Category Archives: Energy Committee

MEC annual report

MEC

Medfield Energy Committee

2017 Annual Report

To the Honorable Selectmen and residents of Medfield

 

The Medfield Energy Committee (MEC) was chartered by the Select Board in 2008 to help the Town reduce energy consumption and operating costs.  We have been making steady progress on reducing energy use and supporting generation of renewable energy.

 

The MEC would like to thank Fred Bunger, past Chair of the Committee since 2015 for all his hard work and accomplishments and welcome Lee Alinsky as the new Chair.  We also would like to thank Jerry McCarty, the Town Facilities Director, who has taken over the tasks of Andrew Seaman, the former Town Energy Manager, and who is helping the committee with energy planning and implementation for the Town in addition to his other duties as Town Facilities Director.

 

The Town of Medfield tracks energy use through the Massachusetts Energy Insight program.  For fiscal year 2017 (July 2016 to June 2017) the Town used 45,671 MMBTU of energy at the cost of $570,835 for electricity and $99,326 for natural gas, a reduction from fiscal year 2016 of 6.7% in energy use and 12% in cost.

 

The following are the 2017 MEC activities and energy use reductions achieved by the Town.

 

The 281 Kilowatt (kW) solar array installed at the Medfield Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) in 2015 continued to contribute significant savings to the cost of energy. In calendar year 2017, the panels have generated 265,280 kW of electricity, or 49% of electricity use at the WWTP. This generation rate is less than 2016 because in August an inverter failed.  The component was under warranty and was repaired and the system only lost a couple of weeks of peak generation. In addition, the Town collected $68,000 in Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) which made the project cash positive for the year.  Those earnings went into the WWTP Sewer Enterprise Fund.  The savings from the solar array helped reduce the planned water and sewer rate increase from an anticipated 4% to 2%.

 

The WWTP solar project, approved at 2015 Town Meeting, was budgeted at $700,000, but with the fall in the price of solar panels, was completed $268,200 under budget. The surplus was set aside for a solar project on the Department of Public Works (DPW) garage and that project was approved at the 2016 Town Meeting.

 

The Town has been working with Solar Design Associates to update and modify drawings and specifications for the DPW garage solar project public bid. It is anticipated that this site can accommodate a 155 kW solar panel installation.   This project is to be funded from the surplus from the WWTP installation.

 

A 60 kW solar array was installed on the new Public Safety Building in 2016 and electricity from the solar array feeds directly into the building and offsets the building’s total energy usage.  In 2017 the solar array generated 53,559 kW of electricity, 18.5% of the building’s electricity use.

 

At the 2017 Town Meeting, the Town voted to be designated by the Commonwealth as a Green Community and become eligible for grants to implement energy reduction measures in the Town.  The MEC worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) and RISE Engineering to develop a 5 year plan of energy improvements and energy reduction projects to submit to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for approval.  On February 13, 2018 the DOER approved the energy savings measures proposed by Medfield and once contracts are approved for the first year of measures, the DOER will award the Town an initial grant of $146,738. The measures include conversion of school and town building and exterior site parking lights to LED as well as an upgrade of the Blake Middle School Building Management System software, and retro commissioning of the Blake heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  It is anticipated that these upgrades will be completed in 2018 and save the Town approximately $48,000 in annual energy costs.

 

On the residential and commercial side of the Town, the 2016 Medfield’s Solarize Massachusetts Solar Challenge program was a huge success. Marie Nolan was the Medfield Solar Coach and directed the program that encouraged homeowners to install solar panels by offering lower installation costs, as more installations were signed-up.  New England Clean Energy was selected by the Committee as the solar vendor for the Town.  Over the six-month Solarize Medfield program, Medfield residents signed 29 contracts with New England Clean Energy for photovoltaic (PV) systems, which represent 259 kW worth of capacity. Twenty-two systems were installed successfully in 2017 after 7 were installed in 2016.  With these installations, there was an 82% increase in PV capacity compared to Medfield’s residential renewables generation by PV before the program started.

