October 29, 2010 - removing the Briggsville Dam

Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo: down by the West Point dock, Phippsburg.

In Clarksburg, Massachusetts, the Briggsville Dam on the North Branch of the Hoosic River is slated for removal next week.  Preliminary site work has already begun.  At 15 feet in height and 200 feet in length, the Briggsville Dam once provided cooling water to the adjacent Strong-Hewatt Mill.

Here is an interesting article on the pros and cons of removing the Briggsville dam. It's a story whose general contours will resonate with a lot of people in historic mill towns. We have a dam built in the early to mid-1900s to support a manufacturing facility. The factory changes hands several times, until a new mill owner finds it also owns the aging dam. For safety reasons (and in many places, to facilitate fish passage), the dam needs expensive upgrades -- or faces removal.

This is the story of many small dams and hydroelectric facilities across the country.  In Clarksburg, the mill was the Strong-Hewatt woolen mill.  The current owner is Cascade School Supplies Co.,who was apparently surprised to find that the building it acquired came with an aging dam.  Although fish passage will be improved by the removal of the Briggsville Dam, the primary driver of its removal are the safety issues caused by its poor condition.  Dam safety is an important issue, and without the proper capital investments in maintenance and repairs, maintaining an older dam can become an expensive liability.  (For example, see what's going on in Canton, Maine, with the Whitney Brook dam and Lake Anasagunticook.  Or what happened when the Colcord Pond dam failed this past spring.)

In this case, the Briggsville Dam appears to have been used to provide cooling water to the mill, not to generate electricity, so any policy reasons to leave it in are more clearly outweighed by the safety issues. Moreover, it will help the mill property owner avoid the costs of repairing the dam, letting Cascade stay in business at that location.

Certainly an interesting issue.  If you're near Clarksburg, swing by and take a last look at the Briggsville Dam.

October 28, 2010 - Maine dam removal?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fiery fall foliage in Phippsburg, Maine.
Yesterday, I mentioned a list of recently-removed Maine dams.  That list describes 20 dams as having been removed as of January 1, 2010, with another ten dams described as "currently proposed or under study for removal":

* Boston Felt Dam Lebanon, ME & Rochester, NH Salmon Falls River

* Coopers Mills Dam Whitefield Sheepscot River

* Gardiner Paperboard Dam Gardiner Cobbosseecontee Stream

* Great Works Dam Old Town & Bradley Penobscot River

* Montsweag Dam Wiscasset & Woolwich Montsweag Brook

* Veazie Dam Veazie & Eddington Penobscot River

* West Winterport Dam Winterport & Frankfort Marsh Stream

* Juliet Mill Dam Lisbon Sabattus River

* Farwell Mill Dam Lisbon Sabattus River

* Martin Brook Upper Dam Madawaska Martin Brook

Of these, several more have been removed.  For example, the Montsweag dam is gone.  The West Winterport dam is also gone.

Let's take a deeper look at one of the dams on this list.  The Boston Felt dam (Project No. 4542–013), which formerly produced 150 kW, was granted an exemption from licensing on August 29, 1983 (24 FERC ¶ 62,240). The project stopped operations in May 2006, due to a breach of the project dam by high river flows.  Project owner Bacon Felt Company, Inc., stated that a 20-foot long, 6-foot wide section of the wooden frame dam was carried away by the flooding.

After the water level dropped, the Federal Energy Regulator Commission ordered the owner to repair the dam.  US Fish and Wildlife Service also gave a directive regarding the installation of fish passage.  The owner allegedly explained why the project was inoperable (damage to the dam) and told FERC that resumption of generation at the project may be beyond its available resources, and said it would file a compliance plan and progress reports.  By September 2009, FERC issued a notice of revocation of exemption by surrender, based on allegations that exemptee had not taken responsive action.

