Sumul Shah, spokesperson for Fairhaven Wind, issued a statement saying “All of us associated with Fairhaven Wind are very proud of what the Town has accomplished and the benefits which we’ve been able to provide to Fairhaven. In addition to the dollar savings, the Town has contributed to cleaner air for its residents and the citizens of the Commonwealth by hosting this project which generates energy from the wind.”
All of the electricity produced by the turbines is net metered to the Town’s municipal accounts. Eversource (formerly NSTAR) sends the Town a check each month for the electricity produced, which payments may then be used to help cover other Town expenses. To date, these monthly payments have totaled over $2 million. In turn, the Town contracted directly with Fairhaven Wind for the power it consumes and shares some of the excess net metering credits with Fairhaven Wind to help to cover the costs for installing and operating the turbines. Fairhaven Wind also makes lease payments to the Town.
As of the first of the year, electricity prices from Eversource increased substantially and the basic service charge is now more than twice the rate being charged in the summer of 2012 when the turbines were first operating. In contrast, the base power rate charged to the Town by Fairhaven Wind for power from the turbines has gone up less than 5%, from 7.43 cts to 7.78 cts/kilowatt hour. As a result, the monthly net benefits to the Town have skyrocketed, with a record high of over $52,000 for the month of February.
“This has been more than a win-win for the Town of Fairhaven” Mr. Shah added. “Fairhaven Wind leases small parcels of land near the waste water treatment plant and, at virtually no cost to the Town, the Town has been reaping financial benefits ever since the turbines commenced operation. We are optimistic that these benefits will only increase in the future as Fairhaven Wind is currently implementing upgrades to the turbine’s hardware and software systems to improve annual energy production.”