Only 1.2 GW For Offshore Wind? Not In MA’s Latest Energy Bill Proposal

Posted by Betsy Lillian on June 27, 2016 No Comments
Categories : Featured, Policy Watch

Not long after the Massachusetts House passed an energy bill that would require the state to procure 1.2 GW of offshore wind power by 2027, the State Senate has released its own version of a bill, which ups the offshore wind carve-out to 2 GW.

The newly released Senate version would increase the state’s renewable energy requirements and implement long-term contracts for 2 GW of offshore wind and 1.5 GW of other renewable energy sources, explains the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Notably, when the House bill was first drafted back in May, several clean energy stakeholders spoke out about the need for a bigger commitment to offshore wind. DONG Energy, for example, has said in the past that it advocates for the full 2 GW carve-out.

As opposed to the House bill, which calls for the procurement of 1.2 GW of hydropower or renewables-plus-hydropower resources, the Senate bill’s additional 1.5 GW carve-out calls for any type of renewable energy, not specifically hydropower, according to coverage from MassLive.

In addition, the report says, the Senate bill requires energy providers to purchase 38% of their power from renewables by 2030 (as opposed to the current 25% by 2030 goal).

The Massachusetts Sierra Club says the legislation also includes provisions to support increased energy efficiency in Massachusetts homes and businesses and encourages utilities to purchase energy storage systems.

The Senate will debate the bill this Thursday, says the Sierra Club.

“The Massachusetts Senate is to be commended for this bill, which takes an appropriately comprehensive approach to setting Massachusetts on the transition to a clean energy economy,” says Emily Norton, chapter director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Cathy Buckley, chair of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, adds, “Our senators are to be commended for heeding the unanimous decision from the Supreme Judicial Court, finding that Massachusetts is currently not doing enough to comply with the legal requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act to reduce carbon pollution and help protect the climate.”

The MassLive report notes that a final version of the state’s energy bill must be passed by the end of July.

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