Selectmen Talk Power Supply, Solar, Electric Cars with CMLP Director
David Wood, the Light Plant Director, went before the selectmen Monday night to talk about the latest from the town's power source.
Power Supply and Contracts
Wood began by talking about the town's power supply, saying the contract with Morgan Stanley, Concord's main power supplier, will be up by the end of the summer. Morgan Stanley provides Concord with approximately 77 percent of its energy. Wood has already secured some smaller contracts to break up the single, massive deal and is hoping to get better prices by focusing on three-year or longer contracts, which Wood called, "moving in the right direction" in terms of saving the town money on its energy consumption.
Wood then informed the selectmen that the town's goal of "moving toward" 13 percent renewable energy is getting closer. Wood added to this by saying that a completed RFP draft for the landfill is being prepared to attract potential buyers. The land will be used for solar power generators and Wood expected, "more than two" bidders to come out for the land.
Wood then went on to note that conservation efforts by Concord's citizenary during the recent freak storm and heat wave keep levels normal. This was seen as a "great success," according to Wood, who attributed the conservation to an email blast campaign the Light Plant sent out to various town departments that then forwarded it to others throughout Concord.
Electric Car Stations in Concord?
Wood switched topics and said he was "excited" about the prospect of bringing in at least one electric car recharging station into Concord. There are currently only a small number of electric car owners in Concord, although the Light Plant is planning on making it five next year when they purchase an electric car service vehicle for the Plant.
The cost of the electric car stations are $8,000. The first location the Plant has in mind for the station is the West Concord Depot Lot. Wood explained that customers would drive up to the station like any other gas pump and use their credit card to pay for their charge.
Wireless Improvement on the Way
Installation of Concord's new SmartGrid fiber optics network is complete, according to Wood. This process is intended to bring better internet services, specifically wireless internet, to Town.
There have been some bumps in the road, according to Wood. "We are working on some design issues" in order to get the most out of the new system, he said.
Wood explained that the Light Plant is bringing in a consultant to examine the business model for the telecommunications network in Concord and what possibilities there are to improve and spread local internet strength and usage in connection with Smart Grid's new network.
Parking Lot Solar Panels?
Lastly, Wood raised the possibility of something that excited all the selectmen: Parking lot solar panels.
Wood said he would begin looking into a purchase power agreement in order to team with a private company to examine the possibility of bringing solar power panels to put on commerical roofs. Wood is currently speaking with Reading's Light Plant workers for advise as they have invested in such projects.
"We're interested in it," Wood said of the solar panels. "In trying to meet our solar goals it's going to take more than just land."