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Massachusetts and the New England region are at a crossroads that requires us to work collaboratively to make targeted decisions and investments regarding our regional energy and electricity infrastructure. During a signing ceremony held on the West Lawn of the Statehouse with legislative leaders and other stakeholders, Governor Baker put pen to paper on comprehensive energy legislation to stabilize electric rates, ensure a diversified energy portfolio, and embrace advanced technologies.

“This legislation assists Massachusetts not only in meeting our environmental requirements under the Global Warming Solutions Act, but also by reducing and stabilizing the cost of energy for residents and businesses,” said Governor Baker.

Consistent with the Baker-Polito Administration’s previously filed legislation authorizing the procurement of hydropower generations, the law signed Monday requires utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,200 megawatts (MW) of clean energy generation via hydropower, onshore wind, and solar. 

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 energy to assist in replacing the estimated 10,000 MW the regional stands to lose by 2020.

The procurement of an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind has also been authorized, spurring the development of an emerging offshore wind industry that will create jobs while lowering Greenhouse Gas emissions. This investment represents the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind.

“By utilizing renewable sources of power generation, Massachusetts will continue to lead the nation in embracing economic and environmentally friendly methods to generate electricity to meet the needs of our communities,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

In an effort to enhance ratepayer savings associated with the procurement of renewable energy resources, the bi-partisan legislation authorizes the use of energy storage technologies paired with renewable power generation. Advanced energy storage technologies include batteries, flywheels, thermal and compressed air technologies that allow merchants, utilities, and electricity customers to store and discharge energy as needed instead of purchasing or generating more expensive energy during times of peak demand.

“Energy storage technology has the potential to be a game changer for the Massachusetts energy market, further cementing our place as a national clean energy leader” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. The Baker-Polito Administration previously announced a $10 million Energy Storage Initiative to study opportunities to support the Massachusetts energy storage market. Massachusetts is now only the third state in the nation to authorize an energy storage procurement goal.

The bill also builds on Massachusetts’ national energy efficiency leadership, providing additional support for the Commonwealth’s business community by establishing a commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The PACE program will enable commercial and industrial property owners across the state to finance comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades that are repaid through a property tax assessment on their building.

“Through this bill we can work with our New England neighbors to unlock clean, affordable energy and reduce costs for consumers,” said Governor Baker. 

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