eversource bill new ctHARTFORD, BOSTON: Eversource Energy [NYSE: ES] released a statement saying it was putting the Environmental Defense Fund [EDF] “on notice that the company will pursue legal action if EDF doesn’t halt its false and defamatory statements regarding Eversource’s gas purchasing practices.”

The company said to EDF, “your false and misleading statements are immediately actionable and expose you and those acting in concert with you to liability for substantial damages,” the Cease and Desist letter states. “If you do not cease and desist from all further publication of such statements, Eversource will take all appropriate action; indeed, we have retained outside counsel to protect our rights.”

The letter is response to a "report" by the EDF that Eversource and Avantgrid manipulated the supply of Natural Gas causing prices to be higher for the gas to consumers and power producers.

A spokesperson for EDF Jon Coifman said, ““We stand by the analysis and reject this obvious attempt to intimidate and chill legitimate public inquiry."

NEC Final Plan 771x780By:   ctmirror.com

Washington – An ambitious  — and to some in Connecticut controversial — plan to overhaul the railroad in the Northeast Corridor has come to a full stop, a victim of lack of funding. There also has been pushback to the plan from Fairfield County residents who fear the impact of laying down new high-speed-ready tracks and other development near their neighborhoods.

The Federal Railroad Administration in July issued its final Northeast Corridor (NEC) Future plan that detailed a long-term vision to improve and grow passenger rail service in the corridor at a cost between $121 billion and $153 billion.

The plan, called “Tier 1,” included adding 200 miles of expanded track capacity between Washington, D.C., and Boston, and making sure most of those new tracks can carry trains traveling at up to 220 miles per hour.

But Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Marc Willis said none of the eight states that would be impacted by the plan have submitted new project proposals so that NEC Future can move into the “Tier 2,” or project-level, phase of the plan.

“Right now, there is nothing going on,” Willis said.

 ct essexHARTFORD: The Connecticut Bond Commission approved the Connecticut Port Authority’s request to fund 18 projects under the Small Harbor Improvement Projects Program (SHIPP). The projects cover a range of improvements including: marina repair, dredging, boat ramp facilities improvement, harbor management plans and feasibility studies. Details of each project are in the attached document.

"These projects will create jobs and opportunity for working families across Connecticut", said Scott Bates, Chairman of the CPA. "By partnering with local officials to identify and fund projects, we have developed a new roadmap for investing in Connecticut's small harbor infrastructure and the long term growth of our maritime economy."

“We are very pleased to see these projects come to life under SHIPP,” said Evan Matthews, Executive Director of the Connecticut Port Authority. “Part of our core mission is to invest in the waterfront infrastructure that supports our local communities. Using our CPA resources, along with local funding where possible, we’re able to boost the outcome for everyone.”

Malloy brownfields 336x263

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy with state and local officials at a Hartford brownfield Monday.

Marl Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Connecticut will spend $13.6 million to assess or redevelop brownfield sites in 14 municipalities, marking Connecticut officials’ latest effort to clean up polluted properties and spur economic development, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday.

Officials say the newest round of funding will pay to remediate and revitalize 89 acres of blighted properties. Malloy said the investment will clean up neighborhoods, strengthen communities, and draw more economic activity to those locations.

Officials say the state has invested more than $220 million in brownfield redevelopment since 2012.

The governor made the announcement on Homestead Avenue in Hartford, beside two of the 16 properties in the project. Eight are slated for remediation now and eight more are being assessed for future work.

“Quite frankly it’s nearly impossible to attract corporate development to a site that has scars that this one does, and that’s why it’s so very important to have studied the problem, resolved how we could fix the problem and then undertake the actual cleanup,” Malloy said.

Tim Sullivan, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said each project is different but the cleanup process usually takes several months.

Sullivan said officials are really interested in bringing private investment to the properties and noted many brownfields are clustered near transit, but it takes time and money to clean up toxic chemicals that have contaminated them.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin echoed the desire to attract developers.

“We talked to many developers, many investors who are excited about these sites because they see the power in this location,” Bronin said. “I’m excited about this because it lays the foundation that we will literally be able to build on in the future.”

