Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Lawmakers have more work to do on energy

Lawmakers have more work to do on energy

We need access to more natural gas

AS IT ALWAYS DOES, the summer’s legislative session on Beacon Hill concluded with a flurry of activity, ending with a number of bills sent to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk on everything from a sales tax holiday to automatic voter registration. For all our progress, one area where work isn’t finished is energy. Massachusetts has shown(...)

Read More »

Mass. makes unsteady progress on emissions

Mass. makes unsteady progress on emissions

Goal is 25% below 1990 emission levels by 2020

MASSACHUSETTS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS increased for the fourth year in a row in 2015, but state officials are forecasting a downturn when numbers are crunched for 2016, according to an email sent out by the Baker administration. State law mandates that emissions reach a target of 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80(...)

Read More »

Will MA hydro contract increase, or decrease, emissions?

Will MA hydro contract increase, or decrease, emissions?

Hydro-Quebec dismisses claims by enviros, power generators

MASSACHUSETTS SIGNED a $16 billion, 20-year contract to import hydro-electricity from Quebec to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but energy advocates and other power generators are saying the deal is unlikely to move the needle on emissions and could actually increase them. The debate revolves around the meaning of emissions. The contract will definitely lower greenhouse(...)

Read More »

Quebec hydro isn’t a good fit for Mass.

Quebec hydro isn’t a good fit for Mass.

We need closer-to-home renewables that actually reduce emissions

MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES submitted long-term hydro electricity supply contracts to the Department of Public Utilities for review recently. The Massachusetts Sierra Club believes strongly that these contracts are not the right way to get the regional clean energy we all need. Here are four reason why importing electricity from Quebec via a transmission line(...)

Read More »

NE Power Pool seeks to ban press

NE Power Pool seeks to ban press

Says coverage would hinder debate on electricity policies

THE NEW ENGLAND POWER POOL, an organization that helps develop policies and procedures governing the region’s wholesale electricity markets, is seeking federal regulatory approval to bar reporters from its meetings. NEPOOL has always had an unwritten policy excluding the press, but it decided to make it a formal policy after a reporter with a trade(...)

Read More »

Enviro group: Hydro contract bad for Maine, Mass.

Enviro group: Hydro contract bad for Maine, Mass.

Tells DPU project will harm landscape, won’t reduce emissions

Below is an edited version of testimony delivered by to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities on contracts to purchase hydro-electricity from Hydro-Quebec via a transmission line being built by Central Maine Power in Maine. THE CENTRAL MAINE POWER proposal is bad for the people of Maine and Massachusetts, our economies, and our environment. CMP’s(...)

Read More »

Mass. puts wind power in gear

Mass. puts wind power in gear

Vineyard Wind’s low price due to synergies

TWO MAJOR EVENTS LAST WEEK have augured a new era for offshore wind in Massachusetts. The Legislature passed the Clean Energy Future Act on July 31, officially laying out a path to doubling Massachusetts’ procurement of offshore wind to 3,200 MW. The next day, Gov. Charlie Baker’s Department of Energy Resources publicly released the pricing(...)

Read More »

Eversource offered to drop out of offshore wind procurement team

Eversource offered to drop out of offshore wind procurement team

Feared participation on both sides of table would undermine confidence in selection process

EVERSOURCE ENERGY in February offered to withdraw from the team evaluating the bids of companies seeking to supply electricity from wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts because the utility was also involved in bidding on the contracts. According to the report of an independent evaluator hired to monitor the fairness of the contracting process,(...)

Read More »

Offshore wind prices look competitive

Offshore wind prices look competitive

Vineyard Wind contract filed with state regulators

THE DEVELOPER OF THE NATION’S first major offshore wind farm is promising to deliver wholesale power to Massachusetts at prices that are far below what Cape Wind was offering nearly a decade ago and not much more expensive than hydro-electricity just procured from Canada. According to contracts filed with the state Department of Public Utilities(...)

Read More »

Breaking down the new clean energy bill

Breaking down the new clean energy bill

Eversource, AIM call it a ‘measured approach;’ one rep calls it ‘terrible’

THE CLEAN ENERGY BILL approved by the Legislature on Tuesday adopted the go-slow approach favored by many of the state’s business groups and utilities, leaving a price on carbon and stronger support for solar and wind on the cutting room floor while greenlighting a number of less flashy provisions designed to give renewable energy a(...)

Read More »