Plainfield, New Hampshire
The Plainfield Energy Committee was organized to encourage energy conservation, energy efficiency practices and to promote the use of renewable energy in homes, businesses and public buildings through education and community outreach.
The Energy Committee is open to any and all interested Plainfield residents! The group is fluid and evolving and people can be involved just for one specific project or for all of the work that is done.
Thus far the committe has worked with the UNH Pollution Prevention Program, the EPA, and local energy providers to benchmark the energy use in Plainfield's municipal buildings, school, and libraries. Click here for a summary of that effort. The Community Energy Challenge Final Report is available here.
Plainfield Energy Committee Update
The abundant sunshine of this summer has been especially welcome to the many households in Plainfield and Cornish that participated in the Solarize Program which was hosted by the Energy Committees of our respective towns. This program was designed to concentrate a large number of solar photovoltaic (PV or electricity-generating) installations in a given geographic area over a short period of time, thereby reducing the cost to participants and it was successful by all measures.
Heartfelt thanks to Solar Source of Keene, NH, the company we chose to be our Solarize partner. As Steve Ladd noted in a Solarize email: “We are very impressed with the amount of work that our partner installer accomplished over the short course of the Solarize program. They performed 124 site visits in our two communities, prepared 104 proposals, and are doing the administrative and installation work associated with 23 contracts! Throughout this busy time they were supremely patient and always available for questions.
And thanks also to Vital Communities. Staff members Sarah Simonds and Allison Rogers Furbish were admirably well organized, encouraging and patient and provided us with valuable support throughout the program.
Solar panels totalling 115 kW were installed in 23 homes by Solar Source. Nine of these were in Meriden and Plainfield and 16 in Cornish. And the number of participants in the program allowed us to reach the lowest price, so that the cost became $3.40 per installed watt - before tax credit and rebate. In addition, 9 systems were installed by Norwich Technologies, ReVision and SunWorx, providing another 65 kW. So we have increased the solar arrays in our two towns by 180 kW total.
Prior to the Solarize program, we knew of 30 households with PV (electric) and/or SHW (solar hot water or “thermal”) systems. There are 18 SHW systems. The 15 PV systems for which the size is known add up to 60 kW and in addition, Townline Equipment has an 80 kW PV system. Thus the pre-Solarize electricity generating capacity in town equalled approximately 140 kW. Add to that the 90 kW installed during this summer and our town now has at least 230 kW in solar PV and a lot of water being heated by the sun!
We expect to capitalize on the momentum created by the Solarize program to encourage more installations of both PV and hot water systems and to explore options for DIY systems, community solar, municipal projects and funding mechanisms to make renewable energy more affordable.
Solar Source pledged an incentive of funds for an electric car charging station to the community which installed the most solar systems per capita and Cornish has won the competition! But the charger will be installed at a location that is accessible to both communities and we expect that grant funds will be available to power this with solar panels. Site selection is underway...stay tuned!
More good news...the Town of Plainfield has been selected for a “Moose Plate Grant” award to fund restoration and weatherization of the Meriden Town Hall windows and doors. The $10,000 grant is provided by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources through the sale of conservation license plates. We hope that work can begin later this fall and we hope that you will consider buying a Moose Plate to support projects like ours.
Vital Communities is supporting a discussion group that is open to anyone interested in energy issues. To subscribe, go to: http://lists.valley.net/lists/info/communityenergy
It’s been a great summer. We wish you a similarly spectacular fall!
Nancy Mogielnicki for the Plainfield Energy Committee
Workshops and Events
Energy Committee Resources and Reports