Town Meeting approves lease of school roofs for solar

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drone photo of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough by Tami White
This photograph shows the solar array on Algonquin Regional High School. Photo/Tami White

NORTHBOROUGH – Town Meeting approved a series of articles on April 23 that could result in solar arrays being constructed on the roof of three elementary schools.

There were three articles before Town Meeting to lease the Proctor, Lincoln Street and Zeh roofs to solar energy providers for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and operating a solar facility and entering into a power purchase agreement with solar energy providers.

Further, the article authorizes the Select Board to grant an easement to National Grid and other utility companies for the installation and maintenance of the projects.

According to Superintendent Greg Martineau, in 2015, a Solar Feasibility Study Group was established. Seven total solar projects have been proposed.

“It’s been a bright ray of sunshine,” Martineau said of the group.

According to Martineau, putting solar on Zeh will be contingent on a future roof; a statement of interest has been submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for the replacement. Annual cost savings for Proctor is estimated at $10,000, $15,000 for Lincoln Street and $10,000 for Zeh.

One member of the study group voiced support for the articles, saying they wouldn’t cost taxpayers money, but would provide savings to the town.

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