Jay board forms solar committee, approves road project

first_imgJAY – The Board of Selectpersons discussed solar power, the Boston Post cane and approved the construction of an access road at the Livermore Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.The board approved the use of $18,000 to construct a road to access the headworks at the plant, which also treats wastewater from Jay. The funds to build the road will come of the plant’s reserve account; approval from both the Jay and Livermore Falls boards is required to access that money. Construction of that road was originally considered as part of the plant upgrade project, but had to be built separately due to a wetlands impact that wasn’t included in the scope of the larger project.Livermore Falls’ board previously approved the expenditure out of the reserve account, which currently contains roughly $206,000.The board also discussed the formation of a committee to look into the town’s options regarding solar power power projects and purchase agreements in Jay. ReVision Energy previously offered to form a power purchase agreement with Regional School Unit 73 and has extended a similar offer to the town of Jay. The committee would be able to research different options for the town. The board voted to put Selectpersons Gary McGrane and Judy Diaz on the committee, as well as planning board members and Rep. Tina Riley (D – Jay). More members are being sought for that committee.Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere has been collecting some information on solar power and will be attending a meeting later this week in Portland on the subject.The town will also be seeking a new nominee for the Boston Post Cane. Like many New England towns, Jay received a cane from the now-defunct newspaper in 1909. Originally awarded to the oldest resident in each town, the surviving canes – or in many cases, replicas – continue to serve that purpose.The board approved collecting nominations for the cane until Jan. 8, 2020. The cane will be awarded to the oldest member of the town, assuming they wish to receive it. LaFreniere noted that the town had access to a list of registered voters but wanted to ensure that there wasn’t a qualifying resident that wasn’t registered to vote.The town is also addressing issues with the roof-mounted heating units on the municipal building, a space shared by the Jay Police Department and town office. The police side of the building recently lost heat, with the problem eventually traced to a hole in a heat exchanger inside the roof-mounted units. The units are now 11 years old and approaching the end of their useful life.The hole in the exchanger was patched and town officials intend to have an assessment of the building’s heating system conducted prior to sinking more money into the units.last_img read more

Threat to U.S. Solar Expansion in Potential Panel-Import Tariffs

first_imgThreat to U.S. Solar Expansion in Potential Panel-Import Tariffs FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Solar developers are suspending construction as the looming threat of U.S. import tariffs has driven up prices and spurred hoarding, crimping panel supplies.“We’ve had roughly $500 million worth of work that we’ve had to put on hold,” said Scott Canada, who oversees renewable energy projects for McCarthy Building Cos. of St. Louis. “The supply of panels has just evaporated as everybody is grabbing what they can.”The disruptions date to about May, after bankrupt panel manufacturer Suniva Inc. filed a trade complaint asking for protection from cheap imports. As the case gained steam, developers rushed to stockpile every available panel. The case is currently before the U.S. International Trade Commission and may eventually reach the Oval Office, where President Donald Trump has the authority to impose tariffs.The crunch is an abrupt reversal for the $29 billion U.S solar industry, which six months ago was awash in inexpensive panels. Developers say prices have swelled by about 40 percent in the past four months, making some projects uneconomical to build. And that’s if they’re lucky enough to have a supplier at all.“If you don’t have panels lined up for ’17 than you aren’t going to get them,” said Laura Stern, president and co-founder of Nautilus Solar Energy LLC in Summit, New Jersey. “The market is really tight.”Solar manufacturing is dominated by companies in China and elsewhere in Asia, where intense competition and booming output helped drag down global prices more than 50 percent in five years. While those declines have been a boon for companies that build solar farms, they’ve squeezed panel makers in markets with higher labor costs, including the U.S.Georgia-based Suniva, which filed its trade case in April, is asking for tariffs that may double the price of panels in the U.S. The trade commission has until Sept. 22 to investigate the case and send its findings to Trump, who gets final say.“We’ve got our fingers crossed that smarter minds will prevail and we won’t wind up with tariffs,” said Andrew Giraldo, president of engineering, procurement and construction at National Renewable Energy Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina.Solar developers have vociferously opposed Suniva’s trade complaint, saying tariffs on cheap imports will hobble demand for new installations and eliminate thousands of jobs. The case has also drawn criticism from free-market trade groups, including the R Street Institute, National Taxpayers Union, American Legislative Exchange Counsel and others who released a letter Tuesday urging the trade commission to reject Suniva’s plea.More: Solar Developers Hoard Panels as U.S. Tariff Threat Loomslast_img read more