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Massachusetts Renewable Energy Policy Survival Guide

EmmamHowe MA, United States 0 Ratings 33 Discussions 1 Group posts

Posted by: EmmamHowe // Marketing/Green Policy Development

Clean energy policy in Massachusetts is focused on balancing the state's need for affordable energy with its environmental and economic needs. Decisions on policy are made by our State Representatives and Senators, as well as by local governments, utilities and regulatory agencies. These decisions affect all MA citizens economically and environmentally, and are generally geared toward providing reliable, affordable renewable energy. Major energy policies in MA include:

1. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): Starting in 1997, the RPS became the first program in the nation requiting utilities to allot a certain percentage of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy. The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) was established to complement the RPS Program, providing requirements and incentives for alternative electricity technologies.

2. Energy Storage Initiative (ESI): The Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) includes a $10 million commitment from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and a two-part study from DOER and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to analyze opportunities to support Commonwealth energy storage companies, as well as develop policy options to encourage energy storage deployment in MA.

3. Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative: This $40 million initiative serves as a grant program focused on municipal resilience that uses cleantech solutions to protect communities from interruptions in energy services due to severe climate events made worse by the effects of climate change.

4. Alternative Transportation: The Massachusetts Clean Cities Coalition focuses on promoting the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), as well as supporting development of the infrastructure necessary to make AFVs viable transportation options, and changing our communities for the better.

5. Solar:

a. MA Solar Loan Program: In December 2015, the DOER, in partnership with the Mass Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), launched the $30 million residential Solar Loan Program. The program provides funding to Massachusetts banks and credit unions to incentivize lenders to make solar lending a part of their portfolios and to make solar loans available to borrowers with lower incomes or credit scores. For more information, visit the Mass Solar Loan Website.

b. Solar Carve-Out / SREC I & II: Beginning in January 2010, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) carved-out a portion of the RPS Class I Renewable Energy requirement to support distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facilities, serving as the major incentive policy of the Solar Industry.

c. Rooftop Solar Challenge: Thanks to a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge grant, Massachusetts pilots programs identifying and implementing the best practices to streamline the permitting, interconnection, financing and zoning of solar PV projects in select pilot communities.

6. Wind:

a. Commonwealth Wind: The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's (MassCEC) Commonwealth Wind program offers incentives for commercial, community and micro wind projects that meet specified qualifications.

For more information about MA Environment and Energy Policy visit: http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/renewable-energy/

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