Upstate New Yorkers Gain Access to RE

Niagara Mohawk customers soon will be able to purchase all or part of their electricity from Renewable Energy sources, a benefit made available as part of the merger of Niagara Mohawk and National Grid Group.

SYRACUSE, New York – May 28, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The plan for access to Renewable Energy was part of the Niagara Mohawk-National Grid merger settlement approved by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC)in November. Final details of the Renewable Energy program were approved by the PSC at its May 22 meeting. Under the program, scheduled to begin later this year, Niagara Mohawk customers will be able to contract directly with Renewable Energy service providers to arrange for their supply of electricity to come from Renewable Energy sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric. “Providing Niagara Mohawk customers easy access to renewable electricity gives them the choice they deserve, and it supports the further development of sustainable sources of energy,” said William F. Edwards, Niagara Mohawk’s president. Brent Alderfer, president of participating provider Community Energy Inc., said linking of Renewable Energy providers with the utility is the strength of the program. “Now Niagara Mohawk customers will be able to purchase wind-generated electricity from newly built wind projects in the state without losing the reliability and security of their local utility supply. This innovative program is the leading edge of electric customer choice in the post-deregulated markets. Niagara Mohawk and the Public Service Commission are to be commended on their leadership.” Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s largest retail provider of cleaner electricity, expects the program to help foster the development of a market for renewable power. “We applaud Niagara Mohawk’s program and the Commission’s leadership,” said A. Clifton Payne, president of Green Mountain Energy Company’s Eastern Region. “This represents an important opportunity for Niagara Mohawk customers, renewable energy, and the environment. Green Mountain Energy Company is optimistic that a market for cleaner electricity will develop and provide meaningful choices to Niagara Mohawk consumers.” Under the new program, Niagara Mohawk residential customers can choose to pay a premium to purchase some or all of their electricity from Renewable Energy sources. Community Energy’s Alderfer estimates that a typical Niagara Mohawk residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours monthly would pay an additional US$5 a month to have 40 percent of their use come from wind generation projects in New York. The additional charge will be included as a line item on the customer’s Niagara Mohawk bill and will be forwarded to the customer’s Renewable Energy service provider. The renewable energy access proposal approved by the PSC was signed by American Wind Energy Association, Community Energy Inc., Environmental Defense, Green Mountain Energy Company, NativeEnergy LLC, Natural Resources Defense Council, the staff of the New York State Department of Public Service and Niagara Mohawk.
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