1. Articles in category: Energy

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    1. 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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    2. 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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    3. 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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    4. Columbia Gas cuts ribbon on Springfield operations center

      Columbia Gas cuts ribbon on Springfield operations center

      Corporate officials from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and NiSource, its corporate parent, invited lawmakers, city and state officials as well as police and firefighters to tour its new Springfield operations center Thursday. The 27,000-square-foot facility at 2025 Roosevelt Ave. in the East Springfield neighborhood replaces the gas utility's former headquarters next door. That building, which went up in 1964 and was considered antiquated, will be torn down, said Stephen H. Bryant, president of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.

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    5. Mount Tom Solar Farm in Holyoke to stand as 'landmark' for ENGIE North America: CEO Frank Demaille

      Mount Tom Solar Farm in Holyoke to stand as 'landmark' for ENGIE North America: CEO Frank Demaille

      The $10 million, 17,000-panel solar farm that will occupy property formerly dominated by a coal-burning plant represents an old-world-to-new-world transformation for ENGIE North America, CEO Frank Demaille said here today. "It's a landmark for us," Demaille said, at the Mount Tom Power Station, 200 Northampton St. Demaille spoke at a ceremonial groundbreaking in the shadow of the smoke-stack of the former coal facility on the 128-acre site beside the Connecticut River. The Mount Tom Solar Farm will occupy 22 acres and its installation is scheduled to be complete by late December, company spokeswoman Julie Vitek said.

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    6. Chicopee expected to approve lease for new solar farm on former Westover Air Base land

      Chicopee expected to approve lease for new solar farm on former Westover Air Base land

      The City Council will be asked to authorize a lease which will officially create a solar field on land outside Westover Air Reserve Base which once held more than 100 housing units. The City Council will be asked on Tuesday to approve a 20 to 25-year lease with Con Edison Development. The company was selected through the bid process, to design, construct and maintain a solar farm on the property.

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    7. $146,000 coming to Holyoke in property tax revenue from solar facility, ex-coal-burning plant in 2017

      $146,000 coming to Holyoke in property tax revenue from solar facility, ex-coal-burning plant in 2017

      The city will receive $146,000 in tax revenue in 2017 from the owner of property on Northampton Street where a solar-power facility will be built and where a coal-burning plant used to operate, an official said. ENGIE North America, formerly GDF SUEZ Energy North America, said this week it will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Mount Tom Solar Farm on Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. The new facility will be on the 128-acre site along the Connecticut River at 200 Northampton St. near the former coal plant. The company expects to pay about $28,000 on ...

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    8. Fitchburg plant remotely will run new solar facility in Holyoke near former coal-burning operation

      Fitchburg plant remotely will run new solar facility in Holyoke near former coal-burning operation

      Two employees will work at the new Mount Tom Solar Farm but the facility on the same property as a former coal-burning plant on Northampton Street will be run remotely by a power station in Fitchburg, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday. "Two employees living in the Holyoke area have been assigned to operate the facility," said Carol Churchill, spokeswoman for ENGIE North America, formerly GDF SUEZ Energy North America. A groundbreaking for the solar facility -- which will harness and sell electricity -- will take place Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at the 128-acre site along the Connecticut River at ...

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      Mentions: Northampton Holyoke
    9. Mount Tom Solar Farm groundbreaking at former Holyoke coal-burner set for Oct. 13

      Mount Tom Solar Farm groundbreaking at former Holyoke coal-burner set for Oct. 13

      The transformation from decades of coal burning to harnessing solar power will take another step as the owner of the Mount Tom Power Station on Northampton Street will hold a ground-breaking for the new facility Oct. 13. The "Mt. Tom Solar Farm groundbreaking ceremony" will be at 10:30 a.m. at the 128-acre site near the Easthampton line at 200 Northampton Street, according to an invitation to the event. Representatives of plant owner GDF SUEZ Energy North America have said since shortly after closing the coal-burning plant in late December 2014 that converting the site to a solar-energy producer ...

