tough on Connecticut River, CommonWealth Magazine

Community Conversations: New power supply policy: truly a big deal, WickedLocal Belmont

David Arbeitman: Natural gas wrong approach to energy needs, Daily Hampshire Gazette

An energy transition, Mt. Desert Islander

Wind energy in Vt. is a sham, Rutland Herald

Annette Smith: An examination of Vermont’s energy policies, vtdigger.org

Ahead of Senate vote on Clean Energy Bill, Massachusetts is on the cusp of an energy revolution (viewpoint), MassLive.com

Keeping RGGI, The Union Leader

Leslie Sullivan Sachs: Vermont Yankee impossible to trust, vtdigger.org

Letter: Northern Pass and electricity rates, Concord Monitor

Letter To The Editor: Eversource Misleading On Cause Of Outages, Patch.com

Boston Gets Russian Gas Amid US Boom, Wall Street Journal

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

Energy News for week ending March 16, 2018

Russians at the switch | Mortally wounded |Clean Peak Standard | What’s in a name

Happy Friday afternoon.

This week brings disconcerting energy news of Russian cyberattacks where hackers had their fingers on the switches at US power plants. According to the story in the New York Times, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will…‘We now have evidence they’re sitting on the machines, connected to industrial control infrastructure, that allow them to effectively turn the power off or effect sabotage,’ said Eric Chien, a security technology director at Symantec, a digital security firm. ‘From what we can see, they were there. They have the ability to shut the power off. All that’s missing is some political motivation,’ Mr. Chien said.”

Earlier in the week, Portland Press Herald wrote about the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s decision to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass Project, “The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor…The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from Beattie Township, on the Canadian border north of Route 27 and Coburn Gore, through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail. The project cost would be borne by Massachusetts electricity customers.”

Speaking of Massachusetts, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that “Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection…The bill includes authorization for $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change — $170 million to repair dams and seawalls and help coastal communities, and the rest split between grants to communities and implementation of a statewide plan to adapt to climate change.”

Utility Dive noted that one provision of the bill is the creation of a “new Clean Peak Standard for utilities to increase the use of clean energy during high-demand periods that are also carbon intensive…The proposed legislation language would direct the Department of Energy Resource to create a new clean peak standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers. The standard will require all retail electricity suppliers to provide ‘a minimum percentage of kilowatt-hour sales’ from clean peak energy resources, ultimately determined by regulations. The legislation specifies that, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ the Clean Peak Standard cannot raise individual customer rates more than $0.005/kWh in the aggregate of any year.”

Last for this week, and to end on a lighter note, is a story from Newhampshire.com which reports that some folks in New Hampshire, Seabrook to be specific, are having a hard time believing that Disney writers weren’t making ties to their community in a movie called “Zombies.” The movie is, “set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem? The fictional town is named Seabrook.” Seabrook Selectman Aboul Khan said that he’s not “worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant. ‘We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,’ he said. ‘We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.’”

As always you can find events at Northeast Energy News. Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Northeast Gas Pipeline Buildout Hits Bottleneck in Massachusetts, Natural Gas Intelligence

Scituate is withdrawing their opposition to Invenergy and their support for Burrillville, Uprise RI

Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?, Wall Street Journal

Lawmakers hear dueling pipeline positions, Hartford Business

From Asthma to Cancer, ‘Blistering’ New Report Details Human Cost of Fracking, EcoWatch

New York Loses Bid to Block Millennium Gas Line Project, Bloomberg Quint

Pipeline Opponents Pleased With Caveats, Valley News

Federal Regulators End Key Tax Benefit for Certain Pipeline Companies, Wall St. Journal

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Storms focus attention on climate change, as Gov. Charlie Baker releases $1.4 billion environmental bond bill, MassLive

Massachusetts governor seeks Clean Peak Standard with $1.4B bond bill, Utility Dive

Push is on for carbon tax in New York, Lockport Journal

Clean energy projects in Albany to get share of $1.4 billion in state money, Albany Business Review

