Town stalls on solar proposal
A plan to treat drinking water using the sun was met with silence last week by Mancos officials.
After town officials were presented with a proposal to install a 60-kilowatt DC photovoltaic energy power array for use at its water treatment facility, trustee Chip Tuthill made a motion that Rosen Perry, LLC, be allowed to complete a full analysis of the proposed project. The proposal died when no one seconded the motion.
Mayor pro tem Perry Lewis said he'd prefer further discussion on the proposal before moving forward, and Town Administrator Andrea Phillips was directed to examine how the measure would be impacted by the Colorado Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, a decade-old constitutional amendment designed to restrain growth in government.
"The company was asking for a 20-year agreement, and the trustees were simply uncertain about those specifics," said Phillips. "The town supports renewable energy, but they had questions about their obligations."
In an unsolicited written proposal, Sam Perry stated the solar power plan could potential save the town nearly $75,000 on energy bills over the next two decades. Company officials had hoped to install and bring the power array online prior to the end of the year to take advantage of existing tax incentives.
If approved, the preliminary proposal would not have held the town liable to any contractual or financial obligations, according to the proposal, but rather simply allowed company officials to begin design reviews and underwriting processes.
Under the proposal, company officials would design, install, operate and finance the solar powered project, and under the terms of a 20-year Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the town's kilowatt addressable utility rate would be discounted by five percent.
According to a company memo, the proposal required no capital investment or expense from the town until a solar PPA was entered.
When reached by The Mancos Times, Perry declined to offer any additional comment.