Massachusetts Emissions Plan Sure to Backfire

By Cynthia A. Arcate 15 February, 2017
This week The Boston Globe reported on an emissions reduction plan issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which would cap the emissions from in-state power plants in order to comply with a Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision finding that the state was not on track to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The Globe accurately reports that by capping emissions from in-state power plants, there is a risk that the plan will actually increase emissions

A Sound Solution to the Vintage Renewable Energy Credit Problem

By Cynthia A. Arcate 6 February, 2013
About a year ago, we reported on an arcane but no less important problem of the inadequate supply of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for Class II resources. To its credit, the state has moved to address this – through legislation, research and, recently, a new proposal that bears examination. Class II resources are the renewable energy projects operational before 1998, when the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard was created for new resources. This Class II category was created as part of

Vintage Renewable Energy Credit Targets Need Tweaking

By Cynthia A. Arcate 29 February, 2012
One of the many arcane dimensions of the energy world is the requirements of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS). In a nutshell, the RPS requires electricity suppliers to utilize a certain percentage of renewable energy in their sales. Suppliers meet that requirement by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which are generated from qualifying renewable energy sources, e.g. wind, solar, methane gas, etc. In order to prevent the price of RECs from being too outrageously high when there is

New Munis Must Provide Choice

By Cynthia A. Arcate 9 February, 2012
Every few years, the idea of taking electric distribution service public through municipalization of the low voltage poles and wires gets some traction and stirs debate about who can provide better service at lower rates – the investor-owned electric company or a publicly owned municipal light plant (MLPs). There are several dozen MLPs, or as they are commonly known, “munis” in Massachusetts – all created many decades ago. As a group, they have a long history of providing good service