Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

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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Natl. Grid calls foul on Hydro-Quebec proposal

Natl. Grid calls foul on Hydro-Quebec proposal

Says hydropower won’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions

THE HIGH-STAKES BATTLE for a multibillion-dollar Massachusetts clean energy contract is heading in an uncertain direction, with National Grid asserting that the bids of one of its largest competitors, Hydro-Quebec, run afoul of the intent of the state law that set the contracting process in motion.  At a closed-door presentation last week to industry officials and in an interview, National Grid officials said the intent of the energy diversity(...)

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Report: Eversource artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity

Report: Eversource artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity

Utility calls alleged $3.6b impact ‘complete fabrication’

EVERSOURCE ENERGY and Avangrid Inc. participated in a scheme to artificially constrain natural gas pipeline capacity in New England and drive up electricity prices by $3.6 billion over three years, according to a report posted Wednesday on the website of the Environmental Defense Fund. Eversource vehemently denied it engaged in any behavior to artificially constrain(...)

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Utilities on both sides of bargaining table

Utilities on both sides of bargaining table

Eversource, National Grid could end up awarding billion-dollar clean energy contracts to themselves

IN MID-MAY,  the MBTA hired a Colorado company to help the agency manage the $2 billion extension of the Green Line into Somerville and Medford. Less than three months later, the Colorado firm was acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group, a key player on one of the three construction teams vying for the Green Line contract.(...)

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Time to put pedal to the metal

Time to put pedal to the metal

Utilities are the key to electric vehicle expansion

WE GENERALLY THINK of Eversource, National Grid, and other utilities as the providers of the electricity we need to keep the lights on. That they are, but over the next 20 years they will also increasingly become the folks we rely on to power our cars, buses, autonomous vehicles, and pretty much all other means(...)

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