Northeast States Advance Energy Storage Goals

As costs of batteries and other technologies allow utility-scale energy storage projects to compete directly with conventional fossil fuel systems, several states are taking notice and have begun to advance energy storage solutions and are creating energy storage targets as part of their decarbonization plans.

On June 16, Connecticut’s Governor Lamont signed S.B. 952 (An Act Concerning Energy Storage) into law clearing the way for 1 GW Energy Storage by 2030. The main pillars of this bill are to create solar energy storage goals, increase the virtual net metering cap, permit ownership of solar power generation facilities by electric distribution companies, and directs the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to investigate solar energy development programs.

Maine Governor Mills signed LD 528 (An Act To Advance Energy Storage in Maine) into law on June 21. This bill establishes a goal of 400 MW of energy storage by 2025, and 500 MW by 2030. The bill also amends the laws governing the Efficiency Maine Trust to ensure that the trust’s authority explicitly and affirmatively includes energy storage by adding direct references to energy storage in relevant sections of statute, and directs the Public Utilities Commission to investigate opportunities to modernize transmission and distribution utility rate designs.

In December 2018, the New York Public Service Commission established a statewide energy storage goal of installing up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of qualified energy storage systems by 2030, with an interim objective of deploying 1,500 MW by 2025. In 2019, New York passed the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act), which codified some of the most aggressive energy and climate goals in the country: 6,000 MW of Solar by 2025; 70% Renewable Energy by 2030; 3,000 MW of Energy Storage by 2030; 9,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2035; 100% Carbon-free Electricity by 2040; and 85% Reduction in GHG Emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. Since then, New York regulators have “effectively accelerated” the state’s energy storage market and helped it to deploy or contract for 1,186 MW of capacity, according to a new report from the Department of Public Service (DPS).

Massachusetts launched the Energy Storage Initiative (ESI) in 2015 under Governor Baker to evaluate and demonstrate the benefits of deploying energy storage technologies in Massachusetts. The ESI was a two-phase, $10 million-dollar initiative that aimed to advance the energy storage segment of the Massachusetts clean energy industry by expanding storage technology markets, assigning value to storage benefits, accelerating the development of storage technologies, and attracting and supporting energy storage companies throughout the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) partnered with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) which ultimately resulted in a comprehensive suite of policy recommendations to generate 600 MW of advanced energy storage in the Commonwealth by 2025, thereby capturing $800 million in system benefits to Massachusetts ratepayers. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved two utility-scale battery storage demonstration projects for Eversource – one on the outer Cape at 25 megawatt (MW)/38 megawatt hour (MWh), and the other on Martha’s Vineyard at 5 MW/20MWh.

Have a look into the targets set by the nine states participating.