Showing posts with label clean energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clean energy. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2022

WBUR: What's the future of gas in Mass.? Utilities and critics have different visions (audio)

"New reports from the state's five investor-owned gas utilities offer roadmaps to the companies' future — and, in many ways, our own.

The plans call for a radical transformation of the Massachusetts energy and heating sector, betting heavily on the successful development of new, clean energy technologies.

Environmental groups were not permitted to participate in the drafting of the future of gas reports and warn that if the utility roadmaps fail, or alternative plans aren't successful, the state will not meet its ambitious, existential climate emission goals."


The Dorchester Gas tank in 2021. (Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
The Dorchester Gas tank in 2021. (Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Listen here ->

or here

Saturday, March 19, 2022

International Energy Agency releases "10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use"

"We’ve just released the @iea  10-Point Plan on actions advanced economies can adopt to cut oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day. This would be a big saving - it's the same amount of oil currently consumed by all of the cars in China."

IEA =>  International Energy Agency  "Shaping a secure & sustainable energy future. We provide data, analysis & ambitious real-world solutions on all fuels & technologies. "

The full press release behind this infographic ->

The full report with additional explanation and charts ->

10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use
10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use

Thursday, March 3, 2022

"The benefits of this investment will not be confined to just offshore wind"

From the Boston Globe - an editorial written by: Ronald J. Mariano, who represents the Third Norfolk District, is speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Jeffrey N. Roy represents the 10th Norfolk District and is House chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. 

"In November, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure that blocks plans to develop a transmission line to deliver hydroelectric power from Canada to Massachusetts and the rest of the region. 
Two months after that vote, Massachusetts was hit by a powerful “bomb cyclone” that brought 70-mile-per-hour gusts, more than 30 inches of snow, mass power outages, and school and business closures. It ranked among the top 10 storms with the highest snowfalls to hit the Boston area since the National Weather Service began keeping such records in the late 1800s — seven of which have occurred just within the last two decades. 
These two events, occurring in short succession, demonstrate both the perils of climate change and just how fragile that state’s existing plans are to combat it."
Continue reading the editorial online (subscription may be required)

Deepwater Wind's turbines off Block Island, R.I., as seen in 2019.RODRIQUE NGOWI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Deepwater Wind's turbines off Block Island, R.I., as seen in 2019.RODRIQUE NGOWI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Recap on Energy/Climate front: one step forward, two steps back

Something to watch for as a key component of the MA net zero goals: 
"Administration officials did not respond to requests for comment, but the Department of Energy Resources notified stakeholders it was releasing on Tuesday a “straw proposal” containing updates to the existing stretch code and a framework for an “opt-in specialized stretch code.” 
Sources said the revisions to the state building code would deal primarily with windows, insulation, and other measures to reduce energy usage. The opt-in specialized stretch code would allow communities to voluntarily take additional measures that would accelerate energy conservation, including requiring all new construction to include rooftop solar where practicable. 
The stretch code would also require new construction to be equipped for full electrification and to meet at least some passive house standards, the goal of which is to dramatically limit energy usage."
Continue reading the article online ->

Baker seeking major changes in building code
Baker seeking major changes in building code

While the building codes may move forward, a move by the ISO-New England group apparently moves the State efforts backward.

"At a time when New England should be racing to bring as much clean energy online as possible to green its electricity supply, the grid moved this past week to effectively discourage major wind and solar projects for at least another two years.

Like other regional power suppliers, New England’s grid operator has been asked by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to remove or change a mechanism that makes it harder for clean energy projects to enter the competitive market. But after months of saying it supported such a measure, ISO-New England reversed its stance last week and aligned with a proposal from the natural gas industry that would slow-walk any such change.

“It’s another example of not meeting the moment to usher in the clean energy transition,” said Jeremy McDiarmid, of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. “It is an example of the system not being equipped to change as fast as we need it to.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Boston Globe: "A better future for heating your home"

"As we prepare for colder weather, the choice has already been made for many residents that they will be burning euphemistically named “natural gas,” or methane. This fuel, which is no more natural than any other fossil fuel, is not only responsible for massive property damage and loss of life following explosions, as we saw in the Merrimack Valley disaster three years ago — it is also a potent fossil fuel, responsible for 27 percent of climate-altering emissions statewide, second only to transportation and significantly greater than even the energy generation sector.

