Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Mass. emission strategies all up in air

Mass. emission strategies all up in air

Referendum on power line challenged in court

THE COMPANY SELECTED by Massachusetts to build a power line delivering large amounts of hydro-electricity from Quebec into the regional power grid at Lewiston, Maine, is asking a judge to block a voter referendum on the project. Avangrid, the corporate parent of Central Maine Power, which has won a series of approvals for the project(...)

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Net-zero target gets mixed reviews

Net-zero target gets mixed reviews

Senator calls it 'silly math' on Earth Day

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides used the occasion of Earth Day on Wednesday to finalize the state’s new net-zero greenhouse gas emissions limit, but some environmental groups and legislators were disappointed. The new policy, which was announced by Gov. Charlie Baker in his State of the Commonwealth address back(...)

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Healey calls for exploring  expanded carbon pricing

Healey calls for exploring expanded carbon pricing

Recommendation matches what grid operator has been saying

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY released a white paper on Monday that calls for the creation of a New England task force to explore expanded use of carbon pricing in electricity generation to achieve region-wide greenhouse gas emission reductions. The white paper’s recommendation is drawing attention because it mirrors what the region’s power grid operator has(...)

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Report: Utilities raised concerns on Mayflower

Report: Utilities raised concerns on Mayflower

Worried about failure or substantial delays of wind farm

THE UTILITIES THAT SELECTED Mayflower Wind for the state’s second offshore wind procurement raised serious concerns at several stages of the process about the company’s ability to complete the project by 2025, according to a report by an independent firm hired to monitor the contracting process. The report by Peregrine Energy Group is heavily redacted(...)

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Vineyard Wind facing lots of hurdles

Vineyard Wind facing lots of hurdles

Federal regulator suggests 2023 possible start date

A FEDERAL REGULATOR speaking at a conference in Boston on Tuesday posted a slide suggesting Vineyard Wind would be operational in 2023, but the company itself is not saying whether its wind farm will be generating electricity by then. Vineyward Wind originally hoped to begin construction in 2019 and have half the 800 megawatt wind(...)

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Good news, bad news on offshore wind

Good news, bad news on offshore wind

Mayflower price attractive; fed delay confirmed

THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY took one step forward and one step backward on Tuesday. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said its review of the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project would be completed by June 12 and a final decision on the project issued by December 18 – 15 months later than originally projected.(...)

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Mass. lawmakers, Trump administration spar over Vineyard Wind review

Mass. lawmakers, Trump administration spar over Vineyard Wind review

Double-standard claim dismissed as unfounded, uninformed

NINE MEMBERS of the Massachusetts congressional delegation asked the General Accountability Office to investigate whether the Trump administration’s extended environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project reflects a bias against renewable energy – an allegation a spokeswoman for the Department of Interior dismissed as “unfounded and uninformed.” In a letter to the General Accountability Office,(...)

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For offshore wind, expect more delays

For offshore wind, expect more delays

Theoharides: Vineyard Wind's federal review won't be done until December

FEDERAL AGENCIES ASSESSING the environmental impact of Vineyard Wind are now expecting the long-delayed process to wrap up sometime in December, according to a top Baker administration official. The Vineyard Wind project was put on hold indefinitely in August 2019 when the federal government decided to supplement its environmental impact review with a study of(...)

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Picking apart Rep. Kearney’s fishy argument

Picking apart Rep. Kearney’s fishy argument

Jones Act could strangle offshore wind industry

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED a fishy odor from a recent CommonWealth article. It was the smell of red herring, served in an opinion piece by state Rep. Patrick Kearney. On its face, his argument seems reasonable enough: protect American merchant marine jobs by continuing to exclude foreign vessels from serving offshore wind power platforms. Kearney(...)

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Healey: Stop individual residential electricity sales

Healey: Stop individual residential electricity sales

‘The problem is only getting worse,” AG says

THE COMPETITIVE ELECTRIC SUPPLY INDUSTRY has overcharged Massachusetts consumers for far too long. We’ve all seen these companies in action. They go door-to-door, send letters in the mail, and call over and over with promises of cheaper electricity, or a locked-in low rate that they claim will save you money. They promise if you sign(...)

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