In response to major storms this winter, and resulting flooding, The Boston Planning & Development Agency approved rules geared towards making new developments in the city more resilient. One of the major components of these new rules are requiring developers to evaluate on-site generation and implementing if financially viable.
The thrust of these rules is to mitigate the climate change related effects and repercussions that Boston is experiencing. The area known as the Seaport district is particularly vulnerable to storms and storm surges, which happens to be where a large amount of development is happening. In a way the city is indicating to developers that “you need to be more self-reliant and less dependent on public infrastructure”.
These rules will be studied over the next two years, but there is already some hesitation from developers about the inherent cost of building these systems. Though the market appears strong now, those in the development world worry about bearing those costs if the market begins to soften.
Third party ownership could provide a reasonable bridge to keep new developments on track. With the emergence of several new models for behind the meter deployments, the worry for developers could be less on the cost and more on avoiding the impacts of the next flood.