For First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, an important component of the Massachusetts energy legislation known as Green Communities Act – Part II, was the “long-term contract” component. However, since this component was a purchasing vehicle for major utilities, it was a challenge to convey the benefits to the general public without compromising the bill’s passage by a somewhat weary legislature that had taken up several energy policy measures in recent years.
Our public relations and public affairs teams worked with First Wind to undertake an advocacy and education campaign on the benefits of long-term contracts, specifically highlighting the cost-competitive aspect. We identified influential policy makers and state legislators, renewable energy advocates, business groups and key media. Our public affairs team coordinated a series of meetings between First Wind executives and key members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. In addition, we aggressively pitched Boston press and regional media offering up First Wind’s CEO as a resource to discuss the benefits of the Green Communities Act – Part II.
Not only did the legislation pass, but our firm was able to effectively position First Wind and the benefits of long-term contracts in several key pieces of coverage including a joint op-ed between First Wind’s CEO and Massachusetts Director of ENE, which was published in The Boston Globe’s Podium. In addition, culminating with the recent DOER announcement of several of the long-term PPAs with Massachusetts utilities, we worked with First Wind to secure high profile coverage that have reinforced the benefits of long-term contracts while underscoring that land-based wind is now cost-competitive with traditional fuel sources.