How much should offshore wind cost? Look to Massachusetts

Energy Wire

At least one influential opponent — state Sen. Michael Barrett, a Democratic co-chair of the joint committee — counters that erasing the price requirement would be unnecessarily risky for Massachusetts ratepayers, however. “Massachusetts consumers are better off with constraints on project prices,” Barrett wrote in a Jan. 10 letter to the governor.

The state’s climate goals, which include a 50 percent greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050, envision a massive shift from gas cars and building heat appliances toward electric technologies, he wrote, making controls on the price of electricity especially important in coming years.

Other Northeastern states have often agreed to pay far more for offshore wind, ranging up to about double the per-kilowatt rate in Massachusetts, Barrett noted in the letter.

The price requirement had been successful in bringing new jobs and investment to the state, Barrett told the governor during the latter’s appearance before the joint committee yesterday. Baker supported the requirement five years ago, when the economics of offshore wind were far less well-established.

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