The six states of New England in North America have signed a pact to bring more renewable power to their homes and businesses, accelerating national collaboration towards a low carbon economy.
Governors of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,Rhode Island and Vermont came together [recently] to sign a strategic agreement which commits the New England states to expanding their renewable energy portfolios and the required infrastructure.
In a joint statement, the governors said the move will not only provide more reliable and affordable power to their states, but it would attract more investment, make the region more competitive and reduce energy costs.
The Regional Cooperation on Energy Infrastructure Issues agreement states: “To ensure a reliable, affordable and diverse energy system, we need investments in additional energy efficiency, renewable generation, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission. These investments will also serve to balance intermittent generation, reduce peak demand, and displace some of the least efficient and most polluting fossil fuel generation, enabling the states to meet clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals while improving the economic competitiveness of our region.”
The governors also spotlight the potential for job creation from greater renewable energy investment in the statement: “The New England States believe that investments in local renewable generation, combined heat and power, and renewable and competitively-priced heating for buildings will support local markets and result in additional cost savings, new jobs and economic opportunities, and environmental gains.”
The states’ staff will work together to meet the common goals through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) in cooperation with ISO-New England, which runs the region’s electric grid network.
The agreement was signed by Governors Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, Paul LePage of Maine, Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts, Margaret Wood Hassan of New Hampshire, Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island and Peter Shumlin of Vermont.
Connecticut and Vermont are affiliate members of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance.
Governor Malloy of Connecticut commented: “By working closely with New England neighbors who face similar [energy cost] challenges we can thoughtfully plan and develop the network of electric transmission lines and natural gas pipeline needed to meet our goal of providing cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable power for Connecticut.”
Governor Shumlin of Vermont said: “Building on the work we started two years ago to coordinate procurement of power in the region, I am pleased that the states today agree to work together on infrastructure improvements toensure we make New England power more reliable, and more cost competitive. Coordinating electric and gas transmission in the region will put downward pressure on power rates into the future, and ensure any infrastructure built is both needed and cost effective for Vermonters and all New England consumers.”