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Clean Peak Energy Standard Notices and Updates

The Massachusetts Clean Peak Energy Standard is designed to provide incentives to clean energy technologies that can supply electricity or reduce demand during seasonal peak demand periods established by DOER.

In July 2020, DOER filed the final regulation establishing the first in the nation Clean Peak Energy Standard. This page provides updates on the on-going activities related to the implementation of that regulation.     

Table of Contents

Procurement of Clean Peak Energy Certificates

DOER intends to develop a Clean Peak Energy Certificate (CPEC) procurement mechanism in conjunction with the Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) in order to meet the requirements set forth in 225 CMR 21.05(8) and pursuant to M.G.L. c. 25A, § 17(c).

DOER collaborated with the EDCs to develop a structure for the CPEC procurement.

  • Draft straw proposal procurement structure can be found here.
  • Summarized Questions and Answers on the Draft Straw Proposal can be found here
  • Stakeholder comments on the Draft Straw Proposal can be found here.  
  • Final Straw Proposal can be found here

Next Steps:

The EDCs will begin their regulatory approval process to establish a procurement mechanism aligned with the Final Straw Proposal

DOER asked for feedback on the initial proposed procurement structure. Summarized Q&A linked here (02/05/21)

Distribution Circuit Multiplier Stakeholder Series

DOER intends to host a Stakeholder Series to design the process by which Distribution Circuit Multipliers may be established.

Stakeholder Session Schedule:

Proposed Multiplier Structure

There are two distinct common causes for upgrades which may be resolved by CPS Resources: 1) high solar PV saturation and 2) increasing peak demands.  We propose establishing two separate formulaic methods to identify circuits facing these conditions.  The formulaic method is established using existing public datasets.  The result would be identification of circuits which can be identified by developers through existing publicly accessible hosting capacity maps.

Distribution Circuit Multiplier Eligibility

We propose that projects eligible to receive the circuit multiplier be limited to project types that help to resolve the constraint (i.e. solar PV should not be provided a 2x Distribution Circuit Multiplier on a circuit facing solar saturation constraints).

  • Solar saturated circuits, resources eligible for Distribution Circuit Multiplier include:
    • BTM storage
    • Standalone storage which accepts operating limitations in its ISA and/or accepts EDC DERMs signals to limit system operations
  • Heavily loaded (peak demand) circuits, resources eligible for Distribution Circuit Multiplier include:
    • Demand Response
    • RPS class I resources
    • BTM storage
    • Standalone storage which accepts operating limitations in its ISA and/or accepts EDC DERMs signals to limit system operations

The multiplier should be available to new CPS resources that receive a CPS Statement of Qualification after the Distribution Circuit Multipliers have been designated.  This will ensure that projects receiving the multiplier are the result of intentional siting decisions.

Circuit Identification

We propose to leverage existing public datasets to identify circuits to apply multipliers (such as the Utilities’ annual Grid Modernization reports, see DPU 21-30 for latest).  Reports include substantial circuit specific data, including circuit ratings, annual peak demand, amount of solar, amount of other DG (e.g. CHP), etc.

For identifying circuits with high solar PV saturation, we propose to use a formula along the lines of:

  • Connected PV Capacity (MW) / Feeder Capacity Rating (MVA)
  • Then sort from high-to-low for an indication of PV saturation.

For identifying circuits with peak demands approaching the circuit rating, we propose to use a formula along the lines of:

  • Annual Peak Load (MVA) / Feeder Capacity Rating (MVA)

To start, we would recommend an even split of circuit designations, half to circuits with high solar saturation, and half to circuits facing high peak demands relative to their rating.  Where DOER will designate no more than 10% of a Utility’s circuits with a Distribution Circuit Multiplier, the above would establish 5% of circuits with a multiplier on the basis of solar saturation, and 5% of circuits a multiplier on the basis of peak loading.

DOER seeks stakeholder participation to improve the formulaic approach to circuit selection.  For example, methods to ensure geographic distribution, consider trends of circuits, identify existing upgrades in-process, weighting by number of customers served, and other methods to improve circuit selection will be considered.  While methods to weight circuit selection will be considered, simplicity will be a desired trait of any final formula. 

Establishing Multiplier Value(s)

At the outset, DOER recommends establishing a single multiplier applied to all selected circuits (e.g. 2x).  This aligns with the object of simplicity where possible.

Size of Available Multiplier

The existing guideline states that when the Distribution Circuit Multiplier is established, it will be established for a designated size (number of MW).  The circuit multiplier would remain available until the calendar quarter in which the designated size is filled.  This is designed to limit the number of resources which can benefit from the multiplier on a single circuit, while ensuring the multiplier remains in effect for some period-of-time after it’s filled to recognize resource development lags price signals.

An alternative structure would be for the multiplier to be in effect for the full year from circuit identification, and to remain in effect until the next year when the analysis is repeated and new circuits are identified for multipliers.  This would be more administratively efficient, and DOER anticipates conversions at the stakeholder series to discuss an appropriate and simple structure for duration of multiplier effect. 

Frequency of Updates

The EDC reports on circuit status are annual.  We propose to similarly provide annual updates to what circuits have other-than-one multipliers.  This reduces administrative burden and simplifies developer community tracking the price signal and responding with development activities.

Future Refinement & Metrics

We will want to track the performance of the Distribution Circuit Multipliers.  There will be opportunities to improve their structure.

One potential outcome to watch for is if by targeting the worst circuits, we are targeting circuits that will certainly face upgrades in the near term.  If this comes to fruition, it may warrant adjusting the formulaic identification to instead target circuits which are trending toward necessitating an upgrade, but have substantial headroom before it occurs (e.g. target the 75th – 85th percentile circuits rather than 90th to 100th).  DOER will appreciate stakeholder discussions related to processes to track the effectiveness of the multipliers to inform potential future revisions.

Clean Peak Energy Standard Guideline Revisions

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) published guidelines to support the Clean Peak Energy Standard regulation and provide further clarification to stakeholders on September 10, 2021. 

These Guidelines include:

  1. Clean Peak Resource Eligibility Guideline
  2. Clean Peak Demand Response Resource Guideline

Application Portal Update

The Clean Peak Application portal is now live. CPS applicants should first register at www.nepoolgis.com for a CPS ID then visit MassCEC PTS to register the resource in PTS and then complete the CPS Statement of Qualification Application. All application questions should be directed to the Cadmus review team at 1-888-994-4718 or CPS.Help@CadmusGroup.com. 


The MassCEC PTS and CPS Statement of Qualification portals are not ready to process non-energy storage demand response resource. These resources must apply by email via doer.cps@mass.gov. Please see the Applications page for more information or contact doer.cps@mass.gov with questions.