Fuel Mix and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Municipal Electric Light Plants in Massachusetts

White Paper, July 2019

Analysis Group was engaged by the Municipal Electric Association of Massachusetts to study the power portfolio of municipal light plants (MLPs) in Massachusetts in relation to the commonwealth’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Principal Paul J. Hibbard and Vice President Pavel Darling led a team that produced the analytical report detailing its findings. The report concluded that MLPs have played a significant role in the commonwealth’s decarbonization efforts, and that their GHG emission profile is 60% lower than that of the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs), and 40% lower than that of the New England region.

Other key findings from the report included:

  • MLP-specific resource choices – namely, those that involve longer-term investment in specific resources or technologies – are nearly emission-free.
  • The MLPs’ GHG emission profile is well ahead of (i.e., lower than) Massachusetts’ aggregate profile, and that of the region.
  • As nonprofit vertically integrated utilities, MLPs’ resource mixes reflect fundamental differences in company structure, decision-making processes, cost of capital, and interests of host communities from those of IOUs.

Overall, the report concludes, “MLPs have been a productive contributor to state energy and environmental policy, and will continue to support the Commonwealth on its path to decarbonization on a going-forward basis.”

Read the report



Hibbard P, Darling P