Notices and Updates
Regulations Filed with Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy
On June 24, 2022, DOER sent a notice to stakeholders to inform them that DOER had filed amended draft regulations with the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy for the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) Class I and Class II. The amended draft regulations and guidelines, along with a response to comments, can be seen below.
- RPS Class I regulations Clean
- RPS Class I regulations Redline
- RPS Class II regulations Clean
- RPS Class II regulations Redline
- Guideline on Biomass Fuel Report
- Guideline on Overall Efficiency and GHG Analysis
- Guideline on Eligible Biomass Fuel for Renewable Generation Units
- RPS Response to Comments
- TUE Filing Document
Draft Regulations Published
Last year, DOER announced a phased rulemaking for the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard regulations, 225 CMR 14.00: Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Class I (RPS Class I), and 225 CMR 15.00: Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Class II (RPS Class II). The Phase 1 changes were finalized on July 9, 2021.
The Secretary of State has taken the position that in order to publish the proposed biomass changes (Phase 2 changes), a new rulemaking process was necessary. Thus, the Phase II RPS Class I and RPS Class II regulations were not finalized with the Secretary of State in November 2021.
DOER is instituting a new rulemaking process to implement these changes. Additionally, DOER has determined that additional changes to 225 CMR 14.00: Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Class I are necessary to address policy related changes and changes required to implement Section 32 of Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021. These additional changes will, along with the Phase 2 changes to the RPS regulations, be part of a consolidated rulemaking proceeding.
Acting under statutory authority of Section 11 F and 11 F1/2 and in conformance with Chapter 30A of the General Laws, these draft regulations have been filed with the Secretary of State. The unofficial versions of each of the regulations are below.
- 225 CMR 14.00 – Draft Clean
- 225 CMR 14.00 – Draft Redline*
- 225 CMR 15.00 – Draft Clean
- 225 CMR 15.00 – Draft Redline*
*Highlights in the redline version of the regulations denote the changes made from the Phase 2 regulations.
DOER proposed to retain all previously proposed changes that were subject to the Phase 2 process undertaken in 2021. All previously filed public comments on these proposed changes will become part of the record of this new rulemaking and need not be resubmitted in order to be considered. In addition to these previously proposed changes, DOER has proposed new changes that are summarized below:
RPS Class I
The proposed changes to RPS Class I include:
- Woody Biomass
DOER proposes a further amendment that exempts Generation Units that meet all other applicable requirements and have a Commercial Operation Date prior to January 1, 2022 from the proposed Environmental Justice requirements in 14.05(1)(a)7.e.
- Minimum Standard Revisions
DOER amends Section 14.07(1) to increase the Minimum Standard from 2% per year to 3% per year for the years 2025 to 2029, to reflect the changes of Section 32 of Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021.
Additional edits of a more technical nature are proposed for both RPS Class I and RPS Class II.
Public Hearings and Written Comment Period
On March 29, 2022 a virtual public hearing was conducted to receive verbal and written comments on the proposed regulations. A link to the recording of the hearing can be found below.
Written comments were accepted until Friday, April 1, 2022 and can be found below. As noted above, all previously filed public comments on these proposed changes are also part of the record of this new rulemaking and can be found below as well. In order to expedite the rulemaking process, DOER encouraged commenters to indicate which of the following categories their comment relates to:
CATEGORY A: Phase 2 biomass proposals (**note that comments previously submitted will automatically be incorporated into this rulemaking and need not be resubmitted)
CATEGORY B: New Woody Biomass Changes
CATEGORY C: Minimum Standard Revisions
CATEGORY D: Other