The state of Massachusetts knows that building a better, more reliable electric grid with more renewable energy will require energy storage to help reduce consumers’ electric bills. As such, the state will add 200 megawatt hours of energy storage by 2020 and invest up to $10 million, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) office announced.
“As the Commonwealth continues to make unparalleled investments in renewable energy, energy storage technologies have the potential to play an integral role in effectively deploying these new resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This target, paired with our Energy Storage Initiative, will cause the state and industry to lead the way on exploring the most cost-effective deployment of energy storage for Massachusetts’ ratepayers.”
The announcement builds on Baker’s $10 million Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) announced last year as part of more sweeping energy diversity initiatives. That initiative is analyzing opportunities to support Massachusetts-based energy storage companies and policy to encourage energy storage deployment. The new round of funding will support energy storage demonstration projects as recommended in the ESI State of Charge study.
The study showed how energy could projects could produce hundreds of millions of dollars of benefits for the state’s electric consumers. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has already implemented some of the report’s recommendations to promote energy storage in the state, including becoming the first state to incentivize energy storage with solar its upcoming SMART solar incentive program and funding energy storage projects through its Peak Demand Reduction Grant Program
“Energy storage has the ability to unlock the full potential of clean, renewable energy resources, while reducing ratepayer costs and emissions,” said Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “Today’s target will continue Massachusetts’ leadership in developing and adopting innovative clean energy technologies and policies that ensure we have a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future.”
To reach the 200MWh target, DOER will consider multiple means of procuring projects. These could include using existing clean energy procurement methods, participating in alternative compliance payment funded pilot programs in which the company is an awardee or in a partnership with an awardee, and through the use of energy efficiency funds, the government’s office said. The target also sets a flexible goal for electric distribution companies in the state allowing them to identify the most cost-effective applications and the best locations for energy storage deployment.
“This commitment further strengthens Massachusetts’ nation-leading effort to increase the deployment of renewable energy and simultaneously modernize the electrical grid,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The Commonwealth’s leadership in supporting a diverse energy mix will help our cleantech sector attract significant private investment, drive job creation and improve resiliency through energy storage innovation.”Tweet