1. Articles in category: Energy

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    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. 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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    4. 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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    5. 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
    6. 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
    7. 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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    8. 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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    9. 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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    10. 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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    11. 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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    12. 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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    13. 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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    14. 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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    15. 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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    16. 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
    17. 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
    18. 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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    19. Chicopee signs lease for solar farm near Westover

      Chicopee signs lease for solar farm near Westover

      The company, Chicopee Solar LLC., is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Development, Inc., which operates more than 25 solar projects stretching across the country from California to New England. It runs at least five others in Massachusetts, including one in Westfield. Even before the lease was officially signed, the company began installing the equipment needed for the solar field, Mayor Richard J. Kos said.

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    20. Monson Planning Board unanimously approves controversial solar farm

      Monson Planning Board unanimously approves controversial solar farm

      The Planning Board unanimously approved a controversial 2-megawatt solar farm at Tuesday's meeting after months of deliberations. Opponents of the project said thousands of trees would be chopped down to build it and that resulting deforestation is at odds with the premise of green energy initiatives. They also allege that the planning board's approval violates Monson zoning bylaws.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Winter Reliability Efforts Go Only So Far

      ISO NEW ENGLAND, the operator of the region’s power system, recently announced that electricity supplies should be sufficient to meet the region’s demand for electricity this winter barring “unexpected resource outages or fuel delivery constraints.”  For those who expect affordable, reliable electricity 24/7, this should be a cause for concern. Natural gas generates about half of the region’s electricity.  It is also used to heat about 40 percent of all households and remains the heating fuel of choice for new homes in New England.  In addition, some 260,000 businesses and manufacturers rely on natural gas ...

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    22. State Adds More Than 6,300 Clean-energy Jobs

      State Adds More Than 6,300 Clean-energy Jobs

      The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced that the Commonwealth added 6,317 clean- energy jobs and has surpassed 100,000 clean energy jobs statewide for the first time, currently 105,212. The figures, released as part of MassCEC’s 2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, show the Bay State clean energy sector maintained a strong growth rate of six percent between 2015 and 2016. The report also found that the number of clean energy jobs in Massachusetts has increased by 75% since 2010. “The Commonwealth’s highly educated and well-trained workforce makes it an attractive place for innovative ...

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    23. Why Solar Arrays Are the Hot Trend in Energy Production

      Why Solar Arrays Are the Hot Trend in Energy Production

      Solar power is enjoying a heyday in Massachusetts right now, as home and business owners, buoyed by state incentives, seek greener energy options, and — most visibly — as cities and towns scramble to strike deals with energy companies on large-scale photovoltaic arrays, usually on otherwise undevelopable parcels, such as landfills. The projects don’t create many jobs, but they do bring tax benefits for communities, profits for the developers, and satisfaction for anyone who values a move away from fossil fuels.

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    24. Berkshire Gas proposes major new distribution main to lift moratorium in upper Pioneer Valley

      Berkshire Gas proposes major new distribution main to lift moratorium in upper Pioneer Valley

      The Berkshire Gas Co. proposes a new 12-inch natural gas distribution main in order to lift its ongoing service moratorium in the upper Pioneer Valley. The line would start at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline 200 Line, which traverses the state's southern tier, and travel 19 miles north to a rebuilt metering station in Northampton. Berkshire would then "loop" its existing six-inch line north of Northampton to send more natural gas into Franklin County.

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