Northeast Energy News

Maine governor seeks investigation of solar connection cost surge

SOLAR: Maine Gov. Janet Mills asks state regulators to investigate why the state’s largest utility told solar developers projects, including some already built, will cost tens of millions more to connect to the transmission grid. (Portland Press Herald)

ALSO: A Boston developer seeks approval for a 55-acre solar array in a Maine town that will vote next month on a moratorium that would retroactively block the project. (CentralMaine.com)

UTILITIES: Advocates ask for an extension of a utility shutoff moratorium in New Jersey while officials come up with a plan to deal with an estimated $600 million in late payments. (NJ Spotlight)

BIOMASS: A town in Massachusetts under contract to buy 25% of the power from a proposed biomass plant made promises to review the agreement but there has been little movement since the fall. (Daily Times Chronicle)

TRANSPORTATION: A Connecticut city buys the first electric school bus for its system using funds from the Volkswagen settlement for most of its $270,000 cost. (Middletown Press)

POWER PLANTS: A Connecticut legislator proposes a bill to halt all fossil fuel power plant development while the energy committee chair says the state should not sidestep the regulatory process for the plant that is the bill’s target. (CT Examiner)

POLITICS:
Daniel McKee, who will become Rhode Island governor as his predecessor heads to the Biden administration, says addressing climate change is a “moral imperative,” but did not endorse specific proposals or legislation. (Boston Globe)
A former state senator and recent executive at a Boston clean energy company says he will run for Massachusetts governor in 2022 with climate a centerpiece of his campaign. (NECN)

EFFICIENCY: Burlington, Vermont enters the third phase of its quest to create a district energy system that would heat the central core with waste heat from the city’s electric generating station. (news release)

NATURAL GAS: A company says it will build a pipeline to serve areas of coastal Maine that do not have natural gas service, with several town officials welcoming an additional fuel choice. (Portland Press Herald)

COMMENTARY: Environmentalists say Central Maine Power’s recent admission that it underestimated transmission connections costs for solar development in the tens of millions sends a chilling message to renewable energy companies wanting to invest in the state. (Portland Press Herald)

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