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Legislation would increase ‘clean’ energy requirements for utilities

Mass. Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke uses hydropower and other  energy-efficient technologies. In Hull, a wind turbine generates power.
Mass. Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke uses hydropower and other energy-efficient technologies. In Hull, a wind turbine generates power. Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

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New legislation backed by the Patrick administration would require the state’s utilities to work together to buy roughly 2,400 megawatts of “clean energy” such as solar, wind, or hydropower — an aggressive mandate that some say could increase utility bills.

Those energy-generating resources — enough to power an estimated 1.2 million homes — would be in addition to the 2,000 megawatts of wind and 1,600 megawatts of solar that the state says must be in place by the end of the decade. The bill calls on utilities to solicit proposals by the end of the year for acquiring he additional clean energy.

But some in the power generation industry worry that the legislation opens the door to utilities to buy from large hydro projects, such as Hydro-Quebec.

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