WESTFIELD – Westfield Gas and Electric General Manager Thomas P. Flaherty Sr. announced April 7 that the municipal utility had already surpassed the state’s new 2030 emissions goal.
Senate Bill 9: An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy was signed by Gov. Charlie D. Baker on March 26. One of its most important points is to set a goal of net-zero fossil fuel emissions across Massachusetts by 2050. Roadmarks have been set for emissions to be reduced slowly each decade until that point.
In 2030, emissions must be below 50 percent of the standard set in the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act. In 2040, emissions must have dropped by 75 percent. These guidelines are supposed to lead into a goal of no greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in Massachusetts.
Flaherty said Wednesday that Westfield Gas and Electric has met and surpassed the 2030 goal nine years early.
Business and Finance Manager Jay Kline said during the meeting that WG&E is currently operating at about 57 percent non-emitting. That means that 57 percent of power generated by WG&E does not emit greenhouse gases that contribute to manmade climate change.
Flaherty said that the legislative lobby WG&E works with pushed hard to have nuclear power included as non-emitting. According to Kline approximately 43 percent of WG&E power was generated from nuclear energy.
“We have a large part of our energy portfolio invested in nuclear,” said Flaherty.
Flaherty said that solar powered projects will also play a role in getting WG&E to the 2040 roadmark and the final 2050 goal of zero emissions.