Regional plan could provide local say on renewables, Stowe Reporter

3rd District candidate unveils green-jobs plan, Lowell Sun

State of renewables not what you might think, Rutland Herald

Could FERC Order Put State Clean Energy Policies in Danger?, Greentech Media

Report: Severe weather in Northeast tied to warming Arctic, Cape Cod Times

Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security, Natural Resources Defense Council

Towns tell state leaders to act on climate change. Are they listening?, vtdigger.org

Connecticut renewable energy supporters to push for legislative gains, Litchfield County Times

Climate Change Resolution Adopted In 35 Communities, Vermont Public Radio

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse featured among ‘Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy’, MassLive.com

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, CleanTechnica

Emissions and Dispatch Top Talk at NY Task Force, RTO Insider

NA Markets: Compliance demand re-emerges in California as RGGI awaits next week’s auction, Carbon Pulse

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions, Yale Climate Connections

 

Wind

Bay State Wind Teams With Massachusetts Energy Storage Company, NA Windpower

Ocean City loses bid to push back offshore wind developments, Delmarvanow.com

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind, CommonWealth Magazine

Offshore wind backers push New London area as potential hub, theday.com

Report Quantifies Economic Impact Of Vineyard Wind’s Offshore Proposal, North American Windpower

Offshore wind company partners with Red Sox, Cape Cod Times

Vineyard Wind plans workforce development, Barnstable Patriot

Bay State joins permit fast lane, reNews

 

Solar

Worry over solar sprawl spreads across Rhode Island, Providence Journal

Solar-powered brewery donates extra power to senior center, Caledonian Record

US solar forecast ratcheted down as tariffs weigh, The Week

Even under pro-coal President Trump, U.S. solar is doing pretty well, Washington Post

Vermont lodge and bierhall goes solar, Solar Power World

A Push To Expand A Struggling Sector Of Solar Energy In Connecticut, WSHU

Wilton among state leaders in solar technology, Thehour.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

A global game changer for energy efficiency investments, Environmental Defense Fund

How an energy-efficient house can become a big wind-powered battery, Treehugger

Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings, Bloomberg

Green buildings will have to go beyond conserving energy, Popular Science

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy, Hartford Courant

For utilities trying to drive conservation, mixed messages may be best, Utility Dive

 

Nuclear

Vermont Yankee deal gives state more financial peace of mind, Vermont Biz

Vermont Yankee sale case will extend into summer, vtdigger.org

Nuclear Community Engagement Experience Takes Place On Saturday in Barnstable, CapeCod.com News

Disney: ‘ZOMBIES’ movie set in power plant town called ‘Seabrook’ a coincidence, NewHampshire.com

Congress Hasn’t Given up on Nuclear Power, Futurism

The quiet fight to finally send nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Washington Examiner

Nuclear subsidy bill re-engineered as three separate measures, NJSpotlight.com

Interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Is Growing. So Are Fears They Aren’t Viable, Greentech Media

 

Electric Vehicles

Electric cars are becoming increasingly greener in the US thanks to a cleaner electric grid, Energy Central

Pennsylvania proposal could bolster EV charging infrastructure, Utility Dive

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says, New York Times

Split FERC approves ISO-NE 2-part capacity market plan, Utility Dive

Powelson ‘very nervous’ about long-term reliability in ISO-NE, Utility Dive

ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation, Platts

Report Examines Comparatively High Expenses For New England’s Power Grid Operator, New England Public Radio

Lawyer: Site Evaluation Committee won’t decide whether to reconsider Northern Pass rejection until May, Union Leader

Time running short for N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Prospects improve for CMP’s $950 million power line plan, Press Herald

Northern Pass Hydropower Project Again Delayed, ecoRI news

Utility workers travel to restore Cape’s power, Cape Cod Times

State launches probe into utilities’ response to 2 storms, Albany Times Union

7News Investigates: Seeking Power Outage Solutions Underground, WHDH TV

Cryptocurrency Companies to See Electric Rates Rise in NY. Opening for Microgrids?, Microgrid Knowledge

