The original

New Apr 30, May 2

On this page

Solar stops only half the carbon

Return to

Concord Campaign for Quality Governance

The quality of information circulating about solar and Article 64

To pump up support for solar and Article 64 prior to the vote, reportedly the following blandishments come from Harry Bartlett's Concord Conserves email and were forwarded around Concord by Jill Appel.

Originals are in bullet points, observations on assertions are of course in the boxes.
  • Solar produces a lot of valuable peak power, which can cost 300% as much as non-peak power
  • Actually, solar produces only a relatively small amount of power. Though, it is also important to note, this could make a difference in peak-shaving.

  • Solar yields avoided costs associated with transmission and other grid charges; only available with an in-town facility
  • As do gas/diesel generators, which is the Light Plant's first thought, for in-town generation.

  • A competitive bidding process will yield near-parity energy costs, making solar competitive, net after federal and state incentives, with traditional sources of energy
  • So, if we know this in advance - then we do not need to get those bids, to make a decision. Which was the whole basis for the argument to move this article in the first place.

    But actually, bids may not be near-parity, as made clear by solar advocates who are knowledgeable.

  • 30% of project cost paid in cash by U.S. government as part of the 2009 Recovery Act (could be worth $3mm; provided construction begins in 2010)
  • But the same 30% / $3mm will also be paid if starting later, over a schedule. See of course If we wait a year.

    Those who are knowledgeable estimate the prospect is small, for a timely construction start. Particularly if the due diligence is a trustworthy process, rather than another ill-prepared rush.

  • Environmental benefits associated with removing fossil fuel sourced energy
  • blue left arrowAre no better than half what we would get from the $10 million committed to other renewables. See of course documented data that solar is – at least – twice the cost of other renewables.

    Hence, $10 million here deprives us of decreasing twice the carbon that we might, by choosing a more efficient alternative renewable.

  • Local energy control and a visible relationship between the town and its energy sources
  • For what purpose? When the amount of energy Concord can produce this way is minimal? And has the serious debits associated with it, as above?

  • Productive use of 12+/- acres out of the substantial 2,500 acres of town-owned land
  • Knowledgeable advocates estimate at best 3 to 5 acres are available from these parcels, rather than the 10 to 14 required to produce even a meager amount of power.

  • Optimal energy neighbor that is low to the ground, has no moving parts or glare, makes no smell, and consumes no water. It quietly goes about converting sun rays into energy.
  • There has been significant debate about the environmental impact of this supposedly environment-friendly technology.