ACUSHNET – Selectmen, working with their Alternative Energy Study Committee, say it is time to bring in a consultant to help the town consider the best possible green-energy purchases.
Town Administrator Alan Coutinho has advised selectmen there is “a significant opportunity to have a significant savings for the town down the road” if alternative energy purchases are carefully charted.
“With solar energy, for instance, we can buy it from anywhere on the grid,” Coutinho said. “It’s possible we could buy wind energy out of Plymouth.”
Coutinho said it is time for Acushnet to determine what other towns are paying for alternative energy options. “You can save money with the right deal and you can lose money with the wrong deal,” he said.
The first thrust in this effort may involve setting some budget money aside. Selectmen agree generally with Coutinho’s point that spending a few dollars now in the green-energy realm could save operating funds later.
Selectman David E. Wojnar credited the alternative energy panel with its initial work. Now, he said, it is time to look at actual green-energy purchases. This, however, is outside the scope of the energy panel’s charge.
Selectmen have been wary about Acushnet attracting solar-farming proposals, saying the town with its farmland and other open space could attract developers looking to set up ground-mounted photo-voltaic panels and secure state tax credits for their projects.
Selectman Les Dakin Jr. says this is not a particularly bad idea, but he wants to protect residential areas as well as accommodate solar farms.