Wired In

Fulfilling the Promise to Consumers from Large-Scale Clean Energy Procurement

By Sean Burke 15 August, 2016
Every energy bill has the potential to impact costs to consumers, but few have greater potential than the bill just passed by the Massachusetts legislature. In the final hours of the Massachusetts legislative session, conference committee members passed much anticipated legislation providing for massive procurement by the electric distribution companies, National Grid and Eversource, of offshore wind (1,600 MW) and “clean energy generation,” including imported hydro (~1,200 MW). That’s more than four times the capacity of Pilgrim nuclear power plant

New York Shows Us a Path to a Better Future—Reforming the Energy Vision

By Cynthia A. Arcate 14 June, 2016
Over the last two years, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC)—which is similar to Massachusetts’s Department of Public Utilities—has been conducting an exercise that contemplates fundamental change in the way electric distribution companies should function, make money and correspondingly be regulated by state government. The effort has been aptly named “Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)” and has been closely watched and debated across the country among many players in the energy world. NYPSC’s recent order (all 170 pages) is

All Consumers Are the Big Winners with the Cancellation of Kinder Morgan Pipeline

By Cynthia A. Arcate 26 April, 2016
There has been much hand-wringing and crystal ball reading in the days since Kinder Morgan announced its plans to cancel their Northeast Direct natural gas pipeline project. As usual, some of the analysis is spot on but most paint too broad a brush in identifying winners and losers, especially as it relates to consumers. One of the biggest fallacies I’ve seen presented since Kinder Morgan’s announcement last week is that industrial consumers will be hurt from the fallout because they

Twentieth Century Solutions for a Twenty-first Century Energy Future

By Cynthia A. Arcate 30 March, 2016
Much angst has been expressed by the Baker Administration, legislators and others about the need to replace so-called “base load” electricity generation as a result of the shutdown of several aging power plants in Massachusetts, most notably the Pilgrim nuclear plant. The concept of base load generation is that there is an underlying need for a significant amount of electricity on a steady basis all the time – 24/7 – and that only certain kinds of generation can fit that