Tech Council Urges Attention to Clean Energy Costs, Economic Impacts

By Katie Lannan

Cost to ratepayers should be the top priority for state officials weighing clean energy projects, the Massachusetts High Technology Council said Thursday.

In a letter to Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson, the council cited the state’s comparatively high electricity costs and urged “the strongest of consideration” for potential economic impacts.

“As regulators deliberate on the best project for Massachusetts’ clean energy future, strong consideration must be given to the impacts on our ability to meet the needs of our growing economy,” council President Christopher Anderson said in a statement. “Make no mistake, cost matters. We support the Commonwealth’s efforts to be a national leader in renewable energy, but we must all be mindful of the impact energy costs have on job creation and our reputation as a leader in the innovation economy.”

A 2016 law required Massachusetts utilities to procure 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind and 1,200 megawatts of new hydropower, solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2027. Proposals for projects generating 945 megawatts of clean power were due in July, and last week marked the deadline to propose projects generating between 400 and 800 megawatts of offshore wind.

The clean energy request for proposals yielded 46 bids, and the project timeline calls for selections to be made by January 25, followed by contract negotiations.