Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Price shouldn’t be sole focus of clean energy buys

Price shouldn’t be sole focus of clean energy buys

Procurements are about reducing greenhouse gas emissions

NEWS ITEM: Large-scale hydro-electricity from Hydro-Quebec may cost more than the average wholesale price of energy.  Should we be alarmed by this?  Not quite. But why not? First, some background.  Unless you have been living in Antarctica watching melting ice during the last year, you probably already know that the Massachusetts Legislature passed important energy(...)

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Northern Pass clears federal hurdle

Northern Pass clears federal hurdle

Environmental statement calls route ‘preferred alternative’

FEDERAL REGULATORS CLEARED THE WAY on Thursday for Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission project to receive one of the two permits necessary to begin construction of a line carrying hydroelectricity from Quebec to southern New Hampshire. The US Department of Energy issued a final environmental impact statement for Northern Pass, setting the stage for the award(...)

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Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power

Leaked Ontario contract indicates cost could be high

A LEAKED POWER CONTRACT between Hydro-Quebec and the province of Ontario may offer some insight into what kind of deal the utility is currently offering Massachusetts for hydro-electricity. The proposed contract, obtained by the French language publication La Presse, indicated Hydro-Quebec was offering Ontario a 20-year contract for 8 terawatt hours a year of electricity(...)

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Pick up the pace on clean energy

Pick up the pace on clean energy

State’s track record on contracting less than stellar

LOOK AND LISTEN, and you’ll see progress. Solar and wind power farms are cropping up across the landscape. Private sector investments are following good public policy, speeding the transition of our energy system from old, polluting fossil fuel power plants, to clean, renewable, job-creating sources like wind and solar. Momentum is building. Given the urgency(...)

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Offshore wind farm bids against hydro, onshore wind firms

Offshore wind farm bids against hydro, onshore wind firms

Deepwater Wind also proposes 40 megawatt Tesla storage

DEEPWATER WIND, one of a handful of companies expected to bid on an upcoming offshore wind power contract, revealed on Monday that it has also submitted three bids on a separate, massive clean energy contract. The bids are a shocker because no one expected an offshore wind company to compete for a contract against hydro-electric,(...)

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Hydro-Quebec partners up

Hydro-Quebec partners up

Seeking Mass. contract, utility giant works with 3 transmission firms

HYDRO-QUEBEC, a utility giant that fashions itself the electric battery of the Northeast, is partnering with three different transmission companies in competing for a massive clean energy contract with Massachusetts. The multiple partners were a bit of a surprise because Hydro-Quebec has had a long-standing relationship with Eversource Energy on the Northern Pass project, which(...)

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3 takeaways on the offshore wind RFP

3 takeaways on the offshore wind RFP

Getting the $8 billion procurement right

IMAGINE WIND POWER delivering electricity at prices well below today’s rates. It’s not the fantasy of some wildly idealistic environmentalist: In fact, it’s happening today in Texas, and the potential exists in Massachusetts for abundant and cheap wind power if only we are bold enough to imagine a future largely devoid of fossil fuel energy(...)

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Healey to DPU: Cut Eversource rates

Healey to DPU: Cut Eversource rates

AG says electricity rates should go down, not up

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY is pushing state regulators to reject a bid by Eversource for a $96 million increase in electricity rates and instead order the utility to cut its prices by an unspecified amount. Healey has been extremely vocal in her opposition to the Eversource rate hike, testifying in person at hearings in Boston(...)

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The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie

The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie

Power grid operator too preoccupied with pipelines

OUR GRID OPERATOR, ISO New England, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. For two decades, the ISO has been in charge of keeping the lights on throughout the region, coordinating the flow of electricity to power plants. As we become more aware of the consequences of different sources of energy production – from climate change(...)

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Access Northeast pipeline put on indefinite hold

Access Northeast pipeline put on indefinite hold

Eversource predicted in Nov. that construction would start in 2019

THE COMPANIES BEHIND the $3 billion Access Northeast natural gas pipeline said on Thursday that they are putting the project on hold indefinitely. The project faced long odds in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but as recently as November officials from Eversource Energy confidently predicted pipeline construction would begin in 2019 and be completed in 2020.(...)

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