Massachusetts’ Energy Storage Program Wins Clean Energy States Alliance State Leadership Award

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Kathryn Niforos
May 16, 2018 –

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was today honored by the Clean Energy State Alliance (CESA) for its leadership on energy storage as the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) Program received the 2018 State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) award. The award – one of only six nationwide SLICE awards – recognizes state and municipal programs that demonstrate leadership, effectiveness and innovation in advancing renewable energy and other clean energy technologies.

“Massachusetts has a long history of leadership in innovation and emerging technologies, and the 2018 State Leadership in Clean Energy award is fitting recognition for the Commonwealth’s commitment to the deployment of energy storage technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through the strategic development of ways to modernize the electric grid, Massachusetts will continue to pursue a diverse energy portfolio that will reduce costs for ratepayers and help create a clean and resilient energy future.”

Part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Energy Storage Initiative (ESI), the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) program was funded by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) through Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) and administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The program awarded $20 million in grants to 26 projects to develop the Commonwealth’s energy storage market and deliver benefits to Massachusetts ratepayers and the electrical grid. The projects are aimed at piloting innovative, broadly-replicable energy storage models to prime Massachusetts for increased commercialization and deployment of storage technologies. The ACES program benefits 25 communities across the state and has drawn in $32 million in matching funds, helping to grow the Commonwealth’s energy storage economy.

“The Baker-Polito Administration developed the ACES program to drive the adoption of energy storage technologies across the Commonwealth, provide benefits to ratepayers, and position the state to achieve its energy storage target” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton. “By offering strategic support to these projects, the Commonwealth continues to provide a roadmap for implementing storage technologies into the energy market and serve as a model for future cleantech development initiatives.”

“As Massachusetts works to meet its ambitious clean energy and climate goals, this program was designed to advance an emerging market with the potential to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits to ratepayers, from grid modernization to increased resiliency," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “The ACES program will inform increased cost-effective deployment of energy storage, which is critical to the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to securing a clean, affordable and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth.”

“By supporting these projects, Massachusetts will gain valuable insight into the deployment of energy storage technologies that will provide increased efficiency, cost-savings and grid resiliency for residents across the Commonwealth,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The ACES program is a shining example of effective cross-collaboration between our public agencies to accelerate the growth of an emerging market.”

CESA honored the Commonwealth for “demonstrating effective energy storage use cases and business models, the ACES program will have impacts far beyond Massachusetts.”

The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a nonprofit coalition of public agencies working together to advance clean energy, established these biennial awards to highlight model programs and projects that have accelerated the adoption of clean energy technologies and strengthened clean energy markets. CESA member organizations from across the U.S. submitted nominations for the 2018 SLICE Awards. Entries were judged based on public benefits and results, cost effectiveness, leadership and innovation, and replicability.

CESA’s independent panel of five judges who reviewed all the nominated programs were: Elizabeth Doris (National Renewable Energy Laboratory); Sara Fisher-Goad (former Executive Director of the Alaska Energy Authority); John Geesman (former Commissioner at the California Energy Commission); Rebecca O’Neil (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory); and Devrashree Saha (Council of State Governments).

“Under the Baker-Polito Administration, Massachusetts has positioned itself as a national leader in the development of clean and renewable energy sources,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).  “The SLICE award is a recognition of this administration’s ongoing efforts to expand the state’s energy storage capacity so ratepayers can have access to more reliable and affordable energy options.”

“I would like to congratulate MassCEC for receiving this prestigious national award for its hard work and dedication to the ACES program,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy.  “Projects funded through the ACES program will help advance the Commonwealth’s energy storage industry, and I look forward to working with the Baker-Polito Administration and MassCEC to further extend the benefits of energy storage technologies to Massachusetts.”