UTILITIES: The New Jersey rate counsel says storm resilience by the state’s utilities has not seemed to have improved despite billions spent since Superstorm Sandy. (NJ Spotlight)

ALSO: Nearly half of Massachusetts municipalities are now buying power through municipal aggregation programs. (WWLP)

EFFICIENCY:
Massachusetts building trade unions support Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of a climate bill, saying provisions to promote net-zero building efficiency would add millions in construction costs and projects would grind to a halt. (WWLP)
HVAC installers in Vermont had one of their best years on record in 2020 as commercial building owners sought to improve indoor air quality in response to the pandemic. (VT Digger)

OFFSHORE WIND:
New Jersey officials will shortlist five construction management firms in the coming weeks as they hope to begin construction later this year on an offshore wind energy port. (NJ Spotlight)
A former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is named to head the federal bureau that oversees offshore wind development. (E&E News, subscription required)
Fishermen in New Jersey are skeptical of the effects the Atlantic Shores offshore wind project may have on their businesses and raise questions about electromagnetic fields created near cables. (Asbury Park Press)

SOLAR:
• Officials in a Maine town will meet today to consider a proposal to allow solar panels in a historic district. (Portland Press Herald)
• Developers of an upstate New York solar array are scaling back the project’s footprint and eliminating a storage facility in response to public pushback. (Albany Times Union)
• A solar developer is fined $1.4 million for violating federal stormwater regulations at an 18.5 acre project site in Massachusetts. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new study says placing electric vehicle charging stations closer to residential streets would help increase vehicle popularity and alleviate concerns about range anxiety. (WBUR)

TRANSPORTATION: A regional planner says there is still potential for a high-speed rail network in the Northeast. (CT Mirror)

PIPELINES: Vermont regulators say a utility violated its permit and failed to follow its own standards on a natural gas pipeline that was completed in 2017. (Vermont Public Radio)

COMMENTARY:
• An analyst says Rhode island’s solar incentive program that encourages larger projects to produce as much energy as they can could be a national model. (PV Magazine)
• Three environmental groups say they are challenging a federal permit for a Maine power line because the Army Corps of Engineers gave a “cursory review” of the project unlike what was done in other New England states. (Portland Press Herald)
• PJM’s decision to review the operation of its capacity market is a hopeful sign the grid operator will take steps to more easily integrate renewable energy resources, the Natural Resources Defense Council says.
• An executive of a heating fuels company says the Massachusetts climate bill is flawed in that efficient technologies to replace fossil fuels in buildings do not yet exist and current alternatives would stress the power grid. (Herald News)
• A solar developer says a hodgepodge of local regulations, inconsistent state policy and poor compensation for project owners make doing business in New Hampshire more costly and difficult than it should be. (Concord Monitor)

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.