February 6, 2019 Read More →

New rules should benefit solar-plus-storage development in Massachusetts

Utility Dive:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued two orders on Friday, to specify net metering for solar-plus-storage facilities and the capacity ownership rights of such projects.

“Both of those clarifications were absolutely necessary,” Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson said on a Feb. 4 call with reporters. DOER worked with the state Attorney General’s office on the DPU docket to help utilities and developers compromise on how to deploy more energy storage without placing an undue burden on taxpayers.

For developers, capacity rights ownership to dispatch a generator or storage resource is fundamental to adding more storage and distributed renewables onto the grid. Despite the launch of the main state program for commercial energy storage, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), last fall, projects were viewed as less viable without developer access to a new revenue stream in the ISO-New England capacity market, DOER staff said.

The Massachusetts legislature last year extended the state storage target, previously set at 200 MWh by 2020, to 1,000 MWh by 2025. The state has 232 projects operating and under development, for 190 MW/470 MWh of capacity, according to Judson.

By providing clarity on the state’s storage rules, regulators expect to unlock the potential of a commercial energy storage market, Judson said. “I think we’ll very quickly start to see projects operating now that the rule of how solar-plus-storage works together … has been clarified and established by our Department of Public Utilities,” she added.

More: Massachusetts opens revenue stream to advance solar-plus-storage

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