Major Hydropower For The Bay State

The current population of the “Bay State,” Massachusetts is estimated to be 6.94 million. In March 2019, state utilities used natural gas (62.7%), nuclear energy (22.0%) and renewable energy (15.4%) to generate electricity. Hydropower, solar and biomass are the primary types of renewable energy in Massachusetts.

The state’s use of nuclear energy contributes to high electricity costs. In March 2019, the average cost of electricity in Massachusetts was U.S. 22.3 ¢ per kWh, which is the 5th most expensive price in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 12.5 ¢ per kWh.

Climate change concerns have prompted state leaders to finally develop new, green energy programs. In August 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that mandates electric utilities have 35% renewable energy sources by 2030. The bill further mandates the Massachusetts add up to 1,600 MW from new offshore wind farms.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has recently approved long-term contracts for 9,554,940 MWh
annually of hydropower between H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc. and the state’s electric utilities. The price for the hydropower in the long-term contracts is 5.9 ¢ per kWh. Massachusetts rate payers are expected to save approximately $4 billion over the life of the twenty-year hydropower contracts.

H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc. generates and distributes renewable power and energy and is headquartered in
Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The company is a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec, a state-owned utility, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec Canada.

I am encouraged that Massachusetts, a state that historically powered by fossil fuel is finally moving to renewable energy. The state has significant undeveloped offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and biomass potential. In my opinion, Massachusetts could easily achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 with new renewable energy projects and existing nuclear power plants.

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