On September 27, E&E News ran a story explaining how the State of Massachusetts has seen a combination of state policy decisions and private sector investments bring the state into contention with California for the most climate-friendly state in the country.
The state legislature passed an Energy Diversity Act in August 2016, and it will mandate the procurement of three gigawatts of new carbon-free electricity. The law will target increased usage of solar, wind (including offshore), hydropower, and storage. Massachusetts is already a great location for solar, because the state’s average installed cost of solar cells is 15th-cheapest overall, beating out states like California and New York. It has also attracted companies like Danish conglomerate DONG Energy, one of the largest wind power developers in Europe, to open offices in Boston.
The state recently launched a public agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, called the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The center reviews emerging clean-energy technologies and invests in the most promising ones, while also working to develop a skilled workforce for clean energy jobs. The center has worked on projects as varied as providing a staging area for offshore wind platform construction to installing solar-powered Wi-Fi hotspots in public parks. Massachusetts also benefits from being a higher-education center, with top universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working on clean energy projects.
Another important key to Massachusetts’ success is its deregulated utility market. The flexible market allows customers and utilities to negotiate directly for electricity supplies. One reason this is so important is that utilities can sell electricity with a variable price, which allows them to help control for changes in renewable generation caused by a cloudy or windless day. Variable deals can help customers as well, especially those that have the ability to store electricity or save their heavy use (like charging an electric car) for off-peak times. If you are interested in exploring this kind of deal, please contact EnergyCare for a free consultation.