Energy Storage: Charging Ahead

By Cynthia A. Arcate and Sean Burke 6 October, 2016
Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released its long-anticipated report on energy storage, State of Charge. The report forecasts a promising future for the emerging technology, predicting up to 600 megawatts installed in Massachusetts alone by 2025 that could potentially result in $800 million in system benefits to customers. This report sets the stage for next year’s legislative and regulatory session, where rapid storage adoption will surely be on the agenda. It’s been known for some time that

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

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

Making Solar Worth What We’re Paying

By Cynthia A. Arcate 21 September, 2015
Debate continues to rage about the cost of solar in Massachusetts, especially as legislation is introduced to continue the net metering credits which are responsible for much of the solar development in the state. The basics of the net-metering program are simple: Through this credit mechanism, the purchasing customers do not actually use the electricity generated from these projects but they pay the developer for the output and receive a credit on their bill from their electric company who takes
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