OUR ENERGY SUPPLY MIX
As a local distribution utility, Belmont Light purchases electricity from wholesale generating plants all over New England and delivers it to Belmont homes and businesses. We carefully manage a diverse power supply portfolio according to prices and other economic factors, reliability considerations, and the needs of our customers.
Pursuing a 100% Renewable Supply
Guided by our Power Supply Policy, we are on a pathway to achieve a 100% renewable power supply by 2022, while keeping our rates stable and our service safe and reliable. Our renewable goals align with those set forth for the electricity sector as stated in the Town’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) and the Belmont Roadmap for Strategic Decarbonization.
|Year||Minimum Renewables Target||Renewables Level Achieved||Class I Level Target||Class I Level Reached|
2019 Power Portfolio
The pie chart below shows Belmont Light’s finalized energy supply by fuel type for 2019.
NEW ENGLAND MARKET MIX- 77%
77% of Belmont Light’s power supply came through contracts for non-specific resources and real-time spot market purchases. 22% was contracted from specific renewable generators, as further described below. This means that the majority mix of resources used to generate Belmont’s power supply reflects the general mix of resources available to us from the New England grid.
On average, natural gas and nuclear resources are the most abundant generation source in New England, together accounting for over 65% of supply in 2019. Approximately 17% of New England’s power supply came from hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and refuse resources. This percentage is set to increase steadily over the coming years as Massachusetts aims to achieve its emissions reduction goals. A decreasing amount of power in New England—0.5% in 2019—comes from coal and oil generators. More information on New England’s electricity resource mix is available from ISO-New England.
Belmont Light is on a path to achieve a 100% renewable power supply over the next few years in accordance with the Town Meeting-approved Climate Action Roadmap. In 2019, the renewable portion of our portfolio totaled 50.6%. All of the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) associated with our direct contracts for wind from the Saddleback Ridge, Spruce Mountain and Granite projects (8.6%), and for hydro from the Miller and First Light projects (6.7%) were retired to achieve almost a third of this power. The remaining portion was reached via the retirement of RECs that Belmont Light purchased and retired through market transactions and its Green Choice Program. See below for more info on Green Choice.
A small quantity of 2019’s supply (1.2%) was provided by Belmont’s local residents and businesses with rooftop solar. Belmont Light cannot claim the kilowatt-hours associated with this generation as renewable since we did not own or retire the RECs associated it. We call this type of generation “Null Renewables” in the pie chart above. Another segment of Belmont Light’s 2019 purchased power was supplied by the NYPA hydro project and leveraged as a “load reducer” to define Belmont Light’s renewables compliance load for the year. See the Power Supply Policy for more information.
WANT TO HELP US ACHIEVE 100% EVEN FASTER?
Belmont Light purchases and retires RECs on behalf of our customers through our Green Choice Program. All RECs purchased and retired by Belmont Light to meet demand from the Green Choice Program are produced by generators classified as Class I renewable resources by Massachusetts. To help support renewable energy in New England for as little as $3 per month, please download the 2020 Green Choice Application Form.
In 2019, Belmont’s Green Choice customers funded the retirement of 618 Class I RECs, which represents 618,000 kWhs of power and made up approximately 1.2% of our portfolio for the year. Green Choice contributions also helped Belmont Light exceed our goal of hitting a minimum of 50% renewables, bringing us to 50.6%. To accelerate our pursuit of 100% renewables in 2020 and 2021, sign up today!
Page last updated June 2020. Each year’s portfolio is finalized in June of the following year as RECs are retired in arrears.