On July 31, the Massachusetts Legislature passed H.4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy.”

Among other things, the bill creates a path that would double the currently authorized amount of off-shore wind procurements for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1,600 MW to 3,200 MW.

The bill directs the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to investigate “the necessity, benefits, and costs” of requiring the electric distribution companies to procure an aggregate of 1,600 MW of offshore wind, “in addition to the solicitations and procurements required by section 83C…and may require said additional solicitations…by December 31, 2035.”

This section of the legislation also allows DOER to impose additional requirements for these procurements, and expressly mandates that any selection of off-shore wind energy transmission “shall be the most cost-effective mechanism for procuring reliable, low-cost off-shore wind energy transmission service for ratepayers in the commonwealth.”

With the regulatory proceedings related to the first 1,600 MW tranche of off-shore wind just getting underway at the Department of Public Utilities, stakeholders will likely be watching and waiting for a sign from DOER of its intent to seek additional procurements under this newly enacted law.

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