Wellesley Municipal Light Board to host public forum on reducing greenhouse gas emissions

wellesley mlp municipal light plantOn Monday, September 24 the Municipal Light Board will host a public forum at the Town Hall beginning at 7pm. The purpose of the forum is to obtain feedback on a recent study by Analysis Group. The Analysis Group study identified various sustainability initiatives available to the Municipal Light Plant from 2018 to 2030. Paul Hibbard and Craig Aubuchon from Analysis Group will be in attendance to review their study and answer questions.

The Analysis Group, Phase 1, 2018 – 2030 study can be found here.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the here and now

In 2014, the Town of Wellesley set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electricity, transportation, and building sectors by 25% by 2020, relative to 2007 levels.

In addition, the Wellesley MLP has worked on reducing its GHG emissions associated with the purchase and distribution of electricity to its 10,000 customers. The MLP has reduced GHG emissions by 25% – 30% over the 10-year period of 2007 – 2017. These reductions can be attributed to the changes in the resources and operation of the regional power system and through WMLP investments in energy efficiency, distributed renewable resources, and targeted long-term wholesale contracts for renewable resources.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the big picture

The Analysis Group study puts two major strategies on the table for reducing GHGs:

  1. The annual and ongoing purchase of  Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from a secondary market for the environmental attributes associated with energy generated by resources in New England. An REC represents the environmental benefits associated with 1 Megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from a renewable energy source. Credits can be sold and traded.
  1. Longer term investments in energy efficiency and the procurement of energy sources from renewable resources, hydropower, and existing nuclear output.

Attend the meeting to find out how Wellesley met its total 2016 annual energy demand of 238,000 MWhs, especially in August which hit a high demand of 60 MW. (Answer: a combination of long-term contracts with power generators and by buying power from the wholesale energy market in real-time when demand is especially high. But attend the meeting to get all the details.) That 2016 data will inform, in part, Wellesley’s plan on how to continue to meet demand while reducing GHG emissions.

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