Insufficient competition in proposed Mass. energy legislation a big risk to consumers

Penalizes lowest-cost generation options like land-based wind

Boston, May 23, 2016 — Proposed legislation released by the Massachusetts House of Representatives today would reduce competition and severely limit greater access to low-cost, renewable energy resources, including solar and wind energy. If passed, this legislation would keep less money in the pockets of New England consumers.

“Diversifying New England’s energy mix by adding clean, renewable energy resources is important but we can’t do so at the expense of New England consumers,” said Francis Pullaro, Executive Director of RENEW Northeast. “House Bill 2881 would deprive New England homeowners and businesses of the potential for significant savings.”

Large-scale renewable energy resources are the most competitive on price with larger wind energy projects having the lowest prices in New England. That’s largely due to American manufacturing and innovation helping to lower wind power’s costs by two-thirds in the last six years. The low cost of recent large-scale wind projects in New England provides additional value by acting as a hedge against potential rising costs from fossil fueled generation.

The bill follows the guidance of the recent Boston Globe editorial to a limited extent, adding offshore wind to a mix of Canadian hydropower. But it is deeply deficient by disfavoring the less-expensive, already commercially viable large, land-based wind resource in New England.

Wind power supports hundreds of well-paying jobs in Massachusetts, including manufacturing jobs at 8 facilities around the state, and building wind farms have attracted $220 million to the state’s economy. Growing wind power to supply enough electricity for nearly one million homes in Massachusetts could result in billions of dollars in consumer savings.

 

###