Massachusetts law adds thermal to APS

By Staff | November 03, 2014

A new law in Massachusetts has added renewable thermal energy as a component of the state’s alternative portfolio standard (APS). The measure was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in August.

The new law expands the definition of an “alternative energy generating source” to include “any facility that generates useful thermal energy using sunlight, biomass, biogas, including renewable natural gas that is introduced into the natural gas distribution system, liquid biofuel or naturally occurring temperature differences in ground, air or water.” Under the new regulations, 1-MW hour of alternative energy credit is earned for each 3.412 million Btu of net useful thermal energy produced and verified through an on-site utility grade meter or other approved means.

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council has praised the bill, noting Massachusetts has joined New Hampshire as the only states that have authorized the inclusion of renewable thermal in comprehensive renewable portfolio standards.