By Katina Caraganis

MediaNews

TOWNSEND -- The North Middlesex Regional School Committee has authorized Superintendent of Schools Joan Landers to enter into negotiations with Florida-based MASS PV1 to purchase net-metering credits generated on a large-scale solar facility.

Landers said Tuesday she will enlist the help of an independent attorney who has more experience dealing with net-metering credits.

JC Redero, a principal with MASS PV1, also doing business as Victus Solar, went before the School Committee on Monday night offering the committee the possible credits generated through a project it's developing off Chase Road in Lunenburg.

Initially, the credits produced were going to be sold to Lunenburg, but after the two sides failed to reach an agreement, MASS PV began shopping the credits around to other communities in the Unitil service area.

Net-metering credits are generated when the meter on the solar project spins in the opposite direction, generating energy credits. A community would purchase those credits from a project developer to apply to its own Unitil bill at a "substantial discount off of the retail rate charged by Unitil," Redero said Monday night.

The actual value of the credits and what the North Middlesex Regional School District would pay has yet to be nailed down, he said. But Redero said as an example, if the district purchased 2,355,600 net-metering 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 project, which is scheduled to be 20 years.

When an agreement is finalized between both sides, it will come back to the full School Committee for approval.

Landers said she's always looking for ways to save the district money and is open to the idea.

"I'm always looking for ways to save the district money on an ongoing basis," she said. "I'll continue to explore opportunities for everyone involved."

Follow Katina Caraganis on Twitter @kcaraganis.