1. Articles in category: Energy

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    1. PV Squared Named Among Top 500 Solar Contractors in U.S.

      Solar Power World, the leading publication covering solar technology and development, published its annual Top Solar Contractors list in July. PV Squared, a local solar-installation company and worker-owned cooperative, was listed prominently among other top solar contractors and developers across the country. PV Squared is a local leader in the field of solar design, installation, and maintenance. A worker-owned cooperative, the company has provided renewable-energy solutions to a range of clients, including business owners, commercial property owners, farmers, and homeowners since 2002. PV Squared currently employs 42 people, 19 of whom are co-owners of the business. In 2016, it completed ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    2. 5 major transmission, hydro and wind partners bid into Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP | masslive.com

      5 major transmission, hydro and wind partners bid into Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP | masslive.com

      The Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, or request for proposals, was drafted last year in response to Gov. Charlie Baker's 2016 energy bill. The bill requires that the utilities procure around 9,450,000 megawatt-hours of wind, solar, hydro or energy storage -- so-called 'Class I renewables' -- to meet the state's clean energy goals.

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    3. Eversource pulls plug on Hadley solar array, plans one in Franklin County instead

      Eversource pulls plug on Hadley solar array, plans one in Franklin County instead

      Eversource has withdrawn plans to develop a solar array on South Maple Street and is now looking at building it on a similarly sized property in Sunderland. The energy company listened to concerns from Hadley residents and "we agreed to look for other sites working with Kestrel Land Trust," said Eversource spokeswoman Priscilla Ress in an email.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    4. Massachusetts regulators approve Berkshire Gas 5-year plan, while insisting company must work to lift moratorium

      Massachusetts regulators approve Berkshire Gas 5-year plan, while insisting company must work to lift moratorium

      State regulators on Friday approved a required long-range planning document from Berkshire Gas, but did not immediately order the utility to lift a vexing natural gas service moratorium in the upper Pioneer Valley. Instead, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities acknowledged "an urgent need to end the moratorium as soon as practicable," and ordered Berkshire to provide progress reports every six months until the problem is solved. State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, on Tuesday called the order a "positive development" and said the DPU decision, while not perfect, "outlines a path forward" to restoring new natural gas service to ...

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    5. Six-acre solar farm planned off Plain Street in Easthampton | masslive.com

      Six-acre solar farm planned off Plain Street in Easthampton | masslive.com

      A June 20 Planning Board hearing on a proposed solar farm off Plain Street drew neighbors concerned about visual impact, property values, and the environment. ForeFront Power plans a 1-megawatt facility on a 16-acre parcel, with 5.7 acres devoted to two arrays. A seven-foot fence would enclose the facility, located within the city's aquifer protection overlay district. The land is next to the Guistina Conservation Area.

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      Mentions: Easthampton
    6. $475,000 fueling battery storage study for Holyoke Gas and Electric Department

      $475,000 fueling battery storage study for Holyoke Gas and Electric Department

      The local utility just got $475,000 from the state to acquire a battery aimed at saving ratepayers money. "Battery storage is changing the conversation around peak demand and (the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department) is excited to be a part of the solution," said Kate C. Sullivan, marketing coordinator at the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGE). The grant from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is part of the state's "Peak Demand Management Program." The money will be used to obtain and analyze state-of-the-art battery storage, she said.

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    7. Westfield Gas & Electric buys derelict Meadow St. building

      Westfield Gas & Electric buys derelict Meadow St. building

      Westfield Gas & Electric, the city's municipal utility, purchased a derelict building May 20 to provide a buffer around one of its electrical substations along the Westfield River. The utility paid $63,000 for 20 Meadow St., according to papers on file at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. The seller was Wells Fargo National Bank, which had held the mortgage on the property. Westfield G&E General Manager Daniel Howard said this week that the building is structurally unsafe from the foundation on up and, liability wise, the utility has no alternative but to raze it.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    8. Eversource to host open house for Westfield Reliability Project

      Eversource to host open house for Westfield Reliability Project

      Eversource has proposed a new electric transmission line on an existing set of power structures as a long-term solution to address energy needs in the area. The utility plans to host an open house on the project, called the Westfield Reliability Project, with drop-in hours from 6-8 p.m. Thursday 15 at the Westfield High School cafeteria, 177 Montgomery Road. The Westfield Reliability Project includes constructing new equipment adjacent to Eversource's existing Pochassic Substation and related upgrades to the Buck Pond Substation, according to a news release.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    9. State Senate clean energy tour to make Springfield stop tonight

      State Senate clean energy tour to make Springfield stop tonight

      The Western New England University School of Law Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs is hosting the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour, tonight, 6 to 8 p.m., in the J. Pellegrini Moot Court Room of Blake Law Center. The event seeking public input is the sixth of nine statewide tour stops, and is being presented here by Senator James T. Welch, D-Springfield. It is an initiative of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton, will chair Monday's event.

