TEMPLETON— When the Narragansett Regional School District Committee meets Wednesday, it will move forward with plans for a wind tower on land owned by the school district.
At a meeting of the school committee last week, Gregory J. Angelini, school district lawyer, answered most questions posed by a lawyer hired by Phillipston selectmen and by the school committee about the plans.
The school system is on the verge of signing a contract with the Templeton Municipal Light & Water Plant for lease of the land on which the tower will stand.
Mr. Angelini said that he and lawyer Robert Granger, who represents the light and water plant, reviewed every point in the nine-page letter from the Phillipston selectmen’s lawyer. There are a few changes to be made to the contract before it can be signed.
Phillipston selectmen attended the meeting with questions of their own.
One consideration was the “wind non-obstruction easement,” which prohibits the school district from building anything that would obstruct the flow of wind currents across the land. Some school committee members indicated there was little chance of the school district building anything that high. The next building anticipated is a Templeton Elementary School, which would not affect the wind tower.
This installation will be part of a study offered to Narragansett students as a way to understand wind power and its future as a green and clean source of energy.
During the meeting last week, Sean Hamilton, general manager of the light and water department, explained the program, and its costs and benefits, not only to the town of Templeton, but also to the school district.
Schools in Templeton will see reduced electricity costs, and students from both towns will benefit from the educational component of the project.
Phillipston Selectman Dan Sanden expressed concern that the tower built on district land would benefit Templeton residents with a lower cost for energy through the town light department, but Phillipston residents would not see any decrease in the cost of home electricity bills.
Mr. Hamilton said the project is anticipated to cost $3.2 million.
Members of the Green Energy Educational Collaborative, including members of the light department and school personnel, have worked on the designs and applications for grants to make the project a reality. They said they need to be ready to go out to bid in order to keep the grant money.
Templeton will be responsible for operating the tower, and if it fails to produce the anticipated reduction in energy costs, the light department will still need to pay back the bonds. The department has already invested money in the project.
By Shirley Barnes
23 June 2008
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