On June 30, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) informed the Massachusetts Legislature of its adoption of a 200 MWh energy storage target for electric distribution companies (“EDCs”) to procure “viable and cost-effective energy storage systems” within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  DOER specified that the target is to be achieved by January 1, 2020, and would permit EDCs to identify the most cost-effective applications and the best locations for energy storage deployment, including both in front of the meter and behind the meter applications.

DOER’s announcement of the target was in accordance with comprehensive energy legislation signed into law in August 2016.  With regard to energy storage, the legislation required, among other things, that DOER determine if energy storage goals are prudent for the Commonwealth and, if so, to set a procurement target for 2020.

In its letter to the Massachusetts legislature, DOER stated that the energy storage procured under the 200 MWh target would “serve as a crucial demonstration phase to further the Commonwealth’s knowledge of the potential for this technology,” and that, based on lessons learned from this initial target, DOER may determine to set additional procurement targets beyond January 1, 2020.  Accordingly, DOER stated that it was requesting that each EDC submit annual status reports regarding how many MWs and MWhs each EDC procured, the types of energy storage procured, the cost-effectiveness of the various energy storage projects undertaken, wholesale market opportunities identified and monetized, how market barriers to the adoption of energy storage were addressed and resolved, and recommendations, if any, for energy storage programs and policies going forward.