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MMWEC's contractual requirements for energy facility projects is to name them initially as a "Special Project" according to the year in which it was first proposed/established and in the order proposed. A Special Project is the preliminary, development and exploratory phase of an energy facility. During 2015 and through 2016, under the name "Special Project 2015A," MMWEC undertook the necessary work to have sufficient information, contractual arrangements, and commitments to make the Special Project a "Project". A Special Project becomes a "Project" once Power Sales Agreements (PSA) are signed for the total capacity of the proposed energy facility.
PSAs were signed by the 14 participating MLPs in 2017. Consequently, as of January 2017, "Special Project 2015A" became "Project 2015A." In accordance with MMWEC's enabling act, the PSAs bind the MLPs to the costs and expenses associated with a Project whether it is completed, operates or is terminated.
More information can be found at the 2015A Project website.
MMWEC is a body politic and corporate and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1975 to serve the consumer-owned, MLPs of Massachusetts. MMWEC is a voluntary membership organization whose Members are Massachusetts cities and towns having MLPs. Of the 40 MLPs in Massachusetts, 20 are Members of MMWEC. MMWEC provides services to all 40. Through membership in MMWEC, in addition to providing other Member services, Member systems are able to leverage their combined buying power to negotiate cost-effective energy facility projects, helping to control costs in providing a reliable supply of power for all of our customers.
It is important to understand that Project 2015A provides capacity – the ability to generate energy/electricity. By law, all distribution companies, including PMLP, are required to secure capacity to meet their peak demand, plus a reserve margin, typically an additional 40%. This is done managed through the ISO -New England, the entity in charge of reliability for the New England region. All distribution companies are required to participate in the ISO -New England electricity markets, one of which is the capacity market. Prices in the ISO -New England capacity market are volatile. Project 2015A locks in a price for capacity, protecting participating MLPs against this price volatility. Having this capacity reliability resource helps the MLDPs stabilize rates and plan for the future. In addition, because they cannot be reliably dispatched at peak times, this project serves as a “balancing resource” for the increasing amount of intermittent renewable sources of energy, (such as solar and wind), on the grid, supporting reliability in the area.
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