WBMLP's Energy Strategy
West Boylston’s Generation, Transmission, and Storage Portfolio
West Boylston’s municipal light plant (WBMLP) is a vertically integrated utility that owns distribution, generation, and transmission facilities. As a municipal light plant, WBMLP can enter into long-term generation and transmission contracts, which results in a very clean energy supply, with stable and competitive electricity rates for our ratepayer/owners. The combination of our generation and transmission expenses represents approximately 75% of our annual operating budget.
WBMLP manages its power supply and transmission costs by continuously evaluating and acquiring new sources of reliable and cost-effective energy. As we transition away from fossil fueled generation, WBMLP includes new renewable and clean energy qualified generation in our portfolio. To meet our long-term energy strategy, WBMLP is a member of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC). MMWEC is a non-profit, public corporation, and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts empowered to optimize MLP generation and transmission resources and issue tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance our ownership interests.
The majority of WBMLP’s generating assets do not emit greenhouse gas emissions. WBMLP’s energy portfolio is comprised of nuclear, solar, wind, hydroelectricity, natural gas, oil and storage generation. Typically, each of our energy contracts commits West Boylston to purchase specific quantities of energy through the term of the contract. Some of our energy supply commitments extend until 2057.
See our 2-page PDF "Where Does Your Electricity Come From?" here. Or check it out in more detail below.
The following 2 Tables summarize West Boylston’s 2018 Specific Sources of Energy.
West Boylston's Sources of Energy in 2018
|31%||Nuclear, Seabrook, NH|
|19%||Hedged Energy Purchases, ISO-NE|
|14%||Nuclear, Millstone, CT|
|14%||Realtime/Day-ahead Market Purchases, ISO-NE|
|5%||Hydroelectricity, Imported from NY|
|4%||Wind, Berkshire Wind, Hancock, MA|
|4%||Solar, Community Shared 1,West Boylston|
|3%||Wind, Hancock County, Maine|
|2%||Hydroelectricity, Eagle Creek Hydro, NH|
|2%||Natural Gas, Stony Brook Energy, Ludlow, MA|
|1%||Wind, Princeton, MA|
|1%||Solar & Flywheel Energy Storage, West Boylston|
|0.3%||Oil, Stony Brook Energy, Ludlow, MA|
|0.05%||Solar, West Boylston, Residential Net Metered|
|0%||Solar, Community Shared 2, West Boylston (2019)|
2018 Energy Supply
|33%||ISO-NE Energy Market|
50% is Imported Hydroelectricity and Nuclear Generation which emitted "0" greenhouse-gases. (WBMLP retains all the environmental attributes from this generation.)
9% is solar and wind generation, qualified as “renewable energy” under the MA RPS program. (WBMLP sells these renewable attributes, but plans to retire them at a future date.)
See WBMLP's "Percent Energy Purchased by Type of Energy Resource" and "Percent Purchased by Generation Asset" here.
West Boylston Municipal Light Plant’s Energy Portfolio
West Boylston owns or purchases a diversified mix of generation, the majority of which emits no greenhouse gases (GHG). Our long-term financial planning and contracting is unique to MLPs and results in low and stable prices for our customers. The major sources of energy in your electricity bill come from these generators:
NUCLEAR GENERATION ASSETS
Seabrook Station: Seabrook is a 1,244-megawatt pressurized water reactor nuclear generation plant located in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Seabrook began commercial operation in 1990 and is expected to operate through 2050 once it receives approval for a license extension. Seabrook Station is primarily owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. Through our joint action agency MMWEC, 28 Massachusetts municipal light plants, including West Boylston, own approximately 144 megawatts or 11.6% of the plant. This unit generates clean non-greenhouse gas emitting energy that comprises approximately 25-33% of West Boylston’s annual energy supply.