The projects being remediated are:

  • Bridgeport, 400 Iranistan Avenue: $1.5 million grant to the Bridgeport Housing Authority to redevelop the 15.9-acre Marina Village public housing complex into a new state-of-the-art affordable housing community.  The existing structures will be demolished and replaced with multi-family residential units and community space.
  • Danbury, 89 Rose Hill Road: $1.3 million grant to demolish and remediate the former 3.7-acre Mallory Hat Factory. A residential facility for women and children in transition is proposed for this site.
  • East Hartford, 590 Burnside Avenue: $200,000 grant to abate hazardous building materials in a former public housing site on a 1.4-acre parcel.
  • Hartford, 367, 393 & 424 Homestead Avenue: $1.9 million grant to demolish and remediate three properties, including a former metal foundry manufacturing facility, preparing them for redevelopment.
  • Meriden, 1 King Place: $2 million grant for abatement and demolition of a portion of a former hospital structure and parking garage on 5.6 acres to prepare it for private mixed-use redevelopment.  The City of Meriden also has been awarded a $2 million loan to complete the required remediation of the site before it is conveyed to the city’s development partner.
  • New Britain, 24 Dwight Court: $1.5 million grant to remediate a one-acre former coal and oil facility that abuts the CTfastrak station, preparing it for redevelopment.
  • Plymouth, 142 Main Street – Route 6: $750,000 grant to remediate a 0.5-acre gas station and auto repair facility, preparing it for redevelopment.
  • Waterbury, 2100 South Main Street: $1 million grant to remediate the 3.4-acre former RISDON manufacturing facility that was the site of a recent major fire. The remediation will address a major public health hazard and prepare the site for redevelopment.

The projects being assessed for future revitalization are:

  • Ansonia: $200,000 grant for investigation of a 2.7-acre parcel located at 65 Main Street.
  • Derby: $200,000 grant for investigation of 19 acres on Main Street related to the city’s downtown redevelopment plans.
  • New Britain: $200,000 grant for investigation of two sites that include 1411 East Street, a 1 acre parcel adjacent to CCSU and CTfastrak, and 495 Myrtle Street, a 4.4-acre parcel.
  • Norwich: $200,000 grant for investigation of the last undeveloped portion of the former Ponemah Mill site, a 5.5-acre site located at 555-559 Norwich Avenue.
  • Manchester: $100,000 grant for investigation and monitoring of three parcels on 1.5 acres located at 295, 299, and 303 Broad Street.
  • Middletown: $200,000 grant for investigation of a 0.3-acre parcel located at 248 William Street.
  • Plainville: $200,000 grant for investigation of two contiguous parcels located at 1 West Main Street (14.59 acres) and 63 West Main Street (0.2 acre).
  • Waterbury: $200,000 grant for investigation of the former Bristol Babcock facility, a 6.6-acre parcel located at 40 Bristol Street.

Millstone over water 771x504By: Mark Pazniokas | ctmirror.com

HARTFORD: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill Tuesday that allows the state to enhance the profitability of Dominion Energy’s Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford, while pointedly asserting that Dominion has not convinced his administration any such help is warranted.

The new law permits, but does not require, state energy officials to change the rules for how Dominion Energy sells electricity from Millstone, whose profits fell as energy prices were depressed by competition from electricity generated by relatively cheap and plentiful natural gas.

Malloy said in a statement announcing the bill-signing that the preliminary results of an assessment of Millstone’s economic viability, which he says was hampered by Dominion’s refusal to full share its financials, is that the plant “is expected to be highly profitable through 2035.”

“As such, there is unlikely to be a basis upon which to conclude at this time that Dominion requires electric ratepayers to provide financial support outside the regional market in order for Millstone to continue operating profitably,” Malloy said, quoting a letter from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Malloy was asked a press conference if the letter was a message to Dominion to reconsider and share the financial data sought by DEEP and PURA.

“Yeah, I think that’s exactly the message,” Malloy said.

Dominion issued a statement praising the bill signing and ignoring the assertion no relief was necessary. The statement suggests that Dominion believes it still can make the case for new energy procurement rules for Millstone.

“On behalf of the 1,500 women and men who work at Millstone, I want to thank Gov. Malloy for signing this important legislation,” said Thomas F. Farrell, the company’s president and chief executive. “We are committed to working with his administration and with state energy regulators as the process laid out in the bill and the governor’s executive order continues.”

