Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker gave the keynote address at last week’s U.S. Offshore Wind Conference held in Boston. 

The governor’s talk covered a lot of ground, such as battery storage and resiliency, which we will be covering in a series of articles.  First, we'll begin with some of his comments regarding the State of Massachusetts’ approach to developing offshore wind as part of its clean energy goals. 

We’ve been very encouraged by virtually all of the activity and the decision-making that’s taken place to date on this.  I’m very excited about the ability that we’ll have here in Massachusetts and around New England, working with our partners in the other New England states, to do the work that we need to do in collaboration with the industry to solve our climate change issues on the renewable resource wide of things as well as come up with a series of approaches that are going to be cost-effective for ratepayers, homeowners and businesses. 

The two things I hear most of the time from people about our approach to this issue is that we’re going too fast and we’re not going fast enough.  That makes me think we’re probably just about at the right spot.  Because the people who think we’re not going fast enough have a completely unrealistic view of what’s possible and when and the people who think we’re going too fast I think don’t appreciate the fact that time is not necessarily our friend when it comes to these issues. 

What I would say to you all as part of this burgeoning industry in New England and on the Eastern Seaboard and in Massachusetts is we are going to be very focused on making sure that we get this right.  We feel a certain responsibility as the first player on the East Coast to really chase this in a big and serious way, that we need to get it right for this industry to be the player we would like to see it become part of the constellation of energy producers and service providers that we need it to become.

We need to get it right, and that’s probably going to make some of the people who don’t think we are going fast enough completely crazy because we’re going to be very aggressive about insuring that we do get it right.  But at the same time I’m not looking for brass bands and balloons for the next 24-36 months.  I want to make sure that what we do here in Massachusetts becomes a benchmark for this industry to become a major player in the long term in the United States. 

The best way to insure that happens is to make sure that we do the things the way they need to be done when you’re talking about the supply chain, talking about the workforce, talking about the transmission infrastructure and a whole list of other issues to make sure we get that stuff right. 

That will probably get just a little annoying to some people along the way.  But what I will say to you is that it is annoying because we care and because we know how important it is that we deliver this and deliver it right and create a benchmark and a standard that the rest of the country can look at and say “I want some of that.”