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 Target||Class I Level Reached|
2020 Power Portfolio
The pie chart below shows Belmont Light’s finalized energy supply by fuel type for 2020.
NON-RENEWABLES (NEW ENGLAND MARKET MIX)- 32.5%
32.5% of Belmont Light’s power supply came through contracts for non-specific resources and real-time spot market purchases. The remainder of the supply was contracted from specific renewable generators (15%) or grid power that Belmont Light can claim as renewable because it is associated with retired RECs, as further described below.
On average, natural gas and nuclear resources are the most abundant generation source in New England, together accounting for over 79% of supply in 2020. Approximately 20% 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 and other states aim to achieve emissions reduction goals. A decreasing amount of power in New England—0.3% in 2020—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 2020, the renewable portion of our portfolio totaled 66.3%. All of the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) associated with our direct contracts for wind from the Saddleback Ridge, Spruce Mountain and Granite projects (7.8%), and for hydro from the Miller and First Light projects (6.7%) were retired to achieve our renewables goal for the year. 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 2020’s supply (1.2%) was provided by Belmont’s local residents and businesses with rooftop solar. Belmont Light can claim the kilowatt-hours associated with a very small portion (0.1%) of this generation as renewable since we did not own or retire the RECs associated with most of it. We call this type of generation “Null Renewables” in the pie chart above. Another segment of Belmont Light’s 2020 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.
GREEN CHOICE PROGRAM
Belmont Light customers can make a direct impact on the amount of green energy Belmont Light purchases through the Green Choice Program. In order to achieve our target renewable levels (above), we currently purchase and retire a portion of Class I Massachusetts RECs, as specified in our Power Supply Policy, while making up the remainder of our targets with Class II Maine RECs. The Green Choice Program allows customers to make contributions to purchase and retire Class I Massachusetts RECs in addition to those that Belmont Light already purchases and retires. To help support renewable energy in New England for as little as $3 per month, please download the Green Choice Application Form.
In 2020, Belmont’s Green Choice customers funded the retirement of 359 Class I RECs, which represents 359,000 kWhs of power and helped Belmont Light exceed our goal of hitting a minimum of 66% renewables, bringing us to 66.3%. To accelerate our pursuit of 100% renewables in 2021 or increase our percentage of Class I RECs, sign up today!
Page last updated March 2022. Each year’s portfolio is finalized in June of the following year as RECs are retired in arrears.