At the June 12 Greenbelt City Council worksession, Assistant City Manager David Moran reported that there is an opportunity for the city to buy wind-generated electric power at a savings of up to 41 percent or more through Constellation Energy. Currently, the city is purchasing wind-generated energy through Washington Gas and Electric (WGE) at a rate of 0.07311 per kilowatt hour. The quoted June 12 Constellation rate was 0.04317. At that rate, the city would save $96,000 a year.
There are, however, some catches to the deal. As with other power purchases these days, the price changes daily and council would have to grant authorization to make the purchase without knowing what the price would be. Council has had to do this before. The plan is to provide the authorization for the purchase at the June 20 meeting. By then the price could be substantially changed from the June 12 price. Moran will monitor the market, and if he sees significant price increases, he will notify councilmembers and a special meeting may be called to lock in a price before it is too late.
The current WGE contract does not expire until July 2018. The new contract would be for 35 subsequent months. Thus, the savings would not be in the new fiscal year, but in the three subsequent years.
Such a contract would lock in a power supplier for the contract term and the city would not be able to pursue its efforts to obtain solar energy power until the completion of the new contract. The energy would be generated by a wind farm that would be financed by the city paying the provider what it now pays for electricity from its current supplier.
Read more of this story in the June 15 News Review