Senator Watters Introduces Offshore Wind Legislation
Contact Name: Marina Altschiller
Phone: (603) 568-9357
CONCORD – Today, Senator David Watters (D-Dover) introduced two pieces of legislation relative to offshore wind to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. SB 440, as amended, directs the Office of Offshore Wind in the Department of Energy to develop criteria for power purchase agreements, for protecting New Hampshire's environmental and fisheries interests, and for promoting New Hampshire employment and economic development related to the offshore wind industry. SB 268 asserts through consistency regulations the authority of the state of New Hampshire to regulate offshore wind development as it affects New Hampshire fisheries, the environment, and economic interests. It ensures any mitigation and other investment in these areas will be directed for use in consultation with New Hampshire interested parties. It also directs the public utilities commission to ensure that certain requirements relative to impact and use studies are met prior to approving power purchase agreements for energy derived from the Gulf of Maine. Both bills were approved on unanimous 5-0 votes and will next be sent to the full Senate for a vote.
After the hearings, prime sponsor Senator David Watters (D-Dover) issued the following statement:
“New Hampshire is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the offshore wind industry, both as an economic driver and as a major source of clean energy. Developing offshore wind on the Atlantic coast could lead to $20-30 billion dollars of investment and 25,000 new jobs in pre-development construction and maintenance in the Gulf of Maine. Not only that, expanding offshore wind creates a system that will drastically reduce local energy costs over time. I am proud to introduce these bills which will lead to economic development, job growth, lower energy costs, and environmental protections for New Hampshire residents and rate payers.”