Massachusetts Senate Bill to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions Will Lead to the Development of Affordable, Renewable Energy and Add Jobs to the Clean Economy

RENEW Northeast praises Chairman Pacheco, Vice-Chairman Eldridge and the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change for releasing today visionary legislation to advance a significant deployment of new renewable energy sources. The bill’s acceleration of the annual growth rate in the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)- the amount of renewable energy utilities and retail suppliers must provide to their customers- from the current 1 percent per year to 3 percent per year will spark a revolution in displacing the region’s greenhouse gas emitting generation with emissions-free resources.

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Massachusetts Clean Energy Victory

This post is by who is a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director on the RENEW Northeast board.

A few minutes before midnight last night came the news that the Massachusetts legislature passed the omnibus energy bill that had been under development for months (years, actually). The process involved a whole lot of pieces trying to fit together in one rational jigsaw puzzle. So where did we end up? A pretty good place, actually.

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Massachusetts Poised to Adopt Clean Energy Legislation

The Massachusetts state legislature is considering a forward–looking bill to further reduce carbon emissions and clean up our air—something all residents deserve. A bi-partisan committee of three representatives and three senators has begun working on a compromise energy bill to send to Gov. Charlie Baker.

The bill as amended by the state senate will benefit consumers by creating greater competition between electricity sources and allowing all forms of renewable energy to meet more of the state’s clean energy needs. Throughout New England, large-scale renewable energy projects are the most cost-competitive way to generate clean electricity, and larger wind farms deliver the lowest prices.

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Massachusetts energy bill advances without ratepayer savings

Amendment to HB 4377 would have boosted market competition

BOSTON, June 8, 2016 — The energy bill passed today by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, HB 4377, lacks an amendment that would boost competition and make carbon emission reduction commitments more cost-effective. The bill raises barriers to open competition between renewable energy sources and, without amendment, Massachusetts consumers stand to lose out on billions of dollars in savings.

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Offshore Wind Legislation Breezes through Massachusetts House

The Massachusetts House of Representatives enacted  H.4377, which will require the state’s utilities to solicit long-term energy contracts for 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power in multiple procurements through the year 2027.

State Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, cited his city’s history as an energy powerhouse for more than a century at the time when whale oil was a primary source of energy. After the energy industry shifted to oil, coal and natural gas, he said, Massachusetts became “the end of the pipeline.”

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More competition in Massachusetts would mean more savings for consumers

A bill before the Massachusetts legislature could further cut carbon emissions by building on reduction goals from previous successful procurements under the Green Communities Act. By tapping into more affordable clean energy, the state’s residents can look forward to cleaner air.

The bill currently before the Massachusetts House of Representatives could make those carbon emission reduction commitments unnecessarily expensive, causing Massachusetts consumers to lose out on billions of dollars in savings.

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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.”

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New Mass. Coalition of Nonprofit & Business Group Launch Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES)

Leading Regional Organizations Combine Forces to Support Long-Term Policies that Will
Create Clean, Affordable and Reliable Energy.

Boston, April 26, 2016. Nearly 20 environmental, clean energy industry, business, consumer,
and health groups announced the creation of a coalition named the Alliance for Clean Energy
Solutions (ACES The alliance consists of a wide variety of organizations seeking
to ensure that Massachusetts enacts long-term policies that will drive clean, affordable &
reliable energy.

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Speakers Debate Massachusetts Clean Energy Legislation

Speakers at the EUCI US/Canada Cross-Border Power Summit on March 15, 2016, debated New England energy policies including pending legislation in Massachusetts on the procurement of clean energy resources, as reported by RTO Insider, “Market Policies, Emissions Goals on Collision Course in New England.”

Francis Pullaro, executive director of RENEW Northeast, which represents renewable energy developers and environmental organizations, said current market rules skew toward natural gas and disadvantage clean energy resources. Natural gas “resources are going to be built over the next couple years with generous capacity payments” that make financing easier to obtain, he said.

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Connecticut Promotes New, Affordable Renewable Energy in the State and New England

Renewable Energy New England, Inc., (RENEW) applauds Governor Dannel Malloy for supporting new statutory provisions that will expand the benefits of affordable renewable energy for Connecticut electricity customers. Those provisions, included in larger energy legislation Senate Bill 1138 and House Bill 6360, both of which recently achieved final passage in the legislature, will help encourage the development of new, affordable renewable energy in Connecticut and New England.

RENEW praises Senate President Donald Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, Energy & Technology Committee Co-Chairs Sen. Bob Duff and Rep. Lonnie Reed, Committee Ranking Members Sen. Clark Chapin and Rep. Laura Hoydick, the full membership of the House and Senate, and Department of Energy and Environment Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel Esty for their leadership in expanding Connecticut’s nationally leading energy policies.

“A section of Senate Bill 1138 authorizes DEEP to enter into long-term contracts with renewable energy developers. Long-term contracting opportunities will enable the industry to make long-term investments and reduce the cost of RPS compliance for consumers. Across the country, renewable energy long-term contracts result in lower costs for consumers with the added benefit of drawing economic investments into states where the projects are located. The resulting projects stand to give the administration’s ‘cleaner, cheaper’ energy agenda a major advance.” said RENEW Executive Director Francis Pullaro.

The bill also gives the state the opportunity to coordinate its procurement of renewable energy with the other New England states following a resolution adopted at the 2012 meeting of the New England Governors’ Conference. The benefits from regional coordination will arise by capturing some of the economies of scale from larger renewable energy projects and, in the years ahead, potentially facilitating additional intra-regional transmission capacity to deliver the energy from those resources.

Utility-scale wind projects in particular have been highlighted in recent analyses for the New England States as the leading solution to meet New England’s collective renewable energy goals. Large scale wind resources are clean, cost-effective and enhance the reliability of our region’s bulk power system.

To help ensure Connecticut receives the economic development benefits of having those projects sited in the state, House Bill 6360 contains a provision to facilitate the adoption of wind siting regulations that have been drafted by the Connecticut Siting Council. Adoption of the regulations will allow wind project developers to submit new applications to build projects in the state.

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