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Solar field RED's to benefit Montpelier

Thanks to The Bryan Times we have this article.

By Lucas Bechtol

Jan 11, 2022

Montpelier Clerk of Council Jessica Apple, far right, administers the oath of office to council members elected in November. They are, from left, returning council members Kevin Motter and Melissa Ewers and newcomer Heather Freese.

Photo by Lucas Bechtol

MONTPELIER — Montpelier could see additional benefits from the solar field that went online in 2020.

Village Manager Jason Rockey told the village council Monday that renewable generators earn RECs, or renewable energy credits.

These credits are a market-based instrument that represents the legal property rights to the “renewable-ness” — or all non-power attributes — of renewable electricity generation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are issued for every megawatt-hour of electricity generated and can be sold separately from the actual electricity.

“There is a market for those RECs,” Rockey said. “Depending on the size of your generation, there’s quite a bit of money there. I didn’t realize ... that the village of Montpelier is entitled to those funds.”

Previously, Rockey thought those credits would belong to Safari Energy LLC, the solar company that financed the project.

Rockey reached out to the village of Grafton, which built a solar field roughly concurrently and which he called a sister project to the Montpelier one and found their REC payments to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Their field is about twice the size of Montpelier’s.

Talking to Grafton, Rockey found dealing with these RECs is “quite an arduous process,” he said. So, Grafton officials asked American Municipal Power to handle the RECs for them.

“AMP manages RECs from a number of different (places), they have the wind generators in Bowling Green, solar generation all over the AMP footprint, so they manager a lot of RECs,” Rockey said. “So, I reached out to AMP and they are willing to do that on our behalf, as well.”

He is currently working with AMP and electric consultant John Courtney of Courtney & Associates, to work out a deal for Montpelier.

AMP will take a small percentage of any payment and Rockey expects to take the deal to council for approval in the near future.

Separately, prior to the start of the meeting, the oath of office was administered to returning council members Kevin Motter and Melissa Ewers and to newcomer Heather Freese.

In other business Monday, council:

• Went into an executive session to discuss personnel and acquisition of property.

• Approved an ordinance that would update village ordinances to be in line with state laws. This is a yearly action.

• Approved the 2022 cruise-in dates, which will be from June through August on the second and fourth Tuesday.

• Approved committee, commission and board assignments and approved Don Schlosser as the council president for the year.

• Amended appropriations to include carryover projects and software purchase for the Montpelier Police Department (See story on Page A1 of Tuesday’s edition).

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