Pittsford: Solar project gets a green light
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | June 20,2014
PITTSFORD — The Select Board signed off on a community solar project at its meeting Wednesday — a deal that will save the town 20 percent on its annual electric bill.
Green Lantern Capital intends to construct a 500-kilowatt solar farm on private property off Kendall Hill Road and Route 7.
“Green Lantern will provide the town energy savings, as measured against its non-streetlight electric bills, of 20 percent,” Town Manager John Haverstock told the board.
Haverstock said the 20 percent savings to the town are in addition to the savings it will realize from retrofitting town buildings with energy-efficient lighting through Efficiency Vermont.
Under the 20-year agreement, the town becomes the anchor customer — or off taker — of the solar power produced. Because municipalities and schools cannot take advantage of the federal tax credits for solar projects, those credits flow to Green Lantern Capital, which will foot the $1.7 million to $1.8 million project cost.
The board also agreed to send a letter to the Public Service Board, which has final say over the project. The board unanimously agreed to support the project, but at the suggestion of Haverstock, the board did strike the word “strongly” from the draft letter.
The board also waived its 45-day waiting period, which allows Green Lantern to keep to its construction schedule.
At his presentation to the board in April, Luke Shullenberger of Green Lantern Capital said the company had signed a purchase-and-sale agreement for a five-acre parcel off Kendall Hill Road.
The parcel is owned by Carmella Carter and sits several hundred feet back from Route 7.
Shullenberger had initially offered the town savings of 10 percent but the town was able to negotiate better terms with the Waterbury company, which agreed to double the guaranteed savings from 10 percent to 20 percent.
The town’s annual Green Mountain Power bill is $49,000, of which $20,000 is street lighting. The discount offered by Green Lantern applies to the $29,000 for the town offices, highway garage and fire station but not street lighting, which is not eligible for net metering credits.
Haverstock told the board the town will investigate installing LED street lights as a way to further save on the town’s power bill.
The town expects to save more than $5,000 on its electric bill, Haverstock said in an email Thursday.
Because town government would only absorb approximately 25 percent of the solar power generated, Green Lantern is seeking to sign up other customers, including the Lothrop School.
If the PSB approves, the solar array could be built and generating power by the fall.
In other business, the board:
Approved revisions to its 40-year old sewer ordinance. The changes take place 60 days after public notice is posted.
Awarded a paving bid of $317,521 to Pike Industries. The bid was the lowest of three bids. The next lowest bid was D&F Excavating & Paving for $332,000; Wilk Paving came in with a bid of $353,000.
Fuel bids were awarded to Mac’s for heating oil and diesel. Mac’s submitted a low price of 10 cents a gallon over its rack price or cost during the season for both fuels. Mac’s current fuel oil price is $3.148 a gallon; on-road diesel is $3.18 a gallon.
Proctor Gas was the low propane bidder with a fixed price of $1.795 a gallon.