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Sea Change: Maine should act more like the renewable energy dynamo it is

The fastest-growing sources of electricity generation in the coming two years will be solar and wind, a federal report projects, as prices keep dropping and new projects come online.

These power sources are gaining ground wherever they’re allowed to take hold. In a vivid example of “what’s possible when you infuse a can-do spirit with policy,” Massachusetts has “blown past” goals once thought unrealistic, says John Rogers, a senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization. Massachusetts now has nearly six times more solar power installed per person than Maine, according to the Acadia Center, a nonprofit promoting clean-energy efforts (see chart).

Read the full article from the Times Record here.

Merger of two wind power companies is good news for Connecticut, supporters say

Connecticut officials already have issued another request for proposals in an effort to meet the state’s clean energy goals for the future. Three offshore wind bids were among the dozens submitted and supporters of wind power in Connecticut are optimistic that request for proposals will yield further wind power projects to add to the state’s energy mix.

“These bids give Connecticut another opportunity to affordably meet its clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction requirements by bringing more offshore wind online,” said Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at Acadia Center. “With this procurement, Connecticut should aim to keep pace with its neighbors and grow its offshore wind resource to maximize ratepayer savings, economic growth, and carbon-free electricity generation.”

Read the full article from the New Haven Register here.

Deepwater Wind Wins Bid To Bring Offshore Wind Power To Connecticut

Connecticut’s share of the pie is the smallest of the three states at 200 megawatts, but it’s the largest allowed by this bidding cycle, enough wind energy to meet about three percent of state demand.

Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group, said the decision is encouraging, but she hopes Connecticut does more.

“Massachusetts has mandated 1600 megawatts of offshore wind by 2027. So we’d like to see Connecticut set a similar target in law so that we know that we’re moving toward that,” Lewis said.

Read or listen to the full report from Connecticut Public Radio here.

State Taps First-Ever Offshore Wind Power In Clean Energy Program

The Malloy administration on Wednesday directed the state’s first purchase of offshore wind power, joining Connecticut with southern New England’s drive to generate wind power from the Atlantic Ocean.

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Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at Acadia Center, said the clean energy advocacy group hopes the state builds on its commitment “by setting an ambitious offshore wind mandate that creates a sustainable offshore wind industry.”

Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

Labor and Clean Energy Advocates Applaud Connecticut’s Selection of Bid for 200 MW Offshore Wind

HARTFORD – Today, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) selected Deepwater Wind’s proposal for 200 MW of offshore wind as one of the winning bids in an open request for proposals to support nascent energy technologies, including fuel cells and anaerobic digestors in addition to offshore wind.  The selection builds on the regional momentum for offshore wind, following the selection of two projects totaling 1200 MW by Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind’s winning project is estimated to power about 91,000 homes.

“Connecticut today is showing the region that it wants to participate in the budding offshore wind market and will share in the benefits of being an early mover in adopting this technology,” said Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at Acadia Center. “Acadia Center commends DEEP on taking this important step to procure offshore wind for the state. We hope Connecticut continues to build on this commitment by setting an ambitious offshore wind mandate that creates a sustainable offshore wind industry and continued economic growth.”

The full details of the bid are still hidden until the contracts are completed, but information released to the public indicates that Deepwater Wind’s bid includes:

“This announcement, combined with the state’s recent commitment of bond funding to revitalize the State Pier, demonstrates that Connecticut is serious about securing its share of the highly-paid offshore wind jobs coming to the Northeast,” said John Humphries, lead organizer for the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. “Whether it’s on the docks, in the water or on the factory floor, Connecticut has the skilled labor needed to jumpstart this new industry bringing clean energy to the region.”

“The building trades workforce of Eastern Connecticut is eager to do whatever is needed to support this growing industry,” said Keith Brothers, president of the New London-Norwich Building and Construction Trades Council. “We urge the Administration and developers to ensure the highest quality construction and timely completion by negotiating project labor agreements for both the port infrastructure and offshore wind projects. Connecticut’s workers are ready to build and maintain the turbines and all the onshore facilities.”

That message was echoed by Sean Daly, Business Manager and member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 90. “IBEW’s skilled electricians have already installed grid-scale solar projects and onshore wind turbines here in Connecticut. Now we’re eager to help bring this new source of clean energy to the state. And if the legislature authorizes more offshore wind purchases, we look forward to hiring and training new workers. This new industry will be good for our workers and their families, and it will be good for our communities.”

