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Worcester Ranked in Top 30 Users of Green Electricity in the U.S

Saturday, May 30, 2015

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked the city of Worcester as a top 30 local government user of green electricity in the United States.

In the EPA's quarterly Top 30 Local Government list, Worcester ranks at #28 out of 126 local governments within the Green Power Partnership - a program that encourages organizations to use green power to reduce negative environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

“The City of Worcester is committed to reducing our environmental impact through as many means as possible, whether it is by building solar arrays at public schools or installing energy-efficient LED streetlights around the City,” City Manager Edward Augustus said. “Investing in renewable energy is a key way for us to follow through with the goals outlined in the Climate Action Plan and to illustrate our dedication to promoting green energy.”

Last year, roughly 36 percent of Worcester's municpal electricty came from green power and the city purchased a quarter of the electricity through renewable energy certificates. The remaining 11 percent came from the state-mandated Renewable Portofolio Standard. 

The Green Power Partnership includes 1,300 organizations nationwide and for a city the size of Worcester, the minimum requirement is 20 percent green power.

Worcester joined the Partnership in 2012, but has been purchasing green electricity since 2009. Though it costs Worcester marginally extra to purchase renewable energy certificates, at $0.0015 cents per kWh for this contract term, the City believes that the environmental and societal benefits of green power easily outweigh the additional cost to the City (approximately $22,000 annually).

Overall, Worcester is saving a significant amount of money on its electrical costs due to its support of renewable energy. As a result of a solar net metering credit agreement signed with SH Solarne II LLC in 2014, the City will save around $225,000 per year for the next 20 years on its electricity costs. Each year, Worcester will purchase approximately 5 megawatt-hours of electricity directly from SH Solarne’s solar array in Brimfield, MA at a rate 28 percent less than what the City would pay National Grid. To fund a portion of this project, SH Solarne II LLC will sell the RECs created from generated electricity on the green power market.

 

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