Fox asks different solar firm about prospective Wiscasset work

Thu, 07/04/2024 - 8:45am
    A week after Wiscasset’s Marty Fox suggested the town go out to bid on work Johnson Controls has proposed, Fox told selectmen July 2, his check with ReVision Energy indicated the town might, with that firm, save about $1 million. Dean Angeledes, one of Johnson Controls’ representatives on the Wiscasset proposal, told Wiscasset Newspaper, Fox’s statement was wrong about tax credits Johnson Controls would seek. 
    The firm is providing a required financial advisor to file for the credits Fox referred to, Angeledes said July 3. He added, as part of the already nine or 10 months’ work with Wiscasset to develop the project, the firm put the solar portion out to bid and received three. “It’s not like we only (asked) one vendor. It’s a little disappointing, actually,” he said of Fox’s suggestions.
    Angeledes remained optimistic Wiscasset will want Johnson Controls’ project, because, he said, it is a good project to help avoid financial hits from energy cost hikes; and he recalled Fox’s similarly themed comments in a June 25 hearing were not well received by Wiscasset officials.
    July 2 in the selectboard meeting’s public comment time, Fox read from ReVision’s email response to his inquiry. ReVision’s Andrew Kahrl wrote Fox June 28: “These costs are highly speculative, but in the ballpark. Lots of factors effect the cost of solar including mounting it on a roof vs. ground; proximity to utility power; permitting and civil work requirements; roof structural upgrades; and most of all, the results of CMP’s interconnection study for the specific project.”
    Kahrl continued, “I hope this information is helpful! I’d be happy to provide a preliminary proposal if that’s the direction the town would like to go in!”
    Johnson Controls has said the energy savings would offset the payments on a $1.9 million bank loan and, by the 20-year mark, leave Wiscasset about $64,000 ahead.
    Presenting his information from ReVision Energy July 2, and noting the figures assume reduced interest due to a shorter-term debt, Fox told the board, “These numbers may not be exact, but $1 million savings is sure worth looking into. How should we proceed?”
    Chair Sarah Whitfield responded, “Marty as you know it’s pretty much the policy that we don’t have discussions during public comment.” He offered to have ReVision come to a board meeting. Whitfield said selectmen will look at the materials Fox provided. 
    Also July 2, Wiscasset Ambulance Service Director Erin Bean, with other local and state leaders on hand, recognized police officer Nathan Willhoite for aiding a cardiac arrest victim until an ambulance crew took over; and Bean handed Phoenix awards to crew members Kirsten Emerson, Amber Strout and Meriel Longley for saving a cardiac arrest victim. Bean explained, the state does not give Phoenix awards to police. 
    The board nodded a liquor license for Jolie Rogers, 8 Railroad Ave.; accepted Sharon Jacques’ resignation from a parent seat on the future of the schools committee due to a change in schools for her child; and the board agreed bids can now be unsealed at a public meeting other than a selectboard meeting. 
    Heather Jones recounted the June 17, James Weldon Johnson Day ceremony on Wiscasset Common, and handed Wiscasset Public Library Director Pam Dunning a $1,000 donation to the library from J Rosamond Johnson Foundation. Jones will provide the library with photos and poetry to display from a recent contest.