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Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort Wind Turbine

August 15, 2007

Workshop Explores Information's Role in Wind Project Siting: A Wind Powering America Success Story

November 19, 2012

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U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition

May 5, 2014

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Webinar: The 2014 Farm Bill's Renewable Energy for America Program

May 21, 2014

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

June 7, 2014

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Implications of a PTC Extension on U.S. Wind Deployment

April 1, 2014

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Massachusetts Wind Activities

This Web page summarizes wind activity on the following topics for the state of Massachusetts. Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.

Vestas turbine at Hull Municipal Lighting Plant, Hull, Massachusetts. This turbine provides enough electricity to power the street lights of Hull. PIX11261

Vestas turbine at Hull Municipal Lighting Plant, Hull, Massachusetts. This turbine provides enough electricity to power the street lights of Hull. Search for more wind-related photos in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory PIX database.

Operating and Planned Wind Projects

New England wind projects can be located on our Google Map. This page shows the location of installed and planned New England wind projects. Find windfarms, community-scale wind projects, customer-sited wind projects, small wind projects, and offshore wind projects.

Policies and Guidelines

  • State Policies in Massachusetts

    This information was last updated on 4/21/2010.

    Massachusetts has implemented a wide range of policies to encourage and support wind power. In early 2009, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a goal of developing 2,000 MW of wind power capacity by 2020. That goal is supported by a study of the wind generation resource potential prepared for Massachusetts (PDF 2.1 MB) Download Adobe Reader. Gov. Patrick has directed Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles to use the 2,000-MW wind goal, as well as mandates and incentives laid out in the 2008 Green Communities Act, to guide the state's efforts to increase the development and deployment of wind power. Installing 2,000 MW of wind capacity would meet an estimated 10% of the state's current electric load. For more information, see the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Web site.

  • Renewable Portfolio Standard

    This information was last updated on 2/26/2010.

    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) administers the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, which was first created as part of the 1997 Electricity Restructuring Act. An RPS is a requirement on electric utilities and other electric suppliers to supply a minimum percentage or amount of their load with eligible sources of renewable energy. The initial Renewable Portfolio Standard program created a single class for eligible "New" (operational post-1997) renewable resources, and a target of 4% by December 31, 2009 — with Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources discretion over increases thereafter. In 2008, the Massachusetts legislature passed the Green Communities Act (GCA) which, among many energy policy related changes, made several important revisions to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (Sec. 32 of the Green Communities Act). The revised Renewable Portfolio Standard regulations went into effect on June 12, 2009. Key revisions to the Renewable Portfolio Standard include:

    • Renamed "New" resources as "Class I" and expanded Class I resource eligibility to include certain new and incremental hydroelectric generation, certain biomass and biofuel sources, geothermal and marine resources.
    • Codified annual Class I Renewable Portfolio Standard target increases of 1% beginning in 2010, removing Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' discretion over such increases.
    • Created a "Class II" requirement for pre-1998 resources.

    More Information

    Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.

  • Long-Term Contracting

    This information was last updated on 2/26/2010.

    In June 2009, the Department of Public Utilities adopted the final regulations proposed for renewable energy long-term contract pilot program provisions of the Green Communities Act (sec. 83). The Green Communities Act requires the state's investor-owned distribution utilities to conduct a minimum of two solicitations over the next five years for 10 to 15 year renewable energy certificates (or bundled energy and renewable energy certificates) contracts, from new renewable energy generators in Massachusetts or adjacent state and Federal waters. The utilities receive annual remuneration equal to 4% of the contract value, and are not obligated to contract for more than 3% of the energy demand of all distribution customers (whether supplied by the utility or competitive suppliers).

    In January 2010, the four Massachusetts utilities issued a joint request for proposal (RFP) in accordance with the Act's requirement. The application and review phase will last through the spring of 2010, with the utilities planning to seek final approval from the Department of Public Utilities by May 2010. Separately, the Cape Wind offshore project and National Grid are negotiating a long-term contract under the same provision of the Green Communities Act. The anticipated schedule is for the Cape Wind / National Grid negotiations to be completed prior to the conclusion of negotiations under the joint RFP process.

