Launched in November 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)/Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Clean Energy Results Program advances environmental protection by promoting the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Massachusetts.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency both have tremendous benefits to air quality and climate protection by reducing harmful air emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuel.
The Clean Energy Results Program will further strengthen the environment-energy connection in Massachusetts by bolstering MassDEP and DOER's efforts to reduce regulatory and other barriers to clean and energy efficient development across the state.
Through these efforts MassDEP will ensure that clean energy projects are properly sited and constructed to protect human health and the environment.
Among the first programs of its kind to be established at a state environmental authority, the Clean Energy Results Program will streamline agency assistance to clean energy developers, municipal officials, and the public, and create a science-based set of resources to inform project review and siting statewide.
MassDEP technical staff are uniquely positioned to provide the technical expertise needed to effectively guide the siting of clean energy and energy efficient development, while being protective of the environment.
Roles of Related Agencies
The Clean Energy Results Program is a first-of-its kind partnership between Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, MassDEP, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. This partnership ensures that clean energy projects are sited in a way that is most environmentally protective. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is also a key partner in state efforts to promote clean energy. MassDEP also works closely with the federal U.S. EPA Region One on its clean energy efforts. Learn about the roles of the different state and federal agencies involved in the Clean Energy Results Program
MassDEP administers the Clean Energy Results Program in partnership with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). MassDEP supports DOER by promoting clean energy and energy efficiency through its everyday work as the state's primary environmental regulatory authority. MassDEP is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water; safe management of toxics and hazards; recycling of solid and hazardous waste; timely cleanup of waste sites and spills, and preservation of wetlands and coastal resources. MassDEP works with DOER to promote siting of clean energy in a way that is environmentally protective. MassDEP is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources is the lead agency in the Commonwealth to develop and implement policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply within the context of creating a cleaner energy future. To that end, DOER ensures deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency; maximizes development of clean energy resources; creates and implements energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve the cost of clean energy relative to fossil-fuel based generation; and supports Massachusetts' clean energy companies and spur Massachusetts' clean energy employment. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth, while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. MassCEC is a partner, clearinghouse and connector for people in the clean energy sector, making direct investments in clean energy companies, building a strong clean energy workforce, and supporting responsibly sited renewable energy projects across the Commonwealth. MassCEC works with the entire clean energy community in Massachusetts to propel promising technologies from the drawing board to the global marketplace. EEA Secretary Richard Sullivan serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of MassCEC.
The federal U.S. EPA New England is an important partner in promoting clean energy as a key way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EPA is encouraging renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites when it is aligned with the community's vision for the site. This initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of these sites and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments or anyone interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development. EPA is also encouraging green remediation at Superfund sites.
Short-Term Program Activities
Within one year of program launch, MassDEP will focus on completing the following tasks that have been identified as critical to removing barriers to the development of clean and efficient sources of energy:
1. Assistance & Capacity Building for Communities:
- Establish MassDEP "Clean Energy Support Teams" consisting of specialists in environmental permitting and standards to provide hands-on assistance to local communities (including public and municipal boards and commissions) with DOER Green Communities staff.
- Create fact sheets and conduct outreach with DOER through workshops, seminars, and other public forums to educate the public on the environmental impact of clean energy facilities.
2. Clean Energy Siting Potential on State Land:
- Complete a comprehensive study of anaerobic digestion (AD)/Combined Heat & Power (CHP) potential on public lands (including prisons, universities, and existing wastewater treatment plants) utilizing MassDEP's unique knowledge of siting and organic waste markets.
- Complete a study of collection and other infrastructure barriers to the development of organic waste diversion.
3. Public Nuisance/Public Health Impacts from Wind Turbines:
- By 2012, in conjunction with the MA Department of Public Health, complete review of any potential health impacts associated with wind turbines and advance public discussion on the health effects of wind turbines based on sound science.
- Review MassDEP's noise policy guidance relating to wind turbines to determine whether current standards are appropriate and protective.
4. Clean Energy Potential at Water & Wastewater Utilities:
- Benchmark energy use and assess the potential for zero-net energy operation at drinking water and wastewater utilities in Massachusetts to advance MassDEP's goals for zero-net-energy facilities.
5. Assessment for Other Clean Energy Technologies:
- Conduct a preliminary assessment of statewide commercial and industrial locations for utilizing CHP based on MassDEP permitting records.
- Assist DOER with outreach to encourage CHP and community-district energy opportunities, including at hospitals, food processing facilities, laundries, business and industrial parks, municipal buildings and school clusters, and housing complexes to advance Alternative Portfolio Standards (APS) targets.
- In conjunction with DOER, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and other stakeholders, explore the air impacts and testing protocols for small-scale wood pellet sustainable biomass thermal systems.
MassDEP will focus on the following longer-term goals and deliverables to remove barriers to clean energy development at the sites and facilities it regulates, advancing the Patrick-Murray Administration's clean energy goals for 2020 and 2050.
1. Organic Waste Diversion and Renewable Energy:
- In conjunction with public and private sector partners, ensure that at least three anaerobic digestion / Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects are operating by 2014, and monitor environmental performance to determine best practices.
- By 2020, achieve the Commonwealth's goal of diverting 350,000 tons per year of organic material from landfills and incinerators by boosting use of anaerobic digestion, CHP, recycling, and composting facilities.
- Increase energy production from aerobic and anaerobic digestion to 50 megawatts (375 GWh/y) by 2020.
2. Clean Energy at MassDEP-Regulated Sites:
- By 2013, increase the use of renewable energy at participating Energy Leaders drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities by 50 percent using the benchmark of 2007 energy generation and use.
- Achieve zero-net energy use at 20 percent of drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities by 2020 by generating on-site energy in a quantity equal to or greater than the total amount of energy consumed.
- By 2020, achieve 50 megawatts of new solar photovoltaic on underutilized contaminated land (landfills and brownfields) helping meet the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) Solar Carve-Out target of 400 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV), creating green jobs and tax revenue benefitting Massachusetts communities.
- Promote the use of green remediation at state and federally regulated contaminated sites finding ways to maximize the net environmental benefit of cleanup through consideration of remedy energy requirements, efficiency of on-site activities, and reduction of impacts on surrounding areas.
- In conjunction with DOER, launch a Renewable Thermal Assessment Program targeting replacement of commercial and industrial boilers with cleaner and more energy efficient technology (including sustainable biomass, solar water heating, and high efficiency heat pumps).
Other Clean Energy Resources
Environmental Protection Agency