By Bob Katzen
The House 150-1, Senate 36-0, approved and Gov. Baker signed into law a clean energy bill that increases the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 1 percent until the end of 2019, then by 2 percent each year until the end of 2029, and then back to 1 percent indefinitely. The RPS governs the amount of clean energy that utilities must purchase and integrate into the state’s energy system.
Other provisions institute a Clean Peak Standard to pair energy storage with renewable energy in order to make renewable energy available during the most expensive and highest-emitting hours of electricity consumption; require gas utility companies to report annually to the Department of Public Utilities the company’s lost and unaccounted for gas; and establish an energy storage target of 1000 megawatt hours to be achieved by December 31, 2025.
Rep. Tom Golden (D-Lowell), House Chairman of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy said the bill builds off of last session’s important work of finding affordable solutions to diversify the state’s energy portfolio with large-scale hydropower, offshore wind and energy storage. “I am particularly proud of the forward-looking measures on energy storage, which include resiliency measures to prepare the state for extreme weather events. And a first-in-the-nation program to combine storage and renewables to deliver clean power into the hours of the day when our electricity is generated by expensive and polluting resources,” concluded Golden.
“Our administration is proud of our nation-leading work on climate change and renewable energy, and we are pleased to sign the clean energy legislation which will help us meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Baker.