TOWN OF RUTLAND
Howard Burgess, William Matteson, Charles Vajda, Andrew McKane, Jerry Stearns and Raymond Leonard
Mr. Tim Upton and Kirk Shields, of Green Mountain Power Corp., met with the Commissioners regarding a 2.3 mega-watt solar generation site proposed for the former Rutland City Landfill location.
Mr. Upton said the application to the Public Service Board (PSB) will be filed on or about June 5th 2013. He said once the application has been filed the Town could participate in the hearing and could make recommendations to the application.
Mr. Upton said the only permit they will need for the project is a storm water permit and a certificate of Public Good from the PSB. Mr. Matteson said most people would be most concerned with the aesthetics. He said people are afraid it will affect them negatively with the value of their property.
Mr. Shields told the Commissioners GMP is presently citing solar projects on lands that have little value for use or construction. He cited the solar project on Cleveland Avenue in the City of Rutland and the proposed project for the landfill site. He said GMP does not want to put solar where it does not make sense or where the land could be developed. Mr. Shields said solar panels have a life of 25 years.
Mr. Shields said the proposed project will be the largest solar generator in Vermont. Mr. Shields said they are presently completing the design and engineering for the project. Mr. Shields said it could take up to 10 months to receive a permit from the PSB.
Mr. Leonard questioned if the project would be visible to Town residents. Mr. Upton said he would leave maps to view. He said if the Commissioners have any concerns they should contact GMP.
Mr. Upton said a 2 mile radius was considered regarding visibility issues. Mr. Upton explained how the study was completed. Mr. Upton said the PSB will consider whether the panels are an undue adverse impact.
Mr. Upton said the proposed project would have a minimal affect on Town properties. He said an individual would have a hard time seeing the panels when driving on Gleason Road.
Mr. Upton said the residents on Bo's Place would be able to see the panels from their properties. He said people will see the panels but that the panels would not interfere with their view. Mr. Upton said the project will be fenced.
Mr. Shields said up to 500 kilo-watt (KW) can be considered a net meter project. He said most projects for net metering are between 100 and 150 KW range. Mr. Shields said 5 KW is the size of a typical residential net metering project. Mr. Shields said 20 to 24 panels would produce 5 KW.
Mr. Vajda asked where the panels are made. Mr. Shields said most panels are made in China. Mr. Shields said the Cleveland Avenue panels were made in the USA. He said due to cost the panels for the proposed site will be from China.
Mr. Burgess asked what happens to the panels in 25 years. Mr. Shields said GMP would simply pick up their panels and go home. He said the panels can be recycled.
Mr. Shields said in 25 years the panels would be producing 20 % less power due to decreased efficiency of the panels. Mr. Shields said the panels degrade about .5 % to 1 % per year.
Mr. Shields told the Commissioners that there are two types of net-metering. He said they are net-metering and group net-metering. He said under group net metering individuals can build projects up to 500 KW projects and can attract customers to attract capital or enter into lease agreement with the developer to have a certain about of the array output assigned to their electric account. Mr. Upton said the program is like the cow-power program.
Mr. Upton said the Town can file recommendations with the PSB seven days prior to GMP applying for a certificate of public good. Mr. Upton said the Town would have to file at least seven days prior to June 3, 2013.
Mr. Burgess presented a letter from Mr. Jay Grimes, Director of The Meadows, requesting a letter stating the Town does not have zoning regulations. Mr. Burgess made a motion to write a letter of support for the project. Mr. Vajda made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Stearns moved to close the meeting. Mr. McKane made a second to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
William T. Matteson