Environment

Hydro-Quebec partners up

Hydro-Quebec partners up

Seeking Mass. contract, utility giant works with 3 transmission firms

HYDRO-QUEBEC, a utility giant that fashions itself the electric battery of the Northeast, is partnering with three different transmission companies in competing for a massive clean energy contract with Massachusetts. The multiple partners were a bit of a surprise because Hydro-Quebec has had a long-standing relationship with Eversource Energy on the Northern Pass project, which(...)

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3 takeaways on the offshore wind RFP

3 takeaways on the offshore wind RFP

Getting the $8 billion procurement right

IMAGINE WIND POWER delivering electricity at prices well below today’s rates. It’s not the fantasy of some wildly idealistic environmentalist: In fact, it’s happening today in Texas, and the potential exists in Massachusetts for abundant and cheap wind power if only we are bold enough to imagine a future largely devoid of fossil fuel energy(...)

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Trump calling national monuments into question

Trump calling national monuments into question

Part of effort to open lands to mining, oil, gas interests

BEARS EARS, Canyons of the Ancients, Craters of the Moon, Giant Sequoia – the names alone conjure mystery, majesty, wonder, and timelessness. These are just four of the 27 national monuments that are at grave risk under a review being carried out by the Trump administration. We need our Massachusetts congressional delegation, other elected leaders,(...)

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The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie

The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie

Power grid operator too preoccupied with pipelines

OUR GRID OPERATOR, ISO New England, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. For two decades, the ISO has been in charge of keeping the lights on throughout the region, coordinating the flow of electricity to power plants. As we become more aware of the consequences of different sources of energy production – from climate change(...)

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Access Northeast pipeline put on indefinite hold

Access Northeast pipeline put on indefinite hold

Eversource predicted in Nov. that construction would start in 2019

THE COMPANIES BEHIND the $3 billion Access Northeast natural gas pipeline said on Thursday that they are putting the project on hold indefinitely. The project faced long odds in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but as recently as November officials from Eversource Energy confidently predicted pipeline construction would begin in 2019 and be completed in 2020.(...)

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Round three on renewable energy

Round three on renewable energy

Supporters’ own data disproves their case

A RECENT OPINION PIECE in Commonwealth (“The Upside of Renewables” by Peter Rothstein and Michael Behrmann) attempts to rebut an earlier piece by me which pointed out the high cost and lack of reliability of renewable energy. However, any objective analysis of their data undercuts their arguments that renewables are economically productive. First, in response(...)

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The upside of renewables

The upside of renewables

Clean energy advocates dispute any downside

A Commonwealth opinion piece (“The downside of renewables”) published on May 11 provided a flawed argument against renewable energy and its implications for the New England electricity grid by picking and choosing facts from European countries that are decades ahead of the US in the clean energy transition. We should learn from the successes and(...)

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Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar

Paris withdrawal won’t deter wind, solar

Clean energy economics becoming irresistible

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S WITHDRAWAL from the Paris climate agreement, and the reactions to that retreat, are more theater than substance.  Whether the United States is in or out does little to prevent the rise of clean energy at the expense of coal, nuclear, and other traditional sources of electric power. There are two reasons. One is(...)

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Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Baker all talk on regional carbon limits

Governor MIA on greenhouse gas initiative

AS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP moves forward with his efforts to dismantle the Clean Power Plan and accelerate the extraction of coal, oil, and gas on federal lands, it’s worth taking a look at our own record here in Massachusetts. While state officials speak the language of “climate leadership,” their actions have often fallen short. Case(...)

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Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal

Seven suburbs blast Eversource solar proposal

Communities say rate change could cost them $1.6m annually

SEVEN WESTERN SUBURBS of Boston are crying foul about an Eversource proposal that would cut the amount of money they receive for selling solar energy to the power grid, resulting in a $1.6 million loss of revenue annually. The proposal, contained in a massive $96 million rate request filed by Eversource in January, would cut(...)

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