BOSTON – In a continued effort to stabilize electric rates, ensure a diversified energy portfolio for the Commonwealth, and embrace advanced technologies, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive energy diversity legislation into law yesterday, August 8, at the State House with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, legislative leaders, and members of the Legislature.
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.
Over the course of the past eighteen months, we’ve worked collaboratively making targeted decisions and investments regarding that regional energy and electricity infrastructure, and this legislation is a testament to the collective spirit the so many people brought to this conversation and takes the Commonwealth one step closer to that energy future.
We believe that through the solicitation and procurement of long-term contracts for both hydropower and offshore wind power, Massachusetts and New England can remain national leaders in clean and renewable energy production.
I am also proud to say that with the passage of this legislation, and the combined 1200MW of hydropower and 1600MW of offshore wind authorized under this act, the Commonwealth moves closer to meeting our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Hydroelectric generation will also play a crucial role in the Commonwealth’s new balanced and diverse energy portfolio by offering clean, reliable, and cost-effective base load 24/7, 365 energy to assist in replacing the estimated 10,000MW the region stands to lose by 2020.
In addition, the bill spurs the development of an emerging offshore wind industry, creates jobs and represents the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind.
In addition to reducing and stabilizing the cost of energy for residents and businesses throughout the region, this legislation assists Massachusetts in meeting our environmental requirements under the Global Warming Solutions Act.
To build upon this commitment, in the coming weeks our administration will begin to take strong, coordinated action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard our residents from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.
It’s a testament and a tribute to the leadership of both the House and Senate that through it all we managed to come up with a piece of legislation that I believe will set Massachusetts course for the future in a proper and appropriate way to ensure that we continue to reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time deliver reliable and competitively priced energy for the people of this region.