Cape Ann Climate Coalition

Renewable Energy

June 2020 Update

The Renewables group continues to work with neighboring municipalities on the possibility of increasing membership in a regional community choice aggregation program. When more cities and towns joining together their purchasing power is increased allowing lower electricity prices and increased amounts of green renewable energy. Gloucester already has its own municipal aggregation program which allows the city of Gloucester to purchase electricity on behalf of the residential and small business customers. Residents are paying less and using 5% more green renewable electricity. Residents can opt in to buy 100% green renewable electricity but are paying several cents more per kWh.

April 2020 Update

The Renewables group is continuing in its effort to boost the share of renewable energy in our region’s electricity market, by organizing as many North Shore communities as possible to participate in a regional aggregation of electricity purchasing with the highest feasible proportion of renewable electricity in its purchase contract. As a result of the multi-community organizing meeting on Jan. 28, the Renewables group was encouraged to apply for an MAPC technical assistance grant by MAPC’s Clean Energy Director, Cammy Peterson, to help the communities explore the feasibility of one or more regional contracts, and support them in their local approval processes. Cammy confirmed by a memo on April 17 that this grant was approved, and that MAPC is now developing their recommendations for next steps. Meanwhile, Beverly energy activists Wayne Miller and Cindy Keegan are advocating for that City to begin discussions on aggregation, either on its own or as part of a regional consortium. Wayne is reaching out to the communities that are already participating in the Renewables group and to additional communities that may be interested in joining a regional contract. Rather than an “all-or-nothing” approach, the Renewables group will have a flexible strategy, which could include forming smaller sub-groups of communities based on readiness to proceed with Dept. of Public Utilities approval and a joint aggregation contract. We anticipate a multi-community meeting with MAPC as soon as possible, with continued input from the Green Energy Consumers Alliance and Good Energy LLC, organizations that have worked with other successful regional aggregation projects in Massachusetts.

Learn more: https://www.greenenergyconsumers.org/aggregation

How CCE Works

April 2020 Update

The Renewables group is continuing in its effort to boost the share of renewable energy in our region’s electricity market, by organizing as many North Shore communities as possible to participate in a regional aggregation of electricity purchasing with the highest feasible proportion of renewable electricity in its purchase contract.  As a result of the multi-community organizing meeting on Jan. 28, the Renewables group was encouraged to apply for an MAPC technical assistance grant by MAPC’s Clean Energy Director, Cammy Peterson, to help the communities explore the feasibility of one or more regional contracts, and support them in their local approval processes.  Cammy confirmed by a memo on April 17 that this grant was approved, and that MAPC is now developing their recommendations for next steps. Meanwhile, Beverly energy activists Wayne Miller and Cindy Keegan are advocating for that City to begin discussions on aggregation, either on its own or as part of a regional consortium. Wayne is reaching out to the communities that are already participating in the Renewables group and to additional communities that may be interested in joining a regional contract.  Rather than an “all-or-nothing” approach, the Renewables group will have a flexible strategy, which could include forming smaller sub-groups of communities based on readiness to proceed with Dept. of Public Utilities approval and a joint aggregation contract.  We anticipate a multi-community meeting with MAPC as soon as possible, with continued input from the Green Energy Consumers Alliance and Good Energy LLC, organizations that have worked with other successful regional aggregation projects in Massachusetts.

Learn more: https://www.greenenergyconsumers.org/aggregation



27 Feb 2020 Update

We continue working toward our goal of establishing a multi-community electricity aggregation program to purchase electricity with the highest possible level of renewable energy and affordability for residential customers in the Cape Ann region, and to draw some or all of the renewable electricity from community solar farms that ideally would be located in the participating communities

On Jan 28, 2020 we met with experts in managing aggregation contracts and linking them to renewable energy sources.Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, and Salem had representatives from their municipal governments at the meeting and all agreed to move forward on the aggregation consortium.


Salem’s Mayor, Kim Driscoll, offered to have Salem be the lead community and the wheels have begun to turn on our multi-community application for an MAPC technical assistance grant to launch a regional aggregation.  Target date likely to be 2021, to allow communities that already have aggregation contracts to reach their expiration prior to starting regional contract.

Renewables will focus on meeting on aggregation strategy, saving Community Solar aspect for later

Goal

Establish a multi-community electricity aggregation program to purchase electricity with the highest possible level of renewable energy and affordability for residential customers in the Cape Ann region, and to draw some or all of the renewable electricity from community solar farms that ideally would be located in the participating communities.

Initial Actions

  1. Arrange a meeting with two experts in managing aggregation contracts and linking them to renewable energy sources: Larry Chretien of Green Energy Consumers Alliance and John O’Rourke of Good Energy Inc. (Aggregation Consultant chosen for Gloucester through an MAPC group procurement process). Both of these people are involved in Aggregation Programs in Gloucester and in many other Massachusetts towns.
  2. Identify interested communities in Cape Ann Region (ask Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, and Salem, maybe others), and invite a representative from each municipal government to the meeting.
  3. Focus meeting on aggregation strategy, saving Community Solar aspect for later.
  4. Through discussion at the meeting, map out process for doing regional aggregation.  Target date likely to be 2021, to allow communities that already have aggregation contracts to reach their expiration prior to starting regional contract.

Notes

This group has met on Nov. 4 and Dec. 9, 2019.

Membership. Currently have 9 members, hailing from Gloucester, Rockport, and Beverly.

Get involved

Would you like to join a cause? The Cape Ann Climate Coalition consists of working groups of individuals focused on setting goals and taking action on the following issues:

  • I don’t know! Assign me one!
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Care of Creation
  • Climate Arts
  • Vision/Policy/Legislation
  • Community Building & Education