Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More than 40 Williamstown households interested in community solar project, Nylen says

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Center for Ecological Technology Associate Director Nancy Nylen says more than 40 Williamstown households are interested in possibly becoming co-owners of a "community solar" installation that would allow them to purchase a share of "clean", renewable electricity without having to install equipment on their own property.

Here is Nylen's email today:
Hello and happy Spring!  As the hours of sunlight continue to grow, we are writing to update you on where things are with our Community Solar initiative.

Lots of interest: Approximately 40 households have expressed interest in the project!

How much electricity do we hope to produce?  Thanks to all of you who have forwarded information about your electric usage. To-date we have received information from approximately 25 households. So far it looks like we need about 150 kilowatts of capacity. Please send us your usage if you haven't done that yet.

Where will we build the project(s)? We are working with solar contractors to evaluate a couple potential sites, and are still looking for additional options.  PLEASE let us know if you have any land that might be suitable or if you think your friends/neighbors might be interested in hosting a project. We are also beginning to explore possible parking lot locations -- and the cost of constructing parking canopies that could accommodate solar panels.

Solar bylaw  The Williamstown Planning Board has drafted a solar bylaw that addresses the size and location of ground-mounted solar arrays.  We think this will be a win-win for solar in our community. Let us know if you have any specific questions about the bylaw and we are happy to forward you a copy of the draft.  Residents will vote on the solar bylaw at Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 19th at 7 p.m.

How much will it cost and what are the financial arrangements? We are further refining the numbers (required investment) - and taking next steps to set up an LLC that will be enable us to take advantage of tax benefits. We are also talking with a firm with accounting, solar and tax expertise interested in potentially helping to set up and manage the project long term. Stay tuned...more on that soon.

When will we go on line? Our goal continues to be to break ground in the fall of 2015.

Next steps?  As soon as we have more details about the costs and requirements for participating in a community solar LLC we will be back in touch regarding terms for making a financial commitment to the project.

Thanks so much for your continued interest.  We continue to be encouraged and excited!  And, please let us know if you have any questions.

all best,
Charley, Jason, Stephanie and Wendy

Nancy Nylen | Associate Director
Center for EcoTechnology | 413-458-5688 | 413-884-4561 (cell) | Sign up for EcoUpdates!


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