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Minutes of 7/10/2024

July 10th, 2024

Carroll Energy Commission Minutes
Meeting of July 10, 2024 @ 5:00 p.m.
Carroll Town Hall Conference Room
The Carroll Energy Commission mission is to advise, encourage, and facilitate energy conservation, energy efficiency, and clean energy solutions for public buildings and properties, businesses, and resident homes. The Committee shall provide leadership and direction for community education relating to energy and shall propose and explore funding for local energy projects.
These minutes of the Town of Carroll Energy Commission have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions, and corrections by the Energy Commission at its next meeting when the Commission votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available at this time to conform to the requirements of New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2.

Minutes recorded by Imre Szauter, Secretary

Commission members in attendance: Member Vern Amirault, Member and Select Board Representative John Greer, Member Brian Mycko, Vice Chair and Secretary Imre Szauter, and Chair Bill Vecchio.

Members of the public in attendance: Melissa Elander, Clean Energy New Hampshire (CENH)

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. by Chair Vecchio.

Chair Vecchio invited all attendees to rise and join in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chair Vecchio welcomed Melissa Elander of CENH and thanked her for attending the meeting, acknowledging her busy schedule and many responsibilities.

Chair Vecchio stated he would entertain a motion on the June 26, 2024 meeting minutes. Member Amirault motioned to accept the minutes as written. Member Mycko seconded the motion. Under discussion, Member Amirault asked for confirmation of the minimum insolation value for the proposed Public Safety building solar PV array project. Vice Chair Szauter indicated the 87.3% value stated in the minutes was taken from the June 21, 2024 Shading Report provided by Ted Vansant of Barrington Power as the average of Field Segments 1 and 2. With no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Under New Business, Chair Vecchio asked to move the battery storage agenda item up for discussion, to take advantage of Melissa Elander’s time at the meeting. Melissa Elander stated that Eversource Energy would like to provide summer interns at no cost to help evaluate town facilities that have been identified as candidates for battery storage systems. CENH is applying for another grant to study battery storage systems and she requested a letter of support from the Town of Carroll, as we indicated our willingness to participate in their battery storage analysis efforts. Melissa Elander made a draft letter available for review and signature by Chair Vecchio.

Vice Chair Szauter made a motion to approve working with the Eversource Energy summer intern on the battery storage system analysis and to approve Chair Vecchio signing a letter of support for CENH’s application for a second round of DOE funding to study battery storage systems. Member Mycko seconded the motion. With no discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Melissa Elander provided additional background on the battery storage program and mentioned a recent quote provided to a Coos County community for a 30 kWh system.

Members reviewed and edited the draft letter provided by Melissa Elander in support of CENH’s application for a second round of grant funding. The final letter will be forwarded to Administrative Assistant, Megan Basnar for printing on town letterhead and signature by Chair Vecchio. Member Mycko motioned to approve the letter as edited. Chair Vecchio seconded the motion. With no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Melissa Elander provided an update on an EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station grant program with a nearing deadline (August 1) for application. Members discussed participation and concluded that the deadline was too close and they did not want to defer time from the ongoing work of the NH DOE Municipal Solar Grant Program application.

Under New Business, Chair Vecchio announced an additional NH DOE solar grant program, with funding up to $10,000, for solar PV systems installed on municipal buildings. This grant program would be in addition to the current NH DOE Municipal Solar Grant Program.

Under Old Business, Chair Vecchio opened a discussion on the NH DOE Municipal Solar Grant Program. Melissa Elander provided an email that identified several questions and answers provided by the DOE in regard to the program application. Members reviewed the questions and answers as they applied to our application.

Melissa Elander was asked about a realistic dollar amount to request in the grant application. Given the Town of Carroll is a Tier 2 community, funding in Tier 2 is capped at $480,000, the maximum Tier 2 grant request is $120,000, and communities cannot request an aggregate of funds that exceeds 100% of the project cost, members were concerned that the requested amount should be appropriate.

Considering the 30% Elective Pay amount to be requested, the possibility of the newly-announced NH DOE grant program with a $10,000 maximum funding amount, and the potential to tap into the Energy Efficiency Capital Reserve Fund established by voters in March 2024, the balance of the Barrington Power estimate is approximately $81,944.

Melissa Elander excused herself at 6:15 p.m. for another appointment. Members thanked her for her attendance and support.

Chair Vecchio provided an Excel spreadsheet that members used to discuss the dollar amount on the grant application. Member Mycko motioned to apply for $81,944 on the NH DOE Municipal Solar Grant Program application. Member Greer seconded the motion. With no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Chair Vecchio suggested going through the grant application checklist. Members identified each checklist item and who (town or Barrington Power) was responsible for providing it. Vice Chair Szauter identified the information that has been provided or collected to date.

Member Greer and Member Amirault provided updates on their requests for letters of support from previously-identified parties, including elected officials, local businesses, and organizations.

Chair Vecchio suggested going through the application. Members discussed wording for various application sections. After a period of time, it became apparent that working on the application in real time was not productive, so it was agreed to that the application would be distributed to all members and worked on individually prior to the July 24 meeting.

Chair Vecchio opened a discussion on who should have the authority to sign the grant application. Member Greer suggested that he could raise this issue at the July 23 Select Board meeting. Members agreed.

Under Other, Chair Vecchio asked if there were any items for discussion. None were offered.

With no additional agenda items for discussion, Chair Vecchio entertained a motion for adjournment. Member Mycko motioned to adjourn. Member Amirault seconded the motion. With no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Imre Szauter, Vice Chair and Secretary