Manchester approves potential solar project
By Patrick McArdle
MANCHESTER - On Tuesday, the Select Board voted unanimously to grant a Massachusetts company an option which could result in a 2.2 megawatt solar-powered electricity generation plant on town land but an official with the company said the odds are not good the project will get the state support it needs to move forward.
As of Tuesday, EOS Ventures, of Hancock, Mass., has a three-year option on a piece of land commonly called the “airport land” off of Route 7. If they exercise the option, they will pay the town $50,000 a year to use it for the solar project.
John Guerin, director of energy development for EOS, said the company would need to be propose one of a small number of renewable energy projects supported by Vermont’s Sustainably Priced Energy Development, or SPEED, program for the solar project to move from concept to reality.
“That is going to be, by far, our biggest hurdle. We’re competing for 4.5 megawatts and all other renewable technologies are competing for that 4.5. So ‘Cow Power,’ wind, hydro, bio-gas, landfill gas, we’re all competing,” he said.
All applicants must submit a price for their electricity on a kilowatt hour basis for 25 years. In what is called a “reverse lottery,” the lowest bidders will be chosen.
For the complete story, see Friday's Rutland Herald.