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Newport seeks to install array of solar panels

Union Leader Correspondent

October 17. 2017 11:58PM

NEWPORT — Selectmen have unanimously voted to move forward with plans to design a solar array for town and school district energy needs.

The power needs of both the town and school facilities should be met by the 1.75-megawatt solar array, Selectmen Chairman Jeff Kessler said Tuesday.

Monday’s vote authorized Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg to draft a letter of intent with Norwich Solar Technologies of White River Junction, Vt., to prepare a design and negotiate electricity rates.

“They take care of prepping the land, installing and maintaining (the solar array),” Kessler said. “Our cost is we buy the electricity from them, which will have a savings from the start.”

May Town Meeting voters will be asked to approve a 25-year lease of town-owned land to Norwich Solar Technologies, Kessler said.

The land is across the Sugar River, adjacent to the town’s wastewater treatment plant and the rail trail.

The negotiated rates with Norwich Solar and estimated savings are not yet available, Kessler said, but will be released to voters before Town Meeting.

If approved in May, construction of the solar array would begin immediately, Kessler said.

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