Another Successful Regional Energy Round Table
On Tuesday, May 29 2013, the Windham Regional Commission and the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission held the Spring Regional Energy Round Table in Bellows Falls Vermont. The event was well attended, with representation from eight Windham Region Towns: Brattleboro, Grafton, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Rockingham, Wilmington, and Windham. The topic of the evening was financing models for municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The event began with a presentation given by WRC Energy Planner, Cullen Meves, on the energy use results of seven of the regional weatherization retrofit projects. Projects completed between 2010 and 2011 with EECBG funding saw a return on investment of approximately 10% in 2012 (conservative estimate), and an average savings of $1,250 on heating costs per project. More information about these projects can be found in the updated version of the WRC’s Weatherization Guide for Town Buildings.
A panel discussion on energy efficiency and renewable energy financing followed. The panel consisted of Rex James of Regional Solar, Renee Piché of Municipal Leasing Consultants, and Chuck Clerici, Energy Coordinator for the Town of Wilmington. Each panelist provided a ten to fifteen minute overview of their financing models, and then opened up discussion for Q&A. The powerpoint presentations are available below:
Several town representatives reported an interest in developing a town solar array or a community solar array. The Brattleboro Town School District has entered into an agreement with Southern Vermont Renewable Energy, Inc. (Soveren, Inc.) of Westminster, VT to purchase net-metering credits from a 500 KW solar project to be located in the Westminster Business Park. The Town of Brattleboro has entered into a similar agreement with Integrated Solar, Inc. of Brattleboro to purchase net-metering credits from a 500 KW solar project (site to be determined). The project will save the Town approximately $16,000 annually in reduced electric costs. Wilmington is considering a project to help offset the electricity use of the town owned buildings. Interest in solar has been growing for some time now, and the cost has been dropping dramatically. The WRC has taken note of this trend as a topic for future energy discussions and events.