As BNA reported this morning, at yesterday's Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in New Brunswick, the six New England governors adopted The New England Governors' Renewable Energy Blueprint. Through this plan, the governors of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont agreed to speed regional development of renewable energy by coordinating state reviews of proposed interstate transmission lines and synchronizing solicitation and decisions on power procurement and long-term energy contracts. The blueprint calls for states to hold joint hearings and coordinate decisions when appropriate, but even using common applications and timelines could have a significant impact on how long the siting process takes.
The blueprint is based on conclusions reached in a study conducted by ISO-New England, called the Renewable Scenario Development Analysis, which concluded that there is a large quantity of untapped renewable resources in the New England region, including more than 10,000 MW of on-shore and off-shore wind power potential, but that such resources could not easily be developed without coordination between the states on siting transmission.
The blueprint also discusses the option of New England states tapping into renewable energy sources located in Canada and calls for a state-federal partnership in which the federal government uses regional plans as guidance for interconnection-wide analysis and federally-funded renewable energy infrastructure development. It will be interesting to see the impact that such regional developments have on the national level.