New Hampshire pipeline ruling could revive Northern Pass transmission project

PIPELINES: New Hampshire’s Supreme Court rules that utilities can pass costs for new natural gas pipelines on to ratepayers; contrasting with a recent decision in Massachusetts. (CommonWealth Magazine)

TRANSMISSION: A utility spokesperson says the New Hampshire court ruling should cause regulators to reconsider rejection of the Northern Pass transmission project; a decision is expected tomorrow. (Concord Monitor, InDepthNH)

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NUCLEAR:
• New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign a bill authorizing $300 million in ratepayer funds to support nuclear plants in the state. (Bloomberg)
• The results of PJM’s capacity auction, expected to be released today, will likely not affect plans to retire nuclear plants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to analysts.

New Jersey sues to block PennEast pipeline

PIPELINES: New Jersey’s attorney general files a petition with a federal court challenging FERC’s approval of the PennEast pipeline. (NJ Spotlight)

BIOMASS:
• New Hampshire’s governor faces a difficult decision on whether to sign three bills that would benefit the state’s biomass industry. (New Hampshire Union Leader)
• A 6 MW biomass plant, along with a 4 MW solar array, are part of a new energy plan for the University of Maine. (Portland Press Herald)

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NATURAL GAS:
• U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls Eversource Energy’s proposed rate increase to fund upgrades to natural gas infrastructure “blatantly unjustified.” (Hartford Courant)
• A new 1,000 MW gas-fired power plant in Maryland is now online. (Delaware Business Now)
• Some leaders in a Massachusetts town regret signing on to a water agreement for a proposed Rhode Island power plant.

As energy storage catches on in Vermont, fire worries slow growth in New York

ENERGY STORAGE: An assessment of the fire risk of energy storage batteries in New York City has already limited their deployment there, according to analysts. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: About 250 homeowners so far have taken advantage of a Vermont utility’s offer for free installation of a Tesla PowerWall battery. (Brattleboro Reformer)

***SPONSORED LINK: Northeast Renewables Summit 2018 will bring together Northeast policymakers and regulators, utilities, the renewables community, off-takers and policy advocates to share the latest information and insights on developing the Northeast renewables markets.***

NUCLEAR: A federal review of the Pilgrim nuclear plant’s shutdowns finds no significant safety violations. (Cape Cod Times)

WIND:
• Wednesday is the deadline for Massachusetts to announce which of three major offshore wind proposals will move forward. (Associated Press)
• A Rhode Island town’s Chamber of Commerce will host a wind energy “field trip” for students interested in the industry.

Advocates challenge dire New England grid report

GRID: A report from New York’s grid operator says the system will need major upgrades to handle an increasingly distributed energy mix, but overall demand is expected to decline through 2028. (Gannett, Reuters)

ALSO:
• Environmental and consumer advocates raise questions about the New England ISO’s warnings of blackouts by 2024, saying it is based on overly pessimistic assumptions. (New Hampshire Public Radio)
• A new study ranks New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey among the most active states for grid modernization. (Solar Industry)

***SPONSORED LINK: Northeast Renewables Summit 2018 will bring together Northeast policymakers and regulators, utilities, the renewables community, off-takers and policy advocates to share the latest information and insights on developing the Northeast renewables markets.***

OIL AND GAS:
• The director of an oil industry group calls Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s severance tax proposal “misguided.” (Pittsburgh Business Times)
• A lawsuit challenging a Maine city’s ban on oil exports will go to trial in June. (Portland Press Herald)

NUCLEAR: Unplanned shutdowns have cost the Pilgrim nuclear plant $31 million in net revenue so far this year.

Pennsylvania regulators OK restart of Mariner pipeline

PIPELINES: Pennsylvania regulators recommend restarting the Mariner East 1 pipeline after safety inspections find no damage from sinkholes. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

OIL AND GAS:
• Lawmakers from both parties are backing Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax on oil and gas operations. (Mercury News)
• A Texas company announces plans to increase drilling in Pennsylvania, in part because of anticipated increased demand from a new power plant. (WNEP)

***SPONSORED LINK: Northeast Renewables Summit 2018 will bring together Northeast policymakers and regulators, utilities, the renewables community, off-takers and policy advocates to share the latest information and insights on developing the Northeast renewables markets.***

NUCLEAR: At a public hearing, critics oppose relicensing the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire, with one calling the facility “a disaster waiting to happen.” (Seacoast Online)

TRANSMISSION: A Maine utility responds to comments opposing a proposed transmission line. (Maine Public Radio)

SOLAR:
• A Massachusetts solar company is in a dispute with the Department of Energy over whether it can build a plant in Asia.