On March 5, 2019, the Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) Board of Commissioners voted to approve the reallocation of ownership of micro-generation projects developed by the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) after Wallingford Electric exited the project.
Pending approval by the CMEEC Board, NPU’s ownership percentage in the project will increase from 21.7% to 30.7%, which will provide NPU with a net benefit of $672,822 in the next year and a collective benefit of $2,857,289 over the next five years.
“Tonight’s vote by the NPU Board is a big step toward years of rate relief for every one of our electric customers,” said Chris LaRose, Acting General Manager of NPU. “When NPU assumes a larger ownership role in these successful CMEEC projects, our customers will realize nearly $3 million in decreased energy costs over the next five years.”
CMEEC’s MicroGen project consists of twenty 2.5MW diesel generators located throughout its member territories, with six units located within Norwich. The remaining generators are located in Groton (6), Mohegan Tribal Land (4), Bozrah (2), Jewett City and Fisher’s Island.
The micro-generation units provide operational benefits for participants by acting as an emergency generation source capable of supplying electricity to the distribution system during extended power outages. The units also provide financial benefits by operating during periods of peak electric usage demand and reduce capacity and transmission costs that would otherwise be charged to NPU and its customers.
The generators are outfitted with state-of-the-art emissions control systems which greatly reduce nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter emissions, among others. Since the project’s inception, participants’ wholesale electric costs have been reduced by more than $58 million, including over $12 million directly to NPU.
According to projections provided by CMEEC, NPU’s net benefit over the next five years will be: