By USGBCMA Communications, More Green Buildings!
On Sunday night, the Massachusetts legislature delivered an energy bill out of conference committee and rapidly voted to approve it in both chambers.
The text of the bill is available here.
We are glad that CPACE made it into the final mix, including the renewables portion that had been stripped in the House version. The bill has complexities – see below from our colleagues in the Mass Power Forward coalition.
The following note is from Krysia Wazny, of the Acadia Center, outlining their interpretation of the big energy bill.
BOSTON, August 1, 2016 — Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, applauded the Massachusetts Legislature for passing An Act to Promote Energy Diversity this weekend and call upon Governor Charlie Baker to sign the comprehensive energy legislation into law to ensure Massachusetts remains on its path towards a clean energy future.
“This bill is a huge step on the path to a clean energy future,” said Peter Shattuck, Massachusetts Director of Acadia Center and co-leader of ACES. “The legislation solidifies the Commonwealth's leadership in reducing carbon pollution and will help reduce our growing over-reliance on natural gas.”
“The Massachusetts Legislature has passed a bill that will not only accelerate the deployment of clean energy, but will also serve to accelerate our economy by providing a stable policy framework for investors and developers of clean energy,” said NECEC Executive Vice President Janet Gail Besser, co-leader of ACES. “We commend the Legislature for including Class 1 eligible renewable energy resources, offshore wind, energy storage, fuel cells, commercial clean energy financing, and other key policies that will make Massachusetts' energy more cost-competitive, reliable, and clean for future generations.”
Over the last year, Alliance members worked to promote policies to enable the Commonwealth to achieve its climate commitments while protecting consumers and the environment, and many of these priorities were reflected in the final bill:
Large-Scale Clean Energy Procurements — procurements of 9.45 terawatt hours of Renewable Portfolio (RPS)-eligible resources (such as onshore wind) and hydroelectricity, which will facilitate cost-effective achievement of the RPS, replace retiring generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and diversify our electricity supply.
Pairing of Wind and Hydroelectricity — support for bundled procurements of RPS-eligible resources (such as onshore wind) and hydropower in order to drive in-region development and maximize efficient use of transmission for clean energy.
Offshore Wind — phased procurement of 1600 megawatts of offshore wind in order to tap Massachusetts' world-class offshore wind resource and develop a sustainable industry in Massachusetts.
Energy Procurement Standards and Criteria — provisions to ensure competitive procurement of cost-effective clean energy resources through a process that protects against self-dealing, ensures reliability, price stability, affordability for all income levels.
Energy Storage — authorization for the Department of Energy Resources to develop procurement targets and incentives for utilities, households, and businesses to deploy cost-effective energy storage technology that integrates renewable energy sources and improves the operation of the grid.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) — expansion of energy efficiency and clean energy financing options for commercial customers by leveraging private funds, while ensuring consumer protections and aligning with existing energy efficiency objectives.
Distributed Energy Resources — support for small hydropower and fuel cells will contribute to the diversity of the Commonwealth's electricity supply and economic development.
ACES sought additional provisions which were not included in the final bill, including increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard, provisions to avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental impacts of energy projects, prohibiting gas pipeline subsidies, creation of oil heat energy efficiency programs, measures to increase electric vehicle uptake, and Community Empowerment. However, the final bill represents a strong commitment to clean energy leadership, and ACES encourages Governor Charlie Baker to ensure Massachusetts' place as a clean energy leader by signing the bill and implementing the sound provisions it includes.
About ACES: The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) is a “coalition of coalitions” comprised of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, labor, health, and consumer advocates dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts. ACES is committed to ensuring that those charged with shaping Massachusetts' energy policies have the most rigorous, current data on the benefits and costs of clean energy. Our goal is to ensure that the Commonwealth can attain a cost-effective, reliable and diverse energy supply to power its businesses, communities and households, which will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create a stable and prosperous business environment and meet the Commonwealth's greenhouse gas emissions requirements. For more information: acesma.org
Members Include: Acadia Center, Alliance for Business Leadership, Climate Action Business Association, Clean Water Action, E4theFuture, Energy Storage Association, Environment Massachusetts, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Health Care Without Harm, Mass Audubon, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Northeast Clean Energy Council, Northeast Energy Efficiency Council, RENEW Northeast, Solar Energy Business Association of New England, Union of Concerned Scientists, US Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter, Vote Solar.