Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

New England’s largest battery

New England’s largest battery

Pumped-hydro facility plays key role for region

Editor’s note: An op-ed critical of Northfield written by Karl Meyer was published on March 17. AS THE LARGEST BATTERY in New England, FirstLight Power’s Northfield Mountain pumped-hydro storage facility currently plays an essential role in maintaining and restoring stable electric grid operations for New England due to the fast speed in which it can(...)

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Deepwater Wind commits to local foundation facility

Deepwater Wind commits to local foundation facility

Would employ 300 people in Massachusetts location

DEEPWATER WIND said on Tuesday that it would assemble its turbine foundations in Massachusetts if it is awarded a state-authorized contract to build a wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The Rhode Island-based company said New Bedford, Fall River, and Somerset are possible locations for the facility, which would employ 300 people, a(...)

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State’s top executives push for more natural gas

State’s top executives push for more natural gas

MA Competitive Partnership appeals to Baker, DeLeo, Chandler

THE MASSACHUSETTS COMPETITIVE PARTNERSHIP, a group representing the top executives of the state’s largest employers, released a letter on Tuesday urging the state’s top three political leaders to push for an expansion of the region’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure. The letter was dated March 12, but not released publicly until Tuesday because officials with the(...)

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This energy storage is tough on Connecticut River

This energy storage is tough on Connecticut River

Northfield pumped storage system uses more energy than it produces

IN APRIL, MASSACHUSETTS will take a big step toward meeting its energy responsibilities in the era of climate change. A company will be selected for the first phase of long-term production and delivery of 1,600 megawatts of clean, renewable, wind power. The three bidders all tout environmental benefits from constructing an offshore wind farm and(...)

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Time running short for N. Pass

Time running short for N. Pass

NH delays appeal ruling, puts Mass. in fish-or-cut-bait situation

NORTHERN PASS, the New Hampshire transmission line selected by Massachusetts as the winner of a clean energy procurement, is running out of time to win a key permit. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, which voted at the start of February to deny a permit vital to the project, voted 5-0 on Monday not to(...)

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Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind

Study gauges economic impact of offshore wind

Job, tax benefits for Mass. much greater than Canadian hydro imports

MASSACHUSETTS WON’T GAIN MUCH economically by importing hydro-electricity from Quebec into New England, but a new report indicates the Bay State’s upcoming procurement for offshore wind will have a positive impact. A study commissioned by Vineyard Wind, one of three bidders on the procurement, said an 800 megawatt offshore wind project would yield between 1,180(...)

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Pipeline debate gets testy on Twitter

Pipeline debate gets testy on Twitter

Murray, Worcester business leader, gets pushback on natural gas

Tim Murray, a Worcester business leader and the former lieutenant governor, got into a testy natural gas policy debate on Twitter over the last few days with a number of pipeline opponents. It started on Tuesday when Murray, president of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, retweeted a story from the Daily Hampshire Gazette raising concerns about New England’s shortage of gas in late December and early January, which forced the region to generate(...)

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We’re not absolutists, we’re realists

We’re not absolutists, we’re realists

New gas pipelines won’t help us meet our 2050 climate goals

AS OUR STATE EXPERIENCED back-to-back 100-year floods, the Boston Globe’s editorial writers were busy this winter honing their case for expansion of natural gas pipeline capacity in New England that would make such flooding even more common. They’ve characterized opponents of new gas pipelines as being moralistic “purists” and “absolutists” who are willingly blind to(...)

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We need to end energy inequality

We need to end energy inequality

Mass. policies create unequal access to solar

CLEAN ENERGY BELONGS to us all. We’re talking about the wind and the sun, sources of power that have graced us since the dawn of time. We’re talking about power that cleans our air, improves our health, builds our local economy, and makes our world safer. And let’s not forget that, in states like Massachusetts,(...)

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Utility rate design needs reform

Utility rate design needs reform

Legislature should overrule DPU-approved measures

Final in a series. The first installment focused on grid modernization in Massachusetts and the second on DPU’s decision on revenue for Eversource. ON JANUARY 5, 2018, the Department of Public Utilities approved two significant changes to rate design proposed by Eversource: (1) a new set of complex and unmanageable rates for new solar customers(...)

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