Massachusetts Storage Procurement Goals the Next Step in Advancing Grid Modernization

This week, Governor Baker of Massachusetts signed a comprehensive energy bill that will make the Bay State the third in the country to adopt energy storage procurement goals – a momentous day for the advancement of energy storage on the East Coast.

Massachusetts has long been a driving force in cleantech and grid modernization, and with the passage of H.4568 the state will continue its trajectory as a leading supporter of innovative energy technology. This legislation empowers the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), led by the dynamic and tactful Commissioner Judith Judson, “to set appropriate targets for electric companies to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems to be achieved by January 1, 2020.” This is a strong signal to businesses and investors that Massachusetts is well-positioned to serve as a hub for the global energy storage industry and provides a greater degree of market and regulatory certainty in this growing industry. 

Massachusetts has consistently embraced clean energy policy, which is why it is endowed with a vibrant advanced energy industry. With nearly 6,500 companies, the Commonwealth has nearly 100,000 jobs tied to the clean energy sector, which has contributed more than $11 billion in economic activity to the state.  Massachusetts leads the country in investing in early stage cleantech and is ranked first in attracting early-stage investments per capita. Energy storage will be the next driving force in the state’s clean energy economy.

Indeed, the energy storage industry is accelerating rapidly. System installations grew more than 250% last year in the United States. Costs for lithium-ion batteries have declined more than 70% in the last 18 months alone. Globally, installed energy storage capacity is projected to double in 2016 and grow more than tenfold by 2025.

Energy storage systems make a more reliable and responsive electric grid possible, by enabling us to store energy when it is abundant and use it when it is needed most. Fast-responding energy storage allows us to operate the grid more efficiently, instantly balancing our ever fluctuating supply and increasingly dynamic demand. Storage systems can defer or avoid costly investments in excess system capacity and infrastructure needed to serve the Commonwealth’s growing peak loads. And storage enables customers to be partners in creating a more reliable and resilient electric grid, and means that utilities can deliver cleaner, affordable energy while saving customers and businesses money.

Energy storage makes sense for Massachusetts – and a commitment to a more flexible, efficient, and resilient electric grid will provide economic benefits today and drive the state’s clean energy economy for years to come. The state is already home to many leading energy storage companies and is one of only three such clusters in the United States.

We would like to thank Governor Baker for his leadership, and State House leaders Sen. Benjamin Downing and Rep. Thomas Golden who also recognized the immediate value of expanding energy storage adoption in Massachusetts, and the opportunity for continued growth and advancement of the state’s grid modernization goals.

I believe that Massachusetts is poised to serve as a global hub of this innovative industry. Bay State leaders have done an excellent job to date shepherding a homegrown energy storage industry, creating jobs and attracting investment from global energy leaders. This legislation codifies the state’s commitment to taking the next step in creating a more flexible, resilient electric grid that can more readily integrate renewables and deliver reliable energy at an affordable price for years to come.

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