Skip to main content

Marblehead Municipal Light Meeting - 5/4/23- OBSERVER REPORT

Name of Committee:  Marblehead Municipal Light 

Meeting Date: 5/4/23

LWVM Observer:  Maggie Smist


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 pm.   

  1. Approve minutes of March 28th and April 10th open discussion and executive session. – motion approved and passed after edit made to the April 10th open session.
  2. Public Comments. – no public comments
  3. Battery storage policy update. – Lisa asked to table this conversation and discuss with solar rates and battery incentives.  This topic will be tabled until the next meeting.  

Joe said he is reaching out to other municipals about battery storage.  Joe said he met with the wire inspectors in town. Purpose was to discuss the MMLD using the system they use which searches permits to determine who takes out solar, battery, generator or EV permits.  It will be public record.   MMLD is looking for automatic pushes to their system.  Jean Jacques said we should be pushing people for the incentives.    Adam 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.  Adam offered to work on this procedure and the document.   Lisa said it makes sense for MMLD to look at permits FIRST before customers begin the process of obtaining solar, battery, generators or EV permits.

  1. Demand charge discussion   Jean-Jacques reported

MMWEC discussed future of grid out to 2050 at their conference on May 3rd, 2023.  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 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.

Jean Jacque 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 pro-active.   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.

  1. Joe Kowalik 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). Greg was in attendance and gave his background and experience.  He mentioned the need to do general maintenance on the systems.  Greg also discussed his staffing.  There was further discussion on his next steps in his new role.

-Brown School solar project EV update   Joe 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 on Monday, May 30th 

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:15 p