The Cambridge Community Electricity program was designed to encourage the development of new renewable energy projects in Cambridge and New England. The program is now directly supporting the development of a new solar energy project in Cambridge.
Adding renewable energy to the local grid
Both the Standard Green price and the 100% Green Plus price now include a small additional charge of 0.2 ¢/kWh. The City will use the money collected from this additional charge to fund the development of a new solar energy project. The result is that each Cambridge Community Electricity Program participant will help to add more renewable electricity to the local electricity grid. The electricity produced by this new solar project will take the place of some fossil fuel-generated electricity.
Once the new solar energy project is up and running, the City will apply the renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by this project to a portion of the electricity used by both Standard Green and 100% Green Plus participants. As a result:
- Standard Green participants will receive the minimum amount of renewable energy required by the state, all from projects in New England. They will also receive additional renewable electricity from the new solar project, over and above the state-required minimum, once the project is up and running.
- 100% Green Plus participants will receive 100% renewable energy, all from projects in New England by having 100% Massachusetts Class I RECs purchased on their behalf. They will also receive additional renewable energy from the new solar project, once the project is up and running.
Renewable energy is purchased through renewable energy certificates, or RECs. Visit this page to learn about RECs.
Please note: Previously, Standard Green participants received additional solar electricity, which was made possible through the purchase of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) over and above the minimum amount required by the state. The cost of those additional SRECs was embedded in the program price. But because the program will now collect and direct funds toward the development of a new local solar energy project, the cost of those additional SRECs is no longer embedded in the program price, and those additional SRECs will not be purchased.
Supporting renewable energy throughout New England
For those who want to do more, 100% Green Plus is the best option. Participants in 100% Green Plus will have RECs purchased on their behalf from renewable energy projects in New England (MA Class I RECs) and will also receive additional renewable electricity from the Cambridge solar project. 100% Green Plus participants are supporting renewable energy by:
- purchasing RECs that match 100% of their electricity usage from existing renewable energy projects in New England (MA Class I RECs). The purchase of additional RECs, over and the minimum required by the state of Massachusetts, helps to create a stronger market for renewable energy generated by renewable energy projects in New England.
- contributing 0.2 ¢/kWh to the development of the new solar project in Cambridge, which will apply additional RECs from that project their electricity use, just like participants in Standard Green. The contribution to the new solar project brings new renewable energy to the grid and can help displace fossil fuel power production.
The 100% Green Plus option includes energy produced by a range of renewable energy projects. The majority is wind energy, but it will also include solar energy and could also include energy produced by anaerobic digestion, biomass, and landfill gas.