Commissioner Rick Samson had a number of questions about the $844,033 decommissioning fund escrow agreement reached by Granite Reliable Power attorneys and Attorney Jonathan Frizzell representing the county. The agreement requires GRP to establish the fund over the next 10 years.
Samson said he felt the figure was low and asked how it was determined. He asked who negotiated the amount and why it was not negotiated prior to construction. Grenier said the amount was set before the final permit was issued and was negotiated by former administrator Sue Collins and Frizzell. He said the figure was determined by the best estimate of what it would cost to take down the 33-turbine wind farm, calculating in salvage costs. Since the project went on-line, the county and GRP have negotiated how the fund will be set up. GRP wanted to be able to submit a letter of credit but the county prevailed in its desire for annual payments into an escrow fund.
Samson said he researched some other projects and noted a 21- turbine project in Vermont required a $6.1 decommissioning fund. Given the terrain of the Granite Reliable Power site, Samson said decommissioning the project will be expensive.
“I feel it’s a very low number,” he said, referring to the $844,033 figure.
Samson said there is no way he will sign the agreement and said he would like to see the amount renegotiated when the agreement is reviewed in five years.
Commission Chair Tom Brady asked Administrator Jennifer Fish to forward Samson’s questions to Frizzell and request answers for the August meeting.
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