TESTIMONY OF STEPHEN CONANT
PARTNER, ANBARIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS
MASSACHUSETTS JOINT COMMITTEE OF
TELECOMMUNICATIONS, UTILITIES AND ENERGY
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Thank you Chairman Barrett, Chairman Golden, and members of the Committee for this opportunity to speak to you today. My name is Stephen Conant. I am a Partner with the Wakefield, Massachusetts based company – Anbaric Development Partners. I am here to speak to you today about the merits of increasing the renewable portfolio standards in Massachusetts, and especially what it means to a company like Anbaric.
Anbaric Development Partners is a development company formed by Anbaric and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. It specializes in developing clean energy infrastructure projects in North America, accelerating the revitalization of aging transmission networks. Through Anbaric, Ontario Teachers’ is committed to funding development costs which are projected to produce $2 billion in fully constructed assets.
Anbaric conceives, incubates, develops, and obtains financing for projects that strengthen the bulk power grid, integrate regional markets, and bring renewable energy to population centers. We focus on the development of innovative projects that fall outside the traditional scope of investor-owned utilities.
Our top priority is to bring the highest value to our customers, investors, and electric power consumers by developing assets that bring affordable, competitively priced electricity to market. Our partners, consultants, and investors share a similar commitment to developing the highest quality projects that meet the latest economic, technical, and environmental challenges of today’s electricity markets.
A major focus of our company is on infrastructure and micro-grid projects that help us diversify the country’s energy mix. This is an area where Massachusetts has been a national leader. I am here today working in Massachusetts in a Wakefield-based company in large part because of the legislation like the Green Communities Act and Global Warming Solutions that were previously enacted in Massachusetts. The two pieces of legislation fed the continued incubation of our Vermont Green Line and Maine Green Line high-voltage direct current transmission projects, because in the long-term if we want to diversify the fuels we use we need to build the infrastructure necessary to deliver it to market – whether that is wind from Maine or upstate New York, hydropower from Canada or wind from the offshore.
Our developments and the investors behind those developments such as the Ontario Teachers’ target the expansion and or modification of our electric grid so that it can deliver more renewable energy. Increasing the RPS will drive investment in a new transmission system designed to move more renewable power and not be hobbled by the existing system that was built to service fossil fuels. It will have the dual benefit of keeping energy prices affordable both now and in the long term.
By increasing the RPS you will attract more investment in the Commonwealth in companies like Anbaric. You will encourage competition that will bring you better prices. You will increase the number of jobs, not just for developers like us, but also for the contractors and laborers who will build the projects we finance because of the increased demand for renewable energy.
Finally, I will make the point that the investments we are talking about here are long-term investments. The asset life of one of our transmission projects is 50 to 60 years. If we raise our eyes above the horizon, decide to increase our RPS goals, and make the investments now with a long view to a clean energy future, our grandchildren will look back at those decisions and thank us for making the right choices.