1. Articles in category: Energy

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    1. Solar farm proposal gets heavy scrutiny from Belchertown Planning Board

      Solar farm proposal gets heavy scrutiny from Belchertown Planning Board

      Members of the Planning Board are digging in their heels scrutinizing a proposed solar farm off Gulf Road, saying the project requires an unprecedented level of study. The board must determine whether the nearly 8-megawatt facility would, or would not, be detrimental to the community prior to voting whether to approve it.

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    2. Tennesee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop

      Tennesee Gas to beef up Agawam compressor and build two-mile pipeline loop

      Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. plans to expand its Agawam compressor station and install a new two-mile pipeline loop to help Columbia Gas of Massachusetts grow its customer base in the Pioneer Valley. Tennesee hosted a site visit in July; plans are described in a 315-page environmental notification form Tennessee filed with Massachusetts regulators in June; and the deadline for public comment was today. Tennessee's new 12-inch diameter buried pipeline would start at the 1615 Suffield Street compressor, cross the road, head north, and cross Shoemaker Lane, Gold Street, and Silver Street before terminating at a tie-in for Columbia's ...

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    3. New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council

      New owners of Berkshire Power plant meet with Agawam City Council

      In May, a Nebraska company finalized purchase of Berkshire Power Company, LLC, and its 229-megawatt natural gas generator off Shoemaker Lane. Wednesday night, representatives from Tenaska assured the City Council they plan to prioritize safety and the environment in running the 18-year-old power plant, while also giving back to the community. "We have a reputation for safe, reliable, environmentally responsible operation," said Jason Behrens, Tenaska's vice president of strategic development and acquisitions.

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    4. Belchertown stands to gain $6M from proposed solar farms as critics sound alarm over clear-cutting

      Belchertown stands to gain $6M from proposed solar farms as critics sound alarm over clear-cutting

      There is controversy about clear-cutting many acres of trees to make them happen, but three proposed solar farms could net the town nearly $6 million over a 20-year period, data provided by the selectmen's office shows. The projects are expected to generate a total of 18 megawatts, should the Planning Board approve site plans for them and other permitting requirements. Three solar farms already online -- a 5.4-megawatt project off Route 181, a 1.5-megawatt facility on Ware Road and a 1.25-megawatt operation on Springfield Street -- will bring revenue totaling $1.8 million over a 20-year period, Town ...

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    5. HCG Welcomes New Director of Energy Operations, Sales, and Innovation

      Marin Goldstein has been tapped to lead electricity and renewable-energy programs at HCG as director of energy operations, sales, and innovation. In his new role, he will oversee Hampshire Power, Hampshire Renewables, and HCG’s Renewable Energy Credit brokerage program. “We are thrilled to have Marin join our team,” said Todd Ford, executive director of HCG. “With a strong background in solar and sustainability, Marin will be a huge asset to Hampshire Power as we continue our work in local, renewable energy.”

       

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    6. Krish Thiagarajan Named to Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy at UMass Amherst

      Krish Thiagarajan, an expert on marine renewable energy and energy-producing offshore structures, has been appointed to the endowed chair in Renewable Energy in the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The chair was established in 2014 with $2.5 million in funding from the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to attract a preeminent scholar in the field to provide leadership in positioning both the university and the Commonwealth to take advantage of opportunities in emerging areas of renewable energy. Thiagarajan will collaborate with DOER staff on renewable-energy research and projects.

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    7. Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint)

      Clean, Reliable Energy Key to Western Mass Jobs (Guest viewpoint)

      The economic progress our region is seeing is undeniable. From the construction of MGM Springfield, to production of subway cars for the MBTA at the North American headquarters for CRRC Massachusetts Rail Co., to the renovated Union Station, with nearly $2 billion in economic development initiatives, Springfield and its surrounding communities are moving in the right direction. But even as our communities begin to band together to spur innovation, rebuild our manufacturing base and create good paying jobs for the future, that progress is undermined by a lack of clean, reliable, affordable energy.

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    8. Massachusetts' second-largest wind farm expanding

      Massachusetts' second-largest wind farm expanding

      The Berkshire Wind Power Project atop Brodie Mountain in Hancock will expand by two additional turbines, each capable of generating 2.3 megawatts, by next spring. Owner Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative announced the expansion Thursday. The cooperative is a nonprofit entity consisting of 14 Massachusetts municipal utilities and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    9. Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill

      Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill

      Massachusetts would run on 100-percent renewable power by 2047 under comprehensive energy legislation passed by the state Senate Thursday night. The idealistic goal would be reached by increasing the state's renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent every year, instead of the current 1 percent. The RPS dictates how much renewable energy electrical utilities such as Eversource and National Grid must buy.

