Northeast Energy News

Advocates to fight Massachusetts utility’s solar demand charge

SOLAR: A decision by Massachusetts regulators to allow a utility to levy a demand charge on future solar rooftop customers is met with criticism by solar energy industry proponents; a nonprofit advocacy group plans to challenge the ruling. (Greenfield Recorder, MassLive)

• Local officials in a small rural Massachusetts town have rejected a large-scale solar project after residents objected. (The Daily News)
• The largest school-district-owned solar project in New York state is ready to go online. (Times Herald-Record)
• More than 50 homeowners in a rural New York town have signed on to a program offering discounts on solar panels. (WIVB)

NATURAL GAS: Rhode Island’s attorney general opposes a proposed new natural gas plant in the state, saying solar development has made the project unnecessary. (Rhode Island Public Radio)

PIPELINES: Federal regulators last week upheld New York’s rejection of a permit for the Constitution natural gas pipeline. (Albany Business Review)

• Connecticut regulators hear conflicting assessments on the economic viability of the Millstone nuclear plant. (RTO Insider)
• Vermont regulators postpone public hearings on the proposed sale of the Yankee nuclear plant. (Rutland Herald)

• A group convened by Delaware Gov. John Carney will take more time to deliver recommendations on offshore wind. (Delaware Public Media)
• Wind farm development in Pennsylvania has slowed down, but lawmakers could help the industry grow by increasing the state’s renewable energy standards. (StateImpact)
• What Massachusetts could learn from the United Kingdom about offshore wind development. (WBUR)

GRID: Vermont utilities seek solutions as the grid serving the northern part of the state reaches capacity. (VT Digger)

UTILITIES: Maryland regulators have launched a process to assess how electric and gas utilities can pass on savings from the new tax law to their customers. (Press release)

• The village of Potsdam in New York is searching for volunteers to serve on a task force that will develop a plan to meet climate smart goals, such as using more renewable energy and decreasing energy use. (Watertown Daily Times)
A New York company is betting big on “carbon-negative power plants” that can pull CO2 from the atmosphere. (ecoRI)

More residents in a Massachusetts town will now be able to receive money to help pay for energy conservation improvements in their homes. (Greenfield Recorder)

New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire officials have sent U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke a letter requesting their states be exempt from a plan that allows offshore drilling of oil and gas along the northeast coastline. (Associated Press)
A group of senators representing New England states have introduced legislation to ban offshore drilling in the region. (Daily Energy Insider)
• Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s support for offshore drilling could impact efforts to exempt his state. (Portland Press Herald)

POLLUTION: Several northeastern states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency for refusing to expand a control measure to neighboring states that would help stop the amount of air pollution floating eastward. (The Morning Call)

• The Bangor Daily News editorial board says state lawmakers should pass a bill that would allow regulators time to assess the pros and cons of net metering.
The Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel says Maine Gov. Paul LePage is right to oppose legislation that would provide subsidies to the biomass industry since the role of biomass is limited in Maine.
• A Crain’s New York Business editorial criticizes the city’s system for grading energy efficiency of buildings.
• A New Jersey developer says reforming the state’s renewable energy credit policy is key to reviving the solar boom. (NJ Spotlight)
• “The world probably can’t solve climate change without nuclear power.” (Grist)

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