Phil Murphy reverses Christie and brings Jersey back into climate change pact

With New Jersey back in, RGGI will have 10 members. Virginia is considering joining the pact, as well. If Virginia joins, the 11-member agreement would represent the world’s fourth-largest economy, according to the Acadia Center, a nonprofit group that advocates for the expansion of clean energy. Murphy also noted that New Jersey lost $279 million in revenue by leaving the agreement and that returning to it will create jobs. According to analysis from Acadia Center, New Jersey has forgone $232 million in RGGI auction revenue since the state left the regional program. Read the full article from nj.com here.

Murphy directs New Jersey to re-enter Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

But Murphy said Monday that Christie’s withdrawal from the compact “lacked any common sense,” left money on the table and “robbed” New Jersey of the opportunity to invest in clean energy options. In his executive order, Murphy cited a study from the Acadia Center, a clean-energy nonprofit group, that said New Jersey lost as much as $279 million by its absence from the program. Read the full article from northjersey.com here.

NJ Senate Ushers in Revamped Nuclear Bailout Bill

Participating states use revenue from the auctions for energy efficiency and renewable projects. An analysis by Acadia Center found that New Jersey had foregone $232 million in RGGI auction revenue since Christie pulled it out of the initiative in 2011. Read the full article from RTO Insider here.

Public Scrutiny Needed for Eversource Northern Pass Project

BOSTON—Acadia Center is calling for a public review and full transparency following yesterday’s announcement that Northern Pass Transmission’s hydro-only bid, a partnership between Eversource and Hydro Quebec, was selected as the sole winner of the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP. The RFP, called for by a 2016 energy law, sought clean energy for about 17% of Massachusetts’ annual electricity needs.  Although more than 40 bids were submitted in the summer of 2017—including several with a blend of on-shore wind and hydroelectricity, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and a group of Massachusetts utilities, which included Eversource, chose one controversial project, owned
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Fossil fuel burners, clean energy sector, and Democrat Setti Warren pan Eversource hydro deal for Massachusetts

Acadia Center president Daniel Sosland said he is “disappointed but not surprised” with the choice, which allowed for no wind or solar added to the mix. The Boston-based think tank and advocacy group had argued against letting the utilities bid for the contracts while also sitting on the selection committee, Sosland said. Acadia Center senior attorney Amy Boyd added that the selected project was supposed to provide limited risk to Massachusetts ratepayers, but that key information has been hidden from public view. “We don’t know the relative benefit-cost ratios because the price terms are confidential, but choosing only one project
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Will the country’s first mandatory residential demand charge slow the Massachusetts solar boom?

Environmental and DER advocates strongly objected to the new rate design. Acadia Center argued it is “inconsistent” with “rate design principles of efficiency and fairness.” The New England Clean Energy Center (NECEC) argued it will cause “arbitrary” and “extraordinary and unreasonable” bill impacts. Both Massachusetts’ Attorney General (AG) and Department of Energy Resources (DOER) concurred. […] Acadia Center Attorney Mark Lebel told Utility Dive the approval of the non-coincident demand charge and the separate rate for DER owners was unexpected because they were unprecedented. “Most students of rate design generally tend to find those two things not the best kind of ratemaking.” A non-coincident demand charge applies
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Advocacy groups oppose National Grid rate hike

The groups that oppose the rate settlement include the Alliance for a Green Economy, PUSH Buffalo, Acadia Center and Syracuse United Neighbors. They jointly released a statement earlier this week opposing the plan, which would gradually increase the typical monthly residential gas and electric bill for upstate National Grid customers by $16 by 2020. The coalition said the rate plan did not go far enough to make gas and electric service affordable for low-income customers or do enough to push renewable sources of energy. Read the full article from the Times Union here.

Consumer and environmental advocates release statements opposing National Grid settlement proposal

After months of negotiations, a Joint Proposal was filed Friday, January 19, in the National Grid rate case, representing the settlement position of some parties in the case. The new proposed increases are as follows: Under the agreement, the fixed charge for electricity would remain at $17.00 per month. The fixed customer charge is the portion of the bill that does not change, no matter how much electricity the customer uses. For more information see: www.lowerfixedcharges.org. The Joint Proposal will now be open for public comment and consideration by the Public Service Commission. In response to the filing, some parties
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Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury’s still out

Acadia Center Policy Analyst Jordan Stutt said the most impressive thing about RGGI is that it has proved “ambitious emissions reductions” and “economic growth” can be achieved together. “A major part of that is the benefits from the reinvestment of auction proceeds,” he told Utility Dive. Read the full article from Utility Dive here.

New Hampshire, Northeast states mull building Quebec-to-D.C., EV charging network

That infrastructure is “certainly a region-wide priority,” said Mark Lebel, staff attorney at the Acadia Center, a clean energy nonprofit with offices across the Northeast. “Many of the plans are still in development, and they’ll have to solicit public comment, but there’s great interest in maximizing use of the 15 percent,” said Kathy Kinsey, a senior policy adviser at NESCAUM, a nonprofit association of air quality agencies in the Northeast.  Read the full article from the New Hampshire Business Review here.