LEBANON (AP) — Lebanon’s city council voted to join a community power project that could supply municipalities with renewable energy, making it the second city in New Hampshire to sign on.
The vote on Wednesday means the city will join a coalition of municipalities that want to purchase renewable energy in bulk through a statewide nonprofit, New Hampshire Public Radio reported.
The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire, the nonprofit, will oversee the administrative work to allow localities to aggregate their purchasing power and choose the source of their energy, the broadcaster reported.
That would allow communities to prioritize renewable energy sources. For example, Hanover, which joined the coalition at the end of January, has a goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050, the broadcaster reported.
Utility companies like Eversource would still distribute the electricity to customers. The collective buying program was made possible by a 2019 state law that allows localities to create community power programs that are “opt out,” meaning residents are automatically enrolled unless they choose not to be, New Hampshire Public Radio reported.
But the Legislature is considering a bill that could make the creation of community power projects more difficult, the broadcaster reported.
It would require the Public Utilities Commission to approve changes to community power projects. Second, it would require municipalities and counties to contact current electric customers to notify them before the start of a project by mail but would not mandate utility companies provide a list of its customers.