It is the mission of the Franconia Energy Commission to both reduce the carbon footprint of the Town of Franconia and save tax payer dollars by analyzing the town’s energy use and recommend energy solutions.
The Energy Commissions has been created for the purpose of study, planning and utilization of energy resources for Franconia's municipal buildings and built resources. The Commission is charged with researching municipal energy use and costs and making this information available to the town on at least an annual basis. It is also responsible for making recommendations to local boards and committees pertaining to municipal energy plans and sustainable practices, such as energy conservation, energy efficiency, energy generation, and zoning practices.
The Energy Commission shall comprise of 3 - 10 members, appointed by the Select board and commissioned to 3 year terms.
Bob Tortorice 2019
Kim Cowles 2019
Chip Stowell 2020
James Fitzpatrick 2020
David Strange 2018
Karen Foss 2018
Eric Meth, Selectboard 2019
The Energy Committee meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 4:45 in the Wooodsville Bank conference room
2013 meeting minutes
2014 meeting minutes
2015 meeting minutes
2016 meeting minutes
2017 meeting minutes
2018 meeting minutes
2019 meeting minutes
2020 meeting minutes
Profile School Board News
This is a second update regarding the Profile solar project. The Ammonoosuc Regional Energy Team (ARET) comprised of local green energy supporters from our community and 1 to 2 Profile school board members met with about 6-7 solar companies during the week of November 11. Unfortunately, a snowstorm interfered a bit with the walk-through which had to be rescheduled for Thursday, November 14, but there were still several solar firms who made it to Profile that day. New deadlines were given to the bidding companies in light of the inclement weather and bids were due by December 2 at 5 pm. There have been three bids that were received. They include, in no particular order, Revision Energy from Brentwood, NH, ECA Solar and KW Management from Waltham, MA and Barrington Power from Barrington, NH. The bids are being currently reviewed by ARET and questions are being directed to the companies and shared within all the companies to make certain the bids are all comparative and that there is full communication and transparency.
The next step is for our Profile subcommittee (3 selected school board members pre-approved by the whole board) to work with a solar consulting firm named NEO Virtus Engineering from Littleton, MA to analyze and review the three solar bids and make the best possible decision going forward. The kilowatt hour cost submitted by the three bids is very competitive to Eversource costs (bids ranged from 7 and 1/2 cents per kilowatt hour to 9 and 1/2 cents per kw hr.). We will be trying to work with the engineering firm to choose a company that will work with Profile to build a solar array should the voters of the Profile district agree.
A warrant article will be written soon for the March school ballot. Again, as the plan is to implement a PPA arrangement, there will be no upfront cost to the Profile voters at this time to build this array as an investor will be paying for the construction and owning the array. The warrant article will not be written, therefore to ask for money. It will be written to ask if the Profile voters approve of the solar array project and going forward with this proposal. There would be an opportunity to choose whether or not to purchase the solar array from the investor in 6-7 years.
The February Profile budget hearing will be held on Thursday, February 20 in the Profile gym at 7 pm. The Profile School board and ARET will be present for that meeting to answer any questions about this solar proposal as well as the rest of the SAU 35 budget for Profile school spending so please join us at that meeting. Voting for the budget will then be held on Thursday, March 19 in the Profile gym at 7 pm. Thank you!
Profile School Board Chair
PROFILE SCHOOL BOARD NEWS............
At the September meeting of the Profile School Board, we were presented with a power point presentation from the Ammonoosuc Regional Energy Team (ARET) regarding the installation and use of a solar array to meet Profile's electric needs. In terms of establishing a solar array, the ARET group provided us with information on direct Profile ownership or the alternative use of a "Power Purchase Agreement" (PPA). Direct ownership would incur a financial cost up front as a bond vote. However, with a PPA, an investor would work with a solar company to install, own and operate the solar array on the Profile property at no cost to Profile. The investor benefits from the federal tax credits which are unavailable to Profile since it's non-profit. In turn, the school benefits from electric rates that are less than what the planned rate would be in the coming years for Profile. Profile would have the opportunity for a buy-out and direct ownership in 6-7 years, depending on how the PPA agreement is written.
ARET was able to show direct cost savings to Profile School over time. It should also be noted that the director of janitorial services, Paul Lehmann, has been reducing electric costs annually through his energy savings measures with LED lighting, tighter window fittings, etc. and we thank him for those significant savings.
The Profile School Board unanimously voted to allow ARET to gather more information. At the October board meeting, a "request for proposal" (RFP) was approved and advertised to various solar companies in New England. Along with the RFP, a packet of electric usage information was sent to each solar company interested in bidding. In the coming week, there will be an after-school walk-through with all potential solar bidders simultaneously. All information for the project will be reviewed at once with all parties to provide consistency and transparency.
The next step will be the receipt of bid packages, at which point, ARET will provide guidance to help the Profile board move forward with a decision on bidders. Although there is no monetary cost for the Profile district to begin this project, and it's not necessary to include it on a warrant article, the school board still plans to have a warrant article in March 2020 in order to assess voter support. Construction of a solar array would be contingent on voter support.
As more information is gathered, I will provide updates. Our Profile School Board meetings are always open to the community. We will be meeting in the Profile library on November 20 and December 19 at 5:30 pm.
Kim Koprowski, Profile School Board Chair