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Mass. DOER Doubles Solar Incentive Program (Ind. Report)
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Date: 2020-04-17
In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has doubled the capacity of a state's SMART incentive program designed to spur small- and medium-scale solar projects. Under new regulations which are now in force, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program, known as SMART, will increase from 1.6 gigawatts to 3.2 gigawatts, a change long sought by the solar industry.

Massachusetts administers the SMART program in 200-megawatt "blocks," with incentives that step down as they're filled. In addition to doubling the program and setting aside capacity for low-income communities, the changes include a 20 pct carve-out in each block for projects between 25 kilowatts and 500 kilowatts.

Community solar projects and shared solar projects serving low-income customers will have to subscribe at least 90 percent of bill credits before receiving incentives to help guarantee a project's completion. (Source: Mass. DOER, GTM, 15 April, 2020) Contact: Mass DOER, www.mass.gov/doer; Mass DOER SMART program, www.mass.gov/solar-massachusetts-renewable-target-smart

More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass SMART,  Mass DOER,  Solar,  Solar Incentiv,  


SEIA Considers Mass. DOER Solar Expansion Proposal (Ind Report)
Mass. DOER
Date: 2019-09-18
In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) reports it has released plans to reform and expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program which incentivizes cost effective solar and promises to double the amount of solar in the commonwealth.

To meet increasing customer demand for solar energy, DOER proposes adding 800 MW to the SMART incentive program, bringing the total to 2.4 gigawatts. The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) supports this expansion but, in comments to regulators, is calling for even more capacity to be added to the program. To that end, DOER has proposed the dollowing regulatory clarifications and fixes:

  • DOER proposes clarifying SMART metering configurations when projects are paired with storage. The clarification will impact residential and larger scale projects. These issues have drawn the ire of utilities, regulators and solar firms for the past year. DOER guidance on metering is critical.

  • DOER proposes an increase to the stepped-up incentive for municipal projects. A higher incentive would make it easier for cities, towns and school districts to go solar. In addition, DOER proposes more time for municipal projects to meet certain milestones for qualification, recognizing that public projects almost always have to go through a bidding process. SEIA agrees with the intent of this proposal.

  • Fixing compensation for solar projects serving on-site energy needs. Based on the current regulatory framework, some projects without a net metering allocation get reduced values. DOER proposes expanding the use of certain credits and changing the way energy compensation is calculated.

    According to SEIA, the most troubling aspects of DOER's plans involve the treatment of community solar projects, including a proposed five-fold increase in penalties for larger scale solar projects on certain lands. DOER calls for the new penalties to apply to a broader swath of community solar projects and for changes to apply to projects already in development. These proposals would have a negative impact on the community solar market. Increased penalties will halt solar development, with penalties ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to many millions, according to SEIA. (Source: Mass. DOER, Solar Energy Industries Assoc., 16 Sept., 2019)Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, doer.energy@mass.gov, www.mass.gov/doer; SEIA, Abigail Ross-Hopper, CEO, (202) 682-0556, info@seia.org, www.seia.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass. DOER,  Solar,  SEIA,  


  • MBTA Plans Energy Cuts, Increased Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    MBTA,Eversource,National Grid
    Date: 2019-05-08
    In Boston, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Bay State's largest energy consumer, reports it is partnering with National Grid and Eversource in a 3-year program to reduce energy usage at more than 50 T Stations, trim energy expenses and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

    To that end, MBTA plans to invest as much as $30 million in energy efficiency projects including the installation of LED lighting and upgrades to HVAC systems for an expected savings of $2.7 million in annual energy costs and the prevention of 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

    Eversource and National Grid will provide incentives to the MBTA that, based on the transportation agency's targeted energy use reductions, would add up to a total benefit of approximately $9 million. The Mass.Department of Energy Resources (DOER) will also provide $3.5 million in funding from its Leading by Example program. (Source: MBTA, Sentinel & Enterprise News, May, 2019) Contact: MBTA , Steve Poftak, GM, www.mbta.com; National Grid, www.nationalgridus.com; Mass. DOER, (617) 626-7300, doer.energy@mass.gov, www.mass.gov/doer; Eversource, Vilak Subrahmanian, VP Energy Efficiency, www.eversource.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News MBTA,  Energy Efficiency,  Eversource,  National Grid,  


    Mass. Fine Tunes $2.8Bn Energy Efficiency Program (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
    Date: 2019-02-01
    In Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is reporting approval of a new three-year energy efficiency program. The plan, as required under the 2008 Green Communities Act, is expected to result in the avoidance of more than 35.6 million MWh of electricity use and more than 1.19 billion therms of gas use, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that would have come with that energy use.