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    10. Massachusetts dairy farmers to turn manure into renewable energy

      Massachusetts dairy farmers to turn manure into renewable energy

      Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield and Rockwood Farms in Granville are embarking on a project to turn cow manure into electricity as a way to become self-sustaining and stabilize their finances in what they say is a volatile market. The farms are working in partnership with the the Hampshire Council of Governments and Pennsylvania-based startup Ag-Grid Energy. The farms hope to break ground on two on-site agricultural anaerobic digesters this summer. "We're just getting started. They say we'll be breaking ground in June," said Richard Woodger, 73, owner of Rockwood Farm. "The reason we're doing this is ...

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    11. Massachusetts Offshore Wind Supply Chain Forum

      Massachusetts Offshore Wind Supply Chain Forum

      The Massachusetts Offshore Wind Supply Chain Forum will be a one-day event jointly hosted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (EEA, HED and MassCEC).  The goal of the Forum is to bring together key offshore wind developers, turbine manufacturers and industry suppliers with the local and regional small businesses, manufacturers and supply and service providers.  The Forum will provide local companies an opportunity to learn about this emerging industry in Massachusetts and schedule match making sessions with key industry players to explore business opportunities. 

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    12. Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer

      Eversource plans to lower electricity rates for summer

      Monthly Eversource bills could drop 2.7 percent this summer, from $115.38 to $112.29 for an average user of 550 kilowatt-hours of electricity, under rates announced Monday. Investor-owned utilities like Eversource have lower rates in summer, when the natural gas used to generate most electricity is more plentiful and cheaper. This rate announcement has nothing to do with the company's proposal to increase its charge for delivering electricity. Delivery charges and the cost of power are both represented in the monthly bill. Eversource has 210,000 customers in Western Massachusetts.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company (photos)

      New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company (photos)

      Buying the electric power generated by TigerPress' new 653-kilowatt rooftop solar array would cost the commercial printer $100,000. Taking that into consideration along with the tax breaks and green energy incentives offered by the state and federal governments, as well as and the ability to depreciate the equipment for tax purposes, and the decision to invest $1.5 million in the solar array was easy to make, owner Reza Shafii said. "We always wanted to do green and environmentally friendly printing," said Shafii, who owns the company with wife, Jennifer Shafii. TigerPress isn't the first local company to ...

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    14. Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas moratorium

      Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas moratorium

      Six western Massachusetts legislators on Wednesday prodded the state's Department of Public Utilities to quickly "identify a way forward" to end a natural gas service moratorium in eight Pioneer Valley towns. The lawmakers said they are "deeply concerned" about the moratorium's economic development impact, and pushed the DPU to approve a solution. Citing capacity constraints, Berkshire Gas Co. in 2014 and 2015 declared a moratorium on new and expanded natural gas service in its Eastern Division, which encompasses Amherst, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Montague, Sunderland, and Whately.

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    15. Gov. Charlie Baker releases $10 million in grant money for affordable energy efficiency projects | masslive.com

      Gov. Charlie Baker releases $10 million in grant money for affordable energy efficiency projects | masslive.com

      In February, the Baker administration announced a $15 million program to make it easier for low and moderate-income Massachusetts residents to access energy efficient technologies. The goal is to help these residents install clean energy technology, such as solar panels, which often carry up-front costs but can save money in the long term.  The $10 million released Thursday is part of that initiative, and the money will be divided among six different programs.

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    16. Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline | masslive.com

      Kinder Morgan wins OK to construct Connecticut Expansion pipeline | masslive.com

      Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. has gained federal authorization to cut trees and construct its Connecticut Expansion Project, including 14 miles of infrastructure in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.  The Kinder Morgan subsidiary gained a final 'notice to proceed' from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 12, capping a lengthy legal and regulatory battle with project opponents.  'We are pleased that the FERC approved notice to proceed requests by Tennessee Gas Pipeline for tree clearing and full construction for its Connecticut Expansion Project,' said Kinder Morgan spokesman Richard Wheatley. 'The project received a thorough and thoughtful review by state and ...

