The City of Keene seeks to support renewable energy resources that are located within Keene, or as close to the City as possible. Local renewable energy resources can provide opportunities to reduce energy costs, lower local emissions, and develop community micro grids and resilience zones, in addition to increasing renewable energy supply. The Keene Community Power Program presents a unique opportunity for the City to explore and develop these opportunities and resources by networking potential customers and projects, providing assistance and expertise, and providing markets for excess renewable power via direct purchase, or group net metering with on-bill credits. This process is ongoing, and updates will be reported on this page as local projects develop.
In the bigger picture, all of the additional renewable energy in Keene’s Community Power Program will come from sources that are, at a minimum, part of our ISO-New England electricity grid. This means the sources are located in New England, or the electricity is imported as allowed by ISO-New England from locations such as New York or eastern Canada. This stands in contrast to some electricity supplies that obtain their renewable energy from national sources (e.g., Texas) that are not physically or financially connected to our ISO-New England electricity grid.
Initially, all additional renewable energy, above that required by the RPS, is expected to be New Hampshire Class I eligible Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), or RECs from sources located within the greater Monadnock region.
New Hampshire Class I
What are RECs and how will they be used in Keene Community Power?
New Hampshire Class I renewable energy is known as “new renewable energy.” Through the Renewable Portfolio Standard, the State requires all electricity supplies to include a minimum quantity of Class I renewable energy, and that amount increases annually (currently plateauing after 2025). This increasing requirement, along with similar requirements in other New England states, has been a major driver for the growth of renewable energy in our region. If the Community Power Program voluntarily purchases additional Class I renewable energy at significant scale, Keene will augment this growth even further.
Class I renewable energy can come from wind, solar, small hydroelectric, biomass, methane, as well as hydrogen, and ocean thermal, tidal or wave energy. These categories align with the Keene Sustainable Energy Plan’s support for “Green Power” as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All Class I renewable energy must have started operation after January 1, 2006, and must be physically delivered to our regional electricity grid, i.e., it can come from New England, New York or eastern Canada.
Additional detail on NH Class I renewable energy, as well as other classifications of renewable energy covered by the New Hampshire Renewable Portfolio Standard, may be found at Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission.
Additional detail on EPA’s Green Power definition can be found on the EPA website.