Providence, RI – Six Rhode Island cities and towns have joined together to launch aggregation programs that leverage community-wide buying power to provide their residents and businesses with new options for electricity supply. These Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA) programs will focus on providing competitively priced rates while also including additional clean energy from Rhode Island.
The new programs, set to launch in May 2023, are the culmination of a multi-year effort involving the communities of Barrington, Central Falls, Newport, Portsmouth, Providence and South Kingstown working with electricity aggregator Good Energy. By working together, these communities can harness significant buying power, collectively representing over 100,000 eligible electricity users.
Each municipality developed its own aggregation plan, customized to reflect its community priorities. These were then approved by votes of its city or town council, as well as by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.
The primary electricity offering in each CEA program will exceed state renewable energy standards while maintaining focus on competitive pricing. With a combined load of roughly 15% of the state’s electric utility, the group will benefit from substantial economies of scale while also providing significant demand for new renewable energy in the region.
The municipalities have committed to sourcing their renewable energy from within New England. This will include specific Rhode Island-based projects such as solar power facilities built on brownfields in North Providence and Johnston, as well as wind turbines located in Providence, Coventry and Narragansett.
“Providing cleaner energy options, and making those options more accessible and affordable, is a key strategy of Providence’s Climate Justice Plan,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “We are proud to join these fellow cities and towns in beginning this program and excited to offer new options for energy supply in our community.”
“We are excited to help communities combat climate change while also looking out for the energy spend of their residents and businesses,” said Philip Carr, New England regional director of Good Energy. “Community electricity aggregation programs are rapidly transforming the electricity sector in many states, and we are thrilled to bring this program to Rhode Island consumers.”
Providence-based nonprofit Green Energy Consumers Alliance will provide a significant portion of the voluntary renewable energy from Rhode Island-based projects. “Our organization’s mission is to speed the transition to clean energy, and that’s exactly what this program does. We’re going to bring more wind and solar onto the grid and the best part is that it will be from projects located right here in the Ocean State,” said Larry Chretien, executive director of GECA.
After a competitive bidding process, the group selected NextEra Energy Services, LLC as its electricity supplier. Final pricing will be announced about two months in advance of the launch, in March 2023, via community-wide outreach and education initiatives.