Major progress seen on delivering low-priced renewable electricity to customers in the Northeast

The American Wind Energy Association is encouraged by the announcements by Massachusetts and Connecticut of new long-term contracts for renewable energy to deliver clean, low-cost electricity to Northeastern residents.

The states’ actions will drive development of an additional 815 megawatts of wind power—enough to power the equivalent of over 305,000 homes–in New England.

“Contracts for wind power are an important part of a diverse energy portfolio for these states and the region. They keep costs down today and help avoid pollution and future rate increases because wind turbines need no fuel,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. “We’re doing our part to fulfill the national commitment to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change that threatens us all.”

These announcements are an important step for the Northeastern region of the country. Other parts of the country have taken advantage of the economies of scale of larger wind projects. Furthermore, many of the states in the Northeast have Renewable Portfolio Standards or other policies in place encouraging power providers to use cleaner forms of energy like wind, which creates no emissions, uses no water and can be contracted over longer periods of time at a set price, acting as a hedge against the more volatile prices of other forms of energy.

Renewable Energy New England Executive Director Francis Pullaro remarked: “These renewable energy procurements represent a significant step in a transforming New England’s generation fleet over to clean, cost-effective resources that allow our region to invest in its local economy rather than send millions of dollars to other states and countries for fossil fuels.”

Including the federal Production Tax Credit for wind projects on which construction is started by the end of 2013, the law will benefit consumers by attracting private investment and lowering the cost of access to renewable supplies of electric power.