Sam Evans-Brown

Environment and Education Reporter


Sam Evans-Brown has been working for  New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. His work has won several local broadcast journalism awards, and he was a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.



10:52 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Who Needs Batteries? Seacoast Firm Stores Energy With Air

SustainX’s compressor is built from the lower half of a MAN Diesel Turbo engine. SustainX’s Richard Brody says this type of engine powers 80% of the world’s marine fleet, and is known for reliability.
Credit Courtesy Photo / SustainX

Solar and wind power are intermittent, and if enough of them are powering the grid, some kind of storage will be necessary. And storage means batteries, right?

Not necessarily. In Seabrook New Hampshire, a start-up is doing it with compressed air.

It’s pretty easy to see how energy stored as compressed air works: When you let go of a full balloon, it flies all around the room because of the energy stored inside. So if you use electricity to run an air compressor, you basically just need to find a way to run that compressor backwards to get electricity again.

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5:16 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Energy Start-Up Banks On Compressed Air Over Batteries

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 9:34 am



Many states want to increase the amount of electricity that comes from wind and solar energy. One challenge is that renewables are not reliable. The wind doesn't always blow, the sun doesn't always shine. So companies are now trying to develop better ways to store energy.

New Hampshire Public Radio's Sam Evans-Brown reports on a company that is working on a storage system that uses compressed air.

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NH News
6:02 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Electricity Regulators Want Answers From Resident Power And Power New England

Over 7,000 "meters" that were being served by PNE have been transferred to PSNH, and another 1,200 to Fairpoint Energy, after PNE was suspended from the electricity market
Credit Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

The Public Utilities Commission is asking an electricity supplier that was suspended from selling power in the New England grid to explain why it shouldn’t be subject to penalties in New Hampshire.

The PUC wants Power New England and Resident Power to account for a number of possible violations.

Resident Power is an aggregator that gathers up electricity customers and delivers them to a supplier. Power New England actually supplies electricity. Gus Fromuth is part owner of Power New England, and his son Bart is Managing Director of Resident Power. 

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5:44 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

N.H. Has Authority Over Any "Sizeable Change" To Portland-Montreal Pipeline

The Portland-Montreal Pipeline currently carries crude from Portland to Montreal for refining.
Credit A.F. Litt / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says it might have authority over a controversial project to reverse a crude oil pipeline that crosses the North Country. In a memo DES says while pipelines are regulated by the federal government, it would need to issue a permit for any quote “sizeable change or addition” to line. It does not specify if it considers reversing the flow of the line would be considered such a change.

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7:18 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Reaping What Winter Sows: The Ice Harvest

The ice harvest at Rockywold-Deephaven has been keeping the camp's food cold for 115 years.
Sam Evans-Brown NHPR

Camp Rockywold-Deephaven is a rustic retreat on the North end of Squam Lake. For one-hundred and fifteen years, the camp has been cutting and storing ice from the Lake to keep food cold in their old-fashioned ice boxes. John Jurczynski, the co-manager of Rockywold-Deephaven, oversees a team of about fourteen helpers cutting grid patterns into 12 inch thick ice, and breaking off the squares like chunks of Hershey Bar. The squares are floated into a channel; prodded into a queue with long hooked poles where they bob in place, waiting to be hauled away.

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6:48 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

N.H. House Votes To Repeal School Choice Tax Credit

Credit Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted, 188 to 151, to repeal the Education Tax Credit that took effect less than two months ago. The law grants an 85% tax credit to businesses that donate to scholarship organizations, which give the money to students going to a private school, an out-of-district public school, or home school.

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5:32 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Wind Moratorium Proposal Splits Environmental Community

Northern Pass and Wind Farm opponent showed their approval for various speakers by waving their fingers, after having been told not to applaud.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The controversy over the development of wind farms in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire has caused a split in the state’s environmental groups. That split was on display during a hearing over a proposed moratorium on wind development.

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NH News
6:05 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

In Budget, Hassan Lays Out Priorities

Legislators and audience members bow their heads for the pledge of allegiance, before the Governor’s address.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

The governor’s budget address is the starting point for the months of wrangling and compromises that will eventually determine where the state will spend its money.

In the budget released today Governor Hassan spelled out her priorities in key areas like education, healthcare and infrastructure.

On Education

Restoring cuts to the state’s public universities was a centerpiece of Maggie Hassan’s campaign for governor, and Education was at the center of her speech.

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4:33 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Governor's Budget Would Restore LCHIP Funding

Governor Hassan’s is proposing the state restore funding to Environmental groups’ first priority: the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. The $4 million dollars a year for LCHIP comes from fees tacked generated by certain real-estate transactions. It’s supposed to go into a dedicated fund used to put land and historic building into preservation.

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A Loaded Issue
5:30 am
Wed February 13, 2013

N.H. Rural Gun Owners Buck National Trends

Nancy Chaddock at her home in Hill, NH. Chaddock, who does not own a gun herself, is not bothered by the many gun owners who live around her.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

For many rural residents of New Hampshire, owning a gun is not a political statement; it’s a tool, or a form of recreation. Even for some non-gun-owning neighbors, the idea that others have guns for hunting or target shooting is pretty non-controversial. And what’s more, the data available indicate that in New Hampshire that rural gun-culture only seems to be growing.

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NH News
4:07 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Anti-Northern Pass Bills Get Their Day Before The Legislature

The green shirts of the IBEW members outnumbered the orange of Northern Pass opponents in the somewhat empty chamber of the House o Representatives Tuesday
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

A New Hampshire house committee is hearing testimony on five bills inspired by opposition to the Northern Pass Transmission Project today. Three bills of the bills in question could require new transmission lines be buried, or placed along transportation rights-of-way. Others would create a moratorium on new projects, or require the state officials to consider the economic impact on local communities in the permitting process.

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10:39 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Antrim Wind Farm Gets Thumbs Down From SEC

A wind turbine at the Granite Reliable wind project in Coos County.
Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

For the first time New Hampshire has rejected an application to construct a wind farm. The Site Evaluation Committee, which decides whether or not new power plants and transmission projects can be built, has rejected Eolian Energy’s 10 turbine Antrim project.

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6:02 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

RGGI Board Recommends Big Carbon Cap Reduction

Credit Captain Kimo / Flickr Creative Commons

The nine states that make up the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are recommending reducing the cap on power-plant carbon emissions by 45%. The New Hampshire representative on the RGGI board is Tom Burack commissioner of of the DES. 

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10:23 am
Sat February 2, 2013

New Hampshire's Energy Future

PSNH's control center monitors the flow of electricity across the grid in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is about to start re-thinking its ten year energy plan. In a weeklong series, NHPR's Environment Reporter Sam Evans-Brown looked at where we get our electricity from and where we will get it in the future.

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4:55 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

The Micro-Grid: The Grid Gold Standard?

Clay Mitchell from Revolution Energy surveys the 60 kW solar array at East Kingston Elementary school. Despite cold temperatures the week before, the panels give off enough heat that most of the snow has slide right off.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

For the most dedicated environmentalists, small scale renewables, right in our back-yard are the gold standard of energy generation. In the final installment of this weeklong look at New Hampshire’s energy future, we consider what a more distributed grid might look like.

Along with smart-grid, micro-grid is the newest buzz word in the energy world. Basically it’s a little island of power lines coupled with its own source of energy, that is still wired into the broader grid. They’re not totally self-sufficient but can generate their own electricity for short bursts when needed.

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