Natural Gas | New Hampshire Public Radio

Natural Gas

Entergy / Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Natural gas use is expected to increase in New York after the closure Friday of the state's largest nuclear plant. But it probably won’t trickle out to New England, according to a regional industry leader.

The fight against fossil fuel expansion in New England has a new front in Killingly, Connecticut. Climate activists want the state to reject a proposed natural gas plant there, which is tied to the company behind a controversial pipeline development currently underway in Minnesota and a recently completed natural gas line in New England.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

A new report says New Hampshire’s state government has cut back its fossil fuel and energy use in the past 15 years, but still falls well short of the goals set by a 2016 executive order.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Liberty Utilities was in Epping Wednesday night making its pitch for the proposed Granite Bridge natural gas pipeline – with an unusual science demonstration.

At the front of a middle school gym, with a few dozen locals watching, California-based energy consultant Erik Neandross donned a white lab coat and picked up a balloon.

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A plan to build a natural gas plant at a North Country landfill has gotten preliminary approval from the town of Bethlehem.

The $15 million-dollar project comes from several companies, including Liberty Utilities.

A new report suggests New Hampshire's Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant will be essential to curbing the effects of climate change in the coming years.

Seabrook and Millstone Station in Connecticut will be the only two nuclear plants left in New England after next year.

They're also some of the most profitable nuclear plants in the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

wikimedia commons

The investigation into the Massachussetts gas explosions is ongoing. But opponents of this energy source are energized, and supporters are on the defense. We look at what the Bay State disaster says about existing regional infrastructure, and how it might affect current pipeline proposals.

Sargent Corp

Liberty Utilities wants to use methane emissions from a North Country landfill as an energy source.

Liberty has proposed spending $15 million on a system to capture methane given off by decomposing trash at the Casella-owned landfill in Bethlehem.

The utility would convert the methane into “renewable” natural gas – so called because the trash that generates it can be replenished.

The project would generate as much gas annually as more than 6,000 homes can use in a year.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Members of New Hampshire's energy industry joined lawmakers Monday at the state’s annual energy summit, which helps set priorities for next year's legislative session.

They debated the policies – and politics – that could help lower the region’s high electric costs, diversify and stabilize fuel supplies, and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Governor Chris Sununu and Democratic rival Molly Kelly presented contrasting ideas on those issues at the start of the summit.  

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Southern New Hampshire residents had a lot of questions for Liberty Utilities Wednesday night at the public unveiling of a proposed natural gas pipeline.

The project is called the Granite Bridge. It would be buried along Route 101 between Stratham and Manchester, with a large liquefied natural gas storage tank in Epping.

Liberty says it needs the 27-mile, $340-million project to meet growing demand and expand natural gas service for commercial, industrial and residential customers.

Liberty Utilities

Liberty Utilities' natural gas pipeline proposal gets its first close-up with the public tonight in Epping.

The company will hold an open house to answer questions about the project, known as Granite Bridge.  

The 27-mile proposed pipeline would run underground along Route 101 from Stratham to Manchester. Liberty also wants to build a liquefied natural gas storage facility in an empty quarry in Epping.

Wednesday’s open house marks the start of public input on the project, as Liberty works to get Granite Bridge approved.

Consumer Energy / Flicker CC

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says electric utilities like Eversource should be allowed to invest in natural gas pipelines.

Tuesday’s ruling reverses a 2016 order by the state Public Utilities Commission.

File photo / Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New England’s power grid operator is getting pushback on a study that said some worst-case scenarios could lead to rolling blackouts in the region by 2024.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Energy leaders from around New England met in Manchester Friday to brainstorm how to keep the region’s lights on at a reasonable price long-term.

Jim Richmond

New Hampshire is refocusing its energy policy for the next decade, aiming to prioritize lower costs for consumers and to allow “unaided market competition” for all forms of energy.

Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

Eversource is demanding a national environmental group take down a study that suggests they unfairly withheld natural gas capacity and inflated electric rates – but the Environmental Defense Fund is standing by its research.

Liberty Utilities wants to build a new natural gas pipeline between the Seacoast and Manchester, in an effort to expand the state's strained capacity for the fuel at the lowest cost to ratepayers.

Britta Greene / NHPR

The Lebanon City Council voted Wednesday to amend the city's master plan, removing references to natural gas as a favored energy source. The move is largely symbolic, but it reflects growing concern around the environmental impact of natural gas.

