Municipal light plants partner with offshore wind developer

Colin A. Young

About half of the municipally-owned electric utilities in Massachusetts would be in position to buy clean power generated by the proposed Commonwealth Wind offshore energy development if other utility executives select it to be the state’s third offshore wind project.

Through a “first-in-the-nation partnership” that Vineyard Wind announced Wednesday with Energy New England, 20 municipal light plants (MLPs) in Massachusetts would have the ability to annually purchase up to 146,000 megawatt-hours of the cleaner power generated by the developer’s proposed Commonwealth Wind project in addition to renewable energy credits.

That would be equal to about three percent of the project’s total output, according to Vineyard Wind. The deal has the potential to reduce carbon pollution by 300,000 tons to 400,000 tons over the lifetime of the 20-year contract, the company said.

“MLPs generate 15% of the commonwealth’s current energy baseload, and until now they have not had the option of procuring power from the state’s ambitious offshore wind projects. With the announcement of this partnership, that’s no longer the case,” Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen said in a statement. “We know that municipalities like ENE’s owners have goals to green their energy usage, and with this partnership in place we can help them take meaningful steps toward this goal.”

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