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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,  


  • Mass. House OKs Community Climate Resiliency Funding (Funding)
    Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
    Date: 2019-07-31
    In Boston, the Massachusetts House of Representatives reports the unanimous passage of legislation investing $1.3 billion to help Bay State communities fund infrastructure projects aimed at fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The legislation establishes a $1 billion, 10-year grant "GreenWorks" program to fund clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs. The legislation also invests $325 million in other municipal green projects including:

  • $100 million for investments in municipal microgrid energy systems;
  • $125 million for electric vehicles in municipal or regional transit authority fleets;
  • $20 million for the hiring of sustainability coordinators to develop and manage municipal projects resulting for the GreenWorks program;
  • $50 million to establish the Green Resiliency Fund to offer low-interest loans for municipalities when pursuing GreenWorks projects; and
  • $30 million for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' MOR-EV electric vehicle rebate program.

    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will administer the program, which is funded through the issuance of bonds. The bill was forwarded to the Senate for approval. (Source: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Wicked Local Beverly, 29 July, 2019) Contact: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, www.mass.gov/orgs/executive-office-of-energy-and-environmental-affairs

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Mass GreenWorks,  


  • $40Mn Mass. Energy Efficiency Partnership Announced (Funding)
    Gov. Charlie Baker
    Date: 2019-05-01
    In the Bay State, the office of Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has announced a three-year, $40 million energy efficiency partnership with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Eversource and National Grid.

    The partnership aims to cut energy consumption across dozens of MBTA stations and facilities, reduce MBTA operating costs, improve lighting and substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    This initiative will reduce MBTA electricity use by 7 pct -- 30 million kWh annually -- and save MBTA $2.7 million in energy costs while eliminating 10,000 metric tpy of carbon emissions.

    The MBTA will invest approximately $30 million in the projects which include new lighting and lighting controls, upgrading HVAC equipment and building automation controls.

    The Nass. Department Energy Resources (DOER) will provide $3.5 million in funding while Eversource and National Grid provide and estimate $9 million in cost cutting incentives. (Source: Framingham Source, 30 April, 2019) Contact:Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, doer.energy@mass.gov, www.mass.gov/doer; Office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, (617) 725-4005, www.mass.gov/governor

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Gov. Charlie Baker,  DOER,  


    Mass. Wood Pellet Startup Wins $1Mn in Grant Funding (Funding)
    TTC Energy
    Date: 2019-02-18
    In the Bay State, Windsor-based wood pellet startup TTC Energy LLC is reporting receipt of $1 million in matching grant funding from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Renewable Thermal Infrastructure Grant Program in support of the startup's $2.5 million facility to refine raw wood chips into pellets that can be burned in specialized heating systems.

    The grant money will be used to purchase equipment to process, handle and store dried wood chips, and two trucks able to pneumatically deliver the product. Pending approval from Windsor town officials, TTC Energy expects to be fully operational this fall. (Source: TTC Energy, Berkshire Eagle, 17 Feb., 2019) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-energy-resources

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  


    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,  


    Bay State Releases Comprehensive Clean Energy Plan (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2018-12-14
    After two years of study, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER)on Wednesday released its long-awaited Comprehensive Energy Plan, to achieve a "clean, affordable, and resilient" in-state energy future by 2030.

    The plan calls for aggressive and technology-based energy conservation, building energy efficiency, an increased reliance on renewable energy, increase transportation electrification, energy storage and other related measures. The plan also recognizes climate and energy achievements to date, but suggests more work to meet mandated emissions reduction goals and prevent winter price spikes in the power sector.

    Access Massachusetts Comprehensive Energy Plan details HERE. (Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MassLive, Dec., 2018)Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/doer

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass DOER,  Clean Energy,  


    Bay State Towns Score Green Community Energy Efficiency Funding (Funding, Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2018-08-27
    In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources reports it has awarded $250,000 in additional Green Community energy efficiency and energy improvement grant funding to six towns in Franklin County and the North Quabbin area.

