LWV OBSERVER REPORT: Light Commission, May 4

Marblehead League of Women Voters Observer Corps
+ posts

Observer Corps Reports are provided by volunteers from the Marblehead League of Women Voters. To learn more about the League and its activities, see my.lwv.org/massachusetts/marblehead.

BOARD: Municipal Light Commission

DATE: May 4


MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Jean Jacques Yarmoff, Michael Hull (chair), Simon Frechette, Adam Smith, Lisa Wolf; Joe Kowalik, general manager; Greg Chane, MMLD distribution manager

Meeting called to order at 4:04 p.m.   


Approve minutes of March 28 and April 10 open discussion and executive session. Motion approved and passed after edit made to the April 10 open session.

Public comment

There was no public comment.

Battery storage policy update

Wolf asked to table this conversation and discuss with solar rates and battery incentives. This topic will be tabled until the next meeting.  

Kowalik said he is reaching out to other municipals about battery storage. Kowalik said he met with the wire inspectors in town. Purpose was to discuss the MMLD using the system they use that searches permits to determine who takes out solar, battery, generator or EV permits. It will be a public record.   MMLD is looking for automatic pushes to their system. Yarmoff said we should be pushing people for the incentives. Smith said we should look at the order of the steps to get a battery, generator or electric vehicle permits. The best practice is to develop a policy with clear steps. He also thinks a one-page document for customers should be provided in addition to a policy.  Smith offered to work on this procedure and the document. Wolf said it makes sense for MMLD to look at permits FIRST before customers begin the process of obtaining solar, battery, generators or EV permits.

Demand charge discussion

Yarmoff reported MMWEC discussed the future of the grid out to 2050 at their conference on May 3. A regional monthly graph was discussed covering supply and demand.

Supply — replace emitting capacity with non-emitting capacity and expand technologies.

Demand — implement demand flexibility and electrify energy consumption. Discussed demand especially during winter months. They are projecting an increase in demand of 236%. There was a graph on capacity planning and the current gap.

A slide presented with a NuScale nuclear power plant design was discussed and reviewed. It is a carbon-free power product. The safety conditions were covered, and they discussed the possibility of producing renewable energy with this product. A timeline and price of a small nuclear reactor was presented. The price of the plant is going up due to supply chain costs.

Yarmoff discussed battery types and how it is becoming harder to manage peak times.

He discussed that the world is not stable — our problems in Marblehead are not unique, but we know what our problems are in Marblehead. We have a lower number of layers of decision makers and can be more proactive. Our scale is also a smaller capacity than others. Marblehead will need to get the Legislature to assist us with money to help us implement programs. He suggested working with other municipalities.

General manager updates

  • Michael Hull has approached Rockett Realty to sell 75 feet of property for the Village 13 project. He is meeting with Rockett Realty again tomorrow.  There was discussion on spaces and needs of the MMLD. MMLD also met with Public Works regarding the same space.
  • Greg Chane has been appointed the new MMLD distribution manager.  (The distribution manager organizes materials and manages the field employees). Chane was in attendance and gave his background and experience. He mentioned the need to do general maintenance on the systems. Chane also discussed his staffing. There was further discussion on his next steps in his new role.
  • Brown School solar project EV update. Kowalik has received solar quotes and has turned it over to MMWEC for analysis.  After hearing back, they will get together to make a call on the project. A joint meeting with the School Committee will be arranged.

Next meeting

Next meeting is on Monday, May 30. Motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:15 p.m.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: