Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Pilgrim is safe, shouldn’t close early

Pilgrim is safe, shouldn’t close early

Calls for shutdown before 2019 are irresponsible

DESPITE ASSERTIONS TO THE CONTRARY, the facts demonstrate that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has run very reliably in recent years. For calendar year 2014, our capacity factor was 97 percent — better than any other generator in New England. Even with a planned refueling outage in 2015, we were online 85 percent of the(...)

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Baker’s energy policy only part right

Baker’s energy policy only part right

All-of-the-above approach not tenable

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER’S FLURRY of announcements on climate change and clean energy has elicited cautiously optimistic praise from some sustainable energy advocates. While many details of the administration’s new initiatives are yet to be developed, one fundamental shortcoming of the Governor’s energy policy remains clear: he fails to acknowledge that a serious response to climate change requires(...)

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From too cheap to meter to too risky to run

From too cheap to meter to too risky to run

Nuclear power doesn’t merit new subsidies

NUCLEAR OPERATORS in California, Connecticut, Illinois, and New York are asking state lawmakers for additional monies—above and beyond the market prices of electricity and electric capacity—to keep their plants open for business. These plant owners cite low energy prices and increasing operating costs among the factors that are making their plants uneconomic. Among the key(...)

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Baker rolling out new solar incentives

Baker rolling out new solar incentives

Draft proposal would scale back costs

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is preparing to roll out the draft of a new solar incentive program on Friday that sets a ceiling on subsidies and is expected to reduce their overall cost. The new incentive program is emerging at a time when solar power has become a divisive issue on Beacon Hill, with House leaders(...)

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State on verge of clean energy transformation

State on verge of clean energy transformation

Carbon fee or RGGI expansion final puzzle piece

SOMETIMES INCREMENTAL CHANGES result in a patchwork of policies whose larger significance may be missed – and along with it major opportunities. That is the case with Massachusetts energy policy right now. The last several months have witnessed singular legislative, judicial, and executive branch actions that add up to an opportunity for a transformative acceleration(...)

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Baker signs climate change order

Baker signs climate change order

Senator says the measure is too little too late

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER, who six years ago expressed skepticism about the science of climate change, signed an executive order on Friday setting the state on a course to develop a comprehensive plan to mitigate and adapt to the fallout from rising greenhouse gas emissions. The order requires the Baker administration to pursue reductions in greenhouse(...)

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Offshore wind firms eye New Bedford

Offshore wind firms eye New Bedford

May rent state marine terminal for $5.7m a year

STATE OFFICIALS ON TUESDAY signed a non-binding letter of intent with three companies who all agreed to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as a staging area if they succeed in building wind farms 14 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. DONG Energy, Deepwater Wind, and OffshoreMW, the three offshore wind developers that(...)

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Plan B for a pipeline

Plan B for a pipeline

Some say Baker's new approach faces legal hurdles

ONE OF THE BIG MYSTERIES on Beacon Hill is how Gov. Charlie Baker is going to accomplish one of his top remaining energy priorities – building a new natural gas pipeline into the region. His original plan was dealt a mortal blow a couple weeks ago when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that existing state(...)

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Baker is right; we need gas pipeline

Baker is right; we need gas pipeline

Renewables-only approach won’t work

Gov. Charlie Baker is right to push for a new natural gas pipeline. His support for renewable energy – solar and wind – is fully compatible with his support for more natural gas.  They are two halves of the same energy foundation supporting a structure that is both more affordable and better for the environment.(...)

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MIT dean talks fusion with govs, premiers

MIT dean talks fusion with govs, premiers

'There's a reason to be optimistic,' he says

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE AN ACADEMIC’S IDEAS about what the future might hold inspired Gov. Charlie Baker to invite him to speak to Canadian premiers and New England governors. Speaking to the international assembly in Boston on Monday, MIT School of Engineering Dean Ian Waitz said in two decades or more the technology of electricity(...)

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