Insufficient competition in proposed Mass. energy legislation a big risk to consumers

Penalizes lowest-cost generation options like land-based wind

Boston, May 23, 2016 — Proposed legislation released by the Massachusetts House of Representatives today would reduce competition and severely limit greater access to low-cost, renewable energy resources, including solar and wind energy. If passed, this legislation would keep less money in the pockets of New England consumers.

“Diversifying New England’s energy mix by adding clean, renewable energy resources is important but we can’t do so at the expense of New England consumers,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW Northeast. “House Bill 2881 would deprive New England homeowners and businesses of the potential for significant savings.”

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Massachusetts Urged to Boost Renewable Energy Targets

By Emily Norton and Francis Pullaro

Massachusetts House leaders are currently drafting an omnibus energy bill to secure new supplies of electricity as much of the region’s fleet of aging nuclear, coal, and oil power plants are now set to retire. Any proposed energy legislation should achieve three key goals. First, the bill must provide reliable and affordable clean energy to all residents, especially those that have been overburdened by pollution or energy costs and underserved by regional economic growth and opportunities.  Second, it must act as an engine for regional economic growth by keeping more of our energy dollars and jobs in New England. Finally, it should maintain Massachusetts’s leadership on clean energy policy and ensure we meet our targets for reducing climate-disrupting carbon pollution.

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New York Should Adopt New England’s Successful Policies of Contracts for Renewable Energy

In comments filed with the New York Public Service Commission, RENEW Northeast urged New York to switch from the current NYSERDA budget-based procurement model of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to a target-based system solely of electric utility contracting for renewable energy as found in several of the New England states.  A significant benefit of long-term contracts for consumers comes from lowering the development cost of renewable energy by giving developers and their investors the confidence to commit their capital. Contracting for energy at a fixed-price over a long term will provide consumers with the full benefits of renewable energy whose “free fuel” provides a hedge against electricity price swings caused by the volatility in natural gas and other fossil fuel markets.

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New Mass. Coalition of Nonprofit & Business Group Launch Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES)

Leading Regional Organizations Combine Forces to Support Long-Term Policies that Will
Create Clean, Affordable and Reliable Energy.

Boston, April 26, 2016. Nearly 20 environmental, clean energy industry, business, consumer,
and health groups announced the creation of a coalition named the Alliance for Clean Energy
Solutions (ACES acesma.org). The alliance consists of a wide variety of organizations seeking
to ensure that Massachusetts enacts long-term policies that will drive clean, affordable &
reliable energy.

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RENEW Congratulates Abby Krich for Rising Star Award

The New England Women in Energy and the Environmental (NEWIEE) recognized Abby Krich, founder and president of Boreas Renewables, with its Rising Star Award at the organization’s 2016 Awards Gala on April 14, 2016. Abby specializes in helping generation developers navigate their way through the ISO New England interconnection process and its energy and capacity markets. She also actively advocates on behalf of RENEW for electricity market rules and system planning that will allow for the development and integration of high levels of renewable energy.

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How Low-Cost Can U.S. Offshore Wind Go? New Study Looks at the Power of Scale in Massachusetts

This post is by who is a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director on the RENEW Northeast board.

The effects of a state committing to offshore wind power at scale and over time, it turns out, are pretty impressive. A new study looks at what enticing the offshore wind industry to take root and flourish on this side of the Atlantic might mean, and suggests that Massachusetts can learn—and benefit—plenty from what Europe has already learned and done, to great effect. All it takes is foresight and commitment.

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Speakers Debate Massachusetts Clean Energy Legislation

Speakers at the EUCI US/Canada Cross-Border Power Summit on March 15, 2016, debated New England energy policies including pending legislation in Massachusetts on the procurement of clean energy resources, as reported by RTO Insider, “Market Policies, Emissions Goals on Collision Course in New England.”

Francis Pullaro, executive director of RENEW Northeast, which represents renewable energy developers and environmental organizations, said current market rules skew toward natural gas and disadvantage clean energy resources. Natural gas “resources are going to be built over the next couple years with generous capacity payments” that make financing easier to obtain, he said.

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RENEW Supports ISO New England Interconnection Process Improvements

RENEW Northeast submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of ISO New England’s filing requesting approval of Interconnection Process Improvements that will reduce the time needed to complete the Interconnection Studies for wind and inverter-based generators and should improve curtailment and performance issues in system operations for these types of generators.

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Is Your State Betting Too Much on Natural Gas for Electricity? A New UCS Analysis Takes a Look

This post is by who is a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director on the RENEW Northeast board.

Alongside photos of the local apple festival and headlines about the school budget, recently the front page of my small town’s weekly newspaper has been full of talk about natural gas pipelines and “eminent domain” and even FERC, the federal agency that approves (or not) new interstate pipelines. And it’s not just us. It turns out a lot of places are thinking about natural gas these days, including for electricity generation.

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