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    10. ConEdison opens Westfield solar farm; 8K panels capable of powering 300 homes (photos, video)

      ConEdison opens Westfield solar farm; 8K panels capable of powering 300 homes (photos, video)

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined officials from ConEdison Development and the city of Westfield Tuesday to formally open a $6 million solar farm at 219 Russellville Road capable of producing 2 megawatts of power, or enough for 300 homes. The project, which is up and running now, occupies 10 reclaimed acres of a 30-acre site that was once a sand pit and dumping ground for construction debris. "It would have been too easy to look at this project and say, 'No, there is too much work, there is too much to do here,'" Polito said. "But you got to 'yes.'"

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      Mentions: Chicopee Westfield
    11. Aegis of Holyoke announces partnership with Yanmar

      Aegis of Holyoke announces partnership with Yanmar

      Aegis Energy Services, Inc., s Holyoke-based provider of cogeneration technology, has announced a strategic alliance with Yanmar, a 100-year-old Japanese diesel engine and equipment manufacturer and cogeneration provider, accordign to a news release. The Aegis and Yanmar relationship will broaden the reach of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems by offering a wider product line to serve facilities of all sizes – from hotels, hospitals and residential buildings with large footprints to smaller facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, apartment complexes, boutique hotels, restaurants and more.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    12. Palmer and Holyoke honored for 100% renewable energy commitment | masslive.com

      Palmer and Holyoke honored for 100% renewable energy commitment | masslive.com

      The leader of an environmental advocacy group on Wednesday insisted that Massachusetts — and in fact the entire nation — can be carbon-free by 2050 in its energy sector.  'We have more than enough wind and solar to meet our goals,' said Ben Hillerstein, director of the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, during a recent visit to Holyoke. Hillerstein is touring the state to honor municipalities that have made strides in adopting clean energy and energy efficiency.

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      Mentions: Palmer Holyoke
    13. $115,000 'green' grant honors Holyoke efforts to see light

      $115,000 'green' grant honors Holyoke efforts to see light

      Municipal facilities will get improved lighting thanks to a $115,895 "Green Communities" grant from the state. "This work is exciting because it will continue our commitment to remaining a national leader in using the green economy to combat climate change and to improve our city's quality of life while giving taxpayers a good return on their investment," Mayor Alex B. Morse said in a press release Wednesday. The grant came from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and was announced Tuesday by state Sen. Donald R. Humason, R-Westfield, who called Holyoke a "leader" in the state's clean ...

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    14. Amherst gets $175,971 in green money to help pay for electric car purchase

      Amherst gets $175,971 in green money to help pay for electric car purchase

      Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton announced funding for 47 communities Wednesday. Money from the grant will be used for projects that will save the town between 2 and 4 percent in energy consumption, said Stephanie Ciccarello, Amherst's sustainability coordinator. Part of the funding will be used to help cut the town's share of the cost of the electric vehicle the town will purchase next month. The town received more than $18,000 in funding from other sources and was using money from the capital budget for the rest, Ciccarello said.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    15. UMass and Eversource create a safer Campus with energy efficient lighting | masslive.com

      UMass and Eversource create a safer Campus with energy efficient lighting | masslive.com

      UMass and the electric utility Eversource say walking through the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus at night is getting brighter thanks to an ongoing, campus-wide installation of 800 LED street and parking lot lights.  The effort is part of a three-year partnership between Eversource and UMass Amherst which began in 2014, Eversource said in a news release. The combined electricity savings from the partnership of approximately 9 million kilowatt-hours is the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking about 1,300 vehicles off the road.

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    16. Eversource: State OKs 26 percent drop in WMass electricity rates | masslive.com

      Eversource: State OKs 26 percent drop in WMass electricity rates | masslive.com

      The State Department of Public Utilities has approved new summer 2016 rates for Eversource customers that will reduce the average monthly residential bill by over $10, the utility said Tuesday.  Under the new plan, which was announced last week, the residential supply rate will be 7.708 cents per kilowatt-hour as of July 1, down from the current rate of 10.426 cents, spokeswoman Priscilla Ress said in a news release.

