Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

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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House energy bill must be scaled up

House energy bill must be scaled up

Wind and hydro proposals too small, narrow

IN THE NEXT TWO MONTHS, Massachusetts has the opportunity to reorient the energy system away from risky over-reliance on fossil fuels and toward a stable clean energy future.  The opportunity is created by two trends upending the electric power sector.  First, aging power plants have become increasingly uneconomical, prompting a turnover of almost one-third of the region’s(...)

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SJC decision raises emissions questions

SJC decision raises emissions questions

Law should be clarified to avoid confusion

WE ARE FACING the daunting challenge of meeting the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of the Global Warming Solutions Act.  And now the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision, Kain v. DEP, has confirmed those targets are legally binding.  But, unfortunately, the court’s decision may have established a principle of law that should cause serious concern(...)

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Clearing the air on natural gas

Clearing the air on natural gas

Math is simple, law is clear – Herald column is not

WANT TO KNOW how Massachusetts can lower electric bills while safeguarding the health of not just our own children but everyone else’s children, too? By following our existing state and federal environmental laws and continuing to lead the nation by setting the standard for the clean energy economy. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s May 17,(...)

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House OKs hydro, offshore wind bill

House OKs hydro, offshore wind bill

Smizik drops amendment allowing Cape Wind to compete

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE House lawmakers voted near unanimously on Wednesday to diversify the state’s state energy mix by requiring utilities to solicit and enter into long-term contracts for large-scale hydroelectric and offshore wind power as part of a strategy to reduce the state’s reliance on natural gas and meet its carbon emission reduction mandates.(...)

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Cape Wind sharply attacks House energy bill

Cape Wind sharply attacks House energy bill

Calls measure unconstitutional, anticompetitive, form of bid-rigging

CAPE WIND ISSUED a position statement on Tuesday calling the House’s energy bill anticompetitive, unconstitutional, and the result of “a form of legislative bid-rigging.” The unusually harsh statement was issued the day before the House is scheduled to take up a bill that would authorize the state’s utilities to purchase large quantities of offshore wind(...)

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