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Municipal Electric & Gas Alliance

September 2018 Newsletter

By on Sep 20, 2018

Dear Clients, Members of the Corporation, and Board Members,

I’m taking this opportunity in the MEGA Minute to introduce myself as the new board chair and to comment on the activities of MEGA this spring and summer. I have been with MEGA since 2010 and served as Vice Chair in 2016 and 2017. I officially retired from Corning Incorporated in 2009 where I held various positions as a materials scientist, research manager, and technology assessment director and I continue to work part time on specific projects in the Emerging Technologies and Marketing group. My educational background is in chemistry and geology (Carleton College and Stanford University) and technology management (MIT).

MEGA’s summer has been focused on getting through some unexpected barriers to our Consumer Choice Aggregation initiative. Cyber security has become a major priority for the power generation and distribution sector. As a result, the data security agreement we had negotiated has become much more difficult and expensive to implement than we originally thought. We are now negotiating a revised plan that should be less expensive and easier to administer. This is all taking a fair amount of staff time and delaying our ability to deliver CCA to our residential clients. Nevertheless, we are still optimistic and hope to start moving consumers to CCA in the first quarter of 2019.

As you know, there is a great deal of interest in New York regarding community and commercial renewable resources. There have also been some frustrating disappointments. We have verified that these initiatives are compatible with our CCA efforts and we are looking into offering even more opportunities to our members in the future.Please see the rest of this newsletter for details.Best regards,

Dr. Mark P. Taylor,  Chair, MEGA Board of Directors

Community Choice Aggregation

MEGA continues to work toward implementation of the first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program in NYS under the Public Service Commission’s CCA Order. CCA will soon offer City, Town and Village, municipal officials the opportunity to facilitate better rates on energy for their residents and small businesses. Addressing issues of cybersecurity has become a focus of the Public Service Commission and New York Utilities. CCA was stalled as many stakeholders in the energy market worked together to set standards around data security processes and protocols. Upon compliance with these new technical and administrative data security requirements MEGA will be able to issue our first CCA bid. Through this and other efforts, MEGA continues to play a significant role in shaping the development of CCA Policy in NYS.

Corporate Report to MEGA Customers

MEGA’s newly released Corporate Report celebrates almost 20 years of service to municipalities, school districts, businesses and other organizations in New York State. The report describes all of MEGA’s energy programs plus featuring four specific communities and institutions – the City of Hornell, Village of Lake George, Town of Colonie and Ulster County BOCES – just a few of those that have been able to demonstrate considerable savings attributed to their relationship with MEGA. A special feature describes the Waterloo Hydroelectric Station, a landmark collaborative renewable energy project between Tompkins County government and Gravity Renewables, MEGA’s small-hydropower developer. Highlighting the dedication of this project the station was formally named the Stu Stein Powerhouse in honor of one of MEGA’s founding fathers, the former Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature.

News from EnergyNext, Inc.

Katy Vescio joined EnergyNext in September 2018 as the Client Relationship Manager. She will serve as MEGA’s primary point of contact to EnergyNext.  Previously, Katy worked as NYSAC’s liaison to MEGA from 2009-2015. At NYSAC she was the Deputy Director for Government Relations, responsible for coordinating NYSAC’s advocacy strategy in Albany. Her policy focus areas included energy, environmental conservation, agriculture, economic development and public safety. Prior to joining NYSAC, Katy worked for the New York State Senate serving in Majority Program and Counsel’s office. She is a graduate of Skidmore College and SUNY ESF at Syracuse.

New Electric and Natural Gas programs are coming. The EnergyNext team has drafted and assisted Genesee County in processing MEGA’s next procurement for electricity and natural gas supplies. This procurement covers all the utility territories MEGA has chosen to serve: National Grid, NYSEG, Central Hudson, RG&E, National Fuel and St. Lawrence Gas. The MEGA Executive Committee accepted EnergyNext’s recommendations for the awards, and Genesee County will be considering its approval in the coming weeks.