Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Avangrid CEO mentions default on wind farm deal

Avangrid CEO mentions default on wind farm deal

Company previously said it would not honor contract terms

THE CEO of Avangrid told financial analysts on Wednesday that his company has defaulted on a provision in its offshore wind power purchase agreement with three Massachusetts utilities. It’s not clear what provision was defaulted (company officials declined comment), but the existence of some sort of default is not all that surprising given Avangrid’s decision(...)

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We see promise in geothermal heating and cooling

We see promise in geothermal heating and cooling

Borehole drilling is first part of National Grid five-year pilot

CLIMATE CHANGE is real.  Also real is that each of us can act.  We are at a critical moment to make lasting change, particularly in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that come from how we heat our homes and businesses.  After all, building heat represents more than a quarter of total carbon emissions. EARTHDAY.ORG , the(...)

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Maine jury delivers hydro relief for Mass.

Maine jury delivers hydro relief for Mass.

Panel clears major hurdle in way of transmission line

BAY STATE and many New England policymakers breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after a jury in Maine voted 9-0 to green light the completion of a Massachusetts-financed transmission line carrying hydroelectricity from Quebec into New England. The transmission line and the power it will carry are of pivotal importance if Massachusetts is going(...)

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AG reaches $300,000 Brayton Point settlement

AG reaches $300,000 Brayton Point settlement

Says land owner violated federal clean air, water laws

AFTER NEARLY TWO years of negotiation, the owner of Brayton Point in Somerset on Wednesday agreed to a $300,000 settlement with the Massachusetts attorney general’s office related to allegations that its tenants violated federal laws by discharging wastewater into Mount Hope Bay and dust and particulate matter into the air. The attorney general’s office alleged(...)

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New transmission lines key to clean energy future

New transmission lines key to clean energy future

Multi-state cooperations must become the norm

STATELY WIND turbines and neat arrays of solar farms provide vivid images for a much-anticipated era of abundant renewable energy. But it is the relatively mundane network of transmission lines that is the linchpin for the next generation of clean energy. And the reality is New England’s transmission capacity currently falls far short of what’s(...)

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Solar is causing a dramatic shift in electricity demand

Solar is causing a dramatic shift in electricity demand

On Easter Sunday, power needs from grid hit record low

DEMAND FOR ELECTRICITY from the New England power grid fell to an all-time low on Easter Sunday, another telling sign that solar power continues to expand across the region.  Solar is an energy source that can be hard to track, in part because much of the electricity is generated and used behind the power meter of(...)

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Somerset elects newcomer to Select Board

Somerset elects newcomer to Select Board

Souza eager to resolve dispute holding up cable factory land deal

VOTERS IN SOMERSET elected a new member to the Select Board on Monday who has expressed interest in resolving a dispute that has stalled the sale of land at Brayton Point to an Italian company interested in building a $300 million factory to produce subsea cable for the offshore wind industry. Jamison Souza, a real(...)

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Select Board race in Somerset has offshore wind ramifications

Select Board race in Somerset has offshore wind ramifications

Outcome could affect dealings with Brayton Point redeveloper

A BATTLE FOR A SEAT on the Somerset Select Board is shaping up as a referendum on the board’s oversight of Brayton Point, which many in town hope will become the epicenter of the state’s emerging offshore wind industry. The race in the South Coast community centers around many typical Select Board issues. Are taxes(...)

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We can't afford to ban offshore wind developers

We can’t afford to ban offshore wind developers

Don't over-penalize companies that want to cancel existing contracts

THE CONSTRUCTION OF VINEYARD WIND this year is a turning point for the Commonwealth and the country.  By this fall, energy from the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind project will begin to flow to the New England grid. It’s a big win for our climate targets, but we need many more offshore turbines spinning to(...)

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Talking about decarbonization? Think nuclear

Talking about decarbonization? Think nuclear

Nuclear power is far superior to wind and solar

AN INTERESTING DEBATE is taking place on the pages of CommonWealth about decarbonization. One commentary by Arnold Wallenstein suggested Massachusetts should scale back its decarbonization efforts, which prompted a sharp response from Joseph Curtatone, Daniel Sosland, and Larry Chretien that the state must move aggressively to decarbonize by eliminating its reliance on fossil fuels. We at(...)

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