COHASSET – Town Manager Christopher Senior is pleased to report that the Town of Cohasset is in the process of evaluating bids to expand its solar energy potential.
At Cohasset’s Town Meeting in June, attendees voted to authorize the Select Board and School Committee to lease Town properties for purposes of installing solar energy arrays to maximize the potential energy savings for the Town. In September, Michelle Leary, Cohasset’s Director of Procurement, issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) with a deadline for submissions by October, and the results have been received.
Evaluation Committee is in the final stages of evaluating bid submissions. Working to conclude with a contract before the end of the year to receive more lucrative tax incentives (such as the federal Investment Tax Credit “ITC” and the Commonwealth’s SMART 2.0 alternative on-bill credits) before they ratchet down, the process to date has been a noticeable success. The Federal ITC decreases from a tax credit for 26% of capital investment costs to 22% in 2021, while the state credits are quickly oversubscribed.
A summary of the response by the numbers includes:
- 9 Bidders total, which are all highly qualified and well-financed.
- 16 Sites representing a combination of town sites, public sites and private, third-party locations situated in Cohasset.
- 6 Parking Canopy Sites in and around town that could have solar parking canopies.
- 100% Renewable Energy: Ability for the Town of Cohasset to purchase solar energy for all of its electricity requirement needs from solar energy arrays located in town, at a discount to the Town’s electricity rates resulting in savings ranging from an estimated $1.5 to $3 million over the next 20 years.
- 3 Bids for Batteries: Three separate designs for microgrids combined solar and storage at the Deer Hill Emergency Response center, Cohasset Middle School/High School, and DPW Transfer Station.
“We are thrilled with the response we received for bids, and the Evaluation Committee has been working hard to review the site plans, understand the qualifications of the bidders and assess the financial bids,” Town Manager Senior said.
The bids have identified enough potential capacity at sites to exceed the Town’s municipal needs, allowing for the potential sale to residents and businesses through a Community Solar program or via sale to other municipalities.
“The potential amount of solar energy that can be located in Town has blown away our expectations,” said Tanya Bodell, Chair of the Alternative Energy Committee. “We are going to first focus on maximizing savings to the Town by maximizing our lowest cost purchases, and then the Alternative Energy Committee will think about how to capitalize on the additional clean, low-cost renewable energy that could be made available to residents, businesses and other Towns.”
The Alternative Energy Committee has started conversations with the School Committee and presented its recommendation to the Select Board and School Committee the week after Thanksgiving.
The committee welcomes interested citizens to join their virtual meetings that are posted on the Town of Cohasset website, generally held on the second Thursday of the month.