CT’s clean energy battles transition from Malloy to Lamont

Acadia Center, among the top tier of regional environmental advocacy groups, had no representative on the committee, but put together its own priority plan – a memo to the incoming governor. That plan offers specific prescriptions, bolstered by data, for how to achieve changes in five key areas: transportation, including infrastructure and adoption of electric vehicles which while steady, has been slow; transition to cleaner more resilient local power; improving energy performance and emissions reductions in buildings; reforming rules for the grid; and improving community and individual energy choice – essentially the ability to use more distributed and flexibly designed generation.
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Advocates tell Janet Mills that clean energy and better roads will add good jobs

Maine could gain 13,500 jobs and receive a $6.5 billion boost to its economy by shifting toward cleaner energy and upgrading its transportation infrastructure, a clean energy research and advocacy organization said in a memo Wednesday to Gov.-elect Janet Mills. Acadia Center of Rockport said that modernizing the state’s transportation system alone could produce more than $3.8 billion in new economic benefits, add 8,700 new jobs and create $2.3 billion in public health and other benefits. Read the full article from Bangor Daily News here.

Acadia Center: Connecticut economy would get big boost from clean energy efforts

Acadia Center’s analysis, which officials with the organization called “Memo To The Next Governor of Connecticut,” was released Monday. Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center’s president, said the analysis focuses on five transportation and energy reforms “that will have the most direct impact on Connecticut’s economy while also enhancing quality of life for its people and communities.” “The recommended reforms are achievable, the benefits are concrete, and the time is now to build a stronger Connecticut,” Sosland said in a written statement. “Making Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure and its energy system work better for all state residents and businesses is smart economic strategy.”
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State backs Millstone bid to compete as zero-emissions player in energy auctions

Environmental advocates also have questioned Millstone’s need for state action. Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group, said Millstone “plays an important role in the energy mix” because it does not produce carbon dioxide. But policymakers should not “throw money at Millstone that could be used for renewables” such as solar and wind power, she said. If and when the plant is retired, the power it generates should be replaced by offshore wind, Lewis said. Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

Op-Ed: No panels? No problem. The secret to solar in the city

[…] Instead of buying and installing solar panels on your home or property, you subscribe to a piece of a large local solar project nearby, often along with a few dozen to a few hundred other people who live in the area. A portion of the electricity generated by these projects gets credited directly to your utility bill, you get a discount on electricity, and you don’t have to pay anything to join. Community solar allows households to receive the benefits of solar energy without the cost or hassle of a rooftop installation. Roughly half of residences in the U.S.
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Locational value of DER is essential to grid planning. So why hasn’t anyone found it?

Initially, there was an incentive for customers to build DER at locations where congestion was anticipated, LeBel added. But setting that locational value “has proved to be more administratively complicated than expected and commission staff has proposed eliminating it.” The utilities did “guesstimates and concluded congested locations should get 50% more than other locations,” he said. “They are not coming to terms with the details.” […] Lebel agreed. Getting to that vision “would be a massive change for the utilities,” he said. “But it has happened. It took decades to get from PURPA to restructuring. Maybe, in the 2030s, we will look
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Amid funding cuts, Enfield manufacturer finds energy-efficiency program a worthy investment

Fewer participants have found their way into EnergizeCT programs this year due to a $117 million raid by state lawmakers on the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, which is staked from a sliver of customers’ monthly light bills. The controversial raid, which prompted a lawsuit from the energy-efficiency industry, helped plug a hole in the state’s General Fund budget. However, it also “means Connecticut will do about half the electric efficiency it did in 2017,” according to William Dornbos, advocacy director at Acadia Center, a New England nonprofit promoter of clean, efficient energy use. Read the full article from Hartford Business
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Op-ed: Merrimack Valley tragedy offers climate change opportunity

The significant investments required in the energy infrastructure of the impacted communities present an opportunity to re-think what energy options are available to best meet the needs of these communities, not only for this winter but for many years to come. Doing so can lead to practical, cost-effective actions that will provide a host of benefits for the residents and businesses in these communities: reduced energy costs for ratepayers; safer, more resilient homes and businesses; improved indoor air quality; and, meaningfully, less climate pollution. Read the full article from CommonWealth Magazine here.

As market takes shape, Connecticut makes its first moves on offshore wind

The expansion of the offshore wind industry in the region has meant more competition, and more competition means lower costs. Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center, said there’s a common misconception that offshore wind is more expensive than other forms of energy, when it’s actually quite cost competitive. “The contracts that utilities entering with offshore wind companies are longer term,” she says. “Through that, they’re getting lower prices.” The data is minimal right now, but her suspicion seems to be right. The price for the Block Island Wind Project was $0.244 per kWh, while the price for in-progress
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Op-ed: Rising transportation emissions are a threat to Maine’s environment

When National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Secretary Elaine Chao and acting Environmental Protection Administration Secretary Andrew Wheeler announced their agencies’ rollback of federal clean car standards in August, they pledged to “ Make Cars Great Again.” In doing so, they have threatened our air, water and public health — and will increase costs for consumers. Federal clean car standards directly reduce the amount of fuel burned for transportation by requiring auto manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency, saving consumers money and limiting transportation emissions. Consumer Reports says the proposed rollback could cost consumers as much as $100 billion, and the increased pollution is definitely
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