Earlier this summer both Massachusetts and New York advanced policy initiatives further supporting the deployment of energy storage solutions.

Just prior to July 1, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced an aspirational 200MWh energy storage procurement mandate, to be procured by the state’s utilities by January 1st, 2020. They join California and Oregon as the third state to impose a procurement target. This follows legislation passed in the summer of 2016, in which the DOER in Massachusetts was given until the end of 2016 to decide whether or not to adopt a target by 2020.

The announcement was met with both celebration and criticism. Many were disappointed in its non-binding nature and believed that a larger target was viable. However, those responsible for the mandate indicate the developmental nature of this mandate, with the potential to set procurement goals beyond 2020 based on the success. It requires yearly reporting from distribution companies on how wholesale market opportunities were monetized and on any recommendations to ensure cost-effective deployment in order to improve reporting standards. The procurement target was accompanied by an additional $10 million in funding for energy storage demonstration projects in alignment with Governor Baker’s Energy Storage Initiative’s (ESI) State of Charge report, written on a previous $10 million commitment to develop policy options to encourage storage deployment.

The New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) shares a similar thought process to legislators in Massachusetts, weighing the benefits of a centralized approach to energy storage deployments through a mandate versus a continued market-driven approach that Governor Cuomo has championed. Richard Kauffman describes: “It’s really that we’re trying to establish a set of principles and recognize that it’s where we want to be headed, and if we need to have mandates or particular support programs to get us to that future, then we’re open to that.”

Legislation is pending the signature of Governor Cuomo to develop the Energy Storage Deployment Program, which would require an energy storage procurement target set by the end of 2017, streamlining the prudency of the determination process done in Massachusetts.

For further reading on these topics please visit the following links:MA: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2017/doer-sets-200-megawatt-hour-energy-storage-target.htmlNY: http://www.utilitydive.com/news/new-york-expected-to-set-high-bar-for-energy-storage-after-target-bill-pass/445845/

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