Renewable energy provider Clean Currents discontinues service

Silver Spring company hurt by rising electricity prices in cold snap

  • Gary Skulknik was the co-founder and president of Clean Currents.
Gary Skulknik was the co-founder and president of Clean Currents. ( Jed Kirschbaum / Baltimore…)
January 31, 2014|By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun

Clean Currents, a Silver Spring-based provider of renewable energy for residents and businesses, said Friday it has stopped serving customers after rising wholesale electricity prices in the recent cold snap caused the company to default on payments to its supplier, electricity grid operator PJM Interconnection.

Customers, including 6,000 residential and 2,000 commercial, will not see interruptions in service, said Gary Skulnik, co-founder and president. Customers will be returned to their utility service effective immediately and will see the change reflected on one of the next two bills.

"This all happened very rapidly," Skulnik said. "Obviously this is not the way we would have hoped things would have happened, but this polar vortex and extended cold weather sent the electricity market into an extreme situation. Prices were through the roof and beyond anything we could afford to cover."

Skulnik started the company, which sold wind generated power, in the summer of 2006. It had 19 employees and will be winding down over the next few weeks, he said. Skulnik said he still believes the future is bright for companies that buy renewable energy.

"We showed there was a demand for clean energy," he said. "People want a solution for climate change."

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