During fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014) our Committee’s two year long attempt to use town owned land for the production of renewable energy equal to the amount of electricity consumed by our school and municipal facilities suffered a setback. In December 2013, we recommended contracting Broadway Electric Company to install, operate and maintain solar energy facilities at the closed landfill, the wastewater treatment plant and on land abutting the Massachusetts Turnpike.
In February of 2014, two months after its Broadway Renewable Strategies signed Energy Management Services Contracts for these sites, the 77 year old, family owned Broadway Electric Company went out of business.
Working through Broadway’s Liquidating Agent, we entertained two firms seeking assignment of the Broadway Renewable Strategies agreements. However, one firm withdrew and the other offered an uneconomic proposal. With a June 30, 2014 deadline for the projects to be commercially operational and no viable developers at hand, on April 15, 2014 we recommended that the agreements be abandoned. In FY 2015 we will determine if there is further opportunity to produce electricity with solar panels on town owned land. Meanwhile we will continue to encourage homeowners and businesses to utilize the Solarize Massachusetts collective purchasing program to produce renewable energy.
On August 8, 2013 Bill Maroney, a former Western Massachusetts Electric Company executive and an original member of the committee, passed away. We are grateful for his contributions to the committee and the community.
Alternate member Robert Turtz was appointed to succeed Bill on September 18, 2013.