New England Wind Energy: A Model to Follow

Three New England utilities have joined forces to purchase wind energy at a new low rate of $0.08 per KWh.  This easily beats the competition, with $0.09 for hydro, $0.10 for dirty ole coal, $0.11 for dangerous Nuclear, and $0.14 for clean solar energy.

These three utilities are National Grid, Northeast Utilities (working on behalf of NSTAR and Western Electric), and Unitel (Representing Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light Co.)

They have filed papers with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, hoping to add 565 MW of wind power via six projects across Main and New Hampshire.

The wind energy companies that have won the bidding (securing PPAs for 15-20 years) for project development are as follows:

-First Wind

-Iberdrola Renewables

-Exergy Development

 

The way the work load was divided among the utility companies is like this:

-49.9% for National Grid

-45.4% for NStar

-7.7% for WMECO

-1% for Unitil

 

 

The projects are all online and are expected to be complete within the next three years.  

Massachusetts, a Leader in Alt Energy Development

This doesn’t come as a big surprise for anyone familiar with the New England region.  They have long been a leader and example in the alternative energy revolution.

This recent development rests on the shoulders of the first major procurement of alternative energy that Massachusetts utilities conducted two years ago via the Green Communities Act that was signed into law back in 2008.

Massachusetts and New England have a hefty amount of alternative energy resources.   Massachusetts boasts more than 1000 MW of on shore wind power potential, and over 6000 MW of offshore wind potential.

New England alone could meet over 24% of its electrical needs by using its 10,000 MW of wind energy potential.

Governor Patrick's Administration is currently working with other New England states on a regional strategy to unlock more alternative energy opportunities from both renewable energy and large hydro.  

And wind power is not the only renewable New England is using to clean up its energy policies, and lessen their dependence on foreign oil.  The Patrick Administration reached its goal of 250 MW of installed solar power earlier this year, which was four years early.

The administration has set a new, ambitious goal of 1,600 MW.  Once they reach this goal, they will be able to power 240,000 homes annually.  This is enough to power 97% of Boston homes!

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