- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The Latest on legislation to increase the supply of hydropower and offshore wind energy in Massachusetts (all times local):

5 p.m.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is praising a long-awaited bill that seeks to make Canadian hydropower and offshore wind more prominent pieces of the state’s energy landscape.

Members of a legislative committee that oversees energy issues are voting on the bill by email Monday.

Baker called the measure a “very strong bill” that would help diversify the energy portfolio for the state and New England region. The full Democratic-controlled House could take up the bill next month.

The measure requires utilities to solicit long-term contracts of 15-20 years with providers of hydroelectricity and offshore wind.

Environmental groups, however, say they are concerned the bill does not go far enough in promoting renewable energy sources.

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1:30 p.m.

House lawmakers are preparing to unveil a long-awaited bill that could make Canadian hydropower and offshore wind more prominent pieces of the state’s energy landscape.

Members of a legislative committee that oversees energy issues were voting on the legislation Monday. It would go to the full House if approved by the panel.

A version of the bill was filed last year by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the bill, which hasn’t yet been publicly released. It calls for utilities to solicit long-term contracts of 15-20 years with providers of hydropower and offshore wind. The solicitations may be conducted jointly with other New England states.

Baker and legislative leaders have called it one of the most important priorities for the current Beacon Hill session..

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