|Does Massachusetts have a renewables mandate?||Yes||The current RPS is 13 percent but new legislation increases the standard by 2 percent a year beginning 1/1/2020. On 1/1/2030, the yearly increase will be reduced back to 1 percent unless further legislation revises this plan. By 2030, the RPS in Massachusetts is anticipated to be about 35 percent.|
|Does Massachusetts have a state mandate or target for storage?||Yes||1,000 MWh by 2025|
|Does Massachusetts offer financial incentives for energy storage development?||Yes|
|Does Massachusetts have a policy for the strategic deployment of Non-Wires Alternatives or Distributed Energy Resources to defer, mitigate, or obviate need for certain T&D investments?||No|
|Does Massachusetts have a policy addressing multiple use applications for storage?||Yes|
|Does Massachusetts have a policy on utility ownership of storage assets?||Yes|
|Does Massachusetts allow or mandate the inclusion of energy storage in utility IRPs?||No|
|Has Massachusetts modified its permitting or interconnection requirements specific to energy storage?||No|
|Does Massachusetts allow customer-sited storage to be eligible for net metering compensation?||Yes|
|Has Massachusetts revised its rate structures to drive adoption of behind-the-meter storage?||Pending|
|Approximate development of storage capacity in Massachusetts.||Including projects that are in a queue for state incentive funding and projects that are already operating, Massachusetts has approximately 190 MW of energy storage capacity|
Massachusetts is among a handful of U.S. states that is currently on the forefront of establishing energy storage policies through legislation and regulatory directives. Like California, Hawaii, and New York, Massachusetts has created policy on critical energy storage issues that now serve as reference points and/or precedents for developing storage policy in other states. In fact, Massachusetts has been a front-runner in developing energy storage policy since 2015 with the creation of an Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) for the Commonwealth, which included comprehensive studies about the capabilities of energy storage, funding for storage demonstration projects, and the Commonwealth’s authorization to establish a statewide energy storage target.
Some of the unique decisions that have framed Massachusetts’ precedent-setting energy storage policy include:
With regard to incentive funding, Massachusetts has awarded approximately $20 million in grants to 26 energy storage projects, doubling the state’s original $10 million commitment. The grants were awarded under the state’s Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) program that is part of the ESI funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER).
Massachusetts is part of the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE), which over the last several years has experienced a number of challenges including the retirement of traditional power plants, diminished capacity of available resource<s and restrictions against building new transmission lines that would enable the development of power-generating resources. Energy factor factors prominently into the region’s efforts to address these challenges at the wholesale level. To date, energy storage in Massachusetts has been primarily limited to pumped hydro storage in Northwest Massachusetts that is provided as bulk energy to the ISO-NE. State-level incentive offerings are intended to spur storage deployment and enable broader opportunities for storage to participate in residential, commercial, and wholesale energy markets.
Support for energy storage in Massachusetts has been clearly articulated by the Commonwealth’s governor and executive state agencies. Again, Massachusetts has earned its place as a state that has taken the lead on developing energy storage policy.
In May 2015, Governor Charlie Baker (R) introduced a conceptual Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) in Massachusetts to incentivize energy storage companies to do business in the state, accelerate early-stage commercial energy storage technologies, expand the market for these technologies, and develop policy recommendations to advance these goals. In response to the governor’s directive, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MA CEC) officially launched the ESI in 2015, which included a comprehensive study and funding for demonstration projects, to analyze opportunities to deploy electric energy storage on the Massachusetts grid and support the growth of storage companies in the Commonwealth.
The stated goals of the ESI include:
· The MA DOER created the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program in 2017 to create a long-term sustainable solar incentive program that promotes cost-effective solar development in the Commonwealth.
· The SMART program has been called the first in the nation to offer incentives to solar projects that are paired with storage.
· The SMART program will provide payments to residential solar users based on a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
· The SMART incentive pays solar customers for each kilowatt-hour produced and adds a premium for storage-paired production
· The SMART interconnection queue already includes more than 130 megawatts of storage.
· The technologies, while mostly calling for lithium-ion batteries, also include a flywheel, a vanadium redox flow battery and a zinc iron flow battery.
· In all, the ACES projects represent 32 MW and 85 MWh of energy storage capacity, of which 16 MW and 45 MWh are within electric distribution company territory. At year end, Massachusetts had 4 MW and 7 MWh of advanced energy storage installed.
Like other states that are leading the energy storage policy development effort, the Massachusetts Legislature has been a primary vehicle for defining high-level goals and guidelines.
As of August 2019, pending legislation in Massachusetts Legislature could result in a 100-percent renewables goal for the state.
(approved by the Senate in June 2019), still under review in the House:
This bill would increase existing Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements in Massachusetts from a current level of 13 percent n 2018 to procuring 49 percent of their electricity from renewables in 2030, 79 percent in 2040 and 100 percent in 2047. If SB 2545 is passed by the Massachusetts House and signed by the governor, Massachusetts would join Hawaii as the only U.S. states with 100 percent renewable energy targets.
Gov. Baker proposed this legislation that encourages electricity and natural gas distribution companies to consider energy storage as part of their join electric and natural gas efficiency plans. H 4318 does not propose to require that the LDCs include energy storage in their analyses, instead suggesting that the LDCs include energy storage as part of their efficiency and load management programs. The bill remains pending in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Along with the legislative activity summarized above, regulatory policy set at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities also has created precedent-setting policy for energy storage in Massachusetts.
On October 3, 2017, the Massachusetts DPU opened the docket D.P.U. 17-146 to investigate two issues: whether energy storage systems paired with net metering facilities are eligible for net metering and what should be done to clarify the rights of net metering facilities to participate in the Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”), in which a regional grid manager (ISO New England in this case) pay electricity generation resources simply for staying available, even if they happen not to be used.
o The MA DPU opened this docket on May 22, 2019, to investigate the interconnection of distributed generation ("DG") in Massachusetts.
o The MA DPU has expressed its intention that energy storage interconnection be included in the definition of DG in this docket despite defining DG as "technologies that generate electricity".)
o Orders from this docket proceeding are still pending.
It is clear that Massachusetts has made great strides in developing energy storage policy and other states continue to look at the Bay State for insights as to how to approach complex policy issues in their own states. However, there are number of storage policy issues that remain “top of mind” for policymakers in Massachusetts and as of August 2019 remain unsettled. These issues include:
|Does Massachusetts have interconnection rules and requirements?||Yes||They require utilities to have interconnection tariffs.|
|Does it explicitly include energy storage in the definition of eligible projects for interconnection?||No|
|What standard is referenced for setting technical requirements?||UL 1741, IEEE 1547, IEEE 1453 for Voltage fluctuation limits|
|Is there any System Capacity Limit?||No Limit specified|
|Is there a “Fast Track” option for application?||Yes||The simplified process.|
|What are the eligible technologies that can be interconnected?||Solar, Wind, Hydro, Diesel, Natural gas, Fuel Oil|
|What sectors are eligible to participate?||Commercial, Industrial, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government, Federal Government, Agricultural, Multifamily Residential|
|Is net metering required for interconnection?||Net metering is available but not required.|
|Is an external disconnect switch required for interconnected technologies?||At the discretion of the Utilities|
|Is liability insurance required for homes and/or small business seeking to interconnect?||Yes||General Liability insurance is required.|
|Is there an export limit from an energy storage technology?||No limits specified.|
INTERCONNECTION PROCESS SUMMARY
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