What’s Really Behind the Utility Industry Solar Proposal?

By Cynthia A. Arcate 4 March, 2014
In a post here last week, we detailed why the utility industry’s proposed legislation mandating utility long-term solar energy contract procurement in place of the current competitive customer driven market won’t work. What we didn’t get to then was why the industry proposed it in the first place. It’s clear from the utility’s explanation supporting their proposal that their focus isn’t the overall consumer cost of solar but the allocation of costs avoided by customers who are contracting for solar

The Energy Bill Becomes Law

By Cynthia A. Arcate 3 August, 2012
As the two-year legislative session drew to a close this week, there has been a rash of headlines about things state leaders were battling over. Yes, there have been disagreements which have almost derailed important legislation, but we think there is something significant worth noting in where they do agree around reforms to the state’s energy marketplace, the cost of energy and the best ways to encourage more utilization of renewable energy across Massachusetts. Legislators did come together in the

Keeping the Solar Boom Booming

By Cynthia A. Arcate 6 April, 2012
Massachusetts state Senate began debate last week on Senate Bill 2200, An Act Relative to Competitively Priced Electricity in the Commonwealth—a huge piece of legislation which, among other things, alters parts of the Green Communities Act (GCA). Debate on the bill will resume this week, but it’s worth noting that it has two provisions which have a critical impact on the ability of Massachusetts nonprofits to take advantage of PowerOptions’ important new solar program. Without the bill, the development of solar

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