Renewable Energy Bill Passes Mass. Senate with 2 GW of offshore Wind
Last month Massachusetts senators voted 39-0 for 2,000 MW of offshore wind resources long-term contracts, expanding on a House measure and setting up a conference committee to find a compromise between the two measures.
The bill would lead to "dramatic" price increases and would depress local energy innovation and investment was how The New England Power Generators Association reacted.
Energy distribution companies would also be required under the bill to purchase a minimum of 12,450,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy from hydropower and other clean-energy resources including onshore wind, solar, anaerobic digestion and energy storage. The bill also doubles the annual rate of increase in the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires utilities to obtain a minimum amount of their electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind.
"This is a landmark bill defining Massachusetts' clean energy future," Clean Water Action advocate Joel Wool told the News Service. "The Senate today said very clearly that they want to choose wind turbines and other clean energy resources -- offshore wind, local renewable energy in New England -- over gas pipelines."
While senators touted the bill's importance to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Sen. Michael Barrett of Lexington said he did not believe the state would hit its 2020 reduction requirements without the addition of carbon fees. But after making a case for the fees, Barrett later withdrew his proposal, which never surfaced for debate or a vote.