Offshore Wind Law Change Could Promote More Local Economic Development

           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.

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