On 8 August 2016 Massachusetts governor Baker signed “An Act Relative to Energy Diversity” Bill to encourage the deployment of offshore wind, hydropower and energy storage capacity in the US state. Massachusetts is now the third state after California and Oregon to authorize an energy storage procurement goal.
- The bill signals strong political commitment for the deployment for energy storage in Massachusetts although it lacks the execution plan. By requiring the Department of Energy Resources to evaluate the opportunity of having a state-wide energy storage target, the bill aims at attracting project developers and energy storage manufacturers to run energy storage projects in the state, fostering investment and job creation.
- Up to now energy storage activity has been limited to Beacon Power’s flywheel demonstration project commissioned in 2009. In 2015, VionX (formerly Premium Power) and A123 systems announced a small demonstration project for frequency regulation. More recently, Schneider Electric announced a demonstration project at its Boston headquarter to showcase a microgrid 400 kW solar and 1 MWh battery project to reduce its electricity bill.
- With an old transmission network, ageing power plants, rampant solar capacity and growing urban areas, Massachusetts presents attractive features for the deployment of energy storage. As commercial and industrial solar capacity exceeds the net metering quotas, IHS predicts that commercial and industrial consumers will increasingly turn to batteries to offset high retail electricity prices.