A MESSAGE from the General Manager
For Braintree Electric Light Department, 2009 was a year of transition. After five years of planning, permitting, constructing, and commissioning the Thomas A. Watson Generating Station, BELD completed the project on schedule and on budget in June 2009. This intense period of time—which required the participation of many of our employees—has ended, allowing our business to return to relative normal.
On the electric delivery front, after four years of rising energy costs caused by weather disruptions (Hurricane Katrina) and other world events, prices finally came down significantly in 2009. The falling prices coupled with the completion of the Thomas A. Watson Generating Station allowed BELD to twice reduce our energy charge to our customers. As we continue to hedge our power supply going out over the next five years, we’re confident we will continue to be able to keep our electric rates low.
The Broadband business is competing head on with Comcast and Verizon. We continue to have the pleasure of serving our loyal customers, many of whom now take advantage of our triple play service, which includes digital cable, High-Speed Internet and phone. While our pricing is extremely competitive with other providers in the market, our ability to match their advertising dollars is limited. As a result we lost a number of customers during 2009.
I am excited about the future of Braintree Electric as we move into 2010. We are in the middle of a major transmission upgrade project and are adding a second transformer to our Station 8 (Churchill) substation located behind the South Shore Plaza. Our interest in renewable energy continues to grow as we participate in more renewable energy projects. In addition to our solar array, a contract for hydroelectric power is set to commence in March of 2010, and we are considering a significant investment in a wind turbine project located in the State of Maine.
William G. Bottiggi