Cumberland-York Aggregation Coalition
(from Maine Townsman, January 2000)
by Robert Devlin, Cumberland County Manager’s Office

Over 50 towns, school districts and utility districts have signed on as members of the Cumberland – York Aggregation Coalition (CYAC). These members are currently planning to participate in an RFP for a group purchase option in Maine’s new deregulated electrical market.

The CYAC was formed two years ago to give municipal governments and local utility districts the opportunity to pool their electrical load in order to compete in the market place for the best available price. This effort, initiated by Cumberland County Commissioner Esther Clenott (former Councilor and Mayor of Portland) has resulted in a diverse group of communities working towards a common goal.

Critical to their effort is not only the number of communities that are part of the Coalition but the energy profile they can offer to the electric power brokers. CYAC counts among its members 13 of Maine’s most populated communities including Bangor and Portland as well as the smaller communities of Long Island and Hiram. At this point, the Coalition represents communities with a population base of approximately 340,000. This is a bit above a quarter of the population of the State of Maine. The public facilities that are needed to support this population are an important selling point as CYAC prepares to market our electrical load to bidders.

A number of members have emphasized the importance of the formation of the coalition itself. Beyond the possibility of a cost savings, the fact that a diverse group of municipalities, counties, school districts and utility districts have formed a unified force to address an issue of common concern could lead to cooperative efforts in other areas of mutual interest.