The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:08 p.m. on Monday, September 21, 2015 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Eddy Moore (via telephone), Commissioner Perry Goodell, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the September 7, 2015 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Moore made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1.
Commissioner Ross abstained from voting as he was absent from the September 7th meeting.
CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS
Littleton Energy Conservation Committee (LECC) representatives Ron Bolt (Secretary), Peter Cooper and Dann were present for a portion of the meeting relative to repurposing the old landfill.
1. The BOC discussed and accepted public input in regard to a proposal submitted by NH Solar Garden (NHSG) to place a 2,500 kW photovoltaic (PV) array at the old landfill site on Industrial Park Road.
Superintendent Considine presented the BOC several slides and discussed the departmentís in-house review of the NHSG proposal (see attached). The major discussion points were: 1) A three (3) to (5) five percent increase to the wholesale power supply line most likely would be expected though that may change do to the final array configuration and output, 2) The ownership of the Renewable Energy Credits (REC) is a major contributing factor to the overall economic viability of the project that was not addressed in the proposal, and 3) the competitive bid process would most likely present a solar option that would be more economically viable.
Following some general discussion between the BOC and the members of the LECC the BOC were in agreement an stated that based on the departmentís review of the proposal submitted by NHSG that it does not appear to be in the best interest of the LWL and not economical. The proposed purchase power price (annualized rate offered) combined with the annual escalator would negatively affect the annual budget. The LWL electric rate tariff would most likely need to be increased to offset expenses incurred. The current operating margins could not absorb the projected cost increase due to purchasing solar power at the proposed price.
Commissioner Ross stated that the decision to purchase a solar product is more a philosophical one as the economic do not support a business decision.
The BOC also wanted to make it clear that they are not opposed to offering a renewable energy resource in addition to hydroelectric as long as it was economical viable to do so. Current hydroelectric supply is purchase at the department stranded costs (market price).
Commissioner Ross stated that he was not in favor of purchasing a more costly product that would raise the department electric rates to facilitate or accommodate the needs of a few. Commissioners Goodell and Moore also stated that they did not feel that it was neither fair nor equitable for all LWL customers.
The BOC discussed a suggestion that a possible survey of LWL customer could be taken to gauge the level of support or opposition to a large scale renewable solar project given the fact that it would increase their electric rates.
Dann commented that he wanted the BOC to know that the LECC is only an advisory committee to the town and has no decision making authority.
Mr. Bolt asked if a net metering option is off the table for this site.
Superintendent Considine stated in his opinion a 2,500 kW solar array could not be used for net metering. The capacity is well beyond the departments total allowable net metering connection capacity 360 kW (about 2% at peak) allowed per the NHPUC. Though the departmentís connected load appears minimal in comparison say to PSNH, the percentage allowed is the same and proportional to LWL operation.
The members of the LECC left the meeting at about 1:50 pm.
2. Commissioner Moore stated that he had to drop out of the meeting to address a personal matter and left the meeting at about 2:00 pm.
3. Superintendent Considine stated that La Capra notified him that power supply prices have fallen recently due to large reserves of natural gas and there may be an opportunity to purchase power conducive to our current budget.
Superintendent Considine suggests that the department submit a request for proposals in October 2015 to purchase power resources for about fifty (50) percent of our expected load to hedge against spot market fluctuation in 2017.
Following some discussion the BOC agreed that a target price of $50.00 per mW (5 cents) seems reasonable. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to authorize Superintendent Considine to solicit up to fifty (50) percent of the departmentís expect 2017 load and enter into an agreement if the bid prices are favorable, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-0.
4. White Mountain Hydroelectric asked the department to relocate their new pad mount transformer on town property adjacent to the departmentís pole yard. The new transformer is in preparation for the departmentís system conversion to 12,470. The facility is currently connected at 4,160 and will not be possible to connect unless the voltage is stepped up.
The BOC discussed briefly and agreed that additional research is needed as to who the authorizing party would be to grant a permanent easement.
5. Commissioner Ross asked about the status of the broken poles on High Street and plans to replace.
6. Superintendent Considine stated that to his understanding Fair Point Communication (FP) has scheduled their replacement. The department initially had plans to relocate the pole line behind the sidewalk though FP contends that they cannot accommodate this plan due to physical and monetary constraints in regard to a fiber optic loop that goes to the high school.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. Dufresne engineering submitted a revised scope of work for the departmentís review that only addresses the water transmission main. Initially they had proposed a full system evaluation and the BOC felt that the distribution system did not need to be reviewed. This revised scope of work cut the total cost of the project by about $16,000 (38%). Superintendent Considine stated that he plans to execute the engineering agreement unless BOC directs otherwise. The project was initially approved by the BOC at their July 6, 2015 regular business meeting.
2. A water main leak at the bottom of Hill Street was report at about 2:30 am on Friday, September 18th and repairs completed by about 10 am that morning. It is not clear as to what may have caused the six (6) inch cast-iron to fail.
3. The water main installation on Maple Street between Oak Hill Avenue and School Street is progressing well and without any major issues. Major excavation activities are expected to be completed this week and the line tested. Service lines will be connected to the new water main the week of October 5th and paving should be completed shortly thereafter.
Commissioner Goodell made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissionerís meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Departmentís conference room.