BURLINGTON, Vt. — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick proposed a resolution at the New England Governor’s Conference that passed unanimously and will advance the process toward a coordinated regional procurement of renewable energy. Assistant Secretary of Energy Steven Clarke presented the proposal at the Burlington, Vt. conference on the Governor’s behalf. The six New England states agreed to release a request for proposal (RFP) in 2013 for a significant amount of renewable energy. Taking advantage of economies of scale and market power, a competitive, coordinated regional procurement of renewable energy will help New England develop its vast, homegrown, renewable energy resource more cost effectively, enhance energy supply diversity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate economic development. The resolution charges The New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) with developing and implementing a work plan on behalf of the New England governors that will result in the release of an RFP for renewable energy in 2013. NESCOE will convene a procurement team of energy officials and other representatives from each state that will finalize the details of the competitive, coordinated, regional procurement over the course of the next year.

“The Massachusetts clean energy revolution is well underway thanks to leadership from Governor Patrick and the legislature, and I look forward to working with my counterparts in the other New England states to further this revolution,” said Energy and Environment Secretary Rick Sullivan. “We launched our own version of a competitive procurement for renewable energy here in Massachusetts thru Section 83 of the Green Communities Act, which was very successful — requiring utilities to enter into long-term contracts with the developers of renewable energy projects, in order to help them obtain financing and it could also serve as an effective model for regional procurement.”

The resolution is the culmination of years of analysis and policy development led by NESCOE on behalf of The New England Governors. In September of 2009, the New England governors adopted the “New England Governors’ Renewable Energy Blueprint,” which included technical analysis conducted by ISO New England (ISO-NE), and identified significant renewable energy resources in and around the region. It also included policy analysis that identified the potential for New England states to coordinate competitive renewable power procurement. According to a wind-energy study conducted by ISO-NE in 2010, offshore and onshore wind energy alone could provide more than 12,000 MW of electricity — enough electricity to supply 24 percent of the region’s electricity demand.

Publication date: 9/3/2012