Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Our next plunge: Going big on wind

Our next plunge: Going big on wind

The state is poised to be a global leader in green energy

IT WAS A PLUNGE I’ll never forget – into the Charles River with Gov. Bill Weld in 1996 to celebrate the passage of the Massachusetts Rivers Act. Let’s just say the Charles was a little murky that day at a time when clean, swimmable water in our rivers was not exactly the norm. The status(...)

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Mass. in middle of Maine power fight

Mass. in middle of Maine power fight

Maine lawmakers tell Hydro-Quebec to stop meddling in ballot campaign

A group of 25 current and former Maine state lawmakers sent a letter to Hydro-Quebec on Wednesday urging the provincial utility to stop meddling in a state election battle spawned by Massachusetts’ thirst for hydro-electricity from Canada. Massachusetts utilities, with the backing of the Baker administration, signed a nearly $1 billion contract to purchase electricity(...)

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Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw

Healey reluctantly rejects Brookline bylaw

Measure banned most oil, gas pipes in new buildings

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY’S office on Tuesday reluctantly shot down a bylaw approved by the town of Brookline that would have barred the installation of most fossil fuel infrastructure in any new buildings or significant rehabs of existing buildings. In a 12-page ruling, Healey applauded the town’s bid to start addressing greenhouse gas emissions but(...)

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Mass. becomes dirty word in Maine referendum fight

Mass. becomes dirty word in Maine referendum fight

Bay State hydro deal irks those opposed to power line

CORPORATE SURROGATES for Massachusetts have spent close to $17 million so far battling a referendum question in Maine that seeks to block the importation of hydroelectricity from Quebec using a power line running through wilderness areas in the western part of the state. The referendum battle is in some ways the dark underbelly of a(...)

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New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind

New transmission infrastructure needed for offshore wind

Aging coastal grid must be upgraded for industry’s expansion

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Attorney General Maura Healey posed a fundamental question to the Department of Public Utilities. Now that Massachusetts has proclaimed a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, how do we get there? Implicit in Healey’s question is our recognition that the entire world must do this together. If we don’t, Boston and(...)

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Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment

Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment

Project 2,000 turbines along E. Coast over next 10 years

FEDERAL REGULATORS on Tuesday released a detailed, 420-page environmental assessment of the proposed Vineyard Wind project that includes predictions about the future of wind energy along the East Coast and suggests the impact on commercial fishing of six possible wind farm configurations would be roughly the same. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management put Vineyard(...)

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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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