Massachusetts Takes Next Step on Energy Storage, Including it in Existing Clean Energy and Grid Reliability Programs

ESA Looks Forward to Supporting Follow-on Efforts of Legislature and Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 30) - Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced a target for energy storage deployment in the state of 200 MWh by January 1, 2020. The Energy Storage Association and many of its members provided input to DOER, and we thank DOER for their engagement with us and other stakeholders in formulating this target.

The target announced by DOER will continue to fuel the growth of the energy storage industry in New England. DOER has chosen to focus on accelerating the storage deployments through modifications to several programs recently created, such as the SMART Incentive Program, or program already in existence, such as the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative. These programs support developers to incorporate storage into their solutions for clean energy and for reliability that Massachusetts has previously determined as needed. ESA encourages all states to open their existing programs to include energy storage where it can meet those programs’ goals, and Massachusetts DOER should be congratulated for their efforts to incorporate energy storage into various state programs focused on clean energy and reliability.

ESA looks forward to working with Massachusetts policymakers to build on today’s announcement and more forcefully secure the Commonwealth’s future as a hub of energy storage investment and jobs. Massachusetts has the fifth highest electric rates in the country, and as the DOER’s 2016 commissioned State of Charge report outlined, energy storage is a critical tool for providing ratepayers relief through reducing peak system demands and extending the life of current infrastructure investments while enabling greater utilization of clean energy. Massachusetts is also competing for industry jobs with California, Oregon, New York, and other states moving forward on their own storage procurement targets. These opportunities motivated the Massachusetts legislature to pass last year’s bill directing DOER to determine whether to set appropriate targets for electric companies to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage, and that is why Massachusetts distribution utilities previously proposed specific, albeit voluntary, procurement targets of a combination of up to 200 MW / 500 MWh of energy storage. Today’s announcement is a more conservative step in that direction, and ESA welcomes the opportunity to continue working with the Legislature and the Administration to accelerate storage deployment in the Commonwealth beyond 2020 and compete for leadership among states in the growing global energy storage industry.