From Adam Wilson:

On behalf of the Board of Selectmen, a singular warrant article is to be considered next Wednesday at a Town Special.  The article is to see if the Town will vote to enter into a solar power services agreement between Vineyard Power Cooperative, Inc. and the Town of Aquinnah to lease land available at the Town Landfill for ten (10) years for the purpose of installing, maintaining and operating a solar photovoltaic system to provide renewable energy to the Town.

A request for proposals was sent out in October to see if anyone would be interested in leasing the available land at the Town’s landfill for the purpose of installing a photovoltaic array system.

Many towns on both the Cape (Barnstable, Brewster and Chatham Landfills), and the Vineyard (Edgartown & Tisbury), either have or are in the process of installing these type of systems.

There were two bid responses.  One from Vineyard Power, a local company willing to design, build and operate a 50 kW system, and one from Sun Quest energy in St. Petersburg, FL., willing to do the same.

The Selectmen accepted the V. Power bid.

Simply put, the proposal is to lease a portion of the landfill area (less than an acre), to V. Power for 10 years.  They will pay rent for the duration of the lease (a nominal fee – $400 a month).  They will also design and build (and get all the necessary permits from local and state review boards), and operate a PV system that will generate enough electricity for the town to buy from them (at comparable NStar rates), to run the Town’s municipal buildings and operations (Town Hall Campus, street lights, parking lot & bathrooms, Landfill Office & Library).  On average the Town uses 60,000  kW hours and spends $14,000 each year for electricity.

At the end of the ten years the Town will have the option of buying the system. The money we have earned from the lease ($400 a month and held in escrow) would be used to purchase the system at it’s fair market value.  Much of the system purchased would still be under manufacturer warranty (polycrystalline PV modules have 15 – 20 year life cycles).

There will be an informational session at the Selectmen’s meeting as part of their Tuesday 12 – 6 agenda for questions regarding the proposed project.  Starting at 5:30 pm, reps from V. Power will present their system and take any questions from residents about project.