Groveland, Georgetown and Merrimac’s Municipal Light Departments are among 21 community-owned electric companies to buy hydropower produced by FirstLight Power.
Generating facilities on the Connecticut River in Montague are driving a deal described last week as the largest municipal electric department purchase of renewable power in New England history.
Electric light departments in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont agreed to buy 200 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. A purchase agreement structured by Energy New England covers the electric power demands of roughly 23,000 homes, officials say. The deal hinges on clean hydropower from the Cabot and Turners Falls generating facilities supplanting electricity produced by natural gas or oil, and the contract envisions emissions reductions equal to those that would be associated with taking 30,000 cars off the road by 2023.
“Never before have so many municipal light plants, municipal electric departments and other public power utilities come together to buy emissions-free renewable power on this scale,” Energy New England president and CEO John Tzimorangas said.
FirstLight’s CEO, Alicia Barton, the former head of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, said the Cabot and Turners Falls stations “have been key elements of Massachusetts’ energy network for more than a century and help support more than 110 great jobs in Western Massachusetts and across the state.”