Regulations Could Count Biomass as a Form of Renewable Energy in MA

The Baker administration plans to propose rules that would count woody biomass – a fuel that comes from felling trees and clearing brush in forests – as a form of renewable energy. Under the proposal, users of woody biomass could be rewarded with subsidiaries. The administration claims that biomass is part of the effort to….

Massachusetts to Get New Offshore Wind Farm?

Last week, Deepwater Wind, an offshore wind and transmission developer based in Providence, Rhode Island, announced plans to bring a new offshore wind farm to Massachusetts. Deepwater developed the country’s first offshore wind project near Block Island, Rhode Island. That project began operations in December 2016 after being initiated nine years ago. (The developer has….

Solar Eclipse to Threaten Solar Power?

Solar Eclipse map

Next month’s solar eclipse could threaten solar farms and rooftop panels across the United States, in the process wiping out enough power to supply seven million homes. A total solar eclipse has not occurred in the U.S. since 1979. On August 21, however, the moon will totally obscure the sun and cast a 70-mile-wide shadow….

Eversource Files New Default Rates in NH

Recently, Public Service Company of New Hampshire (Eversource) filed new default energy service rates with the New Hampshire PUC effective January 1, 2018. Currently, all Eversource customer classes are eligible to receive the same fixed default service rate (except for cases of competitive supply). With this new filing, however, Eversource will have two default service….

MA DPU Proposes to Modify Net Metering Rules

On May 16, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order (docket D.P.U. 17-10) instituting a rulemaking process to modify current net metering regulations (220 C.M.R. § 18.00) as they relate to hydropower. The new provisions would, for example: add the definition of “small hydroelectric net metering facility” to the current net….

DOER Files Emergency Solar Regulation

On Monday, June 5, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) filed 225 CMR 20.00, an emergency regulation with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to implement the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program. The SMART Program is designed to establish a statewide solar incentive program to encourage the continued use and development of generating units….

Ohio Bill Could Introduce Full Electric Deregulation

Last week, Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R) introduced legislation (House Bill 247) that would give Ohio full electric deregulation. The legislation would force utilities to base customer rates on wholesale power market prices, and, in the process, replace Ohio’s current electric power regime. Since 2008, Ohio has been run by the Energy Security Plan (ESP), which….

New Offshore Wind Energy Incentives Announced

On May 11, Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Rep Jim Langevin (D-R.I.-2) announced the “Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act” or the “Offshore WIND Act.” If passed, the Offshore WIND Act would extend the 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code for offshore….

National Grid Files New MA Electric Rates

National Grid has filed with the Massachusetts DPU new basic service rates for residential, commercial, and industrial customers effective May 1, 2017. Taking into account pending changes to National Grid’s Basic Service Administrative Cost Adjustment Factors (BSACFs) and Smart Grid Customer Cost Adjustment Factors (SGCCFs) which are the subject of another proceeding, the new rates….

Head of EPA Contradicts Climate Change Consensus on CO2

Last week, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indicated that he does not think carbon dioxide is a significant contributor to global warming. In an interview with CNBC, Pruitt suggested that we do not know yet whether carbon dioxide caused by human activity is a primary contributor to global warming. Pruitt’s suggestion….