In an October 2009 response, Bacon Felt filed a protest, stating that it had in fact replied to the Commission's information request and had requested a 120-day review period.  By February 2010, the project owner filed a formal motion requesting withdrawal of the notice of revocation of its exemption to maintain the project.  Bacon pointed to a host of changes, including a change in ownership of the company, changes to their manufacturing strategy, and an overall increase in the price of purchased power.  Bacon then argued that it had not surrendered its exemption, nor had it abandoned the project triggering an implied surrender.  Bacon pointed to examples of what implied surrender usually looks like, including:
  • James Lichoulas Jr., 124 F.E.R.C. ¶ 61,255, P 23 (implied surrender found where “the building over the substructure generating facilities [had] been demolished, the generating equipment [was] covered with collapsed building materials, and the wicket gate operators of the turbines appear[ed] to be inoperable.”), on reh’g, 125 F.E.R.C. ¶ 61,195 (2008)
  • New England Fish Co., 38 F.E.R.C. ¶ 61,106, at 61,285 (1987) (finding surrender where the licensee “abandoned good-faith operation of the project in 1964” and “never filed an application for new license when the term of the original license expired in 1977.”)
  • Pinedale Power & Light Co., 38 F.E.R.C. ¶ 61,036 (1987) (finding surrender where the licensee abandoned the project 15 years prior to the surrender decision and sold the property 12 years prior to it).
Bacon then argued that current energy policy still favors the development of suitable waterways, and that it could continue (or resume) producing low-cost renewable power from the project.

The case remains pending before the Commission.

October 27, 2010 - removing Maine dams, or not

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall foliage over Center Pond, in Phippsburg, Maine.  Center Pond was a tidal marsh that was dammed years ago to facilitate the commercial production of ice.  It's a fine place to paddle.

Dam removal is a hot topic.  On the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, two large dams are currently slated for removal.  In Maine, a number of dams have been removed in the past twenty-five years.  The Maine DEP maintains a list of Maine dams that either have been removed (PDF) or are "currently proposed or under study for removal".  This list presents their status as of January 1, 2010.

Twenty dams are cited as having been removed by that date:

1. Milton Leatherboard Lower Dam Lebanon, ME & Milton, NH Salmon Falls River 1986
2. Bolster’s Mill Dam Harrison & Otisfield Crooked River 1987-88
3. Columbia Falls Dam Columbia Falls Pleasant River 1988
4. Bangor Dam Bangor & Brewer Penobscot River 1995
5. Mast Point Dam Berwick, ME & Somersworth, NH Salmon Falls River 1997
6. Grist Mill Dam Hampden Souadabscook Stream 1998
7. Temple Mill Dam Hampden Souadabscook Stream 1999
8. Brownville Dam Brownville Pleasant River 1999
9. Edwards Dam Augusta Kennebec River 1999
10. East Machias Dam East Machias East Machias River 2000
11. Mill Dam Corinna East Branch Sebasticook River 2000-01
12. Sennebec Dam Union St. George River 2002
13. Main Street Dam Newport Sebasticook River 2002
14. Smelt Hill Dam Falmouth Presumpscot River 2002
15. Sandy River Dam Norridgewock & Starks Sandy River 2006
16. Fort Halifax Dam Winslow Sebasticook River 2008
17. Fields Pond Dam Orrington Sedunkedunk Stream 2008
18. Sherman Lake Dam Newcastle Marsh River 2009
19. Mill Pond Dam Brewer Sedgunkedunk Stream 2009
20. Little River Dam Lisbon & Topsham Little River 2009

To these, 2010 has brought at least two additions: the Montsweag Dam, on Montsweag Brook in Wiscasset and Woolwich.  You can watch 19 days worth of demolition work on that dam in a 3-minute time-lapse Youtube video.  Also gone in 2010 is the West Winterport dam on Marsh Stream in Winterport and Frankfort.

October 26, 2010 - funding for dam rebuilding to maintain lake levels?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall foliage in the Basin, Phippsburg, above an old tide mill site.

In the past, I've looked at issues relating to dams and the water level of their ponds and impoundments.  For example, in March 2010, dam repair issues on Cobbosseecontee Stream resulted in a drawdown of Pleasant Pond by a foot or so.  Then again, in September 2010, owners considered further dam repair on the Cobbosseecontee that would affect lake levels and users.

Today, a news item from Canton, Maine.  A committee is exploring grant funding to rebuild a dam on Whitney Brook that maintains the water level in Lake Anasagunticook in Canton and Hartford.

The Dam Advisory Committee is now seeking funding to conduct an archeological survey in order to obtain a Community Block Development Grant.  Currently, the old bridge piers remain in the river, while a temporary dam is in place.  If the project is developed, the site will also feature both a boat launching site and a park.

