Stories

Federal court rules against part of New England grid operator reliability plan

June 23, 2022

A federal appeals court has thwarted part of a plan to improve the reliability of New England’s electric grid during the winter that would pay electricity generators extra for keeping fuel on-site. As climate change causes more unreliable weather and conflict in Ukraine pinches energy markets, ISO-New England, the organization in charge of keeping the region’s lights…

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Offshore wind turbines at sunset.

Feds approve plan to delay scrapping a New England energy rule that harms renewables

May 28, 2022

A controversial rule that makes it harder for renewable energy projects to participate in one of New England’s lucrative electricity markets will remain in place for another two years. Late Friday night, federal energy regulators approved a plan from the regional grid operator, ISO New England, to keep the so-called minimum offer price rule — or…

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The five turbines of the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

The debate over an outdated rule that’s harming renewable energy in New England

May 26, 2022

There’s a rule in the New England energy system that nobody likes. And not just because it uses a lot of complex math. This rule ends up making it harder for renewable energy projects to participate in an important regional electricity market. The New England states want it gone. U.S. Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie…

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This Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 file photo shows the country's first floating wind turbine works off the coast of Castine, Maine.

New England task force convenes to plan the next phase of offshore wind development

May 26, 2022

Last year, President Joe Biden announced plans to start leasing areas of the Gulf of Maine to offshore wind energy developers by 2024. On Thursday, May 18, the federal Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management convened a task force of officials from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and tribal governments to consider the next phase in the…

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New England energy demand recently dropped to its lowest point ever

May 10, 2022

New England’s energy demand dropped to its lowest point ever earlier this month thanks to good weather and the continued adoption of rooftop solar on homes and businesses. Officials at regional grid operator ISO New England said energy demand fell to its lowest point ever – 7,580 megawatts – on Sunday, May 1st. It’s the…

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I tried to eat like a hardcore locavore in New England for a week. Here’s what I learned

May 7, 2022

Essay from WBUR reporter Andrea Shea. On a drab April morning I opened my eyes and immediately felt bereft. I sighed, then pouted. My usual cup of comfort and courage was off limits. While the beans in my coffee press are roasted in Sudbury, they’re harvested in Ethiopia. If you’re like me — and about 66% of Americans —…

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Solar crisis hits Maine as investigation into Chinese panel manufacturers puts projects on hold

May 6, 2022

Hundreds of large-scale solar power projects are on hold in the U.S., while federal trade officials investigate whether Chinese manufacturers and affiliates in Southeast Asia illegally avoided duties on solar panels. Some see the situation as a threat to President Biden’s climate agenda. Lately some of Maine’s gently rolling hills have been sprouting long rows…

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Nuts and dried fruit items at a grocery store.

It’s hard to avoid plastic while grocery shopping — even for a week

April 29, 2022

Essay from WBUR reporter Martha Bebinger. The thin plastic thread running between one leaf on my pineapple and its tag does me in. I don’t see it when I put the pineapple in my shopping cart, when I load the check out conveyor belt or when I unpack groceries at home. It isn’t until I…

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Eating less meat is better for the planet. Could my family go vegan for a month? Could I?

April 28, 2022

Commentary from WBUR reporter Barbara Moran. One of my son’s favorite recipes is “dinner en papillote” — it sounds fancy but it’s just sausage, potatoes, onions and mushrooms, wrapped in aluminum foil and baked for an hour. Voila — dinner is served! I expected the vegan version would be a hit. The soy chorizo looked…

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Jasmine McNish, 13, took an early ferry to the Vineyard with her mom to help plant beach grass on Lobsterville Road in Aquinnah. Mass.

Many hands in the sand: Aquinnah tribe, volunteers plant beach grass for climate-resilient coast

April 27, 2022

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah is determined to protect its homelands on Martha’s Vineyard from the impacts of climate change. To that end, tribe members and community volunteers are turning to beach grass: planting it one stem at a time to save an eroding sand dune and beach with deep roots in the…

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