Massachusetts’ Energy Transformation

The current population of the state of Massachusetts is estimated to be 6.94 million. In April 2019, state utilities used natural gas (57.7%), nuclear energy (25.5%) and renewable energy (17.7%) to generate electricity. Hydropower, biomass, solar and wind are the primary types of renewable energy.

Massachusetts use of nuclear energy contributes to state’s high electricity costs. In April 2019, the average cost of electricity in Massachusetts was U.S. 22.6 ¢ per kWh, which is the 4th most expensive state in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is U.S. 13.3 ¢ per kWh.

Concerns about climate change have prompted state legislators to accelerate the moved from fossil fuels to renewable energy. In August 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill promoting clean energy in the state. The bill mandates Massachusetts electric utilities have 35% renewable energy sources by 2030. The bill further authorizes adding up to 1,600 MW from offshore wind farms.

Recently the Massachusetts legislature recently enacted bi-partisan legislation to grant an easement that will allow for the interconnection between the offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind and the New England power grid. The legislation will allow the construction of Vineyard Wind to be fast tracked, which will reduce development costs and ultimately consumers money in their power bills.

The greatest impediment in the development of any power plant is site and power line approval from a plethora of city, country, state and federal agencies. Massachusetts legislation was significant, even if there was virtually no new coverage of the legislation.

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