New law requires investment in renewable energy - Smart Energy Decisions

Hydro, Regulation, Solar, Wind  -  August 9, 2016

Massachusetts law will increase use of wind, hydro

A new Massachusetts law, signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 8, calls for an increase in the amount of renewable energy — specifically wind and hydro — used in the state.

Referred to by the governor's office as "comprehensive energy diversity legislation," H. 4568 garnered bi-partisan support in the state Legislature and "promotes the Baker-[Lt. Gov. Karyn] Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy costs while strengthening the state’s clean energy economy and progressing towards Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction requirements." 

The new law requires utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,200 MW of clean energy generation, which could comprise baseload hydropower, onshore wind and solar supported by hydropower, standalone onshore wind, solar, or other Class I renewable resources. It also allows for the procurement of 1,600 MW of offshore wind. 

"The bill spurs the development of an emerging offshore wind industry to create jobs and represents the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind," the Administration said in its release. 

Additionally, according to The Associated Press, the law encourages an increase in the amount of Canadian hydropower and other renewable energy used in Massachusetts, offers incentives for utilities to develop energy storage technology and sets new requirements for the repair of natural gas leaks.

"Massachusetts is always at the forefront of adopting innovative clean energy solutions, and this legislation will allow us to build on that legacy and embrace increased amounts of renewable energy, including hydropower,” Baker said in a news release. "With our partners in the Legislature, the Commonwealth has taken another major step towards providing residents and businesses with a cost-effective and reliable clean energy future.”


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