Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help

MA solar hurting, needs legislative help

Industry lost more than 3,000 jobs last year

AT THE END OF THIS MONTH, Massachusetts legislators will break for the remainder of the summer. That leaves just a couple days for them to act on key bills that could bring thousands of jobs back to the Bay State. At risk is the state’s solar industry — a sector that’s been helping Massachusetts grow(...)

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3 utilities seek $426m for negotiating hydro contracts

3 utilities seek $426m for negotiating hydro contracts

Firms say payments needed to recognize their ‘financial obligation’

THE THREE UTILITIES that negotiated hydro-electricity contracts on behalf of the state are seeking compensation equal to 2.75 percent of the deal, a total of nearly $426 million over 20 years or an average of roughly $21 million a year. In a filing with the state Department of Public Utilities accompanying the contracts, officials from(...)

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Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits

Baker officials tout hydro contract benefits

At 5.9 cents per kilowatt hour, customer bills expected to decline

BAKER ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS said a massive purchase of hydro-electricity from the Canadian province of Quebec will be priced at a levelized flat rate of 5.9 cents a kilowatt hour for 20 years, resulting in a 2 to 4 percent reduction in Massachusetts customer bills over that period and total direct and indirect savings of as(...)

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Planned transmission key to offshore wind race

Planned transmission key to offshore wind race

A grid could attract more bidders, better prices

THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE – in the 14 days it has until adjournment – is continuing to lead the nation in its careful deliberation over “what’s next” in the Commonwealth’s determined push for a cleaner energy economy.  The State is fresh off its first procurement of the first 800 megawatts out of 1,600 megawatts of procurement(...)

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A fracking ban is hypocritical

A fracking ban is hypocritical

Why ban a product that doesn’t exist in Massachusetts?

MEANINGLESS, hypocritical political grandstanding. Those are words no one should ever use lightly – but they are words that accurately describe a provision of Massachusetts energy legislation now pending on Beacon Hill that calls for a 10-year moratorium on the production of natural gas anywhere in the Bay State through “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing. Originating(...)

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Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

A boost is needed to help state meet emissions goals

AS THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION draws to an end, state lawmakers are considering bills that would increase the annual growth rate of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). As these proposals move ahead, it is important that decision-makers not be deterred by unsubstantiated claims made by opponents that an RPS increase is incompatible with procurements of hydroelectricity required by statute (Section 83D) or will undermine compliance with the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES). This argument(...)

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Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II

Boost is needed to keep up with other states

WIND HAS POWERED Massachusetts’ economic prosperity before, and it is poised to do so again. Two hundred years ago, whalers harnessed wind off the coasts of New Bedford, Cape Cod, and Cape Ann, charting a course for whale oil to light up our region and economy. Today, our communities are again racing into the wind(...)

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FERC OKs help for Mystic plants

FERC OKs help for Mystic plants

Gas pipeline issue hovers over decision

THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION has given New England’s power grid operator until the end of August to come up with a plan to prop up a pair of uneconomic natural gas power plants in Everett and until July 2019 to develop a long-term approach to fuel security vulnerability in the region. The 3-2 decision,(...)

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Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Senate calls its proposal a market-based compliance system

SEN. MARC PACHECO wants to make clear that the energy bill the Senate passed on Thursday night did not include a carbon tax. Under the state’s constitution, he said, the Senate is not permitted to introduce a so-called money bill; legislation that raises or lowers taxes must originate in the House. He said the Senate(...)

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Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass.

Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass.

Senate approves legislation, National Grid lends its support

CLARIFICATION: The original version of this story twice likened putting a price on carbon to putting a tax on carbon, but a sponsor of the legislation said it is not a tax. To read his point of view click here. MASSACHUSETTS MOVED CLOSER to embracing an economy-wide price on carbon, as the Senate approved an(...)

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