Millstone Unit 3: Millstone is a 1,237-megawatt pressurized water reactor nuclear generation plant located in Waterford, Connecticut. Millstone began operation in 1986 and is expected to operate through 2045. Unit 3 is the newest and largest unit out of the three, that are primarily owned and operated by Dominion Nuclear Connecticut. Through our joint action agency MMWEC, 27 Massachusetts municipal light plants, including West Boylston, own approximately 59 megawatts or 4.8% of the unit 3 plant. Millstone generates clean non-greenhouse gas emitting energy that comprises approximately 12-14% of West Boylston’s annual energy supply.
WIND GENERATION ASSETS
Berkshire Wind Co-op: The Berkshire Wind Project is a 10-turbine, 15-megawatt wind farm located atop Brodie Mountain in Hancock, Massachusetts. The project began commercial operation in May 2011 and is owned and operated by the Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative, a non-profit entity that consists of 14 Massachusetts municipal utilities and their joint action agency, MMWEC. Berkshire Wind is a unique public power initiative that provides economic benefits to its members including West Boylston. The Berkshire Wind Power Project is the second largest operating wind farm in Massachusetts, capable of producing enough electricity to power 6,000 homes. Berkshire Wind produces approximately 4-5% of WBMLP’s annual energy requirements. Two new 2.3 MW wind turbines will be installed in 2019, increasing the size of the Berkshire Wind Project to 19.6 MW. This expansion project will increase West Boylston’s ownership to approximately 1.1MW of wind power. Construction is expected to be complete by April 2019. WBMLP owns, but currently sells, the renewable energy attributes (RECs) from this project. WBMLP will consider retiring the REC’s once the construction loan is repaid.
Hancock Wind: MMWEC entered into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 37.5MW of the 51MW Hancock Wind Project located near Ellsworth, Maine. This wind project consists of (17) 3.0-megawatt Vestas wind turbines that became operational in December 2016. Seventeen municipal light plants will purchase the 37.5MW output including West Boylston. West Boylston expects this wind energy to meet approximately 3% of our annual energy requirements through 2035. WBMLP does not own or purchase the renewable energy attributes (RECs) from this PPA.
Princeton Wind: West Boylston purchases, through a seven-year power purchase contract, the energy output of the 3-megawatt, two-turbine wind project located in Princeton, Massachusetts. WBMLP purchases approximately 17% of the total energy and capacity output from this wind generation project, which in turn, provides about 1% of West Boylston’s annual energy requirements. WBMLP does not own or purchase the renewable energy attributes (RECs) from this PPA.
SOLAR GENERATION ASSETS
West Boylston Solar Cooperative: West Boylston owns and operates a 370-kilowatt solar system located at the corner of Shrewsbury Street and Paul Tivnan Drive. This solar system became operational in 2011 and is expected to operate through 2036. There are (1,760) Evergreen 210-watt solar panels and four Solectria PVI82 inverters generating renewable energy from the sun on this site. This generation asset produces approximately 1% of West Boylston’s annual energy supply. WBMLP owns, but currently sells, the renewable energy attributes (RECs) from this project. WBMLP will consider retiring the SREC I qualified RECs after 10 years, once the SRECs expire and convert to class I RECs at the end of 2020.
West Boylston Landfill Community Shared Solar: West Boylston owns and operates a 1.5-megawatt solar system installed on the town’s capped landfill located at the corner of Temple Street and Peirce Street. This 6-acre solar system consists of (6,444) 320-watt panels mounted on a ballasted rack that doesn’t penetrate the landfill cap and makes the best use of this town-owned property. Construction started in mid-2016 and was fully operational by December 2016. WBMLP expects this generation asset to produce approximately 4% of our annual energy requirements. WBMLP owns, but currently sells, the renewable energy attributes (RECs) from this project. WBMLP will consider retiring the SREC II qualified RECs after 10 years, once the SRECs expire and convert to class I RECs in 2026.
