Early this afternoon, Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 1895, legislation directing the state to procure up to 3 GW of offshore wind by 2040. The final version of the procurement bill emerged after several weeks of negotiations between the Governor, legislature, industry, fisheries interests, labor groups, and environmental advocates. Now that the bill is signed into law, Maine is the seventh U.S. state to pursue a competitive solicitation of offshore wind energy.… More
Category Archives: Offshore Wind
Four New England States – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island – recently submitted a concept paper to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposing to build up to three new high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines and related onshore system upgrades to support the injection of new offshore wind resources in New England.
The new year brings new NEPA (interim) guidance on climate change. It recommends several ways that federal agencies should consider climate change impacts for projects subject to NEPA review. The guidance is effective immediately but is subject to a 60-day comment period that could lead to revisions. Comments on the guidance are due to CEQ on March 10, 2023.
All projects that are federally funded or need federal permits,… More
The State of Maine is expected to release the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap in early 2023, and the global offshore wind industry should be watching. Preliminary details from the state’s roadmap—the focus of this post—clearly indicate that Maine is preparing to seize the significant opportunity presented by the Gulf of Maine offshore wind resource.
Maine’s offshore wind energy potential is ranked seventh in the nation, with more than 411 TWh/yr of offshore resource-generating potential.… More
On November 4, 2022, the White House announced a new initiative to support research and development projects on 37 “game-changing” technologies to advance the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Led by an interagency working group, the “Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative” will direct billions of dollars under the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act toward five initial priorities:
- Efficient Building Heating and Cooling,…
Governor Baker signed the climate bill (H.5060), titled An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, into law on Thursday August 11, 2022. The act combines and modifies provisions from the House’s proposed offshore wind bill (H.4524) and the Senate’s proposed omnibus climate bill (S.2819). The legislation covers a wide range of policy changes focused on electrifying vehicles and transit, reducing fossil fuel connections in new construction,… More
Those wondering what states can do to at least partially ameliorate the impacts of West Virginia v. EPA need look no farther than Massachusetts, which issued its Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030 the same day that the Supreme Court extended its crusade against the modern world by limiting EPA’s authority to regulate in the absence of a clear delegation by Congress.
The ocean covers 71% of the planet and holds nearly 97% of the Earth’s water, and about 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coastline. As reported in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, “[t]he ocean is essential for all aspects of human well-being and livelihood” and ocean warming,… More
Take my predictions with a grain of salt, because I still remember saying that Ronald Reagan would never fool enough voters to get elected, but it seems very likely at this point that Maura Healey will be the next Governor of Massachusetts. That makes her release of a climate plan a matter of some significance.
My take is that it is extremely ambitious,… More
On January 20, 2022, the New York Public Service Commission (Commission) issued its Order on Power Grid Study Recommendations concerning investments in the State’s electric transmission and distribution system that are necessary to meet the mandates of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The Order focused mainly on changes to New York’s offshore wind program, but also addressed future onshore bulk transmission planning needs,… More
Believing in the importance of aggressive action to address climate change is something of a recipe for bipolar disorder. Trump – depression. Biden first 90 days – elation. News today from ClimateWire (subscription required) that power plant GHG emissions increased by more than 3% in both 2020 and 2021 – depression.
ISO New England attributes most of the increase to the shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station and replacement of Pilgrim’s generation by natural gas generating facilities. … More
BOEM Announces Upcoming Wind Energy Lease Auction in the New York Bight; New York’s Next Offshore Wind Solicitation to Follow
Today, January 12, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that on February 23, 2022 it will hold a wind energy lease auction for six areas in the New York Bight (NY Bight), the coastal area between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. BOEM’s issuance of the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the wind energy lease areas comes just days after New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced in her State of the State address that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will issue its next offshore wind solicitation following BOEM’s lease sale in the NY Bight.… More
At What Level of Government Are We Going to Regulate Climate Change? (Hint — It Is a Global Problem.)
Last week, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the Berkeley ordinance essentially banning use of natural gas in new construction was not preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. I’m not here to opine on the legal merits of the decision. I will note note that the Judge’s reliance on textual analysis and the asserted federalist bent of SCOTUS’s conservative wing might give this opinion more life than one would otherwise expect – though I’ll also note that the conservative wing’s federalist proclivities often seem to turn on whether they agree with the underlying policy at issue. … More
Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule that would revoke the rule promulgated by the Trump Administration in January 2021 and return to the prior status quo, in which the incidental take of birds subject to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act constituted a violation of the Act. I’m not taking a position on the proposal. I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as my friends in the environmental movement seem to believe. … More
The Biden Administration’s Undoing Project Continues — A Flawed Interior Interpretation is Jettisoned
On Friday, the Principal Deputy Solicitor at the Department of Interior issued a memorandum on how DOI should balance the criteria in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in issuing leases for offshore wind. The new memorandum replaces one issued by the Trump Administration following the November election.
The Trump Administration memorandum, which could have simply been titled the “We Hate Offshore Wind Memorandum,” basically treated each of the criteria in the statute as vetoes,… More
As President Biden announces his blueprint for expanding the use of offshore wind (OSW) power, Massachusetts hopes to become an industry hub. Those plans will certainly be facilitated by the new federal OSW policies.
On March 29, the Biden administration published a major plan to mobilize offshore wind development, particularly along the East Coast. The plan aims to construct 30,000 megawatts of OSW generation by 2030,… More
It’s not always the case, but my speculation about the Massachusetts climate bill was correct. On Friday, Governor Baker signed it into law. If I haven’t succeeded in making this clear previously, I want to emphasize that this is a really far-reaching piece of legislation. It commits Massachusetts to a very aggressive timetable for reducing GHG emissions. It species a number of specific policies,… More
In January, when Governor Baker vetoed the Legislature’s effort to go big on climate, my colleague Zach Gerson made clear that the bill was not even “mostly dead.” I am pleased to say that Zach’s diagnosis was correct. The climate bill is very much alive.
Yesterday, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. It’s even more comprehensive than last week’s order. Indeed, my main reaction to the order isn’t to any of the specific provisions. It’s one simple realization – he really means it. And I think that’s the point. There is no question at this point that President Joseph Robinette Biden,… More
Over the past four years, while the Trump Administration did everything possible to ignore climate change, optimists continued to find progress at the state level. And while President-elect Biden has put together an A-team on climate, Massachusetts, at least, seems determined to show that the states will continue to lead – even if they now have a partner at the federal level.
Two weeks ago,… More