Wind Power News: Massachusetts
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Every house, building and car in Massachusetts would be powered by renewable energy sources in the coming decades under a new bill in the state legislature. That would make Massachusetts the first state in the country to commit to getting 100 percent of its power from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, Rep. Sean Garballey, D-Arlington, and Rep. Marjorie Decker, D-Cambridge, would require Massachusetts to source all electricity in the state . . .
PLYMOUTH – Lake Road resident Larry McGrath wants out from under the 500-foot wind turbines that began spinning last summer in South Plymouth and he believes the Board of Health is the key. McGrath and residents of Plymouth and Bourne (the turbines are in Plymouth on the Bourne town line), organized through the Buzzards Bay Citizens Action Coalition, have visited municipal boards over the last several months, testifying to the negative effects they have experienced living in the vicinity of . . .
CHATHAM – This June, the state will solicit bids seeking offshore wind farms to produce 400 megawatts of electricity. It’s the first of four phases of what state officials hope will be 1,600 megawatts of offshore power; 15 percent of what the state uses annually, enough power to replace what will eventually be lost when Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station shuts down. Submitting a bid in June will be the first tangible step for a group of Martha’s Vineyard residents who started . . .
CHATHAM –The Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance held a community meeting with representatives of Vineyard Wind and Vineyard Power on Wednesday night in Chatham. Both companies detailed their plans for a major wind farm off the Vineyard coast and heard concerns from fishermen about its potential impact. “We’re here to explain a little bit more about what’s happened up until now, what are some upcoming next steps, and to continue the dialogue with the fishing community,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Eric . . .
Massachusetts would need to get all of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050 under legislation filed last month and backed by more than a quarter of state lawmakers. Bills filed by Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Reps. Sean Garballey and Marjorie Decker (SD 1932, HD 3357) would call for 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy economy-wide – including electricity, heating, transportation and other sectors – by 2050. Supporters of the legislation on Monday said their goal was . . .
Massachusetts photographer travels to St. Lawrence County to warn officials and locals concerning controversial wind tower project
PARISHVILLE – A Massachusetts photographer warned about 60 St. Lawrence County residents last night about what he sees as the potential dangers and disadvantages of the North Ridge Wind Farm, which has divided the community. Presenter Larry Lorusso, who lives about one mile from Hoosac Wind Farm, located in Massachusetts, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the turnout last night, even though a storm dropped about a foot of snow over much of the North Country. The meeting was held at . . .
As with solar projects, wind farm developers often bank on a set of federal tax credits that Congress extended in late 2015. It’s possible these incentives could come under scrutiny as part of a Trump tax overhaul. He’s been critical of the wind power industry’s subsidies. But like solar developers, wind farm developers will continue to benefit from the state’s steadily increasing requirements for renewable energy purchases. The state has a law on the books that allows for up to 1,600 megawatts in long-term contracts with future offshore wind farms — that’s roughly enough power for more than 600,000 homes. Those wind farms would be built in federal waters, and three developers — including one with ties to investment bank Goldman Sachs, and another owned by private equity giant Blackstone Group — already have secured lease rights. It’s possible that the Trump administration could slow the progress of any projects because they come under federal jurisdiction. But that would also irritate the Wall Street types that have invested in these projects.
Devens wind and power grid services provider AMSC on Monday announced it lost $2.8 million in the last quarter, a slight improvement from the $3 million it lost in the same quarter 2015. AMSC’s revenues for the third quarter – which ended Dec. 31 – were $27.1 million, a 5-percent increase from the $25.8 million it made in the same quarter 2015. The company’s net loss for the third quarter worked out to 20 cents per share, compared to 22 . . .
Is there a future for land-based wind turbines in Southeastern Massachusetts? Maybe, but prospects for the onshore wind industry are not as robust as they once were. In towns south of Boston and west of Cape Cod, there are no plans for new onshore turbines, and one of Massachusetts’ leading wind experts said a lack of new activity across the state has led him to move away from studying onshore wind. State government has also turned its focus elsewhere, as . . .
Two years ago, when I would receive a press release about a solar farm, I’d assign a story. We’d shoot photos, interview the participants, and lay out where the power would flow, and who would benefit. Now, a new solar farm is hardly worth a short business story. Solar has become ubiquitous, and by that, I mean solar panels are sprouting up everywhere: in fields, on top of industrial buildings, on top of single-family homes, on retired dumps and polluted . . .