    According to the state's Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the $2.8 billion, 3-year plan and its associated programs are projected to deliver more than $8.56 billion in benefits to consumers -- a return of more than $3 for every dollar spent.

    For the first time, the Mass Save program will offer incentives for cost effective home heating fuel, heat pumps and related technologies and equipment. The program is also rolling back other offerings, discounts on energy efficient LED light bulbs. (Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, DOER, Sentinel & Enterprise, 31 Jan., 2019) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, (617) 305-3500, www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-public-utilities; Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, doer.energy@mass.gov, www.mass.gov/doer

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass. DOER,  Energy Efficiency,  Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities,  


    Marion, Mass. Designated as Green Community (Ind. Report)
    DOER Green Communities
    Date: 2019-01-09
    In the Bay State, the town of Marion reports it has been designated part of the Mass. DOER Green Communities program.

    The DOER Green Communities Division provides technical assistance and financial support for municipal initiatives to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in public buildings, facilities and schools, according to a news release.

    In 2014, Marion's Energy Management Committee promoted a solar bylaw that has seen the installation of more than 100 solar projects. The town has also executed a power purchase agreement with Future Generation Wind to net meter electric power to town buildings and facilities for an annual savings in excess of $90,000. In addition, the town added electric vehicles to its fleet and replaced all of the town's cobra-head streetlights with more efficient LED fixtures for additional energy savings.

    With the new Green Community designation the town has been awarded a grant of $132,672 to cover the cost of additional energy-saving projects. (Source: DOER Green Communities, Standard-Times, South Coast Today, 8 Jan., 2019) Contact: Mass. DOER Green Communities, www.mass.gov/orgs/green-communities-divisionGreen Communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  DOER Green Communities,  


    Rockland Scores 4th DOER Building Energy Efficiency Grant (Funding)
    Mass DOER
    Date: 2018-08-13
    In the Bay State, the Town of Rockland (pop. 17,800) is projecting the town's energy costs will fall $27,831 per year with the upcoming retrofitting of energy efficient LED lighting at several town buildings this year.

    The town recently received $210,531 in grant funding from the Mass. Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Program -- its fourth DOER grant award since 2013. Rockland was also awarded $75,521 in energy reduction incentives by National Grid.

    The Mass. DOER Communities program incentivizes cities and towns to adopt energy efficiency policies. In 2017 the program committed $65 million in grant funding to 15 cities and towns last year.

    Technical assistance for the program is being provided by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the LED lighting is being installed by Real Term Energy a firm with headquarters in Annapolis and Montreal, Canada. (Source: The Enterprise, Mass. DOER, 8 Aug., 2018) Contact: Town of Rockland, Marcia Birmingham, Interim Town Administrator, www.rockland-ma.gov; Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/doer

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass DOER,  Energy Efficiency,  LED Light,  


    Lancaster Mass. Scores Green Communities Grant (Ind. Report)
    Green Communities
    Date: 2018-07-30
    In the Bay State, the town of Lancaster last week was one of many Massachusetts communities to receive a share of $15 million in Green Communities competitive grants under the state's DOER Green Communities Act. The town received $235,644 for energy conservation measures at the fire and police stations, library and vehicle fleet.

    Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities' clean energy goals. This seventh annual round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. Grants are capped at $250,000 per municipality. (Source: Mass. DOER, Lancaster Telegram, 28 July, 2018) Contact: Mass. DOER Green Communities, www.mass.gov/orgs/green-communities-divisionGreen Communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Conservation,  Energy Efficiency,  Green Communities ,  

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