Renewable Portfolio Standard Class II Suspension Announced (August 23, 2012)
As directed by EEA Secretary Richard Sullivan, DOER Commissioner Sylvia has suspended consideration of RPS Class II Statement of Qualification Applications for woody biomass generation units which support pre-1998 renewable energy generation. DOER will soon begin a rulemaking on the eligibility of woody biomass for Class II to incorporate applicable provision of the new Class I regulation that assures qualified biomass units contribute to greenhouse gas reductions and protect forestlands.
- DOER has published its final regulation (225 CMR 14.00) pertaining to the eligibility of woody biomass energy for the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) Class I program. This publication brings to an end the moratorium on qualification of woody biomass units for the RPS Class I program which has been in place since December 2009.
- Biomass is derived from organic plant and animal material, such as wood, crops, landfill gas, solid waste, and alcohol fuels.
- This clarification follows the announcement issued by DOER Commissioner Giudice on December 3, 2009, to suspend DOER review of Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Statement of Qualification Applications for biomass generation units. Several questions have been raised about the scope of the announcement and its application. DOER issued this Q&A on December 22, 2009, to provide further clarity of its positions
- The Department of Energy Resources hosted two public meetings on the Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study (Manomet Study), Carbon Accounting and Biomass/RPS Policy Directions in Boston and Holyoke in July 2010.
- A team of experts were commissioned to conduct a study of issues related to biomass sustainability and carbon policy, to support DOER in its development of biomass energy policy. The Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study has been completed and is available for review.
- A listing of stakeholders who submiited written comments on this topic.
- Do the Northeast States' air emission regulations and safety certifications for residential and institutional-scale biomass boilers and furnaces pose a barrier to the creation of a viable northeast market for domestic and non-U.S. biomass heaters and boilers? If so, what strategic actions could be taken to reduce barriers and create a more attractive regional market for high performance biomass boilers, manufactured domestically or abroad? DOER, in coordination with the Northeast States, contracted the Coalition of Northeast Governors (CONEG) Policy Research Center, Inc. to develop a report that presents an objective analysis on these issues.
- The Commonwealth seeks to prioritize existing commercial, residential and agricultural outdoor hydronic heaters (OHH), also known as outdoor wood boilers, which require replacement and provide replacement funding.
- The Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Initiative will facilitate the development of biomass energy projects and fuel supply infrastructure in the Commonwealth.