Last week, the Northeast Clean Energy Council and the Acadia Center — organizations that co-chair the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions — sent a letter to Golden, Sanchez and other members of House leadership, calling it “essential” that the House approve four bills: H 4575 to increase renewable energy and reduce high-cost peak hours; H 4576 to increase grid resiliency through energy storage; H 4577 relative to net metering; and H 1724 relative to energy efficiency.
“These four bills would greatly advance Massachusetts’ clean energy leadership and deliver economic, energy, environmental, and health benefits to residents, businesses and industries across the Commonwealth,” the coalition’s letter said. “Prompt action by the House is needed to ensure final passage of legislation on these topics this session.”
Read the full article from the Taunton Gazette here.
Coalition urges full legislature to pass legislation to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard and other key clean energy priorities
BOSTON, MA – Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions, a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations and health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, issued the following statements regarding the passage of An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future by the Massachusetts Senate and the recent advancement of clean energy bills in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
“Both the House and Senate have shown great leadership in moving bills to advance markets for clean energy resources through policy mechanisms like an increase to the state’s RPS, lifting or raising the solar net metering caps and various mechanisms to drive energy storage,” said NECEC Executive Vice President Janet Gail Besser, co-leader of ACES. “It is imperative that legislative leaders come together in the coming weeks to enact energy legislation this session. Together, these policies will keep Massachusetts in the lead as a clean energy economy, ensuring that a diverse energy portfolio provides reliable and cost-effective energy products and services for Massachusetts residents and businesses.”
“The Senate has acted decisively today to advance a bold vision for clean energy progress, including market-based climate policies and long-term GHG reduction requirements,” said Mark LeBel, staff attorney for Acadia Center and co-leader of ACES. “Higher levels of renewables and ambitious commitments to offshore wind and energy storage are key policies to address the energy needs of Massachusetts and all of New England. The House is also making significant progress advancing bills to promote renewables, energy storage, and electric vehicles. The ACES coalition looks forward to working with the legislature and all stakeholders to achieve a result that the entire Commonwealth can be proud of.”
Other ACES policy priorities, such as removing the net metering caps and advancing storage provide significant economic opportunity for the Commonwealth. Massachusetts lost one-fifth of its solar workforce in 2017 as a result of hitting net metering caps across much of the Commonwealth, a significant decline that could be reversed if net metering caps are increased. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ The State of Charge report found that energy storage could deliver $3.4 billion in benefits to Massachusetts. Energy storage can also effect a 10% reduction in Massachusetts peak system demand and more than a million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions over a ten-year period.
“By strengthening the already successful Renewable Portfolio Standard, Massachusetts has the potential to help businesses of all sizes, contribute to emission reduction goals, and put MA on the map as a competitive state to do business” says Bev Armstrong, CEO of Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer, and Secretary of The Alliance for Business Leadership.
“Companies and investors across the Commonwealth have embraced renewable energy to help cut costs, reduce exposure to the volatility of fossil fuel prices, and stay competitive,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager of state policy at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization that works with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. “A stronger Renewable Portfolio Standard will drive additional economic growth. That is why major Massachusetts companies support increasing the standard to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.”
About the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (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: macleanenergysolutions.org
The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition of environmental and industry groups, discussed the bill and its other legislative priorities in an interview Monday, as it prepares for energy hearings at the state capitol this week.
“The appetite for local energy and microgrids continues to grow in Massachusetts because of declining costs for solar, progress on energy efficiency, and the attention the Baker administration has given to energy storage,” said Peter Shattuck, Massachusetts director for the Acadia Center and ACES co-chair.
The non-wires alternatives proposal is within a new grid modernization bill, H. 1725/S. 1875, that would “reset” a proceeding now before the state Department of Public Utilities, Shattuck said. The legislation puts greater emphasis on modernizing the grid via local energy than does the existing grid modernization docket.
At the same time, the bill would limit how much energy storage a utility or retail supplier could own. Shattuck said that the legislation places emphasis on securing more behind-the-meter – as opposed to utility-scale – energy storage than did last year’s energy storage bill.
“We’re glad to see utilities entering the energy storage market. Eversource, in their rate case, has a significant $100 million of storage proposed across four projects. But there is a clearly a big market for behind the meter storage as well,” Shattuck said.
Among the several green energy proposals, ACES’s top priority for this year is a bill that increases the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 40-50 percent by 2030, with annual increases running two to three percent after that. The state’s current RPS requires that 12 percent of electricity come from renewables this year, rising to 15 percent by 2020. RPS requirements benefit microgrids because they create a revenue stream – renewable energy credits – for green energy development. New microgrids often include renewables, solar in particular.
“Given the federal government’s retrograde energy policies, it’s critical that states show a willingness to embrace clean energy solutions,” said Shattuck. “We’re proud of the direction our ACES members have taken in ensuring that Massachusetts remain a leader in the nation’s clean energy future.”
Read the full article from Microgrid Knowledge here.