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HG&E's Energy Mix

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HG&E’s goal is to expand carbon-free content while maintaining some of the lowest electric rates in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This successful balance is reflected in the fact that HG&E’s carbon footprint significantly less than that of the average utility in New England. 

Wholesale Power 

HG&E manages a diverse power supply portfolio, purchasing power to meet our customers ever-changing electric loads. HG&E monitors possible monthly and annual peak hours and actively institutes load reduction measures to lower HG&E’s load and thus costs during these times. As part of the Energy Purchasing and Risk Management Plan, the Department monitors the available energy supply and sources on a daily basis to stabilize and ensure price certainty for the future cost of power. The Department purchases power on both a short-term and long-term basis to take advantage of the fluctuating market, manage the risk of rising prices, and increase the stability of future energy costs, thereby stabilizing rates for all customers.

In 2019, 39.88% of HG&E’s power supply production came from generation that qualifies as renewable, according to definitions set forth by the Renewable Portfolio Standards within the New England states. Additionally, 26.16% of HG&E’s production came from generators that produce solar, hydro and wind power, but which HG&E cannot claim as green energy because the renewable energy certificates (REC) are not owned by or retired with HG&E. The Null Energy Label is used to signify non-REC ownership/retirement.

Only 4.5% of Null Energy total production served to meet a small portion (1.55%) of HG&E’s electrical load in 2019, while the excess was sold to the market. The pie chart below shows Holyoke’s supply by fuel type as percent (%) of electrical load from retail sales. In 2019, 53.18% is renewable and carbon-free, while an additional 34.84% is carbon-free (nuclear, battery, carbon-free system power and hydro). Hence, 88.02% of HG&E’s Electrical load is considered carbon-free. For comparison, the carbon-free amount was 84.98% in 2018.

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The System Power represents various term length bilateral contracts comprising system mix within ISO-NE that were procured during the summer time frame. System Power Carbon-Free represents long-term, on-peak bilateral contracts with nuclear carbon-free certificates attached that will end December 2029.

Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)

Renewable Energy Certificates are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities. For every 1 MWh of energy generated there is one REC created in order to track the renewable attributes of the energy.

HG&E retains the locally generated energy and has the option to sell associated RECs from its generating facilities. Through retaining some RECs and selling others, HG&E blends both environmental and energy-related issues, in order to stabilize electric rates for our customers, while helping the Commonwealth and New England achieve renewable and clean energy goals. The above graph represents HG&E's power supply, as well as REC retention. 

Explore the links below to learn more about HG&E’s renewable energy facilities, and the steps that we are taking to expand our portfolio of renewable and carbon free generation.

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