Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Natl. Grid finds novel way to lobby clean energy procurement

Natl. Grid finds novel way to lobby clean energy procurement

Enlists help of New Hampshire lawmakers in letter to DeLeo

NATIONAL GRID, which has been raising concerns about the Massachusetts procurement process for clean energy, found a novel way to make its case: enlist the help of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Forty-four of the 400 members of the New Hampshire House recently sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo and other political(...)

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Report raises doubts about gas ‘crisis’

Report raises doubts about gas ‘crisis’

Did utilities create shortage with unused capacity requests?

EVERSOURCE AND OTHER REGIONAL UTILITIES have long claimed that New England desperately needs new natural gas pipelines to meet electricity demand, with the “polar vortex” of 2013-14 as a prime example. Electricity prices rose sharply throughout New England at that time because of pipeline constraints, according to the utilities and regional grid operator ISO New(...)

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Baker refuses to disavow new pipeline capacity

Baker refuses to disavow new pipeline capacity

Says all options for meeting energy needs should remain on table

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE DEFENDING HIS ADMINISTRATION’S COMMITMENT to developing clean energy sources, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday responded to activists who are aggressively pressing him to take steps to halt new fossil fuel infrastructure, saying all options should remain on the table and that he doesn’t “take a backseat to anybody” on renewable energy.(...)

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Eversource touts N. Pass ‘certainty’

Eversource touts N. Pass ‘certainty’

Despite many doubters, company exudes confidence on call

EVERSOURCE ENERGY on Thursday once again insisted its problem-plagued Northern Pass transmission project is on track and the best solution to Massachusetts’ clean energy needs. In a conference call with financial analysts, Eversource officials said Northern Pass, a $1.6 billion project that would deliver billions of dollars of hydroelectricity from Quebec over a transmission line(...)

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Paying environmental tribute to neighboring states

Paying environmental tribute to neighboring states

Mass. may fork over millions in ‘mitigation’ payments

THE BIDS ARE IN: Developers of transmission for hydroelectric energy from Canada, wind from Maine, and solar power from all over New England sharpened their pencils, negotiated with property owners, conducted environmental assessments, and lobbied political leaders for years in anticipation of Massachusetts’ biggest renewable energy RFP. When the cost of energy and the transmission(...)

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Eversource puts tab for memberships on ratepayers

Eversource puts tab for memberships on ratepayers

Utility seeks reimbursement for fees paid to business groups

EVERSOURCE ENERGY is pushing for state approval of a $284 million rate hike, and tucked inside all the documentation is paperwork seeking reimbursement for annual membership fees and dues the company pays to 74 business organizations and trade groups.  In the grand scheme of things, the $814,000 being sought by Eversource is not a lot of money. But the request by Eversource nevertheless rankles some consumer advocates,(...)

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DPU reviewing report’s pipeline claims

DPU reviewing report’s pipeline claims

Regulators seek information from gas distribution firms

THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES launched “a thorough review” of allegations in a recent report that Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc. artificially constrained natural gas pipeline capacity in New England and drove up electricity prices by $3.6 billion over three years. Angela O’Connor, the chair of the Department of Public Utilities, issued a statement(...)

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Pipeline charges prompt lots of questions

Pipeline charges prompt lots of questions

Who’s looking out for ratepayers?

ACCUSATIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS are underway in response to an academic white paper posted by the Environmental Defense Fund concerning artificially created pipeline capacity constraints and resultant spikes in energy prices. The sides are lining up as usual, with the region’s ratepayer advocates expressing a need for further investigation and better rules to protect consumers, and(...)

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Citing Trump initiative, grid operator delays report

Citing Trump initiative, grid operator delays report

Perry wants to halt shutdowns of coal, nuclear plants

A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION INITIATIVE to financially buttress struggling coal and nuclear power plants is prompting the operator of the New England power grid to put off the release of a long-awaited fuel security study. The study’s release was delayed because the Trump administration initiative “raised the potential for significant changes to the wholesale electricity markets(...)

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Pipeline gas report is misleading, inaccurate

Pipeline gas report is misleading, inaccurate

Eversource, Avangrid were protecting their customers

THE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND’S new report on New England electric and natural gas markets provides a profoundly misleading and inaccurate analysis. Two utilities cited in the report (Avangrid and Eversource) did nothing irregular, improper, or legally questionable with their reservation of gas capacity on an interstate natural gas pipeline. In fact, they were acting with the(...)

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