First Selectman James B. Cosgrove announced today that he has retained the services of the law firm of Murtha Cullina LLP to facilitate a comprehensive Request for Proposals for the Town related to a possible large-scale solar array installation at the site of the former town landfill. In addition, the firm will assist the Town in submitting a bid for the solar project into the upcoming ZREC/LREC auction to be conducted by Eversource (formerly The Connecticut Light & Power Company). If selected by Eversource, the Town would sell the renewable energy credits produced by the solar array to the utility. Ultimately, if the Town moves forward with the solar project the firm will also assist with the negotiation of contracts related to the project including a power purchase agreement and operation and maintenance agreement with the selected solar developer of the project.
“The Town has considered this initiative in the past but it has never materialized,” Cosgrove said. “If successful this project will be appropriate site development at the former landfill and generate significant savings to the taxpayer in the form of lower utility payments.”
A variety of steps must take place prior to operation, including: local approvals, selection of the project under the state’s ZREC/LREC auction program, and successful acceptance of the project into the State’s Municipal Virtual Net Metering Program. “This is a very complicated and technical process and after a review of our options, I am confident that the selection of Murtha Cullina to lead this project is sound one,” Cosgrove said. Cosgrove noted that Murtha has significant experience in managing successful municipal solar array projects around the state. “We considered going this alone or directly with a power provider,” Cosgrove stated, “but concluded that this is the best and most efficient option for pursuing the project.”
The project will be led by Attorney Paul R. Michaud at Murtha Cullina. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to assist the Town in developing a meaningful project that will provide substantial utility savings,” Michaud said. Attorney Michaud chairs Murtha Cullina’s Renewable Energy Practice Group. He has significant experience with the transactional, regulatory and legislative aspects of renewable energy and microgrid project development.