White Paper Municipal Light Plants in Massachusetts
41 municipal light plants, often referred to as municipal utilities or “munis,” serve all or part of 50 communities in Massachusetts. Unlike private investor-owned utilities (IOUs), munis are community-owned and exempt from many of the state’s regulatory requirements. As such, munis are largely responsible for initiating and operating any renewable energy and energy efficiency programs within their territories.
This white paper aims to provide an overview of the legislative history and operational practices of munis as the context for a discussion of the clean energy initiatives that are offered to their customers. Spotlights on the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and munis in Holyoke, Wellesley, and Littleton and Boxborough provide a lens through which to examine a sampling of clean energy initiatives, to highlight lessons learned, and to suggest potential future opportunities.