Library from Connecticut
As I reported in Saturday's paper, New England is experiencing a remarkable spike in electricity prices brought on by high heating demand and rising natural gas prices for electric generators.
The underlying issue in New England is that gas pipeline capacity is inadequate to keep prices steady in times of high home heating demand, said Vamsi Chadalavada, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ISO New England. ISO is leading a study focused mainly on reliability, but reliability is intertwined with price, he said.
Ms. Hemingson also spoke out against the likely impact of wind energy in Connecticut at the Nov. 26 hearing on Governor Dannel Malloy’s energy plan in Torrington. The plan was criticized fo—as numerous oil company owners stated—tilting the field towards large natural gas companies, but Ms. Hemingson said that the plan itself acknowldges that “Connecticut has limited wind potential.”
Nationally, demand for electricity is leveling off as residential power use falls, experts say, reversing a long upward trend. More efficient lighting and electric devices are partly credited for the change. New homes also are being built to use less electricity and government subsidies ...help older homes use less power. Rourke said the weak economy also has contributed to reduced electricity use.
Energy-efficiency programs in the six New England states have proved so effective at reducing demand that we can put off building a quarter-billion dollars' worth of planned upgrades to electric transmission towers and lines, according to the agency that runs the region's power grid.
Nearly 18 months after the Connecticut Siting Council approved a pair of industrial wind turbines in Colebrook, the turbines have yet to see the light of day, as the main players in the battle over the turbines are still at work.
The heating oil industry is not the only group unhappy with the plan. Advocates for greater adoption of renewable energy sources, such as Fight the Hike, also spoke out at the forums, claiming that the plan made too little mention of energy alternatives such as wind and solar power.
Connecticut already has renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 20% and may seek to increase it. But to do that may require the inclusion of hydropower from Canada to meet that goal, an energy source not currently qualified as renewable under existing rules.
Wind power does not represent progress, it's a step backwards. To editorially support a wind farm off Block Island, costing millions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars in government subsidies and increased rates for electrical users for an unreliable, inefficient and ugly encumbrance on a natural treasure is ill informed and does no service to your readers or the people of Connecticut.
Cohn, in New Britain Superior Court, rejected all of those arguments, though he did not deny that the turbines could have a real impact on life in Colebrook, for people and animals. Cohn cited precedents that he said required him to reject opponents' arguments because the siting council has wide leeway in making its rulings.
The lack of any existing regulations was one of the main reasons some Colebrook residents opposed the turbines. But the proposed regulations before the Connecticut Siting Council stoked the fires of further opposition, thanks in large part to the setback requirements in the proposal. According to the proposed regulations, turbines need to be at least 1.1 times the turbine's height from any property lines.
What the Siting Council chose to do in response to the new law was to create wind regulations based upon industry favorable siting requirements. States that have accepted development of wind turbines in populated areas are spending much time and money on the effects on neighbors who are truly suffering day to day.
The Connecticut Siting Council, which has sole jurisdiction over renewable energy projects that propose to generate more than 1 megawatt of power, has drafted a set of regulations for wind turbines. The regulations are an outgrowth of reviewing two applications from BNE Energy, Inc., which proposed installing two wind turbines in Prospect and six in Colebrook.
Connecticut and Massachusetts negotiated agreements with the two companies that set the stage for regulatory approval. In Massachusetts, Northeast Utilities and NStar agreed to buy more than a quarter of the power that would be produced by the proposed Cape Wind offshore wind farm as a condition of the deal.
Massachusetts utility regulators gave their approval Wednesday to the merger of Northeast Utilities and Boston-based NSTAR.
If Connecticut does not develop more renewable resources, ratepayers could be passed on noncompliance fees of more than $250 million annually by 2022 ...Of all the New England states, Connecticut has the highest target for renewable generation: 20 percent by 2020, but it has few in-state resources to get that power, save for some projects that depend on state-sponsored contracts.
Unlike in the Massachusetts pact, where NSTAR, based in Boston, agreed to buy more than one-quarter of the power generated by Cape Wind, Connecticut negotiators did not reach a deal for the companies to purchase locally generated alternative power. Connecticut officials said in response: Cape Wind's energy is renewable energy, but it's pricey, and they didn't see a value in locking ratepayers into higher generation rates.
A federal order issued last fall is intended to make it easier to construct transmission lines, costly and controversial projects that are notoriously tough to build.
The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority reversed itself today and tentatively decided the merger needs the agency's approval after all. The decision means the deal, which Massachusetts regulators have already been scrutinizing for a year, will face a separate review by Connecticut officials.
The approval of two wind farms in the primarily residential town — one of which will be across the street from the Truss household — spurred Truss into action. According to Truss, “The whiole thing was completed behind the scenes,” pointing towards the lack of any discussion of the turbines in Board of Selectmen minutes.