Program Background

MassCEC's Clean Energy and Resiliency ("CLEAR") Program seeks to support community resiliency efforts that reduce GHG emissions, enable the integration of renewable energy sources, and provide energy resilience for critical facilities during electrical grid outages. In September 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $821,552 in awards to analyze the costs and systems designs needed to create resilient facilities throughout Massachusetts. MassCEC has awarded funding to three consultants: GE Energy Consulting, The RAND Corporation and Willdan, each of whom will work with communities to analyze the cost and system design for resilient facilities.

CLEAR is a successor program to MassCEC’s Community Microgrids Program, which initially funded fourteen (14) feasibility studies around the Commonwealth, seeking to identify scalable, broadly replicable microgrid business and ownership models to increase microgrid deployment and attract investment.

 

CLEAR Program

The CLEAR Program kicked-off in September 2020 (see image above). MassCEC awarded funding to three consultants: GE Energy Consulting, RAND Corporation and Willdan. The consultant teams have substantial expertise in energy resiliency and modeling and will work with communities to analyze the cost and system design for resilient facilities in Boston, Framingham, Cohasset, West Tisbury, Natick and Bedford, culminating in feasibility studies for each community. For more detailed information on these projects, see this document.

 

Final Reports

For each project site, the technical consultants will produce a final report of the findings from the feasibility studies. Please see below for links to the final reports.

 

Map of CLEAR Projects

 

 

Resiliency Toolkit and Resiliency Certification

Additionally, under the CLEAR Program, two consultants (GE Energy Consulting and the RAND Corporation) were tasked with creating a Resiliency Toolkit and a Resiliency Certification to aid in communities’ resiliency projects. 

Resiliency Toolkit

GE Energy Consulting, in partnership with Resource Innovations, was awarded $80,000 to develop a Resiliency Toolkit that is now available to communities across the Commonwealth. The Resiliency Toolkit helps to reduce the upfront cost burden associated with design of resilient power systems and asset investment plans. The toolkit provides communities with tools to identify their critical loads and perform high-level resource screening independently, helping to identify what data is relevant for communities to determine their resiliency needs. The toolkit also includes a guide for communities to find their necessary data from utility websites or billing platforms, as well as a guide to consideration of critical loads and preliminary pricing and sizing of resources needed to support such loads through outages of different durations.

Potential users of the Toolkit are city, town, or community planners, sustainability coordinators, energy managers for schools, hospitals, water and wastewater facilities, and any other party interested in evaluating resilient power systems at a building, site, or community level. 

Resiliency Certification 

The RAND Corporation was awarded $86,265 to develop a Resiliency Certification that will ensure resilient systems can be fully utilized by first responders and storm restoration crews during major events and grid disturbances. The RAND Corporation will develop a method to certify a specific site as “resilient” to outages and will address and define what critical loads a facility can support and how to specify island capability, among other assets.

The CLEAR program expects to conclude in Summer 2022.

For any questions, please contact microgrids@masscec.com 

CLEAR Recap and Program Takeaways

A recap of the CLEAR program and initial, high-level takeaways can be found in this memo and slide deck.