Thursday, August 10, 2017

Massachusetts Sets Energy Storage Target

by Todd Alexander, Shellka Arora and Nadim Damluji

Massachusetts is the third state to issue a 2020 energy storage target for its utilities: 200 MWh. This comes on the heels of California releasing a target for its utilities to procure a combined total of 1.325 GW of energy storage by January 1, 2020 and Oregon targeting its utilities to procure a minimum of 5 MWh per utility by January 1, 2020.

The Massachusetts energy storage target is the result of a 2016 act signed by Governor Baker authorizing the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to set targets for the state's energy storage market. The target of 200 MWh reflects the DOER's outlook on what they hope to achieve with the target:

"Storage procured under this target will serve as a crucial demonstration phase to further the Commonwealth's knowledge of the potential for this technology. Based on lessons learned from this initial target, DOER may determine whether to set additional procurement targets beyond January 1, 2020."

Along with the energy storage target, DOER also announced up to $10 million in additional funding for energy storage demonstration projects that are consistent with the findings of the DOER’s State of Charge study and that DOER will examine the benefits of amending the Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS) to expand the eligibility of energy storage technologies able to participate beyond flywheel energy storage.

The trend of state energy storage targets looks to continue post-Massachusetts. Recently, the New York legislature passed two bills (SB 5190 and AB 6571) directing the state's public service commission to develop a storage procurement target for 2030. Maryland and Nevada have also passed legislation to encourage energy storage.