Massachusetts chambers and their member companies had an engaging dialogue with Rep. Golden (D – Lowell) and Sen. Pacheco (D – Taunton) on a Sept. 20th briefing call to learn more about the recently passed energy legislation, An Act to Promote Energy Diversity (H4568). Both legislators played key roles in the new legislation and are preparing for additional steps in 2017.
The major takeaways from the call were:
- The legislation aims to create a new offshore-wind industry in MA. The bill calls for 1600 MG of offshore wind energy and positions the Bay State to attract the investment and jobs associated with this new industry. Job growth is expected in the construction of the wind energy sites as well as in the manufacturing supply chain. States along the eastern seaboard are vying to attract these investments.
- The energy storage provision in the legislation is a “game changer.” Storing energy in batteries and other innovative technologies will help to lower energy costs and increase the reliability of the grid.
- The pairing of hydro and wind energy will result in the efficient utilization of transmission lines, which will help to lower costs.
- The legislation allows for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE), a 100% voluntary finance mechanism that covers the up-front cost of energy improvements on commercial properties.
- This bill is just a first step and sets the framework for future legislation.
Both legislators said they will work on clean energy legislation in 2017 that will continue to move the Commonwealth into the future. Stay tuned!
To learn more about the legislation, click here.