Energy Committee Minutes 3-28-19

Energy Committee Minutes 3-28-19




The Energy Committee of the Rutland Town Select Board met at 6:00 PM on Thursday March 28th at the Municipal Town Hall. Present was Board Member Joseph Denardo, Board Member JP Faignant, Board Member Mary Ashcroft, Administrative Assistant Bill Sweet, Ralph Meima from Green lantern Solar.

  • Meima was present to discuss the feasibility of Green Lantern Solar building a solar array in Rutland Town for the town to own or purchase power from at a discounted rate.
    1. A question was brought up if voter approval would be required to spend money to build a solar array. An answer was not immediately determined but would be determined if the project would be moving forward.
    2. Faignant and Mr. Denardo discussed with Mr. Meima what brought us to the meeting today, including reviewing the proposals already received.
    3. Meima asked how much out annual power bills add up to, it was estimated to be $35,000.
    4. Discussed the solar array currently installed at the town school.
    5. Discussed installing an array on the Town owned landfill site.
      1. Green Lantern has installed arrays on landfill sites in Newfane, Cambridge, Dover, Starksboro, Underhill and 3 in Pownal. All are 150KW sites.
    6. Discussed the need to be in proximity to a 3 phase power line. Mr. Meima indicated this array would not necessarily need 3 phase power lines.
    7. Reviewed various options to pay for an array
      1. A buy out option after a pre-determined number of years
      2. 3rd party financing
  • Purchasing net metering credits at a 10% discount, which could result in a 12% to 15% discount in the power bill.
  1. Owning the array would allow for the benefit of the full net metering discount.
  2. A town owned 150KW array would cost between $550,000 and $650,000 to build
  3. Building any array on the landfill will require a post closure certification
  1. During the first 10 years a fixed net metering value is guaranteed with an adjustment
    1. After 10 years the adjustment would be gone and the discount would be related to the flat residential rate.
  2. The discounted rate with an array receiving its certificate of public good PRIOR to July 1st, 2019 is $.1941 / KWH.
  3. The discounted rate with an array receiving its certificate of public good AFTER July 1st, 2019 is $.1841 / KWH.
  4. Reviewed the decommissioning process
    1. There would be requirements built in to the permits and lease agreements
    2. A 150KW array is estimated to cost $15,000 to decommission.
  • The owner of the array at the end of its life is legally required to decommission the site.
  1. Meima reviewed some of the arrangements other towns have.
    1. He discussed that there are a variety of situations including that some are just land owners, some are end users of the power and some are mixed.
  2. Our specific scenario would be one where the town was both the owner of the land the array is built on and an end user. If the town was to own the array outright, the payback timeline would be approximately 15 years. After that time the town would not receive a bill for electricity usage.
  3. The is a 25 year warranty on the panels and users could expect up to 70% or more output after 35 years.
    1. Panels lose approximately one half of one percent of productivity per year.
  4. Reviewed the various items which would be included in a proposal from Green Lantern.
  5. Discussed the method for constructing an array on a landfill site. Cement ballast blocks would be used in place of poles to ensure the cap is not punctured.
  6. Meima told the committee that in all of his experience 2 models stand out as the most common.
    1. Turn Key
    2. Group Net Metering run by Green Lantern Solar
  7. As panels reach the end of their life with effective output, reviewed options for replacing the panels on the stands rather than taking down the entire array.
    1. Retrofitting with new panels would certainly be possible.
  8. Discussed options for an onsite battery storage system.
    1. A new program has just started with Green Mountain Power to encourage entities to bring their own device.
    2. Mr. Meima can give options for that later on after a site visit is done.
  9. Discussed what would happen in the event the array went offline.
    1. Options for what would happen would be covered in the contract.
    2. The contract would include a cause for non-performance that at 180 days of being offline the contract would terminate.
  10. Meima will put together a proposal and email it to Bill to provide to the committee.


There being no other business the meeting adjourned at 6:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted Mr. Bill Sweet.