Environment

Procurement not following regular playbook

Procurement not following regular playbook

Bidders for clean energy contract mount ‘outside’ campaigns

CENTRAL MAINE POWER sent out a press release and started running ads on Thursday questioning why Massachusetts electricity customers should pay an extra $2 billion over 20 years for clean energy. The Maine utility’s eye-catching question is just one example of how a Massachusetts procurement process for billions of dollars worth of clean energy has(...)

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With temps rising, power grid back to normal

With temps rising, power grid back to normal

Natural gas resumes dominant role; wholesale prices fall

WITH TEMPERATURES RISING, the New England power grid returned to normal on Wednesday as wholesale prices fell and generators returned to producing electricity using natural gas instead of oil. At 4:37 p.m. on Wednesday, the fuel mix of the region’s power generators was 53 percent natural gas, 25 percent nuclear, 8 percent renewables, 7 percent(...)

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DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations

DPU oks new fees on solar, wind installations

Eversource: Net metering customers not paying their fair share

EVERSOURCE ENERGY CUSTOMERS who install new solar or wind installations on their property after December 31 of this year will face higher monthly charges under a ruling last week by the state Department of Public Utilities. The DPU approved a rate hike for Eversource at the end of November, but put off ruling on how(...)

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More pipelines aren’t the answer

More pipelines aren’t the answer

The weather outside is frightful – and so is our over-reliance on natural gas

NEW ENGLAND IS in the clutches of a frigid winter. This is putting demands on our energy resources and driving up electricity prices during the few hours of the day when consumer electricity use is highest. Concerns over these temporary price spikes are warranted, particularly given their impacts on our most vulnerable. But year after(...)

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Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines

Time to revisit the need for more gas pipelines

Renewable energy cannot meet demand without help

NEW ENGLAND’S GOVERNORS, who for years called for increasing the delivery capacity of natural gas into the region, have largely gone silent. Today, the region is seeing the consequences with Bloomberg reporting December 27 that “spot prices more than tripled … and turned the region into the world’s priciest market.” Natural gas prices last week(...)

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Pilgrim nuclear plant goes offline

Pilgrim nuclear plant goes offline

Outage adds to grid uncertainty, fuels pipeline debate

PILGRIM STATION, the nuclear power plant in Plymouth, took itself offline Thursday afternoon, adding uncertainty to efforts by the New England power grid operator to meet electricity demand as a powerful snowstorm gripped the region. Patrick O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the plant’s owner, Entergy, said Pilgrim was taken offline at 2:09 p.m. due to the(...)

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Cold snap putting squeeze on oil-fired power plants

Cold snap putting squeeze on oil-fired power plants

Generators running short on fuel, facing environmental restrictions

NEW ENGLAND’S POWER GRID OPERATOR said on Tuesday that the system is “operating under normal conditions,” but warned that the prolonged cold snap is driving up wholesale electricity prices and putting a squeeze on power plants that run on oil. Marcia Blomberg, a spokeswoman for ISO-New England, issued a statement saying high demand for natural(...)

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Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates

Corporations call on state to raise the renewable portfolio standard

FOR CENTURIES, MASSACHUSETTS has been a national hub for innovation. With cutting edge academic institutions, a superb health care sector, and a thriving real estate market, the commonwealth is an excellent place to do business. Massachusetts is also home to a rapidly growing clean energy sector, which has allowed commercial real estate service providers like(...)

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The terrible price of inaction

The terrible price of inaction

Region’s refusal to add pipeline capacity is costing us a lot

THIS WEEK NEW ENGLAND reached the terrible distinction of having the most expensive natural gas in the world. You read that correctly: Not just the highest natural gas prices in the United States, or in North America, but on the entire planet. When the spot-market price for natural gas hit $35.35 Tuesday at the main(...)

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Frigid weather causing spike in natural gas prices

Frigid weather causing spike in natural gas prices

Power generators switch to oil as pipeline debate resumes

FRIGID LOW TEMPERATURES are pushing up energy demand across New England, sending the price of natural gas soaring and prompting many of the region’s power generators to switch from gas to oil. The conditions are somewhat reminiscent of the polar vortex that enveloped the region in the winter of 2014 and prompted the debate about(...)

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