Dover School Board reviews solar bids


DOVER -- While reviewing bids for a potential solar project, Dover School Board members learned one bid would be always be superior in any type of analysis.

Board member Chip Vicary looked over two proposals from Integrated Solar and NextSun Energy. He gave the board a summary on Tuesday night, where his accounting expertise was noted.

"The biggest problem I have evaluating the financial impact of this is that nobody really knows how many kilowatt hours this 500 watt solar array will kick off," Vicary said. "It really doesn't matter in the long run because there's a real key difference between these two."

That difference had to do with the net metering credit.

"NextSun Energy decided to share 15 percent instead of 10 percent," Vicary continued. "So, we're looking at Dover School, town of Dover and anyone else participating in the net metering credits getting about $28,000 and change per year out of this proposal versus $22,000 per year out of Integrated Solar."

His projections included an optimistic look, pessimistic look and worst case scenario. NextSun Energy's proposal was believed to be a better deal in all projections.

School Board Chairman Rich Werner said he would contact Dover Town Administrator Carlo Pilgrim to see if the solar project could be added to the Selectboard's Sept. 2 agenda, when both boards plan to discuss ways of improving Town Meeting attendance starting at 6 p.m.

While discussing alternative uses for the site where solar arrays were proposed, Werner pointed out the land the board had in mind would likely not be used for expanding the school or adding a ball field as it is on a hill. The school has owned the unused land for about 20 years.

Superintendent Steven John suggested a board member make contact with Vermont School Board Association's energy management program director Norm Etkind before proceeding much further. He also recommended making both companies submit a lease agreement that conforms with a standard form so the proposals could be compared easier if they are presented to the public in the future.

In other business:

-- The new playground was ready for students on Wednesday, the first day of school. Anton said they would go out with teachers and review appropriate procedures for the playground, which was inspected and approved after being construction was completed.

"Over the summer, there was some concern on the corkscrew slide that if you got enough speed you could kind of come up the side of it," Anton said. "One adult who went down kind of caught themselves and flipped over. One student got a lot of speed and turned and flipped."

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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