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Massachusetts new Energy Law: An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward

image credit: ISO New England
Richard Brooks's picture
Co-Founder and Lead Software Engineer Reliable Energy Analytics LLC

Inventor of patent 11,374,961: METHODS FOR VERIFICATION OF SOFTWARE OBJECT AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY and the Software Assurance Guardian™ (SAG ™) Point Man™ (SAG-PM™) software and SAGScore™...

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  • Aug 13, 2022
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This 96 page amendment to existing clean energy legislation in Massachusetts contains lots of incentives to reduce GHG emissions and generate clean, green, electricity. I have reason to be optimistic that good things could come from this, BUT I remain skeptical based on my own past attempts to work on climate change policies and practices. If NESCOE continues to pursue an FCEM approach AND ISO New England continues to push for carbon taxes to meet State Energy Goals, then nothing will change. 

However, there is a "small possibility" that Section 84 concepts for a multi-state marketplace to achieve State Energy goals could blossom - but it's a very small possibility, IMO. Here are some key points from Section 84 of the new law:

investigate the advantages and disadvantages of using or participating in regional  or multi-state competitive market-based mechanisms, structures, systems or competitive solicitations in order to facilitate the development of clean energy generation resources,  including but not limited to offshore wind energy generation, to meet the commonwealth’s clean  energy needs

Such mechanisms, structures, systems or competitive solicitations may include long-term contracts, ISO New England Inc. administered markets or any other exchanges, banking, credits, charges, exactions or electricity transactions consistent with rules and protocols established by state regulation designed to achieve the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits

Not later than March 1, 2023, the secretary shall submit to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives a report on the executive office’s investigation of the advantages and disadvantages of using or participating in regional or multi-state market-based mechanisms, structures, systems or competitive solicitations to facilitate the development of clean energy generation resources

If the secretary finds that use of such a market-based mechanism, structure, system or competitive solicitation would be beneficial to the commonwealth, the secretary may adopt regulations establishing or governing such market-based mechanisms, structures, systems, or competitive solicitations which may include long-term contracts, ISO New England Inc. administered markets or any other exchanges, banking, credits, charges, exactions, or electricity transactions consistent with rules and protocols established by state regulation, including in cooperation with other states in the ISO New England Inc. service area, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources or categories of sources and comply with the statewide greenhouse gas emission limits

It would be quite an accomplishment if this ISO New England administered market to procure green electricity supply resources comes to fruition. This could contribute green power supplies acquired by Green Energy Buyers PPA's to count toward meeting State Energy goals, in a competitive market. There are no known technical obstacles; only political obstacles remain.

Richard Brooks's picture
Thank Richard for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 15, 2022

The highlighted portion is interesting, notably because it's codifying something that still seems to be speculative. Is that a typical approach? 

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Aug 15, 2022

Matt, I applied the highlighting just to point out the similarities to what has been discussed on EC since 2019 regarding the potential impact of Green Energy Buyers to help meet State Energy goals, using a wholesale market mechanism.

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