Schneider Electric and REC Solar collaborate on Massachusetts microgrid, Solar Power World

Pennsylvania Microgrid Bill Wins Committee Vote. Heads to House, Microgrid Knowledge

 

Editorial/Opinion

Columnist Stanley Rosenberg: Building our green, clean energy future, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Column: Securing a clean energy future, Gloucester Times

Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs, Bangor Daily News

Letter: Thanks to supporters of renewable energy, Bennington Banner

New York Is Moving Aggressively To Harvest Its Offshore Wind, Forbes

Letter: A proposal on the Vermont Yankee sale, Brattleboro Reformer

Yankee candor: A deal to decommission Vermont Yankee is promising, but only if it involves transparency, The Keene Sentinel

Stop pouring money into fusion energy research, Eagle Tribune

Leave a comment

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

Energy News for week ending March 2, 2018

Russian Meddling | Report Flawed | Miracle Breakthrough

Happy Friday afternoon everyone. We hope you’re staying warm, dry, and safe during today’s storm.

Well, if you’ve had enough news about Russian interference in US elections then you can switch your attention to their interference in US energy markets. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reviewed a new congressional staff report that states that the Internet Research Agency’s efforts were also focused on “encouraging protests against pipeline construction in the U.S., calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels and stoking American controversy around climate change…Between 2015 and 2017, the IRA posted more than 9,000 times about U.S. energy policy or an energy event, according to the report.”

Also out this week was a FERC announcement “that a report released by the Environmental Defense Fund accusing Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. of artificially driving up electricity prices in New England “was flawed and led to incorrect conclusions.” According to the article in CommonWealth Magazine, “FERC said its staff conducted a review of the allegations contained in the report using both public and non-public data and found no evidence of anticompetitive withholding of natural gas pipeline capacity.”

In new energy technology news this week we have an article from oilprice.com titled, MIT’s Miracle Energy Breakthrough. They write, “A black box has been sitting on the roof of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology building for the last few months. Beside it sits a weather monitoring system and a bigger black box to monitor the performance of the first one. That first black box is the first device that can generate power from differences in the temperature of the air—the ultimate clean energy…The team of researchers from MIT’s Chemical Engineering department is calling this device a thermal resonator: a device that draws heat from the air around it and turns this heat into electricity. It does not need to be in the sun, it could actually be put in the perpetual shade below a solar panel, and it would still generate power thanks to the always present temperature fluctuations…it has the hypothetical potential to make batteries obsolete.” Pretty cool!

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

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

FERC calls report on Eversource, Avangrid flawed, CommonWealth Magazine

Rhode Island protesters decry federal offshore drilling plan, Penn Energy

Russian Meddling on Social Media Targeted U.S. Energy Industry, Report Says, Wall Street Journal (paywall)

With Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. build done, Otis State Forest reopens, Berkshire Eagle

Federal agency rebuts environmentalists’ claims about gas pipeline usage, Worcester Telegram

US FERC ends probe of New England gas shippers, calls EDF study ‘flawed’, Platts

Pipelines collide with emissions goal, Albany Times Union

Rhode Island environmentalists and elected officials say ‘No’ to Trump’s offshore drilling proposal, Uprise RI

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

We’ve radically underestimated how vulnerable Americans are to flooding, Vox.com

Optimism and Uncertainty for Rhode Island’s Climate Future, ecoRI news

Over 100 cities around the globe run mostly on renewable energy, Inhabitat

New Report Touts Success Of Regional Carbon Emissions Reduction Program, Rhode Island Public Radio

New Jersey Governor Requests to Rejoin Environmental Pact, U.S. News & World Report

NY Task Force Takes on Carbon Pricing Mechanics, RTO Insider

Mark Jacobson Drops Lawsuit Against Critics of His 100% Renewables Plan, Greentech Media

