Library filed under Energy Policy from Massachusetts

Northeast grid rules could make or break clean energy

ISO New England’s draft plan aims to strike a middle ground. While the grid operator’s working proposal eliminates the automatic price floor for subsidized resources, a similar calculation should still “be applied in certain situations,” ISO New England explained in a presentation to stakeholders in September. “In June, when we launched the effort to remove the MOPR from the capacity market, we made clear that we will do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize either power system reliability or competitive pricing in the capacity market,” Matt Kakley, senior communications specialist at ISO New England, said in an email.
23 Nov 2021

Baker tries to rejigger offshore wind procurement

In a bill filed Thursday, Gov. Baker proposes nixing the requirement that each new offshore wind project must cost less than the project that preceded it. The bill also takes the lion’s share of decisionmaking in the bid process away from the state’s three big utilities — National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil — and creates a new model in which “the state’s Department of Energy Resources would choose the successful projects with technical assistance from the utilities."
20 Oct 2021

Baker scraps wind price cap in $750-million Clean Energy Bill

The state’s third competitive solicitation attracted bids from just Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind, a disappointment to Mariano and some others. The speaker last month singled out the price cap policy that requires the price of each new offshore wind project to be lower than that of the project before it and said it should be eliminated. “We’re hoping to create an industry and we just had two companies bid,” Mariano said in late September during a boat tour of the small wind farm off Block Island. He added, “That’s why we’re doing this, we want that universe to get bigger.”
14 Oct 2021

Clean energy doesn’t always create synergy

[S]ome fear that this project and others in the planning stage could also irreparably harm Massachusetts fishing and lobstering industries in the vicinity of these turbine sites. But that didn’t stop the Biden administration, as part of its aggressive offshore wind and renewable-energy agenda, from issuing final permits for Vineyard Wind in May. It’s evident that not all green-conscious activists believe wind power’s the optimum clean-energy solution.
29 Aug 2021

New England energy execs emphasize reliability over renewables

"This is really not an easy path forward,” said Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs, a green energy tech incubator in Somerville, Mass. “You have to prioritize safety and reliability and keep the lights on and the heat on for everyone and transition to the future.” The region can’t suddenly switch to cleaner sources of energy without ensuring that everyone’s energy needs can be met, said Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association.
19 May 2021

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes climate bill that sets carbon emissions targets ahead of 2050

In a letter to lawmakers, Baker said he vetoed the bill in part because it would slow housing production, running contrary to the goals of the “housing choice” proposal within the economic development bill he signed into law Thursday. He also said the bill lacked tools local and state officials need to protect cities and towns against present-day natural disasters that can be traced back to climate change.
14 Jan 2021

New England business groups make case to suspend energy efficiency surcharges

The business groups argue that halting the surcharges would provide some rate relief to both commercial and residential customers at a time when many are having financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. “We’re not looking to decimate these programs, but we are saying, ‘We’ve got to take a breather,’” said Doug Gablinske, executive director of the Energy Council of Rhode Island, which represents large energy users.
9 Jun 2020

In New York and New England, wind energy projects are “like siting landfills. Nobody wants them.”

The rural opposition has been so strong that earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo added a provision, known as Article 23, to the state budget that effectively strips local communities of their ability to stop big renewable-energy projects from being built in their jurisdictions. ...New Englanders like the idea of wind energy they just don’t want any wind turbines in New England. So they are putting them in New York.
1 Jun 2020

First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns

BOEM spokesman Stephen Boutwell said NMFS is required to co-sign the project’s Record of Decision, a formal decision document, for the permit to be issued. The final environmental impact study and record of decision had originally been expected in April but were later delayed to June and then early July. Boutwell said the agency does not “have a date for these publications at this time.”
29 Jul 2019

Mass. to double offshore wind procurements

A chart in the report noted the Vineyard Wind contract price was 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017 dollars, slightly higher than the price of Quebec hydro-electricity being purchased in a separate procurement and double the price of electricity produced with natural gas. The offshore wind price was half the price of the state’s least-subsidized solar power option. 
31 May 2019

Charlie Baker defended wind power after a Republican congressman questioned him on Capitol Hill

“The small town went deeply into debt to finance them,” McClintock said during the hearing Wednesday. “The townspeople couldn’t bear the noise, the constant flickering light as 400-foot windmills turned. Property values plunged 20 percent. And I wonder how that squares with the bright picture that you painted.” Baker responded that one failed experience shouldn’t undermine “things we need to do with respect to mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency” to deal with climate change, emphasizing that solutions should be “practical and cost effective.”
6 Feb 2019

What if an offshore wind farm was up and running last winter? Analysis shows the benefits and limitations of wind power

The analysis indicates a working wind farm last winter would have reduced the region’s carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity prices, but not enough to eliminate the impact of the region’s pipeline constraints. The analysis also shows that a wind farm’s energy production is highly variable, going up and down fairly dramatically over the course of a day.
4 Jan 2019

Conflicted DEP fails to address wind hazards

The DEP can no longer help enforce its own regulations because of its involvement in wind turbine contracts. The Project Regulatory Agreement does not take into consideration public health and safety it has become immoral with despicable inhuman conduct bordering on criminal. We know today the DEP has been aware residents have been living in a toxic environment around the wind turbines.
13 Aug 2018

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Massachusetts&topic=Energy+Policy
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