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Legislature Extends Electricity Procurement Agreement

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Legislature Extends Electricity Procurement Agreement

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Legislators, after some discussion, approved a new two-year agreement to procure electricity as part of the Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance (MEGA), a collaborative created by Tompkins and Tioga Counties nearly two decades ago, which has since spread to more than 30 county governments in the state. The Legislature authorized an agreement with Constellation Energy, of Buffalo, NY, recommended by MEGA through its most recent procurement conducted by resolution of Genesee County. The new agreement, approved now to take advantage of favorable pricing, spans the period of September 4, 2018 through September 30, 2020 (succeeding the current agreement that expires as of September 30, 2018), including the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 100% of the County’s electricity use through renewable sources.

The measure ultimately was approved by a vote of 11-1 (Legislator Dooley Kiefer voting no, with Legislators Leslyn McBean-Clairborne and Peter Stein excused. Legislator Carol Chock voiced some concern, including whether locking in such an agreement now would limit the County’s future options in the rapidly changing renewable energy environment. She advanced an amendment, approved by an 8-4 vote, which eliminated a provision that would have authorized the County Administrator to extend the agreement for two additional years, if conditions are favorable, without coming back to the Legislature. Legislator Kiefer said she does not support RECs, so could not support the resolution. Legislator Chock said she decided to support, since “this is the way renewable energy is handled today in the United States.”