It has been a decade since Cape Wind.
The calculus for offshore wind has changed dramatically. Prices per kilowatt-hour are a fraction. Turbines are four times as powerful. Competition is vigorous. Stakeholders have made progress in negotiating the ocean’s many shared uses.
In 2016, MA led the nation with a 1,600 MW procurement goal. Since then, states along the eastern seaboard have been raising the bar, including NY’s recent goal of 9,000 MW. For MA, stakes are high. Once a first mover, our leadership may be eroding. Supply chain, construction, and maintenance companies are scanning the horizon for the best states to call home. How do we keep ourselves on the forefront and reap the many dividends from economic development and emissions reductions?
During the 2018 gubernatorial election, hundreds of ELM supporters urged Governor Baker to commit to doubling down on Massachusetts’ offshore wind procurement. We look forward to working with Governor Baker and the legislature to not only reach this commitment, but go beyond it, replacing our retiring fossil fuels with reliable, renewable energy.
An Act relative to multi-state offshore wind procurement
ELM supports a bill compelling Massachusetts to collaborate with the other New England states to explore issuing a joint procurement for 6 GW of new offshore wind. It would also authorize Massachusetts to enter into such an agreement and direct utilities to purchase this new power. Between 4 and 9 GW of older fossil and nuclear power plants will close in coming years. It should be replaced by clean, inexpensive, and plentiful offshore wind.
The Benefits of Growing our Offshore Wind Industry
New England is home to some of the first and finest colleges and universities in the nation. We are also the home of the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Thanks to the leadership of the New England states, hundreds, and hopefully thousands, more megawatts of offshore wind are coming soon.
New England’s greatest strength is the intellectual capital developed by its colleges and universities. Unfortunately, polls show that New England is not always good at retaining graduates after they complete their degrees.
If our home-grown industry doesn’t keep pace, our graduates and researchers will need to leave the region in search of opportunities.
ELM worked with educational leaders from six higher education institutions representing the six New England states to write an op ed on the importance of growing our offshore wind industry to keep our best and brightest in New England.