Library filed under Energy Policy from Massachusetts

Failed planning

“What were they thinking?” when New England’s state energy planners backed building 25-cent-per-kilowatt-hour wind projects while opposing reliable, existing, low-cost generators like Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
11 Aug 2014

Legislature deals setback to Patrick on energy bills

Lawmakers failed to pass a provision that mandated an increase in the amount of solar generation in Massachusetts from 400 megawatts to 1,600 megawatts by 2020, or enough to power 240,000 homes. They also failed to act on other proposals crafted during tense negotiations this spring by representatives from the solar industry, major utilities, and the governor’s office.
2 Aug 2014

Conservation group slams 'secret' work between governors, utilities

“The states and NESCOE are deliberately working out the details of this plan in secret, consistent with the view of one of NESCOE’s staffers that the plan should be ‘formulated behind closed doors’ because the ‘court of public opinion can be fickle and recalcitrant,’ ” Courchesne wrote, quoting an email from a NESCOE staff member to Executive Director Heather Hunt.
25 Jun 2014

Vermont smack in the middle of crucial electricity supply and demand

Developers are pitching plans, and are now offering states handsome “benefits packages” in seeking their support. In addition, states could earn millions from new property or infrastructure taxes, the leasing of existing right-of-ways and financial returns on public investment in the lines. But these assurances aren’t enough, according to Kerrick Johnson, vice president of Vermont Electric Power Co., or VELCO.
9 Jun 2014

The wild west of wind

Hanover is hardly the only Massachusetts community to grapple with the unanticipated costs of wind energy. In Falmouth, residents rebelled against two turbines stating that the noise was too much ...A similar problem plagued a Kingston wind development where noise and flicker from the blades became a cause of concern.
30 May 2014

Why Mass. lags on Patrick’s wind power goal

There are 44 wind projects currently operating in Massachusetts. They generate less than 0.6 percent of the state’s electricity needs and just a fifth of the terrestrial wind energy goal set by Patrick. By Irvine’s calculations, there are 49 wind projects that never got off the ground; she calls them dead wind. And 13 projects are in limbo, or still in the permitting process.
24 Mar 2014

Legislation raises question: What is clean energy?

The state has spent the last several years pushing renewables, imposing mandates on utilities to create markets for the power and offering incentives to spur the construction of wind and solar projects. Last year, more than 242 megawatts of solar generating capacity were installed in the state ...The state has 103 megawatts of wind generating capacity. Using more alternative energy, however, could raise utility bills for households and businesses. Wind power and solar power tend to be more expensive than traditional sources, while large-scale hydropower is cheaper.
27 Feb 2014

Regional planners resist state utility regulators’ attempt to control turbine siting

The Berkshire planning board filed comments in November saying, “We are puzzled as to why the DPU is taking the lead in the development of wind energy facility guidelines, as this agency does not have jurisdiction over the siting of energy generating facilities that generate less than 100 MW and thus is very unlikely to oversee the permitting of any land-based wind energy projects in the state.
4 Feb 2014

Residents untrusting of latest wind siting investigation

The move comes on the heels of five consecutive attempts by the Patrick administration to pass the Wind Siting Reform Act, which could have eliminated local control of the permitting process ...In the Berkshires, the act was fiercely opposed because of the perceived lack of local control and the predominance of identified sites. With higher elevations and open space, residents fears industrial wind turbines would be placed in their back yards without their input.
28 Jan 2014

Wind farms in Maine stir a power struggle

But the situation has prompted some soul-searching as some residents worry more wind turbines will turn the woodsy state into New England's utility closet. Opponents also question wind power's environmental merits and say turbines aren't worth spoiled views or noise. Larry Dunphy, a Republican state representative, recently posited a future when "you won't be able to climb a mountain without seeing blinking red lights and spinning turbines."
24 Dec 2013

Wind developer Iberdrola will sell energy to Mass. utilities

What’s more, while the state has okayed three industrial scale wind-farms, the state committee that approves power development denied a project in Antrim in February. Opposition to wind power has also grown steadily in the legislature. Last week at an industry-organized “energy summit” senate majority leader Jeb Bradley said he would fight “tooth and nail” against wind development on New Hampshire’s ridge-lines.
7 Oct 2013
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