- Jim Gordon, President of the stalled Cape Wind offshore wind project, endorsed Offshore Wind Massachusetts, a business coalition backing offshore wind and supporting legislation. Gordon indicated the state’s burgeoning solar industry as a model for further wind development.
- National Grid and Eversource (formerly Northeast Utilities/NStar), the state’s dominant electricity providers, stopped Cape Wind development by cancelling power purchase agreements with the project’s developer for failing to meet a financing deadline. Gordon is contesting that decision in the courts.
- The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would require the two utilities to buy 1,500 MW of offshore wind capacity and 1,200 MW of new hydropower in competitive bidding. The utilities are making plans to increase natural gas supplies to the New England region.
Proponents of offshore wind in Massachusetts are organizing around legislation that would prompt the state's utilities to buy power produced by offshore installments. Now the group, calling itself Offshore Wind Massachusetts, has won the endorsement of the president of Cape Wind, the large project National Grid and Eversource opted out of in January.
The bill the coalition supports is one of a variety of options being considered to boost the Bay State's offshore wind industry. Earlier this year, the Clean Energy and Navigant Research group published a report, "Up In The Air; What the Northeast States Should Do Together on Offshore Wind Before It’s Too Late." The report proposes a framework for New England states’ collaboration to make an offshore wind industry achievable. It was endorsed by Massachusetts Assistant Secretary for Energy Ron Gerwatowski, a former National Grid executive.
The white paper recommends several collaborative policies. First, the states should set a regional target for offshore wind capacity. They should also standardize policies and incentives for developers. Regional financing mechanisms, including bonds and green bank financing, would be beneficial.
Carve-outs for offshore wind capacity, as part of state renewables mandates, would drive aggregated demand, as they have for solar. Coordinated economic development could prevent duplication and cost escalation while creating job growth and new manufacturing.
Finally, joint transmission and interconnection planning and standardized regional permitting procedures would lower wind project development costs.