(image courtesy Business First – bizjournals.com)
December 10, 2018
Council members and residents listened to a presentation by Rob Gauchat, vice president of sales and marketing for Solar Liberty, regarding the possibility of a solar field. The town has been exploring the possibility of converting its energy source to solar for several months.
Gauchat told board members that the town could choose a system that delivered 412 Kilowatts, 749 kilowatts or 1000 kilowatts. While a 412 kilowatt system would offset all electrical costs of the town, Gauchat recommended that the town choose the 749 kilowatt system, so they could get other entities, such as the fire department and the school, involved.
Gauchat said a 749 kilowatt system would cost approximately $1,325,000 to install. NYSERDA could pay up to 25 percent of that cost, he said. Additionally, up to 15 percent of the cost could be paid by a corporation of wealthy individuals who call themselves Collective Sun, Gauchat said. In exchange for the cost reduction to Ripley, Collective Sun would legally own the system for six years, during which time it would receive federal and state tax credits.
The remainder of the cost would be the responsibility of the town and would require a bond issue.
The town board agreed to move forward with further research into the matter.