Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Let’s encourage offshore wind competition

Let’s encourage offshore wind competition

One way to do that is to separate transmission from generation

THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR’S Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced last month that it will auction three new wind energy lease areas off the Massachusetts coast, instead of the two that were initially forecast. The move provides a fresh gust of good news for the emerging wind industry in the United States. By mapping out(...)

Read More »

Cautionary offshore wind tale out of Va.

Cautionary offshore wind tale out of Va.

State may be getting hoodwinked by Dominion Energy

MASSACHUSETTS EARNED PLAUDITS earlier this year for its handling of an offshore wind procurement, but not every state’s pursuit of renewable energy is getting rave reviews. Reports out of Virginia suggest the state may be getting hoodwinked by one of its leading utilities. The cautionary Virginia tale began innocently enough earlier this year. Angry about(...)

Read More »

Merrimack Valley tragedy offers climate change opportunity

Merrimack Valley tragedy offers climate change opportunity

Rebuild where necessary, but let’s go greener where possible

IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS, we have once again witnessed the human and financial impact of the world’s addiction to fossil fuels: forest fires in the Arctic; devastated communities and lives in the Carolinas and Florida; and, sadly, here at home, the loss of life and treasure from the explosions in Lawrence, Andover, and North(...)

Read More »

Regional grid operator too protective of industry

Regional grid operator too protective of industry

Policies are driving up electricity prices that consumers pay

THIS SUMMER, governors from five of the six New England states joined together to issue a statement acknowledging the challenges the region faces in maintaining reliable, affordable electricity.  The governors pledged to work within their jurisdictions to carry out policies that ensure both a robust and reliable system and keep prices as low as possible.(...)

Read More »

Vineyard Wind signs $9m lease with New Bedford facility

Vineyard Wind signs $9m lease with New Bedford facility

State-owned terminal, completed in Jan. 2015, to rev up in Dec. 2020

THE STATE’S STAGING TERMINAL for offshore wind development got its first major customer on Monday, nearly four years after it opened for business in New Bedford. Vineyard Wind, with power contracts in hand to build an 800-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, signed an 18-month lease that starts December 1, 2020. The(...)

Read More »

On climate change, more than RGGI is needed

On climate change, more than RGGI is needed

Cheap natural gas played biggest role in reducing emissions so far

YOU MAY HAVE CAUGHT wind of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s disturbing new report on climate change. The message is clear––keep man-made global warming impacts to 1.5 degrees Celsius or suffer dire consequences. We are currently at about 1-degree Celsius, and if we are to remain below 1.5 degrees of warming, fossil fuel use(...)

Read More »

Utility to run line under Kennebec Gorge

Utility to run line under Kennebec Gorge

MA project will bring hydro-electricity into New England

THE UTILITY UNDER CONTRACT with Massachusetts to import Quebec hydro-electricity into New England said on Thursday that it now plans to run the transmission lines under rather than over the Kennebec Gorge in Maine. The transmission line has stirred opposition in Maine for a variety of reasons, but the prospect of high-voltage transmission wires running(...)

Read More »

Sizing up Baker, Gonzalez on T, energy, environment

Sizing up Baker, Gonzalez on T, energy, environment

Forum highlighted sharp differences in approach, philosophy

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER and his Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez have a lot in common. Baker grew up in Needham and Gonzalez lives there now. Both ran health insurance companies and also took turns heading up the state’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance – Gonzalez under former governor Deval Patrick and Baker under former governor(...)

Read More »

We need more, not less, competition for offshore wind

We need more, not less, competition for offshore wind

With ranks of competitors shrinking, government must intervene

THE OFFSHORE WIND ERA in the United States is here. With no need to burn fossil fuel, to enrich uranium, to dam rivers, or to build thousands of acres of solar panels, offshore wind is the most benign form of bulk power available to mankind. Plans to seize the potential of offshore wind already have(...)

Read More »

Ørsted to buy Deepwater Wind for $510m

Ørsted to buy Deepwater Wind for $510m

Danish firm eliminates competitor; retains Grybowski as co-CEO in US

TWO OF THE BIGGER PLAYERS in the emerging US offshore wind industry are combining forces, as the Denmark-based Ørsted announced an agreement on Monday to purchase Deepwater Wind of Rhode Island for $510 million. The deal eliminates one of Ørsted’s leading competitors along the East Coast and creates a company with offshore wind contracts or(...)

Read More »