Shedding light on electric co-op and Island concerns

Cape Light Compact (CLC) administrator Maggie Downey will provide a power-point presentation and answer questions about the recently formed Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) at the All-Island Selectmen’s meeting at 5 pm on January 21 at the Tisbury Senior Center.

The meeting, open to the public, also will include discussions about Island concerns between the selectmen and State Representative Tim Madden and State Senator Robert O’Leary, who are scheduled to attend.

The CLC is a regional energy services organization made up of 21 towns in Dukes and Barnstable counties. It uses the combined buying power of the region’s electric consumers to negotiate for electricity.

But, like municipalities, the law prohibits CLC from owning electricity-producing systems, which means the compact can only negotiate electricity prices at the retail level. That led the town of Barnstable, the county of Barnstable, and CLC to form an electric cooperative in 2007, to enable municipal entities to own electricity-producing systems and sell the energy directly to CLC at wholesale cost.

Currently, the CVEC is seeking State and Federal approval for tax-exempt status in order to own and operate energy systems and to enter into contracts with the Compact.

“Ms. Downey’s presentation next week will offer an update on the cooperative’s current status and the opportunities it presents for Island towns,” said Peter Cabana, CLC’s Tisbury representative.