Residents in the Upper Valley are organizing to fight a proposal by Liberty Utilities for a new natural gas facility and pipeline running through Lebanon and Hanover. The state Public Utilities Commission is slated to hear that proposal in September.

The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report Wednesday, and New Hampshire is doing better than it has in two decades. 

Air quality in state has improved overall since last year’s report card. Jeff Underhill, a Chief Scientist with the state Environmental Services Air Resources Division, says that’s due to a handful of factors, including cleaner cars and pollution controls for power plants.

Sam Evans-Brown

  The utility that provides steam heat for the New Hampshire Statehouse and a number of other state government facilities is shutting down. 

Residents in western New Hampshire are concerned that an investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure could affect environmental issues in the region.

The state Public Utilities Commission is considering bids from two utility companies - Valley Green and Liberty Utilities - that want to provide natural gas to customers in Lebanon and Hanover. The Valley News reports that both proposals would truck in natural gas to a Lebanon depot and distribute it to customers through an underground distribution pipeline.

Kinder Morgan

  Late Friday evening the Public Utilities Commission approved Liberty Utilities' proposal to buy space on a controversial natural gas pipeline proposed for Southern border of the state.

Sam Evans-Brown for NHPR

A public outreach campaign for a major natural gas pipeline kicked off at an open house Wednesday in Winchester, New Hampshire. 

The proposed project, by Texas-based pipeline developer Kinder Morgan, was moved North to New Hampshire late last year, in part to ease concerns of critics along the original route in Northern Massachusetts. Despite the company’s efforts to minimize the line’s impact, resistance along the new route has been just as strong.

The scene outside a presentation of any major energy infrastructure project tends to feature two crowds: unions…

Southern N.H. Debates Natural Gas Pipeline Proposal

Feb 5, 2015
Kinder Morgan

With high energy costs and inadequate means for transporting natural gas into the region, some are championing construction of an interstate pipeline spanning eighty miles and seventeen communities in New Hampshire’s southern region.  But opposition is fierce among those concerned about environmental impact and property values.

GUESTS:

A.F. Litt / Flickr Creative Commons

The power of natural gas pipeline developers to take private property using eminent domain will come under the scrutiny of state lawmakers this legislative session.

Federal law dictates that any interstate gas pipeline which has won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) is granted the power to take land it needs for the project, so long as it pays fair market price.

Jim Belanger, a Republican from Hollis, has sponsored two bills at the request of a constituent in his town. "They weren't my idea," he says.

Christian Patti / http://christianpatti.com/

The state’s largest electric company has asked for a winter price hike. Even after the increase Public Service of New Hampshire will still have the lowest winter rate of any utility in the state.

PSNH has asked regulators for an energy rate of 10.56 six cents per kilowatt hour, an increase from the current rate of 9.87 cents per kWh. The utility estimates that for an average rate-payer, using between 500 and 700 kWh per month, bills will rise somewhere between $5 and $8.

Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

A natural gas pipeline developer says New Hampshire is now its preferred route for a brand new project it hopes to build in 2017. 

Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based deveoper, had initially planned to route the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline through Northern Massachusetts. After grass-roots groups and several politicians pushed back against the plan, the developer began to explore alternatives.

Via Vermontbiz.com

Kinder Morgan, a natural gas pipeline developer, says it is seriously considering an alternative route for a major new pipeline that would bring the line up into New Hampshire. The new route would bury the pipeline almost entirely under power lines in existing rights of way.

Currently, the expansion to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline network is proposed to run through Northern Massachusetts, where it has sparked the concerns of residents.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Some electricity customers in New Hampshire are in for a shock this winter. Numerous utilities across New England have announced electricity rates that are some of the highest in the history of the continental United States. And it’s a problem that’s expected to get worse before it gets better.

For some consumers, this is more real than for others. Don Sage and his wife make due on a bit less than $30,000 a year in social security payments. So he can ill-afford to pay another $40 a month on his electric bills.

Spectra Energy

Developers are proposing a natural gas pipeline expansion that would beef up the lines connecting New Jersey to Nova Scotia. The possible expansion is the fourth that has been proposed for the region.

Northeast Utilities and Spectra Energy are partnering in the bid to expand two already existing gas transmission networks, the Algonquin network, and the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline.

The project would supply as much as a billion cubic feet per day, which would be a big boost to gas supplies.

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