Solar project panned, but wins approval in Concord
The array will generate nearly one megawatt of power (947 kilowatts), and will be nearly twice the size of the largest existing solar generator in the state — a 500-kilowatt array atop the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport parking garage, according to Jack Ruderman, director of the Sustainable Energy Division at the Public Utilities Commission.
Sununu questioned the estimated savings for Peterborough from the project, and called the approval "a drastic mistake." He said the project sponsors did not document the projected savings of $240,000 to Peterborough in electricity over the next 20 years.
That led to an angry response from PUC Chair Amy Ignatius. "It's fair for you to disagree," she said, "but it's absolutely unfair to suggest we are somehow cooking the process here to get to a certain result."
Sununu was unapologetic. He acknowledged the state law that requires the PUC to promote solar energy and other renewables, but said public funds are being thrown away on a project that was good for Peterborough but a poor investment for the state.
Harrison admitted in a later interview that Peterborough does not have a guaranteed savings contract. "They are taking some risks," he said. If market prices drop below 8 cents per kwh, Peterborough is stuck at 8 cents. "But if prices go up to 11 cents, then they save more."
Construction is expected to start in the fall and wrap up in the spring of 2015.
In other action, the council confirmed three new judges to the Superior Court: Charles S. Temple of Concord; Lawrence A. MacLeod Jr., of Lebanon; and David A. Anderson of Portsmouth.
David S. Forrest of Temple and Elizabeth M. Leonard of Concord were confirmed as judges to serve on the state's Circuit Court.
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