Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Hydro-wind combo would  save customers $171m

Hydro-wind combo would save customers $171m

Study challenges view that Canadian hydroelectricity would be costly

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A NEW STUDY ON THE IMPACT large-scale hydro and wind power imports could have on the Massachusetts energy market predicts significant savings for consumers, challenging the narrative put forward by critics of Gov. Charlie Baker’s energy bill that hydropower would be a costly alternative to natural gas. The economic analysis, conducted(...)

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Offshore wind better bet than hydro

Offshore wind better bet than hydro

Importing hydroelectricity from Canada could raise prices

IN A FEW WEEKS, the Massachusetts Legislature is likely to vote on a sweeping energy bill that will help determine how, from where, and from whom we get a substantial portion of our electricity for the next 10 or 20 years. Offshore wind is the best choice for Massachusetts.  Here’s why. The Legislature should focus(...)

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Kinder Morgan pulls plug on pipeline

Kinder Morgan pulls plug on pipeline

Cites inadequate commitments from prospective customers

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CITING INADEQUATE COMMITMENTS from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan on Wednesday suspended further work and spending on its Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project, which held the possibility of helping Massachusetts and the New England to meet energy and electricity cost goals. Less than a year ago, in July 2015, the(...)

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Solar net metering bill moving fast

Solar net metering bill moving fast

‘It’s great,’ says top Baker aide

COMPROMISE SOLAR NET METERING LEGISLATION that allows the industry to resume expansion while reining in some costs borne by ratepayers appears likely to hit the governor’s desk by the end of the week and be signed into law shortly after that. The Massachusetts House voted 152-1 in favor of the legislation on Wednesday, and the(...)

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Baker board denies Cape Wind permit extension

Baker board denies Cape Wind permit extension

Decision seen as setback to project’s revival

A BOARD DOMINATED BY APPOINTEES of Gov. Charlie Baker dealt a major blow on Wednesday to efforts to revive Cape Wind, voting unanimously not to grant the project a permit extension for construction of a transmission line between the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm and Barnstable. The decision means Cape Wind will either have to(...)

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Solar negotiators reach a deal

Solar negotiators reach a deal

Lift cap, cut net metering rates -- but less than House wanted

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE FIVE MONTHS OF NEGOTIATIONS resulted in a deal Tuesday between House and Senate leaders to raise the cap on the amount of energy that public and private solar power generators can sell back to the grid while slashing the net metering rate that those generators get paid. The compromise would also(...)

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Cape Wind appeals permit extension rejection

Cape Wind appeals permit extension rejection

Wind farm officials say nothing has changed

CAPE WIND IS URGING A STATE BOARD to overrule its staff and grant an extension of a permit needed to run a power line from the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound to Barnstable on Cape Cod. With the Energy Facilities Siting Board set to hear final arguments on Wednesday, Cape Wind’s attorney submitted a(...)

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What Massachusetts can learn from New York's solar experience

What Massachusetts can learn from New York’s solar experience

Utility profit incentive in MA not fully aligned with public interest

Over the past several years, Massachusetts has been able to deploy more than 1000 megawatts of solar capacity. This remarkable success is due to an interrelated set of policies that made solar an attractive investment for customers and a viable business opportunity for developers to invest and hire in the Commonwealth. These policies are now(...)

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