Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

The Trump threat on energy

The Trump threat on energy

Fears of shift toward fossil fuels are real

WHILE DONALD TRUMP’S VICTORY has sent many shock waves, perhaps there’s none more immediate than those now coursing through New England’s progressive energy policy. That policy has led the nation in energy efficiency, renewables, and innovation, all with the intent of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to stave off climate change. The broad threats of a(...)

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Power grid operator sounds alarms

Power grid operator sounds alarms

Gas pipeline concerns raised at conference

OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH KEEPING the lights on in New England raised alarm bells on Thursday about what might happen if the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure is not expanded. Gordon van Welie, the president and CEO of ISO-New England, which operates the regional power grid, has long been a proponent of bringing more natural gas(...)

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Eversource pushing big solar project

Eversource pushing big solar project

Utility says it won’t use net metering incentive

EVERSOURCE ENERGY, a fierce opponent of solar subsidies on Beacon Hill, is seeking state approval to build solar farms across Massachusetts. A spokesman for the utility said the net cost of its solar power will be 18 cents a kilowatt hour, which will be recovered through the company’s distribution rates along with a regulated rate(...)

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With renewables, intermittency is a problem

With renewables, intermittency is a problem

Combo wind-hydro approach makes sense

Progress continues in the New England clean energy revolution: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island recently announced their intention to negotiate seven power contracts with wind and solar developers selected through an unusual three-state bidding process. The contracts will hold the potential for 452 megawatts of renewable energy, but because wind and solar projects can generate(...)

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Pipelines are obsolete technology

Pipelines are obsolete technology

We need to move to post-fossil fuel age

I STRENUOUSLY DISAGREE with the recent opinion piece by Ian Bowles in which he argues that, “with rapid departure of all of the remaining coal and nuclear power plants in Massachusetts, we need to bring more natural gas to our state.” Isn’t that a multibillion-dollar investment in obsolete technology? Building new pipeline infrastructure only takes us(...)

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MA must continue to lead on energy

MA must continue to lead on energy

State must also push for new gas pipeline

A NEW PRESIDENT always means change in key public policy matters.  Before sharing my thoughts about what this transition means for our energy priorities in Massachusetts, I want to share observations from the front row seat I had for the last transition of Democratic president to Republican. Around Christmastime in 2000, while still adjusting to(...)

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Eversource winter price to drop 8%

Eversource winter price to drop 8%

Despite pipeline constraints, prices are falling

EVERSOURCE ENERGY said its customers will pay about 8 percent less this winter for electricity, suggesting that constraints on natural gas supplies coming into the region won’t have a major impact on rates this coming year. Eversource, in partnership with Spectra Energy of Houston and National Grid, wants to build the Access Northeast pipeline to(...)

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Robbing MIT to pay international reactor

Robbing MIT to pay international reactor

US commitment to ITER limits domestic fusion research funds

THE DECADES-LONG QUEST to produce inexpensive carbon-free energy from nuclear fusion is making tangible progress. There is much work ahead but recent research is bringing the elusive goal into clearer focus. Unfortunately, non-scientific barriers – political, funding, and management issues that won’t yield to the skills of the even the best physicists – have emerged(...)

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Eversource confident on gas pipeline project

Eversource confident on gas pipeline project

Predicts Access Northeast will begin construction in 2019

EVERSOURCE ENERGY officials confidently predicted this week they would begin construction of the $3 billion Access Northeast natural gas pipeline in 2019 and floated several possible ways to finance it. Eversource had pinned its hopes on having electric ratepayers in New England foot the bill for the natural gas pipeline, but that plan unraveled this(...)

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Gas pipeline dealt possibly fatal blow

Gas pipeline dealt possibly fatal blow

CT calls off procurement after NH, MA rulings

THE PUSH FOR A NEW PIPELINE into New England may have been dealt a fatal blow when Connecticut officials called off a process to procure more natural gas largely because of decisions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that eliminated a financing mechanism for the project. In announcing its decision on Tuesday, the Connecticut Department of(...)

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