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14 Westchester Communities Opt For 100% Green Energy

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Originally published on the ECOreport

New York State’s first community choice aggregation (community owned utility) under Governor Cuomo’s watch, is now expected to start supplying customers with electricity on May 1, 2016. The number of participating Sustainable Westcher communities has grown to 20. A number of these have opted to use a normal blend (brown) as their default electricity but 14 Westchester communities opted for 100% green energy as a default.


14 Westchester Communities Opted For 100% Green Energy

According to Sustainable Westchester Co-Chair Mike Gordon, those 14 communities did not base their choice on the idea “green is the right thing to do,” as the green option was also smarter from a business perspective.

“Any contract that you go with, whether it is standard or renewable, it’s fixed. It is a fixed price over the course of the contract and that fixed price is slightly lower if it is brown, or standard mix, however a feature of the contract allows us to either develop contracts and deals with renewable power plants, or to actually finance the development of a new renewable power plant,” he said.

The Flexibility To Switch Contracts

“We have the flexibility, over the course of this contract period, to say to the supplier, ‘Hey supplier, You’ve already bought all the energy to fill out this contract, however we have identified another power plant that we want you to buy from. That power plant is telling us that it is costing us let’s say 6 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) to buy from them and we want you to take that to 6 cents a kWh.”

As the supplier has to take this new contract, he may have to sell the electricity he would have used on the open market.

“If we don’t like the price they are getting, we’ll go find someone else to give them a better price. If they make money on that deal, 100% of that money goes back to our consumers.”

As the current glut will come to an end someday, the “embedded option” in this contract could allow Sustainable Westchester to make a profit.

“We could be financing the development and introduction of renewable energy into our portfolio at a profit,” speculated Gordon.

The CCA’s 20 Communities

When Sustainable Westchester goes online May 1, the following communities will be using green energy as their default power:

  1. Town of Mamaroneck
  2. Village of Mamaroneck
  3. Village of Ossining
  4. Town of Ossining
  5. Larchmont
  6. Village Hastings
  7. City of New Rochelle
  8. City of White Plains
  9. Tarrytown
  10. Town of Bedford
  11. Town of New Castle
  12. Town of North Salem
  13. Irvington
  14. Pelham

There are also seven Westchester communities that opted for a basic (brown) default mix:

  1. Pleasantville
  2. Rye Brook
  3. Greenburgh
  4. Mt. Kisco
  5. Lewisboro
  6. Somers

At this point, Sustainable Westchester’s CCA will be starting up with 113,600  customers. 94,600 of them will be in ConEd territory, and the remainder are serviced by New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG).

Approximately 75,000 of these will be “100% green default customers” unless they choose to opt out.

Photo Credit: Mamaroneck, New York by WalkingGeek via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.


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