Medfield residents with PV systems are saving on their electric bills, earning green income thorough SRECs, and offsetting carbon emissions.  If residents are already in the SREC program, they will continue to receive 10 years’ worth of SRECs.  SRECs are the positive environmental attributes associated with the energy production that are purchased by retail electricity suppliers –  one SREC is created for every 1-megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity.

At the 2017 Town Meeting, the Town voted to purchase the Town’s 347 street lights from Eversource for $1.00 and convert them to LED.   The Town has hired Lightsmart Energy Consulting to perform a required baseline audit of the street light fixtures.  The MEC is working with the MAPC and Lightsmart Energy Consultants to determine LED light specifications for purchase and installation as well as a maintenance contract.

 

The MEC usually meets on the second Thursday evening of the month at either the Town Garage or at the Public Safety Building.  The public is always invited to attend the meetings, participate in the discussion and offer help in reducing energy consumption in the Town.  Residents interested in becoming a member of the Energy Committee are encouraged to contact the Energy Committee Chair or the Town Administrator.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lee Alinsky, Chair

Penni Conner

Fred Davis

Paul Fechtelkotter

Cynthia Greene

Maciej Konieczny

Marie Nolan

Jerry McCarty, Facilities Director, Ex-Officio

Osler Peterson, Selectman, Ex-Officio

Michael Sullivan, Town Administrator, Ex-Officio

 

 

 

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MEC on 3/15

MEC

DRAFT

MEDFIELD ENERGY COMMITTEE

Meeting 3/15/18

 

Lee Alinsky, Cynthia Greene, Paul Fechtelkotter, Fred Davis, Pete Peterson, Jerry McCarty

  1. Minutes for 2/15 meeting accepted with modification, appreciation to Marie Nolan.
  2. Lee expressed appreciation to all for work on submitting Annual Report, and to Cynthia in particular for her leadership, during his absence last month.
  3. Green Communities – Jerry McCarty
    1. All items sent in to DOER, and approved by them, awaiting authority to proceed
    2. Then will proceed with contract with RISE
      1. Lighting: would take a couple of months. Fred: didn’t review the screw-ins for exterior of library and town hall.
      2. Retro-commissioning at Middle School: software, which is browser-based, gets installed by Trane 2-3 wks; then couple more weeks to adjust; then hand-off to retro-commissioning agent, Stephen Turner Inc.; training would be by Trane, in two segments: one soon and other in fall. Lee suggests the training be scheduled in advance, for whoever might benefit from it. Process will identify: control issues, which will be covered; but also hardware failures, which will require fixing, probably with outside contractor and funds from other than grant. RISE will produce the report of energy savings projected as a result of retro-commissioning work.
      3. Paul: when is next GC cycle? We have to completely spend / finish this set of measures before we can submit for another round.
      4. Next round, a high priority is DHW at Middle School: existing system is heating 2000 gal of water heating, even though we’re only using about 400 gal/day; needs replacing (22 years of a 20-year lifetime); perhaps go to two 100 gal high-efficiency. Fred recommends looking into solar DHW.
      5. High School retro-commissioning did not make it into FY19 budget, but will be, hopefully FY20. We were not given a reason why DOER rejected this; Jerry will ask why. Perhaps the Middle School retro-commissioning results will provide further justification, either to DOER or in town.
      6. Cynthia: we should apply for behavioral training, so that teachers and students gain in awareness.
  4. DPW Solar – Jerry McCarty – Received a proposal from Solar Design Associates (Ashley Deitrich) for ~$27,000, for design work, RFP prep, bid support, systems commissioning. Jerry has asked for clarification, detailed wording, awaiting response. Bid will be in components: base bid (North roof), two alternates (flat South roof, hip Central roof). Permanent Building Committee will look at the construction details. Jerry was a little surprised at price, as SDA had already looked at the building for a design-build bid.
  5. Street Lighting – Jerry McCarty -Jerry still needs to connect with George Woodbury, to ask him for recommendations about fixtures. And ask a few particulars: what if a few new poles or fixtures are needed? And how to ensure that maintenance costs will stay constant (reviewing Franklin situation). Lee: we need to move ahead with all due haste.
  6. Canopy photovoltaics – Lee -Would like to see PV canopies, perhaps on walkway between HS and Middle School, also over parking lots, also with EV chargers in parking lots. Superintendent would like to see a bit more study on this; and watch out for student drivers. There is funding for both EV and PV. Lee will pursue. Cynthia suggests pitching this as an educational opportunity; with a dashboard.
  7. PV on roofs of Middle and HS? Jerry: High School due for a partial roof replacement (over gym etc.), the newer area might be strong enough for PV; Middle School due for roof replacement; roof structure might need strengthening.
  8. Dale Street replacement building: Jerry: when it is time, q would arise: will it be solar? or solar-ready? MSBA, which funds schools, generally will not fund solar either way; Energy Committee would want to weigh in.
  9. Mass Energy Insight: Jerry still filling some in some areas.
  10. Jerry’s 20-year Capital Plan (500+ pages): includes a lot of energy-improvements, for instance improving roof insulation, better windows, HVAC equipment, etc.
  11. Next Meeting: Thursday April 19.

