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New Legislation Hopes to Increase Massachusetts' Renewable Development

A bill passed this past week by the Massachusetts Legislature will help develop hydroelectric power within the state.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2395 -- or officially, An Act Relative to Competitively Priced Electricity in the Commonwealth -- will increase the amount of new renewable energy that would qualify for economically favorable treatment by Massachusetts utilities.

With regard to hydro, the bill alters current state law to increase the size of hydropower projects that qualify as "renewable energy generating sources" under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

The act increases the maximum allowable size for RPS Class I financial incentives from 25 to 30 MW and the maximum size of RPS Class II benefits from 5 to 7.5 MW.

Measures for wind, solar and other forms of renewable generation are also included in the legislation.

The legislation is similar to a bill proposed in California in April.

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this year that the Massachusetts legislature was working on a bill that would help improve the safety of dams within the state.

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