Come through the Portal!

Look for the beautiful logo (designed by Mary King) at the north end of the festival site.
Look for the beautiful logo (designed by Mary King) at the north end of the festival site.

We’ve been hard at work envisioning and building the new Portal to the Future learning area for the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, just a couple of weeks away, and we’re trying to get the word out as widely as we can about all the great things that you’ll be able to find there. Visit our full listing of presentations and mini-demonstrations here, or click here for a PDF poster with a schedule on the back. Continue reading Come through the Portal!

2016 local food brochure now available

2016-NQ-food-brochure-thumbOur fourth more-or-less annual local food brochure is now available in area stores, libraries, farmstands, and other locations.

You can also see the online version here.

In addition to town-by-town listings of farms and other food producers, the brochure includes information about markets and festivals, resources for farmers and eaters, and even a bit of history. Continue reading 2016 local food brochure now available

Energy Bill Passes House and Now Goes to MA State Senate

Omnibus Energy Bill Includes Off-Shore Wind and Hydro with NO Ban on Pipeline Tax

On June 8, 2016, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted on the long-awaited energy bill. The final version of the bill, which passed 154-1, included 1,200 MW of offshore wind — a historic step forward, although we still need to go much further —  and a great amendment on fixing gas leaks. Unfortunately, amendments banning the pipeline tax and increasing the RPS were “laid aside” without coming to a vote.   From here, the energy bill will go to the Senate, where citizens and State Senators may be able to make some changes.  See MassLive news story on passage of House Bill  4377  by House.

Meanwhile the MA Department of Energy Resource is working to develop a new solar incentive program and will hold “listening sessions” and take written comments during June.

Some June and July happenings continue to be posted under Events.

Continuing Work Toward a Clean Energy Future — Town Solar Open Houses Set

Warwick “Solar Sunday” Open Houses Set For June 5, 2016

Residents of Warwick have graciously agreed to participate in an “Open Solar – House”  self-tour.  The homeowners will be available to answer questions about their solar-electric (PV) systems.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to see the real deal and get the scoop on what it is like to “Go Solar.”

See schedule with addresses and times — Warwick Solar Sunday Schedule.  For more information about getting solar (PV) for your home see HOME SOLAR IS READY FOR YOU and Home Solar (PV) Facts.

Northfield Solar Open Houses — June 25-26, 2016.

Watch for upcoming schedule for Northfield.


Other News  — Latest on Kinder Morgan NED Project — Solar Open Houses and other activities  all being planned as Kinder Morgan/TGP filed a withdrawal of their application with FERC on May 23, 2016.  See

TGP Kinder Morgan Withdraws Proposal May2016  

See Upcoming Events for May and June plus Actions to Take Now!

State Legislature and Energy Bills  –  The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy released a large energy bill today. It contains language re: offshore wind and hydropower, and omits language on gas. That is a huge step forward from prior language being thrown around in the legislature!


Working Toward a Clean Energy Future for Massachusetts in 2016 and Beyond…

Local Citizens Launch “Choose Solar Initiative” in Orange, Warwick and Wendell

Several local citizens in area towns formed a working group to start a “Choose Solar Initiative” to inform people of the benefits of buying a home solar system now.  This effort was recently launched at an information meeting on homeowner solar electricity (PV) where people learned about the benefits of investing in solar now and taking advantage of tax incentives and a new state solar loan program.

People learned about the benefits of owning solar electricity for their homes from the Solar Store, Northeast Solar and PV Squared recently in Warwick.  This was the first information session of the Choose Solar Initiative.


John Child of PV Squared presents information on home solar installations.









For more information about the Choose Solar Initiative and buying rather than leasing a solar system see

MASS POWER FORWARD Coalition and others lobby for Meaningful Energy Bill in Massachusetts

Both North Quabbin Energy and North Quabbin Pipeline Action are part of this coalition working toward a clean energy future in the state.   This includes working with the state legislature in hopes of including the following in the Omnibus Energy Bill scheduled to be released soon.

  • 20% Solar PV by 2025
  • Eliminate Net Metering caps
  • Full retail Net Metering credits for community shared solar, low income and municipal projects
  • No Pipeline Tax/Tariff to help pay for new large gas pipelines
  • Support meaningful (2000MW)  offshore wind development
  • Ensure consumer and environmental protections for hydro-power brought into the state
  • Include more energy conservation and energy efficiency programs in energy bill
  • Build up a diversified array of sources for generating electricity including solar, wind, hydro, and energy efficiency to help the state lessen their carbon footprint instead of using over 50% gas (a fossil fuel) to generated electricity.

