Energy Committee Minutes 6-2-2020

Energy Committee 6-2-2020



TUESDAY JUNE 2nd, 2020

The Energy Committee of the Rutland Town Select Board met at 1:00 PM on Tuesday June 2nd, 2020 via a publicly published conference call line. Present was Board Clerk Mary Ashcroft, Board Member John Paul Faignant, Board Member Joe Denardo, Town Administrative Assistant Bill Sweet and Ralph Meima of Green Lantern Solar.

The committee discussed the proposed development of a 150kw solar array at Northwood Park.

  1. Ralph Meima provided the committee members with some maps of area of Northwood Park where the solar array was proposed to be located, on the capped landfill, and some alternates.
  2. Mr. Meima reviewed the history of the project up to the current status.
    1. The project, as it is currently proposed, is not economically feasible to complete.
    2. Discussed some of the costs involved including site work, post closure amendments and electrical infrastructure upgrades.
    3. Options were looked at to reduce costs but nothing substantial was found.
  3. Mr. Meima discussed alternatives for a larger 500kw array on a different part of Northwood Park which would allow of a larger array to be installed.
    1. The alternate locations would largely disrupt the disc golf course.
  4. Ashcroft asked Mr. Meima about the advantages of using the capped landfill site for the approval process. Mr. Meima indicated there are benefits due to it being a preferred site status but pointed out that most all sites need to be preferred now.
  5. Ashcroft and Mr. Faignant indicated there would likely not be much support for locating the project in any other area of the park.
  6. Ashcroft brought up the parcel the school just acquired as an alternative site. Mr. Denardo stated he would not be able to support clearing trees to replace them with a solar array.
  7. Denardo asked if the power lines could run overhead to connect to the existing power infrastructure would that make the difference in the cost and allow the project to move forward as originally planned. Mr. Meima indicated he felt this would make a difference but would need to discuss with other people on the project. It should require no more than 2 poles.
  8. Ashcroft said the Act 250 permit would need to be reviewed to see if underground power lines are required or if an amendment would be needed. She stated Bill Burke would be the best person to contact. At the request of Mr. Faignant, she will call him to discuss this with him.
  9. Denardo asked about some other land the town owns at the end of Park Street. It is currently undeveloped. Mr. Denardo asked if that would be a possible alternate site if Northwood Park could not be used. Mr. Faignant indicated he would like to work through using Northwood Park first.
  10. Mr.Meima stated he should e able to have a response on the alternate overhead wires this week. Mr. Faignant asked him to follow up with Mr. Sweet with the answer.
  11. Ashcroft stated these would be issues no matter what developer was used.

There being no other business the meeting adjourned at 1:25 PM. Respectfully submitted, Bill Sweet