Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Senate approves energy legislation

Senate approves energy legislation

Bill is significantly different from House version

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE AN ENERGY BILL PASSED 30-0 by the Senate Thursday evening would require the solicitation of long-term contracts for at least 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2027 as part of an effort to diversify the state’s energy mix and comply with greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements. Under the bill, energy distribution(...)

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Natural gas falls out of favor on Beacon Hill

Natural gas falls out of favor on Beacon Hill

Senate votes 39-0 against pipeline financing plan

AS THE LEGISLATURE RUSHES to embrace offshore wind and Canadian hydroelectricity, the Senate on Thursday voted 39-0 to cut off the chief means of financing new natural gas pipelines coming into the region. The Senate’s approach has strong support among House members as well. The growing opposition to natural gas would have been unthinkable two(...)

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Senate energy debate could get heated

Senate energy debate could get heated

Natural gas ‘tax’ is one of many big policy issues

THE HOUSE PRECLUDED MOST DEBATE on its energy bill, but the more free-wheeling Senate looks as if it will take on some major policy issues in its deliberations on Thursday. Some observers are nervous that if the Senate pushes too far it may be difficult to reach an agreement with the House before the session(...)

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Time to put a price on carbon

Time to put a price on carbon

To cut emissions, bold action needed

MASSACHUSETTS HAS BEEN A CASE STUDY for the positive relationship between economic growth, renewable energy procurement, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. As a leading state on climate change policy, Massachusetts set bold greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, while supporting strong energy efficiency programs and a robust renewable energy procurement strategy. While this has made(...)

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Long-term energy contracts make sense

Long-term energy contracts make sense

Locking in prices better than relying on spot market

The headline of a recent CommonWealth magazine story states, “Clean power will cost more.” Although presented as simple fact, the headline actually begs a more complicated question: “More than what?” The story endorses the notion that ratepayers are more exposed to higher costs through long-term contracts rather than short-term energy transactions. But given the volatility(...)

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Senate’s ‘aggressive’ energy plan lets Cape Wind bid

Senate’s ‘aggressive’ energy plan lets Cape Wind bid

Bill ups offshore wind, hydro procurements; doubles renewable standard

THE SENATE UNVEILED an energy bill on Friday that is far more expansive than its House counterpart, increasing utility procurements for offshore wind and Canadian hydroelectricity, doubling the mandated growth rate for renewable energy, and allowing Cape Wind to compete for contracts. “We tried to be bold and aggressive,” said Sen. Karen Spilka, the chair(...)

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New transmission lines, gas pipeline needed

New transmission lines, gas pipeline needed

Without them, prices will rise and jobs will be lost

Recent cancellations and delays of proposed large-scale energy infrastructure projects, and results from two regional surveys suggest energy policy and consumer and business concerns in New England are heading in opposite directions.  This split may be setting the stage for significant adverse economic consequences for the region over the next five years as policy makers(...)

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Northern Pass is not a green  answer

Northern Pass is not a green answer

Massachusetts energy solution would be NH nightmare

WELL-MEANING POLICYMAKERS in Massachusetts are looking north, seeing in Canadian hydropower a quick solution to the need for more green energy. But one state’s environmental solutions may be another state’s environmental nightmare, and we should all care about the whole picture – not just our own small piece – to achieve the greatest long-term impact.(...)

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Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Sweeteners for Eversource, Grid worth millions

Tucked inside the House energy bill is what industry folks call an adder, a special add-on fee paid by electric ratepayers to their utilities to compensate them for carrying out the Commonwealth’s energy policy. Eversource Energy and National Grid play key roles under the legislation.  The two utilities are assigned the task of negotiating long-term(...)

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Hydro-Quebec officials push Northern Pass

Hydro-Quebec officials push Northern Pass

Call project with Eversource ‘a complete solution’

TOP OFFICIALS AT HYDRO-QUEBEC said on Wednesday in Boston that the company’s Northern Pass project represents the best, most complete solution to New England’s need for clean energy. Eric Martel, CEO of Hydro-Quebec, confidently predicted that Northern Pass  will win needed permits in New Hampshire next year and be up and running by 2019. Steve(...)

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