Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Electricity storage takes key role in energy efficiency plan

Electricity storage takes key role in energy efficiency plan

Mass Save appears to be shifting focus of the program

STATE REGULATORS on Wednesday approved utility plans to spend nearly $2.8 billion of ratepayer money over the next three years on initiatives designed to curb energy consumption in the aggregate and particularly at peak periods, resulting in energy savings of $8.5 billion. While Mass Save will continue to offer efficient light bulbs, insulation, and other(...)

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Region’s power generators using more oil, coal

Region’s power generators using more oil, coal

Fuel mix should return to normal as temps rise

FRIGID CONDITIONS led the region’s power generators to use more oil and coal than usual over the last few days, but as temperatures edged up Tuesday the fuel mix is expected to return to normal. Typically, coal and oil each account for less than 1 percent of the region’s power generation fuel mix and natural(...)

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ISO should call for offshore wind transmission discussion

ISO should call for offshore wind transmission discussion

The deadline for beginning the debate is now

NEW ENGLAND is in the midst of an energy sea change.  Brought about by the people of the region acting through their elected officials, states in the region have passed legislation directing the procurement of large sources of renewable energy, including up to 3,200 megawatts of offshore wind in Massachusetts.  The federal government is a(...)

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Electricity aggregation success extends beyond Newton

Electricity aggregation success extends beyond Newton

Programs in many cities show the approach works

THE METROPOLITAN AREA PLANNING COUNCIL applauds Newton for taking the next great leap in green aggregation (“Municipal electricity aggregation really works”), and we feel it is important to highlight the pioneering work of other municipalities in this space in recent years. The Clean Energy Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council has been helping cities(...)

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Municipal electricity aggregation really works

Municipal electricity aggregation really works

Newton’s approach changes the game on renewables

ONE DOWN, 350 to go. That’s how many cities and towns in Massachusetts do not yet have so-called “municipal aggregation” electricity programs with an ambitious amount of renewable power from sources such as solar and wind.  At a time when Washington is back-sliding and worse on climate change, communities in Massachusetts have an easy way(...)

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Has the Mass. solar gamble paid off?

Has the Mass. solar gamble paid off?

Like other energy bets, costs high, hidden

HOW MUCH SHOULD we pay to promote solar energy in Massachusetts? Recent state government programs have resulted in the commitment of at least $10 billion of consumer funds—well over $1,500 for every man, woman, and child in the state. Is there a need for more government-directed subsidization, or have we reached a point of diminishing(...)

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Wind firms pay $135m each for offshore tracts

Wind firms pay $135m each for offshore tracts

Interior Department called the auction a 'bidding bonanza'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THREE LEASE WINNERS have each agreed to pay $135 million to gain access to ocean tracts off the coast of Massachusetts where they may someday build commercial-scale wind energy installations. The results of Thursday’s federal government auction of 390,000 acres were announced Friday by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The(...)

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Why are electricity prices spiking this winter?

Why are electricity prices spiking this winter?

Baker administration report blames last winter

RETAIL ELECTRICITY PRICES are going up this winter in eastern Massachusetts because of the price spike that occurred during an extreme cold spell last winter. The explanation for the rising price of electricity – it will be at its highest level since 2015 – was contained in an energy plan released on Wednesday by the(...)

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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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