Library from Massachusetts

Fast-tracking offshore wind In Massachusetts – A community’s cost

First and foremost, a town’s top priority is to make sure that its residents are safe.  The state has provided this tool to Commonwealth cities and towns by way of local zoning powers.  It’s clear Mayflower’s landfall in Falmouth Heights, transmission pathways through densely populated neighborhoods, and electricity conversion substations will have substantial and specific impacts.  Yet, Falmouth’s local zoning control tool stands to be removed from its municipal decision-making tool box.  
23 Jan 2022

Nuclear and fossil fuel advocates, wind foes among backers of right whale protection suits

When Nantucket Residents Against Turbines held a press conference in front of the Statehouse in Boston last August to announce it was suing the federal government for permitting a wind farm south of the island, media outlets noted the presence of David Stevenson, a former Trump transition team member and the director of energy and environment for a libertarian think tank.
22 Jan 2022

Baker gets pushback on $750M clean energy proposal

“We risk seeing a Fidelity scenario now all over again with offshore wind,” Barrett said. “I think that we need to take a step back and reconsider whether we have the ability to give them a huge concession upfront and still ensure value over the course of years. I suspect that we haven't thought carefully enough about that problem.” In addition to killing the cap, Baker’s bill would put the Department of Energy Resources in charge of choosing among offshore wind bids, rather than utilities.
11 Jan 2022

Mayflower Wind plans onshore connection at Falmouth Heights

Some Falmouth residents are upset and are particularly concerned about the danger of high-voltage cables beneath their neighborhood. “The electro-magnetic field will be substantial. Who is going to protect us from this?” Grand Avenue resident Marc P. Finneran asked. David Buzanoski, chairman of the community group Falmouth Heights-Maravista Neighborhood Association, aired concerns on behalf of the neighbors.
21 Dec 2021

RFP To Go Out Next Month For Turbines’ Removal In Falmouth

The Town of Falmouth plans on issuing requests for proposals by mid- to late December to have the two wind turbines at the wastewater treatment plant dismantled. The news of momentum in removing the turbines came during the Monday night, November 22, select board meeting, when Finance Director Jennifer Mullen and special counsel Christopher Morog presented an update to board members.
26 Nov 2021

Right whale coalition calls for moratorium on wind turbines to protect endangered species

“Any species whose numbers are this low requires that we not take any additional action that could harm these whales,” political and environmental author and activist Michael Shellenberger said of the endangered North Atlantic right whales. “Particularly given that we have an abundance of nuclear and natural gas resources that would provide a sufficient alternative to these large industrial wind turbines.”
25 Nov 2021

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

Competition fierce for offshore wind's a 'once in a generation opportunity'

State Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown, said the Baker administration, in its almost single-minded focus on low energy prices, was caught flat-footed by the technological leaps in the industry that led to greater turbine efficiency and productivity and big drops in the price of offshore wind power. Massachusetts is now in the third round of bids for state contracts to produce power for electrical distribution companies such as Eversource, Unitil, and National Grid. 
21 Oct 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

The solar divide: Plans for large-scale solar projects in forests and on farms have riled neighbors who are fighting back

Statewide rallies took place this summer demanding a moratorium on funding for large-scale solar projects. The moratorium calls on Gov. Charlie Baker and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides to hit the brakes on the many planned projects that they say clear-cut forests and remove prime farmland from production. The groups leading the rallies, which include Save the Pine Barrens, Save Massachusetts Forests and the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, charge that the state’s solar incentives are driving reckless, unregulated development by big corporations.
27 Sep 2021

I-95 wind turbine zoning proposal met with criticism

A proposal under review by the City Council and the Planning Board seeks to amend zoning to allow for wind turbines along the old Interstate 95 access road, but many residents have come out strongly against the idea. The ordinance, sponsored by Councilor at-Large Barry Connell, was introduced to the council on June 28 and referred to the Committee on Planning & Development for further discussion. “I think that we have a responsibility to look for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the city of Newburyport to the extent that is possible,” Connell said in a phone interview Thursday.
3 Sep 2021

Critics say NOAA plan not enough to save critically endangered right whales

“We’re disappointed in this rule. This was an opportunity to do more in a situation where this population is continuing to disappear,” said Amy Knowlton, a senior scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. Knowlton said that at least an 80% reduction was needed. “Our feeling is that that (69% reduction) is not a strong enough target considering the status of right whales and the amount of risk,” said Gib Brogan, senior campaign manager at Oceana.
1 Sep 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

Is it Cape Wind all over again? Nantucket residents file suit to block Vineyard Wind

Concerns about the fate of the right whale, whose population is dwindling, are not new. The downturn in the whale population is already happening without any wind farms being built, primarily because the whales are being hit by boats or becoming ensnared in fishing nets. Still, officials from 17 prominent environmental groups wrote a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service in September 2020 raising concerns that regulators were failing to protect environmentally endangered mammals, including right whales, in their review of offshore wind projects. It’s unclear whether any changes were made in response to the letter; efforts to reach two of the signers were unsuccessful.  Erica Fuller of the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston did not return calls over a two-day period.
26 Aug 2021

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Massachusetts
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