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Sunny days: Gatsas gets a solar deal

October 19. 2017 12:50AM

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas took a lot of heat from renewable energy advocates in 2015 for not getting behind a proposed solar array on top of the city’s closed landfill.

The Executive Council voted against using a million dollars in state funds for the $3.9 million project. Gatsas argued $26,500 in annual energy savings wasn’t good enough.

Two years later, Gatsas has produced a bigger, better deal. The 25-year power purchase agreement with BFHJ Clean Energy Professionals would generate an estimated $5.5 million for Manchester over the life of the deal, $515,000 of which would come as a front-end payment.

The 9,000 solar panels would generate about a quarter of the city’s electricity. Taxpayers would not only get a good deal on power, but $67,000 in annual lease payments for the otherwise dormant land.

The proposed contract guarantees at least $133,000 a year in energy savings. It is a much better deal than the one Gatsas opposed two years ago, and well worth the wait.

Adding three megawatts of clean, renewable solar to Manchester’s energy mix is good for ratepayers, the environment, and New Hampshire’s energy grid.

Energy Local and County Government Editorial Manchester

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