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    17. Eversource: Summer may bring a 26 percent drop in WMass electricity rates | masslive.com

      Eversource: Summer may bring a 26 percent drop in WMass electricity rates | masslive.com

      Eversource said also effective July 1 will be an increase in the rate used to fund statewide energy efficiency programs. The increase of 0.957 cents per kilowatt-hour will add $5.74 to the average monthly bill.  The combined effect of the changes in the supply and energy efficiency charges will result in an overall decrease of $10.57 a month. Total monthly residential bills for 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity will decrease to $112.20 for summer 2016 from $122.77 at this time, or 8.6 percent.

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    18. Lone bidder pitches solar farm for old Crane Foundry site in Indian Orchard | masslive.com

      Lone bidder pitches solar farm for old Crane Foundry site in Indian Orchard | masslive.com

      The city received one proposal for $10,000 from a local partnership offering to buy the 22-acre, former Crane Co. foundry sand landfill on Oak Street in Indian Orchard, for conversion to a solar farm.  Roger Roberge II and Marc Murphy Jr., submitted the proposal by Tuesday's deadline, seeking to buy the long vacant, tax title site on the north side of Oak Street in 'as in' condition, under city guidelines.  The proposal has been forwarded for review by a city screening committee, and any sale will need approval from Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the City Council. A ...

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      Mentions: Domenic J. Sarno
    19. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center funds $1M in upgrades for hydropower facilities in West Springfield, Ware and Orange | masslive.com

      Massachusetts Clean Energy Center funds $1M in upgrades for hydropower facilities in West Springfield, Ware and Orange | masslive.com

      Hydropower, or harnessing the force of flowing water to generate electricity, is responsible for about 6 percent of the nation's electricity and 48 percent of its renewable energy.  That's enough electricity to power 30 million homes and prevent the emission of about 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to the Department of Energy.  As part of the Baker-Polito administration's celebration of Earth Week, state energy officials this week touted the benefits of hydroelectricity by announcing more than $1 million in upgrades for small-scale hydroelectric facilities in West Springfield, Ware and Orange. Officials gathered Wednesday ...

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    20. Kinder Morgan pulls the plug on Northeast Energy Direct-Tennessee Gas pipeline | masslive.com

      Kinder Morgan pulls the plug on Northeast Energy Direct-Tennessee Gas pipeline | masslive.com

      Citing inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, the Board of Directors of the Texas-based Kinder Morgan has voted to suspend further work and expenditures on its proposed 120-mile pipeline known as Northeast Energy Direct, the company announced late Wednesday afternoon.  'Unfortunately, despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, TGP did not receive the additional commitments it expected,' wrote Kinder Morgan spokesman Stephen Crawford. 'As a result, there are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured.'

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    21. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signs solar net metering bill | masslive.com

      Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signs solar net metering bill | masslive.com

      Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton said the new law will allow for more solar development while reducing costs to ratepayers.  The new law was the result of a compromise bill crafted during five months of negotiations between the House and the Senate. The final result is still only a short-term fix. It has drawn some concerns both from sides – the solar energy companies and the utility companies, who have been battling over this issue.

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    22. TransCanada to sell its hydro dams in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont | masslive.com

      TransCanada to sell its hydro dams in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont | masslive.com

      TransCanada awaits shareholder approval to acquire Columbia Pipeline Group, with its 15,000 mile network of pipeline and storage assets, to create a 57,000-mile system and $23 billion natural gas transmission portfolio.  'At the same time, we will be well positioned to transport North America's abundant natural gas supply to liquefied natural gas terminals for export to international markets,' said TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling in a March 17 news release.

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    23. Holyoke's Aegis Energy Services makes engines that produce energy kept on site, begins $7 million expansion | masslive.com

      Holyoke's Aegis Energy Services makes engines that produce energy kept on site, begins $7 million expansion | masslive.com

      Aegis Energy employs 65 people and the expansion will add 30 to 100 new jobs.
      Mayor Alex B. Morse said innovation of companies Aegis Energy Services is what is coming to define Holyoke.  'I can't say enough about how significant this project is for the city of Holyoke,' Morse said.  The Aegis Energy $7 million investment will consist of rehabilitation of one of the Parsons Paper buildings and installation of machinery and a solar-panel array to produce energy, said Marcos A. Marrero, director of the city Department of Planning and Economic Development.  'We put a lot of energy and ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
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