The Massachusetts House of Representatives enacted  H.4377, which will require the state’s utilities to solicit long-term energy contracts for 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power in multiple procurements through the year 2027.

State Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, cited his city’s history as an energy powerhouse for more than a century at the time when whale oil was a primary source of energy. After the energy industry shifted to oil, coal and natural gas, he said, Massachusetts became “the end of the pipeline.”

Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad address the House in support of offshore wind.

Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad addresses the House in support of offshore wind.

Cabral said the bill has a chance to rejuvenate Massachusetts’ status as a center of clean energy as the offshore wind industry develops here. “This bill begins a step in that direction of us being in the beginning of the pipeline of energy,” Cabral said.

Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, a supporter of expanding offshore wind power, said if Massachusetts does not start procuring wind power, “There are tons of people nipping at our heels,” particularly the state of New York.

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