I’m not sure where previous letter-writer Cary Africk got his information from, claiming that electricity in Montclair’s energy aggregation program is from nuclear energy, but it isn’t correct.
The FAQ about the energy aggregation program on Montclair’s website says very clearly that the energy provided to Sustainable Essex Alliance participants, beyond the regular state renewable requirements (which come mostly from wind and solar), will come from “the purchase of additional Class I RECs (primarily wind power) from renewable projects in the regional power grid,” for a total of 40% renewable electricity.
In plain English, that means the energy coming through the SEA is wind power and other renewables, such as solar, and not nuclear power (which doesn’t count as Class I RECs).
We aren’t buying the electricity that Energy Harbor is producing in its nuclear plants. Instead, Energy Harbor is serving as an energy broker, connecting Montclair with renewable energy providers in our region.
The Montclair energy aggregation program simply does, on a small scale, what New Jersey does on a larger scale with its state clean energy standards. Clean energy standards have been a key factor in driving us toward renewable energy. In fact, last year the United States hit a milestone: more electricity was produced by renewable energy than any other source, except methane gas — more than coal, more than nuclear. Montclair and the SEA are a small part of that, but Montclair should be proud to be doing its bit.
In short, if you are part of the energy aggregation program, you can rest assured that your money is going to support renewable energy. Want to do more? Encourage the town to move toward 100% renewable energy. Or, even better, go for solar power yourself: get rooftop solar if you can, sign up for community solar if you can’t. All of those are ways to help drive the clean energy revolution and do what we can to address the climate crisis we find ourselves in.
Montclair Climate Action
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