RENEW supports the Massachusetts legislature taking action in the current budget debate to eliminate the requirement in Section 83C of the Energy Diversity Act that the price in subsequent procurements of offshore wind be lower than the cost of offshore wind generation procured under any prior solicitation. As the first Section 83C winning price was super low, the declining price requirement has proven to be unnecessary to protect the interests of consumers. The use of competitive long-term contracting for offshore wind has been a success for attaining low prices.
RENEW is in
favor of amending Section 83C so that the Department of Energy Resources is
directed to take a comprehensive view of bids to allow for increased economic
development opportunities in the Commonwealth from offshore wind generation. The
current schedule for the next offshore wind solicitation, which contemplates
bids being due by August 9, 2019, does not provide any flexibility for this
change to follow the normal legislative process.
RENEW Northeast congratulates the renewable energy companies that today secured leases from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for development of offshore wind generation off southern New England. The three leases are for 390,000 acres of ocean surface that would be shared with boaters, the fishing industry and all those who currently enjoy use of our waters. “Today’s enormous investment of private capital demonstrates how offshore wind can provide energy on the scale needed to address winter energy reliability needs and reduce carbon emissions while creating thousands of high paying jobs,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW Northeast.
This lease auction builds on recent competitively awarded contacts for 1,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Those solicitations showed that offshore wind can provide renewable energy at a highly competitive price while meeting the environmental goals of the New England states.
Today’s private investment in offshore wind casts further doubt on the wisdom of Massachusetts continuing to pursue a contract with Hydro-Quebec that will cost its electricity customers $500 million annually for 20 years, instead of investing that money in local wind and solar energy projects that provide direct benefits to our communities. “Despite the high cost of this imported electricity, it would only deliver power from old resources that Quebec is already selling to its other neighbors and that need no further support from Massachusetts ratepayers,” Francis Pullaro noted.
RENEW Northeast is a non-profit association uniting the renewable energy industry and environmental advocates whose mission involves coordinating the ideas and resources of its members with the goal of increasing environmentally sustainable energy generation in the Northeast from the region’s abundant, indigenous renewable resources.