Although Massachusetts is taking steps to transition its energy mix from fossil fuels to renewable energy and battery storage, the state still relies heavily on fossil fuels to generate electricity during times of peak demand. Peak demand occurs during the day, generally in the summer and winter, when businesses use the most electricity. To combat their reliance on fossil fuels, Massachusetts finalized regulations for the Clean Peak Energy Standard (CPES) program, which incentivizes retail suppliers, such as utilities and 3rd party suppliers, to use renewables and battery storage to provide power during peak demand.
The CPES mandates that retail electric suppliers purchase 1.5% of the electricity they sell to consumers during peak demand from renewable energy and/or battery storage projects in 2020. The mandate increases at least 1.5% annually and must reach at least 16.5% in 2030 and 46.5% in 2050. To meet this mandate, retail suppliers can purchase CPES certificates from projects that meet the CPES’s requirements.
A CPES approved project must be:
- A new renewable project, such as solar or wind, OR
- An existing project paired with a new energy storage project, OR
- New energy storage project that charges primarily from renewables.
The CPES mandate will increase the number of low-cost renewables in the state, lower emissions, and result in savings for ratepayers throughout the lifetime of the program. The Energy Storage Association expects avoided infrastructure costs to be about $710 million over the first decade of the program and the CPES is expected to result in overall savings for ratepayers of $400 million in the first 10 years of the program. In addition to saving ratepayers money, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 560,000 metric tons over the first 10 years of the program.
The Clean Peak Energy Standard program will provide economic and environmental benefits to Massachusetts, a state that is a leader in the transition to sustainability. The program is now under a 30-day review period, after which it will move through the state before it is released. Applications are scheduled to go live in July 2020 with the first CPES certificates generated in January 2021.
Interested in receiving incentives from the Clean Peak Energy Standard program? Contact EEP today to schedule a no-obligation audit of your facility. Many energy efficiency projects require no upfront cost and energy savings of more than 30%.