Unleash the Ocean Winds: 3 Signs that Offshore Wind Energy Has Arrived in the US

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


UPDATE (Dec. 16, 1:34 pm EST): The intense bidding is finally over! After a marathon session that spilled into a second day, and 33 rounds (!) of bidding, the winner of the New York offshore wind area lease is Statoil Wind US. The $42.5 million winning price is by far the highest amount paid in any of the dozen auctions to date, and a real vote of confidence in the future of offshore wind in the US. Exciting times indeed.

It’s been quite a week for offshore wind in the US—new leases, new deals, and the first-ever offshore wind electrons in the Western Hemisphere.

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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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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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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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How Low-Cost Can U.S. Offshore Wind Go? New Study Looks at the Power of Scale in Massachusetts

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

The effects of a state committing to offshore wind power at scale and over time, it turns out, are pretty impressive. A new study looks at what enticing the offshore wind industry to take root and flourish on this side of the Atlantic might mean, and suggests that Massachusetts can learn—and benefit—plenty from what Europe has already learned and done, to great effect. All it takes is foresight and commitment.

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