Northeast Energy News

Judge rejects solar farm, says it’s a factory

SOLAR:
• A Superior Court judge reverses a zoning board’s approval of a 2.9 MW solar farm in southern Rhode Island, saying the project qualifies as a manufacturing facility, which is prohibited in residential zones. (Providence Journal)
• A Dallas-based solar power technology firm that received a $1 million prize from NYSERDA is installing one of the world’s first solar solutions for industrial steam in Upstate New York. (Elmira Star-Gazette)

STORAGE: Massachusetts utilities and clean energy companies reach an agreement that allows storage developers to maintain control of capacity rights, while utilities get a new revenue stream to help pay for solar incentive costs. (Greentech Media)

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POLICY: A bill unveiled by Massachusetts lawmakers would boost the state’s renewable portfolio standard by 2 percent annually, but doesn’t include a provision to eliminate state-imposed caps on net-metering credits. (Boston Globe)

OFFSHORE WIND: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sends a letter asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the state’s offshore wind energy goal as an alternative to federal offshore drilling plans. (The Hill)

RENEWABLES: A Brooklyn startup identifies ways for clients to reduce their energy use, installs clean energy technologies and secures financing by grouping multiple buildings together and identifying investors. (Nation Swell)

EFFICIENCY: A village outside Rochester, New York, earns a “Clean Energy Community” designation for tracking the energy use of its municipal buildings, streamlining the approval processes for solar projects and other clean energy initiatives. (Messenger Post Media)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission awards $450,000 towards the creation of a nuclear safety program at The City College of New York. (news release)

POWER PLANTS: New England generators say a plan to keep 1,700 MW of gas-fired units running at a Massachusetts plant could spur more retirements. (S&P Global)

UTILITIES: Unitil plans to spend $4.2 million on a natural gas expansion effort and $60 million on electric grid upgrades in New Hampshire. (New Hampshire Business Review)

OIL & GAS: Hikers outside Pittsburgh are disappointed to find fracking equipment along a trail. (WESA)

POLLUTION: Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection asks federal regulators to exempt most of the state from a regional air pollution program that limits smog and ground-level ozone. (Portland Press Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• Massachusetts lawmakers should do more to curb the state’s fossil fuel use, says the Massachusetts Director of the Sierra Club. (CommonWealth Magazine)
• An op-ed in Forbes explains how Europe differs from the U.S. on offshore wind development and what can be done to close the gap.
• New York should solicit bids for offshore wind projects quickly to secure expiring federal tax credits, says the director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. (Times Union)

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