Lake Anasagunticook's water level, and the steps taken to maintain that level, have been the subjects of some contention in recent years.  This 10/30/2009 Kleinschmidt report describes the recent history of the situation:

Several dam safety issues with the existing structure and embankments were identified by the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) during a dam safety inspection by MBP Consulting in August 1997. Subsequent to issuance of the dam inspection report, MEMA issued a Dam Safety Order to undertake remedial actions to address the dam safety issues. The former dam owner did not comply with this order, dated December 4, 2006. On May 8, 2007, a Supplemental Dam Safety Order was issued by MEMA ordering that the four gates be left open until such time that an acceptable remedial action plan is implemented. Since that date, the gates have been open, thereby reducing the water level in Anasagunticook Lake by approximately 6-feet. The Town of Canton acquired the Anasagunticook Lake Dam through an eminent domain proceeding in 2008.

It will be interesting to see what happens on the lake, and what funding sources are available to support any development.  Even for a project without any energy-related tax credits or incentives, Community Block Development Grants and other federal funding sources may be available for a dam rebuilding project to maintain lake levels.

October 25, 2010 - energy stances of Maine's candidates for governor; renewable portfolio standards

Monday, October 25, 2010

My colleague Drew Landry wrote a “Maine Voices” article in this morning’s Portland Press Herald.  His article, entitled “Next Governor must work quickly to craft an effective energy policy,” can be read at http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/next-governor-must-work-quickly-to-craft-an-effective-energy-policy_2010-10-25.html.

Continuing our look at renewable energy certificates:

States generally allow utilities to demonstrate their compliance with the applicable RPS by obtaining and then “retiring” RECs.  To prevent double-counting of environmental attributes, RECs can only be used once for compliance or voluntary purposes; after a buyer has made an environmental claim based on a REC, that REC is considered to be permanently retired and can no longer be used.
Note that in states where electricity markets remain regulated and vertically integrated, utility-owned generation can generally be used to satisfy RPS compliance obligations.  However, even in these markets, utilities do purchase RECs in several circumstances.  First, if a utility either lacks sufficient renewable generation to cover its RPS obligations, it may be required to purchase RECs from the market.  States generally penalize utilities for failing to purchase sufficient RECs by requiring them to make an Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP).  In general, to ensure that REC markets fulfill their goal of incentivizing new renewable generation, states set the ACP at a higher price than REC market prices.  Purchasing RECs can allow a utility to avoid this penalty.
Second, a utility may elect to purchase RECs from a market seller for economic reasons.  This typically occurs where the utility can take advantage of price separation by selling its own RECs for a higher price than it will pay to purchase RECs from another marketer.  Price separation can arise where a higher value is placed on one kind of renewable resource than another, particularly because a given generator may qualify for RECs under multiple state RPS programs.  For example, New Jersey places a significant bounty on solar generation.  A REC generated from solar power that qualifies for New Jersey’s solar RPS can be worth significantly more than other RECs because it can be used to satisfy New Jersey’s challenging compliance requirement.  That same REC would be worth less if it were used to satisfy Pennsylvania’s more general RPS.  A utility with a Pennsylvania compliance obligation and New Jersey-eligible solar RECs could choose to sell its solar RECs, and purchase less costly Pennsylvania RECs to cover its compliance obligations.

October 22, 2010 - renewable energy credits

Friday, October 22, 2010

Continuing to look at RECs (renewable energy certificates or credits): today, an overview of how RECs are tracked and traded, and the kinds of markets in which RECs have value.

Because RECs are not tangible commodities, RECs are typically held and traded electronically.  In New England, the New England Power Pool Generation Information System (NEPOOL GIS) tracks the creation of RECs in each of the six states.  In much of the Western United States, RECs are tracked by the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS).  Other accounting systems cover various voluntary markets.  These systems track the production and characteristics of renewable power.  In general, for each MWh of eligible renewable power produced, the systems credit the owner’s GIS account with one REC.  Where stronger state incentives exist, some resource types are compensated more highly, earning more than one REC per megawatt-hour.  This “REC multiplier” concept can make some project types (e.g. solar power) more lucrative.  Account holders may then engage in bilateral transactions with other REC market participants, generally buying and selling RECs without restriction.  However, because RECs are traded on an over the counter basis, there is no standardized exchange where REC prices or sales volumes are regularly posted.