 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Fred Davis.

Medfield officially a Green Community

gca

Medfield is now officially a Green Community

This email from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) this afternoon, forwarded from Mike Sullivan, announces that the Town of Medfield is now an official green community under the state’s Green Communities Act, and we can start spending our $148K DOER grant monies.  The Facilities Director, Jerry McCarthy and the Medfield Energy Committee plan to use those monies on upgrading the outdoor lighting around town buildings and retro-commissioning of the HVAC controls at the Blake Middle School, as those were easy and fast projects, with good rates of return, to get accomplished.  Since, only once we spend all that initial $148K of grant money, we can then apply for further DOER grants, to do more improvements.

=====================================================

From: Pfister, Jane (ENE)
Date: Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 3:20 PM
Subject: MEDFIELD—Green Community Designation Grant — Effective Date
To: “Jerry McCarty
Cc: Mike Sullivan , “Brown, Kelly (ENE)”
Hi Jerry –

 

DOER signed the contract so the town has an effective date (March 23, 2018) and can begin work and obligate funds. The town can proceed with approved measures.

 

Attached is the page one with DOER signature, but when I have the contract back from our fiscal dept. with a contract ID # I will send a scan of the full contract.

 

Progress reports are expected quarterly, see attached for overview of what to include if applicable. Even a brief email is OK to keep me informed.

 

Jane

 

Jane Pfister, Grant Coordinator

Green Communities Division

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114

 

MEC

MEC on 1/11/18

MEC

Minutes of the January 11, 2018 Meeting of The Medfield Energy Committee

 

Attendees:

Lee Alinsky

Fred Davis

Jerry McCarty

Osler L. Peterson

Marie Nolan

Paul Fechtelkotter

Cynthia Greene

Mike Sullivan

Sophie Gustafson (Student, Medfield HS)

 

Meeting minutes taken by Paul Fechtelkotter

 

General

  • Adjusted and corrected minutes of the 2 November meeting. Committee approved as amended. Lee will submit to the town.
  • Marie is still trying to reach Andrew to get permissions to allow the broader committee to edit Google drive documents.

 

Green Communities Grant status – Jerry

  • The state gave us tentative approval for items relative to retro–commissioning and software upgrade at Blake Middle School. The state turned down our request for funding projects at the high school. Jerry is closing issues with Rise Engineering (in conjunction with Trane) to finalize a proposal with a specific dollar value for the Blake project to get the funding approved and released. If approved this project would consume ~$102K of the $146K grant available.
  • Funding for retro-commissioning at the high school will likely come from the town budget.
  • There was a 6 month delay in the DOER approval of the retro commission request.
  • State approved funding request for exterior lighting at both Blake and Memorial. Gerry is looking at lighting projects for additional schools to help consume the remaining funding available from the original grant. Approval should be quick for these projects (~3 weeks).
  • We cannot apply for grants for fiscal 2018 until we have spent this year’s grant funds.
  • The committee agreed to work to start submitting fiscal 2019 projects for review and “pre-approval” to the degree possible.

