On December 27, 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that it is prudent for the Commonwealth to adopt an energy storage target for electric companies to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems to be achieved by January 1, 2020. The next step in the process is for DOER to adopt energy storage systems targets by July 1, 2017. To assist DOER in determining “the appropriate target scale, structure and mechanisms for the energy storage systems targets,” DOER has requested stakeholder input by January 27, 2017.
As background, in August 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law An Act Relative to Energy Diversity, Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2016. The Act directed DOER to use a two-step process in its evaluation of storage procurement targets. First, DOER was to determine whether to establish energy storage procurement targets that electric companies must adhere to by January 1, 2020. Further, if DOER deemed that it would it be prudent to establish energy storage procurement targets, then the legislation directed the DOER to adopt such targets by July 1, 2017.
Accordingly, the process to establish energy storage procurement targets has now commenced. The legal standards and policy considerations within which DOER must render its decision are complex, especially given other mandates for utilities within the Commonwealth.