The Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (“CVEC”) was organized on September 12, 2007. CVEC was formed under Massachusetts General Laws, c. 164, §136. Section 136 provides for the establishment of energy cooperatives. Section 136 cooperatives can, among other things: (1) purchase and own generation, transmission and other projects and property; (2) enter into contracts and incur liabilities; (3) borrow money, issue notes and bonds; (4) enter into private/public collaboration (contractual); (5) purchase, sell and distribute energy; and (6) sell electricity to any consumer within CVEC member communities. CVEC’s purposes include developing and/or owning renewable electric generation facilities and procuring and/or selling long term electric supply or other energy-related goods or services including renewable energy certificate contracts at competitive prices to member communities. CVEC’s functions, policies and goals include acquiring the best market rate for electricity supply, promoting and supporting the development of renewable energy resources, improving the quality of service and reliability, and utilizing and encouraging conservation and other forms of energy efficiency.
Currently, there are twenty-five members of CVEC : Town of Aquinnah, Town of Barnstable, Barnstable County, Town of Bourne, Town of Brewster, Town of Chatham, Town of Chilmark, Town of Dennis, Dukes County, Town of Eastham, Town of Edgartown, Town of Falmouth, Town of Harwich, Town of Oak Bluffs, Town of Orleans, Town of Marion, Town of Mashpee, Town and County of Nantucket, own of Provincetown, Town of Sandwich, Town of Tisbury, Town of Truro, Town of West Tisbury, Town of Yarmouth, and Cape Light Compact.
CVEC’s formation stemmed from the members’ desire to develop renewable energy projects and use renewable energy projects to stabilize electric rates for ratepayers within CVEC member communities. Some additional benefits of CVEC membership include eligibility for lower cost financing for renewable energy projects, such as through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. The cooperative structure also generally limits member communities’ financial liability.
The Green Communities Act, which was signed into law on July 2, 2008, will also provide benefits to member communities. One of the main benefits to member communities is net metering. The new net metering law generally allows certain renewable energy generating facilities to receive and even allocate to other distribution company customers credits on future energy bills. For more information on net metering please visit the Department of Public Utilities’ website at www.mass.gov/dpu. Through the Green Communities Act and the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative opportunities, member communities will host CVEC renewable energy projects that provide net metering benefits and result in savings on municipal electrical costs.