 

DPW Solar– Gerry

  • We are rebidding the project to consume the ~$267K in remaining funding (~$220K available for construction costs and balance in soft costs). Gerry reached out to Solar Design to define the scope of services necessary to create a phased design to fit within the ~$220K construction budget in a base bid with incrementally phased add-ons.

 

  • The Permanent Building Committee will need to review design documents once they become available.
  • There is the potential of securing additional funds through a warrant at the town meeting if that becomes necessary.
  • Pete said we collected ~$68K through SREC credit and generated ~40% energy savings at the waste water treatment plant, making the project cash positive for the year. The savings helped reduce the planned increase in town water/sewer rates from the anticipated 4% to an actual 2%. We need to highlight these successes in the committee report for town meeting.

 

Street Lighting

  • Mike expressed a desire to understand exactly what is in the Eversource contract and be very clear on what the town is buying and what its responsibilities will be once the town has assumed ownership of the lighting assets.
  • Mike would also like to get a better understanding of the exact cost savings and associated risks. The committee agreed on the need to get a final report from our consultant and then arrange to have him present the findings to the committee.

 

Ne Zero Communities – Fred

  • Fred presented slides from an MAPC Webinar held in late 2017.
  • Multiple towns in MA have already committed to significant carbon and energy reductions.
  • Fred is planning to attend MMA and will report on what happened to the committee.

GCA grant

gca

When Medfield became a green community last year, DOER gave the town a $148K grant to spend on energy reduction projects.  The Medfield Energy Committee, with Facilities Manger, Jerry McCarty’s lead, identified exterior lighting upgrades (to LED’s) at the schools as a good solution to spend some of that grant money.

The MEC just circulated the RISE Engineering analysis of costs and benefits.  Total cost is $118K, Eversource incentive money is $52K, so net cost to town is $65K.  The lighting upgrades are all at schools, and four of five involve ROI pay backs of less than two years (the smallest $7K project at Wheelock had a six year pay back, but still a 16% annual ROI).

Jerry is also looking to upgrade the HVAC controls at both the Medfield High School and Blake Middle School as well.

MEC on 11/2/17

MEC

Medfield Energy Committee

Nov. 2, 2017

 

Attending: Gerry McCarty, Lee Alinsky, Cynthia Greene, Marie Nolan, Pete Peterson, Fred Davis

Minutes by FD, MN

 

Green Communities Funds

 

Total GC grant of $148,000: $110,723 is the RISE quote for retro commissioning of Mid. Sch. & HS (Gerry will re-send that detail). We applied in May; in September, Kelly Brown at DOER asked various q’s; including how we’re going to deal with the rebate program, and what will be identified during retro-commissioning. Within a week, RISE responded; re the latter: excess ventilation, set-points, scheduling. Now we’re waiting for DOER again.

 

In the meantime, Kelly asked on 10/31: what else do we propose to do with the grant funds?

 

GM: since we’ve gotten clarification that an audit is not necessary to replace the Blake water heater,  looked at Table 4, and suggested the outdoor lighting work at Blake and Memorial School parking lots, respectively $18,287 and $16,620; totaling $34,907. RISE provided details on 10/31 for those measures, they match the values in Table 4. FD offered to scrutinize the specs; offhand recommended that the latest thinking in LEDs is to utilize dimming/controls as much as possible; this may include dimming down or turning off in a parking lot, and tuning to desired light levels.

 

This would leave $2300. The full $148,000 must be spent down before applying for next round.

  1. as to when the deadline might be for next round of funds.

 

Google Drive

LA: still un-workable; Marie: will work on it

 

Solar on Roof at DPW

Solar roof loading analysis for DPW defined as parts A, B, and C: we now have a stamped engineering report from Solect’s engineer, EAH Structural Consulting dated 11/29/17, saying “existing roof framing systems are judged to be adequate to withstand the loadings imposed by the installation of the solar panels.” Cost for this was in range of $1000. (HMTB should have done this.)

 

Solar on DPW: original design by Solar Design Associates needs to be re-done; originally it was design-bid-build, a performance specification. There were only two bidders, one didn’t meet DCAM Cert., other was very high, above the budgeted amount. Now we would ask SDA to do firm specs, and ask for base bid and design alternates to cover parts of the roof, to help ensure that we meet the budgeted amount (allotted from DPW budget _____________).

