This week in regional energy news …
- The New Hampshire house rejected, 194-148, legislation that would have imposed a moratorium on all new wind turbine and electric transmission projects. The bill would have temporarily prevented projects such as the 187-mile, $1.4 billion Northern Pass transmission project from being built.
- Maine’s Legislature is debating three bills that would promote solar generation investment in the state. As of 2012, Maine had only 2.2 MW of installed solar capacity, while Vermont had 45 MW and Massachusetts 31 MW. One of the bills being considered would increase the statewide capacity limit of community-based renewable projects from 50 MW to 60 MW, and stipulate that a certain amount of the state’s renewable portfolio standard include solar energy. A second bill would set a goal of generating 40 MW of solar energy in Maine by 2016, and 200 MW by 2020. The third bill would allow solar generators to sell power back onto the electric grid at favorable rates.
- Natural gas prices in the Northeast, from New Jersey/New York north, have spiked significantly during the dozens of bitterly cold days the region has experienced since early December.
- To mitigate the shortage and price volatility of natural gas, New England’s governors are working together to promote the development of additional interstate natural gas pipeline infrastructure to serve the area.