BELD General Manager Bill Bottiggi made a presentation to the Municipal Light Board on March 1 explaining the four options Braintree Electric has for a new power plant at this time, along with the risk and financial impact of each option. He explained that the two most viable options are: 1) to continue to operate and maintain Potter II, or 2) to build a new power plant. He believes it does not make financial sense to: 3) retire Potter II and not replace it, or 4) convert Potter II into a simple-cycle power plant. BELD employees working on this project have arrived at this conclusion over the last few months by working with the department’s engineering consultant and their subcontractors.
Building a new power plant only makes sense if, during the next forward capacity auction in February 2017, the clearing price for capacity is high enough to cover the fixed costs of maintaining the unit. In order to keep BELD’s options open, we will need to start the process by submitting a Show Of Interest by mid-March. This does not commit the department to anything but creates a place holder for the future.
Over the next few months we intend to meet with the Mayor’s office and Town Council to present these plans, and to request bonding of the new power plant if we are successful in clearing the auction in February 2017. Stay tuned for future updates on this process. +++++++++++