Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

New Bedford mayor calls offshore wind ‘generational opportunity’

New Bedford mayor calls offshore wind ‘generational opportunity’

But Mitchell worries about losing out in race for onshore investments

NEW BEDFORD MAYOR Jon Mitchell is of two minds about Vineyard Wind, which after lengthy regulatory delays seems poised to finally get underway. The mayor is excited about the potential for offshore wind farms to transform New Bedford the way they have many older European port cities, but he also worries that Massachusetts may be(...)

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Municipal Light Plant elections loom large

Municipal Light Plant elections loom large

‘Local utilities’ oversee 14% of state energy mix

WHEN GOV. CHARLIE BAKER signed the Next Generation Roadmap bill, Massachusetts became legally required to reduce its emissions 50 percent by 2030, and be net-zero by 2050. The backbone of achieving those mandates is electrifying our transportation and building systems and powering these systems with clean electricity. But 14 percent of our state’s energy mix(...)

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Baker pulls plug on Springfield biomass power plant

Baker pulls plug on Springfield biomass power plant

DEP cites construction delay, health and environmental impacts

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION pulled the plug on a controversial biomass power plant in Springfield on Friday amid growing pushback from opponents who viewed the burning of wood to produce electricity as a threat to public health and the environment. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection sent a letter to Palmer Renewable Energy telling the company(...)

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Climate change already causing power grid issues

Climate change already causing power grid issues

100-year storms are happening more frequently now

IN THE WAKE of the Texas tragedy, when the extreme cold weather literally froze the power grid, took out electricity and fuel supplies, and wreaked havoc on millions of lives, questions have been raised about whether it could happen here in New England. At ISO New England, our number one priority is to maintain a(...)

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Biden sets big goal for offshore wind

Biden sets big goal for offshore wind

Seeks 30,000 megawatts, 80,000 jobs by 2030

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE PIPELINE of offshore wind developments that will follow the first-in-the-nation Vineyard Wind I project came into clearer view Monday when the Biden administration announced a goal of creating almost 80,000 jobs by tapping into 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. Between Vineyard Wind, the 800-megawatt project in line(...)

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How to build an industry to support offshore wind

How to build an industry to support offshore wind

Baker prioritizes federal investment, Mariano says state must pony up

AFTER SIGNING the climate change bill into law on Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Ron Mariano began an interesting discussion about how the state should go about building an onshore industry to support the development of offshore wind. The climate change law authorizes the purchase of 5,600 megawatts of offshore wind, but it(...)

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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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