1. Articles in category: Energy

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    1. 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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    2. 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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    3. 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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    4. 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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    5. 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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    6. 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
    7. 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
    8. 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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    9. 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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    10. 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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    11. 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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    12. 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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    13. 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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    14. 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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    15. 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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    16. 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
    17. Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract

      Transmission developer TDI offers $20 million for Western Massachusetts home energy retrofits if it wins statewide clean electricity contract

      A company that wants to lay a high-voltage transmission cable under Lake Champlain in Vermont has pledged $20 million for low-income energy retrofits in Western Massachusetts if its New England Clean Power Link wins a major utility contract in the Bay State. TDI New England has pledged 20 years of funding, at $1 million annually, to Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions for deep energy retrofits to low-income homes, said Don Jessome, CEO of Transmission Developers, Inc.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    18. HCG Kicks off state's first Solar Thermal Challenge campaign

      HCG Kicks off state's first Solar Thermal Challenge campaign

      HCG is kicking off the first round of a solar thermal campaign via a new grant awarded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program.  The $141,875 grant will fund three rounds of regional solar thermal outreach campaigns.  After a vigorous vetting process, HCG has been chosen to lead the pilot campaign expected to run from Fall 2017 into the first quarter of 2018, with campaigns in the Greater Boston area led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Merrimack Planning Commission following later in 2018.    

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    19. Holyoke Gas & Electric to have largest utility-scale energy storage installation in Massachusetts

      Holyoke Gas & Electric to have largest utility-scale energy storage installation in Massachusetts

      Holyoke Gas & Electric will soon have the capacity to store green electricity generated at a solar farm on the grounds of a former coal plant, allowing the utility to meet peaks in demand without buying power from the grid. HG&E announced Wednesday that construction will start soon on a three-megawatt energy storage system at Mt. Tom Solar. The system will be up and running in April, according to a news release. Built on property also occupied by the old coal-fired Mount Tom Power Station that closed in 2014, the new solar farm produces enough energy to power 1,000 ...

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    20. Eversource to build its largest solar plant at Springfield's Smith & Wesson Industrial Park

      Eversource to build its largest solar plant at Springfield's Smith & Wesson Industrial Park

      The 5.6-megawatt solar farm Eversource plans to build at the Smith & Wesson Industrial Park off Roosevelt Avenue will also generate money the city can use to rehab the "blast zone" around upper Worthington and Lyman streets, the city's chief development officer said Wednesday. The neighborhood, just blocks from the city's downtown, was heavily damaged in the Scores Gentlemen's Club gas explosion on Thanksgiving weekend in 2012.

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    21. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito presents Williamsburg with $12,500 check to plan 'community solar'...

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito presents Williamsburg with $12,500 check to plan 'community solar'...

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, accompanied by Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and others, presented the check to Williamsburg officials during a visit to Western Massachusetts on Thursday. "When municipalities reduce their carbon footprints, they not only save money for residents, but help the state achieve its emission reduction goals," said Polito. "So thank you." The Municipal Energy Technical Assistance grants help designated Green Communities make good energy decisions. Funds in the amount of $661,000 were awarded to 56 cities and towns across Massachusetts this week.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. European company hopes to build $80 million plant in Western Massachusetts, bringing new trash-to-energy technology to US

      European company hopes to build $80 million plant in Western Massachusetts, bringing new trash-to-energy technology to US

      A Danish energy company is hoping to bring a new and innovative technology to turn trash into renewable energy to the United States by building an $80 million waste management plant in Western Massachusetts. DONG Energy REnescience is considering six sites in the region, with five of those in Chicopee, to locate its new trash-to-energy plant. It is also considering locating a second plant in the eastern part of the state in the future, said R. Stephen Lynch, senior project manager for MSW Consultants, which is providing market research and analysis for DONG Energy REnescience.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    23. 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
    24. 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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