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    10. Nebraska-based energy company finalizes purchase of Berkshire Power LLC and Agawam plant | masslive.com

      Nebraska-based energy company finalizes purchase of Berkshire Power LLC and Agawam plant | masslive.com

      An affiliate of Tenaska, an independent energy company based in Omaha, Nebraska, has purchased Berkshire Power Company LLC and its 289-megawatt natural gas-fired generation facility in Agawam, according to Jason Behrens, Tenaska's vice president for strategic development and acquisitions. Behrens said the purchase was finalized Wednesday. The company is now transitioning plant operations from Ares EIF, the current plant manager, to Tenaska, which manages nine natural gas-fueled and renewable power plants in the United States.

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    11. NEW REPORT FINDS USE OF COAL AND OIL DURING A TWO-WEEK PERIOD THIS WINTER HAD EMISSIONS EQUIVALENT TO ADDING 6.4 MILLION CARS ON NEW ENGLAND ROADS

      NEW REPORT FINDS USE OF COAL AND OIL DURING A TWO-WEEK PERIOD THIS WINTER HAD EMISSIONS EQUIVALENT TO ADDING 6.4 MILLION CARS ON NEW ENGLAND ROADS

      Report calls for Balanced, Multi-Faceted Energy Solutions

      BOSTON, MA (May 7, 2018) - The Massachusetts Coalition for Sustainable Energy (MCSE) today released “The Need for a Balanced Portfolio Approach to Address New England’s Fuel Security Problem” – a new report that details the significant environmental and negative economic impact that the current lack of access to reliable energy is having on Massachusetts and throughout New England. Concentric Energy Advisors, Inc. authored the report.

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    12. Amherst, Hampshire, Smith join college solar energy collaborative

      Amherst, Hampshire, Smith join college solar energy collaborative

      Five New England liberal arts colleges have joined together to create a solar power facility that will offset 46,000 megawatt-hours of their collective electrical use. The partnership represents the first collaborative purchase of New England-generated solar electricity by higher-education institutions, according to a press release. The facility will be built in Farmington, Maine, and is expected to open in 2019. Each of the colleges will purchase zero-carbon electricity from the site to reduce carbon emissions from campus electricity use. Participating colleges are Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine, Amherst and Hampshire in Amherst, Smith College in Northampton and Williams College in ...

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    13. From Lenox to Nantucket, 36 Massachusetts communities get state energy efficiency grants;...

      From Lenox to Nantucket, 36 Massachusetts communities get state energy efficiency grants;...

      Gov. Charlie Baker's administration awarded $4 million in energy efficiency grants to 36 Massachusetts cities and town during a ceremony at the Ware High School auditorium on Thursday. The money will be used by the municipalities' water and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and in some cases generate renewable energy. The announcement was timed to coincide with Earth Day, which will be on Sunday.

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    14. Greenfield worker-owned PV Squared solar firm earns national kudos

      Greenfield worker-owned PV Squared solar firm earns national kudos

      "Solar (energy) is worth looking into for everyone," Josh Hilsdon says with certainty. He is the commercial design and sales consultant for Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics Cooperative Inc., also known as PV Squared, an employee-owned and certified B corporation solar installation company headquartered in Greenfield. Benefits of both home and business solar energy solutions include direct ownership of equipment, long-term cost savings, spending in the local economy and eco-friendly power. "It's a strategic investment that pays for itself and is a more attractive alternative than continuing to pay utilities with no end in sight," Hilsdon says.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    15. Northampton reaffirms support for goal of 100 percent renewable energy

      Northampton reaffirms support for goal of 100 percent renewable energy

      The Northampton City Council reaffirmed its commitment to a goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy reliance at its meeting Thursday night. Councilors voted unanimously Thursday to pass a resolution in its 2nd reading that champions the goal. The legislation was unanimously passed during its first reading on Jan. 18 as well. The document encourages the city to develop an energy plan that makes usage as efficient as possible, eventually leading to total reliance on renewable resources. The legislation does not give a timeline for achieving this goal.

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      Mentions: Amherst Northampton
    16. Chicopee Electric Light working to offer municipal Internet to businesses then residents

      Chicopee Electric Light working to offer municipal Internet to businesses then residents

      The city's electric company hopes to begin offering high-speed broadband Internet this year, first making the service available to local businesses and then building out a network neighborhood-by-neighborhood. But one City Councilor who has studied how communities throughout the country have offered Internet services to their citizens said he will push to take a more aggressive approach to creating a full fiber optic network faster that can reach all residents and businesses in the city.

