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MA State House: Energized To Discuss New Energy Bill

EmmamHowe MA, United States 0 Ratings 13 Discussions 8 Group posts

Posted by: EmmamHowe // Marketing/Green Policy Development

This past Wednesday, there was tension in the Massachusetts House, as state representatives began debating a new energy bill. The bill requires MA utilities to seek out long-term contracts to purchase 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power and 1,200 megawatts of hydropower by 2027—enough electricity to support more than two million homes. The distributors are required to do this so long as the bids go through an evaluation process and are found to be “reasonable and cost-effective.” For example, the contracts may fit these terms if the utility is purchasing hydropower or wind energy in tandem with another renewable energy source, like solar or geothermal energy.

However, many State Senators and interest groups are disappointed with the legislation and don’t believe the bill is comprehensive enough. Arcadia Center Massachusetts Director Peter Shattuck believes that though the house bill is taking strides towards implementing clean energy, it “lacks the necessary scale and scope needed for a cost-effective clean energy transformation.” He argues that "the scale of procurement for offshore wind and other renewable energy sources is smaller than the need to replace retiring generation with clean energy sources and may limit the competitiveness of opportunity for new clean energy combinations."

Couple that with 50 amendments and even more on the way, and you’ve got a bill that necessitates much more time and further revision. And even if the bill passes the House in a timely manner, it will still need to be debated and passed by the Senate. Despite all of this, Governor Charlie Baker still hopes to sign an energy bill into law before the legislative session concludes at the end of July.

What do you think it will take to get a comprehensive energy bill passed in MA? What provisions do you think the bill should include? Do you think the bill as it stands is comprehensive enough?

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EmmamHowe Hopkinton, MA, united-states 0 Ratings 13 Discussions 8 Group posts

EmmamHowe // Marketing/Green Policy Development


Though the most recent MA energy bill has already passed through the house, many interest groups and State Representatives are still frustrated with the bill, claiming it still lacks crucial amendments before it passes through the Senate.

Below are several proposed pending amendments to the bill:

·An amendment that would increase the size of the clean energy procurement, expanding the current megawatt allotment for both wind and hydro power

·An Amendment addressing the fact that the current bill does not include a pipeline tax ban

· An energy storage amendment that would ensure that the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops a plan to implement an energy storage program in the Commonwealth. The flexibility of energy storage could solve problems related to integrating wind and solar energy and help grid operators manage resources more efficiently.

· An amendment to increase the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), a statutory obligation that requires utilities to obtain a percentage of the electricity they provide to customers from renewable energy sources. By adopting this amendment, Massachusetts could make rising to the climate challenge more achievable

To quote Jesse Mermell, President of the Alliance For Business Leadership, “we must continue to invest in clean energy in order to bolster our economy, mature a thriving industry and tackle climate change.” Though she and many other progressive MA citizens are encouraged by the progress made in the House, they want to make sure this issue remains at the forefront of the State House as the end of the legislative session draws near.

What amendments do you agree with or feel should be added to the bill?

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