Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mass. Poised to Join Calif. Among Clean Energy Elite

A wind turbine stands in the foreground of Boston. Massachusetts is emerging as a clean energy powerhouse, rivaling even California, experts say. (Photo Credit: AP Images) Click to Enlarge.
Make room, California. Massachusetts is making a run for the top echelon of U.S. clean-energy states.

In an unprecedented string of policy developments this summer, Massachusetts has embraced core elements of what experts describe as a transformational blueprint for how carbon-free electricity flows from power producers and utilities to consumers.  At the same time, the state has backed technology that could sock away vast amounts of electricity to hedge against high prices and weather-related emergencies.

The blueprint, nearly two years in the making, emerged with the passage last month of legislation mandating the procurement of nearly 3 gigawatts of new carbon-free electricity, including 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power and 1,200 MW of so-called Class 1 resources such as onshore wind, solar and hydropower.

The 2016 Energy Diversity Act is expected to stimulate billions of dollars in new investment in Massachusetts that will likely spill over into neighboring states, experts say.

But the renewables mandate is just the tip of the clean energy spear.  A recent comprehensive analysis showed that the Bay State could incorporate up to 1.76 GW of advanced energy storage technology over the coming years, making it a national model for converting intermittent energy — mostly wind and solar — into reliable, on-demand power.

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