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    17. Palmer touts electric vehicle charging stations near Mass. Pike

      Palmer touts electric vehicle charging stations near Mass. Pike

      Drivers of electric vehicles now have an oasis in Palmer. State officials joined municipal leaders Wednesday to unveil two electric vehicle charging stations in town that drivers may use free of charge. Officials say the stations fill a gap along the Massachusetts Turnpike and will encourage people to use zero-emissions vehicles. Meanwhile, town employees now are using electric vehicles for inspections and other town business. Palmer received state grants totaling $142,240 to buy the two Chevy Bolts as well as buy and install the two ChargePoint dual-head charging stations, said Planning Director Linda Leduc.

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    18. Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works

      Solar cap puts drag on Massachusetts projects; alternative program in the works

      A cap on reimbursements is again stalling some solar energy projects in central and Western Massachusetts. It remains an open question whether a new incentive program for solar projects, which is expected to start this summer, will solve the problem. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration says it will, although solar industry representatives are skeptical. "We are continuing to be a national leader in solar energy and energy efficiency," said Mike Judge, director of the Renewable and Alternative Energy Division at the state Department of Energy Resources. "We're continuing to promote solar, at a lower cost than we have been."

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    19. Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law

      Eversource cuts planned Western Massachusetts electric rate increase, citing new federal tax law

      In Western Massachusetts, the former Western Massachusetts Electric Co. territory, Eversource said the tax cut works out to a savings of $8.3 million a year. State regulators in November authorized Eversource to increase the total amount it intends to raise from customers by 24.8 million a year. Eversource now plans an increase of only $16.5 million a year. In other parts of the state, the former NStar service territory, the savings is $47.6 million a year and the $35.4 million-a-year increase would change to a $12.2 million-a-year decrease.

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    20. Hampshire College goes green thanks to yellow sun: 100 percent of school's electricity now comes from solar power | masslive.com

      Hampshire College goes green thanks to yellow sun: 100 percent of school's electricity now comes from solar power | masslive.com

      Hampshire College is now powered by the sun.  One hundred percent of the campus electricity will now come from a 19-acre solar-energy system approved by Eversource late last month.  Half the system at Hampshire had been operating since June.  At Hampshire, the 15,000 photovoltaic-panel arrays on two fields have a capacity of 4.7 DC megawatts -- which means 3,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions will be eliminated a year. That is equivalent to taking almost 650 cars off the road, and enough to power about 530 homes, the college said.

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    21. UMass Amherst Receives $1.1 Million Grant for Large Battery Project

      UMass Amherst Receives $1.1 Million Grant for Large Battery Project

      UMass Amherst has been awarded a $1.1 million state grant from the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) project to work with Tesla Energy to construct a large battery at the Central Heating Plant on the west side of campus. The project involves a 1-megawatt/4-megawatt-hour lithium ion battery storage system that will be designed and constructed by Tesla Energy adjacent to the campus power plant. Working with Tesla and the UMass Clean Energy Extension (CEE), the goal is to reduce peak energy demand on the Amherst campus and related costs. The battery storage system will provide power at times ...

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    22. Massachusetts awards $20 million for 'game-changing' energy storage grants

      Massachusetts awards $20 million for 'game-changing' energy storage grants

      Gov. Charlie Baker plans to announce the grants Thursday at UMass Memorial Hospital in Marlborough. The University of Massachusetts Amherst will receive one of the largest awards, $1.14 million, to install a lithium ion battery storage system in its energy supply system. The battery will provide more resiliency to the system, which currently involves a cogeneration plant and a solar array.

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    23. South Hadley electric department eyes internet, phone service

      South Hadley electric department eyes internet, phone service

      The municipal light department is looking closely at whether to offer high-speed internet and telephone service in addition to electricity. South Hadley Electric Light Department Manager Sean Fitzgerald told residents at a public forum Thursday that he and the board of commissioners are studying the initiative, and would reach a decision sometime next year. He said officials will have to determine a total projected cost, and whether residents would support the investment of scarce resources for services they already can access from other providers.

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    24. Solar energy offered to Holyoke Gas and Electric Department residential customers

      Solar energy offered to Holyoke Gas and Electric Department residential customers

      Residents can get solar power without installing solar panels. Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGE) residential customers received information about the "Sign Up For Community Solar" program in the Energy Insights newsletter included with their latest bills. "Community Shared Solar is a unique model established by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources that allows multiple customers to share in the benefits of a solar project without having to install solar panels on their property," said Kate Sullivan Craven, HGE director of marketing and communications.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
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