Power Supply Portfolio

CMLP does not generate electricity; we purchase power from third part suppliers with whom we have "power purchase agreements" which specify the pricing per Kilowatt Hour (kWh) for the power we use. One of CMLP’s objectives in the area of power supply is to purchase as much energy from renewable sources as possible provided the economics are in line with more conventional power supply options.

2021 Power Supply Portfolio

Increasing Percentage from Non-Carbon Emitting Sources

How the Town sources electricity is a huge determinant in achieving Concord’s climate goals. CMLP is committed to providing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030. Each year, CMLP is working to keep us on track. Achieving that goal will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 23% community-wide.

During the last several years, CMLP has been de-carbonizing its power supply by purchasing renewable power from developers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine and purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

In 2018, the Light Plant retired an amount of RECs equal to 53% of the electricity purchased in that year (54% of sales.) The 53% was made up of 8% from Massachusetts Class 1 RECs associated with energy, 3% from Maine Class 2 RECs associated with energy, and 42% from the purchase of non-associated, unbundled Massachusetts Class 1 RECs.  In addition to the 53% of energy for which RECs were retired, CMLP purchased electricity from the following resources that do not come with RECs: 6% from predominantly in-Town solar resources; 4% from the Niagara Rivers hydropower facility, and 2% from a generating facility powered by landfill waste.

2020 Town Annual Report Power Supply Percentages Compilation 210519

In 2019 the Light Plant increased the amount of purchases that came with RECs from 11% to 16%. However, the price to purchase non-associated, unbundled RECs increased. CMLP was able to acquire only 33% of its purchases from non-associated, unbundled RECs in 2019, down from 42% in 2018. The Light Plant retired an amount of RECs equal to 49% of the electricity purchased in that year (49% of sales.) The 50% was made up of 10% from Massachusetts Class 1 RECs associated with energy, 6% from Maine Class 2 RECs associated with energy, and 33% from the purchase of non-associated, unbundled Massachusetts Class 1 RECs. In addition to the 49% of energy for which RECs were retired, CMLP purchased electricity from the following resources that do not come with RECs: 6% from predominantly in-Town solar resources; 5% from the Niagara Rivers hydropower facility, and 2% from a generating facility powered by landfill waste.

 

Non-associated, unbundled REC purchases for 2020 are not yet complete. Based upon current estimates, the Light Plant will retire an amount of RECs equal to 43% of the electricity purchased (45% of sales.) The 43% is estimated to be made up of 10% from Massachusetts Class 1 RECs associated with energy, 6% from Maine Class 2 RECs associated with energy, 3% from zero carbon-emitting RECs associated with nuclear energy, and 25% from the purchase of non-associated, unbundled Massachusetts Class 1 RECs. In addition to the estimated 43% of energy for which RECs will be retired, CMLP purchased electricity from the following resources that do not come with RECs: 7% from predominantly in-Town solar resources; 5% from the Niagara Rivers hydropower facility, and 3% from a generating facility powered by landfill waste.

 

In 2021, the Light Plant will increase purchases of electricity that come bundled with RECs. It is estimated that 28% of the electricity purchased will have associated RECs, up from 19% in 2020. The 28% would be made up of 10% from Massachusetts Class 1 RECs, 8% from Maine Class 2 RECs, and 10% from zero carbon-emitting RECs. At the same time, a January 1, 2021 rate change allocated more dollars to non-carbon emitting acquisitions. The increased funds will allow CMLP to purchase a larger volume of  non-associated, unbundled Massachusetts Class 1 RECs. It is estimated the combined effect of the two variables will mean the Light Plant will be able to retire an amount of RECs greater than 70% of the electricity purchased in 2021; 80% in 2022 and 90% in 2023. The estimates embed assumptions about market prices, load, and generations forecasts – all of which could mean the actual figures vary, perhaps even widely, from the estimates.


CMLP also helps customers install their own solar generation through generous grants and a favorable net metering policy. Key to achieving Concord’s climate goals and reducing community-wide emissions will be transitioning our buildings and vehicles to run off clean electricity. CMLP has programs and rebates for both. Learn more about our rebates for heat pumps and electric vehicles.


To learn more about Concord’s commitment to sustainability and climate please visit concordma.gov/sustainability.

Independent System Operators


In addition to our power purchases, we are charged for transmission of power to our Forest Ridge substation by the Independent System Operators-New England (ISO-NE). The ISO is responsible for creating and managing the wholesale market for electricity, operation of the power grid and ensuring adequate capacity in New England. While we are an independent municipal utility, we are part of the larger ISO-NE power grid.