Town Meeting

Islesboro approves solar panel project for Town Office

By Ben Holbrook | May 09, 2017

Islesboro — Residents in town approved  a proposal May 6 to install solar panels on the Town Office roof in an effort to reduce expenses.

Installing solar panels on town-owned buildings has been a topic of discussion for some time, Town Manager Janet Anderson said, with an initial plan to put such a facility at the transfer station. However, the cost to do so was prohibitive and officials instead looked putting panels on the roof of the Town Office, which also houses Public Safety and the Health Center.

The 145-panel installation is expected to generate more than 55,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, equal to about 87 percent of the building's demand and 60 percent of the town's total energy use. According to a draft power purchase agreement from ReVision Investments — a division of ReVision Energy — the panels will cost about $115,000 to install; however, there is no upfront cost to the town because ReVision will finance, build, own and operate the system for a term of six to 25 years.

Anderson said a ReVision representative attended the May 6 town meeting to explain the proposal and answer any questions from the 118 residents in attendance. After discussing the project, which did not generate any questions, residents approved the project.

Other Waldo County towns — Belfast and Lincolnville — have similar agreements with ReVision. In Belfast, city officials approved an agreement to install solar panels on the fire station and to put an array on a former landfill.

In Lincolnville, ReVision installed a solar panel array next to the town's fire station that is expected to meet the energy needs of town buildings, according to published reports.

Included in the contract is an option for Islesboro to purchase the solar panel system after six years or it can extend the power purchase agreement with two five-year extensions. The cost to purchase the system after six years is estimated to be $62,582.

The town will purchase all power generated by the system at a cost of $0.0909 per kWh for the first two years and then the price will increase 2.5 percent after the second year.

ReVision estimates is will take three to four months to install the system once a power purchase agreement is signed.

Anderson said residents spent about 3 1/2 hours working through the 48-article warrant without making any amendments to the articles.

Election results

Arch Gillies and Hanna Kerr were re-elected to three-year terms as selectmen. Both candidates ran unopposed.

John Gorham was re-elected to the school board and Chloe Joule was newly elected to the seat formerly held by Mike Boucher, who did not seek re-election.

 

Comments (1)
Posted by: KERYN LAITE | May 10, 2017 07:30

Congratulations to the town of Islesboro................this is a great decision.



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