Bow exploring renewable energy installations on town-owned land  

Published: 10/26/2022 10:51:21 PM
Modified: 10/26/2022 10:51:04 PM

In another effort to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions, the Bow Energy Committee asked the Select Board to consider installing solar arrays on town-owned properties.

With the support of Chris Andrews, the town’s buildings and facilities manager, the committee aims to identify buildings and town-owned land that can be used to generate renewable energy.

Jessica Dunbar, chairperson of the energy committee said the former landfill on Falcon Way, which has now been capped, presents an opportunity to investigate the viability of a solar project.

“Solar generation can allow the town to save money on electricity using property that is otherwise unproductive,” the committee wrote in a letter asking to collect requests for proposals that can be evaluated and forwarded for public approval. If everything goes according to plan, construction could begin in 2023.

Since its formation, the energy committee has prioritized assisting the town in making its buildings more energy efficient. The energy committee is advisory, meaning the town will handle the actual contracts for solar installations.

“There’s just so many reasons why this looks hopeful and it fits nicely with the broader sort of work that we’ve been trying to do,” said Dunbar.

The abandoned dump is unused land next to the high school. Dunbar believes it’s an opportune time to think about solar power to benefit the community and reduce the town’s utility expenses. For example, any electricity generated from the panels could be directed to the school.

“The landfill has so much potential,” said Dunbar. “The town’s looked at it before, so it’s interested, and it’s not like we’re coming up with a brand new idea.”

The committee would explore the idea with school officials as well.

The town has yet to decide on the matter since two of the selectmen were absent from the meeting. Dunbar, on the other hand, is optimistic that the committee will receive the green light to proceed at the next meeting.

“If we don’t look at solar right now, it’s going to chase us,” Dunbar said.

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