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July 20. 2014 8:24PM

Peterborough makes plans for state's largest solar array

PETERBOROUGH — At a Special Town Meeting Tuesday, voters will be asked to authorize the Select Board to negotiate the conditions and terms for a 20-year lease for the construction and operation of the state’s largest solar array.

The Special Town Meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Town House.

The planned solar array would power the town’s wastewater treatment plant with excess power for most, if not all, of the town’s municipal buildings, according to former selectman Joe Byk, saving the town about $25,000 each year in energy costs.

If approved by voters, the Select Board would be authorized to negotiate the conditions and terms for a 20-year lease with extension options on town-owned land for the construction and operation of the solar array with Borrego Solar.

No town funds would be appropriated for the project.

Earlier this year the state Executive Council awarded Peterborough a $1.2 million grant for the $2.6 million project.

Borrego Solar, of Lowell, Mass., has agreed to take on the remaining costs and will install ground-mounted solar panels near the Peterborough Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Borrego will own and operate the solar array and Peterborough officials have agreed to sign a 20-year contract with Borrego to purchase the electricity the photovoltaic array produces.

The project is to be built next to the new wastewater treatment plant where the town’s old septic lagoons are being phased out.

Construction is planned to begin this year and is to be completed by the spring of 2015.

The Peterborough solar array would become the state’s largest with approximately 1,174,280 kilowatt hours of energy to be generated each year.

mpierce@newstote.com


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