Solar project needs your vote

To the editor:

On June 24, there was an article in the Ledger-Transcript by Jason Reimers, an attorney with BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC in Concord. Jason highlighted the success that the Monadnock region is leading the way with renewable energy projects. Our region was awarded six of the 10 projects selected from 35 submitted statewide.

Here in Peterborough, we are going to host the site for the largest solar-electric project in New Hampshire. As pointed out in the previous article, the grant money comes from PSNH, not the federal government, not the ratepayers, but our utility. By state law, they are mandated to generate or purchase a required percentage of their generating capacity, or make payments into a renewable energy fund, which is administered by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission.

There is just one more administrative hurdle to jump over. On July 22, there is going to be a Special Town Meeting to see if Peterborough will allow a 20-year lease of the site for the solar system to Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. By law, the town can only sign five-year leases, without town vote.

I have been hearing complaints that the grant is “government money,” taken from the poor and given to the rich at the expense of poor people. People say a lot of things that are not true. So before you come to the hearing to vote down the lease, consider some of the facts. The solar system will cost Peterborough nothing to build, the town will be paying the owner of the system much less for the power produced than we do now, saving the town hundreds of thousands of dollars, thus having a helpful impact on the property tax rate.

I encourage everyone to help the town save expenses wherever and whenever we can. This is just one of those opportunities that we cannot afford to let slip from our grasp.

Alan Zeller

Peterborough Planning Board

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