For Immediate Release - January 23, 2014

PATRICK ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES PROGRESS IN REGIONAL ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE

BOSTON – Thursday, January 23, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced he is joining New England’s governors to seek support from ISO-New England, operator of the region’s electric grid, for expanded clean energy electrical transmission and natural gas pipeline capacity.

In a letter requested by the governors, the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) asked ISO-New England to assist the states as they request proposals for transmission infrastructure to deliver at least 1,200 megawatts (MW) and as much as 3,600 MW of electricity from clean energy sources into the grid, and to develop a funding mechanism to support investment in pipelines that bring natural gas into the region.

“Our regional energy infrastructure partnership is a big step forward in our effort to provide residents with more affordable, reliable and cleaner power,” said Governor Patrick. “Diversifying our energy mix will help ensure adequate supplies and end our reliance on fossil fuels that come with volatile prices.”

The letter builds on the governors’ agreement in December 2013 to work together on a regional approach to expand energy infrastructure in New England. As the region’s power generation becomes increasingly reliant on natural gas, this portfolio of infrastructure investments will help ensure adequate supplies of gas and clean energy from diverse sources, while lowering the cost of electricity for residents and businesses.

“It’s great to see Governor Patrick taking a proactive approach to resolving these regional gas pipeline constraint issues,” said Representative John D. Keenan, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “Any efforts that can be made to resolve these serious price and reliability concerns are critical.”

The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and emissions reductions. Massachusetts has been ranked number one in energy efficiency by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy for the last three years. Governor Patrick has set a new solar goal, after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts in 2013, four years early. The Commonwealth now aims to install 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. There has been an increase in wind energy from 3 megawatts to 103 megawatts since 2007, enough to power more than 30,867 homes and eliminate GHG emissions from more than 21,345 cars annually.

The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the clean tech industry in Massachusetts.

 

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