Stories

Federal court rules against part of New England grid operator reliability plan

June 23, 2022

A federal appeals court has thwarted part of a plan to improve the reliability of New England’s electric grid during the winter that would pay electricity generators extra for keeping fuel on-site. As climate change causes more unreliable weather and conflict in Ukraine pinches energy markets, ISO-New England, the organization in charge of keeping the region’s lights…

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Offshore wind turbines at sunset.

Feds approve plan to delay scrapping a New England energy rule that harms renewables

May 28, 2022

A controversial rule that makes it harder for renewable energy projects to participate in one of New England’s lucrative electricity markets will remain in place for another two years. Late Friday night, federal energy regulators approved a plan from the regional grid operator, ISO New England, to keep the so-called minimum offer price rule — or…

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The five turbines of the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

The debate over an outdated rule that’s harming renewable energy in New England

May 26, 2022

There’s a rule in the New England energy system that nobody likes. And not just because it uses a lot of complex math. This rule ends up making it harder for renewable energy projects to participate in an important regional electricity market. The New England states want it gone. U.S. Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie…

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This Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 file photo shows the country's first floating wind turbine works off the coast of Castine, Maine.

New England task force convenes to plan the next phase of offshore wind development

May 26, 2022

Last year, President Joe Biden announced plans to start leasing areas of the Gulf of Maine to offshore wind energy developers by 2024. On Thursday, May 18, the federal Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management convened a task force of officials from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and tribal governments to consider the next phase in the…

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New England energy demand recently dropped to its lowest point ever

May 10, 2022

New England’s energy demand dropped to its lowest point ever earlier this month thanks to good weather and the continued adoption of rooftop solar on homes and businesses. Officials at regional grid operator ISO New England said energy demand fell to its lowest point ever – 7,580 megawatts – on Sunday, May 1st. It’s the…

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Solar crisis hits Maine as investigation into Chinese panel manufacturers puts projects on hold

May 6, 2022

Hundreds of large-scale solar power projects are on hold in the U.S., while federal trade officials investigate whether Chinese manufacturers and affiliates in Southeast Asia illegally avoided duties on solar panels. Some see the situation as a threat to President Biden’s climate agenda. Lately some of Maine’s gently rolling hills have been sprouting long rows…

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Offshore wind could create more underwater noise. UNH researchers are measuring those impacts.

April 27, 2022

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are partnering with the first utility-scale offshore wind project approved in the U.S., Vineyard Wind, to gather data on underwater sounds and how they could affect marine life. Listen to Windfall: NHPR’s podcast about the burgeoning offshore wind industry in the U.S. Jennifer Miksis-Olds is the director of UNH’s Center…

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More local food could increase New England’s climate resilience. Animal processing capacity isn’t ready.

April 19, 2022

Jeff Backer and Dave Viola are raising about 400 pigs on their farm in Northwood, New Hampshire. The pair sell specialty sausage and salami to customers throughout New England. But they’ve had some trouble getting appointments to bring their animals to the slaughterhouse and process their meat into the products they sell. Backer and Viola…

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Can you get there from here in Maine during wintertime? We put our electric vehicle to the test

April 18, 2022

Can you get there from here in Maine with a EV? That’s what Maine Public staff have tried to do while reporting on recent stories for Climate Driven. The main takeaway? EV drivers need to use extra care planning their trips outside of southern Maine, where most of the chargers are. Deputy News Director Susan…

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The peak of Coburn Mountain in western Maine overlooks woods through which CMP would construct its transmission line. Photo by Fred Bever for Maine Public

Battle over controversial energy corridor goes to Maine Supreme Court

January 4, 2022

The fate of Central Maine Power’s controversial energy corridor through western Maine is now in the hands of the state’s highest court. Late last week a lower court judge halted his own consideration of a challenge to the law that state voters enacted last year to kill the project, and sent it on to the…

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