August 08. 2018 11:17PM

Nashua interested in possible joint purchase of renewable energy

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent


NASHUA — Nashua is among a group of 20 communities nationwide seeking information from renewable energy developers interested in launching a mass renewable energy initiative.

Boston is spearheading the process, which has already kicked off with the release of a Request for Information seeking feedback from qualified renewable energy developers with projects that could support the municipal energy demands of the participating cities.

“As the first city in New Hampshire to join the Climate Mayors network, we’re proud to be joining Boston and 19 other cities in using our collective power to create a renewable, sustainable future,” Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess said in a statement.

Nashua recently formed an Environment and Energy Committee that is working to develop green initiatives for the Gate City. Donchess said recently that he hopes to build a greener Nashua by promoting and encouraging different sources of renewable energy.

Nashua recently placed eight new compressed natural gas buses on the road, completed the conversion of street lights to LED bulbs, and accomplished the buyout of the lease of the Mine Falls Dam.

“I’m eager to see what is possible in terms of projects that can power our cities and create more clean energy jobs,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement.

“I applaud my colleagues in other cities for joining this effort to demonstrate our power in building a clean energy future.”

The information gathered in the request will be used to determine the feasibility of a joint purchase of renewable energy, focusing on project sizing, geography, anticipated completion date, technology and pricing, says the release.

Walsh first announced his plans for the initiative earlier this summer at the International Mayors Climate Summit in Boston.

Now, as Donchess participates in the Climate Mayors network, the goal of the bipartisan network of mayors is to demonstrate leadership on climate change through meaningful actions in their communities and to express and build political will for effective federal and global policy action, according to a release.

Madeleine Mineau, Nashua’s waterways manager, told city officials recently that a citywide energy manager position should be created to help champion and facilitate energy projects. That employee could not only track energy use, but help implement important projects to promote sustainability, environmental stewardship and green initiatives.

In addition, the city’s Environment and Energy Committee is determined to reduce the city’s municipal vehicle emissions and infrastructure greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2025. It is also aiming to have the school and municipal systems derive 100 percent of their energy from renewable, clean energy sources by 2050.

NashuaNews@unionleader.com