June 18 (Renewables Now) - The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday night passed a clean energy bill that was welcomed by the industry.
The bill Increases the state's renewable energy portfolio standard by requiring power suppliers to buy an additional 3% of renewable energy annually, up from an additional 1% and removes the cap on solar net metering. The legislation further calls for additional offshore wind and hydropower procurement, according to a statement released by senator Sal DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. It allows the Department of Energy Resources to recommend the procurement of up to 5,000 MW of aggregate offshore wind capacity by the end of 2035 and of more than 9,450,000 MWh of clean energy generation.
In addition, the bill, S.2545, An Act to promote a clean energy future, asks the Department of Energy Resources to create a programme to achieve an energy storage target of 2,000 MW by the start of 2025.
"This bill sets aggressive goals to increase the use of renewable energy in Massachusetts and support our state’s innovative clean energy workforce," said senator Karen E Spilka, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
The Energy Storage Association (ESA) said it is encouraged by the inclusion of energy storage in legislation.
"This bill fixes policies that have caused one of Massachusetts’ strongest industries to shed jobs and stifle businesses and consumers who want to go solar. We commend the state Senate for advancing this legislation, and we urge the House to do its part," said Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) vice president of state affairs Sean Gallagher.
The bill also reverses a decision by the Department of Public Utilities that allows utility Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) to levy extra fees on its solar consumers, according to SEIA's statement.
The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) in Massachusetts commended the Senate for approving the "ambitious" clean energy bill. "It is imperative that legislative leaders come together in the coming weeks to enact energy legislation this session," said NECEC (the Northeast Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute) executive vice president and ACES co-peader Janet Gail Besser.