NEPGA sad to see Massachusetts House pass bill featuring Canadian hydropower

The New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA) is disappointed to see the Massachusetts House of Representatives approve energy legislation June 8 that would provide contracts of up to 25 years for one-third of the Massachusetts electricity market for particular resources — including Canadian hydropower.

“Proposals like this undermine a competitive electricity market driving the lowest prices in over a decade,” said NEPGA President Dan Dolan said. NEPGA is a trade organization for independent power producers in New England. It claims the legislation would undermine competitive power markets.

The legislation, House Bill No. 4377, has generally been supported by the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker (R). The measure would push toward “firm service” from hydroelectric power alone or new “Class 1’ renewable portfolio service (RPS) eligible resources that are “firmed up with firm service hydroelectric generation.” This could result in large investments in imported Canadian hydropower as well as offshore wind by 2027.

“In response to retiring power plants, thousands of megawatts of new local plants are under development today to preserve reliability and continue Massachusetts’ leadership in driving lower emissions,” Dolan said.

“Locking consumers into decades-long contracts would also freeze out innovation at a time when tremendous growth and promise is evident from more efficient power generation, lower renewable energy costs and burgeoning distributed electricity supplies,” Dolan said.

“Our hope is that Massachusetts will continue to support the successful marketplace it helped create almost 20 years ago. Consumers deserve nothing less,” Dolan went on to say.

NEPGA contends that the bill has the potential to dramatically increase costs for consumers and derail billions of dollars in energy investments in Massachusetts.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.