Burlington, VT – The Burlington Electric Department today announced that it entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Great River Hydro, LLC for renewable hydroelectric power from Great River Hydro’s Bellows Falls hydroelectric facility on the Connecticut River with back-up power available from both Great River Hydro’s Vernon and Wilder hydro facilities. The two-year agreement, which commenced on January 1, 2018, will deliver 7.5 megawatts of Vermont-produced electricity to Burlington Electric’s 100 percent renewably-sourced portfolio. The new Great River Hydro PPA replaces an agreement that concluded on December 31, 2017 that had delivered energy from NextEra Energy’s Maine-based hydro to Burlington. Burlington Electric was successful in negotiating a better price per megawatt hour (MWh) for the new contract compared with the recently expired contract.
“Adding more Vermont hydro to our energy mix is good for customers,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Reducing the geographic footprint of Burlington Electric’s power portfolio is an important part of our strategy to make Burlington a net zero energy city. Plus, this contract is less expensive than the one it is replacing, which helps keep electric rates low and stable in our City.”
“We’re excited to kick off the new year with a triple win on this power purchase: Vermont-sourced, renewable, and for a better price,” stated Neale Lunderville, General Manager of Burlington Electric. “We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with our new partners at Great River Hydro and want to thank NextEra for the partnership we’ve had over the past several years.”
In addition to a better price per MWh, Burlington Electric is purchasing more valuable energy. As the energy will be delivered during the 16 “peak” hours of the day as opposed to during all 24 hours of the day under its recently expired contract, the deliveries will be more coincident with the City of Burlington’s daily peak load. Burlington Electric’s purchase price also includes the purchase of Vermont renewable energy credits (RECs), which Burlington Electric plans to retire against Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard.
Great River Hydro is a North American energy company with 13 hydroelectric power projects in the northeast, including the three Connecticut River hydro projects from which BED will receive energy (Bellows Falls, Vernon, and Wilder), which were acquired in April 2017 when Great River Hydro purchased all of TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc.'s New England hydroelectric power portfolio.
“We’re happy to partner with the City of Burlington in helping it maintain its nation-leading accomplishment of sourcing 100 percent of its power from renewable generation,” stated Scott Hall, President and CEO of Great River Hydro.
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