I'm especially interested in SWECC meetings, because that's where I learn what there is to be learned about the dissolution of MOSA and the trash world after MOSA. We certainly covered that, and the quick summary is that dissolution is on-track for April 30 of this year, and an RFP (request for proposals) is being prepared for the public-private partnership that will handle solid waste in Otsego County after that.
But the most interesting part of this recent SWECC meeting was a presentation by Jan Myers, Solarize NY Program Facilitator; Jim Kurtz, RER Energy Group President; and Michael Roach, RER Energy Group Project Developer, regarding a solar project which could generate 2MW of electric power for Otsego County building use.
Here's how it works: the 2MW solar array would be built on County land and owned by an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) made up of private investors who have raised $2.4 million. They would sell the electricity to the County at rates that would be lower than current rates, and going forward, projected rates from the solar array would rise, but not to the level of projected power company rates until the 17th year. There are complicated sets of incentives, accelerated deprecations and tax breaks provided by NYSERDA grants and other agencies, which make investing in the LLC very attractive.
There are a couple of points along the way where the County can buy the array from the LLC if it wants to; from then on, of course, the electricity generated would be, essentially, free, and the savings would be used to pay off the price of the array.
Madison County is moving in this direction, and SWECC voted to send a letter of support for the grant proposals.
So far, I think this is a great idea; it does sound too good to be true, but sometimes that kind of stuff is actually true. So stay tuned; I'm going to keep track of this initiative.