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Presentation at 2014 Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference

Published in: Environment, Technology, Business
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  1. 1. Innovative Community Initiatives: Town of Ayer Green Community Committee Energy Committee Carolyn McCreary, presenter
  2. 2. Ayer is Green Community l  Awarded Green Community Status in July, 2011 l  Goal of projects: meet Green Community requirement of 20% energy reduction within 5 years
  3. 3. Initiatives and plans l  What we have accomplished l  A completed feasibility study l  Future projects
  4. 4. Implemented Initiatives l  EPG Solar Array (Southbridge, MA) –  20 Year Net Metering Credit Contract l  Town Hall Automated Controls –  12.5% reduction in gas and electricity l  WWTP Main Pumping Station oil to gas conversion l  Energy efficient renovation of WWTP l  Lighting upgrade
  5. 5. Lessons Learned on Solar Project l  Solar –  Challenges l  Wading through process and regulations l  Solar choices: town built, lease town property, purchase power from remote site l  Town meeting: long term contract requires town meeting approval –  3 false starts l  About to hire a consultant with criminal background l  Attempted to engage in a deal that sounded too good to be true until Commonwealth stepped in to stop it l  Worked with reputable company whose business plan changed and they pulled out l  Lessons: be persistent, get professional help
  6. 6. Solar Net Metering Contract l  Savings on 1MW Solar contract –  Credit from National Grid l  Total June 2013 – March 2014: $225,000 –  Bill from solar producer l  Total June 2013 – March 2014: $121,500 l  Total savings: $103,000 for 9 months
  7. 7. Anaerobic Digester WWTP sludge plus organics converted to methane gas which is combusted to produce electricity and heat l  Goals –  Provide facility to assist state implementation of new ban of organics in landfills including food waste from supermarkets, institutions, and food producers –  Reduce costs of hauling sludge –  Convert waste to energy, heat and electricity to be used by Ayer DPW and WWTP
  8. 8. Anaerobic Digester
  9. 9. AD Feasibility Study Completed l  Very large capital project –  $16M of the project cost is for processing of organic waste prior to adding it to the digester –  Current tipping fees too low to offset expenses –  Not recommended that the town accept the risk of this type of pursuit. l  Next Steps –  evaluate working with another community / agency on a regional solution or –  privatizing the anaerobic digester operation.
  10. 10. Plans l  Street light conversions to LED –  Purchase street lights –  Convert to LEDs l  Continue investigation of anaerobic digester l  Town hall window replacement