WIND: The new top federal regulator for offshore wind projects says review of the Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts is back on track after the developer temporarily withdrew it in the waning days of the Trump Administration. (Boston Globe)

ALSO: The Empire State Building signs a contract to be 100% powered by wind energy for the next three years. (Recharge)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a developer’s appeal of a lower court order that prevents it from using eminent domain to take state lands in New Jersey for the PennEast pipeline. (The Hill)
• Legal experts expect the Biden administration to back the pipeline developer, mostly seeing the case as a means to protect executive power. (E&E News, subscription required)
• The owner of a Vermont gas pipeline that state regulators say wasn’t buried deep enough asks for more time to respond as residents push for penalties. (VT Digger)

SOLAR:
• Despite the pandemic, Con Edison customers in New York built more than 50,000 solar arrays last year, adding 44.8 MW of solar to the system. (news release)
• Maine solar developers are upset with the state’s largest utility as they have been told their projects will cause problems in connections to the distribution system that would require costly upgrades. (Sun Journal)

CLIMATE:
• A proposed law in Maryland would create a climate director within the governor’s office to recommend changes to implement state climate policy. (Maryland Matters)
• Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf did not mention climate in his budget address, but environmentalists say there is much in the document that encourages them. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new report says Maine ranks fifth out of the six New England states and 17th nationally in electric vehicle penetration; EV adoption remains a challenge in the largely rural state. (Bangor Daily News, Energy News Network archive)

HYDROPOWER: Licensing renewal of a Maine hydropower dam by federal authorities remains in limbo as the dam owner appeals a state denial of a water quality permit. (Ellsworth American)

COMMENTARY:
• Green builders in the Boston commercial real estate industry say the climate bill passed by Massachusetts legislators is a starting point for the industry to become more climate-friendly. (Boston Globe)
• The director of a sustainable building organization disputes the widespread notion in Massachusetts that net-zero buildings are prohibitively expensive. (CommonWealth Magazine) 

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.