Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

MA must continue to lead on energy

MA must continue to lead on energy

State must also push for new gas pipeline

A NEW PRESIDENT always means change in key public policy matters.  Before sharing my thoughts about what this transition means for our energy priorities in Massachusetts, I want to share observations from the front row seat I had for the last transition of Democratic president to Republican. Around Christmastime in 2000, while still adjusting to(...)

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Eversource winter price to drop 8%

Eversource winter price to drop 8%

Despite pipeline constraints, prices are falling

EVERSOURCE ENERGY said its customers will pay about 8 percent less this winter for electricity, suggesting that constraints on natural gas supplies coming into the region won’t have a major impact on rates this coming year. Eversource, in partnership with Spectra Energy of Houston and National Grid, wants to build the Access Northeast pipeline to(...)

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Robbing MIT to pay international reactor

Robbing MIT to pay international reactor

US commitment to ITER limits domestic fusion research funds

THE DECADES-LONG QUEST to produce inexpensive carbon-free energy from nuclear fusion is making tangible progress. There is much work ahead but recent research is bringing the elusive goal into clearer focus. Unfortunately, non-scientific barriers – political, funding, and management issues that won’t yield to the skills of the even the best physicists – have emerged(...)

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Eversource confident on gas pipeline project

Eversource confident on gas pipeline project

Predicts Access Northeast will begin construction in 2019

EVERSOURCE ENERGY officials confidently predicted this week they would begin construction of the $3 billion Access Northeast natural gas pipeline in 2019 and floated several possible ways to finance it. Eversource had pinned its hopes on having electric ratepayers in New England foot the bill for the natural gas pipeline, but that plan unraveled this(...)

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Gas pipeline dealt possibly fatal blow

Gas pipeline dealt possibly fatal blow

CT calls off procurement after NH, MA rulings

THE PUSH FOR A NEW PIPELINE into New England may have been dealt a fatal blow when Connecticut officials called off a process to procure more natural gas largely because of decisions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that eliminated a financing mechanism for the project. In announcing its decision on Tuesday, the Connecticut Department of(...)

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Measuring the impact of offshore wind, hydro

Measuring the impact of offshore wind, hydro

Emissions cut 9% as electric bills rise $5.70 to $8.50 a month

PURCHASES OF LARGE-SCALE hydroelectric and offshore wind resources as required by the recently passed energy law would reduce the state’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent at a cost of $5.70 to $8.50 a month for the typical electric ratepayer. Our analysis suggests the incremental cost of removing a metric ton of carbon dioxide(...)

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3 Boston institutions finance NC solar farm

3 Boston institutions finance NC solar farm

MIT and BMC help finance 60 megawatt facility

THREE BOSTON-AREA INSTITUTIONS are financing the construction of one of the largest renewable energy projects in the United States, a 60-megawatt solar farm in North Carolina. MIT, Boston Medical Center, and the Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation said on Wednesday they had signed a 25-year contract to purchase the power output from the project’s 255,000(...)

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Warren redistributes solar income

Warren redistributes solar income

Newton mayor steers city savings to low-income residents

NEWTON MAYOR SETTI WARREN announced a small solar project on Wednesday that will slightly trim the city’s electric bill and funnel the bulk of the savings to about 1,250 low-income residents of the community. The low-income residents will save about $40 to $50 a year, officials said. The project itself is no different from countless(...)

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Charting the path to zero carbon emissions

Charting the path to zero carbon emissions

Report shines spotlight on Pennsylvania

CLIMATE POLICY is in a holding pattern. The D.C. Circuit court is deliberating on the future of EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” regulation of carbon pollution from existing power plants. Stakeholders in the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are pondering emission cap targets for 2020 through 2030 that may do anything from hold steady at 2020(...)

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States are where clean energy action is

States are where clean energy action is

Texas is leading the way on wind, solar

ON THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE and energy policy, the candidates for president couldn’t be farther apart, as evidenced by their brief exchange at last week’s first debate. For Hillary Clinton, decisive action is needed immediately to head off “the most catastrophic consequences” of global warming. Donald Trump has often used the word “hoax” to(...)

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