    Among the six recipient communities, Orange and Royalston are new to the program this year, and will be eligible to apply for these competitive grants when the initial grants are exhausted. The town of Warwick was awarded $225,807 and is expected to collaborate with Northfield, which was awarded $244,929. The funds will be applied to school HVAC system improvements, upgrades to motors and drives, weatherization projects and other energy efficiency projects that are expected to reduce the regional school district's energy costs by $80,000 a year. (Source: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Athol Daily News, 20 Aug., 2018) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-energy-resources

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,  Energy Efficiency,  


    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,  


    ITM Power Mass. P2G Feasibility Study Funded (Ind. Report, Funding)
    ITM Power,Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre
    Date: 2018-04-06
    London-headquartered energy storage specialist ITM Power reports it has been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre (MassCEC) to undertake a multi-MW Power-to-Gas (P2G) feasibility study for the Massachusetts region.

    The study will assess the potential for P2G energy storage and hydrogen (H2) fuel for the Massachusetts region in collaboration with Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E), a local gas and electricity utility. It will also determine the technical and economic feasibility for P2G and H2 fuel derived from renewable energy sources. The project is slated to get underway in Q2 2018 and has a duration of 12 months.

    In 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) adopted a 200 MWh energy storage target for electric distribution companies to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems to be achieved by 1st January 1 2020. (Source: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, ITM Power, GasWorld, 5 April. 2018) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-energy-resources; ITM Power, +44 (0) 114 244 5111, Geoff Budd, NA Office, (604) 620-8525, www.itm-power.com; Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, (617) 315-9315, www.masscec.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  ITM Power,  Massachusetts Clean Energy Center ,  


    Mass. Sets New Solar Development Incentive (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2018-01-29
    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) reports it has released, and Boston-based solar management and renewables software specialist Ampion has reviewed, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) procurement establishing incentive prices for new solar development in the Bay State.

    Under SMART, solar projects are assigned a value based subscriber class, location,storage compatibility and other variables. A portion of that value is determined by the contract of the project, whether it be the net metering, alternative on-bill crediting, qualifying facility, or behind-the-meter contract. Any remaining value is issued to the developer.

    Three investor-owned utilities are currently working with the Department of Public Utilities to finalize tariffs for the SMART program which is expected to come into force this June. (Source: Ampion, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources , SolarPower, 31 Jan., 2018) Contact: MDOER, www.mass.gov/org; Ampion, Nate Owen, CEO, (800) 277-3631, https://ampion.io

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,  Ampion,  Solar,  Solar Incentive,  Energy Storage,  


    Wellesley Mass, Wins Green Communities Certification (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2018-01-03
    In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Division reports the town of Wellesley (pop. 28,000 +-) has been designated a Green Community.

    The designation qualifies the town for an initial $137,250 in grant funding and for future grants to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The funds support energy reduction projects that should save the town and taxpayers money.

    Wellesley's first grant application will include an exterior LED lighting project and an audit of the Town's water and wastewater treatment equipment and operations. Almost half of the municipalities in Massachusetts have earned a Green Communities designation. (Source: Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee, Swellsley, 30 Dec., 2017) Contact: City of Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee, (781) 431-1019 x2229, mmartello@wellesleyma.gov, www.wellesleyma.gov; Mass. DER Green Communities, www.mass.gov/orgs/green-communities-division

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,  Carbon Emissions,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Medford Mass. Lauded for Cutting Energy Consumption (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2017-11-29
    In the Bay State, the city of Medford , a member of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities program, reports it has been recognized for cutting municipal energy consumption by 20 pct since 2009.

    The Green Communities Designation and Grant program is intended to help Bay State towns and cities reduce municipal energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. DOER Green Communities receive grant funding for energy efficiency initiatives and projects and are eligible for additional similar grants. The city of Medford received $235,935 in 2017 from Green Communities grants.

    Medford is also part of the U.S. DOE Better Buildings Challenge and a member of the Global Covenant of Mayors, a UN effort to support the Paris Climate Agreement. (Source: City of Medford Website, Nov., 2017) Contact: City of Medford, Alicia Hunt, Director Office of Energy and the Environment, (781) 393-2137, ahunt@medford-ma.gov, www.medford-ma.gov; Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-energy-resources

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources ,  Energy Efficiency,  


    Brockton, Mass, Scores LED Street Lighting Grant (Funding)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2017-10-06
    In the Bay State, the city of Brockton reports is receiving $283,000 of an overall $4.3 million in recently announced state grant funding for energy efficient LED street lighting. The state's Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program is being offered to an additional 40 Massachusetts town and cities.

