Massachusetts’ New Clean Energy Bill: Heavy On Storage, Light On Solar

This article was originally published in Solar Industry.

On Aug. 9, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed H.4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, into law. Adopted by the bodies on the last day of session, July 31, the legislation was the compromise between the Senate’s broad, omnibus bill, S.2564, passed in mid-June, and a series of more modest proposals passed piecemeal by the House in mid-July.… More

Massachusetts Passes “Minibus” Clean Energy Bill

On July 31, the Massachusetts Legislature passed H.4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy.” The bill, released late on July 30, was the result of a compromise between the Senate’s broad, omnibus bill passed in early June and the House’s more modest proposals, passed piecemeal in mid-July. Among other things, the bill:

  • increases opportunities for energy efficiency by expanding the definition of qualifying programs;…
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Escalation of Cybersecurity Threats to National Power System Prompts FERC to Call for Stricter Reporting Standards

On July 19, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”), pursuant to its authority under section 215 of the Federal Power Act, issued a final rule directing the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) to develop modifications to NERC’s Reliability Standards as they relate to cyber security incidents. Issuance of the final rule is timely. A recent news article described hackers’ successful infiltration of the control rooms of multiple electric utilities.… More

FERC’S Order on ISO-NE’s Waiver to Retain Mystic Units

On July 2, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an Order denying ISO-NE’s request to waive certain tariff provisions which would have permitted cost-of-service agreements for the continued operation of Exelon’s Mystic Units 8 and 9 (“units”). In addition, the Order instituted a proceeding under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) requiring the ISO to submit interim tariff revisions for a short-term,… More

Clean Peak Standard Coming to Massachusetts?

Proponents of the Clean Peak Standard (“CPS”) in Massachusetts may see its entry into the New England markets sooner rather than later, either through the adoption of legislation prior to the Legislature’s July 31 recess date, or by the promulgation of regulations under the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) existing authority.  In an energy storage forum on May 30, DOER launched an informal pre-rulemaking process intended to facilitate the adoption of CPS regulations within the Commonwealth. … More

ISO-NE Market Rules Update

Effective June 1, ISO-NE implemented a number of changes to its market rules, systems, and procedures related to the operation of the regional wholesale electricity markets. The most significant of these changes include:

  1. the Forward Capacity Market Pay for Performance initiative (“PFP”); and
  2. the Price-Responsive Demand (PRD) structure.

The two programs, released simultaneously earlier this month, will affect both traditional generation resources and demand response resources alike.… More

New Senate Bill in Massachusetts Provides Opportunities for Renewable Resources

Yesterday, June 7, 2018, the Massachusetts the Ways and Means Committee released S2545, “An Act to promote a clean energy future.” The far-reaching bill has the potential to provide new opportunities for renewable resources and in so doing, may also affect the competitive markets in the region. Among other things, the bill would:

  • establish new interim greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction limits;…
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Massachusetts Selects Vineyard Wind In 83C RFP

The Evaluation Team in Massachusetts’ Section 83C Offshore Wind Generation request for proposals (“RFP”) for long term contracts for offshore wind has announced that our client Vineyard Wind was named the winning bidder in the RFP for an offshore wind project to be built off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.  The project will include approximately 800 megawatts of offshore wind energy generation as well as a generator lead line connection.  Once built, the Vineyard Wind project will be the first large-scale commercial offshore wind project in the United States.

MA DPU Approves Significant Investments and Upgrades to State’s Grid Modernization Technologies

On May 10, 2018, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an Order approving significant grid-facing investments and upgrades to the state’s electric grid. Specifically, the DPU’s Order authorizes Massachusetts’ utility companies to make $220 million in grid-facing investments in grid modernization technologies over the next three years to upgrade their distribution systems to improve the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. In the Order, the DPU noted that the Order establishes the platform and the method for the electric distribution companies to make initial investments in grid modernization technologies to upgrade their current infrastructure and to increase the use of renewable energy,… More

IRS Issues PLR Approving Battery Storage for 25D Tax Credit When Integrated with Solar

The Internal Revenue Service has released a redacted copy of its private letter ruling 201809003 in which it concluded that a battery energy storage system charged 100% from an onsite solar system is eligible for the individual tax credit under Section 25D.

In the Letter Ruling, the Service reasoned that the “Battery meets the definition of a “qualified solar electric property expenditure” under § 25D(d)(2) of the Code” based on the taxpayer’s representation that “all energy that is used to charge the Battery can be effectively assured to come from the Solar Energy System” to which it would be interconnected.… More