All these components for a good energy policy in the state seem important if we are to be able to organize on a local level and move toward the goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020.  For immediate actions you can take see Actions.

Hearing Set for Clean Energy and Renewable Future — Get on the Bus to Attend Hearing on May 3!


Boston Statehouse Rally for a Renewable Future and No More Pipelines

Come to the Boston Statehouse to Celebrate and Rally for a Renewable Future and No More Pipelines

Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change Hearing: Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future

We seem to have won a great victory on the NED pipeline – and it’s time to celebrate. It’s also a time to build on our strength to win more! We need to stop all pipeline expansions. We must stop the pipeline tax. And we must get our legislators to support smart, renewable energy and climate legislation to reduce emissions and support clean, renewable energy!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
11:30 Rally, Celebration & Pizza at the State House Steps
12:00 Training/Opportunities to Visit Legislative Offices
and Push Hard on the Pipeline Tax
1:00 Global Warming Committee Hearing, State House Rm. 428

One or more buses to Boston are available on a sliding scale from $5 to $30. For details and to sign up for a bus, send an email to
Please indicate your top three choices ( leaving from/ returning to Pittsfield, Cummington, Greenfield, Orange, Amherst, or Northampton) and we will do our best to  accommodate. Your flexibility is appreciated.

See you at the Statehouse on May 3rd
» Please RSVP to help us plan!

Work to Raise Net Metering Cap on Solar and Stop the NED Pipeline Continues in 2016…

Information about MA Dept. of Public Utilities Hearings and Legislative Work on Energy Bills.

Public Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) Hearings on Tennessee Gas Petition to Survey on Private Land Begins on March 29th with Greenfield Hearing on March 30. For background information and hearing schedule for all 6 locations see Survey Petition by TGP.

Tennessee Gas Files an Injunction Against Massachusetts — Public Court Hearing on April 15th at 1 p.m. in Pittsfield .    In this case, Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is suing the Commonwealth and its Department of Conservation & Recreation to gain the right of eminent domain to access land in Otis State Forest for the Connecticut Expansion pipeline project.

See Article 97 of MA Constitution for information Otis State Forest in Sandisfield — Guidelines for court hearing remain the same.  Watch for information about possible rally across from courthouse building.

Important Note on National Grid, Eversource Petitions to DPU –  Deadlines Set for Written Testimony –
National Grid – DPU Dockets 16-05, 16-07 — Deadline for Written Comments is May 11, 2016
• Eversource – DPU Docket 15-181  — Deadline for Written Comments is May 23, 2016  Please submit written comments to the hearing officer identified in the respective notice, and also please copy on your email. ALSO, send a hard copy of any comments to Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.  For information on hearings and background on petitions see Tariff on Electricity Bills.


For information on latest developments on the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED gas pipeline projects and filings with the MA Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) and National Grid’s proposal to DPU for a tariff see Info Sheet Update2 Feb2016 and Info DPUHearing Sched Feb2016 2

For Events and Activities for March 2016 go to EVENTS

Information about the need to continue contacting legislators about the net metering cap on solar projects and the current bill now in a legislative conference committee is at

Conserve -- Use Less! Hundreds join MLK Walk to Stop the Pipeline. Walk covered 34 miles from Northfield to Plainfield, MA during Martin Luther King week-end in mid-January.

Regional Groups File Motions to Intervene with FERC in Fight to Stop NED Pipeline

Several regional groups have filed motions to intervene with FERC.  Intervening helps citizens’ groups and individuals keep their options open in future dealings and FERC hearings on the proposed Tennessee Gas NED Pipeline Project.

North Quabbin Pipeline Action filed a motion to intervene just before Christmas.  This letter to FERC states that NQPA opposes the NED project because it is not needed and encourages more use of fossil fuels instead of working toward meeting the goals set forth in the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Action.  This law passed in 2008 calls for the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020.  Other groups in this region filing motions to intervene with FERC include North Quabbin Energy, Warwick Town Energy and Building Committee, Millers River Watershed Council, Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, several towns and other groups.  Individuals are encouraged to write short motions to intervene.  See information under events.

FERC extended deadline for filing motions to intervene regarding Tennessee Gas Northeast Energy Direct (NED) proposal – Docket #CP16-21 until January 15th.  This happened on Monday, Jan. 4th after e-filing portal of FERC was shut down for 4 days over New Year’s week-end and four days over Christmas week-end.  People emailed and called FERC, elected officials and other government officials protesting this unfair shutdown.  It is important individuals and groups file motions to intervene now.  See Intervening at FERC Directions  for step-by-step information on how to file a motion (thanks to NoFrackedGasinMass and others for this information.   Also see  EVENTS.