Energy + Environment

Solar panels on the roof of a brick building

New law bans mandates on how New Hampshire residents heat their homes  

BY: - August 30, 2021

There wasn’t talk in New Hampshire of forcing residents to use green energy to heat their homes, but the Legislature decided to ban that sort of heating mandate anyway. Gov. Chris Sununu signed off on Senate Bill 86 last week, preemptively prohibiting municipalities from enacting any kind of mandate that would dictate what kind of […]

A young girl fills a glass of water at a kitchen sink

Proposal to fund cleanup of harmful ‘forever chemicals’ signed into law

BY: - August 27, 2021

A new law that was signed this week allows the state government to provide funding to municipalities and wastewater systems to clean up per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. House Bill 271 also sets maximum contaminant levels for PFAS in drinking water. The law includes a limit of 11 to 15 parts per trillion […]

A worker checks on solar panels

After years of attempts, state gets a new and expanded net metering law

BY: - August 26, 2021

It’s finally here: Expanded net metering is a win for renewable energy that advocates and lawmakers have been trying to finagle for years. The bill Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law on Thursday is significantly pared down from previous attempts to expand net metering. House Bill 315 raises the cap on net metering from 1 […]

Joe Biden signs papers at his desk in the Oval Office

Biden administration to restart oil and gas leasing

BY: - August 25, 2021

The Interior Department will take significant steps toward restarting its leasing programs for onshore and offshore oil and gas development in the coming months, the Biden administration said in a court filing Tuesday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management anticipates holding a sale for offshore leases in October or November, the administration said.   The Bureau […]

An electricity meter on the side of a house.

Federal regulators tell Seabrook to improve modeling of concrete degradation

BY: - August 23, 2021

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Seabrook Station that the facility needs to do a better job modeling future degradation of concrete to ensure the structure is safe, according to a recent report. Some structures at the nuclear energy generator, which is owned by NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Fla., have what’s called alkali-silica reaction, […]

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 […]