Environment

In shift, Eversource backs W. Mass. rate relief

In shift, Eversource backs W. Mass. rate relief

Utility calls last-minute changes in $96m proposal response to public feedback

EVERSOURCE IS PROPOSING significant changes to a $96 million rate hike request that would have the effect of lowering bills for customers in western Massachusetts and raising them for customers in eastern Massachusetts. The utility hasn’t detailed the changes yet, but the company has told state regulators it wants to alter the way it would(...)

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Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas

Brayton Pt closing ups need for gas

New pipeline capacity needed to match supply, demand

AS BADLY AS ALL OF US in Massachusetts have been needing improved access to natural gas, Wednesday at midnight our need–and the challenge to our economy and energy security–grow even more critical. The reason? Wednesday at midnight is when the giant, coal-powered Brayton Point electric generating station in Somerset, Massachusetts, shuts down for good. For(...)

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Thinking outside the infrastructure box

Thinking outside the infrastructure box

Is there room for modular sewage treatment plants?

IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE WORLD, the past casts a long shadow.  Decisions about where to place key public facilities—roads, tracks, and pipes—tend to have a type of permanence.  What’s more, they bake in policy decisions of previous eras, inadvertently affecting our own decisions today about how to provide important public services.  Disrupting the status quo isn’t(...)

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Baker backs Paris climate accord

Baker backs Paris climate accord

Joins Vermont governor on letter to Trump administration

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Students had prepared Wednesday to attempt to persuade Gov. Charlie Baker to speak out in support of the Paris climate change agreement. Instead, they ended up visiting his office to thank him for his support. Representatives from youth climate groups had announced plans on Tuesday to visit the State House to(...)

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Smart buildings need smart workers

Smart buildings need smart workers

Roxbury Community College to launch degree program for smart-building techs

BOSTON IS SEEING fast growth and, with that, an increase in green buildings and sustainable design. Boston ranks fifth nationally in total LEED-certified space, outranking many of the greenest big cities. All of that is good news for jobs in this emerging field, with growing demand for technicians to run and maintain buildings specifically designed(...)

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Boston seizes clean energy opportunity

Boston seizes clean energy opportunity

Cities take initiative on climate change as federal government retreats

IT’S BEEN A sobering few months for clean energy advocates. Despite the Trump administration’s disdain for programs and policies intended to lower the carbon emissions that threaten the safety and well-being of the nation, Boston and like-minded cities are surging ahead to take advantage of the economic, health and other benefits inherent in a carbon-free(...)

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The downside of renewables

The downside of renewables

Germany is experiencing rising costs, more coal use

MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about New England’s electricity markets and the distortions caused by policy makers. There are many lessons that elected officials and bureaucrats can learn by looking overseas at several countries that are going “all in” on renewable power. The results are not good, at least if you are a major employer, manufacturer,(...)

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Vineyard Wind brings in a big player

Vineyard Wind brings in a big player

Deal gives offshore wind firm financial muscle

A BIG INTERNATIONAL ENERGY PLAYER is jumping into the competition for offshore wind power contracts with Massachusetts. Through a company in which it is the major shareholder, Iberdrola S.A., a Spain-based energy giant, is buying a 50 percent stake in Vineyard Wind, one of three companies likely to bid on the Bay State’s offshore wind(...)

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Greenway sought 10 more years of state funding

Greenway sought 10 more years of state funding

Baker administration, which wants to halt aid, was not happy

UNDER PRESSURE TO WEAN ITSELF off of state funding this year, the nonprofit that runs the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway instead made a pitch to keep state funds flowing for an additional 10 years. “We were not happy with that proposal so that’s when we put together this working group,” said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack,(...)

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Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power

Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power

Procurement, as drafted, wouldn’t be complete until late 2018

THE STATE’S UTILITIES on Monday set in motion a first-of-its-kind procurement for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power by asking Massachusetts regulators to approve a bid process that gives companies some flexibility in setting the size of their projects while requiring them to price out two very different approaches to delivering the electricity to the(...)

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