States governments across the nation are enacting measures to promote renewable energy and decrease reliance on fossil fuels. Some of the states making the biggest strides include Massachusetts, Illinois and New York. Here are summaries of some recent renewable energy programs in each state:
Massachusetts communities use an innovative, new program to drive demand for environmentally friendly power and lower residents’ utility bills.
Massachusetts now requires that clean energy be part of all electricity supplied to consumers. Under the state’s renewable portfolio standard, that includes locally produced solar, wind, and some controversial sources like landfill gas.
In central Illinois, 40 communities, including residents in Peoria, signed up for a Good Energy municipal energy aggregation to negotiate lower energy rates with suppliers.
In addition, wind power may be coming to Peoria County, Illinois. Recently, the Peoria County Land Use Committee voted unanimously in support of a three-year permit allowing the installation of meteorological towers on three parcels of land in Millbrook, Brimfield and Princeville townships. The towers will collect data on wind speed, wind direction, ground-level relative humidity and air temperature to assess how efficient wind turbines constructed on the site would be.
As part of the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that the largest investor-owned utilities in the state will create thermal network pilot projects to provide thermal energy instead of fossil-based natural gas to meet customers’ heating and cooling needs.
Hochul also recently called for 2,000 megawatts or more of new, large-scale renewable energy projects in the Empire State. The projects will have the capacity to power at least 600,000 New York homes and maintain the predictable pace of state-contracted opportunities for private renewable energy developers. These projects are expected to spur nearly $3 billion in clean energy investments and create more than 2,000 family-sustaining jobs in the green economy. Bringing more clean energy onto the grid accelerates progress toward achieving New York’s goal to obtain 70 percent of electricity statewide from renewable sources by 2030.