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.

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NH News
9:19 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Spring Snow Storms Into N.H.

A man shovels the sidewalk in front of Rig A' Tony's in downtown Derry on Tuesday. He said he's a friend of the owner and was helping out.
Michael Brindley/NHPR

New Hampshire was dealt a late-season winter storm on Tuesday.

With snow whipping across his face, Christian Driscoll did his best to stay warm as he filled up the tank of his wife’s car at a Londonderry gas station.

“I’m just grabbing some gas for the wife so she doesn’t have to do it then she’s on her way to Salem.”

While the calendar may say spring is only a day away, you wouldn’t know it by the weather. Driscoll says there’s not much you can do other than accept it.

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Environment
11:54 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Newfound Voters Reject Wind Farms

New Hampshire Wind Watch has signs sprinkled around the region. Opposing green "Yes" signs have been distributed by Iberdrola, and can be found in front of a few homes as well.
Sam Evans-Brown NHPR

It’s town meeting season. Around Newfound Lake Several towns are contemplating non-binding resolutions to take the pulse of voters on the question of wind-farms.

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Environment
6:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Coping With The 'Crazy Quilt'? Towns And State Revamp Shoreland Protection

Thanks to a strong conservation ethic, Squam Lake is one of the state's most un-developed large lakes. But development is starting to threaten water quality of many New Hampshire water bodies.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Perhaps the biggest driver of New Hampshire’s tourist economy is clean water. Sparkling lakes sell boats, second homes, and jet-ski rentals. But keeping that water clean means smart development. As a new bill changing how the state protects shoreland works its way through the legislature, different New Hampshire towns disagree on what exactly smart development looks like.

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Environment
4:46 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Another Wind Farm Eyes The Lakes Region

Credit Donna Hiltz / NHPR

A group that opposes wind development in New Hampshire says another wind farm is in the works for New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Members of New Hampshire Wind Watch say that a subsidiary of a German company, called Juwi Wind, has signed a lease for 1,300 acres of land Groton, for the purpose of building a wind farm.

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Education
12:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Funding Fix For Charters Headed Toward Finish Line

Credit Redjar / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that would end what has been called a moratorium on new charter schools. The bill still has a way to go before it is law, but charters in the pipeline could still open in time for next school year.

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Environment
4:29 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Wind Moratorium Won't Make It Out Of Committee

While wind opponents were frustrated today, the committee's vote sets the stage for an omnibus bill to come forward next session to reform how the Site Evaluation Committee makes its decisions
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire’s legislature will not put a moratorium on new wind projects... at least not now. Today a house committee voted to work on the bill over the summer. 

Several members of the Science, Technology and Energy committee, like Meredith Republican Herbert Vadney, indicated support for a moratorium, because of the controversy bubbling around Newfound Lake.

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Business and Economy
5:00 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

The Power New England, Resident Power Situation Explained

Cheap natural gas prices have led to a boom in the construction of gas generating power plants. That combined with market deregulation in New England have set the stage for some tumultuous times in the New England electricity market for years to come.
Credit Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

Many Granite State electric customers are scratching their heads after an electricity supplier, Power New England, was abruptly kicked out of the market two weeks ago. Customers of Power New England and its sister company, Resident Power, have had to try to sort out what's going on from media reports where utilities and power suppliers are slinging accusations back forth indiscriminately.

So here’s a breakdown of what has happened to date.

Who are Resident Power and Power New England?

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Environment
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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Science
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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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Environment
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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Environment
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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Education
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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Environment
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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