Massachusetts Legislature Passes an Energy Storage Mandate

Bay State storage: New law could give Massachusetts 3rd US energy storage mandate

Utility Dive, August 9, 2016

The Massachusetts legislature last week passed a bill that could make the state one of only three in the nation to have an energy storage mandate. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed the landmark measure Aug. 9.

“Irrespective of the eventual target, Massachusetts could become the first non-West Coast state to set forth a storage goal,” Ravi Manghani, director of energy storage at GTM Research, said. “It could prove to be a blueprint for other states on the East Coast that share similar challenges related to resiliency, energy costs, and renewable and grid modernization goals.”

Massachusetts was already one of only a handful of states identified where commercial energy storage is already cost effective for customers, according to a recent GTM report.

Massachusetts began paving the way for more far-reaching storage policies over a year ago, when the governor announced a $10 million energy storage initiative in May 2015. The initiative includes a $10 million commitment from the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and a two-part study from DOER and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to analyze opportunities to support Massachusetts energy storage companies, as well as develop policy options to encourage energy storage deployment.

Under the recently passed bill, H. 4568, DOER has until year’s end to decide whether to set a procurement target for electric companies to procure “viable and cost-effective energy storage systems” by a target date of Jan. 1, 2020. If found appropriate, DOER would have until July 1, 2017, to adopt the procurement targets. The targets would then be re-evaluated not less than once every three years.

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