Yes. Andover receives its electrical supply power from the WCMA and the NEMA zones. See map. The 15 million kilowatt hours used by municipal government in Andover is roughly split 50-50 between the two. WCMA is Western/Central Massachusetts Load Zone and NEMA is Northeast Massachusetts and Boston Load Zone.
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We agree to purchase the electricity produced at a solar field in Palmer, Massachusetts, at a cost of 10.25 cents per kilowatt hour. We pay the solar producer each month for the electricity that was produced and sent to National Grid. National Grid allocates credits to our accounts as we specify, at the General Service (G1) rate. If the current G1 rate is 17 cents per kilowatt hour, then we essentially paid 10.25 cents and were credited 17 cents. The difference between the two is our savings.
I have estimated the savings, working with the solar operator at roughly $400K in year one.
The 7 Departments who will benefit from the solar credits are: Schools, Police, Library, Youth Services, DPW, Water, Fire, and Plant & Facilities.
Solar credits can only be applied to accounts within the same load zone. Since the solar field is located in Palmer, Massachusetts, which is in the WCMA Load Zone, those credits can only apply to our WCMA accounts.
Yes. Non-building accounts that will also receive credits are Town Street Lights and the Fish Brook Pumping Station.
The 12 WCMA Zone buildings are: Andover High School, High Plain/Wood Hill, Doherty Middle, West Elementary, West Middle, Shawsheen Elementary, Public Safety Center, Memorial Hall Library, Cormier Youth Center, West Andover Fire Station, Red Spring Road Shop, and the Town House.
Yes - The assignment of credits was distributed proportionately to the electric bill with a goal of allocating about 85% of the kilowatt usage by account. There are some exceptions, for instance, we know that street lights will now be LED, but we will have more lights on. That had to be calculated a little differently.
We had plenty of credits to go around and it was more of a task to spread them out, without over-allocating, than it was to include all. There was an effort to hit as many departments as possible. (The solar developer has increased the amount of credits available twice, but we have limited ourselves to 6.2million kwh because we could simply have too many if we allowed more.) We can adjust the distribution of the credits every 6 months if we wish.