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06/06/2023 EC Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Energy Commission

Tuesday June 6, 2023




Bethlehem Energy Commissioners: Scott Caisse, Mary Lou Krambeer, Bruce Caplain, David Van Houten, Dan Crosby.  Excused:  Chuck Phillips


Public:  James Fitzpatrick, Tiffany Miller, Alex Graziono, Tony, Jared Sullivan, Melissa Elander, Jordan, Chris Jensen, and Barry Z.


Mission The Bethlehem Energy Commission encourages and supports economically and environmentally sensible energy practices in Bethlehem, NH.


Minutes from May meeting -motion to approve Scott, second Dan.  Approved unanimously.

Town solar project – Library electric bill has dropped from $200 a month to $20/mo.  Highway garage bill is $0.  BES transformer is installed waiting for connection to Eversource.

Village District – review solar bid and come up with recommendation.  Estimated size of project is about 100 kWh (AC).  Cost of project $400,000.  We have raised $250,000 to date.  BEC has decided to add a 10% contingency so we are now estimating the cost at $440,000.

Eight RFPs sent out, two companies visited, one company (Barrington Energy) bid on project.  Bid came in at $401,977.

Motion to accept made by Mary Lou second by Dan Crosby.  BEC recommends Village District enter into negotiations with Barrington Energy.

Next Village District Meeting – Monday, June 11 at 5:30.

Residential & commercial solar, Solarize Main Street – 17 businesses interested.  This is about a $2 project (Presidential Mountain Resort represents about $1.2m).  Bruce is working with Gabe Challius of Clean Energy NH.  Applying for many grants:  USDA RD, USDA Reap grant, Tillotson grant, Congressionally Directed Funds (request through Bethlehem Reimagined…)

Solar Tax Exemption – thinking about wording for a 2024 solar warrant.  Possible language we discussed — anything over a megawatt taxed or anything under a megawatt will not affect the assessment of the property??? (…Or group net metering or site a specific amount (e.g. up to $50,000 installation linked to CPI…).  Discussion:  to be continued

EV Chargers – Selectman would like us do a bit more research before the Town considers going forward with a Request for Information.  BEC will present the new information at the June 26 Selectboard agenda.

Eversource CT vs Eversource NH – Barry spoke from his participation on Bethlehem’s Sustainability Team.  He explained CT Eversource energy programs are much more generous and their programs are well publicized.  Suggestion is to get the Selectboard to send a letter to Eversource.

Suggestion:  To Do – BEC write more articles for Bethlehem News.

Grafton County

Next meeting: Tue., August 1 at 6:00 at Bethlehem Library


Adjourn: 7:09


SOLARIZE Project meeting followed.  Next Solarize meeting scheduled for Tuesday July 11 at 7:00 at the library.