Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Real-Time News & Commentary on Massachusetts Land Use & Real Estate Law

Category Archives: Renewable Energy

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Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant: Local Zoning Board Causes A Reaction

Posted in Environmental, Renewable Energy, Special Permits, Zoning
Proponents of a smaller federal government probably didn’t have this in mind – a local zoning board deciding the fate of a nuclear power plant.  That’s what just happened in Plymouth, where the Zoning Board of Appeals last week decided, in an appeal filed by 18 residents, to uphold a building inspector’s decision that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power… Continue Reading

Cape Wind Wins Battle, But Not War . . . Yet

Posted in Renewable Energy
In a year-end decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) approved a deal between Cape Wind and National Grid allowing National Grid to purchase, for 15 years, half the power generated by the controversial proposed wind farm.  The deal was approved by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in 2010.  Opponents of the deal asserted that the purchase price (18.7… Continue Reading

State OK’s Springfield Biomass Plant

Posted in Environmental, Policy, Renewable Energy
As reported here, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources recently proposed new rules (pdf) regulating large wood-burning power plants.  These rules call for stringent efficiency standards, notably the encouragement of co-generation (the productive use of waste heat).  The impetus for the new rules was a recent study that challenged the widely-held assumption that the cultivation of forests for fuel… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Incinerates Biomass Wood Burning as a Renewable Energy Source

Posted in Environmental, Renewable Energy
Not long ago, state environmental officials considered biomass energy, produced by large wood-burning power plants, an integral part of the Massachusetts renewable energy portfolio.  However, times have changed with the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) recent issuance of proposed rules (pdf) regulating large wood-burning power plants.  If promulgated, the proposed rules would likely spell the end of… Continue Reading

Mighty Wind: Governor Trumpets Start of Federal Leasing Process for Wind Farms Off Massachusetts Coast

Posted in Environmental, Policy, Renewable Energy
Governor Deval Patrick’s administration has heralded the start of a leasing process for the development of up to 4,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity in federal waters off the Massachusetts coast.  That process began today with the Obama administration’s issuance of a “Request for Interest” seeking to gauge industry interest in developing wind farms in about 3,000 square miles of federal waters south of Nantucket and Martha’s… Continue Reading

Sunnier Days Ahead: Boston Streamlines Permitting For Solar Projects

Posted in Environmental, Renewable Energy
On December 15th, the Boston City Council approved a measure introduced by Mayor Thomas Menino that provides incentives to building owners to incorporate rooftop solar technologies.  The measure is the culmination of the three-year Boston Solar Initiative that produced a five-fold increase in the city’s solar capacity.  The primary incentives are a streamlined permitting process coupled with a reduced… Continue Reading

Clean Energy for Dirty Land

Posted in Environmental, Policy, Renewable Energy
It’s estimated that by 2030, U.S. electricity demand will increase by approximately 30%.  Meeting this demand will require the construction of 320 new mid-size coal plants, or about 16 new plants permitted and built every year from now until 2030.  Between the capital outlays and the complex permitting and regulatory process required to get coal plants built, greater… Continue Reading