Tony Walter, President of the CT State Council of Machinists, also urged state leaders to encourage Deepwater Wind to invest in local supply-chain development. “From aerospace to submarines, Connecticut’s Machinists provide precision manufacturing outcomes every day. The offshore wind industry will need high-quality parts and equipment, and we should be building them here in Connecticut.”

 


Media Contacts:
Emily Lewis, Policy Analyst
elewis@acadiacenter.org, 860-246-7121 x207

John Humphries, Organizer, CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
john@ctclimateandjobs.org, 860-216-7972

New London, state leaders push offshore wind development as Mass., R.I. projects move forward

Emily Lewis of the Acadia Center, which advocates for renewable energy, applauded Massachusetts’ and Rhode Island’s push for offshore wind.

“Today’s announcement should inspire all northeast states to set their own offshore wind commitments, and states with existing processes should keep things moving forward,” Lewis said.

Lewis noted New York had committed to producing 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, and New Jersey has called for projects totaling 3,500 megawatts by 2030.

Read the full article from The Day here (article may be behind paywall).

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Select Offshore Wind Projects Totaling 1200 MW

BOSTON – Today, Massachusetts utilities, in coordination with the MA Department of Energy Resources, selected Vineyard Wind’s offshore wind proposal and will begin contract negotiations. Simultaneously, Rhode Island selected one of the other two bidders in the competitive selection process, Deepwater Wind, to build a new wind farm for the state. The decision moves large-scale offshore wind one step closer to construction in the Northeast, and it expands Rhode Island’s offshore wind capacity by more than ten times. Vineyard Wind’s winning project in Massachusetts will provide 800 MW of electricity to the state—enough to power about 440,000 homes—with the first phase coming online as early as 2021. The Deepwater Wind project will provide 400 MW of electricity, powering about 225,000 homes.

“Acadia Center congratulates Massachusetts and Rhode Island for taking these crucial steps that cement them as leaders on offshore wind,” said Deborah Donovan, Acadia Center’s Massachusetts Director. “Massachusetts is now leading the region and the country in offshore wind development and is making strides to fulfill its promise to clean energy. The Commonwealth is locking in its position as the offshore wind hub for the Northeast, and both states will reap early economic benefits from their commitment to this clean energy technology.”

In addition to providing clean energy, the Vineyard Wind proposal contains several provisions to boost the Massachusetts economy, including use of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal and $15 million of investment in a Massachusetts Offshore Wind Accelerator Program. Vineyard Wind expects the project to generate about 3,600 jobs. The proposal also includes innovative community partnerships, support for low-income ratepayers and a demonstration of battery energy storage benefits. Acadia Center urges the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to advance the process to secure these benefits by submitting negotiated contracts to the Department of Public Utilities for approval on schedule, by July 31, 2018.

Rhode Island’s selection of Deepwater Wind’s Revolution Wind project will also create hundreds of local and indirect jobs. Erika Niedowski, Acadia Center Policy Advocate in Rhode Island, said of the project, “With the Block Island wind farm, Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to produce electricity through offshore wind. Today’s announcement shows the state’s commitment to making clean energy generation available to all residents while spurring the economy and reducing climate pollution.”

“Massachusetts and Rhode Island are setting the example for how the Northeast states can commit to and follow through on large-scale offshore wind developments,” said Emily Lewis, policy analyst at Acadia Center. “Today’s announcement should inspire all the Northeast states to set their own offshore wind commitments, and states with existing processes should keep things moving forward. We hope to hear from Connecticut on their RFP in June as planned, for example.”

Following Massachusetts’ announcement that it would bring 1600 MW of offshore wind to the state by 2027, New York committed to 2400 MW by 2030 and New Jersey to 3500 MW by 2030. Currently, as part of its commitment, New York is soliciting input to inform an upcoming request for proposals. Connecticut is currently evaluating three offshore wind proposals for up to 200 MW. Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 suggests that New England and New York should develop 6400 MW of offshore wind by 2030 to stay on track to meet their emissions reduction targets.


Media Contacts:

Deborah Donovan, Massachusetts Director
ddonovan@acadiacenter.org, 617-742-0054 x103

Krysia Wazny, Communications Director
kwazny@acadiacenter.org, 617-742-0054 x107