The Town voted to authorize the Town Manager to begin the planning process for the purposes of installing a utility-grade solar energy facility and supplying solar energy to Concord per Article 64.
The Solar Committee was formed to evaluate available Town land (with requirements of a 10-12 acre parcel on Town-owned land) to enter into a long-term lease and with a developer who would build a solar plant. The Solar Committee is performing site assessments involving the Town properties at the Wastewater Treatment Plant site on Bedford Street and at the former “Ammendolia land” on Old Bedford Road.
Adding Solar to Concord Light's Energy Portfolio
Solar can be a viable, renewable energy resource for Concord; other renewable resources such as hydro and wind are not good candidates to be built in Concord. The large-scale solar system will provide up to 2 megawatts of electricity directly to Concord. By adding in-town solar energy to its portfolio, Concord Light can take some of the summer peak off the grid, lower our carbon footprint, reduce electric transmission cost, and help delay expanding the Forest Ridge substation.
RFP and Bids Process
The Solar Committee has held multiple meetings to date and will be issuing an RFP in August to determine price per kWh for energy produced by the solar plant. As the Committee worked through the site reviews, they determined that it would be more appropriate to focus on how much land is actually available between the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Ammendolia land for this use.
The proposals open on September 10th, 2010, at which point Concord Light and the Town Manager will review the proposals and determine if the vendors meet the specifications and qualifications required, and then a review of the price proposals from qualified vendors will be completed.
The Committee has determined that it would make more sense to get a price proposal from prospective vendors before holding the public hearing. If after proposals are reviewed, it is determined that the cost is too high (price per kWh), then the recommendation would be to not move forward with a purchase power agreement.
If the proposals are acceptable, then a recommendation from the Solar Committee will be given to the Board of Selectmen for the public hearing on September 27th, 2010.
In the public hearing, the Board of Selectman will determine if there is no other site which is readily available and better than the two sites being considered (Ammendolia and the Wastewater Treatment Plant). If no other sites are identified, then the vote on Article 64 allows the Town Manager to award the lease to the lowest bidder.