Ratepayers would be protected from having to pay for new natural gas pipeline infrastructure and utilities would be forced to accelerate their transition to renewable energy under a comprehensive and complex energy bill released on Monday in the Senate.
The omnibus clean energy bill drafted by the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change includes a smorgasbord of proposals touching on virtually every sector of the state's energy marketplace.
While a good number of the ideas contained within the bill have found traction in the Senate in prior years, the House and Gov. Charlie Baker have been slow to warm to many of the major components of the plan and it remains to be seen whether the bill can find a place in a shared agenda for the Legislature over the remaining months of the session.
The bill, which the committee's chairman Sen. Marc Pacheco rolled out on Monday, would ramp up the state's conversion to clean energy by increasing the rate of growth in the renewable portfolio standard to 3 percent a year, from 1 percent.
It would also set new emission reduction requirements by 2030 and 2040, as well as a target for energy storage target of 1,766 megawatts by 2025.
The proposal would prohibit a "tax" on electric ratepayers to cover the cost of any new natural gas pipelines, impose a 10-year moratorium on fracking and require the state's pension fund to divest all fossil fuel company holdings.
The bill, a summary of which was obtained by the News Service, would also remove caps on the amount of solar power that customers can sell back to the grid and establish a target for solar energy production of 20 percent of the state's total electricity generation by 2020 and 30 percent 2030.
The committee has also proposed to delay the implementation of a minimum bill for solar producing costumers to 2020, delaying a policy pushed for by utilities to have customers that sell more power back to the grid than they consume to still contribute for the upkeep of transmission systems.
Public housing residents that utilize solar would become exempt from minimum billing and qualify for reimbursement for solar power at retail rates, under the bill.