Energy Committee Minutes 6-17-2020
RUTLAND TOWN SELECT BOARD
ENERGY COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY JUNE 17th, 2020
The Energy Committee of the Rutland Town Select Board met at 9:00 AM on Wednesday June 17th, 2020 at Northwood Park. Present was Board Chair Joshua Terenzini, Board Clerk Mary Ashcroft, Board Member John Paul Faignant, Board Member Joe Denardo, Town Administrative Assistant Bill Sweet, Town Road Commissioner Byron Hathaway, Town Rec Director Mike Rowe and Kris Carter from Green Mountain Power
The committee met to discuss the proposed solar array at Northwood Park. The latest proposal from the developer, Green Lantern Solar, was for overhead wiring requiring power poles to be installed, there are currently no poles in the park.
Ms. Carter said overhead poles for 3-phase power, which is required for a 150 KW array, raises the project cost between $10,000 and $15,000. There would also need to be an upgrade to the pad transformer near the pool allowing for an outgoing connection.
The project originally called for single phase power; the developer requested the upgrade to 3-phase. GMP suggested an underground connection to Green Lantern as a lower cost option. There would need to be a new vault constructed, which is customer supplied, at a cost for around $4000 to $6000. Ms. Carter had sent estimates for various option to Green Lantern Solar.
Mr. Faignant asked if the array can be serviced by single phase power. Ms. Carter said the largest array for single phase is a 100 KW system. Green Lantern is proposing a 150 KW array. It was noted that there is a financial increase in income for a 3-phase power system. Ms. Carter said the cost for underground power was less than the cost of poles.
Ms. Carter said there is already 3-phase power in the salt shed and the transfer station and could be used to connect to an array. Several options were communicated to Green Lantern by Ms. Carter.
Mr. Faignant asked if the town wanted to construct a 100 KW array if a single-phase system would work. Ms. Carter said that it would. Mr. Faignant asked if the town wanted to construct its own array, would that be possible. Ms. Carter said yes it would. For a single-phase system Ms. Carter said a connection could be made at the Highway garage and then connected under the road to the array location. This would be the easiest option.
The committee decided they will need to meet with Green Lantern Solar in the near future.
Ms. Carter said a 50 KW array could be installed on the roof of the transfer station in addition to a 100 KW array on the landfill site which would be a better option than a single 150KW array.
If the town develops the system on our own, we will not have the income from the rent, but would receive the return on the power generation which in the long run would be better. Ms. Carter said the Stafford Technical Center has a solar program which could help with the maintenance on the system.
The committee discussed other buildings in the park that solar panels could be installed on. The salt shed, pool building, and storage building were all discussed. This could be done in stages and each building would have to be reviewed for structural support capability.
The committee will meet again soon and discuss a list of alternatives to present to Green Lantern Solar to see if they are interested in modifying the installation.
Rob Stubbins Electric was suggested as a possible contractor to discuss building a town owned array.
Energy credits were discussed, the town can allocate our credits to any of our accounts and could donate some giving a possible tax benefit.
The committee will meet in the next several days to review what they would like to present to Green Lantern Solar.
There being no other business the meeting adjourned at 9:30 AM.
Respectfully submitted, Bill Sweet