NECEC Statement on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Closure
The closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant is a significant loss of the Commonwealth’s non-emitting electricity generation. However, there are large amounts of in-region large-scale clean energy resources that can be used to meet the Commonwealth’s electricity needs, while achieving its climate goals – especially energy efficiency, solar, wind and other resources that qualify as Class I under Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Onshore wind also can be combined with hydro from within New England and Canada to provide clean deliverable energy.
NECEC believes this is an opportunity for the Commonwealth to act on pending legislation that will enable distribution utilities to solicit additional long-term contracts for RPS Class I eligible resources, potentially in conjunction with hydro to facilitate the development of cost-effective transmission to deliver the power to customers.
In addition to grid-scale renewables, distributed energy resources, notably solar, have demonstrated that they have a role to play in filling the gap. However, solar remains on hold in Massachusetts due to the net metering cap, which must be lifted immediately to ensure that solar development continues to flourish in Massachusetts and solar customers can take advantage of federal tax credits scheduled to expire at the end of 2016.