    Since its 2016 launch, the Department of Energy Resources Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program has provided $11.4 million to Massachusetts communities for new street lighting. (Source: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Brockton Enterprise, 2 Oct., 2017) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300, www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-energy-resources-0

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficient Lighting,  LED Light,  LED Street Light,  


    Mass. Touts Green Communities Energy Efficiency Funding (Funding)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2017-07-07
    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources ( Mass. DER)reports it has recently awarded a total of $14,043,257 in Green Communities competitive grants to 72 municipalities across the Bay State. The awards are to help fund clean energy projects, providing financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated Green Communities' clean energy goals.

    All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 pct over five years. These commitments amount to collective energy use savings equivalent to heating and powering nearly 20,000 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 45,000 vehicle off the road. The grants are funded through proceeds from Alternative Compliance Payments under the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard. (Source: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Daily Times Chronicle, July, 2017) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/guidance-technical-assistance/agencies-and-divisions/doer/; Massachusetts Green Communities, www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/green-communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Communities,  Energy Efficiency,  Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,  


    Westford Mass. Scores $250K Green Communities Funding (Funding)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2017-06-23
    In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resourcesthe reports it has awarded $250,000 in Green Communities grant funding to the town of Westford. The funds will be used for LED lighting and energy management retrofits in municipal facilities. The agency has awarded over $80 million in Green Community grants to the 185 Massachusetts cities and towns currently designated as the Green Communities since the program was founded seven years ago. Grants are capped at $250,000 per municipality.

    To qualify for funding, Green Communities must: provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable and alternative energy generation, research and development, or manufacturing facilities; adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities; establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by 20 percent within five years; purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles; and adopt the Board of Building Regulations and Standards Stretch Code. (Source: Town of Westford, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Westford Eagle, 20 June, 2017) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/guidance-technical-assistance/agencies-and-divisions/doer/; Massachusetts Green Communities, www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/green-communities

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Communities,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy ManagementMassachusetts Department of Energy Resources,  


    Ice Energy, Genbright Partner to Cut Nantucket's Peak Electricity Demand (Ind. Report)
    Genbright,Ice Energy
    Date: 2017-06-19
    Hingham, Mass.-headquartered clean energy technology specialist Genbright LLC and thermal energy storage specialist Ice Energy reports they are joining forces to help reduce the island of Nantucket's peak energy demand.

    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) awarded the two firms a contract to provide over 200 residential behind-the-meter energy storage solutions on Nantucket using Ice Energy's proprietary Ice Bear 20 technology. Genbright will perform real-time dispatch of the Ice Bears to deliver over 1 MW of peak demand reduction, which is equivalent to one year of growth in electricity demand on the island.

    The $3 million project, which will begin this summer, aims to prove how new energy storage technologies can be deployed as "non-wires alternatives" to defer the need for a third undersea cable to Nantucket, which is expected to cost between $75-100 million. (Source: Ice Energy, Genbright, Marketwired, 15 June, 2017) Contact: Genbright LLC, Joe Crespo, (800) 977-5909, www.genbright.com; Ice Energy, Mike Hopkins, CEO, (877) 542-3232, info@ice-energy.com, http://ice-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Genbright,  Ice Energy,  Energy Storage,  


    Brockton Mass, Scores $536,000 in First Mass. Green Communities Grant (Funding, Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resource
    Date: 2017-02-08
    In the Bay State, the City of Brockton is among 30 communities recently named by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources as a Green Community" under the Massachusetts Green Communities Act.

    Brockton's status as a Green Community makes the city of 95,000 residents eligible for millions of dollars worth of grants to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Upon joining the Green Community program. the city received an initial $526,000 in grant funding for a yet to be determined energy efficiency related project.

    Presently, 185 cities and towns are participating in the Green Communities program. Since it founding in 2010, the program has provided approximately $65 million in grant funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and installations. Under the Massachusetts Green Communities Act, cities and towns must commit to cut taxpayer-funded municipal energy consumption by 20 pct within five years. (Source: Enterprise, 7 Feb., 2017) Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/guidance-technical-assistance/agencies-and-divisions/doer/; Massachusetts Green Communities, www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/green-communities/

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

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