Mass. Agency Calls For More Renewables As Condition Of Utility Merger


The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has filed a brief in the case for a proposed merger between utilities NSTAR and Northeast Utilities (NU). The brief renews DOER's motion to stay the proceeding pending better information about how the merger would meet the Department of Public Utilities' (DPU) new ‘net benefit’ standard of review with regard to impacts on ratepayers and the Commonwealth's greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy goals.

According to the DOER, if DPU is inclined to approve the merger, it should include within its order several conditions to significantly advance renewable energy and energy efficiency goals. The brief urges the DPU to require NSTAR, Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECO) and NU (WMECO's parent company) ‘to demonstrate concrete, verifiable and enforceable reductions in their reasonably foreseeable climate impact.’

In addition to other renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements, DOER has requested that NSTAR issue two requests for proposals for solar power contracts of up to ten years, totaling 10 MW.

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