By Katina Caraganis
TOWNSEND -- North Middlesex Regional School District Superintendent Joan Landers plans to continue her work with an independent consultant to decide whether to purchase state energy credits from a solar developer that plans to sell the project before its built.
Representatives from Florida-based MASS PV1 went before the School Committee last month to pitch the credits, which would be generated on a project in Lunenburg, and ask if the district would be interested in purchasing them.
During Monday night's School Committee meeting, Landers said she had been made aware of the potential sale of the project by reading a newspaper article, but had not spoken with anyone from MASS PV about the future of the deal.
"I am going to continue doing my due diligence with this project and talking with the consultant until I hear otherwise," she said during Monday night's School Committee meeting.
The credits were initially offered to Lunenburg, but the deal fell through. After the two sides failed to reach an agreement, MASS PV began shopping the credits around.
Credits are generated based on how much energy a solar project produces.
The actual value of the credits North Middlesex would have bought from MASS PV had yet to be nailed down, but as an example, if the district purchased 2,355,600 credits at a face value of 19 cents for a price of 15 cents, the district could save $93,706 in the first year, and $3,014,818 over the life of the 20-year project.
School Committee Member Jonna Clermont of Pepperell said she's been leery of the plan since the beginning, and is going to proceed through the process with extreme caution in light of the most recent news.
"Based on some of the facts I've heard, including the fact that they're selling and its history, I'm not excited about it," she said.
One of the major sticking points, she said, was the fact that it would be a 20-year deal.
"It makes me nervous when they're trying to pressure us without giving us all of the information we need," she said.
Lunenburg Town Manager Kerry Speidel told the Board of Selectmen that the developer looking to buy the project from MASS PV has already contacted her about buying the credits from the project, and they are in the process of putting together a new deal to present to the town.
It's unclear whether the new developer would sell the credits to both the town of Lunenburg and the North Middlesex School District.
Representatives with MASS PV1 were not immediately available Wednesday.
Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.