CMEEC members to receive revenue boost from small power plant operations

March 6, 2019

The six member utilities in the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative will receive greater shares in the cooperative’s 20 micro-generation power projects and revenues now that the town of Wallingford’s electric utility has pulled out of the cooperative.

The Norwich Board of Public Utilities Commissioners on Tuesday became the fifth of the six CMEEC utilities to approve allowing its CMEEC members to increase Norwich Public Utilities’ ownership from 21.7 percent to 30 percent of the micro-generation projects. Once approved by the CMEEC members, the move is expected to boost NPU’s share of the revenues by 672,822 in 2019 and 2,857,289.

NPU Acting General Manager Chris LaRose said the allocations would be made monthly into NPU’s rate stabilization fund held by CMEEC. LaRose said NPU plans to use a portion of the revenues each year to keep electric rates stable in Norwich.

The added funds won’t be received in time to be included in the proposed 2019-20 NPU budget to be presented to the utilities commission March 26. LaRose said NPU will conduct a cost-of-services study this summer to make long-term electric rate projections.

“This is going to be a very good asset for keeping our rates stable in the long term,” LaRose said of the added revenues.

CMEEC interim CEO Michael Lane, who met with the Norwich commission in executive session Tuesday night prior to the vote, said Wednesday that five of the six CMEEC member utilities have approved taking on the added shares, with only South Norwalk Electric and Water not yet voting on the proposed allocations.

Once all six member utilities approve the allocation, a special meeting of the CMEEC Member Delegation — comprising representatives from each utility — to approve the reallocation of ownership shares in the micro-generation projects.

The Groton Utilities and the Bozrah Light & Power commissions recently approved accepting their added shares in the projects, said Groton City Mayor Keith Hedrick, chairman of both commissions. Groton Utilities owns Bozrah Light & Power.

Hedrick did not have revenue projections for its added ownership Wednesday. Lane said once the CMEEC Member Delegation approves the ownership allocations, percentages for each member utility would be available.