11/1/2022 EC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Energy Commission
Tuesday, November 1, Meeting at 5:30
Mission: The Bethlehem Energy Commission was established for the study and planning of energy resources for the town. The commission will evaluate existing energy usage in the town and suggest possible improvements in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as potential clean renewable energy solutions in order to reduce expenses and increase self-reliance.
Attending: Chuck Phillips, Scott Caisse, Mary Lou Krambeer, David Van Houten, Bruce Caplain, Dan Crosby, and Gabe Chilius of Clean Energy NH
Excused: Melissa Elander of Clean Energy NH
Minutes from October meeting, moved to accept Mary Lou and second by David. Unanimously accepted.
Public input – none
Town solar project – Solar consultant Ted Vansant said, due to the new federal infrastructure bill, we may want to wait until 2023 to connect so that BES array as it could become eligible for a 30% direct pay grant. Rules are currently being written.
Library solar is up and running. They are spending $20/month vs. $200/month on electricity!!!
Village District Waste Water Public Hearing on Thur., Oct 27 at 6pm. A fine presentation was given by Dan Crosby. All the Village District Commissioners and many of the Energy Committee members attended. Commissioners — Bruce Brown, Russ Mardin, and Dick Robie are looking at ways to communicate the information. Administrative Assistant Suzie will include information in the December 1 bills.
While the public info session was not well attended there are others ways to reach out to discuss the solar project, grants, and federal tax credits. A draft warrant article was proposed. The grant application is due January 31, 2023. The early estimated savings look significant.
TO DO: David Van Houten will write-up a project overview for her to Suzie.
TO DO: Finalize warrant article
TO DO: David Van Houten and Melissa work on proposal.
Community Power – The first Community Power arrays in NH will come on-line in April or May. As a result, there are now community solar templates (how-to manuals, checklists, and templates…) available for other towns to use which are available through the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire. Towns must vote to become a member. Melissa – it’s a good idea to become members just to access information. A Bethlehem resident would need to become a member of the board. There is a connection between Clean Energy NH and Community Power Coalition — an MOU so that Clean Energy NH may offer technical assistance. There are three entities in NH that that offer Community Power. Estimated 8-12% reduction over traditional power contracts.
To DO: Melissa will find board responsibilities/time/place information
We discussed future BEC projects to understand if we have the capacity to take on Community Power as an additional project. We’re currently looking at –Village District drinking water solar, localized solar power generation (large net metering project), and/or community power.
Mary Lou made a motion to ask the Selectboard to become members of the Community Power Coalition, second by Chuck. 4 yes and 1 abstention.
To DO: Bruce will ask Selectboard
- Solar Power for Transfer Station – David will try to attend the next meeting.
- Town Hall energy audit – no movement on contractors yet.
- Solar Power at Maplewood Condos – original cost estimate, in 2020, for the recreation center was high. There is new interest. They are also looking at EV chargers.
TO DO: Chuck will look into a possible second solar conversation at the Maplewood Condo Association meeting.
- Rambling Woods Resident Owned Community – Gabe said the Vermont Law School will help with the low to moderate income grant application which means that Rambling Woods can go for a grant immediately. Phone call tomorrow. Board meeting on Dec 7 to approve the project. Array size: 115kW could be almost fully funded through the grant. A larger grant would require the ROC take out a loan.
Adjourned at: 7:00
12/6/2022 at library
Bethlehem Energy Commission (BEC) is appointed by the Select Board. All meetings are open to the public.
Town of Bethlehem Selectboard Clerical Assistant Nicole McGrath ensures that BEC meeting notices, agendas, and minutes are posted as necessary. Nicole posts a hard copy of meeting notices in the Town Hall and at the Post Office.
To find BEC info go to: www.bethlehemnh.org
-go to government tab
-our committee is listed under the: boards and committees tab
-our meetings are posted through Nicole on: agendas and minutes tab