(BOSTON) – Representative Garrett J. Bradley joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass energy legislation that seeks to protect the Commonwealth’s ratepayers and support clean energy.
The bill requires distribution companies to conduct solicitations for 1,200 megawatts (MWs) of offshore wind and supports a total of 2,400 MWs of clean energy, the largest amount the Legislature has included in any single bill.
“I thank my colleagues in the House who helped to craft and debate this legislation as we attempt to address the future energy needs of Massachusetts,” said Rep. Bradley. “This bill adopts a viable, realistic strategy that will stabilize costs, protect ratepayers and promote clean energy.”
To spur the timely infusion of reliable clean energy projects in Massachusetts, the bill will also require distribution companies to conduct solicitations for up to 9,450,000 MWhs of energy from either hydropower, or hydropower and Class I renewable resources.
The legislation includes a series of ratepayer protections including a requirement that the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Attorney General jointly-select an independent evaluator to assist the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to determine whether the procurement process is open, fair, and transparent.
Related provisions include:
All contract proposals must go through a competitive bidding process;
Contracts must be determined to be cost-effective for ratepayers to be approved;
Stipulates that eligible offshore wind developers must build projects in federally leased waters;
Solicitations may be coordinated with other states or state-designated entities, and may staggered over time;
The length of the contracts shall be for 15 – 20 years.
By creating a framework that includes both offshore wind and hydropower this legislation promotes a diverse energy portfolio that will replace some of the power the Commonwealth is losing from older, dirtier sources scheduled to shut down. With a similarly forward-looking perspective, the focus on offshore wind will cultivate a new industry and create jobs here in Massachusetts.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.