Solar, Wind Cutting New England Power Demands, But Trouble Expected In Future, Hartford Courant

Report Claims Wood-Based Energy Doesn’t Add Up, EcoRI

 

Wind

Anti-wind project POWER coalition emerges, Niagara Gazette

Vineyard Wind sweetens pot, Cape Cod Times

Wind industry sues LePage over halting of new permits, Journal Tribune

GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, Penn Energy

Maine House stalls LePage’s effort to block wind energy development, Bangor Daily News

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Achieves 65% Capacity Factor After 3 Months, Greentech Media

Falmouth wind turbine spinning again, Cape Cod Times

Plans for world’s ‘largest and most powerful’ offshore wind turbine unveiled, CNBC

One Small Step for BPU, One Small Step for Offshore Wind in NJ, NJ Spotlight

Energy forecast: Wind power will rival gas, Berkshire Eagle

Article on area warrants aims to gather support for studying offshore wind development, The Keene Sentinel

 

Solar

Clouds form over state’s solar future, Cape Cod Times

Connecticut solar industry wants a clawback, Post-Chronicle

M&T finances major solar project in Maine, Buffalo Business First

Massachusetts solar groups say policy changes needed to stem job loss, Energy News Network

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Vermont utility, city to give away fossil-fuel free home, Caledonian Record

FERC’s Historic Energy Storage Ruling: A Doomsday Countdown for Natural Gas Peakers?, Greentech Media

Brattle: US storage market could reach 50 GW if costs keep declining, Utility Dive

Battery Storage Could Boost Coal Consumption, Greentech Media

New interactive map shows the economic impact that solar, wind, and energy efficiency have on US communities, Environmental Defense Fund

Ridgefield joins state clean-energy program, Danbury News Times

NY attorney general wins energy efficiency lawsuit, Long Island Business News

 

Nuclear

Connecticut nuclear plant guard falsified record, failed to test weapons Shoreline Times

After Months Of Negotiation, Settlement Days Away On Vermont Yankee Sale, New England Public Radio

Power restored to Indian Point reactor after shutdown caused by electrical failure, The Journal News | LoHud.com

 

Northern Pass/RFP

Eversource Asks NH To Reconsider Northern Pass Denial, New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource appeals NH ruling on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Is Mass. shortchanged on clean energy procurement?, CommonWealth Magazine

 

Electric Vehicles

Team of rivals: Utilities, enviros unite to push electric vehicles, Utility Dive

How To Prevent Electric Vehicles From Stressing The Grid, Forbes.com

Global tech giants bet on a Massachusetts battery startup, Axios

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New England grid operators, regulators combat vulnerabilities, theday.com

Energy costs to drop for Eversource customers, Manchester Ink Link

Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements, RTO Insider

Maine may face brownouts, higher electric prices, Lewiston Sun Journal

Non-Payments to Eversource Nearly Double Over 2-Year Period, U.S. News & World Report

Eversouce pulls back on gas gate project in Hopkinton, MetroWest Daily News

National Grid rate hike hearings underway, Ricentral.com

After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out., Vox.com

 

Editorial/Opinion

Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization, CommonWealth Magazine

Time to part ways with traditional utility business model, CommonWealth Magazine

Utility rate design needs reform, CommonWealth Magazine

Just for the Record: Why New York’s Offshore Wind Plan Works, Renewable Energy World

Gas pipelines built now will be with us for decades, The Boston Globe

Letter: An acceptable level, Brattleboro Reformer

Letter: Wrong assumptions on Northern Pass, Concord Monitor

Viewpoint: Why is New England importing LNG from Russia?, Boston Business Journal

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Filed under Climate Change, Electricity Costs, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, solar, Wind Power

Energy News for week ending February 16, 2018

Foreseeing Trouble | Ugly toll | Five new spots to fish

As the late great Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Ah yes, after delaying the decision for a week, we find ourselves waiting again for MA DOER and company to let us know if they are going to stick with Northern Pass or move on to another or other proposals. The delay is causing all sorts of speculation (InDepthNH) and consternation (NHPR).

