CLIMATE: New York’s state Department of Financial Services has hired its first climate director, a sign the state is increasingly serious about addressing climate change even amid the coronavirus pandemic. (City & State New York)

UTILITIES:
• An audit finds that a New Jersey utility earned far less than regulators allowed, in part because of increased expenses from extreme weather events, which forced it to repeatedly seek rate increases. (NJ Spotlight)
• The Energy Information Agency says power demand in New York fell up to 14% below projections in March and April due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

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EMISSIONS: New York will next year include emissions from combustion turbines smaller than 25 MW in its calculations of allowable CO2 tonnage. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR: Federal regulators grant a 30-day extension for comments on a petition by an elusive group challenging state net metering policies, well short of what states and grid associations requested. (Daily Energy Insider)

STORAGE: A new report says New York and Massachusetts are among the national leaders in adopting new policies in the first quarter of this year to encourage energy storage. (PV Magazine)

OIL & GAS: State officials investigate a natural gas surge that damaged appliances in more than 200 homes in a western Pennsylvania community. (Indiana Gazette)

EFFICIENCY:
• Energy efficiency jobs have declined in New Hampshire but an analyst says investment in energy infrastructure is one way to lead to an economic recovery in the state. (NHPR)
• Efficiency Vermont extends a home appliance replacement program believing more residents will take advantage of it when COVID-19 stay-in-place orders expire. (Rutland Herald)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A northern New York city adds 10 electric vehicle charging stations mostly paid for by state and utility grants. (Post Star)

COMMENTARY:
• A wind industry advocate says offshore wind provides a “generational opening” to create a new industry that can lead to an economic revival post COVID-19. (Maritime Executive)
• A business group that promotes offshore wind is heartened by continued progress in developing Northeastern projects despite the challenges forced upon the industry by the coronavirus pandemic. (Recharge)

Bill Opalka

Bill is a freelance journalist based outside Albany, New York. As a former New England correspondent for RTO Insider, he has written about energy for newspapers, magazines and other publications for more than 20 years. He has an extensive career in trade publications and newspapers, mostly focused on the utility sector, covering such issues as restructuring, renewable energy and consumer affairs. Bill covers Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire and also compiles the Northeast Energy News daily email digest.