NewEnergyNews: BOSTON UTILITY TO SELL NEW ENGLAND WIND

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    Friday, May 09, 2008

    BOSTON UTILITY TO SELL NEW ENGLAND WIND

    Originally posted May 8.
    The people of Boston now have the option of supporting the development of wind energy in New England.

    Massachussetts utility NStar was given approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to enroll customers in a special program to buy wind generated electricity at a small monthly premium ($4.25/month for half the power bill, $7.25/month for all of it). The money will support the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in upstate New York and the Kibby Wind Power Project in Maine.

    NewEnergyNews has never been enthusiastic about this kind of “charity” program. It highlights New Energy’s failure so far to readily meet - on the uneven playing field created by subsidies to Old Energy that New Energy can't rely on - market competitive rates. On a level playing field, wind would not need such special rates.

    Leadership in Washington, however, is showing every indication of ignoring even a gesture toward extending vital production tax credits (PTCs) for the wind energy industry and investment tax credits (ITCs) for the solar energy industry. It therefore becomes necessary – knowing how important it is for the next generations to have a New Energy infrastructure – to take what is available and await the time when national leadership exhibits some wisdom and vision.

    So, Thanks, NStar.

    Tell Congress their failure to support New Energy won’t do. Sign the petition at
    Support Renewable Energy Tax Credits

    Maple Ridge Wind Farm. (click to enlarge)

    NStar Green allows customers to buy wind energy (at a price)
    Robert T. Gavin, May 1, 2008 (Boston Globe)

    WHO
    Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities; Massachusetts utility NStar (Thomas J. May, chief executive, and Caroline Allen, spokeswoman); Sue Reid, staff attorney, Conservation Law Foundation

    Another view. (click to enlarge)

    WHAT
    The Mass DPU approved NStar Green, allowing the utility to obtain power from wind farms in the New England region and sell it to their customers at an increased rate to cover the extra expense.

    WHEN
    - NStar Green, proposed in Summer 2007, will begin enrolling customers immediately.
    - Wind generated electricity will be supplied beginning in July.

    click to enlarge

    WHERE
    NStar serves 1.1 million electric customers in Eastern and Central Massachusetts.
    The Maple Ridge Wind Farm is in upstate New York and the Kibby Wind Power Project is being built in Maine.

    WHY
    - Residential and small commercial Basic Service customers are eligible.
    - Customers who buy half their electricity from wind farms will pay more $4.25/month more; those who choose to buy all their electricity from wind farms will pay $7.25/month extra.
    - NStar signed 10-year contracts for a total of 60 megawatts of wind generated electricity from 2 New England wind farms. One is with PPM Energy for 30 megawatts from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm. The other is with TransCanada Corporation for 30 megawatts from the Kibby Wind Power Project.
    - Several environmental groups, including Conservation Law Foundation, helped write the NStar Green program and back it enthusiastically.

    Programs like this help bring the costs down... (click to enlarge

    QUOTES
    - Thomas J. May, chief executive, NStar: “What makes this program unique is the fact that it’s transparent -- customers know exactly where their renewable energy is being generated…"
    - Sue Reid, staff attorney, Conservation Law Foundation: “Millions of Massachusetts residents will now have the option to support the development of clean, renewable energy in New England…The long-term contracts that are at the heart of this initiative are key catalysts to bringing renewable energy on-line and are a prime example of how we can use market mechanisms to combat climate change.”

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