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    17. Seven Area Communities Receive $1,446,675 for Clean-energy Projects

      The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,446,675 to Agawam, Blandford, Chicopee, Granville, Ware, Warren, and Westfield. The awards will fund clean-energy projects and were presented by Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton and Department of Energy Resource (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson in a recent ceremony at Chicopee City Hall. Earlier this year, 30 Massachusetts cities and towns were designated by DOER as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable-energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

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    18. WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      Massachusetts energy officials have awarded $1.4 million in grants to seven Western Massachusetts communities to fund clean energy projects. The grants will go to Chicopee, Agawam, Blandford, Granville, Ware, Warren and Westfield. The largest grant, $266,000, will go to Westfield, followed by $208,000 to Agawam. The grants were part of the "Green Communities" program, in which communities make certain commitments related to energy and the environment, such as reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years, and are then eligible for state grants and assistance.

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    19. Eversource gains approval for 23-acre solar farm on Montague Plains | masslive.com

      Eversource gains approval for 23-acre solar farm on Montague Plains | masslive.com

      Eversource Energy has gained local approval for a major solar farm on a set of parcels it owns on the Montague Plains.  The Montague Planning Board granted a special permit for the 6-megawatt project on Jan. 24. It will be the largest solar facility in Franklin County. The project includes more than 18,000 solar panels.  An Environmental Notification Form for the project was published by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act office on Feb. 22.

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    20. State incentives in the offing as more companies, communities adopt solar power

      State incentives in the offing as more companies, communities adopt solar power

      Sullivan Paper's 212,000-square-foot converting plant in East Longmeadow has employees and machines making the company work and more than 1,000 solar panels on the roof giving them the electricity to do so. At 788 kilowatts, the solar farm installed late in 2016 has more than enough juice to power the factory and will sell power back to grid if the plant doesn't need it, company executive vice president Edward Sullivan says. A $1.8 million investment, the company expects a payback on its investment in 5.5 years, according to Sullivan. That's what happens, he ...

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    21. Energy costs factor into business development, expansion decisions

      Energy costs factor into business development, expansion decisions

      When the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center was seeking a location, it chose Holyoke for two reasons: the city's low electricity prices and its access to interstate highways and a fiber optic communications network. "We think about the cost of electricity every day," says the computing center's executive director, John Goodhue. For many businesses, whether they rely on powerful computers or manufacturing equipment, the price of electricity is a major part of the cost of doing business.

       

       

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    22. ISO New England secures surplus power capacity for 2020-2021 at lower price

      ISO New England secures surplus power capacity for 2020-2021 at lower price

      ISO New England's annual forward capacity auction concluded Monday with more than enough power resources competing to meet the region's demand for electricity in 2020-2021. The clearing price of $5.30 per kilowatt-month, resulting in an overall cost to consumers of $2.4 billion, was the lowest since 2013. Last year's auction price cleared at $7.03 per kilowatt-month, creating a $3 billion commitment. ISO New England executive Robert Ethier said in a press release that the competition and lower prices seen in the 11th annual auction are "indicative of a market that works." The ISO, based ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    23. New England electricity prices 47% higher last month than national average

      New England electricity prices 47% higher last month than national average

      Households in New England paid electricity prices last month that were 47 percent higher than the national average, according to federal data released Wednesday. Consumer energy information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for its Boston region showed the area's households paid an average of 19.5 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, compared to the national average of 13.3 cents. The region includes Hampden and Worcester counties as well as Greater Boston and parts of New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    24. Eversource reports spending $940 million on Massachusetts power grid in 2016

      Eversource reports spending $940 million on Massachusetts power grid in 2016

      Eversource Energy in 2016 invested $940 million to improve and maintain the Massachusetts power grid, the company announced this week. The stated goal of the grid modernization effort is to increase the "efficiency, reliability and resiliency" of the electric system and make it less vulnerable to weather-related outages. In Western Massachusetts, a massive new transformer at the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Facility substation, combined with a mile-long high-voltage power line, are expected to "improve the flow of electricity along the commonwealth's electrical superhighway."

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