Northeast Energy News

Study: Massachusetts tops U.S. in energy efficiency for eighth year

EFFICIENCY: Massachusetts is the most energy efficient state for the eighth year in a row, while New Jersey saw the most improvement in efficiency, according to an annual study. (The Hill, NJ Spotlight, ACEEE)

ALSO: Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively, for energy efficiency in the same report. (GoLocalProv, The Hour)

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NUCLEAR: PSEG confirms it will shut down its three nuclear plants without zero-emission subsidies from New Jersey. (NJ Spotlight)

SOLAR:
• Developers lease 900 acres for a 100 MW solar project in northwest New York. (The Buffalo News)
• Solar developers are working with a Long Island business organization to encourage companies to install solar panels on their rooftops, with a goal of adding up to 20 MW of solar capacity. (Newsday)

WIND:
• Developers of a planned wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts agree to pay a coastal town $16 million to use one of its beaches to bring a high-voltage transmission cable ashore. (Cape Cod Times)
• A secretive wind energy panel convened by Maine Gov. Paul LePage eight months ago holds its first meeting. (Portland Press Herald)

STORAGE: New York officials announce a plan to build a 20 MW battery project in Northern New York to help kick-start energy storage adoption throughout the state. (Watertown Daily Times)

EMISSIONS: Connecticut officials are poised to announce which companies, municipalities and state entities will receive the first round of settlement money from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal, which will be used to upgrade diesel truck and bus fleets. (Hartford Business Journal)

PIPELINES: Federal regulators say a controversial natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to South Carolina can begin service this week. (LancasterOnline)

NATURAL GAS:
• Columbia Gas updates its policies to require more safeguards when performing underground pipe work, which raises questions about whether the company’s previous practices contributed to a series of home explosions outside Boston last month. (Boston Globe)
• Connecticut energy regulators tell the public there are safeguards to prevent gas explosions like those outside Boston, calling the state’s pipeline leak-detection program one of the most “robust” in the country. (Journal Inquirer)
• State utility investigators ask to impose a $2.1 million fine against a utility for its role in a 2017 gas explosion in central Pennsylvania that destroyed a house and killed a utility worker. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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UTILITIES: Customers of New Jersey’s largest utility will see a rate decrease of about $2 a year thanks to a settlement that will generate an additional $212 million in annual revenue combined with $225 million in tax cuts. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

COMMENTARY:
• A bill proposing to swap the federal gas tax for a price on carbon would help Pennsylvania by stimulating infrastructure development and reducing carbon emissions, says a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania and the state’s director of The Nature Conservancy. (The Patriot-News)
• Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry is rebounding thanks to affordable natural gas produced from shale, say the presidents of state business organizations. (Observer-Reporter)

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