Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Beaton pushes hydroelectricity and gas

Beaton pushes hydroelectricity and gas

Differs with attorney general on need for pipeline

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION made clear on Tuesday that its ideal combo platter for energy has two main dishes – hydroelectricity from Canada and a new natural gas pipeline. Matthew Beaton, the governor’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said both options are needed to rein in electricity costs, achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets, and maintain(...)

Read More »

Report: Baker hydro bill won't lower power rates

Report: Baker hydro bill won’t lower power rates

Meeting emissions targets will drive up cost of electricity

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WARNING ENERGY COSTS WILL RISE as the state aims to meet the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of its Global Warming Solutions Act, a new policy brief from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce describes hydropower as featuring energy reliability and environmental impact “strengths” with “less clear” impacts on costs(...)

Read More »

Cape Wind goes to court again

Cape Wind goes to court again

Challenges Baker administration decision on cable extension

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Cape Wind, the offshore wind project planned for Nantucket Sound, has not given up despite some serious setbacks, and this week appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court a state board decision denying the project’s request for extensions of critical subsea and on-shore transmission facility approvals. In an appeal dated Tuesday, Charles(...)

Read More »

Assessing risk in the state’s energy debate

Assessing risk in the state’s energy debate

Are the sides too entrenched for compromise?

THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL ENERGY POLICY issue pending before the Commonwealth – rivaled perhaps only by the solar debates – has been the proposal to expand natural gas pipelines into New England to serve electric generators.  Resolving this policy question is not clear-cut.  It is a complex issue about comparative risk assessment and risk tolerance.  The(...)

Read More »

Mass. should boost renewable targets

Mass. should boost renewable targets

Omnibus bill offers opportunity to go further

MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE LEADERS are currently drafting an omnibus energy bill to secure new supplies of electricity as much of the region’s fleet of aging nuclear, coal, and oil power plants are now set to retire. Any proposed energy legislation should achieve three key goals. First, the bill must provide reliable and affordable clean energy to(...)

Read More »

Offshore wind can be price competitive

Offshore wind can be price competitive

On a par with natural gas, hydroelectricity

For years, supporters have made a convincing case that offshore wind power can play a central role in scrubbing the air we breathe of millions of tons of carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels. But in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which stands to lose more than 10 percent of its electric power production with(...)

Read More »

Hydro-wind combo would  save customers $171m

Hydro-wind combo would save customers $171m

Study challenges view that Canadian hydroelectricity would be costly

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A NEW STUDY ON THE IMPACT large-scale hydro and wind power imports could have on the Massachusetts energy market predicts significant savings for consumers, challenging the narrative put forward by critics of Gov. Charlie Baker’s energy bill that hydropower would be a costly alternative to natural gas. The economic analysis, conducted(...)

Read More »

Offshore wind better bet than hydro

Offshore wind better bet than hydro

Importing hydroelectricity from Canada could raise prices

IN A FEW WEEKS, the Massachusetts Legislature is likely to vote on a sweeping energy bill that will help determine how, from where, and from whom we get a substantial portion of our electricity for the next 10 or 20 years. Offshore wind is the best choice for Massachusetts.  Here’s why. The Legislature should focus(...)

Read More »

Kinder Morgan pulls plug on pipeline

Kinder Morgan pulls plug on pipeline

Cites inadequate commitments from prospective customers

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CITING INADEQUATE COMMITMENTS from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan on Wednesday suspended further work and spending on its Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project, which held the possibility of helping Massachusetts and the New England to meet energy and electricity cost goals. Less than a year ago, in July 2015, the(...)

Read More »