WAKEFIELD - The Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department is participating in a flow rights agreement and hydro power deal which will increase the amount of carbon-free generation in its power portfolio.
WMGLD is participating in a five year power flow rights agreement its joint action agency, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), and the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) have signed with Hydro-Québec (HQ), a Canadian public utility. The power is flowing on existing transmission lines, to which MMWEC and CMEEC have contractual rights to transmit power from Canada. It began flowing on November 1, 2020.
Under the deal, in exchange for monthly payments from HQ, the MMWEC and CMEEC contractual transmission rights are transferred to HQ, and HQ will flow clean hydro- power from northern Quebec to a delivery terminal just outside of Boston. In addition to other benefits, the arrangement brings clean, carbon-free hydro-power for use in New England. As one of MMWEC’s members, WMGLD will benefit from this agreement.
The flow rights agreement is the result of a joint solicitation by MMWEC and CMEEC, which also included a solicitation for carbon-free power. On October 29, 2020, MMWEC signed a power agreement with HQ. Under the power deal, MMWEC will reserve a portion of its flow rights and purchase carbon-free power flowed over that portion of the line. The cost of the power will be reduced by the value of the forgone flow rights revenue.
The five-year power purchase transaction will allow WMGLD to flow clean power down the transmission line, without the premium cost of some carbon-free generation. It is a firm power transaction, guaranteeing that the light department receives the power. Under the power deal agreement, WMGLD will receive .75 megawatts (MW) of power per hour, or enough generation to power 1,095 homes per year.
WMGLD’s power portfolio was 43.3% carbon-free in 2019; this transaction increases their carbon-free generation by approximately 3.9%.
“The Wakefield Gas and Light Department is proud to continually balance financial responsibility and environmental stewardship in our power supply decisions,” said WMGLD General Manager Peter Dion. “As we layer cost effective green options to our portfolio, we continue to ensure the highest environmentally responsible reliability to WMGLD customers.”
WMGLD is one of 19 MMWEC member utilities purchasing a total of 15 megawatts through this contract, which represents 131,400 megawatt hours annually.