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Energy Update: April 6, 2018

In the States

MA – Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation recently to require properties up for sale to include a home energy and efficiency rating. If lawmakers approve the bill, Massachusetts would become the first state with such a mandate. Some cities, including Berkeley, California and Portland, Oregon have similar requirements. Supporters of the legislation said the bill could help increase home modernizations, improve insulations, and lead to installing high-tech HVAC systems. Matthew Beaton, Baker’s energy and environmental affairs secretary, said “this is a market-based incentive to give the consumers a reason…to make an investment, [to make] a unified score that is digestible and understandable, that the general public would grow familiar with.” Mr. Beaton also said he hopes the bill will lead to lower carbon emissions thanks to a spurring of energy-efficiency and clean energy improvements the bill would help encourage. Home sellers would either be required to hire an energy assessor, the Mass Save program, or a local utility for an energy audit of their home’s insulation, air sealing, heating and cooling system, LED light bulbs, and programmable thermostats. Governor seeks to mandate energy efficiency scores for homesThe Boston Globe


MO – Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston-based company, enlisted former Governor Jay Nixon to help overturn a decision by the Public Service Commission (PSC) blocking the construction of a proposed 780-mile power line to transport energy generated from wind turbines. Nixon, now a practicing private attorney, will argue before the Missouri Supreme Court that “utility regulators he appointed wrongly rejected the power line while relying on an incorrect ruling written by a judge whom Nixon also appointed.” If the PSC decision is overturned, the 2.3 billion high-voltage transmission line project, known as the Grain Belt Express, would transport wind-generated energy from western Kansas across Missouri and Illinois to Indiana. "I think it's a great opportunity for our state and an important one policy-wise" for the nation, Nixon said in an interview. Clean Line transmission project turns to ex-Missouri GovernorAssociated Press


NH – Addressing an audience of clean energy advocates, Governor Chris Sununu announced that he is soon planning to release a “New Hampshire First” energy policy. In his announcement, the Governor encouraged a comprehensive approach to energy and a move away from a zero-sum game he currently sees playing out in the states. The Governor also noted New Hampshire should thoughtfully help subsidize solar, wind, hydro, and biomass power development, and maintained his commitment to regional and multi-state initiatives to curb emissions, notably the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Sununu plans to release ‘NH First’ energy policyNHPR 


NJ – In response to Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order directing the Board of Public Utilities to cultivate 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, EDF Renewable Energy announced, as a first step to growing its business in the New Jersey market, that it will revive an agreement with Fisherman’s Energy to purchase a 24 megawatts wind project off the coast of Atlantic City. Another company, Danish offshore wind energy leader Ørsted, is planning to develop a 250 square mile area for its wind farm called Ocean Wind. “We cannot allow for stagnation in this growing sector of our energy economy and we cannot lose sight of the tremendous opportunity for offshore wind,” said Governor Murphy. “With this executive order, we begin the process of making New Jersey a leader in offshore wind, a critical step toward achieving our clean energy goals.” Another east coast Governor signs up for offshore wind and EDF sees stalled NJ project as opening to fast-growing marketOffshore Wind Journal


NM – The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved, by a unanimous vote, the construction of two wind farms along the border between New Mexico and Texas. The $1.6 billion project by Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis, Minnesota utility holding company, is part of Xcel’s plan to double its wind energy portfolio by the end of 2021 by adding a dozen wind farms in seven states, or about 3,700 megawatts of new wind capacity. David Hudson, president of the company’s operations in New Mexico and Texas, called the vote historic, noting “these wind facilities will power the regional economy with energy from our abundant, fuel-free wind resource and save customers hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs for decades to come.” Additional wind farms, with the potential to power more than 440,000 homes, are planned for Hale County, Texas, as well as the area immediately northeast of Roswell, New Mexico. New Mexico regulators OK massive wind farms near TexasAssociated Press

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