MGED extends contract with FirstLight Power for renewable hydropower supply

Massachusetts map

Middleborough Gas and Electric Department (MGED) in Massachusetts has extended its contract with FirstLight Power for locally produced hydropower for an additional 10 years, to 2040.

MGED said it entered into an initial agreement with FirstLight Power, the owner and operator of hydroelectric generation facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut, in 2019. They said this deal helps to keep MGED rates affordable while growing the carbon-free share of the MGED power portfolio. This extension helps the municipal utility to accelerate the decarbonization of its electric supply portfolio. By locking in purchases of locally produced hydropower, MGED’s customers will fight climate change while supporting reasonable electric rates through 2040.

The 2019-2040 agreement will account for about 910,000 MWh, equivalent to more than 12% of MGED’s purchases for residential, commercial and industrial customers for the term.

“MGED’s commitment to providing its customers with locally made clean hydropower is a standout example of Massachusetts municipal utilities leading the way to a clean energy future,” said FirstLight Chief Executive Officer Alicia Barton. “Long-term commitments such as this MGED contract extension are critical in the fight against climate change, and they bolster FirstLight’s ability to meet our mission to decarbonize the regional electric grid.”

MGED’s 2021 power portfolio is more than 60% carbon free, said MGED General Manager Jackie Crowley, “And with the 2021 FirstLight extension, we can ensure a growing share of renewable energy through 2040 as we work to reach the MGED Board’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”

MGED is a municipally-owned and operated electric and natural gas utility serving the towns of Middleboro and Lakeville.

FirstLight Power is a renewable energy supplier operating hydroelectric, energy storage and solar projects. The company operates a dozen hydroelectric generating facilities along the Connecticut, Housatonic, Shetucket, Still, and Quinebaug fivers, collectively producing more than 200 MW of power, as well as an 18,000-panel solar farm. FirstLight also operates two of New England’s largest energy storage facilities, located in western Massachusetts and western Connecticut, in addition to two battery storage facilities.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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