Rutland Town has signed an option to lease agreement with a Waterbury-based solar company.
The Select Board voted 4-0 to sign the agreement with Green Lantern Solar at the board’s Nov. 12 meeting.
Green Lantern Solar approached the board in the spring to talk about leasing town property to build a 150- to 500-kilowatt solar array. The proposal was referred to the board’s Energy Committee, which worked with Ralph Meima, director of development at Green Lantern Solar, on the option to lease agreement, which the committee approved.
“We’ve had long discussions with you folks about this. I’m glad we got to this point,” said Select Board Chairman Joshua Terenzini.
He said he still has some concerns about how the project will be screened from view, but said the Energy Committee can likely address that going forward.
The agreement contemplates Green Lantern Solar leasing 1 acre of land in Northwood Park, over the capped landfill.
“The Town of Rutland will and (Green Lantern Solar) shall work together in good faith to negotiate a 25-year Lease Agreement — or other term length, as mutually deemed appropriate — with renewal options, each for five years, provided that the parties mutually agree. The Lease Agreement shall be subject to terms and conditions mutually agreeable to both parties, with an anticipated annual lease rate for years 1-10 of $3,500 for the 150 kW solar array, an annual lease rate for years 11-20 of $4,000, and rates for extensions of the lease to be negotiated by mutual agreement,” reads item five of the option.
The option to lease agreement requires Green Lantern Solar to deposit $1,000 with the town. Also, the town can buy net-metering credits from the project, and after seven years has the option to buy the project, though it’s not required to do so.
The project will need to apply for a certificate of public good from the Public Utility Commission.
“I just want to say, we look forward to working with you,” said Meima, adding that Green Lantern is seeing several solar projects on municipal land come together.
“We’re almost to the point of turning on almost identical arrays in Wilmington, Dover and Pownal, and there’s one that’s been operating for about a year in Newfane, and we’re beginning to sort of connect the dots and see this as a major area of our business,” he said. “It’s not just in this county, it’s in several more.”
Green Lantern Solar contemplated a project in Pittsford as well, according to Pittsford Town Manager John Haverstock, who informed the Pittsford Select Board at its meeting Wednesday of a letter he received from the company.
Haverstock said the project is in its earliest stages and is being proposed on land owned by Rick Colburn.
He said he’s forwarded the Green Lantern letter to Zoning Enforcement Officer, Jeff Biasuzzi, as well as to the chairman and co-chairman of the Planning Commission.
“It’s very early in the process. We just got the first letter, there’s no official filings yet,” Haverstock said.