Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

What’s up with the Globe and natural gas?

What’s up with the Globe and natural gas?

Paper has adopted panic policy of utilities, grid operator

GIVEN THE LONG HISTORY of the Boston Globe’s editorial board advocacy for consumers and the environment, including its current strong criticism of regulation rollbacks by the Trump administration, it is puzzling to see the paper crusading for new natural gas pipelines that rigorous studies say we do not need, are outrageously expensive, and harm the(...)

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Build offshore wind farms, transmission separately

Build offshore wind farms, transmission separately

That’s the way we’ve done it in Europe, and it’s worked well

LARGE QUANTITIES OF OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY are on the horizon in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, as state governments have recognized that offshore wind power is not only clean and renewable but an abundant and increasingly competitive energy source. While the Northeast US looks to generate about 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power in(...)

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Governor, move more quickly on offshore wind

Governor, move more quickly on offshore wind

Select multiple winners, speed up future procurements

The following is a letter sent to Gov. Charlie Baker by the heads of 12 environmental groups. ON BEHALF OF THE UNDERSIGNED organizations and our hundreds of thousands of members across the Commonwealth, we applaud your work to advance offshore wind power. Such determined leadership made Massachusetts the first in the nation to invite bids(...)

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Fears about blackouts increasing

Fears about blackouts increasing

Region’s fuel insecurity is self-inflicted

THREE MONTHS AGO, the organization that runs our New England power grid sounded a shocking alarm: Our region faces a possibility of forced, rolling wintertime blackouts in coming years, largely because of unrelenting opposition to sensible, long-overdue expansion of our natural gas supply infrastructure. As we said then, forced blackouts are completely unacceptable, something you’d associate(...)

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Globe pushes for new natural gas pipelines

Globe pushes for new natural gas pipelines

Editorial calls Beacon Hill folly costly, damaging to environment

The BOSTON GLOBE editorial page is going all in for new natural gas pipelines. In an editorial entitled “Why you’ll pay for Beacon Hill’s pipeline folly,” the Globe said it was a big mistake when Beacon Hill lawmakers – “egged on by Attorney General Maura Healey” – blocked efforts to have electric ratepayers finance new natural(...)

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Getting to grid modernization

Getting to grid modernization

Delivering electricity in an era of fluctuating power sources

IN MASSACHUSETTS and across much of the country, the push is on for “grid modernization.” The “grid” is at a critical point of transformation, being driven by trends towards de-carbonization, technological innovation, and customers’ increasing expectation for a more reliable, efficient, sustainable, and interactive network. The journey required to get there will be mapped by(...)

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Mass. needs to move much faster on electric buses

Mass. needs to move much faster on electric buses

$75m from VW settlement could accelerate transition

MASSACHUSETTS HAS AN AIR POLLUTION problem, specifically a diesel pollution problem. Our state has the highest health risk from diesel soot in New England. The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent rollback of automobile emission and efficiency standards will worsen air quality and significantly impact public health. Diesel exhaust pollution carries a cancer risk three times higher(...)

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Go bigger with offshore wind procurement

Go bigger with offshore wind procurement

It would make sense to pick more than one supplier

IN RECENT MONTHS, the Baker administration has taken several important steps toward a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, including bold initiatives to accelerate large-scale clean energy as enabled by the 2016 Energy Diversity Act. Beyond the state’s recent clean energy procurement, which considered hydro imports, onshore wind projects, and transmission siting, there is a(...)

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Tweak needed for clean peak standard

Tweak needed for clean peak standard

Rebates could be used to prime the market

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER recently submitted a significant bond bill to the Legislature calling for a $1.4 billion authorization for climate adaptation, mitigation, and infrastructure investment. While the dollar amounts grab the headlines, there is also an important and innovative piece of policy buried within the bill, establishing a clean peak energy standard (CPS).  A clean(...)

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Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown

Grid operator raises alarm at Mystic shutdown

Says power plant retirements pose unacceptable fuel security risk

This story was updated at 7:25 p.m. to include clarifying material. THE OPERATOR OF THE REGIONAL POWER GRID said on Tuesday that it plans to take immediate steps to prevent two of Exelon’s power plants in Everett from retiring while it develops financial incentives to convince the company to keep the plants open in the(...)

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