As part of the Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and its goal of Massachusetts achieving an 80 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is implementing a Clean Energy Standard (CES), delivering clean electricity to Massachusetts consumers. The MassDEP has proposed regulatory amendments that would implement the CES by replacing fossil fuel-fired generation with clean generation sources.

The proposed regulation, modeled on the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER’s) Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), includes the following:

  • Clean energy sources will be defined as those with greenhouse gas emissions that are at least 50 percent less than from natural gas-fueled electric generating plants. This would include all renewable energy technologies that are eligible for the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, hydroelectric facilities, and nuclear facilities. Carbon capture and sequestration facilities may also be eligible.
  • A requirement that at least 45 percent of electric use from retail electric sellers would be from clean energy sources (as defined above).

For eligible generators, the proposed regulation would:

  • Qualify clean energy generators through the MassDEP, except generators that are RPS-eligible would need to qualify through the DOER.
  • Limit the eligibility to generators that commenced operation after 2010.
  • Require the MassDEP to complete a study in 2016 of options for including existing generators in the CES Program.
  • Include special provisions for projects outside the ISO New England Inc (“ISO-NE”) control area.

Comments must be submitted to the MassDEP by April 27, 2015. Comments may be provided by email, by oral testimony at a public hearing (schedule below), or by mail (DEP, Bureau of Air & Waste, One Winter Street 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, Attn: Will Space).

The rescheduled Clean Energy Standard public hearing dates and comment deadline are listed below:

  • 1:00 PM on April 14, 2015 at the Boston office at One Winter Street, Boston, MA
  • 1:00 PM on April 15, 2015 at the Worcester office at 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA
  • 1:00 PM on April 16, 2015 at the Lakeville office at 20 Riverside Drive, Lakeville, MA
  • 5:00 PM on April 27, 2015 comment period closes.

Additional information can be found at the following link.