New England renewable energy a hard sell in region
Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 11:02 pm
Legislation in Connecticut would expand the types of hydropower and biogas that count as alternative power in the state's portfolio, create a new class that includes certain large-scale hydropower resources and make other changes in alternative power standards.
Massachusetts officials do not consider large hydropower projects eligible for its portfolio of renewable energy because it's a "mature technology," compared with newer alternative energy such as wind and power, said Steven Clarke, assistant secretary for energy in Massachusetts.
Maine also is taking shots at the regional plan because of which renewables are counted. Patrick Woodcock, Maine's director of energy, said biomass is "unfairly targeted" and he is uncertain that New England can establish a uniform renewable energy policy.
Maine is looking to sign hydropower contracts with Quebec and Canada's Maritime Provinces, seeing limits imposed in New England on the scale of hydropower and what counts as renewable energy as "parochial," he said.
"It diminishes a partnership across the entire Northeast to create more certainty with pricing and to further environmental goals," he said.
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