Town to Explore Solar Panels for Electricity
The town manager will explore a contract with Syncarpha's solar power facility in Bolton.
Selectmen last night agreed to allow the town to enter into a contract to purchase electricity generated by solar panels at a facility in Bolton. The town is expected to save $132,000 by buying the discounted electricity.
Cliff Chapman of Syncarpha said the the solar power facility will be built on leased land in Bolton. The electricity generated will tie into the grid, Chapman said, and Syncarpha is looking to sell the electricity to the town of Chelmsford at a 25% discount through a power-purchase agreement.
"You'll get an offset on your bill," said Chapman. " ... It's a deal I'd do all day long."
The town will have to enter into a long-term contract with Syncarpha, Champman said, in order to receive the power.
Town Manager Paul Cohen said he projects $132,000 in savings for the town in the first year, and about $2.5 million over 20 years. Cohen said Town Counsel is reviewing the contract on behalf of the town.
"The ($2.5 million) is a projection because it depends on what happens in electricity market," he said. Cohen said the town is a huge consumer of electricity, as opposed to the town of Bolton, which is not purchasing electricity from Syncarpha.
"Bolton doesn't have that electricity consumption," he said. "They're a community of 5,000. They don't use a fraction of what (Chelmsford) uses."
Chapman said he hopes construction of the facility will begin at the end of the year at the Bolton orchards gravel pit site. Construction could take three to five months, he said, though all local permits have already been approved.
Cohen said he hopes the deal will be finalized by the end of the month. Selectmen agreed to allow the town manager to enter into the contract on behalf of the town, pending Town Counsel's review.