Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Price of electricity going up in E. Mass.

Price of electricity going up in E. Mass.

Cost this winter will be highest since 2015

THE PRICE OF ELECTRICITY in eastern Massachusetts is going up this winter to its highest level since 2015. Eversource Energy said its price for so-called basic service will be nearly 13.6 cents a kilowatt hour this winter in the eastern part of the state, up 0.7 cents from last winter and its highest level since(...)

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Region’s electricity market in trouble

Region’s electricity market in trouble

Pipeline constraints, need for more renewables disrupting competitive wholesale market

GORDON VAN WELIE is sitting in a conference room in Holyoke. Behind him is a bank of windows that look down on a control room with a massive screen showing the second-by-second status of New England’s power grid. On this day in November, everything is running smoothly, with the supply of electricity easily keeping pace(...)

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climate change

Boston, too, needs to do more on climate change

Build offshore wind, electrify transportation sector

CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL and it is here. In Boston, the impacts of climate change are already tangible. In January of this year a massive nor’easter brought a devastating storm surge with ice chunks floating down Atlantic Avenue. The image of a rogue dumpster riding the surf down the streets in the Seaport and tides(...)

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We need a Green New Deal in Massachusetts

We need a Green New Deal in Massachusetts

Deteriorating climate requires more aggressive action

THE LATEST CLIMATE SCIENCE has come in, and it’s time to update our state’s climate laws. As a graduate student working on climate change in 2008, I was proud to help lead hundreds of students from across Massachusetts to campaign effusively for the passage of our state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. It was, and(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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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.(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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