January 2, 2019

State starts from zero with clean peak energy standard

State energy officials on Monday determined that zero megawatt hours are being served by clean peak resources during peak load hours in Massachusetts, and signaled plans for a rule-making process to set the parameters of a new Clean Peak Energy Standard.

In order to establish a baseline and facilitate new clean peak certificates in the new year, an energy law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in August requires the Department of Energy Resources, by Dec. 31, 2018, to determine the current percentage of kilowatt-hour sales to end-use customers from existing clean peak resources during peak load hours.

In a New Year's Eve notice, Renewable and Alternative Energy Division director Michael Judge said the agency "cannot determine at this time that any such resources are currently in existence and providing energy during seasonal peak load hours."

The department also established the minimum standard percentage requirement for retail electricity suppliers in the 2019 compliance year at 0 percent. However, any clean peak resources with a commercial operation date on or after Jan. 1, 2019 that meets clean peak regulatory standards may be permitted to generate clean peak certificates that can be purchased in compliance year 2019 by retail electricity suppliers for use towards compliance requirements in 2020 or 2021, Judge said in his notice.

The department plans an informal stakeholder process to design the Clean Peak Energy Standard, with straw proposals preceding the filing of a draft regulation.

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