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New England public power utilities sign PPAs for hydroelectric power

November 13, 2020

by Peter Maloney
APPA News
November 13, 2020

A total of 21 public power utilities in New England have signed agreements to purchase 200 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year of hydroelectric power produced by FirstLight Power in Western Massachusetts.

The purchase agreement, which was structured and executed by Energy New England, will take energy from the Turners Falls and Cabot generating facilities on the Connecticut River in Montague and will save the participating utilities’ ratepayers millions of dollars over the life of the contract, according to Energy New England, a wholesale risk management and energy trading organization serving public power utilities in the northeast.

“Never before have so many municipal light plants, municipal electric departments, and other public power utilities come together to buy emissions-free renewable power on this scale,’’ John Tzimorangas, president and CEO of Energy New England, said in a statement.

Power purchases by Massachusetts public power utilities served by Energy New England on average now account for 29% fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than electricity generated in the state as a whole, Energy New England said, adding that the new contracts will raise the public utilities’ average to 34% below the state average.

FirstLight and Energy New England offered an excellent opportunity for Reading Municipal Light Department “to increase its portfolio of local renewable energy at competitive rates for our customers in the four towns we serve,” Coleen O’Brien, general manager of the Reading utility, said in a statement.

The participating utilities are mostly in Massachusetts and include:

  • Belmont Municipal Light Department
  • Braintree Electric Light Department
  • Concord Municipal Light Plant
  • Danvers Electric Division
  • Georgetown Municipal Light Department
  • Groveland Municipal Light Department
  • Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant
  • Mass Development/Devens Utilities
  • Merrimac Municipal Light Department
  • Middleboro Gas & Electric Department
  • Middleton Municipal Electric Department
  • North Attleboro Electric Department
  • Norwood Municipal Light Department
  • Reading Municipal Light Department
  • Rowley Municipal Lighting Plant
  • Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant
  • Wellesley Municipal Light Plant
  • Westfield Gas & Electric

Also participating are the Block Island Utility District and Pascoag Utility District in Rhode Island and Stowe Electric Department in Vermont.

FirstLight Power is a clean power producer and energy storage company in New England with a portfolio that includes nearly 1.4 gigawatts of pumped hydro storage, battery storage, hydroelectric generation, and solar generation.

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