Wired In

Getting the Most Out of the Region’s Offshore Wind Purchases

By Cynthia A. Arcate and Sean Burke 21 March, 2019
  In a concerted effort to cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify the region’s resource mix with less reliance on natural gas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have procured a total of 1,500 megawatts of offshore wind projects. This is enough generation to replace about half of the Mystic gas plants in Everett, Massachusetts slated to be paid to stay open for reliability reasons from 2022-2024. Massachusetts already has the authority to procure another 2,400 megawatts of additional offshore

Cost Recovery Approach for the Mystic Plants Will Jeopardize Retail Competition

By Cynthia A. Arcate 12 September, 2018
The fuel security controversy in New England, particularly as it relates to the availability of natural gas in the winter, escalated dramatically with the issuance of the ISO New England fuel security study, which was followed quickly by Exelon’s announcement that it intends to shut down its Mystic units in Everett unless it receives a subsidy from ISO-NE.[1] Despite credible challenges to the study, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) quickly accepted the impact of the Mystic shutdown as a

20 Years and a Renewed Sense of Purpose

By Cynthia A. Arcate 11 June, 2018
Twenty years ago, PowerOptions launched its mission to give Massachusetts nonprofits the opportunity to purchase their electricity and natural gas as part of what is now the largest energy-buying group in the region. Then as now, the contract offered terms that are the best in the industry at no added cost to the customer. In fact, many nonprofits saw substantial savings. Robert Ciolek, then-Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA), saw an opportunity to provide added

Greenhouse Reduction Goal Shouldn’t Drive Wrong Decision on Clean Energy Deal

By Cynthia A. Arcate 16 January, 2018
The cold weather over the last few weeks has resulted in a significant amount of electricity being generated by coal and oil in New England. But, on an annual basis, the amount of oil- and coal-generated electricity will still be about 1% or less of all of the generation in the region. It’s important to keep that fact in perspective, especially as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ clean energy solicitation is awarded. The Boston Globe editorial last week implied that it