If the state does not move away from our reliance on gas, we probably won’t hit our statutory emissions reduction goals set by the Global Warming Solutions Act and the recent 2050 net-zero roadmap legislation. Working in opposition to those goals, gas utilities are planning decades of new pipelines, projected to cost Massachusetts gas customers $20 billion — a Big Dig-sized project — according to a recent report commissioned by Gas Leaks Allies."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)
Olivia Cerf and Ben Butterworth stand near the heat pumps they installed at their Melrose home. ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF
Olivia Cerf and Ben Butterworth stand near the heat pumps they installed at their Melrose home.ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Cobi Frongillo authors report "Offshore Wind Workforce Training & Development in Massachusetts"

Via Cobi Frongillo:
Want a peek into my professional life? Super proud to attend this important event with the Governor, calling for further offshore wind workforce investments and announcing the release of a report I authored!
"Today at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal @MassGovernor + @MassLtGov announced a new report that assesses the workforce strengths, gaps, + opportunities in MA for the emerging #offshorewind industry. #MAClimateWeek

Thursday, May 6, 2021

State Rep Roy on climate roadmap and battery storage (audio & video)

State Representative Jeff Roy has been busy in his new role as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy (TUE).

We can share a podcast episode of The Climate Minute  ( where Rep Roy discusses the roadmap of the recent climate legislation with Ted McIntyre (approx. 25 minutes)

Rep Roy also hosted a meeting on the battery storage facility proposal for Medway which is now available via YouTube  (almost 2 hours)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Boston Globe: "a glimmer of hope for opponents to the Weymouth gas compressor"

David Abel (@davabel) tweeted on Tue, Jan 19, 2021:
"After years of protests, a glimmer of hope for opponents to the Weymouth gas compressor via @BostonGlobe"

The Weymouth Compressor Station JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF
The Weymouth Compressor StationJOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Monday, August 3, 2020

FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)

FM #320 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 320 in the series.

This session shares a key segment of the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The meeting was conducted via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Chair Tom Mercer opened the meeting on schedule. The agenda eventually gets to the second item for presentation, the PACE Program. Wendy Lee O’Malley, Vice-President of MassDevelopment provides the overview of this newly released program. This is an opportunity for business and nonprofit property owners to get advantageous financing for energy improvements.

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and to the individual documents referenced.

This meeting segment runs just about 21 minutes, so let’s listen to the presentation and discussion on the PACE Program.

Audio file:


Town Council agenda

PACE Program doc and presentation

My notes from the meeting

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)
FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin

TO:                Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator
FROM:         Bryan W. Taberner, AICP, Director
RE:               Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts
CC:               Mark G. Cerel, Town Attorney; Christopher Sandini, Finance Director; Kerri Bertone, Collector/Treasurer; Kevin W. Doyle, Director Of Assessing; Amy Love, Town Planner; Chrissy Whelton, Assistant To The Town Administrator
DATE:           JULY 14, 2020

As you know on April 10, 2020 representatives from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) met with Town of Franklin staff to introduce the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program, and discuss potential benefits to property owners, and requirements of the Town.

PACE is a tax based financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy improvements, such as energy-efficiency projects and renewable systems, on existing Commercial and Industrial properties in Massachusetts. To finance the improvements, a property owner agrees to a betterment assessment on their property, enabling property owners to undertake more comprehensive energy upgrades with longer payback periods (up to 20 years). At property sale the lien stays with the property and is transferred to subsequent property owners.

MassDevelopment’s PACE Program Manager Wendy Lee O’Malley will be attending the July 22nd Town Council Meeting remotely to outline the PACE program and its benefits, and answer questions. MassDevelopment acts as the Lead Program Administrator for PACE Massachusetts. In order for the community to participate in PACE Massachusetts it must opt-in through passage of a Town Council Resolution.

Attached for review and consideration is Resolution 20-42, a two page PACE Massachusetts flyer, a short presentation, and a couple examples of PACE projects in other communities.

PACE is an economic development tool for Massachusetts communities that help to create a more competitive environment for attracting and retaining businesses through lower energy costs. DPCD highly recommends the Town participate in this new economic development incentive program. I look forward to discussing PACE at the July 22nd Town Council meeting.

The memo and associated documents can be found at the Town of Franklin page

The full agenda and documents released for the Town Council meeting July 22, 2020

Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin
Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving....from Enbridge and FERC

Dear Greater Franklin node friends,
We've received some unfortunate news from our hard-fighting ally, the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) in Weymouth.  They have been stalwartly fighting this battle against an Enbridge compressor station for five years as of next month.  They are not giving up and neither can we.  

The compressor station would emit greenhouse gases equivalent to half the vehicles driven in Massachusetts and make it nearly impossible to reach carbon emission reduction goals in the state.  And that's saying nothing about spewed toxic chemicals that would poison residents, leading to even higher rates of cancer, respiratory and heart disease in the community--already among the highest in the state.

While there some actions only they can take (e.g., lawsuits), we can support them as an ally by filling out the pledge form below to help in various ways, including spreading the word to and engaging neighbors and friends, making calls and other actions, and donating to their legal fund (this working community has already spent $1.75 million in legal costs).  Please see the linked form and sign up to do what you can!

Please hold your family and friends close this holiday season as we all need to help each other.

