Montague council interested in exploring alternative energy options
Town council is looking to see if there’s a sunny side to powering its local rink with solar energy.
Councillors discussed a request for a decision during Monday’s meeting asking if council would give the go-ahead for a study weighing the pros and cons of installing a solar power field at the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre.
The request asked whether council would sign off on a $3,190 study, taxes included, conducted by the building’s architects Coles Associates.
Chief administrative office Andy Daggett, who made the request, said a solar field may help offset the centre’s heavy reliance of electrical power.
“Power is one of our biggest costs at the Wellness Centre, it’s somewhere between eight to ten thousand a month once the compressors are up and operating to make ice,” said Daggett. “I thought ($3,190) is not a lot of money to spend to know whether (solar power) makes sense and whether it’s worth pursuing.”
If a solar array project was worth pursuing, Daggett noted the town could possibly get funding through a new Municipalities for the Climate Innovation Program, which aims to help communities reduce their greenhouse gas hemissions.
Coles Associates has already advised the town against placing a solar array on the facilities roof. The company has completed several studies in recent months on ground arrays, which could be a possibility for Montague.
All councillors showed support in looking into solar options.
“I’m certainly more in favour of this type of project than I am with anything to do with wood or things like that,” said Coun. Debbie Johnston, referencing the Wellness Centre’s previous wood furnace, which was later removed partially due to its unreliability.
Johnston said she was also interested in seeing what the yearly maintenance for a solar array would cost, which Daggett said would likely be included in the study.
Deputy mayor David Mabon said he was also interested in investigating the solar option.
“To me, it can’t be anything but good,” said Mabon.
Councillors will give a final vote on whether to give the study the go-ahead during its next regular meeting in two weeks.
Montague chief administrative officer Andy Daggett discusses the possibility of powering the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre with solar energy during the town’s committee of council meeting on Monday. Council will vote in two weeks whether to fund a study that would weigh the pros and cons of installing a solar array at the centre.