News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 8, 2020
Castine considers municipal solar

by Eli Forman

At the Castine Select Board meeting on Monday, October 5, selectmen heard an informal presentation from Tony Ferrara and Tom Adamo regarding solar power options for municipal electricity generation.

Multiple contract options with various companies exist, said Adamo and Ferrara, but the point, both said, is that the town may be able to save money on municipal electricity costs and reduce its carbon footprint without having to front the cost of a solar array in town.

In any case, solar generation would be responsible for powering all municipal and school buildings, including street lights, with the electricity provided at a discounted rate, depending on the solar company chosen.

Ferrara sits on the Brooksville Solar Committee and has been helping facilitate other towns in the region explore solar options through his organization Climate Action Net.

Tom Adamo is a former professor at Maine Maritime Academy and resident of Penobscot.

The chairman of the Castine Selectmen, Colin Powell, was not present at the meeting, and as a result selectmen Gordon MacArthur and Peter Vogell decided to shelve the issue until the next meeting for further discussion.

“It’s interesting and we’ll just have to see where we’ll go from here,” said MacArthur.

Other towns throughout the Peninsula have approved or are exploring similar solar power generation options, most notably Brooksville, which has entered into a 20-year contract with New Hampshire based Revision Energy to purchase 150,000 kilowatt hours per year at $.1247 per kilowatt hour set to begin in 2022.

After the presentation, Castine selectmen heard a report from Town Manager Shawn Blodgett regarding infrastructure projects throughout town.

According to Blodgett, the Dyce Head lighthouse barn refurbishment project is complete barring finishing touches on the exterior paint.

Additionally, the paving project at the intersection of Pleasant Street and Perkins Street has been delayed again, due to the recent accident near Windmill Hill involving Bowden and Sons heavy equipment trailer.

In other news, the tanker truck for the Castine Fire Department arrived in town on Monday and will be formally unveiled on October 13 at 5 p.m.