Across the various states, the potential market into which generators may sell RECs is significant.  Voluntary markets allow a buyer to purchase RECs in order to support claims that the power the buyer consumes came from renewable resources.  This can provide a variety of “goodwill” benefits ranging from enhanced green marketing opportunities (e.g. “our product is environmentally friendly”) to allowing the buyer to publicly and financially support a particular renewable project (e.g. “we support the city’s community-scale wind project”).
The larger opportunity to sell RECs may lie in compliance markets.  In the majority of U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, RPS programs requires electric companies to supply a minimum amount of power from qualified resources.  Each state’s program varies in its implementation.  In general, utilities must source an increasing percentage of power from renewable resources over the next several decades. 

October 21, 2010 - renewable energy credits

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yesterday, we began a look at RECS: renewable energy credits, or renewable energy certificates.  A REC represents the renewable attributes associated with a particular megawatt-hour of generation.  This approach to placing a higher value on renewable generation as opposed to other technologies works well because electrons are generally fungible, and indeed because power transactions are often “virtual” as opposed to physical deliveries of electrons from a specific generator to a specific consumer.  RECs may thus be sold to any purchaser, even if no power actually changes hands.  In some jurisdictions, RECs may be traded and used for compliance even if the underlying power would not physically be deliverable to the REC buyer.  It is thus important to view RECs as a separate commodity offering renewable generators a new revenue stream.

Each REC contains a broad range of information about its origins: what type of renewable resource produced the power, the date the REC was created, when the renewable generator was built, and the location of the renewable generator.  RECs include this information to allow buyers to make specific claims regarding the nature of the power they consume.  For example, a manufacturer might elect to purchase RECs generated by wind resources in order to market its products as environmentally sustainable.

Because many U.S. states have enacted legislative standards (called Renewable Portfolio Standards, or RPS) requiring certain amounts of utility load served to be sourced from renewable power, RECs also include information on their eligibility for certification for compliance with these state requirements. 

October 20, 2010 - renewable energy certificates

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Busy harbor in Norfolk, VA, with ships old and new.
I'm back from the TAPPI PEERS conference in Norfolk, Virginia.  TAPPI put on a great show, and the participants were very enthusiastic about the technical aspects of the pulp and paper industry.  I offered a presentation about renewable energy certificates (also known as renewable energy credits in some states - either way, RECs). A REC is a non-tangible trad\able commodity representing a set of the environmental, social and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation.
In the United States, federal and state policies favor renewable energy production by providing incentives for the development of renewable power resources. One primary state-level mechanism for rewarding renewable generators is the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) market. In many states, laws and regulations require utilities to source a specified portion of their power from qualified renewable resources. Utilities satisfy this compliance obligation by purchasing or otherwise obtaining RECs to cover this load. In addition, a variety of voluntary markets exist for RECs.

Pulp and paper mills are well-positioned to participate in the REC market as sellers. As shaped by the forces of history and economics, today's mills often operate renewable generation such as a hydroelectric generation station or a biomass-fired steam turbine generator. For each megawatt-hour of qualified renewable power generated at a mill, a certified resource's owner will receive one REC. Owners can then sell these RECs in voluntary or compliance markets. The opportunity to sell RECs can enhance the economics of a mill and its renewable generation.

October 18, 2010 - going to TAPPI

Monday, October 18, 2010

I am en route today to the TAPPI PEERS conference in Norfolk, Virginia.

TAPPI, founded in 1915 as the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, is the world’s largest professional association serving the pulp, paper, converting and packaging industries. TAPPI's members include about 14,000 member engineers, scientists, managers, academics and others from around the world involved in the areas of pulp, paper, and packaging.  TAPPI describes itself as a peer-reviewed, scientific forum of quality for its members to gain knowledge and networks to help them in their professional lives.

This year, TAPPI is throwing its 9th PEERS conference (formerly the Engineering, Pulping and Environmental Conference).  PEERS 2010 includes over 40 sessions aligned along 8 tracks:
  • Sustainability & Business Trends
  • Energy, Power & Recovery
  • Biorefinery
  • Corrosion and Materials
  • Practical Mill Engineering
  • Pulping & Bleaching
  • Recycling (9th Research Forum on Recycling)
  • Environmental
I will be presenting on opportunities for pulp and paper mills to participate in renewable energy certificate markets.

