Earlier this week Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed An Act Relative to Energy Diversity (H. 4568) into law, which, among other things supports renewables and energy storage as well as creates a commercial PACE program. The legislation will help increase the amount of clean and renewable energy in the state while helping to stabilize and reduce energy costs in the state.
“Massachusetts is always at the forefront of adopting innovative clean energy solutions, and this legislation will allow us to build on that legacy and embrace increased amounts of renewable energy, including hydropower,” Baker said at the bill signing. The legislation had bipartisan support. “With our partners in the legislature, the commonwealth has taken another major step towards providing residents and businesses with a cost-effective and reliable clean energy future.”
The bill also supports hydroelectric and offshore wind power generation. “The ability to procure clean hydroelectric power and off-shore wind is another important milestone in the Commonwealth’s transition to a diversified energy portfolio,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By embracing renewable energy generation technologies, the Baker-Polito administration continues to make progress in achieving the emissions reductions targets set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act.”
The new law will require utilities in the state purchase 1.2 gigawatts of clean energy including base load hydropower, onshore wind and solar supported by hydropower, standalone onshore wind, solar, or other Class I renewable resources. The legislation also would support the purchase of 1.6 gigawatts of offshore wind power.
The bill authorizes the use of energy storage with renewable power as well. Such technologies include batteries, flywheels, thermal and compressed air technologies. As part of the legislation the state’s Department of Energy Resources will determine if Massachusetts should set energy storage goals with a set target for 2020. If it sets such a target it would be one of three to do so.
“We are jump starting two industries - offshore wind & energy storage - that will shape our future, while recommitting ourselves to meeting our Global Warming Solutions Act requirements. More will need to be done, but this effort shows we are up to doing it,” State Senator Ben Downing (D-Pittsfield).Tweet