Message from the Director: April 2019

The race for offshore wind development continues to heat up. Just last week, Maryland’s legislature passed a bill expanding the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030.  To help achieve that ambitious renewable energy requirement, the bill doubles the state’s commitment to offshore wind by mandating at least 1200 MW by 2030. New Jersey and Massachusetts already have similar legislative mandates for 3500 MW and 1600 MW, respectively.

Here in Connecticut, we have bipartisan support for a legislative mandate of 2000 MW of offshore wind by 2030.  Republican legislators, led by Sen. Paul Formica, have provided some of the strongest support for such a mandate, recognizing the need for a robust long-term commitment to secure in-state investment and jobs. H.B. 7156 already includes the strongest labor and environmental protections of any state statute in the region, requiring project labor agreements and prevailing wages while seeking to mitigate negative impacts on the state’s commercial fishing industry.

Connecticut has an opportunity to provide regional leadership in shaping the future of this emerging industry.  But we need to act quickly.  New York is scheduled to announce the selection of its first 800 MW project this month, and Massachusetts will issue another solicitation this spring.

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Aisha K. Staggers
Author: Aisha K. Staggers

Provider of "proactive and strategic communications" with a solid background in print and digital journalism. Communications Director of Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.