Signing of the Times: Gov. Baker Inks Momentous Clean Energy Legislation at State House Ceremony

Under a blazing summer sun, with more than a hundred people from the clean energy community and Legislature watching, Governor Charlie Baker signed a major piece of energy legislation into law this week, setting the Commonwealth on a path that will accelerate the deployment of clean energy and accelerate the economy by providing a stable policy framework for investors and developers of clean energy. 

Flanked by Executive officials and key legislators, Baker capped off a two-year-plus negotiation and advocacy process with a stroke of his pen, setting into motion a new era in the state’s energy journey.  

Since its passage, the landmark legislation - An Act to promote energy diversity - has garnered national attention for its aggressive renewable procurements and cutting-edge policy-area focuses. Acclaimed as “transformational” by many clean energy advocates, the specifics of the long awaited and much debated law are well known to clean energy observers by now: the solicitation of proposals for long-term hydropower, Class I RPS-eligible resources and offshore wind contracts, a cutting-edge energy storage directive, and the establishment of a statewide Commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing program, among other components.

Speakers at Monday’s signing event touted the impact that these policies will have on the state’s energy landscape, including diversifying the regional energy mix, reducing energy costs for ratepayers, and spurring economic development and the growth of a new US industry: offshore wind. Governor Baker, along with his Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, praised Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton and other leaders of the administration’s energy secretariat for their work bringing the bill across the finish line.

Massachusetts Senator Ben Downing, Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications Utilities and Energy echoed the administration’s excitement over the bill’s successful passage and extending gratitude to stakeholders and negotiating parties for their input and collaboration. 

“Today, the other 49 states will look at Massachusetts & say I want to do what they just did,” said Senator Downing.

 Despite their excitement of the bill’s passage, NECEC clean energy member companies are eager to get to work, bringing more clean energy to the Commonwealth to shape the region’s path towards a clean energy-based future.

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Jamie Dickerson

Jamie is NECEC's Policy Analyst.