Blogs > Power to the People

Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fairfield County Companies Buy Eversource Energy New Hampshire Power Plants

Hartford-based Eversource Energy is selling five of its power generating assets in New Hampshire to a joint venture made up of a pair of Fairfield County companies.

The joint venture, Granite Shore Power LLC, is a newly formed partnership between Atlas Holdings of Greenwich and Castleton Commodities International of Stamford. Granite Shore Power paid $175 million for three fossil fuel power plants and two turbines that generate electricity.

Artlas Holdings owns 17 companies in the manufacturing, distribution, service and trading fields. Castleton Commodities International  owns a variety of power plants and other energy producing assests.

The deal, which is expected to close in December or early next year, must still be approved by New Hampshire utility regulators. The sell-off of power plants was part of a 2015 agreement Eversource reached with state officials to restructure and stabilize rates in the Granite State.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Avangrid Workers Clean Up New Haven Park

Avangrid Workers at East Rock Park
New Haven's East Rock Park looks a little cleaner and its trails are now a little better maintained after more than a dozen employees of Orange-based Avangrid and its Connecticut companies spent part of Saturday sprucing things up.
The Avangrid workers were joined in their efforts  by friends and family as well by members of the group Friends of East Rock Park, a non-profit community and environmental group. 
The Avangrid workers were taking part in a global Volunteer Day initiative being conducted by Avangrid's corporate parent, the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. Avangrid is the holding company that oversees all of Iberdrola's subsidiaries here in the United States, including The United Illuminating Co., Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas here in Connecticut.
Another group of Avangrid workers spent part of their Saturday in Fairfield County, sorting clothes to help the Bridgeport Rescue Mission prepare for its Great Thanksgiving Project. The Great Thanksgiving Project provides warm winter clothes and holiday dinners to the needy.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Millstone Saga Continues This Week

Efforts by the owner of the Millstone nuclear power plant to be allowed to compete in Connecticut's renewable energy marketplace take center stage again on Thursday.
Dominion Energy's Millstone nuclear power plant

That's when state utility regulators will conduct a hearing on Gov. Dannel Malloy's July 25th Executive Order calling for a comprehensive report on the future of the Waterford-based electric generation facility.

The hearing will be held in the Gina McCarthy Auditorium of the Department of Energy and Environmental  Protection. The agency's offices are located at 79 Elm St. in Hartford.

 The hearing, which is being conducted jointly by DEEP and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, begins at 9:30 a.m.

Malloy has said he wants the plan completed prior to the start of the 2018 legislative session in February.

Millstone’s owner, Virginia-based Dominion Energy, has been pressing the Connecticut General Assembly and Malloy since the beginning of the year to allow the nuclear plant to compete with renewable power generation resources for valuable, long-term contracts with the state’s electric utilities. Dominion Energy has made thinly thinly-veiled threats that it will shut down Millstone if the state is unwilling to provide the company with some help.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Winners of Energy Driven Contest Announced

Mary Sotos
Energize Connecticut honored 43 winners this week in its 13th annual eesmarts Student Contest Award Ceremony at the State Capitol.

The winners were selected from a field of over 1,200 Connecticut entrants from college students to those in grades K-12. The contest is designed to encourage students to utilize their science, engineering, technology, art and mathematics skills to showcase their knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.

Entrants used posters, persuasive writing, community-based projects and script writing to showcase their knowledge, according to event organizers.

  Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Mary Sotos was thee ceremony’s keynote speaker.

“With on-going advancements in renewable energies, green building and energy efficient technologies, it is imperative that we equip our students to not only be environmentally-conscious but to succeed in this emerging industry,”  Sotos said in a statement. “It is an honor to be a part of an initiative like eesmarts that encourages students to expand their knowledge and skill set in this subject, and brings their vision of an energy-efficient society to life.”

