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Green energy program praised

Municipal utilities focus on environment

The Lowell Sun

Nicole DeFeudis

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company lauded municipal utilities for embracing green energy in an event at the Statehouse last week that featured Lowell Rep. Thomas Golden.

"Municipal light plants are a true asset to the Commonwealth that have leveraged their unique combination of flexibility, expertise, and local decision-making authority to be early adopters in the state's clean energy future," Golden said.

Golden is chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.

Nonprofit municipal utilities provide low-cost power to community members and serve 14% of power consumers in the state, according to a press release.

As part of its Emerging Technologies Initiative, the MMWEC, a nonprofit action agency for public power, collaborates with municipal utilities to develop, finance and operate clean energy plans.

"Municipal utilities have been at the forefront of the carbon-free energy movement for some time. MLPs have recognized trends and implemented emerging technologies in an efficient, economic manner in the best interest of their customers," said MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio in the release.

The MMWEC has teamed up with municipal utilities to develop energy storage projects, create an electric vehicle program, which offers pricing incentives from local dealerships and free or discounted home chargers, and more.

A new commercial wind project in Hancock, at the second largest wind farm in the state, will take off in a few weeks, according to the news release. The project will add 4.6 megawatts to the 15-megawatt farm, the release said.

By the end of this year, the MMWEC municipalities will generate 67.8 megawatts of wind power, 48 megawatts of solar power, and have 26.2 megawatts of energy storage, according to the release.

"The Baker-Polito Administration has been proud to partner with municipal utilities to address the Commonwealth's energy needs as Massachusetts shifts to a cleaner, affordable and resilient energy future," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson in the news release.

"Continued collaboration between state government and municipal utilities through programs including the Municipal Light Plant Solar Rebate Program will ensure that residents and businesses across the Commonwealth have access to initiatives that support the expansion of renewable energy, lower emissions, and reduce rates," Judson continued.

Nicole DeFeudis: @Nicole_DeFeudis on Twitter