Northeast Energy News

Worker tests positive for COVID-19 during nuclear plant refueling

NUCLEAR: A contract worker employed for the refueling of the Limerick nuclear plant in Pennsylvania tests positive for coronavirus as local officials continue to criticize Exelon for proceeding during the outbreak. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

ALSO:
• An anonymous contract worker says he is “terrified” of working at the plant and sees it as a breeding ground for COVID-19 as social distancing is not in place. (Pottstown Mercury)
• Three-fourths of New England’s nuclear fleet is now or will soon be offline for scheduled refueling outages during the coronavirus pandemic. (CT Mirror)

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UTILITIES:
• Risks to workers from COVID-19 appear to have risen as Con Ed reported 170 cases and three deaths by Friday. (Utility Dive)
• Power demand in New York City could fall as much as 20% during the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (E&E News, subscription required)
• About 200 National Grid employees in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are sequestered at company offices to keep operations uninterrupted during the pandemic. (Rome Sentinel)
• A New Jersey utility executive says COVID-19 points out how some operations will have to be changed once the crisis is over. (ROI-NJ)
Utility operations in Pennsylvania are relatively unscathed during the pandemic as PJM planned for the possibility after the SARS epidemic in 2003. (WHYY)

OIL & GAS: The Shell cracker plant outside Pittsburgh awaits word from Pennsylvania officials on its request for a waiver to allow construction to resume. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

COAL: Workers at New York’s last coal generator that was officially closed last week await permission to return to the site to begin a six-month decommissioning process. (Niagara Gazette)

SOLAR: A developer proposes three solar installations in Lewiston, Maine, in the city’s first foray into commercial-scale projects. (Sun Journal)

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CLIMATE: Middlebury College will be the lead Vermont college during a national virtual teach-in Tuesday on local solutions to climate change. (Vermont Biz) 

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial board says federal environmental enforcement should not be suspended during a pandemic, especially for methane emissions from Pennsylvania fracking. (York Dispatch)
• The New York State budget codifies a ban on fracking which had previously been in force only by an executive order. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
The Press of Atlantic City says residents should prepare for the benefits of smart meters now that a state moratorium has been lifted and installations may begin in a few months.

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