October 14, 2010 - Powering Up Maine 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today I'm attending the "Powering Up Maine" conference thrown by MaineBiz. This year's conference theme is: "Zapped: After 10 years of deregulation, electricity costs for Maine businesses continue to rise. What can we do about it?" Steve Ward, Maine's Public Advocate from 1986-2007, will deliver the keynote address, followed by a panel discussion including:
  • Gordon Weil, president of Standard Energy Co.; consultant; former Maine Public Advocate
  • David Wilby, director of external affairs, First Wind; former executive director of the Independent Energy Producers of Maine
  • Carroll Lee, energy consultant, Northeast Energy Solutions; former president, Bangor Hydro Electric Co.
  • Tony Buxton, chair of Preti Flaherty's Energy and Utilities Practice Group 
 You can learn more about the conference here.

October 12, 2010 - New England sets record energy use; wind

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


What do you think sits at the end of this rainbow, seen Friday over the New Meadows River?

New England's regional electric grid operator ISO-NE has announced that the region has set several new records for energy consumption. In July 2010, consumers used 13,385 gigawatt-hours. That just barely beat the previous single-month energy usage of 13,365 GWh, which occurred in July 2006. To explain this high energy usage despite the economic downturn ISO-NE points to the weather: July 2010 was the second-hottest July in New England since 1960. New England also set new heights for peak demand (capacity measured in gigawatts, not energy measured in gigawatt-hours) in May and September 2010.

In wind news: this weekend, while Highland Wind LLC held an open house to promote its wind project in Highland Plantation in Somerset County, Maine, the Friends of the Highland Mountains and other protesters demonstrated their opposition. As originally conceived, the Highland project - backed by former independent Maine Governor Angus King - would entail 48 turbines along the ridgelines of Stewart, Witham and Bald Mountains, plus Briggs and Burnt Hills. The land in question is owned by Bayroot LLC, and has been managed by Wagner Forest Management. Among the protesters' complaints is the proximity of the project to the Bigelow Mountains and the Appalachian Trail.

Google has already made the news for its involvement in energy markets. Now Google is investing in the underwater transmission lines needed to transmit power from offshore wind turbines to the mainland. Specifically, Google is eyeing a 350-mile line from Virginia to New Jersey.

October 11, 2010 - permitting small and low-impact hydropower projects

Monday, October 11, 2010

As states and the federal government implement policies to promote both renewable power production and greater energy independence, small and low-impact hydropower projects provide a relatively accessible way to participate and benefit from these favorable policies. Today we'll take a walk through three different paths to getting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a small hydro project.

First, a quick review of FERC's general licensing procedures. FERC has three licensing processes for hydro projects, all with similar names: the Traditional Licensing Process (TLP), the Alternative Licensing Process (ALP), and the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP).

The TLP is the longest-standing process, with origins dating back to 1935 and Part I of the Federal Power Act. In a TLP, the licensee engages in a three-stage pre-filing consultation process. Once a final application is filed, FERC issues public notice of the application, and solicits comments and intervention by other stakeholders. After further process including an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement, FERC is ready to issue (or deny) the requested license.

While applicants have traditionally used the TLP (hence its name), effective July 23, 2005, the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) is the default process for filing an application for an original, new, or subsequent license. In fact, Commission approval is now needed to use either the Traditional or the Alternative Licensing Process for larger projects.

The ALP allowed for somewhat more flexibility in the process. For example, in an ALP, an applicant can modify the pre-filing consultation process depending on the circumstances. The ALP allows applicants to streamline the pre-filing consultation process and environmental review processes under the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws. This is achieved in part through a collaborative workgroup to study and resolve issues. Finally, the ALP allows the applicant to prepare a preliminary draft environmental assessment, or allows an environmental impact statement to be drafted by a FERC-selected contractor at the applicant's expense. This allows scoping of environmental issues to occur prior to the application being filed with the Commission. However, the ALP has proved cumbersome in some instances, with a lengthy total process time.

The ILP combines some of the features of both the traditional and alternative processes, including a more formal study development process than under the TLP. This five-year process was adopted by FERC in 2003.

