The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker just invested nearly $1 million in renewable energy systems for 29 Massachusetts farms.
The $908,259 in agricultural energy grants are expected to save farmers a collective $200,000 per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 660 tons annually, according to the Department of Agricultural Resources.
Most of the grants are for solar photovoltaic energy systems. Winners include Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Mountain View Farms in Easthampton, Wilder Hill Gardens in Conway, Flat Rock Farm in Chesterfield, and Valley Malt and Sweet Meadow Farm in Hadley. (read more)
PITTSFIELD — Greener, cheaper energy is in store for city electric customers — unless they opt out.
But officials stress that the program will safeguard residents and business owners in the city against upcoming electricity rate hikes through Eversource, the electricity company that currently serves city customers.
During a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday to explain the program, Mayor Linda Tyer said it's a win-win for the city, as the deal furthers its commitment to the environment while offering a lower rate than Eversource's basic service rate come January. (read more)
BOSTON — Boston’s City Council on Wednesday voted to approve a plan to reduce the use of single-use plastic shopping bags at stores, restaurants and pharmacies throughout the city.The plan still requires the mayor's signature. If he signs the ordinance, it would go into effect within one year. An aide said Mayor Marty Walsh is reviewing the ordinance, but he has not yet made a decision. Single-use plastic bags would be banned under the proposed ordinance, but any other kind of bag provided by the business would be sold for no less than $0.05. Permitted bags would include reusable bags, recyclable paper bags or compostable plastic bags. (read more)
Old Massachusetts coal plant, eyed for offshore wind power tie-in, to change hands (Mass Live 11/23/17)
SOMERSET -- An offline coal plant in Southeastern Massachusetts, where offshore wind developers could tie into the six-state power grid, is being sold.
Commercial Development Co. Inc. plans to buy the retired Brayton Point Power Station from Dynegy, Inc. The contract is expected to close in December.
CDC plans to "dramatically transform the waterfront property" and develop a post-coal market plan for the 307-acre site, which "could represent a unique opportunity to advance the offshore wind energy sector due to its pre-existing access to the regional transmission grid," according to a statement from the company. (read more)
As the Commissioners of the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant, we are pleased to announce that Hingham’s energy supply will be 100 percent carbon free for 2017 and 2018.
HMLP will be the first utility in Massachusetts taking this bold step to help reduce the carbon pollution driving climate change and global warming in the Commonwealth and the world. Mindful of the need to balance impact and costs, we are doing this in a cost effective manner without raising rates. (read more)
A bill proposed by Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, D-Boston, would suspend construction and the expansion of natural gas facilities in communities with unsafe air pollutant levels.
The proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Health Protection Act of 2017 would also require the enforcement of public health and environmental standards under the Clean Air Act and provide further protections for communities located near natural gas facilities.
“There are communities across the country, including in the district that I represent, that are already exposed to toxic levels of air pollutants and will be at increased risk of exposure once nearby natural gas facilities are built or expanded,” Lynch said in a written statement. “This is not complicated. If the air quality in a community already violates federal Clean Air Act standards, we should not be adding toxins to the air in that community.” (read more)
With three international developers within six weeks of submitting landmark competitive bids to Massachusetts and its utility companies to create offshore wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard, the gearing up of supply chain industries is not far behind.
In an assessment report the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center released a few weeks ago, officials announced extensive reports it had put together that targeted and analyzed locations that could generate a windfall.
Five of 18 waterfront sites along the state’s coast cited are in Somerset and Fall River, all of them on the Taunton River/Mount Hope Bay and well known: Brayton Point and the former Montaup power plant in Somerset, and in Fall River Weaver’s Cove, the State Pier and the Borden & Remington complex. (read more)
AMHERST — A fire station for South Amherst and a new Department of Public Works headquarters will have to be built as zero-energy buildings, based on a bylaw adopted by Town Meeting Wednesday that supporters believe is the first of its kind in the state.
Despite objections from the Select Board, which asked that it be allowed to study the bylaw, Town Meeting voted 123-54 in favor of mandating new and improved municipal buildings immediately meet the new standard. A zero-energy building is one that produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis.
“We need it now. Now is the time to do it,” Lydia Vernon-Jones of Precinct 5 said.
“I think we’ve got to do it, and stop waiting,” Gerry Weiss of Precinct 8 said. (read more)
NORTHAMPTON - A candlelight march from Northampton High School to City Hall on Sunday night drew nearly 100 people who want the federal and state governments to take stronger action against climate change.
The "Reclaiming Our Future" march, sponsored by local activist groups Climate Action NOW, Arise for Social Justice, and Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, stepped off at 5:30 p.m. after a round of speeches from Northampton students.
Marchers traveled more than a mile down Elm and Main streets, chanting slogans like "the people, the planet, and peace over profit." (read more)
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