Energy + Environment

A satellite image of storms churning around North America

‘A final wake-up call’: New report predicts flooding, extreme heat, sea level rise in state

BY: - August 23, 2021

Growing up in New Hampshire, Elizabeth Burakowski remembers schools shutting down after getting inundated with snow. But now her own children are getting sent home for an entirely different reason: heat days. School buildings aren’t built for the kind of heat New Hampshire has been experiencing. And hot days, especially when they climb to over […]

Gov. Chris Sununu stands during a meeting

Executive Council plans to question top utilities commission official about staffing crisis

BY: - August 20, 2021

The creation of the Department of Energy has led to a staffing crisis, according to some in the department. With state employees getting shuffled into different positions at the new department, other roles have been left vacant. The Public Utilities Commission – which is now administratively attached to the Department of Energy – has filled […]

State House dome

Former Trump administration official confirmed as assistant commissioner of Environmental Services

BY: - August 19, 2021

Mark Sanborn has been confirmed to take over as assistant commissioner at the Department of Environmental Services, the second-highest ranking environmental regulator position in the state.  In a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, the Executive Council approved the governor’s nomination. Cinde Warmington, a Concord Democrat, was the only councilor to vote against the confirmation. Sanborn will […]

A worker checks on solar panels

State and federal legislation bring opportunities for municipalities to build renewable infrastructure

BY: - August 18, 2021

With New Hampshire poised to receive an influx of federal money, the state’s largest solar company is encouraging cities and towns to spend it on solar. Some towns haven’t applied for American Rescue Plan Act funding because of uncertainty about what kinds of projects are eligible. According to ReVision Energy, a B Corporation (a business […]

Power lines and trees

‘Everything is in a state of flux’: New Department of Energy struggling to find its footing

BY: - August 11, 2021

On July 1, a new department was born. Proponents of the reorganization that created the Department of Energy had high hopes that it would help increase transparency and accountability. The vision was to create a “home” for energy policy in state government by pulling some of the energy work that used to happen at the […]

Rep. Annie Kuster sits during a congressional hearing

Nuclear Regulatory Commission official visiting Seabrook Station and its aging concrete

BY: - August 10, 2021

This story was updated on Aug. 10 at 2:40 p.m. with a statement from NextEra Energy. Amid growing questions over concrete degradation, a top official from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is visiting Seabrook Station on Tuesday. At a congressional hearing in July, Congresswoman Annie Kuster asked the federal agency how it is handling Seabrook’s […]

A view of Concord from the Merrimack River

Vulnerability of state’s infrastructure takes center stage at roundtable discussion

BY: - August 6, 2021

Jay Minkarah hadn’t thought about the possibility of a severe flood shutting down the Central New Hampshire Turnpike in Merrimack until he worked on a Department of Transportation assessment looking at exactly that scenario. “It really brought home to me the vulnerability of our infrastructure at a time when we are, you know, pretty clearly […]

Assisted migration aims to help forests – and people – adapt to a swiftly changing climate

BY: - August 6, 2021

A tree doesn’t just all of a sudden pull up its roots, pack its bags, and decide to set out for a more hospitable home when the climate changes. But trees do migrate. This can occur through processes like natural selection, where the tree species that are best adapted to a particular area are the […]

State House dome

How much should it cost to charge an electric vehicle? Vendor approved to find out

BY: - August 5, 2021

The Executive Council approved $292,950 in spending on Wednesday for a contract with The Brattle Group Inc., a Boston-based consulting firm, to study time-of-use rates for charging electric vehicles. Consultants at the firm will be paid up to $575 per hour to conduct work that the new Department of Energy is outsourcing. They will look […]

Offshore wind turbines

Executive Council approves $250,000 in federal money to study the impact of offshore wind

BY: - August 4, 2021

A quarter of a million dollars of American Rescue Plan money will go toward studying the impacts of developing offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine, following Executive Council approval of the contract on Wednesday. The contract runs through June 30, 2023. The assessment will look at economic, energy, and environmental impacts associated with offshore […]

Power lines

Executive Council to consider contract with Colorado firm to monitor energy efficiency efforts

BY: - August 3, 2021

Evaluating and monitoring energy efficiency efforts is key in ensuring that the state’s program is delivering on its promises. A $284,683 contract that would pay a Colorado firm to verify that work is up for a vote before the Executive Council on Wednesday. Consumer Advocate Don Kreis called the chosen firm, Skumatz Economic Research Associates, […]

A parking spot reserved for electric vehicle

New law places barrier on state joining low carbon fuel standard programs

BY: - August 2, 2021

This story and headline were updated on Aug. 2 at 2:42 p.m. to clarify that the version of the bill that was signed into law did not contain language preventing discussion of low carbon fuel standard programs. In 2019, Gov. Chris Sununu decided that New Hampshire would not join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, but […]