Post Content

HydroIn a continued effort to stabilize New England’s electricity rates while meeting the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) goals, the Baker-Polito Administration has filed two bills this summer to diversify the state’s energy portfolio. In July, legislation was filed to facilitate the procurement of cost-effective, hydropower generation, followed earlier this month with a bill to establish a long term, market-predictable, sustainable framework for further solar development.

An Act Relative to Energy Sector Compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act, filed in the State Senate on July 9, seeks to require Massachusetts utilities to jointly, and competitively, solicit long-term contracts for clean energy generation resources and associated transmission together with the Department of Energy Resources. In addition to the benefits this legislation will bring to the regional electricity market, clean energy generation will position Massachusetts to reach its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to achieving the emission reduction goals of the GWSA – a 25 percent reduction of emissions below 1990 levels by 2020.

“This legislation is critical to reducing our carbon footprint, meeting the goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act and protecting ratepayers already stuck by sky high energy prices. Increasing the flow of hydroelectric power into Massachusetts and New England diversifies our energy portfolio and makes it clear we are ready to collaborate with our neighboring states to secure cost-effective, carbon-reducing energy solutions for the region.”

Governor Charlie Baker

As a pivotal component of the Baker-Polito Administration’s mission to diversifying the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, hydroelectric procurement ensures affordability and reliability for Massachusetts ratepayers through a balanced approach of renewable energy investments.

Ribbon cutting at Kearsarge Southwick Solar, the largest SREC II solar facility in the Commonwealth.

Ribbon cutting at Kearsarge Southwick Solar, the largest SREC II solar facility in the Commonwealth.

On August 7, Governor Baker submitted An Act relative to a long-term, sustainable solar industry with the House of Representatives. This legislation maintains strong support for solar generation in the Commonwealth by raising the private and public net metering caps two percent each, to six and seven percent, respectively. This increase will provide immediate support for projects being developed in service territories where the caps have already been reached, and provides the Department of Public Utilities with the authority to raise the caps further, as needed in the future. Additionally, this framework will work to bolster the ability of the Commonwealth to meet the 2020 target of 1,600 megawatts of solar development, well ahead of schedule.

“The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to lowering the costs of large solar projects across the state, while continuing to encourage the development of rooftop solar growth by excluding residential and small business programs from net metering caps.”

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton

The legislation recognizes the growth and maturity of the state’s solar industry and works to achieve cost-savings by creating a market-based net metering credit for installations developed after the 1,600 megawatt goal is reached, at a reasonable cost to ratepayers. Furthermore, this proposal leverages the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit to the maximum extent before their expiration date on December 31, 2016. Beyond the 1,600 megawatt goal, the legislation provides for a slightly higher credit value for solar installations developed by government entities, municipalities, low income ratepayers, and community shared net metering projects, as the net metering credits for these customers will be at the higher level of the basic service price.

CZM_Rockport_seawallandhouses_CEWhile the Administration is working to expand renewable, clean energy as part of Massachusetts’ energy portfolio, grants have also been announced to support local efforts to reduce risks from coastal storms, flooding, erosion and sea level rise. The grants, totaling $2.2 million, are provided by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and have been awarded to Barnstable, Boston, Brewster, Chelsea, Dennis, Edgartown, Essex, Falmouth, Lynn, New Bedford, Plymouth, Quincy, Sandwich/Barnstable, Scituate and Winthrop.

“These grants are part of our administration’s commitment to helping the Commonwealth’s cities and towns address the impacts of coastal storms and the effects of a changing climate in new, innovative and effective ways. With these programs and others, we will ensure that Massachusetts continues to be a leader in addressing climate change.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito

CZM’s Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program and the Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grant Program advance local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, as well as implement measures that use natural or non-structural approaches as a viable alternative to hard structures like seawalls and groins. Grants can be used for planning, feasibility assessment, analysis of shoreline vulnerability, design, permitting, construction and monitoring for projects that provide storm damage protection and enhance natural resources.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy posted on Jul 25

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has injected $2.8 billion into highway infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes. Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT Secretary Pollack, and Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver visited communities across the Commonwealth highlighting the   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Where broadband internet changes everything posted on Jul 5

Where broadband internet changes everything

In May 2017, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Berkshire County leaders to tour downtown small businesses that are benefiting from upgrades made by Charter Communications and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s (MBI) Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program. The program and investments in broadband   …Continue Reading Where broadband internet changes everything

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking posted on Jun 29

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking

Continuing to prioritize a high level of access to the Commonwealth’s natural resources, and recognizing the economic, recreational, environmental, transit and public health benefits of a state trail network, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced additional funding commitments to further develop   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking