Versailles looks into supporting renewable energy


By Meladi Brewer

VERSAILLES — Versailles looks into supporting renewable energy.

The Versailles Village Council met with AMP (American Municipal Power) to discuss their EcoSmart Choice Program and possibly supporting renewable energy. Village Administrator Kyle Francis said he had been reached out to by the larger companies in the area about potentially purchasing renewable energy.

“We have been in discussions on and off for about a year with AMP,” Francis said. “We have a very diverse portfolio.”

About 25 percent of the village’s current portfolio is currently renewable energy, but the village sells renewable energy credits to help customers overall in their power supply cost.

“If a customer wishes to have green energy on their bill whether that be a residential customer down the street or a larger industrial customer, this program allows them to get that credit or the ability to have that renewable energy supplied,” Francis said.

Corey Hawkey, Director of Member Programs and Sustainability, advised Versailles has been a member of AMP since 1974. AMP is always looking for a way to expand and better their business, so adding renewable energy is a priority. Their EcoSmart Choice Program will also be a renewable energy certificate.

“When the renewable energy is generated, there is the power that goes to buildings, but with that comes the attributes. It is the green attributes in this case, so the renewableness of that power,” Hawkey said.

He said RECs can offest the nonrenewable energy. By purchasing one REC, a customer will have one Mwh use of renewable energy.

“By doing so, you can say you have renewable power,” Hawkey said. “We try to buy RECs that are at a higher standard than others, but we also try and buy RECs from areas that are members are in.”

Lately the renewable energy RECs have mainly stemmed from wind power, but they can also come from landfill gas, solar, hydro, and more. There will be no cost to Versailles to offer the program, and it can be available to all types of village customers.

“Your customers can offset a percentage of their electric usage with the RECS: 25, 50, 75, or 100 percentages are all the recommendations,” Hawkey said.

For the village to obtain this power, the minimum cost would be four tenths of a cent per kwh that would be tacked on to a customer’s bill; however, Hawkey said the village could charge a different rate to offset administrative costs.

How it works is there will be an agreement made, marketing materials will be sent, and a quarterly reporting template will be given as well. From there customers could register on the website at

“Some of our members want to be out there and boasting about it and getting every possible entity to sign up, and others want to ease into it. It is entirely up to you,” Hawkey said.

A quarterly report stating how many Kwh are being utilized each quarter within the program, and from there AMP will send out an invoice.

“This is arguably one of the main selling points for your customers because they do not have to do anything,” Hawkey said. “We are taking the burden to go out, buy the RECs, get the certifications, and retire them/do all the paperwork.”

Members will get an annual report on all the RECs bought, Kwh utilized, and unspent funds will be returned back to the Village through a sustainability grant. AMP is a nonprofit, so any any money they do not spend on the administration of purchasing RECs or the RECs cost themselves will be given back for any community project the Village deem fit.

Hawkey said it is easy for customers to sign up by either filling out a form online or by receiving a postcard in the mail within the village utility bill that month. In 2024 AMP has 16 members partaking in the program, and they have returned nearly $263,952.36 back to the customers.

“We have 975 customers partaking, and we have over 157,000 Mwh enrolled. Last year we had about a 20 percent increase in KWh enrolled,” Hawkey said.

A lot of businesses are are looking into renewable energy, and Hawkey says this is one of the easiest ways to obtain it. AMP hopes this provides a way to effectively and efficiently provide renewable energy to customers.

“So one of the things, just to try and explain it, we do earn renewable energy credits right now. We have solar and we have hydro,” Francis said.

Francis said they sell those as part of the village’s power portfolio, and the village is making more by selling the RECs off as part of their portfolio.

“It is cheaper to buy the RECs back than if we wanted to count our own RECs towards these goals,” Francis said.

There are two different markets for RECs. One is a compliance which is what AMP sells the RECs into, and they shop them out to get the highest value possible to get the money back in the form of reduced rates. The Voluntary REC market is where AMP is buying the green EcoSmart Choice which is a lot less costly.

“Some of that are the states are requiring these power companies to have so much renewable energy,” Francis said.

He said that is where AMP has been at the forefront of this movement regarding renewable resources. Francis said hydro produces energy 24/7, 365 days a year as long as the water is moving through the river, so it is a great renewable energy credit to sell in the open market.

“We are selling that back because it is helping keep out power costs competitive and keep it down for our customers in general,” Francis said.

This choice would not be limited to large corporations. Residents who wish to move to 100 percent renewable energy would also be able to partake in the program.

“The general consensus for our customers overall is they want to have an affordable power source,” Francis said.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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