So what about small and low-impact hydropower projects? The Traditional Licensing Process is still used to prepare applications for small projects that qualify for either of two exemptions from FERC's licensing provisions under the Federal Power Act: the "conduit" exemption and the 5-MW exemption.

The conduit exemption operates to simplify the process for a hydropower project on an existing conduit (for example an irrigation canal). Conduit exemptions are authorized for generating capacities 15 megawatts or less for non-municipal and 40 megawatts or less for a municipal project. The conduit has to have been constructed primarily for purposes other than power production and be located entirely on non-federal lands.

Another exemption applies to small hydropower projects, which are 5 megawatts or less, that will be built at an existing dam, or projects that utilize a natural water feature for head or an existing project that has a capacity of 5 megawatts or less and proposes to increase capacity.

October 8, 2010 - Maine island wind, and Cape Wind

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Fox Islands Wind project on the Maine island of Vinalhaven continues to make news. A recent New York Times article addresses issues relating to the siting of wind towers - including noise, lights, and flicker effects - across the country. The columnist cites Vinalhaven as one example of where local residents are seeking to balance their interest in renewable energy (particularly on Vinalhaven, where residents are served by an electric cooperative) against siting concerns.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has signed the lease for the Cape Wind project. This act will empower the first commercial wind development in U.S. federal waters. So what is Cape Wind leasing? 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound, for a 28-year term.

October 7, 2010 - PACE moves forward?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In Augusta, Maine's capital city, councilors are scheduled to hold a hearing tonight on whether to adopt a PACE ordinance. As readers of this blog know, PACE, short for "Property Assessed Clean Energy", refers to one policy mechanism available to support the development of more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Essentially, a property owner can borrow money (often at low rates through municipalities) to develop the project; the property owner then pays back the loan through your property tax bills over a long time (often 15 to 20 years). If the property changes hands, so do the energy improvements -- and so does the PACE loan obligation.

This summer, PACE came under fire from government-backed entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities issued notices containing instructions for lenders to handle mortgage loan applications that are related to PACE financing. Fannie Mae stated that it would not buy property backed mortgage loans with outstanding PACE liability, unless the PACE program in question gave mortgages priority over PACE liens. Likewise, for refinancing, Fannie Mae intimated that it wanted loan holders to pay off their PACE obligations before being eligible for a refinance. As you can expect, this placed a chilling effect on deployment of PACE-funded projects.

However, municipalities continue to adopt PACE ordinances. Will Augusta be next?

October 6, 2010 - solar panels on the White House

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

While in Portland yesterday, I walked past the 41000 square foot Evie Cianchette building on Commercial Street, where I saw this plaque.

Evie Cianchette plaque

Not bad!

Speaking of building energy sustainability: whether through the efforts of Bill McKibben or otherwise, President Obama has decided to install solar panels on the White House after all.  We can expect a competitive solicitation in the coming months to select a vendor to provide and install somewhere between 20 and 50 solar panels.

October 5, 2010 - Connecticut River flooding; Vermont Yankee tries again

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Flooding is a major issue for many parts of the country.  It can cause major property damage and loss of life -- or have more moderate effects.  This past week, on the Connecticut River, which forms part of the Vermont-New Hampshire border, flooding has swept up to 100,000 pumpkins into the river.

Also in Vermont, the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant are once again lobbying state legislators and regulators for a license extension.  Without some form of government action, Vermont Yankee will lose its license in 2012.  Vermont presents a unique forum for nuclear re-licensing decisions, as it is the only state to give itself (legislatively) the authority to deny re-licensing petitions.  For nuclear power plants in other states, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission typically wields that power.

In Rumford, Maine, a hearing was held last night to allow citizens to comment on a proposed wind energy siting ordinance.  Wind siting continues to be a significant issue, as municipalities attempt to balance environmental and aesthetic values against business opportunities and the chance to participate in the green economy.

October 4, 2010 - back to blogging

Monday, October 4, 2010

Today I return to blogging about an array of things that interest me: energy policy, Maine news, and other interesting tidbits from around the world that catch my fancy.  It has been great to be able to spend the past days with my wife and our newborn daughter.

Keep an eye on these pages for this renewed effort!