 

 

[At this point, Marie Nolan took over from Fred Davis recording the meeting’s minutes as Fred now began a discussion regarding the LED STREET LIGHTS project.]

 

 

11.2.17 continuation of notes ….

 

Light Smart Energy Consulting (George Woodbury) has offered to meet with MEC, present its report, and walk through the next steps.  FD cannot be at a fixture selection meeting so we may need Woodbury’s help for that.

 

MEC questions posed:

  • How do we reconcile the numbers between the DPRS assessment (utility report) and Woodbury’s field count?
  • Does it affect the $1 price?  No.  George is checking with Eversource on the agreement.
  • Does it change the figures we are going to get? Woodbury will take the counts and recommend substitution.  Ask Light Smart to recommend approach to deciding what wattage to choose if there is a street with several wattages (e.g. lowest or average?)

 

Bottom line – not much change in terms of energy, 11 fewer but higher wattages shown on DPRS (347 on DPRS and 333 in field).  Correct when on S2 rate (town rate), but we are on S1 (Eversource rate).

$20,000 is the maintenance.

 

Questions for Woodbury:

  • Provide an estimate for maintenance contract.
  • Where are other streetlights needed in Town such as at the Pfaff Center, Public Safety building, DPW?
  • Are you going to provide a GIS map of where the lights are?
  • What is the timeline for taking possession of the streetlights?
  • Are old documents still valid?
  • How do we tell Eversource that the count is incorrect?
  • How do we negotiate a change in our bill?   (Need to go to Selectmen when we want to enter into a contract.)
  • How do you choose light color?  Why did Wellesley choose 2,700?
  • How do you correct for glare?  (Often biggest complaint)

 

First step is to set up Woodbury attending MEC meeting. We do not want to own the lights and maintain them before the retrofit. Needs to happen together.

 

Are we doing test lights to decide on color?? Six years ago – 5,000 was norm. Since then, always been 4,000. The past year, some lights are available at 3,000 kelvins and they are still efficient as the higher ones.  Wellesley is choosing 2,700 kelvins (they found efficiency drops between 3,000 to 2,700)

 

We may end up with 4 wattages and 2 types.

Must keep good records and rules of thumb for dial settings at certain locations.

 

Personal preference – Westwood has lights that are 4,000 kelvins.  Newburyport has 3,000.

 

LED – colors will be better under lamps.

 

Lighting has to be SMART control ready.  Do not add it now as expensive .  Woodbury would not recommend controls now because of our size.

 

NEXT MEETING: DEC. 7

 

MEC on 9/29

MEC

DRAFT September 28, 2017 Medfield Energy Committee Meeting minutes

Attendees: Fred Davis, Jerry McCarty, Marie Nolan, Lee Alinsky and Cynthia Greene

  1. Meeting minutes from June 7 were reviewed.  Fred requested a change to the recusal information.  It was noted that since the minutes there is new information about the Blake Middle school hot water heater.  Minutes were accepted and Lee will determine who should receive them at Town Hall so that they are posted on the Medfield Town Website and he will post them on the MEC google docs.
  2. Update on Blake – DOER said that Blake Middle School domestic hot water heater ASHRAE audit for $7,875 is not needed.
  3. We discussed who was officially on the Committee and what constituted a quorum. Lee will check in with Town Hall to determine.
  4. Google documents – Lee could not manipulate the documents. Marie will look at how to give Lee administrative rights.
  5. LED street lights. Fred Davis emphasized that he has recused himself from a specific bid on the LED street lights for Medfield, but he is allowed to help advise us on the process, but not the purchase.

Jerry gave us an email from Light Smart with the status on the project

  • The field audit has been completed
  • Looking at preliminary design
  • Expect a document with the preliminary design in a week.
  • At the next meeting the committee has to approve whether to go with MAPC and receive a 30% incentive from DOER (for Medfield that is $22,400) or to go through an independent process. Light Smart indicated that if we went independently it would be faster as MAPC is doing bundling of town requests.