Millstone could sell up to three-quarters of its output in competition with other zero-carbon sources of electricity under the bill, a more favorable market because solar, wind and hydro power generally command higher prices.

The plant, whose electricity is sold throughout New England, generates the equivalent of 50 percent of Connecticut’s electric needs and nearly all of it is zero-carbon power, making it vital to the state’s meeting its goals for reducing greenhouse gases.

“I thank Gov. Malloy for recognizing the importance of Millstone to not only the southeast Connecticut region, but also to our entire state,” said Sen. Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, whose district includes Waterford. “This legislation is the result of bipartisan efforts including all stakeholders to protect a vital baseload energy source, build a bridge to a renewable future, and preserve thousands of jobs.”

Undisputed is that the nuclear industry is under distress, prompting the premature retirement of nuclear plants across the U.S., a loss of what environmentalists and others view as a bridge to an era when renewable energy can produce a larger share of electricity.

But industry analysts have concluded from publicly available documents that Millstone remains profitable. Promising confidentiality, the state has requested financial documents that Dominion says are proprietary.

The company has refused, saying they might be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. As a compromise, Dominion has proposed a briefing on the material, without providing copies.

AARP, one of the grass-roots groups that fought passage of the bill, expressed disappointment Malloy signed the measure, but was encouraged by his skepticism of Millstone’s need for financial relief.

“We do agree with the governor, DEEP and PURA that Millstone is expected to be highly profitable through 2035 based on publicly available data,” AARP said. “Therefore these processes must conclude that Dominion does not require electric ratepayers to provide financial support that could cost in excess of $300 million annually. AARP will work to ensure, absent disclosure by Millstone, that Connecticut ratepayers not be subjected to any special deal for the plant.”

Hartford Line commuter rail logoDOT Proposes Rates For Springfield to New Haven Rail

HARTFORD: The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing the proposed fares for the upcoming CTrail Hartford Line rail service and a 35-day comment period.

CTrail and Amtrak trains will together offer 17 roundtrips along this corridor, the DOT Fare proposal does not effect Amtrak service operating on this rail line.

CTrail One way rates will be $12.75 from Springfield to New Haven, $8 between Hartford to New Haven. Amtrak least expensive rate for existing service currently runs  at $16 between Hartford and New Haven and $24,00 Springfield and New Haven.

The DOT will have a 35 day comment period on the rates beginning on October23CT’s fares  , which must meet Federal Transit Administration guidelines  that mandate fares be evaluated for “equity and do not pose a disproportionate burden on low-income populations or a disparate impact on minority populations in the public transit service area.”

greenbankGreen Bank says the budget plan would effectively shut it down

 

Bryan Garcia, president of the Green Bank

A provision in the latest state budget compromise to take $27.5 million in ratepayer funds from the Connecticut Green Bank would “effectively shut down” the bank, its president, Bryan Garcia, said in an interview Monday.

The $27.5 million is essentially 100 percent of the bank’s funding – most of which comes from a longstanding fee on electric bills. A small portion of its funding comes from proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The bank uses that money to leverage additional funding – an 8-to-1 leverage at the moment – that means for every dollar of public ratepayer money the Green Bank brings in $8 of private capital. But that process cannot happen without the basic funding.

deathstarDEEP taking heat on its proposed changes to solar policy

 

Publishers Note:

Our publishing partner ctmiror.com and reporter Jan Ellen Spiegel are demonstrating the value of independent media in this very important article on the future of alternate energy in Connecticut and beyond.  Our chosen headline underscores how the utility industry nationwide is addressing the disruptive changes of new technology. Certainly there are serious issues about subsidy of solar and other alternate energies in Connecticut and this space is not a supporter of government subsisdy, even for alternate energy. Within a few years however homeowners and businessess will have reliable options for their energy use without reliance on the legacy systems. The question for business today, is will we be forcred to continue to pay for those legacy systems, it appears that the answer from Connecticut government is yes.

 
INDEPENDENCE SOLAR

Workers installing solar panels at Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford.

When James Schwartz took a look at the solar energy provisions in the new Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) draft released in July by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, he was pretty sure what it would mean for his 10-employee company, Independence Solar.

“We’d be out of business,” said Schwartz, who relocated Independence from Boston to Essex, Conn., because of the groundbreaking commercial solar program launched here in 2011. “There’s no business to be had based on the levels in there.”