Love may have been in the air for many on Wednesday, but according to Platts, all ISO New England saw was “trouble” without investment in fuel security. From the article, “The report noted the cold snap that gripped the region from December 26 through January 7 featured “constrained pipeline capacity, substantially higher natural gas and wholesale electricity prices,” which prompted the dispatch of oil- and coal-fired generation to meet demand, but “oil supplies at plants around the region began to rapidly deplete … signficiantly (sic) increasing the reliability risk to the system.” “In the coming years as more oil, coal, and nuclear leave the system, keeping the lights on in New England will become an even more tenuous proposition,” the report states.

Speaking of fuel security, the Boston Globe editorial board laid into just about everyone with a full page editorial on Tuesday about the region bringing in Russian gas, the implications of the same, and the lack of movement on other alternatives (i.e. a new gas pipeline). Here’s a small sample, “But apart from its geopolitical impact, Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies. Public officials, including Attorney General Maura Healey and leading state senators, have leaned heavily on righteous-sounding stands against local fossil fuel projects, with scant consideration of the global impacts of their actions and a tacit expectation that some other country will build the infrastructure that we’re too good for.”

Last for this week is a story from Renewable Energy World with an accompanying video from the American Wind Energy Association about how the Block Island Wind Farm has been a boon for the local fishing industry. At first there were worries, the article notes, but “after 6 months, their worries were starting to be alleviated and after just one year, they were completely gone. According to Chris Hobe, who has been fishing on the island since 1979, ‘within six months you had seed mussels,’ he said in a webcast announcing the release of the footage. After one year those seed mussels had turned into a deep, thick coating of mature mussels, on which smaller fish feed, attracting the fish that feed on them and on and on up the food chain.” In the video one man notes that because of the artificial reef created by the turbines there are five new fishing spots that didn’t exist before.

Then there is this, “Another added bonus according to Hobe was the increased tourism that the turbines attracted. On a whim, his company offered to take the general public on tours around the turbines so they could see them up close. He never imagined the interest that would draw. By the end of the 2017 summer season, Hobe said his company had stopped offering fishing excursions and was just doing sightseeing tours.”

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

83D

Utilities find no common ground on N. Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

Decisive action needed on Northern Pass, CommonWealth Magazine

As Mass. Debates Northern Pass Deal, Sununu Says Project Was ‘Railroaded’, New Hampshire Public Radio

Northern Pass rejection would have repercussions for Hydro-Québec’s future, The Globe and Mail

Massachusetts utilities to continue Northern Pass negotiations after rejection by NH regulators, Press Herald

Maine Gov. LePage Indicates Mass. May Have Already Moved On From Northern Pass, InDepthNH.org

VELCO and National Grid make key agreements for Granite State Power Link, Vermont Biz

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

Gas pipeline opponents urge Baker to ‘break up’ with industry, Boston Metro

Energy CEO Says Fracking Build-out in New York Not Over, Wants Regulators to ‘Lay Down and Approve Every Pipeline’, DeSmog

Only Half of Proposed Burrillville Plant’s Power Sold, ecoRI news

Compressor Station Permit Appeal Could Be Heard In Summer, Patch.com

Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success, Science Daily

Ocean State Officials Pledge to Halt Offshore Drilling, ecoRI news

Ocean State’s Fossil-Fuel Hypocrisy Does Nothing to Address Climate Change, ecoRI news

Constitution Asks FERC to Rehear New York Permit Denial, RTO Insider

 

Renewables Policy/Climate Change/RGGI

US Renewable Energy Generation Now ‘Within Striking Distance’ of Nuclear, Greentech Media

Healey unveils new renewable energy targets, CommonWealth Magazine

Pacheco: Citizens will demand omnibus clean energy bill, Sentinel and Enterprise
Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill, ‘matching the urgency of climate change,’ MassLive

