DOER Energy Storage Target Misses the Mark

On June 30, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) announced an “aspirational” target for Massachusetts’ utilities to procure 200 MWh of energy storage by January 1, 2020.  While solar targets are typically expressed in MW, the capabilities of energy storage facilities are often measured both in terms of power (MW) and energy (MWh), reflecting the multiple applications for which energy storage can be used.  … More

DOER Releases Emergency Regulations for Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (“SMART”)

On June 5, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) filed much anticipated emergency regulations (225 CMR 20.00) to govern, at least the DOER’s part of its proposed Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (“SMART”) program. The regulations build on a proposal released January 31, 2017 (discussed previously, here) and represent the Baker administration’s first formal step in following through on the legislature’s 2016 mandate to DOER in An Act Relative to Solar Energy commanding that it develop a new statewide solar incentive program.… More

Tesla Petitions DPU for Solar + Storage Facility’s Right to Net Metering Credits

For the purposes of qualifying for net metering credits, section 138 of M.G.L. c. 164 defines a “Solar Net Metering Facility” as “a facility for the production of electrical energy that uses sunlight to generate electricity and is interconnected to a Distribution Company.”  The statute and accompanying regulations are silent regarding the co-location of energy storage equipment with such a qualifying Solar Net Metering Facility.

National Grid has interpreted this silence to be a total prohibition on solar + storage for net metering facilities.… More

Emerging Trends Series: Offshore Wind

Presented by Foley Hoag LLP and NECEC

After decades of speculation about offshore wind’s future in the United States, the industry that has long powered grids in Europe has finally arrived in the Northeast. In the last year America’s first offshore wind project–off the coast of Rhode Island–started spinning and delivering power to the grid, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill authorizing the procurement of 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind,… More

Wind Powers Texas. What Does That Say About the Future of Coal?

According to Bloomberg BNA (subscription required), last week, for the first time ever, more than 50% of the load in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas service area was supplied by wind power. This is the state that consumes more coal than any other.  Installed wind capacity is now more than 18,000 megawatts and is projected to be as high as 28,000 MW by 2020.… More

DOER Finalizes SREC Factors for Projects that Receive “Good Cause” Extensions

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) finalized the details of the Solar Carve-out II extension, which seeks to facilitate the transition between that program and DOER’s proposed Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program. The extension program helps bridge the gap between the Solar Carve-out II incentive program, which went into effect in April 2014 and was designed to support the market until 1,600 MW of PV capacity had been installed,… More

Investors Don’t Think That Climate Change Is A Hoax: BlackRock Is Losing Its Patience

This post, written by Seth Jaffe, a Partner in firm’s Environmental practice, was originally posted on the firm’s Law and the Environment blog.

BlackRock, which manages more than $5 trillion in assets, has released a statement on how it “engages with climate risk.”  The statement has three main elements.  

  • Support for the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures
  • Engagement with companies over assessment on climate risks
  • An indication of potential support for shareholder resolutions on climate risk, where such resolutions “address a gap in investment-decision and stewardship”, and “management’s response to our prior engagement has been inadequate.”

The statement emphasizes BlackRock’s long-term approach to investing, which is the source of the best line in the statement.  In summarizing letters from BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, to CEOs, BlackRock notes that:

While we are patient investors, we are not infinitely patient.

I’m picturing James Earl Jones as Darth Vader saying that.  I wonder what energy executives are hearing.

Wind Power Is Now the Largest Installed Renewable: 82,000 MW And Counting

According to the American Wind Energy Association blog, installed wind capacity in the United States has reached 82,000 MW.  That puts it past the 80,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity and makes wind the largest installed renewable energy resource.

While the overall number represents a significant milestone, some of the details are interesting as well.  Wind represents 5.5% of US generation.  Moreover,… More

Climate Change Will Increase Peak Energy Demand By More Than We Thought: More Storage, Perhaps?

In an interesting study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors predict that climate change will have a more significant impact on peak energy demand than had previously been understood.  They conclude that, in a business as usual case, peak demand will increase 18%, leading to a need to spend $180B (in current dollars) to meet that increased peak demand.… More