Fred Davis explained that the process at the MAPC is evolving, that DOER thinks that bundling is better.  The faster we do the work the more time for savings.   The estimated annual savings for the Medfield project is $32,600.  Unless we were significantly delayed (10months or more) it is more cost effective to go with MAPC, although we do not know how much transactional costs there will be with MAPC vs going independently with Light Smart.

The Town must decide on the types of lights and fixtures.   There are two kinds of lights being sold now.   In the past the lights were 5,000 Calvin that emitted a blueish light.   The options now are for 3,000 Calvin, a warmer, yellower light or 4,000 Calvin a neutral, but blueish light.   Medfield could do a pilot as was done in Cambridge and Northampton, to see which light color the community members like.  The way to do this would be for committee members to observe and then let the community know and take opinions.   Northampton did this, but the results were not conclusive.  We also discussed that Westwood and Cambridge have smart controls on their lights, but that is more upfront costs.   Westwood and Cambridge have 4,000 Calvin lights.   Both lights are the same price.

Cambridge video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq2nATNFW7M

Fact sheet  http://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/Files/electricaldepartment/LED-Conversion-Fact-Sheet_FINAL.pdf

Website http://www.cambridgema.gov/Departments/Electrical

Northampton http://www.northamptonma.gov/1706/LED-Streetlights

  1. Green Communities.  Jerry handed out an email received on 9/26/17 with questions from DOER on our May submittal.   Jerry and Axum Teferra, from MAPC, will be discussing the comments.  Jerry will then take the questions to RISE Engineering.  We do not know how long RISE will take to answer and then for DOER to approve the answers and the project.  Jerry will discuss with Axum the timeframe on spending these funds.   The funds have to be spent before the town can apply for further Green Communities grants.  The cost of the retro commissioning for the energy management systems is $117,000 for both schools.   The grant is for $138,000.  Jerry has a $70K request in the Capitol budget  for new software to replace the 1996 version that is currently running in the schools.
  2. DPW roof. Jerry has a contract with Solect engineers to look at the roof and to see if it is structurally adequate for PV.  The engineer’s site visit is next week.  Once Jerry has their report he will give it to the Building inspector to see if the roof is viable for a solar installation or it first would need modifications.
  3. Public safety building. The PV system is up and running.  The dashboard is being worked on.  We will try to meet at the public safety building so we can see the dashboard.

Future Work for the committee.   Lee outlined some of his ideas and others added ideas and all were discussed.

  1. Microgrids for the town buildings.   Cynthia explained that microgrids cannot cross public ways in MA, but that the hospital development might be a good location for a microgrid.  There are state incentives for microgrids.  We all want to be better educated on microgrids.

Sources https://www.energy.gov/articles/how-microgrids-work

http://www.microgridinstitute.org/about-microgrids.html

https://ilsr.org/report-mighty-microgrids/

MA microgrids http://www.masscec.com/microgrids

  1. Use of the landfill site for PV array.  Lee would like us to get MA DEP’s current advice on this as Solar Design has already given us specifications for an array at this location.  If a study is needed to determine the adequacy of the landfill closure for PV, we could investigate if we could use the Green Communities funds to do the study.
  2. Solar canopies at the Middle and High School parking lots with EV charging stations. The town could potentially take advantage of the EV charging station incentives.  Fred suggested that we invite the energy managers from Westwood and Wayland to speak with us as they have done a lot of work in energy improvements, Wayland doing them all at once including PV at their town hall parking lot.  We discussed other places with parking lot PV canopies – REI, Walden Pond, and Logan Airport.

Walden Pond http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/conservation/planning-and-resource-protection/projects/walden-pond-visitor-center-project.html

 

Lincoln http://www.lincolntown.org/DocumentCenter/View/26877

 

  1. Net Zero planning. Fred Davis would like us to consider this at a future meeting.   There is a MAPC Oct 11 meeting on getting to net zero and a 45 minute MAPC webinar.  Concord passed a net zero article at their Town Meeting.

Concord http://www.concordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1604

 

Meeting adjourned 9:15 pm.

Next meeting – Tuesday Oct 17 at 7:30 pm (hopefully at the Public Safety Building.)

Respectfully submitted by Cynthia Greene