WBMLP's Environmentally-conscious Energy Strategy
We buy energy from many Clean and Renewable Sources as a Community.
We're often asked by customers about our Energy Strategy and Sources of Generation.
"Where does my electricity come from?" "Is it low-impact and easy on our environment?" "Is our energy supply clean and what are we doing to reduce emissions?"
The answer is: West Boylston's overall energy supply today—and forecasted through 2057—is exceptionally diverse, clean, and economical. It comes from sources, both generated by WBMLP here in your community, and from around New England. In turn, you pay some of the lowest electricity rates in the state—comprised of a clean portfolio of power generation that emits low or no greenhouse gases.
West Boylston and the “Energy Sector” in Massachusetts
West Boylston and Massachusetts recognize the importance of protecting our environment and reducing GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions from our sources of generation. West Boylston is extremely proud of its contribution toward reducing GHG emissions through existing clean generation, long-term power supply projects and funding of energy efficiency and conservation programs for our ratepayers.
WBMLP’s ability to govern its operations at the local level resulted in significant amounts of non-GHG emitting energy generation, low electricity rates and investment in new renewable and clean energy projects. By the end of 2017, WBMLP purchased 66% of its annual energy supply from non-GHG emitting solar, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric generation.
WBMLP is included in the Commonwealth’s “energy sector” and it’s the only sector to significantly reduce GHG emissions to-date. GHG emissions from the “energy sector” were approximately 27.8 MMTCO2e in 1990, the state’s baseline measurement year. By the end of 2014, the “energy sector” reduced GHG emissions by 48% from the 1990 baseline level.
As West Boylston manages its own clean energy supply, the Commonwealth has set various renewable and clean energy standards on Investor-Owned Utilities, who are responsible for most of the retail sales of electricity in MA.
The Commonwealth's GHG reduction goals and regulation to promote renewable and clean energy are:
101% Renewable Energy by 2080.The 2003 Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires retail electricity suppliers (both regulated distribution utilities and competitive suppliers) obtain a percentage of the electricity they serve to their customers from qualifying renewable energy. 24% renewable energy is required by 2018, and this increases annually until 100% renewable energy by 2080. RPS-qualified generation includes Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Biomass, Landfill Gas, Digester Gas and Waste Energy.
80% Clean Energy by 2050.The 2017 Massachusetts Clean Energy Standard (CES) sets a minimum percentage of electricity sales that utilities and competitive suppliers must procure from clean energy sources. The CES begins at 16% in 2018 and increases 2% annually to 80% in 2050. CES-qualified generation includes Large-scale Hydro, Nuclear and generation that's 50% cleaner than existing natural gas generation.
80% Reduction of CO2 Emissions by 2050.MassDEP's 310 CMR 7.74 sets an energy sector annually declining limit on aggregate CO2 emissions from the 21-fossil fueled power plants in Massachusetts, from 8.96 million metric tons of CO2 in 2018, down to 1.8 million metric tons in 2050—an 80% reduction of CO2 from all MA-based generation.
West Boylston’s Clean Energy Supply
50% Clean Energy in West Boylston!
50% of West Boylston’s energy supply met the Massachusetts “Clean Energy Standard” (CES) in 2017. Clean energy generation includes Large-scale Hydroelectricity and Nuclear Power generation. This means that 50% of our West Boylston’s energy supply emitted “ZERO” Greenhouse Gases in 2017!
We expect this clean energy supply to provide low cost and clean energy to all residents and businesses in West Boylston through at least 2045.
See 2017's Percentage of West Boylston Electric Energy by Type below.
16% is Renewable Energy Portfolio-Standard Qualified!
An additional 16% of West Boylston’s 2017 energy supply is qualified as renewable energy under the Massachusetts “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” (RPS). Renewable energy includes generation from Solar, Wind and Small-scale Hydroelectric sources. These energy sources also generate environmental attributes called "RECs" (Renewable Energy Credits).
WBMLP sells the renewable attributes (RECs) from our Wind and Solar generation her in West Boylston—and we will continue to sell them until we pay off our construction loans used to invest in renewable energy. Once the loans are paid, WBMLP plans to retain the renewable attributes or RECs.
WBMLP does not purchase or own the RECs from the small-scale hydroelectricity we purchase from New Hampshire and the wind energy we purchase from Princeton Wind and Hancock Wind. However, even though WBMLP doesn’t own these RECs, our long-term commitment to purchase the energy output from these renewable energy generators help ensure their construction and continued operation.
See West Boylston's 2017 Energy Supply by Specific Source here.
What is Renewable or Clean Energy?
Renewable Energy is generated from Solar, Wind, Small-scale Hydroelectric and other qualified sources. Electricity produced by Renewable Generation can be broken into two distinct marketable products:
- 1. The Electricity Production that can consumed on-site or sold as a product.
- 2. The Positive Renewable Environmental Attributes associated with energy production that can also be sold as a separate product.
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) represent the second product. One REC is created each time a qualified facility generates 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity. If one owns or purchases a REC you own the environmental attribute and the right to call that amount of energy as renewable. If you sell a REC, the environmental attribute transfers to the buyer who can then claim they own Renewable Energy.
Clean energy comes from generation that emits zero or low amounts of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) qualifies large-scale hydroelectric and nuclear as clean energy with zero GHG emissions. MassDEP also considers generation that emits 50% less GHG’s than currently available natural gas generation as clean. This could become important as technology solves how to remove or store GHG emissions from fossil-fueled generation.
For a more comprehensive look at WBMLP's Clean & Renewable Energy Achievements & Strategies, click here.
Have ideas and suggestions about how WBMLP could be even greener? We want to hear from you. Give us a call or shoot us an email here anytime.
Or compare us to New England-wide averages here to see how well WBMLP does for our West Boylston electric customers in terms of Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
* ISO-NE is ISO New England, the independent, not-for-profit company authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to perform three critical, complex and interconnected roles for the region spanning Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and most of Maine. Together, these three responsibilities help protect the health of the region’s economy and the well-being of its people by ensuring the constant availability of competitively-priced wholesale electricity—today and for future generations. WBMLP purchases and receives energy through the regional grid managed by ISO-NE.