BIOMASS: Massachusetts issues a new rule preventing biomass plants built near environmental justice communities from qualifying for renewable energy incentives. (Boston Globe)

ALSO: A Massachusetts agency is challenging a developer’s appeal of its rejection of a permit for a proposed Springfield biomass plant. (RTO Insider, subscription)

***SPONSORED LINK: 2021 IPF Registration is now open! This year, IPF will be both in-person and virtual. IPF Together will be held August 24-26 in Richmond, VA (space is limited due to COVID guidelines). IPF Virtual will be taking place April 22, May 13, and June 17. Learn more and register today!***

OFFSHORE WIND: Off the Hamptons, two offshore wind farm areas previously promoted as part of a future federal leasing auction will no longer be included due to local industry conflicts. (Newsday)

CLEAN ENERGY: A report from New Jersey regulatory staff projects what it will cost to rapidly scale up the state’s wind and solar capacity. (NJ Spotlight)

JOBS: Pennsylvania advocates say legislation to increase the state’s renewable energy standard will help the clean energy industry recover more quickly. (Technical.ly)

OIL & GAS:
• Federal regulators may consider revoking a controversial compression station’s permit in Massachusetts, a step rarely taken and one that activists and industry leaders are watching carefully. (Inside Climate News)
• A New York climate bill would, if passed, institute a carbon tax that may increase natural gas heating costs by 26% and increase the gasoline tax by 55 cents a gallon. (Post-Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle sales rose by nearly a quarter in Pennsylvania in 2020, but the state’s northeast region didn’t see the same surge in sales. (Times Tribune) 

UTILITIES:
• Connecticut regulators reject a settlement reached in March that would have decreased rates for United Illuminating Co. into 2023. (CT Post)
• Maine will make permanent a program that allows utility customers to pay more on their bills to ensure they receive renewable energy. (Associated Press)
• New York regulators approve a framework to centralize data from the state’s utilities. (RTO Insider, subscription)
• Maine utilities will be able to resume disconnections tomorrow for customers behind on their bills as an 18-month moratorium expires. (Press Herald)

OVERSIGHT: Maine Gov. Janet Mills will have an opportunity to fill a seat on the state’s Public Utilities Commision and name the state’s new Public Advocate, both posts with considerable influence on energy and climate policy. (Sun Journal)

GRID: Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation is installing a microgrid at a maintenance facility powered by 2.6 MW of solar and natural gas generation. (Tribune-Review)

SOLAR:
• A developer seeks permission to use 32 unused acres at a New York cemetery for a 5.6 MW solar project. (Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journals)
• Officials in a New York county have authorized a developer to lease land at the local airport to install a 6.5 MW solar array. (Post-Star)

COMMENTARY:
• Two Connecticut officials say the state must act quickly to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change. (CT Mirror)
• Connecticut advocates say the state should either more aggressively regulate utilities or take over the grid: “We do not need electricity millionaires or electricity stockholders living off their dividends.” (New Haven Register)
• A Rhode Island attorney says states need to require utilities to act in the public’s interest, rather than maximizing returns for shareholders. (Providence Journal)

Ken Paulman

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.