More than a dozen of the winning entries were from New Haven area communities, including 

Second Place: Kayyana Gotti, New Haven
Third Place: Lasya Josyula, Hamden

First Grade
First Place: Samantha Roundtree, New Haven
Second Place: Makayla Ramos, Stratford

Second Grade
First Place: Fisnik Hasani, Stratford
Third Grade
Second place: Cole Christman, Hamden

Fourth Grade
Second Place: Molly Weinberg, New Haven
Third Place: Waliullah Ammar Khawaja, Hamden

Fifth Grade
First Place: Mujtaba Ather, Hamden
Second Place: Olivia Cabrera St. Pierre, Wallingford

Seventh Grade
First Place: Jolie Edwards, Deep River
Second Place: Ella Pitman, Deep River
Third Place: Grace McPadden, Shelton

High School: Grades 9-11
Second place: Natalia Lecce, Ashlynn O’Keefe, Amanda Hill, KC Marron – West Haven

Students in grades K-8 answered grade-level specific prompts in the form of a poster (Grades K-2), narrative (Grade 3), news article (Grade 4), book review (Grade 5), essay (Grade 6), speech (Grade 7), or public service announcement (Grade 8). Students in grades 9-11 competed in the community service-learning project award category, which asked students to propose a community-based project to address an energy-related issue.

 Students in grade 12 created a persuasive image that advocated for energy conservation, alternate energy source or addressed an environmental concern.

The “Wright the World” category invites college students enrolled in a two or four-year college or university in Connecticut to write a 25-to-30 minute play supporting the eesmarts curriculum and mission.

Energize Connecticut is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Power To The Young People

The Energize Connecticut Center at 122 Universal Drive in North Haven is launching a three-part series for children and their families.

 The first program in  the series will take place June 16 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Energize Connecticut Center, which is located next to Panera Bread in the Target Plaza. The Renewable Energy Summer Series will continue through July and August with events on July 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and August 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This free event is designed to entertain children while teaching them about the impact energy usage has on Earth. Kids and adults will have an opportunity to participate in solar-related activities and experiments,including;
  • Turning a plastic bottle into a  bottle self-watering planter..
  • Designing a bracelet or key chain with color changing solar beads.
  •  Creating artwork that is only visible in the sun.
  •  Building solar powered circuits.
  •   Learning about solar cooking.
  For more information, please contact Alysse Rodrigues at 203-799-0460.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

CNG Heading Into Hebron

Connecticut Natural Gas, a subsidiary of New Haven-based Avangrid, has received local approval to expand in the town of Hebron.
The company expects  to start construction this spring on an approximately 8-mile natural gas main that will serve the regional high school and middle school, two elementary schools and all of Hebron’s municipal buildings. Hebron voters approved the project at a town meeting earlier this month.
Monday's announcement about the Hebron extension comes following CNG's installation of new 3.6-mile natural gas main in Coventry, CNG also plans to expand into Bolton, which is located on Hebron's northern border, later this year.
Hebron’s new gas main, expected to be finished later this year, will serve the Regional Hebron, Andover & Marlborough (RHAM) high school and middle school; Gilead and Hebron elementary schools; and all municipal buildings, including Town Hall, Douglas Library, and the fire department and senior center.
“This project will make natural gas heat a clean, affordable choice for many Hebron residents while helping to reduce the town’s overall energy costs,” Hebron Town Manager Andrew J. Tierney said in a statement.
CNG's sister utility, Orange-based Southern Connecticut Gas, has also been expanding its distribution network. The two companies built 37.5 miles of new distribution main between them in 2016.
 Since 2014, they have added approximately 34,500 new commercial and residential natural gas customers, following through on a commitment to expand energy choice in Connecticut.
 Avangrid was created to oversee all of the U.S. operations of Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant, after it merged with New Haven-based UIL Holdings in 2015.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Eversource Conducting Aerial Inspection of Transmission Lines

Eversource Energy has begun its winter transmission line assessment.

 The work involves the use of a helicopter flying low over transmission lines to detect any potential equipment issues before system reliability is impacted, according to Steve Gilkey vice president of electric field operations for Eversource in Connecticut.
“The helicopter inspections of our transmission lines are a crucial and effective part of our commitment to reducing the frequency and duration of power outages,” Gilkey said in a statement. “Over a million customers in Connecticut depend on us for their electric service and that’s why we’re always working proactively to keep the system operating safely and reliably.”

The inspections are already underway and will continue through  December 15, weather-permitting. The aerial assessments will cover transmission lines more than 80 towns, including:
 - Beacon Falls
 - Bethany
 - Branford
 - Cheshire
 - Deep River
 - East Haven
 - Essex
 - Guilford
 - Hamden
 - Milford
 - North Branford
 - Old Saybrook
 - Orange, 
 - Shelton, 
 - Wallingford
 - Woodbridge

 Eversource officials say there are two helicopters doing the inspections. One is blue and silver with a tail number of N1431W; the other is blue and white wjth N411DD as the tail number.