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Volume XII, Number 280

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Massachusetts Governor Signs Law Encouraging Energy Storage and Offshore Wind

On August 11, 2022, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward that was designed to, among other things, encourage the development of mid- to long-duration energy storage facilities, increase procurement of offshore wind, and reduce barriers to solar power on agriculture land. 

To ensure the continued development of energy storage facilities in Massachusetts, the legislation requires that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (the “DOER”) determine mid-duration and long-duration energy storage system deployment targets for use in Massachusetts, and to report, by December 2023, on means of financing and deploying these energy storage projects. The legislation also requires an evaluation of the need for 4,800 gigawatt-hours of storage from renewable generation. 

With respect to offshore wind, the legislation increases offshore wind procurement to 5,600 MW a (1600 MW increase from the amount established by the legislature in 2021). Moreover, the legislation authorizes the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to develop tax incentives for those offshore wind companies that propose economic development plans. 

The legislation creates a new commission to help reduce barriers to solar power on agricultural land. The reduced tax status of agricultural and horticultural land is preserved by the legislation when these lands are also used for renewable energy generation (provided there is ongoing agricultural and horticultural use), and land used for both renewable energy and agricultural purposes is protected from zoning regulation as if it were agricultural land.

This legislation will have broad impact on the energy industry. 

©2022 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 227
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About this Author

Andrew Kaplan Energy Attorney
Partner

Andrew Kaplan focuses his practice on providers of energy storage, demand response, ancillary services, and electricity and gas transmission and supply, both in the wholesale and retail markets. He regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Operators (NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, Midcontinent ISO, California ISO, SPP and ERCOT), and many state public utility commissions. Andrew has won significant rulings before FERC that helped to pave the way for growth among leaders in the energy storage industry....

617-488-8104
James M. Avery, energy and environmental lawyer, Pierce Atwood
Partner

James M. Avery represents a broad range of utilities, developers, aggregators, and other stakeholders before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, and numerous other state utility commissions.

Jim’s clients include solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable energy firms; developers of natural gas-fired generation facilities; electric and natural gas utilities; wireless telecommunications carriers; and hospitals, government agencies, and industrial facilities.

Jim also represents clients in a variety of commercial...

(617) 488-8125
Joel Quick Real Estate Attorney Pierce Atwood
Associate

Joel Quick focuses his practice on land use and real estate law, providing a full array of legal services for any commercial or residential development project, including analyzing land use and local environmental regulations and appearing before public bodies to seek needed relief. Joel also negotiates and drafts any restrictions, easements, and covenants required by a municipality as a condition of approval, and, if needed, will seek amendment of affordability, conservation, and preservation restrictions. With experience acting as counsel for a number of municipalities and municipal...

617-488-8157
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