FRAMINGHAM — Selectmen signed off Tuesday on a 20-year deal to purchase solar energy credits from a site in Canton, boosting the town’s use of renewable energy and lowering its utility bills.
The board approved a long-term net metering agreement with solar developer Omni Navitas.
The company, headquartered in Boston, is installing solar panels on the roof of a carport at the MBTA station in Canton.
Framingham will pay 13 cents per kilowatt hour to buy energy credits generated when the company’s solar panels feed power into the electrical grid.
The town will apply the credits toward its energy bills, allowing it to qualify for a steep discount.
The actual value of the credits fluctuates, and is currently about 23 cents per kilowatt hour. If that price holds steady, the agreement is expected to save the town more than $50,000 per year on its electricity costs, which stand at roughly $3 million.
Town Meeting members authorized selectmen to negotiate a long-term contract with Omni Navitas at a special Town Meeting in February.
The company’s other partners range from commercial property owners to farmers and other government agencies. It lists more than 30 solar installations on its website, including carport solar projects at the Canton Junction and Canton Center MBTA stations. The company has similar projects in Natick, Southborough and Westborough.
The new agreement marks at least the third net metering project in Framingham. The town has also negotiated deals to purchase credits from a 1.6-megawatt solar array at Shoppers World, and from another project Framingham Salvage.
In the case of the Shoppers World agreement, the town will receive a fixed discount of 20 percent on the price of the net metering credits. Town Manager Bob Halpin said the installation is in place and Shoppers World is awaiting a connection to the grid.
Under the new draft agreement with Omni Navitas, the town’s savings will fluctuate based on the value of net metering credits. Framingham currently stands to receive a discount of roughly 44 percent.
The project will also increase the town’s reliance on solar energy.
“We’ll be close to 50 percent once all these agreements are in place,” Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Kelley said.
Original article link: