Northeast Governors Come Together On Renewable Energy Infrastructure


A group of governors in the Northeastern states are coming together on a regional renewable energy infrastructure initiative. The move follows one reported on earlier this year to begin buying energy in bulk, as a region, to save money. The new project will go a step further and will bring together six states on a regional renewable energy agenda. Further down the coast, Maryland is moving to make international investments on wind energy.

Governors from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont are all coming together on this project. According to a joint statement, they plan to work together “in coordination with ISO-New England and through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), to advance a regional energy infrastructure initiative that diversifies our energy supply portfolio while ensuring that the benefits and costs of transmission and pipeline investments are shared appropriately among the New England States.”

The statement calls attention to the fact that the region’s electric and natural gas systems have become “increasingly interdependent,” creating a need for cooperative investments in energy efficiency, new and existing renewable generation, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission. In addition to bringing greater supplies and lower costs for electricity and natural gas, regional cooperation will also “protect our quality of life and environment,” the Governors said, by resulting in increased economic development, competitiveness and job growth, and improved air quality through a reduction in harmful air emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

An additional statement is expected later today, in which On Monday morning, Governor Dannel P. Malloy will join Delaware Governor Jack Markell, New Hampshire Governor Margaret Hassan, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, and state environmental commissioners from the eastern region of the country at a news conference to announce a bold strategy requiring nine Midwestern and Southern states to clean up their air pollution, which creates adverse health and economic impacts on millions of people living in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

One Mid-Atlantic state is looking abroad for improvements. Maryland’s energy staff attended the European Wind Energy Association Offshore 2013 conference in Frankfurt, Germany last week. While there, state officials built relationships with their international counterparts on wind and renewable energy sources.

“As the 21st century green economy continues to evolve, we’re doing everything we can to grow the ranks of Maryland’s middle class by building strong connections with industry leaders both overseas and here at home. Maryland will come out on top by harnessing the potential of offshore wind, expanding opportunity for local businesses, and creating family-supporting jobs for Maryland families,” Governor O’Malley’s office said in a statement on the meeting.