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Chester County Press

Chester County joins Bucks and Montgomery counties in new sustainable energy partnership

The Sustainable Energy Partnership of Southeast Pennsylvania (SEPSPA) — a group composed of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties — has announced that it is awarding a five-year contract to WGL Energy to coordinate the purchase of retail electricity that will power the four counties’ operations. SEPSPA was established in 2020 to explore pathways to purchase renewable energy operations for its four member counties. Through this partnership, the counties work together with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to develop renewable energy strategies, access low and stable energy prices, and use resources more efficiently. SEPSPA has been committed to a competitive retail market approach to purchasing electricity for its county operations.

WGL Energy, a licensed retail supplier and energy risk manager with a long history of serving Pennsylvania, won the contract that grants SEPSPA the option to renew the contract after the first five years.

Chester County Commissioners Chair Josh Maxwell said, “Partnering with our neighboring counties to create the SEPSPA was the important first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering electricity costs for our collective county operations. This second step, awarding WGL Energy, moves us forward in buying flexible, lower cost, sustainable electricity. This is what being intentional about developing renewable energy strategies looks like, and it is a win-win for the entire region.”  

During the competitive bid process, energy strategist Enel X advised SEPSPA on procurement practices to find an electricity supplier with the flexibility and experience to best meet its broader energy goals of low-cost electricity, long-term price stability, increased transparency, and the integration of renewable energy.

“WGL Energy is honored to have been selected by SEPSPA, and we look forward to supporting the group’s energy goals and objectives,” said Mike McGinn, vice president of sales for WGL Energy. “We applaud SEPSPA for empowering counties to make cost-effective and sustainable choices in energy purchasing through its dedication and leadership.”

Collaborating with WGL Energy, SEPSPA has implemented a contract structure allowing for the wholesale purchase of competitively bid fixed-rate blocks of energy in the generation supply market, supplemented by energy sourced from hourly markets. This approach provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness, enabling access to low, transparent, and stable electricity prices.

“This partnership is the result of years of collaboration between the collar counties in southeast Pennsylvania, finding a smart way to be responsible environmental stewards while bringing down energy costs to taxpayers,” said Bucks County Commissioner Vice Chair Bob Harvie. “For Bucks County, this agreement represents our administration’s commitment to long-term and ongoing sustainability efforts, and we are proud to be part of it.”

“We are excited to announce that we have selected a provider for our purchase of electricity,” said Delaware County Council member Elaine Paul Schaefer. “This will allow our counties to work together to create a more sustainable future for residents across our entire region and generations to come."

“SEPSPA set out to explore pathways to power county operations that reflect our collective passion in supporting the environment and lower electricity costs,” said Jamila Winder, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “WGL Energy’s proposal to manage our portfolio aligned with our interest in increasing access to low and stable energy prices, future renewables, and efficient use of resources.”

“The Sustainable Energy Partnership has taken an important step towards achieving its mission; DVRPC applauds the counties' commitment to action to realize their renewable energy targets," said DVRPC Executive Director Ariella Maron. "This program exemplifies the power of regional partnerships, proving we can tackle large challenges, and lower costs, when we work together."