Massachusetts to Issue Energy Efficiency RFPs and Seek Microgrid and Grid Resiliency

March 19, 2014
Here is a look at the energy efficiency RFPs that Massachusetts plans to issue this year, along with grants it will offer for microgrid, CHP, district energy, energy storage and other grid resiliency efforts.
Massachusetts utilities plan to issue more than 20 energy efficiency requests for proposals this year through a collaboration known as Mass Save.

The utilities will seek vendors and suppliers for lighting programs, large commercial & industrial retrofits, whole building assessments, home energy services, rebate strategies, school educational programs, direct install programs, municipal initiatives, residential behavioral programs and other energy efficiency efforts.

Members of Mass Save include Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact (a municipal aggregation), National Grid, Liberty Utilities, NSTAR, Unitil, and Western Massachusetts Electric. The companies work closely with the state Department of Energy Resources to provide incentives, training, and information promoting energy efficiency.

The list of RFPs, and the utilities that will issue them, can be found here.

Separately, Massachusetts also plans to solicit proposals from towns and cities between March and June for microgrids and other efforts to harden the grid against storms. The state has allotted $40 million for what it calls the Energy Resiliency for Climate Adaptation Initiative.

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Through the program, the state plans to issue grants for not only microgrids, but also combined heat and power, district energy, energy storage, fuel cells, energy management, demand response, grid stability technologies, and other critical energy services.

Money for the grid resiliency efforts will come from alternative compliance payments made to the state by utilities and electric retail suppliers if they cannot meet their obligations under the state renewable and alternative portfolio standard programs.

Massachusetts also is looking closely at the microgrid concept through an ongoing grid modernization inquiry (Docket 12-76) underway before the state public utilities commission.

The state has become known for its aggressive drive to save energy. For three years running the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has ranked the state number one in its national scorecard.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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