ELM Response to Baker Administration Announcement on Offshore Wind

Today, the Baker Administration made an announcement about the future of offshore wind in New England.

Here is ELM’s response:

We commend the Baker Administration for its decision to combine the remaining two authorized offshore wind procurements into one larger solicitation of 1,600 MW. Additionally, the Commonwealth’s intention to work with neighboring states to explore coordination on procurements and regional independent transmission is a step in the right direction.

Responsibly-developed offshore wind is a game-changer for New England—it is our best chance to meet our future energy needs, grow our economy, and meet our emissions reduction mandates. Positioning our region to take maximum advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind will require enhanced interstate collaboration on a range of issues, including transmission infrastructure, procurements, wildlife protection and environmental mitigation, and equity in economic participation. Rapidly expanding the deployment of this resource while working with our neighbors in our shared grid to drive down costs and create economies of scale is right for our economy, environment, and people.

While these decisions move us in the right direction, we can and must do more. To lead, we must continually examine how our goals and actions match the urgency of the crises we face. The Commonwealth set an original goal of 1,600 MW in 2016 and increased it to 3,200 MW in 2018. It’s time to raise the bar once more. The COVID-19 crisis and the associated economic downturn underscore the need for Massachusetts to harness the full potential of this industry. It could drive a local, green recovery by creating thousands of jobs, decreasing our state emissions, establishing our region as a clean-tech hub, expanding the market for local renewables, and saving our residents billions of dollars.

We support efforts by Senators Cyr and Pacheco to increase our state offshore wind targets and accelerate this transition legislatively. We hope the Baker Administration will do the same using its executive authority. Climate change is an existential threat that requires urgent action and strong state leadership to avert its most severe consequences. We look forward to working with the Administration and the legislature to ensure the rapid and responsible build-out of offshore wind, and achieve the green and just future our residents deserve.