Connecticut wants to boost renewables goal to 40% by 2030, Utility Dive

Is clean energy moving ahead fast enough in Western Massachusetts?, MassLive.com

EPA’s Scott Pruitt touts renewable energy in New England, Washington Examiner

Virginia House votes to prohibit cap-and-trade, RGGI linkage, Carbon Pulse

Think tank report pans Vermont carbon tax plan, Bennington Banner

 

Wind

AWEA Releases Underwater Footage of Block Island Wind Farm’s Artificial Reef, Renewable Energy World

Falmouth deal eases wind turbine debt, Cape Cod Times

Town of Yates passes more restrictions on wind energy projects, Buffalo News

The Launch of a US Offshore Wind Industry, Renewable Energy World

FERC advances transmission line to serve Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, Utility Dive

What’s Happening With Maine Wind Power?, North American Windpower

Vineyard Wind wins state nod for undersea transmission cable, MassLive.com

Those Living Close To Wind Turbines Generally View Wind Power Positively, CleanTechnica

 

Solar

Vermont’s solar market fell 50% in 2017 (w/chart), pv magazine

A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas, Bloomberg

‘It’s so high it’s punitive’: Residents angered by local tax hike on home solar panels, Bangor Daily News

Solar Projects In Connecticut Face Local Pushback, New England Public Radio

Solar is again the flashpoint in CT’s new energy strategy, Hartford Business

Solect Energy Sees Acceleration in Solar Adoption by Massachusetts Municipalities, Schools and Nonprofits, pv magazine USA

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

Alliance to Save Energy proposes changes in electricity pricing structures, Daily Energy Insider

Maryland is first state to launch energy storage tax credit, Utility Dive

Greensmith Energy Storage Technology Selected to Deliver Reliable Solar Power in Massachusetts, Power Magazine

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Natural Resources Defense Council

The Most Important Energy Efficiency Program You’ve Never Heard Of, Energy Collective

Lawmakers Want To Restore Energy Efficiency Funds, But Don’t Know Where To Find The Money, Hartford Courant

Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things, The MIT Tech

Eversource News: Eversource and Lindt Chocolate Announce Landmark Energy Efficiency Partnership, North American Clean Energy

 

Nuclear

NRC: Lessen nuclear plant exemptions, Cape Cod Times

Keating pushes for nuclear plant decommissioning, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Quake rattles anti-nuclear activists in N.H., Boston Herald

Nuke critics can testify in Vermont Yankee case, Brattleboro Reformer

 

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

New Year’s Cold Snap Still Affecting People’s Pocketbooks in Western Mass, Valley Advocate

ISO New England foresees trouble without investment in fuel security, Platts

Trump Budget Backs Nuclear, Coal; Cuts Funding for Renewables, Power Magazine

Powelson: Input from PJM, ISO-NE states critical to FERC resilience docket, Utility Dive

Is the third pillar of electricity delivery preventing the building of the first two?, Utility Dive

Federal tax cut more than reverses Eversource rate increase in Massachusetts, Daily Energy Insider

Grid operations technologies protected customers from the bomb cyclone, Utility Dive

Lawmaker Accuses Eversource of Giving Consumers Misleading Billing Information, Hartford Courant

DC Circuit Remands FERC Decision Upholding ISO-NE FCM Rules Locking in Prices for New Entrants, Lexology

House coalition wants reversal of energy funds raid, Hartford Business

Local officials call National Grid’s response to October storm ‘inadequate’, Eagle-Tribune

National Grid seeks OK for New York power grid rebuild, Electric Light & Power

Selectmen pressure Eversource to undertake long-sought sidewalk work, Cape Cod Times

 

Editorial/Opinion

Our Russian ‘pipeline,’ and its ugly toll, Boston Globe

Forget Quebec, look offshore for power, CommonWealth Magazine

Beware the Coalition for Sustainable Energy, CommonWealth Magazine

Letter to the Editor: Proposed Burrillville power plant a step in the wrong direction, Herald News

