Blogs > Power to the People

A common sense look at energy issues in the state of Connecticut and how they affect the state's residents

Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Report Shows Solar Gains In Connecticut

Connecticut added 500 new solar energy jobs between 2013 and 2014, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Solar Foundation.

The gain in employment moved Connecticut's ranking among the nation's 50 states from 28th in 2013 to 25th in 2014. The information regarding Connecticut's standing within America's solar industry is contained in the group's National Solar Job Census.

Connecticut is home to 127 solar energy companies, according to the report. And solar energy powers 15,230 homes in the state, which leaves Connecticut ranked 21st in the nation.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reuters Story Mentions ISO-NE In Natural Gas Price Story

Another day, another view on regional grid operator ISO-New England.

I wrote a story Friday in which Pulitzer Prize winning author David Cay Johnston criticized ISO-NE for its handling of one of the auctions that it oversees to procure electricity three years in advance of when its needed. 

Now in this Reuters article that appears in the Bangor Daily News, ISO-NE is given credit for having offered incentives to power plant operators to lock in oil and gas supplies early. Among the incentives offered is an end-of-season cash payout to cover any excess costs from unused fuel supplies.

The supply of natural gas is important to for generation of electricity in the region because a majority of New England's power plants run on the fuel. And last winter, as the Reuters article points out, the price of natural gas spiked to record levels and forced some electric power generators not to run due to a lack of fuel.

The Reuters article also makes the case that despite the fact this winter has been the coldest in 81 years, natural gas prices haven't spiked as they did last year. Whether ISO-NE's actions are the primary reason the region didn't see a repeat of last winter's natural gas prices is debatable, but it's only fair to give the grid operator some credit.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Ticker Symbol Replaces The Old NU

The last remaining vestige of Northeast Utilities disappears with Thursday morning's opening of the New York Stock Exchange.

The Northeast Utilities name, along with the monikers of its electric and natural gas subsidiaries in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire disappeared on Feb. 2nd with the company's multi-million dollar re branding as Eversource Energy. The stock of Eversource Energy continued to trade under the NU symbol through the close of trading on Wednesday.

Now, the NU ticker symbol heads off into fog of history with the arrival of Eversource Energy's ES listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

In what should probably be considered the corporate equivalent of a NASCAR victory lap, Tom May, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eversource Energy will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

Eversource Energy has a market capitalization of more than $16 billion, which is based upon the market value of the company's shares. It is calculated by taking the stock price and multiplying it by the total number of shares outstanding. 

Eversource has assets of nearly $30 billion and 317 million shares outstanding. The company has more 8,000 employees and serves more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers across the three states it serves

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Connecticut Is One Nation's Top States for Fuel Cells, New Report Says

The U.S. Department of Energy has ranked Connecticut as one of top five states in the country when it comes to use of fuel cells and development of the power source.

The federal agency's 82-page report, "State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2014" was released earlier this month. Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement that the state's ranking in the latest edition of the report, as well as the previous four editions of the publication, "demonstrates that our work to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy sources for Connecticut residents and businesses is paying off.”

"The U.S. fuel cell industry employs thousands of residents and generates millions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue," Malloy said. "That is why we have implemented the policies necessary to drive the use of fuel cells and ensure there is no better place for the renewable energy sector to continue to grow and create jobs than right here in Connecticut."

Among the major fuel cell advances in Connecticut that the report cites are:

- The 2013 launch on the nation's largest  fuel cell power station, 14.9 megawatts, which was installed by Danbury-based FuelCell Energy, and is operated by energy producer and transporter, Dominion Energy.

- Two fuel cells that The United Illuminating Co. is installing in 2015 in Bridgeport and New Haven that will produce  5.6 megawatts od power between them.

- Plans by South Korea's Doosan Co., which bought the assets of  bankrupt ClearEdge Power, to hire 150 employees by the end of 2015 for the headquarters of its American fuel cell business.

Connecticut companies are estimated to have generated close to $600 million in revenue and investment annually. 

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Stamford Electric Grid Upgrade Completed

Connecticut Light & Power has completed a nearly nine-month long project designed to improve electric reliability in Stamford.

Work on the project started in March and was completed at the end of last month, CL&P officials said.The Stamford Reliability Cable Project covered about 1.5 miles through the Fairfield County community's downtown and made its way beneath the Metro North commuter rail as well as along highway corridors. The project connected two existing substations in the city's Glenbrook and South End neighborhoods with 115,volt cables, according to CL&P officials.

 In the photo shown at left, members of the Stamford Fire Department are briefed by a project contractor on the tunneling operation under the Metro-North Railroad right of way near Lincoln Avenue.

Dwayne Basler, vice president of transmission projects, engineering & maintenance for Northeast Utilities, CL&P's corporate parent said the project is an example of a highly targeted investment in the utility company's distribution network. 

 “These investments ensure reliable, cost-effective energy for our customers and support the continued economic growth in southwest Connecticut,” Basler said in a statement..

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Northeast Utilities Declares Quarterly Dividend

Northeast Utilities (NU) announced Wednesday that its board has approved a dividend of 39.25 cents per share of common stock.

The dividend is line with the Hartford-based utility company's previously quarterly dividend payment, which was made at the end of September. The dividend announced Wednesday will be paid out on Dec. 31 to shareholder of record as of the close of business on Dec. 15.

NU has approximately 317 million in common shares outstanding.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Solar Company To Hold Middletown Job Fair

When NRG Home Solar made its Connecticut debut this summer, company executives said they hoped to hire 75 people over the next year.

Now the company is taking specific steps to deliver on that promise. NRG Home Solar will hold a job fair at its Connecticut headquarters in Middletown on Nov. 20th. 

The company's headquarters is at 299 Industrial Park Drive in Middletown. The job fair will be from 3 p.m to 7 p.m.

NRG Home Solar is looking to hire candidates in solar sales, solar installers, kiosk lead generators, and administrators. Training in all solar fields is available to qualified candidates.

For more information on the job fair or about employment  with NRG Home Solar, call Erica Miele at 732-568-8482.

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