TREMONT — The town is set to begin negotiating a contract with Sundog Solar of Searsport for the installation of a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array at the town’s former landfill, following a recommendation from the town’s Solar Task Force at the selectmen’s meeting last Monday.
The solar array would provide power to municipal buildings, operating under what’s known as a “power purchase agreement.” It would be a private enterprise, but the town would have the option of purchasing it when the array depreciates down the line.
The project would have no upfront cost to the town, according to a handout provided at the meeting, signed by the chair of the task force, Joe Blotnick of A Climate to Thrive.
Keri Hayes, who has been serving on the task force since late October, said the group received and reviewed three proposals. They decided on Sundog Solar based on several factors, including the company’s experience, pricing and the quality of equipment and maintenance agreement.
The proposed system is expected to save the town $40,000 in the first six years and $280,900 in 25 years.
It will be tied into and served by the Emera Maine electric grid and meet the needs of Tremont’s nine largest electric meters. The school may have to add a second meter and split the circuits in order to eliminate the higher charge billing.
Selectman McKenzie Jewett asked if the town was allowed to install panels on the landfill.
“There are specific types of mounts that you can use on landfill projects, and the project that we’re looking at meets all the DEP requirements,” Hayes said.
The system’s overall life expectancy is estimated at 25-40 years, and the town will have the option to purchase the array in seven years at roughly 50 percent of the construction cost.