Category Archives: Renewable Energy

It’s Good to Be a Brownfield Site — As Long As It’s Not Too Brown

Tucked away in the recesses of the Inflation Reduction Act is a provision that reminds everyone why they love Superfund so much.  On its face, it’s simply an incentive for renewable energy development, giving an adder to the amount of the investment tax credit (ITC) or production tax credit (PTC) to which certain renewable energy projects would otherwise be entitled, if they are located in an “energy community”. … More

Massachusetts to Require Disclosure of Energy Usage from Large Buildings

Energy UsageLost amid the more high profile items in Massachusetts’ recently enacted Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind is a requirement that the Department of Energy Resources establish a program requiring large buildings across the Commonwealth to report energy usage on an annual basis.   The requirement goes into effect on July 1, 2024, but DOER has an additional year (until July 1, 2025) to draft implementing regulations and establish the parameters of the reporting program.  … More

Coming soon to Massachusetts cities and towns: all electric buildings

As we’ve discussed before, multiple cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have tried to ban fossil fuel hookups for new buildings by zoning or other ordinance over the past few years.  But in July 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Municipal Law Unit struck down the first such ban that came across its desk as inconsistent with other state law.  As we noted then, in order for municipalities to restrict or ban fossil fuel connections,… More

Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill Turbocharges the Adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles and Clean Transportation

Based on numerous sources, Governor Baker has now signed an Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind.  This bill includes a number of key advancements for increased adoption of zero emission vehicles and clean transportation throughout the Commonwealth.  The law:

  1. Outlaws the sale of internal combustion vehicles by any dealership after January 1, 2035 by making it an unfair or deceptive act or practice under Chapter 93A;…
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NYSERDA Previews Sweeping Updates to Forthcoming Large-Scale Renewables REC Solicitation

On July 7, 2022, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released two detailed Requests for Information (RFI) that preview sweeping updates to its large-scale renewable energy certificate (REC) purchase and sale programs. The changes reflect both NYSERDA’s efforts to keep up with changes in applicable law and fast-evolving market rules and its continuing endeavor to increase the maturity of projects proposed. Turnaround for responses to the RFIs is fast – NYSERDA seeks replies from stakeholders by July 28 at 3 PM.… More

A Look Ahead: Capacity Contracts under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Transmission Facilitation Program

Among the panoply of clean energy-related programs currently being implemented under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”), one in particular – for which a solicitation is set to issue soon – will infuse significant capital into the country’s bulk transmission system. In May 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a Notice of Intent (“NOI”) regarding the new Transmission Facilitation Program (“TFP”), authorized under the IIJA,… More

Governor Hochul signs bill promoting utility-operated thermal energy networks in New York State

On July 5, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act (the “Act”), a bill which amends New York State’s Public Service Law to authorize the State’s utilities to own and operate thermal energy networks, and which charges the State’s Public Service Commission (“PSC”) with initiating proceedings to support and regulate thermal energy network deployment.

Until now, New York State utilities interested in developing thermal energy networks have been frustrated by legal and regulatory barriers.… More

FERC issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning generator interconnection; aims to speed, simplify processes

Electric transmission planning processes have not been able to keep pace with demand for interconnection service, leaving over 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of generation and 400 GW of storage stranded in the nation’s interconnection queues. In response to the backlog, PJM Interconnection LLC—the nation’s largest RTO by load served—recently imposed a two-year pause on new interconnection requests and asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider reforms to its interconnection process.… More

FERC Approves ISO-New England’s Implementation of Capacity Market Design Changes and MOPR Elimination

On Friday, May 27, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order approving ISO-New England’s proposed tariff revisions, which phase out the ISO’s minimum offer price rule (MOPR) by 2024. The tariff revisions institute an interim Transition Mechanism to organize ISO-New England’s 2022 and 2023 capacity auctions, which will together allow 700 megawatts (MW) of state-sponsored renewable resources to participate without application of the MOPR.… More

DPU Orders the Creation of an Energy Storage Interconnection Review Group

Energy storage systems (“ESS”) can help increase grid efficiency, facilitate the operation of increasing amounts of renewable energy, and lower energy costs, among other benefits. As energy storage systems increase in number in Massachusetts, a myriad of questions have emerged regarding their regulation and integration into the electrical grid.

