Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Somerset struggles amid slow rollout of offshore wind

Somerset struggles amid slow rollout of offshore wind

Residents not happy with ‘interim’ scrap metal business at former coal plant site

WHEN A ST. LOUIS company bought the massive coal-fired Brayton Point power plant in Somerset in 2018, the firm was viewed far and wide as a white knight riding to the town’s rescue. Commercial Development Co., which bills itself as North America’s leading brownfield developer, promised to raze the shuttered power plant and convert the(...)

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3 Massachusetts myths about offshore wind

3 Massachusetts myths about offshore wind

We’re no longer the leader, and we’re falling behind where it counts

MASSACHUSETTS MADE headlines a few years ago when it secured the nation’s first large-scale procurement of offshore wind, the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project. The Commonwealth was leading the way, planning on developing 3,200 megawatts in total, recognizing the potential of offshore wind to address its carbon reduction goals while catalyzing a new industry and growing(...)

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Biden administration moves forward on Vineyard Wind

Biden administration moves forward on Vineyard Wind

Issues final environment impact statement for project

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION on Monday released its final environmental impact statement on the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project and indicated the analysis could gain final approval soon, paving the way for the project to begin construction. The four-volume statement said the final environment impact report “is not a decision document.” It said the statement will(...)

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Biden accused of playing politics on Vineyard Wind

Biden accused of playing politics on Vineyard Wind

Fishing group baffled by zigzag regulatory actions

WHEN THE TRUMP administration dragged its feet on the environmental permitting of Vineyard Wind, wind energy proponents in Massachusetts and across the country cried foul, claiming politics was driving the process. But now that the Biden administration is in office, the same claim is surfacing as the president quickly moves in the opposite direction. The(...)

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Jan. 13, 2018

Will developers block clean energy standards?

State must not allow builders off the hook

LATE IN THE last session, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a landmark climate bill targeting zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and mandating several mechanisms to achieve the goal. Gov. Baker vetoed the bill on the ground that it would make construction too expensive, echoing concerns raised by contractors and developers. The Legislature then passed the identical bill(...)

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State environmental official resigns over climate comments

State environmental official resigns over climate comments

Ismay apologizes for ‘inability to communicate clearly’ in recent remarks

THE STATE’S UNDERSECRETARY of environmental affairs for climate change, who has come under fire for comments made to an environmental panel last month, resigned his post Wednesday night.  David Ismay, in a letter dated Wednesday to Kathleen Theoharides, the secretary of energy and environmental affairs, wrote, “It is with great regret that I submit my(...)

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Mayflower Wind cutting its price 10%

Mayflower Wind cutting its price 10%

Offshore wind tax credit triggers reduction

MAYFLOWER WIND is cutting its price for delivering electricity to Massachusetts customers by roughly 10 percent with the help of a new federal tax credit included in the recent COVID-19 stimulus package. Under the terms of its 20-year contract with the state’s three utilities, Mayflower agreed to an average price of 7.77 cents per kilowatt(...)

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Baker is wrong to subsidize wood burning

Baker is wrong to subsidize wood burning

4 scientists say using wood to generate electricity will worsen climate change

GOVS. CHARLIE BAKER of Massachusetts and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan were featured US officials at the fifth anniversary celebration of the Paris Climate Agreement. Their presence demonstrated that state leaders, from both political parties, are actively battling the climate emergency. It is therefore baffling that the Baker administration just released new regulations that directly undermine(...)

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Climate bill would clear up solar tax confusion

Climate bill would clear up solar tax confusion

Assessors, solar developers hammered out deal

THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE is set to clarify a confusing and outdated tax law, which had been stymying solar projects around the state. A compromise hammered out between the state’s assessors and solar developers has made it into the final version of a climate change bill. The bill was reported out of a conference committee on(...)

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Baker emissions roadmap sets ambitious targets

Baker emissions roadmap sets ambitious targets

Calls for energy retrofits of 1m homes, 750,000 electric vehicles over next decade

This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION on Wednesday rolled out a draft plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade that calls for energy retrofits of 1 million existing homes, higher efficiency standards for all new construction, the deployment of 750,000 electric vehicles, preservation of the region’s nuclear power(...)

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