May 25, 2018

Four clean energy bills clear House committee

Photo | File
Bills to promote clean energy are been approved by a House committee.

Four new clean energy bills promoting energy storage, solar development and electric vehicle sales have cleared the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, suggesting a possible push in the final two months of session to expand the state's clean energy footprint.

The committee, co-chaired by Lowell Rep. Thomas Golden, voted in a poll that closed Thursday to recommend the bills that will now be reported out to the House, and likely referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

One bill (H 1747) would require electricity suppliers to gradually increase the volume of energy from renewable sources sold to consumers during peak demand hours. Another (H 2600) would promote energy storage use and research, and a third (H 2712) would lift the net metering cap on the amount of clean energy, like solar, that can be sold back to the grid.

The net metering cap lift proposed by the committee would increase the amount of energy that can sold back to a distribution company by non-municipal facilities by 2 percentage points to 9 percent of peak load and 10 percent for municipal and government net metering facilities.

The final bill (H 3742) directs the secretary of transportation to establish a grant program known as the UMass Fleet Electrification Grant Program to help UMass campuses implementing "innovative transportation planning and fleet electrification projects." The bill would also set up an electric vehicle dealership rebate to incent car dealers to sell or lease electric vehicles to consumers

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