Energy

Liberty Utilities wants to build a new natural gas pipeline between the Seacoast and Manchester, in an effort to expand the state's strained capacity for the fuel at the lowest cost to ratepayers.

Michael Kappel via Flickr CC

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period, according to a national environmental group. But some observers are skeptical, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period, according to a report by a national environmental group. It's prompted a review by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, but one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

File photo

A soup kitchen and shelter in New Hampshire will soon be one of the first in the Northeast to be powered by solar energy.

Jim Richmond

Federal regulators will allow the non-profit nuclear watchdog group C-10 to weigh in on a regulatory review of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.

C-10 has raised concerns about how the plant's owner, NextEra Energy, is addressing concrete degradation caused by a chemical reaction.

Seabrook is the only nuclear power plant in the country known to be affected by this chemical reaction.

NextEra Energy has 25 days to appeal the decision.

  The state committee reviewing Northern Pass has pushed back its deadline to make a decision, but a spokesman for the hydro-electric transmission project tells NHPR, “the end is in sight.”

 

“To use an overused sports analogy,” Martin Murray says, “We’re in the fourth quarter.”

 

Others might say it is overtime.

 

Britta Greene/NHPR

More than 100 people gathered on the Lebanon green Saturday to rally against a proposed natural gas development in town.

NHPR Staff

Protesters sat in the black plastic chairs of the Keene City Council chambers in June, hand-lettered signs at their feet. At issue at the meeting was a proposal by Liberty Utilities.

SARATOGA ASSOCIATES

The state's highest court will hear arguments involving a proposed wind farm in the town of Antrim.  It's the latest development in a years-long battle for the Antrim Wind project, which has been under development since 2009.

Richard McNeil/Wikimedia Commons

Several high profile energy transmission projects submitted their applications Thursday, as the deadline passed for the next round of Massachusetts's clean energy program.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents of Webster and nearby communities gathered Tuesday night to learn more about National Grid’s recently proposed energy transmission project.

National Grid is holding a series of ‘community meetings’ to gather input and discuss details of its proposed Granite State Power Link project, which would bring hydropower from Canada through New Hampshire on its way to southern New England.

After meeting with residents in Littleton last week, National Grid is holding public sessions in Monroe on Monday at 6:30 pm inside the Town Hall. On Tuesday, representatives will be in Webster’s Town Hall, starting at 6:30 pm.

Debating Nuclear Energy: The Promise & Problems

Jul 11, 2017
Jim Richmond; Wikimedia Commons

Nuclear provides about a third of New England's electricity, but that's changing, as old plants in Vermont and Massachusetts shut down.  Still, there's huge debate over whether to build the next generation of nuclear.  Is it a reliable, carbon-free energy source...or is it too dangerous and expensive?


Steve and Michelle Gerdes / Flicker CC

A recent ruling by state utility regulators removes the limits on how much electricity owners of solar panels can sell back to the grid.

In a decision announced last Friday, the Public Utilities Commission says it’s doing away with the current 100-megawatt limit on solar net-metering. That’s when owners of solar panels sell any unused energy they generate back to the public grid.

The decision settles a long running debate between advocates for the state’s growing solar industry, and utility companies.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Members of the public were given their latest chance to weigh in on Northern Pass, a proposed utility transmission project that would bring hydropower from Quebec to Southern New England via New Hampshire.

Joy Jackson / Unsplash

It’s easy to say that you want to use less electricity and even easier to just dream about doing something to generate it in an eco-friendly way. But how often do those well-meaning impulses translate to action?

Jim Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

The federal agency that regulates the Seabrook Nuclear power plant is hosting a public meeting to discuss the plant’s 2016 record in safety.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will host the public meeting Wednesday night in Hampton.

Samantha Fogel

Tonight at midnight, Concord Steam Corporation will turn off its boilers and close its doors. The plant provided heat in Concord for nearly 80 years.

Chevrolet

Electric vehicles are not quite mainstream yet, but the price of one model, the Chevy Bolt, is dropping to an accessible range. Concord Monitor columnist David Brooks was lucky enough to test drive one, and wrote this week that there’s a learning curve for driving these cars. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about the experience.

About that learning curve—what exactly would we have to unlearn as drivers in order to learn how to drive electric cars?

Evolving Energy In New England

Apr 24, 2017
Tafe Sa Tonsley; Flickr

As several power plants in New England are planning to retire in the next few years, states are facing pressure to move toward more environmentally friendly power sources. As a result, the Northern Pass Project and other energy infrastructure developments are for looking to Canada, renewable energy, and wind.


Josh Rogers for NHPR

Northern Pass interveners and opponents, Eversource staff, and lawyers - many lawyers - gathered in a big, rented room with custard-colored walls. And that’s where they will be every day until these hearings end, weeks from now.

PSNH

Members of the timber industry were in the state capitol today, arguing for the passage of a bill that would support the state’s struggling biomass industry.

www.infrastructurereportcard.org

The American Society of Civil Engineers has released their 2017 report card on New Hampshire’s infrastructure -- and the state is far from the honor roll.

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New Hampshire utility regulators have rejected Eversource's plan to purchase about ten percent of the power from the proposed Northern Pass Project.

The proposed agreement would have reserved 100 megawatts of the Northern Pass power line for Eversource.

The deal was rolled out as a way to show that the energy over the power line would in fact benefit New Hampshire rate-payers.

File photo

A new report from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy says New Hampshire doesn’t necessarily need to increase energy production to grow the economy.

The report challenges a widely held economic outlook in the state that says new sources of energy, like gas pipelines or transmission wires, are needed to bring down the cost of electricity for business to grow.

Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

 

In his inaugural address last week, Gov. Chris Sununu made it clear he thinks the state must — and can — act to reduce the state's high cost of electricity.

“We can’t be passive anymore," Sununu said. "We have to find the right solutions to get it done and get it done our way. Do we need to look at Northern Pass? You bet we do — 1,100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy? How do we say no to that when we have the highest rates in the country? We can help ratepayers.”

Keith Shields; NHPR

Many New Hampshire households use wood pellet stoves for heat, but now towns, schools, and businesses are turning to biomass to generate heat and electricity. But questions abound about the sustainability, and carbon output, of this alternative energy source.  


Pexels

 We discuss the top stories in science, technology, the environment and energy in New Hampshire:  a new biotech manufacturing institute in Manchester; Dyn hacked by the "internet of things"; and how GMOs may help slow the spread of Lyme disease.  We also look at top energy and environment stories, plus advances in indoor farming. 


NHPR Staff

Speaking at a Business and Industry Association energy symposium, Chris Sununu said New England needs more natural gas and anyone who disagrees is wrong. He said the pipeline proposed for NH and scuttled by the Kinder Morgan company earlier this year would have been wrong for the state. But Sununu added he hopes Kinder Morgan and other companies will look to build here in the future, and said if the project is designed with local input, and he’s persuaded it works for New Hampshire, he’ll fight for it.

Among the presidential candidates, environmental issues haven’t gotten much play this campaign season.

Here in New Hampshire, that’s not quite the case, especially in the gubernatorial race where issues like Northern Pass, solar and wind energy and high energy costs have helped shape the campaign.

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