Senate passes ambitious renewable energy legislation
On Thursday, June 14th, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill- S.2545- in a decisive bi-partisan message to the House. The bill includes almost everything a renewable energy advocate could hope for.
The Senate bill eliminates net metering caps, eliminates the Eversource residential demand charges for solar customers, restores full retail net metering for low income and community solar, allows net metering credits to transfer across load zones, all with the goal of providing fair and equitable access to solar for all of Massachusetts residents. It creates a working group to study requiring solar installations on all new buildings.
The bill requires utilities to offer optional time of use rates to all customers. Time of use rates will reduce peak demand and electricity costs all while encouraging the adoption of solar energy and electric vehicles.
The bill sets a 2,000 MW target for energy storage by 2025. And as a bit of a bonus, it prohibits utilities from owning behind the meter energy storage systems.
It raises the RPS standard from 1% increase a year to 3% a year.
It requires that the Commonwealth develop a plan by 2023 for meeting Global Warming Solutions Act targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050.
It requires that the utilities report lost and unaccounted for natural gas from leaks and prohibits imposing a pipeline tax on ratepayers for funding new pipelines. It requires that the Commonwealth consider alternatives to natural gas before building new pipelines and gives new authority to local authorities in the approval of compressor stations and establishes requirements for air monitoring near existing compressor stations.
It provides consumer protections from predatory competitive electricity suppliers.
Surprisingly, it asks the Commonwealth to develop plan to create new municipal light districts, including ways for communities who want to establish a municipal light district to acquire the assets of the existing Investor Owned Utility.
It requires that 50% of the Commonwealth's vehicles bey zero emission by 2025, and that 100% of all new vehicles purchased or leased after 2026 be zero emission. It asks the MBTA to implement a pilot program to evaluate regenerative braking vehicles to conserve energy.
It establishes a moratorium on fracking or storing fracking waste in Massachusetts.
Please call or e-mail your Senators and thank them for their excellent work.
Next up, the House!
This is what we need to keep Solar working in Massachusetts.