Yesterday, February 12, 2018, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change released a Proposed Draft of legislation staking out an ambitious and far-reaching set of policies across a wide range of sectors.
There is a lot in the proposal and we are still reviewing the details, including the differences among mandates, targets, goals and discretionary authority.
For now, here is a high-level summary of the Committee’s proposals:
- Increase the frequency of solicitations for long term contracts for offshore wind power under 83C of the Green Communities Act to every 18 months from every 24 months;
- Allow solicitations for offshore wind in excess of the existing 1600 MW mandate, with a goal of 5,000 MW of installed capacity by 2035, if DOER demonstrates that such solicitations would ensure compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act;
- Allow solicitations for clean energy (e.g. from hydro and RPS Class I renewables) in excess of existing authority if DOER demonstrates that such solicitations would ensure compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act;
- Remove net metering caps for solar;
- Exempt anaerobic digestion from net metering caps;
- Establish a statewide solar target of 20% by 2020 and 30% by 2030;
- Establish an energy storage target of 1,766 MW by 2025, with a new 2030 target to be established by 2020, and permit DOER to implement alternative compliance payments as an incentive for procurement, among other policies;
- Triple the post-2018 rate of increase under the RPS from 1% per year to 3% per year;
- Require DOER to establish regulations to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050;
- Enact “community empowerment” legislation permitting cities and towns to enter into 10 year contracts for renewable energy;
- Codify a prohibition of electric distribution company ratepayers funding pipeline infrastructure;
- Make municipal light plants subject to a modified Renewables Portfolio Standard and the Global Warming Solutions Act;
- Mandate a number of programs related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure at the Department of Transportation and DOER;
- Permit DPU to adopt standards that go beyond the Paris Agreement;
- Postpone until 2020 the implementation of the “monthly minimum reliability contribution” and requires installation of advance metering before customers are to pay such charges;
- Broaden the scope of global warming policy to apply across transportation, buildings, commercial, industrial and manufacturing sectors;
- Enhance benefits to affordable housing residents and low income ratepayers;
- Establish a Green Energy Development Bank, governed by a 7-member board of directors; and
- Quite a lot else.