Mass. Governor Baker signs comprehensive energy diversity legislation

Its goal is to reduce ratepayer costs, embrace advanced technologies, and diversify the state’s energy portfolio to include hydropower and other renewables

In a continued effort to stabilize electric rates, ensure a diversified energy portfolio for the Commonwealth, and embrace advanced technologies, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive energy diversity legislation into law at the State House with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, legislative leaders, and energy and environment stakeholders. An Act Relative to Energy Diversity (H. 4568) garnered bi-partisan support and promotes the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy costs while strengthening the state’s clean energy economy and progressing towards Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction requirements.

After signing the energy legislation, Mass. Governor Baker addresses an audience.

“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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”

“The hydroelectric and offshore wind power generation authorized in this legislation will play a crucial role in securing clean and cost-effective energy for the Commonwealth’s ratepayers,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By utilizing renewable sources of power generation, Massachusetts will continue to lead the nation in embracing economic and environmentally friendly methods to generate electricity to meet the needs of our communities.”

“The ability to procure clean hydroelectric power and off-shore wind is another important milestone in the Commonwealth’s transition to a diversified energy portfolio,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By embracing renewable energy generation technologies, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to make progress in achieving the emissions reductions targets set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act.”

Consistent with the Baker-Polito Administration’s previously filed legislation authorizing the procurement of hydropower generation, An Act Relative to Energy Diversity (H. 4568) requires utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,200 megawatts (MW)  of clean energy generation – base load hydropower, onshore wind and solar supported by hydropower, standalone onshore wind, solar, or other Class I renewable resources. In addition to recognizing the necessity of hydropower generation to provide reliable generation to meet Massachusetts’ energy demand and achieve the greenhouse gas emissions goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the legislation signed by Governor Baker allows for the procurement of approximately 1,600MW of offshore wind. The bill spurs the development of an emerging offshore wind industry to create jobs and represent the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind.

 

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