FORUM - Solar Array on the Wellfleet Capped Landfill, May 21

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The Wellfleet Forum and the Wellfleet Energy Committee are planning a public forum on the planned solar photovoltaic array for the capped landfill.  The meeting will be on Monday, May 21 at 7:00 PM in the Wellfleet Senior Center, 715 Old Kings Highway, Wellfleet MA.

The town has been working on this project for several years.  After issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) and receiving three proposals, the town has decided to enter into negotiations with Ameresco for an energy services contract to design, obtain permits, construct, operate, maintain and decommission a 1.2 Megawatt array of 2500 panels on top of the landfill. 

Ameresco has built, owned and operated at least twelve solar PV landfill projects for municipal customers in Massachusetts.  The Energy Committee has contacted nearly all of these towns and received excellent reviews of the vendor.

The array will exceed the town’s electric requirements by 50%.  Ameresco will undertake to find another off-take for the remaining electricity.  If that effort fails, Ameresco will sell half of the electricity as part of a Community Solar project.   The town will receive lease payments for the use of the site, payment in lieu of taxes, and electricity at a reduced rate for a net savings to the town of about $60,000 per year for twenty years or $1.2 million over the life of the program.

The vendor will be able to present a preliminary design for the project at the May 21 meeting.  The array will be built inside the existing fence for the capped landfill.  The panels will be slightly over six feet in height and conform to the zoning bylaw as just passed at the 2018 Annual Town Meeting (Article 42).  The installation will meet or exceed the 100-foot setback requirement from the town property line.  According to the vendor, the array itself makes no noise and the electrical equipment will operate quietly and make less noise than two people in a normal conversation would make at a distance of ten feet.  The panels will face south towards the transfer station, so there will be no glare for abutting houses.

A tentative schedule is

• Complete 30% design – May  2018

• Present to Wellfleet Residents/Homeowners – May 21, 2018 7:00 PM COA

• Execute a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) & Lease – June 12, 2018

• Submit Interconnection Application – June 2018

• Apply for local and Mass DEP Permits – July 2018

• Obtain Local and MASS  DEP Permits – August – November 2018

• Obtain Interconnection Agreement – November 2018

• Solar Incentive Application – November 2018

• Acceptance into Solar Incentive Program – November 2018

• Final Design – December 2018 to January 2019

• Construction – February to May 2019

• Commercial Operation - June 2019