A father-and-son proposal to install solar panels on municipal property has been approved by the commissioners of the Edward Farrar Utility District.
In February, Chris Parsons and his son Cannon Parsons briefed the commissioners on their idea of installing solar panels at the town’s sewage-treatment plant. The solar panels would be on the roof that covers the sludge-drying beds at the sewer plant on Route 2, just northwest of the village center.
On June 12, the commissioners voted unanimously to direct Municipal Manager William Shepeluk to draft a contract between Parsons and the utility district. In February, Parsons proposed paying the utility district 6 percent of the revenue generated by the solar array; at the most recent meeting, both sides came to an agreement of 7.5 percent.
According to Parsons, the project would generate 242 megawatt hours of electricity annually. At 15 cents a kilowatt hour, the project would generate $36,300 annually, including $2,722.50 for the town.
It is unclear who will buy the electricity; in February, Shepeluk said the town did not need it. Upon review, it is possible the town might use some of it, he said.
“It looks to me that we can use some of this power. Can we use all of the power? Probably not, but we can use some of it,” Shepeluk said.
The lease agreement is not contingent on the town using power generated by the project.
This would not be Waterbury’s first municipal site with solar panels; they’ve been installed on the roof of the Main Street Fire Station.
The Vermont Energy Atlas says Waterbury has just over 3,000 acres of suitable space for more solar, and about 2,100 suitable rooftops.
Parsons said he hopes to have a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Utility Commission by the end of the month, which is needed for the project to go forward.
He said he hopes to break ground on the project in July.