Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown

Says power plant retirements pose unacceptable fuel security risk

This story was updated at 7:25 p.m. to include clarifying material. THE OPERATOR OF THE REGIONAL POWER GRID said on Tuesday that it plans to take immediate steps to prevent two of Exelon’s power plants in Everett from retiring while it develops financial incentives to convince the company to keep the plants open in the(...)

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Delays likely in offshore wind procurement

Delays likely in offshore wind procurement

Evaluators tied up on clean energy procurement

THE STATE’S TOP ENERGY OFFICIAL said on Tuesday that the selection of a winner or winners of the offshore wind procurement will probably be delayed beyond April 23 because the evaluation team is still tied up negotiating a contract with the winner of a separate clean energy procurement. “There’s only so much capacity,” said Matthew(...)

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Baker treads softly on Healey proposal

Baker treads softly on Healey proposal

Won’t say whether he favors reform or removal of electricity sellers

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER adopted a cautious approach to Attorney General Maura Healey’s call for the elimination of a 50-company business sector that sells electricity to homeowners in Massachusetts. Healey last Thursday condemned the sales tactics of the electricity sellers, and said the best approach to dealing with them would be to do away with the(...)

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Baker proposes home energy efficiency score

Baker proposes home energy efficiency score

Would be required as part of real estate transactions in 2021

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER on Tuesday proposed the creation of an easy-to-understand home energy efficiency score that could provide guidance for owners seeking to improve the energy efficiency of their residences and insight for buyers as they decide whether to make a purchase. At a press conference at the State House, Baker said the legislation would(...)

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Exelon plays power politics

Exelon plays power politics

Threatens to shutter Mystic station unless payments increased

EXELON GENERATION is threatening to shut down its Mystic Generation Station in mid-2022 unless the operator of the regional power grid offers more money to units that generate electricity reliably and provide regional fuel security. The Everett-based Mystic station is one of the two largest electricity-generating facilities in New England. It is capable of generating(...)

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My recipe for embracing renewables

My recipe for embracing renewables

Keep the offshore grid independent of generators

WE’VE COME TO EXPECT the miracle of Moore’s Law from our computer technology – exponential progress in speed, power and efficiency, all while prices drop. Until recently, the world of electric power has been a laggard, but that’s quickly changing: At last, the relentless forces of innovation are now bearing down on electric power, with(...)

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Healey seeks ban on electricity sellers

Healey seeks ban on electricity sellers

Despite deceptive claims, AG says firms charge more

This story was updated at 5 p.m. ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY on Thursday called for a ban on companies selling electricity to residential customers in Massachusetts, saying the 50 firms currently in the business deceptively claim to offer savings when their rates actually are higher than the prices charged by the state’s utilities. A report(...)

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Next up, Central Maine Power

Next up, Central Maine Power

Mass. drops N. Pass, opts instead for Maine transmission line

MASSACHUSETTS SHIFTED GEARS on its multi-billion-dollar clean energy procurement Wednesday, dropping Northern Pass because of the project’s failure to obtain one last, key permit from the state of New Hampshire and opting instead for a Maine utility that has yet to obtain any of its key permits. Officials offered few details of the decision-making process,(...)

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No decision yet on clean energy procurement

No decision yet on clean energy procurement

Utilities issue no decision as of late Tuesday

THE STATE’S THREE UTILITIES apparently have decided that a Tuesday deadline means they have until midnight, so there was no word as of Tuesday evening on the winner of the state’s multi-billion-dollar clean energy procurement. The state had given the utilities until Tuesday to decide whether to stick with Northern Pass or shift gears and(...)

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New England’s largest battery

New England’s largest battery

Pumped-hydro facility plays key role for region

Editor’s note: An op-ed critical of Northfield written by Karl Meyer was published on March 17. AS THE LARGEST BATTERY in New England, FirstLight Power’s Northfield Mountain pumped-hydro storage facility currently plays an essential role in maintaining and restoring stable electric grid operations for New England due to the fast speed in which it can(...)

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