The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation to advance offshore wind and clean energy that will require independent procurement of transmission for offshore wind. An Act Advancing Offshore Wind and Clean Energy (H.4515) requires the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to procure transmission for 2,400 MW of offshore wind. This approach will enable the offshore wind industry to scale efficiently while reducing costs and environmental impacts. The law would also create economic incentives for the offshore wind industry, strengthen protections for fisheries and the environment, and support energy storage.
“Anbaric applauds the House of Representatives for advancing procurement of the independent transmission needed for the offshore wind industry to flourish,” said Peter Shattuck, New England President for Anbaric. “Gone are the days of pilot projects and incremental procurements. With this legislation, the Commonwealth reestablishes its leadership in offshore wind by creating the foundation for multiple projects to connect to the grid, sharing costs across the projects, while protecting the ratepaying public and spurring economic development.”
Analysis by the Brattle Group and General Electric finds that developing larger transmission lines for offshore wind can provide important benefits as the industry moves beyond the initial stage of connecting each wind farm to shore individually. Benefits include:
- Lower overall costs, including avoiding $1.1 billion in upgrades to the onshore grid
- Reduced impacts on fisheries and the environment resulting from 49% less marine cabling
- Increased competition for development of transmission and wind farms
Connecting wind farms to shore and integrating with the existing grid is vital to achieving the full potential of offshore wind. European countries with mature offshore wind markets have moved to develop independent transmission systems for offshore wind because of the economic and environmental benefits it provides. New Jersey and its grid operator, PJM Interconnection are now procuring independent transmission and independent transmission here in New England will be the catalyst to enable offshore wind to reach its full potential.
News item from Massachusetts House
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