  • Renewable Energy on State Lands

    This information was last updated on 8/20/2009.

    Officials of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and local legislators are in the process of exploring the possibility of developing large-scale wind installations in some regions of the state, particularly coastal areas and ridge tops in western Massachusetts. A recent study of the "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Potential at State-Owned Facilities (PDF 1.1 MB) Download Adobe Reader" concluded that there are sufficient wind resources to develop approximately 947 megawatts (MW) of wind power on state lands (approximately half of Governor Patrick's goal to develop 2,000 MW of wind power by 2020). For more information, see press release "Patrick Administration Solicits Feedback on Wind Power Potential for State-owned Lands (PDF 45 KB) Download Adobe Reader."

  • Renewable Energy at Closed Landfills

    This information was last updated on 4/21/2010.

    The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection encourages development of renewable energy generation, including photovoltaic and wind projects, at inactive landfills as long as the use will not compromise the environmental protection afforded by the landfill cap and closure.

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Some of the available incentives for projects include tax incentives, public benefits fund supported grants and loans, and net metering. Net metering requires electric utilities to permit customers to reduce their electric bills by generating their own power using small-scale renewable energy systems. The excess power they generate can be fed back to their utilities, actually running their electric meters backwards.

  • Public Benefits Fund

    This information was last updated on 2/26/2010.

    The Public Benefits Funds is a legislatively mandated surcharge on electricity delivered by the state's investor-owned utilities. Funds are deposited into the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, which the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center administers by providing grants and loans to renewable energy projects.

    • Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

      The Green Jobs Act of 2008 created the quasi-public Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's purpose is to accelerate job growth and economic development in the state's clean energy industry. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has several functions that include: administering the Renewable Energy Trust (formerly managed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, or MTC), which includes making grants, rebates, and loans available for renewable energy generation projects in Massachusetts, serving as a support center for the clean energy sector, making direct investments in new and existing companies, providing assistance to enable companies to access capital and other resources, and promoting training programs.

    • Commonwealth Wind

      The goal of the Commonwealth Wind program, managed by the Clean Energy Center, is to assist responsibly sited wind energy projects of all scales in achieving installations, thus support the state's goal of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of wind by 2020. There are three initiatives within this program: Micro Wind provides rebates for the installation of wind projects that are up to 100 kilowatts; Community-Scale Wind provides grants for qualifying wind projects with a nameplate capacity greater than or equal to 100 kW and that are eligible for net-metering; and Commercial Wind provides grants and loans to developers of multi-turbine commercial projects.

    • Offshore Initiatives

      The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative along with partners General Electric (GE) and U.S. Department of Energy formed the Offshore Wind Energy Collaborative to identify and address technical, environmental, and regulatory issues necessary to enable offshore wind energy to contribute as an important part of the region's long term supply portfolio. The Clean Energy Center, having taken on the role formerly managed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is now collaborating on the development of the Offshore Wind Energy Collaborative to create guidelines with input from stakeholders interested in sustainable, technologically sound development of offshore wind energy resources.

  • Net Metering

    This information was last updated on 2/26/2010.

    In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities implemented new net metering rules, as prescribed in the 2008 Green Communities Act (Sec. 78). The Green Communities Act and new regulations create three classes of net metering facilities:

    • Class I: for all technologies, any facility up to 60 kW
    • Class II: agricultural, wind and solar facilities* > 60 kW and = 1 MW
    • Class III: agricultural, wind and solar facilities* > 1 MW and = 2 MW

    * Except that for municipal and governmental entities each unit (as opposed to "facility") within these capacity bounds qualifies.

    Previously, net metering had been limited to facilities up to 60 kW.

    The Green Communities Act also introduces "aggregate" or "virtual" net metering under certain circumstances. This approach allows the aggregation and off-setting of multiple loads not co-located with the generator for projects meeting certain ownership criteria.

