Misses Opportunity to Invest in New, Clean Energy –
RENEW is disappointed today that Massachusetts chose to affirm its decision to sign a long-term contract for existing provincially owned power in Quebec. The failure of Northern Pass provided a chance to revisit that first choice by considering whether it would have been better to have purchased energy from all-new wind and solar resources. Instead, Massachusetts has chosen to keep the Northern Pass Project bid alive and add a back-up proposal for transmission to Quebec in case negotiations with the Northern Pass Project are unsuccessful.
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.
RENEW Northeast commends today’s decision of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to deny the application of the Northern Pass transmission line. This project and the associated energy from Hydro-Quebec, as the winning bidders out of last week’s Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, would have cost Massachusetts ratepayers $500 million annually for 20 years. Despite this high cost, it would only bring energy from old generation rather than from new renewable resources that can enable Massachusetts to achieve its required greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
This post is by John Rogers who is a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director on the RENEW Northeast board.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”