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)

ALSO:
• 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)

NUCLEAR:
• 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)

WIND:
• 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)

CLIMATE:
• 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)

EFFICIENCY:
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)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
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)

COMMENTARY:
• 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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