Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Measuring the impact of offshore wind, hydro

Measuring the impact of offshore wind, hydro

Emissions cut 9% as electric bills rise $5.70 to $8.50 a month

PURCHASES OF LARGE-SCALE hydroelectric and offshore wind resources as required by the recently passed energy law would reduce the state’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent at a cost of $5.70 to $8.50 a month for the typical electric ratepayer. Our analysis suggests the incremental cost of removing a metric ton of carbon dioxide(...)

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3 Boston institutions finance NC solar farm

3 Boston institutions finance NC solar farm

MIT and BMC help finance 60 megawatt facility

THREE BOSTON-AREA INSTITUTIONS are financing the construction of one of the largest renewable energy projects in the United States, a 60-megawatt solar farm in North Carolina. MIT, Boston Medical Center, and the Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation said on Wednesday they had signed a 25-year contract to purchase the power output from the project’s 255,000(...)

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Warren redistributes solar income

Warren redistributes solar income

Newton mayor steers city savings to low-income residents

NEWTON MAYOR SETTI WARREN announced a small solar project on Wednesday that will slightly trim the city’s electric bill and funnel the bulk of the savings to about 1,250 low-income residents of the community. The low-income residents will save about $40 to $50 a year, officials said. The project itself is no different from countless(...)

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Charting the path to zero carbon emissions

Charting the path to zero carbon emissions

Report shines spotlight on Pennsylvania

CLIMATE POLICY is in a holding pattern. The D.C. Circuit court is deliberating on the future of EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” regulation of carbon pollution from existing power plants. Stakeholders in the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are pondering emission cap targets for 2020 through 2030 that may do anything from hold steady at 2020(...)

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States are where clean energy action is

States are where clean energy action is

Texas is leading the way on wind, solar

ON THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE and energy policy, the candidates for president couldn’t be farther apart, as evidenced by their brief exchange at last week’s first debate. For Hillary Clinton, decisive action is needed immediately to head off “the most catastrophic consequences” of global warming. Donald Trump has often used the word “hoax” to(...)

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Pilgrim is safe, shouldn’t close early

Pilgrim is safe, shouldn’t close early

Calls for shutdown before 2019 are irresponsible

DESPITE ASSERTIONS TO THE CONTRARY, the facts demonstrate that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has run very reliably in recent years. For calendar year 2014, our capacity factor was 97 percent — better than any other generator in New England. Even with a planned refueling outage in 2015, we were online 85 percent of the(...)

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Baker’s energy policy only part right

Baker’s energy policy only part right

All-of-the-above approach not tenable

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S FLURRY of announcements on climate change and clean energy has elicited cautiously optimistic praise from some sustainable energy advocates. While many details of the administration’s new initiatives are yet to be developed, one fundamental shortcoming of the Governor’s energy policy remains clear: he fails to acknowledge that a serious response to climate change requires(...)

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From too cheap to meter to too risky to run

From too cheap to meter to too risky to run

Nuclear power doesn’t merit new subsidies

NUCLEAR OPERATORS in California, Connecticut, Illinois, and New York are asking state lawmakers for additional monies—above and beyond the market prices of electricity and electric capacity—to keep their plants open for business. These plant owners cite low energy prices and increasing operating costs among the factors that are making their plants uneconomic. Among the key(...)

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Baker rolling out new solar incentives

Baker rolling out new solar incentives

Draft proposal would scale back costs

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is preparing to roll out the draft of a new solar incentive program on Friday that sets a ceiling on subsidies and is expected to reduce their overall cost. The new incentive program is emerging at a time when solar power has become a divisive issue on Beacon Hill, with House leaders(...)

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State on verge of clean energy transformation

State on verge of clean energy transformation

Carbon fee or RGGI expansion final puzzle piece

SOMETIMES INCREMENTAL CHANGES result in a patchwork of policies whose larger significance may be missed – and along with it major opportunities. That is the case with Massachusetts energy policy right now. The last several months have witnessed singular legislative, judicial, and executive branch actions that add up to an opportunity for a transformative acceleration(...)

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