Viewpoint: Need for Mass. clean transportation policy, Boston Business Journal

NJ needs clean energy now! Dump the carbon-trading scheme | Opinion, NJ.com

My Turn: David Spigelmyer: Rolling blackouts, skyrocketing costs, The Providence Journal

Indian Point power plant can withstand earthquakes: Letter, Poughkeepsie Journal

Just another routine day for NH ratepayers, NH Business Review

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas Pipelines, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, offshore wind, solar

Energy News for week ending October 27, 2017

Thorough Review | Seaweed Energy | Cow Power

Good Friday afternoon.

This week brought news from CommonWealth Magazine that the MA DPU is launching “a thorough review” of allegations in a recent report that Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. artificially constrained natural gas pipeline capacity in New England and drove up electricity prices by $3.6 billion over three years.

Up in Maine, Penn Energy reports that the University of New England in Maine is receiving more than $1.3 million in federal money to develop methods for the U.S. to become a leader at utilizing seaweed for uses such as energy.

And, sticking with not your average energy sources, the Berkshire Eagle says in Dalton, MA, “the town is embracing wind energy, but officials plan to chew a bit more on “cow power.” The Select Board heard a pitch Monday from Hampshire Power to buy electricity produced from cow manure and compost. Doing so would support green energy and yield credits to reduce its electric bill. The five-member board decided to hold off on a decision until its next meeting.”

Have a great weekend.

Natural Gas/Pipeline

Data shows two companies stand alone in their New England pipeline practices, Environmental Defense Fund

Gas leaks increase in Concord, Wicked Local Concord

Massachusetts regulators to review allegations Eversource, Avangrid constrained pipelines, Utility Dive

Tribal dispute provokes another call for state intervention in Burrillville power plant debate, WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Burrillville power plant decision delayed over changes to water plan, Valley Breeze

Citizens against the Rehoboth compressor station host Newton Mayor Setti Warren in Attleboro, The Sun Chronicle

Challenge to AIM Pipeline Approval Before DC Circuit Court, Patch.com

Wind energy project off LI to be called Empire Wind, Newsday

Study: Fracking Chemicals Harm Kids’ Brains, EcoWatch

Most Resolutions Against 1 GW Burrillville Plant Suppressed, Power Engineering

Activists bring pipeline protest to downtown Northampton, Hampshire Gazette

Amherst Board of Health asks Baker for more data on natural gas pipelines, Daily Hampshire Gazette

DPU reviewing report’s pipeline claims, CommonWealth Magazine

Renewable Energy (Policy, Miscellaneous, etc.)

Miller Environmental Group Installs First Utility Based Community Geothermal System on Long Island, New York for National Grid, Business Insider

Vinal Tech students unveil Connecticut’s ninth renewable energy E-house, New Haven Register

GE Renewable Energy Continues Strong 2017 Growth, CleanTechnica

Fusion Energy: How Scientists Are Creating Plasma Hotter Than the Sun in Quest for Limitless Clean Energy, Newsweek

Google’s New Office Complex Will Use a Massive Heat Pump Instead of Fuel, Fortune

Maine university getting more than $1M for seaweed-to-energy, Penn Energy

Dalton ponders ‘cow power’ for town electrical needs, Berkshire Eagle

Wind

New Study Finds Offshore Wind May Be Haven for Sea Life, Greentech Media

Light at the end of the tunnel for US offshore wind power, Recharge

Delaware Researchers Discover How to Cut Offshore Wind Construction Costs by $1.6B, Renewable Energy World

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center releases port assessment for offshore wind industry, Windpower Engineering

Developers Plan Wind Farms Off Jersey as Christie Era Ends, Bloomberg

Offshore wind ushers in a new time on Block Island, Windpower Engineering

Distributed Wind Turbine Makers Bolstered by Energy Department Grants, Greentech Media

