Northeast Energy News

State policies help Massachusetts utilities excel on efficiency

EFFICIENCY: Efficiency advocates and Massachusetts utilities credit aggressive goals and financial incentives in the state for the utilities’ top ranking in a national survey. (Energy News Network)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• State incentives help transform part of a massive closed steel mill in Maryland into a manufacturing and staging area for offshore wind farms proposed off the state’s coast. (E&E News, subscription required)
• A three-year study of cod and other commercial fish around New England’s offshore wind sites by government and university researchers is now underway. (WorkBoat)
• New England may be the cradle of the U.S. offshore wind industry but advocates wonder if it can keep jobs associated with it after the announcement of a large blade manufacturing plant slated for Virginia. (Greentech Media)

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OIL AND GAS:
• Labor and industry representatives meet in Pittsburgh to launch a group to counter criticism of local industries including natural gas and petrochemicals. (TribLIVE)
• A Massachusetts judge approves a $143 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against Columbia Gas by business and residential victims of a fatal 2018 gas explosion. (Associated Press)
• Analysts say an international price war for oil may benefit Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry by removing from the market natural gas produced in other states as a byproduct of oil drilling. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

SOLAR:
• A floating 4.4 MW solar array that powers a New Jersey township’s water treatment plant is now operating. (NJBiz)
• Local officials meet with the developer of a proposed 19-acre solar farm that would be built on a Maine blueberry field. (Ellsworth American)
• Planners in a Maine town approve a 14.6 MW solar farm spread over 147 acres configured to avoid wetlands scattered throughout the site. (Sun Journal)

CLIMATE:
• A climate council in New York formed to develop recommendations for how the state will meet its climate goals will meet in secret because it is an advisory panel not subject to the state’s open meetings law. (Politico)
• A survey reveals an increasing number of New Hampshire businesses are taking measures to reduce energy use and monitor their climate impacts. (NH Business Review)

POWER PLANTS: A strike at Massachusetts’ largest power plant over safety issues has been settled. (Associated Press)

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WASTE TO ENERGY: A plant on Long Island drops plans to convert food waste to electricity, citing “landfill” and economic issues and will instead sell biogas for transportation fuels bound for California. (Newsday)

COMMENTARY:
• A natural gas advocate says New Jersey’s energy master plan is unrealistic in its intention to phase out fossil fuels by 2050. (NorthJersey.com)
• An environmental coalition says it is baffled by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s bid to enforce federal emissions standards while simultaneously agreeing to a settlement that guts enforcement of water quality standards for a hydropower dam. (Maryland Matters)
• The Maryland Climate Coalition wonders what the legislature’s climate legacy will be this year as a deadline to advance several key initiatives looms with few tangible actions taken. (Maryland Matters)

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