The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund (ELM) and the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund have sought a guarantee that the next governor of Massachusetts will remain committed to developing offshore wind power.
According to the groups, both campaigns – current Gov. Charlie Baker and candidate Jay Gonzalez – were eager to participate.
By signing the commitment, both Governor Baker and Secretary Gonzalez agreed to speed up the process to secure offshore wind and to work with neighbors to bring more offshore wind to the region. Specifically, they agreed to the following:
“I pledge to take all necessary steps to ensure that Massachusetts remains a leader in the effort to launch the nation’s offshore wind industry. Specifically, after taking office, I will direct the relevant state agencies to:
- Ensure that the existing offshore wind requirements pursuant to Section 83(c) of the Energy’ Diversity Act of 2016 are fulfilled, including the timely solicitation and selection of responsibly developed project(s) to fulfill the remaining 800 MW offshore wind commitment on or before June 2019;
- Complete the study of an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind, as required by the 2018 Clean Energy Future Act by May 2019. If this study shows that additional offshore wind power is economically advantageous, direct the Department of Energy Resources to instruct the state’s utilities to begin the solicitation and contracting process for this additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind no later than 2025; and
- Explore the possibility of developing a joint offshore wind power procurement with other New England states.”
“We at ELM look forward to working with the next governor to continue moving Massachusetts toward a clean energy future. It is a testament to the importance of increasing our wind energy and doing so quickly that both candidates were so willing to make this commitment,” says Eric Wilkinson, general counsel and director of energy policy for ELM.