Deepwater commits to New Bedford for Revolution project, Recharge

Solar

Ruling leads to increased solar panel prices, MetroWest Daily News

Rhode Island Solar Program Hits Cap, Installers Irked, ecoRI news

Solar Panel Facility Eyed At Former West Haven Landfill, Patch.com

Energy Efficiency

Battery storage, smart grid and energy efficiency investment tops $1bn, Power Engineering International

I-Team: After Expensive Energy Upgrades, Consumers Struggle To Get Promised Mass Save Rebates, CBS Boston / WBZ

NH House panel to weigh energy-efficiency charge opt-out bill, New Hampshire Business Review

Simple Energy Brings Instant Utility Rebates to Retail Outlets, Greentech Media

Nuclear

Oh, another wrinkle on budget deal: Millstone’s profitability, The CT Mirror

NRC presses Seabrook nuke plant on concrete problem, Seacoastonline.com

Whistleblowers Share Insights About Vermont Yankee Doc, Seven Days

New England Coalition defends expert witnesses in NorthStar hearings, vtdigger.org

Activists mobilize on nuclear power proposals, Cape Cod Times

Cyr Files Bill to Increase Authority of Pilgrim Decommissioning Panel, CapeCod.com News

As climate change fuels fears about nuclear waste, Maine looks to Trump for solution, Bangor Daily News

Former energy secretary highlights national security, low-carbon benefits of nuclear, Daily Energy Insider

Connecticut passes bill to support Dominion’s Millstone nuclear plant, Utility Dive

DOE NOPR

Connecticut AG opposes federal Energy Department’s proposed coal, nuclear subsidies, New Haven Register

RTOs Reject NOPR; Say Fuel Risks Exaggerated, RTO Insider

DOE’s Coal, Nuclear Cost Recovery Plan Receives Onslaught of Opposition, Greentech Media

Obama discriminated against coal, nuclear: US energy secretary, Reuters

What States Told FERC About the DOE’s Grid Resiliency Rule [INFOGRAPHIC], POWER magazine

DOE NOPR opponents: No basis for expanded FPA to justify coal, nuke cost recovery, Utility Dive

FERC Commissioner Gives Perspective on the Energy Markets in Light of NOPR, Renewable Energy World

Connecticut AG opposes federal Energy Department’s proposed coal, nuclear subsidies, New Haven Register

Markets/Grid/Policy/Prices/Etc.

Eversource puts tab for memberships on ratepayers, CommonWealth Magazine

Town committee proposes resolution opposing Eversource rate increase, The Recorder

Northern Pass noise claims challenged, The Union Leader

Workshop To Discuss National Grid’s Electric Rates and Rate Hike: Rep. Lancia, Patch.com

Hydro-Quebec, DOE to explore collaboration on storage, EVs, Utility Dive

New Hampshire won’t join Clean Power plan suit – at least not yet, New Hampshire Business Review

The Energy 202: Tax debate opens door for renewables to get same break as fossil fuels, Washington Post

Board kills directive to bury power lines at park, Penn Energy

Bill would allow municipalities to develop microgrids, Penn Energy

NY regulators move to protect consumers in DER market, Utility Dive

US sounds alarm over increased cyber threat to energy, other sectors, Utility Dive

Maine Legislative Committee to Consider Community Microgrids as a “Force for Good,” Microgrid Knowledge

Hydro-Quebec, DOE to explore collaboration on storage, EVs, Utility Dive

New law allows NY to restrict oil tanker Hudson anchorages, Penn Energy

Editorial/Opinion

Viewpoint: Massachusetts is investing in clean-energy tech for businesses, BBJ (subscriber content)

No, Solar Doesn’t Have a Customer Acquisition Problem, Greentech Media

The key to tackling climate change: electrify everything, Vox.com

RGGI has been effective but Rep. Vadney opposes it, The Laconia Daily Sun

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Filed under Electricity Costs, Energy Efficiency, Pilgrim Closing, Vermont Yankee Closing

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