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http://energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/

Energy Policy Update Blog

Energy powers society; society's choices shape energy policy. This blog is about our energy resources and the choices they present for society.

Recent Blog Posts

  • U.S. ocean energy regulators have extended a deadline for public comment on a proposed path forward for offshore renewable energy leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's "Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf" lists factors the agency proposes to consider in identifying areas for possible future offshore wind leasing.BOEM is an agency of the Department of the Interior, charged with advancing the responsible... More
  • Lava erupting from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii has caused a nearby geothermal power plant to shut down. Puna Geothermal Venture is a geothermal energy conversion plant on the island of Hawaii. It brings steam and hot liquid from underground wells to the surface, where the steam is directed to a turbine generator to produce electricity. A second turbine uses the first turbine's exhaust steam to generate additional electricity. Under a contract, up to 38 megawatts of power... More
  • New England utility regulators have gathered in Maine for the 71st annual symposium of the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners.NECPUC is a non-profit corporation which provides regional regulatory assistance on matters of common concern to public utilities commissions of the six New England states. Its board of directors is composed of public utilities commissioners from the six New England states. NECPUC meets regularly throughout the year and sponsors an annual symposium on regulatory issues.NECPUC holds its 71st annual symposium... More
  • The operator of New England's bulk electric grid projects that both energy usage and peak demand from the utility grid will decline slightly in the region over the 10-year period between 2018 and 2027, primarily due to the deployment of energy efficiency measures and behind-the-meter solar arrays.ISO New England Inc. is the regional transmission organization responsible for the electric grid and electricity markets across most of New England. On April 30, 2018, ISO-NE published its 2018-2027 Forecast Report of Capacity,... More
  • U.S. hydropower regulators have denied a request to extend the term of the country's first hydrokinetic project pilot license, instead holding that the original license's 10-year term should be enough time for the developer to complete testing and to decide whether to apply for a subsequent license.At issue is Verdant Power, LLC's  Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project No. 12611 (RITE Project). The 1,050-kilowatt hydrokinetic tidal project site is located in the East River near New York City. In 2012, the... More
  • Acadia National Park in coastal Maine has released a draft planning document presenting possible actions to address increasing visitor vehicle traffic. The park's Draft Transportation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement proposes to adopt a timed-entry reservation system for some parking lots and roads in the park. The issue raises questions about infrastructure in national parks, and how to balance competing interests in resource management.A coastal scene near Acadia National Park.According to the National Park Service, annual visitation to Acadia National... More
  • U.S. utility regulators have issued an order adopting a final rule reforming the procedures through which electric generators obtain interconnections to the utility grid. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order No. 845 adopts a final rule which implements ten specific reforms designed to provide interconnection customers better information and more options, in the hopes that transmission providers will better be able to focus on interconnection requests that are likely to reach commercial operation.Generally speaking, generators need to interconnect to the... More
  • Maine environmental regulators have initiated a rulemaking, after receiving a citizen petition asking for rules to reduce Maine's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 8 percent per year. According to an April 25, 2018 announcement by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, on January 24 of this year the Department received a "Citizen Petition for Rulemaking to Require the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to Fulfill its Statutory, Constitutional, and Public Trust Obligations to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Along a... More
  • A coalition of New England colleges has formed to purchase electricity from a solar farm in Farmington, Maine. The New England College Renewable Partnership describes itself as the first collaborative purchase of solar electricity in New England higher education. The New England College Renewable Partnership includes Amherst, Bowdoin, Hampshire, Smith and Williams Colleges. According to an announcement by Amherst, Mount Holyoke and UMass Amherst had also participated in earlier discussions about the project, but later abandoned the project, while Bowdoin... More
  • U.S. energy infrastructure regulators have launched an inquiry to examine how they review and authorize interstate natural gas transportation facilities under federal law. The process before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could lead to changes to the Commission's policies on certification of new natural gas pipelines.Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act requires any person seeking to construct or operate a facility for the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity... More
  • U.S. ocean energy regulators have announced the proposed lease sale of two new areas offshore Massachusetts for commercial wind energy leasing, totaling about 390,000 acres.On April 6, 2018, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would publish a Proposed Sale Notice for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Massachusetts on April 11, 2018.Through that Proposed Sale Notice, BOEM described its plans to conduct Atlantic Wind Lease... More
  • Will Virginia adopt regulations for greenhouse gas emissions trading that enable it to join nine other states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative?The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI was formed in 2007 by agreement of participating states. At present, nine states participate in RGGI: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each participating state has... More
  • The operator of New England's electric grid and wholesale electricity markets has adopted a new design for its capacity market, called “Pay For Performance” or PFP, which will become effective on June 1, 2018. As of that date, capacity payments will reward power resources that make investments to successfully boost performance during periods of system stress, while resources that don’t perform will forfeit capacity payments. According to grid operator ISO New England, Inc., these capacity market reforms... More
  • How should distributed energy resources be allowed to aggregate and participate in organized wholesale electricity markets? How could increased adoption of distributed energy resources affect the bulk power system? U.S. energy regulators have announced a two-day technical conference to be held in April 2018 to discuss these and other issues relating to distributed energy resources.Distributed energy resources, or DERs, are generally small, geographically dispersed electric resources, installed and operated on the distribution system at voltage levels below the typical... More
  • U.S. ocean energy regulators have announced their intent to study the environmental impacts of approving an offshore wind developer's plans to construct and operate an 800-megawatt wind energy facility offshore Massachusetts.At issue is a proposal by Vineyard Wind LLC to construct and operate an 800-megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore Massachusetts. The project area, a lease for which was awarded to Offshore MW LLC by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2015, is located about 14... More