DPU Order

On February 9, 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”) released an order under Docket 19-55 with the goal of finding answers to some of these questions.… More

BOEM Announces Upcoming Wind Energy Lease Auction in the New York Bight; New York’s Next Offshore Wind Solicitation to Follow

Today, January 12, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that on February 23, 2022 it will hold a wind energy lease auction for six areas in the New York Bight (NY Bight), the coastal area between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. BOEM’s issuance of the Final Sale Notice (FSN) for the wind energy lease areas comes just days after New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced in her State of the State address that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will issue its next offshore wind solicitation following BOEM’s lease sale in the NY Bight.… More

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Part 2: Investing in Transmission

This is the second post in our series on the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, covering how the Act invests in strengthening our electric grid, which could better prepare us for the shift from fossil fuel generated electricity to renewable power.

To decarbonize our energy system, electrify transportation and buildings, and drastically reduce our contribution to climate change, we’ll need to develop and deploy significant wind,… More

New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting Sets Precedent in Section 94-c Permit Proceedings: When Major Renewable Energy Projects Need Not Comply with Local Laws

In its first such determination, on June 4, 2021, the newly formed New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”) determined that several provisions of the Town of Barre’s (Orleans County) local law are “unreasonably burdensome” in light of the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) goals and the environmental benefits of the proposed 185 megawatt Heritage Wind Project, and therefore declined to apply them. This determination sets a precedent under the State’s Executive Law Section 94-c permitting regime for major renewable energy facilities,… More

LIPA Issues Much-Awaited Bulk Energy Storage RFP

On April 30, 2021, PSEG Long Island, LLC (PSEG-LI), on behalf of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), issued a much-awaited request for proposals (RFP) seeking 175 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale storage projects that will interconnect to the Long Island electricity grid. This RFP issuance follows a Request for Information nearly a year ago regarding how such a solicitation should be structured. The storage deployment resulting from this RFP will make a significant contribution to New York’s statewide goals

of deploying 3,000 MWs of energy storage by 2030,… More

New York Updates Distributed Energy Tariff and Sets Course for Further Deliberation

Hours before a technical conference on potential future pathways for solar development in New York State, the New York State Department of Public Service (“DPS”) unexpectedly updated the Environmental Value (“E-Value”) component of State’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (“VDER”) Tariff “Value Stack.” However, the update was not the one advocated for by the solar industry based upon the December 2020 cost of carbon guidance from the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”),… More

Federal Offshore Wind Plan Boosts State Efforts in Massachusetts

As President Biden announces his blueprint for expanding the use of offshore wind (OSW) power, Massachusetts hopes to become an industry hub. Those plans will certainly be facilitated by the new federal OSW policies.

On March 29, the Biden administration published a major plan to mobilize offshore wind development, particularly along the East Coast. The plan aims to construct 30,000 megawatts of OSW generation by 2030,… More

Is a New Electricity Grid in Our Future? President Biden Thinks So.

The White House this morning released a fact sheet on “The American Jobs Plan,” also known as President Biden’s infrastructure plan.  There’s a lot in here (as there should be for a couple of trillion dollars!), so today I’ll focus on energy infrastructure.  Here are the highlights: 

  • $100B to “build a more resilient electric transmission system.”  This includes “the creation of a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of at least 200 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines.”
  • Creation of a “Grid Deployment Authority” within DOE to facilitate transmission line siting.…
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The Massachusetts Climate Bill is Very Much “Not Dead”

In January, when Governor Baker vetoed the Legislature’s effort to go big on climate, my colleague Zach Gerson made clear that the bill was not even “mostly dead.”  I am pleased to say that Zach’s diagnosis was correct.  The climate bill is very much alive.

Last week, the Legislature passed a new version of the bill, which adopted most of the Governor’s technical suggestions and almost none of his substantive changes. … More