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Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

Maryland Governor to Sign Bill Qualifying MSW as Renewable Fuel

LCG, May 19, 2011--Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced that he plans to sign legislation that will allow municipal solid waste (MSW) to classify as a Tier I renewable resource and to qualify for receipt of renewable energy credits (RECs) under the State's renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

Governor O'Malley issued this statement Tuesday regarding Senate Bill 690 - Renewable Energy Portfolio - Waste-to-Energy and Refuse-Derived Fuel, "After careful deliberation, I have decided to sign Senate Bill 690. Our State has an aggressive goal of generating 20% of our energy from Tier I renewable sources by 2022 and we intend to achieve that goal through as much in-state energy generation as possible. This will require a diverse fuel mix including onshore and offshore wind, solar, biomass including poultry litter, and now waste-to-energy if we are to realize our 20% goal.

Maryland is not alone in this determination. Over half of the states that have a renewable energy goal classify municipal solid waste as a renewable fuel. European countries that are many decades ahead of the United States in reducing their carbon footprint and their reliance on fossil fuels make broad use of modern waste to energy facilities and employ comprehensive recycling efforts in order to land fill as little waste as possible. In fact, Sweden, a leader in this arena, sends 45% of it's waste to waste-to-energy facilities, recycles 41%, and has reduced the quantity of waste going to land fills by 50% over a 1994 baseline....

[T]he reality is that Marylanders generate tons of solid waste each and every day. If there is no waste-to-energy facility available, these tons of trash are simply dumped into landfills, no value is derived from the waste, and our State continues to rely on coal-fired generation to account for 55% of our energy needs.

Therefore, the question is not whether waste-to-energy facilities are better for the environment than coal-fired generation or better for the environment than the land filling of trash, but rather whether waste-to-energy facilities are better than the combination of coal and land filling, based on the best available science. The answer to that question is a qualified 'yes....'

With this decision, I also reaffirm my commitment to bringing offshore wind to Maryland. It is only through a diverse, renewable fuel mix that we will be able to reach our aggressive goals, protect our precious environment, and create the economic engine to move Maryland forward."

The approval of the legislation brought forth some opposition, as environmentalists balked at valuing electricity produced from MSW on the same level as wind power. The Governor's pragmatic approach to expand the scope of qualified "renewable" resources - especially those available locally - is perhaps indicative of positions and arguments to come on a federal level with respect to Clean Energy Standards.
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