    The three types of projects eligible for aggregate or virtual net metering include:

    • Projects owned by municipalities and certain other governmental entities
    • Neighborhood net metering projects: where the ownership group includes no less than 10 residential customers who are served by a single utility within a single load zone.
    • Projects owned by Massachusetts agricultural businesses, which may aggregate their geographically separated loads within a single utility service territory.

    Each investor-owned utility is required to offer net metering. Municipal utilities are not required to offer net metering, but may choose to do so voluntarily. The obligation to offer net metering is currently capped at 1% of each utility's historic peak load.

    More Information

  • Standby Rates

    This information was last updated on 8/20/2009.

    Standby rates impact the economics of customer-sited wind projects. The Green Communities Act (GCA sec. 78) requires the Department of Public Utility to continue to remove impediments to the development of distributed generation resulting in the Department of Public Utility initiating an investigation (docket 07-6-A), in 2008, into these rates and alternative rate structures that will promote distributed generation deployment. This investigation follows up the 2006 Final Report of the Distributed Generation Collaborative and the 2007 Investigation to Promote Efficient Deployment of Distributed Generation (docket 07-6). The the Department of Public Utility will address the impact of rate structures on customers with distributed generation in the context of each EDC's decoupling rate case. The Department of Public Utility expects each company to: (1) determine whether standby rates are appropriate, and (2) design such rates to remove impediments to distributed generation consistent with the Green Communities Act. Accordingly, the Department of Public Utility has closed Docket 07-6 and opened Docket 07-6-A.

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  • Massachusetts Wind Energy Siting Reform

    This information was last updated on 2/26/2010.

    The Green Communities Act (GCA sec. 89) created a siting commission to examine streamlining the siting of energy facilities in Massachusetts. The Commission looked at whether current laws and regulations adequately facilitate renewable energy siting, or make renewable energy more difficult to site than fossil fuel plants. The Commission also considered whether renewable energy generation should be allowed as a right on industrial zoned property. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) has a dedicated siting reform resource page with more information.

    • The Siting Commission's Study of Wind Siting in Massachusetts (PDF 2.5 MB)
    • The Siting Commission's recommendations are reflected in the proposed Siting Reform Act, which was passed by the Massachusetts Senate in the winter, 2010, and awaits review by the House of Representatives.
  • Zoning Bylaw

    This information was last updated on 2/6/2010.

    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Energy Resources have completed an update to the model wind zoning bylaw. The wind zoning bylaw, which applies to utility-scale, on-site wind facilities and small wind energy systems, includes building integrated wind systems, and physical modifications to existing wind facilities that materially alter the type, configuration, or size of such facilities or other equipment. The bylaw was prepared to assist cities and towns in establishing reasonable standards for wind power development. The bylaw was developed as a model and not intended for adoption without specific review by municipal counsel. The revised model wind bylaw (PDF 150 KB) has been published on the Department of Energy Resources Web site. Adoption of a bylaw which includes as-of-right siting for wind energy is also a threshold requirement for a Massachusetts municipality seeking qualification as a "Green Community."

  • Ocean Energy Plan

    This information was last updated on 2/6/2010.

    The Oceans Act of 2008 requires the establishment of a comprehensive management plan for ocean development. The Plan addresses the circumstances under which offshore wind energy development may be considered a permitted use. The new law allows renewable energy projects in the state's ocean sanctuaries, subject to the terms of the management plan.

    The final version allows for significant community-scale wind energy development; creates a formal role for regional planning authorities in wind, wave, and tidal energy planning (namely in determining "appropriate scale" for commercial and community-scale projects and providing explicit approval for community-scale projects); and specifies that 50% of any mitigation funds will be directed to "host community(ies)."

    The plan indicates that up to 100 turbines may be sited as community-scale projects distributed as follows.

    Merrimack Valley Planning Commission 7
    Metropolitan Area Planning Council 22
    Old Colony Planning Council 9
    Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District 10
    Cape Cod Commission 24
    Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission 11
    Martha's Vineyard Commission 17
    Total 100

    The plan also identifies two designated wind energy areas — off the Elizabeth Islands and south of Nomans Land, off Martha's Vineyard — suitable for commercial-scale wind energy development. Adjacent to these areas, the plan identified potentially suitable locations in federal waters for commercial-scale wind energy development.

