Beginning on or before June 30, 2016 all local governments, towns, counties and municipal aggregators within the Commonwealth shall be allowed to enter into long-term, power purchase contracts, up to 20 years, with renewable energy projects of the community’s choice, on behalf of all residents of the community “Community Empowerment”. Business and municipalities are not required to participate but could be given the option to opt-in or opt-out.
This resolve extends the authority to issue bonds for the University of Maine's offshore wind energy demonstration site previously authorized in June 2010. These funds are required to complete construction of the offshore wind energy demonstration site already under construction at the university.
Renewable Energy credits for offshore wind projects. This bill expands the definition of "tidal energy demonstration project" under the aws governing general permits for tidal energy demonstration projects to cover so-called tidal range projects, which extract energy from the differential head across a marine enclosure. The bill further directs the Public Utilities Commission to conduct an additional competitive solicitation of proposals for tidal energy demonstration projects and increases the allowed capacity derived from tidal energy demonstration projects to 30 megawatts and total allowed capacity contracted for by the commission to 45 megawatts. The bill also allows utilities to enter into long term contracts for deepwater offshore wind.
Encourages energy development with the inclusion of offshore wind. The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to improve the process for the siting and permitting of grid-scale wind energy development by ensuring against undue environmental economic impacts from wind energy developments both individually and cumulatively.