Hudson Light and Power to renew solar matching funds

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By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer

The Hudson Light and Power substation sits at the end of Cherry St.   (Photo/Dakota Antelman)
The Hudson Light and Power substation sits at the end of Cherry St.
(Photo/Dakota Antelman)

HUDSON – Hudson Light and Power will return to a previous system of rebate incentives for solar projects, the Municipal Light Board decided on July 20. 

Matching incentives for solar power from the state were set to expire on July 30. State funds are not currently available. As a result, some applicants have been denied, operations manager Xiaofeng Yan told the board.

“We switched to the state program because we were going to get some matching funds,” explained Board Chair Justin Provencher. “We’re looking to convert back to the same amount we were doing before.”

The town’s old matching funds program was worth between $5,000 to $6,000 per resident per year. Industrial or commercial customers received between $10,000 and $12,000. The state program covered up to 50 percent of those costs. A $15,000 cap limited total contributions, however. 

The cap on total project size was intended to limit the downside risk to the town. 

The Hudson Light and Power substation sits at the end of Cherry St.   (Photo/Dakota Antelman)
The Hudson Light and Power substation sits at the end of Cherry St.
(Photo/Dakota Antelman)

“I wanted a limit here because I didn’t want to be forced to purchase more energy than we need,” Light and Power general manager Brian Choquette said. “We already have too much, and I’m selling it back to the grid at a loss.”

Under the town’s system, projects receive a rebate of about $1.20 per watt if they are angled to catch the sun during peak load hours, reducing strain on the power grid. 

“We’re trying to incentivize people to reduce our peak,” said Choquette. 

But panels operate on a different timescale than average demand. 

“We peak at four, five o’clock in the afternoon, and the solar panels peak at say, noon,” said Choquette. He estimated that solar panels might relieve twenty percent of peak demand “if you’re lucky.”

 

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