Alternative Energy Committee
- 7:30 p.m.
- Dates to be announced
- Town Hall
41 Highland Avenue
Cohasset, MA 02025
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes
- Marie F. Caristi-McDonald
- Michael L. Schmitt
- William A. Fusco, Jr.
Alternative Energy Committee - Established in 2005The Alternative Energy Committee (AEC) advances the Town of Cohasset’s energy initiatives. AEC activities promote energy efficiencies and the use of clean, renewable and alternative energy technologies. Associated benefits include: decreasing energy use and associated costs, reducing waste and emissions, and contributing to a healthy, sustainable environment.
The Town of Cohasset qualified for the Massachusetts Green Communities designation and grants in 2015. The AEC created a five-year energy-efficiency plan and worked closely with Town management to facilitate Annual Town meeting approvals and other requirements of the Green Communities Program application, including:
1. Adopting As-of-Right Siting
2. Creating an Energy Use Baseline with a specific 5-Year 20% Energy Reduction Plan
3. Adopting an Expedited Permitting Process
4. Purchasing only Fuel-Efficient Fleet Vehicles
5. Adopting the Stretch Energy Code
AEC coordinates with Town managers, Board of Selectmen, School Committee and other boards and committees to build support for energy efficiency initiatives. In addition to projects and activities listed below, AEC members serve on the Town Planning Board’s “Town Hall Renovation” and “Master Plan” committees.
- With a Green Community Year-1 grant of $141,460, the Town is reducing energy use through exterior lighting upgrades at Cohasset Middle/High School, Osgood Elementary School, and Deer Hill Elementary School (2016).
- Green Community Year-2 grant application requests totaling $257,660 are designed to reduce HVAC energy use in Cohasset’s school buildings and Police-Fire station (2017);
Greener Energy Usage
- Cohasset's "Old Landfill" solar photovoltaic (PV) array began operations on August 29, 2017. The PV array is expected to generate an average of 667,000 kilowatt-hours (kWhrs) of clean energy per year. A 20-year lease and net metering agreement with Palmer Capital locks in the price of electricity generated by the array at 8.8 cents/kWH. http://palmcap.com/portfolio/cohasset-ma/
- The solar array will generate savings of over $58,000 per year, assuming average net metering credits of 17.6 cents/kiWh since the project commenced operations versus 8.8 cents/kWh. Over 20 years, with projected increases in power costs, the array could generate approximately $1.6 million for the Town through the net metering agreement. A dashboard website is now publicly available for viewing the power and energy production (in real-time) generated by the solar facility at the Town's Old landfill. The dashboard also indicates the environmental benefits of the array (See AEC Quick Links).
- With a grant of $33,000 from the MA Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, Cohasset has leased three electric vehicles and installed a dual-head charging station. http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/air/grants/massevip.html Vehicles are assigned to Public Safety (Fire and Police Department), Elder Affairs, School and Municipal employees. Lease payments are covered by offsetting personal car expense reimbursements and maintenance costs for existing vehicles (2017).
- The Town has purchased 500+ streetlights from National Grid and is investigating options for LED conversion with support from MAPC-managed grants, which provide one-time incentives for installation, labor and materials (2017).
- Tracking Annual Town energy consumption and adherence to the five-year energy plan created for Green Communities designation. With initial support from AEC, the Department of Public Works is now using DOER’s Mass Energy Insight (MEI) database to monitor the Town’s energy savings.
- Annual evaluation of available State grants and projects in line with AEC and Town energy goals.
- To promote fire-fighting safety associated with rooftop solar arrays, in 2016 Cohasset Town Meeting approved a by-Law establishing safety standards for commercial and residential solar energy systems. The new by-law is based upon the latest National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code and National Electric Code (NEC).