Rooftop Community Shared Solar: West Boylston purchases, through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), 100% of the energy, capacity, and environmental attributes from a 786-kilowatt solar system located at 180 Shrewsbury Street. This solar system consists of (3,186) 325-watt panels mounted on a ballasted roof top racking system and became operational in January 2019. WBMLP expects this generation asset to produce approximately 2% of our annual energy requirements. WBMLP owns, but currently sells, the renewable energy attributes (RECs) from this project. WBMLP will consider retiring the SREC II qualified RECs after March 31, 2028, when the SRECs expire and convert to class I RECs.
HYDROELECTRIC GENERATION ASSETS
New York Power Authority: Massachusetts municipal light plants through MMWEC have been importing clean hydroelectricity from New York for West Boylston’s use since 1985. All municipal light plants in Massachusetts receive and proportionally share 53-megawatts from the Niagara Hydroelectric Project in New York. West Boylston receives approximately 4-5% of its annual energy supply from this imported, clean, non-greenhouse gas emitting energy. West Boylston expects to purchase this clean non-emitting energy through 2057.
Eagle Creek Hydro: In 2014, West Boylston entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement for a percent share of 11.53-megawatts of hydroelectric energy from six generating plants located in New Hampshire. This run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation is purchased by (13) municipal light plants, including West Boylston. The Eagle Creek Hydro portfolio consists of River Bend Hydro, Bow Street Hydro, Lochmere Hydro, Gregg Falls, Pembroke Hydro and Clement Dam. Approximately 2% of West Boylston’s annual energy requirements are met by this energy source. WBMLP does not own or purchase the renewable or environmental attributes from this source of generation.
NATURAL GAS GENERATION ASSETS
Stony Brook: The Stony Brook Intermediate Unit is a 354-megawatt, combined-cycle power plant that entered commercial operation in 1981. MMWEC owns 90.75% of the unit, or about 321-megawatts of generating capacity, of which West Boylston’s percent share is 4.4 megawatts. The balance of the unit is owned by Green Mountain Power Corporation (8.8%) and the Village of Lyndonville, VT (0.44%). The unit's three gas turbines generate electricity using either No. 2 oil or natural gas, with additional electricity produced using a single steam turbine in the combined-cycle process. MMWEC's Stony Brook Intermediate Unit project participants include (24) Massachusetts municipal utilities.
The Stony Brook Peaking Unit is a 172-megawatt peaking plant that entered commercial operation in 1982. MMWEC is the sole owner and operator of the Peaking Unit, of which West Boylston’s entitlement is 3.9 megawatts. The unit's two turbines generate electricity using No. 2 fuel oil. MMWEC's Stony Brook Peaking Unit project participants include (22) Massachusetts municipal utilities.This fossil fueled generating plant operates infrequently and is generally used as hedge against increasing energy prices and for ISO-NE grid reliability purposes during the winter months. The Stony Brook facility generates approximately 2.5% of West Boylston’s annual energy requirements. MassDEP’s CMR 7.74 sets decreasing annual limits on the amount of CO2 emissions from this plant, which will help the Commonwealth achieve its “Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA)” goal of an 80% reduction in statewide CO2 emissions by 2050.
Hydro-Quebec I and II Transmission Project: West Boylston contractually purchases transmission rights through MMWEC, to Hydro-Quebec Phase I and Phase II, which is the largest existing electric transmission interconnection between the Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. This transmission system was built to deliver surplus hydroelectricity power into New England (Phase I was operational in 1985 and Phase II in 1990). Our transmission contracts run through October 2020 and we expect to negotiate an extension through 2040.
ENERGY STORAGE ASSETS
Flywheel Energy: West Boylston is installing a 128kW/500kWh mechanical flywheel energy storage system (FESS) interconnected through our existing 370kW solar energy system. The FESS will store daytime solar generation and discharge in the early evening to reduce our electric system peak loads, which typically occur weekdays between 7-9PM. This project integrates solar generation with energy storage to use our least expensive energy at peak hours. In addition to the positive economic and environmental attributes, this energy storage project includes a unique technology that lacks hazardous chemicals and is recyclable. The proposed system is constructed of (16) underground flywheel and is composed primarily of 98% recyclable steel.