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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

  • A report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that the nation's commercial building sector has significant potential to save energy by improving control measures and eliminating common HVAC faults.The May 2017 report, "Impacts of Commercial Building Controls on Energy Savings and Peak Load Reduction", notes that commercial buildings in the U.S. consume approximately 18 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of primary energy annually.  While previous studies have suggested significant potential for energy... More
  • The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has conditionally approved an oil and gas company's plan to drill four exploration wells into the federal submerged lands of the Beaufort Sea in the U.S. Arctic.On July 12, 2017, BOEM announced that it had conditionally approved a Beaufort Sea exploration plan (EP) it received from Eni US Operating Co. Inc.  The company is a subsidiary of Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni S.p.A.Under federal law, BOEM regulates exploration and production activities... More
  • Massachusetts' investor-owned electric distribution companies have issued a joint Request for Proposals for offshore wind energy projects.  Through the RFP, the utilities seek proposals for 400 megawatts (or more) of qualifying offshore wind energy generation and associated transmission, with winning bidders earning 15- to 20-year long-term contracts to sell project power.   This Massachusetts offshore wind RFP is designed as the first step in a staggered procurement schedule for compliance with a 2016 state law requiring the utilities to contract... More
  • The New York legislature has unanimously passed a bill establishing an energy storage deployment program.  The bill, S. 5190, aims to promote the installation of energy storage systems.  The bill now awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature, before it can take effect.New York is in the midst of major shifts in its energy policy.  Governor Cuomo's "Reforming the Energy Vision" or REV process aims to build a clean, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.  As part of... More
  • Montana utility regulators are preparing to study the costs and benefits of distributed solar energy projects and other customer-generators.  The results could reshape the way net-metered customers are charged for electric service, including the creation of a separate service classification and rates for customer-generators.Earlier this year, the Montana legislature enacted House Bill 219, a law requiring utility NorthWestern Corp. to "conduct a study of the costs and benefits of customer-generators," for submission to the state Public Service Commission to inform... More
  • U.S. regulators are evaluating an application by a company seeking to explore for oil in the Arctic.On June 12, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management or BOEM announced that it had deemed Eni US Operating Co.'s exploration plan (or EP) to be submitted, and invited public comment on the plan. The company is a subsidiary of the Italian gas and oil company Eni S.p.A.Under federal law, an Exploration Plan describes all exploration activities planned by the operator for... More
  • Federal energy regulators overseeing the development of a new interstate natural gas pipeline have announced the opening of an investigation, following the inadvertent release of about 2 million gallons of drilling fluid from a horizontal directional drill operation.Rover Pipeline LLC describes itself as a new interstate natural gas pipeline that is designed to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/day) of natural gas to markets in the Midwest, Northeast, East Coast, Gulf Coast and Canada.  The... More
  • The U.S. Forest Service has released its final approvals for two major electricity transmission lines proposed for development across several western states, issuing Records of Decision for the TransWest Express and Energy Gateway South projects.The TransWest Express Transmission Project is a high-voltage, direct current regional electric transmission system proposed by TransWest Express LLC.  The 600-kilovolt, bidirectional transmission line would connect the Marketplace Hub near Las Vegas, Nevada, to south-central Wyoming.  A core value of the project is its ability to provide... More
  • The North American bulk power system is expected to have sufficient resources to meet summer electricity demand for 2017, according to the U.S. electric reliability organization NERC.The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America.  Operating under the oversight of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, NERC develops and enforces mandatory reliability standards.NERC publishes an annual Summer Reliability Assessment.  This document identifies,... More
  • A recent report by the New England wholesale electricity market's monitor sheds light on the region's portfolio of generation resources, and how they are changing.The ISO New England, Inc. Internal Market Monitor's 2016 Annual Markets Report provides information on the average age of the region's generation fleet, broken down by fuel type.Figure 2-4, 2016 Annual Markets Report.According to the report, the average age of New England’s generators is 30 years, but different resource types show diverging average ages.  New England's... More
  • Overall, the New England wholesale electricity markets performed well in 2016, according to a report by the grid operator's internal market monitor.ISO New England, Inc. operates the bulk transmission system and wholesale electricity markets for most of New England.  ISO-NE's Internal Market Monitor is an internal ISO department charged with performing regular market assessments and reporting, as well as "the daily detection and mitigation (lessening) of the effects of any anti-competitive behavior in the wholesale markets or market... More
  • President Trump's first proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 includes a line item for "Lease oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)".  According to the budget proposal, opening ANWR to oil and gas leasing would reduce the federal deficit by a total of $1.8 billion between 2018 and 2027.  A more detailed departmental overview notes, "the budget includes proposed legislation to authorize leasing for oil and gas in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife... More
  • The New York Power Authority has announced plans to develop a microgrid to supply steam and electricity to the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in Albany.NYPA, officially known as the Power Authority of the State of New York, is a state-level public power organization, operating power plants and transmission lines.On May 22, 2017, NYPA announced its plans to convert a former waste-recovery steam plant located in Albany into a site for two new 8-megawatt natural gas-fired turbine generators... More
  • Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed legislation that would authorize the state to take over ownership of a dam and water storage project on the U.S.-Canada border.As initially printed on June 1, 2017, LD 1626 would be a resolve authorizing a Maine state agency to assume ownership of the Forest City Project.  The Forest City Project is located on the East Branch of the St. Croix River which forms the international boundary between the United States and Canada.... More
  • Canadian oil company Husky Energy has announced a decision to develop its West White Rose Project offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.  Meanwhile the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to geophysical surveys in the Atlantic Ocean relating to hydrocarbon development.Husky Energy is a Canada-based publicly traded energy company.  It is the operator of the White Rose field, discovered in 1984 about 350 kilometres east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, in water depths... More