HAVING QUALIFIED FOR GREEN COMMUNITIES FUNDING, the Town is now considering ways it can use those monies (up to $136,920) to help the Town conserve energy. According to Lloyd Crawford, who has taken the lead on the funding application process, while several options are possible, three projects seem most practical and doable in the near future. They are:
|♦||Adding insulation and improving seals on both the Town Office and the Highway Department garage;|
|♦||Upgrading the lighting to a higher effciency level in Town facilities; and,|
|♦||Installing a solar power facility.|
This third item — solar, or photovoltaic (PV) power, has some urgency. Will Cosby, who has begun the Town’s investigation into PV, said at the April 4 Selectboard meeting that one of the key programs that supports PV power will expire for new entrants by the end of 2017. This program mints “SREC’s,” which are certificates issued by the State for every 1000 KwHours generated by a PV system. SREC’s are sold on the PV owner’s behalf through an auction process. Major utilities buy them, as they they can be used as credits against the fines those utilities have to pay for non-compliance with environmental standards. To qualify for the current SREC’s program, the Town would have to have its new PV system in place and operational by 12/31/17.
One participant at the Selectboard meeting commented that, with a large enough PV system in place, and drawing on the SREC program, the Town could not only receive free electricity, but heat and cool the Town Office at no cost, as well.