The town is jumping from having no solar PV arrays at all, to soon having two, and potentially three (if town meeting agrees on Monday).
- Waste Water Treatment Plant – The 237KW solar array at the Waste Water Treatment Plant is already constructed and scheduled to start electricity generation following the ribbon cutting next Thursday at 10AM.
- Public Safety Building – The new Public Safety Building was designed for a roof mounted solar array, but installing it was not part of the original bids due to concerns over adding to the costs. That array was previously going forward as a 63KW roof mounted solar array, funded via a change order, spending some of the construction savings, until the state recently allowed the its incentives to run out, at which time that array was put on hold. When the state legislation recently extended the state incentives, the economies of that array became attractive again, so that array has again been put on track to proceed as a change order to the original contract, spending some of the unexpended contingency monies to do that installation.
- DPW Garage – The DPW Garage was designed solar ready, and the Energy Committee has been looking at doing a 150KW solar array there too, but that plan was also held in abeyance by the state allowing its incentives to expire, making the return on solar PV arrays less attractive. There is $240,000 of appropriated monies left over from the solar array at the WWTP, the cost of which came in a lot under budget, and those monies are the subject of the ATM article 24 – to allow the transfer of those funds to be used for a solar PV array on the Garage. However, the estimated cost of the Garage solar array is $383,000, so the project was about $150,000 short. Mike Sullivan and Martha Festa, the Warrant Committee chair, yesterday crafted a solution, an amendment to the operating budget at the ATM, as the mechanism to obtain those monies at this late date, which can allow the Garage solar array to proceed.
The timing of the Public Safety Building and DPW Garage solar projects is important because the state incentives are going to change at the end of 2017, making the economics of such solar arrays less advantageous – so because of the recent legislative changes, it became a do it now or not at all proposition.