For Immediate Release - February 17, 2010

Statement of Attorney General Martha Coakley Regarding WMECO's New Solar Development in Pittsfield

BOSTON - Today, Western Mass Electric Company (WMECo) announced plans for a major solar development in Pittsfield. This project is the result of a Settlement Agreement the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office entered into with WMECo last summer. The agreement provides for discreet cost controls and competitive billing, and spreads out the development costs over multiple years. Each of these features ensures that the cost of renewable solar energy is balanced against its effect on customer's electric rates. Attorney General Martha Coakley issued the following statement today regarding this development:

"While our office has concerns about the cost impact of large-scale renewable projects, we were pleased that WMECo was willing to work closely with us to develop an approach that advances the goals of the Green Communities Act, while also protecting consumers. Increased deployment of renewable energy projects in Massachusetts will help reduce the region's reliance on imported fossil fuels for electric generation, reduce harmful emissions and provide long-term price stability. We appreciate WMECo's leadership in working collaboratively with various stakeholders to develop a balanced approach to renewable energy for the Commonwealth."