Update: Ranger Solar Project in Fitzwilliam
FITZWILLIAM SOLAR PROJECT Ranger Solar & NextEra 30 MW, 405 acres
- Property under purchase option. NextEra would own the property. - Access from Route 119, crosses the Eversource right of way. - 150-200 acres of actual project area. - Ranger Solar employees will work for NextEra. They are an owner-operator power plant. They have solar and wind across the country. - They will pay taxes on the property. 20 year pilot agreement. They want a stable tax agreement. - Hinsdale executed an agreement in January. - Susan Silverman stated that Fitz has Avatar represent the town, so they will be consulted as the project proceeds. - They will send a starter agreement. Susan said we take our time and do not make decisions outside of Select Board meetings. - 16+ feet between panels. Grass below the panels. Fixed arrays. They face south. - When solar is running there is an inverter to go from DC to AC. It runs when power is being generated. Total output is 1500V, about 12V per panel. - They produce some sound, not audible from several hundred feet away. - Copper line to converter, less than 1000 feet. - 15-20% efficiency. - Will connect to Eversource line (not National Grid as originally stated) since the project has been sized down. There will be switching equipment, but not a substation. - The project will be fenced in. It may be all one area or multiple fenced in areas depending upon divisions for wetlands, etc. NH Fish & Game will give guidance on wildlife. Some fences have holes to allow small mammals through. - There will be a system study with Eversource as part of the site review with the SEC. - Public meetings are held as a part of the SEC process, which is up to 15 months. - Susan Silverman requested that they give notice of meetings in the Fitz Newsletter well in advance, at least a month. - Terry Silverman asked for the time frame. They said up and running by 2019 expected. 5-6 months to build it. - Power purchase agreement associated with the project for stable energy pricing. Subsidies go to off-taker. This project would get a Federal tax credit. Almost every penny goes into the project. - Market driven. Cheaper than natural gas and wind. - Susan asked about energy storage. They just finished a 30 MW facility in Maine. Storage is costly, but improving. - Susan asked how the area beneath the solar panels is maintained. Native low-growing plants and some mowing. No herbicide use. - Local jobs: construction & maintenance. - Not a lot of need for storm water maintenance since the area has permeable and semi-permeable areas that are well drained. - Susan asked for a meeting during the summer for seasonal residents. She also asked if they do municipal projects, since Fitzwilliam is considering solar, and they do. - They will provide updates periodically.