Sen. Wolf, Rep. Madden, urge DPU speed-up for Nantucket

Madden and Wolf call for fast DPU action to help Nantucket create renewable energy

Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf and State Representative Timothy Madden today called on the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to work with Nantucket and Nantucket's electricity provider, National Grid, to assure that the island can implement and expand renewable energy projects.

"National Grid has raised the costs associated with a recently laid second cable as a prohibitive issue in increasing Nantucket's net metering. We would like the Department's explanation as to why this cable cost is designed the way it is and what alternatives exist that Nantucket can explore."

National Grid's "net-metering cap" for the island can discourage renewable energy generation by eliminating credits that make these projects viable. Nantucket appears to be the only town subject to an additional cap separate from an aggregated peak load cap approved by the DPU for National Grid's entire service territory.

"Nantucket already has high electricity rates," said Madden, "and the community has been working hard to bring less expensive, environmentally sound renewables into the mix. All of us want to be sure these projects will move forward."

"The cap as currently set makes it difficult for Nantucket to explore and implement renewable generation," said Wolf. "The DPU needs to bring Nantucket and National Grid together, talk through the issues involved, and remove this barrier to smart, sustainable energy development. Representative Madden and I are confident that together, we can find a solution."

State Senator Dan Wolf represents the Cape & Islands District, which includes Barnstable, precincts 1 to 9, inclusive, and 13, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet and Yarmouth, in the county of Barnstable; Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and West Tisbury, in the county of Dukes County; and Nantucket, in the county of Nantucket.

In their joint letter to the DPU, Wolf and Madden note that correcting this matter might require a Department rule, a legislative fix, or some other option.

The letter also notes, "National Grid has raised the costs associated with a recently laid second cable as a prohibitive issue in increasing Nantucket's net metering. We would like the Department's explanation as to why this cable cost is designed the way it is and what alternatives exist that Nantucket can explore."

"In the interest of promoting renewable energy and equity for rate-payers, we ask for a meeting with you at your earliest convenience," the letter concludes.

Sen. Dan Wolf.
Repr. Tom Madden.

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