Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-11-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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14 CUMBERLAND / LINCOLN APRIL 11-17, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION the town, and $42,553 for BVP. The 25-year benefit to the town is estimated at $11.15 million, including $868,404 in up-front savings and pay- ments in year one. The Town Council approved a reso- lution authorizing Mutter to enter into an agreement with Southern Sky at its meeting last Wednesday, April 3. There is no cost to the town for this project, and it won't impact the tax rate. Ralph Palumbo, of Southern Sky, told town officials that this deal is essentially "free money" for the town, as his company is "doing all the work, taking all the risks." Best Practice Energy, hired under Murray to plan this agreement to allow an apples-to-apples compari- son of projects, recommended that the town go with Hopkinton-based Southern Sky over Massachusetts- based Ameresco as the winner of a request for proposal, or RFP, process. Jordan Berman, director of energy services for Best Practices Energy, told the council that Murray origi- nally reached out to request a stream- lining of the process for Cumberland to enter into a virtual net metering deal, where the town will enter into a solar power purchase agreement with Southern Sky and the developer will then design an offsite solar facil- ity. The fact that Southern Sky has an approved site already in Hopkinton counted in the company's favor, as Cumberland officials were looking to avoid risk. Berman said he expects Cumberland will be on the upper end of a savings range of 16 percent to 22.5 percent on its electric bills. Power generated by the facility will feed directly into the power distri- bution system and the town and its schools will receive a credit on their National Grid bill equal to the amount of power produced by the Hopkinton facility multiplied by a net metering credit rate determined by National Grid. Cumberland pays a percent- age of the credit to Southern Sky and keeps the rest. There were originally 10 companies interested in entering an agreement on net metering with Cumberland, but several dropped out when an addendum by the new administra- tion made the changes on the charter school and the up-front payment. The project is expected to go online by November. Mutter said Southern Sky's proposal made the most sense, with strong economics and the ability to move forward more quickly. There was less risk with that proposal, as permitting is in place and the company is ready to build. "It's more of a sure thing," he said. The mayor said the balloon pay- ment was a big deal to him. The Ameresco deal might be better finan- cially, with one option showing an estimated $13 million in benefits over 25 years, but it came with more inher- ent risk, he said, something he simply didn't want to take on. This project is entirely separate from the town's push to have the old Albion Landfill capped and used for a future solar facility. Councilor Scott Schmitt sought clarification that this agreement with Southern Sky doesn't obligate the town to also have the company help with the capping and do that landfill solar project, and was assured that the town can still go with another partner. Southern Sky is known for develop- ing solar projects on closed dumps. Schmitt said he especially likes this project because it doesn't take up space in Cumberland, yet the town benefits greatly from it. Councilor Bob Shaw brought up "four huge points" in Southern Sky's favor: • That there is no risk to the town over 25 years, and no financial bur- den will ever be placed on the town if anything changes on Southern Sky's end. • That there are "no hurdles" on the project, as Southern Sky owns the land already. • That the $500,000 balloon pay- ment will immediately help with Cumberland's budget issues. • And that the town should score among the top projects in the state on reimbursement totals. Southern Sky was rated ahead of Ameresco in three of five categories, including experience and qualifica- tions, cost/benefit and proposal detail and approach. Two other categories, performance guarantees and financial stability, were rated as neutral. The deal is contingent on a number of other approvals. SOLAR From Page One Bake sale at Chimney Hill April 13 CUMBERLAND – A bake sale will be held Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Chimney Hill Apartments, 2065 Mendon Road. The event will also include a penny social and 50/50 raffle. The kitchen will be open serving dyna- mites, hot dogs, empanadas and beverages. Proceeds will support a first responder's appreciation dinner. Cleanup efforts continue this weekend LINCOLN – The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is bringing its Earth Day Cleanup series to Lincoln this week- end, and organizers are looking for volunteers to help continue the effort to beautify the community for spring. The Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone are teaming up with Lincoln Town Councilors Arthur Russo and Bruce Ogni to clean up the community this weekend. Volunteers are needed to help pick up trash from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 13. A grant from the Narragansett Bay Commission will help the town secure trash bags and other supplies for the event. Volunteers will meet at the BRWC at 100 New River Road, or at Scott Pond at 19 Lower Road. Your One-Stop Shop for All Your Needs LEEWAY Hardware & Garden Center 790 Great Rd., No. Smithfield, Rhode Island (401) 765-2222 Store Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Red Chip..... $36/yd. Pine Bark.... $36/yd. Red Cedar... $40/yd. Black Pine... $38/yd. Hemlock.......$40/yd. BULK MULCH by the yard 5,000 Sq. Ft. 84 99 -20 00 SALE PRICE WITH 64 99 164 99 Final Price Limit 2 Final Price Limit 2 Easter Lillies, Tulips, Hydrangea, Hyacinth, Daffodils, Perennials & Shrubs Variety of Baby Chicks in Stock Feed for all your backyard animals Also 4 Step for Seeding Programs Available LOOKING TO GO ORGANIC? FULL ASSORTMENT OF PRODUCTS AND BRANDS AVAILABLE. 15,000 Sq. Ft. 214.99 Sale Price - 50.00 WITH Happy Easter Please support these Valley Breeze advertisers!

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