The Princeton Municipal Light Department has signed an agreement with the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance to sell about 8 million kilowatt hours of energy credits to the alliance annually once the town’s wind turbines are built, Larry Chretien, alliance executive director, has announced.
The agreement is expected to bring an estimated $320,000 per year to the Princeton Light Department, Manager Jonathan V. Fitch said yesterday. The money will offset ratepayers’ costs for electricity, he said.
Mr. Chretian said the agreement is good news not only for Princeton but for consumers all across Massachusetts who support the use of renewable energy.
“Our organization is pleased,” he said. “This is what we do. This is our mission, to support Massachusetts-based renewable energy.”
The Light Department plans to take delivery of two 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in the spring of next year and then erect them at the town wind farm on Mount Wachusett. The installation takes about a month. The turbines will replace eight smaller windmills that were decommissioned in 2004 after 20 years of use. They are expected to generate as much as 40 percent of the electricity used by the community.
The energy credits will be sold under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program, which mandates that power-generating companies gradually increase production of renewable energy in order to reduce the use of such non-renewable energy sources as oil, coal and gas, according to Mr. Fitch. Companies that are unable to produce enough renewable energy to meet the state’s requirements are allowed to purchase other companies’ extra renewable energy credits.
Explaining the program, Mr. Fitch said, “For every kilowatt hour of energy produced by the wind farm, one renewable energy credit is produced as well.” Those energy credits can be sold to companies needing them.
The Princeton Municipal Light Department, because it is a municipal light company, is exempt from the energy credit requirement. Nevertheless, the Light Department will voluntarily comply by using about a million kilowatt hours of credits per year to comply with the standard.
By Mark E. Ellis
Telegram & Gazette Staff
14 February 2008
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