  • Offshore Energy

    This information was last updated on 4/16/2010.

    Massachusetts is focusing significant planning and development resources on offshore wind as a primary driver of the wind industry. In support of the state's goal of 2,000 MW of wind by 2020, offshore wind is a primary focus of the state.

    Massachusetts is also involved in multi-state development efforts. On February 19, 2010, Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met in Washington, D.C. with representatives from each of coastal states on the East Coast to discuss promotion of offshore wind and related job opportunities and announce plans to proceed with leasing of offshore sites. Minerals Management Service currently plans to issue a Request for Information (RFI) to initiate leasing of offshore wind parks on East Coast in 2010.

  • Site Screening Tool

    This information was last updated on 4/16/2010.

    The Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs has created a Site Screening Tool to aid in identifying potential sites for renewable energy.

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Transmission, Interconnection, and System Integration

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Other Initiatives

  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

    This information was last updated on 4/13/2010.

    The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.

    States sell nearly all emission allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefits: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies.

  • Global Warming Solutions Act

    This information was last updated on 2/26/2010.

    The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act was signed into law in August 2008 by Governor Patrick. The bill establishes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. This makes it the most aggressive greenhouse gas bill in the nation. The aggressive reductions laid out in the law will create additional impetus for wind power in the region. More information is available in the Eastern Research Group Draft Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Strategies and Goals (PDF 345 KB).

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Buying Wind Energy

  • GreenUp

    This information was last updated on 8/4/2011.

    GreenUp is a renewable energy program offered by Massachusetts Electric Company. Through this program, Massachusetts Electric's customers can choose to have some or all of their electricity bill come from one of seven different green power offerings from four independent suppliers, each of which includes some fraction of wind power.

  • Cape Light Compact Green

    This information was last updated on 8/4/2011.

    Cape Light Compact, an opt-out consumer aggregation covering all 21 towns of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, and Barnstable and Dukes counties, offers its customers the ability to purchase wind power.

  • NSTAR Green

    This information was last updated on 2/6/2010.

    NSTAR Green enables NSTAR Basic Service customers to support renewable energy generated electricity. Basic Service customers can choose to have half or all of their electricity use support wind power.

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List of Installers and Vendors

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Wind Working Group

Massachusetts has a Wind Working Group. Click on the link for more information.

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80-Meter Wind Map

Click on the link to read more about the wind resources in Massachusetts.

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Read more information about events happening in the New England region.

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News, Publications, and Web Resources

Total of 62 records found.
Page 3 of 7, Sorted by ascending title
Filtered by: States

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Date sort by ascending date sort by descending date State sort by ascending state sort by descending state Type of Information Program Area Title sort by ascending title sort by descending title More Details
6/15/2010 MA Video
Neighbors of Massachusetts Maritime Academy Turbine Interviewed  ...more
11/8/2013 MA News
New England Grid-Scale Wind Project Development Update  ...more
6/3/2011 MA News
New England Interview: A Panel of Seven Offer Insight into the Evolving Drivers and Challenges Facing Wind Development in New England  ...more
5/20/2008 MA News
New England Interview: Brian Fairbank, President and CEO, Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort  ...more
2/1/2004 MA Interview
New England Interview: Greg Watson, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative  ...more
9/27/2010 MA News
Public Power
New England Interview: John Norden, Manager of Renewable Resource Integration, Independent System Operator - New England  ...more
1/14/2013 MA News
New England Interview: Stephan Wollenburg, Green Energy Program Director of Energy Consumers Alliance of New England  ...more
1/14/2013 MA News
New England Offshore Wind Advances on Several Fronts  ...more
6/3/2011 MA News
New England Offshore Wind Update  ...more
1/14/2013 MA News
New England Wind Energy Education Project Conference and Webinar Materials Available Online  ...more

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