In solidarity,

Carolyn Barthel
Greater Franklin Node Coordinator
508-473-3305 H

View this email in your browser
Dear Friend of FRRACS,

It's the beginning of the Holiday Season for most of us, and as per usual, Enbridge and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) have been busy preparing presents for all of us!  

On Monday, Enbridge filed the Final Release Abatement Measure along with some very unsatisfactory answers to all of our comments. This Final RAM allows them to start digging in the arsenic and oil laden soil.  The DEP did not even make them answer to the questions of asbestos in the soil due to the decomposing furnace bricks.  Enbridge filed a notice with the Conservation Commission of the Town of Weymouth to begin digging this coming Tuesday, December 3!  You can read the RAM here--all 1692 pages of it. 

This morning, FERC granted Enbridge the Notice to Proceed (NTP) construction on the compressor station.  While this was not unexpected, it comes over the objections of all of us, our Federal delegation, our state legislators, the Town of Weymouth, our allies, and pretty much everyone you can think of except for Gov. Baker. 

While the contracts for the gas dry up, FERC is abdicating its role as overseeing "necessity" for gas and gas infrastructure.  They are an agency that has always been in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, but now they are just allowing the gas companies to do whatever they want without proving need for the gas.  And, guess what?  We will all pay for the folly of Enbridge and FERC through our utility bills.  National Grid and Eversource say they don't need more gas and they don't need the Weymouth compressor station.  NG New England (Canadian company) is trying to sell their contracts back to National Grid.  Irving (Canadian as well) has entered into new agreements to get the gas they were to receive from this pipeline from Canadian sources.  No need for the gas.  No need for the compressor.  But Enbridge wants it, so FERC provides...with your money.

We really did not want to ruin your Thanksgiving, but we want you to know that we are still in the fight.  With your help--your time, your treasure, and your talent--we are not giving up this fight.  We will work to stop this by all means available.  And we need you to stay focused, stay strong, and stay with us as a community.  

How are we fighting?  We are:
  • Fighting in court on the Air Quality permit and the Waterways permit. We are also looking for appellate relief on the Coastal Zone Management determination.
  • Working with our local governments and our state delegation to keep the heat on FERC and Enbridge for this unnecessary compressor in our Environmental Justice neighborhoods.
  • Working with our federal delegation to change FERC and their mandate to push fossil fuel.
  • Working with our allies to organize actions on the ground.
  • Working with all of you to keep you informed, organized, and strong.
Will you join us?  If you have not signed the pledge yet, please go here to sign up to help on the ground wherever you can.

To the Trolls who are likely on this email site, know that we are not going to give up or give in.  Those who seek to destroy our coastal home and our planet will ultimately lose this war.  Let's hope that it is sooner than later, as every day we get closer to planetary destruction.  All because the few refuse to join the many to save us all.  We wish you a change of heart and attitude over this season. We invite you to join our side.

Just one more thing--FRRACS is committed to non-violence in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  We will continue non-violent civil disobedience trainings throughout this battle.  If you have not attended a training, please check our Facebook page or the website for upcoming times.  

We were reminded this morning by Dr. Curt Nordgaard of a poem by Maya Angelou. "You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I'll rise."  

We wil rise.  

In Peace and Solidarity,

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Friday, May 10, 2019

MassCEC launches pilot program for whole-home heat pumps

MassCEC launches pilot program for whole-home heat pumps

Announcing the Whole-Home
Air-Source Heat Pump Pilot Program

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center ("MassCEC") is excited to announce the launch of our Whole-Home Air-Source Heat Pump Pilot.

MassCEC has allocated $500,000 to provide rebates for the installation of whole-home air-source heat pump ("ASHP") systems at residential properties – specifically at existing homes with natural gas and new construction projects designed to operate without fossil fuels. This pilot is meant to support ASHP systems that function as the sole source of heating in a home without the need for supplementary or back-up heat. The Pilot will accept applications until December 31, 2019 or until all allocated funding has been awarded
MassCEC launches pilot program for whole-home heat pumps
HVAC contractors interested in becoming a participating installer should review the requirements in the Pilot Program Manual and reach out to with any questions.

Through the pilot program, MassCEC will promote projects at the leading edge of Massachusetts' strategic electrification efforts. A major goal of the pilot is collecting learnings and information on whole-home ASHP systems, so we look forward to sharing preliminary results, lessons learned, and case studies through the pilot program. Read our blog post to learn more about the goals of the pilot, and please reach out to us if you have any questions or ideas.

Further program information can be found at
The MassCEC Air-Source Heat Pump Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
The MassCEC Air-Source Heat Pump Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin St, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02110
617-315-9300 |

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center  
Grow the state's clean energy industry while helping to meet the Commonwealth's clean energy and climate goals.

Copyright © 2019 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, All rights reserved
63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-315-9300
Fax: 617-315-9356