NSTAR Gets State Approval to Offer Green Power to Customers
May 1, 2008
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved NSTAR Green, a program that gives customers the option to purchase clean electricity and reduce their impact on the environment. NSTAR Green was developed through a collaboration between the company and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Conservation Law Foundation and Environment Massachusetts. The program will allow customers to choose to buy half or all of their power from wind farms in the Northeast. NSTAR developed the program in response to customer demand for more renewable generation and reduced reliance on fossil fuels.
“What makes this program unique is the fact that it’s transparent – customers know exactly where their renewable energy is being generated. The approval of NSTAR Green represents a major step forward in the effort to increase the amount of clean electricity that’s available to customers in our region,” said Thomas J. May, NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO. “I thank the Department for its decision, which will help NSTAR do its part to support Governor Patrick’s commitment to renewable energy and the environment.”
“The DPU’s action shows that long term contracts for renewable power are cost competitive for consumers – that is good news for energy costs and for the environment,” said Ian Bowles, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “Expanding renewable power generation is a shared priority for Governor Patrick and the legislative leaders – the comprehensive energy legislation now pending will speed us on that path.”
NSTAR has signed two 10-year contracts, one with PPM Energy to receive 30 megawatts of clean electricity from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in upstate New York, and another with TransCanada Corporation for 30 megawatts from the Kibby Wind Power Project currently under development in Maine. Customers who opt to enroll in NSTAR Green will pay a premium of either roughly 0.85 cents or 1.45 cents/kWh more than the active Basic Service price, depending on which option they choose. This would add about $4 for the half option or roughly $7 for the full option to the average 500 kWh customer bill.
“NSTAR Green is a model for how utilities can offer their customers the opportunity to meaningfully reduce their carbon footprint,” said Sue Reid, Director of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Change Initiative. “Millions of Massachusetts residents will now have the option to support the development of clean, renewable energy in New England.”
"Long-term contracts with wind farms and other renewable energy projects make sense for consumers, the region's growing clean energy industry, and the planet," said John Rogers, manager of the Northeast Clean Energy Project of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "This new program also lets consumers fight global warming pollution by letting them choose clean energy sources right on their electricity bills."
“I also want to commend the work of our partners who worked so diligently with us in developing NSTAR Green,” Tom May added. “I am very grateful for their work to make this a meaningful clean energy option that not only supports existing green power, but also gives renewable generators the kind of stability they need to build more projects.”
NSTAR will begin enrolling customers in NSTAR Green immediately, with service beginning this summer.
NSTAR is the largest Massachusetts-based, investor-owned electric and gas utility. The company transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.4 million customers in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, including more than one million electric customers in 81 communities and 300,000 gas customers in 51 communities.