Northampton, MA, June 23—The Northampton Housing Authority is projected to save $1.3 million over the next 20 years under its agreement announced today to participate in the solar offering of PowerOptions, the state’s premiere energy-buying consortium for nonprofits and government entities.
The housing authority, which has 614 units throughout the city, will receive credits associated with 1.6 Megawatts of power from a soon-to-be-operational solar field in Monson, MA developed by SunEdison, one of the world’s leading solar energy service providers, and the solar supplier to PowerOptions. An attribute of solar power production known at “net metering credits” is projected to reduce the housing authority’s annual electrical spend by approximately $50,000 in the first year and as much as $150,000 in year 20.
Last year the housing authority’s total electricity costs totaled $343,000. The power credited to the housing authority through this agreement represents 85 percent of its total electricity usage.
“Supporting the development of solar is good for the planet and helps the state meet its renewable energy goals,” said Northampton Housing Authority Executive Director Jon Hite. “And it provides us with substantial savings, which will benefit our residents by allowing us to spend a portion of the savings on modernization improvements.”
Current state incentives for renewable energy indicate a preference for public entities, so Northampton Housing Authority’s cost for electricity will be greatly reduced by the net metering credits. The housing authority will keep 25 percent of the total costs savings, while the Commonwealth will retain the remainder.
Additionally, the 20-year agreement between the Housing Authority and SunEdison will serve as as a significant hedge against future electricity costs.
“PowerOptions’ solar offering is a great way for customers to hedge against the rising cost of energy,” said PowerOptions President and CEO Cynthia Arcate. “In this currently very volatile energy market, we have seen customers’ electricity prices rise by more than a third in some situations. Northampton Housing Authority will be able to stabilize their electricity costs with these net metering credits for the next 20 years.”
PowerOptions first-of-its-kind solar offering is a pre-negotiated contract for both on-site and net metering credit projects, where the customer does not host a solar facility, but rather gets the benefit of the output without the challenges of onsite construction and interconnection to its system.
“SunEdison feels fortunate to have the opportunity through PowerOptions to partner with so many Housing Authorities across the Commonwealth, like Northampton”, said Steve Raeder, the company’s Managing Director of Sales. “Massachusetts’ net metering program enables us to offer the benefits of solar power from remotely sited systems, and has proved particularly beneficial to entities with limited rooftop space or land acreage on which to develop solar”.
SunEdison is the exclusive supplier to PowerOptions Solar, after being chosen in a rigorous competitive procurement. To date, PowerOptions has nearly 40 Megawatts of solar supply under contract through SunEdison.
About Northampton Housing Authority
The Northampton Housing Authority owns and operates 614 apartments in Northampton and administers an additional 740 Section 8 vouchers, making it the 22nd largest housing authority in Massachusetts. The Northampton Housing Authority spent $343,000 for its electricity needs in 2013.
PowerOptions® is the largest energy buying consortium in Massachusetts, serving more than 500 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with combined annual energy sales of roughly $200 million. With supply offerings for electricity, natural gas, and solar power, PowerOptions provides its members budget certainty and savings, as well as best-in-industry consumer protections. Any nonprofit or public institution in Massachusetts may become a member and participate in this collective purchasing effort. For more information, visit www.poweroptions.org.
SunEdison is a global leader in transforming how energy is generated, distributed and owned. SunEdison manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity and services to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison also provides 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services for hundreds of solar systems worldwide via the company’s Renewable Operation Center (ROC). SunEdison has offices in North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.” To learn more, visit www.sunedison.com