June 16, 2020 Read More →

State mandates to drive 12.5GW of new wind, solar capacity in New England region by 2030—S&P

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Despite being the smallest independent system operator, or ISO, in terms of electricity demand in the U.S., ISO New England is expected to be a very active market for renewable energy deployment over the next decade. Each of the six states in the ISO has a mandatory renewable portfolio standard in place and the region is increasing its dedication to offshore wind procurement. As a result, S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates that over 12,500 MW of wind and solar capacity will be installed in the region by 2030.

The New England markets that are expected to move the needle the most are Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts due to aggressive RPS requirements and offshore wind targets. Connecticut has a 48% renewable target by 2030 as well as a 2,000 MW offshore wind procurement goal also by 2030. Maine enacted legislation in June 2019 that increased the state’s RPS to 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 making it the first state in the region to pass a 100% renewable mandate. Massachusetts has one of the most complex packages of renewable energy statutes in the country. The state has in place an RPS, a clean energy standard, a clean peak energy standard, an alternative energy portfolio standard, a solar carve-out and an offshore wind procurement goal just to name a few. The clean energy standard sets a requirement of 80% clean energy by 2050 and the offshore wind procurement goal is 3,200 MW by 2035.

Rounding out the ISO New England region are New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. New Hampshire has the least aggressive RPS in New England with a target of 25.2% by 2025. Rhode Island has an RPS mandate of 38.5% by 2035; however, the state is taking steps to increase this standard with Gov. Gina Raimondo signing an executive order committing the state to go 100% renewable by 2030. Vermont has a lofty RPS mandate of 75% by 2032 which it is reaching primarily through contracted hydroelectric generation.

Maine leads all New England states in installed renewable capacity to date at just over 1,500 MW with 921 MW coming from wind and 565 MW coming from biomass resources. Massachusetts is close with 1,436 MW, the majority of which is 1,021 MW of solar. Overall, just over 4,300 MW of renewable capacity is currently installed within ISO New England — one of the lowest totals among all ISOs. This capacity is fairly evenly split between solar, wind and biomass resources. There is 1,480 MW of wind, 1,449 MW of solar and 1,388 MW of biomass installed throughout the region.

There are over 8,400 MW of renewable projects in the pipeline in New England and the majority of this capacity is in wind projects. Roughly 6,900 MW of wind capacity is in various stages of development throughout New England, with most of this coming from large offshore wind projects. Land constraints limit the options for large utility-scale wind and solar projects in the region. As a result, onshore renewable capacity is mostly in smaller – less than 20 MW – solar projects spread throughout the region. In total, just over 1,450 MW worth of solar capacity is in the pipeline in New England according Market Intelligence data.

The specific renewable technology of focus in New England over the next decade is without question offshore wind. Due to limited land availability and better wind resources off the coast, offshore wind has seen significantly increased attention from renewable developers and state legislators. Connecticut and Massachusetts both have specific offshore wind capacity targets in place at 2,000 MW and 3,200 MW, respectively.

[Adam Wilson]

More ($): New England renewable policies to drive 12,500 MW of renewable capacity by 2030

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