Massachusetts Senate Unanimous on 2GW Offshore Wind Target by 2027

The Massachusetts State Senate has unanimously passed an omnibus energy bill which requires electric distribution companies to solicit long-term contracts for at least 2,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2027.

The Senate bill was offered as an amendment to the energy bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier in June, which called for 1,200 MW of long-term offshore wind contracts. The bill will now be reconciled with the House version though a conference committee to work out the differences between the two bills.

The Senate bill calls for successive, staggered solicitations to keep costs down through competition. Additionally, distribution companies would be required to purchase a minimum of 12,450,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy from hydropower and other Class 1 resources such as onshore wind, solar, anaerobic digestion and energy storage.

Further, the bill increases the percentage of Class 1 renewable energy that must be purchased by retail electric suppliers under the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) from an additional 1% annually to an additional 2% annually beginning in 2017, putting the state on track to reach an energy mix of 37% renewables by 2030.

“This bill puts the Commonwealth on a path to obtaining a clean energy future by establishing procurement goals for hydropower and wind energy, encouraging municipalities and consumers to increase use of zero emission vehicles, requiring home energy ratings for consumers when purchasing a home, and establishing a taskforce to develop a successor to the MassSave program to increase energy efficiency,” said Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg.